Last post on May 01, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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
Oct 01, 2006 (8:31 am)
The Audi system works well, in fact it works very well.
But, it is woefully inadequate. You can say "navigation" and then "navigate to _____________ (name tag.)"
You can also tell it to show you "everywhere" you have ever been and anything you have stored in the address book.
You cannot tell it to find Cincinnati, Ohio, Main Street and Walnut -- unless it is a previous desitnation.
I had put a deposit on the Infiniti M35X with Technology Package and I had learned to use the Infinit voice system which I would say is "the best" today.
The Germans (well, Audi and BMW -- since I have very limited Mercedes experience) have produced some fine cars in every way. Yet, the ability to add electronic features and functions and controls seems to always come late to them.
I remember when even power door locks (and even power steering) came late to the German cars even though much lower priced American and Japanese cars could almost NOT be found without such features.
I lived with crank sunroofs for several years while my Japanese car buying friends had power roofs.
At the time, other aspects of the German cars (handling, composure, safety, a solid feel, etc) were plentiful compared to the domestic and Asian imports.
The Germans still have managed somehow to have a feel behind the wheel that Infiniti seems close to figuring out, but the Infiniti came (offered with the Journey package) with a backup camera in 2005, Audi came out with theirs this year in the 2007 model.
The Acura RDX with technology package comes with a comprehensive voice command package and DVD-Audio. The BMW X3 with EVERY possible option cannot be had with either and is $10,000 more to boot.
The Germans have "the feel behind the wheel" thus far. The Japanese seem to be sneaking up on that, but not quite there yet; but, they offer electronics and gizmos that seem years ahead of most Germans and even most Europeans. The Americans seem, to me, more like the Japanese in this regard than the Germans -- check out the high zoot Cadillac STS, for instance.
At this time, I can only hope for voice commands (and even some steering wheel controls) that the M's have.
#8454 of 10338 Re: MMI [markcincinnati]
Oct 01, 2006 (2:41 pm)
The Americans seem, to me, more like the Japanese in this regard than the Germans -- check out the high zoot Cadillac STS, for instance.
I wouldn't go that far. Cadillac yes, but the rest of the US auto industry is still in the "me, make fire" era. 4-speed automatics, 12-valve pushrod V6s, live rear axles, leafsprings, it goes on and on. Jeep finally retired their stone age IL6 in the Wrangler, only to replace it with their bronze age minivan engine, which now makes the Mustang V6 the winner of "worlds oldest engine design". Many domestic cars only started offering NAV systems a few years ago. Acura had one in '96.
Oct 01, 2006 (3:00 pm)
I'm probably the kind of driver who contributes to America's comparatively "stone-age" implementation of available electronic technologies. Voice command of radio excites me.
As for getting where I'm going, I'm still excited by MapQuest and Yahoo Maps. For unknown local destination, if I was going to use Nav system, I'd probably be out in the car 10 minutes before everyone else, punching in address(es) of places we are going. I hadn't thought about getting in the car and starting to drive, not knowing where I'm going because I'd be counting on Nav-DVD system to take in my voice commands on the fly and show me where to go. I do, however, see how an M owner could get used to what Pete and Mark described.
Oct 01, 2006 (3:05 pm)
I can't recall if I saw following table listed/discussed on this forum when I was skimming it, prior to participating, but a car's being on this list counted in my buying decision:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety chooses their top picks in each catagory for the first time. (This was aired on NBC's Dateline TV program.)
Chevrolet Malibu (with optional side airbags)
Ford 500 or Mercury Montego (with optional side airbags)
Honda Civic 4-door
#8457 of 10338 Re: MMI [markcincinnati]
Oct 02, 2006 (3:21 pm)
Thanks for the info about voice commands with NAV destinations. I agree that the M might be the best on that, although I hear Acura does a great job as well.
The Germans have "the feel behind the wheel" thus far.
I understand that this is your opinion, and thus is totally valid from that context. Personally, I prefer the M's light, responsive handling to its competitors, and I don't think I'm alone here.
The November C&D comparo (comparing the M45 to the 550i, E550, GS450h) said the following:
"First there is its character. The logbook commentary seemed to favor the Infiniti for its eagerness -- a light steering touch with good feedback, brisk turn-in, quick transitions, a general sense of being quick on its feet, that made the Bimmer's responses seem a tad heavy and well Teutonic. Yes we gave the 550i a one point edge in fun to drive, a tribute to its superb competence. But of the two cars the M45 seemed more exuberant and ready to play."
One can argue both sides of the case here, but if BMW has a handling edge for C&D it's pretty hard to tell. (And clearly they preferred the M45's handling to the E550's)
For those who've test driven both and prefer the handling of a german car, the choice may be clear. But those who go German without an M test drive, may have missed a great opportunity to find out for themselves.
Oct 02, 2006 (5:09 pm)
Blkhemi has just taken delivery of his S8. I have begged him to post pictures. He has posted some first thoughts over on the HELM board. My favorite kind of car porn, porn with four rings
#8459 of 10338 German "feel" versus C&D "ratings"
Oct 02, 2006 (10:12 pm)
My take on this discussion ... My decision to buy an M was heavily influenced by magazine raves. Although there were several that like Audi or something else better, there appeared to be a groundswell of enthusiasm for the M.
The purchase came to feel like a mistake to me, not because I found the M to be deficient, but, as Mark implied, German sedans feel both different and better to me (all three of the major ones) than the driving feel of the M. That subjective report, as with Mark's, carries, in my view, no greater or lesser weight than a C&D comparo, however much hubris might be suggested by my equating my three months of experience with the reports of professional auto-critics.
Nonetheless, were a friend to ask, I'd still say "drive them all."
I wouldn't steer anyone away from the M because it didn't fit me, but I also wouldn't steer them toward it because several auto-mags picked it as their favorite. I'd caution them, in fact, about allowing auto-mag raves to distract them from their own experience. What I find most useful about auto-mags is the fun of finding one that tells me how smart I was to buy the car I bought.
On the other hand, I wouldn't suggest anyone should buy an Audi or BMW because I like the way they feel. And I'd caution them about assuming "German feel" is a universal and abolute virtue which they will regret passing up if they buy a Japanese car.
If I could go along with them on extended test-drives of each car and have a pleasure-excitement meter reading their brain-emotion centers when they look at each car, sit in each for the first time, and drive each on all sorts of highways, streets and even into parking lots -- then I'd have valuable information for them.
#8460 of 10338 Scandinavian Performance with Ultra Luxurious Styling throughout
Oct 02, 2006 (11:22 pm)
Sell The Bimmers, Mercedes, Masaratti, and get a load of this real performance luxury car.
It's not the fastest, best handler, but arguably the safest. The all new 2007' Volvo S80. "Be prepared for the road ahead" as Volvo says.
IMHO, it's alot of car for the money. Just like Mercedes and BMW's use to be.
I know that might anger some of you, but in my eyes which some might say are distorted, it's a clear winner especially when you factor in price.
Look at the craftsmanship of the interior and tell me another car that has one that's easier on the eyes ?
2007' Volvo S80
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FirstDrives/articleId=116977?tid=edm- - - - - - - unds.il.home.photopanel..1.*
Take a look for yourself. Kudos to Ford for allowing such a great vehicle to be made.
It's the perfect high-speed grand tourer for going a buck-thirty and listening to Sophia Scofield, on a winding country road
Volvo. for life
#8461 of 10338 Re: German "feel" versus C&D "ratings" [sfcharlie]
Oct 03, 2006 (4:07 am)
Your advice or would be advice is dead on what I tell folks: "drive 'em all."
Yet, more and more I've come to the conclusion that folks will almost always make up their minds in advance for whatever reason and then figure out a way to explain it to themselves.
Costs, if they really were equal, might reveal greater differences in preferences, but even then, I am not completely certain.
My first choice, German, Audi. My second choice, Japanese, Infiniti. My price weighted choices, switched.
When Audi coughed up a $200 per month lease payment reduction on the exact car I had wanted all along, switcheroo again.
I believe I would have been very satisfied with the M35X. I am certain I would have when I wrote the monthly lease check. Maybe I would have accepted the M's feel, especially since I thought it was really quite close to the A6's in the first place. And, all the magazines, FWIW, said Infiniti [in the M's] was closing the gap between themselves and the BMW LPS's.
Closing the gap -- well, darnit -- that is why the Infiniti was my close second, even with its superior sound system and superior navigation and voice command. But, coming from a country [Germany] that has for decades enjoyed wide open running and no speed limits and built cars that could do that competently, well, there was/is an advantage and it shows (less and less, I'll admit.)
So, for me, for the time being, the German feel is a bonus. All the writers who pick the M seem to compare the M to a German (usually BMW) -- even though they declare the M a winner. . . .
At this time, the German feel -- for me -- is also a bonus.
Nevertheless, I would still advise anyone to "drive 'em all" -- for I also believe these cars, all of them, have much in common.
#8462 of 10338 Re: Scandinavian Performance with Ultra Luxurious Styling throughout [rockylee]
Oct 03, 2006 (6:48 am)
Cost nearly as much as the competition, but you still get a Swedish Ford. Low power (Heck, the V8 version barely breaks 7 seconds 0-60), front wheel drive, soft suspension. Fit and build are good, but you can get a Acura TL for much cheeper, and that is really it's competition.