BMW Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.57/5 Average
11,087 Total Reviews
Make Overview:

BMW is an acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG -- or, in English, Bavarian Motor Works. Whatever you call it, the German-based company is one of the world's most respected automakers, renowned for crafting luxury cars and SUVs that offer superior levels of driving enjoyment.

Founded in Munich, the company began in the early 1910s as an aircraft manufacturer. BMW's current logo, designed to represent white propeller blades against a blue sky, reflects these origins; its blue-and-white color scheme also references Bavaria's blue-and-white checkered flag.

It wasn't until 1928 that production began on the first BMW automobile, the Dixi. The car proved tremendously popular, and its success helped the manufacturer weather the Depression. BMW's best-known pre-World War II vehicle was the Type 328 roadster, a supple two-seater that racked up more than 120 victories on the motorsport circuit between 1936 and 1940. Postwar BMW cars maintained this tradition, with several racing, rallying and hill climb victories.

The early 1950s saw the launch of the BMW 501, a roomy, voluptuous sedan that was resplendent with all of the hopefulness of that era. It was soon followed by the 502, which was powered by the world's first light-alloy V8, foreshadowing BMW's ongoing commitment to developing new technology. The best-selling BMW of that decade was the Isetta, a petite two-seat "microcar" typically powered by a 12- or 13-horsepower engine. The mid-'50s also saw the debut of the limited production and breathtakingly beautiful 507 sports car, which had an alloy body and used the 502's V8 for propulsion. In the 1960s, BMW sales strengthened significantly, thanks in part to the immense popularity of the 1500, a sporty family sedan.

By the 1970s, BMW was establishing itself as a full-fledged car company. It was a pioneer for many emerging technologies, including turbocharging and advanced vehicle electronics. BMW of North America was established at that time, and consumers who coveted both sports and luxury cars became loyal "Bimmer" owners. The '70s also saw the birth of BMW's three-tier sport sedan range consisting of the compact 3 Series, midsize 5 Series and large 7 Series cars and the creation of its performance M division. Though the 3 Series could be had with four-cylinder power, it was the company's inline-6 engines that developed BMW's reputation for spirited, yet highly refined performance. At decade's end, the limited production, short-lived M1 supercar debuted.

Throughout the 1980s, BMW became the unofficial poster car of yuppies, as the brand ostensibly signified one's financial success as well as a passion for driving. The elegant 6 Series coupe debuted, and the latter part of the decade saw the high-performance M division working its magic on various production models.

In the early 1990s, BMW replaced the 6 Series with the powerful (V12-powered at first) but heavy 8 Series grand touring coupe. A bit later, BMW introduced its popular Z3 roadster. The company also opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant in the latter half of the 1990s.

The 2000s brought a midsize SUV (the X5) as well as a compact SUV (the X3) as BMW joined the hot-selling segment. Since then, BMW has replaced the Z3 with the Z4, introduced the compact 1 Series, produced hybrid versions of a few models and debuted the X6 fastback crossover. The company has also expanded its empire to include Mini and Rolls-Royce and continues to build motorcycles, something it has done since the 1920s.

BMW's famous advertising slogan describes each of its vehicles as "the ultimate driving machine," and it's not mere hyperbole. Over the past couple of decades, BMWs have become the standard for performance and luxury in most of the "over $30,000" segments. With family-friendly wagons, crisp sedans, distinctive coupes, nimble sports cars and spacious SUVs offered, BMW's model roster is diverse. But its vehicles all share a common characteristic: the ability to make drivers feel gloriously connected to the road.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 11,087.00
  • Sunshade for sunroof - 2015 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
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    Just bought the 2015 BMW 535i GT and the main problem most people have with this car is the panoramic sliding sunshade cover... Mines is sagging on both sides of the sunshade and its a lot of folks complaining about the same problem... BMW charges around $2500 to fix the problem that may happen more than once...

  • Such a delight - 2001 BMW Z3
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    You dont really step into your car but fall in (6ft 4). When I pull up to the lights I wonder what the weather is like up there with my fellow motorists? The interior wraps around you and its the driving experience most cars dont offer. The manual auto is driving heaven. The 2.2 is brilliant on the flat but dream about what the 2.8 might do and goodness that 3.2 well. I dont believe the z4s would interest me but thats a personal choice.

  • Wonderful Car! - 2015 BMW 3-Series
    By -

    My brakes work great. The interior is rather ugly as is in most Elantras the good part about that is they come with so many cool options for seats and dash kits that you can purchase to really make the car feel like your own. It is a great buy and I would recommend all of my friends and family to purchase one just so they can see how comfortable and smooth driving the elantra gls really is. I do plan on purchasing a newer one this year and turning mine into a rally car

  • Best Price Best Products Best Quality All Are Best Challenge - 2009 BMW Z4 M
    By -

    Just bought this 2009 SRT8 Black Beauty. It is best car Ive ever owned, and Ive had 2 Mercedes, Porche 911, and 2 corvettes. The Challenger beats them all hands down for quality, power, comfort, and performance. You can drive this car daily as it is extremely livable or save it for weekend jaunts. I am thrilled every time I get in the car and turn it on. I get so many compliments on it from total strangers. This car has a style that will never go out of style. Im keeping this car forever and a day. If you have the cash, I highly recommend you pick one up if at all possible. It has true collector car value in my opinion. All Are Best Challenge.

  • Miracle in Motors - 2011 BMW 3-Series Sport Wagon
    By -

    Hi I am Jack from NYC, I tried many cars, but the BMW give me the best and unbelievable experience of my life.

  • Awesome - 2018 BMW 3-Series
    By -

    BMW is the choice for all generation...

  • My first roadster, my first manual - 2001 BMW Z3
    By -

    I picked up my z3 some 5 months ago from a local Chevrolet dealership. The shop had to fix a rear main seal leak and would pass the cost along to me rather than selling the car at auction. The total loan was around 11k which is very steep, but what I had in front of me was an 01 2.5i with less than 70,000 miles. I couldnt help myself. A friend showed me the ropes as far as driving a manual transmission after inspecting it to make sure the clutch was in good repair. Now that Im fully accustomed to the transmission, I use this car as my every day commuter vehicle. Let me just say that the best part of going to and getting off of work is the drive to and from my home. Devilishly sexy, the car also has a smooth, but quick acceleration. Perhaps the most important aspect, though, is the handling of the vehicle. Taking a second to be a dumb kid, I took the car to the top floor of a parking garage with a friend, put the top down, and just floored the car. Revving high in lower gears and taking aggressive turns, the car never complained once and delivered the most exciting driving experience of my life. Cut to now, Ive put about an extra 2,000 miles on it. To be safe, I took the car into the local BMW dealership where theyd identify the same rear main seal leak that was supposed to have been fixed by the initial dealership. Other than that, though, the car is showing no signs of wear or breaking down and I have every reason to suspect this car will be with me for the long run. And I wouldnt have it any other way. Tremendous riding experience, a tad uncomfortable and not very fuel efficient (which arent factors that generally dictate a fun roadster choice), but all in all a lovely vehicle.

  • Daddy like! - 2015 BMW 4-Series
    By -

    If you have the extra money and are looking for a quality built vehicle, the BMW 4 series Coupe is hands down your new car. Handling, acceleration, comfort and just a damn fun car to drive. There are to few cons to mention except for the elephant in the room. The fully or even semi fully loaded 4 series will cause you to dig deep into your pocket book or wallet. The only look the basic no frills 4 series Coupe gets is as you pass them by in the lot on your way to the well equipped model. The price was the only obstacle that prevented me from owning one of these dream machines.

  • The best of the best for that year. - 2000 BMW 7-Series
    By -

    Good car love it.

  • Sportwagon - Child Seat Comments included! - 2014 BMW 3-Series
    By -

    I spent the better part of a frigid New England (just snowed) morning test driving two cars 1) a 2014 BMW 328xi wagon with luxury package and 2) a new 2015 BMW 328xd wagon with nav and a couple of the basic packages. I had never driven a diesel before so I felt I owed it to myself to try these two head-to-head. While the diesel had a broadly useable torque band, I felt it lacked uphill oomph especially in the 2nd or 3rd gear range (tough to tell because the transmission shifts so smoothly in both models). Granted this was a 25 degree day and we basically started it cold from the dealership, but after having driven a similarly cold gasoline model over the same roads earlier in the morning, the diesel just didn’t compare. In my opinion, the diesel was overpriced even with the 2015 “leftover” discount, about $7k more than the lightly used 2014 with 10k miles. The diesel exhaust note, as many reviews have noted, is coarse and loud at revs. The gasoline exhaust note is fake, pumped in through the sound system. You can actually hear it change its volume if you switch from Comfort to Sport under hard acceleration. Still, I prefer a quiet car with some audio theatrics to one that sounds like an economy car with gravel under the hood. Now for some comments that pertain to both models: 1) Very few reviews ever cover the fit and functionality of child seats. The local used car dealership graciously allowed me to mess around with different configurations after I test drove it. I am 6’0 and need to use a fair amount of front seat track to get comfortable behind the wheel. In the rear-facing position, I found the child seat to be workable, but it took a fair amount of finagling. Both test cars were equipped with power front seats rather than the manual kind found in some of the base models. For 6’0+ drivers, you might have to live with your seatback a little more upright than you’re used to in order to get the child seat to fit correctly in the rear-facing position. I also found it helped to drop the driver’s seat almost to the floor. In the front-facing position, there were no problems at all. Now, I didn’t try one of our newer child seats – a Britax G3 Marathon. Those stay in my wife’s minivan since she does 90% of the child transportation. They are a bit more bulky, mostly laterally, than the regular G3 because they have the extra head protection. With BMW’s new 40-20-40 folding seatbacks, you might be able to utilize your “20” with two regular G3s in the back, but you’d have a much harder time doing the same thing with the wider G3 Marathons. 2) The stock stereo system is middling. Not sure the upgrade would necessarily be worth it, but it could be worth considering. 3) Despite some criticism of the new suspension, I found the Sport mode in both models to be amply stiff for hard corners in slippery conditions. Yes, I did try a couple after dropping off my sales minder at the front door. 4) Visibility out the back is limited and the side mirrors are tiny. Unfortunately, this means springing for blind-spot detection is a must. 5) After half an hour in the standard seats, I wasn’t loving them. The seat bottoms are totally flat with just average padding. They reminded me of the mid-90s Subaru Outback wagon seats. Both my testers had lumbar support, which even for me as a relatively healthy mid-30s guy is a must. I would probably limit my search to models with the sport seats from here out. 6) The new touch-sensitive controller is little too sensitive for the initiated, but I found myself accidentally clicking stuff when I was trying to use the jogger control. 7) Overall, I don’t think either of these models is worth the near $50k price tag, but finding a lightly used CPO at <$40k seems right for the gasoline-powered model. The diesel model really doesn’t warrant a premium, but my commutes most days are fairly short so I’m probably not the target market for it.

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