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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I'm no physicist or rocket scientist. All I know is what I can feel. I drove the 545 and a 2003 530i. My 2002 325i handled better. It felt like it was glued to the road-both straight line and hard around the curves-extremely stable. I did not feel this sensation in the other cars. I am not referring to power-just overall balance when driving hard.
    Giving up this vehicle in early August will not be easy. The new 330i had better be as good or better than my 325i, because if it's not, hpowders is going to be really pissed off!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Designman is correct. The smaller car ALWAYS wins in the handling department. Should the 7 outhandle the 5 because its bigger and has more horsepower? No. An Audi S4 can beat an Audi RS6 in a slalom course. The RS6 has gobs more horsepower, but the S4 makes up for that in the cones. Take an M3 and an M5 to a race track, and the M3 will dominate.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    Get a grip.

    When were you last in a British eating establishment? For me, it was 3 weeks ago, and prior to that, five journeys over the past two years haven't left me disappointed.

    The car may not be so good, but food is (as always) a subjective thing.

    Sitting in an establishment that has been in business for 300+ years and still serves what I consider very enjoyable food (bangers & mash w/ a pint of bitter) is a good thing, at least for me.

    The vehicle, however, may not be around long enough to endure the same examination.

    I continue to follow this board to see if the Infiniti M is good enough to make me abandon my position -- never own another automatic transmission. Mark's (to come) inputs will be interesting.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I cant say I was really surprised. Lexus is big in the US, but in Europe they are basically nothing. Doesnt appear that the '06 GS will be enough to change that.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    That pompous jerk Jeremy Clarkson took two pages to say what any idiot could have said in two sentences. And yes, it seemed racist. If not, then it was somehow buried in his pretentious verbosity.

    Hmm... bangers and mash... gettin' hungry. Already on the back end of me third pint.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Kind of reminds me of the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863.
    Edward Everett, credited with being the country's greatest orator of the time, gave a speech that rambled on for about 2 hours. Then Lincoln hit the bulls eye in less than 2 minutes.
    Said Everett to Lincoln: "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central idea of the occasion in two hours, as you did in two minutes."
  • nmdrivernmdriver Posts: 23
    "The 330xi is a big pig in comparison (no offense to 330xi owners, it still out handles 90% of other cars)... "

    Based on my experiences with Audis and Subarus I am a big fan of AWD for driving on any road in any weather. I have been eagerly looking forward to the new crop of AWD versions of RWD cars. Based on the RWD and AWD versions of the Infinity G35, I expected the differences between the RWD and AWD models to be subtle. But this may not be the case. I have come to realize that you have to consider the AWD version to be a different model than the RWD version.
    Since I was comparing the RL, GS, M35, 530 etc., I decided that I should go back for a refresher drive of the less-expensive 300C. This reminded me that the Chrysler is not even close to being in the same class. But it also made me realize that the AWD 300C (which I had not previously seen) is an abomination. To fit the front drive shafts under the engine they have had to jack the car way up. What a strange beast!

    Some interesting comparisons (AWD vs RWD versions)
    GS AWD: 223lbs heavier, .4 in more ground clearance, .4 in taller. Stiffer run flat tires
    M35 AWD: 176 lbs heavier, .5 in taller (no specs on ground clearance),
    55/45 weight distribution (vs. 54/44), 17/24mpg vs. 18/25
    BMW 330I: 66 lbs heavier, .6 in taller, 20/29mpg vs. 20/30. Narrower tires
    taller final drive ratio. No "Sport" option.

    Moral: these are clearly different models. Maybe the difference is subtle. Maybe it isn't. You have to drive the AWD version to know how it will ride, steer and handle.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Clements went on and on doing a great impression of Bob Lutz, about how the GS was going to finally be a 5 killer from Lexus. Then they saddled the GS430 with the most agressive stability control system in their history, and NO off switch of any kind.

    Well even Motorweek, you know the Mary Poppins of the Automotive world, said that the GS430's stability system was the most intrusive yet devised, making the GS430 in particular no fun at all. This was today.

    Clements may have said 5-Series, but what Lexus actually did with the GS is stick to their roots of chasing Mercedes, but this time they even outdid the E-Class for restrictive electronics it seems.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Uh oh. When Motorweek which rates all cars either "good" or "great" says something negative, there's definitely a serious problem. VDIM was supposed to be MORE driver oriented than Lexus' old VSC systems. Instead, its a controlling electronic overlord that would be more at home in the Matrix.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I'm sure there are many 5 and 7-series owners who may disagree, but IMO, the brand image of BMW skews younger compared to their most direct competition---Mercedes, Audi, and Lexus. This is also explained by the fact that something like 70% of their sales come from the 3-series.

    IMO, compared to Mercedes, Audi, and Lexus, BMW is also perceived to have a greater focus on driving dynamics and speed. (Something about "The Ultimate Driving Machine.") Hence, the younger skew.

    Thanks to the success of the A4, the perception and demographics behind the Audi brand is also skewing younger over the past 7 years. Infiniti is scratching into BMW's backyard, although they still have a long way to go. Acura is far more of a mix, since their product line runs the gamut from RSX to RL (with a tiny dash of NSX), and obviously skews most toward FWD. But of all of the brands, I believe Acura offers the most models with manual transmissions (4 out of 6).

    Just my opinion. That and 50 more cents will buy you a cup of coffee....
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I guess what I'd like to see is numbers to support that. I understand the physics behind it, but a) I'm not so sure the respective suspensions are equal and b) the 5 is only slightly taller than the 3 (like 3 inches) plus it is wider. As you pointed out the weight difference may be the deciding factor with the 325i with sport weighing in at 3351 lbs and the 545i with sport at 3803 lbs. I agree that it would be nice to know exactly what the CG is on both. I don't really know what would prove all of this out. Skid plate numbers maybe? I guess it all doesn't really matter much because in real-world driving you aren't going to encounter many turns that really scare either the 5 or 3. One thing I didn't realize that kdfx pointed out is that the sport package on the 330xi only involves aerodynamics, not suspension. You can bet your local salesperson would never volunteer that bit of info (if they even were aware of it). Maybe that's why I feel like my 545 significantly outhandles my former 330xi.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Are you comparing the handling differences between a RWD 5-series and an AWD 3-series? I would think it would be obvious that in that comparo, the 5 would outhandle the 3. But that doesn't mean the 5 generally outhandles the 3 does it?
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Some excellant observations Cstiles......(Very Acura8) .... and this is just an observation but some of us may pay a little more for our coffee...$1.68 @ Starbucks in my own travel mug....or $1.56 @ Caribou which is a relatively new coffee chain originating out of Minneapolis.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    What I'd really like to see is handling stats for the 545i with SP and the 325i with SP. Everyone that says the 3 would outhandle the 5 might be 100% correct. I'd just like to see that backed up by something other than general physics which don't take into account differences between the two cars in terms of design. Maybe there aren't enough difference for the 5 to make up the weight difference. All I'm saying is I'd like to see just how much of an edge the 3 would have if it has one at all.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    You know, I just spent $3.00 for a Spiced Chai Latte this morning, so I'm also guilty as charged!

    We took the RL to St. Louis last weekend for the Lenny Kravitz concert, and the car was great. I averaged 80 mph and got 23mpg, with 4 passengers and overnight luggage. Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" in 5.1 Surround Sound in SACD format also sounded pretty amazing. The NAV system also helped us maneuver around an accident in downtown St. Louis so all in all it was great.

    And no speeding tickets, either. A white RL doesn't exactly stand out like a black M45 Sport with shiny 19 inch dubs. I seriously wouldn't be shocked if I saw an M45 with spinners!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    BTW, the 7 does not have more HP unless you are taking about the 760 (and 95% of 7's you see are 745's). The 745 and 545 have the same engine. The smaller car with ALWAYS outhandle the larger car IF all things are equal. All I'm saying is that I'm not sure they are. Maybe enough things are equal to give the 3 the edge. Maybe not. I'd just like to see proof in the form of numbers.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    . . .I would assume that the 330xi (when it comes out later this year) would out handle the 530i and 530xi. However, despite my AWD bias, I am not saying this because of the AWD. The wheelbase, weight and perhaps the power to weight ratio would seem to favor the 3 series.

    I just configured a 530xi as minimally as I would want it and it comes to about $55K (without extra charge paint) -- and it claims to be offered for a 36 month lease @ 12K miles per year with a $2,500 cap cost reduction @ $802 per month -- we're now back in 2005 Audi A6 3.2 territory, if this holds constant (which it probably won't). The M35X is starting to be a candidate for inclusion in the "old saying":

    Mercedes - Old Money
    BMW - New Money
    Audi - Smart Money (past tense)

    Honorable "smart money" mention: Infiniti's 2006 M's (and from where I sit, the M35X seems "really, really smart.")

    Infiniti may never rise to inclusion in the German Money group, I have no clue -- but at present the Infiniti has replaced Audi as "the value leader." Now if it ever earns even a little prestige. . .well, it might happen, someday, perhaps, maybe, OK not likely, but not impossible.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    You don't need numbers. Just visit your local, friendly, jack up the money factor BMW dealer and drive a 325 or 330 fast around the curves. Then do the same in your vehicle.
    You'll see what I am talking about.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    cstiles, My wife drinks Chai Lattes while I "keep it simple stupid" with regular caffinated Kenya AA if I can get it fresh from Caribou. Your run to St. Louis touched off some fun memories of the kind of music I enjoy. and as far as the black M45 with the addition of "Spinners" cracked me up.

    and an addition to Marks observations:
    Mercedes - Old Money
    BMW - New Money
    Audi - Smart Money (past tense)
    Honorable "smart money" mention: Infiniti's 2006 M's

    RL- Money Winner (Complete Package) ;)
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Actually, I do need numbers. Sometimes what we feel isn't the most accurate. As I said, I had a 330xi before it and I feel like the 545 is significantly more confident in curves. As others have said, the 325i with sport may handle better than the 330xi. I have driven the 325 non-sport as well as a loaner car and certianly didn't feel that it handled better. But there you have it, I didn't FEEL like it handled better. That could be due to the fact that the E60 has more advanced stability control. It may NOT mean that it handles better though. Basically, what I'm getting at is that we all feel things differently. I want numbers so I can rule out individual perception. Another thing to consider though is should we even EXPECT the 5 to handle better? It's basically designed to handle better than its peers. The 325 and 330 are not its peers.
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