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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    OK...no tape player I will live with the entry performance.

    "Drove my Bimmer to the Levee but the Levee was dry....this will be the day that I DIE."
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    you forgot the part about drinking whisky and rye :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    and good old boys.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    have actual cars with (or without) tape players that you'd like to discuss? ;)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    How about another kind of music - music to my ears?

    My new Supersprint exhaust...

    http://www.carspace.com/videos/play!id=.5a1235f7
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Fed,

    What is the vibrational differnece on the road? These are pretty loud!

    BTW, is this the same car you posted the road coarse video last summer?

    Regards,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Below 3700 RPM, it's kind of "buzzy" inside the cabin - sort of a harmonic resonance. Above that RPM, it turns into a wicked purr that makes it all worth it. It's definitely too loud right now so I plan on installing a resonator on the center section to quiet it down a little and add a little back-pressure to boost low end torque somewhat.

    I think I linked the lap where I paced an instructor (also driving an M3) around the track.

    Here's another lap around Spokane without any traffic:

    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=1225387497

    You can definitely hear the difference between the old exhaust and the new one. The power change with the new setup is dramatic - I can't wait to get the M back on the track in a few weeks.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    It looks like you are moving faster on your own. Hats off to the line you take through the track. I need to try that soon.

    Just to get a perspective, what speeds did you attain in this vid?

    The engine sounds real fine at the high end of the revs through the gears. What a difference from when you just reved it in park from the back of the car.

    Regard,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Spokane Raceway Park:

    image

    130 on the front straight, 120 on the back straight.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Awsome track...and you get the most out of that car. Who needs NASCAR?

    Regards,
    OW
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    That is pretty cool. :)

    Rocky
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Here is an interesting combo:

    The idea that General Motors Corp. could buy Chrysler Group has many heads shaking in bemusement, but some who watch the U.S. auto industry say the concept might actually gain traction.

    Muhahahaha!!

    Regards,
    OW
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Yeah, that would be pretty darn cool ;)

    Rocky
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Chrysler will unveil the production version of the 2009 Dodge Challenger 356 days from today (Feb 15). It will be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2008, the company said today.

    Start Planning...5'er, 3'er or CHALLENGER! How cars have shrunk over the years.

    image

    Regards,
    OW
  • Today my fiancee expressed an interest in checking out possible cars to replace her now gone 2001 S80. She said she wanted compact, somewhat luxurious and powerful. Obviously she's driven my 06 330i. She finds it fun but not to her liking (I really wouldn't want two of the same car in the family anyway).

    So we stopped by VW and she drove a GTI 4 door. Not a ELLPS, i know. But it leads into her reactions to the next two cars:

    Acura TSX
    Acura TL

    We got out of the TSX and I already knew she didn't dig it. When pressed by the car guy she matter-of-factly said, "That car is soooooo slow."

    The dealer was actually pretty smart as he didn't flinch but said, "Well try this TL Type S. It's got some power." She agreed; I knew what her reaction would be but figured it would be amusing anyway. We got onto the road and he asked her, "So how does it feel?"

    "Heavy and huge," came her immediate response. She's never heard me mention the TL ever.

    We returned to the lot and he suggested an Accord V6. She has already been in them an answered instantly: no, old lady car.

    Sigh, I think she may be driving her backup car for sometime as we've ruled out all SUVs, the Acura/Honda lineup, BMW and MB. Honestly, I didn't think she'd find the TSX that slow but after driving the GTI, she couldn't understand why anyone would opt for the far less responsive engine in the TSX.

    Next stop Audi.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,905
    Audi? In CA, do they stock Quattro cars or are most of them FWD?

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

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Blue,

    What about the G?

    Regards,
    OW
  • G35? Neither of us liked the 07 when we drove it at Thanksgiving. Extremely cramped interior and car felt heavy and disconnected from the road. I prefer the last gen car more.
  • They stock both but we'd look at the A3 (essentially FWD only as the 3.2 is way overpriced); it's far more space efficient than the cramped A4 and reasonably priced for what it is.

    Hard to find compact entry lux cars nowadays. Even the 3 series is a midsize now.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    G35? Neither of us liked the 07 when we drove it at Thanksgiving. Extremely cramped interior and car felt heavy and disconnected from the road. I prefer the last gen car more.

    I enjoy seeing everyone else's opinion of these cars, and how they differ from person to person.

    I've driven the TL and agree with your conclusions.
    I drove the G35x two days ago and I had a completely different opinion from yours.

    I feel the cars handles incredibly well, and rivals (comes very close) to the feel of a 3-series.
    There was also no front end dive when slamming on the brakes, and no heavy plowing in corners like the TL.

    Good luck finding a final decision. :)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    You could always go with a roadster, you know... :P

    The sad fast is that anything FWD will feel sluggish and dead compared to a RWD setup, because the steering is by definition going to have torque and weight on it bogging it down.

    And 3500+lbs kills anything right there as well - it starts to feel like a GM or Ford in that it's good in a straight line, but lacks the tossability of say, an old BMW 2002 which is probably the best example of a sports sedan ever made - pure and simple and a blast to drive.

    But two cars she should try are:

    The older IS300. I has a great balance of power versus weight, compared to the too-slow IS250 and the silly priced IS350. It's the ONLY Japanese car I ever drove that felt like a European one. But then they de-powered the base model and made both cars so much more heavy... Ack.

    The other is a RX-8. With leather, it's not too bad as far as feeling a bit luxurious. But it's light, quick, and fast. It feels a lot like well... like you took a G35 and dropped 500 pounds of dead-weight. Because the RX-8 weighs 3000lbs, yeah, it kind of IS exactly like that.

    Plus, if she likes stick, it's even better.

    IMO, the RX-8 handles better than even a 3 series. Herehsy I know, but the thing is that it's roughly 300lbs lighter and HP isn't everything. I'd take one over the 328i anyday.
    (the 335i is definately better, but dang what a pricetag) The IS350, at nearly 3600lbs is... well, yeah... It bludgeons its way through corners like a 5 series or Mercedes. Not bad, mind you, but not light, either.

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/bmw/3series/100814243/specs.html
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/mazda/rx8/100793743/specs.html
    Do a side by side comparison(make two thin and tall windows)

    - Mazda is a bit shorter, less wide, weighs 300lbs less, plus a few inches shorter wheelbase. bit over a 1 ft smaller turning circle. Same HP(230 vs 232). Of note is how the rear seats are very close in size to each other. If BMW thinks you can actually fit a 5th person in the center rear seat...

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/infiniti/g35/100822701/specs.html
    Yes, it is almost 500 lbs heavier. Weight is poison in curves. Considering that an Altima is 3000lbs, I just don't know why these cars are so darn heavy.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Better yet, she could go with an EVO, which has "tossability", weighs in under 3,300 lbs. and is a good all weather car.

    Regards,
    OW
  • That's why the choices are limited. TSX is small and I'd hoped she'd like it. No such luck. A3 is one of the few small near lux cars with power, nice interior space and decent roadfeel/handling.

    The RX-8 has great handling/good power but it's got no interior space - especially for a baby seat. Same interior problems with the IS. Evo is an economy car and feels it. Same with the WRX.

    Really if the A3 gets shot down she's gotta re-examine her priorities. She's going to have to give up something: power, handling, space, small size, luxury. hopefulyl she'll pick luxury as then that opens the Mazda3 to us. :)

    FWIW, those RDXs look pretty nice,
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The RX-8 doesn't have a center rear position, but it's plenty big enough for a baby seat in the rear(two, same as the 3 series). The interior space is virtually identical to the 3 series.

    I'd let her drive it. But, if she needs more space than a 3 series, she's looking at midsize cars. There's no way she's coming out ahead in that case. (ie - might as well try to fit a child seat in a smaller car than suffer with a boat)

    There is another option, though...
    The IS300 Sportcross. This is a wagon version of the IS, and as such, has more rear room(though it's exactly the same, it FEELS larger - like the Volvo 240s did, for instance). It also could be had with stickshift, making it a solid performer.

    Me? Unless you have a baby now, the reality is that a booster seat or even most full-size baby seats will fit in the rear of a RX-8. Shoot, I fit a full-size one in a Focus(rear pasenger seat), though there was only about 1 inch if clearance.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    3 series mid-sized? Compared to what?
    It is not very big inside, especially the back. Are you referring to EPA volume ratings?
    EPA says 335i is a compact with 93/12 pass/cargo space in cu.ft.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Focus (94/15) is roomier than the sub-compact RX-8 (89/8).
    (EPA pass/cargo cu.ft.)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "FWIW, those RDXs look pretty nice,"

    Yeah, but you better hook your bank account directly into Exxon. Drive as intended and you're looking at 11-12 mpg.
  • The RX-8 doesn't have a center rear position, but it's plenty big enough for a baby seat in the rear(two, same as the 3 series). The interior space is virtually identical to the 3 series.

    You can sit a carseat dead center in an e46 and easily in an e90. I've done it with my e46 and e90 and my bro-in-law's been doing it for 4 years with his e46. Plenty of room in an e46 and expansive in the massive e90. The e90's freaking huge inside and out.


    There is another option, though...
    The IS300 Sportcross.


    1. Used - will only by new unless it's wholly unavoidable.
    2. Far more cramped than an e46 and e90 - I couldn't sit in the back of an IS300.
    3. Drives like a slothful wagon - zero power.

    I've been in the RX-8 and it's cramped in the front and impossible for me to get in back (flipside I've ridden comfortably in the back of the e46/e90). Getting a car seat in the back of one would be evil and turn the car into a 3 passenger.

    KD, I know the RDX's engine sucks gas. Nice small package though. If she were serious about SUVs we'd be looking X3 via ED; maybe Mazda but that's where the options end.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    3 series mid-sized? Compared to what?
    It is not very big inside, especially the back. Are you referring to EPA volume ratings?
    EPA says 335i is a compact with 93/12 pass/cargo space in cu.ft.
    ****
    My point was that it apears as if he wants a car for his wife that doesn't exist. She wants midsize space and subcompact handling. Not going to happen without a huge gimmie somewhere, and the child seat seems like an obvious first place to start. Afterall, the difference between the rear passenger and rear center isn't that much in terms of safety, and there are dozens of makes of child seats.

    And, yes, the RX-8 can fit a child seat in the rear. The seats are very low. I felt as comportable in the rear as most compact cars in the front. Think of it as a car with 4 bucket seats.

    As for the space, it's like the Porsche 928. 2+2, so the rear takes a hit on paper because there's no center at all - it's all one big driveshaft tunnel and center console(which is awesome to use as a passenger, btw). I'd venture it loses about 15-20 cubic ft right there. But since most small cars don't USE that center rear area in actual use(child seat aside, which makes the rear good for NOBODY ELSE), it's like you took the 15 cubic ft of the least useable space in the car and got rid of it.

    When I get in the rear seat of a car, I sit behind the passenger if possible, THEN on the driver's side. Middle is only if I have no choice at all.

    It's small, but look at what his wife wants. She wants a 3 series but with a Minivan's cargo space by the sound of it.

    If she goes small, the truth is that the rear will BE small - but since only small kids will go back there, it's not a huge deal, is it? I'd concentrate on trying any and all cars first - actually drive them all, then worry about if a seat can be wedged in the rear or not.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Looks like she needs to settle for the 335. Why didn't she like it again?

    Regards,
    OW
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