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Good, Bad or Ugly - Current and Future styling trends of BMW



  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 201
    In 2003 I rushed to buy an E39 after I saw the pictures of the E60. After a few years and a lot more cars on the road, the E60 has grown on me. It looks different from everything else out there. Now many other car makers are following the Bangle line. The new Lexus LS flagship looks so much like the E65. Though I love the classic lines of the E39, and the E38, my stable currently has the E65 and the E85. I have an E60 on order. These Bangle designs will never be classics like the E39/E38s. However they mark a new era in body styling which now seems to be catching on.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269

    At least BMW had the courage not to give us the "same old, same old!"

    My E60 545 always draws looks-it's sexy, bold, aggressive and looks like it's built for speed.

    A nice stable indeed!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yup! Sales of the Bangle 5 series are up a whopping 42.8% since January 2005.

    Shows there are a lot of folks out there who appreciate the bold, aggressive and sexy styling of the great and incomparable E60!
  • Right on, hpowders! I am back to say that over the past six months of 2006 530xi ownership I am twice as glad today that I chose the feline, athletic, and graceful 5 over the Infinti M! Every time I walk up to my 5 I am more excited about getting into it, and every time I see an Infiniti M on the road I am more glad that I chose the 5. I guess the market is proving that the design of the 5 is growing on people over time, while the M design is already losing its initial appeal and appearing generic.
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"Shows there are a lot of folks out there who appreciate the bold, aggressive and sexy styling of the great and incomparable E60!"

    Ummm... no, it doesn't. It shows that 42.8% more people bought the Bangle 5 since January 2005.

    If you're in the market for a car, and you're a BMW fan, what else could you drive? Would a BMW lover be happy in an Audi? An Infiniti?

    I'm sure there are many people that bought the Bangle 5 in spite of the looks - not because of it.

    I'm not bashing the looks of the Bangle 5 - really. I'm not a big fan of it, but I've seen worse.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Honestly, I don't think that the "bought it in spite of its looks" argument really holds water. I just don't happen to believe that there are that many people willing to plop down that much money ona car they can't stand to look at. I know I didn't. Given that most 5 Series buyers get the 530 and 525 I would say that performance, while important to them, is not the only deciding factor in the purchase decision. I don't know how you go about buying cars, but I look at the whole package. And yes, I do think that if BMW fans did not like a current design they would buy an Audi, Mercedes, Infiniti, etc. In fact, we've all seen this happen with so-called BWM purists that hate the new designs. They are either sticking with their older cars or jumping ship. The fact is, the new 5 attracted a lot of buyers that would not have bought a BMW before. Obviously, lease incentives helped as well. Generally though, the sales success of the E60 does indicate people like it. Certainly no one I know buys cars this expensive if they don't like the way the cars look. You can't on one hand say that people buy BMW's for status, and then on the other hand say that people bought the E60 in spite of its looks (I know you didn't say that, but many others here have). How much status does an ugly car provide after all?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Come on Folks!
    I too am so tired of the stupid position that people will buy a BMW for $50,000- $60,000 despite the fact they view it as "ugly."

    I have a 545 and there is no way I would have leased this vehicle if I felt it was ugly and it would embarrass me.
    I would have looked at the 330i if I did, or the Infiniti M45.

    People are greatly influenced by style and whether you can or cannot accept this, well, that's YOUR problem!

    Sales of the 5 series are up 42.8% even though the buyers perceive the car as ugly?

    Totally laughable!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Me too! I swell with pride even though my wallet is shrinking! :)

    Never had a vehicle that causes so many stares and they aren't stares of disgust, they are looks of admiration or envy.
    You would see a lot more of them on the road if the price was $10k lower.
    Then the folks with the envious stares would be driving the 5 series too.

    Anybody out there is free to call the car "ugly." That is your right.
    But when sales are up 42.8% in one year, your view is in the underwhelming minority.
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    Relax - I never said it was ugly. Stop taking it so personally. I'm glad that you're happy with your purchase.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I appreciate your classy response.
    Thank you!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I can't answer for hpowders, but I'm certainly not taking it personally. I just don't think that the "bought it in spite of ..." argument makes much sense. I guess I just don't understand why the reason for purchasing the E60 is that people simply like it for varied reasons. It seems that people here feel the need to justify why it sells well. I just assume it sells well because people like first of all, and get deals on it that they feel confortable with. That's all I'm willing to say about why people buy this car or that car because really if I don't know them personally I have no idea why they might want one car vs. another.
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >" I just don't think that the "bought it in spite of ..." argument makes much sense."

    I didn't mean to suggest that all, or even most people "bought it in spite of", but I'm sure a fair number did. Why do I think that? Because I almost did.

    Nothing drives like a BMW. Nothing. An Audi is good, so is a MB, and the Infiniti is amazingly close for a Japanese car, but there's just something about a BMW. If you've drank the Kool-Aid, so to speak, then when you go car shopping your first thought is "Which BMW am I going to buy?"

    I went back and forth about the 5, and whether or not I could get used to the look. I wasn't crazy about it, but I didn't (and still don't) think it is ugly. I did, however, love how it drove.

    When I went to the dealership, check in hand ready to pull the trigger, I took it for an extended two-hour drive just to make sure. After about an hour and a half, I found the seats uncomfortable and my back started to hurt. I've had back problems for years, so this was a Big Red Flag for me, and I passed. I bought a Lexus GS300 instead.

    If I had to do it over again? I'd buy the BMW and a big bottle of Advil.

    So - I would have bought it "in spite of" the looks. In other words, even though I didn't love the look, I loved how it drove. And, since I don't care if anyone notices my car or is envious, feel would win out over look.

    Although if it looked like an Element or Aztec...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I am one of those that (to my eye at least) thinks the "E60 is ugly". I cannot remember when a car did so little for me looks wise unless you start talking about abominations like the Aztek or some such. Also, I can remember only a few times in last 40 or so years of automotive history when a new version of an existing model was such an about face style wise. I'm thinking of the Gen-I to the Gen-II Lexus GS and the Gen-III Mustang to the Gen-IV Mustang-II, as examples. That having been said, I am fairly certain that if both BMW and Audi didn't have cars in their respective lineups that work for me as an alternate (thinking the 3-Series, and A3 here) for my dear departed E39, I'd probably end up with an E60, in spite of the fact that I find it ugly. Why? Simple, where else am I going to find a sporty sedan that offers the unique blend of manual transmission, utility and performance that BMWs are traditionally known for? Infiniti? Ewww, no thanks. Cadillac? Yuck, no thanks again. We're talking the lesser of three evils here meaning the E60 would win by default. Not exactly high praise that.

    So, does the possibility exist that I would opt for a car that I don't like the looks of because of said cars' other attributes? Yes, but only if I couldn't find something that fit my requirements nearly as well.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Geez, you posted yours while I was writing mine. I guess great New Hampshire minds think alike. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think there is some meat to both arguments about who is buying the 5-Series and why.

    Obviously there are some who bought the car despite not being in love with the looks. I can't see a whole lot of people buying the car if they thought it was downright ugly, but I'm sure there are some who bought that weren't exactly smitten with the looks.

    Some of the BMW faithful have most definitely jumped ship too.

    Then you have those BMW buyers that were looking for a change and this car suits their taste just fine.

    Then you have those that have never bought a BMW before because of the styling. This group thinks the new look is a big improvement. I've heard this expressed more than a few times at the BMW stand at Detroit and Chicago.

    I suggest a poll of 5-Series buyers/owners on the 5-Series board!

  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"I guess great New Hampshire minds think alike."

    That, and I type faster. ;)
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"I suggest a poll of 5-Series buyers/owners on the 5-Series board!"

    I doubt that would really show anything. I'm sure there are a fair number of people that initially weren't thrilled with the look of the E60, but after owning it have "gotten used to it" and have come to like it. After spending that much, you almost have to.

    I'm sure I've come across as an E60 basher - I'm really not. I like the car, and if I owned one I'm sure I'd be jumping in now to say how much I enjoyed it.

    But, to say that the increase in sales is a testament to people's love of the look isn't right. I'm sure there are many that were forced into accepting it.

    One poll I'd love to see, if you could get honest answers: out of all the E60 owners, if they could snap their fingers and make it look like the 2003 5er, would they do it?
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Fair enough on all fronts. I don't think you came across as a E60 basher BTW. I was really just responding to the idea that people would buy a car they didn't like the look of which I certainly wouldn't. I guess the bottom line is, everyone has their own reasons for buying cars. Some would buy the E60 eventhough they don't love the looks (again, if they hated the look I don't think they would), some honestly love the way it looks. Honestly, I'm somewhere in the middle. I like how it looks (stopping well short of hpowders gushing about it), and overall I think it's a great car. No, I don't wish it looked like a 2003 E39. I found the E39 to be somewhat boring and basically just a bigger version of the 3. I imagine since I feel that way there are other E60 owners that feel the same way. Are there things I don't love about the way the E60 looks? Sure, if I was BMW and I was considering what to change for the first facelift I would put headlights on it that look more like the new 3's (which would also change the hood), I would go with a more traditional trunk and I'd make the dash more like the 6's. Now, I don't think they'll do all of that, but they probably will change some of it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Are there things I don't love about the way the E60 looks? Sure, if I was BMW and I was considering what to change for the first facelift I would put headlights on it that look more like the new 3's (which would also change the hood), I would go with a more traditional trunk and I'd make the dash more like the 6's. Now, I don't think they'll do all of that, but they probably will change some of it."

    Bingo! If BMW was to make exactly the changes you've outlined, I'd almost instantly switch from "Dat be ugly" to "Yum, gotta have one". ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    that the E39 just looked like a bigger 3.
    Once I saw one and thought it was a 3, but was surprised to see "525" on the back.

    The 5 was well overdue for a fresh new look. At least now, there is no possibility of mistaking a 2006 5 for a 3.
This discussion has been closed.