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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • stl540stl540 Posts: 67
    I experienced a tranny failure in our 2002 Acura MDX at 78K miles. I was quoted $3500 to replace. The dealer stated the never see tranny failures of the beloved Acura brand. I took the car with me and did research (needless to say, I was not happy). It was not hard to find many others who experienced tranny failures on Honda/Acura for MY 2000-2002 around 60K to 80K by doing a quick Google search.

    After becoming more educated, I pushed back on the dealer and they got Honda to pay for parts and I paid for labor ($800). I was happy with the outcome, but not happy with the 'we never see this happen' remark. I personally know at least 4 other people who experienced tranny failures around 60K-80K on Honda/Acura.

    We purchased another Honda for my wife...a 2006 'mom mobile' (hope she does not read this comment ;) ). Besides the tranny failure, the Acura was rock solid until we sold it at 90K miles. I expect the Odyssey to do the same, w/o the tranny issue (fingers crossed).
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,770
    Congrats on the purchase of your new G35. Enjoy it. I've yet to see a new one on the road, but I like what I see in the pictures.

    There has been lots of debate for BMWs long service intervals. I know the reccomended service intervals have been lengthened since BMW started paying. That being said, BMW engineers are very smart people and I'm sure ther 15,000 mile estimate is somewhat on the conservative side (Porsche has 2 year/20,000 mile oil change intervals). My Dad currently has an '04 X5 3.0iA with 58,000 miles. His first oil change was not until 18,000 miles. Before his X5, he had a QX4 which was a nice truck. The convenience of longer oil change intervals is really nice for him.

    Just to clarify, BMW free maintenance doesn't just cover oil changes. It covers brake pads & rotors, brake fluid, windshield wipers, Xenon headlights just to name a few things.

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

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Just to clarify, BMW free maintenance doesn't just cover oil changes. It covers brake pads & rotors, brake fluid, windshield wipers, Xenon headlights just to name a few things."

    I think you mean, it doesn't cover oil changes inbetween the recommended service interval. All new BMWs come with full maintenance which includes all b-b wear and tear items.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,770
    No, I meant to say that you get more than just 3 oil changes (as was stated in a post above) within the 4 year/50K free maintenance.

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

  • In this segment of Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans
    there are many great cars but Saab 9-3 and Volvo S40 are clearly distinguishing themselves from the rest with style, class, safety, and the marriage between sophistication and simplicity - the essence of Scandanavian design.

    Traditionally people with money who want to be different buys saab and volvo, now it's a fashion to own this breed of euro cars.
  • http://www.saabroup.com
    http://www.volvo.com

    Not too many people realized how big the Saab & Volvo corportion is...from submarine to jet, truck to tanker, weapons to satellite. The Saab & Volvo Group makes everything with goverment support. There were cross-research and development when saab & volvo cars division exist under the big group - a big reason why old Volvo and Saab cars are so strong and reliable.

    GM is trying to resurrect Saab as a luxury and high-performance brand with "Saab born from Jets...founded by 16 engineers" campaign.

    Volvo is attracting more buyers through better design. It took Volvo a decade; the once boxy and boring Volvos are now the most fashionable, beautiful and still safest car.

    BMW is the best handling performance vehicle in this segment but it's a dime a dozen on the street, becoming like the camrys and accords.

    Mercedes sells on its undeniable strong brand and recognition although its reliability has deminished in recent production.

    Lexus, Infinity, Acura are relatively young brands with attractive products that attract younger crowd.

    Audi is going after BMW with performance and a blend of style. Audi is attracting BMW alternative buyer.

    Cadillac is becoming the standard of American luxury. Mature yet spirited
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Not too many people realized how big the Saab & Volvo corportion is...from submarine to jet, truck to tanker, weapons to satellite. The Saab & Volvo Group makes everything with goverment support. There were cross-research and development.."
    A friend of mine is the General Counsel of Saab Aerospace NA. The car company and the aerospace company have NOTHING to do with each other since the sale to GM (and not a whole lot before). He can't even get an courtesy employee discount to buy a 9-5, so he drives something else.

    The "born of jets" is a nice marketing pitch. That's about it, relative to where the company has been for the last decade.

    "Audi is going after BMW with performance and a blend of style. Audi is attracting BMW alternative buyer."

    If Audi is going after BMW in performance, they aren't doing a very good job. I get Audi's as loaners when I take my Porsche in for service. The A4/A6 AWD's are exceptionally heavy cars and feel sluggish off the line. They don't offer the nimbleness and performance of my Acura TL 6-speed, let alone a RWD 330i or 5-series. And, if I'm not mistaken, the A6 cannot even be ordered with a manual transmission. I test drove the S4 and M3 before electing to get a 911 and the M3 was three times the driver's car that the S4 was.

    BMW's may be more plentiful on the roads, but I consider that a testiment to thier success in delivering substance. You can be much more "unique" driving an Acura RL or A6, but you won't be within a mile of the driving experience of the 550i 6-speed I tested recently. And those aren't exactly a dime a dozen.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Lexus, Infinity, Acura are relatively young brands with attractive products that attract younger crowd.

    Not Lexus. Beyond the IS250/350 Lexus isn't attracting any young folk with the ES,RX,SC and LS. Lexus isn't even close to Infiniti's demographic.

    Cadillac is becoming the standard of American luxury.

    Kinda by default since Chrysler never hasn't been a real luxury brand since forever and Ford has pretty much ruined Lincoln. Cadillac's lead over them isn't even funny, but compared to the import luxury big 3 (Lexus/BMW/MB) Cadillac ain't standing on much.

    I won't even get into the ridiculously disgusting things GM has done to Saab. I used to like Saabs, but no more. Well except for the 9-3 Convertible. The 9-5 looks like an aged Hollywood actress with an obvious facelift.

    M
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "BMW is the best handling performance vehicle in this segment but it's a dime a dozen on the street, becoming like the camrys and accords."

    Maybe because there is something behind the name. Volvo S40 in the same league as a BMW. That is preposterous.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    "BMW is the best handling performance vehicle in this segment but it's a dime a dozen on the street, becoming like the camrys and accords."

    January 2006 Sales
    Camry - 27,000
    Accord - 22,000
    3 Series - 2,000

    I wish there was some truth to the flip statements...let's get real. That is why it costs more and sells less. You get what you pay for. It's basic transportation vs. a real road trip.
  • Did you miss a number? The BMW sales your wrote seem...wrong.

    And yes, BMWs are ubiquitous. They also drive better than any other car in their class. If one bases buying decisions on "individuality" then may I suggest a Fiat or a Peugeot? Honestly, there's nothing different/individual about say a TL, G35, A4, C, IS, CTS, etc.

    Maybe a Saab or a Lincoln is unique enough but then you're saddled with lousy handling and poor all-around performance.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    I stand corrected! For BMW Group (US):

    For the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, which has been available since September 2005, sales in the first six months of 2006 were almost twice those of the previous year, with a rise of 95.6% to 53,728 units (previous year: 27,467). In total, in the period under review, 254,338 BMW 3 Series were delivered (previous year: 195,694 / +30.0%). This means that this model series is responsible for 43% of BMW

    Toyota:
    Toyota’s passenger cars recorded best-ever October sales of 92,955, up 6.5 percent over the same period last year. Passenger car sales were led by Camry, which posted best-ever October sales of 33,812, an increase of 8.8 percent.

    Honda: 250,000 Accord sales YTD August 2006
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    For first 3 quarters of 2005, 3 series NOT on the list.

    Here are the top ten bestsellers in America for the first nine months of 2006, based on data published by Automotive News.

    1. Ford F-Series 616,785
    2. Chevrolet Silverado 486,901
    3. Toyota Camry 340,905
    4. Honda Accord 278,422
    5. Dodge Ram 275,225
    6. Honda Civic 251,543
    7. Chevrolet Impala 219,167
    8. Toyota Corolla 216,934
    9. Chevrolet Cobalt 178,558
    10. Nissan Altima 174,661

    Source: Automotive News Data Center
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    BMW Car Sales Report for October 2006

    2006 2005

    October 17,466 18,889
    Year-to-Date 172,991 158,904

    Model Year-to- Year-to-
    October Date October Date
    2006 2006 2005 2005

    325i (E90 & E46) 1,942 38,285 4,987 40,443
    325Ci (E46) 110 2,457 117 3,247
    325Ci Convertible (E46) 444 4,394 548 5,643
    325i Sports Wagon (E91) 0 4 7 451
    325xi (E90 & E46) 193 11,211 1,016 4,022
    325xi Sports Wago n (E90 & E46) 38 1,662 132 624
    328i (E90) 1,102 1,174 0 0
    328i Coupe (E92) 669 1,785 0 0
    328xi (E90) 984 1,165 0 0
    328xi Coupe (E92) 366 373 0 0
    328xi Sports Wago n (E91) 155 157 0 0
    330i (E90 & E46) 781 14,144 2,190 16,521
    330Ci (E46) 26 1,140 103 2,303
    330Ci Convertible (E46) 602 4,838 494 4,898
    330xi (E90 & E46) 109 7,491 803 3,311
    335i (E90) 582 647 0 0
    335i Coupe (E92) 1,202 2,799 0 0
    M3 (E46) 25 1,777 198 3,005
    M3 Convertible (E 46) 173 1,399 124 1,617
    3 Series 9,503 96,902 10,719 86,085
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    BMW is not Ford. They don't have the capacity to produce the same number of automobiles. They are tops in sales for their class however. Not to mention the list is comparing vehicles of different classes. Most people don't care a Ford F series sells more than a Corolla. However, I'm sure Honda cares it's Ridgeline series sells less than the F-Series.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,289
    The Lincoln LS isn't all that bad.

    Mine even has a manual transmission.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    The list was in reference to the statement that the 3 series was "a dime a dozen on the streets, becoming like the Camry and Accords."

    It is a good reference though that the main stream top ten doesn't include any Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans.

    So, YTD 2006 October 3-series = 96,902
    Camry YTD Sept. 2006 = 340,905
    Accord YTD Sept. 2006 = 278,422

    And the 3-series has 19 different model combinations for 2006-2007 model year transition.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The list was in reference to the statement that the 3 series was "a dime a dozen on the streets, becoming like the Camry and Accords."

    The statement is accurate depending on your street and your point of view. There are some streets you won't see on American, Japanese, or Korean car.
  • My original message is in reference to the title of this thread "Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedan"
    So when BMW is mentioned I refer to the 3-series, Lexus to the IS 250/350...etc. It is amusing, however, to see that my comment about BMW has turned the debate into 06 best-seller although I was trying to profile the buyer of each brand.

    It's no coincidence that the majority (more than 50%) of saab drivers are women. Because women are more fashionably sensitive than men so to some they might feel that their individuality is expressed plus it is fun and safe to drive a saab.
    On the other hand the majority of bmw drivers are men. Again, because men crave more about handling and performance in a car than women.

    If you are fashionably sensitive, want to have fun and feel safe try a Saab

    If you want a taste of Scandanavian luxury, style, and safety try a Volvo

    If you want to experience peformance and handling in a vehicle try a Bmw

    A taste of American luxury? Try a Cadillac

    Just want luxury and recognition try a Mercedes

    Want to try something new or value conscious? Try Lexus/ Infiniti/Acura

    Looking for BMW alternative? Try Audi
  • Juat purchased a G35s. Had a 2002Cic. This is not an attempt to compare apples to apples. The 330 had excellent handling and performance. Great low end accelration. My issues with the car were:

    1) The engine was eating more and more oil between oil changes - I had to add 1.5 quarts (in small doses) after my last oil change and still have another 4k left until the next recommended oil change

    2) Interior quality issues: buttons for the windows had broken, the little pop out tray above the ashtray would not go in/out properly, the steering wheel wrapping was coming loose signficantly....and it was starting to look dated

    3) Exterior items - The driver side window would not always adjust up and down properly. Consequently it would get caught in the up position against the soft top when the door was closed - if you have tried a bimmer convertible you know what I mean.

    4) The tires, for me, were magnets for any piece of metal on the road...mutiple blowouts, etc.

    5) The sport seats did not hold up very well and became uncomfortable as the car aged

    Despite all that, I loved the car. I do think people should use caution and automatically say the interior is far superior on a BMW.

    So the new G35s is exciting and I am still trying to figure out how all the gagdets work. It handles well, accelration is good...Neither quite at the 330 level, but quite acceptable.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "It's no coincidence that the majority (more than 50%) of saab drivers are women."

    Is that a fact or factiod?
  • are you serious? the g35 will outrun the 330 anytime.
  • As for the acceleration, I agree with your questioning me. I have had the car for 2 days and got it out on the road a bit today. Very nice. The acceleration is excellent and should improve after a bit of break in.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    g35new,

    Did you test drive the 335i while shopping? The power output is the same as your car but maybe you can give us your impressions of others you compared?

    OW
  • I tested one of those this weekend.

    This was a slushbox 2007 TL type S with Nav. I loved the integrated backup camera. The salesman warned me against testing the bluetooth since I had an older, unupdated Razr.

    How did it drive? There were obvious signs of needing a break-in with the tranny since the car only had 70 miles on it. It hesistated a little between gearshifts (in fully auto mode). I experienced this same issue with the 5-speeds on the G35 and the CTS.

    Acceleration was good. However, it didn't feel as powerful as the G35 or even the 2006 330i. The car felt a little heavy, but not as heavy as the 2007 CTS. I tried to gun it onto a freeway onramp. I was expecting to have to grab the steering wheel, but I got no torque steer. I guess that new anti-torque steer works.

    Handling was good. (It was no 3 series.) I never got the traction control to engage. I drove it down Spicewood. (Those of you in Austin know that road well.) It took the curves without issue. The suspension handled dips wonderfully. The steering actually had a little bit of "road feel". I was surprised. I got more feedback from the TL type-S than I did from the G35 Sport. :confuse: The paddle shifters IMMEDIATELY downshifted like they were supposed to.

    Interior? This was my favorite interior. All due respect to BMW and Cadillac, but I hated their Spartan interiors. There were some cheap touches like hard plastic INSIDE the cup holders and on the REAR of the trunk passthrough. I'm not sure what was up with those pull out pockets on the back of the front seats. The center stack was wonderful with that carbon fiber look. The front seat was the most comfortable in this class and the second most roomy behind the CTS. The CTS seats were HARD!

    The front seats of the G35, Lexus, Mercedes and Audi felt claustrophobic to me. It wasn't just headroom. My arms felt pushed in, and I'm only 5'7". The above cars (especially the A4) seem like they are made for long and lanky types or short and skinny. You don't have to be a fat person to want more arm room if you're at all broad shouldered.

    Sorry, I had to rant.

    The ride? DiSCLAIMER: I haven't driven the new 335, A4, 9-3 or C-class yet. The TL-S had the second softest ride behind the Lexus IS350 (non-sport).

    That's my mini-review. :blush:
  • I forgot to mention that the stereo was the second best I've heard (behind the Lexus) in this segment.
  • Hi Plekto. Liked your list. Finding it really hard to decide which car to actually buy. Just called the Mercedez-Benz dealership to try a C-class car. While talking with the Salesman could not help but feel like they will take me to the cleaners. Saw their deals on financing, and leasing, not sure what to expect.
    Call me demanding, I want a car that has it all- luxury, performance,every option available in it, something that screems success with the good looks yet affordable, is it possible or am I just dreaming ? Who is offering the best deals to be had ? Usually high end dealerships don't deal, you walk in, they take you to the cleaners, game over, no pay, no play.

    Lets review the list of midsized sedans:

    -Audi A4 3.0
    -BMW 330i or 328xi (300hp??)
    -Infiniti G35
    -Cadillac CTS
    -Acura TL-S
    adding to the list I noticed MB was missed:
    -Mercedez C230 ? Super expensive ?
    -Volvo S60 ?
    If you arrange the list based on price versus fun/luxury factor from best to worst what do you get ?

    Remember I am looking for a 'bat outta hell' yet a car that screems luxury and class, for a rock bottom price. Pretty demanding huh ? Does it exist ? Say you had the minimum cash level $30K in the bank, what would you get tomorrow ?
  • BMW 335i
    Infiniti G35
    BMW 328i
    VW GTI
    Audi A3
    Mazdaspeed3

    I wouldn't even get the following but I'll rank 'em

    Audi A4
    Acura TSX
    Lexus IS350
    Acura TL
    MB C
    Caddy CTS
    Volvo
    Saab

    If I could only spend 30k, i'd get a GTI with an MSRP of 26k and put the rest in an ING account. :)

    35k - I'd opt for 335i stripped via European Delivery.
    40k - 335i
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "If you arrange the list based on price versus fun/luxury factor from best to worst what do you get ?"

    Going from PRICE vs. fun/luxury here is my list:

    Lexus IS 250
    Acura TSX
    Acura TL
    Infiniti G35
    Mercedes C
    BMW 3/ Lexus IS 350

    If you want a "bat outta hell' strictly:

    335i
    G35
    IS 350

    If you really like the C class, you can get a stripper model for under 30k.

    "Call me demanding, I want a car that has it all- luxury, performance,every option available in it, something that screems success with the good looks yet affordable, is it possible or am I just dreaming ?"

    My reason for buying a Acura TL.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Without debating the attributes of the cars on your list(s), it appears that you are stretching the boundaries of this forum with your personal preferences. The VW GTI, Audi A3, and Mazdaspeed3 may be some of the better entry level compact coupes, wagons and hatches out there, but they can hardly be called "Luxury Performance Sedans".

    Or, if they can, put my 911S Cab on the list. It's got luxury, four seats and enough extra performance to pass around to the entire list. Albeit it comes up a couple short on the door front.

    On another point, give me your best estimate of what a decently equiped 550i 6-speed would run via ED. My former source of ED invoice info, "Eurobuyers.com" appears to have retired. Thanks.
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