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2022 X3 xDrive30i M Sport
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LA Times article goes along with my thoughts. I'd rather have a simple car that drives well than any extras.

The Washington Post writer makes no sense. Part of his reasoning is safety... Maybe. He makes it seem that without lane departure warning and backup cameras a car is undriveable. How did he ever function before without them? He also admits that he doesn't see a difference between the anemic, limp drives of these economy midsize cars that are FWD, many with CVT, and some underpowered... And he would be willing to sacrifice these 'imperceptible' differences for more gadgets.

Sadly, the average consumer will agree with the WP article.


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The average consumer has no clue what driving feel is. To them, a Toyota Camry is a great driving/riding car.

So BMW (always?)has a difficult proposition. How do you sell a better engineered/handling vehicle at a price that other car companies load with tangible, visual options that the average consumer wants/expects?

To be honest, I really don't get how BMW has gotten this far selling something via feel. From a purely objective standpoint, I know and can see/tell that BMWs are short on all the luxury items that other makers have at the same or better price. Sure, I know I can tell the difference in handling when driving an Acura, or Audi, but I honestly think the average customer couldn't tell the difference. With a company's stated goal of "Making money", it's no wonder the current 3 series has been watered down as a "driver's car".

Sadly, with the new lineup I've seen, even BMW may lose me as a customer in the near future. My personal desires/needs are (I think?) simple. Manual Transmission, AWD (I live and drive in snow country), and either a small suv like body, or wagon. Can't get an X3 like that anymore. They've stopped selling the 328ixdrive wagon manual as well. Don't think I can even option a standard 328 xdrive with a manual at all these days.

About the only thing left on the market I would buy new today might be a MINI Countryman, and I suppose a Golf R?

Sure, part of it is blamed on government, but part of it is also blamed on the average joe. So long as BMW wants to generate more revenue/sales, they're going to have to cater to the average joe.
 

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2018 BMW 540i, glacier silver/cognac leather.
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I think the emphasis on automatic transmissions probably relates in part to saving the planet stuff/emissions/economy. No, I don't subscribe to the global warming religion (but there I go again....don't want to hijack this thread as I know the topic has been beaten to death).

I personally really, really like the Steptronic setup, even the feel of the shift lever. I got rid of a Mercedes C350 to get my 328i. The MB had lane departure and a backup camera. They worked, but I NEVER relied on the lane departure indicators, alone, before changing lanes, or the backup camera either. I still remember how to turn my head either way, and always do. More than once, there's been someone maintaining station on me in the blind spot, something I never do to other drivers.

The Mercedes technology interface is inferior to BMW's iDrive, and the Mercedes dashboard is much more cluttered.

I will say the MB C250 has a pretty eager 4 cyl/transmission combination.
 

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Wow, that is a pretty biased article (one might even describe it as a bad article). It appears that the writer is only interested in features in a vehicle relating to price point. In regards to this, sure, Kia and Hyundai are now finally doing a good job with this. It doesn't take into consideration handling tests, horsepower, drive system, quality of leather, innovations, or other independent testing done that usually puts BMW in a class by itself. On paper the Genesis, the Cadenza, and even the Mercedes match up with BMW, but in practice, they continue to fall way short of the title of the ultimate driving machine. There is a reason that magazines like Car and Driver have had such praise for BMW.

And to be honest, a 2.0 liter CLA with front wheel drive and a friggin' backup camera at $36,000 is not better than a stock rear-wheel drive 328i.
 

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To me, the point of the article is that the gap in pricing between say a Hyundai and a BMW is growing even more when you factor in features/options, including those that are safety related and available from all manufacturers (for the most part). One thing I didn't see, but I believe fits with this argument and is true is that the gap in performance/drive among them all is shrinking.

That is a pretty dangerous combination for any business.
 

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This reporter looks like he always wanted a bmw, but has to settle with Kia or Hyundai.. ;)

Just thrown in the Merc to make his article look better to the average driver.


He got some points right though about pricing options.. and these must have caused him to miss the bimmer.

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