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Luxury Sedan vs. Luxury SUV

I keep my cars mechanically well-maintained and showroom shiny. Last 4 cars (over 25-yr period) were all sedans: 1 BMW, 3 Mercedes (the last 2 E’s). I’d like to get a new vehicle, but, in my dotage, would like a vehicle in which I can “sit up high.” for better visibility. However, my retired husband and I definitely don’t need seating for 7, or whatever. Are there any luxury SUV’s which would give me the feel and maneuverability of a sedan whilst foregoing the extra passenger seating that I don’t need? (Note: As of yet, I haven’t looked at BMW’s smaller offerings, e.g. X1, X3, because I DO enjoy large engines and lots of horsepower for quick acceleration. Am tempted to test drive the X6, but its very attractive sloping roof is probably a non-starter from a visibility standpoint.)

Yes. Nearly all luxury brands make a raised 5 passenger CUV or SUV type vehical with luxury appointments but smaller then a 7 passenger chassis. They are all based on their base sedans but come with larger wheels, upright seating and bigger tires with Awd available. You have a plethora to choose from. Have fun !

Stop by the local bookstore, pick up a copy of Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide, and you’ll have an excellent comparison of all the choices available. From there you can select the ones that look good to you and go for test drives.

Drive an X3. You’ll be surprised at the acceleration. Technology has improved markedly over the last few years as far as getting every last horsepower per cubic inch of engine.

You seem to like Euro cars, and I don’t know enough about them to speak definitively about the offerings out there. But if you are open to something a little more pedestrian, Mazda makes some nice smaller SUVs, and the new Hyundai Tucson is available with something like 180hp which is plenty for a car that size. Hyundai has come a long way.

Yes, the X3 with the 300 hp turbo 6 will have all the power you could ever need. And forget the X6, it’s an impractical styling farce. To me, of course.

You might also try the Audi Q5, and (for smoothness with decent power) the Lexus RX350.

Good time to ask. The April issue of Consumer Reports is about to be printed in early March. There are lots of reviews in there because it’s the Annual Auto Edition. SUV or car choice is related to where you drive.

If $70,000 doesn’t turn you off, look at the Porsche Cayenne S. Seating for 5 and a V8. If you Really want power, get the twin turbo version. Yikes! But it does cost $110,000 and (way, way) up to play in that arena.

I second the Cayenne. The X3 drives wonderfully, but on the electrical side it’s absolutely stupidly designed. They’ve set it up so that any one component in the center console will take out all of the components if it fails. For instance, if your cell phone is not one of the 8 or so “approved by BMW” for the X3, then the cell module is likely to crash. Because it’s wired in series with everything else, when it crashes, your navigation screen, iDrive, and radio will crash, and everything will go dark.

The X3 suffers from the BMW design ethic of “the customer will only possibly use this equipment in the exact way we specified and so we don’t have to consider any error handling whatsoever” that has plauged them ever since they started getting more complicated than 1-DIN radios.

Combine that with my experience that every BMW dealership that I or friends and family have been to has treated us like crap, and I wouldn’t buy one even though they’re some of the best driver’s cars out there until you start getting into exclusive brands.

I feel so lucky living on retirement income so low I can’t afford to put up with the abuse and poor reliability that some of these luxury cars provide. I wonder why “rich people” put themselves through so much abuse when they can afford to buy cheaper and more reliable cars sold by people who seem to respect them more and value their patronage. Wealthy people have it so hard having to put up with these egocentric cars.

I wonder why "rich people" put themselves through so much abuse when they can afford to buy cheaper and more reliable cars sold by people who seem to respect them more and value their patronage.

The status of the logo. I think it’s stupid. It’s especially amusing when you realize that an R-spec Hyundai Genesis is almost as fast as a BMW M3. And at a fully-loaded price of $48,000 compared to the bare-bones no options price of $60,000 for the BMW, it’s a no brainer to me, anyway. But, for instance, when my mother was recently shopping for a luxury car, she wanted that BMW logo on the hood, no matter how much she had to pay for it or how much hassle the car would cause her.

… And she’s regretting it now, as the car still has less than 1,000 miles on it and has been in for repair 4 times, one of those times having to be flatbedded in because the brakes failed.

She mentioned to me the other day that she’s actually pretty jealous of my 2007 Acura, because it’s actually got more options than her BMW has, and hasn’t given me any problems whatsoever in 7 years.

I am also retired. I do not need a large engine and quick acceleration because I do not have to hurry or be anyplace I don’t want to be.

I am not retired, and still don’t need those things.

… But they sure are fun. :wink:

“I do not need a large engine and quick acceleration because I do not have to hurry…”

As a retired person, I also enjoy not having to hurry in most instances.

However, when you are accelerating onto an expressway–particularly one with short entrance ramps–being able to tap a prodigious amount of power is actually a positive safety factor.
Even though I don’t usually use the full power of my engine, I have called upon it in a few instances to keep me and my passengers out of harm’s way on expressways, and that is…priceless. Just knowing that this generous amount of power is there if I need it is reassuring.

And then there is the fun factor…


My sentiments exactly. Trying to be a little tongue in cheek but you got the drift well. I get buying an expensive car because of the way it performs, safety or heck…even color. But the logo bit escapes me. I bet that if you gave me the logos of the most relevant cars in discussion, from BMW to who knows what, we could come up with cars they could be affixed to and the average guy would not know the difference. Heck, last night while waiting for the doors to open to the indoor golf range, four guys piled into my used Toyota. The first thing out of one guys mouth; “So what model Lexus is this and how much did it set you back ?” It took me a while to say anything as I had to enjoy…“logo envy”, even without the logo.

My best time with logo envy was when I pulled up to a drivethru in my MR2. The car had just been repainted and I hadn’t put the logos back on yet, so there was nothing identifying it as a Toyota, but it’s red and had a brand new, rather nice looking black leather interior.

“Nice Ferrari!” “Uhmm. Thanks?”

I had one guy tell me he thought my Mazda looked like a Mercedes.

Tell me you never did replace the emblems. ;=)

A guy I worked for in the 70s bought an Alfa Romeo sedan and ran into an old lady staring at his car at a shopping mall. She asked him “Alfi, how do you get the dealer to put your name on your car?”

This fellow was also as far as possible removed from being a “Romeo”.

“Alfi, how do you get the dealer to put your name on your car?”

She should have asked him…What’s it all about, Alfie?

Incidentally, Doc, your post is my favorite one of the day.