Column: Why BMW?

Featured Posts, Interesting | November 28th, 2011 by 51
bmw 3 series motorsport 051 750x500 Column: Why BMW?

Why do we like the things we like and choose X over Y? Why do some of us choose coffee over tea and Apple over …

Why do we like the things we like and choose X over Y? Why do some of us choose coffee over tea and Apple over Android? Why donuts over muffins? What are the reasons we choose one over the other? There must be some reason or reasons that motivate our choices, right?

And so, onto the main question:

Why BMW?

Is it purely because of the cars they make, or is it the company as a whole? Why not Mercedes, Audi or Lexus or any other manufacturer for that matter? Is it because of its design, tradition, quality, reliability or the brand’s philosophy that attracts you? It can be anything and everything from the interior smell to the driver’s position to the colors offered and even the cup holders!

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There is no right or wrong answer. Simply put: Why?

We know that for some it’s the driving “feel” that BMW engineers into their cars, while for others it’s the numbers and figures, such as horsepower, 0-60 times, torque or MPG that might seal the deal for them. For some the Roundel serves purely as a status symbol while for others it’s a belief in the mantra “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and philosophy of high revving naturally aspirated engines.

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More recently the focus towards the future of sustainable mobility and Efficient Dynamics has attracted the more eco-friendly crowd, thanks to the arrival of the BMW i sub-brand. With this move towards greener and more technologically advanced road vehicles, it has also brought along not only the eco-friendly but also the forward thinking, technology loving crowd as well.

With that in mind, some are not only attracted to the BMW Group just because they produce great cars, but also because of their way of doing things. Some appreciate the fact that BMW is constantly trying to push the envelope further and create the best they can possibly create with the latest and greatest that the mechanical and technological fields have to offer. Case in point, the idea that a company should stick to tradition and ignore any possible opportunities for improvement does not really fit BMW’s bill. With the switch from naturally aspirated engines to turbocharged ones and the electric assisted steering are just a few to name. Controversial subjects for some, rest assured.

Enter, second part of this article.

But it’s not all sand and sunshine for everyone. There are some that have written BMW off or have made them their second choice precisely due to some of the reasons mentioned above. So with that said, we would also like to hear what doesn’t attract you to BMW. This is not a market research; it is a passionate group of car loving individuals talking shop, discussing their likes as well as providing reasons as to why BMW suits them best and/or what bothers them the most.

I, for one, appreciate the fact that BMW is deeply involved in motorsports: from the technology  transfer and know-how learned on track being applied to their road cars, resulting in some of the best handling vehicles ever, to their young drivers program in Formula BMW promoting young talent and helping them enter the world of professional motorsport.

I’m also a fan of their design language, be it the pre-Bangle era, Bangle era and now von Hooydonk times. Each period of time and its respective models had something special that tied me to them. With that said, there are a few models that I would of happily have sent to the drawing board, with one in particular model at the top of my list: the first generation X3.

Driving feel is something special and my “aha” moment came the first time I drove a BMW, more specifically an E30 325i. No other car has made me feel more in tune with it than a BMW and this connection, if I may be so bold to say, is difficult to express in writing and yet true driving enthusiasts know exactly what I’m talking about.

But enough about me. We here at BMWBLOG want to hear from YOU. So, speak your mind and let the world know what makes you choose BMW over every other automobile manufacturer out there. And while you’re at it, why not share your dislikes as well?

We’re looking forward to your comments and remember, you can always follow us on Twitter (@bmwblog) or Facebook and share your thoughts and ideas there as well!

I asked others in the BMWBLOG team to express their own opinion, as you see below.

Horatiu Boeriu, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Why BMW? Three things sold the brand to me: the driving experience behind the wheel of an E30 318i, the fascinating BMW European Delivery and a German girlfriend that knew how to drive a bimmer with stick.

Manny Antunes, Contributor

To me, BMW is more then just my favorite car to drive, its also how I make my living. I choose to sell BMWs because the BMW buyer is among the most enthusiastic and vocal buyers in the world. They research the car they want to buy more than any other brand in this segment. Sometimes they even know as much as some sales people. That fact makes my life easier.

As for the cars themselves, I choose to drive a BMW because unlike other brands, they over engineer everything that composes their cars. from the brakes, to the last stitch in the leather, the attention to detail is second to none. You may not agree that BMW makes the best cars available, and that’s ok, but they are extremely well engineered cars. They provide a driving feel that can only be matched by one of the most legendary sports cars in the world, and they offer such enjoyment in sedans!

Misha Nikolich, Contributor

I am a BMW enthusiast and driver for a few simple reasons. Driving dynamics would have to be on the top of my list. The feedback from the steering, engine, and chassis always seems to be finely tuned which makes me feel safe behind the wheel and also experience a fun driving experience. BMWs have emotional and timeless design that combine sportiness and elegance. I’m always fascinated when I look at a new model in the flesh for the first time. I also like how BMWs are instantly recognizable on the road by paying homage to the heritage of previous generations such as the double kidney grills and Hoffmeister Kink. And with current generations the corona headlight rings.

The other reason is more about feeling a sense of community. BMW owners have typically owned several models and when you meet these folks at the local dealer or car gathering it’s nice to know they understand you. Finally it’s the passion and commitment of BMW employees all over the world – from the engineers and designers to the friendly staff at the Welt during European delivery. The end result is a ultimate driving machine that has a soul. With most cars you can’t wait to get out and don’t feel like driving. My 135i coupe makes me wish I had longer weekends, good weather, and endless curvy back roads with no traffic.

  • Denis Mercier

    It was initialy because of the name …. it is now because of the drive !!!!

  • Jjaime

    The excelent handling and feeling is the best reason to fall in love with a bimmer. These factors also support Jeremy Clarkson’s decision on the best car of 2011 (BMW M1).

    And the main weakness is reliability.

    • Mihai

      Hi , i will like a car that have independent suspension , rear wheel drive , near 50 50 axe load , big disc brakes into 4 wheels , low center of gravity , and cheap second hand parts . if German better

  • Jitariu Catalin

    design, history, engines, M cars

  • Anindyanto Dwikumoro

    Because it has strong character even if you hide those emblems, you can still recognize it’s a BMW from example, like the kidney grille the easiest thing to see, double round headlamps and from the side it has the hofmeister kink.. nuff said..

  • Kiko Toshev

    My short answer is: Straight six engine and rear wheel drive ! This concept is offered only by BMW and I would be their fan as long as they differantiate by all the others with this configuration. V6 no thanks.

  • Garth Mercer

    Because my 3 series doubles as a practical family car in which I can bring my kid to daycare, and once solo, a proper smile inducing sports car. The balance, feel, and performance is unmatched at this pricepoint.

  • Mateo

    because they have its own platform, engines etc and because they are independent unlike merc, audi, lexus

    • James Bachici

      You bring up an excellent point Mateo. “Pure” automotive manufacturer, not having to deal with approvals from other’s. This is rare in the industry and as you point out, Merc is Daimler, Audi is VW and Lexus is Toyota. Thanks for sharing!

  • Howiiieee3

    I keep switching back and forth between BMW and Lexus. I went from a Lexus E300 to BMW E39 to LS400 to E60 and to GS350. I love the steeling feel, handling, and smooth power of the BMW. However, the reliability of E39 and iDrive crashes in E60 have me running  back to the reliability, luxury, and comfort of a Lexus. Now I have a Lexus GS350 for daily driver and a E36 convertible for weekend fun. I will keep looking for a one car solution.

  • Rtcalo

    It all comes down to the driving experience, it’s that “drivers feel” that has made BMW what it is today. It’s that big grin that i get after swapping your own cog to another round of sweet mechanical sounds along with some G forces pressing you to your seat. It’s how the steering talks to you and makes the car feel like an extension of one of your limbs. It’s out the seating position is just perfect for driving posture and having all the controls within reach. It’s about…. oh what the hell you get the point if you having driven one.

  • Doug Carden

    The 335ixDrive was the only 300-hp sport sedan with both AWD and a manual transmission. The car costs about $10,000 more than similar Japanese cars (I owned both Acura and Infiniti), but in addition to the above, there is a difference in the solid feel and handling of the car that makes it worth the extra money.

  • Sajan

    I am an aspiring automotive designer (17 years old) Today I received an invitation to an interview at Coventry university, which has one of the most prestigious automotive design schools. If it wasn’t for BMW being open with analyzing the lines of their cars, I probably wouldn’t have received an invitation to have an interview. It’s thanks to those designers that I’ve broadened my knowledge on car design. NO other manufacturer does things like this. THIS is the reason why BMW is so so unique! They are oh so much more than a car/bike company. The average Joe doesn’t realize this. Thankfully all the people who have posted these comments aren’t average Joes either. Today my Mum’s e46 316ti compact broke down today on the way to college.. I still love the manufacturer as much as I ever did though. Tomorrow I have my driving test.. itching to pass.. after all it’s one step closer to driving a Bimmer of my own.. and when I do (hopefully) it will be a black 135i which I will go in a road trip in to the Nurburgring. That for me is a huge drive to be successful :)

    • James Bachici

      Thank you for reading Sajan and thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us. We wish you the best of luck on your interview!

  • Asds

    I bought my 135 for the combination of performance, luxury, and value. I delayed buying a BMW for several years because of the social stigma associated with BMW owners.

    • James Bachici

      And what are your thoughts on said stigma now that you are a BMW owner?

  • Karl

    I have been driving BMWs since 1971 with my first purchased of a 1970 2002 BMW. After the BMW 2002, I also had a 1979 528i, 635Ci, X5, and now a 335I coupe. I have loved them all, for the same reason of pure driving excitement and pleasure. My only recommendation, is that BMW should develop a paint/plastic for the front facia to be more durable than it is currently. The face of my coupe (without a phantom shield) chips too easily.

  • Joseph Whaley

    Innovation.   Attention to detail.  Lineage.

    • James Bachici

      Short, and to the point :)

  • Anonymous

    “I, for one, appreciate the fact that BMW is deeply involved in
    motorsports: from the technology  transfer and know-how learned on track
    being applied to their road cars, resulting in some of the best
    handling vehicles ever, to their young drivers program in Formula BMW
    promoting young talent and helping them enter the world of professional
    Like you i like the sporty chassis of 325i E30 ;-) E30 M3 for example was a car made for DTM. DTM now is a joke, the cars don’t have anything in common with stock cars, exept the look in some way.
    So it’s just not true anymore, that BMWs are made for racing.. it was true at the 80s and 90s, but not now.
    The balance (!) between a strong, in some ways uncomfortable chassis, a high reving inline six with nasty sound and a bit of suitability for daily use, mixed with great engineering kept me loving BMW. The last years i think BMW is to hard trying to do political correct stuff. It’s ok if they do it in the most of their normal cars, but for example who cares about the fuel consumption and drives an M5? It’s ironic that the new V8 nearly takes the same amount of fuel when kicked as the S85 did. I just hope the upcoming M3 does better when it comes to its qualities like handling and emotion, especially the engine.
    BMW has allways been exotic in some ways, high reving inline six, rear wheel drive, sportiness weight more than comfort.. it seems BMW more and more becomes just another of the normal manufacturers, even though they are quite the best at what they’re doing.

  • M3power

    I don’t really care how much technology BMW decides to throw into the car, the most improtant thing for me is always performance and handling. If both those criteria is met, then I will stick with BMW.

  • Russell Chapman

    I still remember when & where it started: the first time I saw the E28 at our town’s local show, in 1981. I was determined that one day I would own one (I never did!) no matter how long I had to wait or how old it
    was when I finally got there. Then watching a M635CSi racing around Lakeside Circuit – it seemed to just carve through all the domestic V8s and the howl from that inline6! By the time I had to regularly drive my boss’s E30 for work I was a total fan – it made me feel special. And that’s still the core element.
    I love the gadgetry of the internet enabled iDrive, I love the auto-dip headlights,  I love the heads-up displays, I love getting 1000km on a tank in a car as big as the X5, I love the burble of the V8 in the 650i… But whether it is carving up a back road with the top down, effortlessly tackling the ski fields, or just commuting, I love how BMWs make me feel.

  • Joel

    What I like about BMW’s: handling, comfort, performance, design, efficiency, safety and reliability. All of this is represented in my bone-stock E46 320iA with the possible minus of performance, as it is a weaker brother of 325i. The steering wheel of my car and other BMW’s I’ve driven are unmatched in any other brand cars including Audis and Mercs.
    As I am still a young college student I have no means of purchasing any new BMW’s right now but my intended upgrade is definetly a BMW, more specifically E60 530xd, which I hope would return the same pleasure that my current E46 does.
    There really aren’t many things to not like about these cars, although I’ve heard that newer models aren’t on par in terms of reliability with older ones. I certainly hope it’s not true.

    • James Bachici

      Thanks for reading Joel! Strangely enough, I too share your liking of the not-as-talked-about subject of steering wheels. I installed an original alcantara M steering wheel on my E46 330i.

  • Joy2day

    On the road BMW provides brisk performance, a good ride and respectable handling. It offers many features that other cars are unable to offer.

  • Giom

    Today, I ask why people don’t like BMWs… there really is now logical answere for me. I know exactly why I don’t like Mercs and really dislikes Audis.

    What drew me to BMW when I was a young 15 year old, was the sales people at our local dealership. They were the exact opposite of the Merc sellers across the road and that sealed the long lasting love affair. Today, it’s easy to move where BMW goes, because I trust the board and I know the Quandts are enthusiasts also. Plus, every single reason James mentioned.

    Like James, I really disliked the first X3 and I hate the fact that BMW doesn’t have a supercar. I would have liked a GTS (type of) version of every single M car – bar the X M models. We need a hard core M6! The only other minor reservation is the styling… I feel that more drama could be styled into all models, but I’m really not disliking any of them.

    • James Bachici

      Thanks for reading Giom! Let’s hope BMW will fill in that supercar gap with the i8 and hopefully an M1.

      • iNeb

        I was never really a fan of BMW to be honest, but now I’m looking into BMW 1 Series (2006) model… what do you know about it, is it reliable, efficient and safe overall? Thank you, a nice article.

        • James Bachici

          Thank you for reading iNeb. I don’t have any extensive experience owning a 1 Series but the compact design coupled with the RWD setup does make for a fun recipe that’s for sure! BMW’s are some of the safest cars on the road and depending on your engine choice, efficient as well considering their performance output.

          I would highly recommend that you go out and test drive one for yourself. Looking over reviews is also a good idea, but there’s no substitute for “hands on” experience. Let us know how things turn out for you!

  • Moody80

    Bcuz it’s so perfect, looks and feels than other cars, BMW is a big huge name..

  • Fbaftiroski

    Plus :Handling, feeling , design

    Minus: In older models a lot of electronic problems

  • BMW The Best

    Why BMW? This question has a simple answer: BECAUSE BMW IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD!

  • Nimbus444

    they have it ALL, theres many others that have it, just not it ALL. this sounds stupid but i cant figure out a way to answer this question.

  • Otazzku

    I drive a BMW because it is a reliable and very dynamic car that brings me Joy!

  • Ettienne

    just an awesome driving experience….like the sales person said, “once you sit behind the badge, it’s difficult to go with another car”. Didn’t quite get it at first, but I sure did afterwards

    +I have been a huge fan all my life….. M
    Says it all, doesn’t it?

  • Cornelius Daniel Daly

    I love BMW its a real Car. Toyota is a Toy!!!



  • Bimmer Nsour

    BMW is not just a car for me , she’s my life !!

    she’s the only reason that makes me alive till this moment i can’t describe her by words i just can’t 
    she totally got my mind , i think and dream about her everyday and night 
    my true love and passion i can’t imagine my self without a BMW 
    so the question now is why?
    this is my answer ….
    How would a human being love or even adore a heartless soulless peice of metal with a BMW logo?!
    which is already made by humans ,,, but those humans have created the ultimate engines with the most exotic bodies which drives the joy into your heart ,unlike humans she pays back every cent you spent on while you could pay all of what you got for a human to get stabbed as a pay back so love a piece of metal is way better than loving a human !! 
    everyone think that i’m crazy and insane but they can just enter my mind and see BMW the way i see her they may understand :)
    my dream is to complete my studies and be a mechanical engineer and join BMW team <3

  • Bimmer Nsour

    ****but if they can enter****

  • PD

    i do not own BMW , but i have traveled a lot in BMW ,
    best is always best, it so efficient and its so beautifully designed u will love it.
    the designer deserves the best, 1 day i will buy for my son.

  • wuweee

    I like Bimmers because they’ve held, for the most part, to their mantra:’The Ultimate Driving Machine’.
    However, I see recent downsides:
    1 – Losing their way from the mantra. Models where I believe bastardizes the BMW offering such as X5M, X6, 5GT or the Gran Coupe, that are more cashflow oriented and a true UDM.
    2 – Bloated curb weights. The number one issue, I believe that is not being addressed with fuel economy, is curb weights. For example (which also applies to no1 above), I like that BMW now offers Sport, Luxury & Modern lines, but it must be more to the essense of a UDM. The Sport should not have iDrive, leather power seats and awd to minimize weight and keep the ‘purity’ of each UDM line.
    3 – Reliability. As mentioned before in BMWBlog, my attraction to BMW is its purity and independence. I cannot pay a premium TT price for a prissied up Golf from VWAudiPorsche conglomerate. Thusly, as a premium product, it should have *ahem* lexus-like reliability.
    Remember, most people how own, and aspire to own a BMW know it’s a lifestyle, a lifestyle that differs from the others as THE UDM. I/we don’t drive a BMW to get from A to B, we ENJOY the passage FROM A to B with the our BMWs.

    IMO, Sincerely atw

  • Adam

    What got me was seeing the M3 for the first time as a young kid, at a time when the Supra was my beau I saw an M3 and once told how fast, how balanced and how precise it was I was struck by the fact that it was all wrapped in a svelt, understated body. From that point on (and in part due to The Fast and The Furious) wings, neons, shocker stickers and huge mufflers just never appealed anymore. I was hooked from that moment on and inspite of progress I still love them.

  • jon trejo

    I fell in love with the brand after the purchase of my first car at 16, I saved up money and bought a 1987 325, not knowing anything about the brand it was just what I could afford… After a couple of weeks driving it I loved it, I couldn’t find anything to complain about, it took me from point A to point B in a fun way. To this day I stay a loyal Bmw driver, I’ve drivin many cars as a valley but none give me the same fun drive and handling that a Bmw does… I recently sold my e36 and bought a e46 and I love it!! Currently saving up for a m5!

    • Horatiu B.

      The E46 is an awesome car!