With a finely tuned engine and raised suspension, the BMW’s 330i Gran Limousine exudes refinement and luxurious
While the phrase limousine has been casually utilized by another luxurious carmakers in latest instances, with the three Series Gran Limousine, it serves as a degree of differentiation. You see, that is the L model of the three Series that means that it’s got an extended wheelbase — by 110mm — and presents extra room to rear seat passengers. And sure, whereas you will have learn our assessment of this automotive earlier than, it was the diesel whereas this one right here is the 330Li petrol. Let us discover out what it’s like:
We begin with the largest change — the engine. The ‘330i’ badge has lengthy been related to a fun-to-drive sporty luxurious sedan, however does the L within the identify change that components? Well, the engine is as sturdy and thrilling as ever — a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol with 258hp and a powerful 400Nm; an identical torque because the diesel engine, by the way. Performance towards the clock is spectacular, too, with a totally spectacular 5.86sec (BMW claims 6.2sec) 0-100kph dash time and equally brisk in-gear rolling acceleration figures.
The ZF 8-speed torque converter automated impresses as at all times, with easy, seamless shifts, and with the efficiency on supply, in case you are on the wheel, you’ll actually end up stretching the engine to its redline at each alternative. You would possibly even wish to take handbook management, although you’ll have to depend on the shift lever. So, it actually can transfer, however is it as rewarding to drive and agile via the corners as an ordinary 330i? We will reply that query in a bit.
The actual profit of selecting the petrol engine in a automotive like that is the added refinement it presents. The 330Li’s engine is silent and buttery easy. Sure, it is going to let loose a little bit of a snarl when you open the faucets all the way in which, however use it as a chauffeur-driven cruiser as it’s supposed to be and it stays hushed all through — a noticeable enchancment on the 320Ld diesel.
Ride and dealing with
As we talked about with the diesel automotive, the suspension has been softened significantly and even seems to be raised a bit, prone to prevent from grounding the automotive’s longer stomach on large pace breakers. That latter effort has actually labored, and even the large ‘truck stoppers’ on the outskirts of Mumbai didn’t pose an issue.
The different upside is the journey, which has the type of cushion-y waft you’d usually discover on costlier automobiles geared up with air springs. That fits the Gran Limousine completely, and mixed with 17-inch wheels and tall, 50-profile tyres, you’re actually remoted from unhealthy roads nicely. Yes, you would possibly really feel somewhat little bit of ‘float’ over highway undulations at freeway speeds however it’s not too unhealthy.
However, this would possibly simply be the first-ever 330i we didn’t wish to drive enthusiastically. The mushy set-up places a dampener on the dynamics, and you’re continually conscious of the added size when you attempt to nook it onerous. There is a good bit of physique roll and it doesn’t have fairly the agility of the common 3 Series. That stated, the steering stays nice, and it’s nonetheless extra agreeable to drive than some standard-wheelbase rivals. That simply goes to point out that BMW could make two variations of the three Series that really feel altogether completely different from each other, whereas nonetheless retaining the basics.
Interior and gear
As with the diesel model, they’ve trimmed the 330Li barely otherwise from the usual 3 Series, that includes darkish open-pore wooden trim and a bit extra chrome trimming. They have even put ambient lighting on the backs of the entrance seats. The prolonged again seat space is, after all, the spotlight of this automotive, and there’s ample room for even six-footers to stretch out. Moreover, there’s a correct panoramic sunroof and the seat has been totally re-engineered. It continues to be low however the base is angled upward for higher thigh help, and the cushioning has been reworked to be considerably plusher than the common automotive’s.
Equipment-wise, the Gran Limousine is simply as generously geared up as the usual 3, with the notable addition of a Harman/Kardon Hi-Fi audio system and wi-fi Android Auto. You can even have the 330Li within the M Sport First Edition trim, which will get the sportier exterior physique equipment, 18-inch alloy wheels, in addition to driver-centric added gear like a head-up show, gesture management and paddle shifters.
It is superb how the Gran Limousine is so in contrast to the usual 3 Series in character, and that could be a testomony to how a lot work has gone into it. They have sacrificed the three’s famously inviting dynamics in favour of journey consolation, however that’s simply as nicely for this automotive’s supposed clientele. Fans of the outdated 3 Series GT (which this automotive replaces) would possibly miss the large liftback boot, although raised floor clearance seems to be one thing frequent to each fashions. This 330i petrol model isn’t the drivers’ selection as it could be within the SWB 3 Series. It is as an alternative the one you choose when you suppose refinement is a key tenet of the luxurious expertise.
What you’ll have to deal with, nonetheless, is the premium price ticket, with this ‘entry-level’ petrol Luxury Line costing ₹ 1 lakh over the fully-loaded normal 330i M Sport. And at ₹ 51.5-53.90 lakh (ex-showroom), it places the Gran Limousine dangerously near the 5 Series and its rivals. Still, you need to hand it to BMW for plugging so many alternative worth factors within the luxurious sedan market, finally giving clients extra selection.