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“Do you know Jeremy Clarkson?” and “What’s your favourite car?” tend to be the first two questions you’re asked when folk you’ve met for the first time discover you are a motoring journalist. The first answer is simple: “No, but I was at the same media event as him once,” but the second is a little harder to answer.
In the first of a new series, we take a closer look at three different BMW coupés you could buy on a £25,000 budget. Whether you’re planning to spend a little or a lot, every car buyer wants value for money. And if you’re thinking of splashing out as much as £25,000 on a BMW coupé, then choosing the right model at the right price becomes even more important.
The fifth-gen 3 Series is one of the cheapest BMWs you can buy today, and it’s an incredible bargain that represents amazing value for money. However, you need to go in with eyes – and wallet – open. E9x 3 SERIESWords: Andrew Everett Photos: Jason Dodd, BMW Buying Guide: E9x 3 Series The E9x 3 Series is one of the biggest used BMW bargains of the moment, and our in-depth guide will help you pick the perfect car.
I’m sure we’ve all got stories about the one that got away. The car we sold, the car we were offered or could have bought for what now seems like a knock-down bargain price. Of course, if I’d known that BMW E52 Z8s were going to go mad in recent years I’d have bought the one I was offered at around £40k by a main dealer not long after it was launched.
Alpina’s exclusive E39 B10 V8 Saloon and Touring are fast becoming collectable classics – but make sure you buy a top-notch example. Words: Guy Baker Market WatchOur expert takes a look at the ultra-rare E39 Alpina B10 V8. Almost all BMW aficionados have some kind of soft spot for V8 E39s, and Alpina’s bespoke takes on the theme are now becoming sought-after with classic collectors.
It’s not often that two M cars arrive in the space of a few weeks, but here we are with the bookends of the fullfat M range, the M2 and the XM, both being put through their paces by the motoring press at the same time. One’s a traditional M offering: straight-six and rear-wheel-drive, and available with a manual gearbox, while the second is a massive SUV powered by a hybrid V8 powertrain… can you guess which one received the more favourable reviews?
Owner John Kiely wanted this tired, unloved BMW M3 to be the best in the country. Dan Norris’s team at Munich Legends rose to the challenge. Words SAM DAWSON Photography TOM CRITCHELL ‘There was a foot-high hole in’ Epic Restoration How Munich Legends resurrected a track-thrashed BMW M3 88 It had barely scraped through its MoT test when it came to us,’ says Munich Legends’ restorer James Blackwell of the gleaming BMW E30 M3 now gracing his Haywards Heath workshop.
We love to see BMWs that are cared for but also used and enjoyed because that’s what they’ve been built for. That’s most definitely the case with Ted Klamn’s E28 535is. This 1987 example has a staggering 425,000km on the clock, that’s over 264,000 miles, and we applaud that. The 535is is a US model, which came with Sport seats and front and rear spoilers, and Ted’s example looks gorgeous in Zinnobar red.
Stylish, quick and exciting to drive, now is the ideal time to buy a Z4 M Roadster. Words: Guy Baker Fast approaching classic status, BMW’s eye-catching E85 Z4 M Roadster packs the brilliant S54B32 engine and provides top-down motoring thrills on a sensible budget. And if you buy the right car now, you could see your investment rise over the next few years.
At the risk of this becoming a list of firsts, let’s start with the fact that this i4 M50 is the first BMW car I have ever owned – although I’m on my second MINI and previously had an S1000 RR superbike if that helps. The i4 M50 also happens to be the first fully-electric BMW car (not SUV) with xDrive and the first BMW EV to be awarded full M-status. Every journey has to start somewhere, but my BMW journey started somewhere else entirely. The first BMW I ever drove was in itself a first, too.
It’s now 48 years since the original E21 replaced the much-loved ’02, itself one of the two ranges that saved BMW, and the first-gen 3 Series makes for an alluring used buy that won’t break the bank. Words: Andrew Everett Photos: Felix Bluethner Iconized Ltd, Aaron Lam Buying Guide: BMW E21 3 Series The first-generation 3 Series is a classic icon and it makes for an excellent retro purchase, with prices still relatively reasonable. Our in-depth guide will help you find the perfect example.
I’ve always been a sucker for a Nürburgring trip. I’ve lost count of how many times I have visited, but it’s in the double figures. It’s not a difficult or particularly expensive one to tick off the bucket list, either, as I often tell people who wistfully talk of ‘one day I’ll go there’! Two and a half hours from Glasgow sees me at the Newcastle ferry for a relaxed (or party-spec, depending on your mood) overnight crossing to Amsterdam.
A couple of months back, I had a keyboard full of vitriol, and I was getting ready to unleash it towards the BMW i Vision Dee concept that was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Something held me back, though, and after a couple of months of reflection, I feel able to give a slightly more considered verdict on this latest concept car. Initially, I was struggling to see past the crappy name – Dee standing for ‘Digital Emotional Experience’.
My E36 has been getting tons of use as ever, equal to that of my alleged ‘daily’ E34. It’s typically very reliable, but there was a recent hiccup, that being a burst CV joint while hundreds of miles from home in Birmingham. A known weak spot to most owners, and yes, I have exacerbated the issue of course with a Ade’s E36 323i welded diff, lots of lowering and some harsh drift action!
Fast, frugal and affordable, BMW’s E60 535d is also easily tuned, but steer clear of unloved examples. Market WatchOur expert takes a look at theused market for the E60 535d. Words: Guy Baker Once the fastest accelerating diesel car in the world, BMW’s E60 535d was the definitive fast diesel saloon – and now, you can buy a good example for less than five grand.