What Does Bavarian Performance Mean?

We at North Bay Bavarian love our jobs. We get to talk shop with some of Santa Rosa’s finest drivers. At the heart of what we do is a brand that brings us daily joy: BMW.  The passion that we and our customers hold for BMW is genuine. Many wonder, why would any car brand instill such gusto and loyalty? In this article we discuss what Bavarian performance really means and we hear from real life BMW drivers about what it’s like to drive a BMW.

What Does Bavarian Performance Mean?

Drive a BMW graphicLook:  Some brands are known for creating mean looks while others are known for their ornate qualities. BMWs are designed with clean lines that create an elegant and polished look. Interiors are offered in leather, leatherette and cloth. The seats have a race-look to them while providing back support and general comfort.

Comfort: BMW offers unparalleled leg room and head space for a precision vehicle. The comfort available in BMWs is not limited to the negative space. Drivers also enjoy comfort with BMW’s ease of access. The Comfort Access System allows drivers to enter and start the vehicle without ever touching the key.

Handling: Hugging the road around turns doesn’t fully describe what it’s like to drive a BMW. The truth behind the handling is in its ability to surprise even the seasoned driver. BMWs can take turns, with the driver in full control, so quickly that the car almost seems to defy physics. When drivers feel a certain amount of G force pulling left while the car they’re driving pulls right, something about that sensation shocks and exhilarates the brain. The feeling isn’t far off from riding a roller coaster.

One of the main factors that allows such control is BMW’s signature 50/50 weight distribution. The load of most cars falls heavily on the front wheels or the rear wheels. BMWs are designed to distribute that weight equally between the front and rear wheels.

The handling is further enhanced by especially lightweight materials, carefully positioned axles and suspensions tuned to the T.

Stock Cars that Impress: One of the reasons BMW has become popular with car enthusiasts and “regular” drivers alike is because the cars produced right off the line contain outstanding features including: exceptional brakes, remarkable sound and of course push-you-into-your-seat speed.

Setting Options: BMW offers so many different options for customizing a particular trip: suspension settings, computer settings (comfort, sport, sport+), steer settings, and shift settings. You really have to hand it to BMW for creating vehicles that can be used to cart the kids to school using one setting, and then allowing mom or dad to open the car up with a quick setting adjustment.

What Does It Feel Like to Drive a BMW?

“I used to dislike BMW’s because of their drivers until I jokingly told my soon to be wife to go check out the local BMW dealership. I went in and sat down in a random car not really expecting anything. My mind went blank. The seats were so comfortable[.] I did not now what really happened. The interior was stunningly beautiful. I gestured my [spouse] to get in and her face changed immediately. Just like me[,] she was impressed beyond imagination. [W]e messed around with the iDrive system[,] and we discovered how luxurious the vehicle was.

We wanted a family car. The backseat was wide and had a huge amount of legroom. The boot of the car was also more than plenty big to load with baby[-]stuff and everything else we could imagine.

We asked for a test[-]drive and the salesman just handed the key[,] winked[,] and said[,] “I believe t[h]is is your first BMW[.] [H]ave fun[.] [J]ust take her back in 1 piece.” The car was quiet and spun like a kitten at low speeds. [I]t was calm and controlled until you push the pedal down deep enough to push yourself so deep into your seats that you wonder why it does not make a single creaking sound. Despite its powerful engine[,] the car barely consumed any fuel at all! I made the mistake of putting it in sportmode while taking a corner. [T]he car kept sticking on the road as if it was glued to the road. Imagine doing an emergency maneuver and you keep control of the car.

This is the story of how I became the proud owner of a 5 series F11. I put 200K on the odometer and I have not had 1 single issue with the car. I still own that car. I will keep it until it dies. I love it and my next car will definitely be another 5 series.” – T.B.


It’s like nothing else. You really have to sit in it and drive it. A proper one, not a banger. It gives you a driving pleasure like no other car.  Every single time [I] drive my 1997 740i, it literally puts a smile on my face. Big and comfy, pulls better than many sports car and yet, you feel like you are swimming through a jelly.

Porsche got the same thing going on. It feels like a Porsche. You need to try them, to know what it gives to you.

Go into a dealership, and take it out for a test drive. A good one. 30 minutes minimum. It will be mesmerizing.” – A.F.


“The “ultimate driving machine” describes it very well. If you are a person who enjoys driving then a BMW is going to hook you once you drive it. People like to pin the status symbol excuse on it, and yes, they are beautiful cars but that completely misses the point that they are excellent driving cars.

My father owned a Porsche 911 and that was my gateway to German and sports cars. These cars make you feel connected to the road and make driving an event rather than a mere task.

Cars can be categorized in such ways as being utilitarian, commuter, luxury, sports & driving, eco… BMW fits into the sports and driving category. My first was a used 1989 325is that I saw when I was running one day and bought despite the 90K miles it had on it. It was a very solid car that I kept until somewhere just past 150K miles with no problems ever. Everyone who ever drove it loved it as much as I did. My current car is a repeat of that car; a 328i with sport package and manual transmission and it never gets old.

My current car has cost more to maintain than my last car but the driving aspect makes it worth it to me. For those who don’t care at all about the driving experience it probably isn’t worth it. But if you do have that side to you it is a car that is probably accessible to own by most. Many guys are lucky enough to work on their own cars and save themselves some money. For those who aren’t into that and still want the experience, find yourself a good independent mechanic who specializes in the brand.” – M.E.

*Some pieces of text altered for clarity, emphasis,  spelling and grammar.

Exceptional Cars Requires Exceptional Maintenance

Some commuter and economy cars requires very little maintenance, but they also fail to offer an exceptional driving experience. BMWs, like all great works of art, require some enhanced upkeep. Consistent and high-quality maintenance is critical to Santa Rosa BMW ownership. North Bay Bavarian knows that BMWs are investments and we help our loyal customers protect their investments.

We provide every service that your BMW needs to stay the “ultimate driving machine”. We do brakes, oil, suspension, transmission, tires, computer systems and everything in between.

We aren’t just a shop that specializes in BMWs. We race these cars ourselves. We can hook you up with the BMW upgrade installation necessary to race, too.

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