Our lives these days are dominated by Point A to Point B travels. These commutes include everything from a grocery run to travelling to work, date night etc. Between these commutes, we often don’t realise that this is the only alone time we get many a-times. These are the times to do self-reflection as well as most importantly have fun. These days while waiting in between traffic we often crib and cry about how long we sit in those congested but never seem to enjoy the free roads we so often get for some brief moments. This is partly because we don’t give time to buy a sporty vehicle but so often this sportiness comes at the cost of commuting comfort. Often some people split their fun ride and the daily ride but because of that the car they drive the most doesn’t possess the grunt and feel of a fun car. What if we were told we have the perfect solution to that? The solution is buying a German luxury sedan and a BMW 330Li M-Sport LCI to be exact. Why? Well, allow us to explain.
There are two aspects to it, the daily aspect and the weekend aspect. Whilst explaining the daily aspect we would like to reiterate how far technology and German engineering come. Long gone are the days of remotes and car phones and in comes a visually pleasing interior with dual screen for viewing the infotainment system and the gauge cluster. The interesting part of this sedan is that it has a long wheel base which adds to the rear seat comfort too which would be incredibly crucial in terms of travelling with family.
The newest iDrive infotainment system has everything along with wireless Android auto and Apple carplay. The user interface is crisp and reminds you of a well-tailor-made phone-like interface which has widgets to control most of the commands including phone and media just the way you are used to. It is bigger than the newest Mercedes C-Class and a lot more readable with the gauge cluster allowing google maps navigation to be displayed which would be brilliant in case other passengers would want to change songs which can be controlled with the flexibility of a knob as well as a touch screen.
The seat comfort is also equally good and the interior quality is something which you will expect for 75 lakhs with brushed aluminium finishes on the veneers on our tester. The buttons feel premium although one glaring aspect is the gear selector which has changed from a lever to a switch selector solution presumably to save space but we think a proper lever only adds to the ultimate driving machine.
The rear seats are the highlight as you get 110mm more seat space which also comes with cushions like the S-class and the rear armrest with cupholders along with 2 USB-C charging ports. It should be noted that ambient lighting also helps to redefine the luxurious and sporty characteristics of the vehicle. It should be noted that the Li comes standard as a Long wheelbase and that makes it longer than the 2024 Mercedes C-Class as well.
The G20 330Li is powered by a B48 2.0 Litre Turbo 4 cylinder, producing 255hp and 400Nm of torque. This engine is found in many BMWs and Mini Coopers and is mated to an 8-speed ZF transmission. As an engine, it is more than respectable but we wish we could’ve gotten the B58 engine which is only available with the 840i Gran Coupe which is a Rs. 2 crore affair. Tuner Friendliness isn’t anything to go by as the ECU comes locked and unlocking it is a Rs. 1.5 Lakh job which would include shipping ECU to the tuner which is based outside India and reliably you can push around 350Hp on a good day and is best-kept stock.
The BMW 330Li M-Sport is the best one-car solution in a country like India and is the best driving sedan in its segment. The transmission doesn’t have the traits of A PDK but it’s a great compromise as the car has decent pickup thanks to the 400 Nm of torque. There are advantages to having the long wheelbase and handling is a strong point of the car. The short wheelbase may be a little more precise but the fact is the Li is good enough especially when in Sport Mode you can let the car slip around and it’s amazing to throw it around corners. It does 0-100 in 6.2 seconds which is very quick for Indian Roads. The exciting feeling of a Bimmer is only something you can get with a Bimmer, not a Merc or Audi. It allows you to have fun but also feels like it’s made for it which can’t be said about its rivals. As luxurious as it is, it is equally fun to drive on ghats and highways for high-speed runs and canyon munching and just as capable in the heavy traffic of Indian Metro Cities.
Styling is subjective but it is important to note that the 330Li never fails to deliver an upper-class executive feel when you look at it. The LCI update has sadly taken away the BMW laserlights but the standard LEDs are plenty good to light up the dim roads as well as tricky ghats. As part of LCI, the new 330Li comes standard with M-Sport treatment which includes aggressive bumpers and new diamond-cut alloys. Probably, the alloys are the weak link but they are decent to pair with the exterior of the car.
To sum it up, the BMW 330Li M-Sport LCI offers an experience which some people would correlate to the Mercedes E63s AMG. What should be remembered is that, whilst that may have a V8 and 600hp, the 330Li has good fuel economy with punch which can be handled by Indian roads. Also, compared to the Mercedes C-Class it is 8 lakhs cheaper so it also becomes a value-for-money proposition and gets the job done of a one-car solution. However, we would’ve liked the touring version of the 3 series to be launched in India as it fulfils a lot more practicality compared to the sedan. Other than that, you would be getting every ounce of the ultimate driving machine for your hard-earned money.