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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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Discussion Starter #1
I have always ben impressed with the feel and handling of the BMW 3 series cara, but to be honest I had always been driving them, not riding in the front passenger seat. My son came to pick me up to go to go out to a restaurant the other night and I was, for the first time a passenger in his 2007 BMW 325i. Whoa, talk about a cramped interior! Truthfully, the exterior dimensions of this car no longer make it really a small car, but the interior is really poorly laid out and cramped, not just cramped feeling. Ergometrically the design of the interior was very poor with controls difficult to use without taking one's eyes off the road for unsafe periods of time tomake adjustments to the HVAC. It had been a while since I had ridden in any BMW so I was surprised by this cars really poorly designed interior. The Mercedes CLK that I had suffered from the same poor design. I can't say after this experience that I would be inclined to buy a 3 series. I guess I will have to go drive and be a passenger a 5 series and see how they fare. Of course with the current exterior styling of both both BMW and Mercedes I am not inclined to spend that kind of money on either of their products. Audi design is better, but my past experience with their reliability and maintenance cost leave not open to getting sucked into owning one again!
 

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2007 E92 BMW 335i
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Odd, I don't find the controls in my E92 to be really distracting at all. The temperature knob and fan speed controls are easily within reach and can be used without taking one's eyes off the road. It is true that the 3 series has gotten bigger over time though. They're now as about big as the previous gen E39 5-series. The new small Bimmer is the 1-series which is somewhat similar in dimensions to the E30 3-series. I'd say calling the current 3-series cramped is subjective, I'm 6'2" and still have a lot of room all around. Even my dad at 6'7" fits in fine, both of us have more legroom than in the SLS.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Theres enough room in an 06 325Xi for five adults. I've done it before.
 

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wanna talk ergonomics for an actual drivers car.... drive an E30 :) The cockpit was designed around the driver, right down to the gauges being angles within the cluster so you have a stright-on view to all of them.

I miss mine, alot... it's motivation to get it finished sooner.
 

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None, Now an AUDI A4
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my mom has a 2006 A4 with 74k on it now witch is about 10k more then when we got it. and it has been flawless, i'm still suprised by how solid that car is, so maybe AUDI has stepped it up?
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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The Germans like the "two hands on the wheel at all time" driving style. I miss the lazier American "one hand on the wheel, the other on the armrest" driving style. I'm sure there's probably a very good reason that the Germans do it the way they do (as everything they do is thought out to the T, atleast on the older cars), but I find driving in the classical american sense is more comfortable over long trips.
 

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I prefer the "one hand on the wheel, one hand on the shifter" driving style myself.... The Germans got that right in the E30 ;)

http://www.e30ic.com/1988_325i_Convertible_Sales_Brochure.pdf

^ Very cool, basically the same for my early '90. Skip to page 11 where they talk about the cockpit design/diagram etc... My hand can rest on the shifter when in 5th, and the climate controls are within fingertip reach, move my hand up a bit, and now I can reach the radio. You can cycle thru the OBC displays by pushing the directional in, so you don't even have to move your hand for that. Among many other things, the interior design/layout was one of the big factors that not only got me to first like the E30, but buy one of my own, it's still something I really like.

The new ones sure are fancy and jam packed with luxury features.... but it's the oldies that stole my heart. The E30 has all the good features that make up a practical daily driver, and even some extras, but it stays true to what it is. If you sit in an E30 with the mindset that you are getting in a high end, all out luxury car made to wow the world, you'll be totally disapointed. Thats not that the E30 is all about. Just about every material on the inside is either plastic or vinyl, but it's quality stuff, I like it that way.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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German engineering=Why use a simple mechanism when a complicated one will do the job? Rube Golberg was German.
 

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German engineering=Why use a simple mechanism when a complicated one will do the job? Rube Golberg was German.
That almost sums it up.


My Audi A4 has been great. Fantastic daily driver and she'll do 130 all day long.


I definitely dont trust Mercedes-Benz vehicles anymore though. I see what parts get sent in under warranty such as engines, transmissions, valve bodies and fuel pumps and I'd shy away. Even their high end models arent safe - since they use roughly the same parts.
 

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German engineering=Why use a simple mechanism when a complicated one will do the job? Rube Golberg was German.
I have no idea what you're talking about...













By far the most complex instrument cluster I've yet to see (on a car). The needles are actually metal, which was cool.

You don't even want to know what is involved in the mess of gears, gas struts, cables, pullies, levers, rods, cams, rockers, and more - just to control the various seat adjustments. Some of them still don't work, Atleast I got the passenger seat able to slide forward/back and then fold forward to let people in the back. I think I got it to recline too....
 

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2018 Mazda 6 (Venus) 1964 Impala (Betty) 1991 Miata (Dolly)
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German engineering=Why use a simple mechanism when a complicated one will do the job? Rube Golberg was German.
I have no idea what you're talking about....
Look at the cup holder on any German car for a good example. I remember checking out either a BMW or a Mercedes at a new car show, and the cup holder consisted of a chrome-plated pneumatic column in the console that would rise up, and then gears at the base of the column would make the cup holder apparatus swing out. I'll admit, it was very nicely done, but I was amused by how complex it was.

BTW, nice pictures of your instrument cluster, Rick. There's a certain beauty in seeing the mechanisms behind everyday items.
 

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Look at the cup holder on any German car for a good example. I remember checking out either a BMW or a Mercedes at a new car show, and the cup holder consisted of a chrome-plated pneumatic column in the console that would rise up, and then gears at the base of the column would make the cup holder apparatus swing out. I'll admit, it was very nicely done, but I was amused by how complex it was.

BTW, nice pictures of your instrument cluster, Rick. There's a certain beauty in seeing the mechanisms behind everyday items.
My German-engineered car dosen't have a cup holder! :)

My quote before the pictures was a joke.... as that cluster is overly complex for what it needs to be... talk about percision tho!

I could probably bore everyone if I started talking about (with pictures!) so many little details on that car, even some of the slightest things, there was just thought put into it with quality as the goal.

As for the cluster, that was durring the rebuild/makeover. It really updated the look from blah 80's to woha today! The gauges/instrument cluster and interior/back lighting at night are some things that I'm really picky about with cars.

Before:



After, blurry :(:





What's impressive is that all that night lighting is provided soley by those 2 clear bulbs w/ BMW's redish-orange caps. No part of the cluster has back-lights behind the gauges/needles. Also, as the needles get closer to pointing straight up, the light reflected from them slowly tapers down starting at the tip, but once the needle pass straight up, and start going horizontal again, the light fills up the rest of the needle. This was taken before I updated the cluster, but even with the needles painted, it still has the same effect - which was something I was concerned about and wanted to retain, some of the E30 folks didn't even pick up on it. The effect is a little exaggerated in this picture as it is a tad on the dark side.

 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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My cupholders are funky, oddly placed (clearly an afterthought) and too small for a big gulp. Did they even have big gulps in the 1990's?
 
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