Tag - bmw

Driven: 2015 BMW X4

In struggling to describe the X4 to the unfamiliar, I was often reminded of the fact that BMW’s full model lineup has now stretched to a staggering 97 unique drivetrain and body configurations. Obviously, the name of this automaker’s game is diversification. With a car for every buyer and therefore a butt for every well-contoured seat, the Bavarians stand somewhat alone in the marketplace at the moment – though other manufacturers are hustling to catch up. What’s most surprising isn’t the sheer level of choice at your local BMW lot – it’s the fact that the company still manages to make each one of them a decent steer.

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Driven: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Much has been made of the German Big Three’s move toward the mainstream in terms of price; at no time in history has one of these luxury marques been more attainable by the non-wealthy (in the US at least). But most of the opinions voiced in the press have been somewhat negative, at least from a purist’s perspective. “What’s the point of an aspirational brand if any middle management type can afford one”, they argue. We spent a week with the CLA250 in the hopes we could separate the editorial banter from the car underneath.

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Driven: 2014 Jaguar XJR

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Jaguar, rarely one to build homely cars, has nevertheless been on an unprecedented streak of late, churning out one fast, beautiful, glorious-sounding sports car after another. Whether that has something to do with former Evo magazine founder Harry Metcalfe leaving his editorial post to become Jaguar-Land Rover’s new halo product planner last year (which I am obscenely jealous of) remains to be seen. What does seem apparent is Jaguar’s desire to create a high-performance sub-brand that can compete head on with the likes of Audi’s quattro GmbH (think RS models and the R8), Mercedes AMG and BMW M with their own line of “R” and “R-S” models. The XJR pictured here is one such shot across the Germans’ bow.

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Driven: 2014 BMW 640i xDrive Convertible

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We’ve all experienced relationships in life that despite our best intentions, are based largely on physical attraction. There’s usually an angel on our shoulder the whole time, suggesting we seek a partnership more stable, more collaborative, and more psychologically sound – but despite all that, the attraction remains. Sure, there are safer options – a partner that’s not interested in shouting your baser instincts to the world. But those certainly aren’t as fun. The BMW 6 series is that temptress we should all know better than to tango with; but then, the heart wants what it wants.

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Driven: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet

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As an enormous fan of the original 2010 W212 generation E-class, I was more than a little worried when the introduction of a 2014 facelift was first announced during last year’s Detroit auto show. After all, the W212 was considered, by many in addition to me, to be perhaps the best-looking Benz sedan of the modern era. Why mess with success? As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Because while the rectangular quad headlights and the sedan’s throwback ponton-style rear fender flares are now gone, an extremely cohesive and simply handsome car remains in place.

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