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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • I don't know anything about quality comparison between Acura and Infiniti. However, I sat in an M35 this week at the Washington Auto Show. I thought the positioning of all the controls, AC, etc., was the worst I'd ever seen in a car. They were up on the dash and almost horizontal. They were hard to see or read. Just my immediate reaction. I would have thought part of it might have been my RL bias, but a coworker was with me and he disliked it even more than I did.

    Those of you who own M35s, do you get used to the positioning or is it actually as bad as it appeared to me?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    So far, the M35 has done much better than the RL in terms of IQ. The RL isnt bad, but the '05s have had electrical teething problems (and I've heard some scattered reports of more serious SH-AWD based mechanical issues).

    In contrast, the M35 scores aces across the board. It has CR's highest rating for predicted reliability (RL scores just average in that area) and is their top overall rated luxury sedan. In terms of interior space and comfort, power, and handling, it trouces the RL. As for the controls on the dash, I'll leave that one up to you.
  • Thanks for the info. I don't remember much about the layout of the dash on the M35. I just remember that I left with a feeling of too much orange. But, I only looked at the car on the floor because it started raining and neither the salesman nor I wanted to wander through the lot.

    I do like the blue in the RL instruments better than the M's orange, but my first conern in initial and LT quality.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It would be nice if Infiniti offered adjustable gauge colors like the Mustang. Their use of orange is definitely not my favorite.
  • I have been reading the M35 Owners/Problems forum. There are some irrate people over there! Given their problems, the RL problems, and the bad feelings toward MB and BMW, I'm at a loss which way to go.

    I think I should be interviewing the service managers at the Infiniti and Acura dealers instead of the salesmen.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "...and the bad feelings toward MB and BMW, I'm at a loss which way to go."

    Whose bad feelings? Yours or somebody else's?

    If nothing else, your local dealership (and the cars that they sell) should be evaluated in the very least.

    Best Regards,
  • "...and the bad feelings toward MB and BMW, I'm at a loss which way to go."

    Bad feelings by ex-owners. I have never owned either. My Lexus is my first venture in the $30K+ land.

    I wonder if there is a company (Acura or Infiniti) or independent site that rates dealerships and service departments.

    I will definitely lease the next car. At least 36 months and I'm out. Or, I can buy if the car is OK.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Bad feelings by ex-owners."

    Hmmm, I think that if you were to spend some time in the 5-Series and 3-Series discussions you'd hear a much different tune. I've had two different BMWs (a 328i and a 530i, picked up in Munich no less) and for both I had nothing but exemplary service from the three different dealerships that I worked with (two selling dealers as well as a new dealer after I moved to another state). In the seven years that I had the cars, I was only required to visit the dealership once beyond the normal scheduled maintenance, and that trip was for a software upgrade.

    The sad truth of the matter is that many folks love to talk trash about German cars in general and BMWs in particular, however, the vast majority of the folks that I know and/or communicate with are very happy with their decision to drive a BMW.

    Best Regards,
  • Warthog. AWD would lose to much power in the racing styles you listed. Due to the fact HP ratings are lower at the rear wheels then at the crank shaft because you lose power to friction ect. With AWD you would lose more. But these styles are on perfect surfaces. Since most of us drive on all kinds of roads (I camp and go off road alot, why I bought an outback) AWD is better handling because you may lose traction on one corner or end of the vehicle and AWD will compensate. AWD has its place, depending where you drive. I really don't need in SoCal except a few times a year I go to the mountains.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I noticed all the irate postings by owners of the Infiniti M on their thread and said, 'what's up with that?' only to be shot down.

    There was one poster right here who vented quite a bit about his M lemon.
    See post # 5946.

    I wouldn't give too much credence to current CR reliability ratings of the M as they are always several years behind reality using their statisticaly flawed formula, and there could be possible overlap in their ratings.
    I wouldn't be surprised if future CR reliability ratings begin reflecting the negative anecdotal reports I have been reading concerning the M.

    Personally I would stay away from the M even though it is a fun car to drive.

    I found the Lexus GS300 satisfying to drive and reliability has been fine.

    At last count, there have been 321 posters on the Infiniti M "Problems & Solutions" thread vs. only 69 for the Lexus GS "Problems & Solutions" thread.
    Speaks volumes.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    The funny thing about online message boards and forums is that they specifically attract those people that have had problems. They are hardly representative of all owners. They simply provide their own personal anecdotal "evidence" of problems with their cars.

    Unfortunately, there aren't enough happy people that actually post their feelings online. Most of those people are quite content to just drive and drive and not spend their time online looking for places to complain.

    I guess my point is to take any online reviews (for anything: cars, games, TVs, shoes, etc) with a grain of salt. Realize that many of the people reviewing are often times only inspired to write because they had a negative experience.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Dont give up on a car because of a couple of angry owners on a car forum. 90 people gave the M35 an average score of 9.3 out of 10 in the consumer review section. Additionally, in JD power IQ scores, Acura was thoroughly beaten by Infiniti in both 2004 and 2005.

    The M35 scored just as well as the Lexus GS300 in CR's '05 scores. The '05 RL scores were not even close. The RL is rated "fair" in the electrical category, and "poor" in power equipment, meaning as much as 20% of '05 RL owners reported electrical problems in their surveys. The M and GS did perfectly across the board.

    If you are worried about European reliability, dont get an RL. Its scores were no better than those of the BMW 5 and Audi A6.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Question: Which is more reliable a Infiniti M or Acura RL?

    Answer: Inconclusive

    To make a reliability conclusion on two models that were just introduced in 05 seems a bit premature. A few years of future RL and M data will provide the answer you are seeking.

    I apologize if that is not the answer you seeked.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Based on the manufacturers' histories, I'd say both will be realiable vehicles. But if I had to make a gut reaction, I'd probably lean towards the Acura/Honda vs the Infiniti/Nissan.

  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    That's my point exactly. I questioned why AWD makes sense for sedans on normal roads (not an offroad Outback, such as your vehicle) except in winter climates. It's just too much weight, friction, complication and added cost for no benefit that's apparent to me, Markcincinnati's insistence notwithstanding. I realize mark alludes to a multitude of articles claiming a performance advantage, but I want someone to explain to me how that happens.

    Seems to me that as different as racing is from everyday driving, it's still more like everyday than offroading is.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    What is the movie's name with the AMC cars in it?

    Wayne's World, Cobra (Sly Stallone), and that Oscar contender, Good Burger (it was called the burgermobile)!
  • ct1211ct1211 Posts: 56
    For what it is worth. I was driving a 2004 325i and was giving that car to the wife with the intention of going into a new 530i. After driving the car and then by accident an Infiniti M35X I was shocked!! Then M35 had more room a much richer interior all the handling and much more power than the new 5 series. I have had my M35 since May 05 and I have had 0 problems. As for the problem forums I seriously question if some of those people even own the cars. But to each his own. I never thought I would ever drive anything but a BMW but I feel out of love with the new stark interior and lack of power of the 5er.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Both of Acura's most recent introductions, the TL in '04 and RL in '05, were plagued with initial problems. Infiniti hasnt run into those kinds of IQ problems. The only recent Infiniti with any kind of major issues is the QX56, which is basically a rebadge of the Armada. Nissan isnt the greatest when it comes to build quality, but Infiniti ranks up there with the best.

    If it were me choosing between the RL or an M35x, my gut would point me towards the Infiniti, no question about it. Nissan has been working with ATTESA-ETS for more than 10 years. The RL, on the other hand, is SH-AWD's first time at bat. Its an extremely complex system, and Ive heard some reports of car disabling mechanical issues related to it.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I have personally never heard of these plagues of issues with Acura. Nor have I seen anything on the RL or TL boards which I have been following closely for the last one and a half years. Other than the rare person who gets a lemon, they are doing well. I have seen no well documented reports about any mechanical problems with SH-AWD, just rare individuals with problems, just like on the Infiniti board.

    Acura, IMO, is one of the more reliable brands, along with Lexus. It is Infiniti that has had a mixed past, with only the newer cars (the G and M) being reliable in the early reviews...IMO
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Actually, the Q, I, J, and G20 were all very reliable cars. Acura, on the other hand, had five years of TLs and CLs that had transmission failures. (99-03 5-speed automatic). Its a documented issue, Acura had to recall them all. Infiniti never had that problem.

    This thread - - a1&t=49577

    Is specifically about SH-AWD lockups\failures. I havent heard anything about that kind of thing on G35\M35xs.
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