I am from Mumbai, India
& this is my first ownership thread on my recently acquired (Aug 2012) F30 328i.
I thank BIMMERPOST
for their complete coverage & reports since the launch of the F30 to the review of the new N20 offering which was one of the biggest help in my decision to go in for the 328i.
I shall share my ownership experience of my F30 & shall give you a report from India
Before that to give you a overview of the variants & pricing of the F30 in India.
In India the F30 was launched in late July 2012 with the following variants;
1) 320d base line
2) 320d sportline
3) 320d luxury line
4) 320d luxurly plus
5) 328i sportline
^ No mordernline
& yes no 335i
Another negative no M/T
( not even an option )
Also no "M-Sport" Versions here
The kit/features offered in the 328i sportline & 320d luxurplus is almost same.
In India BMW offers them as CKD’s
so to give you an idea of the pricing from mimnimum to
320d base line – 62,000 US $ (aprox)
328i sportline – 88,000 US $ (aprox)
^ The above are on the road , Mumbai Prices (including Insurance, taxes etc)
Yes, cars are pretty expensive in India.
The 328i was a complete fully loaded model with almost all options without a few like lane departure warning, side vew cameras etc
Also another thing id like to point out is the Fuel prices
Diesel – 1 US $/Litre
Petrol - 1.32 US $/Litre
In India the fuel for choice is Diesel because of the price differential (> 30%)
Also in the BMW line up cars like 320d, 520d, x3 20d, x6 30d, 730 ld are famous and contribute to major volume of Sales because of petrol being expensive.
Another reason petrol being non favorite is that high octane fuel is not available everywhere.
But for me i was clear that if i was going in for the F30 it is going to be the 328i.
Booking & Delivery Experience;
Two days after the launch i.e. on 29/7/12 i went to Infinity BMW (Location: Worli, Mumbai) for the test drive, was completely floored by the performance.
I was ready to book the car in " WHITE" Mumbai & ready to make the down payment (booking amount)
I was flexible for the interior colors i.e. either Coral Red or Black
Somehow i always wanted & desired a white Bimmer & so was adamant on getting a "White"
I was not been given the clear picture regarding the status / inventory of "White" by either of the dealers in Mumbai.
They had the following reasons or may be spreading a rumor of the following ;
1) Infinity BMW Mumbai (1st BMW Dealership) say that the 328i Sportline production had stopped and BMW Chennai plant (India) would not be making any further 328i's
2) Navnit Mumbai (2nd BMW Dealership) said that 328i sportline is available only in MELBOURNE RED & IMPERIAL BLUE no other color is offered by BMW on this variant ( But the brochure did not specify any thing of that sort nor anything was said of this regard when i had gone for the launch party held on 27/7/12 )
- Out of which point no. 1 was partly true as BMW had only 50 units of 328i's allotted for 2012 and the next units would come in only by early 2013.
- 75% of the 50 Cars (328's) which were allotted in the 1st lot for India were in Melbourne Red & Imperial Blue , the rest being other colors including White ( so chance of location a white got even difficult)
I was heartbroken and was left helpless ( almost got myself convinced in going in for MELBOURNE RED)
In a day i had called many BMW Dealerships all across India Delhi, Jaipur , Raipur, Pune , Surat , A'bad & none of them had the 328 in white.
In the meanwhile my brother ( 15 years old ) called me up & said " Hey theres one White with Coral Red available at Platino Classic, Kochi (South of India) & he had called for pictures for proof etc.
Within 30 minutes we got their e-mail with pictures attached & i did not think much and just sent them an e-mail confirmation regarding my booking & got their confirmation as well & the next morning i did an RTGS of the booking amount of INR 5 lakhs to their A/C & Reserved the car & what a sigh of relief it was.
As the dealership was close to 1500 kms away
from Mumbai i had to ferry the car from there to Mumbai on an FLAT BED truck.
(^ Couldn't drive down as registration was pending & you cannot drive non-registered cars for more)
The 1st pictures from the showroom (delivery experience)
to the arrival of the car at National highway are as follows;
Apparently my car was the 1st to be delivered
at the dealership so i received the keys from an top official at BMW, India & the GM of the Dealership.
The car being loaded on the flatbed and taken to Mumbai
Also 21.08.12 happens to be my 25th B’day
So on the D-day the truck had reached Gujarat (out skirts)
I had jumped out of my bed @ 6 am and set out @ 6:45 from Mumbai (Mulund) towards Gujarat.
8:15 : I reached the destination it was the most pleasant sight to see transporter
standing beside the truck.
& This was the sight on my B'day in the morning,
^ what better gift could i have gifted myself , my first ever Bimmer
Got my car registered post the delivery and got the registration number as "747"
, was more than happy with that
Some more pics
of the car;
Shot of the Interior;
My short review on the Performance / Acceleration Gearbox & Transmission;
As pretty much is already covered in reviews globally id keep it short & India specific outlook.
I am using 91 RON on since delivery and the performance seems strong without any engine knocking.
The reason to use 91 RON
is the rare availability of high octane fuel in India.
With this i am still mighty impressed with the N20.
What BMW has tried to achieve here with this 4 cylinder turbocharged motor is to deliver the performance & smoothness of 6 pot with FE of 4 cylinders, which on paper is tough to argue.
Absolutely Savage Throttle Response. As the Peak Torque is so low down the rev range the performance is very linear for a Turbo Engine.
Overall i feel this 4 banger is mammoth fun.
The Indian Spec 328i comes standard
with the “ Sport Automatic Gearbox “
In my opinion the gear changes are lightning quick, so quick that in the first 3 gearshifts it is very difficult to say when it changes the gear especially if you don’t look at the tacho.
^ However i would have opted for an M/T but as i said earlier no Manual option For India
In Comfort mode it is always perfect, no uneven downshifts, always in the right gear.
In Eco Pro it up shifts quite up which may not be useful on hilly areas (ghats)
also best used if you are ferrying a patient to the hospital & you want the ride to be smooth.
Handling & Steering;
The 3 series already has been legendary when it comes to handling so the F30 had a big task to better it & how , absoloute stellar handling thanks again to the Steering which acts sharp in the Sport & the Sport+ Modes , Very Precise.
Though the Indian spec version does not get sport suspension (which lowers the car by 10 mm) the handling is unbelievable.
EPS, Variable Sport Steering (Exclusive to 328i in India)
The steering precision is magical with the way it weighs up when you change from say Comfort to Sport.
^ all respect to the E90 hydraulic unit but this is simply great for an EPS in my opinion.
Steering Feel & Haptics - Perfect size & thickness , Very Meaty ,& perfect button layout.
My car is fitted with GoodYear Efficient Grip ROF , 225/45 R18 (Square Setup)
Also note that Style 397 is only being offered in the 328i (sportline variant)
So that makes it very exclusive as only 50 328is
I Drive & Tech;
My 328s i-drive gets the large display 22.3 cm screen unlike in other models in India which get 16.5 cm screen. (Except luxury plus - which also gets 22.3 cm setup)
HUD is standard;
Sat Nav is also standard on the 328i in India
Music System : Hi Fi speaker system ( HK not even an option )
Parktronics with Rear View camera is also standard feature.
All in all the 328i in India is feature packed unlike the base 320d models in India
^ Though some features are missing in India like the Lane Departure Warning, Assisted Headlamps, Side view Camera & off course the HK System.
Some more pics
of my car;
Overall i feel i am an very satisfied owner of the F30 & the new 3 has impressed me with the sharp & fresh new look being faster, lighter, more economical, with better ride quality / comfort keeping the handling dynamics in place making it truly ULTIMAT3.
You can make out from my smile in the pic below that indeed JOY IS BMW
Again a special thanks to Bimmerpost