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Old 3rd August 2020, 08:38   #1
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Default Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

1993 Hindustan Ambassador 1800 ISZ to 2020 BMW 330i Sport.

This is a story of us moving from a 75 bhp/135 Nm RWD sedan to another RWD sedan but this time with 258 bhp/400Nm . In the intervening 27 years, my parents or we (wife & I) owned/drove 13+ FWD vehicles, and hence there can no more fitting way for us to compare the roaring 330i with the silky smooth 1800 ISZ!

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Background:
As regular TBHP-ians will know, my earlier drive was a MY16 Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI in Rio Red registered in January 2016 and run 59K till June 2020. Me and my small family were immensely fond with the car, and it had taken us in utter comfort and speed to many driving destinations in south & west India.

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G20 launch:
Towards Q3 2019, the G20 3 Series was launched and I eagerly followed all the threads on the Indian sites as well as the existing reviews on bimmerpost.com & bmwblog.com. To be frank, the thinking even then was always between the G20 330i & the Mercedes 300D. After driving the Octavia TSI DSG for 4.5 years, I could not fathom buying anything with less than ~225+ hp.

Octavia DSG woes:
November 2019 came and went, and it was time for my Octavia's 60K service. I started noticing a low level whining noise from the engine compartment, and thought it might be a tyre alignment issue or a worn wheel bearing. Anyway, it was nearly inaudible except on ultra quiet road surfaces and that too only at lower speeds. The normal service experience at Vinayak Okalipuram was smooth as usual, although I noted they were closing down in bits and pieces. My extended warranty also lapsed on January 3, 2020. As my January 2016 Octavia did not have the benefit of the 6 year EW offer, there was no scope anyway to extend it further.

December-mid, I started to notice the sound gradually increasing and worringly linked to engine/DSG speeds rather than road noise. The rest of the car was behaving beautifully,but I immediately contacted TAFE Skoda and visited their Hosur Road workshop. I was able to replicate the sounds and even the technical leads were perceptibly mystified by the same. They kept the vehicle and after exhaustive tests over 3-4 days in consultation with Skoda India, confirmed that it was a rare mechanical failure of the DSG rather than the usual Mechatronic issue. Net net, it called for a complete DSG replacement estimated to cost 400K+. After due escalation to Skoda India by TAFE, and a few nervous calls from my side, Skoda India agreed to extend goodwill warranty for the entire component cost, and I ended up paying only 7K :-).

While they took nearly 2 weeks for the replacement, the car came back in immaculate condition with a proper interior cleaning thrown in gratis. I have always commended Skoda for my sales & service experience since 2016, and doubly so now with the proactive involvement of Mr. Zac Hollis who I am privileged to know as a fellow enthusiast.

One funny corollary from this incident was that my wife pointed out that the Octavia was as good as new now, and was the perfect time to sell off. I was aghast and thinking conversely, that this was an ideal opportunity to hold onto it with complete peace for minimum 3-4 years more. BUT, the decision was unconsciously made there and then, that we needed to get our next turbo-petrol sedan :-).

Had anyway listed my beloved Octavia on OLX & TBHP, and the story ended dramatically one day after Lockdown 1.0 ended when I found an enthusiast for my beloved Octavia. My better half was seriously irritated by my mooning around the house, and immediately decided to go for the G20 BMW 3 Series.

Requirements:
Petrol (preferred due to potential NGT-style orders spreading across all Indian metros)
Rear Wheel Drive ('RWD') with emphasis on a sporty chassis.
Saloon/Sedan shape. Notchback style a definite plus after having enjoyed the Octavia. Was partial to that luscious Volvo V90 too.
As powerful as possible.
Usable in daily BLR traffic for a office commute of 70+ km.
Keep for 6-7+ years so cost of ownership must not be mind-boggling.

Alternatives considered:
New:
Mercedes C200 & 300D (nice!) - limited discounting and the interiors felt classy but too 'uncleish' for my taste. Maybe 7-10 years later.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI (facelift) - 190 bhp sounded great but once launched did not like the new face with the narrower headlights. Also, after having driven a Octavia, it would be like driving a bigger version with similar power/torque to weight ratios.
Skoda Octavia vRS 245 - Lovely car but again too similar to the 1.8 TSI, and not a real upgrade even after spending ~45L! Plus I like my cars fast but not enough to encourage boy racers on my office commutes.

Used:
BMW 530D - long shot as BLR market is controlled by the used car mafia and it's very difficult to find the perfect used luxury one, and that too a highly desirable one like the Big D. Again, it was too big practically for me.

Comparison of options (E&OE):

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Pre-buying period:

January & February 2020 went in slobbering embarrassingly on the TBHP G20 thread and bimmerpost & bmwblog. The former especially had an excellent collation of global reviews at https://g20.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1563785
While many were xDrive vehicles or 340i, there was a strong feeling of excitement (& relief) that BMW had come back closer to it's roots with the G20.

Also started talking vaguely to the BMW owners on TBHP and reached out to Navnit Motors here in BLR. They are located pretty conveniently for me with the city outlet 10 minutes from my office and a big workshop 30 minutes from home.

Overall, all BMW dealers were pushing the BS-IV diesels very hard with additional superb discounts due to the calendar year end. No one wanted to even discuss 330i, and the usual answer was that there are minimal/no discounts as they have to be ordered from BMW.

The M Sport was available in various color combinations, none of which were liked by my better half. She thought I was too old for the Portimao Blue while the Mineral Grey was boring, the White too eponymous in south India and the Sapphire Black hid the creases and cuts too much. Neither did she overly like the 'Cognac' (dark wine), beige or 'Mocha' (coffee) interiors on offer. We especially wanted a black interior after our Octavia's beige.

Net net, this continued till early March 2020 when the full enormity of the pandemic hit. To be fair to them, Navnit tried many offers with the best being a 2019 Sapphire Black & Canberra Beige M Sport at 51.5L on road translating into a cool 11L off. However, we did not bite, and luckily the 330i Sport was launched on ~20 March 2020.

Officially, the Sport 330i is priced at 41.5 ex-showroom. KA RTOs do not factor in discounts given, and insist on the usurious ~20% road tax to be charged on full MRP. As a result, any discounts given are automatically reduced by 20%.

We finally chose Deutsche Motoren, the new BMW dealer in BLR as we found we were more comfortable with them. The discount offered was ~4L which I was okay with given it's a brand new variant. I even believe that my Sport was the first one sold by Deutsche Motoren. This brought the on-road to ~47L in BLR, and the colour combination chosen was Mediterranean Blue with Sensatec Black interiors. I know its an academic exercise, but I liked the Mediterranean Blue because it was not as flashy as the Phytonic Blue, Estoril Blue or Portimao Blue but not as sober as the traditional Imperial 'BMW' Blue.

Test drives were organized of the M Sport variant as no one had the Sport on hand. In fact, I believe no one in BLR had even seen the Sport, and the first Sport I ever saw was mine on delivery day :-).

Needless to say, without the virtual support of BMW fanatics like coolboy007, santoshbhat, anandpadhye, jfk1975, Motor_breathing, reachanoop, d3mon, Dr.AD and countless others, the beancounter side of me would have done the math over and over again without taking the jump.

Delivery:
Delivery experience was completely smooth and totally muted in the middle of the lockdowns. Did not even take our kids to the showroom! Drove nervously back through the Whitefield Metro works, the ORR and all the way to our north BLR home. It felt amazing to drive - like a tank!

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A little aural feast. Use earphones or turn up the sound:


Likes:
Head-turner without appearing ostentatious:
People gawp big-time as it looks very different from the F30 or eponymous Mercedes family or the cliched Audi "DRL'ed" looks. I feel my particular colour (Mediterranean Blue) is sharp enough to stand out, but not flashy enough to attract the wrong kind of attention. It almost passes off as a 'normal' 320D which is also available in the same shade. If I leave it dirty during weekdays (I prefer to wash once weekly), it drasws even less attention.

Amazingly powerful & torquey engine:
258 bhp + 400 Nm combines the best of a free-revving turbo-petrol and a diesel-like torque. This was M3 territory not long back! I can routinely (& safely) drive 25% faster than my 178 bhp Octavia (no slouch either) on the same empty stretch.

ZF8 torque converter gearbox:
Miraculously in the correct gear 90% of the time. Driving modes (EcoPro, Comfort, Sport & Sport+) are also very clearly differentiated. Shift speeds are not a match for the dry clutch DCT/DSG gearboxes but nothing to complain though.

Stiff taut chassis:
Feels 'un-bendable' and robust like a M1 Abrams tank. Where my MQB Octavia would moan and groan on diagonal speedbreakers or over uneven obstacles, this chassis just does not flex. My 225/50/R17 tyres also channel the power beautifully. I used to detest the torque steer on my FWD Octavia. Really loving the charms of a powerful RWD now.

‘Weighty’ steering:
Precise without being jumpy and much better than my Octavia. Noticeably weighs up in Sports mode which can be tiring (I assume) in along city drive. Steering wheel itself could have been a bit thicker and a little grooved. However, I feel it is better than the uncomfortably thick M Sport one.

Comfortable powered front seats:
Very well bolstered without looking too pumped up . BMW calls them Comfort Seats and I don't doubt that for a minute. Have done a continuous drive of only 75 minutes so far, so cannot judge those long drives yet. Excellent lumbar support options with adjustable headrests.

High quality interiors:
Overall very well put together except for some shady bits. Even though my Sport has the 'BMW Sensatec' artificial leather in Black, it feels and looks impeccable. During my test drives of the M Sport, I did not particularly fall in love with the 'BMW Vernasca' full leather ones in the Mocha, Cognac & Beige options. It's not too hot right now, but my Octavia's leather seats were unusable when parked under the peak summer sun. Especially when wearing shorts, I had to keep the doors open for a few minutes, and then gingerly slide in praying for a quick deliverance. Wonder how Sensatec will fare under the same conditions.

Throaty Sport & insane Sport+ modes:
Totally amazing modes which massages the the power of the engine onto the road. I can visualize why such powerful cars are moving inexorably towards automatics be it torque converters, dual clutch systems or CVTs. The Sport+ mode puts the ZF8 transmission into a sports tune and makes it hold onto the redline (without upshifting) and introduces an element of shift shock when you can 'feel' the gearshift happening. I find this earthy gear-changing super cool. I remember Kolkata's state buses where the Ashok Leyland bus drivers would 'crash' the gearbox at exactly the correct RPM almost without using the clutch. I used to savour that moment when they would accelerate in 2nd, caress the clutch and then ram the gear lever into 3rd. The Tata 1210s that the private buses would use had a very different gearbox and also treated much better than the state buses.

Excellent acoustic insulation:
Superbly insulated far far better than my Octavia. I believe the windshield is double glazed which makes a big difference. It would have been unbelievable except the Bridgestone 225/50/17 RFTs make a substantial amount of road noise that filters through post-100 km/hr.

Dislikes:
Default auto stop-start. Grrrr1!
Very irritating as it defaults to it every time you switch off. Either you need to switch it off each time you start the engine. Thankfully switches off in Sport/Sport+ modes.

Speed warning buzzers at 80 km/hr (single chime) & 120 km/hr (continuous). Grrr2!
BMW's execution of this has been rather simplistic in that you cannot adjust the volume whatever you do AND it is integrated into the music system, i.e. it's not an additional buzzer which you can adjust. I must say the 120 km/hr one irritates me to no end, i.e it works effectively making me lower my speed <120. I believe the Jaguar XE has much softer chime.

Lacks keyless entry:
This is hugely irritating especially as it comes with keyless ignition. For whatever reason, BMW does not have the enhanced Comfort Access option in India. The 3 has a sensor on the door but it is non-functional. Try approaching a low sedan in a narrow stilt parking in a dimly lit office basement wearing a mask, hideous sticky gloves on your hands while juggling a laptop bag and a blazer ONLY to realize that caressing the door handle is going to get you nowhere. You still have to find the door unlock button to enter your 50L car.

Big car:
Longer and wider than even my Octavia. Handful in traffic especially with that long bonnet. I followed a E90 for a long time last week and it looks totally diminutive next to mine. Frankly, the G20 is too big to enjoy on typical city roads. It begs for expressways and dual carriageways.

Run-Flat Tyres ('RFT'):
Harsh & noisy ride after having driven for 2K km on the exact roads where I used my Octavia. Also need to be far more careful on potholes and road imperfections (e.g. level changes on culverts, overpass ramps). Not going to reignite the RFT vs tubeless debate. All I can say is that I am very likely to change to tubeless Michelin Pilot Sports 4ST when these wear out.

Difficult ingress and egress:
Any driver or passenger with knee or lower back pain is going to curse or grin and bear it. The steering wheel is low (flat bottomed would have helped I think) and I shudder what I will do if I suffer from lower back pain. However, once you sit in it, it's very comfortable.

Long wheelbase:
Potentially prone to bottoming out (when fully loaded) over Bangalore’s more unscientific speedbreakers. Chassis stiffness should help here.

Outdated Infotainment:
Comes with iD6 instead of iD7 and really outdated compared to current offerings (was a known lacunae)

Interiors could have been 'cleverer'
Piano black inserts are a nightmare to keep swirl/scratch free. Contemplating some kind of treatment to keep pristine (ceramic coating maybe?). These come in a aluminium tetragonal finish in the M Sport which in my opinion is not great either. Abroad, there is another option of open pore wood which might be preferable.
The area near the iDrive controller could have been better finished. It looks bare and plasticky. Again the cubbyhole in front of the gearshift could have been better designed. The USB port / 12 V port is such that the spring-loaded cover cannot be closed if any phone is being charged outside. A notch would have been great.
Dashboard top could have been better finished even though the plastics are soft-touch. I believe Luxury Line gets Sensatec covering; unsure about the M Sport.

Boot size:
Pathetic for this big a sedan. Will need to plan luggage very carefully for road trips. It's fine for current airport runs given carry-on baggage limits are 15 kg now. Any odd-sized objects will pose a major issue or a call to Porter/Dunzo/Lalamove.

Space-saver tyre ('SST'):
The SST provided is 135/90/16 which can be used for 80 km maximum. I am a little hesitant in going for say a BLR-Goa-BLR trip in this situation because if I get a puncture say at Belgaum, I can neither buy this 225/50/17 tyre easily there and nor can i drive back with a full load. Actively toying with the idea of buying a 7.5J steel rim and a standard 225/50 tyre along with a nice tyre cover. BUT it will eat into boot space nonetheless.

Variant chosen & differences: 330i Sport
I had a budget hard stop at 40L which my wife bravely stretched to ~48L. This still meant that the top spec M Sport was ~8L out of reach.
So,what did I miss out on? I have discussed them here in brief but had posted some more earlier: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post4830900 (7th-gen BMW 3-Series launch by mid-2019 EDIT : Now launched at Rs. 41.40 lakhs)

BMW Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive 7:
Good to have making the 3 technologically future-proof with OTA updates etc, full digital dials etc. BUT, during my 2-3 test drives, the digital dials just did not grow on me. Did research and found I quite liked the clever pseudo-digital gauges available in the Live Cockpit version of the Sport. Neither was I sure if I could ever use the overload of information as well. I am anyway somewhat old school and like to concentrate while driving.
Parking Assistant:
Not a priority for me
Wireless Android Auto (TBC) & Apple CarPlay with wireless charging:
Definitely a good-to-have although I rarely used AA in my Octavia. But future-proofing again.
'Sport' seats:
Not a priority for me
Ambient lighting with 'light carpet'
Not a priority for me
Vernasca leather interiors:
Not a priority for me. Frankly when I sat in the M Sport, the leather quality did not seem exceptional.
M Sport steering wheel:
Not a priority for me. Felt the horn pad was difficult to reach and harder to press than on my Sport.
M bodykit:
Not a priority for me. While the rear looks more hunkered down, I did not like the way the front bumpers 'sag' near the foglight areas. They ARE much more aggressive looking though!
18" staggered wheels (225/50/18 & 255/45/18 with Michelin PS4 ZP tyres:Good-to-have BUT I was worried about the potential damage to the alloys and tyres. I stay in a semi-rural area with very dicey roads. 45 profile tyres on damage-prone rims did not seem to be a good idea.

Extended warranties & service packages chosen:
BMW offers excellent extended warranties (called BMW Repair Inclusive or 'BRI') which kick in after the included 2 year standard warranty, and are generally priced well till the 5th year after which they escalate sharply. BRI rates are the same whether you buy them with the new vehicle or later.

BMW also offers service plans (called BMW Service Inclusive or 'BSI') which are combinations of distance driven + age of the vehicle. BSI can be further categorized into BSI Basic, Inclusive & Inclusive Plus each corresponding to the type of service/component/consumable covered. These packages are collected by the dealer and paid to BMW India which then administers the program. There are enough threads on this so I won't go down this route.

Personally, I did not buy anything upfront even though BMW offers a ~15% discount if you buy the BSI packages within 30 days of sale of a new vehicle. I figured that I will not be able to accurately estimate my usage for the near future, and hence will buy it before my first service.

Accessories bought:
3D Kagu mats for ~8.5K from my trusted shop, Car Shringar
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F30 boot mat for ~2.7K off Amazon. Not an exact fit but eminently usable.

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Vgate iCar Pro BT4 OBD adapter off Amazon for 3.5K:

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More to follow!
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by itwasntme : 29th August 2020 at 22:28.
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Old 25th August 2020, 23:13   #2
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Rear 3/4th profile:

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Front:

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Headlights:

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Rear:

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Tail-lights showing the 3D effect:

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Tyres side profile:

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Random exterior pictures taken in last 2 months:

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Bottom to die for:
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Unmistakably a BMW:
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Flush roof rails with concealed attachment slots

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Hofmeister kink

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Satinated aluminium detailing - looks classy. I prefer this to chrome or piano black

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Neat wipers with concealed integrated spray nozzles:

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Ugly mandatory RTO sticker:

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Night views:

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Last edited by itwasntme : 26th August 2020 at 01:30.
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Old 25th August 2020, 23:55   #3
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Driving impression, albeit at 2,300 km only!:

Start the engine by pressing the brake and pressing the console-mounted start-stop button simultaneously. I prefer Skoda's placement on the dashboard better, i.e. far way from the passengers - safer that way.

Cold-start the engine and it sounds unnaturally loud and throaty in a nice way for ~20 seconds. It's at this point that you realize that there is something really special under that massive long hood. In fact the power of the engine can be felt by just revving it a little bit - the entire car gently rocks.

The 3 always starts in Comfort mode which I prefer while the engine warms up. The electronic shifter is a drive-by-wire mechanism which is a hate-it-or-love-it thingy. I am used to my Octavia's delineated physical movement so I assume I'll have to get used to it. As of now, I'm ambivalent.

You need to press the gear-mounted shift-lock safety button while moving between the different modes. The Electronic Parking Brake is very effective (and disengages automatically when moving off), although makes alarming graunching noises especially in the wet.

The Auto-hold feature is very useful in city and I'm getting used to it. Only thing is that it needs a good shove on the brakes to activate it. IF you have gently braked to a halt without properly pressing the brake, it WILL roll forward. Bit dicey that way.

Auto Start-Stop: completely irritating as it switches off the engine at the slightest chance. In fact it switched off when I rolled down from my gentle garage ramp because I had braked to a stop for a millisecond. I turn it off every time. Wish I could code it out altogether.

Driving in Comfort mode gives a nice growl to the engine note especially when accelerating. Eco Pro is something I'm yet to try in 2 months.

Sports mode immediately drops the gear by a couple of notches and also partially opens the exhaust valve. It also stiffens the steering quite perceptively which MAY become too heavy in city traffic. So far I like it, but rarely go into Sport in BLR city as I find the ride too jerky. Comfort is better in city I feel. There is enough power anyway.

The 330i also has the option of putting the gearbox into Sport mode which livens everything up even in Comfort mode. Still trying it, to be honest! Sport+ mode is insane and I am limiting it till I reach at least 2.5K km. I once did a fast takeoff from a toll booth and the attendant must have been terrified.

Fuel efficiency: City and Highway
Let me insert a caveat here itself that I stay near KIAL (BLR airport) so I have roughly 60:40 :: highway: city breakup on my normal office commute or shopping forays into BLR. So far I've driven ~2K km with a long term average of 10.3 km/lt, which is excellent given the power of the engine.

The humongous diesel-like 400 Nm torque is available from 1750 rpm onward and I suspect it goes a long way in fuel efficiency. This is similar to the Octavia vRS 2.0TSI reputedly returning better fuel efficiency than the normal 1.8TSI just because of the 380 Nm vs 250 Nm torque difference. Fuel tank capacity & range are 57 litres & ~600 km given my current driving cycle on pretty empty roads during these extraordinary times.

Suspension, ride quality (at low as well as high speeds) & brakes
The independent suspension is overall stiff and taut, and to my liking as I preferred a sporty nature. This was after my experience with the Octavia TSI's excellent but comfort-oriented multi-link independent suspension & my earlier Cruze's compariatively rudimentary torsion beam setup.

It's far stiffer than any other saloon I've driven, and it gives excellent feedback and grip even on my 225/50/17 Run-Flat Tyres ('RFT'). Ride quality at slow speeds on broken patches of road is harsh but improves beyond 50 km/hr. I am generally babying it as of now while I get to know the performance envelope of the tyres/chassis coupled with the fact that it's very wet in BLR.

One funny thing about the tyres is the GC aspect. UNLESS BMW has fiddled with the M Sport's ride height, my Sport seems to have 0.589 inches lower GC, which goes against the M Sports's top-of-the-line positioning.

Mods: please review this and remove if I'm making any silly mistake:
Sport: 225/50/17 square setup
M Sport: 225/50/18 & 255/45/18 staggered setup

As per the TBHP sticky (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-...ml#post3135324 (The Most Comprehensive Tyre Upsize Calculator)), pointing to http://www.net-comber.com/tirecalc.html:

Comparing the M Sport vs Sport:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-tyre-gc.jpg

Turning radius is pretty high at 5.7 metres although haven't faced any issues as of now. Braking is excellent and the 3 stops on a dime. Haven't had to apply any emergency braking as of yet but am confident that the brakes are indeed good. I used to get irritated by the Octavia's brake pads generating a lot of black brake dust, but am seeing none yet on the 3.

Outside Reverse View Mirrors (ORVM) are great and seems to be quite a lot bigger in overall size than what am used to in my Octavia. The overall width is massive factoring in the ORVM, which I constantly tell myself. Adjustability is good with a convenient button to fold them in tight situations.
Both are also auto-dimming if I recollect. I'm still getting used to the convex portion at the ends though.

Exterior lighting:
The 3 in India is 'all-LED' and gets the BMW LED lights which are pretty effective in my opinion. These have active cornering as well (works like in my Octavia), but doesn't have the adaptive ones found in the EU or the lasers in the US/EU cars. The reverse moon half-DRLs are bright and very distinctive although I wish BMW had made them the reverse C type like in the laser headligts.
The front indicators are well integrated without being cheesy or blingy, and look sophisticated in my opinion. The rear 3D lights are very eye-catching as well, and I like the restrained effect rather than the excessive bands/DRLs on say the Seltos etc. The rear indicators also look snazzy and are thankfully not sequential (like in the new Superb, new Audis and the Hector). Soon autos in Bangalore will sport those going by prior experience.

Globally, there are snarky remarks from Lexus owners on how BMW have copied their style of rear lights, but luckily in India the 330i lights are still unique. The front LED fogs are incredibly useful as they light up the sides of the road which is a huge boon in rainy and dark weather. The rear fog light is useful too and I invariably use it in blinding rainy conditions on highways only.

Storage & practicality:
Reasonably practical although water bottles are restricted to 500 ml and preferably should be lined with a rubber covering to prevent rattling. There is a huge armrest storage area as well as a front cubbyhole for mobiles, a small one next to the right knee (perfect for stuffing house keys, loose change etc.), as well as a medium sized cooled glovebox. The rear passengers have the door sleeves only for water bottles but have the central rear armrest with nifty cupholders.

Last edited by itwasntme : 29th August 2020 at 23:12.
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Old 26th August 2020, 01:04   #4
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Interiors:

Front cubbyhole. Not a great design as my Sport doesn't have wireless charging, and the silly lid can't be closed (when charging my phone) unless I lock the phone itself away inside. There is a BMW OEM accessory for wireless charging and some enterprising owners have retrofitted a wireless charging pad into their 330i & 340i in the US.
https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...diagId=03_5038
https://www.carqiwireless.com/produc...330i-m340i-g20
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/g...one/1Vndu0qEK0

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-front-cubbyhole-1.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-front-cubbyhole-2.jpg

Gear-lever area:
Not a high quality area with hard plastic.
The yawning gap under the controller is puzzling although Alpina's B3 has a nice numbered plaque there. BMW should also have fitted a classy emblem of some sort there.

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-2020bmwalpinab3sedan1111571864545.jpg

The drive mode buttons could have been contoured better and the chosen one should have been lit in a different colour for convenience. At night, I sometimes by mistake press Comfort instead of Sport or Sport Plus.

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-gear-lever-area-lit.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-gear-lever-area.jpg

Headlight switches:
I prefer the old school rotary knob - much classier than these fiddly buttons. Also the location is too close to the steering wheel. I can barely see the foglight buttons in my normal position.

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-headlight-switches.jpg

Various MFD screens

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-welcome-message.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200714_073101.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200714_073556.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mfd-music-options.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mfd-status.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mfd.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-service-messages-2.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-service-messages.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-tpms.jpg

Driving modes:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mode-driving-analysis.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mode-comfort-change.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mode-comfort.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mode-ecopro.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mode-sport-change-options.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mode-sport.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-sports-display.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-mfd-sports-display.jpg  


Last edited by Aditya : 31st August 2020 at 18:51. Reason: Dead attachment link removed
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Old 28th August 2020, 08:42   #5
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

What next?!

AED kit for our joint financial advisor when I emailed him a sneak picture of The 3. Believe he Googled the 530D by mistake when we stopped taking his calls for the post-delivery week. Still in recuperation stage, and moodily sending us 'how-much-we-will-need-to-save-for-retirement' articles.

Detailing & PPF: Still choosing between paint protection & ceramic. Pretty diverse opinions on TBHP. Open to your inputs!

BSI (service plan - refer combo attachment): Planning to buy the 5Y/60 km package before my first service and have it activated just before. Any catch in this plan?

BRI (extended warranty): Similarly planning to buy the 6Y option before my standard one expires in June 2022. Again, any catch here?

Accessories being considered:
BMW OEM rates (MRP rates, some negotiation possible especially if bundled):
M Kidney grille black ₹: 20,000
M floor mats ₹ 32,000
Front splitter pro in carbon ₹ 1,03,000
Carbon fibre mirror caps ₹ 73,000
Rear bumper trim in black ₹ 55,700
Side skirt attachment ₹ 68,000
Rear diffuser black high gloss ₹ 38,997
Rear diffuser carbon fibre ₹ 1,25,400
Side skirt transfers frozen black ₹ 16,302
Rear spoiler black Matt ₹ 33,400
Rear spoiler carbon fibre ₹ 66,800
Door Projecter ₹ 15,000
Advance cam eye ₹ 52,000
Luggage compartment mat ₹ 16,000
Floor mat ₹ 12,000

Black gloss chrome grill:
OEM is ~15K while I believe aftermarket will be ~10K. Jury's out on this - I am unsure as I don't like too much black. Remember, my Sport already has blacked-out fog-light surrounds unlike the gaudy Luxury Line.
Refer these comparo pics from Bimmerpost:

OEM chrome:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-chrome-grill.jpeg

OEM black:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-black-grill.jpeg



Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-grill.jpeg

Roof rails:
Want to explore options but not buying immediately. Unsure if Thule has any options for the BMW flush mounted attachments. Halfords UK has some good ones - planning to research and see of I can buy off eBay UK etc.
https://www.halfords.com/motoring/ro...-2-973057.html

Cycle carrier:
Linked to above. If I get excellent roof rails, I might buy the roof-mounted cycle attachments.
Currently exploring the various trunk-mounted cycle carrier options but afraid they will damage the paint. Whatever rack I buy needs to carry 3 (ideally) or at least 2 adult MTBs, so any advice again will be highly appreciated. Consulting the Cyclop FB group too.
Some options:
Decathlon: https://www.decathlon.in/p/8342387/a...-300-2-3-bikes
Thule: https://www.thule.com/en-in/bike-rack/trunk-bike-racks
Bumsonthe saddle: https://bumsonthesaddle.com/collecti...pe=Car%20Racks

Last edited by itwasntme : 28th August 2020 at 10:29.
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Old 28th August 2020, 09:39   #6
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Some more interior pictures focusing on the rear seat:

Rear legroom with front set for my 5'9" driving position. There is ample legroom I feel with the door sill height also quite reasonable. Only issue is that the seating position is overall low, and elderly folks or those with lower back pain will face difficulty in ingress or egress.

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102530.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102533.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102539.jpg

Rear console with adjustable AC vents with (separate third zone) AC controls with display, a 12V port & 2 USB C ports:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102548.jpg

Armrest with cupholders:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102606.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102624.jpg

Rear headrests x 3 with the middle one flipped down for visibility:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102612.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102654.jpg

3-point seatbelts x 3 & ISOFIX tethers for child seats:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-img_20200826_102618.jpg

Rear doors:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-rear-doors-1.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-rear-doors-3.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-rear-doors-4-800ml-bottle.jpg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-rear-doors.jpg

Rear seat folding (Switch in boot):

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-rear-seat-folding-switch.jpg

With seats flat:

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-seats-flat.jpg

Boot space: Pathetic for such a large sedan. Odd-sized objects beware!

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-boot-1.jpeg

Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review-boot-2.jpeg

Last edited by itwasntme : 28th August 2020 at 11:18.
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Old 30th August 2020, 06:07   #7
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th August 2020, 10:32   #8
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Congratulations once again buddy on owning one of best cars available on sale right now. The 3 series has always been the default choice for enthusiasts in this segment for decades now. Doubts were being raised when the F30 went 'soft' , but BMW have made a terrific comeback with the G20. They have gone all out to achieve that right balance of sportiness, luxury and comfort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
The SST provided is 135/90/16 which can be used for 80 km maximum. I am a little hesitant in going for say a BLR-Goa-BLR trip in this situation because if I get a puncture say at Belgaum, I can neither buy this 225/50/17 tyre easily there and nor can i drive back with a full load. Actively toying with the idea of buying a 7.5J steel rim and a standard 225/50 tyre along with a nice tyre cover. BUT it will eat into boot space nonetheless.
The space saver is not really there to allow you to drive all the way back to BLR. Its job is to allow you to drive up to the nearest puncture repair shop, fix the puncture and get on your way. RFT punctures are as easy to fix as regular tubeless. It is only when you have shredded or torn the tyre that you need worry. A punctured RFT will even allow you to drive short distances, but they say, once it is driven like that, the tyre has to be replaced. The space saver is neatly integrated into the boot. A full tyre will literally eat up all of your boot space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
One funny thing about the tyres is the GC aspect. UNLESS BMW has fiddled with the M Sport's ride height, my Sport seems to have 0.589 inches lower GC, which goes against the M Sports's top-of-the-line positioning.

Mods: please review this and remove if I'm making any silly mistake:
Sport: 225/50/17 square setup
M Sport: 225/50/18 & 255/45/18 staggered setup
You are making a silly mistake

M Sport sizes are 225/45/18 and 255/40/18

Even though tyre sizes change with variants, manufacturers always have to maintain the same outer dia or circumferance within tolerance limits.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 30th August 2020 at 10:36.
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Old 30th August 2020, 10:56   #9
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Congrats on a great car! This is the one I want and wanted for a long time and was aiming for it end 2019 to early 2020. And then COVID took over. But I haven't given up!!
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Old 30th August 2020, 11:22   #10
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

can you tell me what are the things you miss out for not taking a M Sport ?

Do you get 360 cameras in M sport?
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Old 30th August 2020, 12:27   #11
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Congratulations on the car itwasntme!! Had been silently following all your decision making updates in the Superb/ G20 threads. Please do keep updating this thread regularly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Auto Start-Stop: completely irritating as it switches off the engine at the slightest chance. In fact it switched off when I rolled down from my gentle garage ramp because I had braked to a stop for a millisecond. I turn it off every time. Wish I could code it out altogether.
I believe you can code it out with the help of apps like Bimmercode through an OBD II adapter.
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Old 30th August 2020, 13:28   #12
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Congratulations on the new car! It looks absolutely fabulous in that mediterranean blue. A very comprehensive write up which is very helpful. The difficulty in ingress and egress in this one, is one of the reason why I’m looking in the direction of 3 GT, as replacement for my Octavia.
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Old 30th August 2020, 13:37   #13
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Congrats on the new car. Good to see that it comes with the pseudo-virtual dials, like you get in the 530d, instead of those horrible full-digital ones on the M Sport.
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Old 30th August 2020, 15:07   #14
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Default re: Shadowfax- Lord of all Horses, the BMW 330i Sport (G20) Review

Excellent buy I myself was in the market for a 330i in 2018 but bought a Octavia 1.8TSI "After Booking a RS"

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxur...s-audi-s5.html (Octavia 1.8 TSI vs BMW 330i GT vs Audi S5)

That said its one of those rare cars that puts a smile across the face. I recall the BMW 330i M Sport GT being more fun than any other I had test drove other than the RS.
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Old 30th August 2020, 15:28   #15
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Default Our BMW 330i Sport (G20)

Congratulations buddy, every one knew how badly you wanted the 330i. You were all over the G20 threads and you have chosen a lovely exterior+ interior combination.

I hope you enjoy the lovely engine and chassis combo for a long time, the present gen bmw cars are also fairly reliable and am sure it would give you less hassles than the Skoda. You can get some irritants coded out and i suggest you do.
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