Recently we had a lengthy debate about the best car in the world and the E34 BMW didn’t get much of a look in.
You’d imagine this car which is one of the natural competitors for the E-class might have had a few boosters. It’s a well-rounded machine, comes in a lot of flavours and is not known for its fragility. Well, here in the Ashtrays department of DTW we don’t care a lot about the wider view or depth or all-around competence. It’s about whether or not the ashtrays are well placed and technically interesting.
And here, a car which made into Number 26 in DTW’s famous Top 50 Best Cars, doesn’t get much charity (admittedly it was the successor model which was rated but….).
What’s wrong with this? If you excuse the dire quality of the photo, you can make out a horizontally bottoom-hinged flip-out ashtray. It’s located in almost the worst place on the door. One’s elbow is perched on the armrest and the aperture is more or less by one’s joint. This means one has to either adopt a wierd position to reach the hole or else transfer the cigar to the other hand and cross your torso. Ash would easily fall in either manouevre.
Other makers have tried something like this: the Opel Senator:
… and that’s not that good either.
Poor lighting meant I could not photograph the driver’s ashtray. It was a pull-out drawer located in the centre fascia, ahead of the gear change. Not bad – conventional, yet effective. And this kind of pandering to automotive journalists is what gives the 5-series its head start in the comparison wars. We look further and closer at DTW. We know this car is not as good as many think, not if you are sitting in the back while someone is driving in a spirited fashion anyway.