Originally Posted by montecristo#4
Despite the weight distribution, I am convinced the 9-5 Aero handles quite a bit better than a last-gen base 5-series (530). This is largely due to more expensive suspension components and tires in the high end Aero model versus the base 530.
Tires have a lot to do with it, then, but thinking your 9-5 handles better than a 5er* indicates more of a preference for the characteristics of FWD than anything else. Most car nut purists prefer RWD on everything, though I don't. I like RWD on sports cars, and FWD on sedans. I that is a product of the kinds of cars I grew up around, which were Triumph sports cars and CitroÃ«n GTs/sedans with the occasional Mercedes or Volvo estate thrown in. (The Cits were always way cooler than the Mercs or Volvos to me, though now I have an appreciation for the solidity of the W124 that I didn't at age 12.)
Then again, I have a very dim view of so-called sports sedans anyway. Anyone who thinks a giant, 3000+ lb behemoth is supposed
to have any handling characteristics beyond mush is simply deluding themselves or has not driven a car with truly great handling. (By "handling" I am referring to feel rather than raw numbers, because almost any type of car can have high skidpad and even slalom numbers. Great numbers without great communication is the worst kind of car.) The only truly good-handling sedans ever were the smallest ones, like the Alfa 1750GTV, Lotus Cortina, and BMW 2000/2002/320i. Because of the obesity of modern autos, few examples of great-handling moderns exist. Even BMW has left the building recently, at least with their eponymous cars. Cars such as the Elise, Mini, MX-5, S2000, and RX-8 are all that's left.
*As an aside, the old 5 was better than the new one, with much more communicative steering, a nicer interior, and un-Bangled exterior styling. The new one has more advanced engines, which is a pity because everything else about them is a step back.