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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I can't imagine the FWD Camry ever came with uni-directional or staggered size tires, hence the option of a FSS made sense. My point was that the newer performance RWD sports cars and sport sedans often come with uni-diretional and staggered tires. Run of the mill family sedans generally don't. At some point BMW switched to run flats, which almost nobody is particularly happy with.

    As far as running a unidirectional tire "backwards", that is a no-no for both safety concerns and tire wear, from what I've read. A couple of years ago, a friend had his wheels balanced on a 545i and they accidentally interchanged the left and right front tires. He noticed that the car did not steer as precisely and track as straight on the highway, but kept driving on it for about two months (2,500 miles). When he then started noticing loader than usual road noise, he took it back to the dealership, where they realized the mistake. They gave him two new tires, without any prodding by him. Turns out that the wear going "agianst the grain" is considerably greater than going with the grain.

    Unidirectional tires often have an arrow on the sidewall showing which direction they are supposed to roll. If you see that arrow and its pointing backwards, you could be headed for trouble.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I can't remember if you said...

    What tires did you get (make, model, size, etc.)?
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 211
    Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans, what does it take to qualify. My wife drives an Audi A4 Quattro; which I think qualifies in this group. I recently purchased a Mazdaspeed6 for my personal use. With the 274 hp intercooled turbo direct injection engine, 6-speed MT,and AWD with limited-slip differential, electronic brake force distribution, dynamic stability control; I think it has the running gear. Is a Bose sound system, automatic climate control, heated seats, keyless ignition and available naviation system enough to qualify it as luxury? Or are there other essential features? When originally introduced, the Mazdspeed6 went for $28K-30K; currently about $23K-25K. Is the price too low? Does the Mazda label have the wrong cachet?

    I ask because I have been pondering this question myself. Whatever is said won't change what the car is. I like the way it handles; that is enough for me. Just wondering where a car like this fits in the scheme of things.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Have a look at the list of cars at the top of the page. I'd say the Mazdaspeed6 belongs more in the Midsize Sedans group.
  • dandrews1dandrews1 Posts: 184
    That being the case, and although marginally more elitist, I would debate the BMW 3 series, the Audi A4 and the Acura TL from being on the list as well.

    The 5 series is what I would call entry level from BMW; A6 and Acura RL as well (although I find most Acura's just warmed-over versions of Hondas with slightly nicer finishes - the RL even looks like a slightly larger Accord)... but like everything, it's a matter of personal opinion.

    /DA
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I think we have been over this before but once again...

    Entry Lux performance sedan: A4, 3-series, C-class, IS, G and TL

    Midsize Lux performance sedan: A6, 5-series, E-class, GS, M and RL

    (Fullsize) Lux performance sedan: A8, 7-sereis, S-class, LS and Q

    I would put the Mazdaspeed6 and Passat in the midsize sedan category (same as Accord, Camry...) but sportier.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    If you call the 5-series, A6 and RL "entry level", then what do you call the 3-series, A4, and TL/TSX? :confuse:
  • But, have you driven the G35, 350i, or 328/335?

    Does anyone have first hand test drive experience? I'm in the market and would appreciate some input
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    With the MazdaSpeed6 one can make the case for the Legacy and Forester also. (The Forester also scoots to 60 in 5.3 seconds so it meets the performance side of the equation). Mazda/Subaru are not considered luxury vehicle manfacturers even though their vehicles might have leather seats. That would be the differentiating factor between Mazda and Infiniti for example.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,530
    I think its pretty easy. It has less to do with the car than the manufacturer.

    Audi/BMW/Benz/Acura/Lexus/Caddy/lincoln/Infiniti are all luxury nameplates. mazda/honda/toyota/VW/Chevy/Ford/Suzuki/Hyundai/Kia/etc/etc are not.

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Maybe to many of y'all the interior is not a major factor in your purchasing decision but for some others (like me) it could as well be a dealer breaker or maker. So have that in mind, here are the interior shots of cars in this class...

    Acura TL:
    image

    Audi A4:
    image

    BMW 3-series:
    image

    Caddy CTS:
    image

    Infiniti G35:
    image

    Lexus IS:
    image

    MB C-class:
    image

    My personal favorite: Acura TL
    My personal least favorite: Caddy CTS
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Nice comparo! The interior is make-or-break for me as well. The MB appears the classiest to me. I've driven an 06 TL with a black interior and I liked that a lot. I'm not thrilled with the interior color shown here, though.

    The IS is pretty classy looking, too, IMO. I agree with you on the CTS :sick: .

    Great post.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 211
    Thanks. Just wanted to clarify the criteria used to define this group.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,530
    that's kinda funny.

    JUST going by the pics alone, the MB looks the least inviting to me. The audi looks pretty bad, too. The red '80s looking displays HAVE to go, IMHO. I'd agree the CTS is down there, too, though.

    I'd have to say the Infiniti looks the best to me, followed by the Lexus, then Bimmer, then TL (the acura has a nice layout, but the seat doesn't "look" very comfy).

    Again, this is based purely on those pics.

    I was going to grab a pic of a volvo interior and post it to add to the comparison ... but the inside shots make it look HORRIBLE by comparison. If it weren't for the fact I know the volvo is so darned comfortable, I would say they don't even belong in this group.

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

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I liked the CTS. Pictures almost never do these interiors justice.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,530
    which i think is the problem with the volvo, too.

    One thing really hurting some of those above is that they aren't comparably loaded. The NAV screens go a long way towards the "oooh, aaahhh" factor, so the ones pictured above without NAV are at a distinct disadvantage, I believe.

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Since the gauges are the most used (or looked at) items in a car, it should be interesting to see which one has the most attractive gauges...

    Acura TL:
    image

    Audi A4:
    image

    BMW 3-series:
    image

    Caddy CTS:
    image

    Infiniti G35:
    image

    Lexus IS:
    image

    MB C-class:
    image

    Personal favorite: IS & G35
    Personal least favorite: again the honor goes to the CTS
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,685
    To me, both in pictures and real life, the CTS interior stands out. For the wrong reasons, of course. (and I feel the same way about the exterior). IMO, it is terrible. That center stack just oozes cheap and looks to be almost an afterthought. Just no flow to the CTS interior and isn't the steering wheel just a tad too large? I believe that Caddy is addressing this issue with the '07s, I've seen some pix (SRX) and looks to be a BIG improvement. I'm certain that I've read that Caddy acknowledges the low-rent perception of their interiors and will rectify that beginning with the '07s.

    I basically like all the rest (I own a TL) although the MB center stack is too busy. The BMW looks better in pix, or maybe it has grown on me? Although I still don't like the "double-hood" look. An analog clock is always a welcome, classy touch to me. I prefer wood to aluminum, the TL uses real aluminum but both "Plood" and faux carbon-fiber. But, the IS makes good use of the aluminum.

    Tops for me, well I bought the TL. But the Audi, Lexus and MB are right there, too, with the G coming on. But the CTS: :P

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    But, the IS makes good use of the aluminum.

    If you are talking about those tiny touches of aluminum around the shifter then yes, I think those are real. However, everything else is plastic with fake-metallic paint. :mad:
  • Easy choices: 3, A4, G35

    Least favorite in order from worst: CTS, IS, MB, TL

    Same for interiors. Although I only like the bimmer interior in black and gray with aluminum. Wood in an interior = cheesey, pimp mobile.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I agree with you about Audi and the red. The round of pictures focusing on the gauges clarified my reactions - the C-Class and the IS have almost no red and rest of them have too much for me.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    G35, by far has the most modern and nicest interior, thus is my favorite. ;)

    Rocky
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,530
    geez, rock, we agree. *shock* what's the world coming to? ;b

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,530
    I'm glad to hear some support. we must be the minority. All you ever hear about is the great Audi interiors. Anytime I want to talk bad about them, I think long and hard about how my feelings MUST BE WRONG. LOL.

    Oh well.

    As for the gauges, my rankings don't change. Infiniti, then Lexus, then Bimmer. The bimmer and lexus are very close, though. I like the classic chronometer look of the bimmer, but i also like the more modern and flashier lexus.

    The CTS gauges are horrible. What the heck is with that font? I could see that in a Cavalier, not a Caddy.

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I was never a fan of Audi interiors, They look blend and unispiring to me. However, I do believe Audi interior has one of the best build quality, if not the best. The only others that's close to it I think are Lexus and MB.

    I am also not a fan to the use of red color for gauges. For some reason red gauges put me to sleep while driving at night. I personally like sharp crystal white color for gauges just like the IS's. I think TL's gauge is pretty decent too but I prefer white needles instead of TL's red. BMW has the most classic gauge, not as flashy as the others but it's easy to read. G's looks a bit busy to me but general layout is pretty good. Last but not least, C's gauge is just too blend, despite it looks like might be the easiest to read.

    Oh yeah, and there's the CTS's...BTW, is that a clock at the left bottom corner on CTS' gauge? If that's a clock then where's the water temperature indicator? :confuse:
  • I'll take orange, red, blue, violet, purple, just no green or white.
  • "I still have to do my research on winter tires. Is there a reason why you want to pick Dunlops M3 DSSTs?"

    I did some research and since I do want Runflats these seem to be the best choice. Its a performance winter so according to people who have used it it does not give up as much in handling as other winter tires. The downside is that its not the best snow tire (its supposed to be good for moderate snow) out there. I plan to put these on 17 inch wheels (I have sport pkg on my 330i) and swap the wheels twice a year. Getting close to pull the trigger.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    LOL, yeah it's nice we can agree once and a while. :)

    Rocky

    P.S. Audi, having the best interiors is seriously IMHO overrated. ;)
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Actually, Audi interiors are the best. Most every expert agrees to that. The Japaneses interiors seem to look all alike. Unless there was a badge on it, I would not able to tell which is which. Only Audi and BMW seem to have definable and brand looking interiors, while the rest kind of disappear in the background. So, quality of interior is its uniqueness as well.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    For that reason I expected to like the A4 interior. But I don't, not at all. And I don't agree that the Japanese interiors "all look alike".

    It's a daggoned good thing we have all these choices, isn't it!! :P
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