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MuzkGuy 08-01-2012 01:32 PM

Benz to Bimmer
Ok, so I've driven MBZez for YEARS and have always been very happy with them. Of course, I've always wanted a rock solid, sturdy, sure-footed, yet fast and powerful ride. And back in the day (mid 90s), when I tested BMWs against the Benzes, the Stuttgart steel always won. It was true the that Munich machines were more sporty and nimble, but to me, just not as "solid" as I liked. Plus, it always seemed that the Bimmers didn't age as well; cracked rubber, peeled paint, yellowed details, and more cracks in the dash than in the floor of the Mojave dessert!

By the turn of the century (not THAT century, blokes!), I was getting a little tired of the heavy SL, and thought that the SLK would to be the ticket, especially in light of the fact that it had that nifty vario roof. The car looked kinda cool too. I tried the Z4, but it was just a nick too small, and I didn't love the way it looked, especially with the rag top up. While it was super fun to drive, it was a bit too "raw" for me, and lacked the "refinement" that was in the Benz. The drive of the SLK? More fun than the SL, but not as sturdy or fast. Got it anyway, and really liked it.

Then, a few years later, while it was parked, the SLK got smashed to smithereenz by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. Luckily, I had kept the SL.

So after driving the good ol' big benz roadster for awhile, I thought it was time for a more "fun" car again. A friend told me I should try the Z4. I told him that I had, and it was great, but just not for me. He then replied, "Have you checked out the NEW one?" I said, "The new one?" He returned, "Yeah, they're great!". So I headed over to the local dealer. The minute I saw it, I said to myself, "Wow, they really got it right this time!". Of course, that only pertained to the looks of the thing. So rather than test drive it, I scurried out of the joint, and decided to test drive all of the other similarly-classed competition first. This included the Audi TT, Porsche Boxster, and the 2012 SLK. Without getting into a Car-And-Driver styled review, I'll just say that for me, of the above three, the SLK won. That's just based on my style of driving and aesthetics which blends sheer fun with a degree of refinement and elegance. Sure, the Boxster kicked the crap out of all the rest when it came to b***s-to-the-wall sports car enthusiasm. But the SLK was no slouch, and I really liked the "feel" of it. I almost bought it right then and there. But I knew that I had to go back and drive the Z, especially since I actually preferred its looks to the SLK, AND the price was better. (And remember, I'm a Benz guy!)

Right away, I was really surprised at the degree of refinement and comfort that was in the Baby Bimmer. No loss of lux here at all. Then came the drive...... I first tired the 35si. Great, and really fast, but MPG was low and for me, it was a bit "too much", but certainly mouth-wateringly aggressive. So I then tried the 30si. Ok, bye bye Benz, sorry! The thing was just a blast to drive! It was right in that "goldilocks" zone for me. Not too raw like the Boxster, and not too tame like the SLK tended to be. A really great blend.

So for the first time, I've gone over to the "other side", and so far, it's intoxicating!

rdkind62 08-01-2012 01:57 PM

Welcome to the world of BMW. I am just getting in a Z4 myself, but I am coming from a 328xi so not much change when it comes to the feel of the vehicle and I also have the same engine as my previous one except I now have an additional 25 HP. Hope you enjoy your ride enough to keep you happy for years to come.

645/333 08-01-2012 03:08 PM

Hi ! Welcome. Funnily I went through your process some time back when I eventually bought a BMW 6 series (Still the best car I have ever owned)(had had various Mercedes including AMG) but then I decided on a two seater convertible and went through the process again.
Tried the Porsche and the SLK but not the TT! looked at a couple of others but came to the conclusion that firstly the cabin on the Z4 is the best place to be, the drive and power trade off from the Boxster and the SLK AMG was worth the lower power of the 3.0ltr. Overall I felt far more comfortable in the Z4. My car is quite highly specd! Having owned it now for a few months you will not be disappointed, the girl can lift her skirts when she wants to push it! with the added Sports mode you can have some fun, very few of us have the skill to push these cars consistently to the limits, and on today's roads limited opportunity.....Sadly I have been spanked a couple of times by straight line speed from traffic lights but not enough to embarrass me!!!!! There will always be someone with that extra oomph!!!
One of the other reasons I dropped away from Mercedes was actually very poor reliability across a number of models, even when Mercedes damaged one car and were never able to repair it properly (SLK AMG new roof).

gotoschoolhere 08-03-2012 06:19 PM

Wow. I've written on this topic extensively and am very passionate about it. Glad you made the switch.

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