Performance / luxury car for Rs 50 lakh as an upgrade to my Chevy Cruze

My everyday workhorse is the Hyundai Creta that has clocked nearly 90,000 km.

BHPian kch82 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Everyone,

This is going to be a lengthy one, request you to bear with me.

After a patient wait of near 10 years, I am ready to buy my second ‘performance/luxury’ car. My first was the Chevrolet Cruze AT that served me well for near 10 years, however thanks to the diesel restrictions in Delhi it is time for her to go. My everyday workhorse is the Creta that has also clocked near 90k km, but I plan to keep it for another 2 years.

My budget, to begin with, was Rs 50 lakh on-road, but cars in that bracket did not tick mark my wish list. The nearest that came was perhaps the Mercedes A200, but I am not really a Mercedes fan and the back seat of the A200 was a bit disappointing.

My main requirements: Good snappy drive, aesthetics, front & rear seat comfort, powerful air conditioning and decent features including good audio. The expected running is approx. 15k per year and I hope to keep the car for 5 years - 7 years.

Then came my obvious choice - the BMWs. I started looking at the 320d Luxury edition, but the car seemed too vanilla for my liking. My heart was on the newer 320Ld (grand limousine) because of the much more comfortable rear seat, Harmon sound, bigger sunroof and a few newer features. But as with all good things in life, this too comes with a significant price jump.

I spoke to a few dealerships and the common ‘advice’ that I received from the sales reps was that given my 15k annual run I should only go in for a Petrol variant. I also did a fairly detailed calculation keeping in mind the diesel vs petrol cost and the car price difference (including the presumed lower maintenance of Petrol) and my conclusion is that at the end of 5 years the total cost between Diesel and Petrol should be near equal. Broadly speaking I will spend in total 1.5 L more on fuel in the next 5 years, in the case of petrol but I save 3 lacs upfront on the petrol model.

During a visit to a showroom, I laid my eyes on a grey 330i M Sport with a black grill. Stunning to say the least. The M kit really stood out. I also tried the 320Ld and 330Li and my observations on the positives (+) and negatives (-) are as follows:

BMW 330i M


  • M kit looks stunning, especially the wheels
  • The plum upholstery looks nice too
  • The carbon fibre touch is indeed a nice touch
  • The grunt of petrol beats the diesel any day.


  • Misses the bigger sunroof, electronic boot, Harmon speakers
  • The rear seat was just about fine, but with 2 adults and a child, it may be a tight fit.
  • The mileage as I have been given to understand in traffic will definitely be a 10 km/l
  • The low profile 18-inch has the reputation of being notorious, but I am no regular speed demon. I mostly drive cautiously but I am aware the Indian roads are uncertain and full of surprises.

BMW 320Ld / 330 Li / 330 Li M


  • Newer model and more future proof
  • Much better rear-seat comfort
  • More features including a bigger sunroof, electronic boot, Harmon Kardon music system and one or two more things.
  • The M kit on the Li


  • Those stock wheels look a bit odd and plain on a longer car and just kill the buzz.
  • Whether the price difference justifies the positives?

For some reason, I seem to be fixated on the M sport add on. To the extent that even if I buy the 320Li I may consider the M Sport variant on that too. Of course, it will all depend upon the final deal and financing option that is offered to me.

To help me clear my mind, I have put together a few questions where I request your expertise and experience:

  1. Does the 15k annual range justify a petrol engine?
  2. Is the mileage of the Ms - 330i / 320Li actually 10 km/l?
  3. Is the apples to apples service and maintenance of the petrol significantly cheaper than the diesel?
  4. Are the low profile 18” on the M sports damage-prone? Basis my research on other threads here I read that users have changed as many as 5 tyres in 3 years. That if it ever were to happen to me. Again I am a fairly easy rider and do mind the potholes and bumps… but one can never be sure here. Also, my highway rides will not be more than 2-3 times in the year of 1000 km each.
  5. On the price break up I saw a near 95k as “Service Charge”. This is not the AMC or any service package but seems to be an additional cost that the dealers are charging. Is this Service Charge a standard feature with all dealers?
  6. Does it make sense to buy the AMC package? As I understand there is the standard AMC service package for 80k km for approx. 1.4 Lacs and another AM service + consumables package for 80k for approx. 2.5 Lacs. As per the sales representative in the services + consumables package, everything is covered including brake pads, discs etc. Of course, I need to deep dive more into what is “not covered”, but until then I will appreciate your reviews on the AMC packages. I believe that for a routine service other than the oils and filters everything else is a money-making gimmick by the service station and the service in charge can be instructed upfront to remove these over and above items from the job sheet. That’s how I did it for my Cruze at least.
  7. Overall thoughts on the price differences and their value? Broadly speaking post the discounts, the on-road prices and without AMC are as follows: 330i M for Rs 58 lakhs, 320 Ld for Rs 63 lakhs, 330 Li M for Rs 61.50 lakhs and 330 Li for Rs 60 lakhs.
  8. What is a good range of cash discounts currently? Considering all the talks of short supply and high demand.
  9. I have also been advised to wait for the new Mercedes C class as it promises to blow the competition away, but I doubt the drive will excite me and there will hardly be any discounts given the new model etc. I will prefer a car that is better to drive and has all the basic and little above bells and whistles that are in everyday use. I cannot compromise this for a 'smart phone' car. Your thoughts on the new C?

Again, apologies for the long post and several questions. I will request your view to enable me to make the right choice.

Thanks a lot.

Here's what BHPian gupta_v_kr had to say on the matter:

Being a recent owner of a 330Li luxury Line, I would definitely advise you to upgrade to the 330Li if back seat comfort is your criteria. Answering some of your queries hereunder:-

The real-world mileage that I get with a mix of city and highway drive is around 10km/litre.

I did not wish to pay extra for the Msport trim just because of the Msport kit. Horror stories of the low profile tyres also influenced my decision to avoid this trim.

Given my experience, discounts are likely to be in the range of 2-4 lakhs.

I was fascinated by the new C too but test drove the current generation C and the C just can't hold against the 330i or 330Li in terms of fun to drive criteria.

Overall, 330i will have better driving dynamics but the back seat comfort is far better in the 330Li. If you wish to drive with your family around then should definitely look at the 330Li than the 330i.

Here's what BHPian rag_nfs had to say on the matter:

Going through the same decision-making process as you right now. A few of my thoughts:

  • Looking at the price difference between the 330 variants it doesn't make sense to buy anything except the 3GL M sport
  • The new C class has better driving dynamics than the previous ones, they have supposedly reduced the gap with BMW, though I doubt in the real world one can feel the difference, especially while driving in Gurgaon, Delhi.
  • The discounts on 3 series are around 3 L
  • The C class will be a tad expensive and will come with no discounts, launch is 7 days away so I'm planning to wait for that.


Here's what BHPian iliketurtles had to say on the matter:

Here are my thoughts in brief for your dilemma.

Do you need the extra space for the kids and family? In that case, the 3xxLi makes a lot more sense for your needs. Only you can say how much it matters.

The 330i will give you about 7 km/l or so in traffic. No two ways about that. The post above yours talked of 10 km/l as a mix of highway +city. That sounds about right. The diesel is far more fuel-efficient that way.

I definitely feel that 15k km a year is approaching the territory where a diesel starts to make sense. But, the 330i is the far better engine w.r.t. fun and the luxury quotient, so would recommend it over diesel IF you don't mind its inefficiency versus the diesel.

I would definitely pick the M-sport trim if I were you, it just makes it look that much nicer, and will make the car "feel" nicer and fresher for a longer time. That said, if you don't like it on the Li, go for the "Normal" trim.

If I were you, I'd go for the 330i M Sport. Besides the money saved upfront, it'll be slightly more fun to drive and the dimensions look nicer. Does the extra toys + space on the Li warrant it for you? Again, that is a deeply personal question, and one only you can answer. Drive both back-to-backs and see how you feel. That will answer your question.

You can definitely skip the service pack and go a la carte (it won't be a big difference for your use case), but definitely get the maximum extended warranty, especially if you plan to keep this for a longer time. Think of it as an extra insurance policy against parts failing (and they will, small and hopefully not big).

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