In Reply to: Top Ten Things to Make C&D's 323i any uglier. posted by ks on March 05, 1999 at 18:58:51:
I know this CD story is being discussed to death...
At the low end, BMW cannot compete as effectively with the 3 series. The 3 series will not look as attractive as the A4 1.8 in some respects, as far as standard equipment goes. (I think the inline 6 instead of 4 cyl. makes up for some of the disparity). The reason is simply because the 3 series is a BMW and no other car. When you look at the mechanicals, the A4 is basically a Passat. There is a much wider cost base to spread parts expenditures over. Heck, the VW 1.8 even appears sans turbo in the Golf. It has to be one of the highest volume production engines in the world. You cant get much cheaper than that. Not that it is necessarily a bad engine. The same goes for the Acura 3.2 TL, Lexus ES300, and Audi A6. They all share lots of parts with the volume leader model of the parent company, so they can throw in extra goodies that BMW cant. That is where Mercedes and BMW have problems. Do I think they should try to share parts? No. The fact that the 3 series is a BMW alone is one of the things that attracted me to it. Then again, if I had wanted to stay below 30k, I probably would have been steered toward one of these other cars.