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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans



  • I don't know about ultimate, but, perhaps this and the S4 might be inspiration for a Legacy STI (wagon of course!). Now, I like the engineering better in the WRX STI, but, I'd personally like to see this type of styling direction in future STI's. Perhaps the wings and such could be an add on "Rally" option something like the EVOs?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    '03 and later Subies have not shown this symptom. This thread tends to focus on the more extreme alternatives, like the STI, so it's probably not the place to ask your question.

  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I wouldn't recommend buying two Volvos after a Benz and a Lincoln. If you appreciate luxury, both would be a step-down from before. I find Volvos bland and uninspiring- instead of the S60R, look at the S4 sedan, the E350 4Matic, and the BMW 530xi (M3 and C55 are both RWD, and the 545/E500 are overpriced). Also, instead of the XC, look at the new ML, the Q7, and the X5 if you don't need third row seats, you could also look at the 9-7X and the MDX.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    I just drove an S60 with the T5 turbo from SF to Tahoe and around Tahoe. It is a very nice car and does not seem to be related to previous generations of Volvos (which I really disliked). The S60 is fast (except off the line), has a beautiful, comfortable interior and good space in the trunk. It is a nice combo of American - comfy, Euro - solid suspension, excellent safety, and Japanese - good acceleration, decent gas mileage. It handled well in the snow in its winter mode. But this is still not a crisp, sharp handling car and not really in line with the better driving dynamics of the German cars or even the Saabs. But if road feel is not that important, it is a nice car. I recently drove the slightly smaller A4, which was much more tossible and tight.

    On esf's post, why would you recommend a ML, when the guy said he didn't want one due to reliabilty issues? Mercedes and non 3 series BMWs are in a huge reliability slump.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    the XC90 is a far better vehicle than any of the competition you mentioned

    the X5 will be more fun to drive, as long as you don't need to bring anything with you...
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    Nissan/Infiniti's current advertising campaign makes a big deal out of the G35 being a RWD sports sedan, that has AWD when you need it

    This seems important, but how important do you think it is? And what is Nissan's competition doing? Are the others FWD, with AWD as needed?

    (I believe the STS is RWD)

    No one here has mentioned the STS AWD. Wouldn't an AWD STS V6 cost you less than a 335xi or an Audi Quattro?
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    OH, and as long as your BMW dealer offers you a loaner to drive while your X5 is in the shop


    and again
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Do you have stats comparing the repair frequency of the x5 to the xc90?
  • jpennjpenn Posts: 68
    I've been directed to this forum by calidave, I assume to offer my opinion on AWD Sport Sedans. My position and feelings are simple and, most likely, are shared by many others.

    Over the past ten years I've had three SUVs; a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited - the less said about that vehicle the better, a 1999 Lexus RX300 - a fine luxury CAR but not a true SUV, and my present 2002 Acura MDX - a good vehicle which is an excellent compromise between a luxury car and capable SUV. While the Luxury SUV concept remains a good
    one, the comfort, handling and styling are becoming stale. Thus the advent of the AWD Luxury Sport Sedan (or Coupe) has taken center stage. Acura, BMW, M-B, Volvo, Caddy, Infiniti and Lexus have all presented fine examples of what this class of vehicle can be. What is needed is some type of comprehensive evaluation to separate the good from the average in much the same way we did with the SUVs. If someone had done that with the Jeep and Lexus I would have been a lot farther ahead, although the Acura hadn't been born when I first got into the SUV market.

    Anyhow, those are my ramblings on the subject.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    no, good question. My info is anecdotal and based on what I keep hearing on these message boards.

    I only have two friedns with X5s. Both of them love them, but they admit they have been in the shop, alot. They are both D.I.N.K.'s, so the lack of cargo space doesn't bug them. I have an XC90 and a couple of friends with XC90s, and all three have been bullet proof, but they are only 15 months old, or so. And I have read of folks with XC90 p[roblems, but not that many. Reliability does not seem to be an issue with the XC90, but it does seem to be an issue with the X5.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    RWD bias means the front tires aren't so badly overburdened (100% of the steering, carrying 60% of the weight, 90% of the braking, plus whatever % of acceleration). Plus there's no torque steer.

    BMW, Mercedes, some Quattro systems, and Subaru's most advanced AWD system (VDC) use a rear-biased system, just like Infiniti.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "no, good question. My info is anecdotal and based on what I keep hearing on these message boards. "
    I don't know. It didn't take me much time to find complaints about the xc90 on here. ;)

    Also, according to yahoo autos, ayt least, the x5 is more reliable than the xc90.

    I think the xc90's advantage is that it's bigger and cheaper.

    How is this related to ultimate AWD sedans? :)
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    I don't remember. How did we go down the xc90/x5 path? I'll have to look back.

    I see. Back in September, jowila posted that these were two vehicles he was considering, along with a bunch of AWD sedans.

    according to Edmunds, a 2005 AWD XC90 costs about $.86/mile to own

    a comparable X5 is $1.01/mile. That is a fairly significant difference. I didn't focus to see what the difference is attributable to, but you'd be hard-pressed to come up with any reasonable comparo of two cars and come up with a $.15 difference.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    1) Better looking
    2) Safer
    3) More reliable
    4) Better performing

    For an x5 3.0L edmunds tells me the TCO is .81 a mile. That includes $4,144 in maintenance and $1,358 in repairs.

    An xc90 2.5T AWD comes in a .72c/ mile for me, incl 3,196 in maintenance and 1,444 in repair.

    For me, at least, the 4 reasons above are worth a few cents a mile. ;)

    After all, a chevy suv can be big and cheap to own, but we're talking _ultimate_.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    1) Looks are subjective. To each his own. I like how the X5 looks. I also like the XC90. Neither is allthat great. It's hard to make something that big look all that good.
    2) Safer? the X5 over the xc90? That's fairly unlikely, especially given the XC90's superior performance in the the snow (provided both vehicles have decent tires, of course). But I think both vehicles are "safe enough" - certainly safer than anything either of us was driving even ten years ago. But I do think the odds of flipping an XC90 are lower than an X5, but probably not different enough to worry about.
    3) It costs $.10/mile more than the XC90 and it's MORE reliable? True, the repair costs were a wash. I guess it gets its greater reliability through its increased maintenance costs?
    4) I am sure the X5 is more fun to drive in and around town, or in dry conditions. I'd love to see how it did getting up my driveway in Tahoe. I think I'd rather be in the Volvo in Truckee in February than in the X5, though I'm sure the X5 is more than adequate. Of course, the X5 will become MUCH less safe than the XC90 once you strap your luggage to the roof in the X5 since it won't fit in the back. All that weight up top diminishes handling and makes you much more vulnerable.
  • I have been shopping these fine autos for about 2 months now. I have made a decision, and my criteria was as follows. A four door car with descent autocross capabilities. It needed to be comfortable for sometime long road trips. As well AWD for the torrential downpours in the greater Houston area also known as hurricane season.
    I pretty much drove all in the category and some left out. I have only driven the two wheel drive beemer. The difference maker for me was that it came down to lease rates between the S4 and the bimmer, and the S4 was close to the same payment while being much more car. The BMW was the BMW and nothing further needs to be said...excellent.
    The Volvo S60r was as well very nicely appointed. {it should be noted that any car in here is as said before, ownership worthy} The seats were excellent as was fuel economy as opposed to the Audi. Power was very strong and I didn't notice much lag. It handled well but lacked that tight feel of the two Germans. Not floaty mind you, but not near as tight as the two Frau's.
    The Legacy offered the most car for the money. Good power and reliability, but I had a hard time getting comfortable
    {to much driving, not enough mountain biking :sick: :P ;) }
    I tried to drive an STI but apparently Subaru does not allow this. Kind if hilarious if you ask me but I've spent to much time on this lunacy in another forum.
    The S4 was to me the synergy of all these cars. It in my mind gets an 8 out of ten in every category. Power is effortless,and the gearbox and seats were out of this world. I may give up some reliability but it's worth it for the driving dynamics and the excellent dealer service I received. Something that Subaru strangely enough couldn't offer.
    These are of course just my opinions, an they are ..well we know what they are like ;) . I hope this helps some, and the Audi will be in my driveway not soon enough thank you.
    Hope this helps
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aren't those a bit big for autocross?

    Try out an S40 T5 with AWD, or maybe an A3 2.0FSI (though Quattro isn't available yet).

    You may even consider a two-car lineup, given the comfort and autocross requirements push you towards different cars.

    My 2nd car is a Miata, it serves that purpose nicely.

  • I would define myself as an amateur autocrosser at best. I felt that the daily driving factor was more important. I thought the A3 2.0t was great. I didn't notice any torque steer {although I wasn't flogging it real hard due to the fact that it had like 20 miles on the odometer} In short, I can give up some size for for practicality although, I could autocross my silverado if I would just tie the battery down. I just can't get in to how Volvo's feel. Lot's of S4's auto crossing BTW...
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    The g35x varies from 100% rwd to a max 50/50 torque split when slip is detected. A normal starting point is 75 rear 25 front from a standing start. If any slip is detected there is a seamless transfer of torque to the wheels that aren't spinning. The car has a snow mode which controls throttle response as well as, locking torque distribution to 50/50 upto about 12mph, and then goes back to primarily rwd. On most dry roads you really can't feel the awd characteristics of understeer. The X feels like a rwd sedan in the twisties :)

    This is the primary reason I chose this car over the Audi or the BMW awd cars. BMW awd versions never go 100% rwd, same for the Audi which I believe is normally 50/50.

    So far this winter I have found the G35x has been a snowmobile when needed and is truly a fine handling sedan to boot.

    I tell everyone to go drive the cars back to back on an extended test drive, and pick the one that you like best. For me the 280 HP G35x is the Ultimate AWD sedan.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I recommend a driving event hosted by a manufacturer. For example, Taste of Lexus is a great place to do this, because you can drive an IS back-to-back with a 3 series and a C class Benz.

    Ironically when I went I enjoyed some other cars better than the Lexus models. Then again the new IS was not yet available.

    You can't go crazy, but you can drive briskly and get a decent feel for the cars. To me, a 525i felt kinda slow and heavy, while the TL felt lighter on its feet, which was surprising. The ES was floaty and the GS wasn't much better.

    I didn't like the G35 as much as I thought I would, either, though it was an auto and it didn't have AWD that I'd want. To me the bummer is you can't get a G35x with a manual.

  • I agree with you on the 525, and G35. The 525, as I have posted over on the LPS forum, felt the same to me. It was puzzling to me as to why someone would buy a drivers car, only to have it feel like a 50 year old, overweight, hooker. {I hope that needs no explaining} The G35 felt very underpowered to me. I drove the manual {RWD} and found it to be not near as torquey as some have said. Interior was nice but not as nice as the Acura.
    The 525 was driven at the GM drive event where they purposely put the competition out that is underpowered, and under equipped. The G35 was driven while having the wifes car serviced. It was CPO so no excuse about not being broken in.
    BTW I have never driven a Lexus that wasn't missing a propeller so as to properly be called a boat IMO.
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    I might try a new car test drive on the G35. You are the only person I have ever heard say that The G 35 was under powered :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To me it wasn't that. It's hard to quantify, it just didn't feel as "tight" as I want cars to be. This was an auto, RWD, model, and I don't recall the specific packaging. Perhaps certain models feel tighter and a manual would probably work wonders.

  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    My 05 G35x actually has firmer shocks than the standard G35. Don't know about the Sport version, but the X drives very nicely. The AWD is just the ticket for slippery snow covered roads ;)
  • I realize that may seem a little weird. It may have been because I had been comparo shopping rather extensively and that was the day I drove an M3, and an S4. Most cars feel slow after that scenario. It just seemed slow to respond and not happy about revving. That's the same way I feel about the GTO vs Mustang GT. The Mustang is a lot snappier, and felt livelier through the power band IMO.
    The car did feel tight, but the gear box was a little notchy. Good seats, and interior. I think a good value. Just not for me. :shades:
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    There are certainly tons of awesome choices out there in cars. Thats what makes shopping for that perfect vehicle for all of us both fun and difficult at the same time.

    Our predjudices and opinions make for some interesting reading when it comes to cars :)
  • Yeah, no complaints from me. It's a blast. BTW, shattering all pre-concieved notions, some of the best service I received has been from BMW.
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    "A torsen is better for track/dry conditions, but no way is it better on ice and snow."
    I would say that torsen is still great for wet conditions.
    I myself have not found a "no traction situation" for my Urq on wet roads.
    Are you comparing the original torsen to the new traction control systems? If so I can understand your argument. If not please explain.
    I know that Audi used to compensate for this with the dif locks on the Urq. It worked well enough on the old military jeeps.
  • Forget RWD and forget the Quattro. Try the new 330Xi. I just traded in my RWD 2006 530i for a 530Xi--and I can tell you the Xi will blow the doors off the 530i on anything but a dry, smooth road. In the wet or on snow, the Xi will leave the RWD in the far distance. Unlike other AWD systems (Other than perhaps the Acura RL), the X drive/DSC system actually alters the power distribution from rear to front as you go around turns even in the dry--maintaining neutral steering throughout the turn and maximizing speed throughout the turn. The experience of going around turns as on rails is awesome. There is absolutely no torque steer through the steering wheel even if you floor it in the middle of turn. I drove a 2005 Audi A4 in an autocross and it is good, but it feels relatively numb compared to a BMW 3 series.
    Also, the new 255 HP N52 engine in the 330i is awesome, equaling the 280HP Infiniti in acceleration, with far more available torque throughout the RPM range.
  • Wrong: the BMW X-drive in the 2006 models provides 100% power to the rear wheels up to 12 miles per hour and is capable of shifting all power to the wheel or wheels that have traction in a very low traction situation. Your G35X, unlike the BMW, cannot shift power around turns in the dry, and as such cannot assure neutral handling throughout the turn. The G35 engine is also torqueily challenged below 4000 RPM whereas the BMW has maximum torque as low as 2700 RPM and the BMW has a six speed automatic to better match engine speed and gearing. Also, I drove a G35 in an autocross and the steering was really poor in road feel--I wouldn't want to drive one fast on a winding road.
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