In Reply to: E46 Lots better looking that Accord. Much better posted by performance, too - MikeW on October 07, 1999 at 08:53:59:
: Can't see what all the bellyaching is about. The E36 was 7 years old. It was fresh in 92, but time marches on. Sorry, but I don't buy this nonsense with the E46 looking Japanese, except for maybe the fact that the Japanese companies update their cars on a shorter cycle than the Germans, so that at any point, their current products never look too old. What do you guys want, that the 3 series turn into a Checker, with the styling never changing from decade to decade?
I'm not saying that the body shouldn't change. I'm talking about the car's soul, not its looks. Each change has moved the car a small step away from the enthusiast market and closer to the mainstream (where the Accord is). I'm referring to ride softness, interior plushness, and amount of gadgets. Even if the technology existed at the time, I seriously doubt that BMW would have installed navigation systems or park distance control in their cars during the E30 era. My old E30 had a hand crank for the sunroof and slide controls for the climate control but still had an airbag and ABS. BMW used technology, but only when it was important for safety or performance. BMW obviously saw all the money Toyota (via Lexus), Honda (via Acura), and Nissan (via Infinity) were making selling plush near-luxury cars loaded with gadgets, leather and wood. They didn't want to miss out on the party. I think, as BMW enthusiasts, this shift should concern us. If I wanted a Lexus, I'd buy one. If BMW goes soft, who will be left to build enthusiast cars that don't cost more than the average house?