It’s well known that BMW, in terms of brand value, consistently swings well above its weight class as far as sales volume, especially considering the size of its parent company, the BMW Group. Recent data from Forbes ranks BMW as the third-most-valuable automotive brand, and the twentieth-most-valuable overall, rounding out a group that contains names like Apple, Nike, GE, Coca-Cola, and Louis Vuitton, while further down the list is Porsche, ranked 58th, and Rolex, at 71st. The only automakers ranked higher than BMW are Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, both of which easily eclipse BMW in most metrics (especially Toyota, the world’s largest auto manufacturer by volume several years running).
But when it comes to desirability, and a unique ability to entice and capture the imaginations of driving enthusiasts, few can hold a candle to BMW. According to Veygo, a U.K.-based insurance agency with a focus on short-term policies, BMW appears more often than any other marque on a list of the top 30 most-Instagrammed cars; BMW also performed well in the full dataset, which examined hashtags for over 280 models currently in production. Just one MINI model was covered, but it still proved quite popular, ranking fifteenth.
Below, find our own breakdown of the most popular BMW models on Instagram, according to the study by Veygo.
1. BMW M3 (5,817,457 mentions)
You could’ve probably guessed that the M3 was going to land at the top of this list. Now in its fifth generation and boasting a history that dates back to 1986 with the E30, the M3 is as popular as ever. The current F80 platform is now out of production, soon to be succeeded by a heavily performance-tuned variant of the G20, likely called the G80; but searching the hashtags that Veygo used in their study yields photo after photo of different-colored M3s from the full spectrum of generations and years. Moreover, even with the M portfolio having grown, with what was previously exclusive M3 attention divided among the M4, M2, and others, the M3 still landed itself in the number-four spot on the list.
2. BMW M4 (3,432,052 mentions)
Next up is the M4. More than a few of us were skeptical several years ago when talk of BMW differentiating their two- and four-door models between even and odd-numbered designations, but in the time since, cars like the 2 Series, 4 Series. and M4 have done their best to dispel any doubt. While production of the F80 M3 has ended, the F82 M4 continues to be built, and the 4 Series—more specifically the 4 Series Gran Coupé—continues to experience strong demand years after first being introduced. As mentioned above, while prior generations were limited to the M3 with their appreciation and interest, the M4 now provides another avenue, as is evidenced by it ranking eighth in the order of most-Instagrammed cars.
3. BMW M5 (2,741,911 mentions)
The M5 has been gracing the world with its presence in varying successive generations since late 1984, when the first E28-chassis models were manufactured, and today the current F90 is among the highest-performing vehicles in its segment. A high-tech V8 and xDrive are some clear indicators that things have changed since the 1980s, but along the way the M5 has transformed from the world’s fastest production four-door into a global icon that is capable of competing with the best, no matter the era. The M5 slots into the number-eleven spot on the list of most-mentioned cars on Instagram.
4. BMW M2 (1,389,175 mentions)
The M2 is the newest arrival to the group, and among the more recent additions to the M portfolio, but the unadulterated driving experience provided by the muscular two-door is among the best on the market from any manufacturer, and the model seems to be quite popular as a result. The initial N55-powered version has since been succeeded by the M2 Competition, which is even more potent thanks to the S55 from the M3 and M4, and as of this writing, the M2 is one of the more attainable modern M cars on the market. The M2 came in 23rd on Veygo’s list.
5. BMW i8 (1,143,190 mentions)
BMW’s high-test carbon-fiber performance hybrid is also quite popular according to the criteria being discussed here, and landed itself at the 28th spot on the list, the highest of any non-M BMW, although the 3 Series and X5 are not far behind. The first i8s hit the market back in 2014, a full five years ago, but they remain a rare and captivating sight on the road, turning heads almost everywhere they go. The i8 roadster was officially unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, and has since bolstered sales of the overarching model, while incremental updates along the way, like a growing color palette, have also broadened and maintained appeal.
Find the full list here on the Veygo blog. Specific details, such as the study methodology and complete dataset, are detailed and linked at the bottom of the post.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]