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      09-02-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
Bmoney2K4
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Which Cars Have You Test Driven?

Can you tell us which cars you have recently test driven and given us a brief rating and description of what you thought about the cars?
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      09-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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2011 BMW Z4 35is. Picking it up tomorrow. lol. Very fun car.
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      09-02-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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I literally tested every possible option this year when picking my next car. Obviously, I ended up choosing the 135, which is what I thought I wanted from the beginning. Get ready for a long list!

I'll try to keep the cars together in terms of categories

Volkswagen GTi - Drove this because I wanted to see an option that would save me money and hopefully still be fun.
I didn't like this car. The suspension was too stiff, the styling wasn't my style, and it just felt slow and boring. I didn't feel that I would enjoy owning it. It felt like an economy car, not a sports car.
Volvo C30 - The dealership was next to the VW dealership and I like the looks of the C30 better than the GTi
I honestly liked the C30 better than the GTi. The power is similar, but the C30 looks much better to my eyes. Being a Volvo, though, it was also quite boring. If I were looking for a commuter, I would easily choose the C30 over the GTi, but since I wanted a performance car, pass.
Mazda MX-5 - The definitive budget sports car
It was fun to drive for sure. Very confidence inspiring since it's so light and underpowered you can just toss it around without any fears. It's just too impractical and underpowered for me.


Chevrolet Camaro SS - Also cheaper than the 135i, but big American muscle
The interior was a complete turn off. The steering wheel felt weird, the gauges looked dumb, there was cheap glossy plastic everywhere and the windows were so tiny you couldn't see anything. The torque was nice and the car sounded good, but it was just way too heavy to be a fun car to drive.
Chevrolet Corvette C6 - I've always wanted to drive one...
I honestly loved the Corvette. You sit very low to the ground and the windshield is equally low and big. You could see the road well and everything, it felt like being in a race car. The engine is amazing, the power, the sound, the acceleration, the handling was good too. The interior was equally cheap, but in the Corvette, I didn't care. It was a great driving car. Had the price been a bit lower, I might have bought one.
Nissan 370z - Equal power to the 135, good reviews and good price
I liked the 370z, sort of. The 6MT that automatically rev matched downshifts was interesting. Even though I'm only 22, I was a bit scared of the attention a Japanese sports car would get. I don't like people pulling up next to me wanting to race. The noise inside was a bit loud for just cruising on the highway and the interior was hideous. Leasing a 370z was also terrible with their rates, bad enough that it made the G37s Coupe cheaper, so...
Infiniti G37s Coupe - 370z's more fancy sister, with a much better lease rate
This car was just plain boring. The interior was vanilla, the styling was vanilla, the drive was vanilla. Too much luxury, too little sportiness. It wasn't exciting to drive and the acceleration didn't feel very strong at all. Didn't like this car, the 370 drove better.
Mitsubishi Evo X MR Touring - Again, similar power, often praised handling
I wanted the MR Touring because I wanted the DCT transmission available only in the MR and spoiler delete option only with the Touring. That put the price tag at 40-42k. The handling was great. The salesman took me to an empty parking lot and told me to enjoy. It was a lot of fun to drive this car. The main downfall for this car is it's every day practicality. It took 3 lanes to do a u-turn. The turning radius was horrible. Also, while on the test drive, 2 different Subaru STi's pulled up next to me and tried to get me to race. Again, I don't want that kind of attention.
Porsche Cayman PDK - Amazing car. Period.
The steering was properly heavy with good road feel, the seats were good, the transmission was great and the car felt very good. Even though it wasn't a Cayman S (again, I'm 22, I can't afford a 70k Cayman S) I really liked this car. It was a bit slower than a 135, but the handling was great, the styling is good, and it's a Porsche. Problem is, the only one the local dealership had was a Macadamia Brown color on Beige interior... with no other cars coming in for 6+ months.



The top 3 cars for me were the 135, Cayman and C6 Corvette. Both the Cayman and Corvette were 10k+ more than the 135 and both were less practical. The 135 gave me the performance off the Cayman with back seats and a roof rack for my surfboard. The decision was a no brainer for me.
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Last edited by MarkR171; 09-02-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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      09-02-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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F10 535i
Very good car indeed, but needs the right rim/suspension combination to be so. When equipped with 19" and adaptive suspension it not only ride and handles extremely well (read better than a Jag XF) but it also steers well if a little light. Best interior in class and a very pretty car to look at.

Personally I think this is the best 5er in years but it's the first time in years that the E-class is up to the task of offering stiff competition. Tricky choice.

F10 530d
Read above, only with an engine which I reckon suits the character of the car even better.

Jaguar XJ 3.0d
Lord where do I start with this one. It's exterior is very elegant and extremely well design with lovely details everywhere. Pictures don't do it justice but it does suit darker shades. Now to the interior, lordy, lordy, this is without doubt my favourite interior, build is top class and combines traditional British/Italian flair with the latest gizmos beautifully, it's B&W stereo needs to be heard to be believed, this is 'the' best OEM stereo you will ever hear .... period.

Next the driving experience, it's the first in class that gives the impression that neither sportiness or luxury has compromised the other as is the case with the others. Overall an amazing machine.

Porsche Cayenne S, Diesel & Hybrid
The new Cayenne is not only the best SUV on the Market but it could be described as one best overall cars to drive. How the hell Porsche makes this thing corner is beyond me, it's sportscar good from something weighing over 2 ton and with a CoG that physically shouldn't be possible. It steers great, offers near luxury ride quality with comfort setting or remarkably level cornering in sports mode, the 8sp Auto is very quick witted and silky smooth.

Then there's the looks, this has to be the first time anyone has described a Cayenne as pretty but genuinely this is a very good looking SUV, right up there with the best. Then there's the interior, giving it a Panamera dash/centre consule has given the Cayenne the best interior in class bar none. With full leather it's glorious and luxurious.

S model is quick but thirsty, the Hybrid is a non starter in my opinion, which leaves the Diesel the best in range, excluding the turbo of course but at near double the price I think it's in a different league for most people.
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      09-03-2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footie View Post
F10 535i
Very good car indeed, but needs the right rim/suspension combination to be so. When equipped with 19" and adaptive suspension it not only ride and handles extremely well (read better than a Jag XF) but it also steers well if a little light. Best interior in class and a very pretty car to look at.

Personally I think this is the best 5er in years but it's the first time in years that the E-class is up to the task of offering stiff competition. Tricky choice.

F10 530d
Read above, only with an engine which I reckon suits the character of the car even better.

Jaguar XJ 3.0d
Lord where do I start with this one. It's exterior is very elegant and extremely well design with lovely details everywhere. Pictures don't do it justice but it does suit darker shades. Now to the interior, lordy, lordy, this is without doubt my favourite interior, build is top class and combines traditional British/Italian flair with the latest gizmos beautifully, it's B&W stereo needs to be heard to be believed, this is 'the' best OEM stereo you will ever hear .... period.

Next the driving experience, it's the first in class that gives the impression that neither sportiness or luxury has compromised the other as is the case with the others. Overall an amazing machine.

Porsche Cayenne S, Diesel & Hybrid
The new Cayenne is not only the best SUV on the Market but it could be described as one best overall cars to drive. How the hell Porsche makes this thing corner is beyond me, it's sportscar good from something weighing over 2 ton and with a CoG that physically shouldn't be possible. It steers great, offers near luxury ride quality with comfort setting or remarkably level cornering in sports mode, the 8sp Auto is very quick witted and silky smooth.

Then there's the looks, this has to be the first time anyone has described a Cayenne as pretty but genuinely this is a very good looking SUV, right up there with the best. Then there's the interior, giving it a Panamera dash/centre consule has given the Cayenne the best interior in class bar none. With full leather it's glorious and luxurious.

S model is quick but thirsty, the Hybrid is a non starter in my opinion, which leaves the Diesel the best in range, excluding the turbo of course but at near double the price I think it's in a different league for most people.
So I assume you're getting the Cayenne?
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      09-04-2010, 12:13 AM   #6
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Ill add some descriptions later when i have more time but here it goes

2007 RS4/2006 25th aniv s4/2010 s4 w/ sport dif/Several W211 E55's/CLS55/C6 z06/c5 z06/several e92 335i's/2 e46 m3's/2 e60 m5's/e39 m5/sti long time ago/04 cobra/ and i think that may be it as far as test drives
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      09-04-2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeney View Post
So I assume you're getting the Cayenne?
Yes. The Cayenne is due at the start of next year, but after that I do have my eye on either the XJ or possibly the new A7.

If I can get the wife into something bigger than her GTI then I might return to a sportscar/coupe, at which point I will revisit the TT-RS and 1M coupe. As both models appeal to me.
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      09-04-2010, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
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2011 BMW Z4 35is. Picking it up tomorrow. lol. Very fun car.
congrats
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      09-05-2010, 12:41 PM   #9
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C63 in december.
shit a brick.
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      09-05-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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Test drove a Saturn Sky, pretty meh
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      09-05-2010, 05:51 PM   #11
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Corvette C6 Grand Sport - a great vehicle, which is actually a great value, a serious contender for my soon to be fun car, but I'm also a Corvette addict!

BMW e92 M3 - All I can say is wow... I have dreamt about owning an M3 since I saw my first red on black leather e30 M3 back in the 90s. Finally got to try one decked out in Melbourne Red with the Black extended Novillo Leather it was a great car, the CF roof is really cool, and it handles even better than I could have dreamt. Power was great and I live the look of the e92!

CTS 3.6DI Coupe - was really disappointed. At this price point, the interior could have been better sorted. It is full of the cheap plastic finishes that I had in my last SAAB, and those maintained their finish for a few months. The seats are too wide for my liking (and I'm not a small guy by any stretch). It was too quiet for my liking couldn't really even tell it was running... the other two were nice and loud, you definately knew there was something under the bonnet. They assured me that the V is a beast but none were to be had so... I'm likely just going to cross CTS off the list... The other issue is that the angular styling doesn't do it for my. I like more fluid styling.

I also tried out a Nissan Altima for the gf, was really disappointed, for a car that is marketed as a sporty coupe, it was certainly a snore, the CVT really killed what could have otherwise been a great car. The steering was numb and the suspension was a bit too soft even with the sport pack... But she liked that burgundy colour, this one isn't my choice so we'll see... if it was me a FWD car would not make the cut.

Last edited by fwmcb; 09-08-2010 at 06:12 PM.
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      09-06-2010, 12:14 PM   #12
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Forgot about the G37S I test drove.

great car, looks great in my opinion, handles fairly well for its size.

bottom line : too many people have one... So i bailed on the extra comfort and luxury to go down to the basics of handling and raw driving. Happy with my choice. Although the infiniti exhaust = sexy.
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      09-07-2010, 01:47 PM   #13
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Porsche Panamera 4S/4 -- phenomenal car; I doubt anything with 4 doors is as dynamically capable or as reliable/prestigious for that price. Overall package is very attractive and v-6 is plenty for the older buyers who don't need racing power.

Ford Mustang 4.0 -- a lot of people on the board were pushing this car; its complete rubbish...the manual is slow, and the engine is unresponsive, not smooth -- It just feels like a boat, really not agile at all. Power is decent at 400 hp...its power actually feels a lot like the 335i. But the BMW is a much better car. And its pricey too

BMW 750iL M sport - rubbish car...dynamically probably was the best before the Panamera came out. Problems: ugly and depressing interior, it even feels cheap...no real sense of occasion. Passengers don't have much here, even with the nice massaging seats and what not...it just didn't feel special. Looks very nice though. Twin turbo engine has lagginess like the 335i's....just doesn't have the sense of occasion the Mercedes S class has or the badge and dynamics the Panamera has

Mercedes S550 4matic - fabulous car though very ugly. Dyanmically not very strong, but has a sense of luxury and occasion second to none. It is the ultimate chariot...and I think its pretty reliable according to JDPower...good build quality. Problem: every second tom dick and harry owns a C-class...why spend 120 on an S class when the badge has no value???

Mercedes E350 4matic - completely rubbish car....better off with a c class. The interior is very cheap and depressing, it really has no sense of occasion. Dynamically it is very competent; so much so, that the ride is way too harsh...harsher than the 5 series. Somehow though dynamically, it has lost its identity, tries to be sporty and luxurious, and achieves none. Sells only because of the three point star.

BMW 535i - As a driver's car its ok... the engine is somehow not as fast as it feels in the 335i. Handling is ok, nothing special, certainly disconnected...dyanmically very good thought. Passengers will feel short changed, but honestly its probably the best car in the mid-luxury segment class.

porsche carrera 911 - The best car I have ever driven...except the weight balance is not 50/50 and you can feel it. amazing car....very strong naturally aspirated engine and power train. Fabulous car....probleM: Engine in the wrong spot unless you're an expert.

Yea I've been on a few test drives this summer.

Last edited by TheRox; 09-07-2010 at 01:53 PM.
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      09-07-2010, 02:40 PM   #14
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[quote=TheRox;7958772]Porsche Panamera 4S/4 -- phenomenal car; I doubt anything with 4 doors is as dynamically capable or as reliable/prestigious for that price. Overall package is very attractive and v-6 is plenty for the older buyers who don't need racing power.

I agree with the car for that price, it was a great drive. Its just very ugly from the rear imo. The Aston was awesome too, but the price is killer!
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      09-08-2010, 02:22 PM   #15
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nice reviews, keep them coming.
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      09-09-2010, 09:44 AM   #16
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i'm surprise you still haven't driven the new m3 with that much test drives. hate it or something? hehe

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRox View Post
Porsche Panamera 4S/4 -- phenomenal car; I doubt anything with 4 doors is as dynamically capable or as reliable/prestigious for that price. Overall package is very attractive and v-6 is plenty for the older buyers who don't need racing power.

Ford Mustang 4.0 -- a lot of people on the board were pushing this car; its complete rubbish...the manual is slow, and the engine is unresponsive, not smooth -- It just feels like a boat, really not agile at all. Power is decent at 400 hp...its power actually feels a lot like the 335i. But the BMW is a much better car. And its pricey too

BMW 750iL M sport - rubbish car...dynamically probably was the best before the Panamera came out. Problems: ugly and depressing interior, it even feels cheap...no real sense of occasion. Passengers don't have much here, even with the nice massaging seats and what not...it just didn't feel special. Looks very nice though. Twin turbo engine has lagginess like the 335i's....just doesn't have the sense of occasion the Mercedes S class has or the badge and dynamics the Panamera has

Mercedes S550 4matic - fabulous car though very ugly. Dyanmically not very strong, but has a sense of luxury and occasion second to none. It is the ultimate chariot...and I think its pretty reliable according to JDPower...good build quality. Problem: every second tom dick and harry owns a C-class...why spend 120 on an S class when the badge has no value???

Mercedes E350 4matic - completely rubbish car....better off with a c class. The interior is very cheap and depressing, it really has no sense of occasion. Dynamically it is very competent; so much so, that the ride is way too harsh...harsher than the 5 series. Somehow though dynamically, it has lost its identity, tries to be sporty and luxurious, and achieves none. Sells only because of the three point star.

BMW 535i - As a driver's car its ok... the engine is somehow not as fast as it feels in the 335i. Handling is ok, nothing special, certainly disconnected...dyanmically very good thought. Passengers will feel short changed, but honestly its probably the best car in the mid-luxury segment class.

porsche carrera 911 - The best car I have ever driven...except the weight balance is not 50/50 and you can feel it. amazing car....very strong naturally aspirated engine and power train. Fabulous car....probleM: Engine in the wrong spot unless you're an expert.

Yea I've been on a few test drives this summer.
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      09-13-2010, 05:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
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i'm surprise you still haven't driven the new m3 with that much test drives. hate it or something? hehe
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.

issues:
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.


Honourable mentions
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.

Last edited by TheRox; 09-13-2010 at 06:01 PM.
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      09-13-2010, 05:55 PM   #18
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Conclusion again: turbos are the death of the pure driving experience.

Wish they put the old M3 engine in the 335i.

//end

Cars I want to test drive:

1. Audi R8...I still haven't settled the R8 v. 911 debate, including which is tougher, looks better, purer driving experience (most important)...and weight distribution - mid engine is the place to be

2. BMW M3

3. Chevy Corvette -- Whats the hype about?

4. Porsche Cayman -- maybe the best value sports car in the world with a mid engine layout; but doesn't have the status of the 911...and that is a problem.

After that, and these cars I'm not sure I could buy in the future:

1. Ferrari 458 Italia - no 6MT but probably the best car in the world

2. Lambhoghini - any of them

These two are the tops, Porsche is one step below them. BMW one step below that.

Last edited by TheRox; 09-13-2010 at 06:03 PM.
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      09-13-2010, 06:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRox View Post
Porsche Panamera 4S/4 -- phenomenal car; I doubt anything with 4 doors is as dynamically capable or as reliable/prestigious for that price. Overall package is very attractive and v-6 is plenty for the older buyers who don't need racing power.

Ford Mustang 4.0 -- a lot of people on the board were pushing this car; its complete rubbish...the manual is slow, and the engine is unresponsive, not smooth -- It just feels like a boat, really not agile at all. Power is decent at 400 hp...its power actually feels a lot like the 335i. But the BMW is a much better car. And its pricey too

BMW 750iL M sport - rubbish car...dynamically probably was the best before the Panamera came out. Problems: ugly and depressing interior, it even feels cheap...no real sense of occasion. Passengers don't have much here, even with the nice massaging seats and what not...it just didn't feel special. Looks very nice though. Twin turbo engine has lagginess like the 335i's....just doesn't have the sense of occasion the Mercedes S class has or the badge and dynamics the Panamera has

Mercedes S550 4matic - fabulous car though very ugly. Dyanmically not very strong, but has a sense of luxury and occasion second to none. It is the ultimate chariot...and I think its pretty reliable according to JDPower...good build quality. Problem: every second tom dick and harry owns a C-class...why spend 120 on an S class when the badge has no value???

Mercedes E350 4matic - completely rubbish car....better off with a c class. The interior is very cheap and depressing, it really has no sense of occasion. Dynamically it is very competent; so much so, that the ride is way too harsh...harsher than the 5 series. Somehow though dynamically, it has lost its identity, tries to be sporty and luxurious, and achieves none. Sells only because of the three point star.

BMW 535i - As a driver's car its ok... the engine is somehow not as fast as it feels in the 335i. Handling is ok, nothing special, certainly disconnected...dyanmically very good thought. Passengers will feel short changed, but honestly its probably the best car in the mid-luxury segment class.

porsche carrera 911 - The best car I have ever driven...except the weight balance is not 50/50 and you can feel it. amazing car....very strong naturally aspirated engine and power train. Fabulous car....probleM: Engine in the wrong spot unless you're an expert.

Yea I've been on a few test drives this summer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRox View Post
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.

issues:
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.


Honourable mentions
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRox View Post
Conclusion again: turbos are the death of the pure driving experience.

Wish they put the old M3 engine in the 335i.

//end

Cars I want to test drive:

1. Audi R8...I still haven't settled the R8 v. 911 debate, including which is tougher, looks better, purer driving experience (most important)...and weight distribution - mid engine is the place to be

2. BMW M3

3. Chevy Corvette -- Whats the hype about?

4. Porsche Cayman -- maybe the best value sports car in the world with a mid engine layout; but doesn't have the status of the 911...and that is a problem.

After that, and these cars I'm not sure I could buy in the future:

1. Ferrari 458 Italia - no 6MT but probably the best car in the world

2. Lambhoghini - any of them

These two are the tops, Porsche is one step below them. BMW one step below that.
I'm way too lazy to list how much I disagree with you on most of your reviews.
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      11-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #20
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please keep the reviews coming.
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      11-17-2010, 11:40 AM   #21
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I'm way too lazy to list how much I disagree with you on most of your reviews.
+1000000000000000000
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      11-17-2010, 01:10 PM   #22
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Test drove an '11 Mustang GT before getting my M3. It had the California Special package and the 3.55 rear end. It definitely felt faster than my old modded 335i and had a nice exhaust note, but as I was exploring my way around the interior, I kind of took for granted how well BMW's are put together. In the Mustang, there were interior pieces that wiggled around a bit that weren't supposed to (like the center console cover). The clutch pedal was annoyingly soft. It had the Shaker 500 stereo (not the optional 1000), and it sounded kinda crappy TBH. However, the options and packages I desired weren't on the car (Nav, heated sport seats, backup camera, etc), and I was hopeful they would change my mind about the car for the better, so I put a deposit down and created an order for one which would have been ready by the end of the year.

In the mean time, I was still looking at M3's because deep down I wanted to get back into a BMW (but didn't want the lovely fuel pump drama of the N54). I test drove an e92 I was interested in, and the interior was soooo much better. The ergonomics and quality of materials far surpassed the Mustang's. The drive... the sound.... Everything felt right. So I cancelled the Mustang order and picked up the M. Couldn't be happier
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