: Things have been busy... and then these happened...



Playdrv4me
05-23-08, 06:00 PM
Been super busy the past several weeks, but I revamped things a bit one more time (sadly had to get out of the SUV "business")... Love them or hate them... reviews will be forthcoming later tonight...

H2 turned into this...
http://www.q45.org/gallery2/d/7053-1/745i01.jpeg

And the M3 became...
http://www.theatlantaautosource.com/a/51/3603/2.jpg

;)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-23-08, 06:18 PM
I thought this thread would be about an illegitimate child you had with a one night stand.

caddycruiser
05-23-08, 06:21 PM
Hah! Fun moves, yet again, especially with the rare bird Chrysler...terrific little German tank, and since no one bought them, cheap as cheap gets now.

And with the 7-series, a love or hate it car, but a tour de force nonetheless.

You inspire me:thumbsup:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-23-08, 06:22 PM
FWIW, the "Bangle" 7 Series is really starting to grow on me. Now if we could get rid of that goddamned iDrive......

caddycruiser
05-23-08, 10:03 PM
FWIW, the "Bangle" 7 Series is really starting to grow on me. Now if we could get rid of that goddamned iDrive......

You know, as bad as some people make it out to be...it's one of those things that really comes across as second nature once you've had one of the cars for a few days. Is that factor alone still perturbing to people? Sure. But it's that or a plethora of switches and buttons everywhere, which does have a basic appeal, and once you know it...it's easy to use in a snap.

It's been a sign of luxury cars just going above and beyond with their gizmos, but not as bad as it's made out to be...mostly. I've only played with it in one car once, and did have a robot-effect to me, but I believe other owners and such I've read about it.

Curious to see what Playdrv4me thinks of the "I"...oh, and the mighty supercharged Crossfire and it's 100% classic MB tank-ness;)

Rolex
05-23-08, 10:13 PM
I LOVE the 7 series bimmers. And I also thought I'd open this thread to see pics of a newborn baby. :p

Playdrv4me
05-23-08, 11:28 PM
LMAO, I was *seriously* considering changing the name of this thread to THINGS HAVE *BEEN* BUSY for exactly that reason and completely forgot about it before I left.

I agree with Caddycruiser Chad... The iDrive is NOT bad at ALL once you get used to it. ESPECIALLY for guys in our age bracket like you, me and Caddycruiser, it is the natural progression of where things would go eventually. I hop in the car and it is second nature to me now to know that if I want my OBC I just pop my control wheel diagonal up/right, if I want my radio settings its straight down, Navi is straight right etc. I literally pop my fist on the controller as if it were my finger clicking a mouse.

In fact, I will go so far as to say that Mercedes' LACK of such technology is even MORE of a frustration to me than iDrive could EVER be. The little crossfire is a *2005* model car and do we have a frieken trip computer? NOPE, Range meter NOPE, Auto climate control NOPE. EVEN the navigation system in that generation of SLK (which the Crossfire is based ENTIRELY on, it's essentially just a rebodied SLK) was utterly worthless on a single DIN radio with a green and black dot matrix LCD!

You wanna know what else is crazy? I've been letting my mom drive the 7 since she technically is always the driver of ONE of the cars as per our agreement, and she actually has gotten used to even the turn signals everyone else hates! (Tap softly for three blinks, tap firmly for steady blinks) And let me tell you, my mom is a TECHNOPHOBE. She would *NOT* touch the M3 due to the SMG, and that technically is a tranny you can drive in Auto mode all day if you want.

Alright so here's the quick and dirty verdict on both of these cars since I noticed you guys don't seem to care much for my wordy reviews...

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. Reliability on both of these cars is just downright terrible. I *JUST* picked up the frieken crossfire last night with *24000* miles on it and so far the windshield wipers don't work, the rear end howls at 62mph, the liftback is loose somewhere and it rattles like the tailgate on a 1972 Toyota pickup and the most ghetto part of all is (thank you Mercedes for being different) the Vacuum pump sits in a well that got wet and now that doesnt work either. Mercedes uses a Vacuum pump for the power door locks, trunk lock, and gas door. So basically right now I have to do everything manually or pull the vacuum lines out of the trunk and blow or suck on them. Amazing for a 24000 mile car that is completely original and LOOKS brand new. DO NOT own a Mercedes product without an extended warranty. PERIOD, END OF STORY. DON'T DO IT!. Sorry Chad, but Mercs have NOT had the success with me yours has had with you or the nearly spotless history BMWs have... (Notice I said *nearly*... more on that later on). Being that my M3 had 80000 miles now and there was no company that would warranty it and it's ridiculously expensive motor and transmission, I still feel the trade was necessary, and I did get a bumper to bumper coverage for the Crossfire. I just cant *USE* it yet or everything will be discounted as pre-existing conditions. So I'll just have to look for cheap parts for the time being.

So you're asking yourself, does this ruin the car? Frankly only to an extent that it takes away some of the worry free experience I was hoping to have, but alas when you're looking for the cheapest version of a given model that is in decent shape, you have to make some tradeoffs (I bought the XFire on the cheap and got great money for my M3 to make the deal work right). This thing is however, a rocket. If I called the M3 a rocket before, than this has nearly all that same power (on paper its 330 vs the M3s 333hp) but with ALL the buttery smoothness and response of an automatic trans, which I would have KILLED for in the M3. The SMG TRULY ruined the driving experience of the M car because it just wasn't ready for primetime. The Crossfire on the other hand just ZOOMS and makes wooshing noises not unlike a Dyson vacuum cleaner on STEROIDS due to the supercharger mated to that AMG built 3.2L V6. Its a GREAT package, even if Merc's automatics are not as smooth as BMWs GM built units.

The Infinity Modulus sound system in the Crossfire whips, kicks, slams and throws the Harmon Kardon system in the M3 against a brick wall. It is one of the most fantastic systems I've ever heard, and rightly it should be, since there's 240watts of hip-hop pretty much right next to your eardrum, and two subs immediately aft of the driver and passenger.

The interior has some great leather and suede buckets in the SRT-6 version of the Crossfire and the rest of the interior is PURE SLK for all except the custom Chrysler steering wheel. That steering wheel could have used a bit more meat in the spirit of the M3s fat helm. Gauges and instrumentation are clearly legible and everything is within easy access. One major complaint I have on the features side is the ABSURD lack of Xenon Headlights ANYWHERE on the options sheet for this car, or even AUTOMATIC headlights, which should be REQUISITE equipment over 40k!

Overall the Crossfire scores a solid 7 out of 10, primarily because it is just INCREDIBLE bang for the buck compared with it's nearly IDENTICAL twin, the SLK32 AMG which routinely stickers for 5-10k more and frankly looks a bit old and dowdy compared to the smooth flowing lines of the XFire. Had the car held up better and this could have easily been a 8.5 to 9.5 out of 10 car. Mercedes has alot of work to do and hopefully the split from Chrysler will help them study what it takes to make a car that doesn't rust, rattle, leak or have electrical problems, much like their 90s offerings.

So onto the 7 Series. BMWs "lookout world" 2002 re-introduction of it's flagship road warrior.

The odd thing you discover immediately after spending a few hours cruising around in this teutonic barge, is how much LESS of a German, and more of an American it became. Everything about the Bangle 7 makes you believe that it is truly the German Deville, just as the LS430 had managed to do a year before it in 2001 (the previous LS400 was more like a Buick in this respect). Apparently the Germans and Japanese discovered right around the same time that Americans like toys, lots of toys, all the toys you can throw at them at any cost. Though the only real noteworthy option my car has is the comfort seating package with 20 way adjustable front seats for driver and passenger, dual memories for driver and passenger, ventilation, heating and even massage, the only limit to the plethora of options you can add to this car is your wallet. Adaptive cruise control? Check... V12? Check, REAR operated iDrive in case Mr. Belvedere and you aren't on speaking terms? Check... Why you can even get a refrigerator, just like Lexus' Ultra Luxury package. My vote remains out on the Logic7 Stereo upgrade however. While it is impressive on paper, listening to the mediocre stereo in MY car, then listening to one WITH Logic7 yielded no appreciable results to my not terribly well trained ears.

The ride is still decidedly BMW inspired, though MUCH more dialed down and with a controlled amount of body roll and lean not evident in the E38, or at least not nearly as much. It definitely feels more Deville Concours than any BMW ever has before. It is designed to eat up roads with aplomb and this it does well. Probably one of the best road cruisers money can buy and it's FAST. The 745i can tear through 60 in just 5.9 seconds with it's 325hp 4.4L V8 powerplant in tow. For perspective, the convertible M3 does it in 5.4.

Unfortunately, with all this extra nonsense (and a newly designed vehicle communications system called MOST) and technology, come the problems associated with them, and my car in particular has a few of it's own, including a Check engine light that just appeared today, a slightly whiny transmission in the 1-2 shift, and a distinct, and very Cadillac-like odor of coolant (someone switched it to the green stuff) every so often.

This coupled with all the annoyances I had with my M3 is a complete 180 from the relatively trouble free BMW ownership I had experienced up to that point, *EVEN* with the heavily shunned Range Rover I had which was a champ all the way through.

Overall score for the 7 Series is about 6.9 out of 10. A fine roadcar with all the toys one could ever need, but with a slight loss of driving feel and some serious setbacks in the reliabiliy department that keep it from scoring higher. Fuel economy is also a bone of contention with this 7 Series version. Usually ALL of my BMWs have ALWAYS EXCEEDED their EPA fuel economy ratings, EVEN under the old 2007 standards. The 745 however managed only a meager 21.9mpg on the highway (though my brother was leadfooting it around 90 for the 300 miles back from Miami) and is down 17.1 in the city and FALLING. This for a car that under the old EPA rules was rated at 18 city and 26 highway. The check engine light I just got MAY have something to do with this, so we'll see.

As everyone knows, the design has always been a controversial aspect of this car, and I won't even try to settle that debate, but in my eyes it has grown to be quite the looker.

Playdrv4me
05-24-08, 12:44 AM
More dealer pics until I can get some decent ones up:

SRT-6
http://www.theatlantaautosource.com/a/51/3603/1.jpg

http://www.theatlantaautosource.com/a/51/3603/3.jpg

http://www.theatlantaautosource.com/a/51/3603/6.jpg

http://www.theatlantaautosource.com/a/51/3603/8.jpg

7

http://www.q45.org/gallery2/d/7057-2/745i03.jpeg

http://www.q45.org/gallery2/d/7055-1/745i02.jpeg

http://www.q45.org/gallery2/d/7063-1/745i08.jpeg

ted tcb
05-24-08, 10:33 AM
Ian, you are indeed fortunate to have access to these two amazing cars.
Personally, I would keep them for awhile and enjoy the benefits of the extended warranties.
The 7 Series is arguably the finest luxobarge on the planet ... an awesome marriage of muscle, refinement, and technology.
I suspect it will grow on you with every mile driven.

I've considered a used base Crossfire as a summer toy ... they go for around $16k up here.
The body design is so unique, from every angle. The hood, with the long strakes running down it, reminds me of a 1950's speedboat.
The only downer for me is the amount of flat, hard plastic surfaces on the interior ... it has too much Caliber in the interior, not
enough Benz.
BTW, I've just come from basically living in my LS400 for 3 weeks in Toronto ... new job, lots of hotels and brutal traffic conditions.
I have a whole new appreciation for tomb-like solitude and perfect reliability on an 8 yr old car ... sometimes, boredom is underrated.

Congrats on the cars .... you'll have an amazing summer with those two beauties.

Vesicant
05-24-08, 11:06 AM
Great choice with the 7 series, my favorite out of the new lot. Shame the check engine light will go off for anything ranging from simple low washer fluid to common maintenance items. Beautiful car though, I especially love the interior.

The Crossfire on the other hand, I too noticed the amazing Infiniti audio system and its abillity to replicate powerful lows mids and highs. That was however the only thing I liked about the car. My qwirk was the ride quality, its comparable IMO to riding on planks of wood. Maybe it was the tires of the base model.

Playdrv4me
05-24-08, 03:41 PM
Great choice with the 7 series, my favorite out of the new lot. Shame the check engine light will go off for anything ranging from simple low washer fluid to common maintenance items. Beautiful car though, I especially love the interior.

The Crossfire on the other hand, I too noticed the amazing Infiniti audio system and its abillity to replicate powerful lows mids and highs. That was however the only thing I liked about the car. My qwirk was the ride quality, its comparable IMO to riding on planks of wood. Maybe it was the tires of the base model.

No you're absolutely right, the ride is terrible. I attribute it to the fact that it seems like practically riding right over the rear tires on a milk crate, at least that's how it feels! I'm pretty sure that's why the rear tailgate makes noise, I'm sure some bolts or something have shaken loose. Just need to tend to some of those items.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-24-08, 03:42 PM
You seem to always buy niche cars Ian.

Playdrv4me
05-24-08, 03:46 PM
Ian, you are indeed fortunate to have access to these two amazing cars.
Personally, I would keep them for awhile and enjoy the benefits of the extended warranties.
The 7 Series is arguably the finest luxobarge on the planet ... an awesome marriage of muscle, refinement, and technology.
I suspect it will grow on you with every mile driven.

I've considered a used base Crossfire as a summer toy ... they go for around $16k up here.
The body design is so unique, from every angle. The hood, with the long strakes running down it, reminds me of a 1950's speedboat.
The only downer for me is the amount of flat, hard plastic surfaces on the interior ... it has too much Caliber in the interior, not
enough Benz.
BTW, I've just come from basically living in my LS400 for 3 weeks in Toronto ... new job, lots of hotels and brutal traffic conditions.
I have a whole new appreciation for tomb-like solitude and perfect reliability on an 8 yr old car ... sometimes, boredom is underrated.

Congrats on the cars .... you'll have an amazing summer with those two beauties.

Hi Ted,

Trust me I am sorely missing the no nonsense go anywhere attitude of my old LS400 right about now. Nothing ever broke on that thing... ever! However, it is crazy to say but the next or maybe third most reliable car after that was of all things my '03 Range Rover. It broke a couple of little things right at the beginning (washer tank and telescoping steering wheel gear) and nothing else ever failed on it. My only complaint with the LS was the curious transmission shifting algorithm, which I think was Jesda's nit with it as well.

As far as the Crossfire, this SRT was about 16k US$, it was the least expensive one I could find to fit my budget and the trade scenario but I was visiting the Crossfire owners forum and alot of them are buying SRTs with RIDICULOUS mileages (2200, 1000, even less than 100 miles!) for around 19-22.

Playdrv4me
05-24-08, 03:50 PM
You seem to always buy niche cars Ian.

Yes sir... Did you know the alternative to the Crossfire was going to be a 2004 Volvo S60R? Unfortunately the Volvo had 64000 miles on it and would probably have been expensive to put a warranty on.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-24-08, 04:06 PM
That S60R would have been sweet.

AMGoff
05-24-08, 04:24 PM
Ian - I've been wondering where you'd been... I actually had it in the back of my mind that something like this was afoot - just not this drastic!

I'm iffy on the 7-Series.... unlike Chad, I've yet to warm up to the "Bangle-ness" of it... although I will concede that it's not as bad as the new 5-Series - which I think is appalling. I adored its E38 predecessor - which I thought was one of the most handsome sedans on the road.. I've actually toyed with the idea of picking up an E38 750 several times. But I don't know about these new ones.... something just doesn't sit right with me, I don't know which is more unsettling - the front or that ghastly rear-end. Styling aside, I will admit that they're one hell of a machine and the 7 is without a doubt, the most technologically packed road-car one could possibly get. If I were to ever (ever) get a German car... it would be a BMW hands-down, MBs just don't cut it compared to their Bavarian competition (Sorry Chad!).

And all I can say about your other purchase is.... KUDOS 2-:thumbsup:

I've always loved the styling of the Crossfire and I think without a doubt, it's the most overlooked and underrated demon offspring from Chrysler's unholy union with Diamler. The ride is definitely firm, but I don't think it's all that bad... it fits perfect with the nature of the car IMO... nor do I think the interior is all that bad either. As far as the stereo goes, all of the Infinity systems used in any of Chrysler's cars have always been at the very least "decent," with many being downright awesome! I remember my first experience with one was when my folks got their '95 LHS and I was blown away by it! The same goes for the top-end Infinity system that was in our 300M. To this day, I still feel that the Monsoon system in my GS and the Bose system in the Seville both paled in comparison to the Infinity system in that 300M.

Either way... it was definitely a good move getting out of the SUV, they may still serve their purposes... but in general, their time has passed. Just out of curiosity though... I can't imagine that the BMW gets all that great gas mileage... I'm sure the Crossfire gets mid to high-20s... but what does the 7 get?? Granted, whatever it is... I'm sure it's much better than the monsters you had before!

Playdrv4me
05-24-08, 04:35 PM
Ian - I've been wondering where you'd been... I actually had it in the back of my mind that something like this was afoot - just not this drastic!

I'm iffy on the 7-Series.... unlike Chad, I've yet to warm up to the "Bangle-ness" of it... although I will concede that it's not as bad as the new 5-Series - which I think is appalling. I adored its E38 predecessor - which I thought was one of the most handsome sedans on the road.. I've actually toyed with the idea of picking up an E38 750 several times. But I don't know about these new ones.... something just doesn't sit right with me, I don't know which is more unsettling - the front or that ghastly rear-end. Styling aside, I will admit that they're one hell of a machine and the 7 is without a doubt, the most technologically packed road-car one could possibly get. If I were to ever (ever) get a German car... it would be a BMW hands-down, MBs just don't cut it compared to their Bavarian competition (Sorry Chad!).

And all I can say about your other purchase is.... KUDOS 2-:thumbsup:

I've always loved the styling of the Crossfire and I think without a doubt, it's the most overlooked and underrated demon offspring from Chrysler's unholy union with Diamler. The ride is definitely firm, but I don't think it's all that bad... it fits perfect with the nature of the car IMO... nor do I think the interior is all that bad either. As far as the stereo goes, all of the Infinity systems used in any of Chrysler's cars have always been at the very least "decent," with many being downright awesome! I remember my first experience with one was when my folks got their '95 LHS and I was blown away by it! The same goes for the top-end Infinity system that was in our 300M. To this day, I still feel that the Monsoon system in my GS and the Bose system in the Seville both paled in comparison to the Infinity system in that 300M.

Either way... it was definitely a good move getting out of the SUV, they may still serve their purposes... but in general, their time has passed. Just out of curiosity though... I can't imagine that the BMW gets all that great gas mileage... I'm sure the Crossfire gets mid to high-20s... but what does the 7 get?? Granted, whatever it is... I'm sure it's much better than the monsters you had before!

Aww man... proof no one reads my wordy reviews :( I noted at the bottom of the review that I was not pleased with the fuel economy of the 7 at *all*, its down to around 17.1 right now from an all time high of 21.9 on the highway coming back from Miami where I got it. My brother was flogging it around 90 the whole way home but still, every other BMW Ive EVER owned has exceeded the EPA ratings given to it by the government. Can you believe my M3 was getting 18-19mpg in the CITY?! Its EPA rating was 16 and the old rating was 17!

On the other hand, the 7s revised rating is 16 and the old rating was 18/26 city highway. So Im well below that figure already and i think its still falling.

I'm fully with you though... even though this Crossfire is a fun little car (I figured you'd get a kick out of it! ;) ), I am a BMW man for life... even if it means I have to slog through a few years of questionable designs. Last night I downloaded the entire BMW TIS (Technical Information Service) and now I have the service manual for EVERY bimmer through 2005. I love those cars.

gary88
05-24-08, 04:56 PM
Jeremy Clarkson ruined the Crossfire for me after he noted how it "looks like a dog about to do it's business"

AMGoff
05-24-08, 04:58 PM
Oops! My bad... I'll admit... I only skimmed through your full review! I wonder what it gets on the highway going 55-60mph instead of at extra-legal speeds? We both know that cars start taking pretty hefty hits on mileage at those speeds... you lose 1-2mpg just going from 55 to 65 and it's just downhill from there...

But we're definitely in agreement with German cars... I just don't like Diamler for multiple reasons - I don't like their cars and I don't like the company. The only possible reason I would ever get behind the wheel of a MB would be for a diesel... but even then that'd be a stretch. Damnit! I really wish I had picked up that mid-80s 5-Series diesel I saw back in that fall!!!

AMGoff
05-24-08, 05:06 PM
Jeremy Clarkson ruined the Crossfire for me after he noted how it "looks like a dog about to do it's business"

While I genuinely like Clarkson... I take anything he has to say about American cars with a grain of salt. He brings a large amount of unwarranted bias to any American car he reviews... before he even gets into one. Even with ones that he kind of likes, he still finds a way to take a jab at them.

I think the only ones he ever had mostly positive things to say about were the GTO and the G8 (albeit, both in their Australian forms). But he still said he'd never actually buy either... AND I bet if he were to get into a Pontiac badged one, he's suddenly find a whole lot of things he didn't like about them.

Like I said, I really do like Clarkson.. but I couldn't care less about what he has to say about American cars. I mean, hell... he'll make hour-long videos for the sole purpose of bashing American makes! One can't produce an objective review when it's dripping with bias!

orconn
05-24-08, 05:14 PM
BMW ....... love to drivem, hate to own 'em! Now that you mention it the Crossfire kinda of does remind me of my old Boxer taking a dump, but she was really a great dog!