Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, September 6, 2020

BMW

Photos by Salt Water New England
Two Questions for the Community:
  • What are your thoughts on current BMWs?
  • What is your all-time favorite BMW? 


























































46 comments:

  1. So many good ones. The 3.0 CSI, 2002, 2000 M5 and the often maligned Bavaria.

    David J Cooper

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  2. thought this was a volvo wagon blog :)

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  3. The E46 model of the late '90s.

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  4. It's sad the 5 series wagon isn't sold in this country. If I have a complaint its that the new ones have too many curves. My 2005 3 series convertible is irreplaceable. The X3 is well priced and a great car.

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    1. I would love to have a series 5 wagon. My husband BMW convertible is such fun.

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  5. My first was a 1970 2002. They were very hard to find then, tons of fun but not nearly as reliable as they are now. We currently have an X3 and love it. I very much miss the amazing visibility offered by the 2002 and the various early 3 liter coupes. They may have been maligned, but I always had a soft spot for the Bavaria.

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    1. I was going to mention the same model. A friend when I was in college (he was a bus driver) had a 2002tii, which he kindly let me drive. Nice car, nicer than the Rover 2000TC that I had.

      No experience with current models but their station wagons are very nice looking cars, almost as nice looking as my old V40. Haven't seen a V40 for years.

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  6. I had a 1970 2002 for several years and it was a simple robust car.

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  7. A guy I worked with ages ago had a 2002 — don't know which model. I thought then and now that it was one of the tidiest, neatest small cars going. However, never owned one, never driven one, or even ridden in one.

    For all I know it was a dog that let you down when the light changed or it died in the rain. But it sure looked cool, back there in the early 1970s. I still think it does, even though I'm years past the point where I'd buy a car based on its looks.

    Now? More like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSHpgUYqus

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  8. Hmmm...I'll take a wagon or perhaps the lovely red convertible. And a beautiful village green like that to park it by!

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  9. Amazing machines to drive. Love my 2 Series at the moment, but you can never go wrong with any 3 Series really

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  10. I used to drive a 328 Coupe in my early twenties, but there is just so much cultural baggage with driving a BMW these days I wouldn't buy one again.
    My dream daily drive these days is an immaculate Volvo 240!

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    1. I refuse to allow cultural baggage to rule my life.

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  11. If you are not particular about how others view you, the BMW is an excellent car for sports enthusiast especially the M3, 2002 and even the early 90's 5-series wagon, in British Racing Green with Tan Interior of course.

    The newer BMW models are over-engineered to keep pace with the competition from Mercedes and Audi. To save on manufacturing costs and decreasing the overall weight, BMW has been using plastic engine parts. This has led to premature failure and plenty of expensive repair costs.

    It's a shame.

    Compromises to appease status-conscious customers will come at a cost to overall brand reputation in the long term. There is a reason why I love hand-sewn shoes from Maine.


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  12. My Dad had a 1982 E28 520i. I'd still like one myself as a weekend classic.

    Other favourites include, E28 M5, E24 M635 CSi, E30 325i Sport, E30 M3 Evolution, 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile', 2002 Turbo.

    I kind of stopped liking BMWs after the E39 M5 and E38 7 Series. If I were to have a modern BMW it would have to be an Alpina, really. Essentially a BMW, but recognised as an individual marque. Far more rare and exclusive.

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  13. The over looked 528e.

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  14. Is that a partial view of a Morris Traveller that I can see in one of the pictures? Didn't know any were ever exported to the US. Spent much of my English childhood in the back of one, asking my dad if we were there yet.

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  15. Old ones, yes. Circa 1970 or so. New ones, nope. To be fair, I feel that way about most new cars.
    MaryAnne

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  16. I love BMWs. They are the ultimate driving machine as the marketing campaign says. My first BMW was a 2002 325i with a standard transmission and a moonroof... that’s it. No frills. No fancy computers. It was amazing. If I could have afforded it, I would have gone for a fully loaded 540i with a standard. But ones first job doesn’t always enable that kind of success. But the car I owned handled the road perfectly. There’s a connection to the road that felt like nothing else. Being rear wheeled drive (no AWD) and a 50/50 weight distribution, there was no over/under steer. It carried my groceries and gear just fine and had room for friends. Fuel efficiency was decent for a car at the time. And I thought it looked beautiful.

    In the years since, I’ve owned a 1990 325i convertible that I restored to near factory perfection and it exceeded all my expectations on what a car should be like. At the time, I had moved to an urban environment and didn’t need anything other than a fun car to use on the weekends. After a while, it sat unused and I sold it. Probably one of the larger “regrets” I have (not serious but I do wish I just stored it in a garage somewhere).

    The newer models are more computers than actual machinery and I don’t know if I’d like them as much. When I see other people driving them - especially the X models - I feel the purchase is more of a status symbol than a love for the car or its heritage. But if one has the money, it can still be configured with the older equipment that maintains the true essence of what BMWs used to mean.

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  17. like the MGA parked in front of the newspaper boxes.
    Had a '59 and wish I had never sold it.

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  18. It is evident that high-performance German automobiles are the choice of a better class of people.

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    1. No they used to be. Now they are for people who want you to think they are a better class of people.

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  19. I've always wanted a 3 Series wagon, but most recently we purchased a VW Alltrack wagon; which provides better value for money. And, we got it at a $10,000.00 discount. It sems American consumers aren't interested in all-wheel drive wagons (SUVs appear to rule the roost in your neck of the woods) so they've sent their remaining stock here to Canada. Your loss, our gain, I'm afraid.

    Anything up-to and including a 3 Series with an M badge on it has always been attractive...

    Your intrepid reader from north of the 49th parallel,

    Banacek

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  20. I like my 2000 323 CI just fine .

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  21. 1999 BMW 528iT Wagon in British Racing Green. Ran like a scalded dog.. Bought the Bentley Manuals for it. Put together a notebook for known failures to educate myself. Most BMW owners prefer style over substance, unlike Volvo owners. Volvo owners can work on their cars & are more mechanically inclined. Have owned a 1983 245 GL Wagon, Roof Rack, 3rd Seat & currently own 1992 240 DL Wagon. Both with 2.3L red brick engines. BMW's are expensive to maintain vs Volvo, besides the Volvo seats are better than Mercedes & BMW. Worked on a ton of cars during my life...started with a 1949 Chevrolet. Maintain a record of maintenance book in the glove compartment. Good mechanics appreciate sophisticated & knowledgeable clients who have had grease on their hands.

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  22. That MGB at the tennis court looked like fun. Not sure I could get out of it anymore.
    Would also enjoy BMW 733i E23 US specs., 1978 model if I could get it with flames painted on it. :-)

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    1. Me? The MGA in the shot with the guy in pink shorts.

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  23. Captain Drotting-TeefSeptember 7, 2020 at 4:54 PM

    They're still excellent cars, but they've been softened and homogenized. They're no longer quite what they once were as high-performance machines for people who wanted that in a subtle package.

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  24. The 527e, natch. I’d trade all the BMWs shown and toss a 2002 full of Woden nickels for the Porsche and that funky Woody. Probably wouldn’t get a deal with all that.

    Oh, what’s the difference between a rose bush and a BMW driver? I forget.

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    1. ...funny guy. The same can be interchanged (see what I did there...?) with "Porsche drivers", though isn't applicable to we Saabists (as Jeremy Clarkson may have referred to us).

      B.

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  25. ...er, that's "Saabists". Apologies.

    B.

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  26. Any thoughts on the MINI v. BMW?

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    1. I have had several BMWs. My wife currently drives a white 2018 X3, and I drive a green 2008 Mini S convertible. Notwithstanding its badge, looks, and origins, Minis today are very much BMWs. Mine drives very much like my old 2002 did but is lighter and stronger. The 2002 was not particularly powerful. They both cornered very flat and loved to cruise at high speeds. The X3 easily gets up around 100 if you don't pay attention. (Don't worry. We are in Texas where 100 is commonplace on roads with posted limits of 85.) The 2002 of course was carbureted and lacked a turbo, but it had terrific gearing, and if you popped it into the right gear and hit the gas the acceleration was pretty amazing. Of course being a convertible the Mini has that unparalleled visibility that older BMWs had. (I wish they still did!). All in all both bring smiles, but the old BMW was more special. The newer BMWs are so smooth that they are a very different sort of car.

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  27. I like BMWs. We have two: a 3-series sedan and an X3. Both are late models. My favorite BMW is probably a 2002 from the mid-late 70s, which I've never owned and won't because I am woefully unmechanical and a first class dope when it comes to repairing cars. When younger, I owned an MGA and also an MGB. Those cars taught me reliability is a really important factor in owning a car and maintaining sanity.

    Aiken

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  28. 2002tii and 3.0CS coupes were fine. I have owned several later BMW's, including a sport-package E36 that was robust but only pleasant when driven much too fast for public roads. A diesel sedan was nothing but problems, and actually a lesser car than some Volkswagen diesels of the time. Family have owned disaster 7-series, 5-series, and X5 models over the last twenty five years. All of them have been difficult and expensive to maintain, unreliable, and ultimately frustrating. BMW's insistence on excluding a spare wheel and tire and using horrid runflat tires, coupled with their declining competence, mean that I will never again own one.

    A few years ago I chanced upon a pristine, low mileage Lexus GS which I test drove alongside a new and highly optioned 5-series. Despite my skepticism of the Lexus brand, the GS proved to have better ride and handling than the vaunted 5-series, and was soothingly tastefully appointed. It proved to be a perfectly reliable and wonderfully-driving vehicle for many miles, very much under the radar as a BMW substitute. Onlookers often assumed it was the very sedate and boring Lexus ES because they saw so few GS on the road. It was our little secret!

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    1. Wholeheartedly concur. Something to be said for those Riceburners. Drive a 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser for road trips & hunting. Built like a tank. Hirohito's revenge on the USA.

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    2. I used to be a big BMW fan, up to the early 2000s, but I'd take a Lexus over a BMW every day of the week, now. You can't beat Japanese motors. I've had a Toyota since 2009 and I'm fully converted.

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  29. Ahhh BMW. The first car I bought with my own money was a 1987 528e.

    My daily is a 2008 550i. I think the E60 is the last great five series. It has buttons instead of screens and is very engaging to drive. It also has the last N62 V-8 that is naturally aspirated.

    I've owned the new BMWs and they seem numb. But I'll never drive anything else.

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  30. I'm not a BMW fan, and would never own one, but a friend of mine once said: "Boys drive BMWs, Men drive Audis."

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  31. My first and only BMW is a 95 E34 530I, pleasure to drive, handles very well but lousy gas mileage. But a lot of fun for a seventy year old. However had a '71 Alfa 1750 GTV that was my all time favorite. Great handling car, once unintentionaly did a perfect 360 on a one lane bridge (black ice) no damage to the car. Will always regret selling it, but conflicted with having children.

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    1. Real enthusiasts buy Alphas; if only once... The rest of us are mere wanna-bees.

      B.

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  32. Engaging in pecuniary emulation when I was 27 I bought a ten year old 1980 528i. I drove it for 3 years and then I gave it to my impecunious older brother who needed a car. It was a good car but not great.

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  33. My favorite BMW’s are the 2002 and my current BMW a 2001 740 I.

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  34. First car I ever purchased with my own money was a 2010 3 Series. BMW's advertising at the time emphasized the joy of driving, and my experience seemed to wholly concur with that sentiment. I put many miles on it, and often had a smile on my face zooming through twisties and country backroads in New England. It was the last of the 3 series to feature hydraulic steering, and sadly, probably the last of the "real" 3 series.

    Since then, legendary handling has become more numb, and the 4 cylinder N20 motor featured in the 3 series/X3 through the 2016 model year is known to be a ticking time bomb (you can search the web for class action lawsuits and horror stories). Combined with the introduction of a seemingly endless array of confusing models and nomenclature, and a watering down of the legendary "M" performance division, it seems that BMW has most certainly lost its way. And sadly, I know a great many former enthusiasts who wholly concur.

    Hopefully, they'll return to what they were during the E46 hey day, when BMW was probably at its peak. Those are still my favorite cars aesthetically, regardless of brand, next to the 911.

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    1. Agreed, the steering on the current ones is mushy and the handling more like wallowing. I think the high-water mark was the E39 M5 of 1998.

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  35. We drove an X5 across the continent two years ago. Lovely car but for the weird thing that controls al of the SatNav and radio. Good on gas and lots of room for four. Jeremy Clarkson has said several times that the newer 3 series are just about sheer perfection for a family car. That said, 1990's and early 2000's 740 series are such poor cars that you practically can't give them away and the y will bankrupt the recipient.

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