July 14, 2007

The X Factor.

We're very excited to have our first post by a woman reader! Ok, so she's not your typical soccer mom from Westchester, she is the patient other half of our own CG...but none the less she WAS looking for a third row seat option as they went shopping for a replacement for their Cayenne.

Here is Natalia's take, sure to raise some controversy:

"The X-5 4.8 beats the Cayenne S…

….Yes, in number of people it accommodates, technology gadgets and cup holders. One can’t deny the amazing gadgets of the X-5… but be careful with them:
  • You can open the door and turn the car on without a key. Just be careful when you change drivers, don’t leave the car with the key in your pocket and leave the car to be driven by someone without a key.
  • You can check the traffic on your route, just be careful with the time it advises you will be in a traffic jam, usually happens once you are in.
  • You can talk over the phone over the car’s speaker system, just remember to have a non-bluetooth device if you want to have a private conversation.
  • You can plan a route with detour, restaurants and bathroom stops, but you have to read 1,000 pages in a brochure to understand how to work with the navigation system… the i-Drive thingy is everything but friendly, considering that the main task should be driving. It’s a car, not a Mac Powerbook!

The X-5 has a 4.8-liter V-8 engine with 350 horsepower, that’s a lot, same as my husband’s ├╝ber-Carrera Porsche, but it is an overweight baby. It has a very confident speedometer, it seems that it reaches 60 miles per hour in less than 6 seconds, and it also tells me that I’m doing 80mph anywhere without even noticing how I got there. However, it does remind me how it got there, only in long mileage highway trips I get to see the mpg computer go above 10!!

When I was driving my Cayenne S, I always felt in control of the car. In rare occasions I felt I was driving a big SUV. In the Cayenne I could hug the curves at every speed, on the X5 I can’t feel the same, the car doesn’t even tilt, it just floats through. Parking the Cayenne was an easy task; it would turn on a penny, the X5 not even in a golden dollar coin. It has a very easy to turn power steering, too soft for my taste, to the point that feels dangerous at 65 mph.

I miss my Cayenne. I miss the handling on the corners, the trustworthy brakes that always work great with immediacy, the coolness factor and the reliability of a Porsche. When I had it, I was never in a rush to drive my husband’s sports car, I had enough of an experience with my car. Since I have the X5 I am always looking for an excuse to drive Carlos’ car. Just to feel that I am behind the wheel of a real car.

The X5 is an amazing SUV... That is if you've never driven a Cayenne. Humbly I accept that in a search for a, seriously overrated, third row seat I ended up with a downgrade of my previous car. But hey, I can officially carpool and between an X5 V8 and a Toyota Sienna there are not too many words left to say."

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