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The Best BMW Of All-Time

June 30, 2020, 12:00 am

We have a soft spot for BMWs around here. Jeff wouldn’t drive anything else (except, perhaps, his Volkwagen Westphalia), and it’s one of the European manufacturers we’ve developed a reputation for specializing in. And THIS is our favorite BMW. Ever. 

BMW has been around for over one hundred years and has been a fixture in the ultra-competitive German market since its first days on the streets. Even as European trade rebounded and internationalized in the years following the Second World War, it retained a strong reputation for innovation and reliability. It is in those early years that it famously out-engineered other manufacturers, with efficiency permeating every aspect of design, construction, and even performance. 

While present in the United States much earlier, it wasn’t until the early 90s that BMW began to acquire a reputation for luxury that it now really trades on. The model that made it all happen was the E36 M3. Most commonly known simply as the M3, it struck a chord with BMW purists as too big and much heavier. It was a marked transition from BMWs pedigree of making race cars that were street legal towards making luxury cars with a whiff of sophistication that US domestic brands lacked. 

The M3 inspired a love affair for Americans with the German manufacturer, which is even more surprising considering that the US didn’t even get the good stuff. Unsure of how the cars would perform overseas, BMW only sent over a small selection of less powerful and less expensive trim packages, with their best offerings only available in Europe. Maybe Americans didn’t know they were missing out on, because they made an icon of the 240 horsepower, 3.2 liter version. 

The first M3s arrived in 1992, but the line-up carried on through the 90s and expanded over the years. It remains the heart and soul of BMW in America, although the brand has spread throughout the industry to hit every kind of buyer, including mid-sized crossovers. 

What’s your favorite BMW over the years?

 

Posted by Garfield Auto at 12:00 am
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