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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I don't think the example you cite means that build and material quality have nothing to do with with reliability. Sure, engineering and design plays a big part, but build and material quality has tons to do with breakdowns. I mean; it was some mechanical physical part that must of been of LOW quality in order to fail in performance (stop working) so early in life.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I understand all manufacturers (even Lexus and Acura) have some issues with some cars. Sounds like Automobile has been unlikely.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    You mean unlucky? ;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I love wood too - we have solid cherry windows, doors/frames, baseboards, etc in our current house (4,000 board feet of the stuff for those that know what a board foot is).

    However, all the wood in the world wouldn't get me to buy a Jaguar today - too much Ford shows through and they forgot how to make manual transmissions. Not to mention driving dynamics that are hardly "sporty". First and foremost to me is how well a car is engineered and performs. It needs to look good too, but if the looks are only skin deep, it won't work for me.

    Nice boat.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    I agree. For Jag, they there always to car for Corvette to wipe the road with. But I do like their interiors.

    Regards,
    OW
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I think its been pretty thoroughly proven that build quality and reliability arent related. Look at VWs for an example. Obviously owners arent aware of the build quality of the internals of their cars so when I speak of build quality I'm talking about external components that you can see.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I think its a little more than unlucky if you have four cars with issues in 13 years. If a real customer had that kind of bad luck I dont think they would be buying BMW again.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    1487, totally agree.

    Regards,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I agree. Judging by the sales numbers and plant utilitization, one could hypothesize these types of problems are the exception rather than the rule. If BMW is as bad as all that, for the smallest guy on the block they wouldn't be leading in sales in the ELLPS and the LPS categories.

    Or, maybe the BMW buyers' priorities are different than the family sedan buyers priorities.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Or, maybe the BMW buyers' priorities are different than the family sedan buyers priorities.

    I totally agree about that. Some buyers are more interested in the emotional connection to the car.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I dont think the average German car buyer cares all that much about reliability. If that wasnt the case MB wouldnt be doing so well. As far as I know BMW isnt at the top of the rankings in reliability in JD Power or CR surveys. People are willing to put up with more from German vehicles than American vehicles. Thats the way I see it.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I guess when Domestics can match the Germans in customer service, dealership experience, prestige factor, build quality, performance and handling then the buyers will be willing to put up with it.

    That's the way I see it. Don't ask what the customers can do for you, ask what you can do for the customers...

    :P
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    There is only one domestic luxury manufacturer and that is Cadillac. They consistently rank higher than BMW and MB in dealer satisfaction. Build quality has been there for many years, even going back to the FWD STS of last decade. Any visit to an autoshow or dealership will confirm this. The STS and CTS are more than capable of matching the E, 5, 3 and C class as well as Audis in performance. Of course the CTS is old now so its underpowered compared to the 335i but that will soon change. The new CTS will most definitely be as good or better than the new C350 and A4 but no match for the smaller, lighter 335. Well I shouldnt say no match, I should say the 3 series will be faster and more agile.

    I have heard little that suggests that BMW/MB/Audi dealers can match Lexus or Cadillac in customer service. If you know of anything that states otherwise let me know.

    Prestige factor is up to the individual. Most people that post here would rather have a 328 than an STS-V because ANY BMW is more prestigous than any Caddy in some minds. Not in mine. I dont find anything prestigous about a car that is ubiquitous no matter how good in handles. The fact that I see 15 3 series models a day means that its almost like seeing Camrys and Accords. The badge alone isnt going to make me want the car.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Cadillac trails BMW in handling and resale value. It trails MB in resale value only and it trails Audi in nothing that I can think of right now. Some people are willing to endure less than stellar service and high pricing to get a small edge in handling or "prestige" factor but others aren't. My thinking is nothing a BMW is capable of is ever going to be explored on public roads and I dont race my car so its pointless to pay more for a car that is equal to other models up to 8/10ths and is only superior at the limit.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I have heard little that suggests that BMW/MB/Audi dealers can match Lexus or Cadillac in customer service. If you know of anything that states otherwise let me know.

    I've only seen firsthand one dealer network try: Lexus. The Caddy dealer in San Diego laughed at me for wanting a manual, not exactly good customer service. MB of San Diego also laughed outright when I requested a manual C class. BMW dealers jump through hoops to sell but don't care about retaining customers, fixing problems or in any way assisting people; they're as worthless as common American/Japanese dealers.

    Prestige factor is up to the individual. Most people that post here would rather have a 328 than an STS-V because ANY BMW is more prestigous than any Caddy in some minds.

    Any non-american car is better. Prestige is not a factor and never will be as luxury nameplates are meaningless marketing.

    The badge alone isnt going to make me want the car.

    True that. It's all in the drive.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "True that. It's all in the drive..."

    Bingo!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    My thinking is nothing a BMW is capable of is ever going to be explored on public roads

    Honestly, where do you drive that you can't hang the car out ever? Reminds me of trips to the midwest and south - miles and miles of nothing but flat land; I'd go buggy without mountains, hills, the ocean, etc. Hell, just driving home last night from LA we had a great time in my fiancee's A3 - the roads were open, the night was clear, she was having a blast toying with her car's power and handling on every corner, dip, twist, turn. We hit some backroads for kicks at around 11 and just played until near midnight.

    If you can't exercise the car, then what's the point of getting any ELLPS? You don't need the P: just stick with the L part.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    divergence in the "performance" hypotheses.

    Who says you have to push a car's limits to experience evidence of a superior driving set up? Hell, just puttering around town the difference between a great driving package and a marshmallow is painfully obvious, IMO.

    To BG's point, though, if you don't feel the difference and intend to use the fun occasionally, why buy it?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    MB of San Diego also laughed outright when I requested a manual C class.
    ****
    Call the dealer in Arcadia, CA.(Near Pasadena) They are very willing to find you one with manual, since their top salesperson drives one with manual(and asking around, they all love stickshifts, especially in the roadsters). The C class, minus the sunroof, nav, and other electronic fluff, with a manual gearbox, is a joy to drive and actually quite reliable(its the electricals and accessories that fail on them - same as VW(same electronics/electrical suppliers for almost all German cars). Nav? Garmann and save $1000. Plus it goes with you if you need it to. The sunroof's too far back to be useable in the C-class, IMO - so better off ignoring it - plus a moonroof is basically a magnifying glass on a hot day. All it does is heat your car up even more.

    I almost bought a C230K this winter (certified, yada yada) - but decided to wait until this fall to get the right price/color. Stickshift, and that 1.8L supercharged engine is a fantastic combination. It's hard to find a C230 *sedan* with manual though(silly high resale value as almost nobody wants to sell theirs).

    Btw - the turnaround time on a manual C class is about 24-48 hours here in Los Angeles. As soon as the ad is online, it's gone in hours, new or used. Automatics... yeah... sometimes they sit for months.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    This was 2003's search. I didn't check MB in 06.

    You're right about the sunroof and the navi.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    It's very dealer-dependant, though. The dealership in Van Nuys, CA, for instance, doesn't act like manuals exist. Lol. Valencia, also, same deal. Oddly enough, Beverly Hills groks manuals. Course they want full msrp and act like you need a reservation as expected. :P

    The shame about sunroofs is that almost all new cars moved them back 4-6 inches to accomodate the lights/garage opener/etc cluster on the ceiling. This places it too far back to be viewed out of while you are driving. You can feel the wind and stick your arm up and such, but unless you turn your head sideways, you see no sky.

    And they leak and cost a fortune to fix when they get older. Just... not my thing. Now, a Porsche 968 with its cavernous, gaping wound of a sunroof... ah... that's a whole other story... :)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And they leak and cost a fortune to fix when they get older. Just... not my thing. Now, a Porsche 968 with its cavernous, gaping wound of a sunroof... ah... that's a whole other story...

    Ah the ole 968. I saw one on the road the other day. Made me reflect on how much the world has changed in such a short time.

    BTW, a genius car salesman tried to tell us recently that the sky roof on the A3 - two giant pieces of glass atop the car - helps to keep the vehicle cool. My fiancee looked back at him and asked, "Are you familiar with the term greenhouse effect?"

    Same guy also tried to tell us the DSG tranny was the same as a Porsche Tiptronic. Honestly, they need to test these guys.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    What kind of A3 did your fiance end up getting?

    I have to admit, I find my A3 to be the most fun to drive car I've ever been in/let alone driven. I used to not have fun driving (especially with traffic in CA), but the A3 changed that. Now, I just wanna drive to drive the A3. :)

    The sport package suspension works wonders.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Premium package, XM, DSG and Ocean Blue something paint.

    It's a 2006 with 12k miles on the odometer. Not bad when you consider the couple bought it 20 months ago -
    yep 600 miles a month! The previous owners were almost as golden as the "lady who just drove this ferrari to church on Sundays." A yuppie-ish couple, they loved the car but some financial difficulties made them give it up. We scored as the car's immaculate and of course still covered by Audi's 4/50k warranty.

    Another big bonus - beyond her constant smile while driving it - the owners surrendered the car for a point that's well below KBB/Edmunds and saved us about 7-8k if we'd bought new.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,594
    DSG?

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Blue,

    How would you describe the drive in the A3 vs. your outgoing 330?

    Regards,
    OW
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    DSG = direct shift gearbox. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-Shift_Gearbox

    Everything SMG was supposed to be but wasn't.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,594
    No.. I was asking... Does your's have DSG? I'm guessing yes.. :)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Oh, hmmm. The A3 feels far lighter and more responsive. Move the wheel and the car responds now and the chassis doesn't slowly react like BMW's e90. The engine pulls and pulls effortlessly. It's disquieting how the 2.0T just starts pulling and never really lets up. Of course, the seamless, near instant shifts of the DSG also help make engine always seem like it's at the top of the car's 207 ft-lbs of torque. Again, lighter car, fast tranny, strong torque = fun.

    Now, it's light and responds quickly. Unfortunately, for me the heavy understeer of FWD still seems foreign. I don't recall my Protege ES exhibiting so much understeer. Also, the A3's heavier and more nose-heavy, I think, than my old 2003 ES; that may explain it some. Regardless, there's front end plow and as she got the premium package, the suspension's not set up for my aggressive style.

    For her, it's perfect. Some sport, lots of fun, lots of utility and enough luxury to keep her happy. For me, it's too soft - I knew that from 2005/2006 test drives - but amusing nonetheless.

    I'm actually stuck in a predicament as I was aiming for the 4 door GTI but having two Mrk V-based cars with the same engine/tranny/chassis might be too creepy. Damn VW for not offering the R32 as a 4 door. I'm supposed to show my 330i to a perspective buyer tomorrow (another guy offered to fly in this weekend from SF) and I must say I'm now a little at a loss. Perhaps a Miata for a year or two, or maybe a Mini for a year or two. Keep the bimmer for the remaining 11 months and start over in 08? Gotta ponder it all as I feel ill thinking about having almost near twin cars.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Yes. She can drive manuals but prefers autos. This gives her both worlds as she loves toggling to a lower gear for more power instantly.
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