BMW

BMW 2 Series Coupe

First drive in the BMW 2 Series coupé

A “driver’s car.” That’s what BMW calls the 2 Series Coupé. It is why we were required to drive almost 700 km over two days in it. I think that is ludicrous, but here we are. I think we need to call it a “driver enthusiast car” because it is not something I would choose for a long road trip, nope, I would rather an X5 or an X7 even. This is because I have now gotten used to the road trip living. I prefer a bigger car for longer journeys. But you see, this probably says a lot of where BMW’s “head” is at. One would think they would be steering away (pun intended) from the small coupes and hot wheels in favour of SUVs and electrification. Instead, they are doing it all. And they’re doing it well. Having just driven the iX, I can assure you that BMW has not been left behind when it comes to electric vehicles, quite the opposite in fact. But that is for another review. This is about the 2 Series Coupé and why it will remain a car loved by driver enthusiasts. TWO-DOOR GLORY You might be aware that my life has changed, there is now a toddler in tow, so a two door car is literally my worst nightmare. But when I am on a launch, thank goodness, it is just me (and my driving partner) so I get to experience this car in all its glory and what it is intended to be…which is not a family car. The new BMW 2 Series Coupé follows in the tyre tracks of the legendary BMW 02, which 55 years ago lit the fuse for the brand’s recent history of compact and irresistibly sporty two-door models. I am not going to speak about the looks because one just has to go on to social media to see that it is completely polarising. And, as ‘they’ say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so there is no point in me telling you that I actually quite like its design. You will probably disagree with me. One thing is for certain, though, it doesn’t look anything like the 4 Series (on purpose)…but I can’t say the same about the feel of it. DRIVING GLORY We kicked off the monstrous road trip in the 220i which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 135 kW and 300 Nm which will get you to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. Power goes to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. It’s not exactly exciting and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you have more power than you actually do. I found this out when trying to overtake another vehicle. I put my foot down and then quickly realised I would need to abort the mission as to avoid a head on collision. The 220d, with its 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine produces 140 kW and 400 Nm and will get you to 100 km/h only slightly quicker at 7 seconds. Again, you’re left feeling somewhat underwhelmed. But with fuel costs sky rocketing at this moment, this might be your best bet with a claimed fuel consumption of 4.8l/100 km. But now, the one we are really here for, the M240i xDrive. Its 3.0-litre turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol engine puts out 285 kW and 500 Nm. And for the very first time in the 2 Series coupe range, we have all-wheel drive. This means that the M240i xDrive gets you to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. Now that’s more like it. The only problem with this car is that if you don’t check your speedometer, you will not know that you are pushing 200 km/h…and possible arrest. This is the one for the enthusiasts. I would have liked a few more mountain passes to really put it through its paces, I had it on a long straight stretch of road, so that’s not as fun, but it is not to say I didn’t enjoy myself. My driving partner, an enthusiast at heart, was quite smitten with the launch control and somma left me on the side of the road to film him having all the fun. I gave it a go, but the other test units had caught up with us and so I had to abort yet another mission. Regardless of engine, the cabin remains a quiet place to be with minimal wind and road noise. And suspension is pretty good, how I know this is that after a million km, my kidneys were still intact. It is comfortable yet fun drive and certainly has an air of finesse about it, yet this doesn’t detract from the liveliness. 2 SERIES COUPÉ PRICING GLORY This is where things get really hairy. I put the pricing up on social media and people were not happy about it. But what can you do. All cars are flipping expensive these days. It is what it is. Yet, they still sell in droves. There are clearly people out there that are doing something right, it just ain’t me, because I certainly wouldn’t be able to afford most of the cars I test. Including this line up. But, for the enthusiasts out there, with the cash to spend, you will find this coupé not only fun to drive, but comfortable too. It doesn’t blow my hair back, but then, maybe I am not an enthusiast…or just one who prefers shorter launch routes. BMW 220i Coupé – R771 900 BMW 220d Coupé – R819 278 BMW M240i xDrive – R1 062 420

First drive in the BMW 2 Series coupé Read More »

BMW M3

Juliet drives the new BMW M3

You might be able to tell from the screenshot of this video that I quite enjoyed driving the new BMW M3. It has had a few changes that have raised the eyebrows of M3 enthusiasts, but I still find it an exhilarating drive. Which is the whole point of this car, right? But I want to hear from the true M3 enthusiasts who have driven this new model. What do you really think? If you missed my road rage directed at a biker last week, check out my Volkswagen Tiguan video. If you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and obviously follow m

Juliet drives the new BMW M3 Read More »

BMW X3 M Competition

Juliet drives the BMW X3 M Competition

Yoh guys, we are day six of the lockdown here in South Africa. I hope you are all keeping safe, staying home and feeling somewhat sane. I am hoping the video I filmed before the lockdown kicked in will bring you some joy. This is the BMW X3 M Competition which certainly brought me some joy while driving it. You’ll see. Live vicariously through me for a moment. I don’t mind. Don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram. And obviously on TikTok. And if you missed last week’s video of the Hyundai Venue, then keep yourself entertained for a while longer by watching it. Otherwise just watch the BMW X3 M Competition video again…and again.

Juliet drives the BMW X3 M Competition Read More »

BMW M5 Competition

Juliet drives the BMW M5 Competition

Are you a fan of the BMW M5 Competition? I am. Yet, people seem to think that the ladies wouldn’t be. What is up with that? Check out my #FreeAdvice in this video to see what I am talking about. Last week I hit it up in the new Toyota Supra. Check out my lingo now. Seems all these sports cars are going to my head. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Juliet drives the BMW M5 Competition Read More »

BMW X7

First drive in the new BMW X7

The BMW X7 has arrived in South Africa! This, despite the 16.7% decline in the premium car segment. But BMW, always up for a challenge it would seem, will continue to expand their footprint in this struggling segment. In fact, we will still see six high-end models arrive this year, some of which include the 8 Series Convertible and Coupe. According to BMW, these are the most sophisticated cars the German brand have ever built. Will the BMW X7 sell? Well yes. The 29 pre-orders have already been delivered to very happy customers around South Africa. And there will certainly be more where that came from. This is luxury on another level. A level I aspire to. Even if people mock the big-ass grille up front. OPEN WIDE The X7 really has been the butt of many a joke because of this larger grille. Jokes such as, “You keen on a bring-and-braai?” or as one of my followers remarked, “Tell it to close its lips otherwise it will get bugs stuck in its teeth.” Hahahaha. That one really made me laugh. But I must be honest, in the metal, it didn’t stand out to me as something to be ridiculed. I like that it has that presence that says, “Boom! Check me out!” THE FAMILY AND THE KITCHEN SINK The new BMW X7 is a big bugger. It is 5.1m long, 1.8m tall and has a wheelbase of 3.1. It is, after all, the head of the BMW X model family. And speaking of families, the X7 is aimed right at the family who enjoys a bit of a road trip. Seven seats are standard but you can opt for the six-seat set up instead – that means two in the front, two in the middle, and two at the back. This six-seat configuration really makes it feel like “business class on wheels.” The only issue with the road trip idea is that if you have a bum on every seat, there ain’t no luggage going in the boot. With all seats up you are left with 326-litres. That converts to space for my small carry-on bag and my driving partner’s small duffel bag and not much else. But ag, hook a Venter trailer up to the back and a way you go. I think this is one of the few times I would take the riding comfort and luxury over the practicality. The seats take comfort to another level. KEEPING IT SIMPLE In a very unlike BMW move, the brand has tried to keep the optional extras list to a minimum. Basically, from the get go you are in for a car that has just about everything your heart desires. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many an option to ensure you spend a pretty penny, but you won’t have to fork out extra for things like LED headlights or 21-inch wheels. Laser lights and 22-inch wheels, on the other hand, will cost you extra. And don’t mention the R65 200 it will cost you for the Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround sound system. To keep things simple, BMW offers two main packages, namely Design Pure Excellence package and M Sport Package, and a couple of exclusive packages for those who really want something truly unique. Where BMW is shining with this X7 is with the wide arrange of driver assistance systems that all come standard. This includes the Driving Assistant Professional and Steering and lane assist systems. With Park Assist Plus with assistant, the X7 will recall your previous parking maneuver and then perform it for you, with your hands off the wheel. Yislaaik, how lazy are we as drivers becoming? But I love it! HE’S GOT THE POWER At launch you can choose between three engines, namely the M50d with its 294 kW and 760 Nm, the xDrive 30d with its 195 kW and 620 Nm, or the M50i with its 390 kW and 750 Nm. All engines are mated to the eight-speed Steptronic which has been slightly modified to ensure quicker gear shits. It is most noticeable in the engine I would choose for myself, which is the M50d. It is just power! Ok it is not the M50i, but it is more than enough. You won’t require any more power to overtake or make it up an incline quickly. It is just a dream to drive. Don’t be greedy when you don’t need to be, I say. We managed to take the X7 off-road and what I can tell you is that this beast eats gravel up for breakfast. I hate that saying, but it describes exactly what I felt driving this car off-road. If I wasn’t driving and my attention was focused on the screen in the back headrests, I would never have known we were on gravel. It was only over the rocky terrain you could feel those low profile tyres. But overall, what an absolute pleasure to take off the beaten track. IS IT WORTH IT? Well that depends, do you have R1.5 million to spend? And do you require more space than, say, the BMW X5? This is the top of the top when it comes to luxury and I think I was expecting a higher price tag for what you are getting. It is a beautiful machine and one that most families could only ever dream of owning. But one can dream, can’t they? Perhaps you want to wait for the Mercedes-Benz GLS to arrive, but yoh, this X7 will be a tough act to follow. I say don’t wait, buy it! PRICING FOR THE NEW BMW X7 BMW X7 30d       1 554 500 BMW X7 M50d    1 853 200

First drive in the new BMW X7 Read More »

BMW Z4

The new BMW Z4 has arrived!

I am both excited and bummed to announce that the new BMW Z4 has arrived in South Africa. Excited because, well it is the Z4, but bummed because, due to health reason (nothing too serious) I was unable to attend the launch of it. BUT, I shall get one on test soon and then all will be back to rainbows and unicorns. We all know the history of BMW’s roadsters and so it goes without saying that the new Z4 was always going to draw the crowds. Don’t you just love how BMW describes it, “…a premium open-top sports car boasting a classic fabric soft-top, an emotion-packed body design and a puristic, driver-focused interior.” How can that not excite you? WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT? The new BMW Z4 is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor but the wheelbase is shorter which means sharpened agility. This two-seater has a low-slung, sporty, compact appearance with a new-look-mesh design BMW kidney grille and, for the first time, a vertical headlight arrangement. Here it is in all its glory, top down and all! Like I mentioned, I was unable to attend the launch so I cannot say what it looks like in the metal or what the cabin is like, so let’s take a look at a picture of the interior and you can tell me what you think. It’s not looking too shabby, right? Do you see why I was so upset to miss out on the first drive? THE RANGE You can choose between two models, namely the sDrive20i or the flagship M40i. In case you were wondering, the sDrive30i will not be heading our way. The 20i should do you just fine though with it 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 145 kW and 320 Nm. The M40i is what you might want to hear more about though. It boasts a beastly 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine pushing out 250 kW and 500Nm. It gets you to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds. Ok calm down, we haven’t even driven it yet! I don’t want to give too much away right now, you’ll never watch my video if I do. Or you could always head to the BMW website I guess, but I just wanted to give you the basics so you feel like you are in the loop. I am so considerate that way. PRICING OF THE NEW BMW Z4 TOP UP!

The new BMW Z4 has arrived! Read More »

BMW M5

Introducing the new BMW M5

I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the new BMW M5 last week at Kyalami race track in Johannesburg. Maybe I shouldn’t put it out there, but I will because, well what’s the point in a dishonest website I say? I have never been BMW’s number one fan, far from it in fact. I don’t dislike them, but I have never yearned to own one. The husband, on the other hand, is right up there with screaming girls at a Justin Bieber concert. There is not one BMW he does not love. But back to the M5. I might not be all about that base BMW but, as a professional motoring journalist (she says as she thinks to herself, “ya right”), I know a good product when I experience one. And the new BMW M5 is certainly that! Just to reiterate, it is new, new, new! Not “the-grille-and-front-bumper-were-slightly-revised” new, but actually brand spanking new. It is based on the platform of the 5 Series and is now the fastest of all the M5s built since 1984. This is thanks not only to it now being much lighter, but also due to the latest and most advanced version of the 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that sits under the bonnet. It produces a hefty 441 kW and a whopping 750 Nm of torque which means this twin-turbo V8 unit gets you to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. I didn’t get to spend too much time in this new M5, I only got 6 laps around the race track. Kyalami is a rather technical track, but having driven it numerous times before I felt quite confident. Until I took the first corner and realised very quickly that this was going to require more concentration than I had anticipated. I was, after all, in a 2-tonne sedan. As much as I want to say it thrilled, I was left a little underwhelmed. This might also be due to having an instructor, with massive street cred, watching your every move. But actually, it is probably due to the almost effortless driving. This car is comfortable, it is smooth and it gets up to speed very, very quickly. It might not be as engaging as I wanted, but that doesn’t mean it is no fun at all. I want to say it handles really well for its size, but that’s like saying, “She drives really well, for a woman,” so instead I will say flatly that it handles superbly! It might be one of the fastest sedans on offer, but sadly, most people won’t get to legally experience what this car can really do. But maybe it is just in the knowing that counts? Either way, owners will be living with a very comfortable, very quick performance sedan that boasts the badge so many adore (here’s looking at the husband). Pricing starts at R1 762 806. For more technical info, you might need to head to another website 😉 Or you could just go to BMW’s website. Check out my ridiculously amateur video of the day.

Introducing the new BMW M5 Read More »

Copyright © 2024 Juliet McGuire Motoring Media.