You Asked, Karl Answered: Why Do You Love European Cars So Much?

By: McLachlan Automotive Solutions   |   12 Jan 2017
Ask Karl

At McLachlan Automotive Solutions, our BMW Master Technician Karl Flovik is on hand to answer your most pressing automotive questions. Karl has more than 30 years of expertise with the BMW brand and has been installing performance tuning equipment for over 20 years as a Licensed Journeyman.

The McLachlan Team is committed to perfecting performance upgrades on your luxury vehicles and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding its performance. This week, Karl explains where his love of European cars came from and shares his thoughts on why they make excellent luxury vehicles.

What’s So Special About Luxury Cars?

I get asked all the time why I love European cars. It started when I was a teen. My room was plastered with pictures of Porsche, BMWs and other European cars I loved. My first was a VW Scirocco and I loved that car. I began my apprenticeship at a Dodge dealership. That lasted three months until I started working for a Danish gentleman who owned a European repair shop. This was the mid-eighties. Throughout my career, I've worked for several auto manufacturers including the big three: GM, Ford, and Dodge, but I was always drawn back to my Euro car passion. The question is always, why?

I have a few ways of answering that question. First, from the standpoint of an Automotive Repair Technician I put all biases aside. On a daily basis, I would shake my head and grumble under my breath questioning what the engineer must have been thinking (or not thinking) when they built the vehicle I was servicing. To take a quote from a friend in the industry, "Why is this unnecessarily complicated?”

Some examples are basic, needless complexities to perform basic tasks through lack of consideration about future repair and service. To name a few, some have unreachable oil filters that create a mess and hardship. Or having to remove fuel tanks to access fuel pumps and having to remove motor mounts and lift the engine to replace spark plugs. On European models, oil filters are accessible from the top of the engine bay and there are access panels to the fuel tank to service or replace the fuel pump. I could give a hundred examples.

Are European Models Really Better Quality Vehicles?

For the most part, European cars are very well built. Brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi are considered higher-end luxury automobiles and they do come at a premium price, especially when new. I'm speaking about European vehicles from three to seven years old.

All cars are inexpensive to own during the warranty period outside of the payments. The period after the warranty ends is the time everyone starts to be very aware of the cost of ownership. You now have maintenance and repair costs on top of still paying the vehicle off. The largest cost not considered is depreciation. As an example, a five to ten-year-old BMW retains a much higher resale value over almost any domestic or Asian vehicles especially when they've been maintained. The cost of maintenance and repairs are not more expensive than the comparable domestic or Asian product. The latter being a real world comparison as you cannot compare entry-level or even mid-level domestic or Asian products to European. You must compare the higher-end version of their products to even come close.

Last, and truly the most important thing to remember: many of the features people consider new and cutting-edge on their new domestic or Asian vehicles were once used in BMWs and Mercedes a decade ago. To really answer the question, it comes down to these last few points. How does your car make you feel when you drive it? BMWs make me feel great and ask almost any BMW owner they will likely answer you the same. Seriously, you'll look forward to the commute home at the end of the day. The engineered feel and connection to the road is unmatched. I feel very passionate about them like no other vehicle. Their classic style never looks dated.

Do you have a question for Karl? Send us your most pressing questions through our Ask a Service Tech page for a chance to be featured on our next blog! Looking to speak with a professional member of our team? Give us a call at 1-(855) 432-2022 or contact us online for more information.


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