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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The best thing to do would be to check the Lease Questions discussions for each of those vehicles. These links should help:

    BMW 5-Series: Lease Questions

    Lexus GS 450h: Lease Questions

    Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Lease Questions

    Mercedes-Benz CLS Class: Lease Questions

    Welcome to CarSpace! :)
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Lexus GS - 1,887
    Infiniti M - 1,872
    Audi A6 - 898
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,019
    Caddy STS - 1815
    2016 BMW 340i
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Mercedes E-Class - 4,011
    BMW 5-Series - 3,592
    Acura RL - 658
  • aveghteaveghte Posts: 68
    My wife and I are looking at the Audi A6, Mercedes E350, Lexus GS350 and BMW 5-series. We have a 3-year-old child who sits in a front-facing car seat usually on the passenger side of the vehicle. Rear side airbags are standard equipment in the Mercedes and Lexus and are optional equipment in the Audi and BMW.

    The Audi and BMW salesmen say that the rear side airbags are only safe for adult passengers because the deployment of this airbag in a side impact accident could injure a child sitting in a car seat next to the side where the accident occurs.

    The Mercedes salesman says that the rear side airbag only comes out 3 inches from the side door so it should not injure a child sitting in a car seat.

    The Lexus salesman says that he has never heard of child safety concerns with rear side airbags.

    Are all rear side airbags the same or are the airbags that come as standard equipment in the Mercedes smaller? Also are rear side airbags just unsafe for infants sitting in rear-facing child seats or also for larger children sitting in front-facing convertible child seats and booster seats?

    Thanks for your help - the reason my wife and I are buying a car in this price segment is to get more safety in case of an accident, not less!
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,728
    You are understandably concerned about safety. Have you considered a Volvo S80?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You might want to surf the web for some "official" safety information on side impact airbags from sources like NHTSA, etc.

    However, it is my understanding that a 3+ year old child properly buckled in a properly installed front facing safety seat should be fine. GEICO ran a safety test a couple of years ago and found that the vast majority of car seats are not properly installed. Too much slack in the seat belt and installed too close to the door (i.e. up on the side bolsters) were the most common mistakes. My wife scored an "A", but questioned at that time whether the side curtain airbags in our MDX were a safety issue. The response she got was that side airbags and curtains were positive safety features, contingent upon proper installation of the car seat, so that it couldn't be tipped or twisted by the airbag deployment.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I think that I would query the manufacturer directly and not rely on a salesman with unknown technical knowledge. The safest place for the child is proably the middle of the back seat, but that makes it harder to reach, but then again, you shouldn't be doing that while driving anyways. Might make it easier to view in the mirror, though.
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    I have an 05 A6 4.2 with the rear airbags. The rear seats have a sensor and the airbags will only deploy if there is more than 50 pounds in the seat. As a result, I doubt the airbag will deploy if only a small child is back there. I know about the sensor because it has broken twice.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think I would agree with james27, ask the manufacturers themselves. You can't trust the sales guy to either know what he's talking about or not just tell you what you want to hear to try and make a sale.

    Since safety seems to be a critical issue for you, I'd highly recommend checking out both the IIHS and EuroNCAP scores for each of these cars. The NHTSA tests are pretty weak.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 122,938
    I think the rear side airbags in the BMW can be disabled.. In fact, they are shipped that way. You have to ask the dealer to activate them.


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  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Rear side airbags is standard equipment in an E60 BMW 5. I hesitate to say that in this forum because, I thought, may be it is different in the USA. I think too that they can be disabled. Yet the BMW dealer you ask to seems to know badly the car :confuse:

  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    KGARY- What kind of gas mileage are you making on your 4.2 and how has the reliability been holding up?
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    Around town she does about 14, on the highway about 25.

    As far as reliability, she is ok, but she is no Lexus. Most of the problems have been nuisances. Some of which may be because I have one of the early 05s.

    The airbag light came on two weeks after I purchased the car. It took them 10 days to figure out the problem. Audi then came out with a TSB on updating the computer software for the airbags.

    The MMI "crashed" a year after I bought the car. After having the car for 8 days, Audi wiped the hardware clean and reinstalled the MMI computer software.

    The MMI had a few bugs with not updating the satellite radio stations, losing surround settings and sometimes not automatically linking with my bluetooth phone. Audi had the car for a day and updated the MMI computer software. Audi has a TSB on this issue as well.

    I have written those three problems off to having a very early computer software version. To give you an idea of the number of changes in the software, my car came with MMI version 10 and now has version 33. Since being updated to MMI version 33, about two months ago, I have not had any computer issues.

    As far as non-computer issues. I have had only two. The first was that all 8 coil packs had to be replaced. The second was the lid for the gas cap would not open from inside the car. In order to open it I had to wedge my credit card inside the lid and open it from the outside. Audi had the car for 2 days to fix these problems. Once again Audi has TSBs on both of these issues. According to the TSBs Audi corrected both of these problems about halfway through the 05 model year.

    Despite the car being at the dealer for 21 days for repairs during the last 27 months, not maintenance, I would certainly buy the car again because it is a lot of fun to drive and the dealer gives me a loaner. However, I would check which MMI software version is currently in the car. If it is below 33, I would take it to Audi and have it updated as soon as possible. In addition, I would check the car's VIN and compare it to the Audi TSBs and see what issues you need to keep an eye on. While the car is still under warranty, I would make sure you complain about any issues contained on the TSBs issued for your VIN.

    Good luck.

  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    I drove an A6 2.7T for almost 7 years and 100,000 miles. Bought new and purchased the extended service plan almost as an afterthought. This car would have virtually bankrupted me w/o the extended warranty.Had problems such as vibrating brakes,broken door locks, leaking engine seals, and blown turbos.Almost $15,000 worth of warranty service! Used Mobil 1 changed every 5,000 miles, checked oil level at every fuel stop. Gave up on the franchised dealer (due to poor service) and found (through the internet) an independent shop that honored the extended service plan.Paid $41,500 new and sold for $11,500 to a private party last October.

    Purchased a Cx-7 Mazda crossover van, currently 10,000 miles, no issues to date. Of course, it is hard to predict the reliability of any vehicle, but it would be very difficult for me to go with Audi in the future.

    If you had bought your Audi used, with no warranty, the repair bill would be in the thousands for what has been replaced /repaired per your current "list".

    From my 6+ years experience with Audi, it is a sport luxury car that should be leased for 3 years or so under full warranty, and then turned back in for something else. Long term ownership does not appear to be a good financial decision. My Audi had "an unbelieveable sensor system and is/was one of the most difficult cars to repair on the road today"--quote by my mechanic!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    My Audi had "an unbelieveable sensor system and is/was one of the most difficult cars to repair on the road today"--quote by my mechanic!

    The previous generation A6 is pretty notorious as being incredibly problem prone, and for mechanical rather than electrical problems as you would expect to find on a Mercedes. In the last few years Audi seems to have cleaned up their act pretty well. There's still no way I would own one out of warranty, but I'd say that about pretty much every European car. I think a new Q7 is probably a lot less likely to have problems than the ML\GL\R classes.
  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    Being the owner of a relatively new Audi luxury auto, I shouldn't have had to research, and purchase on my own initiative-- replacement non-OEM drilled front rotors to cure the brake vibration problem at 65 mph +. New car ownership should

    n't be that hard and inconvenient. Was never able to go 10,000 miles w/o something major happening.

    At this point, it has been a pleasure to drive a Mazda cx-7 for 10,000 miles without a repair incident.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    I stopped by and looked at a new 535Xi at lunch time today. I plan to go back when schedules allow my wife to be with me to test drive the car, but so far I like what I've seen and I'm interested.

    I know the 535's are just starting to arrive at dealers, but was wondering if anyone has test driven one and what their impressions are. I would be especially interested in how you feel the 535's compare to other cars in this class with which you are familiar.

    I currently have a 2006 330Xi and am thinking of moving to a 535Xi. What I am looking for is a quieter, smoother ride; avoiding the occasional hard hit caused, I feel, by the 45 series RFTs; retaining good handling; additional rear seat leg room; and the lure of more power, especially torque. A bonus would be more spacious seating up front, and a nice to have would be to minimize the increase in the overall size of the car to get the above.

    So far, my short list of alternatives is the M35x in current cars, and the 08 CTS for upcoming cars (looks good on paper, and its the same size as the 5 series).

    The only rumored alternative is an M45x, but I haven't seen anything more than that so far.

  • Bruce:

    I have a m35x and a 2005 530.

    The M is a great car if you can deal with it's "weirdness".
    The wheels will get destroyed if you just look at a curb or go thru a car wash.
    Because it is all wheel drive, the car tends to pull on uneven road surfaces.

    The BMW is a great car as well...just had a ton of electrical problems with it, mainly the nav unit and anti-pinch windows that go down when they feel like it.

    The BMW is leaving in two weeks and I decided to get a E350 4Matic.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,728
    ..........The M is a great car if you can deal with it's "weirdness".........Because it is all wheel drive, the car tends to pull on uneven road surfaces...........

    My 2wd M35 Sport did the same thing.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    So far, my short list of alternatives is the M35x in current cars, and the 08 CTS for upcoming cars (looks good on paper, and its the same size as the 5 series).

    What about the G35x? That's really more of direct competitor to the CTS. The A6 4.2 S-line is also worth consideration. If I remember correctly from when the M launched, there isn't enough room for both the V8 and the AWD system. I've also never heard anything about plans to add an M45x. Based on how Infiniti generally operates, I would expect the freshened M to get the new VQ35HR, and some very minor interior and exterior tweaks. I don't think they'll use the G coupe's new VQ37HR V6 unless the VK45 also gets a bump in power.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    Appreciate the feedback. Had not heard about the M35x wheel issue, and the pulling is not encouraging. My biggest concerns about it are owner's reports that it needs an overdrive gear to cut down engine revs on the highway, and the possibility Infiniti will upgrade the engine later this year if I were to buy one now (to either the version in the current G35, or perhaps the 3.7 engine in the new coupe).

    I've read mixed reviews about 5 series reliability, so that is a concern. I've had good luck with my 06 3 series, so I'm positive on BMW at the moment.

    I've looked at the E series at auto shows, but haven't gone any further than that.

  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    Did you eventually get the problem fixed of the car pulling on uneven roads?

  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    Yes, I considered the G35x. I think the exterior of the new car is as greatly improved as the interior, and I like its looks. But after sitting in the car at the auto show, where I could adjust the driver's seat, I don't feel that it offers any significant advantage over my current car in rear seat leg room. It's not as roomy at the 5 series (and the 5 series is not as roomy as the M35x). I also have concerns about the lack of an overdrive gear in the auto, and some reports about road / engine noise.

    On paper, the 08 CTS is almost identical to the 5 series in both exterior and interior dimensions, so I believe it will offer more interior room, especially in the back seat, than the G35x. It also offers a 6 speed auto with AWD, and the nice-to-have option of a folding rear seat, but it remains to be seen how good the actual car is. I'm viewing it as a value alternative rather than direct competitor to the 535Xi.

  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    The A-6 is a very striking design, but not one I personally would care to own. Its also too big.

    I have no idea if there will be an M45x. A little while ago I posted a question in an Infiniti forum asking about the possibility of an AWD version of the M45, and the person who responded thought there was not enough room for AWD with the V-8. Maybe that was you! But then I saw a posting in one of the Infiniti forums saying a dealer told them an M45x is coming.

    If there ever were an M45x, I think I would find that more appealing than the M35x. A V-8 is inherently smoother than a V-6, and a colleague at work liked the responsiveness of the M45 much better than the M35 (he bought an M45 sport).

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I wouldn't put too much faith in rumors from a dealer. A Lexus dealer told me there was going to be a new SC300 back when the SC430 launched. If there's room for the AWD running gear, why would Infiniti wait this long? Also, considering the usual V6 to V8 sales breakdown in the mid-lux segment, I don't think there would be enough of a market for them to go to the effort and expense of developing a M45x.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    I tend to agree with your logic on the M45x question. Could be similar to why BMW doesn't offer a 550Xi.

    In fairness to the A-6, my comment on size may be a bit in error. When I went to the BMW web site and did a comparison between the (2007) 5 series and A6, it showed the A-6 width as 79.2", which is 6.5" wider than the 5 series and 7.7" wider than the 3 series. But when I dug into the specs on the Audi site, they include the sideview mirrors in vehicle width and BWM does not, so I can't really tell.

    The A-6 is 2.4" longer than the 5 series, which doesn't sound like much, but the 5 series is already 12.9" longer than my 3 series. I need for any new car to fit in my garage, and I don't have a lot of extra room in either length or width.

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The A6 fits in a standard garage just fine. ;)

  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    I'm envious, I wish I had a standard garage! Used to when I owned single family homes, but am now in a townhouse.

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    My dealer has been fairly reliable about what's coming, and they say an M45x is coming next model year (late summer?).
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