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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Automatic vs. Manual Resale Value?



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      09-07-2005, 05:08 AM   #89
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Since the E36 M3 exhaust was not stainless steel and was showing obvious signs of rust on my 330xi I was also surprised that the dealer gave me more than the high value black book on my car. Personally I also always assumed that because of reliability issues most buyers (myself included) would find these modifications took away from the value of the car.

Yes I am sure that I will miss the AWD of the 330xi for the 4 or 5 days a year that it does snow here in Vancouver and also when the roads around my house are iced up. I also liked the feel of the car when I floored it and all 4 wheels hooked up and the car just took off. On the other hand the 330i is more fun to drive and it is easier to have fun by making the car oversteer around corners. I also find that the improved Dynamic Stability Control is less intrusive on the 330i and does not seem to cut off the fuel supply as much as my old 330xi.

All in all the 330i has a much improved suspension and is more solid, quite, and refined on the road. My 330xi consistently would also get about 24mpg while my 330i now gets about 26-27mpg :rocks:

Last edited by RICH2005; 09-07-2005 at 06:25 AM.
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      09-07-2005, 07:05 AM   #90
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in the part of the world where i live most cars sold are manuals
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      09-07-2005, 12:14 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petercat
Of course, buy what you want...
The question wasn't whether you or I are faster than each other. That's not the issue at all and a non-productive arguement.

You really point out some benefits of the manual over auto. Rather than just saying "it's slow". You point out the techno-nanny attributes which take away your control. I think the best point you make is the direct selection of gear to gear, where manumatic you have to click through all to get what you want.

This brings up another question of mine. Does the computer know better than you and I? Don't you believe the auto upshifts are put there to prevent you and I from damaging our engines? I'm sure we've all had those misshifts we wish didn't happen.

No finger pointing, just open discussion.
I hear what you are saying, but the rev limiter prevents you from over-revving. Even so, I would do more damage to my car sliding off the road than I would by a momentary run into redline. I did fine back before the days of rev-limiters too, but it's nice to know it's there nonetheless.

The reason a manual is FASTER around a track is because it will let you do things that an automatic will not. It may not always be good for your car to drive hard, (in fact, almost always the opposite), but if your car is "knowing better than you" it is slowing you down. This was precisely my point.

You know what the best thing about the BMW traction control in our cars is? The fact that you can turn it totally off! I like the DTS setting too, but it will only let you get so far sideways before it will clamp down on the brakes to keep you going straight. That slows you down in most situations. An automatic slows you down too, but for slightly different reasons.

Let me make one thing totally clear though as far as handling. I bought a manual more for handling advantages than for acceleration advantages. Straight line acceleration is not the reason I prefer automatic. If all I was doing was driving straight, I would have no problem with automatic. Sure, they are a tad slower to accelerate, but not enough to really bother me. It's the control issue that is the factor for me.

One of the things I liked about DSG in the Audi A3 was the fact that it was much more direct than any tiptronic, steptronic, or manumatic that I have ever driven, except for maybe SMG. The difference was that DSG was much more forgiving around town than SMG, but still as direct as SMG for sporty driving. The DSG will let you downshift into a much higher RPM than steptronic or tiptronic (Audi version) will do. It still won't let you over-rev, but it shifts RIGHT AWAY and matches RPM of the engine by blipping the throttle. It's very similar to the system on the Ferrari Modena or Enzo. (and the system that F1 cars use). It really feels like a manual with no clutch pedal. It's a little weird at first, but I could get used to it. It's not that I think that the concept of "automatic" is bad, it's just the execution that has been poor. (up until the recent DSG and SMG trannys, that is).

Look, why did we buy BMWs in the first place? I am sure we all have different reasons. My reason was because of driving precision and handling, coupled with civility for sporty daily driving. I didn't buy it for image, and in fact I am kind of embarrassed to drive it around and park it at work because I feel kind of pretentious.

Here's my decison process. (these are all hypothetical percentages, by the way) Let's say the 330i handled 10% better than the A4, and 15% better than the Acura TL, but cost 10% more than the TL. The extra cost was worth it to me to get the better handling of the 330i. Why then would I want to compromise 6% of the handling advantage of the 330i by getting an automatic with it, which also raised the cost of the car by $1,200?

I am not saying that everyone did, or should buy their car for handling or performance, but lots of people on this board throw out comments like: "Lexus cars handle like crap, or Audi cars suck" and then they go and pay a premium for a BMW and throw away a large percentage of their handling advantage by buying an automatic. I just don't understand it. If you are not one of those people that bags on the handling or performance of competitive cars, I don't care if you drive an automatic. But if you do drive an automatic, I don't want to hear about how your BMW handles better or peforms better than x car, because it probably doesn't.
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      09-07-2005, 12:40 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
But if you do drive an automatic, I don't want to hear about how your BMW handles better or peforms better than x car, because it probably doesn't.
An automatic BMW is now no more better in handling than the TL, A4, G35, C32 AMG?

Let me ponder this a little bit. Hmm, the transmission is part of the powertrain and has BARELY anything to do with suspension.

Let me further dwell on this. An auto 330i weighs 30 kg more than the manual...80 lbs heavier. That's an extra elementary kid sitting in the passenger seat. The auto has 0.5% extra weight biased to the front from the rear compared to the manual..but still sits at 51.1/48.9. Near the 'perfect 50/50 ratio.

So if you want to go "faster" and still fall in that bandwagon of delusional folks who feel that they always need that extra 0.3 seconds of faster speed off of the line, go ahead and get the manual.

And to whoever bashes on automatic BMWs - come on already, get over it. They heavily outsell manuals in the U.S. and besides being the more popular ones around, there's no need to justify yourselves saving $1,200 having to throw around a shifter in the middle of traffic, whether it's subconcious or not.

If manuals were that much better than autos, the decision would have easily been made for everybody. BMW wouldn't make auto trannies for their cars. But in reality, that's absurd, and doesn't take place.

So manulers, please, stop this bashing (and its always hilarious how only manualers bash/whine/complain/cry/carp about automatics and never the other way around) - go outside, mis-shift some more, burn up the engine some more, burn up those clutches and mess up those fly wheels more so that you can go home from work and embrace your loved ones, telling them all how you just saved 2 minutes of driving by shooting 0-60 in 6.1 seconds a few times while going home. Or tell your kids how you smoked another car from a light - and let the kids laugh at you, telling how childish that act was.

Who here takes their rides to go Nurburgring, auto-crossing, to the track, or even get it dyno'd? Less than 0.1%. So it's no wonder why such a small percentage of people get manual on top of those who cannot afford to add on the automatic transmission (yup, there are those folks too).
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      09-07-2005, 12:56 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
...You know what the best thing about the BMW traction control in our cars is? The fact that you can turn it totally off! I like the DTS setting too, but it will only let you get so far sideways before it will clamp down on the brakes to keep you going straight. That slows you down in most situations. An automatic slows you down too, but for slightly different reasons.

... But if you do drive an automatic, I don't want to hear about how your BMW handles better or peforms better than x car, because it probably doesn't.
The analogy between the auto and the DTC /DST is the best I've heard so far. Good Job.

I'm not so sure about the handling characteristics of an auto vs. manual. I would certainly agree that the "driving experience" is different (better). But the weight of the transmission is in the right spot where is wouldn't effect handling much (or at all).

I'm not about to bash any car, I love most all cars. I will say this though, my '06 e90 does handle much better than my '05 A4 did. Loved the a4, but the e90 is much more in tune with the road. IMHO
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      09-07-2005, 01:40 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawks
An automatic BMW is now no more better in handling than the TL, A4, G35, C32 AMG?

Let me ponder this a little bit. Hmm, the transmission is part of the powertrain and has BARELY anything to do with suspension.
.
Let me rephrase this, becuase I think you are missing my point.

The powertrain has basically nothing to do with suspension, but has a lot to do with HANDLING of the car.

Try this: First, turn off the traction control in your car completely by pressing and holding the DTC button for 5 full seconds. Then go out and find a 90 degree corner. Approach the corner very fast, at the limits that you think the suspension can handle. As you approach the corner, put your car in neutral or push in the clutch if it is a manual, and leave it in. Take the corner. You will understeer. (Hope you weren't going too fast).

Now, go back and do the same corner again at the same speed, only this time leave the car in gear and give it about 4,000 RPM as you go through the apex. You will notice a much different feeling this time. If you give it too much gas, you will oversteer. Too little gas, and you will understeer. Just right, and you will have very neutral handling.

What I was trying to say is that the throttle has very much to do with handling, and an automatic does not always let you have complete control over the powertain. The powertrain is SUPREMELY important for handling at or near the limit.

Now as far as handling vs. other cars... If you have 2 different cars that are very close in handling performance, the manual one will have an advantage. The automatic one would have to be a LOT better to compensate. This is not due to weight, weight distribution or suspension, but is because you can't always get the powertrain to do what you want it to.
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      09-07-2005, 01:58 PM   #95
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I do not find much of the discussion here to be auto-bashing. We all agree that there are niches for both kinds of transmission. To reiterate CC 330i's point, consider what happens when you are at the limit in a corner, and your steptronic changes gears for you. Power drifting is something that some of us enjoy as part of our driving. Not something to do in a traffic jam in LA, but part of some folk's BMW experience. There are benefits and costs for each choice. I found the discussion of why there is such a difference in the manual/auto ratio in Euro compared with the USA to be more interesting. My read on that is the USA market is more about luxury and convenience, whereas the Euro market is more about performance and efficiency. You pays your pennies and takes your choice. I think we should all be glad that we have the choice rather than arguing which is better. Both is better than either. And a BMW steptronic is more performance oriented than most automatics, befitting the nature of the beast.
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      09-07-2005, 02:06 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc
I do not find much of the discussion here to be auto-bashing. We all agree that there are niches for both kinds of transmission. To reiterate CC 330i's point, consider what happens when you are at the limit in a corner, and your steptronic changes gears for you. Power drifting is something that some of us enjoy as part of our driving. Not something to do in a traffic jam in LA, but part of some folk's BMW experience. There are benefits and costs for each choice. I found the discussion of why there is such a difference in the manual/auto ratio in Euro compared with the USA to be more interesting. My read on that is the USA market is more about luxury and convenience, whereas the Euro market is more about performance and efficiency. You pays your pennies and takes your choice. I think we should all be glad that we have the choice rather than arguing which is better. Both is better than either. And a BMW steptronic is more performance oriented than most automatics, befitting the nature of the beast.
This is well stated, and I didn't mean to bash anybody (that wasn't already bashing others themselves) with an automatic. I admit to being a little facetious at times, trying to draw some people into explaining why they got an automatic, but that's all. I like all BMWs. Really.
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      09-07-2005, 02:07 PM   #97
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"V". The resale value on the two different transmissions will vary from region to region. It is however important to understand that while the "enthusiast" is a manual transmission kinda "person" the market on a manual transmission is more restricted and defined.

Due to traffic conditions in some area's the dealers order cars based on how well they will sell given their demographics. Automatics seem to be the choice in most regions. So, the market on a stick becomes more finite! I won't drive an automatic. I live in Southern California, some of the worst traffic there is.

What is of real importance is, what do you want to drive? Remember you are the one who has to walk into the garage everyday and say oh cool! not Oh, God!


Hope that helps.
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      09-07-2005, 02:13 PM   #98
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I would question a stick

If I were buying a used BMW I would go with the auto. With a stick
you do not know if the prevouse owner poped the clutch cousing damage to the engin and trans. I have many freinds that sit at the stop light with the engin runnin near the read line and when the light
turns green they dump the cluch. Good for the race but very bad for the car. Then they " bark " the tires as the go though the gears. I
built a 1971 383 charger with a 4 speeed trand. In races I would red line it and then dump the clutch. I won a lot of races but key on the crank that attached to crank broke. No more 383
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      09-07-2005, 02:42 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
trying to draw some people into explaining why they got an automatic
Your question has already been answered numerous times in more than a couple threads.

1) More convenience especially in areas afflicted with dense traffic. There is simply less work for the driver, whether driving a manual becomes subconscious or not - there's simply less physical demands.
2) As I said earlier, less than 0.1% of BMW owners are chary enough about maintaining a perfect handling while going ridiculously fast through turns, or finical enough to always want that 0.2 second advantage over a 330i automatic user.

Those two points logically add up to the explanation why automatics heavily outsell manuals in nearly all car classes in the U.S. market.

As per the bashing, saying that an auto BMW is quite inferior and should never be compared to other cars of its same class...sounds like bashing to me. Blunt or insinuated, that's still bashing.
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      09-07-2005, 02:53 PM   #100
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Squawks points out that autos are more convenient, and that outweighs the slight performance differences for most USA drivers. I think we all agree on that. But I still find it interesting that the same criteria exist for Euro drivers, and yet their choice ratio is just the opposite. It is not that we have more traffic jams, or fewer fun roads to drive on. Perhaps there is a cultural trend of following what the elite do, with the Euro elite enjoying Ferrarri, Porsche and the like, whereas we have our Cadillacs and Lincolns. The wealthy could go fast in Euro, whereas in the USA we have made do with comfort as the value to be strived after.
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      09-07-2005, 03:35 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlr
If I were buying a used BMW I would go with the auto. With a stick
you do not know if the prevouse owner poped the clutch cousing damage to the engin and trans. I have many freinds that sit at the stop light with the engin runnin near the read line and when the light
turns green they dump the cluch. Good for the race but very bad for the car. Then they " bark " the tires as the go though the gears. I
built a 1971 383 charger with a 4 speeed trand. In races I would red line it and then dump the clutch. I won a lot of races but key on the crank that attached to crank broke. No more 383
yup, there's no possible way to abuse an automatic,

Plus they're so simple to work on and have so few moving parts they are actuall much more durable than a manual transmission. BMW automatic tranny's never fail at 80,000 miles
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      09-07-2005, 03:44 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawks
As per the bashing, saying that an auto BMW is quite inferior and should never be compared to other cars of its same class...sounds like bashing to me. Blunt or insinuated, that's still bashing.
I didn't say that an auto BMW was inferior. I said that I don't want to hear people with automatics popping off about how superior their BMW is over X car, when X car configured with a manual would beat it. I don't know why, but the people that are always bragging about how the 330i beat the A4 or G35 in some test always seem to own an automatic 325i. It bothers me. Sorry.

If one of the car magazines tested an Audi A4 with a manual, and a 330i with an automatic, and the A4 beat it in all tests, wouldn't everyone here cry foul that the BMW was hampered by the automatic transmission and it wasn't a fair fight? Nearly every Mercedes road test in each of the major magazines where they are driving an automatic Mercedes laments the fact that Mercedes didn't come in a manual. Why is this?

The Mercedes demographic (customer base) is even less concerned with performance than the BMW one, in my opinion, and that is why many of their cars don't even offer a manual transmission. They are more concerned with status and image.

About the European vs. American thing when it comes to transmission, it reminds me of many threads I have read where people from Europe can't understand why we care about cupholders, cell phones, coffee, etc while we are driving (all things that are easier to mess with when you have an automatic by the way). I think this is all related to why we buy so many automatics. We aren't really enjoying the driving experience.

One car that I think bunks the trend on resale with manual transmission is the 540i. It's one of the few V8 BMWs that was available with manual transmission. Check out resale values of a manual versus an automatic 540i. I am not sure, but I think you will see a price premium on the manual.
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      09-07-2005, 04:00 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
yup, there's no possible way to abuse an automatic,

Plus they're so simple to work on and have so few moving parts they are actuall much more durable than a manual transmission. BMW automatic tranny's never fail at 80,000 miles
Ward, I have to beg to differ with you here.

Try this: (one of my infamous "try this" comments).

Stop on a steep hill pointing uphill. Put the car in reverse. Floor it. When you are going about 35 mph backwards, slam the transmission into drive and keep the accelerator floored. If the hill is steep enough, you can go through a set of tires in one try, and cause some serious damage to your tranny! Or, just put it in neutral, floor it, and then slam it into drive. Or, just don't let it come to a stop completely when you are backing up next time and drop it into drive. All these are bad for the automatic. The first one is a lot of fun, and I used to do this to rental cars. (just kidding).

The manual transmission is much simpler mechanically also, and they are MUCH cheaper to replace/repair later on. If you are not under warranty, you don't want an auto. Theres only the clutch, flywheel, and throwout bearing that are really wear items, and the flywheel really doesn't ever need replacement, just resurfacing. If a manual transmission fails at 80,000 miles, it's most likely the clutch. If you don't abuse your clutch, and you have proper technique, the clutch can last 200,000 miles. In my 1983 GTI, the clutch (and transmission) was still fine at 160,000 miles, and I drove that car HARD. (And it was a lowly VW!).

Idjuts are Idjuts, whether they drive a manual or an automatic.
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      09-07-2005, 04:02 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
BMW automatic tranny's never fail at 80,000 miles
Truly hypocritical coming out of a manual votary who, on 8-16-2005, 12:55 PM, posted that "I like my transmissions not to fail at 80,000 miles" in disparaging automatic trannies in the Why do people get AT with the 330i SP? thread. Now, all of a sudden, BMW auto trannies never fail at 80k miles?

Now, in response to CC330i, nobody here in these forums has ever calumniated the good-name of manual trannies in the area of performance. There is no doubt that for these consumer cars, a manual transmission would suffice over an automatic in the case you take your car to a competitive meet such as auto-x'ing or tactless street drags.

EPA ratings for the manual are the same as the automatic. Perhaps automatic efficiency has improved thanks to coeval technologies.

For the majority, the benefits of the automatic transmission heavily outweighs the manual. Sure, there are performance losses, but again, who here goes Nurburgring? Auto-crossing? Dyno sheets, anybody?

Stressdoc - I too wondered why in Europe manuals are far more abundant relative to the U.S. market. I've always imputed this trait as the result of ridiculously high gas costs in Europe. Why are there many more diesel models in Europe? Why are there VW diesel models offered only in Europe and not in the U.S.? Why is the average unladen weight of European vehicles MUCH lower than American vehicles? Today's technology is closely reaching the point where automatics (DSG, SMG included) will one day reach or even surpass the fuel efficiency of manually clutched/thrown transmissions. By then, it would be interesting to see changes, if any, in the inveterate driving characteristics of Europeans.
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      09-07-2005, 04:05 PM   #105
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you people really don't understand sarcasm do you???????????????

when I worked at a BMW only repair shop auto tranny's were replaced FAR more often than clutches (and back then cars were about half and half manual vs auto)
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      09-07-2005, 04:09 PM   #106
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Did you not catch my sarcasm in my detraction!?!?
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      09-07-2005, 04:10 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawks
For the majority, the benefits of the automatic transmission heavily outweighs the manual. Sure, there are performance losses, but again, who here goes Nurburgring?
Me, next BMW will be ED and I will pay to go drive the Nurburgring with my MT BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawks
Auto-crossing?
Me, SCCA Solo 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawks
Dyno sheets, anybody?
Engine horsepower and power to the wheels would be roughly the same at peak power, but it's how well you can control the in between that is important.
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      09-07-2005, 04:14 PM   #108
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That's good for you, CC, and obviously a manual transmission would be consequential to you.

Regarding dyno, the only people who actually take their vehicle dyno'd are the same ones who are utmost concerned with performance. Not many, obviously. There are many more folks who just want to change out the orange corner lights compared to the much more minute folks who modify what's under the hood.

EDIT: Nurburgring in Germany will void your insurance in Europe if you happen to accrue any damages to your car from the course. It's no ordinary Joe-Blo's oval course, obviously. But sounds fun, give us a write-up if you follow this through.
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      09-07-2005, 06:34 PM   #109
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I will definitely take pics at the Nurburgring when I go. Thanks for the tip about insurance. I will make sure to leave the traction control ON and drive carefully.

I guess I have just been trying to say all along that if a Manual is not consequential to you, then obviously handling at the limit isn't either, and so a Lexus or an Acura would probably suffice for your driving style. You would never get into territory where the 50/50, RWD, balance and superior handling of the BMW would come into play. Glad everyone here is driving a BMW regardless, but it seems like a big price premium to pay for something you aren't getting the most out of. But again, performance is not at the top of everyones list of reasons they went with a BMW. That's cool.
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      09-08-2005, 01:20 PM   #110
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I don't want to keep on beating a dead horse, sorry - but just wanted to respond to CC's latest note.

I agree with your points, and I even actually considered the TL, Lexus, Audi, etc. Relative to the Audi, BMW's premium is actually only slightly higher (marginal at around $500 priced with my options). The TL and Lexus are both obviously much cheaper considering relative specs/options.

The Audi A4 was ruled out despite being technologically superior over the BMW. I strayed from the A4 when I realized how much better-looking the BMW was and how much better the BMW was in regards to performance. Driving the A4 felt like driving any typical car - didn't feel like a real $44,000 upgrade. I wouldn't mind having Quattro so I can go up the California mountains all season long, of course...but it wasn't worth it compared to what BMW has to offer for a very small premium.

I ruled out the TL because of its notorious torque-steering, despite knowing that only drivers who really push the TL will ever experience this malady. Furthermore, Acura had horrible transmission-recall problems in its past TL models, shaking up its customers' trust. BMW has the highest reputation (perhaps alongside Lexus) of durability when it comes to major problems. Audi has always been long-struck by engine problems especially its infamous oil-pan problems. I like the interior of the TL, its navigation system is top-notch and unmatched by any other.

Lexus is another competitor I've lately been contemplating but I abhor the external looks. Looks like any other Japanese car. I'm sure the comfort, luxury, and tech savvy gimmicks are all there but then again, this model isn't even out for me to inspect firsthand. It might sway my choices a bit, but maybe not.

As per handling, I also feel your statement belittles the "ultimate driving machine" subtlely - whether the difference is big or subtle, it's there. People feel it, too - and that's what I admire. Why do most people assume driving a BMW 5 series would be like driving a heavy tank until they get in, put it to a REAL driving test (i.e. Autoshow In Motion -- show coming up in San Diego next next weekend, folks) with turns going at outlandish speeds. Then they become amazed at the handling. These are ordinary folks driving an auto 5 series, as well. The difference is there.

Now, obviously, if I'm 80 years old and actually drive like an old geezer, I would concur that a BMW would be analogous to me getting a Ferrari. I'm an old geezer and driving like an old geezer - I should be getting a Lexus LS or Bentley Arnage. But most BMW consumers are the young type, the same ones who pass up slow cars on the freeways without much hesitation and the same ones who aren't too chary about going a little faster.

If you buy a BMW without ever complimenting its handling, then you're right, you wasted money compared to other alternatives. In truth, most people notice the handling, and it's real.
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