If you’ve ever though the backseat and trunk in your 3 Series would be a perfect place to put a long, flat cargo space for hauling dirtbikes, start planning a move to Australia.
Forget last year’s record sales achievements in BMW USA’s showrooms. Through the first six months of 2016, sales at the BMW Group’s BMW brand are down 9 percent in the United States, a first-half pace which suggests BMW sales will fall to a three-year low even as the overall new vehicle market continues to grow.
Not only is BMW’s car division off last year’s pace by more than 20,000 sales, or 18 percent, the brand’s three most costly utility vehicles — X4, X5, X6 — are down 22 percent. Yes, the overall car market is fading, but BMW’s 22-percent car decline is far worse than the U.S. auto industry’s 8-percent drop in car sales. And the 24-percent decrease in, for instance, sales of the BMW X5 stands in stark contrast to the 8-percent increase in the overall SUV/crossover market.
There are nevertheless bright lights in the BMW lineup.
Among passenger cars, the one car that most clearly exemplifies BMW’s old Ultimate Driving Machine credo, the 2 Series, is the BMW car that’s growing fastest. By far.
Among crossovers, the BMW which most flies in the face of everything the BMW cognoscenti value about BMW, the X1, is the BMW SAV division’s fastest-growing vehicle. By far. Read More >
Let’s give a hearty “Welcome back!” to our friend Rebecca, who previously wrote about her Tacoma on these pages. She just picked up this beautiful Z4 from a dealership hundreds of miles away from her home. This is her story on how she did it.
This journey started in October of 2007 when the lease on my 2005 Z4 3.0 matured, and I had to give the car that I dreamed of, and built on BMW NA’s site for two years, back to the dealership.
Since then I’ve had the recurring dream that I still had that car — it’s just been in storage all this time. I have serious commitment issues with cars, so it dawned on me three years ago that this was the one that got away. Fast forward to April 2016, I’ve saved for this car for a couple of years, and casually checking out the market with the plans to purchase before the end of the year. I happened upon a couple of white ones just outside my price range, and decided it was worth the stretch.
So what was my process?
Because BMWs of the last quarter-century tend to be complex machines, intolerant of owners who flake on maintenance and expensive to fix once all those deferred problems result in a major failure, American self-service junkyards are full of Bavarian machinery. I see dozens of discarded E30s, E28s, and E36s every year, and hundreds of scrapped 7 Series cars. I’m not sufficiently interested to raise my camera and document their demise most of the time. However, an E34 5 Series with V8 and manual transmission isn’t something you see every day in the junkyard.
Here’s a ’94 that I shot in a yard in California’s Central Valley last week. Read More >
One of these things is really not like the other.
While perusing an archive of historic Texas highway photos the other day (hey, when you’re single…), something popped up that I felt needed to be shared. In a 1962 image of Houston’s Southwest Freeway (US 59 South), standing out like a three-bean salad at a rib cook-off, was a wonderful automotive oddity.
When we pan out, you’ll see what this daring (and economical) driver had to deal with during his daily commute. Read More >
Why? Surely you jest.
Why is an automobile manufacturer’s U.S. arm killing off its lone remaining wagon? You don’t need to ask, for the answer lies therein: it’s a wagon. So they’re done with it. Insert the proverbial duh.
A report on BimmerFile.com, sourced both anonymously and from prolific BMW forum user Scott26, says the current BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon will be the last iteration of the car imported by BMW USA. Read More >
Have you been considering a new BMW but only have enough coin to buy one of Bavaria’s finest? At least one BMW dealer in the U.S. might have a solution.
If you don’t mind buying a new BMW that’s been languishing on the lot for a year, Century West BMW will throw in a lease on a BMW i3 on the house.
The Los Angeles Police Department just inked a deal that will see 100 BMW i3 electric vehicles wear the iconic black-and-white paint job of their vehicle fleet.
BMW emerged the winner in a supply bid that saw the i3 and rival EVs vie for the LAPD contract. The force chose the slab-sided Bimmer for its reliability and connectivity, and for the company’s charging infrastructure and service network. Read More >
For decades BMW worked tirelessly to cultivate a reputation for building performance machines that could hit above their weight classes. Although the 2002 is a well-regarded classic, and the homologation special M1 is a bonafide supercar of its era, it wasn’t until the debut of the E30 M3 in 1986 that BMW’s high-performance road cars really started to find favor with the general public.
In recent years, BMW has sought to recapture some of that E30 magic with cars like the M235i and the 1M before it. While both of those models have their virtues, they fall short of the mark largely by way of an unidentifiable, intangible element. After a stint behind the wheel of the M2, I discovered that “fun” is that elusive character trait, because this car has it in spades.