3 years & 40,000 km with my BMW 320d

In these three years, there was not one moment where I regretted or even doubted my decision to buy this car.

BHPian Dr.AD recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Just a week ago, I completed three years with this car. Amazing how time flies! She still feels new to me, and thankfully drives just as well even today.

When I got this car in July 2018, the odometer read 14,596km. And after exactly three years in July 2021, the odometer reads 54,577km. I drove a total of 39,981km which we can round it off to 40,000km without much error.

While I am happy that I was able to drive 40k km in three years, I am sure I would have driven a lot more if not for this unfortunate pandemic. For example, in my first year with this car (July 2018-July 2019), I drove 17,331km. I would have most likely continued driving at the same rate if not for the pandemic, and would have probably covered at least 50km km in three years. But anyways, I am happy I could still drive her for about 40k km.

Now coming to the car, she has been absolutely fantastic. In these three years, there was not one moment where I regretted or even doubted my decision to buy this car. Buying this car has turned out to be one of the best car decisions I have taken, and has proven right even after 3 years of usage.

Loved by the Driver and the Family: This car has been an ideal companion for me, and my family. It loves long drives on fast highways. It loves being driven in fast corners and tight turns. It loves being driven hard all day. The numbers 188hp and 400Nm are not awe-inspiring by any standards, but are more than enough for my needs and those numbers meant I had more than enough grunt in my engine whenever I needed that. The ride and handling package is again optimal for my needs. The car rides so well that my wife loves traveling in this car even for long distances, and she is more than happy to join me on my drives now whenever she is free. The car is powerful but yet not violent. The ZF8 gearbox is as good as it gets, and overall offers extremely smooth and fast transitions. This all adds up to the smoothness and comfort of the drive, and my passengers love this car. I do plenty of hilly drives and the handling (with minimal body roll) is again perfect for my needs. My wife had motion sickness and she used to hate hilly drives. But in this car, her motion sickness has magically disappeared, thanks to the flat ride and tight handling with no noticeable body roll. One unforgettable moment for me was once when we were driving around Chikmagalur. We were having coffee at a coffee shop at the foothills of the ghats. After coffee, I thought we were going back to our resort. But it was my wife who suggested a quick drive up and down the ghats before we go back to the resort. This was the ultimate moment for me when I realized that my wife has now been converted into a car and road-trip enthusiast too, just like me. And all the credit for that surely goes to this car!

The only thing I would still call as a problem with this car is the boot space. I have mentioned it enough times already how terrible the spare tyre arrangement in the boot is. As a result of that, this car can never be a spacious luggage carrier. On more than one occasion we felt the lack of boot space. If a family of four plans a long distance trip, the boot space will not be enough. However, if one could pack light and manage with the boot space (or somehow manage without the spare tyre, if they are brave enough), then this is a great car for crunching highway miles with fast pace, comfort, ease and fun.

The Marathon Runner: This car is almost like my exclusive highway driving car - my marathon runner. I almost never drive it in the city (I have a beater car for city use). Almost all of the 40,000km I covered in this car are highway miles. She loves highway drives and on a good road, can easily cover 400km in a stretch before I need a break. She needs a break only after about 650km or so, thanks to the 850km range I get on one tank of fuel. I typically refuel her when the tank goes down to about 25% capacity, and that means I actually get a driving distance of about 650km before refuelling. And when I am returning home from long journeys, I usually refuel after 700km. For example, just yesterday I refuelled her after 734km of driving on one tank. And she still had a range of about 140km left. Peak range as seen in the MID often goes above 900km. I have once seen a displayed range of 970km when I refuelled her mid-way in one Mumbai-Pune drive.

Goodness of a BMW, Reliability of a Maruti: This car has all the good things of a true blue BMW (or a true red BMW in this case) - a good engine, Rear-Wheel Drive, 50:50 Weight Distribution, and perfect handling for the driving pleasure that we always seek. However, what is more is that the car is extremely reliable. Touch wood, in my three years of ownership, this car has proven to be as reliable as my other car, a Maruti. Apart from regular services, this car needs nothing else. What a beautiful machine this is!

The Curse (?) of CBS: By the way, on the servicing front, while I am happy with the reliability, one thing that irks me is the inconvenience of needing multiple service visits thanks to the Condition Based Servicing (CBS). This car does not have fixed service intervals of say 10,000km or 15,000km where you service everything together, as in most other cars. Instead, the CBS tracks and detects service requirements, and tells exactly when something is needed. While this sounds great, it means that I might have to visit the service center once for changing brake pads, and then soon again for changing oil, then once again separately for changing brake fluid, and then soon again for something else. A typical service routine is essentially distributed over time as and when needed. This invariably means multiple and usually more frequent visits to service centers than in most other cars. This part annoys me.

Unforgettable Memories: I love my road trips and this car has encouraged me even more to go on road trips. Unfortunately (or maybe I should be thankful and say "Fortunately") I have been very busy on the work front in the last three years. That meant I could not do something like week-long drives and could not drive to the Northern part of our great country. However, I did plenty of drives in Southern states, and I drove pretty much everywhere from Kanyakumari to Mumbai, and most places in-between.

This car has already become a part of my family. We already have so many great memories with her just in the span of three years. My mind starts overflowing with wonderful memories if I start thinking about each driving trip I did in this car. The list is too long to write here. Let me just summarize all the wonderful trips I did in this car and all the wonderful locations I visited, through collages of my road trip pictures.

Below collages summarize the wonderful memories we have with this car.

From seas to the mountains, from jungle lodges to palaces, we had a great time in three years!

A Solo "Anniversary" Drive: On the completion of three years, I took her out for a solo drive. I have written about that in a Travelogue (A Solo with Car, Camera and Clouds!). However, for keeping this thread complete, please allow me to share a few of those pictures here.

Black tarmac, green landscapes, and a red car. Kind of summarizes my last three years.

In the company of windmills.

With green fields and coconut trees.

Posing next to a small lake.

I hope all future roads are this simple, smooth, and picturesque.

With this, let me wrap up this three years memoir!

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