BMW 3-Series G20 | Regular Version vs Long Wheelbase
This is the rarest of rare times in India that the same car is available with different wheelbase lengths. Between the regular & LWB cars, which one would you pick and why?
I can tell you this is a dilemma many 3-Series customers are currently facing!
BMW 3-Series G20 Regular Version vs Long Wheelbase
BMW discontinued the 3GT in India, and instead launched the 3-Series LWB variant. This is the rarest of rare times in India that the same car is available with different wheelbase lengths. Between the regular & LWB cars, which one would you pick and why?
The 3-Series is one of the most fun-to-drive sedans in the Indian market. The suspension offers the perfect combination of ride + handling, and also comes with fantastic engines matched to one of the best gearboxes in the segment. The stiffer, yet lighter chassis, combined with 50:50 weight distribution, ensures that the 3-Series is still the pick for any driving enthusiast.
By launching the LWB version of the car, BMW broadened the appeal of the sedan. The LWB gets a 110 mm longer wheelbase (resulting in a 43 mm increase in rear seat legroom), more comfortable seat and redesigned headrests, making it appeal to the chauffeur-driven as well. Despite the increase in wheelbase, the car looks quite proportionate. Not awkward at all. Despite the tad softer suspension that’s been tuned for comfort and the longer wheelbase, the Gran Limousine variant is still fun to drive (although regular 3-Series is more fun). However, this has resulted in an increase in the pricing. The already expensive 3-Series is now even dearer in this guise, pushing the prices dangerously close to the 5-Series. Do note that the LWB gets some more features compared to the regular car (16-speaker sound system, 360-degree cam, panoramic sunroof).
Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:
Didn’t think I’d say this as an enthusiast, but I will choose the 3-Series LWB over the regular car. If I’m going to have a lot of fun on road-trips, might as well keep my family more comfortable on the backseat too. Us Parekhs love our long holiday drives! I’ve realised the value of rear legroom after living with one that is cramped for 6 years & recently buying another one that’s a limousine! Even the LWB is fun to drive and it doesn’t look stretched. Can’t say the same about the E-Class LWB which I’d never buy for exactly these two reasons.
BMW must be thinking “our target customer pays 75000 for additional legroom on a single business class flight, so he will definitely pay 4 lakhs for more legroom for 10 years”. It’s totally worth the 4-lakh premium. You get more legroom, a comfier rear seat, more equipment and also a bit cushier ride quality. That said, let me also voice my protest on the overall pricing of the 3-Series, C-Class and gang. They are all currently overpriced IMHO. When the heck did they become 50 – 60 lakh cars? No wonder sales for the German luxury car makers have stagnated over the last 5 years.
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