4th Jun 2003, 16:38

The problem is, hardly anyone buys a BMW, in the UK at least, because it is a good car. They buy them because of an outdated notion that the once exclusive "image" that went with BMW ownership in the late 80's still holds some weight today. How else do you explain the preponderance of 318i and Compact models on UK roads, cars so depressingly average in everything they do that you'd need a full lobotomy to choose one?

A 318i is comprehensively outperformed, outhandled and out-equipped by a mid-spec Ford Mondeo costing thousands less. The build quality isn't far off either, and the Mondeo is ALMOST a rarer sight on the road.

Even the motoring press is starting to place the 3-series image as a negative point these days. The cars are, with a few exceptions, aggressively and discourteously driven by people who think they are a cut above everyone else. Even the overtaking lane of the motorway is becoming known as "the 3 series lane". When will people realise these cars stopped being cool at the end of the 80's, along with shoulder pads and white socks?

Finally, I need to be clear this is not a jealousy thing, as Audi A3's, Mercedes C class and other similarly priced rivals get left well alone. Even BMW's larger models don't attract the same "image".

7th Oct 2003, 06:50

" I'm the envy of everyone "...I think not, you see the majority of road users are probably saying " Look there's a rep for a mobile phone company " or other such useful occupation.

1st Feb 2006, 12:40

Just recently bought a 330Ci. Cannot say I am not after a car with an image, as I think anyone who says that is just lying.

But what I wanted more than image was a powerful car that I would love driving. I've got to say that since buying my 330 I can't take the smile of my face, not for the image... but because of the car! ITs the same smile I'm sure I would have driving ANY powerful car, but the BMW also has comfort etc, for the motorway.

I agree, however that BMW's image is not what it used to be. I see them everywhere I look. I don't know why BMW ever made 316,318 etc, its like shooting your self in the foot... but such is life.

I'm actually glad to get one now because I've always loved the looks of the e46, and judging by the mess they have made of the new shape bmw's, I think it will be my last.

Actually, I don't really care too much, as long as I enjoy driving my car :)

8th Mar 2006, 09:57

I would agree with the above comment, although after owning a Mercedes C class I think Mercedes have (or used to have) a lot more 'depth' than people give them credit for.

BMWs used to be the greatest cars on earth if you consider the whole package (handling, price, maintenance, reliability). My 2000 528i was the most reliable car I had ever owned, and I've owned plenty of Japanese makes.

But today my love for BMWs has diminished. The new 5 series, while a great driver, looks like it was in an accident or worse. And I recently drove a 2006 325i. While nice inside, the car felt very very heavy, like it needed some V8 to motivate it. Yes, I know those are coming, but BMWs used to be fun with small four cylinder engines and anything else was gravy as far as power. I love driving my friend's 92 318i as it feels agile, and my old '94 325i and '96 328i were just a blast to drive. And my first BMW was an '84 325e with 121 hp, but tons 'o torque. That car was sooooooo much fun I really regret selling it.

So I have, unfortunately, moved on. I wish BMW would get back to its roots, but I doubt it ever will. Now they are simply bloated. That said, maybe the 1 series is different, which is allegedly coming to the states.

17th Jun 2006, 09:58

Your car that "is the envy of everyone" will by no means out do a Porsche of similar stature except for maybe fuel consumption.

Here on the continent BMW's have been making the BEST sports saloons since the 80's and people have been enjoying them and buying them in quiet appreciation. However, recently in your country there has been a huge uproar over BMW's and everyone has one.

Think before writing a review and try and keep it professional instead of all this "two fingers up" nonsense and "mate, my 316i will out run a 911 cos its got a K&N airfilter" because its just plain wrong. I'm not having a go at your car as I own two BMW's and have done so since the early 80's, but be realistic and stop giving BMW a bad name. There are plenty good reasons why not to choose a BMW and buy say and Audi or a Mercedes or even a japanese car. Have a look at your car and try and learn something from it and BMW as a whole; the art of discretion!

Yours Sincerely.

Andreas Schmidt.

18th Jul 2006, 14:47


Until recently I was the owner of a 2001 Audi A4 1.8t quattro sport.

Gor the first couple of days I was happy, then I rooted through the paperwork that came with it. I bought it second hand, but as an Audi approved used car, I found that it had a new gearbox (under warranty) within one year, it also had had seven other visits to the workshop for various engine/transmission problems. It was fine when I got it though!

Seven months later, the ABS and traction control packed in (traction control covered by the warranty, ABS not?). Also the keys did not recognise the car and had to be re-programmed (£90 = vat!). No time to sort the ABS as in the eighth month of ownership, the oil pump packed in and the engine seized (not covered!) Audi quoted £4000 to fix with a reconditioned engine!

Sold it as spares or repair, and am now going back to my personal favourite, which I don't recall ever having a problem with (owned three!) BMW. I pick up my 330CI next week, and know I won't be disappointed!

24th Nov 2007, 02:26

I recently purchased a 2001 330 CI with 34,000 miles, 5 Speed Manual, with Sport and Premium Packages. Silver with black interior. Bought it from a dealer, the car was bought and serviced there. Immaculate.

My everyday driver is a 2002 NISSAN MAXIMA, the BMW is just for fun. I was absolutely thrilled with the car. The power, the handling, the all around feel of the car was everything I had hoped for. And then it happened. I read about the dreaded "over boosted steering box" of early 2001. Yes, I had noticed that there was an oddly hyper feel to the steering, but since I had not driven a BMW since I owned a 1973 2002tii, I really didn't know what to expect.

Now I was upset, reading the dozens of reports of the awful steering. I knew I wasn't all that unhappy with the steering, but I needed to know if it would be worth having the box changed out to the "good steering", available at around $2,000 US.

I know she won't read this so it's OK to say, I tested my girlfiend's 2004 325xi, with the "good steering". Didn't like it. Now of course, it doesn't have the Sport Suspension, but, I felt the steering was heavy and non reactive, plus there was excessive body roll that my coupe certainly doesn't have.

So just when I was beginning my love affair with my 330 CI, I was bummed to read all the nightmarish reports. There were a few who said the whole debacle about the steering was a bunch a crap, that BMW had overreacted when it offered to replace it free of charge to new owners. I agree, it's not a problem. I do notice that the car is twitchy at highway speeds, and you have to have a steady hand on the wheel, as it reacts and gos where you point it with the slightest movement of the wheel.

If BMW told me I could have the "good steering" at no charge, I would decline. I love the car as it is.