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
Jun 30, 2006 (4:53 am)
I have driven the Audi, BMW Mercedes, Infinity and Cadillac models that are considered to be in the LPS class.
These cars have many similarities, indeed depending upon their equipment levels even the Cadillac STS can be made to "feel" more competent than the BMW. The pecking order can be altered that is.
Price is an important factor when the cars are as close as these cars are to each other, especially at 9/10ths and under. The RL at $10,000 "lower" than the BMW or Audi, for instance, might be a better choice.
The M35X with its excellent suspension and 18" wheels and sticky tires (but all seasons, typically) is near the top of this class.
But a test drive will refine the word supposed to be the sportiest to drive.
Again depending upon equipment levels, the STS may totally take you by surprise, especially if it is equipped with the sport bits and magna ride.
Likewise the BMW at its base level and skinny 17" all seasons with an automatic is underwhelming.
The BMW with a 6speed manual and a couple of option boxes checked remains, IMHO, undefeated. Follow that selection with the 6spd auto-only equipped A6 SLine, then the M nipping at both of their wheels, so to speak, brings up third.
Argue, contradict and gimmie an "OH YEA?!?" -- after you have driven the Bimmer 530xi with a stick shift and 18" wheels and tires, the Sline A6 with the 19" wheels and tires (or even the 18's if that is all you can find to test) and the M35X with journey and technology packages.
Take them on the exact same test loop, take them each at least two times in a row on this loop, take them back to back if logistics permit a same day test.
If you then find the M is your "hands down" pick -- welcome to the club.
My guess is you'll pick the one that you like the looks of the most that has a price that is within your threshold of pain.
That is, you will be in a very rare club if you actually do buy the car that performs the best -- by what are often considered "performance" criteria by the folks who do this for a living at Automobile, Car and Driver and Road and Track, etc etc etc.
Listen, I have the Audi, "I shoulda got a BMW!" My only excuse was there was no stick shift AWD BMW in June 2005, so I went with the less expensive M35X until Audi made me a "deal I couldn't refuse" on the number 2 performer.
Of course most all of this is really subjective, no kidding.
Jun 30, 2006 (5:33 am)
really? Just kidding!
I tend to agree with your take on things. The ca is actually for my SIL, and one of the criteria is no German cars. She also isn't into 10/10th handling at the expense of ride, but does like something with tight steering and good road holding (she has an FX 35 now, so should feel comfy with the M35).
I personally have a soft spot for BMWs, but also hate overly complicated controls (must be a closet Ludite), so that idrive might drive me nuts. The Audi does sound like a nice package too. The Caddy I couldn't get into.
Actually, for me, I would prefer the next size down. I consider a G35 or 3 series to be plenty big for my needs.
Oh, and the M would be ruled out: no stick shift!
#7656 of 10348 Re: subjective? [stickguy]
Jun 30, 2006 (6:31 am)
Why no American or German cars?
#7657 of 10348 CHRYSLER EMPLOYEE DISC PLAN
Jun 30, 2006 (6:57 am)
The employee discount for EVERYONE goes in effect Saturday. F/GM said they would NOT match this offer. My local Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick dealer has so many vehicles on its lot that he's looking to rent some space next door. And you think he's not going to complain to GM about not matching Chrysler?
Jun 30, 2006 (7:29 am)
personal reason, not anything related to the cars, but no German cars allowed (or DC now). The rest of Europe is fine, it's just the cars aren't!
Actually, from what I have read, the upcoming Volvo S80 could be a strong player, especially for people that are tired of the German-lead fascination with overly complex gizmos and controls. Swedish modern might just appeal to a few people!
Jun 30, 2006 (11:45 am)
I'm staying away from the Germans for the next round, especially as their reliability numbers, via Consumer Reports, are still pretty mediocre (although rising) and my experience with my 4 1/2 year old BMW X5 4.4i has been pretty terrible. I'm keeping the GS, RL, and M in mind, but I've been very impressed with the early word on the S80, including some recent driving tests in Europe. I suspect that next year we'll all be thinking seriously about the S80 as a fair competitor in the LPS arena.
#7660 of 10348 Re: german [lansdownemike]
Jun 30, 2006 (12:53 pm)
I'm staying away from the Germans for the next round, especially as their reliability numbers, via Consumer Reports, are still pretty mediocre
Volvo's CR scores are no better than Mercedes, BMW, or Audi, so I wouldn't pick them if you're seriously concerned about reliability. In fact, the S40 has much worse scores for '05 than the 3 series, A4, and even the C class.
I'm sure the S80's seats are going to be fantastic, but I dont think the M or A6 have any reason to worry in terms of performance.
Jun 30, 2006 (1:23 pm)
I've stayed away from Volvo's for a long time for that reason, but apparently they've gone to a much more reliable manufacturing process (hardware and software) with the new S80 to minimize defects. Agree entirely on the seats and performance. I would expect the Yamaha V8 with the 6-speed automatic to be very refined and have most adequate performance. I'm paying careful attention in the reviews to the handling dynamics, which is more important to me than 0-60 times.
#7662 of 10348 Performance and Reliability
Jul 02, 2006 (6:16 am)
For me, there have been two different car worlds.
When I'm surfing here or reading CR and JD Powers, the only car I can see owning is the M35/M45 or a Lexus. I cannot buy German because other U.S. owners complain about their reliability to CR and JD Powers. And I'm going to drive the car for six years and 100K. In this world, when asked about their car, everyone answers only in terms of lesser or greater number of trips to service department. They care about nothing else.
In my everyday world, I drove a 100% trouble-free BMW in 2004-2005, which I took to service once, for scheduled maintenance at about 13K. I lease cars, so am not thinking of which one will be trouble-free at 90K. My friends are thoroughly enjoying a variety of cars from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi and, when asked, talk glowingly about the design, the inerior aesthetics, and the looking forward to the unique driving experience.
Yes, of course, it's possible that a Yamaha-engined Volvo will join the European sedan stable and turn out to be the car we all hope will come over the horizon: a combination of the smooth driving pleasure of a V8, the steering/handling of BMW or Aud, and Lexus-like reliability reports in CR and JD Powers. In fact, the CEO of Mercedes recently press-released a speech about MB making huge changes to achieve Lexus-like reliability by 2008.
When the M35 first appeared, CR included it in the survey of owners it conducted in the spring of 2005 for the spring-2006 annual car issue. No mention was made of the M35/M45 having been in owner's hands for only a few months, when CR reported that 92% of them said they'd buy it again or when they claimed that its "first year" reliability was very impressive and, thereby, created the impression that we'd all be crazy not to buy their "top-rated" (after only three months) LPS.
In my personal experience, I'm not sure that anything's been a better predictor of a potential-buyer ending up still being glad they bought the car two years later than that they loved the interior/exterior look and loved test-driving it. Mainly, I want to look forward to driving the car everyday and, although, on principle, having to drop a car off a few times a year to have a minor-glitch corrected is not ideal, the only car I ever regretted buying for reliability was a 1980 Saab.
I have to remind myself that I won't love a car because CR says I will.