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Aug 20, 2012 (1:07 pm)
4,000 lb Mercedes SL or a 4,300 lb 650i. It's one thing for an SUV to weigh 2+ tons, it's completely inexcusable for a 2 seater or 2+2 to be that fat.
Jeez, aint THAT the truth? I couldn't agree more.
My sister's X5 is a 2012 xdrive35D, yes, the diesel. I understand that for 2013 they will no longer offer the diesel - thought that was weird.
I didn't realize yours was exactly the same as the one I have so much seat time in, but I put this in the category of different strokes for different folks. I rent big vehicles like this when I need to use one (which is less than 1-2 times per year) and own vehicles with a "fun" character to drive the rest of the time.
Obviously those with a boat to tow will not be able to apply the same criteria to their car purchases....
Aug 20, 2012 (2:51 pm)
It's the high center of gravity that is the nemesis of SUVs. No matter how well they corner, with so much weight up high you are much more prone to rolling it. It's really hard to flip a Miata.
Part of the problem is those sticky tires.
re: OFF ROAD---actually I'm wondering if a very low-geared automatic might not be better for crawling downhill (no chance of a stall, I mean)
Aug 20, 2012 (3:03 pm)
Not much chance of stalling a manual downhill - maybe uphill.
Aug 20, 2012 (3:04 pm)
Oh I know what you're saying but I was thinking of having to hit the brakes quickly on a downhill, or when you have to brake/gas...brake/gas, just inching your way over something downhill.
#9298 of 9932 Re: - [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 20, 2012 (3:28 pm)
It's really hard to flip a Miata.
It would be even harder to flip a Tesla Model S. And if Porsche doesn't get their new Cayman out of the laboratory soon, my number (6,700) for the Model S may get called first.
As for the SUV center of gravity thing, I'm sure I don't need to give you a lesson in physics, but its all related to CoG height, wheelbase and track that creates the angular pivot point (and stability). Our old Isuzu Trooper (5 speed manual, BTW), could probably have been tipped over by my daughter sticking her sippy cup too far out the window. But the Cayenne and X5 have managed to push the wheels out to the corners and a lot of their bulk is low in the chassis. on the other hand a Lexus GX is barely better than the Trooper and nothing made by Range Rover should be driven around a tight corner. I tested everything and within the SUV segment, the driving experiences can be night an day.
BTW, my former boss bought one of the first Miata's sold in America. He never tipped it over, but did lose it into a ditch after hitting a rogue puddle and hydroplaning. They had a different stability problem, at least in that early 1st generation with something like 13" wheels.
#9299 of 9932 Re: - [nippononly]
Aug 20, 2012 (3:40 pm)
I understand that for 2013 they will no longer offer the diesel - thought that was weird.
I had not heard that. I was shown an ordering form that indicated the 2012 X5D would be produced until 11/2012 (vs. the gas 2013 models which started shipping in July). From what I've read, BMW is going to be unveiling a new line up of clean diesels at the LA auto show. Sounded like there is going to be at least one, if not two, X5 diesels in 2013. Of the diesels I drove - ML350 Bluetech, Audi Q7 TDI, Touareg TDI, and Cayenne - the X5 felt the most responsive. It would be weird indeed if they discontinued it, now that they are finally catching on in the states.
Aug 20, 2012 (7:58 pm)
I tested everything and within the SUV segment, the driving experiences can be night an day
My sister said the same thing, and she also tested everything in the segment with three rows. The BMW is head and shoulders above the rest for handling. Makes me wonder just how horrific driving a GX350 or an ML350 really is....
....but not enough to test drive them - they don't offer a manual transmission after all!
#9301 of 9932 Re: - [nippononly]
Aug 21, 2012 (4:05 am)
Interesting that your sister ended up with the X5, given the 3-row requirement. I think about 1 in 100 on the lots has the third row option and, unless we are talking very small pre-teens, it's on Obama's hit list for his anti-torture policy. We decided to keep our MDX, pass it down to our 17 year old daughter and stick with the two row version of the X5. My 14 year old daughter claimed my former 911 had a bigger back seat than the X5's 3rd row, but she grew a few inches in the 16 months since I sold it.
The new ML isn't BMW quality steering and handling, but not nearly as bad as the Lexus GX. The Lexus LX was not test driven as it is way too feminine for my tastes. Only missing a flower vase on the dash.
In checking out varous Porsche dealer websites, I am surprised that there are even more Cayenne V6 6-speed manuals popping up here and there. A least 3-4 within 300 miles of DC. I think Porsche's redesign of the Cayenne, in which it became much better looking, slightly bigger interior, shed 400+ pounds, etc. has made it the SUV of choice for someone that might consider rowing their own. It weighs nearly 900 lbs less than the X5 and over 1,300 lbs less than the Audi Q7. Audi, in spite of what others have claimed, is both a car and SUV fatso, still. No excuse for an A6 to weigh 4,000+ lbs.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of city/highway gas mileage does your sister's diesel actually get?
Aug 21, 2012 (6:10 am)
Sure, SUV designers have learned a lot from their mistakes (and their lawsuits) about stability and handling. It's not really the SUV part that makes me decline a manual transmission in a particular car---I just don't like rowing big vehicles around with a gearshift lever. Besides, any kind of luxury vehicle with a manual transmission probably retards its resale value these days.
#9303 of 9932 Re: - [habitat1]
Aug 21, 2012 (8:40 am)
early 1st generation with something like 13" wheels
14s actually, and very light at that. The BBS optional ones weighed something like 8.9 lbs per one web site.
Almost no unsprung weight for the suspension to fight with, just like the Elan that inspired it.
Tires were 185/60HR14, not exactly the stickiest stuff in the world.