2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i Review – The new X3 is bigger, more comfortable, and a moving performer

Tuesday May 17th, 2011 at 8:55 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011_bmw_x3_20
By Danny Chang

Pros:

  • Tight & confident handling
  • Decent acceleration
  • Refined interior & build quality

Cons:

  • Styling is a step back in time
  • 8-speed automatic is too shift-happy
  • Lacks personality

The second generation BMW X3 is almost the size of the first generation X5. BMW has added to the overall length, width and height, as well as a tiny bit to the wheelbase. The benefits are rear passenger legroom, headroom for all passengers and cargo room. Despite its bigger size, the second generation X3 still reminds you of the original, smaller X3, at least from the front. From the back, the new X3 resembles the new designs of the X5 and X6.

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2011 BMW Alpina B7 First Impressions Review

Monday April 4th, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits

  • Exotic but factory warranted
  • Limited production
  • Stable and comfortable

Misses:

  • Still large and heavy
  • Taxed as gas guzzler

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2012 BMW 6-Series 650i Coupe

Tuesday March 15th, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 BMW 6-Series CoupeBMW has announced the newest addition to their lineup, the third-generation 2012 6-Series 650i Coupe, set to go on sale this fall in the U.S.

The 2012 650i Coupe follows the launch this spring of the new 2012 650i Convertible

BMW’s new 6-Series coupe will feature a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, 400-horsepower engine, 450 lb-ft of torque, an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters with an optional 6-speed manual transmission, a top speed of 155 mph and a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds.

Still highly recognizable as a 6-Series coupe, the look of the new car is at once more sleek and smoother than the car it replaces. About 1.5 inches wider and 3 inches longer with a wheelbase of 112.4 inches, the new 6-Series coupe is a larger, roomier car than its predecessor, but features aluminum doors and hood, with the trunk, front fenders, and roof being constructed of reinforced composite to reduce the overall weight.

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Video Review: 2011 BMW 135i vs. Modded 2009 BMW 135i

Friday February 25th, 2011 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

2011 BMW 135 vs 2009 BMW 135The Driving Sports team comes together to test how a modified 2009 BMW 135i stacks up against a brand new 2011 model. Can the N55 twin-scroll single turbo outperform a N54 twin turbo?

The BMW 1-Series began its life back in 2004 when the 3-Series was moving up in the world and BMW needed another small family car to serve as an entry model. It started off as a 5-door hatchback, but was introduced as a 2-door coupe, a 3-door hatchback, and a convertible in 2007.

The current engine selection consists of a 3.0L I-6 producing 230hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0L twin turbo I-6 producing 300hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

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BMW M Performance Exhaust System for M3 Made From Magic Iconel Metal

Wednesday February 23rd, 2011 at 8:22 PM
Posted by: aquadog

BMW M Performance Exhaust System for M3BMW has announced the new M Performance exhaust system accessory for the M3 Coupe, Sedan and Convertible. The M Performance exhaust system is made of Inconel, a lightweight, heat-resistant, and corrosion resistant chrome-nickel alloy, that will produce a more powerful sound due to the flow-optimized exhaust which will reduce overall back pressure. The M Performance Exhaust is about 20 lbs lighter and also features perforated inner pipes and polished titanium tips with the laser engraved M logo. The BMW M Performance exhaust system is available for $4,374 plus installation. $4,374 for an aftermarket exhaust? There better be some magic associated with the Iconel metal that makes up the exhaust kit.

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2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is Review – The perfect solo getaway car

Thursday August 26th, 2010 at 12:88 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

By Danny Chang

Pros

  • Awesome acceleration in Sport+ mode
  • Lenient traction control that allows a little cornering fun
  • Retractable drop top cool factor
  • No room for baby

Cons

  • Tight luggage room with top down
  • Improved styling still lacking in some ways
  • Marathon name – takes forever to say but you want to make sure everyone knows it’s not just the pedestrian Z4 sDrive30i because you spent $15k more

I have come to expect family-friendly test cars from my editor lately now that I have a baby and diaper changing has become a fact of life, so when the Z4 sDrive35is (Warning: I will make every effort to call the car by its full name throughout this review, BMW Marketing guys would be proud) showed up instead of the BMW 550is Gran Turismo, I was, shall we say, pleasantly surprised. It was most unfortunate that the two-seater is not so useful in carrying the entire family around, so our weekend plans of driving the wife, the baby, and the mother-in –law around town visiting other parents with babies and mother-in-laws had to be postponed. Bummer, I was so looking forward to it too. But hey, duty calls, I must test drive the Bimmer this weekend. “What, hon? Oh no, the baby seat can’t go in the front seat, so you will have to drive the baby separately in your Passat. And yeah, the trunk is useless on the Z4, so I won’t be able to pick up milk on the way home either. You want me to do what? I’m sorry, hon, I can’t hear you with the top down, there’s too much wind noise, I’ll have to call you back later.”

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2011 BMW 535i Review

Wednesday August 18th, 2010 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: the911guy

By Dan Tsuchiya

Pros:

  • Aluminum body panels for weight savings
  • Improved handling through suspension changes
  • Bumper mounted cameras
  • Fuel efficient for a 2 ton car

Cons:

  • Blandness has set into the 5 series styling
  • Manual transmission drivability not top notch
  • Pricey in comparison to competition
  • Seat coolers are missing

The sixth generation of the 5-series BMW has finally graduated in the handling and technology areas to keep up, if not ahead of its competition. Large improvements have been achieved through technology provided by its bigger brother the 7-series including a double wishbone style front suspension and cool safety features like bumper mounted cameras. The 300 hp inline six now has direct injection and a twin scroll single turbo which provides torque from 1200 RPM.

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First Impressions Review: 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

Thursday July 15th, 2010 at 3:77 PM
Posted by: Derek

2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

Things That Make You Smile:

  • Sling-shot performance and slot-car handling without the go-kart suspension
  • Beautifully balanced proportions and elegant design silhouette
  • Retractable hardtop insulates you from the elements and road noise better than a ragtop
  • Intelligent dual-clutch automatic is fast and silky smooth
  • The new interior is more visually pleasing, and includes a slew of comfort and usability improvements

Things That Turn Your Smile Up-side Down:

  • Melbourne Red paint attracts more attention than Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco spotting the General Lee
  • I know it’s a roadster, but where do I put my golf clubs?

Bada bing, bada boom! Last year we drove the 2010 Z4 sDrive35i powered by BMW’s silky-smooth turbocharged, inline-6 engine and a double-clutch transmission that can change gears faster than Quick-Draw McGraw on speed. Performance was impressive, handling was sharp as a razor, and driving dynamics were more engaging than Betty Davis’ eyes. This year BMW has added a new range-topping Z4, one with a massaged engine that produces 335 hp and a load of M Sport touches. Not that the Z4 needed any more power, but we were surprised the company didn’t call it a Z4 M.

The 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is wants to play with the big boys and take its place next to the Audi TT-RS, Mercedes-Benz SLK and Porsche Boxster S/Cayman S. BMW has given the 3.0L engine better intake breathing and higher boost pressure for a new output of 335 hp at 5900 rpm and 332 lb-ft from 1500 rpm, with overboost providing quick bursts of 369 lb-ft. A specifically tuned exhaust system provides a deep rumble with a focus on the low-frequency sound range.

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2010 BMW 335d Review – Clean and efficient MPG in the ultimate driving package

Friday June 25th, 2010 at 1:66 PM
Posted by: anson

2010 BMW 335d sedan

>>> Review by Anson Tse | >>> Photographs by Derek Mau

Pros

  • Loads of torque
  • Fantastic handling
  • Clean emissions and great fuel economy

Cons

  • Powertrain lacks responsiveness expected from a BMW
  • It’s just too expensive

The Ultimate Driving Machine. That’s BMW’s tagline that they use to describe the vehicles they make. Clearly this reputation has been well earned over the years and the 3-series always finds itself square in the cross hairs of its competitors. The 335i is a magnificent sport sedan with a very potent twin-turbocharged gasoline powered inline 6.  So what happens when the boys from Bavaria shoe horn a diesel powered twin-turbo 6 cylinder underneath the hood? No black smoke from this one, just a stump pulling 425 pound-feet worth of torque, more than enough to turn those rear tires into piles of molten rubber.

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Who is the Star, Madonna or the M5?

Friday June 11th, 2010 at 9:66 AM
Posted by: Derek

BMW Films The Hire

After watching Audi’s mini-series exploiting the new A1 and walking away feeling sorely disappointed, I had to go back and revisit the BMW 8-film series that was released almost a decade ago. Enlisting A-list directors such as John Woo, John Frankenheimer and Tony Scott, the BMW film series produced a set of excellent short films starring Clive Owen and showcasing the BMW cars. By far, my favorite was the Guy Ritchie directed film, Star with his ex-wife, Madonna, playing the most spoiled and shallow diva on screen to date. Simply hilarious. Cinematography and editing of the driving sequences were top notch with Madonna’s character being tossed around in the back seat, like a rag doll in the fluff cycle of a dryer, of an M5 while Clive Owen tears up the streets. Stick around for the last scene and you’ll see why she needs to be sent through the wash cycle.

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