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      04-14-2014, 09:55 PM   #1
newoldbeemer
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Are all SUVs like this?

.. or is it just me?

After a long time I drove an SUV this weekend - a friend's Audi Q5 - about 200 miles, and it reminded me of the same thoughts I had when I drove other SUVs before.

I've only driven two other SUVs before, on long-ish drives (> 100 miles). Those were a Ford Explorer and a GMC Acadia. On both occassions, I felt very unsafe / unstable driving those cars. I had this constant feeling that the car would topple or go out of control. I couldn't get used to such a high riding position or rather, high center of gravity. The body roll in the corners and the scary lean when taking corners without braking would unnerve me (I'm not referring to turns, I'm talking curves on the highway here). That was sometime back, I had just chalked it up to those cars being Ford and GMC.

But the one I drove this weekend was an Audi Q5 - a car I guess people consider to have relatively "sporty" handling. Well I couldn't call it "sporty" at all! Coming from an F30 (an E90 before that and a Mazda 3 before that), I guess it could be just me being too used to cars that handle well.

So I'm wondering, is my driving style too adjusted to cars that handle well? Is my judgment of SUVs correct, or am I just driving them wrong (i.e they need to be driven in a different way)? Or is it just a question of getting used to the sitting height and "trusting" the car to rise to the occasion?

I am not new to driving, I have like 50k miles and five years but every time we go on a long trip in an SUV, it is just scary. My lane changes are slower and more careful, the way I take on-ramps and exits is different, even my passing is different. Sudden braking is scary too on these cars.

So... is this more about SUVs in general, or is this about me?

Are the BMW SUVs any different? I haven't driven any, except for a short X1 test drive.
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      04-14-2014, 10:01 PM   #2
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SUVs have a higher center of gravity. Thus, they're more susceptible to body roll. Furthermore, they tend to be heavier than sedans and coupes. This will also make them feel a bit more sluggish (and will require additional time to stop from 60-0, unless the SUV happens to be equipped with massive rotors and calipers).

Finally, most SUVs tend to have either AWD or 4WD. The additional drivetrain equipment can make them prone to understeer (which is not a sporty or pleasant characteristic).

Get behind the wheel of a Cayenne Turbo or the new Macan and I bet you'll have fun.
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      04-14-2014, 10:07 PM   #3
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Go Drive a Macan. It'll completely change the way you think about SUV's.
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      04-14-2014, 10:31 PM   #4
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^This

My buddies SQ5 is fun to drive as well.
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      04-15-2014, 07:03 AM   #5
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It's the same reason my wife feels like she's driving a go cart when she gets into my S4 from her Grand Cherokee. As others have said, the high center of gravity doesn't help.

What I will say is that many SUVs offer a sports package which often greatly improves handling. Our former FX35 sat on a stretched 350Z platform and with the 20" wheels and sport suspension handled better than the 135i I had at the time.
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      04-15-2014, 07:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
What I will say is that many SUVs offer a sports package which often greatly improves handling. Our former FX35 sat on a stretched 350Z platform and with the 20" wheels and sport suspension handled better than the 135i I had at the time.
I was just going to recommend the FX35! The salesman dared my wife to take a hard turn in it and it scared the shit outta me. I had no idea the lil woman had that balls like that. I left very impressed with the handling of the car despite the higher COG than a car.
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      04-15-2014, 07:53 AM   #7
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Yeah I knew someone who owned an FX35 (current gen) and I've driven it.

It just felt like a heavier, slightly taller version of my car at the time (G sedan, as mentioned both cars are based off the 370Z's FM Platform) so it was pretty easy and fun to drive.
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      04-15-2014, 07:19 PM   #8
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I drive a Q7 till my toy arrives here, and I think I'm qualified by now to write a review, so here you are.

I come from a country, where the actually sell French vehicles, and therefore I can say with confidence that I know what a piece of shit feels like while driving it. Still, I would say Audi has topped that. The fact that it tries to be sporty, 330 hp's and supercharged just makes it feel like a last horraa before the grave time is here.

It doesn't handle badly as my car histories best specimens, and it doesn't break down, but the will to live is of at the moment one has to walk near it. I would not list the body roll as the worst I've witnessed, but the fact that that is 85 k worth of engineering, it would be nice to have some feed back from the road.

Taking it off road is of course suicide, the quattro means in English apparently that it can be driven if a leaf is on the road, but even then it's not recommended. The steering feel is fine, but i would appreciate if instead of a feel, the steering would also be fine, ours just seems to have a sat nav and a cup holder, and a seat, and my input is that I start it. Great!

When we first moved here, agency rented us Dodge something awful, and then a Ford something worse. Due our dogs and kids, 7 seats is a must, but we still do not fit the minivan type, since the lovely husband doesn't want one, and there is no way I will drive one.

As a way to think back your choices in the world, the Q7 works like a dream. Every mile you drive, you drive only because the alternative is starving to death cause mum didn't go shopping for groceries. Every day you hope it was just a bad dream,, and now our garage is clean again.

The only person I have witnessed driving one of these with a smile on their faces is my dear old spouse, and I think that was just because he was trying to aim at our Jack Russell. Then again, he is a freak show when it comes to vehicles, and I have not witnessed him speeding ones in the entire time we have been together.
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      04-15-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lups View Post
I drive a Q7 till my toy arrives here, and I think I'm qualified by now to write a review, so here you are.

I come from a country, where the actually sell French vehicles, and therefore I can say with confidence that I know what a piece of shit feels like while driving it. Still, I would say Audi has topped that. The fact that it tries to be sporty, 330 hp's and supercharged just makes it feel like a last horraa before the grave time is here.

It doesn't handle badly as my car histories best specimens, and it doesn't break down, but the will to live is of at the moment one has to walk near it. I would not list the body roll as the worst I've witnessed, but the fact that that is 85 k worth of engineering, it would be nice to have some feed back from the road.

Taking it off road is of course suicide, the quattro means in English apparently that it can be driven if a leaf is on the road, but even then it's not recommended. The steering feel is fine, but i would appreciate if instead of a feel, the steering would also be fine, ours just seems to have a sat nav and a cup holder, and a seat, and my input is that I start it. Great!

When we first moved here, agency rented us Dodge something awful, and then a Ford something worse. Due our dogs and kids, 7 seats is a must, but we still do not fit the minivan type, since the lovely husband doesn't want one, and there is no way I will drive one.

As a way to think back your choices in the world, the Q7 works like a dream. Every mile you drive, you drive only because the alternative is starving to death cause mum didn't go shopping for groceries. Every day you hope it was just a bad dream,, and now our garage is clean again.

The only person I have witnessed driving one of these with a smile on their faces is my dear old spouse, and I think that was just because he was trying to aim at our Jack Russell. Then again, he is a freak show when it comes to vehicles, and I have not witnessed him speeding ones in the entire time we have been together.
Are you Jeremy Clarkson?
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      04-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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Are you Jeremy Clarkson?
Nope, I just lack the knowledge of the language required to be serious, and to act like an adult. And I have not aged that much yet. And hell, I don't have a beer gut yet.
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      04-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #11
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SUVs are the devil. Look at what they do to this poor Ferrari.
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      04-15-2014, 11:25 PM   #12
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SUVs are the devil. Look at what they do to this poor Ferrari.
I've never liked Ferraris, the just look like adverts to Viagra. An suv big pony would be too sad thing for my eyes. I don't even know what that would say about a person driving the thing.
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      04-16-2014, 01:12 AM   #13
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I have caught myself daydreaming about SUV's a few times after a recent trip to iceland.

Check out some of these babies (many trucks and suv's there have been converted for arctic mountain use): http://bit.ly/1mba5oe
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      04-17-2014, 12:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lups View Post
I drive a Q7 till my toy arrives here, and I think I'm qualified by now to write a review, so here you are.

I come from a country, where the actually sell French vehicles, and therefore I can say with confidence that I know what a piece of shit feels like while driving it. Still, I would say Audi has topped that. The fact that it tries to be sporty, 330 hp's and supercharged just makes it feel like a last horraa before the grave time is here.

It doesn't handle badly as my car histories best specimens, and it doesn't break down, but the will to live is of at the moment one has to walk near it. I would not list the body roll as the worst I've witnessed, but the fact that that is 85 k worth of engineering, it would be nice to have some feed back from the road.

Taking it off road is of course suicide, the quattro means in English apparently that it can be driven if a leaf is on the road, but even then it's not recommended. The steering feel is fine, but i would appreciate if instead of a feel, the steering would also be fine, ours just seems to have a sat nav and a cup holder, and a seat, and my input is that I start it. Great!

When we first moved here, agency rented us Dodge something awful, and then a Ford something worse. Due our dogs and kids, 7 seats is a must, but we still do not fit the minivan type, since the lovely husband doesn't want one, and there is no way I will drive one.

As a way to think back your choices in the world, the Q7 works like a dream. Every mile you drive, you drive only because the alternative is starving to death cause mum didn't go shopping for groceries. Every day you hope it was just a bad dream,, and now our garage is clean again.

The only person I have witnessed driving one of these with a smile on their faces is my dear old spouse, and I think that was just because he was trying to aim at our Jack Russell. Then again, he is a freak show when it comes to vehicles, and I have not witnessed him speeding ones in the entire time we have been together.
You do sound like Clarkson
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      04-17-2014, 12:18 AM   #15
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You do sound like Clarkson
I'm sorry, it's the language barrier, and the retro fitted balls that make this too difficult for me. I try to improve and come up with an actual sense of humor.

I was a big top gear fan, but I haven't bothered to open a tv for any reason for the last 4 years. The translation to Finnish actually killed my love for the show, I can't stand the one who started then.

I promise to do better in the future, as soon as I grow up.
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      04-17-2014, 11:33 PM   #16
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Hi. I came up with something to add to this, so here you go.

I haven't complained about the gear box much, it's quite smooth, and harmless. Today while going through my evening routine ( grocery store and back, old misfits destroying my hearing) I decided to annoy myself to death by using the sports mode in city traffic. I know for sure, the tiny German engineer stuck under my hood got confused, it just kept changing down, while nothing happened for a second, and next it tried to kill my pelvis with a sharp but not fast spurt. Great extra mode that is, and I highly recommend to everyone who like cursing using this setting.

Tough power steering is not a problem in that, due to the dull steering, combined with the sports mode all this made the rainy streets here seem a little more exiting.
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      04-19-2014, 02:16 PM   #17
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Go try an X5M or a new SRT8 Jeep. They will change your mind about feeling like an SUV.
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      04-19-2014, 03:32 PM   #18
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My fx37 handles like a dream. With 22's and 285 tires, I'm afraid it handles and feels better than my z4
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      04-20-2014, 12:36 AM   #19
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My 07 E83 X3 3.0si with M package largely drives and handles like a 3 series sports sedan. I too do not like SUVs as most look and handle like drunk pigs, but I absolutely love my X3 as it handles like my wife's E90. I have only noticed a slight difference to the sedan when I drove at about 115 mph on a windy two lane road and the higher center of gravity became noticeable in some of the more pronounced bends in the road
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      04-20-2014, 01:07 AM   #20
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The X3 is still a car, as the one I wrote about, is a ship. I've done 110 mph in it, and with those speeds one only dreams about the brakes. The tires are shit btw. Today a tornado (light rain) hit this state, and for a 4wd, that thing slides like a fat kids dream.
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