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After driving an SUV for the last 15+ years, I decided to buy a nice sedan. I was looking at the typical Japanese models that Consumer Reports puts in the same "Upscale Sedan" category as the BMW 3. I drove an Infinit G35 and an Acura TL. Both were excellent cars. They were better than any car I'd ever driven.

Somewhere in there, I drove a 2006 BMW 3 series. The difference between the BWM and the Japanese cars was staggering. Don't get me wrong, the Japanese cars were MUCH better equipped and significantly less expensive but they had a completely different feeling while driving.

I can't explain the difference but it was obvious.

After deciding the BWM was more than I wanted to spend, I settled on an Acura TL. The day before I was going to pick it up, a local BMW dealer called and told me he had a 2005 BWM 325i demo with only 9000 miles on it. The price was lower than the Acura so I went in to check it out. It was in perfect condition so I took it for a drive...

There was that feeling again. That unmistakeable feeling that only a BMW has. That feeling that no other car I've driven can match.

What exactly is it that makes a BWM drive so differently and why can't other car companies duplicate it?
 

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BMWs are balanced. They are built for enthusiasts by enthusiasts. They have the best motors in the world. And, they speak German. That's about it. Everything else is foreplay.
 

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It's hard to say... but I'd say a combination of the 50/50 weight distribution, RWD, and it's inline 6 smooth as silk engine.

Those are 3 pretty major distinguishing factors from the Japanese cars (outside of G35 RWD).
 

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It got you to :D it's being able to feel the road and correctly predict how the car will react, welcome aboard, you will now be a BMW fan for life :thumbup:
 

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Although BMW's are more expensive, there is a significant difference in the cars that is not obvious just looking at them.

BMW's are built as driver's cars from the ground up. Unlike Nissan who takes say an Altima, and tweaks it into a G35.

With every BMW built, regardless of price, you will get high quality, engines, brakes, steering, transmissions, suspension, 50/50 weight distribution, reer wheel drive, etc.

The Japanese cars sell based on price, options, and appearance for the most part. However, there are some Japanese cars that perform quite well.
 

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KevinH said:
There was that feeling again. That unmistakeable feeling that only a BMW has. That feeling that no other car I've driven can match.
That's why they call it the ultimate driving machine :thumbup:


x
 

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To me it is the suspension is highly controlled but still comfortable. The only cars I've driven with less body roll than my Sport-optioned 330i were much harsher (race cars).
 

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///M for Motor Sports!
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BMW's R So Different Because...

They are the only car company who lives up to is name "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and every other car maker though distinct in its way has a marker to meet and that marker is BMW.

When you get into one for the first time you know this is the real deal.

When you drive it, you experience truly a drivers' car with all your senses (Touch, Sight, Sound, Smell and Taste). What is it you taste? Your chops salivating with excitement when you take it out for a run.:p

It is the ultimate people's car; head turner, compliment receiver, status symbol and many other things... Let's just say the real marketing power is 'You'. You tell your friends, You tell your family, and you tell your co-workers and so on and so forth.

I'll end it here.

GMAN
 

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Malibubimmer said:
BMWs are balanced. They are built for enthusiasts by enthusiasts. They have the best motors in the world. And, they speak German. That's about it. Everything else is foreplay.
Exactly....if you`re the kind of driver who understands that special relationship between a great car and a nice long stretch of winding asphalt, BMWs are right up your alley.

Regards,
Bob
 

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What's Different About a Bimmer

I don't know, but I've owned a Corvette, Mercedes, Lexus GS300 and now own my 2nd Bimmer. Only the Lexus GS300 could even come close to giving me the satisfacation I receive every time I get into my vehicle. The way the car recognizes and adjust to you, as someone mentioned, the weight distribution of which provides impeccable handling, the effortless control, along with a great ride at high speeds are just a few reasons I love my Bimmer. Whenever I drive my car, which is not everyday, I always think to myself this is how a man is suppose to feel when he drives his vehicle.
 

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Transbug said:
I don't know, but I've owned a Corvette, Mercedes, Lexus GS300 and now own my 2nd Bimmer. Only the Lexus GS300 could even come close to giving me the satisfacation I receive every time I get into my vehicle. The way the car recognizes and adjust to you, as someone mentioned, the weight distribution of which provides impeccable handling, the effortless control, along with a great ride at high speeds are just a few reasons I love my Bimmer. Whenever I drive my car, which is not everyday, I always think to myself this is how a man is suppose to feel when he drives his vehicle.
'02 530i, sports and premium packages, xenon lights, steptronic tranny, white w/ tan interior. Replacing my OEM Style 42 rims with OEM Style 5 rims and P Zero Nero tires.
 

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KevinH:

You said exactly the same thing I said. What's so special about a BMW? Never wanted one, never planned on owning one, didn't even want to drive one. UNTIL, my wife talked me into doing a test test drive. I was looking at the 350Z, Infinity G35, Mustang, Acura TL (damn nice car) Then I drove a BMW 330Ci. JEEEZ, I was hooked, line and sinker. I was so stunned on how the car felt and handled. I was trying to explain it to another person and I really couldn't. A week later, I ordered my Imola Red 330Ci/ZHP. I'm hoping the reliability is as good as some of the Japanese cars I've owned. So far, I'm one happy BMW owner.
 

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you know, i got my 325i about 4 months ago....(had a Honda before, GM..etc)....you can read this whole website and it'll tell you the difference and how great this car is. Which it is hands down!
But the biggest difference I seen is the Service that is provided. True Professionals!. They call to see if everything is ok, that the car is running fine...any questions...etc. Not at all trying to sell me anything, which i find is what they do at other places like Honda, GM. I remember, everytime i go for an oil change @ Honda...always trying to scare you and upsell you into another type of service...get to a point..."just change the dahm oil!..that is what i am here for!"
BMW...i took my car in cause a the time, they only had 1 key...and the other key...had to be ordered. No problem...up front...letting me know...they call me to book the appt to what is good for me. And when i get there....although it is a 2-3 hr job....they give me a new 325Ci to drive....Cool! And when i come back....my car is washed and ready to go.
And when i brought it in for another thing....they tell me...my tool kit in the back is missing a part...and you are also missing your 1 litre of oil. Like no questions asked....they make an appointment with me....they order the part....and presto....Top Quality Service.

That is sold me on BMW...when i come in...i feel like a customer....not going into places like Honda, GM,....and they view you as a opportunity to sell you something.
 

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Malibubimmer said:
BMWs are balanced. They are built for enthusiasts by enthusiasts. They have the best motors in the world. And, they speak German. That's about it. Everything else is foreplay.

Are you sure they have the best motors in the world? I would think that title belongs to Ferrari. Maybe BMW has the best racing motors in the world for the money, but I would think Ferrari makes better motors. The F430 has a motor with roughly the same displacement as my 6er, but it's actually smaller. I believe it's 4.3L vs a 6er's 4.5L. Yet the Ferrari motor has more HP and more torque.
 

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SmoothCruise said:
Are you sure they have the best motors in the world? I would think that title belongs to Ferrari. Maybe BMW has the best racing motors in the world for the money, but I would think Ferrari makes better motors. The F430 has a motor with roughly the same displacement as my 6er, but it's actually smaller. I believe it's 4.3L vs a 6er's 4.5L. Yet the Ferrari motor has more HP and more torque.
You may be right as to one specific engine, but across the board, and across all of the models, BMW has the best motors.

The Ferrari engines never really did it for me. They need to be revved very high, and sometimes things, well, break. I also don't like the exhaust note. It's a bit busy. The Ferrari engines are nice, but not very practical. In the 1960s it used to cost $1500 to change the spark plugs (and that had to be done every 1000 miles). Do you know why?

I could go on and on. ("Nattering old coot, you usually do." "Shut up, Beewang.") The engine in the 4 door family sedan Ferrari is not as good as BMW's. Get my point?
 

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kobechrome said:
It's hard to say... but I'd say a combination of the 50/50 weight distribution, RWD, and it's inline 6 smooth as silk engine.
Throw in steering feel and great brakes. :thumbup: But yeah, I second all the mentions of balance.
 

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SmoothCruise said:
The F430 has a motor with roughly the same displacement as my 6er, but it's actually smaller. I believe it's 4.3L vs a 6er's 4.5L. Yet the Ferrari motor has more HP and more torque.
If you're going by output-per-volume...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_automotive_superlatives#Most_specific_engine_output_.28power_per_unit_volume.29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M54
The 3.2-L S54 is second on the power-per-volume list for naturally-aspirated engines and highest for torque-per-volume. If you scroll up, you'll find some BMW diesels listed.

Here's a list of winners for International Engine of the Year (do a word search for "BMW"):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Engine_of_the_Year

Here's a list of winners for Ward's 10 Best Engines (do a word search for "BMW"):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward's_10_Best_Engines

EDIT: Also, the engines were designed with different goals.

F430 engine: 4.3L V-8, 483 hp @ 8500 rpm, 343 ft.-lbs. @ 5250 rpm, 11/17 mpg
645Ci engine: 4.4L V-8, 325 hp @ 6100 rpm, 330 ft.-lbs. @ 3600 rpm, 17/25 mpg
650Ci engine: 4.8L V-8, 360 hp @ 6300 rpm, 360 ft.-lbs. @ 3400 rpm, 16/23 mpg

F430 engine:
342 hp / 343 ft-lbs @ 5250
483 hp / 298 ft-lbs @ 8500

645Ci engine:
226 hp / 330 ft-lbs @ 3600
325 hp / 279 ft-lbs @ 6100

650Ci engine:
233 hp / 360 ft-lbs @ 3400
360 hp / 300 ft-lbs @ 6300

The F430 engine looks more like a racing engine, where you would use gearing to keep revs up. The 6's engine looks more like an everyday driving engine, where you can stomp on the gas at most parts of the tachometer and get consistent response.
 

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I don't think it has anything to do with the engine, the 50/50 weight distribution, or the looks. There are at least half a dozen four door cars on the market right now that have 50/50 balance or close to it, a smooth 6 cyl engine, and rear wheel drive.

Quite frankly, I don't think my E46 handles all that well. It plants well when cornering, but it understeers and the body leans and it never seems to have as much grip as I want, no matter what type of tire I put on it. It's really hard to think much of the E46's handling once you've driven a Miata, S2000, Z4 or Boxster.

It's one thing and one thing only: the steering. That's it.

There is no other car on the planet, that I've driven, that STEERS like BMW's products do. And since steering is such a large part of the drive, there you have it.
 
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