The general internet might have you believe that these are two bad cars. Both of them have suffered condemnation en masse. Press, enthusiasts, influencers, the lot. Forget that: they’re both brilliant.

  • Cars: 2021 BMW M3, 1997 Land Rover Discovery
  • Location: California
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter: @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, EF 50mm 1.8 AF

Starting with the ’97 Disco 1, you know, to respect one’s elders.

This thing is an old-school Land Rover champion. I’ve detailed this extensively in blogs where I’ve discussed my experience with my own (in fact, the one in this picture, obviously) and I can’t blabber enough about how it’s such a fun city run-about, is super easy to work on, is comprised of low-cost parts (the good kind: cheap replacement parts), and is just a nice, simple overall design. It’s a dressed-up tractor, and I love it for that. Recently, it did an 850-mile road trip up to Radwood NorCal, and never skipped a beat. I can’t wait to soon take it off-road and savor what it was truly designed for.

People love to point fingers at Land Rovers as being ridiculously expensive and having poor reliability. I’ve experienced the complete opposite.

Up next, the 2021 G80 BMW M3. The internet has been in flames over the new top-3er’s front-end, and that’s quite understandable. I’m ok with it, but just barely. I don’t know, it depends on the day.

However, what the four-door M lacks in facial refinement, it immensely makes up for elsewhere. Its 473 horsepower, twin-turbo S58 Inline-6 is a total screamer and acts more like a more expensive, exotic powerplant than otherwise. I’m talking McLaren and Lambo-level throttle response and revs. It also steers and handles very well (though as of this writing I have yet to give it a proper romp), and despite some people being really critical of its manual shifter… I, for one, enjoy it. The throw is slightly too long for my taste (in typical BMW fashion), but everything else about it I’d call good. Not great, but good.

It also costs $90,000 as spec’d in this photo. Those who can afford to pay cash, finance, or lease this high-brow beast, could probably also afford to give it plastic surgery if they really wanted to.