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Old 28th January 2023, 21:32   #1
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Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

This is the story of how I came to acquire a 2018 G30 530d. Trie.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230109_15055401.jpeg
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230109_150752.jpg
As with everyone else, my opinions are heavily biased and influenced by my personal automotive journey, so a brief recap is well warranted.

In 2012, I got my first personal car, a hand-me-down Swift LDi. Being my first car, I tons of fond memories associated with the car. However given the fact that it had zero safety features, I decided to go in for an upgrade.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-img.jpg
In 2015, my heart was set on finding a good pre-owned Jetta. However I was unable to find one and instead ended up getting a new Ford Aspire TDCi instead. It was a fantastic car for its segment, but it was no match for a Jetta. The itch to upgrade came on too quickly once again, but this time I wanted a proper upgrade.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-2015111.jpg
In 2019, I decided to get a pre-owned German sedan. I test drove a couple of options and finally found a very well maintained 320D, which had done just 33K KMs in 5 years and had a full service history. While the 20D engine does not have a very good reputation on this forum (too noisy, lack of power etc), I was very happy with the torque on offer and the ZF8 gearbox which always kept the engine in the right rev range was a huge plus. A stage 1 remap from Pete's meant that it had more than enough power for 99% of the roads, and a 0-100 time of 6.5 seconds meant that it was really quite fast. I'd also unlocked Sports Automatic Gearbox on the car, which meant that the gearshifts were super quick & crisp, with a very sporty jerk during upshifts that only added to the feeling of acceleration.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-img_20190428_15415601.jpeg

The 320d was great. It was easy to maintain, was super reliable and never called for anything besides regular maintenance. And it was super fun to drive - the turn in and steering response were amazing, and so was the ultimate grip on offer with RWD dynamics.

So why did I want to upgrade? Well, no real reason except that I wanted to, and if I had to, no point wasting the years of our life away, waiting for something you want, right?

Last edited by d3mon : 31st January 2023 at 23:20.
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Old 28th January 2023, 22:00   #2
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re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

So the criterion for my 2022 upgrade was set:

1) More fun to drive
2) Great ride & handling balance
3) A reasonable number of nice-to-have toys
4) Budget of about 30-60L (I know it's a huge range, but when looking in the pre-owned market, you can't narrow down your filters too much)

Cars considered:
1) F10 530d - The obvious value choice.
I did not really want another F series BMW - familiarity breeds contempt after all! Plus the N57 had some scary engine failures at close to 1L km, and even the newest cars were fairly old by 2022. I just kept it as a backup option but I was kind of afraid of getting bored too quickly.

2) G20 330i - The forum fan favorite
If I didn't already have a 320d, this one would've been really high up on my priority list. However, the engine didn't really feel like a big upgrade to me, vs my remapped 320d. It had slightly lower torque and a slightly higher peak power, but the difference was not something that I felt was substantial enough to spend big money on. On top of that, even the MSport version lacks a lot of features which I wanted - like Adaptive dampers, a better sound system, usable headlights (G20 LEDs are quite hopeless as per owner's reviews), comfort access, lumbar support etc. Hence dropped.

3) E350 CDI (W212) - The unexpected entrant
During one of my regular trawls online, I came across a very low mileage W212 E350 Cdi which was very reasonably priced (30L for 2015 model, just 21K kms). The extremely tempting price made me think that I might be able to overlook the slight differences in the Fun-to-drive quotient vs the equivalent 5, but one drive in the car was enough to tell me that I was completely wrong. The power was immense - there's no arguing with that V6 diesel with 620NM of torque, but the gearbox was slow, the steering was slow, the throttle pedal was slow. Apart from the flat out power (which it only delivered when really coaxed) it was no fun to drive at all and I did not connect with the car at all. Dropped.

4) M340i, S5 & C43 AMG - The gasoline seductresses
Now nobody (least of all me) needs a 6 cylinder turbo petrol for Indian roads. However these cars were special, and what kind of an enthusiast would I be if I didn't already lust after one? Sadly I only ever saw on M340i for sale in BLR, which was outside of my budget. And I dropped the idea of the C43 AMG after one drive in the W205 C300d AMG. The C300d was super stiff and skittish over even the slightest of blemishes on the road. It gave me a new found appreciation for the fantastic ride of the F30 3 series and reinforced my requirement of having a good ride/handling balance. The S5 was my last preference (Famous Audi understeer) among these three and I never found a car worth checking out anyway. A recent ride along in Robi's M340i confirmed that it does have a totally livable ride quality, but I guess it was just not meant for me.

5) G30 530d - The perfect sedan (for me)?
The G30 530d was a true return to form for BMW. It ticked all of the boxes for me and ever since a test drive back in 2019 where it completely blew me away, I kind of knew that I had to get one, one day. The only issue was availability and it took almost 1 year of looking on and off in the crazy post-covid market (especially in BLR) to find a great example at a reasonable price.

Last edited by d3mon : 1st February 2023 at 00:03.
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Old 28th January 2023, 23:45   #3
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re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

The buying process:

I was clear that I would not buy a car from any of the used car dealers in BLR, both because of their shady practices and the hyperinflated prices. This meant that the search process was quite long. But I was in no rush as my 320d was in great shape and it was still a ton of fun to drive. The BLR used car market for luxury cars is vanishingly small, much smaller than Delhi/Mumbai ones for example, and almost all cars are immediately lapped up by the used car dealers (some call themselves as 'investors' ) and then relisted with a 10-15% markup. And this is the best case scenario which only involves a price markup - to speak nothing of the other shenanigans that are usual practices.

One fine day, I noticed a new 530d listing on Spinny Max. It looked pretty interesting - a 2018 530d with just 10K km on the clock, listed at a price within my budget! I knew it was a recent listing as I had checked out another 530d with them recently (which was driven much more & wasn't in great condition) so I immediately booked it by paying a 25K token advance. The test drive was booked for the next day.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-4.jpg

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The TD went great - the car was in mint condition inside & out. And the drive was perfect - no vibrations at high speeds or while braking. The service history checked out and the car had a genuine 10K km on the odo. After I came back from the first TD, I quickly called my wife and took another quick spin around the block, just to preempt the possibility of finalizing the car before she'd even seen it.

Post the TD, I was ecstatic. Was this really the one I'd been waiting for? Was I really getting a 5-3-0-D? Well, I had a lot of work to do before I could finalize it so I got down to the background checks.

- The service history was provided by Spinny - nothing unusual. I double checked the same with my SA from Navnit motors.
- There was only 1 insurance claim for a windshield replacement
- All tyres were original 2018 make, except for 1 which was 2019 (All Goodyear Eagle F1 RFTs)
- No errors on the iDrive or with an OBD scanner
- All the panels had original paint (I checked myself with a paint thickness gauge)
- Last service done at Navnit just a few KMs back, with almost 1 more year to go for the next service
- Almost 10 months of Zero Dep insurance was remaining

At the warehouse:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20221226_155510.jpg

Even after all this, which pointed to a completely clean car, I was still a bit paranoid. So I went to check out the car a couple more times and double and triple checked everything that I could. A little bit of negotiation later (yes, they do have the tiniest bit of room for negotiation - the prices are almost fixed) it was all down to a final yes or a no from me. I thought long and hard about it. In the end, I told myself that given the mint condition of the car, if I didn't go ahead with this one, I might as well stop looking for a replacement car, because such a car was extremely unlikely to pop up again.

Decision made, I transferred the funds and set the delivery date to the day after. In all, I went from booking the car online to the delivery of the car in 1 week flat.
I must credit the Spinny Max team here as well - they were extremely courteous & professional throughout the process which was an important factor in going ahead with the car.

Last edited by d3mon : 31st January 2023 at 23:47.
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Old 29th January 2023, 00:19   #4
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re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Delivery and niggles

The delivery went well as planned. I chose to pick up the car from their warehouse in a mall, else they could've delivered it on a flatbed.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20221228_130710.jpg

Trie chilling at home:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20221228_153032.jpg
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20221228_153006.jpg

When Trie met her elder sibling. I hope she learns a thing or two about reliability from her
Quite unbelievably, I was the proud owner of not one but two BMWs for a brief period of time.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230102_100416.jpg

The 320d found a wonderful home just 1 week after I brought Trie home. The first person who came home to TD the car was so impressed after driving for less than 5 kms on the open highway that he declared right there and then that he was going to buy the car, because he was astonished (his words, not mine) by its performance, refinement and ride quality. This was despite his previous experiences with driving other luxury cars like the 3 GT, and his daily drive being a Polo GT TSI. He remains in touch and I don't think I could have found a better person to take care of the car going forward.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230107_143744.jpg

There were a couple of minor hiccups that I encountered.

1) The Rear seat entertainment remote was not working and could not be paired to the car during delivery. Spinny gave me written confirmation that they'd get it fixed at their expense post delivery.

2) A couple of days after delivery, I noticed that the ambient lights in the dash weren't working. All the ambient lights in the door were working fine though.

For getting these issues fixed, Spinny offered to get the car picked up and sent to the BMW showroom. I declined the pick up service and took it to the service center myself for diagnosis.
They also sent an ex-BMW technician to Navnit for overseeing the repairs, which was most helpful, as the person used to work at the same service center itself, and knew everyone around
I also met the service advisor there who used to deal with the car. Interestingly, he was the same chap who used to work on my 320d when it was with its previous owner.

1) The remote was found to be the wrong model for the car. It actually belonged to the BMW X5, not the 530d. Turns out the previous owner had an X5 as well and the remotes got mixed up. Spinny picked up the wrong remote, got it exchanged from the previous owner and delivered the right remote to me, which of course worked as expected.

2) The car had undergone a minor glovebox repair under warranty at Navnit, post which they forgot to connect the coupler for the ambient lights. This issue was found and fixed at Navnit, post which all the lights started working fine.

Trie getting diagnosed at Navnit:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-navnit.jpg

Couple of days after delivery, the 530d was christened as Trie. What's that, you ask? Well, it's a play on the word 'tree', which refers to the number 30 in Punjabi.
30 makes up literally 57% of the name of the car (G30 530D) and it's also the most important part of the name (of course, I wanted only the 30D engine), so it stuck.

Last edited by d3mon : 1st February 2023 at 00:06.
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Old 29th January 2023, 01:58   #5
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re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

The actual review:

- Strong B57 engine & ZF8HP gearbox; has enough power in stock form with easy remap to 300BHP+ / 700NM+ possible.
- Fantastic adaptive dampers. Probably the best feature of the car which delivers fantastic ride quality AND Handling at the same time.
- Interior quality that's in a different league altogether compared to F30.
- Adaptive LED Headlights which make Xenon headlights look like candles.
- Unbelievable seats. 20 way adjustable "Comfort seats" wrapped in soft, nappa leather.
- Reasonable Ground Clearance - no worse than the F30 320d.
- Excellent FE for a 3.0L Diesel.
- All the toys you could ask for, and then some.

- A bit large for the city. Actually I can drive it just fine with the parking sensors & the 360 camera. It's other people bumping into me that I worry about.
- Prone to tyre/wheel damage. A common problem with most BMWs in India.
- Steering ratio not as quick as the 3 series. Takes a little bit of extra lock to get it to turn.
- No Active TPMS (A shocking omission!); only indirect TPMS is available
- No Android Auto in iDrive 6
- Eye watering costs for spare parts & repairs

Here are some more detailed thoughts, with comparisons vs my F30 320d (pre-LCI) for reference.

1) Power & FE
As my remapped 320d was somewhere around 210-220BHP in a 1450KG package, moving to 265PS / 1700KG is not a huge jump up in power. It's a good step forward in torque though (~420 vs 620NM). Couple this low step up in peak power with the higher gear ratios and the overall FEEL of power behind the wheel is not a huge step up. However there's no doubt that the 530d is faster than the remapped 320d, especially as the speed picks up. The better insulation & lower significantly lower engine noise also diminishes the overall feel of acceleration in the 530d, but one look at the speedo is enough to show you that you are indeed accelerating faster. Also, when the 320d was fully loaded, I could feel the loss in performance quite easily. The 530d on the other hand just powers through much better regardless of the load.

Fun fact: The same 265PS engine was sold as the 540D in the USA for the 2018 model year, which reflects its performance class more realistically
BMW had also labeled the 184PS 320d as the 328D in the USA, to represent similar performance feel to the erstwhile 328i.

The FE is FANTASTIC for a huge 3.0 Diesel engine in a 1700KG car. The G30 530d is >25% more efficient than the F10 530d as per ARAI, and I think it does translate to real world improvements. In fact, the 2.0L N47 in the F30 320d was only marginally more efficient as per ARAI than the G30 530d, with both receiving 18.xx KM/L ARAI estimates. In the real world, while the city mileage is a bit lower than the 320d (about 12 KMPL vs about 13-14KMPL), the highway mileage is almost the same (15-16 when not pushing too much) as the 320d. Driven harder, the figures drop a bit, but you'd struggle to go below 12-13KMPL even if you tried

After a quick highway jaunt:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230108_104838.jpg

2) Gearbox
As mentioned above, the longer gear ratios mean that the gear ratios are further apart. For instance, to hit 100KMPH, the 320d required 3 gearshifts, while the 530d only requires 2. Closely spaced gear ratios were a little more fun Apart from that, the ZF8 is as fantastic as ever, and is regularly labeled as one of the best gearboxes in the world. I mean it only does duty in cars from BMW (including recent M models), Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini (Urus), Audi (including recent RS models), Jaguar, Aston Martin, Range Rover, Porsche (Recent Cayennes) and many more.

3) Engine details
The NVH has taken a HUGE leap forward in the 530d. In the 320d, while the engine was calm between 1.3-2.5 or 3K RPM, the drivetrain would grumble a lot if Eco pro mode was trying to lug the engine at 1-1.2K RPM, or if Sports Plus mode was trying to eke out the maximum performance at 3K+ RPM. Any downshift that took the engine above 3K RPM was noted by all passengers in the car as the engine note was clearly audible in the entire cabin. In the 530d, the numbers on the tacho seem almost disconnected from reality in comparison, where even aggressive downshifts to 3/4K RPM just register as the tacho swinging forward with almost no increase in the corresponding NVH levels. And the resonance when accelerating from very low RPMs (around 1K) have been COMPLETELY eliminated as well. The engine literally does not complain at all, no matter whether you're at 1K or 4.5K RPM. There's only a slightest bit of vibrations that you can feel when the engine is idling at 600 RPM, but these are far lower than those in the 320d.

The B57 engine has significant upgrades vs the N57 supplied in the F10 530d. Not only is the power & torque improved, there are actually a ton of improvements under the hood.
One of the key improvements to the NVH is via a SynTAK capsule in the engine, that absorbs noise & provides better heat retention. This lets the engine warm up more quickly and improves emissions.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-torque.jpg
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-engine.jpg

B57 Engine.pdf

The front active shutter grill, which closes the airflow to the engine radiators unless required also helps with the faster warmup & better aerodynamics at speed.
While the 320d took a good 15-20 mins to get up to temp, the 530d only takes about 10 mins to warm up. So the improvements are definitely noticeable.

BMW DPFs are usually trouble free. This car has a lifetime average of 300+KM between regens, which is quite healthy. The Ash mass (permanent non-burnable deposits in the DPF) reported was just 3g. Soot mass of course keeps going up after each regen, and regen is usually done at the 35-40g mass.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-screenshot_20230101_224421_bimmerlink.jpg

4) Interiors
The interior quality of the G30 is not a notch or two above - it's literally in another league altogether. There's not a single surface that I could find in the car that isn't covered in a high quality leather or soft touch plastic. The Nappa leather is super soft, and comes with contrasting piping in white. In contrast, my 320d had Sensatec (artificial) leather that was quite hard wearing in comparison.

5) Ride Quality
The ride quality in the G30 (18" wheels) is a step ahead of the F30 (16" wheels). The adaptive dampers are pure magic. They can make minor blemishes on the road all but disappear. Most car reviewers in India & abroad rate the G30's adaptive suspension to be as good or even better for ride quality than the E-class's air suspension and I can completely believe them. I can only imagine how it'd ride with 17" wheels. Given a chance, I'd prefer smaller wheels any day, but I really don't think the 17" wheels would have enough clearance for the M sport brakes that the 530d gets.

A special mention to the way the 530D dismisses rumble strips. Where many other cars jump around like a pogo strip on these rumblers even when traversing them at crawling speed, the 530D just absorbs it all in its stride at even slightly faster speeds due to the constantly adjusting dampers. Basically as long as the overall height of the surface imperfections is lower than the suspension travel available, the ride quality remains brilliant.

6) Driving Dynamics
The high speed stability of the G30 is exemplary. The secret to the ride & handling excellence is the the adaptive dampers, which actively control the body motions by adjusting the damping continuously in real time. The damping required is controlled steplessly every 2.5ms. The Sport/Comfort modes for the dampers aren't just a on/off switch - they change the characteristic curves of how the dampers respond in real time, so that even the Sport mode remains quite comfortable at lower speeds and stiffens up only when required at higher speeds, or while cornering. The comfort mode softens things up a little bit and these changes are immediately noticeable in the car. The car has separate controls for both compression & rebound damping at all 4 corners, and it's constantly monitoring the car speed, wheel travel, the steering inputs, the acceleration / braking and tons of other parameters in order to deliver the best body control possible. And trust me, it works. The car remains FLAT and composed at all speeds no matter whether it's loaded or not. In contrast, the F30 got quite bouncy at highway speeds at the slightest hint of uneven roads, which meant that I had to slow down a fair bit. The same roads are just demolished without a care in the G30.

The F30 was definitely a fair bit more nimble though. It used to dart into corners completely effortlessly and almost weightlessly, but the G30 does feel a bit more heavy. I'm sure the on-the-limit handling capabilities are similar between the two. It's probably just the slower steering in the G30 that makes it a little slow to turn in. Having said that, the steering feel in the G30 is actually better than the F30. The F30 had a little bit of an artificial feeling, especially in the on-center zone, and in the Sport mode which just felt unnecessarily weighty at times. The G30 steering is a lot more fluid & feelsome. The on-center feel is far better and the feedback is a lot more consistent when turning the wheel near the center position.

The brakes are great. The car also has brake assist (just like in the F30) which is a feature I like quite a bit.
Basically if you take off your foot from the accelerator rather quickly, the car assumes that you are likely to brake hard, and primes the braking system in advance. Then as soon as you even touch the brakes, it just drops the anchors extra hard, even if you don't apply the full braking pressure, and supports you until you take your foot off the brake. You can clearly feel the difference at light/moderate brake pressures when brake assist kicks in and it's quite reassuring.

The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) also seems to have been improved. In the F30, the DSC interruptions were sharp & decisive, but sometimes abrupt. It seems to be quite a bit more progressive in the G30. I like to keep the Traction control in the DTC (Dynamic Traction control) mode for sporty driving, since it allows a little bit of rear end sway before kicking in. Full DSC off mode is not something that's safe for public roads.

7) Speakers
The audio quality in the G30 (Harman Kardon, 16 speakers, 600W) is obviously quite a bit better than the base audio I had in the F30 (6 speakers, 100W), but it is still not what I'd call amazing. It has the following speakers:

- 1 Midrange + 1 tweeter in each of the 4 doors
- 2 Midranges + 2 tweeters in the rear shelf
- 1 Midrange + 1 tweeter in the center of the front dash
- 2 8" underseat woofers

Deconstructed Harman Kardon system:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-harman.jpg

It's a decent system for sure, but it lacks punch even with a bit of EQ tuning. I'll be the first to admit that I like to think of myself as an audiophile, so my standards are definitely higher than most people.
And to be fair, the system has plenty of volume and clarity, but it has fairly muddy bass that does not do justice to the HK brand. I guess BMW saved the best for the tier above, the Bowers & Wilkins system which is not available in India. Having said that, most people will be satisfied with this system.

Another issue - the center dash speaker has a flimsy grill that is known to resonate & create audible distortions. It's a very common issue in many BMW models - G20/G30 and even other models like the X3.
It almost sounds like a blown speaker, but it's really just the grill vibrating at certain resonance frequencies (somewhere between 200-500Hz) at high volumes. The fix is to install some damping tape under the grill, which solves the issue.

Logic7 surround is a total gimmic - it just muddies the stereo sound by sending it to all speakers in the car. It's best left turned off.

8) Parking assistance & Remote parking
My F30 did not have a camera. The G30 has 4 of them, and all 4 of them work together to stitch a 360 degree panorama image. The image is very accurate as long as the objects are at ground level or a fair distance away from the car. The image does see some distortions at times, when the objects are too near the camera, or have vertical height to them (like a pillar in an underground parking). This is a standard feature for all 360 cameras and not really BMW's fault. In most cases though, the 360 image is absolutely crisp. Here's an example of the camera in action:

The car has 12 ultrasonic parking sensors in total (4 front, 4 back & 4 on the sides). These are probably even more useful than the 360 camera in many situations because of the audible warnings that they provide. The sensors also allow the car to perform self parking (perpendicular or parallel parking) with no inputs required on the steering wheel, gear shifter or pedals.

The car also has a remote parking feature, which allows you to move the car from outside the car using the supplied display key. It's a neat party trick, but its actual utility is probably quite limited. The key (ha!) reason is the display key itself, which is bulky and honestly not a very well thought out part of the car. Here are my issues with the key.

- Needs to be recharged frequently like a smartphone. Maybe once every 2 weeks?
- Does not get a provision to attach to a key ring - must be carried separately like a smartphone
- Does not come with a mechanical key integrated in the key - if the battery dies, you don't have the mechanical key for backup to get into the car. It's supposed to turn off the screen and reserve the last bit of charge to be able to unlock the car if the battery gets low, but this is not a feature that I'm in any rush to test out. I expect the display key to sit unused in a drawer for most of my ownership.

9) Comfort seats
The F30 had 8 way power adjustable seats, which pale in front of the 20 way comfort seats in the G30. These aptly named seats are exclusive to the 530d in India (not even the 530i Msport gets them) and they are unbelievably supportive & comfortable. It starts from the soft leather, generous amounts of padding all around and the infinitely adjustable seat controls.

Get this - the following controls are available just for your back:

- Backrest angle (every car has it)
- 4 way Lumbar (few cars have it)
- Backrest width (even fewer cars have it)
- Electric headrest height adjustment (even fewer cars have it)
- Upper backrest angle, independent from backrest angle (Almost no car has it)

The last feature splits the backrest into 2 parts which can be independently adjusted. This is a really useful feature and allows you to get the seat to fully support your lower back and your shoulders at all times, no matter your spine curvature and/or your seating position.

In addition to the above, the following controls are available for the seat base.

- Seat base fore/aft adjustment
- Seat height
- Seat tilt angle
- Extensible Underthigh support

The same "Comfort" seats are fitted in the 7 series as well - so clearly they are the most comfortable seats BMW knows how to make. Both the driver & the passenger seats get memory settings.

Needless to say, the steering column is adjustable electrically for reach & rake, which is linked to the memory seat positions.

All of this means that it's a cinch to find a super comfortable driving position in no time at all. You also sit a little higher up in the G30 than the F30, which helps a bit. In my F30, I had to spend a couple of months finding a reasonably comfortable seating position, and even then I was never fully happy with the seating position. The lack of lumbar support was a particularly glaring omission and it led to lower back discomfort at times.

10) Adaptive LEDs
Each headlight consists of 2 low beam projectors, 2 high beam reflector setup & 1 cornering light.
The outer low beam projector & high beam reflectors swivel left/right for both the glare free high beam & for following the steering direction while the inner ones remain static.

The adaptive LEDs are insanely bright. To set the background, LEDs are more efficient than Xenons and of course much more efficient than halogens. As a rough ballpark, LED bulbs produce roughly 5 times the lumens than that of a halogen bulb with equivalent wattage, and about 1.5 times that of Xenon bulbs. This is how Philips and Osram sell replacement LED bulbs which are far brighter than their halogen counterparts while only consuming about 1/3rd of the halogen's wattage.

- H4 halogens are 55/60W for low/high beams (about 10-15W LED Equivalent)
- BMW F30 Pre-LCI had 35W Bi-xenon projectors (about 20-25W LED equivalent). Note that less than half of this light was used for low beam, as the remaining half was wasted with the projector shutter masking off the upper half of the light.
- BMW F30 LCI LEDs had 14/22W for low/high beams. These were universally panned for their poor performance.
- BMW G30 non-adaptive LEDs are 40/60W for low/high beams (supplied in the base 'Sportline' variant)
- BMW G30 icon adaptive LEDs have 79W low beams & 89W high beams! (Luxury Line & MSport variants)

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-whatsapp-image-20230107-7.37.23-pm.jpeg

As you can infer from the above comparison, even without all the adaptive stuff (bending lights, automatic light distribution, glare free high beam, automatic high beam), the light output is just fantastic. Turn on the high beams and you can drive confidently at night without worry of hitting a pothole or something. In the F30, I never had this kind of confidence and in fact I had all but stopped driving at night because of the limited visibility. The high beams throw a focused rectangle of light from each of the headlights which respond rapidly to your steering inputs by swiveling left/right. And the low beams provide a fantastic spread of light that not only reaches quite far but has extremely wide coverage as well. Needless to say the lights are constantly adjusting the vertical beam angle as well as per the ride height & pitch of the car to ensure proper illumination. Switch the fogs on and the light pattern from the low beam projectors is spread out even wider. And there are cornering lamps built into the headlights which throw light at an almost 90 degree angle when the indicators are turned on or the steering wheel is turned at low speeds.

These headlamps received a 'Good' rating from IIHS, which is the highest rating possible in their tests. A reach of 150m - 170m (with high beams) along with a braking distance of ~35m means that you have a 100m to react to any obstacles before dropping the anchors and you'll still come out completely safe.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-headlights.jpg

A note on the auto high beam & glare free assistant - I was quite excited to try this feature out as I thought it could completely take over the manual low/high beam switching for me. However, it is really designed with avoiding ANY sort of glare to the oncoming traffic as the first & only priority. This means that there are a ton of restrictions on when these features actually work, including but not limited to:

a) No Street lights installed
b) Min speed of around 70/80KMPH
c) Not too many cars in front - typically works best with only a couple of cars at max in front of the car.

In practice, it means that this feature only works on completely dark & unlit country roads with sparse traffic and at relatively high speeds. I saw a video where someone had success in changing some of these thresholds on the F10 in order to make the conditions for these features to kick in a bit more permissive (like reducing the min speed, removing the street lighting requirement etc) and I might try to do it in my car in the future. It requires KAFAS (high beam camera) coding, which can't be done via Bimmercode - so I'll have to wait until I get familiar with Esys before trying it out.

Here's a video of the glare free high beam in action (icon adaptive LEDs on the F80 M3). Focus on just the glare-free high beam part and ignore the short throw in low beams in this video - the G30 doesn't have this issue. Low beams in the G30 have a reach of about 10-16 car lengths (driver & passenger sides respectively) as per the IIHS tests.

11) iDrive 6
The iDrive is great to use as always. This is the last generation where usage of the touch screen is completely optional and every single thing can be done using the iDrive controller. The physical buttons for the customizable shortcuts from 1-7 can take you to any menu within iDrive for quick access without taking your eyes off the road to navigate through cumbersome menus. I've got trip computer, sports displays, Service requirements, EQ settings, HUD settings, Wifi mirroring, Media, Lighting settings & camera settings stored and this allows me to control 90% of things I want to control directly without navigating through any menu.

12) Driving modes
(Nitpicking) The F30 had a better toggle for Sport/Comfort/Eco mode - it was a simple Up/Down switch that took you from Eco to Comfort to Sport to Sport plus mode. There was no hunting for any button required since there was only a single rocker switch. In comparison, the G30 has 4 separate touch sensitive buttons (Eco Pro / Comfort / Sport / Adaptive) that push down as a single physical button. This means that it takes a bit of work to figure out the exact button that you want to press to get into the right mode. The only advantage of the new system is that BMW now offers far more modes (Eco pro / individual , Comfort / Comfort Plus, Sport / Sport plus / Sport Individual). Couple of these were unlocked via bimmercode in my car.

F30 vs G30 Drive Experience Control switches
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-sport.jpg

The drive modes work as expected otherwise, with the individual mode allowing individual customizability of dampers / steering / engine / transmission modes. This is a great features as I can set up the car exactly as I like it, without being forced to change the characteristics of all the components to Sport/Comfort modes.

13) AC Controls
While the G30 gets 4 zone climate control, touch controls for the AC are a little bit of a sore point. There are physical controls for almost everything except fan speed, which I do change on a frequent basis. I've not yet developed muscle memory for this control and I'm not sure if I will , even though the fan speed control is in a fixed position, always. And the climate control touch screen is almost useless in the Indian 5 series anyway since it only controls the fan speed, and can bring up the more detailed climate menu on the main iDrive screen. When equipped with massaging / ventilated / heated seats, I can see it being slightly more useful, but without those features it's just a gimmick.

14) Smartphone connectivity
While the car gets Carplay, it did not come with Android Auto, and it's not possible to enable it for this iDrive 6 generation either. As I'm an android user, this is a bit of a bummer for me and I'm thinking of getting a cheap iphone just to get carplay in the car. The car does support android screen mirroring wirelessly though, and I've also unlocked video in motion which allows me to project the screen of my android phone at all times even when the car is in motion. By default, the car used to cut off the screen mirroring display as soon as the car started moving for safety reasons. So this is a workable stop gap solution for showing maps on the main screen, but the downside is that the touch screen on iDrive does not control the phone. And the music controls (previous/next/play/pause) don't work either, which means that it's not really the best solution.

15) Rear seat entertainment
The rear seat entertainment screens have a bunch of options for consuming content. You have HDMI, Wireless screen mirroring, USB Video and even a BluRay drive available, which means you can easily watch whatever you want while on the move. Both the screens can show different content and separate headphone jacks are provided for the 2 screens. There is also the option to play the audio source via the rear seat speakers. The screens are not touch enabled in this generation (I believe they added the touch screen controls in a later iteration of the Rear seat entertainment package), but instead they are controlled with a dedicated iDrive remote. The screens can also display basic trip information, navigation data and a few other things - quite appropriate for this low flying jet.

16) Ground Clearance
The ground clearance is more than sufficient. Of course this is no SUV, but it can easily take the worst of speed breakers that BLR can throw at it in its stride... well at least in a diagonal manner
This was one of my major concerns prior to buying the car, but honestly it's at least as good as the F30 320d. And in fact because the adaptive dampers control the body motions better (specifically the compression after the front wheels go down after a speed breaker), it can actually take the speed breakers at a slightly higher speed than the 320d without bottoming out. It does touch the underbody on rare occasions, but the 320d also touched in those same locations. The full underbody protection means I don't really have to worry about these minor scrapes.

17) Comfort Access
The car gets comfort access on all 4 doors, as well as the boot! You just need to kick under the center of the boot with the key in your pocket for the boot to open up if you can't be bothered to find and press the button on either your keyfob or on the trunk lid itself. The boot is not electric - so it can't close back up. Many people mistake the button on the trunk lid to be a dummy button that doesn't work to close the boot, but in reality, it's a lock request button. You can press the button before closing the boot to lock the entire car - that's all that the button does. We get version 2 of the button, while version 3 button shown below has both comfort closing as well as electric bootlid. In my first & only interaction with a security guard, he did try pressing the button to close the boot and even asked me to close it from inside the car and I had to tell him to earn his keep and close it the old fashioned way
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Old 29th January 2023, 21:12   #6
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re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

18) Ambient Lighting
The ambient lighting looks great at night - Apart from the 2 strips on the dash and each of the doors, there are several other little LED lights hidden in the interiors that create a wonderful ambience in the car. We get colored ambient lights in

- Footwell area
- Center console
- Door pockets
- Front & rear subtle mood light projections from the roof

The car comes with a limited set of curated colors by BMW. However, any custom color can be coded into the car if your favorite color is not available by default.

Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20221231_172938.jpg

The car also has welcome lighting on all 4 door handles, and the underside of the doors also light up (puddle lamps) when you open the doors. My car also has the BMW M door projectors installed which project the //M logo on the floor.

19) HUD
The HUD is crisp & clear, and it primarily displays the speed. It also displays various alerts, navigation info (turns as well as lane information), music info and a few other minor things like cruise control, set speed limit etc. The biggest disappointment with the HUD is that it does not display either the current gear or the RPM! Honestly, I feel that this is a huge miss by BMW in an attempt to reserve this feature for the real M cars, but it's a really stupid omission. I'd have gladly given up every other info in the HUD just to have the current gear, tacho & speed available. And unfortunately, this is not something that can be coded into the car either, as the M models in the G30 lineup have a different HUD module altogether, which does show all this info.

20) Digital Instrument Cluster
The full digital instrument cluster provided with iDrive 6 is the last one before they switched to the counterclockwise tacho, so I'm quite happy with the design, especially after coding in the Alpina dials.
These Alpina dials look smashing in both Comfort & Sport modes. The default Sport mode display was already quite good, with the angry red Tacho & Speedo, but the comfort mode was quite boring.
A neat touch is that the range is always displayed next to the fuel guage.

The instruments have fixed physical rings that are installed on top of the digital screen that go around the speedo & tacho - so it's a mix of modern + retro. The downside of this is that the amount of configurability goes down vs just having a screen which can show anything. iDrive 7 for instance got rid of the physical rings and can display a lot more info on the cluster in different modes (maps, power/torque, g-forces etc).

Comfort mode:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-whatsapp-image-20230114-3.22.36-pm.jpeg

Sport mode:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-whatsapp-image-20230114-3.22.33-pm.jpeg

Feature deletions in future versions
Due to Covid induced chip shortages (or cost cutting - we'll never know), the 530d lost a couple of features at some point of time. The most important one is 360 camera, and the other one is the rear seat entertainment package. The 530i M Sport & 520d M Sport also miss out on (among other things) the wonderful nappa leather & comfort seats, which were exclusive to the 530d despite the same trim name. Being a BMW, all of these were very expensive options. The BMW configurator in the UK indicated the rear seat entertainment & nappa leather wrapped comfort seats to be worth about 3L each! I'm quite glad to have got the very generously configured launch model which we received in India. A comparably specced model in the UK sells for about 75K GBP today.

Last edited by d3mon : 31st January 2023 at 23:42.
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Old 31st January 2023, 20:22   #7
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re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Closing thoughts

The 530d is one of the finest do-it-all sedans that BMW makes. The combination of power, ride, handling, luxury, user interface (physical buttons & knobs!) & toys is still pretty much unmatched even today.

There's no doubt that cars like the 530d are a dying breed. Electrification & emission norms are squeezing car manufacturers from multiple directions to stop catering to the enthusiasts. In fact, BMW India has already taken off the 530d M Sport from its catalog and has instead elevated the 520d to have the M Sport package instead. Such developments mean that if Trie is my last ICE car indeed, I couldn't have picked a better car to see off the transition, whenever it may come.

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Old 1st February 2023, 12:30   #8
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

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

Going to our homepage tomorrow

Big congrats & wishing you many years of driving pleasure with your 530d. I have a feeling this will go on to become an epic thread with your ownership updates, and a ready reckoner guide for the G30 (like my thread became for the F10). The F10 is now too old for anyone considering buying a 530d, while G30s are hitting the sweet spot in terms of availability in the market + contemporariness. I can tell you that you will enjoy the car for years to come; my 530d is going to be 10 years old this November and it still brings a wide smile each time I drive it . Have never kept a daily driver beyond 9 - 10 years, but the 530d feels so good that I have no plans to replace it for another 2 - 3 years.

Among sedans, this is the perfect balance of performance + luxury + practicality + driving pleasure for India. Let's enjoy the big 6-cylinder diesels while they are still around!

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Old 1st February 2023, 14:49   #9
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Congratulations! That's a fabulous looking car. I'm a huge fan of 5 series. It feels a bit unreal to read about someone in Bangalore considering a 5-series, and actually managing to find such a lovely car (530d no less!) in Bangalore market. I never paid much attention to Spinny Max, but looks like they run a pretty decent setup! Thanks for sharing your buying experience in such a great detail. Given the crazy new car prices (with not so great configurations), it helps to have a better understanding of used car options and I'm sure many would find your thread very helpful. Wish you many years of fun driving this lovely car!
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Old 1st February 2023, 16:39   #10
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Congratulations on getting this beauty supported by a detailed yet crisp review & eye catchy images. I am big fan of BMW & feel its the best driver/performance oriented luxury brand <INR 1 CR. Liked the comparison of the car versus the F30 to. Happy motoring!
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Old 1st February 2023, 17:13   #11
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

What a beautiful beast!!! One upside of the SUV craze is a more realistic price for sedans.

Stunning, speechless. A real keeper this one.
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Old 1st February 2023, 17:20   #12
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Congratulations D3MON again! You got a lovely car. A 530d is the perfect combination of power, mileage and comfort among the luxury sedans. Wishing you many happy miles with Trie and looking forward to seeing it in the flesh soon.

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Old 1st February 2023, 17:43   #13
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Congrats! There's just something so elegant about a 5-Series in white.

I think we are now starting to see a paradigm shift from used F10 530d's being purchased on this forum to used G30's.

Do you mind sharing the price you bought it at?
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Old 1st February 2023, 18:48   #14
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Congratulations on the new beast! You really have a hit a jackpot here - 2018 530D with under 10k kms and in mint condition.
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Old 1st February 2023, 21:56   #15
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Re: Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I can tell you that you will enjoy the car for years to come; my 530d is going to be 10 years old this November and it still brings a wide smile each time I drive it .
Thanks GTO. I totally understand what you're saying since even my 320D was 9 years old and drove like a new car. I'd have loved to retain it if I could but a smaller car was a requirement for driving around in the city.

Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Congratulations! That's a fabulous looking car. I'm a huge fan of 5 series. It feels a bit unreal to read about someone in Bangalore considering a 5-series, and actually managing to find such a lovely car (530d no less!) in Bangalore market.
Thanks Androdev. It feels a bit unreal to me as well

Originally Posted by Torque123 View Post
Congratulations on getting this beauty supported by a detailed yet crisp review & eye catchy images. I am big fan of BMW & feel its the best driver/performance oriented luxury brand <INR 1 CR. Liked the comparison of the car versus the F30 to. Happy motoring!
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
What a beautiful beast!!! One upside of the SUV craze is a more realistic price for sedans.
Stunning, speechless. A real keeper this one.
Originally Posted by TheGearBox View Post
Congrats! There's just something so elegant about a 5-Series in white.
Originally Posted by kiran_aithal View Post
Congratulations on the new beast! You really have a hit a jackpot here - 2018 530D with under 10k kms and in mint condition.
Originally Posted by robimahanta View Post
Congratulations D3MON again! You got a lovely car. A 530d is the perfect combination of power, mileage and comfort among the luxury sedans. Wishing you many happy miles with Trie and looking forward to seeing it in the flesh soon.
Thanks guys!

Adding a few more pics:

The comprehensive control panel for the headlights. Love having a proper rotary knob instead of buttons.
The rotary dial to the right of the headlight control controls the brightness of pretty much every backlight around the driver, including the ambient lights, HUD, all buttons backlighting & the instrument cluster. Quite convenient to control the glare at night.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230201_191444.jpg

The purple lights are seen only by a camera - they are IR lights, which are used for illuminating the view for the gesture camera.
The blue lights are mood lighting, which change along with the ambient lights.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230201_1915282.jpg

There are 2 zones of ambient lighting - the upper and the lower halves. Here, I've coded custom colors for the top & the bottom halves using Bimmercode.
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230201_191504.jpg

Car Wash view:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230201_191819.jpg

Default rear view camera:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230201_191806.jpg

Tow bar view (unlocked via bimmercode)- gives a better view of the ground and the wall behind the car vs the camera view above at very close distances:
Meet Trie | My Pre-Owned BMW 530d (G30)-20230201_191747.jpg

Apart from these views, a panorama view is also available for both the front & the rear. This view shows a 180 degree view, which is useful while entering junctions, or while reversing onto a road as you can see traffic from both directions.

The car can also turn on this panorama view automatically at certain GPS locations - for instance, I've set it to turn on at a couple of busy intersections near my house and at the camera turns on like clockwork at the exact point every single time, as long as the speed is low (<15KMPH).

Last edited by d3mon : 1st February 2023 at 22:00.
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