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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Yes and take the square root of the radius of the black circle. .. throw out the Dewey decimal system calculation on why people drive Infiniti's, Audi's, Lexus'and Cadillacs.

    That square root theory sounds more like a "Dewey the Duck" theory versus Melvil Dewey's decimal system! ;)

    I dont know what insecure feeling you are talking about before visiting a BMW service dept. Without the assistance of mood alteration drugs I feel "inner peace" while visiting my BMW mechanic! My feelings are confirmed by CR! The 3 and 5 series overall hardly ever generate CR black circles!

    In Canada the Acura RL is priced about the same as a BMW550! The RL as a grown up version of a 28k Accord is a bit too grown up for me. I would pick a BMW550 any day over a RL.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    The only time I have brought my BMW cars in for service since 1993 was for basic routine maintenance.
    Don't believe CR's voodoo reliability statistics. They seemed divorced from reality. My BMW service dept. serves Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, several kinds of fresh coffee, delicious hot chocolate, all the bottled water you can haul out of there, etc;
    If this be insecurity, give me excess of it!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    No need to qualify with IMHO when you are simply stating the facts:
    The handling of the M IS a couple of notches below the 5 series.
    The handling of the 5 series IS the best in its class.

    One point: If I am shopping for an RL, I don't care if it does have the best navigation system. If I don't want it, why should it be forced down my throat anyway?
    I have never driven the RL nor do I intend to, so long as Acura insists on loading its vehicles to the hilt with stuff I don't need. I will not pay "one price fits all."
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    When you click on consumer reviews above for the 5 series, Toyota Land Cruiser reviews come up instead.
    I thought a collective 8.5 was rather low for the 5 series, but just about right for that gas guzzling, ugly behemoth.
    The correct collective consumer rating for the 2006 5 series should be 9.2.
  • len55len55 Posts: 7
    I have narrowed my choice down to the Infiniti M35X and the Audi A6. The AWD on the Infiniti M35X is based on the RWD platform. On dry roads it is 100% RWD and goes up to a 50/50 split in snowy conditions.

    The Audi A6 is based on a FWD platform. On dry roads it is a 50/50 split and go up to 70/30 in either direction in the snow.

    My instinct tells me that this results in the better performance of the Infiniti but would give the Audi the edge when it snows.

    Does anyone have any experience with the Infiniti in the snow? Or any comments on my "instinctive" analysis?

    Also, what are the thoughts on the need for snow tires on an AWD vehicle?
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Nice heading :P
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    "I still feel choice is good, especially at that price tag."

    I personally agree with you but for the buyer who wants those extras it's a bargain. I don't use navigation often...know this city well and it's easy to get around in it.

    "Why should Bangle step aside?"

    I was having a little fun...your awestruck thing about him is way over the top (even for the gullible ones) :D As far as I'm concerned, he's a local guy made good.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    your "Dewey the Duck" assessment.
    that's pretty accurate,,,I was just having some fun...because of your Lada/Trabant comment which by the way I disagree with, but won't go there again in this forum.

    "Without the assistance of mood alteration drugs :sick: I feel "inner peace" while visiting my BMW mechanic!"

    Now thats a statement I would not have expected from you...from hPowders maybe ;)
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    "Ok, but let me ask you this, you think Acuras are good looking cars?"
    Not all Acuras...I passed on the 2004 TL when it came out. But I think the 2005 RL is the best design of any Honda/Acura product to date.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Hope you win the lottery Doug...but I have a feeling you are enriched enough already. Good Luck.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Ouch! :sick:
  • When shopping for a new car to replace my 2003 Audi allroad, I got down to the short list of the Audi A6 3.2 (loaded) vs an Infiniti M35x with Journey, Technology, & rear spoiler. The Audi was my first choice if all things (including price per month on a short term lease) were equal.

    I had been biased for Audis in particular and German cars in general for over twenty years. I had also felt that if America could build a car that even came close to the German car, I would be inclined to put it on my short list.

    At the time, the STS seemed like a lot of car for the money -- until I tried to get one with all wheel drive and the price at MSRP in any case shot up to ~ $63K.

    Now, too, I wanted a 6 cylinder as I believe we are heading down a path toward $4.00+ per gallon gasoline -- and if I could buy a German turbo diesel equipped car (such as an Audi A6 with the fantastic twin turbo diesel) I would.

    The ability to acquire a fine German car with AWD at a price that seemed competitve with the Infiniti M35x was (in April 2005 time frame) a pipe dream.

    Three test drives, one auto show and an Infiniti open house later, I plunked down a deposit for a silver Infiniti M35x with the auburn leather looking interior.

    My primary concern about the Infiniti was the fact that it had but a 5 speed transmission. But I drove the car over a pretty challenging and diverse route and found the transmission to be no worse than the other guys "intelligent" autos.

    The Infiniti M35x was approximately $200 per month less than the Audi I had configured -- but did not come with free maintenance (like the Audi.) Yet, I had reached a point where I felt the Audi, although in my mind superior to the Infiniti, was not a good value. The Infiniti, for ONE reason, did offer a slight advantage (other than price) over the Audi -- and that is it is somewhat better balanced. The Audi has its engine wayyyy out front.

    Now, the Audi is a marvel of German engineering in that it handles much better than any car so nose heavy has a right to.

    In the real world, this difference is probably rarely an issue -- but it is worth noting.

    The quattro AWD system is based on a US technology called torsen for Torque Sensing. As I recall there are three flavors of torsen (versions 1,2 and 3.) Version 3 is the 40% 60% (Front Rear) nominal torque split and is currently only on one or two production Audis (NOT the A6 for '05 and '06 however.) The current A6 uses torsen type 2 which is nominally a 50% 50% split of power but it is instantly able to shift power where it needs it since it is a mechanical system.

    There are no delays, no interpretations of sensory data required to effect the power shift. It, in almost every way, is the best AWD available -- but it is a very heavy system.

    The weight of quattro provides both positives and negatives, but, frankly, weight is never, all by itself, desirable.

    RWD biased AWD gets lots of publicity as if it is the holy grail -- and in many ways there is merit to this argument.

    But, in the context of quite a number of AWD cars that have been based on FWD platforms, Audis 50 50 system is, at the very worst, among the best if not the absolute best (in cars with other than some very exotic and expensive names.)

    If, for example, you look at the Volvo AWD V60 type R (?) it is 95% FWD and 5% RWD under normal circumstances -- yet it can quickly, if not quite instantaneously, shift power to where it is needed.

    SH-AWD, too, is a great concept in a very nice car (the RL), but the RL is more of a front wheel drive car as it is currently engineered than the Audi quattro.

    The Infitini is an RWD car that can put power to the front wheels when needed -- its RWD biased AWD is, if for no other reason able to claim it is more RWD like than some of its competitors.

    Frankly, I can't tell the difference in these systems in daily use -- AWD trumps FWD and RWD in my experience. But I don't race, I virtually never (deliberately) go off road but I live in the most southern part of Ohio which does have mostly moderate winters.

    AWD is important for that reason too.

    AWD's greatest impact is in the overall stability and performance of the car under all driving conditions, not just winter however.

    In the case of the Infiniti vs the the Audi, either one is certainly likely to be infinitely more competent and capable than their RWD or FWD counterparts regardless of manufacturer.

    The Infiniti will probably have poorer gas mileage than the Audi (a couple of MPG's) -- it will also have a bit more urgency than the Audi.

    The interior of the Audi is a bit more upscale, but this is more a matter of preference and opinion than hard fact based on empirical data.

    If you are looking for history with AWD, Audi wins. If you are looking for a true RWD biased vehicle, the Audi cannot currently make that claim.

    If the cars are priced the same, the Audi has a certain solid feel that the Infiniti comes close to matching, but does not quite equal.

    The Infiniti seems to handle a bit more like a BMW, and this is a good thing -- but, I attribute this more to the F/R weight balance of the Infiniti than to some "secret sauce" of engineering.

    So, how does this directly answer your question(s)?

    It probably doesn't -- it didn't make a hill of beans difference to me. The cars, beyond the cosmetic will be bought largely for subjective reasons anyhow.

    Both vehicles will be great under all kinds of traction conditions. Pick the one you like for other reasons, that is.

    AWD vehicles with All Season tires are better than AWD vehicles with summer only tires in snow, likewise, FWD vehicles are better than RWD vehicles in moderate snow when both are equipped with all season tires (or summer tires for that matter.)

    All season tires are able to withstand cold weather better than summer tires -- sometimes, sometimes, they have tread designs that give them the edge in snow, too -- but all season tires are not winter or "snow tires," no matter how good they are generally.

    An AWD vehicle so equipped with A/S tires in a part of the country that has cold and generally no more than moderate snowfall will pretty much eliminate the need for snow tires. Even when there is one (or two) heavy snow day(s), AWD + All Season tires will virtually never strand you.

    Get the car you want of these two -- were it my money, I would make certain I ultimately had Ultra High Performance All Season rubber on 18" wheels.

    My Audi has 245 x 40 x 18's and the high performance all seasons -- the thing is, therefore, under tired for the capabilities and confidence that I am convinced the suspension inspires.

    You figure it out for yourself, is the message -- from my perspective, you can't go wrong with either car.

    In my case when Audi dropped the price and I factored in the free maintenance, I got a car that I liked slightly better for less money.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Excellent post! If you search back you'll see my "rational" analysis of and why the M35 barely beat out the 530. For handling I also factored in what would I truly notice in every day driving, but then my old Porsche Turbo and crotch rocket blow all these LPS away. Everyone considers the "badge says BMW (or whatever car they're considering)" and the "admiration of others" to some extend but each of us has to determine just how much that weighs in the decision. For some alot, for others nil. I also weighed in the value proposition. A $55K LPS should be better than a $30K Honda/Toyota but then what other hedonistic pleasures can $25K buy?

    Different values result in different choices - luckily we are in the position to make these choices! Had similar discussions with my old motorcycle buddies about buying Japanese, German and Harleys.... oops got a bit off topic.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    At least RL buyers can find a car quickly. No pre-ordering is necessary.
    Just choose your color and drive it away.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    be nice!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,716
    Excellent point.

    Last week I found myself in JAX & picked an Impala from what National (our corporate "choice") had on offer.

    The thing had good power, full-up trip computer (it got 30+ mpg on the road), and an overall nice feel & interior. Combined with the G6 I was issued in June, I'm inclined to think GM may be making significant progress. Perhaps too little, too late.

    Either way, I enjoy renting a variety of cars, both to compare them to mine & to evaluate the general state of the situation.

    Cars in general appear to me to be getting lots better.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Some of my biggest positive surprises have been from rental cars.
    Liked the Ford Focus.
    Would like to try a Mazda3. It's supposed to be roomy with a nice interior, comfortable seats and excellent handling.
    I'll ask for it next time I travel.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,957
    Hmmmm. Just the opposite here. I think the TL is the best Acura design since the original Legend Coupe. To me, the current RL is like the previous TL: A handsome, but generic, design.

    I'm still no Bangle fan. The changes to the '06 7 have helped. I've grown accustomed to the current 5 but still think it looks like three different designers were involved without actually collaborating. Mostly, it's the Bangle-butt. It just looks tacked-on, kit car-ish. The 3 series is the best of the lot for me as they toned down the Bangle design. I think the 6 is ruined by the Bangle trunk.


    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Hmmm...I like keeping this Title it reminds me of good old Gramma Van Wormer :) who immigrated to this country from Norway! She had a thing for cod liver oil. :(

    Interesting comment and observation...about the RL. I really liked my 2000 TL a lot. The 2004 came along and we balked. I think you really Hit on it! The new RL is like the previous TL...a handsome but generic design. A very handsome car indeed. Thanks.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Well lucky for BMW, you are in a distinct minority as the overwhelming success of the Bangle E60 is one of the few bright spots in the automotive news these days.

    Chris Bangle.
    For he shall reign forever and ever....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Ahhh yesss!
    Cod Liver.
    The GM of oils.
  • Sheep. The E60 is being bought by sheep that have never even heard of the car magazines. They are not enthusiasts. They have no eye for design; no sense for ergonomics and know nothing of human user interfaces. But they do know that yuppies are supposed to buy Bimmers. They want to buy the most expensive model that they can afford, and based on a standard distribution, that places them in the fat part of the curve inhabited by the 5 series. Mystery solved, no charge! Meanwhile, the upscale buyers of the 7 series are a bit better informed, and that is why BMW HAD to stop Bangle from beating it with his ugly stick. And while I'm at it - "Bimmer" rhymes with "dimmer", not "creamer".
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    I'm a poor 5 series who has found its way.
    Ba Ba Bangle...
  • Of all the car dealers in our little city, the BMW store seems, even moreso than my beloved Audi dealer, to be frequented by enthusiasts. The folks who work there, too, seem uncommonly in lust with cars, BMW's in particular.

    The owner of the store is a car zealot -- a frequent visitor and instructor in Munich. His dealership was either second or third to become essentially ISO 9000 certified (in the US.)

    Customer orientation, BMW orientation, Sunday open houses where the service department provides tours of the operating room clean and pristine facilities seem to be the norm.

    Now, in fairness, this BMW store is owned by "Tom" -- who for years was the white lab coat wearing service manager. This place is of, by and for enthusiasts.

    There may be sheep there, they may be employees or customers -- they hide it well.

    My Audi dealer until a few years ago was owned by Gene -- he sold to the billionaire boys club here in River City. They are excellent business people and from all I can tell, really great people -- they hide their love of cars well, though. But, heck, they sell almost every kind of car made -- maybe they don't want to play favorites in case I decide I want a Cadillac, a Toyota, Acura, Porsche or Hummer for pity's sake.

    You may have been completely tongue in cheek, and if so, I missed it. But, the mystery pertaining to these cars is, sometimes, the almost religious fervor with which folks defend their favorites. And, in full disclosure, I represent that remark.

    But, in our fair town, the most passionate dealerships can be counted on the fingers (not including the thumbs) of one hand. One BMW dealership (of the two) one Audi dealership (of the two), one Saab dealership (dedicated to one brand) and perhaps one (the only one) Infiniti dealership seem to be at the very least "into the cars they sell."

    An honorable mention goes to one of the Mercedes and Volvo dealerships as well for at least a convincing impersonation of brand passion.

    I hate to be corny, but on any given weekday, there are folks at the "quattro cafe" who seem, too, to be into their Audis. Of course, I have long suspected they are paid actors, there to suck the unsuspecting in.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Once again, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has done a test and found that the ten safest cars based on their crash test performances wound up with 5 cars made by Audi/Volkswagen. The Audi A6 came in with ta Silver Award for a large car. The only car that came in better was the Ford 500 and who would want to own one of those cars anyway. Kudos to Audi/Volkswagen for making great cars that are safe too!!!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Nobody's buying them?
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    "Ahhh yesss!
    Cod Liver.
    The GM of oils."

    Yep...but with Mobil 1 you would be missing out on the Omega-3 with DHA and EPA which most Americans dangerously lack.

    Bingle Bangle Bungle Away in an E60...whew>>>
    Zip Zip Zippidy do da!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    I was hoping he would come back and set me up for another
    witty ditty.

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Huh, and I would say that "sheep" would buy a car based on what car mags have to say.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Posters like that are usually hit and run.
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