Last post on Nov 30, 2007 at 1:07 PM
You are in the Infiniti M35/M45
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M35, Sedan
#48 of 143 Re: Agreed [vsaxena]
Jun 19, 2006 (9:33 pm)
I find you all over the place in your somewhat, as you say, fanatic arguing.
As with aesthetic preferences, I don't think any one of us could argue with another saying "I bought the LPS with lease terms that worked for me financially. It was a key factor for me. Right now, if I go the BMW wesbite and construct a 2007 525i (which is a 215 hp car) that totals $50,670, tell the website I live in California, and ask the monthly payment on a 24 month, 15k mile-per-year lease, I'm told it will cost $891, with no money down. If you were offered that exact lease on a 2006 525i last year with tax in California, that's a great lease. If getting that lease requires that everyone take European delivery, itís possible that requirement would eliminate as many potential buyers as a higher monthly payment would.
A discussion of the merits of European Delivery leases seems to me to a very specific argument. The BMW website indicates a savings of $3,045 off MSRP for European delivery on a 2005 525i. When the Edmunds team did a test run of BMW ED purchase of a 3-series, their original savings of $3,000 was reduced to $1800 by cost of plane and hotel. Not sure how that guarantees cutting the advertised BMW lease price by almost half, but if you got 15k/yr for 24 months, with no money down, you personally got a deal that I'm pessimistic I could get here (after call to dealer from whom I previously leased a 325i). Another detail is that leases on ED start 14 days prior to pick up. BMW pays the second month of the lease. Transit time is dependent on your location. Buyers on the east coast usually get their cars within 6 weeks. West coast can take up to 10 weeks. Further, Edmunds, in its article on ED BMW purchase (which is quite favorable to the idea) cautions that "The unique set of circumstances surrounding European Delivery makes it particularly suited for bargain hunters. Perhaps for that reason, we found that not all BMW dealers in our area were motivated to sell us a car through the European Delivery program. After some searching, however, we found a Los Angeles-area dealer who was willing to sell us the car for $750 over the European Delivery wholesale price plus destination charge."
On a very different level of argument, you assert: " On the straights many other cars on the road would gradually pull ahead (no race here but just during cruising). However NONE of them could keep the same speed on the curves. The bimmer feels nice, secure and tied to the road on the curves; as if it is on rails. The car encouraged me to push down on the pedal during the turns. Other cars on the other hand have never inspired this level of confidence during cornering." While it's reassuring that you were not racing, it's difficult to assess your all-caps assertion that no other car could keep up with you on the curves. Similarly, while no other car you have driven has inspired you to accelerate through curves, it's not any more clear what relevance that would have for others (who, I am sure, have accelerated their M35 or Audi A6 through similar curves). Itís just you saying that you love driving that car, but using a style of rhetoric that makes it seem as if we're being presented a scientific fact.
Again, on a completely different level of argument, you make the claim that only a car platform designed specifically for that model (and not a modified version of a platform built for another model) can produce the best possible driving experience. The M35/M45 uses an enhanced, ďnext generationĒ FM (Front Mid-ship) platform with 60 percent of the platform design and components enhanced for use with the M. Does every BMW have platform designed specifically for it? As one example, in late 2003, the 6-Series was reborn. It was derived from the 5-Series platform and components. Is the 6-series inherently flawed, as a result? Every year Canadian journalists gather to test all cars in one long event. In "steering" they rated the BMW 5 an 8.3 and the Infiniti M an 8.1. In handling, they rated the Infiniti over the BMW by 8.2 to 8.0. No real difference due to BMW having been built "from ground up."
#49 of 143 Re: The M's lower price was a negative for me. [pete_l_p]
Jun 20, 2006 (4:58 am)
Here, from the (relatively) new online magazine, Winding Road, is a sentiment/opinion similar to what are are suggesting: someone might actually drive a BMW and not find it to be the most engaging drive of their lives. That wouldn't mean that they don't understand automotive engineering or that they cannot distinguish a great handling/steering car from a just-good-enough one:
"We came into this comparison with
the sense that the 350Z was a singleminded
sports car that would be great
on tight back roads and slightly out of
place everywhere else. In contrast,
we thought the 650i would epitomize
GT balance: pleasant in town, enjoyable
in the curves, and dominating on
long highway runs. In the humbling
real world of science, the 650i is more
like the coupe version of a powerful
luxury sedan: fast, quiet, well-mannered,
but not too involving. And the
350Z is about a close to the driverís
Swiss Army knife as weíve found."
The BMW 5-series, the M35/M45 and the Audi A6, in this category of LPS cars, all took highway and backroad curves, when I test drove them, as well as I need a car to do in oredr to have maximum fun driving it. I couldn't budge any of them off-track. I drove a 325i every day for two years. It is generally reported to be even more quintessentially BMW than the 5 but kids in TSX's passed me on curves, even when I was taking them as fast as I can take them, If someone else on the forum can drive these cars around curves better than anyone else they have been on any road with, I admire that skill, but I don't know anyone who has driven any car for two years (including Porsches) and claims never to have been passed by anyone on a curve.
#50 of 143 Strong Responses are Good!
Jun 20, 2006 (6:37 am)
Camera vs PDC: A camera is cool. But you should be looking over the shoulder when you are reversing not looking at the screen. This is basic driving 101. The issue is not of the coolness factor or how nice it looks but a fundamental rule. American in general receive very poor drivers education, so I am not surprised that not looking back when in Reverse is fine with some folks. . To each its own, but it again brings the focus down towards a driver oriented design approach.
From the engineering perspective adding a camera is no big deal. The path shown by Infinit is nice but again nothing extra-ordinary from the engineering point of view. Your traction control/DSC/Airbag sensors and other dynamic safety systems are doing the same calculations all the time. I have not used the system, but your projected path is going to change as you turn the steering while moving. So you have to keep looking back at the screen? I am sure there are places where the guidlelines and the picture help, especially the infra-red picture which allows you to see in the dark. But racing on a dark driveway in reverse, is not my idea of safe driving.
And what about the front and the side of the cars where a camera is not present but the PDC cues you on? This feature is a life-saver for us since it allows us to park a 745Li and a 525 in the typical small Bay Area 2 car garage.
Regarding the platforms: What is the difference between the size of a 5 series and the 6 series? And how does it compare to the difference size of a mid-sized sedan (G35), an SUV(FX) and the M? And the official BMW line is that BMW does not share platforms. If you feel that a mid-sized car and a full-sized car can share the same platform and each be tuned, good luck.
Comparing 350Z to 6 series: You have to be really desperate to to quote a comparison between these two cars. These cars are in completely different class. You need to compare a 350Z with a Z4. And having shopped for a Z4 (multiple cars in the family) and test driven a 350Z multiple times before buying the Z4s, the cars display the inherent differences in BMW vs Nissan quite well. According to my brother's company's CEO who had a 350Z Convertible, "I did not know I could have a Z4 at the same price", after he drove my brother's Z4.
ED: If you plan well an ED can be easily be done for less than $1000. Plane tickets on off-peaks season (Nov-April) are $500-700 from the West Coast. 4 Star Munich Hotels in the off season are $60 on Priceline. You need one day off (President's day anyone) and can be back after a two night's trip and well under $1000 spent. If you are in a business trip to Europe, you can easily combine the two. You do pay for 23 months for driving the car for 21.5, but that is a 7% difference and not a 50% difference (comparing our leases). There is the $1000 BMW CCA rebate check I get for my efforts which I just deposited. Of course, if you want to have a real vacation you can also have one. The BMW Lufthanse 2 for 1 deal is great for peak periods, especially if you fly via London on United Metal.
And ED deals are cool ($1000-$1500) over ED invoice (which is 7% less than US invoice), since the car does not come out of dealer's allocation. It is a bonus sale for them. People I know do EDs at $500 over ED invoice which is almost a 13% savings over US MSRP. And to top it all off, the window sticker has your name on it since the car was specifically imported for you.
And redelivery time is typically less than 6 weeks on the East Coast and 8 weeks on West Coast. The only time cars get delayed longer is when there is some damage to the car which has to be fixed (BMW makes the car new again at their insurance even if there is an accident, a dent etc.). Get your number corrects mate and go to bimmerfest ED forums to check stuff out.
Cornering: Just because a TSX passed you does not take anything away from the Bimmer. The TSX driver might be a better driver than you are. The point was that having driven the same route in many different cars, the confidence which the Bimmer inspired on the high-speed curvy driving was amazing. It showed up in the fact that I was very comfortable pushing the car more, and as a result pulling ahead of everyone. There was no race, but while the other cars naturally slow down, the Bimmer begs for more. The twisties of course are even better
sfcharlie: I can appreciate the difference between the driving characteristics of an Audi and a BMW. They are similar but not the same. Audi has excellent interiors, but the Bimmer driving experience is better to me. Maybe you can not appreciate the difference. Again to each their own. I am just glad we are lucky enough to have these choices.
#51 of 143 Re: Strong Responses are Good! [vsaxena]
Jun 20, 2006 (8:23 am)
The only thing I object to in your style of discussion is highlighted in your "Maybe you can not appreciate the difference." I don't think you realize that you subtly cross over a line in a way not typical for these discussions by implying that the only way someone could end up not agreeing with you is to somehow wrong-headedly miss "the" point.
Example: cornering ... we are not saying anything different ... of course, you and others who have passed me on corners in my BMW 325i might have been better drivers. The issue is that you mix in together your feeling inspired, your never having been passed by any non-Bimmer on a curve, and the conclusion that no well-driven bimmer could be passed by another type of car in its category on a curve.
ED: Maybe I'm the only one on this forum who isn't going to hop a plane to Munich to get my next car, but I'm not. I'm guessing that most people looking to lease a new LPS aren't going to do that either. You appear to insist that since it can be done at some savings, everyone in their right mind will do. My facts simply came off the Edmunds site discussion of their experience ED purchase of a BMW.
I believe this discussion has come down to two points: (1) You assert that there is no more financially sensible LPS lease than a BMW ED. Your logic leads you from there to: "the BMW ED lease is the best buy out there; so BMW wins on the $$$ side over all other LPS cars avaialble for lease." Case closed. (2) You have established beyond any further discussion that a combination of BMW's not sharing platforms and your personal driving experiences adds up to irrefutable evidence, applicable to everyone, that anyone driving an M35 is depriving themselves of your confident and self-assured cornering.
#52 of 143 Cool Down...
Jun 20, 2006 (9:38 am)
I did not like the tone of your last message. You are the one who was comparing a 350Z to a 6 series not me!
You are deriving conclusions from statements when none are intended. Are you a lawyer?
You bought up that the TSX passed you. I mentioned that the TSX guy might be a more aggressive/better driver. I clarified, that Bimmer inspires you to really enjoy the curves by giving you the kind of feedback and precise steering control which very few other automobiles provide. As a result the driving experience on a road which has been travelled before was much better and enjoyable. A fact highlighted that other vehicles were consistently not able to keep up, though on the straights they would be keeping up or creeping ahead. You yourself have referred to that feeling.
I am surprised that you can construe this as a basis for "irrefutable evidence"? Most of the posts about the handling of the M are generic and not at all specific. No one is talking about why and where the handling is better or getting into specifics.
I bring up the point about savings on an ED since a number of people bring up the "value" of an Infiniti factor. I debunked that hypothesis, that there can be a lot of "value" in owning a bimmer, if saving money is an issue.
And most people who do ED, do it not only because it is cheaper but it is also an adventure. A significant number of folks combine it with a driving vacation through Europe with no rental car expense (check out how much an automatic rental costs in Europe?). People who enjoy driving, love the Autobahns when they can legally take their car to 100mph (and still be under break-in guidelines). People who really love aggressive driving actually take their car to famous "Ring". I know people (married, older people) who spend weeks perfecting the Ring on their video games just to able to drive it well. There is a lot more to ED then just the savings.
Of course if all these things do not appeal to you, the $3K net savings can be a good incentive to make the overnight trip and earn enough miles for a free US trip (or to qualify for Elite status next year). Flights are empty during the off-season and it is easy to find multiple seats to slumber.
A lot of people, even those who buy LPS, would do ED, if it was well publicized. Currently it is well-kept secret, known more to the faithful. Even if you are not doing an ED, BMW lease programs will typically put you in a 530 for around $600-$700 without much hassle; very competitive with the M35.
PDC vs Camera Another big problem with the camera based system is that you are likely to miss any traffic coming from the sides if you focus on the camera and do not look back. The camera is not going to save you since the car coming from the side will be outside its field of view. On the other hand, if you are looking over the shoulder you are much more likely to see the oncoming vehicle.
#53 of 143 Re: Cool Down... [vsaxena]
Jun 20, 2006 (10:08 am)
I agree with your caveat. I actually donít feel we co-created some good, helpful discussion, rather things have gotten overly contentious in a way that feels silly to me now. I regret my contribution to it.
Whatís potentially helpful (in my view) in your post is that you might make some buyers aware of a lease option, the benefits of which they donít know. This forum appears to be a remote Edmunds outpost and a better place to alert people would seem to be the Infiniti M35 lease forum and the BMW lease forum. Some people struggling there with the choice (and on the LPS forum) might find your ED lease info to be the fact that allows them to make a non-angst-ridden choice of the BMW as their next car. I know that, for a variety of reasons, none of which might be relevant to anyone else reading these posts, that I would not participate in the ED program even if I thought it would save me $200 a month for two years.
The separate reply to Pete about the 350Z was not intended as part of a reply to you. It was, I thin, in retrospect, an attempt (he might not need or welcome it) to encourage him not to let you make him feel bad about his having made a different choice than you. Perhaps a radical misinterpretation, but I do experience you as intending to (or, if not intending to, then inadvertently making your points in a style that might) make others feel bad about not having made the same exact choice as you. That, I believe, heated me up, in a way I now regret, and it might have been an idiosyncratic reaction to the way you make your arguments and not all a good catch of any intention of your nor of anyone elseís take on how your posts come across.
The reference to the Canadian annual best car awards. Itís a unique event, as I understand it, Automotive journalists and car enthusiasts gather. The journalists drive all the cars. Then they rate them. My point was that they reported experiencing scant difference in steering and handling, giving the nod to BMW on one and M35 on the other. So, I thought you would accept, but it seems not, that some people who drive all these cars might not agree with you that the experience of cornering a BMW is experientially so much better than taking any other car around a curve that only the uninitiated (I fully expected you to attribute my not appreciating the difference to a flaw in me) would not experience it and agree thatís itís a fact beyond discussion.
#54 of 143 Re: Cool Down... [sfcharlie]
Jun 20, 2006 (10:52 am)
There is a separate ED forum out there in the BMW boards. The ED article would also have raised awareness.
Different people look at different things. I wandered into a BMW showroom in 2003 (after being frustrated in trying to buy a house), and realized that there is a definite difference. I bought a car within a week, after the Edmunds TCO showed that the per-mile ownership cost of a 2003 525 was just 10% more than a Nissan Maxima
Since then I have bought (leased) three other BMWs. I test drove many other cars but felt that there is really something unique about them which made me go back. Then I discovered European Delivery and BMW CCA and realized that I could drive a $51.7K car at the cost of an Accord EX V6 . Of course the value aspect adds to the ownership experience. But the biggest reason always is the grin which the balance between the drive-train and steering most bimmers give.
I am sure M is a great car, but it does not seem to have the kind of following of people who would like to go into more details of the car, not just numeric like the skid-pack G ratings but the emotional/experience aspect of it.
Both my car leases are going to be up in two years. We have a growing family and I am afraid I might have to enter the mini-van heaven/hell. Any thoughts on how to make it fun?
#55 of 143 Re: Cool Down... [vsaxena]
Jun 20, 2006 (1:04 pm)
I really appreciate your last post. Thanks.
What you share there is something I experienced (still do) with BMW versus Infiniti. I am a fan of BMW (subscribe to the in-house magazine, read the book on the company's history) and when I owned one, I felt I was a part of a central piece of automotive history.
Audi has the same appeal, for any of us for whom that's appealing.
And, personally, when I drive and Audi or BMW, I know what "German feel for the road" means.
My own reaction to the M35 took me a bit by surprise -- "Oh, that's different, unique, not less than, but not the same or better. I want to try that." Still have some buyers remorse about the Audi, but in two years, if that's how I feel ...
Nonetheless, excitement and emotional investment in the unique total experience of the M35 runs high, so feelings can too.
#56 of 143 Re: Cool Down... [vsaxena]
Jun 20, 2006 (1:26 pm)
We have a growing family and I am afraid I might have to enter the mini-van heaven/hell. Any thoughts on how to make it fun?
If it makes you feel any better, I have two kids who are now 17 and 14. They grew up in the back seat of my ES 300, and now enjoy riding in my 530i (ain't no WAY they're driving it!!!). My point is that I never once felt the need to go the minivan route--there always was sufficient space for them and their paraphernalia--and the cars are safer into the bargain. Safe, roomy, a blast to drive...what's not to love?
#57 of 143 Re: Cool Down... [vsaxena]
Jun 20, 2006 (1:40 pm)
The camera is not going to save you since the car coming from the side will be outside its field of view. On the other hand, if you are looking over the shoulder you are much more likely to see the oncoming vehicle.
Ummm...I have no opinion on camera vs PDC, but I can tell you that looking over your shoulder is no guarantee that you will see traffic coming from the side. Last week I was broadsided while I was backing into a driveway. I was looking over my left shoulder in the direction I was going, and the moron coming down the street plowed into my passenger side. I don't see how either of these toys would have prevented this, but looking didn't help either. I wonder whether, if I had been looking forward at a screen, I might have seen the car out of the corner of my eye...but I really don't think it would have mattered, because he never stopped until he hit me. Some things just cannot be prevented by technology.