If I’m brutally honest, I’m not a huge fan of most of the newer BMW designs. As my wife says, I’d be happy if Journey was still on the radio and everyone was walking around with a mullet (that’s only half true…). But that’s not it; as I was saying to her just yesterday, I just don’t get excited about most of the new designs that come out. It wasn’t always this way – I remember eagerly awaiting the next issue of the multiple car magazines I subscribed to so that I could immediately flip to the section I found most exciting – the upcoming cars feature. But that enthusiasm has waned as cars have grown more complex, isolating and expensive. Sure, they’re faster – and even basic models do everything much better than even some “supercars” from the 1980s. But I don’t look at them and get excited like I did when the S4 first launched, for example. But, a thought occurred to me – while I’m not the biggest fan of these cars, proportionate to what you used to receive they’re simply a better value and better cars. We can pontificate about the virtues of the E30 M3 to no end, but the reality is that even around a track, the bone-stock 328i all-wheel drive wagon below would give it a run for its money without much difficulty – and in every other aspect, it’s a better car. We’re really still in the midst of a horsepower revolution, but that power is translated to the ground better than before with more sophisticated transmissions and computer aids along with all-wheel drive available in most packages. But it’s not just speed – not only can these fast cars get you to the Alps, they are like the luxury resorts when you get there, with fine materials and fit and finish that are really top quality. In a word, they’re spectacular at being cars that are much more functional in multiple facets than anything previously. So, here’s a lineup of some neat newer BMWs; while I’m not the biggest fan of all the packages or designs, one thing that I do love is their blues – so here’s a round up of most of them:
Shortly after we had posted it last week, the Estoril Blue M3 Convertible sold. That car set off an interesting debate with our readers about how acceptable an open-roofed M car can be. Most people seem to be in agreement that they would rather have the enjoyment of top down motoring at the expense of weight or chassis flex, as most folks arenâ€™t hitting the track on a regular basis. This M3 Convertible for sale in California has a bit more mileage under its belt, but is also a 5-speed manual example, arguably the more involving gearbox choice.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay
Without question, this car is high up on my list. The E91 BMW 3 series Touring with a 6-speed manual gearbox. A old childhood friend of mine just scooped up a 6-speed manual E91 Touring and loves it. His wife wanted an SUV, but luckily he won that round. We featured another 328i Touring, but this 328i x-Drive Touring, brought to our attention by our friends at BlythBros. is the stuff that dreams are made of for estate fans. Black over Oyster leather, M-Sport package, 6-speed manual. Does it get any better than this, folks?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 328i x-Drive Touring M-Sport on Minneapolis’ Craigslist
Having your cake and eating it too. Few cars in the automotive spectrum come closer to this than a 3 series Touring with a manual gearbox. While you can buy a brand new 3 series Touring in the United States with either a diesel or petrol engine, you can no longer specify the three pedal option. So, barring a change in BMW sales policy towards US customers, this 2011 328i Touring with a 6-speed manual represents the end of the road for manual transmission estate cars on these shores. Following on to the E30 Touring and A6 Avant we featured earlier today, here’s some more five-door goodness in the form of this 328i Touring on offer in Colorado.
Click for more details: 2011 BMW 328i Touring on eBay
BMWs have always been about performance, but there are some that want the image of performance with a side of comfort. For those consumers, there…