18 May THE KING IS DEAD But, …….. not for long
For decades The BMW 3 series has been the benchmark model for its class, ……..the one every other manufacturer has always looked up to with the thought…..”when I grow up……”
But tremendous strides in the motoring world in recent years have seen all that change with a spirited fight to the 3-series title as “King of them all”
but now, at least two traditional arch arrivals are knocking at its door.
Of worry is a new entrant to the segment (well not really new, lets just say it had taken a sabbatical as result of poor management and financial decisions) that is simply sweeping everything and anything before it (annoying)
First, let me state my bias before hand. BMW.
Second, lets start with the traditional arch enemy, the Mercedes C-class
The baby of the now extended family, first introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the popular 190E
(a raw deal is what I called it) a number of parts strung together in a cabin with the silver star bang in the middle of the bonnet, until now.
Aggressive bold Styling….a sporty look.
Unveiled in 2013, it is built on a totally new platform. Apart from several engines, diesel/petrol/hybrid to choose from, with this latest model of the C-class, Mercedes have decided the same luxury you get in the S, the C will have…. Ladies and Gentlemen the C-Class now wears designer, no more left over, second hand parts to feed from
The best bit about it, the C has the best interior of its class, simply breath taking (somebody shoot me) such a nice place to be in
and……. it’s a tick for Handling, space and power
Never owned a Mercedes, but would not need much convincing for the C-class if financed through my bank or better, a tender
Third is the Audi, our focus…..the A4
The only thing that has remained constant in the Audi, is its Olympic logo
Never quite been taken by its blunt styling, must admit the handling is quite effective but you always have the feeling of the car being driven for you, not the other way round
This is how car and driver magazine described it “The exterior is understated; its interior is handsome and sophisticated”…. “yawn”
Handling is good but the biggest drawback….. the light steering at high speeds. But seeing as you live in Nairobi chances of getting to 60KPH in the horrendous traffic will put paid to that
Now then, you must be wondering what devil is this challenging Bavaria’s most famous automobile?
They call it the Jaguar XE……
Forget the 70s when most jaguars owned in +254 were found around central province. Remember the XJ? still looks and sounds beautiful, a couple of good examples still around
The new jag though, says a couple of things about you
I am established with really good taste and makes you stand apart (Hey, this is Toyota country)
Choice of 280-hp turbo four or a 340-hp supercharged V-6, and a 180-hp turbodiesel, will get the cat roaring from a purr
A few complaints about the infotainment system (just ask BMW) but nothing to write home about and cramped back and boot space
I shudder to comprehend the feeling behind the wheel but everyone whose driven it swears by it, sharpness around bends at unpredictable speeds…. I can go on and on and on
Which brings me to the new 3 series……. Has it been dethroned, ousted, overthrown, deposed, a coup de tat? quite possibly yes, by how much? Difficult to tell, because all these cars are motoring perfection
However, there is a reason why the BMW E30 was so affectionately known as the “ultimate driving machine” and “sheer driving pleasure”
It offered a brilliant combination of handling, performance, economy and practicality, one of the few cars that could be used for a school run on Monday morning and as track car on Saturday afternoon
But they tell us, recently the 3-series has lost a bit of its shine.
They say, it doesn’t have enough BMW in it
They go as far as to claim, that there is something about its looks
well, I say, it may have lost a little of its shine but the boys in Stuttgart are working hard to sort that out, Gode named the G20 should be out in 2017
The new 3 series will be more than just a face lift, in response to the C-class and the Jaaaaaaaaaag
My only complaint with the 3 series Bima is the steering, its not hydraulic anymore but electronic. Its not bad by any means no, but the feedback to the driver is not as used to be
But I like ,no love the aggressive styling, expect the next facelift five series to follow suit (something’s never change)
in terms of engine, I really have nothing to add, speaks for itself Brilliant! still prefer the six cylinder growl though.
So what does BMW have to do to regain their crown, not much, its near perfect
Find a way to rival the C-class interior, regain the excitement the Jaguar offers and keep the Audi in its rear view mirror
am I mourning though? no for the current 3 series evokes memories of the E30. it is genius , simply brilliant and come next year, the King shall have his throne back
Initially, There are other cars in this class, the Cadillac ATS, the Lexus IS and the VW CC but to my mind, they are not quite there yet, NO!
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