BMW has had a long, illustrious career of making both high-performance and luxury cars. Since the ’60s BMW has been making fantastic cars in every segment. Each and every decade has had at least one important car that helped shape the future of the automobile. So that got me thinking, which decade was BMW’s best?
The ’60s has the 1600s, the CS Coupes and the 2002, which is highly regarded as one of the best automobiles of all time. David E. Davis’ famous review of the 2002 for Car and Driver cemented the 2002 into the automotive hall of fame.
While the 3.0 liter CSL has a cult following like few others have. The M1, while extraordinarily rare, is one of the most coveted BMWs of all time.
The ’80s were many’s favorite for BMW and it’s easy to see why. The very first M car, the E28 M5, shocked the world into realizing a sedan could have such a high level of performance.
Then came the E30 3 Series and the absolutely iconic M3. The first M3 is still widely considered the best M3 and possibly the best car of its kind in history. Mention BMW to most enthusiasts and the E30 M3 is likely to come to their mind first.
While not as exciting as the ’80s the ’90s were also a good decade for BMW. The E36 proved to be one of BMWs best selling vehicles, the E38 7 Series is still many peoples favorite 7 and the E39 5 Series came out.
The E39 5 Series could very well be the best of them which would make it the best of a car which is usually the best of the segment. It’s also one of the most highly sought after M5s, the E39.
The ‘2000s had the E46 M3, Z4 M, and the very first BMW SUV, the X5. The E46 M3 is easily one of the best M3s and, after reading the comments on a “favorite M3” article awhile back, a fan favorite as well.
But I think the real important car here is the X5. It launched BMW into the luxury SUV segment and started a line of vehicles that not only still exists but will most likely be around for the long haul. It’s also, perennially, one of the best in class.
We’re still in the ‘2010s but it’s already shaping up to be a good one. First turbocharged M cars, the 2 Series debut and the introduction of an entirely new, exciting and innovative division, the i Division. Because of BMW’s i Division, this could be the decade that people look to as the defining point of the brand and the automotive industry as a whole.
I just named a few cars in each decade, but there are many extraordinary BMWs in every decade. Each are important, not only to BMW, but to the industry. BMW is such an important and defining brand.
So what is your favorite decade of cars in the history of such an illustrious brand?