Last post on Nov 30, 2007 at 2:07 PM
You are in the Infiniti M35/M45
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M35, Sedan
#15 of 143 Re: Infiniti M35 vs BMW530 [sagarchr]
Jun 11, 2006 (8:01 pm)
CR report influenced me as well, but it wasn't only the prediction of greater reliability. In fact, when I read CR a second time, I saw (p. 14) that the survey was conducted in the spring of 2005. CR expects 2005 models to come out in the fall of 2004 and then CR will predict what we should expect from 2006 models (expected to arrive fall 2005) and not, therefore, survey-able in spring 2005. The M35 went on sale, I believe, in February 2005, so the 95% of of the owners of the M35 who reported having no problems during the survey period probably only had the cars for a few months. That's still relevant, but it's not the same as "first year" reliability.
I was more impressed that 92% of owners said they'd definitely buy or lease the M35/M45 again, while there was not a single BMW for which 80% (CR's loyalty cut-off) or more of owners said they'd buy it again. 73% of V8 5-series owners said they'd buy one again and only 69% of owners of 5-series cars with the fabled inline-6 said they'd buy it again. 7 out of 10 saying they'd repeat might sound good, but the baseline is 50%, that is, about 50% of owners of any new car claim they'd do it again and the median for luxury cars was 73% in the CR survey.
#16 of 143 Re: Infiniti M35 vs BMW530 [sfcharlie]
Jun 12, 2006 (10:21 am)
Great analysis, thanks for the additional info. Did you get yours yet? I am getting quotes (not even pushing) of 599.00 on a M35sport with Journey for 24 months. 2200. down. Have you tried Carmax to unload your BMW?
#17 of 143 Re: Infiniti M35 vs BMW530 [sagarchr] - Carmax
Jun 12, 2006 (12:46 pm)
What I did ... saw, on Edmunds that dealer has $4000 - $5000 profit to "play with". We agreed on a figure that was a bit over $3000 off MSRP. Then I asked if they'd just take the amount equal to the last three payments left on my BMW lease and pay it off for me. They not only did that, but also drove over with me to a nearby BMW dealer and walked me through (held my hand through) the turning in of the BMW. That amounted to about half of the $3000 off MSRP, so I really only got about $1700 or $1800 (I think -- don't have papers in front of me) off MSRP. I think the MSRP was $48,520 and the "selling price") what do they call it here ("Cap Cost"?) was really $46,800 (because about $1500 went to BMW -- I had reached the allotted miles and so would have incurred about $700 in excess mileage costs had I kept it).
Not "clever-auto-buyer-of-the-week" material for Financial Times, but felt OK to me and covered the emotional bases.
#18 of 143 Re: Driving Experience? BMW. Toys? Infiniti [sfcharlie]
Jun 12, 2006 (6:17 pm)
The very fact that the car's platform has evolved from the one used for G35/350Z/FX makes my point. In the BMW line-up, each series (3,5,7) gets its own platform. In the case of Infiniti the G35 and the M35/M45 share the same lineage. However the size of the cars is very different. It is hard to get it perfect both for the mid-size G and the full-size M on the same basic platform.
OTOH, the BMW 5 series (E60) and the 3 series (E90) have completely different chassis. They might share some of the electronics and other doo-dahs but the under the skin construction is unique to the car-class. That is where the "ground up" difference comes from.
If you are looking for a the best driving experience the BMW is the one to get. If you are looking for off-the line power, electrical doo-dahs, get the M. Frankly the M styling is very dated compared to the styling of the E60 which is now being copied by a number of manufacturers.
I also feel that the number of complaints about the initial quality of BMWs is exaggerated The recent J.D.Powers survey actually highlighted the fact that in the case of BMWs, a significant reason for lower initial quality was not real errors but users who were not sure how to use the product. Perhaps BMW over estimated the average intelligence of American drivers .
The iDrive interface requires some learning to get used to, but is quite intuitive after that. It is designed to be operated while the car is in motion, unlike the touch screen versions in various Japanese models which require you to bend forward (another reason why the BMW is a driver's car).
Finally BMW leases especially if you do European Delivery are very competitive. You also have to account for the free maintenance (everything but tires) which BMW includes. It is great to have Infiniti around to keep BMW honest. But at the end of the day, the BMW continues to be the ultimate driver's car.
#19 of 143 Re: Infinity M35 vs. BMW530 [jtimages]
Jun 12, 2006 (6:20 pm)
Well,finally made my decision.Picked up my M45 sport completely loaded.This car is a dream.Toys are awesome and so is drive.I`m totally happy with my decision.Got a great deal and look forward to driving every time I get in the car.
#20 of 143 Re: Driving Experience? BMW. Toys? Infiniti [vsaxena]
Jun 12, 2006 (10:09 pm)
vsaxena wrote: "I also feel that the number of complaints about the initial quality of BMWs is exaggerated The recent J.D.Powers survey actually highlighted the fact that in the case of BMWs, a significant reason for lower initial quality was not real errors but users who were not sure how to use the product. Perhaps BMW over estimated the average intelligence of American drivers"
JD Powers broke owners complaints into three categories: defects, malfunctions, and design. It's been assumed that iDrive design complaints account for BMW not appearing to offer higher level of initial quality. Breakdown I found doesn't support that defense of BMW:
That doesn't negate anyone's experience of BMW as providing the ultimate driving experience for them.
#21 of 143 Re: Driving Experience? BMW. Toys? Infiniti [sfcharlie]
Jun 12, 2006 (10:51 pm)
Actually your data reinforces what I had said earlier.
I am not sure how JD Power is distinguishing between Defects and Malfunctions. If you group these together the Infiniti score is 174 and BMW is 194. Though BMW is about 12% higher than Infiniti it is not a huge difference especially if you consider the "Made in Japan" factor.
The biggest issue is in design problems where at 82 versus 52, BMW is almost 60% higher! The design problems point to some feature which the user did not fully understand (iDrive) or found inadequate (cup holders). Hence my earlier statement about different expectations of US drivers when it comes to the simplicity of the interface.
BMW's first priority is the driving experience so any design trade-off tends to favor that. That means that an oddly placed window button or poor cup-holder, will be selected over the other design choices which might compromise the driving ergonomics.
This is not to say that BMW can not improve the other aspects of the design. I am glad that Infiniti is around to keep BMW honest. But if you really enjoy fine handling and balanced cars, it is tough go back once you go Bavarian .
#22 of 143 Re: Driving Experience? BMW. Toys? Infiniti [vsaxena]
Jun 13, 2006 (5:39 pm)
I totally agree with you on the fine handling and balance part, and if that is what is most important to you as a buyer then get yourself to the BMW dealer. If you have additional requirements, wishes, and are looking at the whole package, the M has it right now.
#23 of 143 Re: Driving Experience? BMW. Toys? Infiniti [vsaxena]
Jun 14, 2006 (6:38 am)
I'm not sure that breaking down the data from the JD Powers survey really has much to do with your main argument, which can stand on its own merits: BMW puts a great engine and transmission on a 50/50 balanced and great handling chassis. The driving experience is unique.
Even among those of us who enjoy fine handling and balanced cars, however, the difference in balance/handling between a BMW 530 and another LPS might either not be as subjectively experienced as you find it to be (there are simply individual differences in "subjects'" perception of difference between any A and B in any "experiment") or the whole driving experience (separate from design issues) of another LPS might excite someone more than a BMW does. Ironically, it's the same kind of argument you made about the JD Powers numbers. You look at two cars, see that one has 12% more manufacturing problems than the other (and that many U.S. drivers don't like the way things were designed to operate inside the cabin) and you say 12% more problems don't matter to me (why you would expect the countries of origin of two competing products to matter to a consumer who is reading about how often the product breaks down or malfunctions is not clear to me, but that aside…) while another consumer might say "gee, 12% more trips to the service dept; that bothers me."
Also, I've never been aware of a "U.S. drivers like the ways things work inside the car to be simple" while "European drivers like them complicated" dichotomy. The complexity of doing things while driving has only become a big issue since iDrive type controls appeared.
Jun 14, 2006 (12:19 pm)
"(why you would expect the countries of origin of two competing products to matter to a consumer who is reading about how often the product breaks down or malfunctions is not clear to me, but that aside…) "
I think our behavior is strongly influenced by the perception we have. A Japanese car is supposed to have bullet-proof reliability while a BMW is traditionally not considered as good. As a result, a person is more likely to accept a bug, as not a bug, on a Japanese car, since he/she is not expecting it to go wrong. OTOH, if the person goes in with the fear that the car might not be reliable, he/she is more likely to keep an eye open for bugs and report them. I personally expected that the difference between BMW and Infiniti to be a lot more than 12% (talk about perceptions!).
Another thing to keep in mind is that Lexus and Infiniti are primarily brands created for the US market. BMW on the other hand has a large market in Europe. As a result, Infiniti/Lexus designs will be more focussed on the US market, compared to BMW which has a global market in mind. This might explain some of the bias when it comes to design.
This is not to say that BMW could not have done a better job with the iDrive based system. However, for me, the design issues are not a factor, since I am computer literate and do not mind spending half an hour to understand how the car works. For my wife though, the lack of proper cup-holders is a major negative!
12% difference in reliability is not worth it for me to give up on the Bimmer since the design issues are not a factor in my decision. Throw in the aggressive BMW leases ($450-$500 a month on an European Delivery on a $55K 530), easily swings it for me; the free maintenance is a bonus.