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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    It is necessary if you want to personalize your car as you never could before. Imagine being able to control speed volume of your radio. As you are driving, the noisier it gets in the cabin, the volume gets louder and vice versa. Wow!

    Incorrect. I have an '03 530 and I'm able to adjust the speed volume of my radio with a couple of button clicks, no need for iDrive.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Ever heard of the scan feature found on most radios? Do you honestly save stations you find while driving out of town on your standard car radio? I never do. Normally I'm not in another place long enough to preset their stations. Besides, I have SAT radio and rarely (if ever) listen to regular radio. Bottom line is, if you're determined to find fault with iDrive or similar systems you will regardless of what other people say.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Don't the radio controls on the steering wheel work that if you hold the memory control, it actually goes into scan mode? Since it only takes a few seconds to set the radio controls via i-drive, how much faster can it really be by doing it the old fashioned way?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yeah. It's foolish to argue. Let's face it. The media has relished this all out assault on BMW ever since iDrive came out. But they have the responsibility to get the facts right. For most normal people out there, once iDrive is set when you first get your car, you can forget about it. The auto rags make it sound like it's a distraction when you are driving which it is not.
    I just wish that ugly iDrive thing on the dash wasn't so prominent.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Thanks for the offer. We're going on vacation for a few weeks, but when we come back, I'm going to get serious and try to work out a deal for the Lexus. I'll be in touch about Peoria. That would be the best bet for me, in terms of proximity. I've taken a test drive up there, so there is a salesman I would be working with. When I asked about factory ordering a car, he kind of hedged and didn't seem thrilled. Somehow I assumed that larger Chicago dealers would be more amenable to factory ordering a car, or being able to trade within Chicago for the car I wanted. But if I could get the same deal at Peoria, I'd prefer to deal with them.

    For routine warranty work on your RL, you might contact Barker Honda and see what they say. For OnStar and things that Honda doesn't have, you probably would have to go up to Rizza.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    YIKES...I'm sorry. Didn't mean to start ANOTHER long and tired thread on the pro's and con's of luxury interface systems! We're spinning out of the stratosphere again, and we've been there a few times already.

    I do agree that these types of interfaces are here to stay. And I'm convinced that these interfaces make sense AS LONG AS YOUR CAR COMES WITH A NAVIGATION SYSTEM.

    However, if the car doesn't have navigation, i-Drive, MMI, COMAND and other interface dials add unnecessary complexity, IMO. The functions they control can be managed more effectively the "old way." Same deal with these big display screens, like you get in several models with or without navigation. If you don't have navigation, these screens are also unnecessary.

    Okay, I'm done. Hope you guys are too.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Yeah, Barker told me they would service the RL for simple stuff like oil changes. But Rizza will give us a TL as a loaner, so we'll time a trip to Oakbrook, a ball game, etc. in conjunction with a service stop later this year.

    Take care.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    cstiles... Are I-Drive defenders Ego driven? :sick: (Ba...Bump Bump!)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Nah - we're just trying to edumacate the uneducated. :confuse:
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    cstiles... Are I-Drive defenders Ego driven? (Ba...Bump Bump!)

    Maybe ego and income and education-driven???? If you've invested the time to master a system and have embedded it into your driving lifestyle, then I can see how people argue so strongly, while others who have not will feel strongly the other way.

    Not sure if the cost of the technology will come down enough, but I somewhat shudder to think that these types of systems will end up in lower end, entry-level cars. It does take a certain level of sophistication to master them, and I've argued before that with people already eating, phoning, multi-tasking behind the wheel, that these interfaces can be a safety hazard in the wrong hands.

    Those who are posting on these forums are likely more educated, and we probably don't represent the "typical" driver (whatever that means). I accept that interfaces are here to stay, but I'm not sure if I want every 16 or 90-year old out there fiddling with them while they try to stay in their lane of travel.

    That is a scary thought to me. Especially when there are no standards for consistency from brand to brand. I respect Lexus for holding out, and I hope they are successful.

    With each passing year, our driving behaviors are also being monitored through black box data recorders and other intrusive wireless/GPS devices that are pre-installed in cars. One darker consequence of "advanced" technology is that we will be giving up more of our personal freedoms so that 3rd parties can track our driving patterns and lifestyles. Of course, interfaces like i-Drive aren't causing this, but I still see it as part of a larger pattern of companies pushing the envelope with technology that has less and less to do with the daily business of driving a car.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "f you've invested the time to master a system "

    Don't we all invest time to learn a new vehicle? Don't we want the operation of the car to be by reflex. This includes learning the limits of the vehicle, the placements of the controls, the feel of the brakes and gas etc.

    I like having the control of the car in one place and being able to customize it. But it's part of the learning process.

    I do agree there is no consistency. To their credit, the Germans are headed down the same path, even though their implementations are different. Family has a Lexus, while I respect the product the first time I drove the car, I needed to be shown the fundamentals, radio, climate control etc. These functions are not intuitive on any vehicle.

    If people really want to master their cars, they just might have to give up eating lunch while driving. :shades:
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    You and I may take the time to master and learn it, but I doubt every Tom, Dick, and Mary does. In fact, I bet that less than half of drivers even bother to read their owners manuals.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I know this is a totally different car, but, here I go:

    I had a five-year lease on a charcoal black '00 Audi A6 2.7t. I loved it for the time I had it, although I got a bit tired of it at the end of the lease. It was time to get some more excitement into my drive. So, I went to my Audi dealer several times to test drive two S4 sedans, one S4 Cabriolet, and a new A6 4.2. By the way, the S4 sedans were the '04 versions. I loved all, but the A6 felt oddly disconnected from the road. It could've been that the interior was a boring gray, but my son practically fell asleep in the car, and he loves Audi. It was probably the gray, now that I think about it. But, we were really sold on the S4 Cabriolet. In fact, it's sitting in my garage right now. I bought it. Sprint Blue over Silver Nappa Leather w/ Black Piping. I love it- it's absolutely gorgeous! Every other Audi owner looks, nods, smiles, gives me the thumbs-up, or waves. BMW and Mercedes drivers have looks of either envy or hidden admiration, and right when I glance at them they look away, embarrassed. It's hard for people not to look at this car, with the flashier color and all. The V8 sounds so good... and it's so fast. It's probably a much more satisfying car to own than any M3 Convertible, also considering the S4 is a much better value with more features. It's my favorite car. Ever.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    IDrive is absolutely incredible. The comprehensive control it allows over the vehicle is unprecedented. Anybody with basic computer literacy can do it.
    If you are here reading this, then you have achieved the level it takes to use iDrive.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Family has a Lexus, while I respect the product the first time I drove the car, I needed to be shown the fundamentals, radio, climate control etc. These functions are not intuitive on any vehicle."

    Seriously? Was it a '98-03 RX300? The first RX (despite the fact that there's one in my garage) is probably Lexus' worst interior design, and the only one I can think of where it might be possible that things like climate and audio wouldnt be immediately obvious. I think thats mostly due to it being the first Lexus designed around a large integrated screen, even on versions without NAV. All of their other designs, even other early NAV versions, are still pretty as intuitive as you can get. If you can look at the following from a '99 LS400 with NAV and cant figure out how to do the basics like adjust the climate or volume.. then I dont know what to say.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Stop. Please I have a BMW. That's too easy. My head is throbbing. I am suffering from information underload. :)
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    'That's fine if you never drive out of town…'

    If you drive out of town you may use the iDrive 'Autoscan' function each time you loose good tunnnig. Or the manual searching scan. Each is only two steps into iDrive, which you can do 'by hart' with the main iDrive button at the center console, next to the gear stick, once you has done it a few times. Once set it, you jump from a station to the next with the wheel button.

    By the way, most presettings made by way of iDrive keep recorded in your own start key. In my case, that means that my wife and me don't make more arguments about radio station preset favourites, or climate control settings for the driver seat, when we change seats for driving.

    Best regards,
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    As the systems become able to do more and more -- that is as they become more complicated -- a common user interface will darn near be a requirement.

    Although I hope I could drive virtually any car, there was a time when driving an unfamiliar car or another brand was about a 60 second transition.

    Imagine if the stalks on the steering column on brand A controlled the turn signals with the right stalk and then on brand B the left stalk controlled the signals (and so on).

    The increased complexity has yet to be masked by simplicity, although it is my believe that iDrive and MMI, etc. are actually intended to do just that. The issue I have is the lack of similarity between these systems. On my previous car, I had a tiptronic transmission. If you don't know, the tip upshifts when you push the lever and downshifts when you pull it. BMW is opposite, Chrylsers used to require side to side "slapping" for the up and down shift. Imagine if all manual transmissions did not offer the familiar "H" pattern for the 1 - 4 shift and ditto for the position of 5 and 6th gears.

    Much as "they" would hate it, it just seems to me that certain controls (and we could probably quickly identify them) should be standardized across manufacturers. Plenty of room would still exist for the individuality and creativity of the designers and engineers.

    I visited the BMW store here in Cincinnati yesterday for the debut of the new 3's.

    I met a person there, a college graduate no less, who said his sole job was to deliver new cars to customers and train them to use the various systems on the cars. He said delivering a BMW 7 series is a multi-hour undertaking because there are so many menus and screens in iDrive. He also said that once you know the system it IS intuitive.

    But this is telling that a dealership that sells 1,000+ new BMW's per year (they claim they are the largest in Ohio) needs a full time person to deliver the cars. It is also probably a sure fire way to make customers less unhappy with the new technology in these cars. He must deliver an average of 4 cars per day 6 days per week.

    Sign of the times.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "He said delivering a BMW 7 series is a multi-hour undertaking because there are so many menus and screens in iDrive."

    Every car walkthrough I've ever had takes about 30 minutes if not more. My mother learned how to use a computer and she can learn i-drive. Of course, you either have to learn the menu or learn the buttons. Try going 60+ in the dark and figuring out hordes of unfamiliar buttons.

    Seems like we all mastered Edmunds, we can also learn the menus on i-drive.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    That's what I'm saying. If you are reading this message, then you have the skills to become articulate in iDrive.
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