BMW 318i/325i 1985-91

Notes: This smallest of BMW cars was known as a yuppie favorite; it was inexpensive but offered a perception of class. It was the first 3-Series BMW sold in the US. Standard features for the 1985 model included a variety of near-luxury refinements; in 1986, the 4-cylinder engine disappeared and antilock brakes were added, as was a version with 4 doors. In 1987, a 2-door convertible was added, with a manual top (and a power top as an option). In 1988, a version with all-wheel drive was added. In 1990, a driverís side airbag was added, as well as a new 168-horsepower engine. A 4-cylinder engine reappeared in 1991, an economy engine with 134 horsepower.

These cars are durable and hardy, but space is at a premium in them. Adults will definitely be uncomfortable in the back seat. The lower-power engines are sluggish.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

101 hp I-4 Sedan

$6,420

G, A

416 kg

1.16 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

121 hp I-6 Sedan

$6,420

G, A

416 kg

1.17 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

121 hp I-6 Convertible

$6,420

G, A

305 kg

1.38 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

134 hp I-4 Sedan

$6,820

G, A

416 kg

1.23 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

134 hp I-4 Convertible

$6,820

G, A

305 kg

1.44 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

168 hp I-6 Sedan

$6,820

G, A

416 kg

1.25 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

168 hp I-6 Convertible

$6,820

G, A

305 kg

1.46 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

101 hp I-4 Sedan

518/104

120/25

58

45

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

121 hp I-6 Sedan

604/121

140/28

58

54

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

121 hp I-6 Convertible

522/105

120/25

55

54

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

134 hp I-4 Sedan

634/127

145/30

58

60

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

134 hp I-4 Convertible

552/110

130/25

55

60

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

168 hp I-6 Sedan

766/153

175/35

58

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

168 hp I-6 Convertible

666/133

155/30

55

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW 318i/325i 1992-98

Notes: This is another low-end BMW. It uses a high-revving 4-cylinder engine, which definitely runs better with manual transmission than with automatic; in fact, initial models did not have an automatic transmission as an option, and it was not available until the 1993 model year. Antilock brakes as well as a driverís side airbag were standard; in 1994, a passenger-side airbag was added; in 1995, a 10-speaker, 200-watt sound system was added; in 1997, All-Season Traction Control was added; and in 1998, the convertible and coupe were eliminated (replaced by the 323), but the sedans got side airbags. The 381i initially had an I-4 138-horsepower in the sedan and a 134-horsepower I-4 in the convertible and coupe; however, in the mid-1996 model year, all 318iís were switched to a 1.9-liter, 138-hosepower I-4 with a bit more torque.

Handling is excellent, with cornering tight and ride crisp. Traction is not good in slippery conditions, and the included traction control system is not very effective. The interiors are austere, with an abundance of leatherette and plastic. Despite being larger, cargo space is small, and the rear seat is cramped. The 318i comes in 2-door sedan and convertible, a 2-door hatchback coupe, and a 4-door sedan. The coupe is not available until the 1995 model year.

Twilight 2000 Notes: Versions beyond the 1996 model year were not produced.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

134 hp I-4 Convertible

$6,820

G, A

187 kg

1.52 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

134 hp I-4 Coupe

$6,820

G, A

310 kg

1.3 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

138 hp I-4 Sedan

$6,820

G, A

320 kg

1.3 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

138 hp I-4 Convertible

$6,820

G, A

187 kg

1.52 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

138 hp I-4 Coupe

$6,820

G, A

310 kg

1.3 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

134 hp I-4 Convertible

526/105

120/25

65

60

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

134 hp I-4 Coupe

604/121

140/28

65

60

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

138 hp I-4 Sedan

620/124

145/28

65

61

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

138 hp I-4 Convertible

540/108

125/25

65

61

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

138 hp I-4 Coupe

620/124

145/28

65

61

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW 3-Series 1992-03

Notes: This is a higher-end BMW, with a more powerful engine and somewhat more interior space. They suffer from a shortage of low-end power, but respond well at higher RPMs (and even this problem was partly solved in the 1993 model year). Turns are tight and sure, and the car is excellent in fancier maneuvers. However, like many BMWs, the 325i gets considerably less sure-footed on slippery surfaces. The ride is smooth except on the largest bumps and potholes. Rear passenger space is a bit tight, and the rear doors on 4-door versions are a bit small. Radio and climate controls are within easy reach of the driver, but the sheer number of them can be confusing. Standard features for the 1992 model year include driverís side airbags and antilock brakes; in 1994, a passenger-side airbag was added; and in 1998, side airbags were added and the convertible got a full-powered top. Options are abundant, including a sports suspension, fold-down rear seats for the sedan to expand cargo space, ASC+T traction control for the 1994 model year, and an automatic pop-up rollover protection system for convertibles. 2-door coupes, 2-door convertibles, and 4-door sedans are available. A 168-horsepower I-6 was used on the 1992 convertibles and as a base engine on 1998 models; in 1996, one more horsepower was added, but the engine had much more torque; and a 240-hosepower I-6 was always an option.

Twilight 2000 Notes: Versions beyond the 1995 model year are not available.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

168 hp I-6 Sedan

$6,820

G, A

310 kg

1.3 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

168 hp I-6 Coupe

$6,820

G, A

288 kg

1.3 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

168 hp I-6 Convertible

$6,820

G, A

221 kg

1.36 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

189 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

310 kg

1.36 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

189 hp I-6 Coupe

$7,220

G, A

288 kg

1.36 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

189 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,220

G, A

181 kg

1.42 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

190 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

310 kg

1.36 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

190 hp I-6 Coupe

$7,220

G, A

288 kg

1.36 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

190 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,220

G, A

181 kg

1.42 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

240 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,620

G, A

310 kg

1.44 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

240 hp I-6 Coupe

$7,620

G, A

288 kg

1.44 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

240 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,620

G, A

181 kg

1.5 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

168 hp I-6 Sedan

740/148

170/35

65

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

168 hp I-6 Coupe

740/148

170/35

65

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

168 hp I-6 Convertible

710/142

165/33

65

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

189 hp I-6 Sedan

792/158

185/38

65

84

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

189 hp I-6 Coupe

792/158

185/38

65

84

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

189 hp I-6 Convertible

762/152

175/35

65

84

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

190 hp I-6 Sedan

796/159

185/38

65

85

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

190 hp I-6 Coupe

796/159

185/38

65

85

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

190 hp I-6 Convertible

766/153

175/35

65

85

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

240 hp I-6 Sedan

948/190

220/45

65

107

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

240 hp I-6 Coupe

948/190

220/45

65

107

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

240 hp I-6 Convertible

902/180

210/43

65

107

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW 3-Series 2004-05

Notes: The 3-Series was heavily redesigned for the 2004 model year, though most of the redesign went to the interior and the mechanical aspects rather than the exterior modeling. All-wheel drive is standard on the "xi" versions; all others have rear-wheel drive. Most models give a choice between automatic or manual transmission, but the M3 version has an optional performance package, which allows the driver to change between manual and automatic transmission. Standard features include front and side airbags, antiskid/traction control, rain-sensing wipers, and BMW Assist service, which is similar to On-Star; and a heated glass rear window on the convertible. Options include a power top on the 325Ci convertible (standard on the 330Ci), high-intensity Xenon headlights, steering-linked headlights, run-flat tires, tire pressure monitors, and a sports package.

The 3-Series was little changed for the 2005 model year. The 6-speed manual transmission that was optional on all models in the 2004 model was an option only for the M3 (high-power) model and rear-wheel drive 330s. A power roof is standard on all convertibles, as well as a heated glass rear window. Sedans and coupes (except the M3) get a standard sunroof. Coupes and convertibles join the M3 in having a standard tire pressure monitor.

Twilight 2000 Notes: These vehicles are not available.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

184 hp I-6 Coupe

$8,220

G, A

275 kg

1.45 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

184 hp I-6 Convertible

$8,220

G, A

223 kg

1.61 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

184 hp I-6 Sedan

$8,220

G, A

310 kg

1.46 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

184 hp I-6 Wagon

$8,220

G, A

1.39 tons

1.53 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Coupe

$8,620

G, A

275 kg

1.52 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Convertible

$8,620

G, A

223 kg

1.69 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Sedan

$8,620

G, A

310 kg

1.53 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Wagon

$8,620

G, A

1.39 tons

1.6 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

333 hp I-6 Coupe

$9,420

G, A

275 kg

1.68 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

333 hp I-6 Convertible

$9,420

G, A

223 kg

1.95 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

333 hp I-6 Sedan

$9,420

G, A

310 kg

1.69 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

333 hp I-6 Wagon

$9,420

G, A

1.39 tons

1.77 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

184 hp I-6 Coupe

680/136

155/33

63

76

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

184 hp I-6 Convertible

618/124

145/28

63

76

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

184 hp I-6 Sedan

676/135

155/33

63

76

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

184 hp I-6 Wagon

648/130

150/30

63

76

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Coupe

794/159

185/38

63

94

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Convertible

722/144

165/33

63

94

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Sedan

790/158

175/38

63

94

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Wagon

758/152

175/35

63

94

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

333 hp I-6 Coupe

1058/212

245/50

63

142

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

333 hp I-6 Convertible

922/184

215/43

63

142

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

333 hp I-6 Sedan

1052/211

245/48

63

142

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

333 hp I-6 Wagon

1008/202

235/48

63

142

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW 5-Series 1990-96

Notes: These are higher-performance sedans, designed for people who want a practical yet powerful car. Like many BMW cars, their engines are a bit sluggish at low RPMs, but performance is brisk at high RPMs. Handling is excellent and steering responsive, with noise levels inside the vehicle low. Stopping is very quick, assisted by antilock brakes. The seats are considered very comfortable and controls well-placed and easy to find and use. Standard equipment includes driverís side airbags on the 1990 model, and a two-panel sunroof on the 1992 model. The 5-Series are near-luxury to luxury cars, with an ample options package, including leather seats, Automatic Stability Control, and several premium sound systems. The standard engine in 1990 was a 168-horsepower 1-6, with a 208-horsepower I-6 as an option. In the 1991 model year, the base engine became a 189-horsepower I-6. In 1994, two V-8 engines became available, one with 215 horsepower and one with 282 horsepower. Unfortunately, the series trades power for fuel economy.

Twilight 2000 Notes: Versions beyond the 1995 model year are not available.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

168 hp I-6 Sedan

$6,820

G, A

365 kg

1.58 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

168 hp I-6 Wagon

$6,820

G, A

1.15 tons

1.71 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

189 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

365 kg

1.64 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

189 hp I-6 Wagon

$7,220

G, A

1.15 tons

1.77 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

208 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

365 kg

1.65 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

208 hp I-6 Wagon

$7,220

G, A

1.15 tons

1.79 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

215 hp V-8 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

365 kg

1.65 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

215 hp V-8 Wagon

$7,220

G, A

1.15 tons

1.79 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

282 hp V-8 Sedan

$8,020

G, A

365 kg

1.79 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

282 hp V-8 Wagon

$8,020

G, A

1.15 tons

1.94 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

168 hp I-6 Sedan

620/124

145/28

80

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

168 hp I-6 Wagon

578/116

135/28

80

75

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

189 hp I-6 Sedan

668/134

155/30

80

84

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

189 hp I-6 Wagon

624/125

145/30

80

84

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

208 hp I-6 Sedan

724/145

170/33

80

93

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

208 hp I-6 Wagon

672/135

155/30

80

93

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

215 hp V-8 Sedan

746/149

175/35

80

96

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

215 hp V-8 Wagon

692/139

160/33

80

96

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

282 hp V-8 Sedan

888/178

205/40

80

126

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

282 hp V-8 Wagon

824/165

190/38

80

126

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW 5-Series 1997-03

Notes: Though this version of the 5-Series is little changed in body style, it is greatly changed inside and under the hood. Chief of these is the replacement of the 5 engine choices found on the earlier model with 3 choices, starting at 190 horsepower and going up to massive, 4.9-liter 394-horsepower V-8. The base I-6 engine lacks low speed torque and performance with it is not zippy until it reaches 3000 rpm. Automatic transmission can severely degrade the performance of any of these engines, but especially the I-6. The two V-8s provide much more power (at all speeds), but both require premium fuel for proper performance. Despite a lot of body lean in turns, the 5-series is agile and surefooted, as well as offering a soft ride. The inside is large, but a lot of room is taken up by a wide center console in front and a large driveline tunnel in the rear. Standard features for 1997 include dual front airbags and side airbags, antilock brakes, and traction control. Side airbags that give extra protection for the head were added for 1998; high-intensity Xenon headlights were added for 1999; rain-sensing windshield wipers, daylight running lamps, and side mirrors that lower when backing up were added for 2000; the cassette player was traded for a CD player in 2002; and a sunroof was added for 2003. Options included a sports package for 1999; memory power seats for 1999; rear side airbags for 2000; a navigation system for 2001; and an automatic climate control system for 2002.

Twilight 2000 Notes: This vehicle does not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

184 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

305 kg

1.56 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

184 hp I-6 Wagon

$7,220

G, A

1.01 tons

1.67 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

190 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

305 kg

1.56 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

190 hp I-6 Wagon

$7,220

G, A

1.01 tons

1.67 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,620

G, A

305 kg

1.63 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Wagon

$7,620

G, A

1.01 tons

1.74 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

290 hp V-8 Sedan

$8,020

G, A

305 kg

1.72 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

290 hp V-8 Wagon

$8,020

G, A

1.01 tons

1.84 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

394 hp V-8 Sedan

$8,820

G, A

305 kg

1.88 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

394 hp V-8 Wagon

$8,820

G, A

1.01 tons

2.01 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

184 hp I-6 Sedan

682/136

160/33

70

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

184 hp I-6 Wagon

640/128

150/30

70

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

190 hp I-6 Sedan

704/141

165/33

70

85

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

190 hp I-6 Wagon

662/132

155/30

70

85

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Sedan

788/158

180/38

70

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Wagon

742/149

170/35

70

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

290 hp V-8 Sedan

946/189

220/45

70

129

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

290 hp V-8 Wagon

888/178

205/40

70

129

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

394 hp V-8 Sedan

1162/232

270/55

70

176

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

394 hp V-8 Wagon

1090/218

255/50

70

176

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for a navigation system.

BMW 5-Series 2004-05

Notes: The 5-Series was redesigned inside and out for the 2004 model year, with new styling and design for the exterior that made the car more aerodynamic, and interior changes that give the car more room for the occupants. The wagon is gone, but the sedan is still present. The 184-horsepower I-6 is still the base engine, and the 225-horsepower is still the base engine for the more powerful models, but the 190-horsepower engine is no longer offered, nor is the 290-horsepower or 394-horsepower engines. However, a 325-horsepower engine has been added for 2004, replacing the 290-horsepower V-8. Standard is antilock brakes, antiskid/traction control, front airbags, and front side airbags, and iDrive, which places all controls in easy reach of the driver. Some versions have standard manual shift gate transmission that can be changed by the driver from standard to automatic transmission, a sports suspension, run-flat tires, Active Steering that helps counteract skids and oversteering, and Active Roll Stabilization to counteract body lean. (These are options on other models.) Other options include a rear-seat DVD system, a navigation system, front and rear parking assist, heated seats (front, rear, or both), adaptive cruise control, which uses a low-powered radar to maintain following distance from other cars; satellite radio, and sequential manual transmission.

The 2005 model year brought minor equipment changes to the 5-Series. BMW Assist became standard (similar to On-Star). A heads-up instrument display, showing needed information near the bottom of the windshield, became an option.

Automatic versions tend to be a bit balky on shifting. The Sports Package tires can be a bit loud in the road noise department, particularly on bumpy roads. The iDrive feature, while centralizing operation of the radio, climate control, and options, also divert the driverís attention from the road to what some might find an excessive amount, and it can also be confusing for many. The I-6 engines can be a bit underpowered for this car.

Twilight 2000 Notes: These vehicles do not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

184 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,220

G, A

388 kg

1.55 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Sedan

$7,620

G, A

388 kg

1.62 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

325 hp V-8 Sedan

$8,420

G, A

388 kg

1.78 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

184 hp I-6 Sedan

686/137

160/33

70

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Sedan

792/159

185/38

70

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

325 hp V-8 Sedan

1018/204

235/48

70

145

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for a navigation system; add $250 for satellite radio; add $10,000 for adaptive cruise control; add $2,000 for BMW Assist (mandatory on 2005 models).

BMW 6-Series 2004-05

Notes: These are basically luxury sports cars. The 2004 model comes in a coupe and a convertible, and both use the same engine, a 325-horsepower V-8. They can have a choice of manual, automatic, and SMT (sequential manual transmission), a clutchless manual with the ability to change gears by push buttons or paddles and the ability to shift into automatic mode. Antilock brakes and an antiskid/traction system is standard, as is Active Roll Stabilization, which fights body lean in cornering maneuvers and turns. Front airbags and front knee airbags are standard, as well as front side airbags. The convertible is a "ragtop," unlike most of its rivals; it has a glass rear window that is heated and retractable independent of the top (or with the top, as desired). The 6-Series has leather upholstery, wood and metal trim in the interior, a navigation system, steering-linked high-intensity headlights, and the iDrive system. Options include the Dynamic Drive Control system, which firms the suspension, quickens the throttle, and adjusts shift points on automatic and SMT transmissions. Other options include Active Steering, which adjust steering ratio and the amount of power assist; and a heads-up display.

The 2005 model basically widens the availability of standard features, to include Dynamic Drive Control, Active Steering. Options now include adaptive cruise control, which uses a low-power radar to maintain following distance when the cruise control is engaged.

The SMT can be a bit cantankerous at low speeds and in city driving. Premium fuel is needed for proper performance. The suspension is very firm and stable, but can also be almost jarring. Some drivers will find Active Steering intrusive and irritating. Tire noise, wind rush, and exhaust rumble are all a bit noisy in the interior. The 6-Series are heavy cars, which negate some of the advantages of a powerful engine.

Twilight 2000 Notes: These vehicles do not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

325 hp V-8 Coupe

$18,420

G, A

360 kg

1.72 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

325 hp V-8 Convertible

$18,420

G, A

294 kg

1.9 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

325 hp V-8 Coupe

1052/210

245/48

70

145

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

325 hp V-8 Convertible

958/192

220/45

70

145

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for adaptive cruise control.

BMW 7-Series 2004-05

This is BMWís new flagship sedan, being an extreme luxury car with just about every appointment available. There is a standard and long wheelbase version, with the largest and heaviest long wheelbase version using a V-12 engine. All use automatic transmission with auxiliary manual transmission switchable by the driver. Standard features include antilock brakes, antiskid/traction control, Active Roll Stabilization, front airbags and front knee airbags, front and rear side airbags (rear airbags are head-protecting only), BMW Assist service, iDrive controls, power memory seats, leather upholstery, keyless entry, a cell phone, automatic high-intensity headlights, a navigation system, rain-sensing wipers Ė the list goes on and on. Options include Adaptive Ride package, which automatically adjusts the shock absorbers and levels the suspension, front and rear obstacle detection, run-flat tires, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2005 model brings some more standard features and options. New standard features include steering-linked headlights and front and rear obstacle detection. The front seats are ventilated on all but smallest version, where this is an option. iDrive is still present, but conventional switches are provided as a backup. New options include a rear seat DVD system and keyless remote entry. Rear side torso airbags are also optional. In addition, the long wheelbase version with the 325-horsepower engine was eliminated.

Premium fuel is required for proper operation of the engine. The 7-Series tends to float and bob on uneven or bumpy surfaces. Tire noise can be irritating. And of course, there is the confusion and irritation of iDrive. The screen of the navigation can also be hard to read in bright sunlight.

Twilight 2000 Notes: These vehicles do not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

325 hp V-8 Sedan

$18,270

G, A

499 kg

1.98 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

325 hp V-8 LWB Sedan

$18,270

G, A

499 kg

2.02 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

438 hp V-12 LWB Sedan

$19,520

G, A

499 kg

2.18 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

325 hp V-8 Sedan

922/184

215/43

88

145

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

325 hp V-8 LWB Sedan

906/181

210/43

88

145

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

438 hp V-12 LWB Sedan

1116/223

260/53

88

196

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for adaptive cruise control.

BMW 8-Series 1991-97

Notes: This is the old 750il sedan turned into a sports coupe. It is a 750 with a more sporty appearance and demeanor, and has items such as coupe styling and hidden headlights. Standard features included Automatic Stability Control, which is similar to Audiís all-wheel drive and detects slippage in wheels and directs power to the wheels that arenít slipping. Models with a manual transmission got a different version, ASC+T, which also applied the brakes to increase traction in such cases. The 8-Series employed such then-novel features such as anchoring the seat belts to the seat instead of the door or frame. In the fall of 1991, Electronic Dampening Control arrived, which adjusted the suspensionís firmness depending upon how the car is being driven. This also could be adjusted to a Sport or Comfort setting.

1992 brought another then-novel feature: the car could not be shifted out of park unless the brakes were applied, and the keys could not be removed unless the car was in park. The car gained an optional cell phone, activated by manipulation of the ends of the wiper and turn signal stalks. Electronic Dampening Control had a more pronounced difference between Sport and Comfort modes.

For the 1993 model year, the car gained a passenger-side airbag to join the driverís side airbag. The interior gained maple trim, and the rear seats became the split-folding type. The 1994 model year brought two new engines: a lower-power (and more economical) V-8, and a higher-power V-12. An antitheft control was added, as was a front center armrest and 250-watt sound system. For the 1995 model year, the standard 292-horsepower V-12 grew to 322 horsepower.

In 1996, the 372-horsepower V-12 engine was eliminated, since it did not sell well due to fuel consumption; in addition, the 282-horsepower V-8 grew to 4.4 liters (though the horsepower remained the same, torque increased 5%). Electronic Dampening Control became standard on the high-performance model. Variable-assist power steering became standard on all models. 1997 brought no significant changes.

The engines demand premium gasoline, and they guzzle fuel. Gear shifting is flexible, but the transmission demands Dexron II fluid, and performs badly with anything else. The interior is a bit cramped, especially in the rear seats for adults.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

282 hp V-8 Coupe

$8,020

G, A

313 kg

1.88 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

296 hp V-12 Coupe

$8,020

G, A

313 kg

1.89 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

322 hp V-12 Coupe

$8,420

G, A

313 kg

1.95 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

372 hp V-12 Coupe

$8,820

G, A

313 kg

2.03 tons

1+3

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

282 hp V-8 Coupe

848/170

195/40

90

126

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

296 hp V-12 Coupe

886/177

205/40

90

132

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

322 hp V-12 Coupe

928/186

215/43

90

144

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

372 hp V-12 Coupe

1022/204

235/48

90

166

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW X3 2004-05

Notes: This is a compact SUV that is more like a large wagon than a true SUV. Though it is smaller on the exterior than the X5, it has about the same passenger and more cargo space than the X5, and is much lighter. The X3 has four conventional doors and a liftgate in the rear. Ground clearance is decent, yet the X3 is intended for only light off-road work. The X3 has BMWís new xDrive all-wheel drive, something meant more to enhance on-road driving rather than off-road driving. xDrive does not give the vehicle good low-gearing, but it does limit long downhill stretches to a crawl if necessary. The X3 has standard antilock brakes, antiskid/traction control, and front and front side airbags. Options include side airbags for the rear seat, a Sport Package, leather upholstery, dual sunroofs, a glass rear skylight, a navigation system, high-intensity Xenon headlights, and a front and rear obstacle detections system. The X3 has keyless entry and power everything.

The 2005 model differs in minor details but is basically the same vehicle.

X3ís require premium fuel, like most BMWs. On manual transmission versions, the shift throws can be a bit too long for some people. The X3 drives very much like a sedan, but the higher center of gravity exaggerates body lean a bit. The engines can get a bit loud, and wind rush can likewise be annoying. The cup-holder can be a bit annoying; anything larger than a 12-ounce may interfere with manual shifting.

Twilight 2000 Notes: This vehicle does not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

184 hp I-6 SUV

$7,220

G, A

1.97 tons

1.81 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 SUV

$7,620

G, A

1.97 tons

1.88 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

184 hp I-6 SUV

596/149

140/35

67

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 SUV

692/173

160/41

67

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for a navigation system.

BMW X5 2000-03

Notes: This is a midsized SUV that was one of BMWs first SUVs on the market. The 2000 model year X5 began with a 282-horsepower V-8 that had an automatic transmission that could be switched to manual transmission by the driver. Later in the year, a lower-priced, lower-powered I-6-engine appeared. The X5 differs from most BMWs in that it is manufactured in South Carolina in the US instead of Germany. The four-wheel drive is of the all-wheel drive variety, and is permanently engaged. It is not really intended for severe off-road use, as it lacks low-range gearing and torque. The transmission does, however, automatically step down the gearing during steep or long downhill descents. The X5 has four conventional doors as well as a rear liftgate. Standard equipment includes antilock brakes, antiskid/traction control, a liftgate with a separate lift glass, a 70/30 split folding rear seat, and front airbags and front side airbags. Options include rear side airbags, a Sports Package, a load leveling suspension (standard on the higher-powered models), a navigation system, a cell phone, and leather upholstery.

No changes were made for the 2001 model year, but in 2002, a new 340 horsepower V-8 was added to the range. Options now included rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, a rear climate package, privacy glass for the rear window, and a sunroof. The 2004 Model year again brought no real changes to the line.

Despite the size of the X5, panic stops are short and fast. With manual transmissions, gear changes require a great deal of clutch pedal and hand shift coordination. The V-8 enginesí exhaust noise can be loud and wearing on nerves. Though the X5 drives more like a sedan for the most part, it does suffer from body lean due to the higher center of gravity and it does not perform well in snow.

Twilight 2000 Notes: This vehicle does not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

225 hp I-6 SUV

$7,852

G, A

1.51 tons

2.05 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

282 hp V-8 SUV

$8,252

G, A

1.51 tons

2.13 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

340 hp V-8 SUV

$8,652

G, A

1.51 tons

2.21 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

225 hp I-6 SUV

640/160

150/38

92

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

282 hp V-8 SUV

758/189

175/44

92

126

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

340 hp V-8 SUV

872/218

200/50

92

152

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for a navigation system; add $150 for a cell phone.

BMW X5 2004-05

Notes: The X5 is restyled and redesigned for 2004, with a more aerodynamic exterior and more powerful engines, as well as a fuller standard and options package. The 225-horsepower I-6 remains, but the V-8ís have been uprated to 315 and 355 horsepower. Like earlier models, the 2004 X5 has all-wheel drive, but little in the way of low-range gearing, and does not do well in extreme off-road conditions despite high ground clearance. Standard equipment includes antilock brakes, antiskid/traction control, front adjustable memory seats, an outside temperature indicator, front airbags, and front and rear side airbags. Automatic transmission models have a manual shift gate. Optional equipment includes side curtain airbags for front and rear, a Sport Package, and (standard on higher-end models), high-intensity Xenon headlights, automatic suspension leveling, and leather upholstery. Other options include a navigation system, cell phone, front and rear obstacle detection, and an adjustable suspension. Towing capacity is 2.72 tons.

For the 2005 model year, some features that were previously options became standard, such as front and rear obstacle detection, Xenon headlights (steering linkage for the headlights is an option), and automatic suspension leveling (except on the low-end model). New options include heated seats and BMW Assist service.

The ride if firm but not jarring; however, the X5 does not do well in snow. The climate and entertainment controls can be very confusing without a lot of practice. Ride is mostly similar to a sedan, but with more body lean. V-8 engines can be a bit loud; tire noise and vibration can be tiring without being immediately noticeable. The Manual Shift Gateís shift lever works in the opposite direction from most manual transmissions, and this can also be confusing.

Twilight 2000 Notes: These vehicles ddo not exist.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

225 hp I-6 SUV

$7,852

G, A

1.91 tons

2.11 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

315 hp V-8 SUV

$8,652

G, A

1.91 tons

2.26 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

355 hp V-8 SUV

$8.652

G, A

1.91 tons

2.28 tons

1+4

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

225 hp I-6 SUV

624/156

145/38

93

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

315 hp V-8 SUV

796/199

185/47

93

141

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

355 hp V-8 SUV

878/220

205/50

93

158

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for a navigation system; add $150 for a cell phone; add $2,000 for BMW Assist.

BMW Z3 1996-02

Notes: This is a low-end Beamer, which does not make it inexpensive (it is, after all, a BMW). In a 4-cylinder engine, the Z3 is none too swift or abundant on power -- even less so in an automatic transmission. With one of the three available 6-cylinder engines, performance is much improved, but still nothing to write home about. The problem is that the Z3 is heavy for its size. All engines are quiet, though, and smooth in shifting. Noise is average, increasing with speed. The ride is supple and cornering tight, even at high speeds. Braking is fast, with the Z3 able to come to a complete stop from 100 kph in a little over 32 meters. Interior space is adequate for average-sized adults, but big or tall people will feel cramped. Trunk space is meager. The convertible suffers from having a manually deployed top. BMW also cut corners on the upholstery, which looks cheap.

Twilight 2000 Notes: This vehicle does not exist.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

138 hp I-4 Coupe

$6,820

G, A

230 kg

1.33 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

138 hp I-4 Convertible

$6,820

G, A

128 kg

1.23 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

184 hp I-6 Coupe

$7,220

G, A

230 kg

1.41 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

184 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,220

G, A

128 kg

1.31 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

193 hp I-6 Coupe

$7,220

G, A

230 kg

1.42 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

193 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,220

G, A

128 kg

1.31 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Coupe

$7,620

G, A

230 kg

1.49 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,620

G, A

128 kg

1.38 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

315 hp I-6 Coupe

$8,420

G, A

230 kg

1.64 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

315 hp I-6 Convertible

$8,420

G, A

128 kg

1.53 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

138 hp I-4 Coupe

608/122

140/28

51

61

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

138 hp I-4 Convertible

652/130

140/30

51

61

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

184 hp I-6 Coupe

746/149

175/35

51

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

184 hp I-6 Convertible

798/160

185/38

51

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

193 hp I-6 Coupe

776/155

180/35

51

86

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

193 hp I-6 Convertible

836/167

195/38

51

86

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Coupe

856/171

200/40

51

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Convertible

918/184

215/43

51

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

315 hp I-6 Coupe

1070/214

250/50

51

141

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

315 hp I-6 Convertible

1142/228

265/53

51

141

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

BMW Z4 2004-05

Notes: The Z4 is a luxury/premium performance car, available only in 2-door convertible form. The standard Z4 has a manual soft top, but a power soft top is optional. The rear window is glass and is heated to prevent fogging. The vehicle is available with manual or automatic transmission, or Sequential Manual Transmission (SMT). This is a clutchless manual transmission that shifts by means of paddles on the steering wheel, and can be set for automatic shifting. Standard features include run-flat tires, antilock brakes, and an antiskid/traction system. Options include a Sports Package, Dynamic Driving Control (quickens throttle response, reduces power steering assist), high-intensity Xenon headlights, leather upholstery (standard on higher-end Z4ís), a removable hardtop, and a wind deflector.

For the 2005 model year, the SMT transmission was no longer offered for the 184-horsepower version. In its place, a Manual Shift Gate was offered instead. Other options for 2005 were heated seats, a navigation system, and BMW Assist.

Both the manual and automatic transmissions are quick, but the Dynamic Driving Control version tends to make the throttle too sensitive for most people. Premium gasoline is a necessity. The Z4 can suffer from tail bounce on bumpy roads. The Z4 is unusually quiet for a convertible (when the top is up), but tire noise can ruin this at high speeds or on bumpy roads. The trunk is unusually large for a 2-seat convertible, but interior cargo space is virtually nil.

Vehicle

Price*

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

184 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,220

G, A

263 kg

1.33 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

225 hp I-6 Convertible

$7,620

G, A

263 kg

1.4 tons

1+1

1

Headlights

Open

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

184 hp I-6 Convertible

788/157

180/38

55

82

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

225 hp I-6 Convertible

906/181

210/43

55

100

Stnd

W(2)

HF1 HS1 HR1

*Add $10,000 for a navigation system; add $2,000 for BMW Assist.