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Here's more from Marc's Uncle Bob:

2002 BMW 745i

BMW has a long and consistent lineage with the 7-series sedans, usually with
cautious design changes. But the 2002 745i is a technological leap sideways,
maybe even backwards. Appearance wise, a once solid looking sedan has now
has a borderline ugly and somewhat amateurishly sculpted exterior. Even the
interior takes off in a new direction, looking unlike the previous shiny and
luxurious 7-sedans. But is is very nicely detailed in a satin finished hard
surface sculpted kind of way. Just not like an BMW folks have come to expect
over the years. The basic driving experience is still BMW 7 in that the
power is still fierce, and the 5,000 lbs. never objects to being flung thru
the twisties. It has a near perfect firm but comforting ride displaying an
almost uncanny stability and a rock solid body structure. For the diehard 7
lover, this one delivers the drive. But, and a very BIG but, there¹s way too
many dysfunctional ergonomic controls and performance shortcomings compared
to such a previously wonderful car. A fly-by-wire throttle would be expected
to have improved control accuracy. Not so. Some accelerator pedal motions do
not give instant control because of about a half second delay. The braking
response has a slightly disconnected feel. None of this behavior has been
experienced in any series prior BMW. The other basic controls take a lot of
memorizing and extra effort to operate. Many motions that in ³normal² cars
that can be done in one motion take two motions in this ³improved² 745i.
Instead of inserting and twisting a key to start the engine, one must insert
a key, then push an on/off button. To adjust a seat, one must select the
portion of the seat to adjust, then twist and push a little knob. Both of
these controls are nearly hidden out of sight next to the driver¹s right
leg. The massive steering wheel virtually hides the shift ³switch². You
cannot tell what gear you are in without looking at a small indicator light.
The turn ³switch² has no tactile position feedback and nearly defies
canceling during lane changes. You have to ³fiddle² a lot to not get an
opposite direction flasher. Two sharp edged button bulges on the steering
wheel interfere with finding a comfortable driving position. So many cheap
cars have great wheels, but not the new 745i. To downshift on mountain
grades, you can¹t use the shift switch. You must push a wheel mounted button
only after selecting the downshift mode with another button first. This
button is hard to find on the spinning steering wheel. And you are not
permitted to upshift! But the great technological ³improvement is the
i-Drive feature, a big mouse-like knob and computer screen that controls
nearly (700) functions. In an age when the simple driver distraction of cell
phone use is being made illegal, it defies all logic that a car must be
operated only by removing the driver¹s eye¹s from the road in order to peer
into a deep black hole at a display screen. The i-Drive system requires
commitment to memory of an unbelievable number of control knob actions. The
BMW 7-series sedan is marketed to rich, demanding aggressive drivers, while
the i-Drive system requires great patience. The kind of patience that a
young and poor techno-dweeb would have. Unfortunately the dweeb who would
love the BMW 745i doesn¹t have the loot to buy it. I¹m afraid the buyer with
the loot will be appalled at the ergonomic interference he will have to
endure.

BMW X5

Here¹s a strange car; over 5000 lbs, tall, very big feeling, but can carry
very little. Not really like a typical SUV. But if you were looking for a
SUV so you could be seen as an off-roady, but you really wanted a show-off
BMW, this is it. Spending $65,000 to not carry much seems seems very weird.
If you really love driving very aggressively in town, never get it dirty,
and thrive on outstanding handling, you¹d love this great big elephant for
it¹s almost ceremonial method of high-seated travel among the masses. As
with all BMW¹s, design details, quality if fit and finish, and mechanical
excellence are all top notch. The 4.4 litre V-8 power is very impressive,
especially the first few feet. This civilized behemoth absolutely jumps
ahead in an instant, a lot more like an M3 coupe. You can throw it around
with confidence even though you can tell its very hefty. The ride on the
big-foot 19 inch tires is quite comfy. And the manual shift automatic does
exactly what you want, devoid of any rough up or down shifts. Sort of a
cross between an elephant and a cheetah.

1999 BMW 328i

This is probably the closest to the Perfect Car that I¹ve ever driven.
Chunky looking rather than graceful, taller and narrower, but every exterior
detail executed technically correct from a styling surface viewpoint.
Interior modern with no silly details. Everything flawlessly made and
fitting together accurately. Tight interior space but excellent ergonomic
shapes. Great rear seat, high quality amenities all look and feel top cabin.
Ride and handling is a perfect blend,i.e., soft enough not to jar the
guests, firm enough for serious mountain chases. No strange behavior with
abrupt on-off throttle in turns on choppy pavement. I wonder how a sedan can
be this quiet and comfortable and still let you fling it viciously about.
Going to be a winner for many years!

1999 BMW M3 Sports Coupe

Attractive in the manner of a pit bull, this BMW will never be confused with
any other car. Once inside, the ergonomics are feeling is like an older Alfa
Romeo, narrow, no fat sides, not very modern. But the minute it starts, its
all business. Exhaust note is great, but not really noisy at any time. The
ride firmness can be lived with every day. Handling, while probably near
perfect, gives an impression that this car will bite quick if one is not
expert in it. The brakes are almost over-boosted and tricky to modulate
smoothly, same for the clutch. However, this is the best of all the sports
cars I¹ve ever driven in 45 years, including the BMW M1 Coupe of 1980. One
could drive to work in the city every day, take a long freeway trip, and be
a raging fiend in the mountains, all in one machine. With no apologies for
any characteristics.

1999 BMW 528i Sports Wagon

Everything said about the 328i applies to this car, except even better. The
immediate impression is of a very substantial vehicle with luxury details
that are just right and devoid of any excess or marketing gags. The
ergonomics are about close to perfect. The amazing feat that BMW has
achieved is the combination of aggressive tires and sport suspension with a
luxury ride. A very satisfying quiet ride with very little harshness
transmitted belies it¹s ability to respond eagerly to vicious charging on
the twisties. The 528i Sport is really two cars in one; compact limo and
willing sports car. Only one minor criticism, the clutch requires a lot of
driver skill to be satisfyingly smooth.

BMW 330Xi

Just like the 1999 BMW 328i I drove in September 1998, This still is
probably the closest to the Perfect Car that I¹ve ever driven. So, repeating
the prior comments; Chunky looking rather than graceful, taller and
narrower, but every exterior detail executed technically correct from a
styling surface viewpoint. Interior modern with no silly details.
Everything flawlessly made and fitting together accurately. Tight interior
space but excellent ergonomic shapes. Great rear seat, high quality
amenities all look and feel top cabin. Ride and handling is a perfect blend,
i.e., soft enough not to jar the guests, firm enough for serious mountain
chases. No strange behavior with abrupt on-off throttle in turns on choppy
pavement. I wonder how a sedan can be this quiet and comfortable and still
let you fling it viciously about. Going to be a winner for many years! And
now the 330Xi power train with full time 4wd just makes the 3 series even
more desirable, not only for slippery conditions, but for additional dry
handling grip. Ride height is no higher with the addition of driving front
wheels, seemingly almost out of place in a BMW.
 

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This guy doesn't have much crediblitity left after that M3 review. The E65 does not weigh even close to 5000lbs, the X5 doesn't even weight that much. Does this guy even drive the cars? The reviews are very incomplete and lacking in real information....

Ride height is no higher with the addition of driving front
wheels,
At least he got the E46 328 right :thumb:
 
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