Whether shopping for a new vehicle or just merely appreciating the craftsmanship, there are a few manufacturers that are easily identified globally as producing quality automobiles. Generally speaking, the more prevalent a particular make is throughout the world, the more reliable and tested are its car’s parts and systems. One name that immediately jumps to mind is BMW, a manufacturer of luxury automobiles, performance engines as well as motorcycles. With so many advantages to consider, it’s hard to go wrong with a BMW. Nevertheless, a few legendary models do stand out above the rest. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the top BMW models of all time and peek at how they changed the face of driving.
(E 38) 7 Series
The 7 series has notably always been a line of quality, performance and luxury, but the third generation really opened both doors and jaws alike. Met with massive fanfare in the 1990s, the 7 Series is in a class of automobile that still looks both luxurious and sporty today. The BMW designers made sure to include a massive amount of interior space and one heck of a powertrain in the E 38 BMW models, which were available in both V8 & V12 versions. That said, this model does have a fair share of maintenance problems with critical BMW parts, especially once it reaches three years old. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your BMW’s cooling system parts, air conditioning, door actuators as well as the brakes.
A hot new take on a classic design, or a classic design ahead of its time? Take one look at the 2002 Turbo and you won’t know what decade gave its design inspiration. Borrowing heavily from sport car designs from the 1960s and 1970s, this 170 hp Turbo was the first of its kind with turbocharged BMW engine parts ever released in Europe.
If you do manage to snag one of these vehicles, however, be wary: many times, it may be difficult to find needed BMW parts for the 2002 Turbo. Only about 1,700 of these cars were ever made. A quick check across the web reveals that even very basic 2002 parts (such as top mount intercoolers and manifolds) are fetching hundreds of dollars – and these are all aftermarket BMW parts. Only a handful of these bad boys have ever been parted out and BMW obviously no longer makes genuine parts for the 2002 Turbo model.
By far, one of the most eye-catching mass productions that BMW ever made, the M3 coupe is an automobile everybody has fantasized about at least once. This sportscar usually features a 6-cylinder engine boasting 300+ hp and can fire from 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds. Arguably one of the best encapsulations of a sport car right off the assembly line that was still affordable by the masses, BMW’s M3 coupe has also been reviewed as having one of the best engines of any make and model over the past two decades. A truly impressive accomplishment for a truly impressive vehicle. Luckily, due to the car’s popularity, M3 parts aren’t terribly expensive, so this may be the best BMW model to purchase if you don’t mind doing some cosmetic or mechanical reconditioning. Do keep in mind, though, that the M3 coupe does require a specific type of motor oil fluid, which can set you back around $150 for a full oil and filter change.
With both the world and technology changing more rapidly than ever, it was only a matter of time before the folks at Bavarian Motor Works introduced a sporty electric vehicle (EV). The i8 EV is truly built with those tried-and-tested BMW performance parts at its core, and leverages the company’s century of experience in automotive design. The i8 hybrid is a testament to the fundamentals of German engineering and modern tech. With those awesome Lambo-style doors and a sleek sports body, you can take this 350 hp beast around town without using a drop of fuel. While it has yet to win a place in the hearts of the masses (this largely is because of its price tag), we expect it to make significant gains into the market in the coming years.
With so many classic, modern and sporty BMW models to consider, it’s impossible to fit them all on this list. Do you have a particular favorite not listed here? If so, leave us a comment and tell us what you love about it.