Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#3201 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [rich545]
Aug 01, 2005 (3:31 pm)
Thank you very much rich545! To actually experience drivers moving out of their lanes to get behind my beautiful new 545i was an absolute kick! One of them was driving a new RL. It's like my car had a magnet attached to the trunk.
I can't stop going to the garage to look at my beautiful new addition to the family.
I can't wait to get out there on the interstate tomorrow with my well-tuned radio thanks to the iDrive controller.
This just about seals the deal. I have driven only BMW's since 1993. I cannot see myself ever driving anything else.
I feel sorry for those folks who deprive themselves of experiencing one of life's greatest pleasures because of the vendettas perpertrated on this great company by the auto press.
#3202 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [hpowders]
Aug 01, 2005 (4:32 pm)
Oh yes, because the automotive press has historically been so nasty to BMW. I seem to recall the previous 5 winning pretty much every comparison it was invited to. The previous 5 was a pretty much universally attractive car. Maybe not as daring as the current 5, but it certainly wasnt RL vanilla kool-aid. It also made short work of the rest of the 4 car class in handling, and thus a first place finish was pretty much in the bag, no matter how much it cost. There was just very little to complain about last time.
The 5 has gotten better, but in some ways its also gone backwards. AS still doesnt feel right. iDrive could be a lot better than it is. The styling is polarizing. The competition is now close enough in terms of handling that a $10K+ premium sticks out a little more than it used to. You are implying that the car mags have declared some sort of jihad on BMW. They havent. If the new 5 was a revolutionary step foward and again obliterated the competition, I'm sure C&D would have no problem awarding it a first place finish, even if it came in at $55K+ for the 6.
#3203 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [lexusguy]
Aug 01, 2005 (5:03 pm)
There is a division between certain mags and the sales figures. What does that say to you?
1. The biggest gripe about idrive seems to be much ado about nothing as hpowders post suggest and rich545 talks about.
2. The current styling is polarizing, as was the previous styling. There was a certain camp that absolutely did not like the looks of the E39.
3. It doesn't drive as well. Most reviewers still say this is the car to beat and the Active Steering is indespensable once you get used to it.
4. It's underpowered. Maybe compared to the competitors but it also uses less gas for almost the same performance.
5. HP means nothing, it's what the car does with it that counts.
#3204 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [lexusguy]
Aug 01, 2005 (5:26 pm)
Yes and if you look hard enough I'm sure you can find some faults with heaven.
I am not talking about the past. It's always "what have you done for me lately." The current press-bashing which emphasizes putting BMW's E60 down based on subjective criteria such as interior and exterior design plus their way out of line sobbing about a controller knob which a 7 year old can learn to use in 5 minutes to me sounds like irrational bashing.
#3205 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [hpowders]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Aug 01, 2005 (7:03 pm)
Congratulations on your new car...
Geez... can't you guys leave a guy alone for at least the first couple of days, and just let him enjoy it?
Aug 01, 2005 (7:08 pm)
When we tested the BMW 530xi we used the iDrive to set the AC and the audio/radio.
iDrive is NOT difficult. MMI in some respects is easier to use.
Yet iDrive is a, one, "1" controller -- MMI and its associated switches and controls (in my A6) amounts to 80 switches. Now, there are probably at least half that many in the 5. But the design of the iDrive appears to have been with the intention of creating a point and click multiple menu layer system. It achieved that.
MMI seems more direct -- but MMI does have more buttons to push.
MMI probably would be easier to master for someone who just got in and needed to drive the car, TODAY. iDrive has more layers and can be less direct.
I could live after a day or two, tops, with either one.
Without voice response they are both an invitation to Congress to mandate "only" hands free and eyes free as being legal. No cell phones, no beverages, etc.
These systems remind me of Windows 2.0 (at the time, I would disable Windows in favor of the DOS prompt.) Windows 3.0 was a little better and finally Windows 3.1 ushered in an era where the icons were doing more than loading .bat or .exe files that could be called simply by typing "123" and watching your spreadsheet fire up.
At present, I'll give a tiny edge to MMI -- but the differences are not substantial. The Audi system gets the edge since you can get to a feature or option or control more directly than the BMW system. But again these systems are clearly in need of upgrading -- and I'm betting voice and touch will be the tickets.
The 7 series has a lot more voice functionality than the Audi A6's voice command. The A6 is limited to controlling the Telephone, CD, Radio and Navigation systems. Of course it could be argued that with auto lights and auto wipers the only thing left to control via voice is the climate control.
I will conclude by suggesting that this is the first time ever (since 1988) that the differences between the Audi and BMW were more cosmetic than any other characteristic. They perform similarly and they do all they can to be as alike as can be -- even if they don't do so intentionally.
The BMW, however, retains cache, or more cache than the Audi, even if the distance is slowly closing.
I am now convinced that I would be happy with the A6, the 530xi or the M35X.
I just happen to like the Audi just a smidgen better (at the current price point, that is.)
#3207 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [kyfdx]
Aug 01, 2005 (7:09 pm)
Thanks for the good wishes. It is tough to make it as a poster on the "luxury performance sedans" thread. Along with "high-end luxury marques," the most stimulating discussions on Edmunds.
#3208 of 10348 Re: Bless You, Bangle! [kdshapiro]
Aug 01, 2005 (8:55 pm)
<There is a division between certain mags and the sales figures. What does that say to you? >
It says that the car (as well as the E320) sells more than others in the class. Are you surprised? These two have been the real originators of the LPS, and have established a brand. Does not mean they will always be the best in their class, does it?
A few comments:
1. I would call it much ado about something important. Personally, I change things like volume, fan speed, temperature, radio stations, navigation...fairly frequently. I have gotten used to certain buttons by feel or by peripheral vision/quick glances. If I have to turn that knob, then watch the menu, then turn, watch, turn...you get the picture. I think people lose some credibility by trying to defend the iDrive. I am a BMW owner, and I KNOW it is not good, and not safe. Some of the others in this class have separated and/or duplicated those frequently used controls, while leaving more arcane ones in the central button. Much smarter and more ergonomic. So why defend iDrive, unless BMW is perfect.
2. This is a new degree of polarizing. I always applaud those who try to push the envelope. I don't really like this look, and I know there was nowhere near the size of 'camp' that hated the previous generation. Regardless, only BMW or Mercedes could have gotten away with this bold a move.
3. Sorry-the previous generation had one of the best steering feels in the world. While many reviewers have had differing opinions about the AS, most have said they preferred the previous.
Yes, this is the car to beat. Some others are getting very, very close. For much, much less. MUCH.
4. Agreed. Underpowered in the same price class. Or we can compare to a similar model, like the M45, and the competition gets very close. But then the price is $12K to $14K more. Is it worth that much money, when you will drive it at the edge fairly infrequently? Is it worth that much to put up with the vagaries of the styling and iDrive?
And who are you kidding with the gas mileage? You will spend $14K more for pretty much the same performance, then save a few bucks on gas because that is more important than horsepower? Very inconsistent. And again, stretches the credibility.
Most importantly, because the sales figures are as high as you point out, the corporate culture is one of relative indifference to their customers. I won't bother to tell you my tale of woe with this horrible organization, because it would no doubt sound like so many of those stories you have already heard. Man, I hated to buy a new car that wouldn't drive like my 5 series. But I hated getting into that car and thinking about all the people in BMW I have dealt with, from the Sales manager all the way up to the director of customer relations for BMW NA. "Sorry, fella, we have no control over our dealers." What the....? So I bought a car from Mom and Pop's Service Station? They can sh*t on their customers all they want, and BMW doesn't care???
Tell you what-I bought into the BMW mystique, and found out it is like one of those e-mails from Nigeria. Too bad the car itself is head and shoulders above the competition.
5. Nothing? No, it means something, set in the picture of the whole car. But the 5 series with the 6 does not compare with the M45 with the 8. It is just not a fair comparison. 10 or 20 HP, maybe, but not 50 or 60 HP difference. C'mon!
The brand is no longer worth the differential price, unless you have so much extra dough that a diff of greater than $10K is a drop in the bucket. For those of us who work for a living, it makes a difference. To heck with the spinning prop logo. And (at least in my case) to heck with disdainful customer service. My $50K deserves better.
So now you have my agenda. But it is strongly based on facts. BTW, before I bought my new car, I DID test a 545, to make sure I wasn't being TOO pigheaded. I am glad I did, because I am happy with my decision to abandon my prior BMW, and move to a better experience.
For those with a new 5 series, I congratulate you! I loved my first new BMW when I got it, and I am sure you will love yours, too. It is one of the best in the world, and certainly meant to be driven and enjoyed! Cheers!
#3209 of 10348 Re: Took the new 530xi out for a test drive. . . . [aas5]
Aug 01, 2005 (11:10 pm)
I don't know the breakdown of Mercedes sales by type but I think E would be by far the best seller and model choice would not have as dramatic effect on sales as you would think.
Thats the one thing that is nearly impossible to find out about, the breakdown for each Benz model. There was a site some years ago, but it has since been torn down. I see so many E320s, now E350s to the point where I think out of a 4K month of sales at least 2500-3000 of those are most likely E350s. Just a guess. I'll see if I can find the breakout.
#3210 of 10348 Re: status symbols . . . [docnukem]
Aug 01, 2005 (11:13 pm)
Merc1, on the other hand, can probably smell a MB from over a mile off.
Well not quite, well maybe back in the old days of the diesel Benzes, but not now...lol. I can however tell at night which model is ahead of me or approaching from behind by the taillight and headlight patterns. This is true of most cars though, been that way since I was a child.