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Old 28th January 2019, 01:40   #1
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Default BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review

Last November my BMW 430i Gran Coupe was finally delivered after a 3 month wait.

Sedan Or a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-side-profile.jpeg

What I like:
  • The Sporty Design: From day I first saw it at the BMW Welt to every time I see it on road, it makes me drool.
  • Engine: Best I have driven in heavy traffic or on Highways.
  • Gear Box: 8-speed ZF, the intelligence of this gearbox blows my mind. The more I drive the more it learns about me and vice-versa.
  • RWD: Honestly, I had never experienced the advantage of RWD. But after driving it for only 2000 kms, I can clearly see how fun it is. But it also has a drawback more about this later.
  • Comfortable seats: The driver seat specially is like a Sofa and is literally more comfortable than my Sofa at home.
  • Frameless Door: Love the way frameless door looks, specially when windows are rolled down.


What I dislike:
  • Rear Seats: Having owned the Fortuner in India, the rear seats feels like my third row seats of the Toyota Fortuner.
  • Noise: Unfortunately there is lot of wind and road noise at high speeds. Gets really annoying on Autobahns when it's windy.
  • Auto Start and Stop: This is one of the most annoying feature, I hate it when the engine stops even at the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Can be switched off though and it learns your driving pattern so getting better at it.
  • Interiors: In general the interiors are too boring compared to Audi or Mercedes.
  • Head Space: Being a elongated Coupe, the headspace is too less, even my 5 year old kid complains about it.
  • BMW Service: I haven't had a good buying experience and also have heard from friends that their service is one of the worst in Munich.

Background
In April 2017, we moved to Munich on work reasons. So My wife, Son and myself had to leave back comfortable and laid back lifestyle we had back in India.
When we left we owned a Hyundai Grand i10 and Toyota Fortuner behind. The Fortuner specially was the one we had some beautiful memories with and as a family we were used to long drives and trips once or twice a month.
So when we arrived in Munich we already knew one of the reason to move was to travel around Europe and to drive on the beautiful roads in here.

But as it turned out, the German Government doesnít make it easy for a license. I started the process for getting a license in August of 2017 and got it in June 2018. Itís a quite a laborious process and I will probably write a different thread on it.
Munich being the heartland of BMW, itís a sin if you donít visit the BMW Welt and the Museum. So the first thing I visited were these.
The BMW Welt is like a large Showroom with every BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models on display.
This is where I first saw the BMW 4er Coupe. As soon as I saw I couldnít stop appreciating the design and the perfect proportions of the lines. But this was a 2-door and I was thinking only if this had a 4-door version I would buy it instantly.
And very next to it, there it was standing gracefully the 430i Gran Coupe (4-door version).
I was completely bowled over!

PS: Please forgive me for quality of some pictures as I had to take them at the basement of my apartment.

Last edited by chaith.turbo : 8th March 2019 at 01:11.
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Old 4th March 2019, 01:51   #2
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Default Is it a Sedan Or is it a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe BMW 430i Ownership Review

Buying Experience

Once I got my License, it was time for test drives. By the time I had my license I already kind of driven different cars through rentals.

I always had in my mind that if I’m buying a car in Germany it’s going to be a BMW and the Gran Coupe was on top of the list. The other car close to it was the 330i GT.
So I booked the test drive in a BMW branch which turned out to be one of the worst dealership experiences I have had. So here Goes the Rant.

I first called up the branch directly and said I want to test drive the 430i Gran Coupe and 330i GT, the lady said someone from the Sales Department on the same day.
But even after couple of days no one bothered to call me back. So I had to call again and the response was the same, however this time someone called back and said he will check if the car is available and call me back.
He calls me back next day and tells me that there are no vehicle available this weekend due to an event, which was fine with me. But then he asks me to call him back next week so that he doesn’t forget to book it for the next weekend. How hard is it to put a reminder for him, somethings I never understand in Germany.

As said, I call him on Tuesday morning the week after and remind him. His response was “Sorry who?” and after reminding him again he says “Ok, let me check if it’s available”.
Luckily, both the cars were available. So I said I wish to test drive both the cars on the same day.
I was very excited to test drive the cars on Saturday and was there on time with all documents and everything. But as it turns out, the Sales person was not there. The whole attitude in the showroom was quite terrible, no one was offering to even check with us why we had come or what our problem was.

And finally after waiting for 45 minutes someone helps us but realized the sales person has booked a 320i GT and not the 330i.
This is when I realized why some of my colleagues were complaining about BMW service.
So I anyway took the 320i for a drive and below are my impressions.
• Engine and Gearbox are just the best in the business period.
• The rear seat space was significantly larger than the 430 Gran Coupe.
• 3 series GT comes with Panoramic Sunroof.

The above points made me re-think about the 430i, the rear space is sure a big plus for us. It only made me even more confusing about the choice.
So now I just couldn’t wait for the next weekend for test driving 430i.
The next Saturday, I went there but this time with expectation that car still might not be available for the test drive. But luckily, he had booked the right vehicle and I took it straight to one of the Auto Bahns.
The first thing that I felt when I sat and started the 430i was that this car definitely built with keeping “Sport” in mind. Even though the engine, gearbox, steering is the same as 330i GT, it clearly felt this car is meant to be driven by an enthusiast.
330i GT had some clear advantages but after thinking over it for a week and reading various reviews, I went with the 430i Gran Coupe.

Since I was opting it through company lease, the booking process was pretty straight forward.
The only problem was with 3 months waiting period that BMW has. But I had no choice in this and I signed the papers and now the wait was on.

Last edited by chaith.turbo : 8th March 2019 at 01:12.
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Old 4th March 2019, 02:01   #3
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Default Is it a Sedan Or is it a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe BMW 430i Ownership Review

On 29th November the wait is finally over.


Day of Delivery
Finally in mid-November I was told the car will be ready to be picked up on 29th.
So on the day of pick-up we were not very keen on the experience based on how the test drive had gone in the past.
But the delivery went smooth and there was no delays thankfully.

Some day of delivery Pictures


BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dayofdelivery.jpeg

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dayofdelivery1.jpeg


Exteriors

The first time we looked at our car during delivery, we couldnít believe ourselves how beautiful it looked.
The frameless doors, coupe design at the rear, makes it looks both sporty and luxurious. It has this unique balance between being a Sedan and a coupe and is probably the single most reason why it is selling so much in Germany.

However, this design obviously has some down sides. The biggest drawback I felt is lack of Ground clearance. The 430i has a ground clearance of just 129mm which means a definite NO on Indian roads, but even on the roads in Europe I need to be careful while driving in snow or while parking near a curb.
Apart from this one drawback, I simply love every element of it.

The rear twin exhaust and lights.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-rear.jpeg

The sidelines which give character.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0498.jpg

Front Profile. Observe the lines on the bonet, it makes more dynamic and sportier.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-front.jpeg

Signature BMW Grill. Unlike the recent models, it's perfectly sized on the Gran Coupe.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0514.jpg

I had opted for Sunroof which is perfectly placed such that not too much wind noise creeps in.

LED headlights are perfect for any condition. The headlights have a wide pattern which makes visibility of objects on the side very good. It also has follow on light functionality.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0503.jpg


Signature BMW ring (though it's not a proper ring anymore)

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0523.jpg

Looks like a living being
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0522.jpg

Another unique line that gives a sporty look is the bulge in bonnet on the side. It gives sleek yet macho kind of look.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0545.jpg

The doors are heavy and feels solid. All the windows have automatic roll up/down functionality.
All doors are frameless and it looks awesome when we rolled down the window. One of the most attractive design elements on 430i.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0516.jpg

Frameless Door looks sexy when windows rolled down.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0528.jpg

Puddle Lights are quite useful at night.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0627.jpg


Reverse camera, this was optional and I felt it is very important given the limited Read window visibility.

Share Fin Antenna
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0508.jpg

Last edited by chaith.turbo : 11th March 2019 at 14:53.
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Old 4th March 2019, 17:37   #4
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Default Is it a Sedan Or is it a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe BMW 430i Ownership Review

Interiors

Once you get into the car, the first thing you would notice is how low the seating is. Itís almost like driving a go-kart. But has a good visibility.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0533.jpg

Everything you see seems to be in perfect place and very well thought out. The fit and finish of the dashboard is supreme and I have no complaints.
Given that BMW have kept their dashboard similar across all of their series, they all look pretty much the same. Iím pretty sure many of us will not be able to guess which car it is just by looking at the interiors of a BMW. I generally donít like this philosophy but guess this is where the whole automobile industry is going towards.

Overall, the quality of the material is very good. However, the interiors of any Audi or the Mercedes C class is definitely in a different league. It seems BMW have prioritized function over form.

I donít want to list every minute detail of the interiors but below are some which I felt is worth a special mention.
The steering is of perfect size for the 430i Gran Coupe. It is sporty, is leather wrapped with inbuilt Bluetooth communication controls.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0610.jpg

iDrive: 6.5 inch HD screen with integrated Navigation and voice commands.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0587.jpg

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0588.jpg

I love driving with this on the display. It is specially useful when I drive in Manual mode and want to fully utilize the power band in gear.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0604.jpg

The cup holders and space is generally limited and I hate it that there only one USB port in the whole car. Or maybe I havenít yet discovered more.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0589.jpg

2 Cup holders are good enough for coffee or Small Water bottle
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0579.jpg

Lift the armrest and you will see some space for phone and the USB port.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0580.jpg

The Seats are perfect to sit on any amount of time. Seats are heated which I initially thought were useless, but ended up using almost everyday in winter.
Fronts seats have extra thigh support.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0570.jpg

Front seats have enough space.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0571.jpg

However, one of the most ridiculous design is the manual adjustment of seats. Even a small hatchback nowadays has an electric seat adjustment control. Again shows the priority of function over form


Limited headroom, I have about 1.5 inch of space between the roof and my head. But I have no complaints given that it is a extended version of a Coupe and I had accepted the fact before buying.


Rear seats are again very comfortable but space is very limited again. This is another fact which I had accepted because it is mostly just Me, Wifie and my 6 year old son traveling. So we are fine with it.
Last week one of my friend and his wife had visited us and they had to struggle to fit in the back along with my kidís child seat. So if you are planning for a car for more than 4 people then this is not it.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0564.jpg

I'm 5,10 and the leg room is quite limited, so I imagine taller passengers are going to struggle
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0566.jpg

Rear Visibility is limited due to the Coupe like Shape at rear.
So a rear camera is a must on this.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0582.jpg

The deep transmission tunnel makes the rear seating even more uncomfortable.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0568.jpg

The Dead Pedal, Brake and Organ type accelerator pedal.
There is sufficient space here and love the organ type pedal.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0572.jpg

The boot capacity of 445 liter is good enough for most of our trips. The seats splits if required.
We went skiing on couple of weekends and we could still fit the entire ski equipment by folding the seats 60:40. I was actually amazed by the amount of the luggage it can carry.

The automatic climate control cools or warms perfectly.

The Ambient Lights has 2 colors, Luxury and Classic. It is perfectly placed and I can even adjust the brightness.

Classic one
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0592.jpg

Love the LED strip on the door, looks elegant.
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0597.jpg

Last edited by chaith.turbo : 11th March 2019 at 14:58.
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Old 4th March 2019, 17:41   #5
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Default Is it a Sedan Or is it a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe BMW 430i Ownership Review

Instrument Cluster

The instrument cluster that comes by standard is a analog one with Speed, Tachometer, Fuel and temperature gauge.


Below is an information display which went turned on first shows the next service interval due and then settles into proving different information like Outside temperature, Mileage, Fuel Efficiency and time.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0609.jpg

In EcoPro mode, there information changes to kilometers you have gained based on your driving.
I have still not figured out how exactly this works so I might be wrong, but this is what I have found till now.
When the car accelerates, the needle shows how much power is being put, during braking the needle goes other way to indicate how much power has been charged to the battery.
And based on this, it gives a overall mileage I have gained by driving in this pattern.
I don’t like this mode because the accelerator response is very slow and even the braking feels very unnatural. So I have stopped using this anymore.

Display of EcoPro Mode on the instrument cluster
BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0608.jpg

Last edited by chaith.turbo : 11th March 2019 at 14:59.
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Old 4th March 2019, 17:52   #6
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Default Is it a Sedan Or is it a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe BMW 430i Ownership Review

Engine, Gearbox and Driving impressions

So now we talk about the part BMW are the best in.
Open the bonnet and the first thought that come to mind is, Woah that is very tightly packed but very neatly placed as well.

The pretty 2.0-litre twin turbo charged engine, it turns out 252 Bhp which can churn at more than 5000 RPM and 350 nm Torque pulls you up to 160 kmph without any sweat.
Be it Bumper to Bumper Traffic or the any speed Autobahns, it will bring smile on your face.
0-100 in 5.8 secs with a top speed of 260 Kmph, this is what makes this engine a gem to drive.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0544.jpg


The engine is mated to a 8-speed ZF sport gearbox. As you accelerate, you still feel the change in gears which I think is a good feeling.
This gearbox is fast and intelligent, the ZF mechatronics also adapts to your driving style during the first 5000 kms or so.

The Rear wheel drive makes driving this car extra special, I have been absolutely amazed by the way it takes on curves.
However, it has a drawback, this winter I drove quite a lot in Snow and being a RWD, the car struggles even at little amount of slippery snow. I just need to be extra careful while driving in such conditions.

Even though engine, transmission and power figures are same as 3-series GT, the way the car drives is definitely different. The reason behind is the Gran Coupe has a more sporty design enabling in better dynamics, low ground clearance meaning lower center of gravity. This enables the car to stick to the road and can curve around at higher speeds.

The first thing you will notice when you start the engine is, the noise is more than you would expect.
I expected the engine noise to be really low, but even though it is a petrol engine it was quite audible.
Then, once you start accelerating the smooth shifts of the gear is like magic. There is a slight jerk whenever the gear changes which is good and makes you feel the speed. And as you accelerate more you would notice that gearbox never has a problem in selecting the right gears for you.


Drive Modes

There are 4 driving modes, Eco Pro, Comfort (Default), Sport and Sport+. As you guessed in Eco Pro everything dulls down and in Sport+ everything is super active.
My favorite mode however is the Sport mode, In this mode, the accelerator gives the right amount of responsiveness, the steering is in perfect sync with the speed and the gear selected always keeps the power ready to accelerate further. Most of all my favorite part is the sound from the muffler in this mode, itís like sweet music.

In Sport Mode I can also configure the Drivetrain and Chassis.
The gears change at much higher RPM, at around 3800 RPM. The engine note changes, the steering feels tight and you hear the sweet music from the muffler. This is my Autobahn mode.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0606.jpg


I felt Sport+ is bit of an overkill and it really brings down the fuel efficiency. The engine feels like it is on steroids. The engine pretty much always stays at high RPM, the steering feels same as Sport but I hate the noise in this mode. It sounds like Iím harming the engine. The mileage reduces drastically in this mode.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0603.jpg

I generally use the default one which is Comfort mode inside the city and is perfect in traffic when you donít really need speed or quick acceleration.
The gears change around 2000 RPM which is perfect and you would hardly hear the high-rev noise.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0605.jpg

Eco Mode also has some settings which controls the climate control, the speed of coasting. I haven't bothered to change these at all.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe - Ownership Review-dsc_0607.jpg

Manual mode, I love this mode when I feel like using the paddle shifters. I usually use it on Autobahns when I want to customize my gear changes 😉

NVH (Noise, Vibration and Handling)

While the car is in Neutral, you can still hear the humming of the engine but it is definitely not a irritating one.
In Comfort mode and EcoPro mode, I can hardly hear the engine noise increasing it is pretty much the same humming as in Neutral.
However, things change in Sport mode, there is a sudden change in engine note and it feels like everything came alive.
When you accelerate more and reach speeds excess of 100, you will start noticing the wind noise increases as well. I was surprised about this because the car feels solid, the doors are heavy enough. But I guess this is due to the frameless doors that allows the noise creep to in. I felt the wind noise can be quite annoying specially in open Highways where there is wind almost always.

The car accelerates without any complain to 180, From 180-220 you can feel you making the engine working hard. And anything after that is quite an effort.
But in spite of all this, the car remains stable, you will never feel the steering vibrations or vehicle drifting due to high speeds. It is incredible how the whole body is designed to give the confidence to the driver. In a recent drive to Stuttgart, I could reach speeds excess of 200 and my son was snoring at the back without realizing how fast we were.

Braking

The braking department is excellent, I have absolutely no complaints in this area. The pedal is big and perfectly placed. They are powerful and has a very good bite.
The brakes also get harder as you increase the speeds and gives you a good feel at higher speeds.

Last edited by chaith.turbo : 5th March 2019 at 19:27.
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Old 4th March 2019, 18:01   #7
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Default Is it a Sedan Or is it a Coupe? It's a Gran Coupe BMW 430i Ownership Review

AI and Intelligence

This car needs a special mention on AI and how intelligent it is.
I was not sure in which section to write about this so I have created a separate section.
When I initially started driving the 430i, I was bit annoyed by few things like Auto Start/stop, Auto Rain wipers and bit a unresponsiveness in Comfort mode when I press the accelerator.
But after few hundred kilometers I was very surprised and it still amazes me that this car has really learnt about my driving style and automatically adapted. And this made me realize we are probably not far away from Terminator style AI robots.
For example: The Auto Start/Stop now knows when Iím in traffic and not to auto turn off and it turns off only when Iím at a signal. I have no idea how this is done or if itís my mind playing games 😉
Same goes with Wipers, I was so annoyed with wipers getting turned on with even tiny spill of water. I ended turning it on manually and it seems it now knows the perfectly when to wipe and when not to.
It is just mind blowing how much intelligent cars have become.

Conclusion

I went ahead with a BMW 430i Gran Coupe even though knowing their service is bad and the 3 GT is cheaper. It is due to the following reasons.
ē Always wanted to have a BMW
ē 430i is clearly more sportier in every way and I was ok with less interior space.
It has been an incredible experience till now and brings smile whenever I drive it.

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Old 12th March 2019, 07:44   #8
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:58   #9
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Congratulations on the 430i @chaith.turbo! Nice writeup! Do share some more photographs of this beautiful car!

Just curious to know. Wasn't there any other dealership/showrooms nearby that you could've visited when you found this showroom unsatisfactory?
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Old 12th March 2019, 14:08   #10
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Congratulations on the 430i. Wishing you tens of thousands of miles and smiles!

Car looks fantastic in black, and with that long bonnet and flowing roof-line. What suspension package did you opt for - regular, M-Sport or Adaptive? How does it behave in corners? And how is the ride comfort at low speeds?
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Old 12th March 2019, 14:30   #11
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Congrats on your new car chaith.turbo.

Nice review .

I am a huge fan of the BMW Gran Coupes and absolutely love the way they look, especially the M6 Gran Coupe. If I was in your place, even I would have picked the 4-Series Gran Coupe over the 3GT.

Looks like you never use the ECO mode. Wishing you many happy miles with your BMW.

Quote:
However, it has a drawback, this winter I drove quite a lot in Snow and being a RWD, the car struggles even at little amount of slippery snow. I just need to be extra careful while driving in such conditions.
Have you tried using winter tyres?

Last edited by ChiragM : 12th March 2019 at 14:44.
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Old 12th March 2019, 15:07   #12
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Beautiful write up of an equally beautiful car. Wish you endless hours & miles of happy munching.
Regarding the wind noise, I definitely think it's due to the frameless doors, the seals surrounding the windows would be causing wind turbulence. I guess for once, BMW prioritised form over function.
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Old 12th March 2019, 15:37   #13
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Love the detailed review! Congrats on your purchase. Funny to learn the sales experience sucks in Germany
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Old 13th March 2019, 15:26   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrodoOfTheShire View Post
Congratulations on the 430i @chaith.turbo! Nice writeup! Do share some more photographs of this beautiful car!

Just curious to know. Wasn't there any other dealership/showrooms nearby that you could've visited when you found this showroom unsatisfactory?
I did check another one, but they were even worse, they straight away said I need to wait for 2 weeks for test drive.
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Old 13th March 2019, 15:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Congrats on your new car chaith.turbo.

Nice review .

I am a huge fan of the BMW Gran Coupes and absolutely love the way they look, especially the M6 Gran Coupe. If I was in your place, even I would have picked the 4-Series Gran Coupe over the 3GT.

Looks like you never use the ECO mode. Wishing you many happy miles with your BMW.



Have you tried using winter tyres?
Yes me too, M6 is really something!!
I'm actually on winter tyres In fact it's a law to change to winter tyres during winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graaja View Post
Congratulations on the 430i. Wishing you tens of thousands of miles and smiles!

Car looks fantastic in black, and with that long bonnet and flowing roof-line. What suspension package did you opt for - regular, M-Sport or Adaptive? How does it behave in corners? And how is the ride comfort at low speeds?
Thanks graaja!
I opted for regular, to be honest I didn't even check for suspension package as I was quite happy with how regular behaved.
430i handles corners like a charm, it is actually one of the differences from 3 series.
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