Opinion: BMW blurs the line between their niches and other manufacturers, why?

While it seems logical (monetarily), it is no less disappointing. BMW is moving themselves in the direction of a global, premium brand with no real name, to some extent. According to a report in Autoweek, the X1 will begin to share parts from something that has more in common with the Buick Encore than with anything the company has released in the past.

In the same way that many folks go out and purchase cars such as the Encore or the Nissan Rogue, many will likely go after one of the cheapest BMWs money can buy because they want some sort of egg-shaped, compact, lifted hatchback that gets slightly less atrocious fuel economy than anything with actual off road capabilities, but still manages worse economy than a hot hatch, less space, and fewer boxes ticked in the “fun to drive” category. All of these things are detractors on paper, but what good is that in the car market, which has a 90 percent basis in whims and emotions, and 10 percent in practicality?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the BMW name meant something, as did the Audi name and the Mercedes name, and it’s not that it doesn’t mean something anymore, it’s just that in many of their models, BMW has lost their personality. I am not about to knock just any car manufacturer for producing a front-wheel drive car with a transverse mounted engine, I am in the process of knocking BMW for it. I am completely satisfied with my Volvo that has this configuration, but that is because one expects a certain product from that manufacturer.

Every brand needs a compelling identity, and with more cars like the 3er GT and fewer cars like the M235i, it seems that BMW may or many not be losing its relevance among enthusiasts in some ways.

I don’t think I am totally alone when I say that I that a Mercedes E55 AMG of yesteryear was no better or worse than a BMW M5 of the same vintage.  These two supersedans are not exactly apples and oranges, but they are apple juice and cranberry juice, often preferred by different folk, but often used for the same purpose. With the X1 and it’s inbred sibling, the 2er active tourer, BMW is now offering pour over coffee next to Mercedes’ siphon pot coffee and it makes no sense, but maybe it does. Does anyone want to talk me out of this?

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Sawyer Sutton

Sawyer Sutton is a long-time Vermonter and lover of cars, big machinery, and photography. These are his words on cars as Senior Editor of egmCarTech.

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