Reactions to BMW's - Danxxx
I am considering purchasing a T reg BMW 318, but after reading threads on this forum about people who have experienced people reacting to them differently just becuase they drive a BMW - overtaking you just to prove a point etc - I am wondering whether it's wise. Could anyone tell me if this has happened to them/whether it happens often/whether it has detracted from owing a BMW. I'm aware they have a reputation and would appreciate some advice and some experiences shared. Thanks.
Reactions to BMW's - Blue {P}
We don't have any problems with the 3 series, the Z4 attracts a lot of attention but it's bound to.

Go for it, if you like the car why be put off because of what other people think?

Reactions to BMW's - Aprilia

Well, I used to have a '7'. Did have quite a few problems with it mechanically (climate control failed, premature cam wear, premature suspension wear) so I can't say it was much loved by me.
I did get some negative reaction to it, even though I am a mature and 'non-agressive' driver. I tend to keep to speed limits and I found that if ever a '3' or '5' driver came up behind they never failed to overtake (or at least try) - I don't think it was my imagination. I also have a C-Class Mercedes and that never seems to provoke quite the same hostile reaction.

I sold the '7' and bought a four-year-old Nissan QX (low miles and in superb condition with FSH). It cost me a lot less than a year's depreciation on the '7' and I very much enjoy driving it and find it to be just as quiet and comfortable as the '7', (although I admit the low-speed ride is over-firm) - it is also totally anonymous.

Incidentally, I found the worst part of BMW ownership to be the dealers. They are OK when the car is fairly new, but once past three years they seem to get a bit snotty.
Reactions to BMW's - Dude - {P}
If you fancy the Beem, then my advice is to ignore the hype and enjoy the car. Unfortunatly there are a minority of younger BMW owners that spoil the marques reputation by irresponsable and inconsiderate driving. Since this subject appeared on this forum some weeks back, I have taken note of the many incidents of reckless driving, and have concluded it is not the make of car, but the generally younger age group of drivers that are the main culprits.
Reactions to BMW's - 330d
It's all true I'm afraid Danxxx. You'll never get let out of a side road into a queue of traffic again, so take plenty of water and container to pee in. On the other hand, when YOU let someone into a queue just have a look at their face, priceless!
Reactions to BMW's - Burnout2
The 3-series is now so incredibly common (especially in the South-East) that I notice no difference whatsoever in the behaviour of other road users towards me whether driving the 328 or the Accord - they're both invisible.

T-reg 318 - very competent car, but only if you're not bothered about performance. Feels spartan if less than SE spec.

Reactions to BMW's - bugged {P}
i drove the company 3 series the other day and after reading the threads on here, went out of my way to let people out and drive nicely in order to drag the opinion of them up a little!!!
I must admit people were very slow to pull out in front of me, obviously thinking id made some sort of nasty mistake by flashing them out!!!

It was noticable but dont know if thats becasue i was looking for it more than i do normally!!!
Reactions to BMW's - eMBe {P}
Danxxx - I am an advocate of plain-speaking, and not given to skirting around the point. So I will speak plainly, and get straight to the point with my experiences.
I am wondering whether it's wise.>>

No it's NOT wise. If you have to ask this question, then in my view your character probably won't be able to cope with the baggage that goes with owning BMWs.
Could anyone tell me if this has
happened to them/whether it happens often>>

often enough, including "key-scratces" along both sides.

>>whether it has detracted from owing a BMW.>>
No, because I buy the car because I like it for what it is and what it does, NOT what it looks like or what other people think of it or the driver.
I'm aware they have a reputation and would appreciate
some advice and some experiences shared. Thanks. >>

As I said at the beginning, if these things worry you, then the car is not for you. Either change your personality (i.e. be easy-going, doing things because you want to and NOT because what other people think) or change your car to a mundane Mondeo.
Reactions to BMW's - Aprilia
Having recently driven both the new 3-series and the 2003 Mondeo (both German-spec cars - but I think the spec is the same as UK apart from steering position) I have to say that there is nothing 'mundane' about the Mondeo apart from the 'Ford' badge. The new Mondeo is an incredibly competent car and at 'nearly new' car supermarket prices has to be a fantastic deal. It rides and handles as well as a '3' and has more room inside - it also looks very good IMHO. I've never owned a Ford myself, but this car would really tempt me, especially now that its been in production a couple of years and all the gremlins have been ironed out. If I were spending my own money I'd buy a Mondeo rather than a '3' - if its 'company money' then that's a different story.
Reactions to BMW's - 3500S
Before you buy a BMW 318, you might want to consider a MG ZT190. A recent independant survey had the MG beating the BMW 5-0. They are both similarly priced but the MG has a lot more going for it.

I think the website is
Reactions to BMW's - LongDriver {P}
My reaction to BMW's:

Too little car for too much money.

Specifically, they say to me:

3xx Compact: "I want a BMW but can't afford one"

316/8i: "This car belongs to my employer"

Any with badges removed: "This is a base model"

520i in sliver: "I've retired and will be doing 40mph everywhere"

Z3: "ohhh dear...americans can't build sports cars can they"

M3: "more money than sense...huuuuge ego...small willy"

X5: "I sell nose candy"
Reactions to BMW's - Phoenicks
To be fair the above points can be given to Mercedes as well:
C Class Coupe (hatch!): "I want a Merc but can't afford one"
C180/C200: "This car belongs to my employer"
Any with badges removed: "This is a base model"
E Class in sliver: "I've retired and will be doing 40mph everywhere"
M Class: "ohhh dear...americans can't build 4x4's can they"
Any AMG: "more money than sense...huuuuge ego...small willy"
SL: "I sell nose candy"

I think regards to the BMW thing its a case of more people being able to afford prestige and wanted image and as such people who used to drive sierras now drive BMW's! As such it went from a well respected marque to an arrogant drivers car.

Over the last few years Saabs have gone that way, then Mercs (C Class mainly) and i bet it will happen to Audi in the coming years...
Reactions to BMW's - midlifecrisis
In response to the above. I considered a 318ES when I replaced the Passat. £20,000 for a very spartan and not very inspiring car. Instead, I spent less than £14000 (Ok, only a fiver less) on a three month old MGZT and have never looked back. It's the first car I've owned that I don't want to replace for a long time. Everybody loves it and the father in law is actually buying the tourer version after travelling in mine.
Give it a go.
Reactions to BMW's - eMBe {P}
To be fair the above points can be given to Mercedes
as well

Its called the politics of envy. in a previous similar thread about BMW's, I recall the moderators did not like references to the male anatomy.

>>As such it went from a well respected marque to an arrogant drivers car.>>
That's me sorted then.
Reactions to BMW's - eMBe {P}
The new Mondeo is an incredibly competent car
and at 'nearly new' car supermarket prices has to be a
fantastic deal.

Agreed. If they put a Merc C class badge on it, it would be hard to fault it.
If I were spending my own money I'd buy a
Mondeo rather than a '3' - if its 'company money' then
that's a different story.

Although I would rather buy a E39 5 series.
Reactions to BMW's - trancer
This is a fascinating thread. I never imagined such animosity existed towards the drivers of a particular marque. Are there other marques that are looked down upon or otherwise discriminated against?.

I am currently looking for a car and wouldn't want to get the "wrong" kind. Not because I care what people think, but if a particular car will be a target for vandals or discourteous behaviour from other motorists then that does matter to me.
Reactions to BMW's - eMBe {P}
Are there other marques that are looked down upon or otherwise discriminated against?.>>

Yes - Lada and Skoda.
Reactions to BMW's - scotty
I try not make generalisations as a rule - but rules are made to broken.

I do tend to notice more arrogant driving behaviour from BMWs than any other marque. I'm not sure why it is, but I am sure that's how it is.

Apologies, obviously, to those BM owners who post here because I know you're all courteous to a fault.

Reactions to BMW's - Aprilia
There is such a thing as 'buyer demographics' - certain products tend to be preferentially purchased by certain 'types' of people. There is a big industry founded on this - the marketeers catagorise people and then try to supply products that meet the needs of each category.

3 and 5-series BM's tend to be market as drivers' cars - 'the ultimate driving machine' etc. They are also marketed as prestige cars - which will enhance the buyer's status and set him/her apart from the 'common herd'. BMW have been very successful with this strategy because British people are highly status concious - witness the number of BM's that you see with 'personal registrations'. You thus have a group of (predominantly) status concious people who buy cars that they are told are 'the ultimate driving machine'. It is not difficult to see where the problem comes.

Incidentally I am writing this as a former BMW (and current MB) owner, so I am not taking a 'holier than thou' approach.
Reactions to BMW's - Tony N
This is exactly right - its all down to marketing. While undoublty BMW build reasonable quality cars, anyone in the automotive industry will tell you they have as much carp bolted to them as any Ford/Vauxhall etc, and they too aren't immune from warranty problems as I'm sure many BM owners will testify. If you want to know who builds top quality vehicles go and take a look at the JD power survey... - BMW do well but ain't top.
Reactions to BMW's - Phoenicks
I think we should seperate the car from the owners.

The owners can be terrible but to be fair you see as much bad driving from Vectra and Mondeo drivers on the motorways as BMW drivers.

The cars are very good tho and we shouldnt forget. Spartan inside they may be but they are very good cars to drive. With regards to the MG ZT further above- Nice(ish) car and cheaper to buy now, but wait till resale. the values wont be very strong. Also it may well be a fairly hard car to shift secondhand.

My g/f has a BMW compact 1.6 1996 - its far nicer to drive and far more refined than my 1997 golf gti mk3. it is also more reliable and costs the same to service etc through specialists. Her brother has a 750 v12 (he's only 28!) and raves about it. And its been 100% reliable.

BMW's for all they get slated, are good to drive, very reliable, have far more character than the majority of the top of the JD power (yaris, jazz and corolla anyone?) and look good with very, very good resale.

Knock some of the owners by all means but the cars are good, and the dealers have an excellent reputation (something people whinge about all the time on here). lets not forger that.

Reactions to BMW's - John S

Don't worry about it. There are thousands of 3 series about, so you won't stand out. I drive a 323 coupe, and I can't say I've noticed any problems. I get let out of side roads as much as I do when I'm in our Astra, and as for being overtaken, well, some drivers will overtake anything. To be honest there may even be a slight benefit - I reckon people pull out in front of the BM less frequently on motorways - perhaps they think it's bound to be going faster than the Astra.


john S

Reactions to BMW's - bradgate
My experience of petrol 3 series - and I have driven several - is that there is a big difference between 4 and 6 cylinder cars. 323's and 328's are fantastic driver's cars in which the reality fully lives up to the image. They are smooth, refined, quick and with sufficient power to enjoy the rwd handling.

316's and 318's are an unremarkable drive by coamparison. The engines are by no means rough, but there is a huge deficit in both performance and refinement compared to the 6 cylinder models. BMW's 4 cylinder petrol engines are, in my experience no better than their Ford or GM equivalents, and certainly inferior to Honda's.

My advice is to drive a 6 cylinder 3 series before committing yourself to buying a 318.
Reactions to BMW's - Sparrow
I'd echo evrything about 3 series being so commonplace (they are in the top ten of new car sales) that nobody takes any notice. I had far more problems about being let out of side turnings and other bad manners when I drove a Volvo V70. Nice car but i was glad to get rid of the Volvo image and go to BM.
I have a 318 estate (sorry BM, touring), I tried a 320d and very little different in refinement or anything except the diesel did 49 mpg (on the trip meter) and I get 37 on the 318.
BM is nice to drive, especially in the dry. It doesn't like wet corners when the front tyres go below 3mm of tread.

I'm looking at Mondy next, as its my own money and not the company. Only thing putting me off Ford is the dealers (had an old shape Mondeo three years ago). My BM dealer is pretty much faultless.
Reactions to BMW's - trancer
Just out of curiosity, what is the "Volvo image"?.

I hope all present can forgive my questions. I am new to UK motoring and many of the things I am hearing are alien to me. In the US we have an abundance of BMWs and Volvos, yet I am at a loss to identify a certain type of driver or owner associated with these. We have a few BMWs at work and almost all of them are from what I can see are "rank and file", blue collar workers, like myself, not at all what you would consider a status driven, prestige market.

We have our share of bad or inconsiderate drivers (which I take to describe BMW drivers), but I could never narrow it down to one marque. You might find it in a particular group of drivers, though. "Soccer Moms" often get slated, but they tend to drive minivans and large SUVs of all makes and models representing quite varied income brackets. Boy Racers or "Ricers" as they are known here, also have a bad rep, but they drive different makes and models and you can usually spot their neon lights and whale tail spoilers long before you can identify the car they are driving.

Speaking of noticing cars first, is it possible that the bad drivers are spread across the range, but because BMWs are seen as prestige cars they attract more attention?. It is much easier to notice bad driving in a car you actually notice!.
Reactions to BMW's - eMBe {P}
Just out of curiosity, what is the "Volvo image"?.>>

trancer - you should start a new thread on this. Although I seem to remember there was a thread a while ago about stereotypes for drivers of differing cars.

To start off, here are some views I have heard - not mine:
Volvos are driven by doddering old (or middle-aged) middle-class Englishmen. Volvos are built like tanks and so you have to take extra care driving near them. Volvos never break down. The day driving-lights on a Volvo can never be swithced off - even after they have gone through a crusher.
Reactions to BMW's - Steve S
I used to have a 5 series, I now have a Volvo. Of the two stereotypes described here I would say that the Volvo image is the most out of date.

Since the introduction of the S80/V70/C70/S60s over the past dozen years, the profile of buyers has changed considerably as have the style limitations of the cars.

Indeed many of the C70/S60 buyers according to my dealer (who oversees 3 large SE dealerships) are ex-BMW drivers. Interesting but surely reflects the change in Volvo's design strategy.

BMW have of course made their brand more accessable (or cheapened it - depending on who you talk to). This has resulted in increased numbers of younger drivers and associated attitudes, which may help explain the stereotypes to some extent.

As I've said in previous posts the tabloids have a lot to do with the image of the brands and people's perception of what they mean. Me? I just like cars.
Reactions to BMW's - Oz
I can only report on a BMW that has returned 55 mpg, total reliability, and low servicing costs over a 2½ year period since new (i.e. a 320d SE). It has masses of torque and cruises quietly at 85 mpg ;-) on French autoroutes, in which case the mpg is consistently 47. Reportedly I can get a further 10-15% torque, and possibly even more mpg, just by chipping the engine but have held back from doing this so far on the grounds of warranty (potentially voided). BMW Insurance say that they would be happy to continue to insure a 'chipped' car, albeit at a slight premium.

As a result I feel extraordinarily smug and adverse comments about 'BMW drivers' wash over me like water off a duck's back. Likewise I feel no need to 'prove' my car alongside that of some demented petrolhead whom I don't know and will never meet again.

Oz (as was)
Reactions to BMW's - Pugugly {P}
I feel get more adverse attention in the 5 than I ever did in any of the 3s I owned.

I love the cars though and genuinely believe that they are driver's car i.e. I like fast, reliable, comfortable cars that handle (QED) so why not drive something that fits all catagories. They make genuine economic sense as leased company cars. (we negotiated an extraoridinarly good deal for this year's contract)and they feel special....

If you want a BM buy one, there is less chance that you will be disappointed by it than almost any other car class for class, certainly a well sorted one is very good...

As regards "The owners can be terrible" I'm not, I don't think I have a tendancy to get drunk now and again but don't want to fight, a tendancy to shoot little feathred creatures on the wing and a tendancy to buy vehicles that apprantly threaten planet Earth - But I feel I am net contributor to soceity Does this make me a bad person just because I drive a BM.?
Reactions to BMW's - daryld
I was stuck in a traffic jam on the A1 last week. There were 4 BMW 3 series waiting in a line, and behind them were 3 Audi A4's (new shape).

..spooky..but methinks that the 3 series is just a bit too common, as is the lovely A4.

Value my car