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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    erfan ... did you decide on a car yet?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Just left post 7604 and the flipped through July "Automobile" magazine. They compared BMW M5, Audi S6, and Mercedes E63 AMG. Ranked AMG first, S6 second, and M5 third.

    "Unlike the BMW, which feels a little twitchy as it nears the limit of adhesion, the AMG hugs the tarmac." I had previously thought it impossible (as in against the laws of nature) for a n auto mag to say specifically that another car outperformed a comparable bimmer in that specific area of performance. The editors continued to list the ways in which they found the Mercedes better to drive than the bimmer: "There is also less lift-off weight transfer, less acceleration squat, and less brake dive, and, despite the subdued body movements, you always know where you are on the speed and g-force map." However, the AMG "surpasses the [Audi] S6 only by a whisker."
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084
    Leaving the BMW how many whiskers behind, I wonder?
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Only change I can see is a 10 way power passenger seat, and break up of the packages.

    And they retested power ratings to conform to the new standard.

    2007 M35 "lost" 5 hp (275 hp) and 2 torque (268 torque). 2007 M45 "lost" 10 hp (325 hp) and 4 torque (336 torque).
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084
    Obviously, those of us who buy Audis must suffer through the critiques (even from our wives) -- from what one would assume are badge effect customers.

    I'll go out on a limb here then and say I do think badge effect is real. When the rubber hits the road, or the check hits the bank, however, I believe people would buy what they like.

    I tend to think that in a universe of ONLY badge effect, people would STILL buy the car that they most liked based on styling. Of course, this would still probably be tempered by badge effect -- assuming price parity.

    In other words, people would buy the car they liked the looks of within the badge. For some that would mean the "best looking" BMW (best looking to them, that is.)

    For others, of course, it would be the best looking Cadillac.

    Being in the US it is impossible for me, at least, to put Audi on the same tier as BMW and Mercedes. Likewise it is impossible for me to put Cadillac on any other tier than the lowest. Moreover, if that means putting Audi on tier two or tier three, Cadillac would have to be on tier three or tier four.

    Likewise, Lexus and Infiniti (to me) have the same badge effect -- but (to me) Lexus just plain builds uninvolving cars in which to sit behind the wheel. So, for that and only that reason, the overall positive effect of the Lexus badge is largely neutralized. Ininiti would be my Japanese choice, that is.

    Currently, for no other than things I cannot wipe out of my memory, Acura, despite its apparent stellar comeback, still has the hangover from the previous generation (to me) -- besides, Acura has simply not ever been able to command the badge effect that Lexus, for instance, has, so it is, for the time being relegated to Cadillac's status.

    In the US then (personal choice for "badge"):

    o BMW & Mercedes
    o Infiniti & Lexus
    o Audi
    o - the rest

    I have driven most of the cars here, some of them extensively. There are times when I would place the Germans all on the same tier from that perspective (driving, performance, etc.)

    The Lexus and sadly the Jaguar would be on the same level as the Cadillac from that perspective and, oddly, that might make an STS/4 with all the toys preferable to the Lexus no matter what the badge effect.

    Overall, the cars in this crowd are more alike (to me) than they are different, despite all the above. :shades:
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,529
    In my Zip code (NE of HotLanta) I can again 'build' an M45 Sport (almost) as I'd actually prefer to buy one - with ONLY OPTION = rosewood. "Almost", because I still cannot order XM without a Package . .
    ( sigh )
    - Ray
    Always shopping . .
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    I just read a Jeremy Clarkson review of the new A8 and he hated it. Said it was creeky at low speeds, got bad gas mileage, and acceleration was slow, as was handling.
    Very bizzare as he usually has nothing but praise for Audi.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I generally agree with the tiers people have posted. I would suggest that if you are a non-car enthusiast, jag ranks high. There is a perception of jags as something very special among the general population, who don't know the x-type is a pretty mondeo and the s-type shares many parts with the taurus.

    Admittedly, i have toyed with the idea of picking up a CPO'd xj8 at some point. I do think it's a good car in objective terms, particularly for the money.

    dave
  • cumptrnrdcumptrnrd Posts: 52
    I'm getting ready to buy an STS V6 with the Luxury Performance package. Other cars I was considering were the E350, A6 3.2, and 530i (I'm not considering any Japanese offerings for personal reasons), and the Caddy was just the best deal considering price and options, especially the AWD. Also, I've read only good things about it. The TMV price is $3k cheaper than the discount my employer offers.

    I just had a few questions before I went out price shopping:
    1. Does anyone have any gripes at all about the car?
    2. Does anyone out there think the AWD is worth it?
    3. I think I read that the '07 would be coming with a 6-speed... Should I wait?
    4. Does anyone know of any other major changes in the near future? I was thinking about a CTS, but not with a redesign planned for the '08...
    5. Any other tips/comments

    Thanks
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,529
    “I would suggest that if you are a non-car enthusiast, jag ranks high. There is a perception of jags as something very special among the general population, who don't know the x-type is a pretty mondeo and the s-type shares many parts with the taurus.”

    I am aware that the Y2K Jag S-Type shared substantial platform configuration and motors trans with the Lincoln LS. The two diverged much further for the 2003 MY. If there are any Taurus parts (I’d be very surprised) they are likely nothing that would significantly effect performance or occupant driving \ riding experience – and I’d be very curious to see a source for that statement.

    - Ray
    Driver of 2000 & 2003 Lincoln LS – s . .
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084
    1. Does anyone have any gripes at all about the car?

    Check the STS only board as a starting point. After extensive test drives of the car, I would certainly consider it at least for 50,000 miles. My only issue was that without the "sporting bits" it was numb -- and even with the magna ride was a little (very little) vague compared to a German car.

    2. Does anyone out there think the AWD is worth it?

    Oh for pity's sake, don't even get me started -- the only way to go with this car is with the AWD; and this AWD system has received praise from other than AWD fanatics like me. Really.

    3. I think I read that the '07 would be coming with a 6-speed... Should I wait?

    You can wait til the cows come home, the '07 will have the 5 speed unless you are willing to spring for the V8.

    4. Does anyone know of any other major changes in the near future? I was thinking about a CTS, but not with a redesign planned for the '08...

    What do you mean "near future" -- two years perhaps, but for '07 and '08, the only real change I can imagine is the offering of the 6speed in the V6 in time for the '08 model year. Note to self: the V6 would gain the most from the 6speed automatic who in the wide wide world of sports thought putting it first in the V8 was a brilliant idea?

    5. Any other tips/comments

    Negotiate, negotiate, dance to the music, negotiate!

    Why?

    Around here SRX's and STS's can be seen with $10,000 off sticker.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If we had to pick (in attempt to predict what would make him/her happiest to have gotten that car after, say, first two years owning it and driving it everyday) a car for a mythical buyer (mid-40s, married, two kids who ride in the car regularly, likes driving and not just getting from point A to point B), and we knew the person wouldn't drive all the ones we compare here, how much influence do you think "badge effect" would have on your recommendation and how what would your five top recommendations (brand and model) be in rank order?

    When I made that list, I placed them in the order I felt the "average American" might see them, not necessarily how I see them. Personally, I agree with mark about where the Cadillac badge would be. I don't agree with him though that Lexus and Infiniti are on the same level. I don't think that the Infiniti name carries any more weight than the Acura name does, Infiniti needs to build a Q that somebody will actually buy first.

    As for what I would recommend to somebody looking for a car in the LPS class who likes to drive, "badge effect" wouldn't really matter. I have to say the M, either in V8 RWD form, or M35x form if AWD is a must have feature. The M is what I would buy for myself.

    I'm not sure that I can come up with four more choices. I'm not really a fan of the S-type, GS, RL, or E. I guess I would pick the A6 as my "second choice". I can definitely see how the 5 would be perfect for certain people, but not for me.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I just read a Jeremy Clarkson review of the new A8 and he hated it. Said it was creeky at low speeds, got bad gas mileage, and acceleration was slow, as was handling.
    Very bizzare as he usually has nothing but praise for Audi.


    Since when? Clarkson usually hates Audis. He always bashes them for understeer, what he perceives as lifeless steering, and overly harsh rides. One of the only generally positive Audi reviews I've read of his recently is of the new Audi TT 2.0T, but only because its such an improvement over the last car, which he said was completely awful.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    rayainsw,

    You could get XM as a dealer accessory ($278 MSRP, installation not included).
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The volume sellers will probably be:

    2007 M35 RWD (Journey + Tech): $46,400
    2007 M35 AWD (Tech): $48,150

    What's interesting is that the price of AWD has dropped from $2500 in 2006 to $1750 in 2007.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    The most interesting thing to me re the 07 M is that apparently it is NOT getting the revised VQ engine that will show up in the new G. That engine is supposed to be 80% new and produce over 300hp. Looks like Nissan is going to keep the older version of the VQ in production for awhile longer yet to populate the M, Maxima, etc.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The most interesting thing to me re the 07 M is that apparently it is NOT getting the revised VQ engine that will show up in the new G. That engine is supposed to be 80% new and produce over 300hp. Looks like Nissan is going to keep the older version of the VQ in production for awhile longer yet to populate the M, Maxima, etc.

    It could be that they are waiting for the M's mid-cycle refresh to introduce the more powerful engine, or perhaps they want to squeeze more power out of the VK45 first, so that the two of them would not be so close, at least in horsepower.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,262
    . . .or it could be that they don't want to put a relatively untried/unproven power plant in their premier vehicles. . . yet.

    The present VQ engine is a known (thirsty but stone reliable) quantity. The new one is not.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    . . .or it could be that they don't want to put a relatively untried/unproven power plant in their premier vehicles. . . yet

    That doesn't seem likely. Lexus is launching its brand new V8 in its most premier vehicle. I dont think the reason that Infiniti held back on giving the M the new engine for '07 is that they are worried its going to fall apart.
  • cumptrnrdcumptrnrd Posts: 52
    Thanks for the advice. Does anybody have any dealership recommendations for the Chicagoland area (north suburbs)?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I'm driving my new M35. Still have memories of other cars I test drove, especially Audi A6, which was other final contender.

    What I'm aware of (using the three terms above, which trichotomy I read somewhere) is (1) steering -- maybe a tad too easy (like old power steering on some American cars, but not that easier) or, to put it another way, not as tight as the Audi or the BMW 325i was driving; and, in terms of feedback to driver, not as much sense of feeling the road with my hands through the steering wheel, as with the A6. (2) Roadholding (grip between tires and road when cornering) seems great. No drift or feeling I'm losing control, driving and corners and highway curves just as I did with BMW. (3) Handling -- M35 settles right into comfortable and steady cornering, but it's a bit as if I'm watching it happen (a bit magical) and not feeling myself making it happen.

    Seem familiar to any other M35 drivers of those test-driving the different cars in the LPS category?
  • upuautupuaut Posts: 14
    And he also liked the RS4 he tested on Top Gear,

    Upe
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    (1) steering -- maybe a tad too easy (like old power steering on some American cars, but not that easier) or, to put it another way, not as tight as the Audi or the BMW 325i was driving; and, in terms of feedback to driver, not as much sense of feeling the road with my hands through the steering wheel, as with the A6. (2) Roadholding (grip between tires and road when cornering) seems great. No drift or feeling I'm losing control, driving and corners and highway curves just as I did with BMW. (3) Handling -- M35 settles right into comfortable and steady cornering, but it's a bit as if I'm watching it happen (a bit magical) and not feeling myself making it happen.


    I would probably agree that the M's steering is a little lighter than the Germans, but I don't think it gives away anything in terms of road feel to the Audi. Of course the BMW 5's (without AS) is the most telepathic of the bunch. The M is better than the GS300 and RL, and miles ahead of the GS430 in terms of road feel from the wheel.

    Infiniti definitely has not cracked the magic BMW code yet, but considering the new M is 100,000% better than the old one, I don't think it will be long now. The new 5 is certainly not 100,000% better than the old one. I think that the '07 G35 is probably going to just slightly fall short of the 3 in terms of pure driving dynamics, but like the M, probably not enough to lose comparison tests to it. Should be very interesting.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah, I meant the Ax cars, not the ultra hp machines.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    My experience is the same. I have had nine Audis with never a single issue. I have never been asked to participate in any surveys. From my perspective, none of these surveys match my ownership experience, so I do not go by them. I go by my own experience. As for not touching an Audi, Audi did score higher than BMW and MB in latest JD Power Initial Quality Survey, so don't be putting them down just to take a cheap shot as is the case with most of the posters here.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "Telepathic" ... yes, that captures what I was getting at ... no question, Nissan appears to be serious about achieving top honors in this category ... maybe the next iteration ... right now, I'd say BMW and Audi A6 are both more "telepathic" in steering through curves ... not a huge difference ... but enough to notice.

    That might be me. Automobile Journalists Association of Canada holds an event in which the journalists drive all the cars and rate them.

    For “steering,” among “Luxury” cars they rated

    Audi A6 7.8
    BMW 5 Series Touring 8.3
    Infiniti M45 Sport 8.1
    Lexus GS 7.5
    Lincoln Zephyr 6.9
    Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 8.1
    Mercedes-Benz R-Class 7.4

    And for “handling,” they rated:

    Audi A6 7.8
    BMW 5 Series Touring 8.0
    Infiniti M45 Sport 8.2
    Lexus GS 7.8
    Lincoln Zephyr 7.5
    Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 7.7
    Mercedes-Benz R-Class 6.3

    I never drove the Infiniti Sport models, but having driven the BMW 3-series (which rated 8.3 on steering and 8.9 on handling), having test-driven the Audi A6 in all configurations, and now driving the M35, I was surprised that the Audi was so far away from the Infiniti and BMW. Maybe I’m viscerally remembering the S-Line which I drove last.

    Also, not sure if BMW "Touring" and Infiniti M45 "Sport" is right two to compare or artificially inflates score of M, relative to BMW.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084
    May I advise someone looking at these cars for the "P" factor in LPS, please test the A6 with the S-Line option. The effect is subtle, but real -- the car, despite its nose heaviness, seems to be more than a smidge more nimble, so outfitted.

    I cannot say it will be more nimble than a rear wheel drive 5 series with the sport package --but it will impress you if you have driven the 530xi and M35X.

    Let me put it this way, the A6 needs the sport option, at the very least it needs the uprated wheel and tire option.

    Of course, the BMW 530xi sport package does nothing to change the suspension -- only the Audi actually offers a real sport option. And, it shows.

    The Audi A6 quattro with S Line is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the LPS crowd. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand and appreciate the the 5 series (when equipped with a stick shift AND the sport suspension) -- but the Audi A6 quattro SLine IS, almost literally, "on rails" and thus is unmatched especially once there is anything other than totally dry tarmac beneath your feet.

    Of course if you live where the roads are never anything but dry and straight, you can settle for one of the lesser LPS cars.

    Like the M35X which, at least, comes close.

    Of course if you opt for the 530xi with the 18" wheels AND the stick shift, well -- its bye bye Audi (if you asked me, which you probably didn't.)

    Since most of "us" go shiftless, going A6 is pretty much a no brainer, especially NOW -- "for the money."

    I'm planning on driving a 530 xi stick shift soon (a long long test drive) -- I hope it doesn't make the next 20 months a drag.

    Wouldn't have one without the stick as long as the A6 w/Sline is on the market.

    Wouldn't get any one of these BUT the stick 5, if I could make the decision TODAY, though.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Mark, I drove an A6 last weekend and also an RL, M35x, and GS. While all are excellent values and no one would go wrong buying any of them in my opinion, the one negative they all have in common is Road Noise! Drive an E350, 530 or GS and the difference is amazing! Speaking of which, I find it incredible that people spend thousands of dollars on stereo systems only to have them compete with road/tire noise. Frankly, this is a big deal to me, and I will not buy a car where road/wind/ambient noise seriously competes with my stereo. It is possible to buy quietness, handling and acceleration in one package.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Doesn't surprise me at all. I love my wife's A6, but the steering is much more disconnected than it was in my 545i eventhough the 5 had active steering. The steering in the A6 is loose which makes it feel like it doesn't handle as well as the 5 eventhough it probably is pretty close. I haven't driven an S Line, but I'd guess that would be better. It's funny that we're talking about this because just 2 days ago I was driving my wife's car and thinking that the steering felt way loose.
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