2021 BMW 440i xDrive TEST DRIVE

This is the highest non-full M model; the M440i with xDrive as standard.  MSRP starts at just under $60,000.  It’s a luxury performance car that delivers high levels of both attributes; it’s fast and fun while at the same time comfortable and techy.  Its heart continues to beat with a 3.0-liter turbo-6 but one that yields significantly more; 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, allowing it put away 60mph 3/10ths of a second faster, now clocking an eye-opening 4.3 seconds assisted by launch control.  With an additional 48-volt battery providing mild hybrid technology, this car’s mixed metal makeup tallies an extra 150 pounds versus the previous model but it feels even more athletic.  With the benefit of extras such as the Adaptive M Suspension and High Performance Tire Pack, the M440i is a blast to drive with supreme road holding confidence, a cabin-infused with delightful sounds and the ability to rocket out of corners thanks to the M Sport Differential.  A double push of the Sport button takes you to into Plus and it’s this setting where the car truly earns its moniker “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”  The 8-speed auto is incredibly smart so using the paddle shifters isn’t even necessary to keep the gearbox in the sweet spot.  The steering is quick and nicely weighted and the engine is extremely responsive, backed by some convincing sounds in the cabin and a chassis that’s willing to dance.  The windshield is squinty but the leather sport buckets with adjustable side bolsters allow you to find an agreeable seating position that sits you low, closer to the car’s center of gravity for a feeling of greater connectedness.  And there’s a head-up display to keep you focused on the road ahead.  As for the ride quality?  It’s exceptional no matter what mode you’re in.  Combined with a quiet cabin and a long list of modern comfort features, the 4 can happily play serene and composed.  Despite the additional power, the stellar gas mileage holds the line thanks to the mild-hybrid setup, earning 25mpg in mixed driving. If you’re down with the new styling, rest assured the rest of the 440i is going to make you very happy.  

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2021 BMW 540i TEST DRIVE

Before SUVs dominated the automotive landscape, executive sedans like the 5 Series were the chariots of choice for white collar workers climbing the ladder of success.  And even though they’re not as popular as they once were, this new 540i serves as a reminder that the segment is still alive and well. 
The 5 Series is a technological tour de force, as long as you go all in on the option packages.  And this one has some really great cutting edge features including some new stuff that even I haven’t seen before, most of it related to driving assistance.  Like the graphical depiction of surrounding vehicles while driving on the highway to help with lane changes.  Speaking of which, this one can do that for you while using adaptive cruise control by simply tapping the turn signal…hands free.  And the extended traffic jam assistant can even do the mundane stop and go driving for you during your commute without constantly needing to grab the steering wheel.  And I also love how the head-up display integrates your smartphone’s mapping directions so no matter which navigation system you’re using the 540i has got you covered.  

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2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes.
Let’s say you want a super high-performance Bimmer coupe; you know, one with over 600hp steeped in exclusivity. But your more practical side is calling for 4-doors and long-trip comfort. What do you do? Well, BMW has stretched the 8 Series and attached an M to its name. This is the all new M8 Gran Coupe Competition. You’ll never see many of these on the road – it’s a rare, exclusive car for a very specific kind of owner which to me makes it all the more attractive. https://testdrivenow.com/2020-bmw-m8-competition-gran-coupe/
MSRP as-tested: $167,245

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2020 Nissan Versa Quick Takes

The all-new, third generation 2020 Nissan Versa takes the popular subcompact sedan to a new level of refinement with a fresh, exciting design and technology and safety features not usually found in the segment.

The third of four popular Nissan cars to be recently redesigned, the all-new Versa – with a clear design expression of the Nissan brand – serves the more than five million customers who buy sedans each year in the U.S. Sedans remain a popular choice for Gen X, Millennials and multicultural customers.

Technology is a top priority in the all-new Nissan Versa, featuring available Nissan Safety Shield 360, a prime example of Nissan Intelligent Mobility that helps provide front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies. Safety Shield 360 features include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Other available technology includes Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Cruise Control.

Design is also a key strategic advantage for the 2020 Versa, combining an all-new dramatic and expressive exterior with a fresh new interior with class-above features and quality.

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2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe

2020 BMW 228i xDrive Gran Coupe Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes.
This is an inarguable truth: BMW’s naming protocols are ridiculous; a bunch of mumbo-jumbo fully understood by only the most ardent Bimmer brain.  But as a general rule of thumb, the higher the number the bigger the body, engine and price. 
When I first heard that BMW was making a 2 Series Gran Coupe I just assumed it was going to be a 4-door version of the current model, much like the 4 Series Gran Coupe. But it isn’t. Unlike the standard Coupe and Convertible, this one is based upon a front-wheel drive car made in the UK. Is this bodystyle going to be a hit for BMW or a one and done? 

MSRP as-tested: $48,195
https://testdrivenow.com/2020-bmw-228i-xdrive-gran-coupe/

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