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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    Ditto...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,772
    Take the 911

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • What bmw board(s) would you recommend?

    Bimmerfest and e90 off the top of my head.

    It will be interesting to see when people start modding the 335. That's one of the beauties of turbo engines! I must admit I would be a bit leery of chipping a BMW--at least if the electrical issues I keep hearing about are true, and especially in a 1st year model which typically get new mappings in subsequent years (which can over-ride the mods)

    A guy named vishnu has created a piggyback type of ecu controller. You attach it on the outside, thus it's easily removed before you visit the dealership.
  • jzalkinjzalkin Posts: 56
    I went to the Miami Auto show last night and here are some of my thoughts:

    Infiniti:
    If you liked the previous G35, you will like the new one. If you did not - then the new car will probably not change your mind. The interior looks better (as do most newer Nissan's), but still seem a little off in terms of feel and flow. It is so hard to tell a G35 from a M35/45 in a glance - it takes a stare (will it help raise value of the G or cheapen the M? - time will tell)

    BMW:
    The new coupe is nice, but not that striking when it is surrounded by all other models. BMW interiors still seem to be a weak link of the car.

    Lexus:
    The new LS looks as a classier version of the 7 series. Interiors are nice, but each model seems to have the same feel from IS to LS. Just gets larger. It is easy to see how the new LS will retain loyalists and add a few sales based on the reaction the car was getting.

    Mercedes:
    Even the carpeting on their section was more plush than the others. High status, style without the BMW controversy and the sticker price to match.

    Jaguar:
    The new XK-R is great. Retains the beauty of the base model and makes it distinctive enough to show it is special. If the designer of this model works on the others - they may have something.

    Audi:
    VW and Audi are so much a like. Audi is loosing a little of its distinctiveness. No S8 there which was a let down. Audi lacked flair since the new model that they had was just a revised A4 Cab to have the new nose and engine. Anyone else dislike the new steering wheel also? It reminds me of a bumper car with the small round pad that sticks out. (I had an '04 A4 cab and loved that 3 spoke)

    Acura:
    The new MDX will be a hit - very nice. The S type TL did not get the attention that I thought it would. The TSX is an odd car - above a standard family car, but not quite the level of the BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, etc. The MDX was the only car that people were really checking out.

    Hyundai:
    Not relevant to this discussion, but they had the best models (humans) by far. Looked at the Santa Fe because one asked us if we wanted to hear about it. Actually a nice SUV - a brand on the upswing.

    Lincoln:
    Whoa, what are they thinking? The Navigator is horrible compared to the Cadillac, Chevy, and GMC.

    Mercury:
    They know how to dress up a Ford. The Milan is very nice for the money.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I will wait until my run flats get worn and then I will replace them with normal tires.
    I will definitely be buying normal snow tires this November.
  • Way to go dewey; I am also buying a winter wheel/tire set for my 330i sprt next month. Thinking of Dunlop M3 DSSTs
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,687
    Nice write up. Every year I attend the New England "International" Auto Show (one of these days I'll have to road trip to NYC for the NYIAS. I attended that almost every year with my Dad and alone since probably the late 60s!) and consistently Hyundai has the best SWAG!

    I look forward to the NE show next month.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I'd be less inclined to shop BMW and more willing to shop Infiniti in the entry-level-luxury segment.

    -- Washington Post

    No, it's not a BMW 3 Series. But it's without question the 3's biggest rival when it comes to luxury/performance sedans. Infiniti's G35 sedan, since its introduction, has possessed outstanding dynamics, brilliant styling and a low-rent price tag the Germans could only hope for. Now, with its engine fully updated, it's a true class leader.

    The G's revised 3.5-liter V6 makes an impressive 306 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. But those numbers only tell part of the story. The rest becomes clear as the G's tach needle blasts straight past its old 6600-rpm redline on its way to a genuinely usable 7500 rpm. Those extra 900 revs allow the true enthusiast some serious involvement that would never happen with a lesser engine. Like, say, the 3.0-liter straight-6 in BMW's 330i.

    And the G will hold its own against the 3 in any handling showdown — our slalom tests show only 0.3-mph difference between the two in the slalom. Heck, I even prefer the G's chassis over the legendary Bimmer. And that just doesn't happen very often.


    -- Edmunds editor Jacquot

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=116681/pageId=10- 1741
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Mercedes:
    Even the carpeting on their section was more plush than the others. High status, style without the BMW controversy and the sticker price to match.


    What's the BMW controversy? It seems that most of the Mercedes loyalists I know, including a close friend who owned 4-5 pre-merger, would claim that BMW is "pure" whereas Mercedes has been "Chryslerized". Quality and reliability have suffered, the image tarnished, etc. If there is a controversy amoung these nameplates, it seems that Mercedes would be the one with more questions to answer.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I still have to do my research on winter tires. Is there a reason why you want to pick Dunlops M3 DSSTs?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Infiniti's G35 sedan, since its introduction, has possessed outstanding dynamics, brilliant styling and a low-rent price tag the Germans could only hope for.

    A low price tag for a G35?

    For me all I want is a sport package and a manual tranny. The only available G35 that has a sport package and a manual tranny in Canada is a G35 Coupe M6 which sells for about $1K US$ less than my soon to be manual BMW335i sedan with a sport package.(I converted the CDN$ MSRP)

    I dont consider $1K less as a bargain basement price for a G35. But if I did not want a sport package and liked slushboxes then yes a G35 is a compelling choice. But such a G35 would be a car with limited appeal for someone who likes good handling.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    I dont consider $1K less as a bargain basement price for a G35.

    Big difference between US and Canada. Edmunds is in the US, hence the quote.

    We're looking at something like a $6k difference here.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    That is why I would never consider buying an overpriced Infiniti G35.
    In Canada the BMW335i sedan/coupe is priced more agressively in relation to its competition.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    i don't blame ya.

    now, is the G35 priced higher or the bimmer priced lower compared to the US? what's the base msrp of the 335 in CDN$?

    i'm just curious.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    49,990 CDN$ for a BMW 335i sedan.

    Compared to US prices the G35 and 335 are substantially higher in Canada than in the USA. Canadian pricing is almost always unfavorable when compared to US pricing. :(
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    yup. Seems to be about 10% higher there.

    so I guess that means the G35 is about 26-27% higher than here. Ouch!

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • I think the G's interior and controls are just aweful, the styling is very feminine, the fuel 'econonmy' is weak, and the brake issues are too punitive for me to want to own one.

    The 335 has little to worry about.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,290
    Helpful review.

    Thanks.
  • jjdowjjdow Posts: 20
    First - thanks to all the posts here and in the other forums on BMW's. The 330i w/ Sport and Premium is my first Bimmer and I love it. I traded in a 6 yr old CLK430 and this is an upgrade for $15k + less.

    I almost allowed the RFT issue to keep me out of this car, but I'm glad I didn't. This car w/ Potenza's drives great and is quiet. I have 6K miles so far, and also have had no other reason to go to the dealer. My CLK would barely get 20K of miles on a set of tires, and I tried 3 different brands. That's to be expected w/ any car with staggered wheels that can't be rotated with these softer tires. If you dont have SP, then you can rotate and get more.

    The car is a little rough with the SP suspension and these tires on rough, patched up roads. But on a decent (not perfect) streets, and some of the new highways we have in Tx, this car is a dream to drive. Smooth, quiet, and it drives straight as an arrow without holding onto the wheel. It seems to drive better at 90 than 40. The cornering just at agreesive peeds is flat and smooth - awesome.

    Other points:
    1. As the car breaks-in, the quickness is improving. Its plenty quick, especially if you drive in manual.
    2. I really like the seats, and the adjustable air bladders on ht limbar and sides.
    3. I play my iPOD through the connector in the armwest - great soundquality! The stereo is very goos as I'm now gettting hi-def radio. turn it up a little an you wont hear anything.

    thanks again to all the helpful info that untilmately put me in the ultimate driving machine
  • Night and day difference.

    Ride quality has improved greatly. The car's chassis is not upset by imperfections in the road and cacaphonous thudding that used to come through the cockpit from simple things like bots dots has now been muted.

    The responsive nature of the car is far closer to my e46 ZHP. I move the wheel and the car reacts instantly. The e90's slow-to-respond dynamics have been erased.

    Handling improved greatly. Suddenly corners come and go without any fuss. No more feeling the cruddy runflat tires flexing and bending in corners. no more muted feel through corners - you can now feel what the tires are doing. Most importantly, hitting a pavement junction or a dip at twice the speed limit no longer causes the car to skip sideways. It's a godsend to feel the road and yet not fear the hopping/skipping runflat tires create.

    I can't say what my mileage will be like but much lighter rolling stock should help.

    Additionally, the car just feels quicker and lighter on real tires.

    Best money I've spent on a car in a long time. RFTs suck.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,290
    Thanks for this, Blue.

    At the moment, a 3-series is in my future & my plan has been to buy real tires for it as soon as it gets back to the U.S. (ED).

    My plan is vindicated.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Yeah, cramer, I'm just letting people know there are plenty of experienced, BMW-loving auto editors who think G35 is the equal, the only true challenger, to the 3 series. Here's another quote, from a Canadian publication:

    But based on what I was able to sample, this may well have been the best car I have driven all year.
  • dunde71dunde71 Posts: 33
    I am surprised now most of the upscale/near luxury sedans do not have a full size spare option. If one happens to do lot of long drives (which I do) and have a flat on the highway during a weekend then good luck finding an auto repair shop on a Sunday. Besides even on a weekday its a hassel getting off the highway and get it fixed. It screws up your plans. Its like an air bag .. hopefully the need does not arise to use it but if you get into an accident then it better be there.

    I have had a flat tire on the highway and I realized how handy the full size spare was. Replaced it and I was on my way.

    I looked at the Acura TL/RL, Lexus GS300/350, Infiniti M35 and none of them have a full-size spare option. Its hard for me to think of buying a 40K car and not having a full size spare ... which is something so basic. I do not understand why auto-makers are doing this. Any thoughts ???
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What's the BMW controversy?

    For many their looks and idrive, however unfounded these concerns may be to you, they're real for a lot of folks.

    Mercedes' build quality has rebounded tremendously in the last couple of years, but the verdict on reliability is still out or lagging.

    M
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "I do not understand why auto-makers are doing this. Any thoughts ???"

    One reason is the unidirectional tires and staggered F/R tire sizes. Take a 550i sport for example. The front tires can't be interchanged with the rear, and the left and right sides are not interchangible since the tire tread is specifically designed to rotate in one direction. So, if you wanted to adequately cover all potential flats, you'd need to carry 4 full size spares.

    Another reason is the increased size of wheels and tires. When that 550i starts wearing 18/19" wheels with 275 width rear tires, that makes the old spare wheel well in the trunk obsolete.

    What is unfortunate is that several cars really don't have the credentials to wear high performance low profile unidirectional tires on oversized rims, but do so simply to look more impressive. I haven't driven the new Lexus GS, but unless it's a dramatic departure form the previous model, this is NOT a performance sedan and does not have a suspension or chassis that requires high performance tires to tap the last bit of handling prowess. Frankly, it's a waste of good rubber.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Mercedes' build quality has rebounded tremendously in the last couple of years, but the verdict on reliability is still out or lagging."

    So would you recommend the new E320 Bluetec? I have a business associate who will be driving 30,000+ miles per year and asked my advice on something that he can have for 6-7 years (200k+ miles), with decent comfort and luxury, with decent fuel mileage and maintenance. My marketing director has a 2005 E320 CDI which she likes, but it has had more problems in two years than her former E300 Turbodiesel had in four years.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    JD Power shows average mechanical quality below average for the '06. My opinion is lease these cars rather than buy so you have coverage for the big ticket problems that could occur.

    I always wondered on the high appeal level of some cars yet quality is lacking based on historical trend.
  • dunde71dunde71 Posts: 33
    Thanks habitat1 for providing some insight into the unidirectional tires. However, I am looking at a full size spare (FSS) as a backup / practical option compared to a donut. Granted none of them (FSS or donut) is going to satisfy the unidirectional requirement. But its a much better option than driving at 50 mph for the rest of the trip with a donut. I dont think driving with a un-matched unidirectional FSS for say 300 miles will make any damage to the vehicle. Infact Toyota Camry had a FSS option till 06 model. In 07 its not there. And Camry is no performance or sports car. Seems like the manufacturers are getting rid of it. My 2001 bmw 325xi has FSS standard but now the new 325xi dont even come with any spare.
  • Got a Continental Mobility Kit (essentally the same thing as the BMW Mobility Kit in the M Models) and a cell phone. That'll do.

    I'll take the chance on a flat over living with the uncomfortable ride and compromised handling of runflats.
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