America vs BMW

Others | October 1st, 2008 by 6
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I know we’ve all seen our fair share of interiors from Detroit. Sometimes they have been rather nice places to spend a few minutes. And …

I know we’ve all seen our fair share of interiors from Detroit. Sometimes they have been rather nice places to spend a few minutes. And most of the time they have been places where you didn’t want to sit in for fear that you may stick to something.

BMW’s have always been a quaint (definition: skillfully or cleverly made) place to be. It’s always been an interior to be worthy of spending a road trip in.

I am in no way trying to bash the Americans and say that Germany is the best. Back in the good ole’ days of the 50’s and 60’s, and even into the 70’s with some of the big cruisers, the interiors were comfortable, big and well suited for a good drive. They were also quaint in their own right (definition: having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm).

Now, though, it’s hard to find an interior from the Big 3 that isn’t mass marketed between 13 different cars. Sure, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and the likes, all have similar interiors between their cars. But, the difference is they make each interior a recognizable place from one car to the next. You will not see anyone confuse a 1-Series to a 3-Series interior. And never a 5er’s to a 7’s. It just won’t happen. Each one has its own individual touch.

Why is this, though? Is it that GM, Ford and Chrysler don’t spend enough money? Well, on the contrary. They spend quite a bit of money making their cars. Their problem is that they have a lesser quality. To them, these days, it’s all about quantity over quality. To BMW it seems more the opposite. Am I wrong? I don’t really think so. Now, of course, no automaker is perfect, and they’re all out there to make a good buck off all of us. But that doesn’t mean they still don’t care in some form or another. Otherwise, if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t sell no cars. Simple fact.

Here is another problem; BMW does not share its interiors with its other auto companies that it controls. Rolls-Royce uses some small components, but you could never sit in a Phantom and go, “Yeah, I see the resemblance with a 760Li”. It just won’t happen. Now, if you were to sit in a Ford Taurus and a Mercury Sable, you would immediately go, “Wow, the same interior as the $5,000 cheaper car I just sat in”. That’s sad.

What do you guys think? Here are some pictures of some interiors.

Cadillac CTS:

2008 cadillac cts 7

BMW 335i:

BMW 550i:

Pontiac G8 GT:

Which interior says, “Come inside. Drive me to the ends of the earth and never feel one ounce of stress”? Now remember, I have driven the new CTS on many, many occasions. For some odd, strange reason, my father continues to think that his CTS is some American marvel. If that’s the best that America can do, the Big 3 might as well pack their shit up now and leave town… Pardon my language. I just had to express the truth. It must be noted, though, that when I drove the G8 GT, I noted that it was a pretty damn nice place to spend your day driving. But it was nowhere near the level of comfort and sporty class that you got in the 550i. I have driven both the G8 GT and the 550i, and the 5er wins out, hands down.

Let’s hear what you guys have to say.

Article by Josh from

[Photos taken from: Cadillac CTS. BMW 550i]

6 responses to “America vs BMW”

  1. I have a lot of problems with this piece.

    Quaint means ,,having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm“ or ,,strange or peculiar“. I´ve never seen anyone describe a BMW´s interior as quaint before.

    In addition, I question the following statement:
    ,,Back in the good ole’ days of the 50’s and 60’s, and even into the 70’s with some of the big cruisers, the interiors were comfortable, big and well suited for a good drive.“

    If anything, American-made car seats are vastly improved in terms of providing support and comfort. Full-sized sedans in the timeframes you mention basically had couches up front. At the same time, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo were providing seats that, while not as advanced as today´s, provided far firmer and better support for long trips.

  2. RawAutos says:

    @Jonathan Spira: Jonathan, BMW has a very familiar style charm and class to their interiors. That’s why I used quaint. You won’t find many interiors that you can sit in blind folded and know exactly what you’re in like a BMW…

    Have you ever gone for a long distance drive in an Old Caddy? I have… They are great for a good drive. The seats may not provide something as form fitting as a BMW of that era. But they were incredibly comfortable and easily recognizable in difference from a Chevy to a Cadillac.

  3. Marc says:


    My knee-jerk reaction is to agree with you based upon the interior designs over the last 20 odd years. BMW does one thing well with their interiors; they make them functional and driver centric. There is not a lot of flash, bling, or unnecessary do-dads(outside of the much hated IDrive). The quality of materials is also an area that BMW (and to a large extent the rest of Deutsche Auto AG’s) absolutely obliterates American manufacturers at. All of this being said, it IS getting better for our American cars (take a look at the newly released Chevy Cruze interior photos….looks really good IMHO…material quality cannot be commented on right now, but the design IS there).

  4. RawAutos says:

    @Marc: thanks for the comment, Marc. It’s so funny that you say that about the Chevy Cruze. I was just looking at it yesterday and couldn’t help but notice how awesome the interior looked. If that’s how GM is going to do their interiors for now on, I may have to change my interior stance, haha.

  5. Marc says:

    @RawAutos: No prob. Out of pretty much ALL of the American manufacturers I think GM is the one that is making the MOST effort to update and finally bring their autos into the 21st Century. The Malibu, G8, and even the little Cobalt speak volumes to their efforts at raising the bar within America. So maybe, just maybe the future is not TOO bleak.

  6. Lance says:

    I think the CAT interior looks good with some modern touches. BMW’s 3 interior is one of the bests one out there, certainly the best in its class, especially in beigh and wood. The new 7’s interior is just our of this world.

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