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Luxury Lounge

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  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    1. I don't think many would be convinced by the overnight change for all the better argument. There is a catch-22 going on here: lack of cars requiring ULSD makes station unprofitable to carry labelled ULSD; lack of labelled ULSD statin makes consumer unwilling to buy cars that require ULSD.

    2. No indication doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. There is no canary in the mine shaft right now. The current vehicle fleet wouldn't show any problem even if the labelled ULSD stations in California were actully pumping out 500ppm sulfer diesel despite the 15ppm diesel that the buy. Current cars do not require ULSD to operate properly. When cars that actually require ULSD to survive show up, the situation change dramaticly. Regulation tightening can not deliver heaven on earth; reality often gets in the way.

    3. Human error happen all the time. It takes only 1 error out of 1000 or so refilling in the life of a ULSD-dependent car to kill the car. Cars made in the 50's that required higher octane than the lowest grade "regular" or else would blow the engine failed quite miserably in the market place; labelling is a poor way of preventing human errors. That's why today's high performace car engines made for the consumer fleet all can run on "regular" without self-destucting despite "premium only" labelling.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    I actually agree with tag this time that we are finally moving beyond talking past each other . . . just starting to make some progress in addressing the issues in a dispassionate fashion. However, if it is the host's wish to leave the issues alone, I will go back to my vacation.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Yup, me four. I've talked my wife into a ritualistic annual trip to Munich to pick up cars as soon as the baby is old enough to fly 11hrs straight . . . that would be next year . . . can't wait.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    IMHO, they have caught the Japanese idea of planned obsolescence. Damn shame really. I actually liked the "same sausage only different sizes" approach of old . . . but times are changing.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Personally I love the looks of the new CS but I am sure there are many so called BMW enthusiasts who hate it and are nostalgic for those days when BMW design was strictly functional.

    One man's functional is another man's boring. Look at the last of the "box" Volvos like the S70. That's about as functional as you can get, and that shape has not held up well. On the other hand the S60 (which was actually penned before the S80) is still a great looking car. While I still like the 540i as a car more than the current 5, its "no offense" shape won't turn any heads these days. I've grown to tolerate if not like most of Bangle's cars, with the 335i coupe being IMO the best of the breed. The only one I still can't stand is the 6 coupe, its just as hideous now as it was at launch.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Thank you, Dewey. Edmunds forums is our asylum. :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The 335i convertible would cost me $900/36 months at this time.
    I am paying $721/36 months for the 545i.
    They expect over 5% more interest for the convertible.
    It's a hot vehicle right now. I will check to see if it has cooled off a bit next May and also whether the money factor starts falling as we approach the less desirable Fall-Winter season.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Thanks for the advice, Tagman. I will be watching how the interest rate changes on the 335i convertible.

    I agree. If they can't sell convertibles in the spring and summer, when will they sell them? The fact that this is also a new model with great reviews creates a double-whammy boost on the interest rate.

    I could always extend the 545i lease by 3-4 months based on what I find happens to the leasing money factor on the 2007 335i convertible between now and December.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Still waiting for any preliminary comments from the Bangle sceptics regarding the CS concept photos."

    I haven’t been in the mood to critique styling for quite some time now. I just got sick of being so negative and querulous. As Merc used to say, I’m tough on styling. But you asked for it so I’ll oblige.

    To begin with, BMW is showing signs of sobriety with their design as evidenced by the 3-series coupe and convertible, X5 and facelifted 7-series. I am somewhat encouraged, less skeptical.

    With regard to the CS:

    THE BAD:
    It’s busy, over designed with too much topography and detail. The general design still incorporates the use-every-spice-in-the-rack approach. Space Ranger design. Victorian wrought iron design. Curlicues. General chaos, particularly in the shapes on the rear end: lamps, trunk and broken character ridge on the hips that is discordant with the ridge below the belt line.

    THE GOOD:
    Great low, shapely roof line. The shape by the rocker panel has motion and nails the car to the ground where a sport sedan is supposed to be. The all-nostril mug looks grotesque but macho. The car has a carniverous crouch. It is hunkered down and Bluto mean. There’s nothing effete about this one. I like mean-looking cars and this permits me to tolerate poor design, like pinching your nose when taking the castor oil.

    Don’t forget now, this is just a concept and I would imagine some the design motifs are constructed for the purpose of research; they are looking for reactions. Also, it looks like the front end doesn’t conform to pedestrian safety regs. In any event, I don’t think the final product will closely resemble this.

    Grade: C

    To put it in context, this is how I grade most of the current BMWs on exterior styling:

    1-series: F
    3-series sedan: F
    3-series coupe: B+
    3-series convertible: B+
    5-series: F
    6-series coupe: C
    6-series convertible: F
    7-series: C-
    X3: C-
    X5: B+
    Z4: F
    Z8: C+

    Grade Point Average: 1.5
    Grade Letter Average: D+

    BMW has to get that GPA up.

    ;-)
  • rockshocka1rockshocka1 Posts: 310
    I posted this on the A5 forum, but it's been inactive for some time.

    If anyone's interested, C&D has article on 1st drive of the A5/S5.

    1st Drive
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    6-series coupe: C
    Z4: F


    I didn't know this was bizarro backwards world.
  • dan67dan67 Posts: 51
    Design is all so subjective as different looks appeal to different people especially in the large car luxury catagory.

    At this point in my life I give the highest marks to the MB S550, all the Bentley Continentals, some exotics over $200K. Did I miss any?

    Most others including the BMW, Audi, and Lexus get passing marks although seem a bit conservative to me.

    Dan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I do believe the 2008 5 Series will be a bit more to the liking of the one or two folks who inexplicably are resisting what thousands of folks worldwide have been affirming since 2004 with their pocketbooks, making the Bangle 5 series such a huge success.

    2004-2007 5 Series: A

    2008 5 Series: A+

    2007 335i convertible and coupe: A+

    2007 335i sedan: A

    Other BMW models: Who cares?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I recall you slamming the "catfish" but I guess you like the Z4 or defer to it with more reverence?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I anxiously await the successor to the E60 5-series but the upcoming facelifted version looks nearly identical to me. Meanwhile, my E39 is out of warranty soon and I will be keeping it indefinitely. At least we agree on the 3-series convertible. Maybe I'll ratchet it up to an A- if stands the test of time.

    BTW, I give the E39 a B+. When it first came out it was a B- in my mind.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, the interior of the 2005 (mine) and 2008 5 Series look the same to me from the photos. Also, there may be fewer critics of this design than the original Bangle 5. Gotta see it in person, though. Who can really say from the photos. It's probably in the showrooms already since the 2008 5 series leasing money factors are already posted. I will call my dealer and if the new one is there, I will inspect it during the week.

    I drove beside an E39 today. It is a totally non-controversial design. It really is shocking to see the E39 and E60 together.
    BMW took a chance with the new design but then again, love it or hate it, underneath the E 60's sheet metal lies the great balance, brakes, steering and industry-leading inline 6 or fantastic V8 engine. You may not like the look, DM, but you've got to love the drive! I know the 545i would put a smile on your face! :)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I find your grading quite interesting Designman:

    E90 3-series sedan: F
    E92 3-series coupe: B+

    I dont know how an e92 can earn a B + while a e90 sedan ends up flunking.When I see a e92 coupe I can see the strong DNA relationship with its e90 sedan sibling.

    If the e90 was a student he would have every right to have his "F" mark re-checked and re-graded . And if that does not work then I would suggest he seeks legal recourse for unfair discrimination. ;)

    I myself will not disclose my BMW grading system because I know a majority of forum members here will disagree with me (except maybe Howard and every Lexus/Toyota auto designer).
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    image

    The 4.2 Litre V8 on the RS4 will be biturbocharged in the RS5 and produce 450HP with more than 500 lbs-ft of torque.

    link title
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    D-Man,
    You were bold with your BMW grades, I must say. Fortunately those grade have NOTHING to do with the "drive" associated with each of those terrific machines.

    As far as the body style goes, I will comment only on the 3-series. I would elevate the 3-series sedan from the F you gave it to a C+. I would move the 3-series coupe to a B-, and I would give the new 3-series convertible the same B- with the top closed and a B+ with the top open.

    Also, your description of the CS was a college course in descriptive writing. Must be tough being trapped inside that head of yours sometimes... all those subtle nuances to consider everywhere... ;)

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I recall you slamming the "catfish" but I guess you like the Z4 or defer to it with more reverence?

    The 6 and Z4 both have kind of a "fishy" look to them, but the Z4 looks like a quick, lithe, aggressive little shark, while the 6 is a big, fat, ugly catfish. If the Z4 didn't have that awful line that runs along the bottom of the door that makes it look like it was already in an accident, it would actually be a pretty good looking car.

    image
    image
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    As long as BMW continues to provide one of the best drives in the world, many of us are willing to overlook not getting design perfection, whatever that is supposed to be.

    Having said that, I have yet to drive by pedestrians or encountered anyone in a parking lot in the 545i since August 2005, who have pointed to the car and laughed out loud uncontrollably in ridicule.

    Dewey, I have full confidence in your BMW grading system and I am sure it would not differ much from my own. ;)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I drove beside an E39 today. It is a totally non-controversial design. It really is shocking to see the E39 and E60 together. BMW took a chance with the new design but then again, love it or hate it, underneath the E 60's sheet metal lies the great balance, brakes, steering and industry-leading inline 6 or fantastic V8 engine. You may not like the look, DM, but you've got to love the drive! I know the 545i would put a smile on your face!

    Yes the contrast is striking. I have received E60 loaners a couple of times when my car was in for service and there is no doubt that the driving characteristics are a different matter altogether. I even like the driving qualities of the 5-series better than the 3-series. On of my favorite qualities is the lack of power assist in the steering compared with all other cars.

    BTW, I once got a 650 convertible loaner and my wife fell in love with it. She’s a sun worshipper but never liked convertibles because they mess with the hair. She says the 650 doesn’t do that so it was a hit with her much to my chagrin. I had to point out that the back seat and trunk space are useless so her shopping sprees would be severely handicapped. She though about it twice and agreed.

    Another one of my favorite things about the 5-series (and 3-series) sedans is the fold-down rear seats. It doubles as a sedan and wagon. I can’t begin to tell you the things she packs in the car on those sprees which are many. She shops and returns and shops and returns and shops and returns. These cars become extremely useful and versatile with that feature.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I dont know how an e92 can earn a B + while a e90 sedan ends up flunking.When I see a e92 coupe I can see the strong DNA relationship with its e90 sedan sibling.

    I knew someone would challenge me on that. This is my response. A good design is like a house of cards. It takes a lot to get it right and no effort at all to ruin it. The difference between good and bad proportion and shape are often subtle balances. Anyone can take an attractive person and photoshop them into in ogre in minutes. In the case of 3-series sedan vs coupe and convertible I don’t even think the differences are subtle

    Anyway, another reason why I am reluctant to criticize these cars anymore is because my friends around here and elsewhere have them. You guys like them, I don't, sometimes it's the other way around. I am content to just leave it at that.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    As far as the body style goes, I will comment only on the 3-series. I would elevate the 3-series sedan from the F you gave it to a C+. I would move the 3-series coupe to a B-, and I would give the new 3-series convertible the same B- with the top closed and a B+ with the top open.

    Yep, your comments are understandable. I hesitate to split the decision between top up and down though. IMO top-up merely has to not stick out like a sore thumb. BTW, the Z4 and 650 convertibles are two cases where the top is a sore thumb IMO. The design and function of the top and wind screen on the 6 is interesting though. I didn't fully understand this until using it.

    Thank you for the compliment!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I remember you once said the Q45 looks like Joan Rivers. Looking at the 6 and Z4 square in the eyes thanks to your post, I see a Britney Spears thing going on.

    ;-)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I have the fold-down rear seat.
    One of my pet peeves with BMW is how they nickel and dime you for everything-stuff that really should be included in the base MSRP-like the fold-down rear seat.

    What I like most about the 5 over the 3 is when you compare the base suspensions on both, the 5 does a much better job in soaking up the bumps than the 3.

    But then again comparing the base suspensions of the 3 and X5, the 3 feels like a Lincoln!

    "She shops and returns and shops and returns."
    You have my sympathy and compassion. ;)
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Number of street cars & SUVs newly-registered in some European Countries in January-April 2007,

    Whole EU — 4,121,365 (-0.4%) (494,655,462 citizens)
    Italy — 733,233 (+4.1%) (58,883,000 cit.)*
    Germany — 717,536 (-10.0%) (82,310,000 cit.)
    UK — 688,476 (+2.9%) (60,209,500 cit.)
    Spain — 535,000 (-1.2%) (44.708.964 cit.)
    France — 519,191 (-1.2%) (63,213,894 cit.)

    .

    Ten best-seller brands in Spain, in descending order, same period

    Citroen –> Renault –> Seat(VW Group) –> Ford –> Peugeot –> Opel –> VW –> Toyota –> Audi –> BMW

    Best-seller cars in Spain by categories, descending order, same period

    ELS
    Peugeot 407 — 7,685
    VW Passat — 7,663
    BMW 3 — 7,572
    Audi A4 — 6,994
    Skoda (VW Group) Octavia — 4,155

    LPS
    Audi A6 — 2,925
    BMW 5 — 2,232
    MB E — 2,068
    Nissan Qashqai — 1,762
    Hyundai Sonata — 1,406

    HELS
    MB CLS — 714
    MB S — 565
    Audi A8 — 269
    BMW 7 — 171
    Lexus GS300 — 119

    Luxury SUV
    Audi Q7 — 1,917
    MB ML — 1,384
    VW Touareg — 1,316
    Volvo XC90 1,167
    BMW X5 856

    *So, Italians still are car lovers.

    Regards,
    Jose
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    You've aroused my curiousity. Compared to North America these stats are like the stats from another planet.

    A Hyundai Sonata is considered a Luxury Performance Sedan?

    More Audi A6 sales than BMW 5 sales?

    More MB CLS sales than MB S sales?

    BMW X5 sales are insignificant when compared to Audi Q7, MB ML, VW Touareg, and Volvoe XC90?

    No sight of any luxury Japanese marques (I heard somewhere that Infiniti and Acura will be establishing their marques beyond North America)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    My fold down rear seat on my 335i was standard. No extra costs. My fold down seat is quite practical for cargo space but not as practical as my wife's BMW 5 series touring wagon.

    Unlike you I love feeling bumps (reminds me of those bumpy rides in an amusement park). That is why I paid extra for the sport package.

    What is very noticeable is the steering pull over bumpy roads (almost every road here in midtown Toronto where I live and work is potholed and bumpy). My car's steering pull is mainly due to my 18 inch run flats and also streetcar tracks which is not the fault of BMW.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    I am happy I have aroused it!

    It's good to see other planet life :shades:

    (1) A Hyunday Sonata is not what I think is an LPS, and many more Spaniards think like me. But I have just copied the figures from a serious source. It was included in there :confuse:

    (2) Yes, more Audi A6 than BMW 5 sales. Not only in Spain but all across Europe. Audi overtook BMW some time ago. Audi is a serious competitor of BMW and MB.

    (3) Yes. May be fresh money showing up.

    (4) Again yes. At least in the first months of 2007 it has been like that. However, I see many BMW X5 on the street.

    Regards,
    Jose
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