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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    What's your Choice?

    Given a choice of driving any of the following vehicles free of charge for an entire weekend, which would you choose and why: BMW X5, Mercedes ML320, or Mercedes ML 500?

    <small>[ 21 August 2003, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: Jamesnj ]</small>

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  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    The 320...

    There has to be some sort of challenge!

    Unless of course it's not available in a manual... in which case the BMW would have to win?

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! billtran's Avatar
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    Um, could I choose the Porsche Cayenne Turbo instead?

    Actually, I'm getting sick of the Toyota Landbruiser jerks who crowd around my sister's private school. So I want an M113 APC for an entire year - that should teach them head_ban
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  4. #4
    rek
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    I have absolutely no desire to drive any of them for a weekend, even at no charge.

    I could start a rant here, but for the sanctity of your thread, I won't :p whip
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  5. #5
    nJm
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    What engine in the X5?

    I think I'd take the BMW, from what I gather the ML class is rather truck like to drive. I can't speak from personal experience though, my only experience with SUVs is with a 1985 Range Rover and two different Volvo XC90s (twin-turbo inline 6, yeah!) .
    Nick
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  6. #6
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    Is there really any point to the X5? After all, you've got the same practicality in the 5 Series touring and better driveability and economy. That's exactly the point that the more intelligent parts of the press have made (sadly, none in Australia).

    The ML Series is just crap in today's field, unless you're so besotted by the three pointed star that you fail to notice its failings

    There are certain things I believe a SUV should do best - the first thing that points to mind is practicality, comfort and sheer room. Yes, they're boring, but I believe they're some of the key reasons why people get SUVs (instead of the seemingly "dorky" MPV). If you want some racing car, don't bother doing so with an SUV type vehicle, it's just silly - a waste of resources really, you need an exorbitant amount of power to get an SUV to move at a sports car pace.

    If if were just for a weekend, I'd probably take a Cayenne (has anyone else heard about its poor sales in the USA?). From all the reports I've heard, it's in its own class compared to the others for driving pleasure. But to live with, I wouldn't bother with the X5 or ML Class. I'd have to pick something from Sveeden

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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Jamesnj:
    Given a choice of driving any of the following vehicles free of charge for an entire weekend, which would you choose and why: BMW X5, Mercedes ML320, or Mercedes ML 500?
    I'd have to knock them all back and ask for a Range Rover, James. I'd want a vehicle that I could genuinely use "off road".

    The luxury American 4x4's with German names just don't cut it in the Aussie bush.

    Cheers

    Rod

    <small>[ 22 August 2003, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</small>
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  8. #8
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I would prefer the X-5 BMW... roll_lau

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Great Choice, ROD HAGEN. The Range Rover 4.4 V8, if added to the above list, would be the only one of the above-mentioned vehicles I've riden in, but I didn't make it one of the choices since I had posted a question about it before and I already knew about it a little as a passenger.

    I rode in the RR for about 1000 kilometers in Europe and loved it, I couldn't believe the ride. When I got home I did some research and couldn't believe the RR weighed 5800lbs, OUCH. My friend had be driving me around in a 5800lbs vehicle, that's heavier than an S class sedan, freaky. S class sedans only weigh like 4200lbs.

    When I look at video I shot from the RR and then look at video I shot from the 4Runner, the difference is night and day. The RR video is so smooth, while the 4Runner video is jerky.

    I rode in plenty of Landcruisers in Australia, I was hoping someone down there would have a Lexus LS470, but no luck, although I know those types of SUVs are disliked on this board

    My friend in Minnesota has an ML320, he's displeased with MB customer service and the quality of the engineering. He tells me how he drives over 8 inch logs in order to get to his canoe site and I cringe. Rod, his ML is only 4800 lbs, a full 1000 lbs lighter than the RR, do you think the fact that his vehicle is so much lighter gives him any advantage in offroad applications?

  10. #10
    rek
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    I've been 4WDing in an older Range Rover and it was serious fun. The 4WD buyers who use them strictly as wank-tanks don't know what they're missing out on.

    The X5/ML-series are disgraces to their respective companies, IMO (especially Mercedes)
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  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger!
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    REK, what type of 4x4ing do you do? What type of terrain?

    Does the weight of your vehicle ever get in the way?

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Jamesnj:
    Rod, his ML is only 4800 lbs, a full 1000 lbs lighter than the RR, do you think the fact that his vehicle is so much lighter gives him any advantage in offroad applications?
    A Range Rover will eat the ML Merc 4x4's or the BMW for breakfast in any real test of serious off road work, James. The only Mercedes worth talking about in the same breath for off road work is the G500. Next in line after that you'd probably look at a Hummer.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  13. #13
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    Rod Hagen:
    Next in line after that you'd probably look at a Hummer.
    You know, the funny thing is, in Motor Trend's SUV of the year, the Hummer H2 couldn't make it up one of the toughest hill trails on the test when it was in high range (street mode), yet a certain Swede made it up without needing low mode

    What's the difference between the H1 & H2? They're both ugly anyway

    There's some class of a Hummer outside the Radisson hotel in Melbourne. I'm sure that gets looks when in traffic.

    Having said that, they do have some weird & wacky SUVs over in the USA. We don't get the Honda Element, and maybe that's a good thing

    <img src="http://www.caranddriver.com/image_cache/DATA/Caranddriver/images/2002/november/0211_element_main.jpg" alt=" - " />

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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Hummers are awful in my book, Justin. They do, however, have enough grunt and ground clearance, and short enough overhang, to qualify in the "serious" league of off road stuff. Mind you, a 53 foot turning circle in difficult terrain would limit your choices of route more than a little!

    Apparently in Iraq, while you see Hummers everywhere on the news clips, the US special forces in more remote areas much preferred to use LandRovers. Wouldn't look good on the home front though I guess to see US soldiers in British vehicles!

    Cheers

    Rod

    <small>[ 22 August 2003, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</small>
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  15. #15
    rek
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    Jamesnj:
    REK, what type of 4x4ing do you do? What type of terrain?

    Does the weight of your vehicle ever get in the way?
    I'm not a 4WDer, but have gone a few times with a couple of friends (one of which had an older Rangie) Most of the time it was really muddy, disgusting conditions (I can't count on my hands the number of times we almost tipped the thing!) It was amazing fun though

    It did end up falling apart, got in an accident, and eventually got sold to be replaced with -- ta da -- a Toyota Corolla Now that he lives in the inner city, he doesn't have a car, but is looking at either a used Alfa 147 or 306 GTi6
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  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    I'd take the X5, but i'd have a rangie over any of them. My best friend's father has a new rangie, and its unbelievable. Or the new XC90, it sounds as though it is demolishing that class.

    In a magazine i just bought (could be CAR or EVO) there is a comparo of the VW Touarag (spelling) and the rangie, and the RR eats the VW for breakfast off road, with a better ride on road.

    What surprised me was a subaru 1800 wagon's capabilities off road - it was stock. I've also been in one that had a 4 inch lift kit, 15" rims, decent mud tyres, and it was unstoppable over some pretty serious terrain. Sierras are fantastic too.

    Nick

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger!
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    ROD HAGEN, which SUVs have you personally driven? Have you driven them in any off road applications?

    ROD, is there a reason the Range Rover 4.4 V8s are 1000lbs heavier than the ML Mercs or do they just add the weight so that passengers like me will rave about the smooth ride?

  18. #18
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    nchandler:
    In a magazine i just bought (could be CAR or EVO) there is a comparo of the VW Touarag (spelling) and the rangie, and the RR eats the VW for breakfast off road, with a better ride on road.
    The VW Touareg was co developed with the Cayenne and from what I can gather, it's a more handling orientated SUV. Unless optioned up, it only uses conventionally sprung suspension unlike the Range Rover, which costs a bomb. The X5 isn't a particularly smooth rider either.

    The Range Rover weighs more because its a simply larger vehicle.

    One of the jokes I'm seeing on some one of the US forums is that VW stands for Volvo Wannabe

    Whilst we're on the topic of VWs, here's an interesting pic. The car on top is a VW Touareg, the one beneath is the VW Passat wagon.

    <img src="http://www.tm-techmark.com/touareg/TouaregPassatComparison.JPG" alt=" - " />

    Family resemblance?

    <small>[ 22 August 2003, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: Pug307 ]</small>

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  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger!
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    It would be interesting if you guys could mention which SUVs you've had personal drive time in.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Jamesnj:
    ROD HAGEN, which SUVs have you personally driven? Have you driven them in any off road applications?
    ?
    Never been quite sure where the 4x4's end and the "SUV's" start, James!

    I've driven Range Rovers (though not the current model) , LandRovers (from the 1960's through to the Discovery), Toyota Landcruisers (more than anything else - 1970's through to the current ones - around 1 million kms in them - no wonder I have a bad back these days ), Nissan Patrols (again - 70s through to current), Fords (but only the pick up versions of the F100 and F250 - and the rebadged Nissan Patrol that they sold here for a while, and quite a few of the "little" ones (suzukis , subarus, hondas, etc).

    I've used all of the above off road, though most of my more "serious" off road bouts (where you don't see even a track for a few days) have been in the Toyotas and Nissans.

    I've travelled on road in a couple of Merc 4x4's but not off road. Never been in a Hummer, so I'm simply relying on mates thoughts, the specs and reviews really when I say unkind things about them wink

    Cheers

    Rod

    <small>[ 23 August 2003, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</small>
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  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    CAR magazine, in their comparo of the Touareg and the RR, basically said the VW fights against off road terrain, whereas the RR tends to move with it, and make the best of it.

    They said the VW is more stiffly sprung, and tighter on the road, but the RR is a more enjoyable car to drive on and off road.

    Nick

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    I've never done any serious offroading, but we had 4x4s when I was a kid. We had to, these were not a tough looking road car. We lived for a while at the end of a 5 mile 4x4 only road. The only 2wd that ever got close was a JW in a Falcon who asked us if we wanted a Watchtower, and would we please tow him out .
    I have been a passenger offroad in an early Rangie, a Dihatsu F20, a Nissan Patrol G60, a couple of Landcruisers, a Nissan 720, a Hilux, and a few others. I have not much respect for people who get a 4x4 and never go offroad with it. I have even less respect for the companies who make cars like the Honda CRV which doesn't even have a low range! 2_cents
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  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger! Jez 405's Avatar
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    Jamesnj:
    Given a choice of driving any of the following vehicles free of charge for an entire weekend, which would you choose and why: BMW X5, Mercedes ML320, or Mercedes ML 500?
    Lets face it, I have no idea a how do use a 4wd off-road. Have never tried and probably won't until maybe when (if) I retire. Low range gearing to me, means first and reverse. Therefore, given a choice, I'll have the best road-going vehicle, the BMW X5. Besides, it's the only one available with manual transmission.

    ed: Hmmmm... what about a Lamborghini LM400 'Cheetah'? head_ban

    <small>[ 24 August 2003, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: Jez 405 ]</small>
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