Last post on Feb 08, 2012 at 7:57 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Volvo S60 R, Subaru Legacy, Audi S4, Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA6, Sedan
#457 of 857 AWD conundrum
Sep 10, 2007 (12:24 pm)
I cruised through an awful lot of the posts in this thread and need to ask for advice. I am in the market for a new car, my first actually since 1995.Since I live in NYC and anticipate making frequent NE highway runs (especially to Lake Placid), minimal local, I assumed an AWD (that also gets respectable fuel economy, high 20s) to be the best bet. The cars I am soon to test drive are the Lexus IS250, BMW 328xi, MB C300 luxury and maybe the Audi A4 V6 Quattro. I was hoping to get a coupe, but I am not blown away by the 328 or 335. Do I even NEED an AWD or can I get by with a FWD, like maybe the new Accord Hybrid? Tnx much Keith
#458 of 857 Re: Here's the unmotorized variety [circlew]
Sep 10, 2007 (12:39 pm)
I met Christini himself. Drove up to their HQ in Philly, had lunch with him and one of his co-workers. Very cool small business with a strong engineering focus.
They almost reminded me of what the Wright brothers must have been like way back when.
He had one of those bikes up on a stand, and demonstrated the AWD system. So cool!
There was no point test riding the bikes because they are RWD unless you slip, then power shifts to the front wheel.
Very cool experience. I shot a video of it, let me see if I still have it....
#459 of 857 Re: Here's the unmotorized variety [ateixeira]
Sep 10, 2007 (12:42 pm)
I found a 5.7MB .MOV file if you want it, but it's not the one I filmed myself. It shows the bike in operation, AWD on and off.
#461 of 857 Re: AWD conundrum [keithrez]
Sep 10, 2007 (2:02 pm)
Based upon the criteria you've set forth I wouldn't suggest that you spend you money on any of the cars you've listed. It sounds more like you should be in the market for a Toyonda Camcord V6, or optionally their bigger siblings the Lexus ES350 or the Acura TL.
#462 of 857 Re: AWD conundrum [keithrez]
Sep 10, 2007 (2:46 pm)
The 328/335 sedans drive just like the coupes, so if you didn't like the coupe I wouldn't waste my time with the sedan. The A4 is a softer ride, which you might like. I personally like (and own) the 335 sedan because I found that driving the A4 was too bland. The MB is similar to the A4 in my opinion. It's not a bad thing if you value a comfy ride over steering feel and handling. I haven't driven the Subary Outback, but I would consider that too as an AWD vehicle. It seems like a good value, although it comes up a bit short on the luxury aspects. The IS250 looks nice inside and out but I never bothered to drive it since my head hits the roof on that even in the lowest seat position. If you're under 6 feet, it could be a good choice.
#463 of 857 Re: AWD conundrum [dan12]
Sep 10, 2007 (4:05 pm)
Tnx for the advice Dan. What I actually meant about the coupe was more the styling of it, I haven't ridden in one yet. Given that I assume I am going to do a decent amount of highway driving, what would your suggestion be then?
#464 of 857 Re: AWD conundrum [shipo]
Sep 10, 2007 (4:20 pm)
Tnx Shipo. Money aside, is AWD one of those features that marketers play up to the ignorant masses (like myself in thsi case), but in reality, is useless? Otherwise, even if it only comes in handy on an infrequent basis, I don't mind paying extra for the peace of mind.
#465 of 857 Re: AWD conundrum [keithrez]
Sep 10, 2007 (5:00 pm)
Is it useless? No, not exactly, however, given the driving that you've described I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out when you're going to take advantage of the extra accelerative traction. Keep in mind that AWD adds weight to a car and as such it will take longer to slow itself from any given speed in any given set of conditions and will not have the same nimble turning characteristics in many conditions.
Keep us posted.
#466 of 857 Re: AWD conundrum [keithrez]
Sep 10, 2007 (8:59 pm)
You don't like the coupe styling? Most people buy it because of that. I opted for the sedan because it's much more practical, it's cheaper, and it drives the same. Besides, my wife wouldn't let me get a coupe.
What would I recommend? Well, first I guess you have to decide on AWD because that limits your choices. I like AWD simply because in the mountains I don't have to worry about putting chains on, which is a pain. I used to have a Jeep for that, now I will use my wife's SUV since I didn't get AWD on my 335. If you're not going into the mountains, then you may not need it. Having said that, if I thought I would have to drive on snow or ice, I would opt for AWD. It may or may not help, but I would rather have all the help I can get in those kinds of conditions. That's just me.
Once you figure out the AWD question, you need to decide what you like. If you want to be really comfortable for long trips, I would look at a Lexus ES350 or an Acura TL. The Audi A4 or the MB can be good choices too, although they're not as reliable for the long term. Try a 328xi also, but I think that is a fairly tight ride which you may not like. I personally find the seats with the sports package incredibly comfortable in the 328/335, but you will feel bumps on the road which may get annoying on long trips.
If you don't *love* any of these cars, save yourself some money and look at a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. They are perfectly good and comfortable cars that have everything you need and will do the job for you. If you're gonna pay $35K+ for a car, it better put a smile on your face every time you drive it. If it doesn't, there are plenty of cheaper cars that are quite good.