Originally Posted by TheRox
I want to test drive the M3...and I think given my tendencies...I would feel the following about it:
1. Its suspension and steering should and probably would be way more taught and responsive than the sluggish 335 xdrive i have
2. no turbo lag...i completely dislike turbo engines...they are not a pure driving experience (from all my reading, the GT3 seems like my kind of thing)...I like pure, connectedness...no turbo, no clutch delay valve...direct connection to the road
--overall I think i'd love that car...I don't need much torque down low in the city, i don't mind downshifting....i like turbo's torque on the highway though...but V8 should be able to deliver that even if naturally aspirated.
1. V-8: inline 6 is smoother and more balanced...I think I would like the engine on the old m3
2. none...maybe the ride is harsh in some areas, but you can't win them all
Yea those test drives, esp of the upper luxury segments vehicles (the BMW and Benz were actually requested, with the S550 being taken out of the showroom)...these were not for me, but for family purchase.
Panamera obviously won out and is being ordered.
also test drove and didn't include (some of these were a summer ago, some this summer);
bmw X5 lci - I don't do SUVs, which is why i didin't include it in my last post. I threw it around a corner, it handles it well...but its an SUV...I can't comment anymore...it was big, like a boat, with little road feel.
Lexus LS 460 - Test driven this car 4 or 5 times!!! Amazing car for reliability and it completely isolates you from the road; not my thing, but if you want to cruise like an S class...this is the ultimate S class copycat (typical Japanese) -- it is 90% of what the S class is minus the class, panache and sense of occasion. No road presence either.
For this money, you're better off with an S550; still I respect the LS 460 for what it is, and its reliability for those who can't afford to keep an S550 running for 10 years
Lexus GS 350 AWD - This isn't a bad car...somehow its just out of place; its not as good as a 5-series bmw...and i'm not sure about its reliability; again, it has that lexus ZERO road presence....so its a decent car, handles quite well for a japanese car; it is still disconnected from the road; has beautiful engine and good brakes that I tested thoroughly on the 401 in Toronto -- just feels out of place, not sure why you'd buy one with the 5 series right there
Audi S4 - HOnestly, the badge is cheap...its a VW. As a car, its not the driver's car BMW is...but is the next best thing, good supercharged engine (and I dislike forced induction), I drove the autobox. Looks bland, audis will always be out of style (except R8) in a few years....they simply don't have much road presence. Overall, if you have BMW, why buy Audi? Plus their reliability is horrible.
Above all -- the S4's steering was horrible, it really did lack feel, that is probably the biggest complaint relative to BMW
interior - i dislike depressing hues of grey and black, so I wasn't pleased...I prefer BMW's browns and beige
Audi A4 - This is complete rubbish; laggy 4 cylinder engine, cheap feeling interior with thin metal doors....it was really really really bad; I mean for this money, get a C class or 3 series with AWD for the winter states. A4 is really pathetic piece of automotive engineering. Really does feel like a cheap VW. Plus no road presence. I will concede it does draw that halfway point between BMW and Mercedes when it comes to driver involvement/luxury; it cushions you a bit, but does give you some road feedback -- I guess this is why AUdi sells...its a halfway point between BMW and Mercedes, and that is fair.
BMW 3 series 328i 6mt - one of the BEST cars I have EVER driven. period. Not sure why I got the 335 over this...I guess I wanted the power the 328 couldn't give me...but the 328 is much more PURE driving experience with 6mt...no turbo lag, and that means SO much!
Also my greatest test drive, the guy I was with was about to leave the dealership (I didn't know this)...so I blasted the car around the city -- I drove it like I stole it and he said it was the best test drive he'd ever been on.
He left the dealership the next week or something like that.
mazda 3 - economy car, nice steering. that is all.
honda civic - not what they used to be, big and bulky, slow 4 cyl engine
honda accord - nothing like the 1992 beauty I had; now they are fat, slow and unrepsonsive...they used to shoot out of the blocks b/c they were featherweight
Infiniti G37 coupe 6mt and AT - AT was useless. The 6 MT was damn fun!!! It felt like a track car, so raw...so raw...so raw, it gave my passenger a headache by the time I was finished blasting around the city on the test drive. The shifting wasn't so bad, handling very sharp....but here is the key: its not a LUXURY car...the G37 is a PERFORMANCE car...it simply isn't refined and I cannot live with it day to day...I need luxury.
Dynamically though, very very sound car. Engine was good...I prefer naturally aspirated because its purer, so I'm gonna say it was a very good engine.
Mercedes Benz E-Class coupe - Based on the current C class platform (not the new E); it was rubbish; but DAMNNNNN luxurious...not a timeless style either on the outside; insulated ride; old engine, but powerful, naturally aspirated meant it was responsive
not a bad car...for those looking for more insulation, its actually quite nice with great status and presence
Mercedes C350 4matic - honestly BEnz (S class aside) is not my thing; but for entry level luxury, C class isn't bad for the driver who wants to be isolated. Engine is decent, though old; it is isolated from teh road; but i assume the buyer wants that; has tons of creature comfort
one thing -- please don't get this car in the depressing black colour scheme...feel like slitting your wrist moment you get in; still best interior in class and looks nice
not a driver's car in any way
Problem with C class: A benz this small is just a joke...we have the B-class here in Canada...somehow a small Mercedes-Benz just doesn't compute...it looks like you cheaped out and couldn't afford the E (which is an inferior car) or the S (which is the best large luxury sedan in the world)
Lexus IS 250 manual 6mt - this was the biggest joke of them all...decent japanese toy-like interior; but the ride, pathetic - weight balance is NOT 50/50, the rear end was swaying on the highway; the gear shift was pathetic, with the bite too high and the shifts insulated
steering lacked road feel and the car had no power.
looks kinda cute though in a girly way
not a fan...lexus truly are copycats, and copycats only get so far.
Lexus ES350 - pathetic car based on the camry platform; steering was so poor you could turn a little left and right, and the car still tracks straight. really bad car for that kind of cash.
Lexus RX 350 new model - again, not an SUV person. Seemed kinda soft on the inside; I really don't know what to say. Handling was better than the ES 350, even though they are both based on camry's platform...but thast it. I'm sure a Mercedes SUV could do better.
BMW 525i 6 MT - YES I drove a 5 series 525 with manual! It was off lease. It was...kinda fun, beautiful naturally aspirated engine...but not enough power, I got smoked by some north american boat on the test drive...still not bad. Interior nothing great, dynamically pretty decent, but not as good as the 3 series.
I can't remember my other test drives. I did a lot of these while looking for my car (ended up with 335xi 6mt) and for family car, some like mustang where just for fun.
Overall most memorable cars I ever driven, in order:
1. Porsche carerra 911 - Just wow...wasn't even the S variant, powertrain is so strong; the connection to the road is so true; this is the next step as driver; I recommend everyone test drive a 911!
2. Porsche Panamera 4S and 4 - Wow...not as WOW as the 911, but a little close. The steering the steering the steering...the handling of this car is beyond words for something with 4 doors! And two engines are naturally aspirated...which seems to be going the way of the dodo.
Those who understand Porsche, know that Porsche is not about power but about handling...it is about driving finesse. You don't need to be going fast to enjoy a Porsche (or a BMW, which is considered entry level Porsche). And that handling is on display with this 4 door Panamera.
2. BMW 328i/335i - 328 with its naturally aspirated engine and 6MT and RWD still stands out as a pure car; very pure driving experience; 335i was good too, I have one...not as pure, but nice power and torque.
1. Mercedes S class -- you are the king in this!
2. Lexus LS -- not a bad car if it cost 1/2 its asking price; it is simply a copycat car, and doesn't do everything the S class, doesn't have a sense of occasion; but you could do a million miles in this while listening to music. This car is very very easy to drive. Despite the isolation, the copycat pretensions, and the lack of presence and panache...there is something attractive and soothing about this thing.