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Infiniti M35/M45 vs BMW 5-Series



  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    vsaxena ... yes, I understood you to be asking me if, being offered either a BMW 5-series or an Infiniti M35 and exactly the same lease terms, would I pick the BMW then. I honestly answered "no." I wanted the M35. I listed the reasons.

    When I said "just to be provocative" I meant you to know I also thought the lawsuit article has no relevance to our discussion and I was just teasingly highlighting my point that one minor preference I had for the M35 was the higher minimum ground clearance. That was really minor. The other reasons were sincere, but subjective, and not meant to imply that I didn't agree how terrific BMW's drive. I've been driving one for two years. It was great.

    Just fell in love with the total M35 experience for now and (hopefully) duration of two-year lease.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    Could you please articulate the reasons again?

    The ones I remember are:
    -> JDPower Initial Quality
    -> Leg Room.
    -> Higher Ground Clearance.

    Anything I missed?

    I did point out some of issues related to the interpretation of the JDPower numbers.

    M has more room headroom & legroom but less rear sholder room than the 5. If you will be travelling a lot with full-sized adults in the back seat then the extra leg room in the rear is definitely a factor. However, often the rear seats have kids/car-seats where the extra sholder room is perhaps more useful.

    Not many people realize that the BMWs 530s can be had at a lower cost of ownership than an M35.

    For me at least, the above reasons, do not justify the M35 alone, especially with the Cost Of Ownership difference. Of course you might need the extra rear space, and may not enjoy the drivertrain refinement of the Bimmer and hence may want the M more.

    I might be wrong, but I feel that for a significant numbers of M leasors, awareness about the lower cost of ownership factor might swing the deal towards the 530. The general perception is that BMWs cost a lot more to own, though that is not necessarily true.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I'm not in any way disagreeing with you that for many people a BMW lease means a terrific car at a very (more than they expect) reasonable cost. My choice was emotional, not JD Powered. I just wanted a different car. loved the look and feel of the M35, and enjoyed the drives I took in it. That's all.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    My wife who does not even care what I get thought the M was an impala. Ouch.

    My mother-law thing the M interior is much "fancier" and the clock adds "a touch of class". Her dream car is still the town car.

    If my mother-in-law thinks the M interior is a chick car, then that about settles it for me.

    In fact, the whole 0-60 thing is so over cooked. The 525 in manaual form is excellent and with premium and xenon a lease under $600 or close would a bargain. Give me the sweet smooth power, a clutch, some crisp tunes and a nice day and I am done! No Nav, no whiz bang gadget knobs to play.

    If I want a luxury car that handles, Im going with an A6 Audi.

    The poser M exaust tones are just too much!
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Like you said, BMW does provide unique driving experience. IMO no other LPS come even close to the feel of BMW. I can understand that some drivers out there can not tell the difference, just like I can’t tell the difference between $10,000 and $500 audio system. However if you consider yourself “enthusiast”, you have to admit that only BMW can offer a product to fulfill your needs.

    It’s ironic that journalists and many BMW haters keep going after I-Drive and Bangled design; 5 series is the best selling car in the segment, together with E class, and it has never been more popular. I’m not going to get into the design as it’s subjective, but BMW design is unique and it’s good unique as so many people buy it. As for the I-Drive, I think it’s great and it is very easy to use; many other manufacturer adapting it too. With so many options available in the car today, one has to use I-drive like controls or have hundreds of buttons on the dashboard. Many people, this day, still write checks and they keep complaining that it is to complicated to use computer to pay bills, same people hate I-Drive.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    "I just wanted a different car. loved the look and feel of the M35, and enjoyed the drives"

    That is a good enough justification IMHO. :)

    The problem with me is that I start planning for the next car within a week or two of getting my current one.. :blush:
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I might be reading correctly (or misinterpreting) the last couple of posts, but it seems as if we've moved into deeper waters, where the issue is "could anyone who knows anything about driving, themselves, or cars actually (except during a brief psychotic episode) choose anything else except a BMW?" That's not a conversation that could, so far as I can see, go anywhere. I love BMWs, Audi A6 and the M35. I had to pick one and chose the one I wanted for this episode of my many chaptered driving life. I have bought cars before and during my two or three years with them, regretted my decision. So next time I lease a different one. I'll report on my likes and dislikes of the M35 as I go along.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I know what you mean. I saw somewhere that the next Audi A6 series would probably be the 2009 model year and immediately started scheming in my mind "Now let's see, so the lease on the M35 will be up in June of 2008 and the 2009 A6 should be showing up early fall of 2008, so how will I get through the summer of 2008, until my new A6 arrives?" :)
  • tshaheentshaheen Posts: 1
    vsaxena: I don't mean this to sound condescending, but have you even test drove an M35? I mean, I'm having a hard time understanding how you can say half the things you say after having test driven an M. And this goes for everything - lease costs, drivability, usability (i.e., electronics). I'm right in the middle of deciding between a 530 and a M35 Sport. I was about an hour away from buying a 530 when I thought it would be good to "just" give the M35 a test drive. Well, now I'm stuck trying to figure out how I could justify buying a 530 when the M gives you sooooo much more bang for the buck.

    I'm a former 330ci owner so I understand the beauty of driving a good car, but sometimes you have to let go of the legend and face reality. The reality is the difference in drivability between the bimmer and the infinity is almost imperceptible (and I've driven both multiple times trying to convince myself the bimmer is worth it) and the value difference is very real (e.g., residuals on the infinity greater than for the bimmer) with a lower base cost and a lower total cost of ownership. What bimmer does having going for it is the ego factor. However that's just not enough for me choose the 530 over the M.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    tshaheen ... I had a bit of the same reaction ... having gone through what you're going through (but with the Audi A6 and the M35, as my two finalist choices for 2006 car purchase) after having driven a BMW for two years, one suggestion I have is not to let your head get too caught up in trying to figure out why anyone else doesn't share your thoughts and feelings on how to assess your finalist contenders. It can even backfire to get caught up in fending off what you believe to be extreme views that run contrary to yours (sometimes pushes you toward what the other person seems, to you, irrationally to dislike, and as would be the case here, to get the M35, which is what I ended up leasing). In other words, I suggest trying hard not to be swayed toward or away from your own sensations (in your hands and feet) and feelings (in your gut) while driving the cars one or two more times, byt what anyone else thinks.

    I leased the M35 and it's a delight, but it doesn't have the same steering/handling feel (to me) as the BMW or the Audi (they are "tighter" -- only adjective that comes to mind), but (to me, subjectively, again) it has a wonderful feeling in your foot and into your body as you sense that particular V6 and transmission work together.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I understand and respect everyone's various preferences in these cars. However, I do find it hard to understand how, at this price level, a cost of ownership difference of $1,000/year or so plays into anyone's decision. That looks to me like a rationalization for a choice made on other grounds. After all, we're not talking about buying Yugos.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I didn't re-read all the posts, so I'm not sure to whose post you are responding. In know that last week, in an exchange about whether I'd take the BMW over the M35, if costs were identical in every way, I copied over the "True Cost to Own" stats from Edmunds and said, in passing, that, even if the BMW wasn't $1,000 or so more per year in total ownership cost, but was the same price, I didn't want another BMW right now. My point was not that the estimated $1000+ greater cost of the BMW was actually a factor in my preference but, quite the opposite, that I was (to the seeming astonishment of the other forum member with whom I was exchanging posts) genuinely not more in love with the BMW 5-series. I really had more fun being in and driving both the Audi A6 and the Infiniti M35 and I thought both looked sexier -- and that’s why I wasn’t considering the BMW this time around. So, if you were responding to that June 14 posting of mine, we are ultimately, in agreement on the point that I wanted the not-BMW cars for reasons having nothing to do with one or the other car costing $100/month more than another.

    I still get the sense that BMW lovers (and I have loved the 3-series for many years and the 5-series through 2003) have a hard time believing that someone whose post indicates a preference for an Audi or an Infiniti, etc., really means that they like the other car better. I really do like both the M35 and the A6 exterior design, interior design and driving experience better than the current 5-series. Not that the following reference makes me right (my point being that in an aesthetic and experiential comparison there is no right and wrong choice), but the new issue of “Automobile” (which often idealizes BMWs) the rank order of super-powered LPS was MB E63 AMG, Audi S6, and BMW M5, the rank order of the editors preferences was MB first, Audi a close second, and BMW third.
  • pete_l_ppete_l_p Posts: 322
    I just thought I'd chime in on this and give a slightly different perspective.

    I own an M45 premium, and I would have bought this car over the others even if it cost 20,000 more.

    I care a lot about prestige, and would actually prefer to get a car with a higher cost (and more prestige) if I didn't have to give up all of the other things about the M that I so much prefer. The fact is, I got the infiniti not BECAUSE of the lower price but DESPITE its lower price.

    From my POV its handling and performance are absolutely great, and give up nothing to the BMW. But it's everything else that really make the difference for me.

    I really love the M's Nav (by far the best IMO), voice command with destination entry, incredibly bright rear view monitor, wonderful 5.1 audio system with XM and FM in the same preset groups, brilliantly smooth intelligent cruise, LDW (which has really cured my bad driving habits), and wonderful, ready access dashboard and steering wheel controls.

    I also love the M's reliability. I own a CLK, and it's been an absolute pain with visits to the shop. The same is true with BMW's for a good number of my friends. My M has been a perfect car for the year I've owned it, as was my 2003 Q45 for the two years I had it.

    There's no car on the market right now that I find more appealing.

  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    I admit I did not drive the specific model (M35) in question but have owned and driven different Nissan MoCo products before. I have asked folks who have driven them both to give me specific pluses of the M over the Bimmer but have not received very convincing answers but for personal choice (which is fine) and comfort factors (larger rear space, no iDrive etc.).

    As an developmental engineer by trade, I do understand and appreciate the concepts of legacy, platform sharing, and innovation quite well. A full-sized car which is derived from a platform shared by as a mid-sized car (the G35) and an SUV (FX) will have some subtle compromises. An engineer makes design trade-offs everyday and sharing the platform will eventually lead to corners which would not have been cut if it was being designed from a scratch. That is where the slight extra which the BMWs offer comes in.

    To me the biggest fun is not in the fastest acceleration but in the cornering. Can I take an exit without ever having to touch the brake pedal? When I go the hills, how does the car behave? Let me share the experience of my first BMW, a relatively underpowered E39 2003 525 with the Sports Package on a trip to Tahoe. On the straights many other cars on the road would gradually pull ahead (no race here but just during cruising). However NONE of them could keep the same speed on the curves. The bimmer feels nice, secure and tied to the road on the curves; as if it is on rails. The car encouraged me to push down on the pedal during the turns. Other cars on the other hand have never inspired this level of confidence during cornering.

    Plus BMWs being focussed on the driving experience tends to invest in technologies which help that. One of my favorite is active roll stabilization which reduces the body roll on curves. Not only that, the way it works, even on straights, it de-couples a part of the suspension, reducing the amount of road shocks which travel up. So the ride with the Sports tuned Run-Flats is not as harsh as could have been, while offering great cornering abilities.

    The Bimmer's 6 gears vs the M's 5 are also a plus especially when driving in Sports/Manual modes. You end up with better gas mileage also. I dont care about the cash, but do car about the environment, and funding undesirables. The SMG of course is a BMW only thing; I enjoyed it immensely on my Z4.

    Even when it comes to electronics, the bimmer is more driver oriented compared to many Japanese cars. For example, iDrive can be operated while the car is being driven. Accessing touch screen menus in many Japanese is not safe when you are driving. On the M, the main controller is on the center console and hard to access while driving(apart from being too prominent). Further the iDrive screen is further away from the driver compared to the touch screens (the M is fine in this regard). This means that you have to move your eyes less to focus on the iDrive. You have to take your eyes completely off the road with the touch-screen setups where the screen is closer to the driver.

    Note that many of the functions addressed by buttons can now be handled by the voice activated controls so you do not have to fiddle with the iDrive or buttons on the Bimmer for selecting presets etc.

    Another thing is the BMW's Park Distance Control vs the rear view camera: A camera forces you to look at the screen while you are in reverse. The PDC gives you audible clues. Further the audio cues are direction sensitive (the sound comes from different speakers) which tells you where the obstruction is without looking in that direction. It is a much more convenient, safer, and driver-friendly implementation compared to the rear-view camera. You are unlikely to miss on something just because it was out of the view of the camera when you looked, or just came into the view after you started looking back.

    This is a personal preference but the styling of the M is too bland. This is coming from a person who rushed to buy one of the last of the 2003 5 series cars after I saw the pictures of the new car. However the new style has gradually grown on me, and now looks quite distinct and aggressive. I finally bought one. It has a presence of its own very different from the rest. And gradually others have started copying that style (the Flagship Lexus' rear-end), and it is becoming more mainstream.

    I admit I am a bimmer fanatic. But that is because I feel they offer the best bang for the buck. As I have posted here, many Bimmer drivers are paying significantly less for their cars then what the M drivers are paying. Please check some earlier posts in this thread. An ED 530 lease is significantly less than 530 leases. For my 2006 525 stickered at $51,770, I am paying $420 (with CA tax); 530 would have been ($460). sfcharlie is paying significantly more for his M. The TCO of a Bimmer for short-term leases is much lower than the M.

    If that is not a factor for you, good for you (I am envious :blush: ). It is for most of the driving public.
  • pete_l_ppete_l_p Posts: 322
    The PDC gives you audible clues. Further the audio cues are direction sensitive (the sound comes from different speakers) which tells you where the obstruction is without looking in that direction. It is a much more convenient, safer, and driver-friendly implementation compared to the rear-view camera. You are unlikely to miss on something just because it was out of the view of the camera when you looked, or just came into the view after you started looking back.

    Having used both, I can't help but feel that this statement is similar to arguing that a blind person with beeping sensors can get along more easily and more safely than a person with two good eyes.

    Sorry, but I really believe this is a fair analogy.

    The M's rear view monitor let's you see an incredibly wide field of view (including the bottom edge of your bumper) with perfect clarity even on a pitch black night. Colored tracks precisely indicate your path as you change the steering wheel rotation. Parking is an amazing pleasure. As is driving backwards down very steep, long driveways, surrounded by close bushes, in the black of night, (when it would be otherwise impossible to see that driveway with the M or a BMW). It's also a snap to park a half inch away from the car behind, without ever touching his bumper.

    You really have no idea how great this stuff is.

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Drive an M35, then decide. Making generalizations doesn't compare with the personal experience. Nissan spent a lot of money optimizing the M, and the compromises you might expect are pretty well hidden.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I find you all over the place in your somewhat, as you say, fanatic arguing.

    As with aesthetic preferences, I don't think any one of us could argue with another saying "I bought the LPS with lease terms that worked for me financially. It was a key factor for me. Right now, if I go the BMW wesbite and construct a 2007 525i (which is a 215 hp car) that totals $50,670, tell the website I live in California, and ask the monthly payment on a 24 month, 15k mile-per-year lease, I'm told it will cost $891, with no money down. If you were offered that exact lease on a 2006 525i last year with tax in California, that's a great lease. If getting that lease requires that everyone take European delivery, it’s possible that requirement would eliminate as many potential buyers as a higher monthly payment would.

    A discussion of the merits of European Delivery leases seems to me to a very specific argument. The BMW website indicates a savings of $3,045 off MSRP for European delivery on a 2005 525i. When the Edmunds team did a test run of BMW ED purchase of a 3-series, their original savings of $3,000 was reduced to $1800 by cost of plane and hotel. Not sure how that guarantees cutting the advertised BMW lease price by almost half, but if you got 15k/yr for 24 months, with no money down, you personally got a deal that I'm pessimistic I could get here (after call to dealer from whom I previously leased a 325i). Another detail is that leases on ED start 14 days prior to pick up. BMW pays the second month of the lease. Transit time is dependent on your location. Buyers on the east coast usually get their cars within 6 weeks. West coast can take up to 10 weeks. Further, Edmunds, in its article on ED BMW purchase (which is quite favorable to the idea) cautions that "The unique set of circumstances surrounding European Delivery makes it particularly suited for bargain hunters. Perhaps for that reason, we found that not all BMW dealers in our area were motivated to sell us a car through the European Delivery program. After some searching, however, we found a Los Angeles-area dealer who was willing to sell us the car for $750 over the European Delivery wholesale price plus destination charge."

    On a very different level of argument, you assert: " On the straights many other cars on the road would gradually pull ahead (no race here but just during cruising). However NONE of them could keep the same speed on the curves. The bimmer feels nice, secure and tied to the road on the curves; as if it is on rails. The car encouraged me to push down on the pedal during the turns. Other cars on the other hand have never inspired this level of confidence during cornering." While it's reassuring that you were not racing, it's difficult to assess your all-caps assertion that no other car could keep up with you on the curves. Similarly, while no other car you have driven has inspired you to accelerate through curves, it's not any more clear what relevance that would have for others (who, I am sure, have accelerated their M35 or Audi A6 through similar curves). It’s just you saying that you love driving that car, but using a style of rhetoric that makes it seem as if we're being presented a scientific fact.

    Again, on a completely different level of argument, you make the claim that only a car platform designed specifically for that model (and not a modified version of a platform built for another model) can produce the best possible driving experience. The M35/M45 uses an enhanced, “next generation” FM (Front Mid-ship) platform with 60 percent of the platform design and components enhanced for use with the M. Does every BMW have platform designed specifically for it? As one example, in late 2003, the 6-Series was reborn. It was derived from the 5-Series platform and components. Is the 6-series inherently flawed, as a result? Every year Canadian journalists gather to test all cars in one long event. In "steering" they rated the BMW 5 an 8.3 and the Infiniti M an 8.1. In handling, they rated the Infiniti over the BMW by 8.2 to 8.0. No real difference due to BMW having been built "from ground up."
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402

    Here, from the (relatively) new online magazine, Winding Road, is a sentiment/opinion similar to what are are suggesting: someone might actually drive a BMW and not find it to be the most engaging drive of their lives. That wouldn't mean that they don't understand automotive engineering or that they cannot distinguish a great handling/steering car from a just-good-enough one:

    "We came into this comparison with
    the sense that the 350Z was a singleminded
    sports car that would be great
    on tight back roads and slightly out of
    place everywhere else. In contrast,
    we thought the 650i would epitomize
    GT balance: pleasant in town, enjoyable
    in the curves, and dominating on
    long highway runs. In the humbling
    real world of science, the 650i is more
    like the coupe version of a powerful
    luxury sedan: fast, quiet, well-mannered,
    but not too involving. And the
    350Z is about a close to the driver’s
    Swiss Army knife as we’ve found."

    The BMW 5-series, the M35/M45 and the Audi A6, in this category of LPS cars, all took highway and backroad curves, when I test drove them, as well as I need a car to do in oredr to have maximum fun driving it. I couldn't budge any of them off-track. I drove a 325i every day for two years. It is generally reported to be even more quintessentially BMW than the 5 but kids in TSX's passed me on curves, even when I was taking them as fast as I can take them, If someone else on the forum can drive these cars around curves better than anyone else they have been on any road with, I admire that skill, but I don't know anyone who has driven any car for two years (including Porsches) and claims never to have been passed by anyone on a curve.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    Camera vs PDC: A camera is cool. But you should be looking over the shoulder when you are reversing not looking at the screen. This is basic driving 101. The issue is not of the coolness factor or how nice it looks but a fundamental rule. American in general receive very poor drivers education, so I am not surprised that not looking back when in Reverse is fine with some folks. :surprise:. To each its own, but it again brings the focus down towards a driver oriented design approach.

    From the engineering perspective adding a camera is no big deal. The path shown by Infinit is nice but again nothing extra-ordinary from the engineering point of view. Your traction control/DSC/Airbag sensors and other dynamic safety systems are doing the same calculations all the time. I have not used the system, but your projected path is going to change as you turn the steering while moving. So you have to keep looking back at the screen? I am sure there are places where the guidlelines and the picture help, especially the infra-red picture which allows you to see in the dark. But racing on a dark driveway in reverse, is not my idea of safe driving. :surprise:

    And what about the front and the side of the cars where a camera is not present but the PDC cues you on? This feature is a life-saver for us since it allows us to park a 745Li and a 525 in the typical small Bay Area 2 car garage.

    Regarding the platforms: What is the difference between the size of a 5 series and the 6 series? And how does it compare to the difference size of a mid-sized sedan (G35), an SUV(FX) and the M? And the official BMW line is that BMW does not share platforms. If you feel that a mid-sized car and a full-sized car can share the same platform and each be tuned, good luck.

    Comparing 350Z to 6 series: You have to be really desperate to to quote a comparison between these two cars. These cars are in completely different class. You need to compare a 350Z with a Z4. And having shopped for a Z4 (multiple cars in the family) and test driven a 350Z multiple times before buying the Z4s, the cars display the inherent differences in BMW vs Nissan quite well. According to my brother's company's CEO who had a 350Z Convertible, "I did not know I could have a Z4 at the same price", after he drove my brother's Z4.

    ED: If you plan well an ED can be easily be done for less than $1000. Plane tickets on off-peaks season (Nov-April) are $500-700 from the West Coast. 4 Star Munich Hotels in the off season are $60 on Priceline. You need one day off (President's day anyone) and can be back after a two night's trip and well under $1000 spent. If you are in a business trip to Europe, you can easily combine the two. You do pay for 23 months for driving the car for 21.5, but that is a 7% difference and not a 50% difference (comparing our leases). There is the $1000 BMW CCA rebate check I get for my efforts which I just deposited. Of course, if you want to have a real vacation you can also have one. The BMW Lufthanse 2 for 1 deal is great for peak periods, especially if you fly via London on United Metal.

    And ED deals are cool ($1000-$1500) over ED invoice (which is 7% less than US invoice), since the car does not come out of dealer's allocation. It is a bonus sale for them. People I know do EDs at $500 over ED invoice which is almost a 13% savings over US MSRP. And to top it all off, the window sticker has your name on it since the car was specifically imported for you. :D

    And redelivery time is typically less than 6 weeks on the East Coast and 8 weeks on West Coast. The only time cars get delayed longer is when there is some damage to the car which has to be fixed (BMW makes the car new again at their insurance even if there is an accident, a dent etc.). Get your number corrects mate and go to bimmerfest ED forums to check stuff out.

    Cornering: Just because a TSX passed you does not take anything away from the Bimmer. The TSX driver might be a better driver than you are. The point was that having driven the same route in many different cars, the confidence which the Bimmer inspired on the high-speed curvy driving was amazing. It showed up in the fact that I was very comfortable pushing the car more, and as a result pulling ahead of everyone. There was no race, but while the other cars naturally slow down, the Bimmer begs for more. The twisties of course are even better :D

    sfcharlie: I can appreciate the difference between the driving characteristics of an Audi and a BMW. They are similar but not the same. Audi has excellent interiors, but the Bimmer driving experience is better to me. Maybe you can not appreciate the difference. Again to each their own. I am just glad we are lucky enough to have these choices. :)
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    The only thing I object to in your style of discussion is highlighted in your "Maybe you can not appreciate the difference." I don't think you realize that you subtly cross over a line in a way not typical for these discussions by implying that the only way someone could end up not agreeing with you is to somehow wrong-headedly miss "the" point.

    Example: cornering ... we are not saying anything different ... of course, you and others who have passed me on corners in my BMW 325i might have been better drivers. The issue is that you mix in together your feeling inspired, your never having been passed by any non-Bimmer on a curve, and the conclusion that no well-driven bimmer could be passed by another type of car in its category on a curve.

    ED: Maybe I'm the only one on this forum who isn't going to hop a plane to Munich to get my next car, but I'm not. I'm guessing that most people looking to lease a new LPS aren't going to do that either. You appear to insist that since it can be done at some savings, everyone in their right mind will do. My facts simply came off the Edmunds site discussion of their experience ED purchase of a BMW.

    I believe this discussion has come down to two points: (1) You assert that there is no more financially sensible LPS lease than a BMW ED. Your logic leads you from there to: "the BMW ED lease is the best buy out there; so BMW wins on the $$$ side over all other LPS cars avaialble for lease." Case closed. (2) You have established beyond any further discussion that a combination of BMW's not sharing platforms and your personal driving experiences adds up to irrefutable evidence, applicable to everyone, that anyone driving an M35 is depriving themselves of your confident and self-assured cornering.

  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205

    I did not like the tone of your last message. You are the one who was comparing a 350Z to a 6 series not me!

    You are deriving conclusions from statements when none are intended. Are you a lawyer?

    You bought up that the TSX passed you. I mentioned that the TSX guy might be a more aggressive/better driver. I clarified, that Bimmer inspires you to really enjoy the curves by giving you the kind of feedback and precise steering control which very few other automobiles provide. As a result the driving experience on a road which has been travelled before was much better and enjoyable. A fact highlighted that other vehicles were consistently not able to keep up, though on the straights they would be keeping up or creeping ahead. You yourself have referred to that feeling.

    I am surprised that you can construe this as a basis for "irrefutable evidence"? Most of the posts about the handling of the M are generic and not at all specific. No one is talking about why and where the handling is better or getting into specifics.

    I bring up the point about savings on an ED since a number of people bring up the "value" of an Infiniti factor. I debunked that hypothesis, that there can be a lot of "value" in owning a bimmer, if saving money is an issue.

    And most people who do ED, do it not only because it is cheaper but it is also an adventure. A significant number of folks combine it with a driving vacation through Europe with no rental car expense (check out how much an automatic rental costs in Europe?). People who enjoy driving, love the Autobahns when they can legally take their car to 100mph (and still be under break-in guidelines). People who really love aggressive driving actually take their car to famous "Ring". I know people (married, older people) who spend weeks perfecting the Ring on their video games just to able to drive it well. There is a lot more to ED then just the savings. :D

    Of course if all these things do not appeal to you, the $3K net savings can be a good incentive to make the overnight trip and earn enough miles for a free US trip (or to qualify for Elite status next year). Flights are empty during the off-season and it is easy to find multiple seats to slumber.

    A lot of people, even those who buy LPS, would do ED, if it was well publicized. Currently it is well-kept secret, known more to the faithful. Even if you are not doing an ED, BMW lease programs will typically put you in a 530 for around $600-$700 without much hassle; very competitive with the M35.

    PDC vs Camera Another big problem with the camera based system is that you are likely to miss any traffic coming from the sides if you focus on the camera and do not look back. The camera is not going to save you since the car coming from the side will be outside its field of view. On the other hand, if you are looking over the shoulder you are much more likely to see the oncoming vehicle.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I agree with your caveat. I actually don’t feel we co-created some good, helpful discussion, rather things have gotten overly contentious in a way that feels silly to me now. I regret my contribution to it.

    What’s potentially helpful (in my view) in your post is that you might make some buyers aware of a lease option, the benefits of which they don’t know. This forum appears to be a remote Edmunds outpost and a better place to alert people would seem to be the Infiniti M35 lease forum and the BMW lease forum. Some people struggling there with the choice (and on the LPS forum) might find your ED lease info to be the fact that allows them to make a non-angst-ridden choice of the BMW as their next car. I know that, for a variety of reasons, none of which might be relevant to anyone else reading these posts, that I would not participate in the ED program even if I thought it would save me $200 a month for two years.

    The separate reply to Pete about the 350Z was not intended as part of a reply to you. It was, I thin, in retrospect, an attempt (he might not need or welcome it) to encourage him not to let you make him feel bad about his having made a different choice than you. Perhaps a radical misinterpretation, but I do experience you as intending to (or, if not intending to, then inadvertently making your points in a style that might) make others feel bad about not having made the same exact choice as you. That, I believe, heated me up, in a way I now regret, and it might have been an idiosyncratic reaction to the way you make your arguments and not all a good catch of any intention of your nor of anyone else’s take on how your posts come across.

    The reference to the Canadian annual best car awards. It’s a unique event, as I understand it, Automotive journalists and car enthusiasts gather. The journalists drive all the cars. Then they rate them. My point was that they reported experiencing scant difference in steering and handling, giving the nod to BMW on one and M35 on the other. So, I thought you would accept, but it seems not, that some people who drive all these cars might not agree with you that the experience of cornering a BMW is experientially so much better than taking any other car around a curve that only the uninitiated (I fully expected you to attribute my not appreciating the difference to a flaw in me) would not experience it and agree that’s it’s a fact beyond discussion.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    There is a separate ED forum out there in the BMW boards. The ED article would also have raised awareness.

    Different people look at different things. I wandered into a BMW showroom in 2003 (after being frustrated in trying to buy a house), and realized that there is a definite difference. I bought a car within a week, after the Edmunds TCO showed that the per-mile ownership cost of a 2003 525 was just 10% more than a Nissan Maxima :surprise:

    Since then I have bought (leased) three other BMWs. I test drove many other cars but felt that there is really something unique about them which made me go back. Then I discovered European Delivery and BMW CCA and realized that I could drive a $51.7K car at the cost of an Accord EX V6 :D . Of course the value aspect adds to the ownership experience. But the biggest reason always is the grin which the balance between the drive-train and steering most bimmers give.

    I am sure M is a great car, but it does not seem to have the kind of following of people who would like to go into more details of the car, not just numeric like the skid-pack G ratings but the emotional/experience aspect of it.

    Both my car leases are going to be up in two years. We have a growing family and I am afraid I might have to enter the mini-van heaven/hell. Any thoughts on how to make it fun? :cry:
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I really appreciate your last post. Thanks.

    What you share there is something I experienced (still do) with BMW versus Infiniti. I am a fan of BMW (subscribe to the in-house magazine, read the book on the company's history) and when I owned one, I felt I was a part of a central piece of automotive history.

    Audi has the same appeal, for any of us for whom that's appealing.

    And, personally, when I drive and Audi or BMW, I know what "German feel for the road" means.

    My own reaction to the M35 took me a bit by surprise -- "Oh, that's different, unique, not less than, but not the same or better. I want to try that." Still have some buyers remorse about the Audi, but in two years, if that's how I feel ...

    Nonetheless, excitement and emotional investment in the unique total experience of the M35 runs high, so feelings can too.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    We have a growing family and I am afraid I might have to enter the mini-van heaven/hell. Any thoughts on how to make it fun?

    If it makes you feel any better, I have two kids who are now 17 and 14. They grew up in the back seat of my ES 300, and now enjoy riding in my 530i (ain't no WAY they're driving it!!!). My point is that I never once felt the need to go the minivan route--there always was sufficient space for them and their paraphernalia--and the cars are safer into the bargain. Safe, roomy, a blast to drive...what's not to love?
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    The camera is not going to save you since the car coming from the side will be outside its field of view. On the other hand, if you are looking over the shoulder you are much more likely to see the oncoming vehicle.

    Ummm...I have no opinion on camera vs PDC, but I can tell you that looking over your shoulder is no guarantee that you will see traffic coming from the side. Last week I was broadsided while I was backing into a driveway. I was looking over my left shoulder in the direction I was going, and the moron coming down the street plowed into my passenger side. I don't see how either of these toys would have prevented this, but looking didn't help either. I wonder whether, if I had been looking forward at a screen, I might have seen the car out of the corner of my eye...but I really don't think it would have mattered, because he never stopped until he hit me. Some things just cannot be prevented by technology.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    My experience with the pressure to get a Mini-Van is reflected in Mercedes recently having felt the need to add the GL on top of the ML, to give people room to add children from other families to their carload -- so that, in turn, one can ask them to take your kids sometimes. One witty local automotive journalist referred to the sense of anxiety about not having a Mini-van or large SUV as "contingency anxiety." On the off-chance that I need to put a tree in the back of my SUV, I better get the Chevy Envoy where the whole back opens up into a partial pickup truck. But that one thing -- sometimes wanting to add someone else's two kids two you and your spouse and your two kids -- has led a number of families I know to feel they had to add a 7-seater.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    a link to the Vans and Minivans board would be appropriate right about now ...
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    I hope you were safe and sound. Accidents can be bad.

    From what I have heard BMWs do fairly well in most accidents. I have no data for Infinitis. Hopefully it will be as good.

    If you are looking over the shoulder, you can see folks coming from one side at least. Since we drive on the right, and look over the right shoulder, the car which is more likely to hit you should be visible. The car which hit you must be driving on the wrong side of the road. The camera will not have a very wide field of vision for you to be able to react in time.

    In any case, you still have a better chance of seeing one when you are looking back rather than when you looking in the front. And the front PDC sensors are very useful in parking in garages.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    vsaxena ... one of our bones of contention originated with my paraphrasing posts from the BMW ED lease forum in which one participant described these leases as starting 14 days prior to pick up; with BMW paying the second month of the lease; and transit time being dependent on U.S location: east coast within 6 weeks and west coast up to 10 weeks. Someone there also reported that their car would be delivered exactly 8 weeks after drop-off. Does that all seem accurate? And was your lease a 15K/yr, 24-month lease, and how much did you get off the MSRP you reported and with what money factor (does BMW offer a special MF on ED leases). Ironically, my talking with my brother-in-law about our argument got him interested in doing what you did (he likes traveling to Europe a lot better than I do).

    With regard to the BMW online lease calculator, has it been your experience that it comes in high? It gave me a monthly payment of $890 for a 15K/yr, 24-month lease in CA, with no money down, but you suggest mid-$600/month payment.

    If I have any further general questions, I'll take them to the BMW ED lease forum.
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