Category Archives: BMW


Beyond The Emblem…

Seeing more and more of them on the road, along with knowing a few people who happily own one, the BMW X1 has really grown on me over the past year or so.  The small “SAV” moves with refreshing distinction amidst its attractive styling, especially in metallic “Valencia Orange” that quite nicely complements its compact size and well-toned body.

BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA (Photo:


Such simple praise, however, I simply cannot bestow upon the X1’s latest rival.  Yet again in terms of Mercedes-Benz, unfortunately, I find myself most unimpressed with the new GLA-Class. Having encountered it out and about for my first time this week, I quickly saw beyond the emblem to… well, little more.  Ignoring the three-pointed star, what appeared before me was a bland and far-from-unique shell that could carry just about any logo, especially from the rear– Acura, Toyota and Hyundai quickly come to mind.  Perhaps the GLA just looks too non-German.

Honda?  Kia?  Oh, Mercedes.

Honda? Kia? Oh, Mercedes. (Photo:


Suffice to say, in a purely cosmetic X1 vs. GLA match-up, the former wins hands down.  The latter is unlikely to grow on me anytime soon.  For all my MBZ love, I realize all the more as yet another model dives into a very crowded pool, that my heart remains in the 20th century.


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Posted by on November 6, 2014 in And That's My Opinion, BMW, Cars, Mercedes-Benz, Reviews


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2 Too Many?

Past Meets Present: The 2 Series is here. (Photo:

The 2002 has returned, sort of.  At least we can say a presumed successor, long-in-coming no less.  The fact BMW is offering up the all-new 2 Series speaks to the past as well as the present, no doubt pleasing to all us Bavarian motor historians.  Then on the other hand, it’s another similarly styled model yet, hereby completing the debatably long and crowded sequence from 1 to 7, while replacing numero uno here in the U.S.  In this regard, is 2 too many?  It certainly is hard to tell most BMWs apart these days, after all.

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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in And That's My Opinion, BMW, Cars


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From 3 to 4.

Yet another new model?  Are there not enough already?  Hasn’t every possible market segment been covered?  And what distinguishes this one from the others, aside from the number?  So went my initial thoughts.

Upon further investigation I quickly learned it’s a replacement, which seems to make more sense.  Three now becomes four, as BMW’s incoming 4 Series takes the place of the outgoing 3 Series Coupe.  “Attractive though not unusual” is my take on this newest Bavarian, and as for the answer to my last question above:

“Park a 2014 4 Series next to a 2013 3 Series two-door and you’ll probably notice how much wider it appears. The 4 Series is 1.7 inches wider, with the rear track stretched 3.1 inches. The car’s wheelbase is two inches longer than before, but its height is 0.6 inches lower.”

So it is, from 3 to 4.  We’ll just have to wait and see how quickly our heads turn out on the road!


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It’s Different, Apparently.

So I found the answer:  6.5 inches shorter, 3.3 inches narrower, and 4.6 inches lower.  If you happen to be pondering the same question I did, then these specifications might satisfy at least your initial curiosity as well.  Suffice to say– even with some challenge to the immediate naked eye– several key differences do exist between the new BMW X1 and its close sibling the X3.  We’ll soon see how well the X1 is received here in the U.S., eye-catching as this little guy is.  Of course success might depend on whether you choose to call it a crossover or an SU– pardon me– SAV.  As I’m not one for “crossovers” myself, let’s go with the latter.

The shorter, narrower, lower X1.

The longer, wider, taller X3.

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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in BMW, Cars, Daily Activities, Reviews, Transportation


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Yet Another “Coupe” in the Mix

“It would be great if the automakers’ marketing departments would please cease and desist when it comes to trying to push these prettier sedans on us as though they were actually coupes. They just aren’t.”               (Matt Davis,

I entirely concur.  Sure, the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is an attractive machine, a bit sleeker and more eye-catching than the current 3 or 5, though still no dramatic departure from its relatives.  In any case, what’s here called a “coupe” looks suspiciously to me like a new sedan in the family.  It seems this could very well have been badged and sold as the new 5 Series, which certainly would have been an exciting move in itself.  Instead, we’re treated to yet another dose of head-scratching marketing strategy, as German automakers apparently race to keep up with– and perhaps manage to outdo– each other with the latest “coupe” in the mix.

My own preference in this unusual automotive category remains unchanged.  Line up this new 6 next to the CLS and the A7, and still, as I’ve mentioned, I’ll take a Panamera any day!


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Those Were The Days

In the spirit of that famous TV theme line “girls were girls and men were men,” I’m thinking now of a time ever so long ago when “5’s were 5’s and 3’s were 3’s.”

Take 1987, during my just-beginning-to-learn-to-drive heyday of knowing my car models while imagining the one I wanted to have.  The clear difference between BMW’s 3 Series and 5 Series could be spotted a mile away.

1987 BMW 3 Series

1987 BMW 5 Series

                                                                                        I’m afraid the same cannot be said in 2012, not even from a few feet away, let alone a mile.  Upon my first glance of the “all-new” sixth generation 3 Series, I really did think I was looking at a 5.  Only upon my surprise of seeing the trunk lid badge was I corrected.

2012 BMW 3 Series

2012 BMW 5 Series

Can you see an immediate difference?  Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I wish we could still easily distinguish between a manufacturer’s major models.  Unfortunately, as I’ve lamented before, everything looks the same.  And here– modern-day technology notwithstanding– is yet another example.

And so the theme song finishes, as I too sing:  “Those were the days!”

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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, BMW, Cars, Media, Transportation


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Momentarily Mistaken…

“What brand new car is this I’m approaching on my street?  I think it’s an Infiniti G Convertible, or — wait — perhaps a Lexus IS C.  It’s dark outside, so I’ll just keep walking closer for a better look.”

My inquisitive mental dialogue continued until I was upon the car with my certain answer.  I was looking, for my first time, at a 2012 BMW 650i Convertible.  While of course this grand machine is larger in every way than the Infiniti and the Lexus for which it was momentarily mistaken, I couldn’t help but lament the possibility of the all-new 6 Series being — well — mistaken for an Infiniti or a Lexus.

Engine enhancement, technical improvements and new luxury appointments notwithstanding, the third-generation 6 is looking like too many of its close relatives, namely a 3 on steroids or a 5 missing a top.  The now “old” model that lived through 2011 was far more distinctive and unmistakable in its styling; no other BMW looked like it, especially from rear view.  The newest incarnation does not demonstrate the same uniqueness, I’m sorry to say, at least not on first glance.

Still, whether momentarily mistaken for a related model — or worse, for something of a rival manufacturer — the 2012 BMW 6 Series seems altogether poised to once again prove itself the automotive marvel it’s always been.

And that’s my opinion.  What do you think?



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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, BMW, Cars


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6 Generations of 5


5 Series, 6 Generations

As I researched photos of various car models at work today, this one quickly grabbed and held my attention.  It remains by far my favorite of the day, while speaking powerfully to the passage of time without saying a word.  Here’s to the evolution of the BMW 5 Series through the years, represented by all six generations in one striking eyeshot.  Remarkable, I say.

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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in BMW, Cars


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