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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWMember Posts: 3,136
    "Did you eventually get the problem fixed of the car pulling on uneven roads?"

    No, I replaced the car with a MB E350 Sport.

    I was told by one service person it was my tires and by another my alignment was off. This was really not the reason I replaced the car though.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    My dealer has been fairly reliable about what's coming, and they say an M45x is coming next model year (late summer?).

    I suppose stranger things have happened. The M should be due for a refresh for the '09 MY. If they're going to do it, that would be when.
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    Not an uncommon occurence. I had some directional tires that pulled HARD right when I got them put on. Prior to that, the car tracked straight and true. Moved them to the left, and it pulled THAT way.

    Alignment may be an issue. Another possible cause would be tire pressures too high or not the same on both sides. Those are the easy fixes. After that, it can become a nightmare!

  • jobiejobie Member Posts: 47
    For those of you that drive (or will soon drive) the E-350, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the other similar sedans, specifically the 530/535. I'm looking to get out of my SUV soon and back into a sedan; I've been a BMW fan for years but am having trouble warming up the current generation 5. I never gave MB much thought, but the sport package on the E-350 has caught my eye, and now the price of 5'er is right up there with the E. I don't expect the E to be as fun to drive as the 5, but to my eye the interior and exterior are nicer.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I'm not sure how an A6 is too big or dimensionally how a G from Infiniti would be a competitor (the G is aimed at the A4 and 3 Series in other NON-dimensional attributes.)

    A6 wb: 111.9 and is about 192" overall
    5x wb: 113.7 and is about 191" overall

    I have driven both of these cars extensively and actually own the A6. somehow to me, the 5 does seem to have a cramped back seat compared to the A6, but the cars -- overall -- are much more alike dimensionally than they are different.

    I have had a running discussion with folks about the upcoming CTS, which for the time being seems to be a "bargain" LPS car (technically, I know, an ELLPS by all that is good and holy.)

    Yet, here is what I look at somewhat in wonderment:

    The new 2008 CTS can be sort-of, almost, optioned to be current (feature wise) with a 2005 Audi A6 3.2. For about $10,000 less, I'm thinking. Yet Bluetooth is not offered on the Cadillac in the US (for some time.)

    So, I am looking at a 2008 car (the CTS) that is less money than a German middle child, about the same size (113" wheelbase as I recall) and state of the art, German 2004, sort-of, almost 2005-ish.

    Of course when you look at the technology packages in the Japanese cars, the Cadillac [sort-of, to make the point] looks downright low-def in a high-def world.

    But it will be about $10,000 less than an A6 3.2 and perhaps $12,000+ less than a BMW.

    Equipped with AWD and the 300HP engine, the new CTS looks like a real consideration for [sort-of] honorable mention into the LPS class (dimensionally at least.)

    Overall, though, I like the CTS and if Cadillac discounts the everlovin' heck out of it like they have (here in River City) the STS, well, heck, a brand new 100,000 mile warranteed 300HP AWD fairly luxo vehicle for way lower bucks than a comparably sized and almost comparably equipped non-faux LPS car, could sway a few folks.


    Well, maybe.

    It could happen!

    Step back 10 yards and squint -- do you see the figure holding the universe in the palm of his (or her) hand?

    Step back just a little more...

    There, now you got it! :surprise:

    I picked the wrong week to give up coffee.

    But it is $10,000 less. . . .

    No really, it is. :shades:
  • macctmacct Member Posts: 8
    My lease on my 2005 530i will be expiring over the next few months and I find myself torn between the 5 series (528xi/535xi) and the Infiniti M35xi. While they are all really good choices, I think I remain partial to the BMWs, albeit I question their value.

    In terms of the BMWs, I like the overall driving dynamics. IMO, they have such a nice balance between handling, ride, braking, etc. I just find the car comfortable and enjoyable. The 535xi was treat to drive and it would be my choice if value was not part of the equation. In terms of leasing, it carries a huge premium over the Infiniti (& 528xi) which I am not sure I can justify.

    In terms of the 528xi, I like most everything about the car, but feel it's mot keeping up to its competitors in terms of engine performance. While it is incredibly smooth performer, it just seems like there should be more. I realize it's not all about HP & quickness, I still question its value.

    The Infiniti has been somewhat of a surprised for me. It is actually much sportier and well-balanced than I anticipated. The car performed exceptionally well, but IMO lacked some of the refinement and finesse associated with the 5 series. The handling seemed sharp, but the steering seemed a bit disconnected (too light at low speeds & artificial firm at higher speeds) with a rougher ride quality. The engine, however, seemed more responsive the 528xi, particularly from a stand still or passing on the highway. The interior was also quite nice. I found it more luxurious than the 5 series, albeit I prefer the BMW's comfort seats. The electronics were also impressive. The navigation & other controls seemed well designed and easy to use. Leasing the Infiniti is also quite the bargain, being less expensive for more equipment than either 5-series.

    At this point, I am torn. The emotional choice is the 535xi. It's the car I enjoyed most. The question is it worth the additional $100 to 120/month more than an M35x? The M35x seems like a great value, and comes with so much more for the price. I didn't find it as enjoyable to drive, but I also wonder if it is in part just because it's not what I am use to. In terms of the 528xi, I don't think I can justify over the Infiniti.

    Any thoughts between these cars? Anyone with some real experience with both the Infiniti and the 5-series?
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    My comment on the A-6 size issue stemmed from me looking at the vehicle comparator on the web comparing an A-6 to a 530Xi, where it showed the Audi was a good bit wider than the BMW. I'm a little tight for garage space in both length and width, so that caught my attention. However, I looked into the specs further and found that Audi gives a vehicle width which includes the sideview mirrors and the BMW width does not, so it's not apples to apples- my comment was based on incorrect data and I retract it. Moving from an ELLPS to a LPS is going to be a tighter fit pretty much independent of which car it is. The good news for my pocketbook is there is no way a 7 series will fit in my garage!

    The more I've thought about this, the more I realize I'm hooked on the 535Xi, assuming the test drive is positive, I can negotiate an acceptable deal, and there aren't any showstoppers with the car of which I am not aware. I'm getting a bad case of the new car bug, and the impulse to buy now rather than waiting until later in the year to see how the 08 CTS works out, and whether or not there will be an M45x.

    I do have some concerns about the 535Xi- mixed reviews on reliability of the 5 series in general, repair / maintenance / longevity issues associated with turbocharging, and cost. But there are many things I like so far about the car and they're outweighing these concerns.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    The CTS threatens to be $11 down, $11 per month, and if you don't have the $11, we'll loan it to you.

    The price per month factor is at least very enticing.

    If I could ditch the "breathtakingly expensive" out of warranty factor, I'd actually be tempted to keep my '05 A6 for a bit longer.

    It is amazing, I get to thinking (as I take my Audi's features for granted) that a 2008 ought to be a huge step up.

    The CTS hasn't seemed to look at the Japanese competition and apparently not even the ripe for picking German competition.

    The Bluetooth "clue" is perplexing -- as in the CTS released in Europe is rumored to come with BT from day one.

    The lack of the pushbutton start and smart key (even though I think it is sometimes a gimmick) blows my mind when one can get such features on a Mazda for pity's sake.

    If my car had 10% more HP and torque, it would be a no brainer to keep it at least one more year ('cept for that nagging fear of repairs on a German car out of warranty.)

    The 535xi may be leased at a phenominal rate after about 6,7 months of release. It may be the pick of the little.

    Just for fun I configured a G35x and a similar A4 or 3x -- damn! Infiniti certainly packs in the value.

    The Germans need to differentiate themselves -- and this is coming from a German car fan!
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    It is amazing, I get to thinking (as I take my Audi's features for granted) that a 2008 ought to be a huge step up.

    Just curious Mark, but why not move up to say, a lightly used '06 A6 4.2? One with barely any miles on it should be around $45K or so, which seems like a pretty good deal to me, as the only thing the A6 3.2 really lacks is power.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Well gas is now $3.39. Cincinnati is, despite being a big town, clogging up just like the cities.

    I would love more power.

    Yet, finding much of anywhere to use it is hard.

    I still believe $4/gas is a commin', too.

    Heck, an A5 SLine with a beefed up 4cyl FSI turbo and a stick shift (were it offered) could be a very nice way to have it and eat it, too.

    Nice thought.

    That was then, this is now, however.

    What I really want is the diesel.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    I don't have personal experience with either car, but an associate of mine is turning in his 2002 540ia sport off lease and we went out to test drive an E550 last weekend. Although it is at least as powerful in stright line acceleration as the BMW, it didn't feel as tight in handling or in structural integrity as his 5 year old 65,000 mile 540i. It is definitely a noticable difference.

    My friend is in your dilemma. He likes BMW driving dynamics, but does not like the interior/exterior style changes and the i-drive. He is considering a pristine low mileage 2003 M5, but his wife doesn't drive a stick, so he'll probably pass.

    Another factor to consider is build quality / reliability. One of the service managers I deal with at my Porsche dealership (they sell Mercedes as well) insisted on moving over from Mercedes to Porsche because he was dissapointed in the deterioration of Mercedes quality over the years. He had been with Mercedes for over 30 years, of which he claims the last 8-10 went downhill.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    'm looking to get out of my SUV soon and back into a sedan; I've been a BMW fan for years but am having trouble warming up the current generation 5.

    Tried the Infiniti M? It's about as close as you can get to the performance of a 5 without actually buying a 5. The A6 is also excellent.
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    Yup, an Audi A6, BMW 530d, or MB E320CDI is what my wife will drive when she graduates college...

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,465
    wow! can i be your wife? (although i warn you i don't look good in a dress)
    the first vehicle i bought out of college was a compact pickup truck. ;)
    and even that that took a huge chunk out of my paycheck.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • fonefixerfonefixer Member Posts: 247
    Do you think Audi will remain a competitive "player" in the automotive marketplace with virtually all of their offering s claiming 14~17 mpg (except maybe some of the A4's) when fuel reaches $4/gal+ by Labor day?
  • fonefixerfonefixer Member Posts: 247
    You need to take a Sunday afternoon drive over to Marysville, Ohio where it is claimed that the world's largest Lamborghini dealer is open for business. Now where in Ohio would you have a chance to use the full potential of 500 + hp at 9 mpg?
  • kamdogkamdog Member Posts: 28
    Just some thoughts. The 535 has certain benefits, as does the E350 and the M. You need to just put it all down and see what really matters after you might own the car for a while. The iDrive problem seems to be much bigger among those who drive it to rate it rather than those who own it and learn it. The M seems to bother longer term owners who hate the short gearing on the highway and who never get a gas mileage break. Some E people seem to lament the loss of road feel, others enjoy that isolation. So, where are you? Are you technical enough to master the iDrive and enjoy the better road manners and economy? Do you want a more isolated and luxurious ride of an E350? Do you want a bit simpler, rougher around the edges car and can deal with it being a bit thirsty? The entire choice will be made clear when YOU decide what is important. The BMW, MB, Infiniti are all great cars, it is just a matter of YOU deciding what attributes you value most. Me, Im with BMW. I am a techincal kind of guy and will have no problem with iDrive. The Infiniti bothers me too much in being piggish with gas and being rough, and the E doesn't give me the right feel. But that is me. What is you?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,152
    Hey.. the VRTC test track is only about ten miles from that Lamborghini dealer... 7.5 miles long, I think.. ;)

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  • fonefixerfonefixer Member Posts: 247
    It is amazing how big the US economy really is with 25 Lamborghini dealers across the country selling $200,000+ cars.
  • kgarykgary Member Posts: 180
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWMember Posts: 3,136
    Re: Bump [kgary]

  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Hi - if you have a comment, we'd love to hear from you, but it really isn't necessary to "bump" these discussions. :)
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250
    My wife and I test drove a 535Xi this morning. We liked it so much we ordered one. Salesman estimated it will take 6 weeks to arrive.

    The car we drove, like the one we ordered, has the standard 17" GFTs. Ride quality is definitely smoother and quieter than my '06 330Xi. I purposely drove over the same section of road that caused a hard hit in my current car this morning on the way to the dealer, and there was no problem with the 5 series. I didn't really get a chance to test the handling, but it felt responsive and similar to my current car.

    We easily noticed it's a bit roomier on the inside, sits a little higher, and has easier ingress and egress.

    I immediately noticed the engine is more powerful than in my current car, and it's very responsive in regular Drive mode. I didn't feel the need to shift to Sport mode like I do in my current car. While driving on the interstate at 70 mph, I punched the throttle and was impressed at how quickly and effortlessly it accelerated.

    The 535Xi has everything we were looking for as a step up from our 330Xi.

  • bazohimbabazohimba Member Posts: 14
    Well.. er uh.. Mark, my son has a plain vanilla 525 in Houston, I was very favorably impressed with handling, fit and finish, etc. Love the sound of the glass-smooth straight six.
    I would discourage the CTS you mentioned, as I'm sick of the STS-4 I picked up with 7k miles 16 months ago.

    I've ordered an '08 E320 bluetech. It's torque that gets you where you want to go, and diesel is now less than regular here in Indiana. Have you driven an E 320 bluetech?
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    I have. :) You wouldn't know it is a diesel just by it driving by unless you read the tail badging.

    My wife's car to herself when she graduates college will either be a BMW 5 Series diesel or an E320 diesel. I'm personally hoping for a 530d stateside by then!

  • drtraveldrtravel Member Posts: 395
    BMW 5-Series 4,431
    Mercedes E-Class 4,102
    Lexus GS 2,043
    Acura RL 652

    Don't know Audi or Infiniti yet
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,124
    May = 1,842
    2020 BMW M340i
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    Thanks for the link, I had not seen this.

    One comment is the article says leather is standard and a higher quality leather is optional. Leather is standard in the 550i, but for the 535i they tested, leatherette is standard and leather (just one quality) is optional.

  • badboymiabadboymia Member Posts: 6
    This car is super, the interior is great and very reliable, Nav is the best in the industry as well as class! Its a real go getter type of car the ladies love it!!
  • bazohimbabazohimba Member Posts: 14
    Well, Mark, I didn't even look at the BMWs after driving the E 320 CDI. My '08 E 320 bluetech should be delivered in the next ten days or so. My deal was 4% off MSRP which is acceptable, altho neither I nor the dealer is stealing anything from each other.

    I am very impressed by the acceleration (at least the sensation... driving it in traffic in Houston) in the little engine that's very quiet. Hope I'm right!!

    I've not decided whether to buy or lease, as my wife just bought an '07 GL 450. I don't even remember how to figure a lease so as to protect myself from sleight of hand at the dealership.

  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    FYI on leasing. Just shop for best purchase price and then have them convert to a lease using that negotiated price, the money factor (interest)and residual (these should be standard if each dealer is using MB Credit) and the amount of months that you decide to lease for. These numbers MUST be disclosed to you in the contract so they can't be fudged. And then make sure that you are clear on the "drive off costs" or out of pocket- money paid when you pick up the car. This is usually first payment, security deposit, taxes and title. So two dealers using the same exact numbers MUST come up with the same monthly payment and drive off costs or something is very wrong with one of them.

    Also, make sure that no one is adding anything extra here that isn't required. This is an area where they can "pad" some profit. I once threatened to walk out of an Infiniti dealership where I was picking up a new car because they added a fee of 150 to pick up my plates from DMV. This was additional to DMV fees. Of course the dealer backed down and took it out of the contract when I told him that I wouldn't sign for the car with that fee. The salesman was a bit upset so I suspect that was some extra commission for him.
    My experience when leasing from MB and BMW is that it's very straight forward with no "games".
    Hope this helps.
  • renssilsrenssils Member Posts: 24
    From your experience, would any of you Infiniti M45 owners go for a 2008 M45x sport? All wheel drive and sport package will be offered for MY 2008.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    From your experience, would any of you Infiniti M45 owners go for a 2008 M45x sport? All wheel drive and sport package will be offered for MY 2008.

    Very interesting, I'm surprised that Infiniti is making major changes to the M so quickly. The M45x will definitely be on my "must test drive" list.
  • klpeelklpeel Member Posts: 46
    I don't know about the sport package, but the M45x is my target car for around the end of this year. I am curious to see the external appearance changes mentioned in Infiniti's press release, though. Does anyone know if any pictures are yet available of the updated 2008?

    And BTW, I wouldn't consider these "major changes." The one significant change is the availability of AWD for the V8 version. The other changes are technology updates or refreshes of various kinds. The basic car is the same.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    And BTW, I wouldn't consider these "major changes." The one significant change is the availability of AWD for the V8 version. The other changes are technology updates or refreshes of various kinds. The basic car is the same.

    When I said "major changes", I meant that the car is getting its mid-cycle refresh a year early, which in addition to the AWD V8 includes both a revised exterior and interior, the G35's new HDD based NAV system, new colors and the change to white gauges like in the G.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,124
    “the car is getting its mid-cycle refresh a year early,”

    But – no 6-speed automatic. Or any revision to the gearing.
    Meaning ( I’m guessing ) that the relatively poor fuel economy and the relatively high RPM at cruise will remain – likely for 2 more years.

    Odd, indeed. . . ( to me )
    - Ray
    2020 BMW M340i
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    I included this in a longer post in a 5 series thread. While I don't think gas mileage should be a make or break factor for cars in this price category, I do appreciate efficiency.

    We took the first road trip in our 535Xi this past weekend, about 250 miles each way. Car now has about 1200 miles. Just for grins, I ran a test to check highway gas mileage. After I got up to speed on Interstate I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley, I reset the avg mph and avg mpg on the car’s computer, and tried to drive at a constant 75 mph while not being heavy-footed with the gas.

    At the end of a 90 mile stretch on the first day, the display read an avg mph of 73.4, and an avg mpg of 27.6. On the second day, at the end of a 40 mile stretch, I averaged 73.8 mph and 30.1 mpg (on less hilly terrain).

  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Wait until the engine is fully broken in. My 530i didn't start getting its best mileage until it had over 20,000 miles on the clock. ;)

    Best Regards,
  • renssilsrenssils Member Posts: 24
    Any comments on the 2008 M45x Sport, especially from M45, M45 Sport, M35x and M35 Sport owners?
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,665
    It looks like there is an issue with the side impact. Here is the news.

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    No matter what brand you buy, there will be a couple produced that have some bad components. So, no matter what brand I buy, I always order my new one a few thousand miles before the "bumper to bumper" on the old one expires.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Why so apologetic over considering a CTS?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I have had 28 Audis. Most of them purchased from the same person, all of them from the same dealership.

    Maybe it is my age or simple sentimentality. . .

    I don't know anyone who has been as "loyal" as I have been.

    Somehow this makes me feel a tiny bit like I am betraying a long time friend for no "good reason."

    I actually hope that American car makers can make world cars, just as the Germans, Japanese and others have done. I actually think if I get a 2008 CTS, I will be possibly going back to what I could have had on a 2004 Audi A6 2.7T, well equipped.

    Looking at another Audi or an Infiniti or even a BMW, on the other hand, seems like I would be buying a new car.

    Somehow a 2008 CTS that is about at the content level of the 2004 A6 2.7T S-Line, seems "not right."

    The heck of it is, as evidenced by more than one post on this site, it is sometimes easy to acquire a European car that -- at MSRP -- is $10,000 more at MSRP for less than the less expensive American car.

    If a $45K CTS leases for about the same as a $55K German, there will be little motivation to "be automotively patriotic."

    The STS, last time, turned out to be less money to buy but more money to lease (which actually meant that the residual on the STS was really low.)

    So, a new Caddy is desirable for many reasons, but may also be unattractive when considered and compared to a European or Asian versions.

    My 2005 all optioned A6 is a prime example of a car that keeps getting younger, when stacked up against the newest 'Merican metal.

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    > I beg to differ regarding "content".

    Just a cursory comparison:
    Audi--250hp on premium fuel, 5 speed automatic.
    CTS--300hp on regular fuel, 6 speed automatic.

    I don't "have a dog in this fight". My brother sells Audi. My father drives Cadillac. I own neither, but am considering both for purchase in early spring 2008.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,124
    If a $45K CTS leases for about the same as a $55K German, there will be little motivation to "be automotively patriotic."

    The lease residuals I have seen for a 2008 CTS are:

    24 mo 69%
    30 mo 64%
    36 mo 59%
    48 mo 50%

    How do those compare with Audi, for 2008?
    - Ray
    NOT a leasing expert.....
    2020 BMW M340i
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Somehow a 2008 CTS that is about at the content level of the 2004 A6 2.7T S-Line, seems "not right."

    Other than the lack of a bluetooth phone system (which I don't think an '04 A6 had either), what is the new CTS lacking v. the rest of the class? The old A6's NAV was basically a joke, while the CTS' flip up touch screen is at least competitive, if maybe not class leading.

    The G35 and 335i are still my favorite entry-lux level cars, but the CTS doesn't seem like a last gen product to me.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I am NOT speaking of HP or number of cogs in the transmission when I speak of content.

    I have grown to expect Bluetooth, pushbutton start, smart key, voice response for audio, nav and phone and a host of other "content" items. It is true that a 2004 Audi would have had only a 5 speed auto, but it would have been an SLine with 265 HP and 280 ft pounds of torque at under 2K rpm and I assume it would have equalled or been quicker than the new 2008.

    The issue is that the 2008 CTS seems to be just about where the cars Audi was manufacturing in June 2004 were.

    The 2005 A6 3.2 that I have commenced mfgring in July 2004; it is, I think, ahead of the CTS by some distance by my definition of "content."

    The fact that the CTS seems to be about $10K less is not a bad thing, but if the lease prices are close, well why bother with the CTS?

    The 2009 A6, if I can time it, might be a more satisfying , higher content (by my definition) and higher performing choice.

    The new CTS is a great effort and only about 3 years behind Audi, BMW and Infiniti -- If it is priced right, however, I'll overlook this (probably.)
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Ah, you mean gadgets. You probably own an I-phone. I don't even own a cell phone. I don't talk to my car, and I don't want it talking to me. I can parallel park with two turns of the wheel, and I can judge the distance to the car in front of me without a laser beeping at me. I have never backed over anything, despite my not having a camera in my rear bumper. My personal nav system (map + memory) has never gotten me lost, although the nav system in my brother's Audi couldn't find my house. And push button start, wow. I would pay at least an extra $500 to be able to leave my key in my pocket. LOL

    If you like gadgets, great. I don't.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Golly, how could I forget that most important of all gadgets, rain sensing wipers. A special luxury items for blind drivers.
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