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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I would agree with you regarding automatic (My last stick was a 93 Vigor) and I would never go back to a clutch. But there are still a lot of drivers out there that love stick and will never change.

    Incidently have you ever tried titanium shafts?
    (I play in the low 80s. If it's any hotter than that, I won't play. :shades: )
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    When something sounds too good to be true then it is too good to be true! And that truth also applies to biodiesels!

    Biofuels are mainly sold in mixtures. In most of the USA it is sold as E10 gasahol which consists of 10% ethanol and 90% standard gasoline. In Europe it is sold as B5 which consists of standard diesel mixed with 5% biodiesel--made from canola oil. Some N. American commercial vehicles use B20.

    The unmixed 100% biodiesel used in California would be quite useless where I live in Toronto since it is cold-weather sensitive!

    Ethanol in its pure form can damage gaskets and hoses.

    BUT as technology improves the % of biodiesel blends can only improve--unless the price of an oil barrel plummets to $20 and all such biodiesel endeavors would be written off as a financial waste. It should not be forgotten that low oil prices had a similar affect about a 100 years ago when Rudolf Diesel introudced his engine that ran on peanut oil.
  • The TV show featuring a "how to" of biodiesel used a 2002 Dodge Ram truck -- no modifications were done to the engine.

    The show's host went to a Burger King, got some spent vegetable oil from the grease container behind the BK, brewed up some biodiesel and literally poured it into the gas tank (20 gallons). Next he took the truck out on the road and proclaimed other than a smell of french fries from the tail pipe, the Dodge truck's engine worked "normally."

    No conversion was needed to do this.

    And, the vegetable oil was "free."

    The "chemistry set" used in this show was purchased from a web site and it looked like a small septic tank only funnel shaped and with a pump motor on the side. The procedure included dumping the corn oil into the tank and mixing it with some lye (and probably something else.)

    The cost per gallon was computed to be $.70 (seventy cents) accorind to the host (I know the show is one of the PowerBloc shows on Saturdays on SpikeTV.)

    Now, I would assume that were it as simple AND inexpensive as this segment made it out to be that many folks would be doing this -- I know of NO ONE who is even contemplating this.

    If all this is really true, it would seem the payback could be easily calculated based on gallons used+cost to create subtracted from the cost of a gallon of regular diesel at a pump.

    If, if, if, the host's declaration that the fuel cost net in the tank was $.70/gallon (and our cost here in Cincinnati for a gallon of diesel is $2.79), it would seem that based on 1,000 gallons annually the savings of $2.09 x 1,000 could be used to determine the economics of doing this as a practical matter.

    A $2,000+ annual reduction in fuel cost seems to be a worthwhile savings.

    And a mix of gasoline and alcohol is NOT what this segment of the TV show was about -- it was about producing a biodiesel that would run in an American truck that had NOT been in any way modified to use Burger King's grease (mostly from corn oil.)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Bangle board as sales of the E60 are up 15.8% since September 2004

    Maybe the public is not as Bangle de-sensitized as you may think!(though I am a closet Bangle fan myself)

    That 15.8% increase may be mainly due to the recent introduction of the 530xi and 530xi touring vehicles! As the xi novelty wears out in the next few months sales of the 5 series may not look as robust.

    Regarding your comment about the dangers of buying a BMW and keeping it beyond warranty! I own a 3 series for seven years and still did not reach personal bankruptcy! Maybe I am an exception, but with regards to maintenance my e46 has been Maytag-like!
  • That's an interesting perspective, bmw45sport. I guess I never thought that stressing out on a hill with an annoying tail-gater behind you was the reason that people bought manual shifting cars! But then again, you are probably a more "authentic" manual shifter than I am, and that's fine by me. Since when does enjoyment = stress? And this is an infrequently used feature that really works well and is useful when you need it. 'nuff said, I guess.

    This message brought to you by an ordinary driver who just wants to have some fun but doesn't golf, so I have no idea what the graphite vs. hickory comment means! Happy to learn.
  • Couldn't agree with you more hpowders. I have yet to meet a friend, colleague or passer-by who did not like the looks of my new 530xi, and I have countless examples of people who thought it looks awesome. And then when I tell them that I get 33+ mpg cruising on the highway in 6th gear they can't believe it!

    I have no idea where the dislike of the design comes from. I cannot stand the looks of the M or the new Audis because of their gaping open-fish-mouth front-ends (just a personal opinion, markcincinnati please don't yell at me for this!). Although, if the 5 did not exist I would, of course, be happy with one of these other excellent cars because I am not THAT picky!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I had a 1993 325i for 9 years. I leased it for 3 years and couldn't part with it so I bought it. The regular maintanance got to be pretty expensive into around year 5 and beyond.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The car is a lot nicer looking in person than in photographs. Very aggressive and sexy.

    It's nice to see at least one auto mag. revise their original negative opinion of the E60 Bangle design.
  • bw45sportbw45sport Posts: 151
    I guess I never thought that stressing out on a hill with an annoying tail-gater behind you was the reason that people bought manual shifting cars!

    I was just kidding. Many members of the "row your own" club deem us "slushboxers" as a poor judge of sports sedans since we don't really drive our cars. Seemed like the opportune time to make a playful jab back the the other side.

    I'm sure the shifters feel more connected to their cars but I have no problem allowing the newer transmissions handle the job for me. In my case, they do a better job anyway. Two pedals and two hands on the wheel is complicated enough for me.

    Also, jj, I too play in the low 80's. Then unfortunately, I must leave the cool confines of the clubhouse and head for the #10 tee box.
  • I wouldn't dream of yelling at you. My wife's X3 has actually made quite a believer out of me.

    I like the looks of the "330xi" and really respect the 530xi, but I just can't get past the Pontiac front end.

    The Audi trout mouth is an aquired taste -- I am, at this point, not repulsed by it (but, to be clear, I am NOT repulsed by the 5 series either, but the butt of the 7, well fugetaboudit.)

    The profile of the Audi A6 is OK with me, and frankly the 5, too in profile looks good and very good with certain wheels (18").

    The cars discussed herein are so good and more alike than not, so if someone said "here, Mark, you HAVE to take a 530xi" I would gladly do so.

    Heck I almost bought an Infiniti M35X which I am still in the process of warming to, looks wise.

    What the heck do I know. . . :shades:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I will just cross my fingers and hope I will remain a happy exception!
  • . . .the main issue I have with BMW's (and I don't care what model we are talking about) is the fact that here in Cincinnati the dealer (the largest in Ohio) has hundreds of cars on his lot and 75% of them are Black or Silver with a Black leather interior and the dark wood or black wood interior trim.

    Any car, I don't care made by Audi, BMW or anyone, that is Black on Black on Black or Silver with Black and Black is just soooo darn depressing and in the case of BMW's there are so many of them. Doesn't anyone ever get a blue one or a red one or a white one or a green one and doesn't anyone ever get a camel leather colored interior or something other than Black for pity's sake.

    There was ONE white 530xi with the Terracotta interior on the lot, and I swear if the thing would have been a stick shift and would have had sat nav, I could've been tempted.

    But, like I said, BMW seems hell bent to populate the lots with Black and Silver -- Mercedes and Audi, at least it seems, like COLOR!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I will just cross my fingers and hope I will remain a happy exception!

    My secret:
    1)I avoid all electrical/electronic options which can be problem-prone.
    2)I found a competent and reasonable mechanic who I can trust(these kind of mechanics are hard to find but I guess I lucked out)
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,579
    Regarding i-drive: "You can really get to everything you need within 3 clicks. Most of the fussing you hear is based on old prejudices."

    Well, let's see: for example, if I have my map on the Nav. screen, to go directy to another radio station I've set I have to click to go back to the main menu, click on entertainment, scroll down to the desired station, then click twice to play that station. This is four to five motions or "clicks".

    While I too do not find the i-drive as bad as the press makes it, why not have (redundant) radio buttons to go directly to a station when you do not want to scroll up and down your stations with the steering wheel controls? This is only one example negating the point made by bdr127. I-drive was improved with making redundant climate control buttons available.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder:

    Every single car I owned, even non-BMWs were black on black. Would not have a a sedan any other way.

    Though in the future I may be hesitant about black on black for a future wagon model I am considering if it ends up looking hearse-like.
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    "Well, let's see: for example, if I have my map on the Nav. screen, to go directy to another radio station I've set I have to click to go back to the main menu, click on entertainment, scroll down to the desired station, then click twice to play that station. This is four to five motions or "clicks". "

    Is this the only way to change the radio station in the current BMW 5 series? My 03 530 had the conventional preset buttons, but this was before I-drive. Now with an 05 Acura RL, I have a choice of three ways to change the radio station, being the conventional preset buttons, voice command or using the screen menus and dial. Its nice to have the choices and most often now use voice for a lot of these functions.

    I still love the 5 series but get the feeling that its electronics are not exactly state of the art such as Acura has done with the RL. I have found Lexus to also be a bit behind Acura on having useful and user friendly electronics, but how does the current 5 series compare on this issue?
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    I agree. I own an E39 and wouldn't touch an E60 if it were free (I absolutely HATE the bangalized styling, inside and outside); however, I think that some of the hype about BMW's reliability is overblown. My E39 has 131,000 miles on it, and other than routine maintenance, I have had a radiator and some power steering bits replaced. The clutch is starting to make itself known; however, this car burns no oil, gets 23-30 mpg, is quiet, comfortable and handles/brakes incredibly well. Sure, I am a car nut and have my eye on all the new LPS types; however, I have yet to drive anything that makes me believe that I will substantially "improve" my ride by trading my E39. Too bad that BMW didn't simply focus on improving this model which was virtually universally hailed as a beautiful car, however, from my experience and others that I have known, I would not instantly lump BMW in with the other German marques for reliability. I make no comments re I-drive (which I don't have), etc, but mechanically, these are GREAT cars.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    My first 325i was dark green. My last 325i and my current 545i are both silver. I happen to like the color silver, but more importantly, being notoriously lazy, find silver is the easiest color to keep looking clean the longest.
    I absolutely hate washing the car. :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I have had BMW's since 1993 and have had no problems including a 1993 325i which I kept for 9 years. My stepson is currently driving it which makes it 12 trouble-free years.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I won't dis another man's travel mode unless provoked, but I also can't get 'round to Bangle's designs. And my issues are by and large found in the details. Unfortunately for me, and our friend Chris, that's precisely where one finds God, according to Mies van der Rohe! He may have been talking architecture, but the application is universal, IMO.

    I think his shapes are quite appropriate to their individual missions, by and large. For all of the fuss, the 7, in profile, is a fairly seductive shape for a large sedan, and its authoritative stance is mission perfect, IMO. Similarly the Z4, without benefit of lighting capable of showing off the surface details and cutlines, is a beautifully proportioned roadster, and downright sexy, as befits the genre.

    It's his detailing that sinks the ship for me.

    OTOH, the 5 I do not understand in the least, but this may be because I find it's predecessor to be the ulimate expression of styling for a mid-size sedan. The replacement for me would have had a hard time being anything but a disappointment. I almost came home with a 540iT in 2003, despite the fact that it was substantially bigger than I wanted and near twice the price I had intended to spend; it was that beautiful. Had it been the right size, it would have been well worth the extra money to me. There's a red one ('03) that makes the opposite commute to mine, and it garbs my eye nearly every morning. Total knockout.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    People may criticize the E60 design. There are as many or more who love it. No use crying over the 2003 540i. It's part of a great past.
    I'm pretty sure if you got behind the wheel of my 545i and spent 10 minutes driving it, you would quickly forget your criticisms of its exterior styling.
    At least Chris Bangle didn't give me an Audi-like front grille. Yikes!
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    totally agree, Lexusguy. I cannot comprehend what Lexus/Toyota is doing with their engine selection for various cars. I like your suggestions. It makes NO sense to me to put the 3.5 in the Avalon and not the GS (in whatever HP format they choose). The 306hp 3.5 in the GS would have provided better gas mileage and comparable acceleration to the 4.3 V8 (which is becoming obsolete). For me personally, I won't buy a 3.0 GS when I can get a MUCH quicker 3.5 M35 with similar quality and much more interior room, and on and on. Not sure who is sitting in some of these Lexus planning meetings, but they are not giving customers all the things that matter (interior room being one thing). Maybe arrogance is an issue here. Yes, they sell all their cars, but right now, mainly on perceived quality and reliability. They are vulnerable on both points, and if they don't start to listen to their customers more, they may not always find themselves in the proverbial drivers seat.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,244
    My put is that the $0.70/gal price will last until the miniscule (relatively -- how many million barrels are really available?) quantity of spent cooking oil (valued as garbage) is used up, at which time the law of supply & demand will drive the price to near petroleum diesel.

    Now, if virgin biodiesel produced from rapeseed, peanuts, sunflower seeds or whatever can be had for $2.50 or so per gallon. . .

    I absolutely love the torque of European Tdi engines linked to a manual transmission, so I'm hoping for good things in this regard. Should be interesting.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Interesting sidenote to the bidiesel real-cost discussion is that fuels for use on-road are subject to taxation regardless of the source. I think that .70 figure could use a tad of upsizing!

    Hpowders: can't go there with you, but I'm very glad you like yours. If a 5er is going to end up in my driveway (not likely, as I said, it's too big for my tastes) before the next major re-skin, it'll be a used '03 Touring!
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    I think the issue with the E60 is purely one of looks/design. It IS a BMW and will handle/drive better than anything else on the road. I love BMWs. My 97 528 is the best car I have ever owned (to include Audis, Chevys, Fords, Pontiacs, Buicks, Nissan 280Z, and Subarus). This car has been almost bullet-proof through 131K miles. The new E60 is another BMW. It rides, handles and performs as well as anything on the planet - no arguments anywhere. All the Lexus GS/IS and Infiniti M wannabes can get in line. They are good, but are not BMWs. Come back year after year with a winner and tell us about it. That said, your boy Bangle screwed the pooch on his E60 design. While many may buy it, there are an incredible number of people absolutely turned off by the "bolt on" styling. If he had simply enhanced the E39 style and improved performance, in my humble opinion, BMW sales would be at least 20% higher than they are today. Yep, styling is subjective, but we NEVER heard even a smidgen of the complaints about the then new E39 in 1996 that we have re the E60. BMW blew it on this one. Sure some love it, but MANY more won't buy it until the style changes.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I just saw quite an amazing feat on tonight's Top Gear episode. An Audi A8, with a 4.0L, twin turbo TDI V8 engine, made a round trip from London to Edinburough Scotland - thats 800 miles, on one tank of diesel, averaging 40mpg. Granted the A\C was off and he got back to the UK literally on fumes, but still, for a car the size and weight of the A8, thats astounding.
  • ezpilzeezpilze Posts: 29
    When I saw some of the spy shots for the current generation of bmw 5 series, I decided to stop waiting and quickly purchase the 02 530i. I'm actually quite suprised that so many people here find that the new 5 series is rather good looking, most of my friends find the new styling quite... um... inspiring. Nothing against the new 5 series, but I much prefer BMWs traditional look. The weird interior controls got on my nerves when I tested it in the slightly older 7 series and they still get on my nerves in the current 5 series, but I wouldn't have minded having the new engine upgrade in the 5 series. Perhaps I'm a bit old fashioned, but I'll go with the 02s over the current 5 series any day.
  • IMO, the E39 styling was becoming somewhat old and tired-looking. Bangle did exactly what he was commissioned to do.... create a new 5-series design (E60) that was fresh and bold!

    I can honestly say that a new 530i would not be sitting in my garage if BMW had NOT changed the styling! The same goes for my friends and countless others that I have talked to.

    Martin
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Every single car I owned, even non-BMWs were black on black. Would not have a a sedan any other way.

    Very interesting. You never got tired of the extra care a black car needs to looks its best? Or did you just have it washed at the local soft-touch? ;)

    While I think Black is the ultimate color it takes too much work to keep it looking its best - for most folks. Though there is nothing that shines like a black car that has been taken care of properly.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Good call. The new 5 series is indeed fresh and bold and I swell with pride every time I go to my garage.
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