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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Had no problem on unsalted hilly wisconsin roads.

    RWD & snows > ( FWD | AWD ) & all_seasons
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    No matter what you drive (AWD, 4WD, FWD, RWD), your car will benefit from using dedicated snow tires. One reason the more driving-serious Europeans drive about 75% summer/winter tires vs only 25% all-season tires. Percentages reversed in USA.

    Is fascinating that so many Americans will spend $30-50K on a sport sedan but then drive on mediocre all-season tires. All that separates you and the road is a small contact patch of rubber. Buy the best tires. That means dedicated summer (really 3-season) tires and dedicated winter tires.

    Key to safe winter driving is driving skill. Traction is reduced. Modify your driving habits. Select the right gear. Apply the throttle differently. Take things slower.

    Nothing used to bring a bigger smile to my face more in winter than driving my RWD '97 Camaro with snow tires and seeing all the SUVs in the ditch during a snow storm because their foolish driver thought they were invulnerable to winter conditions. They would barrel past me on interstate at 70 mph while I'm doing 55 mph. Then down road I pass 'em while they dig out of a snow bank.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 542
    What do you guys do, keep a set of wheels with summer and winter tires?

    Then have them swapped out between season?

    Man I'm glad I live in CA.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yes, I have a set of inexpensive winter wheels (Borbet Type "E") with a set of Michelin Arctic Alpin tires mounted on them. I put them on in November and usually take them off in March or April.

    "Man I'm glad I live in CA."

    Hmmm, the cost of my winter set is less than a fifth of the extra taxes that I'd be paying per year if I lived in California, that and my 1,500 square foot basement has LOTS of space to store a set if tires. Man I'm glad I live in New Hampshire. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Last weekend I put a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 205/55R16 91Q tires on my wife's IS300 SportCross (wagon). Bought 'em thru the Tire Rack. Part of their IS300 package: $800 for tires ($105/t) & alloy wheels ($95/w) plus $77.40 for freight and then a final $20 at installation. Grand total of $899.40.

    Had the four tires/wheels shipped directly to one of the participating Tire Rack installers in Omaha, NE (T.O. Haas). Very easy to order. No problems with installation. Worked like a charm.

    I'm going to put on a set of snow tires for my '04 IS300 sedan. I'm still deciding. Looking at Dunlop Snow Sport M3s or Michelin Arctic Alpin. I'll likely make my mind up this week.

    Don't forget that taller, narrower winter tires work best. So for me that means going from 17 inch to 16 inch tires.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I really like the Arctic Alpin tires (LOTS of grip in the slippery stuff, quiet on dry pavement), that said, given their 100 mph limit, I'm probably inclined to spend an extra $20 or so per tire next time and buy something like the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 tires. Yeah, yeah, I know, I live in New England and cannot REALLY use a tire with a higher speed rating all that often, that said, last winter on one of my trips to NYC, I was on the Mass Pike tooling along with a group of about 6 cars at about 100 when another group of about 10 cars caught us and passed us. The cars in my group accelerated and joined the larger group, that is, except me. :-(

    Best Regards,
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    "Hmmm, the cost of my winter set is less than a fifth of the extra taxes that I'd be paying per year if I lived in California, that and my 1,500 square foot basement has LOTS of space to store a set if tires. Man I'm glad I live in New Hampshire. ;-)"

    LOL. You got me on that one, Shipo. Of course, I'm originally from NH so I may find that a little more amusing than most people. Also, my wife is from CA ;). Hence why I have to buy her an AWD car (xi) AND equip it with Blizzaks.
    I have read previously that a RWD car is easier to drive UP a hill than a FWD car equipped with comparable tires due to the weight shift to the rear.
    You may want to consider that in your decision.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Oddly enough, my wife is from California as well. This whole winter thing is still a little new to her, even after living in the NYC metro area for over a dozen years and now our third winter in NH. Me, I originally hail from Michigan although I too lived in CA for several years. In the end, I had to move back up north, I missed winter too much and weekend visits up to Mammoth just didn't give me enough of a fix. ;-)

    Regarding UP hill in a RWD car, yes, I believe that depending upon the situation it is easier, assuming you can maintain enough momentum to keep the front wheels rolling fast enough to allow you enough steerage to correct for the resultant fish-tailing. Yikes, what a sentence (my Mom was an english teacher). :-/ That said, of all the cars that I've ever owned, my hill climbing champ was indeed a car setup in the FWD configuration, my 1982 Audi 4000. Talk about low-tech FWD! How on earth could that have been my best climber? Simple, in reverse. ;-) I was on my way to an assignation which included an almost empty rental ski condo, a hot fire and good food and wine, up in Boyne City, MI and all that stood between me and Valhalla was a VERY steep, slippery, snow and ice covered dirt road. After several attempts to climb the hill nose first, I sat at the bottom for a few minutes and thought about the situation logically. I popped it in reverse, and climbed that hill with absolutely no problem.

    When I pulled up in front of the condo she came out and asked, "How in the hell did you get your car up here? I needed to park in town and bum a ride from somebody with a Jeep."

    I don't think I ever actually confessed to her that I did it in reverse. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    hmm... have you considered g35x? its got awd for sure :)
    and no belive me you dont want summer tires in heavy snow, it almost got me killed once :( though i dont know how much it snows in DC, but it cant be worse than minneapolis right?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As Sonny Elliot (sp?), the old Weatherman from Detroit used to say, the folks in the DC area get lots of "Frizzle" (freezing rain and drizzle), "Slice" (slush that then freezes to ice), and "Slow" (sleet and snow mixture). Speaking stictly for myself, I'd rather drive in a good old fashioned Minneapolis Snow storm anyday compared to a DC "Slow" storm. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Alright, I have to throw in two cents to keep this place honest.

    I used to live in 10,000 feet up in the Colorado Rockies. At first I was intimidated by the thought of snow storms and compromises with mobility. Then I quickly realized that the snow crews are nothing like NYC areas where you sometimes have to wait a day to have roads cleared. In dem dere mountains snow barely had a chance to touch the ground before they would clear the roads (the more populated areas anyway). My brother lived in Montreal and it’s pretty much the same way. So it seems to me that one’s daily conditions play a role when considering winter driving equipment. If you can whisk your way onto clear roads and highway, the risk of getting marooned is considerably lower.

    I often find myself on lots of hills with plenty of deep stuff and/or ice. I know a thing or two about getting by with two wheels, but nothing beats AWD in snow—nothing. Never even came close to having a snag. You have to use more skill and savvy with the others, like taking circuitous routes home, maintaining momentum into a hill or driving uphill backwards. Not many people would think of these things.

    I agree that all-season tires are not the way to go with RWD and FWD. They have mostly summer-tire characteristics and I would only use them with AWD. Even then, they compromise traction, braking and handling in snow.

    Bottom line here. Driving in snow with RWD and FWD is like jogging with Florsheim wingtips. Sure, you can do it. But a G35x, 325xi or anything else like this is a great choice.

    Shipo, your Mom should be proud of you—I see nothing wrong with that sentence. I would imagine however that she wouldn’t approve of your 100 mph jaunts ;-)

    You CA people must me TOTALLY bored with this stuff. Question…does Santa Claus go to places like San Diego? Indeed, I envy you.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,370
    I have them on my wife's car.. The handling is incredible.. I'm sure you give up some snow traction to a Q-rated tire, but she never came close to getting stuck last year... If we drove in heavy snow frequently, I might have a different opinion, but I recommend the V-rated enthusiastically.. (we have Goodyears).



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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,370
    1) AWD w/all-seasons
    2) FWD w/winter tires
    3) RWD w/winter tires
    4) FWD w/all-seasons
    5) RWD w/all-seasons


    ANY car with winter tires over any other car (even AWD) with all-seasons.

    No two-wheel drive car has the traction of an AWD, even with winter tires... But, if you want to do it all...



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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I gotta disagree with you about some if this. I regularly drive two FWD cars and one RWD car shod with winter tires, and I think that there is little comparison, the RWD car seems to have significantly better traction in all driving regimens. So, based upon that, I would suggest a slight change to your chart for traction (I assume we are only talking about acceleration here):

    1) AWD w/Winter Tires
    2) AWD w/All-Season Tires*
    3) RWD w/Winter Tires*
    4) FWD w/Winter Tires
    5) FWD w/All-Season Tires
    6) RWD w/All-Season Tires

    * I'm not completely convinced that the AWD car with All-Seasons would be of any advantage over the RWD car with winter tires.

    Then again there are the issues of handling and braking, and if I remember the results of the side-by-side test performed by an auto magazine several years ago using cars as nearly matched as possible (MB E320 4-Matic, MB E320 RWD, Audi A6 Quattro, Audi A6 FWD) the results shifted more in favor of the Winter tire shod RWD car. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, in the braking department, the RWD car easily won due to its inherently more neutral front/rear weight distribution (especially compared to the FWD A6) combined with its (relatively) lighter weight (compared to the two AWD cars).

    Personally, I am willing to give up some "go power" to gain some "stop power", hence my comment that I believe that a RWD car (especially one with a near neutral weight distribution) shod with winter tires offers the best driving experience for winter driving. That said, if I lived in a mountainous area such as the Rockies, I would certainly opt for the AWD car simply because on a steep enough hill, the FWD/RWD car simply ain't gonna start moving from a standing stop while the AWD car will move away from the stop with relative aplomb. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Why do you have 5 & 6 flip-flopped in comparison to 3 & 4? Is this what the magazine test indicated? It seems to suggest this in your manner of reference but it's not quite clear, and at the same time curious.
  • I never really expected this would stray so far off topic, but I guess you can expect this discussion this time of year.

    Anyways, I now believe it is possible to drive uphill on snow in summer tires, because the wife actually likes the G35 family. Not so much the sedan (its looks aren't the best, IMO), but the coupe. I will admit that driving a RWD coupe/sedan is just a completely different experience from a FWD. In this case, different is much better. The handling, acceleration, and braking are all a world better.

    I am aware of the G35x, but I was really hoping to get the 6-speed. Of course, the wife wandered over to the FX35 and I knew it was all over. Fortunately, this is MY car so there's a chance that I will win this battle.

    The dealer had some '05 G35x's in stock, but I didn't get a chance to see one or drive one. The interior is supposed to be up in quality now vs. the 04's. Unfortunately, the 6-speed won't be around until late January or February...and I need a car NOW since mine is totalled.

    Thanks for all the comments on winter tires and such. I'm paying cash for the car anyways, so I might as well just take $1000 and get a quality set of winter tires. Then I can run summer/winters and have it all. Geeze, having your cake AND eat it too...say it ain't so!

  • I have two sets of winter tires also for both cars. I dont mind the trouble of switching them and spending $1k for a set of spare wheels n winter tires. Well it keeps you out of trouble, eventhough they still spin a little bit but not as often. I have to stay with my (the only/last) insurance company (some accidents before)

    And I also put some heavy stuff in the trunk, so if the FWDer has an engine on top of their front wheels, I got my small loaded fridge on the top of my rear wheels. well it works.! It does help traction and a happy 20-35 mph on snow. lol
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I just came back from the dealer they had 2005g35x. Did not get a chance to drive it but spend some time in the car. I do find that seat controls are in the wrong spot, but the seat is very comfortable both driver and passenger. Even though interior design is pretty much the same as 04, materials used are much better. Gages are still orange but way better looking than 04 and does not look at all like the one in Altima. Before interior was the only thing in the way of buying a car and I was leaning more towards TL, but now I think G is the one. Have to convince my wife to get a 6MT and the deal is done.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,370
    Well.. I was trying to show there is a big difference between "go power" and "stop/turn" power..

    I've had four AWDs with three different AWD/4WD systems, and everyone of them had better traction (go power) with all-seasons than any 2WD car I've driven with winter tires, including my current one..

    And although I would rather have RWD/winters than FWD/winters for the overall handling experience (stop/turn/go power), if I am considering only traction (go power), I still have to go with the FWD.

    I will grant that the type of car makes a difference though.. A large car with a long wheelbase loses some of the traction advantage that FWD provides, by moving more of the weight off the front wheels.. My old '82 Accord hatchback with 63-64% of the weight over the front wheels would leave any RWD car spinning its wheels... A new TL or ES300 would have much less advantage over a 5-series or GS300.



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  • Everything I've heard so far says that the interior of the G35 is much improved for 2005...but the sticky issue is that the 6-speeds won't be coming out until late January or early February. Since my car is totalled, I am in need of a car very very soon. Puts me in quite the pickle. I don't really want to settle for an 04, but I can't think of any other choice...besides renting a car until that time (ouch $$$!).]

    I do agree the placement for the seat adjustment is wrong, but the seats are quite comfortable (if you are not tooo wide in the backside).

    I suppose I could settle with the automatic '05, or even an 04 6-speed, but something tells me I'll regret it. On the other hand, aren't the 04's going for well under invoice now??? There's quite a few things I can spend $3-$4k on...

  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Dealer did mention that 2005 6MT has to be ordered, but he sounded like it can be done much sooner than January.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    Interesting result. I expected Volvo and Saab among the best but I didn't expect Audi & BMW among the worst.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Interesting. Considering I know someone who has the same car as me, who got rear-ended by a truck on the turnpike. Car was totalled, he walked out without injury, no whiplash. While I'm sure the study has a basis for the end-results, in this one case I would have expected some more injury to my friend, considering it was a classic, textbook rear-ending.
  • For more horses at that price point and similar features, I guess you could go with the $35,000 G35.

    35k for a G35? Who pays MSRP for a G35?!
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    All my figures were just MSRP, not saying that anyone pays MSRP for a G35. No one pays MSRP for a 3 series either, at least I hope not.

    The discounting makes the G35 even a better deal, since one can generally discount a G35 more off MSRP than a 3 series.

    You do get free maintenance and better gas mileage with the 3 (both 3.0 and 2.5), however.

    What is the present day worth of the free maintenance anyway?
  • The discounting makes the G35 even a better deal, since one can generally discount a G35 more off MSRP than a 3 series.

    Until November there was a $3k rebate on the 330i, so figuring subtract that from $400 over invoice and you're talking about over 5k off the MSRP sticker on a 330i. Are people getting G35s for 5k off sticker? If so, that's awesome!
  • Hello, If you are in Vegas as your post said, I bought an 04 G35 sedan in late Sept. for $500 under invoice at the dealership here. Both are owned by the sale company, and if it is of interest to you, I bought my car at the Sahara dealership. Best regards.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I didn't know that you could get $5000 off MSRP on a 330i. That is awesome.

    Historically, my impression is that the 3 series was harder to discount than the G35 sedan.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    Historically? nope, theoretically? yes
    in reality its easier to get 330is for 5k under msrp than getting a 325i for 5k under msrp, due to the fact that 325i sells a whole lot better, and it holds better value when youre reselling it.
  • That Nissan 3.5 is a beast though. I rented a Maxima over the weekend and though the car was a tin can that engine made the tires squeal really easy.
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