PDA

View Full Version : What I Drove on my Summer Vacation


Plaz
09-07-2003, 01:27 PM
<U><B>Lincoln LS V8</B></U>
Lots of power. Torque feels good in the small of your back. Nice V8 burble. Not bad handling and road feel for an American land yacht, but their claims in commercials that it outhandles a BMW 5 are laughable. Not a badly designed interior, but cheesy feel and materials. Rattles abounded on this car with 50K miles. Seats too soft and non-supportive. Fat man features... i.e. remove key, and seat slides back and steering wheel lifts and retracts. Doors open too wide too easily. Hate the tranny. Manumatic features a waste of time. Huge trunk.

<U><B>BMW X5 3.0</B></U>
Woefully underpowered, especially after driving the Lincoln. Too high! Drives nicely for an SUV, but that's not saying much. I could never buy one of these. Wife complained that ride in back seat was rough like a bus. Suspension puts up a valiant struggle to provide good handling despite the high center of gravity, but physics are pesky in their intransigence. Nice materials, nice interior, surprisingly little cargo room.

<U><B>BMW 540iA Sport</B></U>
Lots and lots of power. Torque feels great in the small of your back. Fantastic V8 burble. Handles great for a large car. Recirculating-ball steering was weighted nicely, and wasn't as numb as I thought it would be. This car had a BAD, BAD case of sticky pedal syndrome. Really detracted from the experience. Drove me nuts. This car feels FAST. With the sticky pedal, the power sometimes felt a little unmanageable, especially off the line making a turn. DSC lit up like a disco ball constantly on damp roads. Owner claimed Dunlops were great rubber, but I disagreed. Felt mushy on turn-in. Hated the step. It's great for an automatic, but this car was crying... no, screaming, for a 5 or 6 speed. Manumatic stuff better than the Lincoln, but still a waste of time. Love the torque. Sport seats, surprisingly, felt as if they were more snug. I figured the 5er sport seats would be designed to accommodate larger frames than the 3er's, but that was not the case.

I came back home yesterday and drove my 330i, and instantly realized how much better I like the feel of it than any of the above. Made me realize I'd rather have a 4-door M3 (if it existed) than an M5. Was surprised at that realization. The only things that made me jealous of the 5er were the quality of the interior materials (leather, particularly), and the general feeling of heft and solidity of everything... doors, especially. But the overall feel is better from top to bottom on the 3, IMHO.



:thumbup:

pdz
09-07-2003, 02:58 PM
<U><B>Lincoln LS V8</B></U>
Lots of power. Torque feels good in the small of your back. Nice V8 burble. Not bad handling and road feel for an American land yacht, but their claims in commercials that it outhandles a BMW 5 are laughable. Not a badly designed interior, but cheesy feel and materials. Rattles abounded on this car with 50K miles. Seats too soft and non-supportive. Fat man features... i.e. remove key, and seat slides back and steering wheel lifts and retracts. Doors open too wide too easily. Hate the tranny. Manumatic features a waste of time. Huge trunk.

<U><B>BMW X5 3.0</B></U>
Woefully underpowered, especially after driving the Lincoln. Too high! Drives nicely for an SUV, but that's not saying much. I could never buy one of these. Wife complained that ride in back seat was rough like a bus. Suspension puts up a valiant struggle to provide good handling despite the high center of gravity, but physics are pesky in their intransigence. Nice materials, nice interior, surprisingly little cargo room.

<U><B>BMW 540iA Sport</B></U>
Lots and lots of power. Torque feels great in the small of your back. Fantastic V8 burble. Handles great for a large car. Recirculating-ball steering was weighted nicely, and wasn't as numb as I thought it would be. This car had a BAD, BAD case of sticky pedal syndrome. Really detracted from the experience. Drove me nuts. This car feels FAST. With the sticky pedal, the power sometimes felt a little unmanageable, especially off the line making a turn. DSC lit up like a disco ball constantly on damp roads. Owner claimed Dunlops were great rubber, but I disagreed. Felt mushy on turn-in. Hated the step. It's great for an automatic, but this car was crying... no, screaming, for a 5 or 6 speed. Manumatic stuff better than the Lincoln, but still a waste of time. Love the torque. Sport seats, surprisingly, felt as if they were more snug. I figured the 5er sport seats would be designed to accommodate larger frames than the 3er's, but that was not the case.

I came back home yesterday and drove my 330i, and instantly realized how much better I like the feel of it than any of the above. Made me realize I'd rather have a 4-door M3 (if it existed) than an M5. Was surprised at that realization. The only things that made me jealous of the 5er were the quality of the interior materials (leather, particularly), and the general feeling of heft and solidity of everything... doors, especially. But the overall feel is better from top to bottom on the 3, IMHO.



:thumbup:

i love that word, 'intransigence'. excellent. :D

i was underwhelmed by the LS v8, also. and i would agree about your impressions about the x5 3.0. it is decently built, but i, for my uses, cannot see that it actually is any functionally better than my wrx wagon. to its credit, it does handle a lot better than any other SUV i've ever driven, but as acceleration is one of the triads (to me) to the complete experience, i fail the vehicle.

the e39 is one of the nicest vehicles ever built, i think. it has less of the gremlins that affected the e39, stellar build quality, and it's a rolling bank vault. i only wish there was a manual transmission option for the 540iT.

Matthew330Ci
09-07-2003, 06:46 PM
i love that word, 'intransigence'. excellent. :D


i looked it up and will post the def here so i can save some people the hassle of looking it up: :)

in·tran·si·gent also in·tran·si·geant ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-trns-jnt, -z-)
adj.
Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising.


the e39 is one of the nicest vehicles ever built, i think. it has less of the gremlins that affected the e39, stellar build quality, and it's a rolling bank vault. i only wish there was a manual transmission option for the 540iT.

the e39 has less of the gremlins that affected the e39? you mean e36? :dunno:

3seriesbimmer
09-07-2003, 06:54 PM
My list of cars driven this summer include:

WRX
350Z
540iA wagon
X5 4.4
745Li
S2000
Saab 93
Jetta 1.8

Quite a mix

the 540i was the most impressive power handling AND room in the back!!!
the 350 was quite impressive as well. :thumbup:

pdz
09-07-2003, 07:12 PM
i looked it up and will post the def here so i can save some people the hassle of looking it up: :)

in·tran·si·gent also in·tran·si·geant ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-trns-jnt, -z-)
adj.
Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising.



the e39 has less of the gremlins that affected the e39? you mean e36? :dunno:

OOPS.

i meant the E38 (old 7 series).

that car was horrific.

nate
09-07-2003, 07:45 PM
Lincoln has revised the suspension for the 2003 model, magazines have even complained that it is too firm. I dunno, I have never driven one.

As for the X5 and 540iA, I largely argee.

X5 is pointless, 540iA is too big, too soft, too vauge. E46 M3/4 would be preferable to an M5, save for high speed highway driving...

pdz
09-07-2003, 07:49 PM
Lincoln has revised the suspension for the 2003 model, magazines have even complained that it is too firm. I dunno, I have never driven one.

As for the X5 and 540iA, I largely argee.

X5 is pointless, 540iA is too big, too soft, too vauge. E46 M3/4 would be preferable to an M5, save for high speed highway driving...

this means a lot as your family has an M5 and you're still not completely in love with it.

nate
09-07-2003, 07:53 PM
this means a lot as your family has an M5 and you're still not completely in love with it.

It would rock if it had good brakes :)

It is a damn fine car, close to perfect, but not there. Needs brakes, and more of an E46 feel. Which is why an E46 M3/4 would be great..

pdz
09-07-2003, 08:00 PM
It would rock if it had good brakes :)

It is a damn fine car, close to perfect, but not there. Needs brakes, and more of an E46 feel. Which is why an E46 M3/4 would be great..

i understand your criticism as it's my main gripe, other than curb weights in BMWs. but it seems as though they're addressing the CW issue with more aluminum.

i would argue though, that someone who outlays $69k for a car should just drop $4k and get four piston brakes up front and dual piston brakes in the rear, along with stainless lines and pads. i mean, it's still 3900 pounds or so, but you can at least put brakes on the damn thing like MB or audi do on their cruiser pig pigmobiles.

nate
09-07-2003, 08:07 PM
i understand your criticism as it's my main gripe, other than curb weights in BMWs. but it seems as though they're addressing the CW issue with more aluminum.

i would argue though, that someone who outlays $69k for a car should just drop $4k and get four piston brakes up front and dual piston brakes in the rear, along with stainless lines and pads. i mean, it's still 3900 pounds or so, but you can at least put brakes on the damn thing like MB or audi do on their cruiser pig pigmobiles.
I agree, don't think that I have not brought it up.

It is not my car, so not my choice. Hopefully, with more track experience, he will want real brakes on the M5.

I don't think the single pistons are a problem on the non-M models. The brakes on my car work quite well on the street, and with real pads, are great on the track. But on the M3 and M5, they need serious brakes. It is really disappointing that the E60 M5 will not have multi-piston calipers...

bmw325
09-07-2003, 08:31 PM
<U><B>Lincoln LS V8</B></U>
Lots of power. Torque feels good in the small of your back. Nice V8 burble. Not bad handling and road feel for an American land yacht, but their claims in commercials that it outhandles a BMW 5 are laughable. Not a badly designed interior, but cheesy feel and materials. Rattles abounded on this car with 50K miles. Seats too soft and non-supportive. Fat man features... i.e. remove key, and seat slides back and steering wheel lifts and retracts. Doors open too wide too easily. Hate the tranny. Manumatic features a waste of time. Huge trunk.

<U><B>BMW X5 3.0</B></U>
Woefully underpowered, especially after driving the Lincoln. Too high! Drives nicely for an SUV, but that's not saying much. I could never buy one of these. Wife complained that ride in back seat was rough like a bus. Suspension puts up a valiant struggle to provide good handling despite the high center of gravity, but physics are pesky in their intransigence. Nice materials, nice interior, surprisingly little cargo room.

<U><B>BMW 540iA Sport</B></U>
Lots and lots of power. Torque feels great in the small of your back. Fantastic V8 burble. Handles great for a large car. Recirculating-ball steering was weighted nicely, and wasn't as numb as I thought it would be. This car had a BAD, BAD case of sticky pedal syndrome. Really detracted from the experience. Drove me nuts. This car feels FAST. With the sticky pedal, the power sometimes felt a little unmanageable, especially off the line making a turn. DSC lit up like a disco ball constantly on damp roads. Owner claimed Dunlops were great rubber, but I disagreed. Felt mushy on turn-in. Hated the step. It's great for an automatic, but this car was crying... no, screaming, for a 5 or 6 speed. Manumatic stuff better than the Lincoln, but still a waste of time. Love the torque. Sport seats, surprisingly, felt as if they were more snug. I figured the 5er sport seats would be designed to accommodate larger frames than the 3er's, but that was not the case.

I came back home yesterday and drove my 330i, and instantly realized how much better I like the feel of it than any of the above. Made me realize I'd rather have a 4-door M3 (if it existed) than an M5. Was surprised at that realization. The only things that made me jealous of the 5er were the quality of the interior materials (leather, particularly), and the general feeling of heft and solidity of everything... doors, especially. But the overall feel is better from top to bottom on the 3, IMHO.
:thumbup:

Agree. I love the e39 too for its seat comfort, heavy doors/solid feel and interior fit/finish. The new 5's quality is a far cry from that. BTW, the e39 uses the same leather as the 3 (Montana leather) until you opt for the m5 that has Nappa (same as M3). The seats are much more comfortable and supportive though. If you look at the parts diagram for the e38/39 seats you can see that they're built almost like real furniture. But, overall I still like the e46 better for its smaller size, lighter weight, and overall looks/ergonomics (interior too).

nate
09-07-2003, 08:53 PM
Agree. I love the e39 too for its seat comfort, heavy doors/solid feel and interior fit/finish. The new 5's quality is a far cry from that. BTW, the e39 uses the same leather as the 3 (Montana leather) until you opt for the m5 that has Nappa (same as M3). The seats are much more comfortable and supportive though. If you look at the parts diagram for the e38/39 seats you can see that they're built almost like real furniture. But, overall I still like the e46 better for its smaller size, lighter weight, and overall looks/ergonomics (interior too).

I agree with you, the E39 seats are great, all of them.

The E46 seats are both mediocre in comparison.

btw, my dad's M5 has had some interior trim issues, along with a shorn off scrucutal re-enforcement bolt, collapsed exhaust support, and rear swaybar that will not stay on. Maybe they feel more solid, but I'm not sure about the quality actually being better.

PhilH
09-08-2003, 06:57 AM
The climate control switches for the fan speed and temperature broke in half on my dad's 2000 540iA. They still work, they just have a crack in them.

It does feel more solid than my 330, but I prefer the more lively driving feel of my car.

Plaz
09-08-2003, 07:06 AM
Agree. I love the e39 too for its seat comfort, heavy doors/solid feel and interior fit/finish. The new 5's quality is a far cry from that.

Is it really? You've spent some time with an E60?

johnlew
09-08-2003, 08:02 AM
If you liked the sport seat, you'll love the comfort seat. Great support. The five and the three are definitely different animals, each shining in its own individuality. But it sure is hard to beat that low end grunt that comes with the BMW V8 that you just can't get out of a six. My 540iAT, with 103k on it, is a wonderful piece of machinery as is the 330CIC. Great to have both.

bmw325
09-08-2003, 12:31 PM
I agree with you, the E39 seats are great, all of them.

The E46 seats are both mediocre in comparison.

btw, my dad's M5 has had some interior trim issues, along with a shorn off scrucutal re-enforcement bolt, collapsed exhaust support, and rear swaybar that will not stay on. Maybe they feel more solid, but I'm not sure about the quality actually being better.

Yeah--I think you're probably right-- its more perceived quality than actual quality (e39 vs e46). When I was considering trading my e46 for an e39, I started thinking to myself: "wait a minute-- these cars share most of their mechanical and electrical parts"--so what am I really getting-- heavier doors, better seats, a slightly more solid "on the highway" feel. I then started realizing that I was really better off w/ the e46-- and I just need to come up w/ plan to upgrade the seats to e39 levels (which I'm working on).

Plaz-
My comment on the e60s quality was probably premature. No I haven't sat in one. But I've looked at a lot of pictures- and I've sat in the e65 whose interior quality I find to be mediocre. Given that the e60 is the e65s "little brother", and the that I've read several reviews that commented negatively on the interior quality. Still-- it is premature to say what I said w/ 100% certainty-- but i'm 95% sure that I personally w/ think that it sucks (compared w/ e46 and e39 and older BMWs).

AF
09-08-2003, 07:07 PM
It would rock if it had good brakes :)

It is a damn fine car, close to perfect, but not there. Needs brakes, and more of an E46 feel. Which is why an E46 M3/4 would be great..

The M5 is a nice car but it's nothing compared to a 00 328Ci :p:p :D