For luxury car buyers in India, longer is better. With a longer wheelbase, the car owner (who often spends more time in the rear seat rather than upfront) gets more legroom, while a company like BMW has the engineering chops to ensure that even with longer wheelbase cars, driving dynamics do not suffer. So, as the corporate types would say, it’s a win-win.
To cater to Indian buyers’ penchant for longer cars, BMW has launched the new 3 Series Gran Limousine, which will be available with petrol and diesel engine options and will be produced exclusively for India, at BMW’s plant in Chennai. A 3 Series ‘limousine’? That’s not necessarily hyperbole, since the extended wheelbase and bigger rear doors on this car does make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the car, and the more generous dimensions of the cabin make it a more pleasant place to spend time in during longer journeys.
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The new 3 Series Gran Limousine comes in 320Ld and 330Li variants, with the latter also being available in an M Sport First Edition version. The 320Ld is powered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine, which makes 190 horsepower and 400Nm of torque; sufficient for a zero to 100kph time of 7.6 seconds. The 330Li gets a 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol unit, which produces 258 horsepower and 400Nm of torque; zero to 100kph takes just 6.2 seconds, making it the quicker of the two. Both cars get BMW’s excellent 8-speed ‘Steptronic’ automatic transmission which is smooth and swift and perfectly matched to the engines.
Inside, the new 3 Series gets upmarket leather upholstery, automatic three-zone climate control, electrical adjustment for the front seats, a panorama glass roof, multifunction leather steering wheel, full smartphone connectivity (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) and wireless charging, fully digital instrument panel, a large, high-res colour display for infotainment, and a Harman Kardon surround sound system with 16 speakers. The car rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and, in terms of safety equipment, gets multiple airbags, ABS, dynamic stability control, traction control, ISOFIX child seat mounting, side-impact protection and pretty much any other safety feature imaginable on a modern luxury sedan.
Available colours include white, red, silver and black, while ex-showroom prices start at Rs 51.50 lakh for the 330i Luxury Line, Rs 52.50 lakh for the 320Ld Luxury Line and Rs 53.90 lakh for the 330i M Sport First Edition. Interested in buying one? BMW India Financial Services are offering customised finance solutions and monthly payments start at Rs 59,999.