Big Jim’s Garage

It’s week five of quarantine with the family – and I’m grateful that everyone is healthy and we haven’t gotten on each others nerves too much. But there are things I miss: euchre parties that last until 1am (it’s a midwest thing), going to a restaurant bustling with people – isn’t it weird how we complained about ambient noise while dining, but now we long for it. And I miss reviewing cars. So I started thinking about specific things:

  • The exhaust note of the Bullitt Mustang
  • The whine of the supercharger on a Demon
  • The first time you hop into a Kia Soul and look for the hamsters
  • The mechanical sounds when you warm up a GT-R in the morning

But do you know what I really miss? The 2020 BMW 840i and it’s comfort mode. NO REALLY. Let’s be honest – most cars with different settings (sport, eco, comfort) seem to feel the same (unless you’re bombing it around a track). But the 840i comfort mode changed the ambient lighting, put on the seat warmers and created this warm, comfortable environment that just wraps around you like a blanket. In the world today this car should be considered a form of stress relief. Seriously. I miss it that much. 


Now to the “standard” car review points. Yes it’s quick, 335hp 3 liter turbocharged 6 cylinder is refined with plenty of spunk (that’s a technical term). You’ll also notice the exhaust note from the 840i is perfectly matched – not overbearing but definitely better than the trolling motor you hear from certain 4 cylinder power plants. 


The BMW 840i is most definitely a drivers car with a perfectly matched 8 speed transmission that flows through the gears, great line of sight (i’m 6’5” and these things matter – amazing how an A pillar can sour you on the entire ride), nice leather interior (love the white leather with the detailing), and the infotainment system is functional without being overwhelming. Is there a backseat? Technically yes…but that’s more of a suggestion at this point. If you need room for four get the Gran Coupe (a lot of people talk about it better of the two…I’m not sure, something magical about a true two door BMW). 


So I can throw stats and figures at you all day regarding the BMW 840i. But it’s much harder to explain a feeling. This car is a vibe, a sense of warmth and pure driving. People will stop you and ask about it when you put gas in it. Neighbors will stand at a safe distance and marvel at the Barcelona Blue paint color and compliment you from six feet away. It’s pretty damn cool. 


Bottom line: How often does anyone experience that sense of pure joy in a car? The answer is not often. I’ve put the BMW 840i in my top five. It’s that good. I miss it.

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