Fireball drives the 2012 BMW 3-SERIES…

BMW. …An acronym for Bavarian Motor Works. But let’s see how we can improve upon this after tooling around SoCal for a week in the 2012 3-Series….

Um. Ok, wait… I’ve got something. …No, not yet. Wait. Ok… forget it. Let’s stick with what we know. And what we do know is that BMWs are built like tanks. From the massive flagship series to the 1-Series and beyond, BMWs have always been built beyond  what’s necessary to get the point of having a good car. Now, the question becomes… is that a good thing?

Well, let’s look at this inductively for a moment. The exterior design among all the cars is cohesive. Not extravagant, but clean, clear and a solid language. The 3-Series conveys that it’s a BMW and nothing else. Solid… like granite.

The interior is like being in a cushy cave. Solid walls, everything where it needs to be… and cinched together with such grip that it would take the jolly green giant a while to pull it apart, which is why people are surviving 150mph crashes on the autobahn.

The powerplant is solid at over 300 horses, but runs smooth as silk… as you’d expect from a BMW. So, all these components added up give you a singular vibe. And that is that when you drive a BMW, you’re safe, secure and mean business. They aren’t wacky, they aren’t economical, they aren’t extravagant. …But VERY serious. And Germany has always been very serious.

Since my boat is a little left of center, (ok, maybe a bit further than that) getting into a BMW for a week was a bit unnerving, as I’m not the typical target for this car. But over the week, I began to realize that the FEELING of being secure is a good thing. You could pull a Mike Tyson on this car and not leave a mark. It’s that tight. As Goldmember used to say, “Toyt.”

There’s no frills when it comes to BMWs. They don’t come in crazy colors. They don’t have flame floor mats. They don’t have an off-road version. They mean business and let you know it the minute you get behind the wheel. And for those that are serious about driving, then they’ll understand what BMW means when they say “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” The 3-Seies is just that. A friend of mine was present at the meeting when that tag line was born and the silence in the room afterward was millennial. Ahhhh…

Don’t buy a BMW ‘cause you’ve heard they’re good. Buy one because you love to drive and be safe while you do it. It’ll kick your ass into next week with a level of fun beyond the norm, but will also make sure your kids get to school in one piece smiling. Even after a fender bender. ‘Course, if that happens, it will most likely be the other guy’s fender.

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