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BMW Gran Limousine 320Ld

Behind the wheel, from where I am, the only difference between the 320Ld and the 320d without the “L” – and both Luxury Line trims – is a feeling of a slightly heavier body and a single-figure percentage less agility. Even so, it’s still far more involving to drive than the other brands in the arena; and by an easily decipherable margin. The steering feel is excellent – though not as sharp as the benchmark standard 3. The direct feel of the circular motion on that tight rack and the immediate response it evokes is still extremely satisfying. There’s next to nothing lost on the agility front and I find myself enjoying the bends, eventually throwing it in with gusto, and enjoying going with the flow of the uphill and then downhill sections. Okay, it’s supposed to be a business sedan, but a little more room never really takes anything away. If, anything, it only adds reason.

BMW Gran Limousine 320Ld

The BMW 3 Series was never really short on rear occupant room. However, now, it makes an even stronger case for itself. And there’s a choice of both petrol and diesel powertrains. The TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder has proven to be a credible little motor. The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel cranks out 190 hp and 400 Nm. The build-up of the power in tandem with the voluptuous torque makes it feel fuller than even the petrol. The, dare I say, lazier compression ignition motor doesn’t need to pile on the revs to feel potent. It does that effortlessly either way. And the eight-speed automatic does just as credible a job of sending that output to the rear axle with minimum fuss. There is traction control and a slew of electronic nannies to ensure I don’t put it into the tree around the bend but they’re all well-calibrated. They let me enjoy the drive experience without feeling intrusive.

BMW Gran Limousine 320Ld

The 320Ld runs 225/50 R17s – no sporty low-profiles on 18s like the 30i M Sport version – and they deserve credit for the phenomenal ride, as do the dampers and suspension set-up. The active lowering front-end, when giving intense steering input, also sharpens things up in the corners making for an electro-mechanically induced improvement to handling. It’s not 7-Series-long to require four-wheel steering or pneumatic suspension, either. That said, it’s still some way away from the 5 Series which has a wheelbase 124 mm longer and an overall length 144 mm more than the long-wheelbase 3 Series.

BMW Gran Limousine 320Ld

The feature list is long, too. It gets BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a 10.25-inch digital display. There’s also a large panoramic glass roof, three-zone automatic climate control, a micro-activated carbon particulate filter for clean and fresh air inside the cabin, and even an acoustic glass windscreen for effective soundproofing. The ambient lighting and the fancy Welcome Light Carpet gives the BMW Gran Limousine 3 Series a strikingly unique way of light application when approaching or moving away from the car.

BMW Gran Limousine 320Ld

The launch is still a few days away and we expect to see a price tag starting at just over Rs 50 lakh. The outgoing 330i Gran Turismo costed Rs 50.70 lakh before the Shadow Edition was introduced. So it’s fair to assume that the 3 Series Gran Limousine will start where the standard 3 Series Sedan ends. All in all, it’s a big step, nay, a long stride into the new year by BMW in the wake of more options and choices coming in. And things look good regardless of whether you’re looking for sheer leg-room or sheer driving pleasure.


Need to Know – BMW Gran Limousine 320Ld Luxury Line

Price: Rs 52 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom)

Engine: 1,995 cc, in-line four, turbo-diesel
Max Power: 190 hp @ 4,000 rpm
Max Torque: 400 Nm @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Suspension: Strut and damper front, multi-link rear
Weight: 1,640 kg


 

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops.,and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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