BMW looking second rate

It’s a few years since I was regularly jumping between my own BMW 3 series, and a Ford Sierra, but in those days, it was fairly easy to justify the few more pounds the BMW demanded for its lesser spec, but better build and handling.

Looking at the new versions of the BMW 3 series, which is admittedly better spec’d than its earlier brethren, but has started to lose its identity and look like any other Japanese clone (face it, they do assemble a tight car) now that the BMW stylists have lost their way (or are just trying too hard not to look ‘old and stuffy’), the Ford Mondeo is beginning to look not only like an alternative or competitor, but probably wipes the floor with its grossly more expensive German counterpart.

The snobs won’t consider it, but since driving the very first Mondeo as a lucky pre-launch demonstrator tester (and then spending a few weeks with one thanks to some nut that wrecked my car for me, and had to provide a replacement at his cost as part of his penalty), I find them difficult to dismiss, especially if one forgets badges and considers the car on merit and value alone.

The new Mondeo not only provides a car package that wipes the floor with all comers (the best argument anyone has come up with ‘against’ it is to mock it as Rep’s Car, but nothing material against the design), but when it’s now considered with the list of electronic toys, gizmos and goodies that come fitted as standard, or are available as options that also undercut the opposition, you have to start thinking that the ‘Prestige’ car makers are making a monkey of you, and charging crazy money for their toys, based on the prestige value of their badges, rather than the value you are getting for parting with your cash.

Of course, I have the last laugh on them all, and wouldn’t even thinking of buying one of their products until it was at least 5 years old, and I could enjoy free (or almost free) ownership. Let someone else throw away £20 k to £30 k every three years, I’m certainly not.


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