Now looking forward to reaching the 100,000 km mark, which should happen in the next six months!
BHPian Dr.AD recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Since the last update, I did a couple of long drives (apart from some short breakfast drives) and also reached 90,000km on the odo.
The car has been great to drive, as always, but was also parked for a while in the last two months because of our other travels. We did a long vacation to Ladakh, but we flew there, and then we did a few weekend trips in Thar. In all that, I did not get a chance to update this thread much. But recently, I managed two good drives in the 320d to make up for all that lost time, and this is a story of those drives.
Solo Drive Around Hampi:
I love solo drives, and it has been a long time since I did a nice solo drive in my 320d. Therefore, on one recent weekend, when my wife was busy with her work events and I was all alone, I decided to use that weekend for a quick solo drive.
The idea was to just enjoy the car on some fast highways, and not spend a lot of time at any destination as such. I had done a few Thar drives recently, on some bad roads and forest trails, and I wanted this solo drive to be the opposite of that (just for the sake of variety!). So I chose to stay on fast 4-lane highways and just drove around randomly on highways all day.
By driving around the highways from Bangalore to Hospet (via Chitradurga), and then exploring some newly built highways around Hospet, in the afternoon I reached my favorite place, Hampi!
I have been to Hampi so many times recently, and therefore, this time the plan was not to visit any sites in Hampi, but just to drive around enjoying my car.
Somewhere on the lovely fast roads to Hampi:
Since the agenda was just to drive around, I did exactly and only that. Drove around the beautiful countryside roads in Hampi:
Since I have visited the popular sunset points in Hampi multiple times recently, this time I decided to skip all that and just watched the sunset from the road, while still driving around.
In the end, it was just a nice and enjoyable solo drive in and around Hampi, got to stretch the legs of my 320d, and also got a good quality solo time which is like a meditation for me. Loved that weekend.
Goa Drive and Vacation:
On a recent long weekend, we (I and my wife) spent 4 days in Goa. Goa is a special place for us. We used to drive to Goa very often in the past. There was a period of a few years when we went to Goa every year (and sometimes twice a year), and then over time got bored of Goa. Our Goa vacations stopped due to that boredom. And now, we visited Goa again after a gap. That gap seemed to have done the trick. We loved Goa all over again. We had a great time and a great vacation in Goa.
We stayed at “Lalit Golf and Spa Resort” in South Goa. We have stayed here in the past too, and we like this place. This place is almost at the border of Karnataka and Goa and is very easy to access (with good highway connectivity) from Karnataka. Plus, this is located at a very quiet and remote location, compared to the busy and touristy areas of Goa. We like this peaceful location. The property is very big and spacious, and usually quite peaceful and not crowded too. The rooms are quite big, nice and luxurious! Overall, this property is quite different from the usual busy resorts in Goa, and we like it for all these reasons. So usually when we drive to Goa from Karnataka, this is our preferred location to stay in South Goa. (Earlier when we used to drive to Goa from Pune, we usually stayed in some resorts in North Goa).
We spent time relaxing in the resort and on the so-called “private beach” at the resort. And then in the mornings and evenings, we drove around to other parts of Goa visiting a few scenic locations, restaurants, and a few other beaches.
I love the forest roads in Goa. Driving around those narrow, winding roads with thick trees all around, enjoying the turns and intermittent sea views, is a great experience in itself. As much as I like the beaches of Goa, I enjoy these Goan drives too!
In one of these morning drives, we visited the “Cabo de Rama Fort”, which is an ancient fort on a seaside hill. Quite a nice place. Drive up to this place is beautiful, and the place itself offers great views from all around.
I also did what I love the most – took my car to a scenic spot and spent some time in a car photoshoot. Thanks to friendly moderator @Vid6639 for recommending a few locations and areas for a car photoshoot! Many of these locations are around Cabo de Rama Fort. That area offers great views of the sea from the top of a cliff.
We also visited beach shacks and had a nice lunch there on the beach. For example, we loved the clean and uncrowded Agonda beach and found a very nice beach shack there that was peaceful and served great food.
And of course, evenings on the beaches are always wonderful. Our resort was located directly on a beach and had private access to the beach. We spent some time walking around there and enjoying an evening in the beach next to our resort.
Dinner at “Cape Goa” Restaurant:
On one of the evenings, we drove to the famous Cape Goa restaurant and had dinner there. This is a very beautiful place and is one of the most “happening and sought after” restaurants in Goa. It gets quite crowded in the evening. Table reservation is strongly recommended. We went there without a reservation, but thankfully got a table albeit after some wait.
This restaurant is located on a cliff and requires going down a few rough steps built into the cliff. The location is breathtaking! The views from the restaurant as well as from the top of the cliff (and also from the stairs) are all amazing. The restaurant was very crowded and service was painfully slow. But all those things were fine due to the amazing views we enjoyed. And yes, the food was great too. Overall, we had a great time there.
As I type this, the car is at 91,000km and still feels nice to drive. The car has proved to be extremely reliable, and a great car for my type of driving. It is fast enough for my needs, and the ride and handling balance are just perfect for my tastes. My wife loves this car too, and she appreciates the lovely ride quality and “relative” lack of body roll even in the ghats (when we talk of cars, “relative” is always the keyword; nothing is absolute, it is all relative to your expectations and benchmarks). This car has proven to be a great companion for our travels, and 90,000km without breaking a sweat is a great testimony to this car’s abilities!
CBS Strikes Again!
While the car is very reliable and I have no complaints on that front even at 91,000km now, one thing that I am not a big fan of is the “Condition Based Servicing” (CBS). CBS can catch you by surprise and can potentially ruin road trip plans, as I have documented previously in this thread.
This time, when I started the drive, the next service requirement was an engine oil change at 10,000km. The front and rear brake pads both had more than 15,000km of life left, according to CBS. So I did not even think of these things when I started my drive. It was all fine.
However, when I reached Ankola stopped for a coffee break, and then restarted the car, the message popped up that the next service due was in 2,100km! Surprised and alarmed by this, I checked the details, and it was the rear brake pads!
The life of rear brake pads had dropped from more than 15,000km (I did not even care to remember the exact number because that was so far ahead in the future, or so I thought) to 2,100km in a short drive of around 550km when I reached Ankola. This is the crazy part of CBS. While it was still all OK, this sudden non-linear drop was worrisome! If this dropped further sharply while I was driving in Goa, I would have been in a spot of bother.
After that, I drove around for another 200km in and around Goa, and in that, the brake pad life dropped linearly to around 1,900km. When I started my return journey to Bangalore, I started with that 1,900km of rear brake pads life. And in the 620km drive back to Bangalore, it dropped down to 1,100km when I parked my car at home.
So in the end it is all fine and I have ample time on my hands now to book a service appointment and change the brake pads. The drive itself was uneventful and the brakes lasted long enough for me to finish the drive. However, these sudden drops in brake pad life can catch one by surprise and render the whole CBS pointless. In reality, there was just no meaning to that 15,000km of brake pad life shown earlier. At any point, that 15,000km can drop to 2,000km (exactly what happened to me; and this was not even the first time – it has happened many times in the past), and if you are on a long drive, this can catch be a nasty surprise in the middle of the drive. This makes the whole CBS useless to me because you can’t trust its numbers anyway, and you have to be prepared for such surprises during a long drive.
I have documented my issues against CBS many times before in this ownership thread. It would be an understatement to say I do not like CBS.
By the way, the rear brake pads were changed at about 73,700km mark, and this means that I got about 18,000km of life on those brake pads. Not a great life at all, but somehow par for the course with BMWs. The problem is not the short life of brake pads by itself, but the sudden end of that life with a huge unreliable number shown by CBS just before than sudden end of life, that is the problem. It can mislead you, and you never know when that sudden end of brake pad life can occur.
But other than the idiosyncrasies of CBS, the car has been really great and my ownership experience so far has been full of joy and great memories. We did so many memorable road trips in this car. Now looking forward to reaching the 100,000km mark, which should happen in the next six months!
Well, that is all for now. Thank you very much for reading!
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