Fuel efficiency is on the lower side. I get an average of 2.5-3 km/l in the city.
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Here’s how I got one of my dream cars – a BMW E90 330i and how we (me and my dad) travelled all the way down to Kerala to get it.
Finding / buying experience
I saw the car for sale on OLX and I knew I had to get it as now, it is so rare and hard to come across. I had a chat with the owner on olx itself and I was lucky enough to get his phone number instantly. Called him and got all the details of the car without my father even knowing that I have talked to the owner. When I told him, at first, he was hesitant for a few days thinking about whether it is worth buying a 10-year-old car. But finally, we both agreed and decided to get the car.
We were initially planning to go to Kochi by Flight as it was the least time-consuming mode of transport one could get. But with Diwali being around the corner, the ticket prices were going through the roof. So we decided to travel by train.
We spent a total of 3 days on the train and those 3 days were some of our most memorable and worst days as the food was just crap and there was nothing to do but just sit and wait for the day to come on which we reach the Kochi platform and breath fresh air.
We reached Kochi on the 11th of October 2022 and went to the hotel. We talked to the owner and he was on the way, while me and my father were anxiously waiting for the car to arrive. The car finally came and it looked like it had just come out of the showroom. Nobody could tell that it was a 10-year-old car. Took it for a test drive and it drove great, but it did need balancing as the steering wheel was vibrating. Got the car checked at Abu Dhabi Motors in Kochi and found out that the car required suspension work as the front left suspension was leaking. But we knew that the car would need some work, so we didn’t worry about it.
So finally, we got the car on the 11th of October 2022.
Attaching pics of the car after we got it:
Engine-N52B30 3.0L straight six (Naturally aspirated) putting out 272 HP (255 in a normal 330i) and 315 Nm of torque at the rear wheels via a ZF6HP 6-speed single clutch gearbox.
Now where do I begin? There is just one word “AMAZING”. This car is full of feel and that N52 is a great-sounding motor. The handling is on another level. You can just point the car and shoot. The level of grip on offer is just amazing (thanks to the Michelin PS4 tyres). The car sticks to the road and has rock-solid stability. That 50:50 weight distribution plays a significant role in handling there is no understeer or oversteer. The steering is just neutral and the feel you get while driving this car, I guess, is something even the M340i can’t even replicate as it doesn’t have a hydraulic steering. Plus, the xDrive takes away some fun as well (the M340i is a great car and I am not saying it is bad in any way).
But there is one downside – the gearbox it is slow and not responsive. This car definitely deserves a better gearbox, but to be honest for me, it is a characteristic as whenever you are pushing the car and it is going to change to the next gear, there is a halt which is very single clutch-like! For me, these little imperfections give a car a great character.
The motor revs till 7,000 rpm and screams through the redline! The engine is very rev friendly. You don’t notice anything below 3,000 rpm, but once you go past it, all hell breaks loose and you are pushed back into the seat while hearing the engine rev up. The power is evident all the way up to the redline and the way this thing pulls and sounds is just mental. My car has the optional BMW performance exhaust and boy oh boy does it sound great! The car is so silent when idling that you don’t even know that the engine is running. But once you are on it, the car literally screams. That’s the beauty of an original performance exhaust.
Why did I buy this car only?
I had the option to buy an F30 330i, which is definitely quicker and an overall better car, but I don’t care that the F30 is quicker, as the feeling that this car gives is on another level. It certainly gets better with the older models. Plus, the E90 chassis is better than the F30, even though it is lighter and I am not just saying it – I drove it and it is actually better when compared to the F30. So overall, I have a better handling car (don’t know about G20 as I have never driven one).
The car is OK to drive in the city. It has the perfect length and is easy to manage in the traffic. The only issue is that in the summer, this car heats up a lot, which is evident in the cabin as well.
The highway is where this car belongs. Put it in DS (Drive Sport) mode and it pushes you back in the seat, touching triple-digit speeds in no time. The car is wonderful to drive.
To be honest, the fuel efficiency is on the lower side. I get an average of anywhere between 2.5-3.0 km/l in the city, whereas I get a max of 9 km/l on the highway. I know that these are very low numbers. Trust me, this car loves to drink fuel. Just for testing, I filled the entire tank and drove it in the city and it covered just 125 km before it went into reserve. The car’s fuel tank can hold about 60 litres.
Attaching the pics of the mileage shown on the iDrive screen:
Interiors and space
The interiors of the car have not aged much in my opinion and still look good by today’s standards. But the rear seat space is nothing better than a C-segment sedan’s and it is not suitable for more than 2 occupants.
My car also has the optional flat-bottom Alcantara steering wheel and carbon fibre trim – both from BMW.
The audio quality was nothing more than acceptable. For an audiophile like me, I would definitely upgrade the audio (thread on that soon).
As this was an old car, it was not perfect and it did need some work on 4 shocks, all the engine and gearbox mounts, major service including gearbox oil change and differential oil change as well A/C cooling coil replacement and starter motor solenoid switch replacement as it had gotten weak. Also, purchased a complete audio upgrade.
Overall, the car is a pleasure to drive. Yes, it did need some work in the beginning. but it was all worth it.
Now enjoy a plethora of pics that I have clicked:
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