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Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA3, MINI Cooper, Car Comparisons, Wagon
#47 of 54 Re: We Must Be Kidding [itssavvy] and similar posts
May 23, 2008 (9:25 pm)
I never believed the BMW hype ...
until I drove one.
This was a nearly worn out 87 325 with the sport package and manual. Within 100 yards you could feel that the car "wants" to play. It's weird - I would not have believed it had I not experienced it. It was like a little puppy; the steering, brakes, suspension and even the small engine had an eagerness and responsiveness about them totally unlike a typical car, and also unlike what most people want. I drove that thing for about 30K miles and got to understand what they were about.
I've also driven a couple dozen different almost new rental cars. They were objectively better than the worn-out near antique Bimmer, but except for one they were no fun. After driving the little BMW, the steering on nearly any other sedan feels defective. Bleah. I can't really explain it, but the somehow the 325's steering - even after 18 years - was clearly connected to the road while the other ones are remote control pointers to turn the wheels. Lots of little things worked like that on the 325 - like when you toss it around an entrance ramp, it's balanced right between under and oversteer, and if one end got loose you could pull it right back in. It also gripped like a cat on drapes - I recall starting a tight exit ramp in a Chevy something, at a reasonable speed for the 325 and being rewarded with a slide towards a guard rail at all of 40mph (caught it easily thanks to practice). Most cars just plow forward like mules, and in some the back can snap around with some scary oversteer. BMWs have 50/50 weight balance and work with you, not against you.
BMWs are not all the same. Their core models, what built their reputation many years ago, are designed differently than most cars. The priority for those, tho not all BMWs, is that they're *fun*. Lots of people want to be seen as "fun" rather than the boring drones they actually are. They'll buy a BMW with an automatic, AWD and all season tires, or a BMW SUV, or another one of their models that looks exactly like the the sporty one but with the fun-to-drive part factored out. Pretty stupid, since the car was not designed and isn't a good choice for the most practical transportation. BMW has moved somewhat away from that group of buyers - today's 3 series is larger and laden with electro-gadgets more appropriate to a Cadillac, but nothing else has replaced it.
Status symbol? Huh? If you want that get a boat. A car just means you can't afford staff to drive you. People who say "people by sporty cars for status" really mean "I think about status all the time and have no clue what fun is". If you want a fun car, look at a Mini (made by BMW), a Miata, an S2000 or a small, sport package m/t BMW - or maybe the new turbo Cobalt (yup, a cheesy little econo-car -- but fast). A Lexus, by contrast, is just your grandfather's Buick with more reliability. Yawn. I'll buy one when I need bifocals and arthritis pills.
#48 of 54 Re: We Must Be Kidding [itssavvy] and similar posts [pegasuszz]
May 24, 2008 (10:20 pm)
Excellent post. As you said, most of the trolls that like to slam BMWs haven't even sat in one- never mind driven one. It's almost always a bad case of envy or sour grapes, pure and simple...
#49 of 54 Re: We Must Be Kidding [itssavvy] and similar posts [pegasuszz] [roadburner]
May 25, 2008 (1:58 pm)
Yes...I also agree.
GM/Pontiac is introducing the Pontiac G8GT, with many making claims it is a BMW at half the costs...of course, that is correct. But, its also half the car.
Like everything else in life, you usually get what you pay for...
#50 of 54 Re: We Must Be Kidding [itssavvy] and similar posts [pegasuszz]
May 28, 2008 (12:49 pm)
Iíve owned 3 BMW's and you nailed it, there is a special feeling and driving character in the BMW, I had a '79 518 (in Germany) an 82 525e and a '88 535iS. And I loved the balance and perfection. even the relatively underpowered 518 was a hoot to drive. They didn't have gadgets and were not luxury liners, heck they didnít have cup holders, but they were fun to drive and the ergonomics were impeccable. They were an extension of the driver. That is why I fell in love with the Mazda 3/ speed 3. They are responsive and make you feel like part of the game of driving. Mind you, it's not a BMW, but at half the price one can not expect a head to head comparison. In my experience there is less maintenance with the Mazda. I hate to call it reliability, because basically performance cars take more care to maintain.
#51 of 54 bumpy rattly MS3 vs even-worse penalty box
Jul 13, 2008 (9:13 am)
Personally, I'm proud of finishing up another project from my 4-car collection -- castrating the sport-suspension springs/shocks off my E36 '99 328is & replaced w/ the longer std springs plus adding torsen limited slip differential & the quick-ratio steering rack from the Z3. Now that's what I call reckless fun in the real world of bumpy roads.
#52 of 54 I'm sure glad I bought a reliable Mazda...
Nov 07, 2008 (10:30 am)
As some of you know, I passed on a couple of really nice E46 BMWs(a 330i ZHP and an almost-new M3) in order to try something "different"- i.e. a new 2007 MS3. Well, the sled hasn't reached 27000 miles yet and I've already had to replace a blown LF strut as well as the turbocharger. If the parts had failed outside of the warranty period I'd be looking at $2500 worth of repair costs. And for the record, I've never had to replace a strut before 100000 miles on any of the nine BMWs I've owned.
So much for the supposedly knowledgeable claims concerning Mazda's stellar reliability and inexpensive operating costs that were made by some "experts" earlier in this topic...
So much for my thinking that the MS3 would make a durable and entertaining track toy...
As for driving pleasure, I'm finding my 1995 318ti Club Sport to be a much more involving drive. Ditto for the 1975 2002 I just picked up on eBay. Most of the time the MS3 only sees duty as my work beater. Having said all that, my dealer(Kings Mazda, Cincinnati) has provided excellent service before and after the sale. Too bad the car itself didn't measure up.
#53 of 54 Re: I'm sure glad I bought a reliable Mazda... [roadburner]
Dec 09, 2008 (4:02 pm)
Man..sorry you are having so many problems with your MS3..I just recently hit the 35K mile mark which includes some track sessions and tons of mountain roads..no issues thus far....
#54 of 54 Re: I'm sure glad I bought a reliable Mazda... [txg60]
Dec 09, 2008 (5:33 pm)
I really liked the car when I first bought it, but the problems have sapped my enthusiasm quite a bit. I haven't decided what to do with the sled yet, but I'm not all that confident using it as my track car for the next few years.