Somewhere in the Bavarian region of Southern Germany, a car automaker has worked for decades to create what they call an ‘ultimate driving machine’. With an unprecedented and tireless approach towards giving the driver all the control and driving pleasure he or she desires, BMW has become one of the world’s most successful car manufacturers. Its most recent ventures have been borderline abysmal and the large grills on their new cars are becoming somewhat comical. However, throughout the years, BMW has made some awesome, class-leading and even era-defining cars. The X5 can be a great car, the F80 M3 is very fun to drive, the F06 is a great, luxurious GT, but they failed to make this list. This means that we have an exciting pack of automobiles for you to get more familiar with!
- M2 Competition
- 635 Csi
- Z3 coupe
No. 8 – F90 M5 (2017-now)
The 5 series was always a car with mass appeal. It should and usually is considered to be the epidemy and peak of luxury and comfortable five-seater cars (mostly saloons/sedans) that also boast decent performance. And thus, it is no surprise that the F90 M5 ticks all the right boxes to be included in this list. It has a 4.4 litre V8 with 592hp (617 on the M5 Competition model) and 750 Nm of torque. These figures help a regular F90 M5 reach 100 kph from a standstill in 3.3 seconds and top out at 305. Most importantly, however, despite the amazing performance figures, it’s very comfortable to drive in city traffic and the F90 M5 is spectacular on track and looks quite inconspicuous.
No. 7 – 7er E38 (1994-2001)
The 7 series that followed the E38 is considered a very unreliable car and the F01 as well as the G12 chassis have still a lot of catching up to do. The E38 was a perfect luxury sedan that arrived into the world at just the right time. As a RWD luxury car it gave the class-leading S-Class Mercedes a run for its money and in Russia as well as parts of Eastern Europe, the car was so popular amongst mafiosos that people feared it on the road. Not that it’s a good thing, but the E38 was a sight to behold on the road. Long, imposing, elegant and beaming with luxury, the E38 remains the most iconic luxury sedan that the brand has ever made.
No. 6 – BMW i8 (2014-2020)
Sometime during the early 2000’s, some critics called the BMW line of cars boring, even though they were beginning to put their competitors in the rear-view mirror. The Bavarian car maker didn’t appreciate it and developed the very aggressive E60. With the introduction of BMW hybrid cars in the mid-2010s, the i8 was born and the company dared anyone to call them boring again. 360 or 370 HP, 0-100 in 4.4 seconds and sleek butterfly doors make it unmissable on the road. The expensive sports car leaves everyone anything but without an opinion. It’s a car everyone definitely remembers and the head-turn-o-meter is really high with this one. The downside is that it does cost a lot but it marked a new step in the company’s life.
No. 5 – 8er E31 (1990-1999)
The car so good it was discontinued. This was the most desirable BMW of its time. Especially when you consider the 850 CSi which was powered by a monstrous 375HP, 550NM, 5.6 litre V12 and the elegant yet supremely sporty design of the E31, you start to understand why some people call it the car of the 90s’. The 8-series was a rare car, there were only 31 thousand made in total. The production ended in 1999, but the 8er was reborn some 20 years later but and the newest G15 chassis draws a lot of inspiration from this car. The G15 M8 is an awesome sports coupe or gran tourer, but it still does not have the same impact as the comfy cruiser of the 90s’.
No. 4 – 1 Series M Coupe
E82 was a chassis that didn’t earn much praise in the beginning. Since it didn’t get much credit, no one expected it to amount to something, especially when they tried to label it as an M car without giving it a proper M engine. However, despite the negative aspects, this vehicle is just amazing to drive. It captivates the same glory of the E36 and E30 M3 that weren’t mighty powerful, but they were bonkers to drive. If you don’t know why a 1 Series M Coupe is so good – test drive it on a track. Not much more convincing is needed.
No. 3 – E46 M3 (2000-2006)
The E46 is one of the more iconic Beamers to date. The range of 3 series perfectly covered almost every aspect of the market. You had your compact cars that were the entry level, you also had the estate cars for practicality, you had the saloon (standard option) as well as the superstar of Need For Speed Most Wanted – E46 M3 coupe. Powered by a 3.2 litre inline 6 engine which produced 340 horsepower, the E46 M3 was very fun to mess about in. When it comes to drifting, there arguably never was a better project car than an M3 and the later racing modifications, such as the CSL, the CS and the GTR showed that the E46 was capable of so much more. If you want one today – you can get it for under 25 thousand euros. Although you could also buy a project car for less. We do recommend reupholstering, repairing or replacing the steering wheel and dash of the project cars first. You can find out more about it on at Woodensteeringwheels.com site.
No. 2 – E36 M3 (1992-1999)
Light, nimble, quick. What more could anyone possibly want from an M3 car? In modern day standards, it isn’t very powerful or very quick in a straight line, but the driving pleasure and being the ultimate driving machine isn’t all about speed in a straight line. The car is rear wheel drive and it’s all about having fun in the corners and waggling its tail about. And that is why you cannot hate it as a driver.
No. 1 – E39 M5 (1998-2003)
The most sensible and most reserved car BMW has ever made. Apart from the 320d estate probably. The E39 M5, at the time of its release was the fastest saloon car in the world. With 400 horsepower and a top speed (when unlimited) of 300+kph, this was the first ever true rocketship that the BMW made available for the public road. Even though they haven’t made a similar car since, it’s no denying that everything about this car was perfect or almost perfect. Beginning with the exterior design, ending with the layout of the controls – everything just seemed to work.