Road and Track did a comparison of the 545iA, Infinity M45 "sport" and
Lexus GS430. You can read it here:
I am not a huge fan of the new fivers, and I'd prefer a 6 cylinder with
a manual gearbox myself, but I find it rather amusing that when you
peruse the "ratings" table on the final page of the article, the
reviewers gave top marks to the BMW in *nearly everything* that matters.
Yet, in the final analysis, they handed the "top dawg" award to the
They pretty much did the same thing all the rags have been doing since the
new 5 came out, give it extraordinarily bad ratings for looks and the
IDrive, and just bad ratings for things like the interior, and ergonomics.
They have finally stopped bitching about the active steering but downplay
the fact that it tromps the others in all the performance stats and
maintains the incredibly near-perfect weight distribution and neutrality of
handling that goes with it. My favorite IDrive comment yet though is in the
Autoweek column about the 545i they just added to their one year test fleet,
it's something like "we keep complaining about IDrive and you keep yelling
back at us saying that if you drive the car for more than 3 days you get
used to it and it's not that bad". I'll have to keep an eye on their
long-term test and see how they rate it over the long term. With the car
mags though it always seems to be a "flavor of the day" deal and the M45 is
definitely their current choice.
Reality check, the current bimmers look the way they do because SOMEBODY IN
CHARGE AT BMW THOUGHT STYLING WAS ALL THAT IMPORTANT that they wanted to
change the perfectly fine looks of the previous cars to something
drastically different. If they think it's all that important, why don't you?
As for ergonomics, it is important because that's how the driver interacts
with the car's systems and minimizing distraction is very important.
Finally, you should all be grateful that the car books grouse about current
BMW ergonomics and styling...unless you actually like the ergonomics and
styling (and you have my sympathy, if you do). The more public bitching
there is about those things the more likely it is BMW will do something to
I've played with iDrive a bit. It's no masterpiece of user interface design,
that's for sure. In fact BMW's whole dash -- radio/HVAC controls, etc. -- has
really taken a dive in the last decade, going from very good to fairly poor.
While it's true things have gotten more complicated, other carmakers have done a
much better job. Actually the controls in cheap cars are often well designed,
because they have to be for rental car fleets, etc.
I've been involved in several tests of this kind of thing, with various
contractors working for gadget companies who must remain nameless (both the
contractors and the gadget companies).
BMW ought to outsource this to some real experts in the field, like Apple, or
one of the contractors who design for electronics companies -- usually with
backgrounds in designing controls for miltary hardware, etc. Just from looking
at their work, I can tell BMW is trying to reinvent the wheel in-house, and
Yes. Total bullshit conclusion.
If you look at how the "points' were awarded, the BMW some 14 points below
the winner, but it lost 10 points because of the price. Fuck the price if
you are buying these kinds of vehicles. Idiots. I suppose they figure that
their readers are too stupid to notice the price. Just tell me which is the
better car you shitheads, I'll decide if the price is a factor.
Exterior styling BMW -4 points yet the Infiniti's nose is as ugly as front
Interior styling BMW -4.5 points yet the Infiniti's wooden dash makes it
look like the bridge on a ship.
I have to agree. These guys are trying very hard to make the Beemer fail,
especially if you consider that it outperforms the Infiniti in every respect
where performance is concerned.
I once had a lecturer that gave my 9/10 or 10/10 for every section of a
project I was being evaluated on, yet the mark for general impression was
8/10. So I confronted him and asked how he came to that conclusion. His
answer: "Oh, it's to encourage you to do even better next time." Maybe
those ID10TS just can't wait for BMWs next model, which will be even more
At the end of the day. Let them each pick a car to take home for free and
they'll all take the Beemer. I know I would! (It's worth more also)
A few months ago they did a "best all around sports car test" with about 7
or 8 cars. The two Porsches (Boxster S and 911) got rave reviews, half the
staffers picked the Boxster S and another three picked the 911, and they
also cleanred up on the ratings table too. First place? The Corvette. Why?
It had the best "bang for the buck". It's lunacy. If your looking for an
objective opinion on a car, these magazines are not the place to look.
You don't think bang for the buck is a valid objective criteria for
By the way, you have it exactly wrong. The personal choices are very
subjective. The tabulated results are the objective part.
No, the tabulation is of a bunch of subjective (or subjectified) values.
Even inb those instances where they have hard factual data, they have
"normalized" their findings to a 30 point scale./ The weighting that
they used to "normalize" them would toss them all back into the
subjective category since it was up to the editors to decide how
important each of these measurements is.
It was 100% subjective BS.
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