By on April 19, 2017

BMW CPO commercial Toyota Camry screenshot - Image: YouTube screenshot

Call them frenemies. BMW and Toyota are working together on a high-profile sports car project that will result in a long-awaited Supra successor and a replacement for the Z4. Two heads are better than one.

“The concept works, the platform can deliver and now we have two proud sets of engineers — one group German, one group Japanese — who are each fighting and arguing for the car they want,” BMW sales boss Ian Robertson said last year.

The fighting and arguing extends beyond the R&D facilities in Munich and Toyota City.

On a mission to exalt its 3 Series in a certified pre-owned commercial, BMW sought to make fun of a typically bland midsize sedan. 2001 Chevrolet Malibu? 2006 Kia Optima? 2017 Subaru Legacy?

No. BMW chose the most basic, beige, new Toyota Camry to make a point on behalf of a bright red pre-owned 3 Series.

Hardly the work of a BFF.

Like any good Canadian, I was sitting down with some pop and chips for some NHL playoffs action when, apparently, a stroller commercial popped up. See, strollers grab my attention, presumably because of the joint fatherhood/wheels affection. But then the strollers switched to bicycles, and it became clear that this wasn’t an advertisement for strollers but rather for twin boys. Buy one, get one free.

The twins stroll together, bike together, graduate together, get married together, and clearly buy identical side-by-side homes together. They dress alike, do their hair the same way, and carry messenger bags and coffee flasks.

But then their paths diverge. As the brothers leave for work, one exiting 69 Maple Main Street on the way to a red, F30 BMW 3 Series, the other leaves 71 Maple Main Street and pauses.

“Wait… what?”

His brother’s course has deviated. His brother chose the road less travelled. His brother is going to enjoy driving to work in a red 3 Series.

And then the angle changes to expose the other vehicular choice: a beige Camry.

“Legendary performance,” the voiceover says, “for less than you think,” as the BMW purrs away.

All of the body language suggests strong Camry buyer’s remorse.

The messaging is obvious. You can be cool. Or you can drive a Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling car in 15 consecutive years.

So I guess we shouldn’t expect the 2018 Toyota Camry to share its platform with the 2019 BMW 3 Series?

We reached out to BMW Canada to ask why the Camry was chosen as the car on which to pick. BMW Canada declined to comment.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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96 Comments on “BMW Is Making Fun Of The Toyota Camry With A Used 3 Series Sedan...”


  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I like how they went out of their way to slap some generic Autozone wheel covers on the Camry to drive the point home.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Toyota should have a follow-up ad where Twin #1 has to go to the dealership to replace the battery in his CPO Bimmer.

    Or when Twin #1 has to catch a ride to work with Twin #2 in his Camry when the BMW high pressure fuel pump goes boom some rainy morning.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1 HA!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        In other words, the Camry owner has money in the bank. Twin brother doesn’t.

        I take it this wasn’t filmed in Toronto. That would mean neither of them could afford anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Clueless Economist

      Been there, done that. I will never own another German car. Every time I took it to the dealer for an oil change, they would find a $1000 needed repair. Sold it at 60k miles after the last $750 – $1500 repair estimate.

      But no way would I buy a Camry. Nothing says boring like a Camry.

      • 0 avatar
        Corollaman

        I’d rather be bored than broke.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Spend just a fraction of what you save with a Camry (or Corolla) at Pep Boys, and you’ve got a custom, one of a kind ride that’s the envy of the neighbors. What you can’t find there, is available at a home crafts store near you, including nifty techniques to jazz up your dash and headliner.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        The only way to own a German car is to buy new with a nice long warranty or CPO with an even longer warranty. I used to scoff at the notion of “never buy a German luxury car out of warranty” until I did it and paid the price. I worked on my own, but man did I spend a LOT of time under those turkeys. I also spent a lot of time chasing parts, finding fixes, trying to figure out the BMW INPA software (once I hunted down a reasonable working copy). I miss the drive, but don’t miss the headache. Never again would I get into one without a warranty. Some lessons must be learned the hard way.

        Still wouldn’t buy a Camry though. There are so many more enjoyable alternatives for similar money. They’re for people who don’t care about cars which is totally fine. I don’t care about vacuum cleaners or dishwashers so I can understand why some people go for the sure thing. In fact, I’m sure it’s quite comforting to know that you can just walk into a dealer, buy a totally reasonable, safe, quiet, comfortable, reliable car which you can own for 8-10 years with minimal upkeep. The steering is light and easy, the engine is quiet but moves well enough, there’s room for friends/family and cargo. It’ll get you to the office without fail for years on end.

        Glad I bought a lime green Camaro instead.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Five and a half years in my latest German car (bought new). One repair so far (rattling driver’s side window). I guess I should have bought something more reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “Been there, done that. I will never own another German car.”

        Me, I wouldn’t buy a German car with YOUR money. (Been there, done that.)

        And yes, I “get” German cars. German cars are the expensive, pouty, and high-maintenance mistresses of the road. Damn, they are a fine, fine ride…

        …..but then the maintenance and pouting kicks in.

        At some point, without unlimited funds, you are at a decision point: continue the high-priced, high-maintenance fun, or go back home and enjoy your reliable Lexus wife of a car, patiently sitting there waiting for you to get over the midlife crisis.

        Oh sure, she’s not as sexy as the German car, and she doesn’t handle at the edge like the German car. She’s also not as fickle and high maintenance and pouty, and she agrees with you much more of the time. She’s always there and never complains, and you come to realize there’s more to life than a high-maintenance relationship with a pouty, high-maintenance woman–no matter how sexy she is or how fun the nights out with her can be. Because when she lets you down and demands more of you than you have to give, and treats you like dirt, you’re standing there all alone outside the club, looking and feeling like an idiot.

        Your Lexus wife would never, ever do that to you.

        And the occasional fun night out isn’t worth what you end up paying for it, both financially and in time wasted while you wait for the German car mistress to be in the mood to play.

        Do this: start paying attention to cars with tail light and headlight problems. What brands of cars are you seeing? That’s right–VW, M-B, and BMW. And pay attention to how old, or rather how new, those problem cars are.

        The reality of electrical issues with German cars make Lucas electrics look reliable.

        Now *try* to find a Honda or Toyota, either low brand or high brand, no matter how old, with non-working tail lights. Good luck.

        It’s a small thing, but it represents the reality of the situation. You want to buy a German car? Just buy a GM car. At least the money you’re throwing away stays more inside the country–and you get just as reliable a car.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Anecdotal, but I used to have a job that required me to deal with hundreds of used cars a week – I found loaded Toyotas and Hondas (so of course, Acuras and Lexii as well) had slightly flaky electrical systems. Not necessarily in a manner that’d leave you stranded or cause enormous repair bills, but they were more prone to needing a jump start than average.

        • 0 avatar
          DrSandman

          >> “Your Lexus wife would never, ever do that to you.”

          Yeah, but after 72 months of every-other month mish, you’ll pine for the as$-slaps and broken furniture of the mistress…

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I told my wife that batteries are batteries and that she could get one for her Z4 anywhere and it’ll be fine. I found out I was wrong when her airbag light came on and it was a result of the battery she bought.

      But hey, buying a CPO BMW is just like buying a brand new one – since you’ll get to drive around in a new service loaner every time it’s in the shop.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I had this exact thought when I had to unexpectedly replace the battery in my wife’s ’12 Camry last year. Now, I was quite disappointed that it only made it a measly 4 years, but the fact that I could drive over to Autozone at 9pm on a Sunday evening, find a battery on the shelf and swap it in my driveway with a 10mm wrench in about 5 minutes was nice.

        • 0 avatar
          vvk

          Out of the numerous BMWs I have owned, I have only had to replace a battery once and that one lasted 12 years. And yes, I drove to Autozone and got a battery and put it in in 5 minutes. On the newer ones it is even better, since the computer manages the charging to make sure the battery lasts a really long time. It is trivial to register a new battery using an eBay computer cable or a smartphone app. Sure, if you take it to the dealer, you will pay more. Someone has to pay for their fancy building and their fancy coffee and cookies. And yes, I do not enjoy having to replace batteries on the Japanese cars I maintain (for family members) every 3-4 years.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            That 4 year battery was not the typical situation, Panasonic batteries Toyota has traditionally installed in their trucks typically live freakishly long lives.

            ” I drove to Autozone and got a battery and put it in in 5 minutes.”

            This was on an older model, not anything E90/E60 and above I gather.

            As for your positive experience with longevity and eBay cables and apps, there are many more frustrated BMW owners with drained batteries while sitting from overwrought electronics (X5 is apparently particular bad about this), as well as getting sticker shock from having to get their car towed to the dealer for a “special” battery.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @gtemnykh
            Had one in a Ford Laser( slightly modified Mazda) Thought it was almost permanent

      • 0 avatar
        hgrunt

        From that generation forward, it’s recommended you ‘register’ a new battery. You can DIY with a cable and an app, or have an indie or dealership do it.

        The reason is, in chasing for efficiency, BMW aggressively cycles the battery more than other car companies do so it can gain a little bit of efficiency by doing things like, not running the alternator as often. If you replace the battery with a different type (flooded vs AGM) and capacity than what the car shipped with, and don’t ‘register’ the battery, it’ll over or undercharge, leading to weird issues, and in other cases, leakage, or damage of the charge module

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I had upward of 12 loaners when I owned the E70 X5 for four months…everything from a base 3-Series, to a well-equipped 435i Gran Coupe, to a newer X5, to one of the service managers’ demo 7-Series that he was kind enough to let me borrow. I feel like I was working my way up to an i8 loaner.

        Yeah, the AGM batteries that need to be programmed to the car are no joke either. Your mileage may vary, and plenty of people have good experiences with Bimmers, but I didn’t.

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          I had a GREAT experience with my e90.

          It was a GREAT experience to finally sell it after all the BS I dealt with. My wife will say her favorite cars are BMWs, and she’ll also in the same sentence say she’ll never own one again…

          Our BMW was WAY more expensive than… get this:
          -Boat Ownership
          -Jeep Ownership
          -Porsche Ownership
          -Ferrari Ownership

          And thats saying something.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “But hey, buying a CPO BMW is just like buying a brand new one – since you’ll get to drive around in a new service loaner every time it’s in the shop.”

        Don’t you mean, “you’ll get to drive around in a new service loaner all the time”?

        And that service loaner is “FREE”–paid for by that $400 dealership-only battery.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      Have had a fully optioned E60 M5 for over a year and several thousands of miles now. Recently turned over a hundred thousand on the odo and there isn’t even an interior rattle or loose feeling switch. It has been Camry-reliable. Think car is lulling me into complacency before either VANOS system or some con-rod bearings sign off.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “It has been Camry-reliable. Think car is lulling me into complacency before either VANOS system or some con-rod bearings sign off.”

        Funny. But be careful with the “Camry-reliable” phrase. IIRC, some stereotypical and naive Edmunds editor used that exact term to brag about how their long term late model Mercedes AMG had been so reliable on a road trip. Shortly after the Merc was on a flatbed.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Well, Lexus did this to Ze Germans so I’d say fair game for BMW to rip on the Camry.

    youtu.be/118IhHzSfoo

  • avatar
    Bee

    A couple of SoCal Mercedes dealers constantly run ads for low lease payments on CLA’s to people “…considering a new Toyota, Honda or Nissan.”

    Just like this CPO 3-Series, none of those cars can match the Camry’s practicality and space utilization at any cost.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Camry outsells the 3-Series by 5:1. I suspect Toyota can laugh along with the ad, straight to the bank.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Camry outsells 3 series by less than a 2:1 margin in Canada, take out taxis and rentals and its a lot closer. The C class is within 100 units of the Camry in Q1, which means it probably outsells Camry on a retail basis.

      I remember the time GM was asked what was their competitor to the k- car, and the response was ” a used Buick”.

      • 0 avatar
        dariosycco

        I wonder where you live. Here on the prairies, BMW is very rare and Camry is everywhere. Never seen one Camry taxi yet. I’m guessing you’re from Toronto, especially to say “here in Canada”. Sounds typical of someone from Toronto.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Toyota makes like $1000 on a Toyota while the 3 series makes like 5 grand. I’d rather sell 1000 things at 50000 profit than 5000 things at 50000 profit!

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    You know “technically” they didn’t show a brand on the beige car. The wheel covers are blanks as gtem points out, and you can’t see any badge or labels.

    I can’t believe as close as he is to his brother that he wasn’t already aware he’d got a used BMW. So either they both got new cars on the same day, and didn’t tell one another (as identical dressing neighbors) – or the other brother had a Camry the day before which was new, and changed his mind overnight for the BMW.

    Not seeing the logic of his surprise, BMW.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    These cars aren’t even in the same league. Strange target for BMW to set. Deep down inside they’re probably jealous!

    I’ve owned 4 German cars and now drive Japanese. The ridiculous dealer service visits convinced me that someone pushing 50 years old shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not the car will start if it’s raining. The TDI debacle was the last straw. I’m convinced that German auto manufacturers really do view their customers with total contempt.

    And yeah – requiring the BMW dealer to “register” the battery in the ECM when it’s replaced is quite a scumbag move on their part.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      I have a friend who cross shopped a used BMW and a new civic. Ending up buying the BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        Clueless Economist

        My wife traded her Audi in for a 2017 Civic. She is very pleased with the Civic; the level of technology is very impressive. Sure she misses the TT, but I don’t miss having to add oil every month or expensive basic maintenance, not to mention all the expensive repair work that has gone into it. I have owned Japanese, American and German. I have had good experiences with both Japanese and American cars.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I once was one of the largest BMW fanbois out there (well, for anything from and E46 and back, kind of still am), but much of today’s BMW lineup just leaves me cold. Current 3 series are a dime a dozen and somehow have moved away from anything resembling an “Ultimate Driving Machine” and closer to the “Ultimate Cruising/Let Me Be Seen In It Machine.” Sure, BMW AG has the sales to prove their strategy works, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to pony up for the ownership privilege anymore. Maybe…just maybe a new 1-series with a manual. Or a realistically priced 320i (also with manual. Good luck finding that unicorn).

    As for Toyota, “boring” has apparently worked, even though they are attempting to spice up their line a bit. Minus the gapping maw the new Camry has, it has made decent strides to not be the vanilla box it has been (although sales would say that being a vanilla box is a good thing for Toyota’s bottom line.).

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      I’m in the same camp. I loved my base E46 325i. It was a real driver’s car – making me feel connected to the road like no other car has until I bought a ’03 Mini.

      The E46 I had was actually pretty reliable – minus hunting down a check engine light caused by the DISA flap not opening. But I threw a bunch of parts at it until I did the most expensive replacement (of course!).

      I still have two BMW products – both Minis – and cross my fingers every week that I won’t be dealing with a mechanical issue from them. The last time I went to the dealership with my ’09 Clubman (59k miles), they wanted to do ~$8k worth of repairs – on a car worth $8k. I brought it to a local mechanic who did the necessary fixes for $1500. Sheesh.

      I’ll be going Japanese for my next car: Lexus, Infiniti, or a ‘yota truck.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The current 3-Series is also known as the “California Civic,” a description that applies equally well in metro Seattle. It boggles my mind that anyone still thinks there’s any prestige in the badge when the vast majority of the cars wearing it are $329/month lease specials.

      • 0 avatar
        Alfisti

        On what planet is a 3 series $329 a month? A base 320i is listed at over $48k here, all taxes, fees and charges included, so i imagine a lease circa the $550 a month mark.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The current advertised special for a 320i on the BMW USA website is $359 a month. Yes, there’s a down payment. Most people don’t understand leasing and pay them. But even if you rolled the down payment into the monthly payment you’d be around $400. Looks like inflation has made me a bit out of date, but only a bit.

          BMW has been heavily subsidizing leases on certain volume products for years.

          • 0 avatar
            Alfisti

            Must just be a regional thing, cannot get within a million miles of that here once i add taxes, fees, charges and no down payment.

          • 0 avatar

            That off lease 320i is in the 20-24k region in my area. I even saw a Jalop special (320i, sport, manual) at a dealer in Ma. 23k, off lease. X1 is 19k. I was offered 25k wholesale for a clean 535ix recently.

            The used prices have really crashed. There is zero snob appeal left in the Roundel…..

            I’ve been left cold by the most recent 3 series. It’s got that anodyne feel. I did like an M240 with all the track stuff, but if I go there, I’d go for M2. I am sad at the loss of “old BMW”.

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          The same planet that my neighbor was bragging how she’s so successful she bought a brand new Mercedes.

          Its a base CLA and it cost less than my Hyundai.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Ive seen the uncut version.
    Twin #2 says “wait,What?!” because there’s a flatbed loading the BMW,and it blocked in his Camry……

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Bragging that their $42K lease queen sedans depreciate at an astounding rate hardly seems like the message you would want to send, but compared to a beige base trim Camry with aftermarket wheel covers I suppose a red 328 does look pretty.

    It’s an interesting choice. For $24K you can get either a new Camry SE 4-pot or a 3 year old 328 with <30K miles on it. I'd be tempted to Bimmer it in that scenario, but anyone who scoffs at $500 battery replacements and having to locate an independent mechanic to mitigate the impending maintenance costs may want to reconsider. Or you could sell it again after only three years, like the lessees do.

    • 0 avatar
      amancuso

      This battery registration point is now moot. There’s plenty of tools you can buy to do it at home, and even apps can do it with a wifi ELM327 adapter.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I’m not sure it’s not moot if I have to track down additional tools, visit online forums, and download apps for a battery replacement when you can go down to Autozone with a standard socket set and complete the same task on any other car in 5 minutes.

        The bigger issue for me is that it indicates what the rest of the BMW maintenance experience is likely to be. If they’ve engineered a car and created a dealer service network that, at any point in time, required the registration of a battery to the tune of $500 so it doesn’t wreak havoc on the electrical system, why would I want to stick around to see the price tag of a mechanical failure?

        I get it, if you really like a car and value its performance envelope relative to pedestrian offerings, then it is worth it to spend the time to learn how to deal with its foibles. At the price they are going for an off-lease 328 is a very appealing alternative to a bland midsize sedan. But for anyone who wants a set-it-and-forget-it ownership experience, a CPO BMW probably isn’t a good choice.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        It’s not moot if your wife is stuck somewhere with your kids because the X5 won’t start because the battery died or engine overheats or can’t take the emissions test because the engine light is on.

        BMW makes wonderful lease vehicles. They don’t have these problems up to 36k miles. 36k miles and beyond it’s Russian roulette.

        Our 6 year old X5’s repair frequency matches BMW’s reputation to a T – it’s awful. Now that the cpo warranty is up, I’m guessing we’ll have it another year and then jettison the thing. It’s the most troublesome car I’ve ever owned.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      When the 328i had an inline six, that might have been a hard choice. But with a turbo four in the BMW I’m headed straight to the Toyota store.

      That’s true even though I know perfectly well that the car with the four is significantly faster and gets 50% better fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. When I pay that money, a blown four is a “no”. Blown fours are for FWD cars. They have their place, and can be a lot of fun-I’ve had a few. When your pretention is RWD, performance, or luxury, six or eight….I get that in Europe, land of $10 gallon gas, a 5 series with a blown four can make sense. That isn’t here. A neighbor has the current CTS with the 2.0. I listen to it go up the street. Too much car too little motor. I drove a sport package 3 recently….the four has as much ultimate twist as the NA six, but at this level, it is all about feel, and the blown 4 does not match the NA 6. Period.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    A Toyota-BMW mashup sports car – will it be called the Axis?

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Of course in the real world those cars would be in a heated garage a few blocks away and they’d both take the subway to work…

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Which of the twins would you rather know?

  • avatar
    don1967

    Cue the BMW repair anecdotes in 5…4… dammit, too slow.

    It’s a bird-in-the-hand argument. Buy a European CPO car and you’re pretty much guaranteed a good tactile experience, with reliability as a possible bonus. My five-year-old Volvo has given me both so far, and still looks brand-new from the real-walnut trim to the subframes.

    Buy an affordable Japanese car and you’re pretty much guaranteed tinny doors, plasticky finish, mushy road feel, and a rusty undercarriage at the first sign of road salt. Reliability however is not guaranteed. I’ve had a bad Honda and a bad Nissan, which really sucked because there wasn’t much else going for those cars.

    You can keep your beige Camry. I prefer to live a little.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “affordable” is a sliding scale. I can’t imagine I’d be highly disappointed with an IS350 or Miata or TL Type-S or 4Runner against today’s current crop of 4-cylinder, mega-tech Vundermobiles.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I consider getting to my destination with minimal fuss living a little. A CPO Infiniti Q60 can be had in this price range; best of both worlds….

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      Ah, but you see, the Volvo that you drive is not a BMW. I like to call Volvos a “European Toyota”, because they are the most reliable (as a whole, not based on a specific example) out of all Euro brands. I’ve had multiple Volvos and NEVER had any issues that left me stranded. In addition to regular maintenance, i only had to replace some rubber bits of suspension, but that was over 100K miles so that was expected.

      Volvos may not drive as well as BMW, but if i wanted something Euro that stands out, Volvo would be my only option.

  • avatar

    I’ll eschew both, drive a 10 year-old Buick, and make it up with a hotter wife.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Unless Mulletstan is a very different place than here, trying to associate your car with someone attempting to look “cool” based on his “expensive brand” vehicle purchase, is exactly the message you do not want to send to millennial car buying intenders…… That sooo, like, their debt slave parents.

  • avatar
    bluegoose03

    If you painted the Camry in red in its top tier trip..XLE..would it look THAT different? My sister owns BMWs and and she has had problems with every single one of them. She leases them and then dumps them at 60k.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Additionally, if the Bimmer were the much more prevalent lease-spec silver 320xi, it would look largely as anonymous parked on the street as the Camry, especially in a sea of other silver leased Bimmers.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Both good points. Frankly, a new Camry would stick out to me in traffic more than an old BMW, which are everywhere. But people would rather chase badges where I live than buy a long-lasting and reliable vehicle.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    BMW is neither a luxury or sport brand anymore. The simple fact they are targeting Camry buyers as a demographic is a pretty solid indicator that even BMW sees the 3-series as an appliance. An appliance with a cool BMW logo. Pragmatic, reliable as a Toyota (bwhahahaha, that’s a stretch), but says, “look at me, I’m fun and successful,” instead of, “look at me, I am about as much fun of Al Gore.”

    It also shows the continued slow decline of Toyota, that has been going on for 20 years. You don’t want your brand to be associated with completely anonymous appliance for cubicle zombies to commute to work in. The Camry may very well be the completely anonymous appliance for cubicle zombies to commute to work of choice for hundreds of thousands, but buyers don’t like having it put in their face.

    As Timothy Cain points out, when you’re put in the same class as the 1985 Ford ad that attacked Cadillac for badge engineering, the 2001 GM ad that laughed at itself with the generic Malibu (or was it an Oldsmobile, it’s hard to even remember), you’re not where you want to be.

    The only thing masking the decline of Camry sales, and the significant unit number (not percentage but total units annual) going to fleet is the entire midsize market in collapse.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      To get a BMW that’s configured for a driver, you have to spend $51,495 (or about $560/month on a no-down lease). That money gets you a 3-Series with six cylinders, a clutch pedal, and a proper suspension setup. It does not get you leather, seat heaters, navigation, a backup camera, modern lighting, a radio good for anything but talk jabbering, or any color other than dull appliance white.

      On the other hand, you can spend $10,000 or $100+/month less and get most of those features if you don’t care about the driving goodies.

      It’s pretty clear where the priorities are.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Your example is valid, but I don’t think you should rule out the 4-cylinder BMWs as a driver’s car. You can get a 330i with 248HP from the turbo 4. If you spec it with base paint, interior, and radio, add the Track Handling Package for $2300, which gives you 18″ wheels and non-runflat tires, then add manual transmission at no cost, you have a pretty good performing car for $42,045 MSRP.

        I agree that the interior features will lag behind most $30,000 sedans. But it will still be pretty fast and somewhat involving to drive. (I know the steering feel is nothing like it used to be in past generations. Believe me, I wish there was a fix for it. But I haven’t seen anything so far, regardless of how much or how little you pay for your BMW.)

      • 0 avatar
        Driver123

        I don’t see how 240hp in 4-cyl fails to be driver’s car and “driver” always needs max power. 228 is same size, weight and power as E36 M3. And it was great car.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      “It also shows the continued slow decline of Toyota, that has been going on for 20 years. You don’t want your brand to be associated with completely anonymous appliance for cubicle zombies to commute to work in. The Camry may very well be the completely anonymous appliance for cubicle zombies to commute to work of choice for hundreds of thousands, but buyers don’t like having it put in their face.”

      Who do you think buy 3 series BMWs?

      Out in the Silicon Valley, the 3 series is bought by cubicle zombies who rent. Camry’s are bought by cubicle zombies with a house mortgage.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    Just to illustrate things from my own personal perspective – I owned a 2003 330i with the “Performance Package”, a/k/a the “ZHP” package code that was offered on the E46. It was an incredible car to drive, but in the 80,000-ish miles I drove it the following was replaced:

    Starter (out of warranty)
    VANOS unit (under warranty)
    Thermostat (out of warranty)
    Fuel Pump (out of warranty)
    Idle Air Control Valve (out of warranty)
    Two window regulators (under warranty)

    When I sold it, it needed new suspension bushings and had a leaky water pump.

    My wife drove a 2005 Lexus ES at the time (she had a long commute.) After 160,000-ish miles on it there was not a single failure of any kind. It just kept driving. And she neglected the heck out of it. Just oil changes, tires, wipers, and maybe one new air filter.

    I think there was a review on TTAC of the 2017 Corolla that said something to the effect of, “You may not like the Corolla, but you have to respect it.” That’s how I feel about Toyota now. Respect!

  • avatar
    John R

    eh. not the first time and it won’t be the last time. just with less offensive dog-whistling

    youtube.com/watch?v=L3uHXlo9iko&index=211&list=WL

  • avatar
    deepblue3

    The sad part is the 328 is a heavy understeering of a sedan compared to some actually good handling cars. Perception is everything. Having people *believe* that BMWs are still the ultimate driving machines is what is driving some sales.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    This commercial has been around for a year or so, and it’s pretty funny. The beige Camry really does drive home the point.

  • avatar
    Oreguy

    We currently own two Hondas. An ’04 Pilot driven daily and an ’01 CR-V that we keep for my step-daughter’s college transportation. Both have 100K+ on them and neither have required major maintenance beyond fluids, pads, tires and struts. The combined costs over the period of ownership have been laughably cheap and simple compared to the Mini, which by the 50,000 mile mark has required a $4,000 clutch, a $1500 timing chain – (fortunately offset by $900 BMW/MINI class-action settlement), and a $1200 valve cover replacement to correct a PCV issue thought to be the cause of high oil-consumption. I keep synthetic oil by the case so I can top off the Mini every other week. I would gladly trade our BMW Mini for an original Mini Cooper, Lucas electrics and all. We’ve learned our German car lesson.

    BMW’s grow on trees in the Pacific NW, second only to Subarus. Audi’s are catching up. Folks around here love being seen in them I guess – makes them feel real special. The Kool-Aid at the dealership must be spiked with something addictive. I wonder what the Honda service center in my neighborhood serves. I just can’t seem to remember where it is.

    • 0 avatar
      Driver123

      It fascinates me how people who keep cars for 12+ years buy German cars. Why? It is common knowledge they are not as reliable as Japanese. You simply pay for driving enjoyment that’s it. Lease it. Lease is not financially sound? Well then BMW is not for you. I simply lease it for 3 years and don’t care if it spends week in the shop, I get a loaner.

  • avatar
    Ko1

    Beige Camry? I’ve been staring at the picture for several minutes now and I even tried the thing you do for those “magic eye” pictures thinking that maybe they digitally blended it into the background or something. So far, I’ve found three ninjas hiding in the scene but I still can’t see a beige Camry…

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Are you saying it’s more of a taupe?

      • 0 avatar
        Ko1

        Jeremy Clarkson once parked a white Toyota Corolla among a group of home appliances and pretended not to be able to find the car. The joke is that certain Japanese cars are so bland, so reliable and so common that they’re just “there”; like your fridge, stove and dishwasher, and you don’t really notice them.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Not surprised in the least they chose a beige wheel cover basic LE Camry for the comparison. They are literally all over the place with numerous examples down at the rental counter in silver and beige, plastic hub caps and about as much emotional appeal as a brick. The vast majority of these cars are being driven by 60-80 year old folks or little old ladies with resulting bashed in rear bumper corners in base LE trim going 20 in a 40 zone. The point BMW is making is that if your into cars the Camry is probably not even on your radar. Virtually any “car” guy I have ever met doesn’t own one either so the pick is driving a point home pretty well I think.

  • avatar
    Driver123

    You buy German car if you either enjoy working on it yourself or you want to keep it as a low mileage collectible. Otherwise you lease it. If financial side of lease os not for you then don’t buy German cars. It is simply part of the price.


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