Used BMW's... are they usually this bad?? - Page 4
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    1. #76
      Quote Originally Posted by RS-SIX View Post
      You guys are missing the point with manuals...not only does not one want to drive a manual, many active safety systems do not work with manual transmissions. Soon manual trans cars are going to be the most dangerous cars on the road. If they dont die a natural death, they will be outlawed.

    2. #77
      Quote Originally Posted by dr whos it View Post
      You are correct, up to the mid 90s and prior BMW was not the semi disposable junk that it makes today.
      They were not only the best driving machines in the world, they were built to last and most were very durable as well.

      Sadly BMW a hostile take over by the bean counters and marketers has seriously damaged the reputation of what was once an incredible engineering powerhouse in the automotive world.
      The E36 was the start of the BMW downfall. What know one wants to talk about is how they just look like new Pontiacs.

    3. #78
      I think what BMW enthusiast want and what is profitable are two different things. Most people on this forum would probably like to see more light weight, fun to drive cars with better build quality. What will probably make more money is building SUV's in Mexico that will last 4 to 5 years then need expensive dealer maintenance and servicing. Hopefully they make enough money off soccer moms so they can make enthusiast cars without cutting corners.

    4. #79
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Of course everyone in the US loved the 3 in the 90s, it was M3, 328i and maybe some 325i. Never mind the 323i, 320i, 318i, 316i, etc. not to mention the diesel variants. If we only got those 100hp versions back then people would have associated them with crap. What you're seeing now in the US is more of a realization of what BMW always has been and not an undoing of their core underpinnings. They sold us their top models at first in order to build a brand image and have been slowly leaking in the lower level stuff. But don't kid yourself, the low level stuff has always been there.
      However, even those basic BMWs had very sturdy and durable basic build quality, if they might have been a bit slow, they still had very good driving dynamics for the most part. I personally find those models to be some of the most entertaining to drive, and of course they didn't break the bank.

      I was in my teens in the early-late 80s and I can vividly remember just how solid those BMWs were in terms odf durability and build quality, it was quite good and rivaled Mercedes in many cases.

    5. #80
      Quote Originally Posted by Porkchopexpress View Post
      I think what BMW enthusiast want and what is profitable are two different things. Most people on this forum would probably like to see more light weight, fun to drive cars with better build quality. What will probably make more money is building SUV's in Mexico that will last 4 to 5 years then need expensive dealer maintenance and servicing. Hopefully they make enough money off soccer moms so they can make enthusiast cars without cutting corners.
      BMW WAS profitable back when they made a solid durable vehicle too up to late 80s and prior. You mean that they aren't making the windfall that so many greedy shareholders expect today?

    6. #81
      Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dr whos it View Post
      However, even those basic BMWs had very sturdy and durable basic build quality, if they might have been a bit slow, they still had very good driving dynamics for the most part. I personally find those models to be some of the most entertaining to drive, and of course they didn't break the bank.

      I was in my teens in the early-late 80s and I can vividly remember just how solid those BMWs were in terms odf durability and build quality, it was quite good and rivaled Mercedes in many cases.
      To be fair, the E36 introduced the infamous trend of fragile cooling system components, prematurely wearing suspension components, and sprinklings of iffy interior components. Saggy gloveboxes, cooling fans puncturing radiators, rattles galore, subframe tears, shock tower cracks, cracked rear suspension springs, and LCA bushings failing early come to mind.

      They did drive very well though, no one in here can deny that!
      Last edited by TangoRed; 04-16-2017 at 08:41 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    7. #82
      Quote Originally Posted by Nicefeet View Post
      The E36 was the start of the BMW downfall. What know one wants to talk about is how they just look like new Pontiacs.

      Yes, that's true, and I agree some of the more recent offerings styling is horrid too.

    8. #83
      Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nicefeet View Post
      The E36 was the start of the BMW downfall. What know one wants to talk about is how they just look like new Pontiacs.
      E36 was not the start of any downfall lol.
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    9. #84
      Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      The people exchanging their personal opinions for actual facts is fantastic. It's like the foxnews of the automotive world.

      Cars like the E46, E38, and E39 are all highly regarded as high water marks for BMW, not low.

      Chris
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    10. #85
      Quote Originally Posted by BetterByDesign View Post
      E36 was not the start of any downfall lol.

      Yes, it was for build quality and durability. In the most recent decade the worlds finest driving machine, well daily driving machine not exotic, many models have suffered from dull feedback, and poor dynamics too.

    11. #86
      Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      One years does not a trend make. I haven't paid attention to how they're doing and to a large part don't care, but as models get older their sales always drop until either a fire sale shores them up or a new model succeeds it. That is the way of things.

      Is that what's happening with BMW right now? I don't know, you'd have to look at the model ages, primarily of their volume sellers.
      Argueing year over year sales numbers is kind of useless. There has been however concern relative to the competition BMW may have more tough times ahead.

      MB is absolutly killing it with the C class crowd and the depth of the MB product lineup can handle it and Audi has been stepping it up for a number of years and I think is either the #1 or #2 brand in China; long where BMW has been a favorite. This is a big deal.

      BMW gambled on badge whoring and easy money but YOLO crowds tend to come and go unless you have the depth of MB to do it.

      BMW had to have been either extremely arrogant to ignore this or was simply having too good a time.
      Last edited by BetterByDesign; 04-17-2017 at 12:20 AM.
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    12. #87
      Quote Originally Posted by r_fostoria View Post
      As others have basically stated, BMWs (actually all the German brands) really started going down the crapper around the late 90s. The whole "superior German engineering" thing didn't just pop up out of nowhere. In the 70's, 80's, 90's, German cars were super awesome. Then, once they had everything sorted out, they started to try to cut costs where they could and help the environment by installing biodegradable wiring harnesses and seats made out of coconut husks.

      My e36 isn't know to be the highest quality BMW ever, but it still has over 285k miles on it (and not garage kept, highway miles, either) and while it certainly has its share of problems, I had been using it successfully as a sole daily driver for years. Even now, it still drives nicer than the Abarth 500 I just bought. That said, the e46 is absolutely a delightful car to drive. Anyone saying that the only thing going for it is its badge is delusional.
      I think that reputation started when people were comparing what Mercedes and BMW were putting out to what GM and Ford and Chrysler were putting out at the time, the Mark V gas hog, models that *only* came with a vinyl roof, the 8-6-4, the "high tech" 4100 engine that made Bars Leaks an official GM part number, the Thermo-Quad plastic carburetor, the Oldsmobile diesel... They were out of touch with the latest technology and out of touch with the market. At the time Japan hadn't really entered the global luxury market either. But BMW definitely doesn't seem to build cars that hold up like their 80s cars did, though I think at lot of that might be coming from EU policies that demand cars be made out of biodegradable and recyclable materials with the idea that they will be scrapped after a relatively short life cycle and not driven forever.

    13. #88
      Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dr whos it View Post
      Yes, it was for build quality and durability. In the most recent decade the worlds finest driving machine, well daily driving machine not exotic, many models have suffered from dull feedback, and poor dynamics too.
      Regarding "downfall" I was more referring to whatever corporate strategy BMW was thinking of and not so much build quality. And BMW was still very much partying and on a run at E36 and well beyond.

      Even if they somehow improve quality and how their current cars drive, they've already lost huge market share to the competition that doesn't just come back right away.
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    14. #89
      I'll back up this guys claims. I used to work for a euro car dealer and BMW repair shop and everyone of these had all these problems. The interiors of most of them were just scratched to **** and that damn plastic coolant tank broke at the drop of a hat.

    15. #90
      Quote Originally Posted by Car Problems View Post
      I'll back up this guys claims. I used to work for a euro car dealer and BMW repair shop and everyone of these had all these problems. The interiors of most of them were just scratched to **** and that damn plastic coolant tank broke at the drop of a hat.

      This is why BMW sales are diving...even the badge whores are staying away now, bad news for the bean counters and marketing clowns that put the company in the position it is today...they are killing the golden goose (loyal customer base) that laid the golden egg (made BMW successful in the first place) with their agenda of excessively high profit margins at the expense of high quality, durability, and superior dynamics.

      Unfortunately BMW has been taking a cue from the Americans for a couple decades now.

    16. #91
      Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DJMRDARK View Post
      No. It's simply idiotic to compare a piece of art as an example of quality against something that sees actually repeated use in the form of highly complex machinery.Quality in either case has a totally different connotation.
      Use whatever metric you want, then. The point is that cheap plastic is going to be more durable than many high quality materials, no matter their purpose. Lexus is using glass on their door panels, many modern luxury cars use soft leather, etc.

      This isn't a defense on what BMW is using today, as I don't really know or care much about what they're doing now.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
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    17. #92
      Geriatric Member J-Tim's Avatar
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      Toyota - They don't make them as good as they used to
      Honda - They don't make them as good as they used to
      Mitsubishi - They don't make them as good as they used to
      Mercedes - They don't make them as good as they used to

      etc. etc.
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    18. #93
      Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by J-Tim View Post
      Toyota - They don't make them as good as they used to
      Honda - They don't make them as good as they used to
      Mitsubishi - They don't make them as good as they used to
      Mercedes - They don't make them as good as they used to

      etc. etc.
      All companies have had their ups and downs.

      Right now GM and Ford are better than they've ever been, VW is better than they've been since the air cooled era and Toyota is on their way back up. Honda? Their cars aren't built with me in mind like they used to be, but they're damn solid cars. Mazda, Subaru, Lexus and Audi are all at the top of their game

      Nissan? Yeah, they're not so hot, at least on their low end cars.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    19. #94
      Geriatric Member J-Tim's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      All companies have had their ups and downs.

      Right now GM and Ford are better than they've ever been, VW is better than they've been since the air cooled era and Toyota is on their way back up. Honda? Their cars aren't built with me in mind like they used to be, but they're damn solid cars. Mazda, Subaru, Lexus and Audi are all at the top of their game

      Nissan? Yeah, they're not so hot, at least on their low end cars.
      I think it is more of an emotional attachment thing. Also people tend to only remember good things from the past.

      I don't for a minute believe that BMWs of present are any worse than those from the 70s and 80s. Those who cry over how reliable BMWs of bygone era used to be, tend to forget about rust and shoddy electrical connections, not to mention early fuel delivery systems that replaced carbs.

      And yes, headliners and glove box doors used to be some of the first things to break on those cars.
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    20. #95
      Feels Like the First Time DeeJoker's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by J-Tim View Post
      I think it is more of an emotional attachment thing. Also people tend to only remember good things from the past.

      I don't for a minute believe that BMWs of present are any worse than those from the 70s and 80s. Those who cry over how reliable BMWs of bygone era used to be, tend to forget about rust and shoddy electrical connections, not to mention early fuel delivery systems that replaced carbs.

      And yes, headliners and glove box doors used to be some of the first things to break on those cars.
      Think you're onto something there. The cars themselves have become more advanced with more electronic doo-dads controlling things that were mechanical previously. I'm thinking steering assist, throttle by wire, variable intake manifolds, engine cylinder deactivation, active pollution controls, etc. With these more complex systems, they are able to achieve more impressive performance than previous cars. Hell, the vehicles today have computing power exponentially greater than the entire NASA moon program.

      I think we could safely argue that with more advanced systems, the tolerances also have become more stringent. You may have been able to deal with a slight valve tap for a period of time in a mechanical system, but now if there is a change to or no stream of 1's and 0's moving along the network, the whole thing goes to pot.



      Or, they could just be built like crap and we are a bunch of badge whores who won't acknowledge it.
      The above post may contain opinions, coarse language, offensive terms, spelling mistakes, and/or improper grammar. You have been warned.

    21. #96
      Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Car Problems View Post
      I'll back up this guys claims. I used to work for a euro car dealer and BMW repair shop and everyone of these had all these problems. The interiors of most of them were just scratched to **** and that damn plastic coolant tank broke at the drop of a hat.
      Hold on. Are you saying that people who brought cars to a repair shop had car problems? Don't you think you're seeing a skewed demographic? I mean, people who had nothing wrong with their cars don't show up to tell their mechanic how great their car is.

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    22. #97
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      Quote Originally Posted by J-Tim View Post
      I think it is more of an emotional attachment thing. Also people tend to only remember good things from the past.
      Eh, it's a mix. This thread in particular is a laying on the 1980's BMW praise a little too thick. Almost every thread I see that compares e30s and e36s ends up with "e36 interiors are crap, but they were built to last in e30s!" and, having owned both, I can say that that simply isn't true. The e36 interior did fall victim to the 90's eco trend of using recyclable, biodegradable materials, but the 80's BMWs had foam dashboards that really liked drying out, warping and cracking at an alarmingly high rate. That's way more effort to fix than a saggy glovebox lid.

      I'm also seeing the claim in here that 80's BMW was on par with 80's Mercedes-Benz. No way, not even close. A 190e is like a Rolls-Royce inside compared to an e30 with its MB-Tex upholstery, and polished wood console. Even the sun visors in a 190e exude quality with their super thick padding. The e30 has a dashboard made of 3 or 4 conflicting hard textured plastics, a headliner made of burlap, and a center console you can rip off with one hand. I think the current BMW 3 series interior is actually pretty good looking. The e90 series' boring flat dashboard was the weak point of 3 series interior design.


    23. #98
      Quote Originally Posted by dr whos it View Post
      Don't even get me started on the electric models they are now pushing. LOL It's almost like the brass tacks WANT to destroy the company.
      Good grief. You sound like the people who bemoaned the Cayenne, the SUV that virtually saved the company and ensured the continued availability of niche products like the 911, Cayman and Boxster. Over reliance on the internal combustion engine will destroy the company more so than developing battery electric vehicles.
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    24. #99
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      Quote Originally Posted by r_fostoria View Post
      Eh, it's a mix. This thread in particular is a laying on the 1980's BMW praise a little too thick. Almost every thread I see that compares e30s and e36s ends up with "e36 interiors are crap, but they were built to last in e30s!" and, having owned both, I can say that that simply isn't true. The e36 interior did fall victim to the 90's eco trend of using recyclable, biodegradable materials, but the 80's BMWs had foam dashboards that really liked drying out, warping and cracking at an alarmingly high rate. That's way more effort to fix than a saggy glovebox lid.

      I'm also seeing the claim in here that 80's BMW was on par with 80's Mercedes-Benz. No way, not even close. A 190e is like a Rolls-Royce inside compared to an e30 with its MB-Tex upholstery, and polished wood console. Even the sun visors in a 190e exude quality with their super thick padding. The e30 has a dashboard made of 3 or 4 conflicting hard textured plastics, a headliner made of burlap, and a center console you can rip off with one hand. I think the current BMW 3 series interior is actually pretty good looking. The e90 series' boring flat dashboard was the weak point of 3 series interior design.

      That's an oddly optioned E90, its got the non-sport steering wheel with the cloth sport seats and the shifter looks like its from an E60. Very strange indeed.

      Anyways, I think its funny when people talk about the E46 when they talk about the downfall of BMW. Sure, the F30s are a bit dull, but the E46s are fantastic to drive. Is their interior a bit fragile? Yep. Does it smell like crayons? Yep. Is the steering absolutely incredible? Yep.

    25. #100
      Member r_fostoria's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mrothwell View Post
      That's an oddly optioned E90, its got the non-sport steering wheel with the cloth sport seats and the shifter looks like its from an E60. Very strange indeed.

      Anyways, I think its funny when people talk about the E46 when they talk about the downfall of BMW. Sure, the F30s are a bit dull, but the E46s are fantastic to drive. Is their interior a bit fragile? Yep. Does it smell like crayons? Yep. Is the steering absolutely incredible? Yep.
      Oh yes, e46s that don't have horrible sub-frame based structural failure are eeeeexcellent to drive. Claiming that people buy them solely for the badge is silly.

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