New BMW 3 Series vs used BMW 5/6 Series for a family of 4

The new car will be driven very little, with the company-owned Toyota Innova Crysta being the main workhorse.

BHPian vivnitrel recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Bhpians,

I need your help in finalising this purchase. I have been planning this for more than 8 years now. I went as far as paying the booking amount on two occasions: Once to a used car dealer for Merc C Class in 2015 and the other time to Audi Gurugram for a new Q3, but cancelled on both occasions. Basically, I was never able to 'justify' to myself the maths behind purchasing a German car.

Finally, I going to make it happen during this Diwali. I have decided to listen to my heart and not deprive myself of this long-held dream.

Here's some more context, so that you can advise accordingly:

About Me:

  • Male, turned 37 this week.
  • Come from a very humble middle-class background. Started my career in 2008 at an Annual CTC of 4.5 Lacs per annum (have been following Teambhp since then) and have worked hard to now reach a COO position in a Unicorn Internet startup (now earn ~ 50X of where I started in 2008).
  • Now, as some of you would ask, the reason I deferred this purchase for so long? I re-paid a 20 lac education loan, a Rs 2 Cr home Home loan, and also supported my family once I earned some money (my family had gone all-in with whatever limited resources they had to fund my education, and every single member had made compromises because of me). Honestly, I could have 'afforded' it a while back as well, but it never appeared a priority,

Which other cars do I have?

Currently, I have two cars:

  • A company Innova Crysta, which a company provided chauffer. This will be used for daily commute to work
  • A Ford Figo Titanium AT Petrol (1.4 L), 2016 model which has done 29k km till date.

(Honestly, I don't 'NEED' a car, because this new german car cannot replace any of these two cars)

The Other Cars that I have owned in the Past:

  • Tata Indigo CS (Manual, Petrol), bought this second hand in 2013 as my first car at Rs. 1.5 lacs, drove it for 20k km in 2 years and then sold.
  • A Honda Accord 2.4 IV-Tech 9th generation, 2009 model, bought this second hand in 2015, drove it for 20k km in 5 years then sold it last year. Loved this car every-single-day.

Who will use it and how often?

  1. We are a family of four: My wife, my 2.5-year-old daughter, and my 70-year-old mother.
  2. The car will be used very very infrequently. In no circumstances I will even cross 5,000 km/year (as the company-owned, chauffer-driven Innova will do the duty)
  3. The car will primarily be a car for those occasional weekend trips with family. Innova can do that, so honestly, this car is just to satisfy the itch.


  • Family-friendly: Initially, I was planning to go crazy and buy a 'fun car' like Pre-Owned Ford Mustang or Porsche Macan (as I can take the Innova on weekend trips). After giving it much thought, I have decided that I want to enjoy this purchase with my family. Hence 2-door coupes and unpractical cars are out
  • Fun to drive: though this will be driven very very little, I will be the one driving it most of the time on those occasional weekend trips to Coorg / Ooty / Kabini etc. I enjoy driving a lot. (though now I don't get the time for it)
  • Backseat comfort: The backseat should be comfortable, should be easy to get in and get out (especially for my ageing mother). Seats should be supportive. My family used to love the Honda Accord in this department
  • Badge: As I said, I don't 'need' a new car. So it has to be German. I know I may get better cars like Superb or Camry at a lesser price, but that's not a consideration. In fact, it has to be either a BMW, Merc or a Porsche.
  • Looks: To me looks matter!
  • Maintenance: Maintenance Costs do not matter to me till (a reasonable level). However, I have no patience and time to invest in maintaining a car (the driver can do it though, but a lesser number of trips to the showroom are better)
  • Duration for which I would retain this car: at least 8-10 years
  • Ground clearance: Preferable, but not an absolute must. Should be able to scrape through 95% bad roads and humps without a fuss and city water logging etc. However, I am never going to take it even for mild off-roading I think. The Honda Accord never gave me major issues
  • Ride Comfort: Big preference (for my family)
  • Features: Big preference. As my daughter grows up, she should enjoy fancy techs and features in the cabin
  • New car smell: Obviously preferred, but both my previous cars were pre-owned so I would mind an almost new car
  • Fuss-free ownership - Big preference

Consideration Set:

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine (330 Li Msport) - New - Rs 60 Lakhs OTR BLR.

  • This checks most of the boxes.
  • When is the best time to buy to get the maximum discounts in BLR? Diwali?

BMW 3 Series (Regular Wheelbase) - New - Rs 50 Lakhs OTR BLR.

  • I haven't TD'd this with the family, so not sure if the extra legroom is worth the extra money?
  • Does it compromise the ride & handling to a level that an average buyer like me would notice?

Pre Owned BMW 630d M sport @ Rs 55 to 60 Lakhs: There is a 2018 MY and 2019 RY, Daman registered 630d. M Sport variant available at Big Boy Toyz @ Rs 50 lakhs.

  • Is it safe to purchase a pre-owned vehicle from BBT without physically visiting?
  • New 330Li vs Pre-Owned 630d: Is it worth moving to a pre-owned car that would cost me 60 lacs (assuming that I re-register the car in Karnataka), exactly the same as a new 330Li?
  • Does the higher GC result into noticeable ease in ingress for senior citizens

Pre Owned Merc GLC 220d, 2020 model and 10k kms done, Bangalore registered for Rs. 52 lakhs

  • Is the back seat comfort of this car comparable to 6 series and 3GL?

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

Broadly, there are two important points:

  • Should you buy a good new car or a great pre-owned car?
  • The 3-Series @ 60 lakhs is frankly overpriced, while a 630d or 530d for similar / lesser money is well-priced.

These cars age very well. I would pick a superior 2 - 3-year-old car to a brand new machine from a lower segment. And I have always put my money where my mouth is (look up my ownership reports). These cars don't age at all in 2 years and what you usually get is an "almost new" luxury car.

Go for the 630d M-Sport and also expand your search to include the 530d M-Sport. As d3mon rightly posted, the 5 & 6 Series are built to noticeably higher quality standards than a 3-Series (they are in fact close to the flagship 7-Series), these are bigger cars and most importantly, the 6-cylinder turbo-diesel will b-l-o-w you away. It is one of the best diesel engines ever made in the history of mankind. Fast, rev-happy, nice-sounding and efficient on the highway (guzzler in the city @ 6 - 7 km/l). Enjoy a 6-cylinder engine while you still can. Nothing comes close to a BMW inline-6 (other than 8-cylinders which aren't accessible in India nor practical).

Let me put it another way. 8 - 10 years from now, there will still be cars like the 330 Li M-Sport. But large diesel will be on their way out. Enjoy them while you can! Be sure to follow our used car checklist (including service history, checking past insurance claims etc.).

Happy shopping. You've worked hard, go out and indulge yourself.

Here's what BHPian androdev had to say about the matter:


I feel this is the perfect time in your life to buy a nice car. As you said, you don't really need a fancy car but if you ever want to own one, this would be the best time to do it. Young parents with toddlers and parents in good health to travel - it can not get better to travel together as a family and a fancy car would be the icing on the cake.

I would say don't bother buying a used car given your circumstances. Also don't buy 3-series or anything below 5 series - only 5-series or above can stop the itch for the next 8-10 years.

Go for a new 6 series (petrol) and keep it for 8-10 years and it will work out beautifully. Stick to BMW turbo petrol - they are as good as Porsche and proving to be very reliable with excellent service support in India.

Here's what BHPian Turbanator had to say about the matter:

Ingress in the 3 Li may be slightly better but not by much. I am not sure, how often your Mother will be travelling with you guys but I am more than sure, she will always like to sit in an Innova. My mother doesn’t like anything apart from Innova. Maybe She can sit in the front for that occasional trip. Li probably gets better discounts and even more equipment but my pick will be 330i M Sports or even regular over the Li. Since this will be driven by you, the maximum enjoyment will be in the front, driving the car.

I will not at all recommend going preponed route and that too via BBT. You will never know how many times the car has been sold as they encourage people to just pay the difference and change the car every year. And, they will always have higher prices than others. At your level, I don’t think you need to save that small change and be bothered about repairs or the risks the second-hand car carries. If you must, try to find cars directly from the owners or keep looking at our forums.

Diwali time will be a good time as dealers even though speaking about the shortage and everything, have some numbers to meet. They have ver high targets for this period internally and cannot risk. Also, given the overall shortages, I will not delay this to December and risk not getting my preferred colour or variant.

Here's what BHPian lamborghini had to say about the matter:

As a family car, nothing comes close to the 6GT. Not even the E Class.

The rear seats were comfortable & supportive, with loads of legroom, with decent ingress & egress. In comparison, the 3GL felt a little too low for my liking.

The only con with the 6GT is that maintenance would be much higher than the 3GL for parts such as the air suspension, etc.

I would also advise looking at a new A6 2.0TSi with the 245BHP engine which would be more engaging to drive due to size, while still offering good legroom and rear-seat comfort.

If legroom isn't a big bother, have a look at the 530D/530i as well. I found the seats higher than the 3GL though the legroom was significantly lesser.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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