Just a short fifteen years or so ago, BMW could easily pride itself on building some of the best driver's cars out there. The E46 3-Series, the E39 5-Series and even the X5 were superb to helm. Go even further back, and you find the distillation of driving excitement in the legendary E30 M3 and E36 M3. The slogan, "The Ultimate Driving Machine" was accurate, and Bimmerphiles could not have been more happy with the German product offerings. 


But BMW expanded their lineup. It used to be sports coupes, sports sedans, sport wagons, and even the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (BMW speak for SUV), and they were all excellent. But then BMW started to add crossovers in hopes of growing their bottom line. It wasn't something the other manufacturers hadn't thought of since the crossover segment was growing in leaps and bounds, but the result wasn't really true to the ethos of the brand. 

5 wagon

And BMW started killing off great cars like the 5-Series wagon (and will soon do the same to the 3-Series wagon). Cars started becoming more infused with luxury and technology rather than catering to the driver. For example, the E39 5-Series interior canted the center stack to the driver, and all materials were high-end but purposeful. Now, step into the new 5-Series, and the car is far more about luxury and technology than it is about the driving experience. Naturally, current BMWs have to cater to the market, and we get that, but something has been lost in the process. 


The fact that BMW has opted for vehicles like the 5-Series GT (above) and the X4 (lead image) can be equated to the sullying of the brand in the name of market share. Sure, their cars are (for the most part) still great to drive, but the weight, isolation, and complex technology have turned most BMW models into more luxobarges than drivers' cars. We hope that BMW recognizes this fact and makes some strategic changes. Until then, take a look at Mazda. They have kept their formula of driver-focused cars and simply improved on it over the past few years.