BMW’s new car in the country is an elongated form of the 3-series sedan, called the 3-series Gran Limousine. India is the first right hand drive market in the world to get the car and of course the emphasis here is on the extra space inside the cab, especially for those seated in the car. ‘back. It replaces the 3GT in the BMW India range and as far as the wheelbase is concerned it is longer than the regular 3 series by a good 110mm. I spent some time behind the wheel of the car and in the second row as well, so get a first feel for the difference between the 3GL and the regular 3 series sedan.
Since the main focus is on a longer car, let’s take a look at the dimensions to start. The car’s wheelbase is 2,961mm, while the overall length is 4,819mm, which is 110mm longer than the 3-series sedan. This makes it the longest car in its segment. At 1,827mm, it’s exactly as wide as the regular sedan, but a height of 1,463mm makes it 28mm taller. So yes, it looks a lot bigger than the 3 Series sedan.
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U-shaped LED daytime running lights and T-shaped air intakes create an attractive face.
The car is launched in the Luxe and M Sport first edition versions and what you see here is the first. The long, wide hood really makes it look bigger than its rivals. LED headlights with extended functionality and U-shaped daytime running lights are standard and the T-shaped air intakes stand out as usual. If you take a look at the M Sport version, the grille slats are finished in gloss black. The 18-inch alloy wheels are also only part of this variant. The Luxury range that I was able to test came with 17 inch alloy wheels.
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Thin three-dimensional LED taillights and dual exhausts are the highlights at the rear.
The profile is quite attractive and the long wheelbase means it looks like a real 3 box car. Thin three-dimensional LED taillights and dual exhausts make for an attractive rear. The car is available in 4 colors namely Mineral White, Melbourne Red, Cashmere Silver and Carbon Black.
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Many features are reserved for the more expensive M sport version of the car.
The interior has a familiar BMW feel and the first edition M-sport benefits from exclusive features such as head-up display, gesture control, comfort access and all-around cameras with 360-degree views. Although the driver and front passenger seats can both be adjusted electrically, even in the luxury range. The good thing is that all of the driver-related functions, such as the start stop button and the gear lever, are placed together in one area. High-quality ‘Vernasca’ leather upholstery is standard on the car, as is the Harman Kardon 464W 16-speaker surround sound system.
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A large panoramic roof perfectly complements the long wheelbase.
The 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch display give it a futuristic appeal, with the latter being Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible. You also get features like wireless charging, an air purifier and a panoramic sunroof. And yes, you can also talk to the car.
43mm of increased legroom is indeed the car’s greatest asset.
The rear doors are 110mm longer than those on the 3 Series sedan. This means getting in and out of the car will be a snap. According to BMW, this allowed an additional 43mm of legroom in the second row. And there is a lot of space here. And this despite the fact that the seat offers fantastic thigh support. And it’s not just the space, you also have the newly designed headrest and center armrest that make things more comfortable. The car also has 3-zone air conditioning and 2 rear seat loading slots. It’s safe to say that if you buy this car to sit in the second row, you won’t be disappointed, there are plenty of them. The car gets a boot volume of 480 liters, which looks a bit of a compromise especially after the generous second row.
Both gasoline and diesel engine options are available on the car.
Engine options remain the same as those for the 3 Series and Gran Limousine and receive both petrol and diesel transmissions. While the Luxury lineup gets both gasoline and diesel engine trims and I’ve driven the latter, the M Sport only gets gasoline and the trim is called the 330Li. Both are 2.0-liter twin-turbo 4-cylinder engines, but at 187 hp the gasoline is more powerful while this diesel makes around 138 hp. And while a torque of 400 Nm is exactly the same on both engines, on gasoline it starts much earlier at around 1550 rpm and stays until much later, i.e. 4400 rpm.
The gasoline is more powerful while the torque remains the same on both engines.
On Diesel, maximum torque is only available between 1750 and 2500 rpm. And that’s why, on paper, the essence seems smoother. It’s also faster out of the block and does a 0-100 km / h in 6.2 seconds – 1.4 seconds faster than the Diesel. But that good amount of torque and cool tech mean the Diesel doesn’t disappoint in most situations either.
The 8-speed automatic gearbox anticipates gear changes depending on the situation.
By technology I mean the 8-speed Steptronic transmission takes into account the data from the navigation system and the radar sensor of the active cruise control system. It helps when you are about to take a quick turn and the system can avoid unnecessary gear changes. In another situation, when approaching a vehicle in front of you, the downshift occurs a little earlier so that engine braking can be used to reduce speed.
The Eco Pro driving mode on the car promises better fuel efficiency.
There are 4 driving modes here; Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport +. According to the BMW, the former reduces fuel consumption by around 20%, which would be 15.30 kmpl on petrol and 19.62 kmpl on diesel. The freewheel function also finds its place in this car and is available when Eco Pro or Comfort mode is selected at speeds between 15 and 160 km / h. The car also has the BMW launch control function and paddle shifters for those who want to take matters into their own hands.
Driving and handling
The suspension is typical of BMW; not very soft.
The Gran Series 3 limousine’s handling is quite nimble and the car takes the corners with aplomb. In fact, you don’t feel like you’re sitting in a car taller than the 3-Series sedan. Electric power steering is surprisingly engaging so you get the most out of your time. The suspension isn’t exactly mellow and is typical of a BMW, but does a decent job of taking out any bumps and potholes or bad parts of the road that come your way.
The BMW 3GL is equipped with safety functions, including a parking assistant.
The 3GL also has a parking assistant that takes care of steering, accelerating and braking for safe parking. It can reverse the car at a maximum of 9 km / h. Other safety features include 6 airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (TBEN) ), the electric parking brake with automatic holding, attention assistance, side impact protection and ISOFIX child seat supports.
We expect the car to launch at a premium price than the 3 Series sedan.
The 3GL promises to offer more convenience at a price that may not be out of your reach and as a chauffeur-driven car it sits right at the top of the segment. The car launch is in a few days but bookings have already started at a cost of ₹ 50,000. Early bird customers also get a BMW Comfort Package worth 1 lakh, including an iPad, iPad holder and hanger. Just for reference, the 3 series sedan starts at ₹ 42.30 lakh (ex-showroom) for gasoline and ₹ 47.90 lakh for diesel. Its top of the line M Sport first edition is priced at ₹ 49.90 lakh. By comparison, this long-wheelbase model is expected to cost between ₹ 50 and Rs 54 lakh.
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