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Old 30th August 2021, 15:49   #1
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Default Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

It all starts with a DREAM



Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-inked2021bmwx3.jpg

A little background; we have a 14í EcoSport, Fortuner and a 17í Creta. EcoSport and Fortuner being manuals meanwhile the Creta is an automatic. Since the Creta was our first automatic, we got totally bowled over by the convenience an automatic offers in Mumbaiís maniac traffic. So decided the next car also needs to be an automatic.

The selection process:

It all started in 2020, when the itch to upgrade to a new car was planted into my parents' minds my me.

A few requirements set by us:

- A SUV, no sedan at all
- Automatic is an absolute must
- Needs to have minimum 6 airbags (none of our current cars had it)
- Petrol preferably but diesel was also in the mix.
- An AWD/4WD as much as possible
- Should have more than the 171hp benchmark set by our Fortuner in our garage.
- Chauffeur-friendly on weekdays so a decent backseat and a delight to drive on weekends so must have combination of both things.

With India grappling with the Covid pandemic in 2020, it was decided to best shift the car buying decision to the next year. The initial months of 2021 till February was alright but once the 2nd wave hit we just said, forget a car at this time and keep ourselves and those around us safe. Top most priority at that moment of time.

Even before the new car was decided or even shortlisted, it was the Fortuner (it being a diesel and the manual being cumbersome in traffic) which was always shown the exit door. Read on to know what exactly happened!

Shortlist of cars:

Toyota Fortuner
Toyota Innova Crysta
BMW X1
Mercedes-Benz GLA 35 AMG
Mercedes-Benz GLC
BMW X3


Fortuner:

Owning the Fortuner already, this was the natural upgrade. Once you own a Toyota, moving to another brand is really tough. I was waiting eagerly for the Fortuner facelift to be launched in India. It was finally launched on 6th Jan 2021. I was following it for months and it got the power and torque bump that was needed and few more essential features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Please bear with me because all along the Innova Crysta will also make an appearance.

Now like everyone knows when the Fortuner was launched in January and we were hit by the 2nd wave. It meant neither did dealers have any display cars forget test-drives nor did they confirm a precise delivery date. It was a long wait to finally get a test-drive and display cars.

When we finally took a test-drive I was seriously impressed by it, the added oomph was immediately noticeable and the NVH much better than the pre-facelift 2016-21í Fortuner, forget our 14í Fortuner which feels like a truck!

Legender was immediately rejected by me, reasons being the Regular Fortuner had the more butch looks and it had the much needed 4WD which the Legender didnít get. (Why Toyota why?! Only India doesnít get the 4WD Legender) Also the Regular 4WD Fortuner had a few more useful features like the Hill-descent control, 11 speaker JBL sound system and the choice to select the interior colour. The Legender may have more features like wireless phone charger, virtual swipe boot opening and ambient lighting, but I have never given weightage to such features in our car buying decisions. Also the roof on the Legender has been wrapped by some matt stuff, which would definitely not stand the test of time, while other markets get a painted black roof!

Innova Crysta:

Meanwhile like I said the Innova Crysta comes into the picture. Before the Fortuner, we had a 05í Innova Petrol, so the attachment to an Innova will always be there and this is the only reason it will pop up every now and then. But there is a major reason the Innova was rejected by us, it was something as trivial at the seating layout. The Innovaís variant, gearbox and seating options are best known to Toyota only! For some reason Toyota thought the Innova ZX with 7 airbags didnít need a bench seat, and this was the only reason it got rejected everytime it came in our decision making. My parents were fine with the GX AT 8 seater Innova but I just couldnít look at itís interiors and those manual AC knobs. I wanted the ZX AT only. Period. The 8 seater gives a lot flexibility so it was a must, we were even ready to exchange our Fortuner for a Innova ZX AT, if only it had 8 seats. The VX AT 8 seater couldíve solved the problem to a large extent but neither do they make this combination.

Toyota must not know this but there are several people who want a 8 seater with 7 airbags and if they have so much problem, just keep the 8 seater as a made-to-order for the ZX trim. This is coming from a 15 years Toyota customer, better take note of this Toyota India, you lost a potential customer.

Anyways, enough of the Innova rejection letís jump to July 2021. Now before we move on letís introduce the mighty German Trio. In 2014 when we were looking at the Fortuner, the Audi Q3 was looked at very seriously and it was the seed that was sown in my fatherís mind in 2013-14í itself! Back then we just decided to just get the Fortuner because of its size advantage and Toyotaís service quality that we were associated with over the Audi Q3. The Q3ís interior space was little more than our EcoSportís back then and was simply rejected.

Ze Germans:

So we decided this time around letís look at the German Trio before buying a new car. Poor Audi since then has discontinued the Q3, Q5 and Q7. What a waste of an opportunity by Audi India! They have the best quality interiors even if they are a bit plain-jane.

Anyways that left us with Mercedes-Benz and BMW. And once a BMW enters the discussion BHPians know where the discussion heads!!

July 2021 was spent in car showrooms quite literally! We were fully vaccinated and there was nothing more to do since I had a college break.

X1 and X3:

It was the beginning of July precisely Sunday the 3rd when we decided to head to the BMW dealer. Landed over at Infinity Worli and saw the X3 and X1 in flesh. Wrote it in this order because it was the X3 we sat in first and then the X1. The X3 didnít really feel as a massive upgrade over the X1 in terms of space! So we thought the X1 is not that bad? The SA gave the price list and discounts on both of them and the X1 was a serious contender. Didnít test-drive either at this time. X1 was around 45L after discounts while the X3 was around 69L after discounts without BSI or BRI

GLC:

Anyways next day being a Sunday we thought letís head over to Mercedes-Benz to check out the GLC. We reached Auto Hanger Prabhadevi without calling and found out they didnít have a GLC on display or as a test-drive car! So they told us to visit their Andheri branch. Once we reached the Andheri branch, we saw the GLC in flesh. The SA brought out a test-drive 220d GLC, and we took a test-drive just to get a feel of it but we wanted the 200. The ride quality of the GLC is really good and the interiors just by the look feel really upmarket! Came back to the showroom, sat down with the SA and discussed the pricing. With discounts and no extended warranty or service packs he was giving a 3L discount on the OTR costs. It was coming to around 67L after discounts

GLA 35 AMG:

Meanwhile what caught my dadís eye was a Denim Blue GLA35 AMG standing in the corner of the showroom. He was really impressed by the colour and it wasnít too loud like a true-blue AMG. Since it was a fresh launch the OTR was 70L. The rear seat has improved tremendously over the previous Gen GLA! It looked like a solid package.

So this is what I took out of this, the GLC has been downgraded since launch! The 200 Petrol is a RWD with 190ps whereas when it was launched there was the 300 4Matic version with close to 250ps and was an AWD. So why not consider the GLA35 AMG instead, at a similar price. The GLC had got updated a few months back with a 360deg camera, front massaging seats and a fully digital instrument cluster. The GLC had a 2-3 month waiting period for the Brilliant Blue that the SA said was only available now out of the two blues which are listed on the brochure, the other being the more popular Cavansite Blue.

Another set of showroom visits:

Toyota:

For the next few weeks every weekend we would head to the showrooms to look at different cars. In between I thought instead of spending so much money on a luxury car, why not buy a cheaper car like the Tata Safari and replace our EcoSport with it? I played with the idea a lot, saw lots of videos on it and thought not a bad package but my parents were completely against the Tata due to the constant niggles which they knew from before itself, I didnít say a word on the niggles. Even I thought let the Safari pass on, will consider it some other time when maybe weíre replacing our Creta and the niggles are completely removed.

Like this we reached the penultimate week of July. All showroom visits till now were done by my dad and me. This time we took my mom as well and headed back to the Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and BMW showrooms. It was Saturday the 24th we headed to Lakozy Toyota first and saw the Fortuner in flesh again. Like every non-car person my mom was instantly attracted to the Legender, but I was firm that I wanted the 4WD if we go for it. While the Fortunerís chamois interiors that I wanted was a bit off! The interior colour looked funny when the exterior colour chosen was Sparkling Black Crystal Shine. So my mom told me the black will look good with the black exterior colour chosen, but it was not sunny at that time and the test-drive car standing outside in the exact same exterior and interior colours was already hot inside with the black interiors. Also for some reason the black interiors make the cabin feel less wide than it really was. Again like I said earlier, my mom liked the dual tone interior of the Legender more, than either black or chamois of the regular Fortuner. This became a big deterrent for the Fortuner. Toyota could have made us spend less by giving a Legender 4WD, but itís missing in the range when again International models get it!

Meanwhile the Innova again came in the picture, but in the end it was out for the reason already mentioned before.

Mercedes-Benz:

Next we headed to the Mercedes-Benz showroom in Andheri and this time a Cavansite Blue GLC was standing on the showroom floor and the colour seriously impressed all of us! Although for reasons best known to Mercedes-Benz they have discontinued this colour on the GLC. The SA was quoting a waiting period of 4-5 months for the colour without any guarantee that it will remain in production. The other Brilliant Blue didnít really excite us. We never buy white or black cars, the Fortuner was an exception because the Sparkling Black Crystal shine was a dark blue just the way we wanted and not a full black. My dad didnít want the silver so that left us with the Brilliant Blue and Hyacinth Red. Red was out by my mom reason being it was too bright and would get unwanted attention. Saw a black GLA35 AMG that we had initially liked but outside in the open it looked really small and would easily get lost in the crowd. Space this time looked small, maybe because we had a look at the GLC first and then GLA, last time it was in the opposite way, hence must have found the space good. Even the SA was telling us no point spending 70 on the GLA35, rather look at the regular GLAs if you really want it. This way the GLA was out.

BMW:

Next day on the 25th we headed to the BMW showroom with my mom this time around. Looked at both the X1 and X3. The SA explained everything that the X3 had and itís pros. The X1 although a good package in terms of space, doesnít feel like a premium car for some reason! The interior quality although good, it has no major talking point other than the badge! Not many features, felt dated, was a FWD with 190ps. The real BMW range starts from the X3, even the SA said the same thing. I thought rather than spending 45-46Lakh on a X1, we would be better off with the Fortuner.

(Although I must mention BMW has done a brilliant job on the front-fascia of the X1, from far itís very easy to mistake it for one of the bigger X SAVs. And I have been witnessing several new X1s in Mumbai ever since launch and the new front look has clicked with buyers big-time! My dad has often mistaken the X1 for the X3, it only when you see it from the side that you realise itís smaller. This is a big advantage for us, reason being we donít like attention and itís good to an extent for us that the X1 looks similar to the X3 from the front.)

Meanwhile, before the penultimate week had started we had got our Fortuner evaluated by BMW, the price they gave was much lower than what we had expected! Even Toyota had quoted only 1 Lakh more than what BMW was offering. We thought to ourselves if we buy a 5 seater, then we must keep a 7 seater when needed since even my grandparents stay in Mumbai and those 7 seats are a boon. So we thought why not remove the EcoSport, anyways Fordís future in India seems bleak and with no new car launched by them till now, it was best decided to sell our EcoSport. The offer BMW gave for the EcoSport was upto our expectations. We decided to book the X3 30i in the next few days, since we wanted the delivery on 30th August; Janmashtami.

On 1st August we headed to the other BMW dealer in Mumbai, and thought letís see the price he gives. We told the SA at Navnit clearly weíre carrying our cheque book with us, give us a good price we will book the car with you. He told us a OTR figure of 71L, meanwhile the Worli dealer was giving us a revised 69.5L offer on the phone itself. We clearly went with the original dealer we had talked to ie. Infinity.

Reason for choosing the X3:

It finally boiled down to the Final 3; Fortuner 4WD AT, GLC 200 and X3 30i

Really wanted the 2021 Fortuner, but already owning one it was best decided to retain our current Fortuner and move over to a different brand. Compared to our 2014 Fortuner, I completely agree the 2021 Fortuner is a big leap in terms of everything, but giving away our well maintained Fortuner didn't feel right at the moment.

Like I had said earlier the GLC200 has brilliant interiors and that 64 colour ambient lighting makes it feel like a very premium place to be in. But the lack of an AWD and only 190ps in the Petrol engine didnít excite me. Deep inside my heart I wanted a BMW, features were not what I needed, it was the Sheer Driving Pleasure I was after, the BMW gave that in bountiful. Also somehow I can't fathom the rear quarter look of the GLC! After a month of going around looking at different cars, a Phytonic Blue BMW X3 30i Luxury Line with Mocha interiors was booked on the 1st of August. They had an option of either Blue or White exterior colours in the 30i. We selected the last Phytonic Blue 30i with BMW India according to BMWís inventory website. BSI+ was selected for 5yrs/60000 kms and BRI for 5yrs/200000kms and the deal was done by giving the booking amount to Infinity BMW.

So finally here is the beauty; our Blue Bolt a 2021 BMW X3 30i, took delivery on the auspicious day of Janmashtami:

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-0dfb59f54aa64786adeb52c4f4d1faef.jpeg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-550a185d820445bda82b676c7c75b130.jpeg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-a72a614b89bb4cdf88324ab7ec8c641b.jpeg

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 9th November 2021 at 17:46.
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Old 30th August 2021, 23:13   #2
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Pros:
- Spacious 5 seater
- Powerful and potent 250hp motor
- Panoramic Sunroof is huge
- Excellent body control, minimal body roll
- Hushed cabin, stellar NVH.
- ZF 8 speed gearbox is a gem, shifts when you need and is really quick.
- On a tankful shows around 720km range in comfort mode, that too in Mumbai traffic, for a petrol!!

Cons:
- Misses out on a knee airbag which competitors get
- 19-inch wheels make the ride a bit stiff on sharp potholes. Are 245/50/R19s, wish BMW had chosen 55 sections instead. Mercedes-Benz GLC gets 235/55/R19s. SportX trim gets 18 inchers but there was neither stock of the SportX nor the colour we wanted.
- No keyless entry for a car so expensive!!
- No ventilated seats option for the front passengers.
- No 360deg camera which the international models get as standard.
- No sport seats for the Luxury Line, hence no extendable thigh support. The GLC and X4 get extendable thigh supports.
- Default Auto-start stop on is pretty irritating.
- BMW’s Live Cockpit although legible in the day and loaded with info like maps, simply lacks the finesse of something like Mercedes-Benz’s or Audi’s, maybe it could also be something to do with the colours used by BMW?
- Realised the rear seat squab is too short, it’s not bad but could have been much better.
- Auto-headlights are very sensitive.

Niggles so far:
- Frequent disconnection while using Wireless Apple Carplay
- Wireless charger is quite slow in charging a device


Now the LCI is already out in the international market, but I really didn’t like the front look and those 3D style rear tail-lights are a joke! In terms of changes to the interior, they are limited to the new 12.2-inch touchscreen and reshaped central AC Vents. Other than that everything is pretty much same. It should be landing in the next 2-3 months on Indian shores, I didn’t want to wait and there would surely be a price hike. We were already stretched on our budget, and couldn’t extend it any further.

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 27th September 2021 at 09:31.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 11:43   #3
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Exterior

The car when viewed head-on (The Active Air Stream Kidney Grills are closed at the moment):
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-4ac05b183b3548cca3df54f652b70743.jpeg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-e654ad7c1bcb4e9eb17668305154750b.jpeg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-71c9d7c04883485e9ffc6d353c66c151.jpeg

The Bridgestone Alenza Run-Flat 245/50/R19 tyres:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-42cf176e9d004a4dbcf856c61556d1a6.jpeg

The 'Welcome Carpet' when the car is unlocked with pocket lights on all door handles:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-b57f380e792f4a5bb704b7a729c09d36.jpeg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-17848d404cf344cdad4f2d701a55f007.jpeg

The fully Adaptive LED headlights with auto high-beam assist (cornering light can be seen at the inner corner towards the grill):
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-21d7c0509ba64825a0611f864bb09c46.jpeg

Active Air Stream Kidney Grill open here:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-2c7d071235c84020ac1fbe1c31223ca3.jpeg

Rear LED tail-lights:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-f5c8c87bde3d4a88ae997e3fba0c2072.jpeg

Rear tail-lights with the twin round exhausts:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-4b40a873eaf244439db86f17f2defafd.jpeg

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 9th November 2021 at 15:53.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 12:41   #4
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Interiors

A view from the top of the rear middle seat headrest, the Mocha interior colour (looks almost like black in the dark):
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-e12a1e972fef43d587bba51f2a806f0a.jpeg

The centre console with AC Controls, Hazard lights switch, touchscreen and more importantly a physical volume control! MY2021 cars have lost the CD Player:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-fe97de93fe2741858ed14528561f7440.jpeg

Other than the touchscreen the iDrive 7 system can also be controlled via this swivel wheel with shortcut buttons provided:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-f8af70c087ac4dd09a867a7d299d511a.jpeg

The gear-lever with Sport, Comfort and Eco modes available beside it.
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-435ad4145a6245d0b847b0fe4dd04614.jpeg

The Blue ambient lighting on the dashboard, door panels and the bottle holders. There is an option of 6 colours with an additional mixture of white in the 5 colours (other then white obviously) taking the total colour options to 11:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-b01f0c3728654c57a5f3ead12e756c16.jpeg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4924.jpg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4925.jpg

All 4 windows are auto up/down, boot opener and mirror adjustments are provided. All are backlit in BMWís typical orange. If the mirror adjuster for left/right mirror is in the rightmost position then while reversing the left mirror moves downwards to show the curb:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-6f12f0e963af40a68ecf0a4209e6862f.jpeg

Headlight controls, usually keep it on Auto:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-fadea33704ff4c0f9fd74824ee9d88c8.jpeg

Sport Displays are horizontal (would have preferred the ones available available with iDrive 6, the round ones):
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-e4326c7082a34b82a1369db5e428e6ea.jpeg

xView which shows the angle of tilt, approach-departure angles and a compass:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-78065993fa314e4981f3d36ed72cb315.jpeg

Energy Flow:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-59f01b9d9d2a45b79e35cc95825856e5.jpeg

Frameless Auto-dimming IRVM:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4926.jpg

Sunroof and light controls, with two small ambient lights:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4927.jpg

Sun-visors with a mirror and light for both front occupants:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4928.jpg

Rear door card with manual sunshades:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4936.jpg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4929.jpg

Massive panoramic sunroof:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4930.jpg

Illuminated centre console storage with a USB-C port:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4931.jpg

Decent sized illuminated glove-box:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4932.jpg

Rear seat with ample legroom but pretty short seat squab:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4934.jpg

Rear AC Vents with a separate zone and 2 USB-C ports:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4935.jpg

Rear reading light + cabin light:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4937.jpg

Rear centre armrest with 2 cupholders:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4938.jpg

3 adjustable headrests at the rear:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4939.jpg

Footwell (with ambient light) behind the driver seat with ample legroom:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4941.jpg

2 Memory settings for the driver seat and lock/unlock buttons (passenger doesn't get either):
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4944.jpg

Electric Front driver and co-passenger seats, although both lumbar and adjustable thigh-supports are glaring omissions which competitors get!:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4945.jpg

Footwell with a massive dead-pedal and my first encounter with an organ-type accelerator:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4946.jpg

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 9th November 2021 at 15:53.
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Old 27th September 2021, 09:49   #5
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Interiors continued:

Comfort Mode with sport displays:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img3791.jpg

Comfort Mode with media source:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img3792.jpg

Comfort Mode with gear-lever positioning:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img3793.jpg

Comfort mode with Fuel-efficiency reading:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img4911.jpg

MPH reading can also be displayed below the default KMPH reading:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img4915.jpg

Eco Pro mode, where the tachometer is replaced by a fuel-efficiency reading:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-x3ecodisplay.jpg

Sport Mode:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-x3sportdisplay.jpg

Reduced Mode with only digital speedometer:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img4916.jpg

Start/Stop button feels very premium and Auto-start stop which I always keep off:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img4921.jpg

Just the right thickness steering wheel, not too thick like the MSport ones, also note the steering wheel is slightly different compared to MY2019 models:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img3691.jpg

Cruise control buttons on the left:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4920.jpg

Volume up-down, changing the track, voice control buttons on the right:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_4922.jpg

Apple Carplay covers the whole screen in iD7, out on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway the Apple Carplay kept disconnecting, haven't experienced the same in the city. Planning a Lonavla trip next week will check it again then:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img3690.jpg

Reverse camera is very slick and has amazing picture quality. 360 deg camera is sorely missed but we do get all around parking sensors. The car also has an auto-parking feature (park-assist) can park both in parallel/perpendicular bays, which I'm never going to try. Also while reversing if the car feels you are going to hit something, it automatically applies the brakes! Although it works 8/10 times, there will always be a time or two when the car will auto-brake while reversing when there is actually nothing in the rear:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-reverse-camera.jpg

Bootspace is rated at 550L, but it's base is slightly lifted to fit in the space-saver spare wheel. There is also a retractable and removable cover to stop prying eyes from looking in the boot:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img4906.jpg

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 9th November 2021 at 15:58.
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Old 9th November 2021, 15:11   #6
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Heart of the matter

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-x330i.png

In 6 words: The B48 motor is a gem!

Our X3 is powered by BMW's trusted B48 2.0l turbocharged petrol engine (also used by Toyota for the Supra, a way of telling oneself yes you've picked up a reliable engine ). The xDrive30i churns out a healthy 252PS of power at 6500rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1,450-4800rpm. Using new aluminium construction for certain engine and suspension components, the X3 is now up to 55kg lighter than the outgoing X3 F25 and BMW claims a 6.3s sprint to the ton, which is very realistic although haven't really tested it. The drivability is quite good on this motor and the mid-range pull is quite strong. The engine revs all the way till 7000rpm, and just as you feel that's enough the 8spd ZF gearbox shifts up and whaam you're back in the powerband. The way the engine pulls is surreal for a 1.7 tonne SUV, there is a very strong push-back in the seat. From one red-light to another on the Worli Seaface, other cars are left eating the dust.

The big news for the X3 is its ride and handling. It isn't an off-roader and doesn't even have an off-road driving mode. While the xDrive does aid in driving through mild off-road trails, the X3 is set up for road use and it absolutely shines when you hit the twisties. The trademark 50:50 weight distribution immediately makes itself evident as the X3 manages to maintain a flat ride through the corners and rewards you with confidence inspiring dynamics. The high grip levels from the tyres and the performance-inclined xDrive AWD only makes the package better as you start pushing harder. The brakes are impressive too.

It is easily the best handler in its segment and can even give some of the sedans a run for their money. All this, without compromising on ride comfort. BMWs have started going softer in recent times, giving in to criticism about Bimmers being too firm in favour of their fabled driving dynamics. But the X3 in my books manages to achieve a fine balance between ride and handling without the need to employ the expensive air suspension and not worrying about replacements every now and then. The only kink in the shining armor are the noisy RFTs. Have started taking long sweeping corners at much higher speeds than before, which is just not confidence-inspiring in either our Creta or naturally the Fortuner.

For some extremely off-roading stuff, I would've surely picked the new Fortuner 4X4 but that discussion is for another day. Also will love to see the M40i B58 X3 in India, the way it would've blurred the lines between a Sedan and SUV!!

Technical Specifications:
Drive: All-wheel
Engine: 1998cc inline-4cyl, DOHC, 16v turbo
Power: 185kW (250hp) @ 6500rpm
Torque: 350Nm @ 1450-4800rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic (TC)
Weight: 1745kg
Power-to-weight: 106kW (142hp) /tonne
Fuel consumption: 9-11 kmpl (initial 1000kms, tanked up twice till now)
L/W/H: 4708/1891/1676mm
Wheelbase: 2864mm
Tracks: 1610/1594mm (f/r)
Suspension: Struts, A-arms, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar (f); multi-links, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar (r)
Steering: Electrically assisted rack-and-pinion
Brakes: 330mm ventilated discs (f/r)
Tyres: 245/50 R19 (f/r) Bridgestone Alenza RFT

My dad likes driving the car so much that whenever we go out I drive one way and he drives back or vice-versa. Whereas he never wants to drive the Creta whenever I am there , its surprising how flaws of another car come out after driving a German car! Our 1.6L petrol Creta's gearbox feels extremely dimwitted and can feel every gear change which was not the case before.

Fuel Economy

Neither do I nor my parents are pedal-to-metal type drivers, so the fuel efficiency has been great for a petrol. We get anywhere between 9 to 11 kmpl in Mumbai traffic. Now I know the story will be completely different once the pedal reaches the floor! But have just completed 1000kms so will update the real-world fuel efficiency with a mix of both sedate and pedal-to-medal driving later on.

80/120 Kmph Speed Warnings

Now, I am sure every T-BHPian hates these. But for me the 80 Kmph speed warning is really helpful, because the way the car picks up speed in no time you reach 80kmph even in the city. So I find it really helpful. Out on the highway I never drive over 120kmph, just cruise between 100-119kmph so those continous warnings are not heard by/bother me.

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 9th November 2021 at 21:47.
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Old 9th November 2021, 16:56   #7
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Accessories/Freebies


Infiniti BMW gave a BMW Keychain and all-weather mats with the car:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img8267.jpg

Also they had some TOI partnership going on around that time so the first page of TOI of my dad's birthday was given in a frame:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img8265.jpg

I added a key-cover for the key fob from Amazon, has a really snug fit and feels premium to hold. BMW M colours on the back as well!

Adding the link for the same https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B08...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 :
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img8263.jpg

Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img_8264.jpg

Added a boot mat also from Amazon.

Attaching the link for the same https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B08...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 :
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img4907.jpg

Outro

Huge thanks to @bj96 for his wonderful review of the G01 X3, read through the review several times before putting down the booking amount for our's. The lack of any G01 X3 30i review made me want to make one so that it can help others. Would also like to thank Team-BHP for providing a platform for sharing my review. Last but not the least, I am really grateful that my parents bought the X3 and allowed me to experience German Automobile standards, even-though they had stretched their budget, but never said no. Wish to do the same in the future for them

Bid farewell to a wonderful blue machine to bring home another (Your's truly):
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img2357.jpg

Your's truly outside the car and my dad on the driver's seat:
Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review-img3594.jpg

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 9th November 2021 at 21:50.
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Old 10th November 2021, 04:24   #8
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th November 2021, 07:19   #9
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

What an outstanding ownership thread. Thanks very much for the detailed report CEF.

I am really warming up to the current gen X3 actually. It’s a perfectly sized car and seems like a particularly sweet product, specially in petrol. The Phytonic blue is by far the best color and combined with that mocha interior, the combination of choice in my view in the X3. Your car looks absolutely dope in that combo!!

My only gripe with the X3 is the level of rear seat comfort but that is a typical issue in almost all SUVs. I hope the seat at least reclines decently enough to make it more comfortable.

Are your FE figures off the MID or actual tank to tank measure. 9 - 11 in Mumbai traffic is excellent efficiency. I’ll wait till you give updates on your hard driving as well.

The mid segment SUV space is actually not that bad a deal anymore I feel. My top trio in this segment would come down to the Disco Sport (slightly more expensive I know), XC60 and the X3. I would never consider the GLC because with that spare in the boot format its almost unusable for long trips with luggage. Haven’t seen the new Q5 yet so can’t comment.

While I am good to use my GT a lot longer still, ever so periodically I keep coming back to my desire for an SUV. With having recently started my son (and myself on a fringe basis) on golf, I feel this even more off late. I don’t even have an engine upgrade itch - its literally only the SUV body style desire that keeps bringing me back to the upgrade itch. I guess I should still hold out till late 2022 / early 2023 when the supply situation is a bit more buyer friendly.

Enjoy the X3 for a long long time. It’s definitely one to keep for the long haul.
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Old 10th November 2021, 08:56   #10
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Congratulations! Enjoyed reading your review, especially comparison with other cars was very informational. This engine+gearbox combo in an X3 chassis is phenomenal. Please ask your dad to sacrifice fuel economy once in awhile and use manual mode - that's the best part of this car. After run-in period :-)
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Old 10th November 2021, 09:53   #11
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Nice review, enjoy 100k km with this beast. Please share a photo of this with your Fortuner. Congratulations and hope you enjoy this x3
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Old 10th November 2021, 10:13   #12
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Congratulations, Excellent review, enjoyed reading it, it's powerfull motor with good chasis, happy miles.
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Old 10th November 2021, 10:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
What an outstanding ownership thread. Thanks very much for the detailed report CEF.

I am really warming up to the current gen X3 actually. Itís a perfectly sized car and seems like a particularly sweet product, specially in petrol. The Phytonic blue is by far the best color and combined with that mocha interior, the combination of choice in my view in the X3. Your car looks absolutely dope in that combo!!

My only gripe with the X3 is the level of rear seat comfort but that is a typical issue in almost all SUVs. I hope the seat at least reclines decently enough to make it more comfortable.

Are your FE figures off the MID or actual tank to tank measure. 9 - 11 in Mumbai traffic is excellent efficiency. Iíll wait till you give updates on your hard driving as well.

The mid segment SUV space is actually not that bad a deal anymore I feel. My top trio in this segment would come down to the Disco Sport (slightly more expensive I know), XC60 and the X3. I would never consider the GLC because with that spare in the boot format its almost unusable for long trips with luggage. Havenít seen the new Q5 yet so canít comment.

While I am good to use my GT a lot longer still, ever so periodically I keep coming back to my desire for an SUV. With having recently started my son (and myself on a fringe basis) on golf, I feel this even more off late. I donít even have an engine upgrade itch - its literally only the SUV body style desire that keeps bringing me back to the upgrade itch. I guess I should still hold out till late 2022 / early 2023 when the supply situation is a bit more buyer friendly.

Enjoy the X3 for a long long time. Itís definitely one to keep for the long haul.
Thank you

Fuel efficiency readings are from the MID at the moment, having run-in the car, will share the tank-to-tank fuel efficiency as well. And the MID readings are in Comfort mode (best suited in the city) and have used Sport only on the highway (helps to arrest that pitching in Comfort mode out on the highway). Havenít used Eco Pro till now, donít think will ever use it, unless very low on fuel.

Yes the seat squab is short, so the under-thigh support is lacking and the rear seat doesnít recline as well! International markets get a rear seat which reclines, donít know why it has been skipped for India.

My close friend has the pre-facelift MY19 Discovery Sport SE will try doing a comparison as well. XC60 is a great car as well, but somehow I am not a big fan of the overall shape of it and when we were in the market it only had the diesel. Had there been the recently launched Petrol hybrid earlier, wouldíve been a strong contender. My dad loves hybrids, he has always wanted the Camry Hybrid, but being used to SUVs now, ingress egress will now be an issue in sedans for us.

I believe you should hold on to the 3 GT for longer, because itís a very unique car and the bootspace and rear space trumps even the 5 series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Congratulations! Enjoyed reading your review, especially comparison with other cars was very informational. This engine+gearbox combo in an X3 chassis is phenomenal. Please ask your dad to sacrifice fuel economy once in awhile and use manual mode - that's the best part of this car. After run-in period :-)
Thank you

Having just completed 1000kms, will start going out on the highways more often. Currently we only take the car out on Sundays, still getting used to so much tech. Weíre not really worried about the fuel efficiency, end of the day the driving pleasure matters be it sedate or pedal-to-metal. Will surely use manual mode and the paddle shifters to see the real capabilities of the B48. Although the gearbox is so quick and reactive that I hardly feel the paddle shifters will warrant any use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
Nice review, enjoy 100k km with this beast. Please share a photo of this with your Fortuner. Congratulations and hope you enjoy this x3
Thank You

Will surely share a picture with the Fortuner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharan_si View Post
Congratulations, Excellent review, enjoyed reading it, it's powerfull motor with good chasis, happy miles.
Thank You, glad you enjoyed it
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Old 10th November 2021, 11:52   #14
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Congratulations once again and thanks for showing me the way to mine, which I got in September after a long wait for production to restart

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEF_Beasts View Post
Thank you

Fuel efficiency readings are from the MID at the moment, having run-in the car, will share the tank-to-tank fuel efficiency as well.
I did a 620km road trip (70% highway, some hilly roads in sport mode also) on a full tank and after the trip MID showed 100km to empty so 12kmpl is what one can easily get. MID even showed 14kmpl on a 100km trip in eco pro mode. This is much better than 7-8kmpl I was dreading of in a big petrol SUV.

Quote:
Yes the seat squab is short, so the under-thigh support is lacking and the rear seat doesnít recline as well! International markets get a rear seat which reclines, donít know why it has been skipped for India.
I too was wondering the same but believe it is the raised boot floor to accommodate the spare wheel that is responsible for taking away the gap from rear seat back that allows it to be reclined in the international versions.

I too get stuttering audio after a while using Android Auto. Not sure if it is a bug in the phone or the car. Disconnecting and reconnecting solves the problem till you get it again after an hour or so. Hope future SW updates will address this.
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Old 10th November 2021, 11:56   #15
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Default Re: Blue Bolt | Our BMW X3 30i | Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEF_Beasts View Post
Pros:


Niggles so far:
- Frequent disconnection while using Wireless Apple Carplay
.
Hi. Congrats on getting onboard with sheer driving pleasure
Thought I will give you my experience in the X1 with this particular niggle that you are facing. Turned out it was my iphone7 that was at fault. It worked fine with other iPhones. Since I bought an iPhone12, I havent faced the issue. You can also ask the service centre to update the CarPlay software and the bmw software for you. Hope this helps. It is otherwise irritating to face such issues with high tech
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