Right across Audi’s stall was the brawling Bavarian, BMW. Needless to say, like Audi, at the very mention of “we are from the press” banter, we were allowed inside the barricade. Not only that, we were personally tended to by Dhiraj Pania, General Manager Sales of Parsoli Motors which is located in Surat. Dhiraj saw to it that each and every feature of the BMW cars, displayed, was explained at a great depth. We at Indiandrives would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his heartfelt contribution in making this experience memorable and informative for us.
The 2011 BMW 650i convertible was one car which stood out from the crowd of twin kidney grille cars. The reason being that it’s hardly been a month since it was launched and there is this public curiosity about the looks and feel of this car. Awesome road presence is what I would call it. The oyster red interiors for this white colored car are a sharp contrast but then you tend to forget it all once you plonk your derriere into the leather seats. Driving position is spot on plus the very fact that this is one of India’s first cars which comes with a heads-up display as standard. In broad day light, stationary car and with an open top it is very difficult to check it out however I did manage to get one picture which shows the speed as zero on the display. Now, the rear seats do seem a bit usable however only for those south of 5 feet 5 inches. Build quality as well the feel of interiors is a tad better than that of the Audis with the exception of the A8L.
The BMW X6, the big fat duckling of the BMW lot looked far more menacing in flesh in a jet black color. Dhiraj stressed on the fact that this was the only other BMW car which has got optional heads-up display but it gets navigation system as standard. The model that was on display had a diesel engine under its hood. The front seat space as with all BMWs is spot on however the rear one isn’t too far away from the benchmark which the front one has set. Like all German high end cars, even this one gets automatic door closure wherein if one forgets to shut the door tightly, the car would sense it and automatically lock the door thus ensuring maximum safety.
The BMW 730Ld which was bang opposite the Audi A8L looked a bit serene and the same theme is carried onto the interiors as well. Understated interiors however are classy but flamboyance is what the Audi would depict better. No ambient mood lighting or noteworthy details. Dhiraj said that the BMW 7 series is more for those who love to drive and don’t want to get distracted by meaningful toys which don’t have any real purpose and would only earn bragging rights. I am sure that this dig was for the German car right opposite to him. However since a new BMW 7 series is just around the corner, expect more of such useless goodies to come with it. The best part was when I asked him to demonstrate the massaging function in the backseat of the 7 series and he cast a glance at the Audi A8L and then told me that this car only has two way programmable massaging functions whereas the A8 has more. But he did give me a demo of how the massaging function works. If with 2 way memory programming, you can get so much fun, then obviously with more, it would be more fun.
The BMW 520d with its 8 inch something screen and missing rear entertainment package was also present. Don’t know why but with BMWs, the seating arrangement, even for a tall driver like me seems spot on. All the controls fall easily and the instrument console is slightly tilted towards the driver. With the same seat setting in the front(for me), I clambered into the rear and my knees were just touching the front seat. Underthigh support was a bit lacking but then I am the extreme case of people more inclined towards the north. So, this shouldn’t bother who have just the right height.
Last was the BMW 320d. Well, you wouldn’t call the 3 series cramped by any chance. It may look small inside but inside the space packaging has been done perfectly. If anything, with my driver setting, the rear seat especially directly behind the driver becomes a bit of a crunch.