This is my first time writing for BMW Blog. I’m glad to have the opportunity to do so because even though I’m supposed to be an unbiased automotive journalist, the fact remains that I indeed have a soft spot for BMWs. That’s not to say I’m a cheerleader for everything with a roundel slapped on it.
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In fact, I gave a negative review of the outgoing E66 750Li not too long ago. What I mean is that I’m particularly particular about BMWs. Some might even call me a purist.
My first car was a family hand-me-down ’86 325. At that time I didn’t even especially like BMWs (I had my 16-year-old heart set on a cheap Jaguar XJS), but when I got behind the wheel of that E30, my perspective changed. I’ll restrain myself from ranting about E30s right now, but as anyone who has experienced that generation of 3-Series will tell you, they are magnificent.
That being said, I’ve remained partial to boxy Bimmers. Since then, an ’87 325is, ’89 325is, ’83 732i, ’87 535is, and ’83 633CSi have occupied my driveway. So what’s the appeal? The more I think about it, it’s not that I’m a BMW fan so much as that I’m simply an enthusiast that finds older BMWs to be an excellent value.
For a few thousand bucks, you’re going to be hard pressed to find any other cars with rear-wheel-drive, a manual transmission, an excellent chassis, and a responsive engine. As for newer BMWs, there’s some that appeal to me, but many that I find hard to swallow. Now, I know that there are plenty of people here that really like the X-Series vehicles, but I’m not one of them. Though if BMW made an X3 that shared more in common with its Dakar racing version, I’d be all for it.
So what does tickle my fancy? Well, there’s the M5 wagon and the 123d 3-door hatch, but those aren’t available in the US. Then there’s the M3, which is unanimously fantastic, but the problem is that you can’t easily bring yourself to buy it (unless money grows on a tree in your backyard) because the much cheaper 335i can easily be tuned to 9/10 of an M3’s performance. But then you might as well just buy a 135i if you don’t mind trading extra space for a bit more tail-happy excitement. Of course you could go for the awesome Z4M Coupe, but that’s on its way out, so it doesn’t really count anymore.
So what is the purists’ perspective? I think it’s that we want our BMWs to be honest. A sports car should provide visceral thrills. A sport-utility is sacrilege should work over any terrain. A 7-Series should be a competent performer, yet relaxing. Styling should be elegant. But above all else, each and every BMW should actually be an ultimate driving machine.
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