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Drove the RS5 Sportback Yesterday - Underwhelmed :(

 
Old 07-03-2019, 04:28 AM
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Default Drove the RS5 Sportback Yesterday - Underwhelmed :(

Hello all,

I currently drive a 2013 BMW 335i and I've been car shopping for its replacement for about three years now (and I am still a solid 18 months from ordering it). I'm on a financial plan to get me to a point where I can spend the money I want to on my next car, so I have plenty of time to shop around and read.

When I started out years back I thought I was going to get the Porsche Panamera, but the more I looked at it the more I realized it was just too big and expensive. I could get a gently used one for about the right price but the size was still an issue, and the latest GTS is not impressive - a de-tuned turbo and it doesn't stand out, for mega money. I never did drive one.

Then I was going after the Alfa Romeo Gulia Quadrifoligo as the media has been going bonkers for that car, especially with how it is supposed to look and sound, but when I drove one last Spring I came away... underwhelmed. It looks good but is "just a sedan" and the sound was good but not anything special IMHO.

Then the RS5 came out, followed by the even-more-beautiful Sportback. I've watched every video of it online I could find and thought it sounded great, and when I saw one in person my knees buckled! It has fantastic proportions that really impressed me.

After showing up at the dealer to lurk so many times the salesmen offered to let me drive it yesterday event though he knew I was no where near buying a car. The conditions were not the best - it was raining and had been very hot so he had the A/C on full for most of the drive. During the drive it just felt... normal? Nothing super special, and although it was quite fast when I put my foot in it (and sounded great at high RPM), the lower-RPM cruise was nothing beyond my current 335i. And given that this car is so fast, I'll rarely be in those upper RPMs. I also don't dig the "shift farts" that it seems to make when pushing it.

I'm saddened as I really thought I found my next car - a MY20 or MY21 Sportback and I was on to figuring out which Audi Exclusive Color I was going to get - but now after I drove it I feel like I need to keep shopping. But maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist? This is how I felt after the Gulia as well, and it was supposed to sound "amazing".

What did other RS5 owners cross-shop, and did anything else come off as more theatrical or 'racecar' (for lack of a better word)? I've had my eye on the C63 S AMG but only like it in coupe form which is problematic logistically, and I'm curious how the new M3 will look (coming out in September) but BMW's designs have been very blah to me lately, including the new G20. It might be the only thing with a manual on offer, which helps.

Thanks for reading. After writing this, I think I also need to drive it again. The conditions were not great, and maybe I just need to realize this isn't a 911 or Corvette (from a sportscar standpoint) and no sedan is going to mimic being a 911. Cheers.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:04 AM
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It really all depends on what you want out of your car. Out of the M3/4, AMG C63 (the C63 S doesn't really directly compare as nicely power wise) and RS5, the RS5 is going to be more balanced of the bunch while the Ms and the AMGs tend to lean more toward the track while sacrificing on the comfort side of things. At least that is how I've heard other people describe them. The RS5 is more GT then Sport/Race car. For me my choice of the RS5 SB looks and practicality (hatchback for me). I knew it wasn't really going to be a track day monster, at least no in the stock form and sure it might not be as much fun as the Ms and AMGs if you enjoy drifting around corners or want that raw fully connected / controlling feeling but it's no slouch. Both BMW and MB don't really have something that is a direct competitor (4 door hatch) to the RS5 SB. BMW's closest would be the 4 series grand coupe but there isn't currently a M version of that and I don't think MB has a hatchback anything let alone in AMG form. I did consider the a BMW 4 GC before I decided to bump up to the RS5 SB from the S5 SB but at that time the BMW interior and tech was so dated to me and there were a few other things that really turned me off to it.

A lot can change in a few years so before you actually buy something. It's possible that the face-lifted RS5 (MY21 maybe) will have a different engine / powertrain in that they might add some hybrid tech to it which might change things a bit. So take that into consideration before you write off a car.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:46 AM
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Might be a good idea to first define your expectations, and what you want to improve over your current car. Iím a former 335 owner as well (Ď10).

The usual suspects are cross shopped - C63s, M4, or preowned cars of a higher level
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:22 AM
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If you're underwhelmed with the giulia quad, not sure what's gonna make you happy.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:35 AM
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Have you test driven the Model 3 Performance or the latest gen 3-series?
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Dchang81 View Post
If you're underwhelmed with the giulia quad, not sure what's gonna make you happy.
I traded one in 18 months ago against an SQ5. Took it home that night just to play a bit as they arenít exactly common (and Iíve driven tons of fast/fun cars in my life from modded ďlesser carsĒ to full tilt exotics. Nothing Iíd ever buy for my needs, but to say the car was fun would be a massive understatement. It was a BLAST.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by cthan3o3 View Post
Have you test driven the Model 3 Performance or the latest gen 3-series?
Ive driven both Neither could get me to cut a check, though I am admittedly biased given my employer lol. The Tesla loses me on looks alone, but lots of other factors exist for me too; (bmw lost me for life at this point, Iíd never go back unless it was to get into a classic like my old E30 M3).
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:00 AM
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did you have the RS in Dynamic mode with transmission set to Sport? That makes a big difference.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:28 AM
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+1 to driving in Dynamic mode with transmission to S. Most test drives including mine before I bought didn't have this setup when doing a test drive. I specifically put it into these setting before driving. Also put it in manuel/paddle shifting to get the full experience. Did you at least do one launch control to go to 60 in less than 4 secs? Since the conditions weren't favorable, I assume you weren't able to do this.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dchang81 View Post
If you're underwhelmed with the giulia quad, not sure what's gonna make you happy.
+1

OP might need to aim higher, 911 or maybe a nice used GT4?
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