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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    "Yeah. But we got the Devil Rays."

    LOL. You got me there. Sadly.
    $200 million for last place....arrgh :sick:

    Like having an SL65 AMG that for whatever reason can't outrun....well, much of anything. Torre's flaws are beginning to show. Good thing we got rid of that bum Leiber (5-1 with Philly.) :(
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Raising my hand too as someone that does change to winter tires.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Sounds like you guys got off pretty fortunate with your All-roads. Though I suppose that even if 15% or more of owners are reporting problems in several areas, I suppose that leaves 85% who arent.
  • shivanshivan Posts: 30
    So can an m35 sport with a good set of 19" winter tires provide grip in snow and rain similar to the m35x with all season tires? Can anyone in the Northeast who puts a lot of miles on in the winter with a luxury RWD car and snow tires comment on their experience.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    I hope I am not guilty of bashing Audi, BMW or Mercedes -- even though I did not select a German for this next cycle. I also hope all those who seem to "dis" the Germans for their reliability issues understand that -- speaking personally -- the reliability legends (and I assume they are true) are good to know and if I experience the reliability will be "icing on the cake." Yet, I would have not selected the Infinti over the Audi (or perhaps another German if there had been one on my radar) solely on reliability ratings. Indeed, reliability [ratings, history, etc]would not have been an attribute that would have influenced my decision in any substantive way.

    Yet the German reliability bashing -- even though it appears that it is far more subtle and civil than in prior years -- continues. Those of us with German cars -- even though we did move away from German cars -- who have had positive experiences with them sometimes are hammered by the "I'll pass you sitting at the dealer in my fill-in-the-blank Japanese LPS."

    Finally, some information that may suggest that you might not have to exclude German cars from your LPS shopping list after all (unless your decisions, like mine, were based on what I keep calling the "value proposition.")

    Here goes:

    "According to a survey from German auto breakdown company ADAC, the most reliable cars in five out of seven categories are either Audis or Mercedes, with the former taking top bragging rights with three first places."

    Cliky here, boys and girls:

    link title
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    One thing I'd say is that 19's are a little wide for winter. I have 18's on my 545 in the summer, but switch them to 17 inch winter tires. Generally, wider is worse in the snow.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    As a practical matter, the M35 sport would probably need to have the tires and wheels minus sized (less than 19" wheels and skinnier tires, but still in appropriate proportion to keep the speedo and computer happy).

    I would also venture that you would need to use "winter tires" on all four wheels, in the minus size as noted above to improve upon the AWD w/all seasons. Now if you live where there is heavy snow (I know the Northeast almost certainly does)and not great road management and snow clearing (can't comment on this, but I assume the NE is pretty good in this regard) -- you might need winter tires on the M35X, too.

    I only know where I live (SW Ohio) and drive -- as far east as Pittsburgh and as far north as Cleveland. I took my A/S equipped allroad to Cleveland several times during the winter and never had a problem even during some pretty nasty lake effect snowfalls (but the Cleveland road management is very good, generally speaking).

    I would -- but you should know I am biased -- only accept AWD. If you want the look of the sport wheel/tire equipped M35, there are coming to market now some pretty glintzy (made up word) wheels that could make the M35X have "the look" -- and with 19" UHP tires you would get pretty close to the handling of the M35 sport and have your AWD to boot.

    Of course, you almost certainly would still have to change to the factory AWD wheels and tires during winter (if you have any more than moderate snow and if you have very low temps -- summer rubber doesn't like the cold, either).
  • bw45sportbw45sport Posts: 151
    "According to a survey from German auto breakdown company ADAC, the most reliable cars in five out of seven categories are either Audis or Mercedes, with the former taking top bragging rights with three first places."

    Unfortunately Mark, if I recall, the survey was looking at breakdowns, instances where aid is required to move the vehicle. I'm not as familiar with Audi as I am with Mercedes and BMW but I'm sure that Audi is like the other two in that tow trucks are rarely required.

    The problems that are currently haunting MB and BMW and turning customers off are more of an electrical nature. The cars run but features, some of them critical to the operation and safety of the car, e.g. - Sensotronic braking on some MB's, fail. Don't I feel comfortable knowing that my electronic nightmare relies on brake-by-wire?

    Mercedes has been publicly stating how they recognize that reliability is important and a return to quality is now, pardon the Ford phrase, "Job One". Their results don't match their proclamations however. After suffering an embarrassing 25 problems per 100 new vehicles in MY2003 they've stepped up their quality control and are now averaging ONLY29 problems per vehicle in MY2004. BMW has followed suit with their MY2004 vehicles averaging more problems than their MY2003. If they keep working at it they may join Mercedes at the bottom of the pack.

    Mark, as an Audi loyalist, you'll see that Audi has "walked the walk" in regards to improving initial quality. I believe they are near the top of the initial quality rankings with only 11 problems per 100 vehicles.

    Reliability has never been the single most important factor when I've purchased new cars but I think you would have a slightly different opinion of the importance of this factor if you were to experience what I have with my last two Benzes and last BMW.

    My BP tends to rise when I think of the pitiful quality of the SL500 I have. Since this car continues to be on the Edmunds Editors Most Wanted List I'd be happy to unload it on any Edmunds editor that wants one.

    For now, I'll enjoy my M45 Sport that some feel may not be as "elegant" as the German cars. Prestige? The three-pointed star and roundel carry little prestige when they're in the shop.

    The Japanese bashers can continue to throw their barbs about owning a $50k Nissan but I'll be smiling ear to ear because they actually make a car that's worth it regardless of the badge that adorns it.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    The Road and Track comparo of the Infiniti M45, BMW 545, and Lexus GS430 (June issue) is, I think, the best, fairest, and most balanced review of these cars to appear in print. They've got the strengths and weakneses of each car down pat. I think after reading this review you could buy any one of these cars and know exactly what you're getting, with no surprises.
  • nmdrivernmdriver Posts: 23
    "Can an M35 sport with 19" winter tires provide grip similar to the M35X with all season tires?"
    Very good question. There are really two things you need to look at: traction and turning/stopping. With regard to traction, there is no comparison. On a number of occasions I have moved from a RWD or FWD car with winter tires and traction control to an Audi or Subaru with AS tires. There is no contest. AWD wins hands down! In fact, there are times when no RWD or FWD car with any sort of tires can make it up (or down) the hill near our house in Santa Fe.
    The same thing is true when you hit an ice patch or standing water at speed. Full time AWD will pull you right through. RWD or FWD -- even with the best traction control -- can still get you in trouble.
    The second thing is turning and stopping. Here, good winter tires make a big difference on ANY car.
    In addition, the other posts are right on about tire size. A Cayenne S or a BMW X5 with their big wide tires are helpless beasts in snow. Switching to winter tires tames them, but does not cure them.
    My recommendation: if I lived in the mid-Atlantic states (as I did for years), I would go for the M35x and leave the AS tires on year round. The extra traction and stability may save your life, not only in snow but in rain and other kinds of slippery conditions as well.
    If I lived in New England, I would swap the AS tires for summer performance tires when I took delivery of the car and spend $1000 or so at the Tire Rack for a second set of wheels with Blizzaks for winter use. It is not as expensive as you think. If you keep your car for some time, every mile you drive on the winter tires is a mile you are not driving on the summer tires. And, when you go to sell your car, you can always sell the winter wheels and tires on ebay and recoup part of your investment. (I have done this twice.)
    What I would NOT do us to put wide 19" winter tires on the M35 sport. As the guys tell you: narrower is better for winter.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    nmdriver wrote: " What I would NOT do us to put wide 19" winter tires on the M35 sport. As the guys tell you: narrower is better for winter."

    While I live in a warm climate and have no experience with summer vs. winter tires, the quoted statement seems to be at odds with the laws of physics. Can someone explain or refute?
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    I didn't mean to imply AWD is useless, I just think AWD alone means little if you live in the snow belt...
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    i dont remember saying awd cars, i just said AWD, but if I did say AWD cars, i apologize...

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Hey Bartalk3.
    Do you by chance know when the June Road and Track hits the stores?
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    When R&T is available probably depends where in the country you live. I'm in the midwest and got my copy today in the mail and noticed also that it was available at the local Borders. Actually, you should be able to get it any day now, wherever you live. They tested just those three cars (excluding the RL, the STS, Jag, and others), but did a really good job with all three.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    take a minute or 2 to read is the best description I've read on the RL's AWD system.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    The larger surface area allows the tire to plane more on snow. Think of a toboggan vs. those sleds with the thin blades on them for steering. The toboggan is fine if you're going straight down the hill, but the thinner blades on the other sled steer a lot better if you have to turn at all. Same is true of wider tires in rain. They hydroplane much easier than thinner tires. The opposite is obviously true in clear weather. The larger surface are offered by wider tires means you have more rubber in contact with the pavement so the car handles better.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    This street shoes vs snow shoes.

    If you are attempting to go in the snow on street shoes you may sink. However, snow shoes will allow you to walk on the snow.

    You want to have as much traction as possible.

    You do not want to walk on top of the snow.

    Wide tires are like snow shoes.

    Skinnier tires allow you to move forward by sinking.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    My personal experiences with my Audis have been overall very positive.

    I brought the article to the attention of this erudite group to generate conversation.

    It worked.

    I could have terrible experiences with my new M35X, I will be very pleased if I have reliability equal to my Audi.

    I am sorry your MB is a problem.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Once about a V6 comparison? Considering that both Lexus and Infiniti expect to sell over 75% of their GS's and M's with V6s - don't know about projected 5 series sales but I have to believe most will not be buying the 545. Why not compare what their readers will actually be buying?

    Just my two cents worth...
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