View Single Post
      02-06-2006, 03:57 AM   #83

Drives: ///M318ti Type-R Turbo
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Straddling the pond.

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by
Don't listen to what akhbhaat says. He doesn't even own an E90.
You gotta own the car to truly realize what it really is. Few test drives don't tell you anything.

As an owner, I can tell you he doesn't know crap about the "real e90".
He is just putting out some fancy words to look like a smart ass.
What are you trying to say? That the E90 drives like a sports car? Please, I'm laughing already. It's a bloated luxury sedan. It has an electronic throttle, long shifter throws, a featherweight clutch, and a heavy dual mass flywheel. Even my old E32 7 series had better road feel than the E90 does. Well, it's not the IS350. What else do you want me to say?

I'm sorry - I guess years of E32, E36, E39, and E46 ownership count for nothing. Of those cars, the E90 strikes me as being most similar to the E39 (which was still somewhat of a driver's car - but nevertheless a 3500 lb midsized luxury sedan), though with better suspension response. The styling does absolutely nothing for me. Not traditional enough to remind me of the old days, but too bland to be progressive like the Z4. The interior changes some things around, that's about it. It's not really "improved" in an ergonomic sense - just different aesthetics. Granted, that IS my subjective opinion - but who are you to argue with it?

I've driven the E90 - albeit for an hour at most - and I was not that impressed, once I was past the initial impressions. It represents the same thing that the E46 did - a progressive dilution of the core values that used to make BMW (particularly the 3 series) what it was. I was pleased to see that BMW had made some serious improvements in some areas (I love the E90's multi-link suspension layout - and the use of knobs over buttons for fan speed/temperature control has been a long time coming) - but really did some damage in others.

Let's completely forget steering feel (which can only be argued in the subjective sense; pointless) and focus on some other aspects of the new car: the driver-oriented dash/cockpit feel is gone. The center console mounted window switches (a 3 series feature since the car's inception and very handy once you're familiar with them), gone. The large, truly functional gauges and instrumention - gone, replaced by a series of idiot lights and instrumentation which clearly takes form over function. Full-sized spare and high performance tires...gone, replaced by heavy, expensive runflats which offer no truly practical advantage (how often do you drive your $40,000 car in a "bad" neighborhood? - and, since, you know, it's so much better to drive around looking for a reputable tire shop ASAP before the RFT's sidewall gives out, rather than simply swap out the blown wheel for the spare and worry about it later). I could be wrong about this, but I distinctly remember looking around the trunk of the E90 and not being able to find the traditional toolkit and jack. Where has that gone? How can you argue with that?

The only reason I'm even considering the car is because I can still recognize sound engineering when I see it - even if it means sacrificing my favorite features of the car. It's not like the competition has anything better, and my E46 certainly isn't getting any younger. If my heart ruled my mind, I'd buy a Z4 coupe as a daily driver - or, better yet, something as wild as an E30 M3. The E90 wouldn't really be on the radar...there's nothing about it that truly illicits passion - in me, at least. You'd have to have owned and extensively driven a number of older BMW products (especially pre-E46) to really understand that.

I don't care about the "E90 ownership experience" or gadgets - I'm sure it's pretty much the same as every generation before it, relatively speaking. Before long, a bunch of stupid (easily curable at the production level) problems will show up, such as window regulators, control arm/ball joint failures, busted self-adjusting clutch mechanisms, water pump impeller failures...maybe, if we're really unlucky, the subframe mount plague that infected the E36 and some of the E46 cars will show up yet again? Though I do hear that BMW is finally putting half-way decent sound systems in their cars...what a pleasant surprise.

BMW has played a risky but clever gamble with their newest line of cars. They're dumbing the cars down just enough to bring in buyers new to the marque, while hoping at the same time that the competition doesn't catch on with their own products and do anything to steal away their traditional buyers. It's working, so far, but woe to BMW the day that Lexus or Audi figure out just what it is that's had us buying these damn things for so many years. Even so, after two successive generations of dilution, I'm almost starting to fear that BMW will start building Lexuses before Lexus starts building BMWs.

If you think I'm the only long-time BMW owner/driver who feels this way, you'd be wrong. Most of us are grudgingly accepting this "progress" as a necessity in life - I know I probably wouldn't buy an E46 in today's market, either. Some day, I'll probably grow to like it as much as I do the E46, and the E36 before it, in its own way. But that doesn't mean we're going to carry on without our complaints, in the hope that BMW might someday listen.