In April ’00, Dan was at the local self-service car wash (the only one in Hartford, Connecticut, in fact) when another IS pulled up. Since it was a brand-new car, it was rare to see another, especially modified. Out stepped De, and a conversation was unavoidable. It turned out that they were similar in age and heritage, and as fate would have it, De’s car was also the first sold in its state. The two men instantly became friends and grew closer through the years. Ten years went by, and both of them kept their own and each other’s passion for the IS300 alive—until one day De mentioned he was selling his car, subtly requesting that Dan purchase it. At the time, Dan was in no position to responsibly purchase another car. De kept the car listed but made no visible effort to move it, continuing to hint that Dan be the new owner. They both understood the sentimental value the car held for De and that it would kill him to see it in the possession of a stranger. De practically pleaded that Dan simply throw out a number. Dan finally caved and threw out an unreasonable amount that he thought De would never agree to, in the hope that his friend would find closure and sell the car to somebody else. To Dan’s disbelief, De agreed—practically giving him the car. Even before receiving payment, the car was loaded into a transporter and on its way.
On the open road, I found the RT to be a legitimate competitor for any of today’s luxo-tourers, including the Gold Wing . And on a back road, its willingness to charge into and through corners with so little effort makes it almost as much fun as a genuine sportbike. Toss in the conga line of features on our testbike—Electronic Suspension Adjustment, three-position power delivery modes, ABS, traction control, cruise control, tire-pressure monitor, GPS receiver, heated grips and seats, 29-liter top trunk, electrically adjustable tall windscreen, Shift Assistant Pro, AM/FM/MP3/Sirius XM/Bluetooth sound system, hill start control, central locking—and you have a magical machine that does everything but make coffee in the morning and tuck you in at night.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.
According to data from Consumer Reports’ 2014 Annual Auto Survey of owners of 498,900 vehicles from 2010 to 2014 model years, there are 30 models that have much higher rates of oil consumption overall than the average for their model years. BMW has eight vehicles that make the list. Here’s the list starting with the worst offender: BMW 5 Series (V8), BMW 7 Series, BMW 6 Series, BMW X5 (V8), BMW X1 (6-cylinder), BMW 335i Sedan, BMW 5 Series (6-cylinder and BMW 335Ci. For the complete “The Thirsty 30” list go here.
I agree that the value of these cars is like the value of stale bread. They are sold as Luxury Cars to a small slice of the monied class. When they are old and dinged up they really aren’t luxury any more, so they need to compete with other used cars on things like performance, ease of repair, size. Good luck with the repairs. Anything under 4 figures is a bargain. The value of all these cars was undercut by the proliferation of other models from each manufacturer. In the 1970s if you wanted a “Mercedes” and couldn’t afford a new one, you had the choice between a used big one or a small one (?S and 280 series??) Then the 190 arrived and soon it begat the 250/300/GLK/ML/etc. Now you can buy/lease a smaller new “luxury” car, so why bother with a used money pit? This doesn’t even count the BMW and MBZ deserters who now opt for Lexus, Infinit or Audi.
Because starters can work intermittently, we tried to reproduce the failure by starting the car several times in a row. On the seventh try, the car did not start. At that point, one technician held the key in the start position while another tech checked the signal to the solenoid and battery voltage to the starter. Both were good. So we knew the high-current contacts in the starter motor were likely burned out, preventing the current from flowing from the battery to the starter.