Tag: BMW

By on April 26, 2016

2016 Mini Clubman

“Clean up the place when you’re done with it, and don’t even think of offering ‘hourly rates’ while you have it. This is a respectable car.”

Adds like this could start popping up from new Mini owners if the quirky automaker has its way, Automotive News Europe reports.

Mini plans to offer devices on its models that allow the owner to rent out their vehicle to other drivers, providing some cash for themselves and a Mini experience for non-owners.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Group executive in charge of Mini, seems very excited about the technology, telling Automotive News that the system will be “kind of like Airbnb on wheels.” (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

So far, you’ve nominated 156 separate vehicles for TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Award — including a cornucopia of models that shouldn’t be nominated. (Reading comprehension, people!)

Here are some insights into the Best & Brightest hive mind.

(Read More…)

By on April 15, 2016

00 - 1998 BMW Z3 in California Junkyard - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

One of the interesting things about frequenting high-inventory-turnover wrecking yards is that you get a sense of when a vehicle’s value has reached a certain “not worth fixing when it breaks” threshold.

There will be no examples of this type of car in such yards, and then suddenly I’ll see a half-dozen in the space of a few months; the Mazda Miata was such a car, being extremely rare until about 2008, at which point you could count on finding a couple at most California U-Wrench-It-type yards. The BMW Z3 appears to have reached that point about now, with this one showing up in a Northern California yard that I visited last week. (Read More…)

By on April 13, 2016

2016 Mini Clubman

Executives at Mini are busy mulling what to introduce next, and it’s increasingly looking like that model will have a trunk.

Unlike a car modeled after a young man wearing a backward ballcap, a sedan is a logical addition to the brand’s future lineup, and comments made to Autocar by Ralph Mahler, vice-president of product development, make it clear there’s a serious business case for a three-box Mini.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2016

2015 BMW M235i Shifter, Image: © 2015 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

It’s had a few good days recently, but there’s no doubt the manual transmission is a patient that’s rapidly slipping away.

BMW just did its part to hasten the demise by getting rid of the stick shift option in next year’s M5 and M6, according to comments made to Car and Driver by BMW M boss Frank van Meel.

Soon, only two pedals will sprout from the firewall of the famed performance midsizers. But don’t blame the automaker. They’re just responding to consumer demand, or lack thereof.

(Read More…)

By on March 30, 2016

2016 BMW 340i Exterior Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

The BMW 3 Series has been the benchmark to which all manner of vehicles are measured. The comparisons go beyond the likes of the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60, and include BMW M3 vs Chevy Camaro and BMW 328d vs Toyota Prius. It seems that every car company in America makes at least one “3-Series fighter.” But there’s a problem with your largest volume product being put on this kind of pedestal: die-hard fans hate change.

Enthusiasts claim that BMW ruined the 3 Series when they redesigned it in 2012. The “F30” sedan got bigger, fatter, softer, and more gadget-filled than ever before. BMW fanbois cried in their gemüsesuppe, Road & Track called it an “also ran” and … BMW laughed all the way to the bank.

For 2016 the 3-Series gets a facelift, new engines and a redesigned suspension. What isn’t changed, however, is BMW’s new direction. And that’s a good thing in my book.

(Read More…)

By on March 30, 2016

2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5, Exterior, headlights, Picture courtesy of Alex L Dykes

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has started rating headlights, and just released a report that takes a dim view on the performance of most midsize cars.

Only one vehicle out of 31 testers earned a rating of “good” from the road safety nonprofit, with the bulk of midsize vehicles earning a rating of “marginal” or “poor.”

The results are even less dazzling when you take into account optional lighting packages, which pushed the number tested to 82. Even then, it was only the LED-equipped advanced technology package on the Toyota Prius V that earned the IIHS’s acclaim. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2016

BMW-M235i

When an automaker posts its sales figures at the end of the month, how many vehicles actually left the dealer lot?

Not all of them, according to a top BMW executive, who admitted that his company and others “punch” up sales numbers to boost their standing, according to Automotive News.

Punching cars is “not an ideal practice,” but it’s a reality in the industry, BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch said on March 22.

(Read More…)

By on March 22, 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4

Toyotas will soon be screeching to a halt everywhere and that should make its rivals jealous.

That, BMW unleashes the robots on the workers, eccentric automaker picks a place with funny-sounding names, General Motors isn’t falling out of love with China, and Mercedes-Maybach to get a rival … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on March 18, 2016

2012 BMW 328i, Exterior, 328i badge, Image: © 2012 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Sam writes:

Hi Bark,

I have a multi-part question and I’m interested to get your insight.

Part one: To CPO or not. After decades of driving Fords, I’ve decided to treat myself with a sporty German car. A BMW 328i seems like just the ticket. I’m looking at a 2015 model year dealer loaner with 4,000 miles, and it’s available with $8,000 off the $53,000 sticker price. The warranty has been reset, so it’s effectively a full, new-car warranty. With no major changes between 2015 and 2016, this seems like a no-brainer.

Part two: To lease or not. A BMW with a turbo and automatic transmission gives me the willies. I like the idea of turning it back in after three years and washing my hands of any long-term maintenance issues (or having to unload it myself). BMW’s lease interest rate is 4.375 percent, which seems high. The residual factor is 59 percent of MSRP.

Part three: To pay up-front or not. I hate paying monthly for stuff. I’m inclined to just pay the entirety of the lease payments up front. BMW will cut the rate by a little in this case, to 4.125-percent on the residual amount. It still seems high relative to the 0-percent offers on domestic vehicles. Are there any gotchas to paying up front?

I’ve never leased before. I’ve always been a “pay cash” kind of guy. But the lease on the low-mileage CPO with no major changes seems like a slam-dunk over a new car similarly equipped. Am I missing something?

Thanks!

Hoo boy. Get ready for a barn burner.

(Read More…)

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