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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, take away all of the luxury and "performance" of the Q7, GL or R-class, and you're left with the Pacifica, a mediocre minivan with conventional doors. I think Honda and Toyota would be rushing competitors to market if they felt in any way threatened by it.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    If you are in any way suggesting the price of the Pacifica after reading my post, I apologize for meandering all around.

    Audi Q7 as seen at demo in Cincinnati: ~ $56K
    Chevy Taho also seen at dealer in Cinti: $57K
    Escalade at another dealer here in Cinti: $66K+

    I assume the Pacifica would usually not go higher than a price beginning with a "3" but I guess you could max one out to around $40K before discounts.

    I have virtually no comment about the Pacifica. I have read that those who have tested it like it but think it aspires, price wise, above its station.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I have been thinking of replacing my daughter`s Lexus rx300(?) may be a different number...It has done good service for our family, and without really knowing anythin just thought the Pacifica looked rather attractive from he outside....I`m with you on the huge suv, and gas milage, and just --as I respect your opinion--thought that may be something....I guess on further thought she should stick with the Lexus..Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If she has an RX300 and you're looking for a replacement, go for the RX350. Another option is Acura's new MDX, Which should be a nice blend of the RX's luxury with the Infiniti FX's sporting nature.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Isn`t the rx getting an update soon? Probably stick with the Lexus, but she did in a moment of weekness mention a bigger model.. Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not really sure about that. The 270hp RX350 with the 3.5L engine is new for 2007, but they haven't changed anything else. My guess is that a refresh may come for '08 (probably with a change to RX450h), with a total redesign not before 2010. It is definitely going to run much longer than the RX300 did.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The ones on the S6 are wierd enough, but this is just going off the deep end. I really hope the production version doesn't have a front end like this:

  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    The front end looks like the Cheshire :)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    This would be yet another "real" or "photoshop"? version of the upcoming A5 coupe, yes? No?

    I like the wheels.

    Bit bling-y with the LED's.

    I always get in trouble when I say this -- but it looks like Audi is joining BMW in paying homage to Pontiacs of yore.

    Cat eyes anyone?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It's a CG "guesstimate" of what Audi's CLS competitor will look like, called the A7, according to Autoweek. The wheels were pulled directly from the S6.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    That isn`t my cup of tea, but I did see a bmw 6 today--convertable with the top down--and it looked quite attractive....Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Really? I think the BMW 6 is the worst of them all, from its droopy "catfish" face to its "trunk from another car" rear. No thanks!

  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    The 6 has grown on me...I`m just talking about the outside...Just one of those things..At first it was the rear I didn`t like, but now overall I like it and the convertable with the top down is what I saw today.....Not as much as my Audi by a long shot..Tony
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    BMW's designs are either love/hate. My wife hated the 5 series when it came out, but as other car makers do similar concepts, the 5 is looking 'not as extreme' to her.

    The 6 is a gorgeous car and has the best interior of any of the current BMW's. The dash is more like the older style and still seems to have a dash with a more cockpit type feel to it.

    But Audi's interiors are still the ones to beat IMO.

    Convertible with top up (seen in Ensenada)
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    Some Perspective

    Since I am not a professional writer and since these blogs have a shelf life shorter than the time between pictures of Britney Spears in some alleged act of child-endangerment, I will remind you that in my three-car garage is one 2005 Audi A6 3.2, one 2005 BMW X3 3.0 and one still decorated Martha Stewart 7.5 ft Christmas tree (as it was on January 1st when it was moved (lock stock and ornament) from its place of honor in my living room "behind door three" of the garage.)

    Numerous test drives of LPS cars from three countries (for I'd say at least the last three years) and ownership of some 28 Audi cars over the years has, some would say, jaundiced me (OK, seriously biased me) in favor of that certain feel behind the wheel that only German cars have, but that Infiniti understands (and is sneaking up on) and that both Acura & Cadillac recognize (Lexus, oddly, seems oblivous.) Despite having and enjoying the BMW X3, I've never quite gotten the whole SUV thing, wondering instead why the Swiss Army Knife of cars (at the time), the Audi allroad was not a runaway best seller. Ditto the Audi Avants, BMW Sport Wagons and similar offerings from Mercedes. Seems to me that the station wagons from the Germans offer just about the best of all possible worlds for those wanting some additional space, comfortable seating, luxury and performance all in one stylish package. And, as we all know, 96% of all SUV's never leave paved roads despite their capabilities otherwise.

    I never really got -- not that I don't in many ways admire -- the Cayenne or the Touareg. My wife and I did consider these vehicles briefly but the lack of a stick shift really killed their chances of being picked as far as my wife was concerned. Then they cancelled the allroad, and. . .there you have it.

    Previously -- before last week, May 16th, 2006, to be exact -- all things Audi would at least draw me to them for a gander and then engender at least some lust (gotta have it, gotta have it!)

    The Audi Q7 LPSUV, without having been driven seemed -- after seeing it up close and personal -- to be a vehicle that I simply could not understand. It is, to me, a whale, a boat -- a German Escalade posing as a pumped-up, fancied-up Pacifica. It was the QE2 with wheels.

    I am, at just under 190 pounds and 6 feet, neither very large or very tall. My wife at just under 5'5" -- and her size is "petite" -- is likewise neither large or tall.

    So, with the "Perspective" above as a backdrop, this past Saturday -- a Spring day, beautiful beyond words -- we decided to take the Audi Q7 out for the long test drive we had previously declined.

    The Test Drive

    We chose secondary roads, "back roads," (but not off roads), city streets and the Interstate that circles Cincinnati (275) as our test loop. And, if you'll recall, we always take the test loop twice (at a minimum) to get used to the vehicle then to really put the vehicle through its paces.

    The machine in question was a $55,000+ Metallic Silver and very dark blue (?) leather upholstered behemoth with about $6,000 worth of options (putting it about $2K shy of a fully loaded Chevy Tahoe and $11K south of an almost fully loaded Escalade.) Most notably it had the middle wheels -- the 19 inchers. Everything else seemed pretty much A6 standard fare -- which is to say the interior was spectacular and very well made. In fact, the fit and finish of the entire vehicle was typical late model Audi: i.e., every seat seam was perfect, every electric motor and power-assist whirred in near silence, everything was damped, padded and stitched together as if money had been no object in the selection of materials or the time or labor involved in assembly. The front and second row seats (both rows with separate climate controls) were Leather Barco Lounger comfortable.

    If they had only come equipped with built in recliners and foot rests. . . .

    The Bose sound system, a premium option had the Sat Radio activated and, unlike my A6, the CD changer in this one is built into the dash within easy reach, unlike the C6 A6 which has the changer mechanism in the glove compartment.

    I said it before, the experience in the front two and middle two seats was "like sitting in a big hand" within the sweet spot of a fine surround sound system -- sing along with Randy Newman and me, "every man a king, every man a king and you can be a millionaire."

    The Q7's engine started instantly and made all the right sounds. It was, after all, an Audi 4.2L V8, one of the sweetest sounding engines ever bolted together. And, there aren't enough "o's" in smooth to describe the 6-speed transmission as it engaged precisely and shifted even more "like butta" than my A6 Tiptronic (which, despite my disdain for automatic transmission is second to none in smoothness.)

    The engine, transmission and gearing work together to belie the bulk of the package (nearly 5,000 pounds I reckon.) If it is possible for something this big to feel quick, nimble and responsive, this is a fine example.

    With the 19" wheels and tires, more road noise than I anticipated could be heard, but just barely. The upside of these shoes, however, was a relatively quick turn in at almost any speed under 40 to 45. Body roll below 40mph was well controlled and we couldn't detect any loss of balance that we would have almost forgiven for a vehicle this large with this much ground clearance.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    Some Conclusions

    All things are relative, of course, and it bears repeating that "relatively speaking" this is the Audi LPS of SUV's -- it has the firmness one expects from Audi, the near sports sedan feel one would hope for and decent motivation from the V8. At full throttle, accelerating from a rolling stop on an entrance ramp to an indicated speed of 80+ the sound is typical Audi sweet -- yet here is where the real sense of the sheer heft of this thing is laid out for all to feel. Lots of nice sounds, no sense of friction, but also not much sense of acceleration -- kick-down works, of course, but there really isn't much in the way of any kick, hardly even a lurch could be felt when flooring it from a rolling stop.

    The window sticker say 14 MPG "City" -- that is the one I would use as I actually thought I could see the gas gauge needle fall as the speedometer and tachometer needles rose at full throttle.

    The Audi Sports Sedan of SUV's? Yes, I suppose it is. And, if you are in the market for the Tahoe, Escalade or even some other European "SUV's," you must at least consider the Audi Q7 as a worthy member if not the current leader of the pack.

    Yet, we still thought the thing was way too big.

    After our long test drives (2 of them, remember) we pulled back into the dealership where there were two more couples awaiting their turn for test drives. Speaking with our long time customer advisor, we shared our thoughts as to what we thought of the elephantine proportions and its relative nimbleness. Our salesrep responded that those test driving the Q7 came away disappointed because the Q7 was way way too small.

    Of course, these folks were coming from Excursions, Suburbans and Super sized Yukons.

    I thought, previously, "too big, too late." Now it seems popular consensus is "too small, too late." The sales team seems to think the Q5 may find a more receptive audience since the expectations for the third row seat won't be a factor.

    On the other hand, the dealer claims to have 6 sold Q7's arriving any day now.

    "All for the want of an additional 4 inches of leg room between the second and third row," the customer advisor ejaculated.

    I'm so out of it.

    Duly submitted. :shades:
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Maybe I can clear up some of the confusion. Why the Cayenne? Because it's as close to a sports sedan you'll come in the SUV arena, and because Porsche needed to build it to survive. So while offering the U in SUV it also has a capital S (particularly the Turbo S with over 500 hp). I guess you could ask why anyone would need that, but why would anyone need a 911 in a country where the speed limit is 55 in most places. Or even the 550 or A6 4.2. Cars that go 155 mph don't make much more sense than SUV that will never leave the pavement in terms of practicality. I would go so far as to say my Cayenne makes a huge amount more sense than my father-in-law's SL55 AMG or my brother-in-law's Viper. What I like about my Cayenne as opposed to my wife's A6 Avant is that the higher roofline makes it easier to get my child's car seat into and out of it, plus the cargo space is more flexible (her seats don't even fold down completely flat) not to mention the fact that the higher seating position has advantages. With regards to the Q7, as far as the U in SUV goes it's obviously very closely related to the Cayenne and Toureg though bigger (more U being the idea). Sure gas mileage is a concern for SUV's, but clearly people feel that the U makes up for it. Isn't it always a concern with V8's anyway? What I really think is that is comes down to personal preference. I'd rather have an SUV than a station wagon. Just never liked station wagons too much. Oh, and the V6 Cayenne does offer a manual transmission it make up for its lack of power.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    My confusion is just that, mine.

    I am not criticizing anyone's selection of one of these vehicles.

    I personally find them too large and then find the fact that others think they are too small to be further proof that robots really ARE stealing my luggage!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    . . .and progress happily enough:

    Kliky Klik & Grin
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The engine, transmission and gearing work together to belie the bulk of the package (nearly 5,000 pounds I reckon.) If it is possible for something this big to feel quick, nimble and responsive, this is a fine example.

    Actually, its 5,269 pounds. From the reviews I've seen it's handling considering that kind of heft is very impressive, but I don't think I'd call it quick, unless a 0-60 of roughly 8 seconds for the V8 is considered quick.

    That said, I think the Q7 and GL represent a serious threat to the Lincoln and Cadillac dominance of the full size luxury SUV class in a way that the LX never has. Unfortunately for Audi, I have absolutely no interest in a full size luxury SUV. The RX provides enough space on the rare occasions when we need it, and if I'm buying something so big it wont fit in the RX, chances are its going to be delivered to my house anyway.
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