With the recent lauch of the aforementioned G20 330Li M-Sport, many people have been asking the same question. Why? Well, we’re not going to go into specs and measurements because, well you can read the brochure. Instead, let’s have a look at why this car exists and what does it mean for prospective Malaysian buyers. Here are three juicy bits of information for you guys.
Sports and Luxury?
It’s no surprise that when you say 3 series, it conjures up a sporty sedan, rigid chassis, devilish looks and speedy overtakes with nary a signal indicator in sight. But one can’t argue that no other vehicle has quite the reputation of a BMW 3 series in this segment. It’s called the 3 series segment after all. Competitors which come to mind are the C class and A4.
What makes a 3 series, well quite simply a sporty chassis, good power and torque, excellent handling and a road presence to make anybody an onlooker. Now why would you make a stretched wheel base version of that? Quite simply, to make it drive more elegantly. The 3 series has always been known for it’s stiff suspension and tight rear passenger room as with many driver focused vehicles. By extending the wheelbase in the Li, passengers are treated to plenty of legroom, more space up front to fit in nice ambient touches and overall make the 3 series a much more posh place to be. BMW Malaysia is also retaining the M-Sport suspension which they say will do it’s job just fine. That’s a bold statement which one can only discover by trying it out themselves. This means that a potential 3 series buyer who would prefer to cruise and enjoy the ride as opposed to hitting the throttle every opening they get might have a much better experience in one of these. But then you might ask, why even buy a 3 series? We’ll get into that.
What does it even compete with?
We find it quite interesting given the price point of the BMW G20 330Li M-Sport. Priced at an estimated Rm300,800 with the regular 330i M-Sport at RM285,000 it’s only a little over RM15,000 ringgit to get a much larger car without stepping into 5 Series territory. The entry level 520i is priced at around RM 312,000 with arguably less kit and power than G20 330Li M-Sport and it’s closest competitor the Mercedes E 200 at about RM 318,000 with similar specs as well.
Suddenly the G20 330Li M-Sport is looking quite appealing isn’t it. Taking cues from the sales of this car in China where long wheel base cars are popular, this could be the emergence of a new trend here to keep model options simpler. With how sedans sales are suffering year by year, this could be a much better way to consolidate it. When consumers see the opportunity to sate their car needs at a cheaper price with better kit, performance and arguably styling, suddenly it doesn’t seem so oulandish. Now I love 5ers as I’m sure many of you do to, but with that kind of ringgit savings and more bang for your ringgit once again, what’s not to love.
Should you care?
The answer is pretty much up to you. The buyers will decide in the following months whether this will prove to be a new trend with offerings such as these as it allows automakers to focus on kitting up their offerings instead of spreading them out over various models and having stripped down entry versions. By having less models would also open up availability for more CKD models which also reduces the price of these cars. The impact in the long run would see more Malaysians being able to achieve cars such as these. I for one am looking forward to seeing some of these on the road. Putting automotive romance and desire aside, ringgit and sen dictate what automakers are going to be offering prospective buyers.
Sure we can talk about the good old days till the cows come home, but money talks. If long wheel base versions of sedans are the way to keep sedans being offered to those of us who like them. Then I guess that is the way of the land. Buy what you like because automakers are not going to sell what doesn’t sell. Not for long anyway.
Now on that note, what do you guys think about the new BMW G20 330Li M-Sport. Would you get one over a 5 series or an E class? What do you think about the way the industry is moving and what would you like instead? Let us know in the comments below.
Written By : Joshua John