Can enthusiasts typically talk about how things were better in the old days, specifically with BMWs. Everyone always claims that cars like the E30 BMW 3 Series and E39 BMW 5 Series are significantly better than the newer variants of those cars and, in many ways, those people are right. But typically, people’s fondness for the old days is only viewed through rose-tinted glasses and the old days aren’t actually as good as people remember. However, when someone can directly compare old/new and give an actual opinion in real time on the matter, as opposed to the sentimental memories of the past, it really puts things into perspective. That’s exactly what Nick Murray does here.
Nick Murray has a YouTube channel where he periodically reviews his own brand-new F82 BMW M4. As an M4 owner, Murray talks about many of the things that he likes and doesn’t like about the car. Overall, it seems as if Murray is happy with his purchase and does indeed like the M4 overall. But the M4 isn’t his only BMW.
Murray is originally from New Zealand and back home, in the town that he grew up, he owns an E30 BMW 325i, the car that is supposed to be the superior car to the F30 BMW 3 Series of today. So when he visits New Zealand, to see friends and family, he gets to drive his E30 and really see if it’s better than the modern BMWs he’s so accustomed to.
One of the things he mentions in this video is how similar old BMWs actually feel to new ones, which is actually a compliment to the newer cars. Of course, the E30 is going to be far lighter than the modern F30 3 Series, with it only weighing in at around 2,500 lbs according to Murray, and its steering feel is significantly better. This is thanks to the way BMWs were back then, as the Bavarian brand wasn’t trying to cater to a much larger audience. That lighter weight and more pure steering makes the E30 3 Series and incredibly fun car to chuck around, even by today’s standards.
Owning an E36 328i myself, I can completely understand where Murray is coming from. Being able to compare my old 328i with a brand new 328i that I’m doing right now is a genuinely eye-opening experience. He and I share similar sentiments for the comparison. The cars actually drive quite similarly, in terms of the way they feel and handle, but the older cars just feel more pure and less filtered, which is just a sign of the times. So BMW isn’t forgetting how to make cars, it’s just making cars for the current time. Are the older BMWs better to drive? Yes, they offer a more pure experience and they bring you back to a time when things were simpler. But are modern BMWs much worse to drive? No, they just don’t offer the pure, unfiltered, triple-distilled essence of the older ones.