Sure, a lot of BMW drivers are assholes. But anybody can drive a BMW. Sure they are often joked to be expensive (Bring More Wallet) the reality is, there are a ton of luxury/performance cars that cost the same or more than BMWs. But something about the brand, "The Driving Machine" appeals to my vanity and my love of performance over style and cost.

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Let's examine a few of the things BMW does right.

  1. Their cars are a blend of performance, design, and luxury. (The performance feature puts them in a different class than say Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, Infinity.)
  2. Service may be expensive, but if you roll the inclusive service contract into your loan, it's really cool. And you NEVER pay for maintenance or repairs.
  3. When they have to work on your car (oil changes, for example) the lobby of the BMW dealership is not much different that a fancy Starbucks. Free coffee, a movie theater, TV, and free wifi.
  4. When they have to keep your car overnight, or longer, you get a brand new BMW to drive. (Just last week we bought the loaner to replace my wife's car.)

So I just bought an all-electric i3, and guess what, it has some problems with the charging mechanism or battery. And guess what else, everything is covered until 2020. So they loaned me a car while the work on my little electric bubble. The car I'm driving now, a bright blew 435 (twin-turbo w/ upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo) is a lot more car than I need or could afford, but… WOW, what a car. I've never driven a car that was so fast and safe-feeling at the same time. The only problem I see with this situation is I have to buy gas tomorrow for this beast. I like the idea of never buying gas again, but I'd also like them to fix everything on the car, ON THEIR DIME.

So yes, if you're going to pick a luxury car you are going to be buying into the entire system of say, Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity, Honda/Accura, Mercedes, and you're going to get certain perks for that extra money you plunk down. Not to mention the features other cars boast are standard equipment on these top-flight cars. The extras on a BMW (or any other luxury car) are the intangibles. (self-driving, cruise-control that tracks the speed of the car in front of you, cameras and radar that virtually park the car for you.)

My experience so far with my newest BMW has been less than perfect. But driving this fantasy car for a week or more will do a lot to soothe my frustrated heart, even if I have to buy gas for it. I don't have to buy the tires that I'm smoking off the rims. (Just kidding.)

When you buy into a luxury line you are probably committing to several cars over the next 10 – 15 years. And while you can get much cheaper cars, a used BMW is not a bad investment. The resale is really high. And all the time you have it, you are driving a performance car. That's what I love. These cars were designed around the driving experience and the comfort of the driver.

What do you own? What do you want to own? What's your brand experience like? I'd love to hear about your car experience and love in the comments.

Onward and Upward,

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2016/09/overview-bmw-i3/

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