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

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Comments

  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    to turn onto the highway the other day and I saw a new 5 Series. I wanted to catch up to it but I didn't catch up to it on the highway enough to get a close glimpse at it.

    I mean BMW did these design changes to attact more women buyers? I see alot of women driving BMW's so they don't need a buyer they already have. The young people like the 3 Series too.

    My conclusion on the 7 Series and 5 Series is they are way overstyled. As a buyer in my early 20's I would not buy something so out there in the styling department such as the 04 5 Series, Honda Element, or a Scion. I have seen auto magazines where younger people say they don't like the Scion's or newer BMW's.

    People whined in the early to mid 90's cars were to conservative looking and all look the same now its hit or miss with styling with cars nowadays. Mazda and VW are hitting what the young people right on the head with their exterior styling. Honda, Mitsubishi, and BMW have lost their touch with this generation of young people in my opinion.
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    very good points in your posts. No you're not the only one and you're not a "market of one" when you speak from your heart. As a proud owner of two BMW 5 series, (1995 and 2003), I tried to have an open mind with the new design and had the opportunity to see the new E60 in person and drive it. IMO, it just doesn't do ANYTHING for me. Whereas the new MB E class was a simple but nice evolution of the old E class, the new 5 is a departure from evolution all together. I can't even state that the new design is radical. To me, it's more nonsensical, as if 10 different designers, tried to get THEIR concept through and built into the car. I realize time will tell, with regard to sales, but initial sales on any new vehicle out of the gate with the fine reputation of the 5 series, will always have first to market buyers, who want the latest and greatest. But as you acutely pointed out, it will be interesting to see a year from now, just how exactly sales compared not necessarily with the last iteration of the E39, but how it compares with the first model year (1997) of the E39, when it changed from the previous E34? Again, time will tell, but right now, I'm not going "grow into liking" this new version anytime soon.
  • The new 5 is roomier inside with a larger trunk than E39. Do you anticipate similar changes will be found on new 3 when it changes?....also,can you explain the tire pressure differences outside usa versus inside usa? EPA mileage ratings?...safety? Why are these tire pressure recommendations so different?...I enjoy your responses to the wide range of comments posted here.
  • 3 series..no news yet. Tire pressure....I'm no expert on non-usa versions. EPA ratings....what's the question? Safety.....what's the question? I might need to do some research but if you can be more specific on what you want to know, we'll see if I'm up to the challenge. Perhaps, I'll get busy and need to work on a car deal.

    I sold one of the last M5's(black/black loaded) in the country this weekend to a guy from Virginia and WOW was it fun! What a car!!!!! Thanks, JD. I also sold another new 2004 5 series (black/black 530i)to a young guy (thanks WW) who had a Diamante and has always wanted a 'bimmer. All and all a great weekend, sold an "old" five and a "new" five.
  • Glad you're selling them. To be fair, I was in my dealer this weekend and saw a silver with grey interior and the key addition of the brown poplar trim all around. This one looked reasonably classy, notwithstanding all the other oddities of the E60. Also a grey/black/poplar combo that didn't scream "Japanese".

    But, on the lot were a brown and an olive(?) pair that looked awful, with the aluminum interior trim; like something from the late 70's. Do you guys pick these colors for your lot inventory or do the boys in germany throw them at you (serious question --)? Oh, well, let's hope they get better for the '05 year.

    Cheers--
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I have seen like 2 04 5 Series already.
  • October E60 sales were 2600. That's big considering dealers essentially didn't have any inventory to speak of. September sales of the e39 was about 3000.

    So, early indication is that the car is selling.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    What's the inside poop on the rumored early re-design of the new 7? Or is it that you could tell us but then you'd have to kill us? [And Host, please don't move this to the 7-series board as its relevance is to the new 5]
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    I'm going to be ordering an '04 3-series partly to have a classic-design car that I can drive and enjoy for the next 5-7 years. I also have not been wild about some recent styling directions. I even like my current '98 A4 better than what Audi did in 2002 (one reason why I'm looking at BMW and not another A4). Of course, to get an E90 I'd be waiting a year or more, and then there's the issue of getting a first-year model, etc.

    Another trend I'm not thrilled with is the increase in gratuitous electronics, a lot of which I am simply not interested in. Features like touch-screens, XM radio, built-in cell phones, Bluetooth, etc. With the E46 I can freeze things at about the level I'm used to with my Audi and not have to deal with this new stuff for a few more years :-).

    I might also add, as a BMW motorcyclist, that their motorcycle line has also stirred up a lot of styling controversy in the last few years. They've done a few things that are downright weird to their traditional customers. Coincidentally, their chief m/c designer is also an American, David Robb. Can't they put the Germans back in control :-)?
  • Lots of interesting discussion about the 5, but any insights on the new 3? Specifically, does anyone know for sure whether the car will be arriving in 2004 as a 2005 model or in 2005 as a 2006 model? I checked Autospies, and they say 2005 model year, but other sites (Motor Trend) say 2006. I'm trying to gauge whether or not to buy a 2004 3-series next year or wait for the new one.

    Right now, I'm thinking i'll buy the 2004 now drive it for about 4 years and then buy the redesigned 3 (once the bugs and the design issues may be worked out).

    By the way, I just saw a '04 5 series (black) on the highway this weekend. It actually looked pretty nice from the rear 3/4 view (I'd never thought I'd say that considering how I dislike the rear lights).
  • BMW does some minor facelifting mid-model run of every 'bimmer. They did it with the 3, with the 5, with the x5, with the Z3 and they are doing it with the 7. They are not backtracking or caving in the style critics. There are some software updates but frankly it's hard for me to figure what exactly that is. It's nothing major and the Wall Street Journal piece regarding this is not true. This will take place spring/summer of 2005. The front, headlights, trunk and taillights will be immediately recognized as "7 series". I-drive will be given a "menu" button as in the new 5, but it will not be a 5 series version of the I-drive.

    Also, look for the new 760i V12 this spring.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    for a job as SpinMeister for the White House?
  • I'm always willing to listen about an opportunity but it better be a good one.........this is a pretty good gig that I've got here.

    Bush/Powell in 2004

    Powell/Rice in 2008
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    are out of the way, could you describe the changes--sorry, "refreshments"-- in the previous 5? I'm no historian of the breed, but I think any styling changes were trivial. Am I wrong?
  • Bmwseller, following up on the tire pressure question ....the manual for my2003 530 recommends tire pressure of 33/41 front/rear inside usa/canada and tire pressure of 29/33 front/rear outside of usa/canada. So if you are 50 miles south of San Diego in Mexico, the recommended tire pressure varies greatly with no real climate diffference. I was wondering why this is so. I was thinking that higher pressure might mean greater mpg performance and that the EPA rating might encourage BMW or any carmaker to cite higher pressure to get a more efficient rating...maybe you or someone else on this board can shed some light on this?....
  • Bmwseller,I'll be interested to see if updated 3 will receive improved space like the e39 to e60. I bought an e39 partly because I loved it, and also because the 3 was just too small feeling. I'm glad bmw dramatically changed the 5 as it makes both models distinct. e60 is an impressive drive with more elbow room. If the new 3 has more elbow room than current 3, someone like me may trade down in a couple of years. I'm sticking with BMW , and confident there is a car to "fit" me when/if trade-in time comes...keep us posted as details emerge...
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    This is starting to get OT for this topic, but why do mfrs keep increasing the size of their cars with each new redesign? Some of us like these cars the way they are. I like the size of my current '98 A4 better than what they did in '02, and the 3's also get bigger each time.

    Remember when the Honda Accord was a tiny little crackerbox, and now I think it's about the size of a Taurus? Same for the German cars, but not quite as extreme (yet).
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    If the new 3-series is increased in size as cbgb1975 seems to want, that'll probably mean I won't be getting one. The new 5-series is now longer than the MB Eclass!
  • Size does matter as one,just one,factor in buying a car.The new 5 is now roomier than I would like, but I could live with it, no problem. However, if the 3 is also made roomier, I may go to 3 in the future....if there were enough "5" owners with similar feelings, this would affect conversion rate to new 5 within current set of owners .... likely to be replaced with a different buyer looking for more room. Whether the rest of the car would be desirable enough to "trade down" is anyone's guess,so let's see how it evolves. I'm confident BMW will have a product we can all enjoy, whether it's a 1,3,4,5, used 6, ...I stop there, the 7 really is tooooo big.....gordonwd, agree with evolution of size..it killed the 1st datsun Z years ago... history can repeat..
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    But if BMW had left the 5-series the size it was before the E39 -- whatever that was called -- then you wouldn't need for the 3 to be bigger -- you could have just gotten a 5. Now, BMW doesn't offer a car between 180-190 inches.

    Making the 3 larger will make it worse in some aspects.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... ** the 7 .. They are NOT backtracking or caving in the style critics** ...

             I bet you wish they were .. they sure missed it on the new 7, plus they now have the re-sale value of an asparagus .. I have always liked the "5's", let's hope they don't miss the mark on the new one ... :)

                          Terry.
  • I especially liked gordonmd's comments on the e46. I have a 99 323 which has been a great car aesthetically, as well as mechanically. I like the styling direction of the new 5-series, but seriously think BMW may be overengineering the mechanical side of their vehicles. Too much electronics which detracts from the pure driving enjoyment of the car. For instance, moving the window switches to the door is not good. The logical place is where it is set now. Also, is all the sensory mechanical systems really needed? I just had the DSC / brake lights stick on which turned out to be a false alarm. It is all a marketing push to get us to keep upgrading to have the latest and greatest in my opinion. I will keep my 3-series for at least 5 more years. No need for all the complicated stuff that detracts from the simple pleaure of driving a BMW. Not seeing anything that would make me change at this point - maybe I should buy another low mileage e46 to keep as back up.

    I'm going to be ordering an '04 3-series partly to have a classic-design car that I can drive and enjoy for the next 5-7 years. I also have not been wild about some recent styling directions. I even like my current '98 A4 better than what Audi did in 2002 (one reason why I'm looking at BMW and not another A4). Of course, to get an E90 I'd be waiting a year or more, and then there's the issue of getting a first-year model, etc.

    Another trend I'm not thrilled with is the increase in gratuitous electronics, a lot of which I am simply not interested in. Features like touch-screens, XM radio, built-in cell phones, Bluetooth, etc. With the E46 I can freeze things at about the level I'm used to with my Audi and not have to deal with this new stuff for a few more years :-).

    I liked
    I might also add, as a BMW motorcyclist, that their motorcycle line has also stirred up a lot of styling controversy in the last few years. They've done a few things that are downright weird to their traditional customers. Coincidentally, their chief m/c designer is also an American, David Robb. Can't they put the Germans back in control :-)?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    ...what is "Bluetooth?" Sounds like a lot of the things BMW is trying to add are the sort of things I'd never miss if they weren't there. Leave it to the Germans to overengineer everything. For example the breech assembly for a certain German artillery piece used 45 separate components whereas a similar American piece used only eight.
  • Finally there's a car from BMW that gets me off the sidelines and into the game. I've wanted one of these cars for more than 10 years, and have always found a reason to put it off. Not any more -- I won't be putting it off any longer, now that the '04 5 is out. Yes sir, as I look at its excessively stlyed exterior (which I could probably learn to love, if I had to, but honestly it would take a couple of years) and then inside to its de-contented and down-right cheap (yes, I said CHEAP) interior (just twirl the temp knobs and you'll get my drift), I can only say, "I'll take an '04 3 series." Don't want, don't need, and will never desire I-drive. Can't bear the thought of waiting until 1Q '05, when the new 3 debuts . . .

    Went to the dealer today for the third time in an effort to understand the new 5. I can't. I'll take the '04 3, keep it for many years, and hope that by the time I get back into the game again, BMW is again making cars that speak to me. In the meantime? Yeesh.
  • dbs8dbs8 Posts: 13
    Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows hands-free cell phone operation among other things. Acura offers it as standard equipment in the new TL. I'm told it costs a couple of thousand in a BMW. The price you pay for that wonderful drive!

    I've wanted a BMW since the mid eighties, my best friend in high school had a 325e. I always thought the cars were a great blend of exceptional driving characteristics and understated style. Now that I can afford one, they're becoming ugly clones of other lessor cars. The new five looks alot like the Infinity I30 IMO. I'm ordering a 2004 three series. This may be the "last of the good ones".

     I guess BMW is saving me money, I would have bought the five if it weren't so hideous!
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    The 95-99 Infinti I30 was bland and offensive. The 00-01 I30 was actually a pretty good looking car before the 02 model changeover to the I35.
  • Ah, yes. This is really BMW's strategy for selling off cars that are late in their model lifecycle: the new 7 drove people to the E39, and the E60 is driving people to the 3 series. When the new 3 comes out, all the old lines will be cleaned out...
  • Let me try this thesis: Styling has never been a BMW strong point. The name, after all, is Bavarian MOTOR Works, not Pininfarina, and if style is your bag, then the Italians, Brits, and, yes, the Yanks have plenty of offerings. While some Bimmerphiles might care to disagree, I respectfully suggest that a BMW body graced with, say, GM mechanicals, would be lambasted as badly engineered AND of questionable appearance.

    Yes, there have been exceptions, and the 1995-2001 years featured decent looks pretty much across the board, but even then BMW saw fit to grace us with the M Coupe (ughhh).

    My point is that BMW differentiates itself from the pack based on engineering, not great looks. The problem with recent bimmers is not so much styling as it is engineering for engineering's sake: technological gee-wiz devices of questionable utility but undoubted cost and complexity.
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    I totally agree with you! I do however, like my '03 E39 style and my 1995 (E34?) body style as well. I bought the car because of the great fit and finish, engineering and OH THAT DRIVE. But I also like the looks. The new '04 --5? Blechh!!! The front looks like a Pontiac. The back looks like a Kia. Ouch. The interior looks and feels cheap. And the so-called larger size, seems to be more in the trunk than the back seat. I sat back there and the back seat did not feel any larger than my '03.

    Great post!
  • but the new 5 series is the worst design to spring from chris bangle's hand since he took over at bmw. the 7 series has odd touches that i dislike, like the Buick SUV eyebrows over the front headlights and the add-on trunk lip, but right from the start it's basic body style had a kind of hulky muscular presence on the road that has grown on many initial haters. the z4 as well, is very CAD/CAM looking, with all of its intersecting cut lines and contours, but it again has a presence on the road that is powerful. the new 6 coupe is marvellous, clearly bangle's best work to date.

    but the new 5 series?--ugh. double ugh! the front end is alright, even the rear end is strangely acceptable, but the side profile is... hideous! the waist line (the main line that runs along the side length of the vehicle, aesthetically dividing the upper section from the lower section) is much too high, making the car look fat and ponderous. the outgoing 5 series, the automotive paragon of a taut athlete with its clean, graceful, balanced lines, has been tragically transformed into a couch potato who wears his pants up high over his beer belly by fastening his belt over the hump. dbs8 is right to have snatched up a current 3 series. who knows what it'll look like the next time we see it. maybe like the droopy new solara? shiver.
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