Archive for February, 2008

Run-Flat Tires–and No Spare!

Posted in bmw, options with tags , , , on February 29, 2008 by lee76

My 335 came equipped with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A run-flats.  Apparently BMW thinks that if you have run-flats, you don’t need a spare. We’ll see why that’s a total myth in a second.   The ‘Stones had a lot of grip in the corners, but not much else.  They were heavy, expensive, and in my opinion detrimental to the car’s ride.  After 20,000 miles, the rear tires were worn out, and no, I didn’t do a lot of burnouts.  Not too many burnouts.  Just a nice, reasonable number of burnouts.  Anyway, I replaced the ‘Stones with a set of vastly superior Continental ContiSport Contact 3’s.  The ride improved, grip stayed the same, and road feel was actually better.  The Conti’s are cheaper and they last longer than the ‘Stones.  To top it off, I bought a Continental inflation/foam kit in case I got a flat.  Continue reading

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GPS–the World’s Best Solution

Posted in options with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2008 by lee76

Navigation Systems (or GPS’s) are a very popular option these days.  People like a Navigation System because it helps them find their destinations, and they can show their passengers how they shelled out for a new gadget.   Some GPS systems even guide their drivers with an automated voice.  The voice is especially credible if it speaks in a British accent, much like Kit on the old Knight Rider series.  I know I’d much rather have Kit telling me where to go than David Hasselhoff sitting in my back seat. Continue reading

All Wheel Drive Rides at Reasonable Prices

Posted in acura, audi, bentley, bmw, bugatti, cadillac, cars, competition, infiniti, lexus, mercedes, mitsubishi, porsche, subaru, Uncategorized, volkswagen with tags , , on February 26, 2008 by lee76

I must say, with so many good all wheel drive cars out there today I almost don’t know where to begin.  Almost.  This post may evolve over time, and as always, I welcome additions and comments (especially from any of you rally people–yes that means you, Satch).  Let’s go… Continue reading

Audi R8…

Posted in audi, ferrari, porsche with tags , , , on February 25, 2008 by listmaker

What can I say about this work of art that hasn’t already been said?  This thing is unbelievable to look at, especially with the stainless, silver, or carbon “blades” on the sides.  Get it in dark grey with the silver or even carbon blade.   I thought the superbowl commercial was dead-on, as well.  This car is really going to put Audi back on the map especially as a real alternative to Porsche (despite Porsche’s threatened cross-pollination with VAG).  I’d love to see the planned RS8 go up against the Porsche 997 Turbo and Ferrari 430 in a head-to-head competition.  I just bought a Powerball ticket.

REVIEW: Best Luxobarges Over $65K

Posted in audi, bmw, cars, infiniti, lexus, maserati, mercedes with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2008 by listmaker

I was also asked to rate the bigs, and here are my impressions in no particular order: 

LEXUS
Lexus LS460 and LS460L.  It will be a fairly reliable car, with an excellent quiet ride, lots of luxury goodies and a lot of wowee-neato electronic features that actually work quite well. The 4.6l 380bhp V8 and 8-speed auto work well together; all those gears really do improve performance and economy. Yet it’s handling leaves a lot to be desired, it is boring, and its braking performance is actually quite atrocious: it’s 70-0 distance was about 30 FEET LONGER than the next competitor. It was even longer than that of an Escalade. 30 feet is huge when you’re trying to stop. Figure paying about $68K-$75K for one with decent options. Lexus Site

INFINITI
Infiniti M35/M45, which is going to be smaller than the Lexus. Both cars will be fairly reliable, comfortable, and user-friendly, especially in the navigation and climate control interfaces; the interior is also quite understated and tasteful.  Performance-wise, the car has had rave reviews with good handling and a gem of an engine with the V8.  The VQ 3.5 and 3.7 literV6 is good too, but starts to sound like a John Deere at high revs. Downsides are that the car may not be as big as you want, and Nissan does have some occasional reliability issues. Pay about $46K for the V6 and $56K for the V8 with decent options, but again, I’m afraid the biggest Infiniti is still a little too small.  Infiniti Site Continue reading

REVIEW: Best New and Used Luxury Cars Under $50K

Posted in acura, audi, bmw, cadillac, infiniti, lexus, mercedes, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2008 by listmaker

I was asked to render soem advice to someone looking to spend under $50K for a prestige-make car, and did not care if the car was slightly used:

LEXUS
Lexus ES 350. If you’re going that route, my recommendation is to get a loaded Toyota Camry instead; it is the same car. The ES350 is a waste of money because it is a re-badged Camry with some different body treatments and a pretty interior. The Camry is a good, and rather big, car that should last with regular maintenance. Both cars are fairly powerful with the V6 but have namby-pamby handling performance. Braking is okay, not great. If you’re going leather with a Japanese car, I recommend an all-black interior because Japanese spray-dyed leather wears out very quickly.  A light-colored interior will look worn and “beat” well before it’s time.  Lexus Site

But here are the better choices in order of rank: Continue reading