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
#8943 of 10338 Re: Narrowing the field [voxboy]
Dec 18, 2006 (3:00 pm)
Are you looking for maximum or optimum?
Are you looking at #1 as a "deal breaker" and #2 as less of a deal breaker?
What does the ranking of "performance on slippery roads" have to do with the [broader] "safety" trait? I would assume if #1 was safety that your current #4 would have been your #2, that is.
Again, "general performance," [I would argue] is a significant contributing factor to the overall safety of a car, yet reliability trumps "general performance."
Does this, then, suggest "safety" is more or less a "crashworthy" metric than overall safety suggests [to me]?
I read your list and try not to figure out the rationale for the order of your criteria and my knee jerk reaction would be to perhaps suggest an all wheel drive Volvo of some middle or big size (in the Volvo lineup.) I guess I would suggest it be equipped with either a turbo motor or a V8 and either be CPO'd or brand new with a warranty extension "just in case."
Whew, this is a somewhat difficult question, especially given your criteria's numeric ranking. And, to further exacerbate the situation, you have asked this to be, apparently, listed by car for a period spanning 6 different model years.
Perhaps a Japanese marquis would pass "reliability" with flying colors, but not be #1 in Safety nor be particularly high performing "generally."
Perhaps a Mercedes would acquit itself well in 1,3, & 4 and not so much in #2.
The new A6 was one of 13 "most safe" cars -- period -- and the report was issued within the past month or so. Yet, before the 2005 model year (notably 2002 into 2003, the Audi reliability was not as high as the others, but the car was completely covered for 50,000 miles with a full on free maintenance and warranty protection.) And since most A6's were awd and many many many were turbos or V8's, well performance -- generally and on slippery roads -- was up there. But in some years the best performing on dry pavement, by far far far, was the car with the blue and white propeller. Not so much when conditions were slippery unless you got one of the X-drive versions, but they have not been around in that configuration for as many years as your date range demands.
BMW, also a favorite for General Performance and, with X drive, Performance on slippery roads. BMW's -- some at least -- pass the safety ratings of the insurance institute. BMW reliability of late has gotten up there, but they still are nowhere near as reliable in some of those early years you list as some of the LPS Japanese makes.
If safety is the #1, go look up the cars that have made the safety list for each of the past 5 or so years. List them.
Then pick ones with at least 5 speed auto transmissions or with stick shifts (available); make certain they have high hp and/or high torque engines, within reason, the number of cylinders is important, but not the end all be all answer to your quest.
How about this: the car must have at least 5 cylinders and at least 250 HP and similar torque (assuming it is an LPS or LPS-wannabe sedan.)
If you could narrow your years that you are considering, that could go a long way for helping someone give you an informed (but still biased) opinion.
With your ranking, I'd still have to strongly consider the Volvo 60 or 80 series w/AWD and the Turbo motors or a V8 if new enough -- leaving all other subordinate traits as you have them listed.
Help us help you by further narrowing and/or clarification.
To me, performance (within reason) IS a safety characteristic.
#8944 of 10338 Re: Narrowing the field [voxboy]
Dec 18, 2006 (3:15 pm)
For production years 2002 - 2007, please state your opinion on what you consider the best pick using the following criteria in order of importance:
2002 - 2007 is a VERY large range of cars. That covers two generations of the RL, GS, M, 5, A6, and S80.
If you are considering buying one of these cars, you first need to narrow down how much you want to spend. The difference between a used '02 LPS and a new '07 can be $30K or more.
#8945 of 10338 Re: Narrowing the field [voxboy]
Dec 19, 2006 (6:48 am)
Does your question imply that you're open to buying any car? No aesthetic, test-drive, or previous ownership experiences, nor even things you've read, have narrowed down the field in your mind?
Are you interested exclusively in cars in this LPS category (e.g. a Volvo S80 but not an S60, or Infintii M, but not a G35)?
#8946 of 10338 All Wheel Drive Comparison
Dec 19, 2006 (7:10 am)
I had a 2000 A6 2.7T and have a 2003 coming off lease in March. They've been great in snow and wet conditions. Because of the secure feeling they have given me I'm only looking at all-wheel drive cars to replace it. In all the professional and personal reviews I have read I have seen very little comparing the all wheel drive systems in rain and snow between the M35X, 530Xi, GS 350, RL and E350. Right now I'm leaning to the M35X but would like to know how it compares in inclement conditions to the other cars. Can anyone give me any insight into this? Thanks
#8947 of 10338 Re: All Wheel Drive Comparison [allagaroo]
Dec 19, 2006 (12:27 pm)
I have an 05 G 35x. It shares the exact same drivetrain..
It handles very well, we have a steep driveway that can be icy and we make about a 120 degree left turn into it. No problems with that maneuver Driving slippery roads the awd drive cuts in and out seemlessly. Using "Snow mode" locks the torque split 50 / 50 to 29 mph and then goes back to normal rwd, until any slip is detected. It also retards the throttle response so you are less prone to spin the tires at start-up.
In the one winter we used it so far, it has more than proven itself as a capable snowmobile.
#8948 of 10338 Re: All Wheel Drive Comparison [allagaroo]
Dec 19, 2006 (12:42 pm)
"For all practical purposes," you will be pretty much OK with almost any of these AWD systems.
Folks here (and sometimes I am one of them) are not as keen on FWD biased systems. Volvo's Haldex system, for instance, has been 95% FWD, 5% RWD in a "nominal" state or as I put it, "in its natural state."
Audis, in this class are either 50% 50% biased or 40% 60% biased depending on which one you get. The next gen of Audi's TorSen system will be RWD biased across the board (more or less), the current A6 (but not the S6,it is 40% 60& f/r) is 50% 50% biased.
BMW, Infiniti and Mercedes are already RWD biased.
Acura is FWD biased. Cadillac, I assume, is RWD biased on the STS. As noted a Volvo S80 will be FWD biased.
Real world -- there are, of course, differences. Everyone will tell you why their system is different [and better?] from competing systems, or how their system is special even if it uses a non-unique system (SH-AWD is different than others to be sure; and, there is evidence that SH-AWD can offer advantages.)
My wife has X-drive, I have quattro (TorSen). There are "technical" articles that explain how these systems work. These are written by mechanical engineers -- not marketing guys from Ingolstadt or Munich.
TorSen claims to be able to activate in "real time," whereas the other systems activate the shift in torque in reaction to a slippage event.
On paper, perhaps "at the limit" a torque sensing differential since it "binds" as it is needed rather than waiting for a "difference" in wheelspin between wheel A and B would seem to offer clear advantages.
If you can tell the difference on public roads between the two, your butt is better than mine.
Intellectually, I know that TorSen "ought" to be better and perhaps it may be. It is, however, heavier too.
Tit for tat.
Currently the Infiniti system wants you to know that it is first and foremost a RWD system with "instant" reactive capabilities.
I would have no quarrel with either TorSen or ATTESA (which stands for: Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All, at least I think that's it.)
Likewise, I would have no problemo with X-drive.
Now, Audi will "soon" have another AWD advance, called Torque Vectoring Technology which seems, to me, to be kind of like the reverse of ESP (ESP's sensors determine what was "intended" and applies brake or brakes and limits engine power; TVT seems to sense what was intended but instead of applying brakes and limiting engine power, redistributes torque in "real time.")
Today, get the one you like, can afford or think has the best styling.
I personally don't think you'll go wrong with any of these fine cars interpretation of AWD.
I just happen to prefer the Audi system, but that's just me.
#8949 of 10338 Re: All Wheel Drive Comparison [allagaroo]
Dec 19, 2006 (1:34 pm)
Over 2 winters of ownership thus far, we've had very good experiences with accelerating, controlling, and stopping the RL through various grades of snow and even ice.
But I know the RL would do even better if it were shod with better rubber than the so-so OEM Michelin Pilot MXM tires. And the ground clearance on the RL feels to be a skosh lower than in comparable AWD vehicles I've driven or seen.
Agree with Mark that most of the competing systems will navigate just fine through most conditions, but I recommend that you also factor in the tire choices and measurable ground clearance. Virtually all AWD LPS cars will also have the full complement of traction/anti-skid devices to provide a secondary level of safety and control beyond AWD propulsion.
#8950 of 10338 Re: All Wheel Drive Comparison [allagaroo]
Dec 19, 2006 (1:58 pm)
The ATTESA E-TS system in the M does a very nice job. As in the 530xi, you can fool yourself into thinking you're driving a RWD car. That said, Quattro AWD owns all other contenders in deep snow and ice. I'm not sure how the competition's systems would rank in terms of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. but there's no question about who's in 1st place.
#8951 of 10338 Re: All Wheel Drive Comparison [markcincinnati]
Dec 19, 2006 (3:28 pm)
Great explanation. Thanks so much. I certainly liked my Audi and if the lease costs didn't go up so much I would have a different decision. I'm finding it hard to justify $150 a month more for the Audi then the M. The Audi is spectacular in the snow.
#8952 of 10338 Need advise on what to buy please!
Dec 26, 2006 (10:14 am)
I looking to spend 50 - 60K on a car (used or new). I will be driving 170 miles per day Monday thru Friday (all highway) in the Northeast. I value comfort, a great sound system, good power, awd and reliability most. I was originally thinking of a used Mercedes S500, but have been scared off by the horror stories around problems with reliability. I'm a fairly big guy (6'1" / 240 lbs), so I'm thinking a large luxury sedan is the class I need to be looking in. Basically I like a sharp looking car as much as anyone, but its the inside of the car that's more important to me than the outside.