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Old 19th November 2021, 00:02   #1
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Default Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Hey everyone,

I am exultant to say that I drive a BMW!

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211115_214122.jpg
At the exact same spot where my grandad's Triumph TR3A used to be parked

After searching for the perfect car, my parents and I finally took delivery of a gorgeous white E90 LCI 320d. She belonged to a fellow TeamBHP member, riziali, who took sedulous care of her (If you are reading this, a huge huge huge thank you! Let us pull out our cars for a drive real soon ). It still hasn't seeped in yet; despite taking her out for highway runs, and seeing her in the driveway everyday.

The options besides an E90:

When I had begun the hunt for a Beemer, this was the criteria which I had set:
  1. Had to come from a home that shares the same sentiments we have for cars
  2. Preferably low or medium mileage examples (upto 45k kms)
  3. Either an F30, E90, or E46 (that is if I find an E46)

Besides Beemers, we also considered the Jaguar XE 2.5t, and the Mercedes-Benz CLA/GLA 200 (Petrol). These cars fitted our criteria of a sporty saloon. The reasons we did not go for these were:
  • Electrical issues in JLR cars and maintenance costs
  • CLA/GLA's compact interior was uncomfortable for us (had this been our second car which Popcorn has now become, we wouldn't have minded)

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211008_115321.jpg
Popcorn The Fifth

Within Beemers, we also considered the F10 5er, but it was too big for us to navigate through turns and park. We chose the E90 over an F30 because of the way the car drove, and the lesser electronics found on the E90. The F30 felt too soft and relaxed, while the E90 gave us the sporty feel we wanted.

Initially I was skeptical about Diesel engines; as our previous motors and my current daily driver Popcorn The Fifth, a Honda City i-VTEC, were/are torquey engines that responded on the word go. However, the N42 has completely changed my opinion about diesel Beemers. The engine response I have got from my E90 is something I can closely relate to the current AMG 35 4-pots (and maybe a touch of the whacked out BMW 4.4 Biturbo V8s).

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211115_222047.jpg
Popcorn and 5385's keys

Big Bazaar or D-Mart:

We are a family that is accustomed to buying all our cars new from a showroom. As Dad and I wanted to take our first step into luxury cars, we thought of going for a pre-worshiped car. We were firm about one thing: we wanted to buy our car from the owner directly. No middlemen, no grandiloquent adverts; just to the point information and honest feedback. Finding this initially was difficult, as there were very few people who sold their cars directly and a few of them kept brokers in between. CarWale started to look like a local garage, and I have no words for the other ones.

STI Classifieds is a good option as well; 5385 was listed on it and I found an E46 there. The only reason I did not continue from there was because I was a bit uncomfortable. These cars seemed like sight unseen kind of cars as there are cars all across the country. Only the ones in Bombay seemed like ones I could go and check out. I ended up using TeamBHP Classified. I connected with riziali directly from here. The information provided was honest and it stimulated a sense of trust; especially when it came from zealous owners.

Example: Dr. Reddy's F30 320d Advert

My E90 Communicator.... I mean 320d

Getting back to 5385 (yes I'm calling her by her number; I haven't figured out what to call her yet), she is a completely different beast from Popcorn. Here are the pros, cons, and mods on the car:

Pros:
  1. Robust engine; very responsive on the throttle
  2. Firm ride and easy to move over bumps despite having spacers and 17 inch alloys
  3. No nonsense, driver focused interior; I do not have an iDrive system (something by choice)
  4. Impressive mileage (9-9.5 in the city, close to 10 on highways)
  5. The Stage 1 comes alive on highways, especially in Sports and Manual mode. The car gives you the confidence to press the accelerator and get the maximum out of the engine. On launches, you can hear the wheels spin, even with the DTC on
  6. The joy of having a proper German sports saloon. I'm gonna be honest about this. Just seeing 5385 puts a smile on my face

Cons:
  1. If you have moved from a manual car, the first 2 gears will feel long for you. Only in manual mode, you can rev-match and shift to your accordance
  2. If you are tall, and have a broad skeletal frame like me; the driver's side may feel a little snugged at first
  3. If your passenger is new to the car, he/she/they may have a bad time getting out of the car. The car is low and you will be used to it if you are moving from an already lowered car like my City, but the front doors are tighter, and mirrors are smaller than the City's
  4. The pedal box is at a position further than your typical Japanese cars. The pedals are also a bit close to each other
  5. Audio system is fantastic but dated. The system does not tell you the volume in numbers, you have to figure it out by ear. There is a USB port, but there is no USB or Bluetooth connectivity on non-iDrive cars.
  6. The only fault that I have to fix is *gasp*.... the driver's side cupholder. It is an annoying feature common to all E90s. It has jammed and refuses to come out. The fix is easy, and is a DIY procedure

Mods:
  1. Superchips Stage 1 Remap (221 bhp and 400 Nm)
  2. Pipercross Air Filter
  3. 17 inch F30 alloys in Continental ContiSport Contact Tyres
  4. Wheel spacers (love the stance, but will be deleting them soon; I have kept them on for the initial fun)
  5. BMW OEM Sport Front and Back spoiler kit
  6. Tantra Fluke Pro Bluetooth Module

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211115_211430.jpg
Tail end

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211130_072451.jpg
Front end with the Angel Eyes on

Exploring the car:

1. Engine and Stage 1 Remap
5385 is already tuned, so driving her with care is my primary objective. She has a Superchips Stage 1 remap and a Pipercross air filter which push her above her stock 180 hp and 380 Nm numbers to 221 hp and 400 Nm. I have not dyno-ed the car to confirm the exact numbers, but it does show when you press the throttle. The N42 unit is a torquey 4 pot, and can sing even in lower gears. The Stage 1 tune comes alive beyond 2000 RPM, pushing you into the seats and leaving you stunned. The engine is two-faced; one minute composed and in the next a devil. On highways the car is a dream. 5385 gives an average overall average of 9 kmpl. The car in whole honesty has more city running than highways, hence this number.

I would like to allude a fact: if you are considering any E90 with an N42 unit, do check the timing belt and EGR valves. If the engine is regularly serviced, they will carry on for a long time; else it is an engine out repair, as the timing chain is stationed on the back of the engine with part of it being in the interior/dashboard.

2. Steering, Suspension, Wheels and Tyres
The feel of the hydraulic rack and pinion steering is stiffer than Popcorn's; something which will take time to get used to. It is heavy at standstill and I can hear the tyres as I turn the wheel. However, she is utterly responsive when she is on the move. The reason we chose an E90 is because of the way she corners; a countenance given by many BMW enthusiasts. 5385 has 10 mm spacers on the front and 20 mm spacers on the back, but the ride quality has not dropped. One thing to note is that you do feel the rare road vibrations. The suspension is stock, and is adjusted to support the bigger rims. The staggered setup is done according to BMW's guidelines. The tyres are switched to tubeless ones; Continental ContiSport Contact. These stick to the tarmac well and give her the sport saloon feel I desired from a Beemer.

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-img_20211123_073001.jpg
F30 Alloy in Continental ContiSport Tyre

3. Gearbox
When the gearbox is in normal drive mode, you can feel the engine wanting to pur out. It is sufficient for daily driving, and will shift around the 2000 RPM mark on the first gear, and 2500 in second. I personally find this a slow, as I love shifting gears in Popcorn; but this is perfectly normal considering my parents also drive this car. In sports and manual mode, she is a riot. When I tried the manual mode over an empty afternoon street, the engine responded on the fly and reached 50 kmph in 2nd gear itself. Depending on how light you are with the throttle, the manual gearbox will react in two ways: either civil or vulpine. The engine revs a little and then shifts. Shifting a bit early maybe key in achieving perfect shifts.

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211130_073641.jpg
Engaging in Manual Mode

The manual mode is extremely fun to drive as it gives the feel of a sequential shifter. It needs to selected when the car is at halt, as it will not start in same gear. You will begin at 1st or 2nd depending on which side of the lever you press. But most importantly, it should only be selected by seasoned drivers. The car will spin its wheels if you launch it, even with the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) on. The DTC needs to be on at all times.

4. Interior
The interior initially is like a mirage. The seating position initially feels low, while the dash feels raised. A quick use of the the electronic controls, and voila everything is fixed. When I am seated in the passenger side front seat, my feet comfortably go all the way inside the foot well. The rear passenger space is like Popcorn, sufficient but less. If a tall person were to sit behind, they will want to scarper to the front seat as soon as possible. One thing I can say is that I do feel a bit more planted in the cockpit, it feels pretty close to the Porsche 982 Caymans and Boxsters. The boot space is sufficient, but will get cumbersome if you have a space saver in the back. There as cargo trays on both sides, and hook points as well. The interior is amazingly quiet as well, save for a light road and tyre noise (due to the enlarged wheels).

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-img_20211123_073034.jpg
Cockpit

The audio system is fantastically balanced. It is user friendly and easy to use. It also behaves as an on-trip computer showing me the economy, range, temperature, and average speed. It is unfortunately dearth of many many features. I do not have the iDrive (out of personal choice as I wanted a Driver's Car); Google Maps and Spotify seem to perfectly do the job. But there is no bluetooth module present in the car's system. The hands-free call buttons are just for show and needs to be retrofitted if you want to use the car's system. There is an AUX port and a power point in the the centre glovebox to fit an external bluetooth AUX device. I would recommend the Tantra Fluke. It is the one riziali fitted in the car originally and is one of the easiest modules I have used.

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211130_074624.jpg
Boot space

All this said and done, I can very happily say that 5385 is a proper rocket! She has ameliorated my driving experience; something I did not imagine saying at the beginning of my 20s. After experiencing many sports cars, it is another feel to drive my own. It is a sleeper, and the perfect car to begin my journey into sports and enthusiast cars. BMWs have always had a special place in my heart, owning one is a dream. But driving one feels unreal. It is a perfect choice as a first Beemer and would recommend this to anyone who wants a car to drive. 5385 is a brilliant companion to us, and has brought a positive impact. Owning a BMW does do one thing. It gives you the patience to be on the road. There is no need to speed off; the whole drive is exhilarating.

Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-20211115_211408.jpg
Float like a Cadillac, Sting like a Beemer

Last edited by hey.rudey : 30th November 2021 at 20:30.
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Old 1st December 2021, 11:03   #2
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 1st December 2021, 11:29   #3
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Congratulations

I too picked up Last of the E90's to be sold and registered in the country with similar kms on odometer. It is running the official BMW Mpower kit, along with Msport bits and a few extras. She puts a big wide grin on my face every time I floor the throttle.


https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...d-m-sport.html (Solving the AT Quandary | Story of an Endeavour 3.0 4x4 AT and a BMW E90 320d M-Sport)
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Old 1st December 2021, 11:33   #4
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

How do you use Spotify and Maps without an iDrive or anything else (Bluetooth or something that I could see)? I’m not sure how that works.
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Old 1st December 2021, 12:16   #5
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

How does your car not have I-Drive. Was I Drive an option?
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Old 1st December 2021, 12:27   #6
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
How does your car not have I-Drive. Was I Drive an option?
The last of the E90's to be sold here had strange specs.
This one does not have iDrive, Mine (Jan 2013 registered) has idrive but no projectors or sunroof. Also mine being Msport has all black interiors.
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Old 1st December 2021, 12:39   #7
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

@hey.rudey I'm really happy that the car went into good hands. You're gonna enjoy the car a lot more than I have for sure and pretty certain will keep it in as good a condition or even better than I did. Wish you many happy and safe miles with it. Look forward to catching up soon. My 8 year old still gives me a cold shoulder for having parted with the her and made me ask your dad to offer me first right of refusal if you were to ever sell it in the future . Easy on that throttle in Manual Mode . Take care of her and she will take care of you.
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Old 1st December 2021, 13:02   #8
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Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine-81nsrujeszl._sl1500_.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHelix0202 View Post
How do you use Spotify and Maps without an iDrive or anything else (Bluetooth or something that I could see)? Iím not sure how that works.
Hi @TheHelix0202 this is the module I use in the car. I have changed the device name to "BMW 320d Bluetooth" on my phone, and this has automatically changed my Spotify to register into car mode. The app will then a prompt for navigation as well

As for where to keep the phone, there is a phone holder on the centre of the console that perfectly holds the phone
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Old 1st December 2021, 13:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riziali View Post
@hey.rudey I'm really happy that the car went into good hands. You're gonna enjoy the car a lot more than I have for sure and pretty certain will keep it in as good a condition or even better than I did. Wish you many happy and safe miles with it. Look forward to catching up soon. My 8 year old still gives me a cold shoulder for having parted with the her and made me ask your dad to offer me first right of refusal if you were to ever sell it in the future . Easy on that throttle in Manual Mode . Take care of her and she will take care of you.
@riziali a huge huge huge thank you to you! The love and affection you have showed the car tremendously reflects every time we have wheeled her out. Please do give my love to the little one; whenever he wants to go for a drive, do let me know. Let's plan something special for him

Let's meet for a drive real soon! Cheers and thank you so much!
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Old 1st December 2021, 13:21   #10
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
How does your car not have I-Drive. Was I Drive an option?
Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
The last of the E90's to be sold here had strange specs.
This one does not have iDrive, Mine (Jan 2013 registered) has idrive but no projectors or sunroof. Also mine being Msport has all black interiors.
Hi @KingKong, I believe the iDrive was an additional option for all trims (except for Highline 320d, and the 325i and 330i where it was standard). @akshay4587 has rightly pointed this out, as I have seen many uniquely specced E90 3ers over the past few years.

If anyone does have any information about this, please do share!
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Old 1st December 2021, 14:13   #11
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by hey.rudey View Post
Hi @KingKong, I believe the iDrive was an additional option for all trims (except for Highline 320d, and the 325i and 330i where it was standard). @akshay4587 has rightly pointed this out, as I have seen many uniquely specced E90 3ers over the past few years.

If anyone does have any information about this, please do share!
This means that the 330i and 325i all had I-Drive but it was optional on the 320d?

BTW Congrats on this brilliant ride, really like reading your threads, please keep us updated.
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Old 1st December 2021, 15:08   #12
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
This means that the 330i and 325i all had I-Drive but it was optional on the 320d?

BTW Congrats on this brilliant ride, really like reading your threads, please keep us updated.
Thank you so much! Really glad that you enjoyed reading them! Will be sharing more on the E90, and more topics soon!

As for the iDrive systems, I believe they were optional. I had seen a few 320d and 320i cars with the iDrive system in my initial days of searching. They were occasional finds, but rare. So are the factory bluetooth modules on non-iDrive cars. The only one I have come across with this is a pre LCI E90 320d M-Sport which is on sale currently in the classifieds section
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Old 1st December 2021, 15:19   #13
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
This means that the 330i and 325i all had I-Drive but it was optional on the 320d?

BTW Congrats on this brilliant ride, really like reading your threads, please keep us updated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hey.rudey View Post
Thank you so much! Really glad that you enjoyed reading them! Will be sharing more on the E90, and more topics soon!

As for the iDrive systems, I believe they were optional. I had seen a few 320d and 320i cars with the iDrive system in my initial days of searching. They were occasional finds, but rare. So are the factory bluetooth modules on non-iDrive cars. The only one I have come across with this is a pre LCI E90 320d M-Sport which is on sale currently in the classifieds section
iDrive was standard on 320D Highline/Luxury Line apart from HID's and Sunroof. My 320D Msport has it as well.
I have only seen 320D CE or Corporate editions without iDrive.
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Old 1st December 2021, 15:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
iDrive was standard on 320D Highline/Luxury Line apart from HID's and Sunroof. My 320D Msport has it as well.
I have only seen 320D CE or Corporate editions without iDrive.
@akshay4587 thanks for sharing! 5385 is a Corporate Edition as well. Would you be knowing about the 320i ones as well. All of the cars I had seen were non-iDrive cars, save for one which had the system.
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Old 1st December 2021, 19:08   #15
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Default Re: Stage 1 BMW 320d E90 | My weekend joy machine

very satisfying to read and it should be a wonderful car to drive as well. Can almost feel the tautness of the car from the pic. Please consider putting a driving video too if time permits.
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