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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • Somebody likes FWD cars...
  • It's a boat. It's falling apart after only 4 years, it handles like garbage and the interior's barely above an Accord EX. She may have leather and navi but in the end it's still a poorly made car that drives like a buick and makes all manner of horrid noises.

    Sorry Volvo, like Saab, belongs on another list: Also Sold. Brands that sell for a lot money but really aren't in any way Entry Level Luxury Performance sedans.

    You're not going to press a 3 or G hard, then hop in a Volvo S anything and feel like it's comparable. Ditto a FWD Lincoln MKZ or saab. Sorry, it's just not happening. This is about enty Level Luxury Performance sedans. The Volvo, Lincoln and Saab lineup are in the company of the Lexus ES world, not the performance sedan world.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,333
    have you ever driven an S60R?

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well I have seen several photo's of both the LS and Audi A8, and have in fact read several tests and reviews on all of them. The LS, and A8, have a few features not found on the Volvo S80. However Volvo, has a few safety gadgets not found on either the LS or A8. The S80 also costs $30K less and has a way better interior than both the LS and A8. It just might be the best ever in my eyes. The engine advantage goes to Audi and Lexus. The exterior styling goes to Volvo also. The Lexus, as fintail would say is numb. The Audi A8, and Volvo S80's driving dynamics are a toss-up. The A8 has a more firm ride and the Volvo, has the 4-C's suspension which gives it a wide range. I guess we could call that a toss up ? So the question is this is the A8 and Lexus LS really worth $30K more than the Volvo S60. For me, no-way-Jose ! I guess for some the extra $30+K buys you status. However the Volvo, wins IMHO on style points and its benchmark safety.

    Rocky
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You might want to preface most of your post IMO. I've been in an S80 and I don't think it has anywhere near the interior of the A8 much less the outgoing LS.

    As far as whether or not these cars are worth $30K more, the sales figures speak for themselves. People who buy these cars, don't blink twice about the price and Lexus, Audi and BMW sell cars at this price, because 1. there is a market, and 2. they can.

    And I don't give a win to the ugly S80 on either style or safety. Volvo has been surpassed in recent years by every other manufacturer.

    If you can't understand why people would want to pay the difference in price between the S80 and LS460, you might as well set your sights on an Elantra.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The S80 also costs $30K less and has a way better interior than both the LS and

    Do you mean the interior MATERIAL QUALITY or STYLE? If you meant the style then I'll say the beauty is in the eyes of the beholders. If you meant the quality then I'll say you'll probably have to double check your vision. By the way, pictures usually don't tell much about interior material quality. For example, most GM and Ford cars' interior looks pretty decent in picture but once sitting in the cabin then it's a POS.

    The exterior styling goes to Volvo also

    Again, it's in your opinion. In my opinion, the Accord coupe looks way better than the MB E-class but does it mean that the Accord is better than the E? I think you know the answer.

    The Lexus, as fintail would say is numb

    First of all, the LS is designed to be a boat on land. To be fair, you should compare the S80 with the GS. I could guarantee you that the GS is not not be any "number" than the S80.

    The Audi A8, and Volvo S80's driving dynamics are a toss-up. The A8 has a more firm ride and the Volvo, has the 4-C's suspension which gives it a wide range

    What do you based this statement on? Your personal experience or mag reviews? Have you driven both the A8 and S80 (or the new LS) before? If not, have you seen any comparo that features the S80, A8 and the LS?

    The bottom line is that the S80 is NOT in the same class as the A8 and LS size-wise, feature-wise and luxuriously-wise.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    People who buy these cars, don't blink twice about the price and Lexus

    True. I think people whom buy those cars care more about the donuts, leather sofa and 50" plasma TVs in the waiting room more than the $30K difference between their car and a Volvo.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    kd, WHATEVER dude !!! The Volvo S80's interior is light years ahead in the styling department over the LS and audi A8. Audi's latest interiors actually look like they should be in a Elantra. Lexus, has always had nice interiors but they are the same old, same old look. Very conservative. Whoever designed the S80's interior should get the nobel prize for automotive art. :P

    Rocky

    P.S. The A8 and LS460 compared to the 07' S80 is like taking a extra $30K and flushing it straight down the toilet IMHO. I'm just glad your not spending my money. ;)
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Again, all you ever talk about is subjective stuffs...Where is the MEAT?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Do you mean the interior MATERIAL QUALITY or STYLE? If you meant the style then I'll say the beauty is in the eyes of the beholders. If you meant the quality then I'll say you'll probably have to double check your vision. By the way, pictures usually don't tell much about interior material quality. For example, most GM and Ford cars' interior looks pretty decent in picture but once sitting in the cabin then it's a POS.

    Based on car mag and internet site reviews. My co-workers own Lexuses and I owned a Acura, at one time and I couldn't tell much of a difference in quality. They are basically the same grade as each other and I know this because I use to make the interior parts for all of them at JCI in Holland Mi.

    Again, it's in your opinion. In my opinion, the Accord coupe looks way better than the MB E-class but does it mean that the Accord is better than the E? I think you know the answer.

    Well the Accord is much more reliable and the quality difference really isn't that significant and yes I recently have sat in co-workers new Accord and a friends MB C-class.

    What do you based this statement on? Your personal experience or mag reviews?

    I gather my information from either my personal test or other sources like co-workers, friends, family, car mags, internet sites like edmunds where I can read actual owners opinions. I just don't come up with pie in the sky opinions even though sometimes it seems that way. If I had a billion dollars I'd still buy and prefer the S80, over the LS or A8. I don't have to wear a designers name on my butt for self-confidence and that's all you are doing with the LS or A8 IMHO. ;)

    The bottom line is that the S80 is NOT in the same class as the A8 and LS size-wise, feature-wise and luxuriously-wise.

    Agree the Volvo S80, beats both of them hands down style- wise, feature-wise I give a slight edge to the LS 460. The Audi A8, is still 5 years behind in gadgetology. luxuriously-wise, well that depends on what you want ? If you want conservative 'more of the same' buy the Lexus. If you like BMW's latest designs you will also like the Audi A8 also. If you want something modern looking that is pleasing to the eye you will pocket the $30+K and drive a Volvo S80. ;)

    It's as easy as that isn't it ? :blush:

    Buy a S80, and go on a road trip with the extra dough. ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    louiswei, I not only I gave you the MEAT, I spoon fed you the potato's and salad also. :P

    Rocky
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Man, Rock, all I see is potato and salad. I AM HUNGRY.

    BTW, I am done with this S80 crap. This off-topic discussion has been dragging on for too long...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    image

    Not too shabby for a so-so package(think boxy)and average in performance area.

    image

    Very understated luxury for a total package of performance, style and precision, IMO.

    Regards,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You can say whatever you want. That does not make it so either in fact, or to the buyers who won't blink twice about $30k. It's strictly in your opinion, which is fine by me.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Although irrelevant to this forum, can you post pics of the backseats in both vehicles? I'm not too savvy on posting pics and links.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    image

    S80 Rear....

    image

    A8 rear cabin...you get what you pay for.

    Regards,
    OW
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The S60 you test drove can be had for about $27K *new* after rebates, so no need to fall for the "2 year old" version trick. (bad dealer - no sale!)

    I like them because it's as I said, like a European Buick. Solid, safe, dependable, and sporty *enough* to at least not feel like a GM or Ford. Just be sure to get the sport package if they offer it. Did you test the sound system? Very nice. I'd so buy a S60R over a LaCrosse.

    We agree on the BMW and Mercedes - heh. It's amazing what they charge these days for that plastic symbol on the hood, isn't it? When I can get somethig like the Lincoln that is nicer, larger, and less money than a *C Class*(let alone Mercedes' main lines) and cars like the Lucerne CXS start to approach the BMWs in quality...

    No, not as good, but darn if you don't get a lot for your dollar. Mazda, btw, is my top pick for value for your money lately. The 6 is a very good car and a reason why you shouldn't buy a Hyundai. The 3 is so close to the new Civic in features and specs that it's scary, and the RX-8 is a bottle of youth with 4 seats. Just open it up and watch your worries evaporate :)

    I still suggest you go test-drive a RX-8 for fun. You'll not regret it.

    P.S. The reason Accura and Lexus look so simmilar is... They are Honda and Toyota in Japan. Those "brands" are foisted off on us in the U.S. for higher prices - while in Japan, it's just another Toyota or Honda.

    And those two in Japan are like comparing Ford vs Chevy trucks. 6 of one, half dozen... :P
  • Ok, in basic terms please describe the criteria for entry level Luxury Performance Sedan that fits into being acceptable for this forum. I believe that there should not be a minimum price range, I don't think one was set. If you can find such a car under $30K built and performs better than these cars it should be mentioned. I drove the BMW 328xi, and the MB C230, are they considered in this class of car ? If they are then for sure the Lincoln MKZ surpasses them in quality, performance, luxury, standard options, price, and long term maintenance costs and deserves to be mentioned here. It is a midsized four seater sedan with 263hp. Overall it is a better car. As a matter of fact I believe that it is underrated and should be seriously taken into consideration here. I encountered this attitude with the salesman at MB, who does not consider any North American product in MB's class, seems narrow minded especially in the face of the facts. The Lincoln MKX is a great car for $29K, and oh, it comes in AWD at $31K since that seems to be a factor here, FWD=bad, cheap, low quality ?? Not sure why, I think Lincoln has outdone itself, good Job !

    What dissappointed me was the Cadillac CTS, I did not like the angular exterior design.
    Also I was not impressed with the Acura TL-S, for the money I would rather get the Lincoln MKX at $35K you can fill it nicely with options, and the salesman was willing to deal from that MSRP ie. bargain for a 6 year extended warantee etc.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I don't know about you, but I don't want a volvo. I'm planning for my 335. Mazda is cheap to me, I won't put myself in one. RX-8 is a one trick pony.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "If they are then for sure the Lincoln MKZ surpasses them in quality, performance, luxury, standard options, price, and long term maintenance costs and deserves to be mentioned here"

    Performance and options are different your mixing and matching. BMWs are the gold standard. That said, they are not for everybody. the MKZ does not surpass BMW in quality or performance, not even close. I won't ever buy another Ford, but that is another story.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Oh, but what a great trick the RX-8 pulls off :)

    It's the closest thing to an old 280Z that's currently for sale. Light, powerful, and handles like a true sportscar. All in a nice family-sedan format. ie - it doesn't beat you to death like a 350Z does.

    Just no "luxury" - otherwise it'd be a ringer in this comparison.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Hopefully, pics are worth a 1000 words and should lay the S80 being even mentioned in the same sentence as an A8 or LS 460 to rest.....
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I owned a Lincoln LS and it was a great car but when I test drove the 330xi, I was blown away by the driving performance. You need to drive one to know in your heart. Here is a good article on the progression at Lincoln to the new MKZ...

    Since the death of the good handling but weak selling LS sedan model, the brand has concentrated on cushy riding semi-luxury barges like the geriatric Town Car and last year's much more modern but still floaty Zephyr mid-sized sedan. As such, demanding roads like those in the Tennessee valleys were not on the agenda.

    Things have changed, however in the last 12 months. After being helmed virtually into the ground by series of ill-suited executives, Lincoln is under new management and most importantly has been given a much needed dose of fresh or revised products.

    The Zephyr has morphed into the MKZ, the Navigator underwent a major refreshening and most significantly, the MKX -- an upscale version of the Ford Edge crossover -- has joined the ranks. The Town Car still lurks in the background but it survives only to serve out an audience that is headed into extinction.

    Recognizing that the Zephyr was shy on horsepower and a little sloppy at the controls, the engineering team upped the V-6 powertrain to 263 hp (from 221), kept the six-speed automatic transmission, offered all wheel drive as an option and firmed up the ride and handling. Even without these improvements, the Zephyr has sold surprisingly well for Lincoln, so the brand rightly expects even better results from the MKZ. And while the car will never be compared with a BMW Three Series or an Acura TL in the handling department, it is certainly a match for the likes of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. And it is sufficiently competent to cope with the Tennessee twisters, including the infamous Deals Gap section, a road with 318 turns in just 11 miles.

    Regards,
    OW
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "Just no "luxury" - otherwise it'd be a ringer in this comparison."

    Exactly- that's why it doesn't belong in the comparison.

    IMHO, the RX-8 with its "4 doors" (and I use the term loosely) does not qualify it being a sedan.
  • like them because it's as I said, like a European Buick. Solid, safe, dependable, and sporty *enough* to at least not feel like a GM or Ford.

    You're in the wrong forum! European Buick - that's hilarious as my buddy always calls my girlfriend's S80 a Buick. "Where's your Buick?" He asks this every time he's at our house as her European Buick is always in the shop for repairs.

    and cars like the Lucerne CXS start to approach the BMWs in quality...

    Wrong forum. Honestly, why are you in a performance forum if all you want is a big car with a soft ride?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, I was pointing out that the Mercedes and BMWs are overpriced for what you get. When you can get a vastly bigger and better optioned out competitor for less money, well, the name-brand factor starts to wear a bit thin.

    But for luxury performance undre $30K - something has to give. And I favor luxury over absolute performance if I had to choose which to go for.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Does the MKZ offer a manual tranny? Nope. Sometimes- it's just that simple to be considered in this segment.

    I don't share your enthusiasm that a MKZ surpasses the 3er or C class in performance.
  • Ok, in basic terms please describe the criteria for entry level Luxury Performance Sedan that fits into being acceptable for this forum.

    Manual transmission as standard equipment
    Suspension tuning with an emphasis on handling over ride quality
    Driver-oriented interior
    Smaller size - ideally a compact but that's getting tougher to find.
    RWD preferable, with FWD as passable and AWD if one really must.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Just test drive the G35, 335I, Acura TL and the Lexus IS350 for a test of this segment.

    Unfortunately, (and believe me, I've felt the pain for a lot of years), our U.S. manufacturers dropped the ball a long time ago and are still looking for it. There is no reason why one of the big three could not provide an offering in this and other segments to trounce the Euro's and Asians. But reality bites. Big Time.

    Just drive and learn. Remember, you get what you pay for...my guess is you will lean toward Acura RL or Lexus GS, both outstanding cars.

    Best Regard,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Well, I was pointing out that the Mercedes and BMWs are overpriced for what you get."

    We'll they are only overpriced, because you can't get the same driving experience anywhere else. Besides if they are so overpriced, why are they selling like hotcakes?
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