The steady decline of BMW 3-series design…

Well, it’s a slippery slope downhill for BMW.  Every generation of 3-series gets a *little* bit worse….Their identity is being lost completely, in my opinion.  The E21 and E30 had alot of charisma—with the big twin kidney grille in the front.  These days, it’s difficult to even SEE the twin kidneys on the grille.  It looks more Pontiac than BMW.

BOOOO, BMW! You’re losing your class…

Check em out…in order, and see the steady decline in style:






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3 thoughts on “The steady decline of BMW 3-series design…

  1. H W says:

    Yeah, I agree with you if you are just looking at the face of the car. The rest of the car has definitely become for muscular (though more than a bit heavy looking too) and less bread box. Though Chris Bangle’s once-outrageous curvaceous, mean design playbook is being copied by everyone which lessens its impact. When Pontiac and Camrys for crying out loud are mimicking you, it’s time for another change.

    I agree about the front fascia. Having the distinct 4 headlamps and twin kidneys floating in that horizontal black bar is iconic. Seems like that could be a great starting point for some new return-to-roots, striking-new-ground design.

  2. iedei says:

    I think if they would have kept them looking more muscular, BUT would have kept the very classic 4-headlights and distinctive front grille—-they really would have kept their identity. These days, a BMW on the road doesn’t really seem like anything special. Back in the 80s, they did look like something special!

  3. Derek says:

    I’m an E30 guy, so believe me, I see your point. However, I think you have to look at social trends instead of just what you and I like. While it is easy for us to look backwards and appreciate models previous to what we believe is the ultimate BMW (mine being the E30) because they contributed to the engineering we find to be perfect. We always look forward (no matter what generation or model we like) and think that BMW (or whatever manufacturer you like) has butchered the ‘perfect car’. So while I personally think the E30 is the best BMW, I wouldn’t necessarily say that BMW has gone downhill because I don’t like the newer model better than the old.

    With each style version of the 3 Series it has always been the benchmark of that class of cars. BMW couldn’t just stick with the E21 or E30 styling or else they would have fallen behind. You always have to push forward while still keeping your own style. Things like the Hoffmeister Kink, kindeys, etc are all still in the new models. They have just adjusted them to fit the styling quese of that generation. The new 3 Series, while large, will still outhandle any car in its class. I would argue the size of the cars has been due to social trends (customer wants) heading for bigger cars. BMW has stuck with builing a drivers car while meeting the needs of those that are actually going to purchase the car.

    Push forward and meet the customer’s needs, but never lose sight of what made you what you are. Each generation of the 3 Series is the ultimate driver’s car of that generation and BMW builds drivers cars.

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