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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Did someone say the Camry is the be all, end all of automotive excellence? Did someone say the same about the lexus ES? I don't think so.

    Oh yeah, the AManti and XG350 have excellent low prices and great feature content. But guess what. To get the great feature content at a great price, something has to give. Sure, Hyundai's quality has improved greatly, but it ain't up to Toyota standards. Hyundai may be making strides in the IQS study, but tell me when it gets there in Long term dependability and it consistently ranks at the top.

    I have driven a '03 possibly ES300 loaner about a year ago and I have driven the XG350(not Sonata). Sorry but the XG350 is not comparable in anyway to the ES. Not in terms of feature, quality, ride, performance, fit & finish. Nothing, nadda. The leather in the XG350 is low quality, the plastics are cheap, the overall interior feel is cheap. Although it is a lot better than Hyundai's from just 5 years ago.

    Performance or driving fun. What's your point? Neither car is about driving fun, so do I need to mention it? I will say the ES300 was a better driver than the XG350. The XG350 was ridiculous softly sprung, almost like a Town Car.

    "Appears you are more worried about being seen in the "right" car than driving the right car."

    Funny, I don't own a Lexus. Also, as you can see, I said "most buyers". How does that translate to *ME*?

    IT's funny how the ES330 is always at or near the top of just about every quality category as well as safety and resale value, yet you are trying to lower it to the class of a Hyundai.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    maxhonda99... I'm no automotive snob. I currently own a Lexus and a Hyundai. I love them both. My first brand new car way back when was a Geo (Suzuki). I've owned Buick, Ford, VW, Chevy (x3), Chrysler, Suzuki (x2), Mercury, BMW (x2), Lincoln, Infiniti (x2), Hyundai, and Lexus (x2). (For the money, I'd much rather have to pay for an XG than an ES. The ES330 does nothing for me from a driving standpoint, nor does XG. ES was just plain dull and isolating. But then luxury isn't near the top of my list of desired attributes.)

    pg48477... Torque steer isn't only tied to HP. The small displacement 4-cyl in the TSX has little torque, esp. down low, and has to be wrapped to very high RPMs in order to generate HP. FWDers can reduce torque steer using LSD, equal-length half-shafts, and good tires.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 26
    Thanks much I will definitely try the S60R.
  • Hi jrock65, thank you for your response.

    Data i got from other forum,
    05 C230K sport sedan 36month 12k/yr, residual 60%
    04 325i 36month 12k/yr, residual 61%
    05 TL 36month 12/yr, residual 58%

    when we lease car, the residual is calculated based on the MSRP, for BMW, it's already a good deal if u can get $500 over invoice, for TL, it's hard to even knock off $500 from the MSRP, however, i am getting close to $4000 off MSRP for the MBZ. In conclusion, the larger the gap between the MSRP and the selling price, the less depreciation you will have to pay
    (assume that the residual are the same).

    I've done some research when i lease my C230K, i can get $399 plus tax ($0 down) on a C230K w/ MSRP of $34000, while i have to pay around $20 more ($0 down) per month for a TL w/ MSRP of around $32900. Not to mention that the MBCC charge more on the interest.

    It's a given that the reliability of German car is always a ?, that's why i lease the MBZ so that i don't need to worry about reliability issue and i did have 4 toyotas before (still having a 03 4runner and i have to admit that Japanese cars are problem free)

    I am sorry but i shouldn't have made the "still a Japanese car" comment, yes, you can feel it when u r sitting inside a MBZ or BMW or even a VW, (did own a 1999 VW golf before) may be it's my personal bias.

    SH-AWD will be an awesome car and it's well worth the extra $2k, (a 270hp FWD just doesn't sound right to me) but i think it would be great if you can get it at MSRP when it first came out.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371 nm=Acura&mdnm=TL&yr=2004&x=2&y=17

    According to the American Leasing Guide, TL is 52% at 36 months, 325i is 51%, and C230 is 46%. In any case, the differences are minor and all three hold value well.

    I'm surprised that you could only get $500 off a TL. Maybe it's b/c the 2005 just came out. In a couple months, they should be close to invoice.

    I know what you're talking about with the German/Japan distinction, although personally I prefer the "feel" of Japanese cars. In general, the leathers in German cars are firmer, Japanese leathers are softer, and German steering is heavier and Japanese steering is lighter.

    In any case, the MB is a fine car and hope you enjoy it.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    "I'm surprised that you could only get $500 off a TL. Maybe it's b/c the 2005 just came out. In a couple months, they should be close to invoice."

    How did you get the idea that TL'd be at invoice price in a few months? 04 TL never got to that point the whole year. What made you think 05 will get there suddenly?
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "How did you get the idea that TL'd be at invoice price in a few months? 04 TL never got to that point the whole year. What made you think 05 will get there suddenly?"

    B/c in my area (DC), you could get a base auto 2004 TL for $500 to $800 over invoice about 5 months ago. The Navi's were much harder to discount.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Got you. Well that's more close to the end of 04 model. But even then it's not at invoice yet (maybe when 06 comes out it will be). I think 05 has more Nav TL made now. Still, a $2,500 or so premium over non-Nav is expected.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    In most metropolitan areas, traffic keeps getting worse. So performance driving just isn't that possible on urban and suburban streets.

    But definitely having a performance car lends it cachet, even in crowded, rush-hour traffic. Especialy if the car looks muscular.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “But definitely having a performance car lends it cachet…”

    Heaven help us, now we’ll have to listen to lectures from Blueguy and Riez for the next week.

    Just kiddin’ dudes… Lo-o-o-ve you guys!!!

    Personally, I choose my cars based on how chicks with multiple body piercings like them.

  • The key in every purchase for me is one question: will a 19 year old SDSU student from a raisin farm in Fresno think this is cool?

    If the purchase doesn't meet that criteria, it's not getting made.

    If ya believe that, I've got a seaside San Diego home to sell you for 100k.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    You can't underestimate the p***y magnet factor. :D

    BTW, the new BMW 3-series will be in Gran Turismo 4 for the Playstation 2. People can see the cars in the game well before they're available for sale in the US.
  • Thank you jrock65 for the valuable information. From the information, i can tell why most people would lease a BMW or a MBZ because both company are offering programs to support customers in leasing. I am glad that MBZ offered me 60% residual on my 39months lease term. If i've bought the car and sell it in 3 years, i will get a bigger hit.

    I've never heard of any Acura going close to invoice, you must have good negotiation skills to do that. GOOD JOB!!!
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I can see why the 325i is so much more popular over the 330i. A well-equipped 325i is $36,000, while the 330i equipped in the exact same way is $42,000. That's an increase of $6000 for some more horses.

    The 325i does feel quite underpowered though.

    For more horses at that price point and similar features, I guess you could go with the $35,000 G35.
  • By the time you put everything on the 325i that comes standard on the 330i, the difference is more like $4000.. But, still substantial..

    If you can live without some of the extras, of course the difference is $6K... A new '05 325i with no options has an MSRP of $30K.

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    jrock & kyfdx... It was for those reasons I went with an Lexus IS300 5-speed manual. Cost less than a similarly equipped 325i (IS has better standard equipment) plus better warranty and had some other features I wanted which you can't get on a 325i or 330i (e.g., LSD). The 325i is rather expensive for what you get.
  • Can't argue with that.. but, almost any new BMW is expensive for what you get.. That is included.. kind of like a "mandatory" option.

    I like the IS300 and almost bought one... but, I decided to get a slightly used 3-series instead. Since my wife drives it, it really wouldn't have mattered that much.. but, when the blue moon comes around and I get to drive.. I'm glad I did.

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Anyone seriously considering a car in this segment cannot make a fully informed decision without at least test-driving the 325i first. It's the benchmark - the 50/50 sport/luxury mix. I believe that to purchase another car in this segment (IS300, G35, etc.) is to basically choose something that is 60/40, 35/75, etc. as compared to the 325i.

    BTW, I saw the '05 G35 at the Auto show last weekend and it's the one I'd choose if was shopping this segment today. With 298 HP, 6-speed MT, and nicely-updated interior quality, how can any other $30,000ish car compete?

    As for the price difference between the 325i and 330i, I think the 325i is the better choice. You can order it with fewer options, and if you don't think it's quick enough, you can add a Conforti chip and CAI for a few hundred dollars and make it perform within a hair of a 330i.

    (still searching for that perfect '89 325is)
  • I'm waffling.. '91 318is is way up there.. but, my ten-year-old just loves the 318ti.. I personally think it is kind of homely, but looks rank very low on my list..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    On, I equipped the cars in the following way (using the base TL as the "features" benchmark):

    325i (metallic paint, premium package, auto, heated seats, xenon, premium sound): $35,920

    330i (metallic paint, premium package, auto transmission, heated seats, xenon): $41,545

    Difference of about $5600.

    Equipped in that way, what does the 330i have over the 325i other than horses and different rims?

    Maybe I'm missing something.
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