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
#7247 of 10348 Re: April 2006 Sales – Midsize Luxury Sedans [habitat1]
May 03, 2006 (10:21 am)
You mentioned the 530i 6-speed sport and I assume you meant the 6 speed manual.
However, I actually had the "good fortune?" to take a long test drive in a 2006 530xi (unfortunately it had the automatic) and then afterwards get into my own 2005 A6 (which does have the 18" wheels, but no sport suspension, but the 530xi sport doesn't either.)
The driver's car between THESE particular two versions?
They were both similar in many respects. The BMW did have 17" wheels and all season tires. My A6 has 18" wheels and all season tires. They both have 6spd automatics, they both have 255HP engines, they both. . .well you know the story, they compete (especially in Europe) fiercely. The A6 -- TODAY may be outselling the 530 in Europe and next month the tables may be turned (but the differences are much narrower.)
Trying to be objective (or at least keep my subjectivity as capped as possible), both cars are great to pilot. The A6 seems a bit larger (I think it really is) and this creates two impressions. One is more favorable to the performance quotient, one more favorable to the luxury checklist. If you want a bigger passenger compartment and more rear seat room, the Audi obliges more than the Bimmer.
Performance (two components, urge and nimbleness) differences between the two were real but minor. The BMW with 100 miles on the clock was not as "peppy" and the engine at full cry sounded like a six cylinder (a strong sound, but sort of like a home theater with a B+ sub-woofer); the Audi, with 15,000 miles on it was stronger throughout (but this could be the advantage of the miles showing up) -- the Audi's engine sounds, however, were second in sweetness only to the 4.2 V8 from the same company.
Note: a BMW V8, which I last drove in 2002 in a 7 series, doesn't resonate (no pun intended) in my "memory" as sounding this smooth and authoritative.
In the Audi V6, the sub-woofer was present and accounted for.
The other performance component -- "handling" -- was also close, but the BMW seems to inspire more confidence, but the 17" no season tires were working hard to kill that confidence. The Audi isn't as soft (riding) as the BMW, but it's nose heaviness doesn't do it any favors.
Subsequently, but not back to back, I drove an A6 with the sport suspension and higher performance tires and although the ride harshness did increase slightly, the front end heavy wallowing was largely tamed.
The Audi interior was more inviting to the eye and the butt, too -- but like 98% of all BMW's on the road these days, the Silver BMW 5 series had a Black leather interior with "black gloss wood" adorning its dash (somebody slash my wrists, please, I get so depressed, so Goth-like in a BMW with its "starker" interior when it is done in Black on Black.)
Anyway, here is my challenge -- ONLY if you are going down the automatic transmission path: test drive an A6 SLine and a BMW 530xi back to back (and hopefully the 530 will be equipped with the optional 18" wheels and tires.)
If you are looking for a driver's choice, you may find either car "more desirable" than some of the other cars competing for your bucks.
Don't count the Audi A6 Sline out as a "driver's car" that is. If, however, you want the row your own car, get the BMW -- it is the epitome of L+P+S -- nothing else, at this time, even comes close. If you are thinking of the BMW with the auto, you "owe" yourself a long drive and look see at the "other, less popular (over here) German car."
At this point, the 530xi if it is offered next year with both the stick shift AND the sport suspension with 18 or larger wheels and tires (factory spec). . .well, it would be my hands down favorite. Moreover, if the management ever decides to offer the 530xi with the twin turbo i6 300HP AND the stick AND the sport package -- well, well, well, nothing (under $60,000) could even come close.
But, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong (often am), just never uncertain.
May 03, 2006 (10:27 am)
Some folks put Performance, Luxury, Control, Safety, "driver's car qualities," i.e. somewhat (even if it is a little bit) ahead of reliability.
Some folks, some Car & Driver type editors (and other car maven magazines, too) dis the GS because it seems to place "the driving experience" slightly behind some other qualities.
This does NOT make you wrong or them less right. You put reliability and luxury as your #1. I "assume" those who put performance (in some way, fashion, manner or regard) in "their" number 1 -- apparently -- don't go for the GS.
I gather, by reading, the GS is "less involving" and "more isolating" [some call that luxury] than some others in the pack.
Drive it like YOU live.
#7249 of 10348 Re: GS ... [markcincinnati]
May 03, 2006 (10:41 am)
Mark, yes reliability has to be at the top of my list. As you can see, I am still driving my fully paid for 2001 GS. I could probably drive this cars for another 2-3 trouble free years.
#7250 of 10348 Lexus bashing
May 03, 2006 (11:27 am)
You bet. You've to understand, before any new Lexus comes out, its fans come out in force to say how it's the new standard and going to eat the competition alive.
Now GS is falling behind the long-dissed Infiniti, it's payback time. And the time for the IS is coming too!
#7251 of 10348 Re: Lexus bashing [mariner7]
May 03, 2006 (11:55 am)
True. The new GS just before it came out was being touted by Lexus management as the new "5 killer." Needless to say, anticipation was high.
What a laughing stock!
Can you believe anything those guys say?
#7252 of 10348 Re: Lexus bashing [hpowders]
May 03, 2006 (12:01 pm)
Infiniti, not Lexus has "caught the scent" of the 5 series. This may be harsh, but I think I would rather have the STS -- especially after having driven one at the Car and Driver Road and Track "editor for a day" affair.
The Lexus (NOT the new GS, to be fair and fully disclose) was way too cushy. The last gen GS was certainly a quality car and probably as has been duly noted reliable (more than the rest) -- Lexus, thus far, seems to be less interested in performance. Someone has to scratch that itch and by all accounts they do it very well, indeed.
#7253 of 10348 Re: Lexus bashing [markcincinnati]
May 03, 2006 (12:32 pm)
If I couldn't swing a good deal on the 545, I would have gone with the M35.
I found it had plenty of power, making the M45 superfluous.
#7254 of 10348 Re: Lexus bashing [hpowders]
May 03, 2006 (12:56 pm)
And the M45 $5 gallon for gas is Thirsty!
#7255 of 10348 Re: Lexus bashing [markcincinnati]
May 03, 2006 (2:20 pm)
My Subaru Impreza is actually quite sporty in term of driving fun without the gas guzzling penalty. It runs on regular gas, all season tires that would last 50K miles. It'd go around corners as quickly as most of these much heavier LPS with emphasis on the P. However, when I get tire of all this sportiness (after driving it about three days in a row), then back to the luxurious GS I go.
#7256 of 10348 Lexus GS, hideous styling and sloppy performance
May 03, 2006 (2:19 pm)
GS has bombed the sales charts, and it was expected. The styling is so hideous,
1. The headlights on GS are like somebody plucked out their eyeballs and running for help here and there. The serial killer headlights on 5 are at least intimidating.
2. The C-pillar and the overall shoulder line is too meaty and lardy. The sleekness in lines is just not there.
3. handling is way off the mark, I guess they should put the IS engineer in charge of GS and IS both next time and
4. HIRE a GOOD DESIGNER for christ's sake. poach it from aston martin or wherever but do something. FAST!!