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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    Nice Suggestion HPowers. What about the M35x vs the M35? Is there a big difference between the two? Any difference in resale value/depreciation?
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    What about the M35x vs the M35? Is there a big difference between the two? Any difference in resale value/depreciation?

    Only difference is the AWD. Hard to say about resale values. Resale is all about what does the buyer want/need - I'd say if you are in the snow belt then AWD will add value, otherwise no.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Here's a suggestion. I have the M35x with the premium package. While I like the drop-down DVD player for the kids in the back, and they like the heated/reclining seats, I find that the components of the tech package are nice but not essential. If you have to have the top-of-the-line audio, you may require it. But for driving fun, you could get an M45 with the journey (which I would recommend) for the same cash.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I suggest springing for the M. There's no reason to buy a brand new TL, the '04s are exactly the same, and are quite a bit cheaper. Also, I may have asked this already, but have you considered the G35x?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    don't buy into the argument that greater complexity must inevitably translate into more frequent & costly repairs.

    I agree with one half of your statement. Repairs may not be more frequent than in the past but more costly repairs per car problem will in all likelihood be a certainty.

    Everything that I've read indicates that the average car, whatever that is, is vastly more reliable today than it was when automotive reliability was at its low point in the late 70s & early 80s.

    My family owns a 83 MB300D and intend to keep it for a million miles. Reliability on that car is outstanding! Although our MB was not a an average car in the early 80s.

    We expect that from most new cars, even though today's top of the line Accord or Camry is packed with electronics that would have been unimaginable in 1980.

    That is exactly what I said. A Accord and Camry will be the best cars to own in the long term for minimal maintenance. The high tech of a Accord or Camry in most cases is more mainstream and less complex when compared to luxury models.

    That said, I'm reluctant to buy a German car with, say, nav because I don't think that the Germans are as good as the Japanese at marrying high-end electronics with high-performance mechanical components.

    That may very well be the case for many German cars. But there are a few German cars where reliability is a non-issue (i.e. BMW3 and BMW5 series).

    But I wouldn't hesitate to buy a loaded Lexus GS & keep it for 10 years.


    Will a loaded GS not be costly to maintain in the future? I am willing to wager that if I owned a very reliable GS in the next 10 years(my definition of long term) then it most likely will cost BIG $$$$ for the few times a new gadget will have to be replaced. In fact it may cost so much that it may not be worthwhile in keeping a Lexus GS for a long time.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Before and during the 1970s corrosion was the death knell for most cars in dump sites.

    In future years expensive gadgets will be the death knell for most cars in dump sites.

    This is my New Year's Prediction based on techniques used by Nostradamus himself. :shades:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    That is exactly what I said. A Accord and Camry will be the best cars to own in the long term for minimal maintenance

    My statement above is incorrect.

    I would like to make the following correction:

    Base-level Accords and Camrys with minimal technology options will be the best cars to own for long term low cost maintenance.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,579
    Okay, which do you think I should go for, and why? All opinions welcome. Thank you.

    Well, I own both ('04 TL with Nav.and '06 M35 Sport) and all I can say is that you get what you pay for.
  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    Carnaught and/or Other Posters, I too am becoming impressed with the M35. I have some questions for you. I test drove the M35 without sport and was pretty impressed.

    What is your opinion on the M35 Sport vs the M35 without Sport?

    Is there a Huge Difference with the Sport Package?

    Also, is there is a difference in looks between the the M35 and M35 Sport?

    What about the M35x? What is your opinion on that model?

    Also the BMW 530i is known as the Benchmark in this category. Have you compared your M35 against the BMW 530? How did the M35 Stack up against the BMW 530i?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,579
    In answer to your post, yes, I did compare the 530 BMW to the M. For the money the M gave me more and it was an '06 model in March when the BMW's were '05' models. That said, I still like the 530 very much.

    I prefer the look of the M Sport which is different than the regular M with its 19" wheels that mimic MB AMG wheels. The suspension is harder riding than the regular but not objectionable and I like the brushed aluminum interior. The Sport has adaptable headlights and the car has rear active steer. Since I was offered the sport for the same price as the regular M it was a no-brainer for me.

    Personally I do not find engine or road noise to be intrusive or disturbing in the least. I like the engine growl. The dash controls in the M are very ergonomic and whether one likes the look of them as well as the outside of the car is subjective and can't be argued either way. The controls are redundant and very intuitive and easy to use especially compared to the iDrive controls I have in my 3-series BMW. The often criticized "ATM" configuration of the center buttons are actually great in real world use. Think about it, this is a more confortable position than having your fingers at right ankles to buttons. (BTW the iDrive is frequently dissed as being overly complex and hard to learn, and I find that criticism is over exagerated and unwarranted too.)

    I've had no problems with over 8000 mi. now on the car and have no regrets. It's one of my favorite cars I've owned and I've had many.
  • . . .for the free car wash for the '05 X3. Free Starbucks and fresh choc chip cookies in the showroom are always a draw. On the floor, a 2006 525xi "sport, premium w/6spd manual."

    Our salesrep, knowing we are not at this moment in the market offers the cookies, etc and pleasant conversation. So I said, which car will perform better -- a 530xi with steptronic or a 525xi with the 6spd manual (and which one would be the "one to get with YOUR money?")

    "Well the 530xi with all the options most people like is really getting expensive and the 525xi manual vs the 530xi auto will offer virtually identical performance but the 525xi will feel sportier and quicker." "I would go for a well equipped 525xi 6spd over an otherwise identical 530xi auto -- and buy a big widescreen TV with the difference."

    Then he added that he is at about 40% 5's with AWD since July and the problem is supply NOT demand for them. Oddly, the 3's are about 10%.

    FWIW this is at Ohio's largest volume dealer.

    Then I asked him what HE PERSONALLY was spending his money on -- he said a 2006 X3 with all the options.

    I don't know if this means anything, probably doesn't.

    The most interesting thing to me, however, was that 40% of the 5 series sold at the dealership are X versions.

    Now, remember we are in SW Ohio and we have been know to have a snowflake or two, but rarely more than that. In fact here we are on NYD and it is 56 degrees with 63 predicted for the holiday, Monday.

    I must say, I never say anything -- but I want to -- about having 28 Audis, obviously almost all of them quattros.

    Imagine how I cringed to hear this guy say, "overall the performance gains are what sells these AWD cars."

    Once again, Audi has squandered its key differentiator -- what a revoltin' development.

    Can I drive a 525xi stick? "We only had one and the only reason we had that one was because someone ordered it and changed their mind -- the only one we have is this sold one here on the showroom floor."

    I guess the message is there somewhere, I also guess it seems a contradiction of terms.

    Happy New Year anyway. :confuse:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    IMO a BMW without a stick is Big Money Wasted.
  • "IMO a BMW without a stick is Big Money Wasted."

    If you drove in congested So. Calif. traffic all the time, you would think differently!

    Martin
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    IMO a BMW without a stick is Big Money Wasted.

    Dewey, ya know, you’ve been a key player in my lineup, but that comment is on the verge of getting you traded. ;-) Hey, what if I said buying a sport sedan as opposed to a sports car is big money wasted? Actually it’s true... all sport-sedan enthusiasts are frustrated sports car enthusiasts making compromises. But we all have to make compromises now don’t we?

    Happy New Year to all!

    JJ, that card was great. I checked out her website. IMO that lady is as talented as Charlie Schulz and Norman Rockwell.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    IMO a BMW without a stick is Big Money Wasted

    Wonder what this says about the typical BMW buyer's mental capability - considering that a large majority of all BMW 5-series sold (actually rented) are automatics.
  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    Okay, what is the meaning of this statement "that a BMW without a stick is BIG MONEY WASTED?"

    Is it because true enthusiasts would only drive a Stick? Or, is that BMW's are over priced, but it is okay as long as you get get the manual version, because it gives the "true enthusiast" the true driving feeling only a manual can give?
  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    Okay, what do you think about the Infiniti M35X? I have not had the pleasure to drive this car, but it is AWD, and offers a lot of power for less money than even the BMW 525X. I used to bash the Infiniti as an overpriced Nissan, right up until my second test drive. I guess I was suffering from 'BADGE" Worship of BMW's. :) Yes, I do love BMW's. But, I am starting to face reality. The competition is on their heels and has surpassed my beloved BMW 5 Series in many areas.

    Now, back to the M35X. I was REALLY impressed by the M35. WOW! But, I have not driven the M35X. What is your opinion of this car?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Remember the initials IMO. And yes if I was not a family man I would definitely have a two seater sports car in my garage. And I disagree 100% with your Charles Schulz comparison. Maybe Rockwell or even Leondardo da Vinci but no way does this lady compete with Charles Schultz.

    Turnbown, I do understand your reasoning but even congested daily driving in downtown Toronto would not persuade me otherwise.

    Drtravel this has nothing to do with mental capability but everything to do with my own preferences.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There's really not a major difference between the rear and AWD version of the car. Nissan's ATTESA AWD system puts all of the power to the rear wheels under normal conditions, so the cars have a very similar feel.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Remember the initials IMO. And yes if I was not a family man I would definitely have a two seater sports car in my garage. And I disagree 100% with your Charles Schulz comparison. Maybe Rockwell or even Leondardo da Vinci but no way does this lady compete with Charles Schultz."

    image
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    But there are a few German cars where reliability is a non-issue (i.e. BMW3 and BMW5 series).

    I have an '01 330i that's been trouble-free. But I stacked the odds in my favor by ordering it with a stick (what a hardship!) & without nav.

    Will a loaded GS not be costly to maintain in the future? I am willing to wager that if I owned a very reliable GS in the next 10 years(my definition of long term) then it most likely will cost BIG $$$$ for the few times a new gadget will have to be replaced. In fact it may cost so much that it may not be worthwhile in keeping a Lexus GS for a long time.

    Repair costs are only part of the story & possibly not the most significant part. My wife has a '99 Lexus ES that's about to celebrate its 7th birthday, which means that it's been out of warranty for almost 3 years. During that time, we've shelled out a total of $500 in repair costs.

    Chances are fair to good that we'll replace her car during the next year. But suppose we don't. She's comfortable with it & hasn't yet found anything that in her eyes is appreciably better than what she has now. Suppose that New Year's Day of 2007 rolls around & we still have it. Let's also suppose that our good luck doesn't hold out & we have to pony up, say, $3,500 to keep this car on the road. Does this mean that we were wrong to hold onto it?

    Not at all. If we go out tomorrow & buy a new $35K ES, we'll give up at least $6K in depreciation by the beginning of 2007. Our '99, by contrast, has already taken its biggest depreciation hit & won't shed much more than $1K in value over the next 12 months. (The 1st 4 years of a car's life are the worst as far as depreciation is concerned.) So even if I have to pay my mechanic $3.5K during the next year to keep our ES running (& that's not likely), I'm still over a thousand dollars ahead of the game.

    Most folks pay too much attention to repair costs & too little to the corrosive effects of new car depreciation. The bankruptcy courts are filled with people who buy new cars every 3 or 4 years just to stay under warranty.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,905
    "At the BMW store yesterday.
    . . .for the free car wash for the '05 X3. Free Starbucks and fresh choc chip cookies in the showroom are always a draw."


    I have to start getting out of bed earlier on Saturdays.... ;)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Walk in another person's shoes... Well, here in Cincinnati like many other American cities, traffic congestion grows with each passing day. We are certainly not at So.Cal or Dallas traffic levels, but "damn, this traffic jam, takes 15 minutes to go 3 blocks," even in lil ol' Cincinnati.

    Since these are opinions, I do not see how the congestion makes the choice of transmissions for you. If I have to "park" on I-75 South, I push the shift to neutral, release the clutch and turn up the sat radio while cursing my misfortune. In my automatic, if we are truly stopped or just creeping along I employ similar techniques based on the traffic du jour.

    I guess I would have to lean toward agreeing with the Big Money Wasted comment -- yet, remember I sit in my Audi A6 with transmission envy and wonder why even bother with the BMW (at the price) if you are voluntarily buying an automatic.

    On the subject of the M35X vs the 5X if they are both equipped with the automatic. The 530xi with the automatic will come with a 6spd, the M35X will have a 5 speed. The Inifiniti has more urge than the BMW so, to a certain extent, the extra gear is not missed as much in the M35X.

    When faced with ONLY automatic transmissions (in an Audi 3.2 and the Infiniti M35X), I chose the Infiniti with Journey, Tech, rear spoiler and in Silver with Bourbon leather because (at the moment of decision) the Infiniti was "very German" in its feel (and a little less so when sitting behind the wheel -- speaking of the less subdued [but certainly not offensive] interior) and hundreds of dollars per month less on a lease (and thousands less on a purchase or finance.) Only -- and this is the key reason I changed my mind -- when the price of the Audi was "adjusted" to level the money playing field did I go back to Audi.

    Had the BMW 5X w/6spd manual been available, it would have been my first choice unless it only offered a "take it or leave it" price some hundreds of dollars more per month.

    Our experience with Audi and BMW finance is that BMW for whatever reason(s) subvents their leases heavily (at least at the time, more heavily than either Audi or Infiniti.) Today, the Infiniti, BMW and Audi all seem to have lease programs for 24 to 36 months with payments sometimes under $500 per month.

    Now seems to be a time of competition for your "attention" from these companies -- assuming the prices and content were virtually the same and assuming you HAD to have an automatic, you couldn't go wrong with any of these three cars IMHO. The reality however, is that the Infiniti based on content and MSRP/Street Price is once again the bargain of the three if the BMW name/badge isn't too overpowering for you.

    The fact that the BMW can be had with both stick and AWD differentiates it and (IMO) makes it better.

    Wait a year or at most two and the Audi and BMW will probably offer DSG and SMG transmissions (respectively) and who knows, Infiniti will probably increase the number of gears by one or two. At that time, with the DSG/SMG transmissions available (I presume) there will be fewer reasons to even consider a manual.

    Who knows, perhaps someone will figure out the perfect CVT transmission (and make it able to work with a V8) which will offer perhaps the holy grail, improved performance, smoothness AND fuel economy.

    We're approaching a time where we CAN have our cake and eat it too (sort of) -- but, in the mean time, the BMW with a stick shift offers Luxury, Fun and Performance that the other guys -- today -- can't touch.

    I can't imagine paying a premium for a BMW that has been hobbled (even if it is only a little bit) with an automatic.

    But as the TLA goes this is only IMO. :shades:
  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 262
    IMO, M35 Sport with Journey and Navi is the car to buy. The 6-cyl engine is not strong enough to move M35x with much authority. I drove M35x last spring and though the car was able to keep up with the traffic the power was not there in more demanding situations. Compared to my 2002 BMW 540 M35x required careful planning to safely merge with highway traffic. M35x is very heavy when compared to 530 and even heavier than 8-cyl 5-ers.
  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 262
    I strongly disagree. In a real life driving manuals are pathetically slow compared to automatics. Drivers of manuals tranny cars do not realize that the moment they start their clutch-brake-shift process they become a road abstraction. I almost ran into a black CTS-V on Christmas night. The guy would accelerate swiftly in first gear with me following him closely (just wanted to see if 545 auto could keep up with the Caddy) but around 25 mph his car completely lost the momentum and I had to brake hard to avoid hitting him from behind. The same happened again when he shifted to the 3-rd gear. On a two-lane road I would lose him the moment he pressed the clutch and would never see him again. Manuals are stronger when in gear but it is like running on a road with streetlights. Fast-slow-stop, fast-slow-stop. I’d rather take a highway.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    am I giving up with the steptronic in my 545?
    0-60 in 5.9 seconds. Yeah, how can I even live?

    I will race any of you to the post office on January 8th at 9 AM EST.
    Bet I get my 0.02 cent stamps first (especially if you live in CA).
  • According to BMW's web site 530xi:

    255HP and 220LbFt - transmission doesn't change this

    Auto trans version weighs 31 pounds more than manual

    Final drive: manual - 3.23; auto - 3.73

    Acceleration to 60mph: manual - 6.6; auto - 6.9

    Fuel economy +1 for auto city, +1 for manual highway.

    These statistics demonstrate the differences in measurable performance between the two versions. They may indicate subjective performance differences -- but I would suggest that this would be so based on your personal preferences. You may be willing to give up some accelerative performance for the convenience of the auto. The differences may be immaterial to one person and huge to another.

    When I read the reviews of these cars a .5 second difference is usually given huge weight (I may or may not say the difference is "huge" personally, but it is very noticeable -- and certainly .3 seconds is able to be felt.)

    Then of course if you have enough HP and Torque you may simply have the motivation to overcome some of the loss that goes with the automatic.

    A small minority of us here, apparently, have transmission envy and an even smaller percentage of those find it a little to a lot difficult to understand why, given a choice, one would go auto. I come close to that line, but I also say live and let live. Perhaps if I had had the choice this would be a non-issue.

    But the fact that someone here wrote BMW without a manual means Big Money Wasted, means that some folks are even more adamant about the transmissions.

    Those folks who are offered a choice of manual vs automatics can do what they want -- what I want is the companies to offer choice.

    And, I understand the reason they don't, too: more folks will buy a BMW with the auto even given the choice, so "why bother?" Acura, Audi, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes don't even bother at all anymore. It would seem that the cost of bringing what appears to be a virtual orphan to the market will soon sway BMW, too, to "cancel the manual offerings due to lack of interest."

    -- screaming voice in the wilderness, indeed. :confuse:
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Keep in mind the guy was probably granny-shifting. If he were actually trying to leave you behind in his CTS-V, you wouldn't have had a chance of keeping up.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The big disparity in manual vs auto transmission sales is nothing new.

    I think BMW’s offering manual in most of its cars is an integral part of its branding as the “ultimate driving machine”.You can’t offer an ultimate driving machine with just automatic transmissions. Somehow it just defies logic.

    I believe the link that the manual transmission has to sport is essential for BMW regardless of the overwhelming amount of people who choose automatic. Merely knowing that BMW is bonded to sport characteristics and manuals is even influential to buyers of its automatics.

    Furthermore, I don’t see sequential gearboxes totally replacing the MT. After all, the motorboat did not replace the sailboat. The true manual offers a similar kind of connection to the elements. I submit BMW's decision to offer MT again on the M5 next year.

    There are two carmakers that will always offer MTs and they’re both German—BMW and Porsche. When these bastions fall, you’ll know it’s over for the three-pedal arrangement. I don’t think it will happen anytime soon if ever.

    German car lovers, rejoice.
  • "..... I do not see how the congestion makes the choice of transmissions for you. If I have to "park" on I-75 South, I push the shift to neutral, release the clutch and turn up the sat radio while cursing my misfortune......"

    The congested traffic conditions I have to drive in has EVERYTHING to do with my choice of transmissions. Also, with an auto tranny, there's NO NEED TO CURSE!

    Years ago, I drove nothing but cars with stick. But the fun part started decreasing as traffic congestion kept increasing. Also, have replaced my fair share of clutches and slave cylinders and lived with a myriad of clutch-related problems..... slipping, chattering, et cetera.

    Most surprising to me is that you feel so strongly about manual transmissions, yet you drive an Audi A6 with AUTOMATIC. If you REALLY feel that way, why would you consider ANY car that did not offer a manual transmission?

    Martin
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