There is another slant on this BMW image thing. I was driving BMW's back in the late 70's and 80's seemed everyone who commented on it, though I was loaded with money, because I drove a 5-series 528 saloon. The fact it was used and cost no more than buying and running a new Ford Cortina, didn't seem to count. It was viewed as exclusive and expensive.
BMW also promoted the exclusive brand, particularly back then. I remember when the 3-series started becoming popular, BMW 'assured' the loyal customer the brand wasn't going to be diluted, they would cap production.
Then they got in financial trouble, the Quandt family had to follow the market to survive, higher volume of the smaller "bread and butter" cars to keep the brand afloat.
They've never looked back, on growing the business, but it was against their business model and ethos of the past.
The terms "a real BMW" and "poverty spec" are not new expressions for BMW, since the invention of the internet and forums. It goes back to the past when unless the cars were specced well, and had 6-pot engines, they were viewed as the "poor mans" BMW. Take an 520i's of the past, viewed as a bit of a joke, even in the 80's.
Once we had the silky smooth 6-pot inline engines, nothing else really had the same kudos with the BMW enthusiast. So a ribbing for anyone who had the 'base' model.
Let's see it for what it is, a bit of banter, and if their is snobbery, (certainly not from my part) enjoy what you have, but most enthusiast BMW drivers still aspire to the bigger models, don't we? Always did.