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quackbury 10-03-2012 06:05 AM

Compliments to BMW
We all like complain about our BMW's (too heavy, too floaty, too quiet, steering too light, too much tip in delay, RFT's suck, etc.) I'm as guilty as the next guy (maybe guiltier :angel:), so thought I should post the following.

My X5 got creamed by a bus in a parking lot Saturday. (I was the last car on the end of the row, the bus driver took the turn too tight, and his left rear crushed my right rear). It will be in the shop for a couple of weeks, and since the bus company was at fault, I am driving a "luxury rental" in the form of a Cadillac CTS-4. On the whole, it's a pretty decent ride. Better steering feel than our F10, very solid, better ride / handling than any other American car I've driven lately (very Audi-like), plenty of room, adequate power and a good transmission. But after just one day in it, I am reminded of how GOOD BMW's are, and how much more attention BMW pays to the details.
So while I pick nits with the F10, here are some freaking humongous NITS to pick on the Caddy:
  1. Seats: They look nice, but they have a cushion in the middle of the back, and there is zero support under the shoulders. Very unnatural, and very tiring. I could not live with this long term.
  2. Mirrors: How in the world do you screw up something as simple as mirrors? The CTS manages to package a tiny reflective surface in a big honking housing, then mount it to the door in such a way as to create a huge blind spot. Not a blind spot looking behind you, but rather blocking the view out the front edge of the side windows. Makes pulling out from a stop sign onto a busy street a real challenge. D'oh.
  3. Bose stereo: Sucks. Muddy base, thin treble, useless EQ, tacky display, terrible UI.
  4. Rear Window. Back when I was driving Mercedes, Daimler Benz made a big deal about how they manage the airflow over the rear window to keep it clean. BMW does the same thing. Not Cadillac. Driving in the rain, big ole raindrops land on the rear window and sit there, even at 80 mph. Same thing with leaves. No doubt, the same thing with snow. Why? They build these in enough volume, you'd think the per-unit R&D costs to make the rear window self clearing would be negligible.
  5. Key: The CTS has an honest-to-goodness retro key, mounted on the steering column in a ridiculously tacky plastic collar. It's positioned in such a way that the remote (which is separate from the key) bangs against your right knee while driving. Annoying as hell.
  6. Back up camera: On paper, this probably seemed like a great design. The "screen" is actually the left third of the interior rear view mirror. A very sexy, gee-whiz approach. Till you actually have to use it. Since the display is probably 1/10th the size of our iDrive screen, the images are almost illegible. (For Caddy's traditional demographic with their aging eyes, I bet the display is effectively useless). Worse, if you try to look back and forth between the display and the rearview mirror, your eyes can't change focus quickly enough between the display (18 inches away) and the tree behind you (10 feet away). Why in the world didn't they catch this before putting it into production?
I am not trying to be too harsh on Cadillac. If anything, I am really impressed by how nice the driving experience is on a mainstream, non-sport CTS. But spending time with the CTS makes me appreciate BMW even more.


davidc1 10-03-2012 06:15 AM

Excellent review. I've been driving BMWs too long to remember how bad the others are.

Emilner 10-03-2012 06:23 AM


Originally Posted by davidc1 (Post 7110536)
Excellent review. I've been driving BMWs too long to remember how bad the others are.

All in all sounds like they are actually pretty good...

dunderhi 10-03-2012 12:39 PM

Sorry to hear about you X5. :yikes:

quackbury 10-03-2012 03:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by dunderhi (Post 7111421)
Sorry to hear about you X5. :yikes:

Thanks. It was just body work (and maybe a new exhaust), and we were able to continue on our 350-mile trip, so it's not the end of the world. It certainly pales in comparison to what Dream Car is going through.

Here's a crappy (night time) cell phone pic:

solstice 10-03-2012 05:13 PM

Ouch not only will that X5 never be the same, it's obviously an unlucky downright dangerous vehicle. This never happened in the M3, right? You know what to do :)
Seriously, sorry to see that and glad you are all ok after messing with a bus.

quackbury 10-03-2012 05:21 PM

Touche'. No M3 in my future till my 16-year-old twins head off to college. :cry:

The great irony is that we were worried about the kids damaging the car (so much so that my wife won't let them drive "her" F10), but the only damage done to it since they got their permits was from a supposedly professional driver with a CDL. Probably just jinxed myself...

AutoUnion 10-03-2012 05:50 PM

Sorry to hear about the X5. They whacked it pretty hard it looks like!

That being said, I agree with your CTS review. It's just not a very good car.

mg650 10-03-2012 06:02 PM

I rent a lot of cars travelling for work. Lately have had a few caddies and infinitis. Completely agree with OP.

Thankfully, while travelling this week they actually had a F10 528!!!!!

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