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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "f you've invested the time to master a system "

    Don't we all invest time to learn a new vehicle? Don't we want the operation of the car to be by reflex. This includes learning the limits of the vehicle, the placements of the controls, the feel of the brakes and gas etc.

    I like having the control of the car in one place and being able to customize it. But it's part of the learning process.

    I do agree there is no consistency. To their credit, the Germans are headed down the same path, even though their implementations are different. Family has a Lexus, while I respect the product the first time I drove the car, I needed to be shown the fundamentals, radio, climate control etc. These functions are not intuitive on any vehicle.

    If people really want to master their cars, they just might have to give up eating lunch while driving. :shades:
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    You and I may take the time to master and learn it, but I doubt every Tom, Dick, and Mary does. In fact, I bet that less than half of drivers even bother to read their owners manuals.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I know this is a totally different car, but, here I go:

    I had a five-year lease on a charcoal black '00 Audi A6 2.7t. I loved it for the time I had it, although I got a bit tired of it at the end of the lease. It was time to get some more excitement into my drive. So, I went to my Audi dealer several times to test drive two S4 sedans, one S4 Cabriolet, and a new A6 4.2. By the way, the S4 sedans were the '04 versions. I loved all, but the A6 felt oddly disconnected from the road. It could've been that the interior was a boring gray, but my son practically fell asleep in the car, and he loves Audi. It was probably the gray, now that I think about it. But, we were really sold on the S4 Cabriolet. In fact, it's sitting in my garage right now. I bought it. Sprint Blue over Silver Nappa Leather w/ Black Piping. I love it- it's absolutely gorgeous! Every other Audi owner looks, nods, smiles, gives me the thumbs-up, or waves. BMW and Mercedes drivers have looks of either envy or hidden admiration, and right when I glance at them they look away, embarrassed. It's hard for people not to look at this car, with the flashier color and all. The V8 sounds so good... and it's so fast. It's probably a much more satisfying car to own than any M3 Convertible, also considering the S4 is a much better value with more features. It's my favorite car. Ever.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    IDrive is absolutely incredible. The comprehensive control it allows over the vehicle is unprecedented. Anybody with basic computer literacy can do it.
    If you are here reading this, then you have achieved the level it takes to use iDrive.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Family has a Lexus, while I respect the product the first time I drove the car, I needed to be shown the fundamentals, radio, climate control etc. These functions are not intuitive on any vehicle."

    Seriously? Was it a '98-03 RX300? The first RX (despite the fact that there's one in my garage) is probably Lexus' worst interior design, and the only one I can think of where it might be possible that things like climate and audio wouldnt be immediately obvious. I think thats mostly due to it being the first Lexus designed around a large integrated screen, even on versions without NAV. All of their other designs, even other early NAV versions, are still pretty as intuitive as you can get. If you can look at the following from a '99 LS400 with NAV and cant figure out how to do the basics like adjust the climate or volume.. then I dont know what to say.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Stop. Please I have a BMW. That's too easy. My head is throbbing. I am suffering from information underload. :)
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    'That's fine if you never drive out of town…'

    If you drive out of town you may use the iDrive 'Autoscan' function each time you loose good tunnnig. Or the manual searching scan. Each is only two steps into iDrive, which you can do 'by hart' with the main iDrive button at the center console, next to the gear stick, once you has done it a few times. Once set it, you jump from a station to the next with the wheel button.

    By the way, most presettings made by way of iDrive keep recorded in your own start key. In my case, that means that my wife and me don't make more arguments about radio station preset favourites, or climate control settings for the driver seat, when we change seats for driving.

    Best regards,
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    As the systems become able to do more and more -- that is as they become more complicated -- a common user interface will darn near be a requirement.

    Although I hope I could drive virtually any car, there was a time when driving an unfamiliar car or another brand was about a 60 second transition.

    Imagine if the stalks on the steering column on brand A controlled the turn signals with the right stalk and then on brand B the left stalk controlled the signals (and so on).

    The increased complexity has yet to be masked by simplicity, although it is my believe that iDrive and MMI, etc. are actually intended to do just that. The issue I have is the lack of similarity between these systems. On my previous car, I had a tiptronic transmission. If you don't know, the tip upshifts when you push the lever and downshifts when you pull it. BMW is opposite, Chrylsers used to require side to side "slapping" for the up and down shift. Imagine if all manual transmissions did not offer the familiar "H" pattern for the 1 - 4 shift and ditto for the position of 5 and 6th gears.

    Much as "they" would hate it, it just seems to me that certain controls (and we could probably quickly identify them) should be standardized across manufacturers. Plenty of room would still exist for the individuality and creativity of the designers and engineers.

    I visited the BMW store here in Cincinnati yesterday for the debut of the new 3's.

    I met a person there, a college graduate no less, who said his sole job was to deliver new cars to customers and train them to use the various systems on the cars. He said delivering a BMW 7 series is a multi-hour undertaking because there are so many menus and screens in iDrive. He also said that once you know the system it IS intuitive.

    But this is telling that a dealership that sells 1,000+ new BMW's per year (they claim they are the largest in Ohio) needs a full time person to deliver the cars. It is also probably a sure fire way to make customers less unhappy with the new technology in these cars. He must deliver an average of 4 cars per day 6 days per week.

    Sign of the times.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "He said delivering a BMW 7 series is a multi-hour undertaking because there are so many menus and screens in iDrive."

    Every car walkthrough I've ever had takes about 30 minutes if not more. My mother learned how to use a computer and she can learn i-drive. Of course, you either have to learn the menu or learn the buttons. Try going 60+ in the dark and figuring out hordes of unfamiliar buttons.

    Seems like we all mastered Edmunds, we can also learn the menus on i-drive.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    That's what I'm saying. If you are reading this message, then you have the skills to become articulate in iDrive.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    My comments were meant as a compliment to the BMW dealership and a prediction that a common or at least a more common user interface will ultimately surface.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    You're honestly saying you think you know what drivers of other cars are thinking when they look at your's??? I honestly think you may WANT BMW or Mercedes drivers to have "envy or hidden admiration" for your S4, but that doesn't mean we do. I think it's a nice car, and I would probably look at it just to figure out if I really liked it or not. Hell, people look at my car all the time and I have no idea what they are thinking. Some are probably thinking, "What a hot car" while others are probably thinking, "I hate the new 5" while still others looking at it might be thinking, "I wonder what my wife is cooking for dinner." It's great that you love your car. I wouldn't think you would need the envy or admiration from BMW or Mercedes drivers to justify that. Frankly, I could care less what Mercedes or Audi drivers think about mine (or any other drivers for that matter).
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    "I just thought it was a lot more expensive price to pay for the exact same engine that one can buy in the G35 for a whole lot less. At least the new A6 has some new technology to it, like the FSI injection and all the tech gadgets..."

    Isn't buying the A6, then, just paying a higher price for the same engine in the A4? Obviously, you are getting a lot more car for the money (A6 over A4, M over G).

    "Also, if you don't look closely, the M35 doesn' t really look all that much different from the outside than a G35 sedan...especially from the front (grille)."

    I would say that the A4 and the A6 share at least as many styling cues as the G and the M do. Grille especially.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I don't get it. How do you determine someone has a look of "hidden admiration." Must be an ESP thing I guess.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Isn't buying the A6, then, just paying a higher price for the same engine in the A4? Obviously, you are getting a lot more car for the money (A6 over A4, M over G)."

    Agreed. If engine sharing across model lines was a crime, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, MB, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, and Jaguar would ALL have to be thrown in jail.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    " Frankly, I could care less what Mercedes or Audi drivers think about mine (or any other drivers for that matter). "

    Rich...If your neighbor stops you in the driveway and infers your car is a :lemon: . You wouldn't care?
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    jjacura, I know you weren't asking me this, but honestly, do you really run your life based on what the neighbors think? I could not care less what anyone thinks of my car...or any other aspect of my life. I buy a car for what it does for ME. If you don't like it, that's YOUR problem. And if my neighbor were to walk up to me and imply that my car is a lemon, well, I barely have time for boors like that, so why on earth would I care?
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    cmybimmergo wrote: "I could not care less what anyone thinks of my car...or any other aspect of my life. I buy a car for what it does for ME."

    Your moniker implies otherwise.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I sincerly doubt that would happen, but if it did I would care only in the sense that I'd be bummed out to have such a jerk for a neighbor. Hell, my best friend happens to hate the new BMW designs, and makes no secret about it. If I don't care what my best friend thinks about my car why would I care about what some neighbor thinks about it? The funny thing is, my neighbor on one side has a 330i convertible and the ones on the other side have a 645i coupe and the new 530i. The people across the street have TWO 645's, one a convertible the other a coupe. So what you're suggesting ain't too likely to happen here!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Hmm, I wonder what's for dinner?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I almost closed a deal on a GS 430 lease but divine providence guided my eyes to the small print in the GS brochure. Must replace brake pads at 20,000 miles or less. Must replace 18" run flats at 15,000 miles or less. Those tires cost around $300 or so. For a 3 year lease that's at least $2400 and quite possibly $3600.
    No thanks.
    Sorry to interrupt all the venom spewing. ;)
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Yah, but are your neighbors Republicans or Democrats????? :P

    And what's their take on i-Drive????????? :surprise:

    This week on The Twilight Zone......"Fred Smith woke up this morning in a stupor, only to realize that EVERYONE on his street owned a high end BMW. Inexplicably, just yesterday they all owned beige-colored Yugos.....Parental Discretion Advised" ;)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I recently spoke to a lady who owns a 2004 BMW 530i. I asked her if she had any trouble with the iDrive. She said to me, "What's that?"
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I went to the grand unveiling of the new BMW 3 series yesterday at the local BMW store (one of two in our fair city).

    I was "pretty much" impressed with the new 330i -- (and with the availability of a stick and a lot of "high zoot" stuff that one normally associates with the LPS cars and the fact that the new 3 "seems" bigger than the old one, well this car might deserve an honorable mention here in LPS land -- and it sure is better looking than the "5" IMHO.)

    I wonder if my neighbors would even care, though?

    I haven't driven the new 3 but sitting behind the wheel of one just parked there, I think BMW may have made a very smart move in not Bang-l-izing this little dude too much.

    Anyone on this fine town hall driven the new 330 yet?
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Nah. Just means I have a fast car that I like to drive (fast).
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    jjacura, I hope you didn't think I meant you personally when I said if you don't like it, that's YOUR problem. That was a generic your, meaning if someone doesn't like my car, that's his problem, not mine.
  • Why would you take the time to read anything on this board if you do not care what others think of your vehicles? They obviously mean nothing to you. Why would you subject everybody else to your opinions on this board if you do not want them to see your point of view??????

    If your really don't care, then don't comment, and let the rest of us have fun discussing our views and opinions. That is the whole idea of the message board.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I think you miss the point. One can learn facts from others. One can also learn opinions from others and make what one wishes from them. That's different from changing one's opinion or choice of purchase to suit other folks' views.
  • chef_jmrchef_jmr Posts: 41
    Salty mashed potatoes... ditto warthog's response.

    I saw a 5-series today on the road, and all I thought about was how hot the blond lady was driving it. I don't think she cared.
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