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BMWs - Still The Ultimate Driving Machines?

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Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited August 2012
    While the the 3-Series and the (ugy) 1-Series are regarded as great drivers cars, the new 5ers and 7ers have been called cruisers. The Avalon (or the TL or M) are, arguably, also cruisers, but cost much less than the larger Bimmers. Are the 5 and 7 better cruisers than their Japanese counterparts? If so, are they worth the extra money?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,752
    I haven't driven the current models of any of those, but I'm sure that even the current "numb" 5-series will feel more connected to the road than an Avalon--they're very different animals.

    Having owned both an E90 3-series and (presently) an E39 5-series, the old E39 feels heavier and less precise, and although the steering doesn't inspire as much confidence, it seems to have a similar level of grip in the corners (both vehicles had/have the sport package).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Thanks for your response. What seems to happen is that the difference in driving experience, from a driver's car perspective, diminishes between BMW and more ordinary counterparts as size and weight increase.

    I wouldn't expect the Avalon to have the same level of grip as a 5-Series with sport package, but I haven't read a comparison test that suggests that the latest generation 5er has more grip than the SH-AWD equipped Acura TL or Infiniti M.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,697
    Well, it's not just a question of grip. What I particularly like about BMWs is their ability to let the driver know exactly what is going on at the contact patches. My experience behind the wheel of the F10 5er(non-Sport 528i and 535i) reveals that this ability is severely muted in the latest iteration of the 5er. The primary offender is the numb power steering. Still, if forced to buy a big sedan(a choice I hope I never have to make) I'd probably give the nod to the F10, if only for the fact that it is RWD.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Rumors of good leasing deals in the US have been floating around (partly to try to keep ahead of Mercedes sales numbers).

    Luxury carmaker BMW starts to feel industry pain (Reuters)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "2012 profit targets look secure, but next year looks questionable.

    Europe, now officially in recession after a second quarter in a row of negative growth, will make it more difficult to make money. China and the U.S. will not be enough to keep overall profits improving.

    Still, BMW, and upmarket compatriots like Mercedes and VW’s Audi, are doing better than most of Europe’s mass car manufacturers, which are losing huge amounts of money with no end in sight."

    U.S., and China, will buttress BMW in 2012, while Europe sputters (Detroit News)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Brisk sales this year also come from a rebound in the luxury auto market as well-heeled buyers who were nervous about the economy pull the trigger on car purchases delayed for several years.

    Adding to the frenzy is the heavy advertising and attractive year-end specials offered by BMW and Mercedes-Benz as they duke it out for bragging rights as the nation's top luxury brand."

    Luxury car sales on track to have best month in years (LA Times)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 43,342
    I'll make one or two silent (as not to offend the oversensitive) demographic guesses about the driver.

    Here's another
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited December 2014
    The following is Edmunds' summary of the 2015 5-Series...

    "Review of the 2015 BMW 5 Series

    The 2015 BMW 5 Series is a comfortable, technologically advanced midsize luxury sedan with a very appealing set of skills.

    Safety | Reliability

    Pros
    Superb powertrains; impressive fuel economy in most forms; elegant interior packed with high-tech features; smooth, quiet ride; advanced safety features.

    Cons
    Ho-hum handling; relatively small trunk; intrusive auto stop-start system.

    What's New for 2015
    A sport steering wheel is now standard on all models, as are LED foglights. Minor changes in optional equipment include an enhanced Executive package (now with a leather dashboard) and the removal of the Modern Line package."

    Should the ultimate driving machine feature ho-hum handling and an intrusive auto stop-start system? BMW has gone soft, yet sales continue to set new records. I don't get it. What gives? My impression is that BMWs may still be good cars and SUVs, maybe even excellent ones, but the tag line "The Ultimate Driving Machine" no longer applies. If I want ho-hum handling, I'll buy a Camry. Oh wait, Toyota has tightened up the handling on the 2015 Camry, so maybe it's not so ho-hum anymore.

    For the past few years, each new generation has moved away from being drivers' cars, and closer to being mainstream luxury cruisers.

    Do you agree that "The Ultimate Driving Machine" tag line is deceptive, when applied to most newer BMWs, or disagree?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,697
    I agree 100% Only a very few new BMWs are even remotely entertaining to drive. Munich is abandoning the sport sedan market just as Cadillac and Lexus are embracing it. I know more than a few long time BMW CCA members who now own a CTS-V, Boss 302, or C6 Corvette because they could not find a BMW that drove the way they expected it to. As for me, I've had a BMW in the garage continuously since 1983; 10 in all and four currently in the family. I doubt that I'll ever buy another new or CPO Bimmer again. In fact an E92 M3 is about as new as I would go.
    Now BMW panders to the imbeciles like the "enthusiast" I ran into at our local dealer's F30 intro- who told me that he liked automatics because "he wanted a car that he could drive without having to do anything."

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,697
    Funny thing; I remembered a statement I made in my 2007 article on the international launch of the E93. While I had nothing but praise for the car's handling, I went on to write that the performance of the car was a moot point as BMW would sell as many as they could build- even if the car had the driving dynamics of a Chevrolet Cobalt.
    It sure looks like BMW is beginning to adopt that marketing strategy....

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,998



    Do you agree that "The Ultimate Driving Machine" tag line is deceptive, when applied to most newer BMWs, or disagree?

    I'm BMW owner and long time fan but I'm also a retired advertising professional and IMO "The ultimate driving machine" slogan was never anything more than a bit adverting B.S. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of automobile dynamics knows that to maximize the driving dynamics of a car you have to place the heaviest part (the motor) in the middle of the car. If you're really looking for the "ultimate" you want the engine behind the driver (but not at the very rear as in a 911 or a Beetle).

    At this time BMW offers no mid-engined vehicles to the public and hasn't since the M1 of the 1980s. I have driven a few late model Bimmers and they did not impress me as being particularly responsive compared to the 15 y/o BMWs I am familiar with.

    All that said I'm not sure many of BMWs competitors offer superior driving dynamics either and I myself plan to have a good look at the new 2-Series , especially the M235 which seem to offer a return to the driving characteristics we loved in the 20th Century cars.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,697
    I do like the M235i, but optioned with just leather, the Cold Weather Package, H/K audio, and port-installed locking diff I'm looking at over $48,500. Ridiculous...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,998

    I do like the M235i, but optioned with just leather, the Cold Weather Package, H/K audio, and port-installed locking diff I'm looking at over $48,500. Ridiculous...

    I feel you buddy. The price of new BMWs has always been outlandish, that's why I buy them used. The depreciation curve on them is pretty steep. My 528i stickered for $47K in 2000 but I got it for $26K in '04 w 44,ooo miles (lease return).

    Wait a couple of years and you'll get that M235 for the price of a new Accord; I know which I'd rather have.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • fintailfintail Posts: 43,342
    Speaking from a fan of the Swabian competition, the only thing that might make me choose a late model BMW is HUD. Otherwise, I don't know how much more boring a MB is on the road anymore, as BMW has lux'd it up and became a little soft. And as MB is introducing HUD on new models, that attraction might be slipping.

    The "ultimate" belief has a lot of equity, so BMW can still run with it for awhile - and as the brand has a brash image, that appeals to some. It's not over.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited December 2014

    Funny thing; I remembered a statement I made in my 2007 article on the international launch of the E93. While I had nothing but praise for the car's handling, I went on to write that the performance of the car was a moot point as BMW would sell as many as they could build- even if the car had the driving dynamics of a Chevrolet Cobalt.
    It sure looks like BMW is beginning to adopt that marketing strategy....

    Speaking of Cobalts, there are two Chevys (ies?) that I think are competitive with higher performance BMWs, but cost less; the Corvette C-7 and Impala SS, and arguably a third, the Camaro. The SS and the Camaro are too porky for my tastes, but from what I've read GM will fix that in the next generation, as it did with the Cadillac ATS and CTS.

    The new Mustang is also impressive. Again, for less money than a performance comparable BMW 2 or 3-Series, and lower upkeep. The main thing you give up with domestics are prestige, in my opinion.

    Click on to a Impala SS review below...

    http://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/2015-chevrolet-ss-review-notes

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600

    No doubt, Chevrolet and Ford are nibbling at the south end of BMWs market. Me, I'm a bit of a redneck at heart and find myself drawn to the Challenger SRT- not as adept on the track as the ///M BMWs, but infinitely more personality...
    -

    The Challenger SRT is a really nice looking car, with strong performance, but it's even larger and heavier than the Camaro, if only by a little. I look for the next generation Challenger to remedy these deficiencies.

    The V6 Challenger would be a nice cruiser, with adequate performance for me. The V8 sound would be hard to give up, however.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,697
    I rented a V6 for the weekend last summer. Not a slug, but I'd have to get the V8.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

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