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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    jobie, how does your car handle considering the extra we weight of theAWD option. I have the 330xi '06 and I swear it handles better than the non-SP rwd 330/335.

    Can you shed any light from experiences you might have had?

    Regards,
    OW
  • jobiejobie Posts: 47
    Coming from a 6000 lb SUV (LR3), of course I think the 535xi handles fantastic...same HP as the LR3 and weighs 2000 lb less! Seriously, before the LR3 I had two RWD BMW's, '99 323i and a '02 530i - I loved both of them. I really wasnt planning on an AWD, but my local dealers never had any RWD's on the lot to test drive, only AWD's. So I drove the xi a few times. The "client advisors" all said they felt the xi's are more "planted" than the RWD's and swore by the winter handling. I admit I didn't need AWD, but I bet it will be nice on a few snowy days this winter. The xi adds about 200 lbs - like driving with a passenger, no big deal - especially with 300 horses.
  • I tested a 550i with the SP. According the the brochure, the 550 has a different suspension than the 535 sport suspension. Has anyone experienced the difference or is it too close to tell or just marketing hype. I am considering the 535i or the xi. I like that I won't have to do the winter tire change for the xi but I really liked the way the sp 550i rode. To me it was not rough at all. I know that it had standard tires. Does the SP in the 535i come with standard or run-flats? Also, I know that active roll is only available on the 535, not the xi. Is that important?
    And last, has anyone tried the new auto sport transmission?
    Is there any difference besides the addition paddle shifters? The salesman said that it was a completely new transmission and said it was fantastic.
    Thanks
  • bruceomega or anyone who knows, excuse the ignorance but what would be the diffence between all season and summer tires? There seems to be a lack of knowledge about this especially at the tire store. I am told something different by unknowledged salesmen in every tire dealer. Summer tires I am told being more performance oriented, have softer tread (for smoother ride) but stiffer walls for cornering, thus fewer miles and rougher ride before replacement. All season having harder rubber (rougher ride) for more miles thus more noise but softer sidewalls which I would think would help with the ride. I know that there are T,S,V, and Z catagories which throws a monkeywrench in to the equation. So I guess I am posing a question, what gives you the softest quietest ride and which gives the roughest noisiest ride and the ideal in between?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The factoids that you've listed are all over the map, and as such I'm not sure I can unravel that furball, but I'll try.

    Speed rating:
    Q 099 mph max
    R 106 mph max
    S 112 mph max
    T 118 mph max
    H 130 mph max
    V 149 mph max
    Z Generic for greater than 149
    W (or ZW) at least 168 mph
    Y (or ZY) at least 186 mph
    Generally speaking, the higher the top speed of the tire, the rougher it will ride and the better it will corner.

    Generally speaking, All-Season tires occupy the "H" speed rating and down, while the Summer performance tires occupy the "V" speed rating and above (usually above). Are there All-Season tires with speed ratings higher than "H"? Yes, even some winter tires. Are there Summer performance tires lower than "V"? Hmmm, can't say that I've seen one in recent memory but I suppose it's possible.

    In answer to your question, it seems that you are looking for a tire that TireRack.com calls "High Performance All-Season". Basically those are "V" rated (and above) All-Season tires that have good grip, reasonable winter performance for areas with occasional snow, have a longer tread life than dedicated summer tires and are kind of the ultimate in compromise tires. Me personally, I'm much happier with two sets of wheels and tires, one set for mid spring through mid fall (dedicated Summer tires), and the second set for the rest of the year (dedicated Winter tires).

    I hope this helped a little.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Summer only tires have stickier rubber that gets hard in the cold. They typically also do not have a tread pattern that will have any grip on snow or ice. They are almost like driving on bald tires in the winter, regardless of the tread depth.

    An all-season tire will have a tread compound that does not get super hard in the cold - it retains some of the flexibility and the tread design has more sipes so it can grip on snow or ice.

    A snow tire has rubber that doesn't work very well as the temperature rises, so they should not be used in the summer. They tend to be, but aren't necessarily, noisier than summer tires.

    An all-season tire is a compromise in all seasons...not a great snow tire, not a great handling tire.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    So I guess I am posing a question, what gives you the softest quietest ride and which gives the roughest noisiest ride and the ideal in between?

    There will be a lot of generalizing here, because different brands and even individual models of the same type of tires can be quite difference in terms of noise, ride, and handling. Generally speaking however, dedicated snow tires are the noisiest and roughest. There are a few that can handle dry roads reasonably well, like Blizzaks, Arctic Alpins, and Dunlop Winter Sports.

    If your car needs a W (168mph) or Y (186mph) rated tire, you have to get the highest performance summer only tires, like Goodyear Eagle F1s or Pilot Sport PS2s. There are now V rated Snow tires and Z rated A/S tires, but neither is capable of the W category. Summer tires are made for hot, dry days. They can really scream on certain highway textures, but other than that I don't think they are generally noisier or rougher riding than a typical A\S. Wet performance depends on the brand and model, but using them in cold wet, snow, or ice is not a good idea. Treadwear is short, as low as 140, and 280 is about as high as it goes.

    A/S tires have come quite a long way in the last few years. Unfortunately most cars that come with A/S tires typically come with crap like Michelin MXVs, but there are some very good choices in the "ultra high-performance all-season" category, like the Potenza AS Pole Position and Pilot Sport A/S. I used to do the summer\winter tire swap game on my LS430, but I got tired of it. I'm using the Bridgestones now, and they are very quiet, have great performance in the dry and the wet, turn in response is *almost* as good as the best summer tires, and no UHP summer tire can touch their 400 treadwear rating. I won't use the LS if there's more than a minimal amount of snow and slush anyway, so the Potenza's snow abilities are good enough to get the job done, and it means I don't have to put up with the noise and the crappy handling for every day that it doesn't snow, which has been 99% of the days in the last few years in southern PA
  • There are few tires that actually are "all season" and even the one's that pull that off reasonably well, are not really great in all seasons.

    Some have said, All Seasons means "no seasons."

    Well, here is a thought about what might work well, year round on the 535xi: a V rated, Grand Touring (A/S) designated tire of the OEM size (or possibly "plus zero" size.)

    Such tires are marketed and they will do pretty well year round -- if your area has "moderate" snow. They will still be able to be bested by dedicated rubber, but changing tires and/or wheels twice a year is jus' un'merican.

    Check the TireRack and check the brand Continental as they probably have a size appropriate to the BMW in question.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There are few tires that actually are "all season" and even the one's that pull that off reasonably well, are not really great in all seasons.

    Some have said, All Seasons means "no seasons."


    I wouldn't put the Potenza AS Pole Positions on my Jag, but I wouldn't ever use the Jag with any snow on the ground anyway. On a car like the 535xi though, I would think that the best UHP A/S tires like the Potenza, Pilot Sport, PZero, or Eagle F1 A/S would provide a good balance between great overall wet\dry\noise performance and good enough snow abilities.
  • richardga73,

    Others with more knowledge and experience than I have already responded!

    FWIW, my 535Xi came with Goodyear RS-A, 225/50-17, all season tires with a W speed rating.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    A reporter from a national newspaper is hoping to talk to consumers who have been shopping for a European vehicle (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi or others) and have found them to be more expensive because of the Euro exchange rates. Please reply to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Monday, October 1, 2007 with your daytime contact info.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    MB E-Class 4,993
    BMW 5-Series 4,055
    Lexus GS 1,668
    Infiniti M 1,380
    Audi A6 1,126
    Acura RL 357
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting, it seems M-B and BMW are making a killing, at the expense of everyone else. Poor Acura...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    Just add in the September Accord sales - 35,031 and good as new! They look like twins anyway.

    Accura has been sent a message.

    Regards,
    OW
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    I'm pretty sure that Infiniti has to be disappointed with their M sales. They were usually just a tad better than the GS at around 2K units per month. Given that Nissan posted positive sales this month due to their new G35 and Altima, maybe the G35 stole a few sales.

    Whenever Americans think of LPS they generally mean German. During every month in the past two and half years, the MB and BMW have always been the top two and by a wide margin. Not sure that the Japanese brands (no matter how good) will ever touch the MB and BMW in this segment. The Acura has always had low sales but I believe this month was an all-time low.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Here are the year to date numbers:

    BMW 5-Series 37,894
    MB E-Class 34,184
    Lexus GS 17,090
    Infiniti M 16,413
    Audi A6 8,762
    Acura RL 4,618

    Acura sells more than 5,000 MDXs every month!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm pretty sure that Infiniti has to be disappointed with their M sales. They were usually just a tad better than the GS at around 2K units per month. Given that Nissan posted positive sales this month due to their new G35 and Altima, maybe the G35 stole a few sales.

    Did those September figures include the updated '08 M? If not, it could just be that people were holding off for the new version. The M has beaten the GS in sales several times, but I think the GS has been ahead by a small margin the majority of the time. In September everybody was way down including Lexus, while MB and BMW were up. It is amazing that despite the fact that the E is the oldest car in the segment and about to be replaced, it still dominates the class. The Germans (except for Audi) still seem to have a lock on the mid-lux performance category. Not so much in the entry-lux category, and of course the LS outsells both the S and 7.
  • klpeelklpeel Posts: 46
    Yes, I think that the delay in the updated '08 M may be part of the answer. I'm one of those waiting for the update to be available before buying, as I'll be looking at the new M45x.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Yes, I think that the delay in the updated '08 M may be part of the answer. I'm one of those waiting for the update to be available before buying, as I'll be looking at the new M45x.

    Didn't think about that cause but makes sense. I bought my M back in April, 2005 and took it in for service last week and while I was waiting walked around the lot and didn't see any of the 2008 M's yet. I was curious to see if the new M and new G had almost identical fronts - might be even harder to tell them apart. I believe Infiniti will be the first LPS to have all wheel drive on their V-8.

    The current issue of Consumer Reports again picked the M as the best LPS - not that this will have any influence on sales.
  • According to Infiniti-- the 2008 M is due for release on Nov. 5. Also-- 2008 Lexus GS should be out the end of this month.

    I own an Acura RL and have already noticed that the Accord looks even more like the Acura now. It is very disappointing and I will be selling my Acura. I am also waiting for the 2008 M45x to come out.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Oops... I meant currently available.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Many of those are still available...
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    The Audi, Lexus, Mercedes are all still available.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,922
    I am surprised to see that the GS has outsold the M this year. The GS must have something going for it.

    Keep in mind that there just may be people waiting on the 08 GS as well!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • Hi, please can anyone advise me if it would be OK to fit new alloy wheels size 8 1/4 Jx17 H2 ET 34(235/45 ZR17 tyres) on my E class Mercedes, 1997 (W210), which currently has 15 inch alloys (205/60 15 tyres).


    The alloys I wish to fit to my car are 8 1/4 Jx17 H2 ET 34, are fitted with Dunlop 9000 tyres 235/45 ZR 17.
    Please could you tell me if this is OK to put on my 1997 E230 Mercedes saloon(210).
    The handbook says that suitable wheel & Tyres "light alloy wheel" is these cobinations 235/45 R17 93w tyre & the alloy 8 Jx 17 H2 ET37.

    Compared to the alloys I wish to fit, would the above handbook stated ones be OK on my car?? If so what differences in cars drive should be expected?

    Thank you very much
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The GS has the Lexus badge, and the Lexus dealer network, so the odds are already pretty well stacked in its favor. As for the car itself, the M has trounced the GS in every magazine test and in CR as well. If Infiniti had the same number of dealers as Lexus and the same badge prestige, I would bet that the GS would lose badly in sales as well. In any case, sales is of course no measure of quality.

    Except for the GS460, everything else about the '08 GS is a carryover, so I don't see why people would be holding out for the new one, other than the few hundred that buy the V8. I guess we'll have to wait and see if the updated M is enough to push it over the top.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Sounds like you're not in the USA, but that doesn't matter...what will fit is based on the car, not where you are. 17" wheels can fit, but not sure about those. In running the numbers, it looks like the 15" vs 17" in the size you indicate has the 17" version 13% smaller in rotating diameter, so that would make a huge difference in the gearing and speedometer/odometer...I don't think you'd be happy.

    When you go to a bigger wheel/tire, the ride generally gets worse but the handling can improve.

    A good place to investigate tire/wheel combinations, even if you can't buy them there, is www.tirerack.com. What you are interested in is +2 sizing, if you have 15" on there now.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,922
    If Infiniti had the same number of dealers as Lexus and the same badge prestige, I would bet that the GS would lose badly in sales as well. In any case, sales is of course no measure of quality.

    Pure speculation and perhaps wishful thinking on your part. If someone wants to buy an M, I am sure they can find a dealer.

    The M is edgier than the GS but IMO it is not as refined, its styling is dated, and it just doesn't look as good. I think that probably these are the real reasons it is being outsold by the GS.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Pure speculation and perhaps wishful thinking on your part. If someone wants to buy an M, I am sure they can find a dealer.

    Perhaps there may be some truth to that. Infiniti has more than I thought, 165 compared to 202 for Lexus according to AutoDealerBase.

    I like the M's aggressiveness. If I wanted a sedan with a quiet, cushy, and dull ride I'd buy an LS, not a GS. The two issues I had with the M's looks were the orange gauges and the too big taillights, both fixed for '08. I'm also happy to see Infiniti offering the sport package on the AWD cars. Not a fake one like BMW that's just seats and wheels - the same equipment that the RWD cars get. Now if only they'd bring over that Piano black trim from Japan...
  • I am in my early 50's, live in the NE (south of Boston), and am looking to buy an LPS to keep as long as possible - once my wife's car is paid off in early 2008. I have owned quite a few cars and trucks over the years (Toyota Supra and 4runner, Porsche 914 2.0, BMW 320i, Lexus GS300 Sport Design, Nissan 300Z, and others) and am actually getting tired of the car buying routine, so I am hoping to buy and keep my next car for as many miles as I can - over 200k or more if possible. I am not a high mileage driver (12k a year at most). My wife is not into cars and is leaving the decision entirely up to me, though spending over 60K on a car might become an issue...

    I would like something that is fun to drive, comfortable, has navigation and great audio, and is safe in the winter. I am leaning towards an all wheel drive. So far I have test driven a BMW 535xi (loved driving it but didn't have time to play with the idrive) and the Lexus GS350 awd (which have cool gadgets but seemed a bit cramped and didn't put a smile on my face while driving it like the BMW did). The M and G Infiniti's don't do much for me looks wise and the gas mileage is pretty bad for a car that I plan on keeping long term. I have never been big on Audi or MB because of reliability issues.

    Anyway, it looks like I will probably be deciding between the BMW 535xi and the Lexus 350awd but am still open to suggestions. I do prefer the BMW, but it is quite a bit more money (the 535xi is really pushing my budget) and I am a bit worried about the cost of repairs after the warranty runs out. I have read all the bad reviews about BMW's idrive but I am good on the computer so I don't know if that would be an issue. I like the comfort, gadgets, and long term reliability (perceived?) of the Lexus. The Lexus dealer was much more aggressive and I have received 5 phone calls from them since my test drive, which is a bit much. I would think that I could get a better deal on the GS since they seem desperate to make sales.

    Sorry about the long post. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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