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Old 27th October 2018, 22:23   #1
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Default Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update


Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_06403902.jpg
A typical scene from my recurring dream. But this time, it is real!



The dream began a long time ago. I don’t even remember exactly when. Maybe sometime during my childhood. I started hearing the lore of the three-letter acronym – BMW – during my school days. It was somewhat of a mystery back then. I had no real understanding of what it meant and what it stood for. It was just something I occasionally saw in the movies or magazines. It had no existence whatsoever in my real life. It was as if some story from mythology.

Then later, I went to US for my graduate studies, and there, for the first time, I had the opportunity to experience one in real life. Oh, the BMW! I started hanging out with the car enthusiasts in my university circle, and slowly, I started to realize what those letters meant. I got opportunities to drive many cars and many brands in the US (and did several interstate, cross-country drives), and I started to understand what makes a car a good car. As I started to understand things like rear wheel drive, weight distribution, handling, gear shifts and such, I started to realize what was so special about a BMW. Once I drove a friend’s E36 328i on a long drive in Southern California, and thoroughly loved how it drove. Sometime later, I even had an opportunity to drive the 328i on Chicago Motor Speedway. It was an exciting drive to say the least. By then I knew exactly what a BMW stood for. I was already in love with the 3-series. I wanted one. The old dream now had a meaning and a purpose. Now I knew BMW was not just a hearsay story, and the cars were indeed that good. Those days (my university days), I had an old Honda Accord (the typical “student car”), but always dreamt of a BMW. I used to avidly read “Car & Driver”, and those issues were full of stories and pictures of M3 and M5.

As it happened, when it was time for me to buy my first new car in the US, I considered BMW 3-series and Audi A4, and eventually bought 2001 Audi A4 Quattro for some reasons (primary one being that the Audi Quattro was more suitable for winter and snow drives than RWD BMW). Mine was the first 2001 model year car that was delivered in Chicago area. I loved the car. The legendary Quattro was phenomenal, especially on snow, during the winters in Chicago and Colorado. I often drove my A4 back to my alma mater in Colorado, and drove it all over Rocky Mountain roads, in summer and in winter. The Quattro was great not only on snow and wet roads, but also on dry summer roads, where it gave an amazing balanced grip and stability. The car was a delight to drive on all sorts of road conditions. It was a beautiful car and I enjoyed every moment with it. But, it was no BMW. I still kept on dreaming of a BMW, while simultaneously loving the A4 as well.


Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-014_14.jpg
My 2001 Audi A4 in Colorado. It was a beautiful car and I loved it. But I still kept dreaming of a BMW.


Later I returned to India, and the dream became even more far-fetched. There was no way I could have afforded a BMW in India. In India, I first bought a Fiat Palio, and later a Maruti SX4. Both were good cars in their own rights, for the purposes they were designed for, and I loved both. I have tons of sweet memories with both the cars.

But deep inside, I still wanted a BMW.

My feelings could be best described by this Sher by the famous poet, Shakeel Badauni:


Wohi aablay hain wohi jalan, koi soz-e-dil mein kami nahi
Jo laga K aag gaye they tum, wo lagi hui hai bujhi nahi

My rough translation:

“I still have the longing and my heart still burns, the passion is no less,
The fire that you have ignited, is still burning and is no less “



So finally, when it was time to retire my trusted SX4, I did not want just a car. I wanted a BMW. Apart from some casual discussions and a few superficial test drives, deep in my mind, I did not even consider any other car. I had to have a BMW.

I also wholeheartedly believe in the concept of “lateral upgrade” and pre-owned cars, elaborated so well in this thread: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/buyin...-car-less.html (ARTICLE: The Beauty of Lateral Upgrades (Getting MORE CAR for LESS $$$))

And thus, my search for a pre-owned BMW began. I wanted a car that was still in warranty and preferably still had BSI cover. That meant I was looking for cars less than two years old. Luckily, I found one, within three months of searching.

And here is the luckiest part. I always wanted a red BMW with black interiors. BMW discontinued this color combination sometime in 2017 (which meant I had one more reason to look for a pre-owned rather than a brand-new car). They say that when you buy a used car, you don’t get a choice in color. I was lucky enough to find one that not only met my criteria for warranty and BSI but was also red with black interiors. Sometimes the dreams do come true.


Acknowledgements: My sincere thanks to many of my friends who helped me immensely in my search. First and foremost, my friend, bhpian and fellow 320d owner RSUDARSANAN, who was always inspirational with his “if not now, when?” story. His erstwhile E90 320d was always an inspiration to me since the time I saw it first in 2013. Further, fellow BMW owners, friends and bhpians graaja, robimahanta, KarthikK, and Diesel_covert helped me immensely by patiently answering all my questions, and providing me with detailed information about buying and maintaining a BMW in India. I also had message exchanges with moderator ajmat who, as always, gave timely and useful inputs. Thanks to ajmat for his help.

And finally, special thanks to KarthikK and SunnyBoi for helping me find the perfect car in the used car market. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of these and many others who were always very helpful!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 30th October 2018 at 13:17.
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Old 27th October 2018, 22:34   #2
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Finding and buying the pre-owned car:

After about three months of searching, I found a 2017 registered F30 LCI 320d in SportsLine trim. It was (and still is) within original warranty and also had (and still has) a BSI cover. The car was red, and the interiors were black with red trim, exclusive to the SportsLine variant. It was the car I was looking for.


Here is my first look at the car at the used car dealer’s place, and the car looked almost brand-new:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180709_124103.jpg


After a test drive that I was happy with, the car was immediately taken to Navnit Motors for a detailed check.
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180709_142112.jpg


The car being checked thoroughly at Navnit:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180709_145135.jpg


The car cleared all tests, and no issues were reported whatsoever. Navnit gave a green signal for me to buy the car.

All formalities were completed the same day and I picked up the keys and the papers, including original user's manual (notice the red and black theme on the keys, which perfectly matches with the red and black theme on the car):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180709_170738.jpg


This was the first look at the interiors. Sorry for the bad quality of the picture, but the interiors were in almost brand-new condition, just like the exterior:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180710_114626.jpg


When I picked up the car, it had 14595km on the odometer (the warning icon was for low fuel level):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180710_174928.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 30th October 2018 at 00:44.
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Old 27th October 2018, 23:08   #3
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

The above story, of me picking up the car, is actually from July 2018. It was in July that I picked up the car with some 14,500 odd reading on the odometer. Now it has been more than three months since then, and I have driven the car for some 6500 or so kilometers since then. The current odometer stands at around 21000km.

I wanted to wait for this long, and drive the car for about 6000km before writing this review. The idea was that this way, I would be over my initial euphoria and hopefully, would write a more objective and unbiased review.

So here is my attempt at a review after having owned the car for more than three months and having driven for more than 6000km, including at least three long interstate drives.


What I like:
  • The quintessential driver's car. The 3-series has always been a driver's car, and this one is no exception. Agreed that in F30, the "Sheer Driving Pleasure" factor is a tiny bit lost compared to the E90. But nevertheless, it is still very much a driver's car with tons of driving pleasure. The "joy" is still there, and once you start driving this car, you actually feel sad when you reach the destination. I feel like driving it forever.
  • The looks. I think the car looks gorgeous, and in my personal opinion, this is one of the best looking sedans on road today. I still can't stop looking back at her after parking her every time.
  • 188bhp and 400Nm. With such power and torque numbers, the performance is very good. The mid-range is phenomenal, and the car accelerates beautifully even with a slight push on the accelerator. Overtaking is a breeze. Accelerating from say 80 to 120 is very quick and very smooth - it is pure "joy", and almost addictive. In fact, once in the turbo range, the acceleration is so good, it can catch those riding shotgun by surprise and scare them if they are not used to such cars.
  • The handling and dynamics. The car handles like a BMW 3-series should. Again, the car is a bit softer than E90, but still handles very well. In her own right, she is one the best handling sedans available today. Corners are fun and I have enjoyed every moment of driving this car in the ghats. Body roll is almost non-existent. My wife usually suffers from motion sickness in the ghats, but in this car, she had absolutely no sickness in the ghats, even at moderate speeds during cornering. The car remains stable and almost flat through the corners. My wife enjoys this car from passenger's seat as much as I enjoy it from the driver's seat, and that is a testimony to the dynamics of the car.
  • The ZF-8 gearbox and paddle shifters. The ZF 8-speed gearbox is an engineering masterpiece. The gearshifts are so smooth and so fast, I don't even notice those, at least in the comfort mode. I never had any instance when the car was in the wrong gear. This gearbox has single-handedly changed my opinion about automatic transmissions. The paddle shifters are cool to have, although I must admit that I hardly ever felt any need to use them.
  • Ride Quality. In spite of this being a very good handler with minimal body roll, the ride quality is surprisingly good. It is not at all harsh, as one would expect. Even on really bad roads, provided one drivers very slowly, the car is very well composed and the occupant's are not jostled around. Low speed rides on bad roads in excellent, and the high speed ride on good roads is phenomenal. Overall, I think this is one of the best ride and handling packages available today in India.
  • Ergonomics: The ergonomics is spot on, and everything is perfectly placed. The attention to detail is amazing. Once Isit in the driver's seat, everything around me in so perfectly placed and so intuitive, I feel like it was tailor-made for me. I just don't feel like every getting out of that seat. I am very finicky about ergonomics, and this car has not yet given me even one reason to complain on this front. Talking of ergonomics, the gear shift lever is one of the best in business - both aesthetically as well as ergonomically.
  • Sports Seats: One reason I was particular about the "SportsLine" trims was the sports seats with extendible thigh supports and electrically adjustable side bolsters. These make the seat very comfortable and a perfect seat for those long drives. The seat is one of the best I have seen, and I find the seat position and support absolutely perfect for my body.
  • The Dakota Leather on the seats: The Dakota leather used by BMW on this car (and in all 3-series variants except for the base Prestige variant where they use artificial leather) is genuine leather but of the lowest possible quality in the leather quality hierarchy. It is a hard leather, quite different from the soft and supple leather one finds in the 5-series, as an example. However, after using it on many full day drives under hot sun, I think this is really an excellent leather. It breathes fine, and I did not experience any sweating on my back at all even after long drives in hot conditions. In contrast, in many cars (including BMW base models) with artificial leather, I start sweating very soon. So overall, I find this Dakota leather to be a good combination of hard-wearing, tough leather that still gives me a sweat-free drive. I am totally happy with this leather, and any initial apprehension is long forgotten by now.
  • Steering feel and feedback. The steering is significantly lighter than that in E90, but it is still very precise. It is definitely not as direct as it was in E90, but nevertheless, the steering feel and feedback is still good in comfort mode, and excellent in sports mode. In comfort mode, the steering is light enough for typical city drives (and yet very precise) and weights up very well on highways. However, it is in sports mode that the steering becomes exceptionally good. On fast highway drives, switch to sports mode the steering weighs perfectly and becomes very precise.
  • The LED lighting package including LED headlights, DRLs, and interior lighting. The signature BMW LED DRLs are beautiful, the LED headlights are effective, and the ambient lighting package is so cool it almost has a magical effect. I just love the look of the dashboard and the center console in the night. The car looks mesmerizing- from inside - in the night, and I haven't still gotten over that effect. Many times, I find an excuse to go start the car in the night and sit in the driver's seat just to admire how cool it looks.
  • The drive modes: With multiple drive modes (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sports and Sports+), and additional sports and manual modes for the gearbox on top of these drive modes, there is plenty of choice and variety in how the car behaves. The driver can keep playing with these to suit the mood and the road conditions.
  • Instrument cluster: I love the simple yet elegant design of the instrument cluster. It is very easy to read, and has all the information the driver need. The amber (it is almost red actually) lighting in the night is awesome too.
  • The i-Drive: The i-Drive is very informative as well as intuitive, and with the well places controller, the whole system is very ergonomic as well. The screen is bright enough to be visible even in sunlight, and the resolution is good enough for the all purposes. Overall, a very well designed system.
  • The features and gizmos: The car is loaded with features (electrically adjustable seats for driver and passenger, memory settings for driver's seat, auto-headlamps, auto-wipers, voice controls, sunroof, multiple profiles each with fully memorized settings etc., just to name a few) and gizmos (such as active Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Sports display on i-Drive that shows real-time power and torque numbers, trip computers with driving style analysis, etc.). It is fun playing with these things, and if I get bored, there is always some new feature to explore.
  • The ICE and sound quality: I am not an audio expert at all, but from what I could tell, the sound quality is excellent. I don't think I would ever need to even consider any upgrade here.
  • Interior quality, and fit and finish: One word - excellent. The interior in general is understated yet classy, just the way I love it.
  • Fuel economy, and more importantly, range: On a typical highway drive, I get a range of more than 800km on a full tank. This is really convenient, especially because I don't have to refuel in unknown fuel stations in small villages on the way. I can choose to refuel in major cities and in major pumps. As an example, recently I drove from Bangalore to Rameswaram (~600km) on one tank, and even after reaching Rameswaram, had a range of some 200km on the remaining tank. My Bangalore-Pune runs can be done with only one refueling break on the way. By the way, I get a FE of somewhere between 14km/l to 15km/l on highways, which I am more than happy with.

What I don't like:
  • Diesel clatter: This new diesel engine (B47) in the LCI models is definitely more refined and quieter than the pre-LCI N47 engine. However, even then, I do hear the diesel clatter sometime, usually during idling when the AC fan is in low speed and there is no other sound. This is my first diesel car, and I am still getting used to this clatter. Also, under some situations, you can make out that this is a diesel and the sound is not exactly sonorous. Overall, I miss the refinement and sweet sounds of the petrol engines. Again, the engine is very refined by other diesel standards, but definitely not as refined as a good petrol engine can be. My dream BMWs always had an inline six cylinder petrol engines. I am certainly not going to find that anytime soon. So on this one point, I have to to live with this compromise and be happy with this diesel engine, which again, is not bad at all, by any standards!
  • Turbo lag: The engine is definitely very responsive and punchy in the mid-range, and in general, the performance is pretty good. However, there is a bit of a turbo lag under 1500 RPM. Remember that lag is a relative term, and by no means it is a major issue or that the engine is slow at any RPM, but once you get used to the power in turbo zone which is so explosive, you do start feeling a bit of lag at lower RPMs. Unless I am already in turbo range, it does take a fraction of a second for the engine to respond after I press the accelerator.
  • Lack of cruise control and lumbar support: These two are key omissions on features front, in an otherwise very well kitted car. These were added in 2018 manufactured 320d, but missing on mine. As it turned out, I miss neither of these since I am happy with the seat support and don't miss lumbar support, and cruise control is something not very useful on Indian roads anyways. However, these omissions are enough for my friends to make fun of the lacking features on a BMW :-)
  • Lack of Android Auto/Apple CarPlay: This one I do miss a lot and feel bad about. Again, CarPlay was added in 2018 models, but missing on mine. I am addicted to using Google maps while driving, and lack of Android Auto/CarPlay means I have to mount my phone somewhere for maps. This one is a serious omission in my view.
  • Noisy RFTs: The Run Flat Tyres (RFTs) are good for peace of mind on those highway drives, but they are noisy. My car has Bridgestone Potenza S001 RFTs, which are OEM tyres on 320d, and these are definitely noisy. Surprisingly, contrary to what I had read before on many forums, the ride quality is not bad at all even on RFTs. The ride quality is comfortable enough even with RFTs, but it is the road noise of the RFTs that I am not very happy with.
  • Temperature settings for the climate control: The climate control is effective for sure, but with a catch - I need to keep the temperature down to 17C or sometime even 16C for it to really cool down the cabin fast. In most cars I am usually happy with the cooling effect when I set the temperature to something like 21C, but not here. Here, for the same cooling effect, I need to go down to 17C. I checked this in a couple of other F30 320d and one F34 (3GT) and they too had the exact same behavior. So it is definitely something with the way the system is designed. By the way, there is a button for "max AC" which works great, but that is effectively the same as setting the temperature to 16C, which is the lowest possible value.
  • Alloy wheel design: This is something subjective and personal. I somehow do not like the alloy wheel design on my car that much. I am OK with it for now, but in the longer run, I will probably choose some other BMW design. I really love the 18" wheels on the erstwhile 328i (photographed here in the official review: https://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/BMW...3series-15.jpg) , but I do not want to switch to 18" wheels (my car has 17" wheels, which I feel is an optimal size for Indian road conditions).

What I really hate:
  • The space saver in the trunk. There is no place for the space saver (tyre+wheel) under the floor of the trunk, and therefore the space saver sits in the middle of the trunk, and takes away a lot of useful space. Further, once the space saver is there, the remaining trunk volume is very oddly shaped, and it is hard to put even medium sized suitcases there. Overall, trunk utility is drastically reduced due to this space saver. Side note: Since end of 2015 or so, BMW started including space saver tyre with every car (unlike before), so that is a good news. Bad news is that there is no good place to keep it in the car.

What is new in the LCI?

The F30 320d has been reviewed so well in the (as always) very detailed and unbiased official team-bhp review (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offic...al-review.html (BMW 320d & 328i : Official Review)) , that I really don't have to say anything more here.

In fact, even the interior in my car is almost exactly the same as the one in this official photograph (https://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/BMW...3series-01.jpg), albeit of the 328i and not 320d, reproduced below for reference:

Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-bmw3series01.jpg
The interiors of the F30 3-seris (courtsy: offical team-bhp review), which is almost exactly the same as mine

Therefore, instead of repeating the stuff, I thought I should just point out what has changed since the LCI (the official review was the pre-LCI model, obviously).

By the way, Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) is a fancy name in BMW-speak for a facelift. In January 2016, BMW 3-series in India got the usual mid-life facelift, or LCI. Here is the related thread: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...t-variant.html (Updated BMW 3-Series launched (F30 LCI); gets M Sport variant)

My car belongs to this LCI family, and here are the main changes, specifically for the 320d model (the changes for 330i may not the same):
  • More refined and quieter B47 engine instead of the N47 engine used earlier.
  • The new B47 engine also gets a minor increase in power and torque numbers. The B47 produces 188bhp and 400Nm, as opposed to 184bhp and 380Nm that the N47 produced.
  • The suspensions are improved. The original F30 was somewhat criticized for having a soft suspension setup, the one that resulted in the rear end bouncing up more than expected. According to what I read (and some videos I saw), this has been fixed in the LCI, with improvements in the suspensions. And given that I did not feel any excessive vertical movement at the rear, and given that I felt the car was well planted even at higher speeds, I think there is indeed an improvement here.
  • Full LED package (including LED headlamps, LED tail-lamps, LED indicators) was added, and made standard across the range in the LCI.
  • Specifically talking about 320d Sports Line, paddle shifters were added which were earlier given only on the 328i models.
  • Again, specifically talking about 320d Sports Line, the larger, 8.8-inch high resolution display with updated i-Drive controller (with handwriting recognition) was added in LCI. Previously, this was available only with 328i model, and the 320d models had a smaller display.
  • Sports+ mode in the driving modes, and the "sports transmission" were given on the 320d Sports Line, which again were only available on the 328i earlier.
  • Few other miscellaneous improvements. For example, the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is now an active system, which means it shows the absolute pressure value for each tyre. The pressure is measured by sensors fitted on the valves from inside the wheels. Earlier, this was a passive system (ABS-based), which would not measure and show the absolute pressure values, but would only give a warning when one of the tyres had a noticeably lesser pressure than the others.
In summary, the LCI improvements made the already very appealing 320d even more appealing.

As you can see from my notes above, the things I love about the car far outweigh a couple of minor omissions and issues, and overall, I am just loving the car. This one is a brilliant car, and I am still thanking my stars for having found this car - my ultimate driving machine and that too in my dream color!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 30th October 2018 at 09:17.
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Old 29th October 2018, 21:20   #4
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Here is my attempt to illustrate some of the above points using pictures.

The BMW signature LED DRLs look awesome, and are the most striking feature when seen from the front:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04623.jpg


The interior is perfectly organized, looks very classy, and the material quality as well as fit and finish is top class. The red trim gives it a sporty look:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04604.jpg


The gear shift/selection lever is one of the best parts. Looks classy, again a BMW signature design, and extremely ergonomic. Fits perfectly in the palm and very intuitive to use:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04603.jpg


The red trim continues on the door pads, and the seats also have red stitching. The SportsLine models have this red and black interior theme regardless of the exterior color. However, I felt it suits red exterior the most, where the red theme matches the exterior color. This was one of the reasons I so particularly wanted a red SportsLine model:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04610.jpg


The sports seats come with extendible thigh support, which makes the seats very comfortable for long drives. The sports seats are exclusive to the SportsLine model:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04614.jpg


These side bolsters on the sports seats are electrically adjustable, and are very useful on twisty ghat roads. The resultant increase in comfort level during tight turns is very noticeable. With this side support and extendible thigh support, the seats are supremely comfortable (and talking about seats, as I explained earlier, I am happy with the quality of this Dakota leather as well):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04632.jpg


This is the only thing that I mentioned in the "I hate it" section. The ironically named "space saver" actually takes away a lot of useful space from the boot, and the remaining boot space is not great at all:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04627.jpg


In nights, these small lights under the door handles look beautiful (and there are additional puddle lamps under to doors):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04569-2.jpg


The LED tail-lamps are just gorgeous:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04574.jpg


The interior lights look beautiful in the night. These amateurish photos don't do any justice to how good the interiors look in the night:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04591.jpg


The gear shift lever looks even more beautiful in the evening:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04593.jpg


And also in the night:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181026_180211.jpg


The red ambient lighting on the door lever and the door pads looks very classy. In general, the ambient lighting package is brilliant:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04595.jpg


The instrument cluster is lit up in amber light in the night (looks almost red in person; the photos somehow always looks somewhat orange):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04598.jpg


The instrument cluster lighting has this "in-between" color setting during low daylight (typical evening light), where the dials are lit up amber/red (just like the night setting), but the information display font changes to white (just like daylight):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04600.jpg


And finally, this is how the cluster looks in broad daylight, where it is all white. Overall, I love the instrument cluster design. It is just perfect for my liking. Clean, clear, symmetrical dials with easy to read fonts, and all the required information in one screen without having to shuffle through it using menu buttons. And most importantly, there is that analogue temperature gauge, which is a must-have feature for me:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04630.jpg


The new TPMS system, which shows the actual pressure values in each tyre, and not just a low pressure warning:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-dsc04601.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 30th October 2018 at 01:14.
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Old 29th October 2018, 22:49   #5
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

As I mentioned earlier, I got this car in July 2018, and I am writing this review after having driven this car on many long drives since then. Let me share some summary pictures from those drives here.

The most recent of these drives was a drive to Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi. Here are a few pictures from that drive.


On the famous Pamban Bridge:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181019_14262501.jpg


On the way to Dhanushkodi, where the water was so still, it is almost invisible:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_05502801.jpg


The LED tail-lamps in their glory in this early morning shot:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_055116.jpg


At the "land's end" - At Danushkodi Beach Point (If you are not familiar with this point, please check this Google maps location to understand the specialty of this: https://goo.gl/maps/4idSZjXvGD42) :
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_061128.jpg


And some random shots along the narrow strip of land with an arrow-straight road, and with water on both sides:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_06381602.jpg


Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_064111.jpg


Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_06420201.jpg


Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20181020_06423102.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 29th October 2018 at 23:45.
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Old 30th October 2018, 00:29   #6
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

The Monsoon Drive 2018: One of the very special drives - a very memorable one for me - was the monsoon drive in Konkan, with my bhpian friends, in July 2018. That was just a couple of weeks after I got this car, and that was a great opportunity for me to test the car in tough conditions and get to know the car better. And the car passed the test with flying colors. It was at the end of this drive that I was really convinced I had got myself the right car. The car was a delight to drive on the fast highways till Kolhapur, and then even more fun in the twisty ghats of Konkan. We faced some bad roads, and that gave me a chance to experience the low speed ride quality of the car, which is exceptionally good. Even after really long hours behind the wheel, I never felt tired. The biggest pleasant surprise was that my wife's usual motion sickness magically disappeared. Even during ghat drives, she did not feel tired or sick at all. The main reasons were the negligible body roll and flat ride even through corners, and the sports seats with adjustable side bolsters which hug you in the corners and keep you in one place and minimize body movements. The whole experience was fantastic!

That drive is described in details in this travelogue: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...ve-2018-a.html (European beauties exploring Indian terrain: Our Monsoon Konkan Drive, 2018)

However, I could not resist re-sharing a few pictures here, just for the sake of completeness of this review.


At our breakfast point, next to Praveen_Balan's Blue Octavia (my other favourite car):
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180727_073003.jpg


At Fort Panhala:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180727_151736.jpg


Enjoying some mud and rain, somewhere between Panhala and Ratnagiri:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180727_163133.jpg


From a different angle:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-wz4c6043.jpg


Bathed in fresh morning dew, near Amba ghat, alongside bhpian tilt's Jetta:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180728_081813.jpg


Overlooking the Arabian Sea, on Aarey Waarey road near Ganapatipule:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180728_11550101.jpg


Parked at a resort near Dapoli:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180729_083321.jpg


On a ferry near Dabhol:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180729_110231.jpg


As seen from the top deck of the ferry:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180729_110524.jpg


Somewhere in the countryside of Konkan:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180729_133823.jpg


My obsession with DRLs continues:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180729_13342601.jpg


Enjoying the mist in Amboli Ghat:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-img_20180730_11440101.jpg


And finally, to conclude, a group photo at the Aarey Waarey Road:
Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update-wz4c6119.jpg
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Old 30th October 2018, 13:47   #7
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 30th October 2018, 14:44   #8
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Congrats on your new car AD. You have summed up all the features of the car really well! No lumbar support?
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Old 30th October 2018, 15:07   #9
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Congratulations on the 3, AD. Welcome to Joy! Wishing you thousands of miles and smiles! The car looks awesome in that red and with black interiors with red lining.

Very well written report with fantastic pictures of the car in those beautiful scenic backdrops. You have summed up the likes and dislikes very well.

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Originally Posted by deepfreak15 View Post
...No lumbar support?
Ah. You had to remind that!!
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Old 30th October 2018, 15:25   #10
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Excellent review @Dr.AD!

How's the ground clearance? I see a lot of figures in mm thrown around in a Google search, which looks a little low given the long wheelbase and the front overhang. But nothing can beat real world feedback on this.
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Old 30th October 2018, 16:48   #11
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfreak15 View Post
Congrats on your new car AD. You have summed up all the features of the car really well! No lumbar support?
Thanks a lot, deepfreak15.

I knew you were going to comment on the lumbar support. :-) As I said, I don't really miss it since the seats are very comfortable anyways, but this is exactly how friends can make fun of this missing feature. BMW has given a great weapon for friends to make fun of by omitting lumbar support and cruise control. :-) To their credit, they added cruise control in 2018, but lumbar support is still missing even in 2018 models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graaja View Post
Congratulations on the 3, AD. Welcome to Joy! Wishing you thousands of miles and smiles! The car looks awesome in that red and with black interiors with red lining.
Thank you very much graaja, and congratulations on becoming a Distinguished-bhpian! A well-deserved recognition for your contribution on the forum! And of course, thanks again for your help while I was searching for a pre-owned BMW.

Quote:
Very well written report with fantastic pictures of the car in those beautiful scenic backdrops. You have summed up the likes and dislikes very well.
Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Excellent review @Dr.AD!
Thank you very much PearlJam!

Quote:
How's the ground clearance? I see a lot of figures in mm thrown around in a Google search, which looks a little low given the long wheelbase and the front overhang. But nothing can beat real world feedback on this.
The ground clearance is definitely low, and you have to be careful. I was very nervous in the first couple of weeks while crossing speed-breakers, but after that, I got a hang of it and I had zero troubles over speed-breakers as well as bad roads since then. So it is all about getting used to it. If I had written this review in the first week of ownership, I would have definitely commented on the ground clearance. But by now, ground clearance is not even on my mind.

As you correctly said, the numbers in mm don't tell the real story. So from my experience, I would say this: The ground clearance is low enough that you have be very careful, but high enough that once you are careful, you can manage in most road situations!
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Old 30th October 2018, 18:53   #12
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
A typical scene from my recurring dream. But this time, it is real!
Congrats Dr.AD on your latest acquisition, and what a pick at that!!

The last time I met you during one of the breakfast meets was in your SX4. Although I did follow the Konkan meet up thread, I honestly did not realise that it was your car!!

Like you, this is my dream car. Call it fate or just coincidence, I have not driven a BMW till date, although I have driven some more exotic machines. So I could only imagine the sort of excitement you had during the first drive on your own JOY.

Wish you many more happy and fuss free mile munching.
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Old 30th October 2018, 22:05   #13
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Awesome write-up Dr. AD! Congratulations on the gorgeous looking beast! Its rare to find such a good and well-maintained pre-owned car and with such less on the ODO. You and Bhpian madhav14 from hyderabad who recently purchased a 2016 3er are giving me serious inspiration to find one for myself!
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Old 30th October 2018, 22:31   #14
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Congrats Dr.AD on your latest acquisition, and what a pick at that!!

The last time I met you during one of the breakfast meets was in your SX4.
Thank you very much Vik0728. Yup, I was in my SX4 for all previous drives, and except for one Ooty overnight drive in July (immediately after I got my car), I haven't been to any meets in the new car. Let's hope we can all catch up again in the next drive.

Quote:
Like you, this is my dream car. Call it fate or just coincidence, I have not driven a BMW till date, although I have driven some more exotic machines. So I could only imagine the sort of excitement you had during the first drive on your own JOY.
I hope your dream comes true soon too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhruday View Post
Awesome write-up Dr. AD! Congratulations on the gorgeous looking beast! It’s rare to find such a good and well-maintained pre-owned car and with such less on the ODO. You and Bhpian madhav14 from hyderabad who recently purchased a 2016 3er are giving me serious inspiration to find one for myself!
Thank you very much! Yes, it is indeed rare to find such a good car. In fact, there is another story about how I had to rush in from another trip and somehow close the deal in one day so as not to lose this car. Thanks to my friend and bhpian KarthikK who convinced the dealer (using his past personal connections) to hold the car for me. These are the stories that sometimes make one (almost) believe in destiny. Just kidding :-)

Well, I hope you find your own 3er soon. I was inspired by the cars purchased by my friends I mentioned in the opening post, and if my buying inspires more people to buy, I will be very happy!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 30th October 2018 at 22:41.
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Old 30th October 2018, 22:47   #15
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Default re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

This is gonna be difficult for me to admit, because any BMW would set my tongue wagging earlier. My first experience of driving one was in a proper Bimmer.. aka the E90 pre-facelift.. oh man what a car, other than its extremely low-slung seating and harsh ride, it was the perfect machine on smooth roads.

I feel the F30 lost a lot of the magic that the E90 had.. the hydraulic steering replaced with the electric one killed a ton of feel, the E90 felt like a truck and I loved it. The F30 became so ridiculously big that today I mistake some on side profile for a 5 Series, the 5 Series itself is massive today.. its hood is longer than some hatchbacks. The 1 Series I drove, I dunno what problem it had but it was under-steering like an ox-cart, too much slack at even city speeds.

Although I'm not the biggest fan of VW Group (not at all a fan), but point a gun at me and ask to choose between A4 and BMW 3 and I might just swing to the A4 this time.. Audi has come a long way since 5 years.

Maybe I didn't spend enough time with the F30 to understand how it performs.. of course it would be well-balanced, very agile and back-kick happy due to RWD like all Bimmers. I just wish there was a little bit of the design magic of Bangle retained in modern Bimmers.. I saw the modern 3 GT today, couldn't even recognize it as a BMW.

The F30 3 is indeed a more-rounded car in every sense of the word, in terms of seating, quietness and comfort, much more so than its past iterations, although if I'm not mistaken, its seats are a bit hard compared to the E90? Am I imagining it?

As far as a combination of fun-driving and luxury goes, the F30 3 is it, the C Class panders to comfort and the Audi's steering is ridiculously lifeless. For those who want to feel the road, the Bavarian still has a little magic left in it yet.
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