Re: Refreshed 7


BMW also doesn't understand ergonomics, or might it be better to say they don't care as much about ergonomics as other makes. It's kind of like (not wanting to start a war here) when Europeans ridicule Americans as fat, without understanding that "fat" to some Americans is as irrelevant to them as dental hygiene is to Spaniards or Brits and body odor is to the French (and Spaniards too).
I really don't think BMW cares as much about "luxury" in Mercedes/Lexus/Audi terms, as they do about performance and safety, in BMW terms. Whereas luxury might be #2 on Mercedes' list, it might be #4 on BMW's.
Maybe people who don't like BMW style luxury are really Mercedes or Lexus people, though loathe to admit it.

It seems a bit of a stretch to suggest that just because one person doesn't like a car, that another person who is buying one may not understand what they are buying. But of course ridiculing or minimizing another's opinion is sometimes seen as the validation for one's polar opposite position.
In terms of ergonomics and luxury, BMW's have been goofy for quite a few years, it's strange that many people and most mags are only now recognizing that just because the exterior designs seem so extreme.
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I don't even want to think how many stupid things you wrote in a single paragraph. I guess accuracy is not that important to you...
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Actually, I understand what Daniel wrote. He was painting a "broad brush" but IMO his idea is relevant.
I don't think he was saying all Spaniards or Brits don't care about dental hygiene or all French people have body odour - or in fact all Americans are fat. Just that they seem to be socially acceptable realities in those societies.
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I understand the same and it's nonsense. For example, if it was so socially acceptable to be fat in the US, the exercise and diet industry wouldn't be as big as it is.
Spanish people might not be as anal about dental issues as Americans are, but they are a far cry from most Britons. As you see is not a question og being against generalities, but of going with correct or erroneous ones.
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I'm sorry to say this, but on this point given this inane extrapolation, you're a knucklehead.
Please, lets not go any further with this. You've ridiculed me twice and I've called you a knucklehead. We're even.
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Ignasi Palou-Rivera wrote:

Sorry, I meant to say "socially accepted reality" rather than "socially acceptable reality".
What I meant was that people in those locations realize that many people there have those problems. I didn't mean to say the problems are necessarily acceptable - only that people accept that they exist. Accepted is not the same as acceptable. My bad.

Such generalizations are sometimes "folklore" but without accurate numbers they are only impressions people get.
As for dental hygiene, it is important. I'm not saying Spaniards have a problem but scientists have discovered a link between dental health and cardiac disease - certain oral bacteria have been implicated in causing heart disease.

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My bad what?
I thought in Canada the English was similar to ours (UK)...
DAS
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In terms of brevity it's somewhere between "DOH!!" and "Sorry for the mistake!" ;^) IMO ... ditto regarding Canada's English.
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Daniel Arrepas wrote:

I don't think you fully understood what I wrote. Let me explain.
My contention is that BMW is trying to court a new, broader set of customers at the expense of its traditional customers as well as BMW's traditional appeal - that of refined drivers' cars in a luxury package. The current BMW design philosophy is more like "jarring new shapes delivered at lower costs with a preference for electronics and over engineering".
There is actually nothing inherently wrong with people preferring the "new BMW design philosophy". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, promoting the new look will destroy the old BMW, the one that stood for refined drivers' cars in a luxury package.
IMO, there isn't another maker who can do the "refined drivers' cars in a luxury package" as well as BMW used to. We already have many funky makes who can do performance - Alfa, Citroen, Nissan, Suzuki, ...etc. We don't need BMW pretending to be one of them. BMW is killing the goose - North Americans bought BMWs because they weren't like North American or Japanese cars. Now BMW is behaving just like an American car maker. That's why traditional BMW owners don't like it. When you throw so many strange and different design cues into the market (i.e. "shotgun approach") you lose much of the brand equity that BMW tradition has earned. The shotgun approach to marketing is well-recognized as a Japanese approach.
To be fair though, I think BMW may be simply suffering from its own success - when you are small you can dictate and stick to your own design philosophy. When you are big - to stay big you have to dumn down to the market at large. That's why BMWs now look more like Japanese cars. BMW is also going after new customers in China and SE Asia.
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It wouldn't be the first time. And let me thank you for understanding that my english is not all it could be at this point, and trying to understand what I wrote earlier rather than assailing my intentions as the other fellow did. I had no wish to offend anyone.

On the whole I don't disagree with you other than to say:
1) there are people who like both the old and the new. Not everyone who likes the new designs necessarily "prefers" it over the old designs. For many people, and I do mean BMW afficianados, it isn't as polarizing an event as it is in Usenet and magazines.
2) BMW still delivers the best driving sedan, "refined" as you accurately described it. But some people are so tainted by their dislike for the look, that they allow it to bend their perspective of how the rest of the car functions.
3) Given the overwhelmingly improved chassis, suspension, and powerplants I cannot agree with your suggestion that they are now allowing technology overcome their engineering expertise. Though there is no doubt they, and the other german makes, have gone goofy with computers and software in cars. But the core goodness of BMW's remains true to their predecessors. If some magazine guy/girl says it feels "detached' from the driving experience I don't really care. I myself haven't had that reaction to the new cars. The only truly unfortunate thing, other than Active Steering, is the weight. But with new safety demands and coming regulatory demands, these cars can't help but get heavier and have their exteriors somewhat predicated upon the systems that will be required by law to fit in the cars.
At least they allow you to turn of most of the intrusive programs. Although I think when you put a 2 ton car on the road capable of incredible speed and acceleration it is incumbent upon you to develop systems that will save a driver from themselves. You know, not everyone drives as well as us newsgroup experts ha ha!
In the end I am not ready to give up on BMW. I never liked the look of all their cars, and with this new crop of cars I am still in the same place. It will all straighten out and as always there will be some BMW's I really like and some I wouldn't even consider.
So while I can understand your opinion about the luxury quotient (though I think that a plus since I like the staid plain interior rather than the Audi wonderland of color), I am not ready to agree with your comment that the cars have lost the "refined" driving capabilities of those they've replace.
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Daniel Arrepas wrote:

Your English is excellent. Misunderstandings are not uncommon even with good English.
<snip>

Well, the tactile feedback and tactile response of BMWs have been steadily declining. The problem is likely due to BMW placing electronic controls between the driver and the mechanical aspects of the vehicle. This removes most of the feel of the car and censors a lot of the driver input from the car's ability to respond.
ASC, DSC, ABS, Active Steering ...etc, they are all computer controlled input to the mechanics of the car - the driver does nothing except allow it. I used to be able to match revs with ease when I downshifted in my E30. I can't do that most of the time in the E39 because the computer prevents rapid throttle response when you blip the throttle. It does that to improve gas mileage. Many drivers have to disable ASC/DSC to get better traction. Where is the driver's connection in paddle-shifting? You are just pressing buttons. And the results - jarring and generally unpleasant under many conditions. So what's the point - let customers think they are F1 drivers? BMW is losing focus.
Though there is no doubt they, and the

I agree the safety devices add weight but weight is actually good for a plush ride which is important if you have to spend hours in a car. Small light cars are particularly tiresome on long drives.
Since owners generally don't race their cars weight is not a problem if the chassis is properly designed and balanced and the steering is properly tuned. Gas mileage is different matter but BMW has always been able to stay ahead of the game there.

It's a shame other people can't spend some time on NGs like this - they'd make great drivers too! ;#)

I also haven't liked every BMW model in the past but nowadays it appears every new BMW model is a disappointment.

I think "staid" is legitimate but "ugly and messy" are not "staid".
Ugly and messy are just ugly and just messy.
Audi interiors have leading fit-and-finish qualities and they are generally pleasant though not my favourite either. They don't bug me though. BMW interiors really bug me because they are examples of of a colossal waste of money. Stupid design, crappy execution.
By refined, I mean the maker is able to smooth out all the rough edges in a driving experience - and that includes the aesthetics. It doesn't have to mean plush but it can't be jarring and cheap. Recent BMW designs all feature jarring and cheap. If they weren't then we wouldn't still be talking about them after how many years???
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I don't see that, even if the magazine writers claim it. The issue is that the disparity between BMW and other makes has closed significantly. So apart from Active Steering models, I think, at least in the case of the 5 and 7, the tactile response remains (I haven't driven a Z4 enough to comment, and of course have no experience with the 1 and new 3). And it continues to remain to a degree greater than what other makes can manage, even if they have moved closer.
Remember, you are talking to someone who just doesn't have a tremendous amount of respect for what most magazine writers have to say. They live with a car for a few days and then pronounce, with great sanctimony, what the car is and what it isn't. And these days, that simply isn't enough time in any car, let alone cars of the level we are speaking about.

I agree with much of what you said before this last comment, but you can, in most cases, buy a manual, you can disable the driver nannies, and no one says you have to buy Active Steering. If you don't like it, don't get the Sport package. It's not as distinct from the standard suspensions with the new models anymore, because they have become so much better. The new chassis are superb.
And I don't think they are losing or have lost focus, though I agree the have expanded their focus. But you still can buy what today would be considered a BMW strippy. You just have to order it that way.

But you see, the more you weight a car, the more difficult it becomes to have good tactile replies from the contact patch and suspension, because the more weight, the more need for dislocated connections rather than the direct connections BMW has been famous for, for a long time. If there is anything that concerns me about BMW, it is the ability to grow weight in coming years, yet still offer tactile response of a lightweight go kart. At some point it becomes almost impossible, unless the ride itself become brittle, rather than compliant. They have managed so far, but I think they are walking a razor's edge on this issue. I think Active Steering is a response to this particular quandary.

Well, that's personal opinion and valid in that context. Myself, I am just about matched in what I like and don't like as compared to the last generation of cars. I continue to like the 5 and 6, not the 7 and Z4, and from the pics I have seen of the 3 I like it more than I ever liked the E46.

I don't find anything ugly about the 5 or 6 interiors. They do embody that Germanic staid ambiance, which I myself like. I don't find anything "messy" about the interiors (they are far cleaner that the previous cars) and of course I cannot argue with what is ugly to you. That is a matter of personal perspective again.

Ugly is another personal matter, but there is nothing "messy" about the E60 interior layout to me. It is decidedly better thoughtout than the E39. I think the door handles are located wrong and I think a missing gauge is unforgivable, but otherwise it's a pretty good delivery of typical BMW interior blandness. Which as I said before, I like in a car.

Other than the comment about "jarring", on this point I agree, and it is refreshing to see someone who complains about recent designs also recognizing BMW has been poor on these points for about 3 generations of cars. These problems and deficiencies did not originate with the E60 and E65. By now they are almost historical failures of execution.
On the other hand the option is Audi interior goodness (at least for you) with Audi deficient ride and capabilities. You see, no one yet has put all these things together and as that is the case, I still prefer BMW's superior drive to Audi/Mercs superior interior execution.
Call me goofy, but the truth is I have never bought a BMW because I loved the interior execution. For as long as I have been driving them, I could always find other cars better in that regard. I know why I buy them, and to date they have not failed to provide those pleasures in greater degrees than the competition. And since the competition targets them, and has indeed become better all the time, BMW has apparently worked well to stay ahead of the chasing pack. For that I am thankful.
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Mercedes-Benz, unquestioningly, as seen in many parts of the world, incl UK, though I am not sure what "driver's car" means in the context of a 7 or S.
The latest 7 may be the toughest challenge to the S from BMW yet, but S-Class is still king of the hill.
Different matter further down the food chain.
On a related matter, I am not sure that BMW and Merc are direct competitors at all levels. Different cars for different preferences, even if some sizes are similar.
At the extreme, is the A-Class really 'equivalent' to the 1 Series?
DAS
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Hmmm, top-posting again are we??
I also prefer the W220 S-Klasse to the E65 7er but I wish the MB didn't have all those quality controll problems. In that department both cars have left a nasty taste with many owners. However, the consensus is that the E65 is a better driver's car. The MB does the luxury part better.
I agree that some of the cars are not directly comparable. However, where it seems to matter in the "fat" part of the market, for instance 3er vs C-Klasse, BMW has always come across as a driver's car, much more so than the C-Klasse. Similarly in the mid-size market, the 5er is also more of a driver's car than the E-Klasse. One only has to look at the profile of their owners to clearly see why those cars were bought. BMW always places drivng experience before luxury or aesthetics.
The problem now is that the driving experience is no longer that dfifferent from other makes as BMW relies more and more on electronics and removing the driver further while other makes go the opposite way and make their cars less pedestrian in an effort to chase the 3er and 5er markets.
So now luxury and aesthetics become more important in an effort to distinquish the BMWs from others.
Unfortunately, as we have already argued, BMW does not seem to understand luxury any more. The new interiors are cold, cheap-looking and cheap-feeling. When you get in a BMW these days it feels like you are getting into a Wagnerian epic made in a style not unlike that shown in the movie "Blade Rinner". It's not a cheerful cockpit and what the design had wanted to say is not done well. It's a mess.
MB interiors still tries to make people feel good so they don't piss me off even if they may not necessarily be my preference.
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Years (!) ago I remember some ads that highlighted exactly that.
BMW was promoting its 'cockpits' (IIRC they had recently introduced some angled components on the dash.)
Merc emphasized the relaxed living room atmosphere.
DAS
PS. I'm top-posting again...?...
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