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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    it's what's for drivin'.
    :shades:
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    You guys fail to admit that most BMW 3 series buyers are buying it simply for that badge. I mean c'mon...until about 3 years ago you had to buy an expensive option package to get power seats and a few years before that it was power windows! Those are basic things in a luxury car, with or without the P! Now, you have to upgrade the damn thing to get leather. WTF????? Here in Atlanta you can't throw a stone without hitting a 3 series. Be it one of the Banglelized versions or previous. And most of those are the base model and a good many of those are without the upgraded options that should be standard on a car of that cost. Even at the base model's cost. You cannot tell me most of those people are buying the car for feel. If we were to survey most of them I'm confident they'd mostly tell you they like the image and prestige of a BMW and think it looks cute!

    I will give them credit for this though. They're improving their base model to include more and more options. But get with the program, BMW, and offer leather as standard. Leatherette is a joke. And do it without raising the cost. There's no reason for the leatherette.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Many people don't want leather. Many also want cloth as an option. Reconcile that with your luxury standards.

    In fact many BMW owners complain about all the junk on the cars now. Some don't want the moonroof or the auto AC or DSC. What about RFTs? Luxury some would say, while myself and others have ditched RFTs because of their weight and influence on handling. Personally, I would like a great deal of the sound deadening material removed from my car.

    If I go BMW again I may opt for the ette as I was in an 07 with it and it felt fine.

    Can't speak for most buyers. I know why many here bought the car.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    monotonous but I have to agree with BG again. Plenty of buyers in the Hall have voiced a strong preference for cloth. It's not my choice, but I certainly understand it. I prefer Alcantara myself.

    Ditto on the leatherette. I think BMW's quality is outstanding frankly. A great option for PETA types as well.

    ACC I have never liked on any car personally. Set it and forget it is a crock, IMO, especially with the systems that perpetually run the compressor whether necessary or not.

    Luxury is in the seat of the beholder?
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    "Can't speak for most buyers. I know why many here bought the car."

    That's kinda my point. Those of us on here are not the average Joe or Jane out buying these things.

    Also, I think very few in the ELLPS market would consider leatherette a better choice to leather.

    And just throwing this out there but if you're looking for more P than L in a car why not try something in a different category? I mean a Porsche's interior is pretty spartan compared to that of the average ELLPS. Might cost you a bunch more but then again you might be able to get a used one for a decent price. Then you'll get more go than show.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Got to agree with hauss here, a $39K car (MSRP, I don't want get into the Euro delivery discussion) without leather in today's auto market is PATHETIC. And BMW also charges another grand for metallic paint! WTF??!!. Hands down that the 3er is definitely the performance king in the ELLPS segment but regular Joes and Janes ain't gonna take notice of that comparing to others such as the IS and G. Let's be frank here, I know many regulars here are the true enthusiasts and value the P way above L. But I still think the majority buyers out there are more likely to be the regular Joe/Jane type and standard leather plus no cost for metallic paint would make them much happier.

    Face it, most people buy BMW because its a BMW, not because it's the best performer in its segment. Also, most people buy the 3 not because its the best ELLPS out there but it's because they couldn't afford the 5.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And just throwing this out there but if you're looking for more P than L in a car why not try something in a different category? I mean a Porsche's interior is pretty spartan compared to that of the average ELLPS. Might cost you a bunch more but then again you might be able to get a used one for a decent price. Then you'll get more go than show.

    Look over your paragraph for a second. We're in the Entry level luxury performance sedans forum. Does Porsche make a sedan? Nope. And FWIW, Porsche's interiors are great!

    The market for performance sedans is exceptionally small. You want 4 doors, power, handling, at worst AWD and a manual.

    Some might call the Evo and WRX performance sedans. After that you've gotta move to the Speed6/Legacy and then G35/3 series. Higher still would be the 5 series and yeah no others with even a manual.

    So if one wants some measure of luxury that pretty much negates the WRX/Evo options instantly. Stupid fun cars but they always feel like what they are - bargain basement rockets.

    Speed6 steps up the luxury but adds serious poundage and it uses a wonky Haldex AWD system. Legacy's got the performance part down but inside it feels cheap, cheap, cheap.

    So we're right back at the G and 3 series.

    When it comes right down to it, a performance sedan is not an easy car to come by. It's already a compromise vehicle as it seats 4-5 people, has 4 doors and thus must be kept to a certain shape/size.

    Many of us feel we've compromised enough by going 4 door sedan. We're opting for a basic level of utility in exchange for a few moments each day of fun. We can compromise more and get a FWD vehicle or an auto-only car but to the few of us that repress our Speed Racer Id, we feel like we've given up enough for the sake of family, job, etc, so we're not backing down from our basic vehicular requirements.

    I don't relish giving up RWD or a manual in my 4 door sedan. I'm living enough for others by getting a 4 door sedan - the hell if I'll surrender the last vestiges of fun I know in a car.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    By dealership satisfaction I was talking about owners opinions of the dealerships. Caddy does very well in JD Power surveys. So does Lexus and Jaguar. Just want to be clear.

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

    Better based on what?
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Anything that can be safely done on public roads can be done with any of the cars in this class. You need to be at a race track to hit the type of speeds where one MIGHT be able to appreciate the difference offered by a BMW with the sport package. without the sport package a BMW is just another RWD car, very competent but nothing exceptional.

    "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."

    Sounds good but we all know most luxury buyers are getting a car for image, not performance capability. Most 3 series owners could care less about exploiting the capabilities of their car at high speeds. They have the car to show that they have "made it" and your social status will rise if you push a BMW.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And BMW also charges another grand for metallic paint!

    Metallic pain is $475. Is it that hard to look up facts before you post something that's patently false?

    But I still think the majority buyers out there are more likely to be the regular Joe/Jane type and standard leather plus no cost for metallic paint would make them much happier.

    They can buy other cars. I think you're all ignoring the sales of 70k TLs, 40k IS250/350s, 60k of ES350s, 40k of A4s, 60k of other cars like the C, Saab, Volvo, TSX.

    The market is saturated with non-performance angled cars. The 3 and G appeal to that narrow market.

    Face it, most people buy BMW because its a BMW, not because it's the best performer in its segment. Also, most people buy the 3 not because its the best ELLPS out there but it's because they couldn't afford the 5.

    Find some proof of that. Honestly, this is bandied about so often. Do you believe someone drives a 328i with an msrp of 40k because it has a badge and they totally ignore the Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, MB, Acura models? There comes a point when you must look at the market and wonder if you're saying each year 90k out of 100k people bought a 3 series based on marketing, while the other 400-500k that bought other brands did so because they saw through BMW's marketing ruse.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Do you have any stats to back up your assertion that most luxury buyers dont want cloth? That sounds very suspicious to me. The majority of luxury cars sold have leather and its standard on many models. Not sure why anyone would say most people want cloth or leatherette. Cadillac got cheap and started offering vinyl just like BMW on the CTS. Leather used to be standard.

    If you dont like electronics and borderline useless technology BMW isnt the car for you. The GErmans are at the forefront of adding tech that no one asked for. Active steering anyone? Of course they do make most of this stuff optional which is kind of an indication that they know many buyers cant afford and/or dont want this stuff.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I thought you were the one who said long ago that you preferred the A3 test drive to the GTI because the GTI leaned and plowed more (compared to sport A3). GTI is raised, or did something get modified in the 4 door version?
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    bgdc, haven't you yourself mentioned many times before that you aren't concerned with the size of a car or that you aren't all that enamored with the materials used in your car? Or am I getting you mixed up with someone else?

    I realize what this forum is all about and I also realize you have on more than one occasion strayed from it's topic by talking about other cars not listed in the description above. I'm merely doing the same.

    And I'm not trying to insult you or put you on the defensive. I'm just throwing out my two cents to you as an outsider that has read several of your posts and thinks that perhaps you should take a step back before you make your next purchase decision. Maybe go through your list of requirements in a car and weigh those pros and cons again. And if you're already done that then far be it from me to tell you what to do.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Do you believe someone drives a 328i with an msrp of 40k because it has a badge and they totally ignore the Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, MB, Acura models? "

    In a word, yes. Many people deride Japanese luxury cars as imposters and feel they lack the prestiage and heritage of German luxury brands like BMW and MB. You can tell by looking at the people behind the wheel of most BMWs that they didnt buy the car for handling. On top of that, most BMWs I see lack the sport package which tells me the owner is a badge snob who wanted the propeller on the front to impress people. BMW has a great image and great marketing and people will stretch to make a payment on a BMW because it is seen as more envy worthy than an Acura, Infiniti, Cadillac, etc.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "When it comes right down to it, a performance sedan is not an easy car to come by."

    If we are going to consider the 3 series a performance sedan than it seems to me the G35, C class, IS, CTS and A4 could also be considered the same. I dont think the market for these type of vehicles is all that small. If we added up the yearly sales of all those cars I think we would have a substantial number of vehicles even if we acknowledge that not every model within the range of the aforementioned vehicles is a "performance" model. Dont you agree? I fail to see why you believe there are limited options for those seeking sporty sedans.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    They can buy other cars. I think you're all ignoring the sales of 70k TLs, 60k IS250/350s, 80-90k of ES350s, 40-50k of A4s, 80k of other cars like the C, Saab, Volvo, TSX.

    If you're gonna knock louiswei for not having his facts straight you better do the same to yourself
    . Unless you're including overseas figures then your numbers are wrong. You're close with the TL but off on some of the others. Way off in some instances.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Anything that can be safely done on public roads can be done with any of the cars in this class. You need to be at a race track to hit the type of speeds where one MIGHT be able to appreciate the difference offered by a BMW with the sport package.

    Speeds? Have you ever tracked a car? AutoX maybe? A full track day at Button Willow? If you think you're hitting hyper legal speeds in any of the ELLPS during a track day, you're at the wrong kind of track. The best lap around a track may never break a top speed of 55 mph. Tracking is about getting the perfect line, transitioning the body weight for your next turn, looking for the right exit so you're positioned perfectly for that next turn's apex.

    If you think it's about speed you've never tracked and never autoXed.

    without the sport package a BMW is just another RWD car, very competent but nothing exceptional.

    Considering that's 4 other cars, it's not a big market.

    CTS
    IS
    G35
    C class.

    Sounds good but we all know most luxury buyers are getting a car for image, not performance capability.

    What? Do you guys have any evidence to back these claims up or you producing them from a cave around the corner?

    They have the car to show that they have "made it" and your social status will rise if you push a BMW.

    Ludicrous. as so many have pointed out, BMWs are hardly expensive in an age where the average sale price of a car is $27,800.

    Lexus' number one seller is the RX350 (9k a month) - and it starts at $39,515 without leather! The smallest package adds 3500 dollars, pushing the price to 43k.

    Lexus sells 9000 of those a month. And that's the basic model with 1 of the 3 packages.

    But a BMW is a sign someone made it? What's a 43k camry-based SUV with an L mean then?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Do you have any stats to back up your assertion that most luxury buyers dont want cloth?

    Never wrote that.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    Sounds good but we all know most luxury buyers are getting a car for image, not performance capability.

    What? Do you guys have any evidence to back these claims up or you producing them from a cave around the corner?


    I believe none of us has any emperical evidence to back up any stance on this subject either way. Right?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Ballparked them. My apologies if I'm off...

    TL looks like ~50k. I had no idea sales had plummeted on those.
    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/03/01/038737.html

    The A4 - according to what I read in an article on Fourtitude moves ~40k units a year - http://www.fourtitude.com/news/publish/Features/article_2926.shtml
    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/03/01/038695.html
    IS - I overestimated their potential - real number will be closer to 45-50k.
    ES - about 60k - way overestimated those, my apologies.
    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/03/01/038764.html

    C Class should move over 40k units this year: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/03/01/038749.html

    TSX is gonna hit 25k easy

    Volvo - S40 will move 24-25k

    Add up Volvo, TSX and C class and you're over 80k.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I believe none of us has any emperical evidence to back up any stance on this subject either way. Right?

    We have sales of all the other entry lux cars to prove that buyers aren't morons following marketing. There are plenty of options available and given the high number of sales to all of them, I'd contend people do buy a BMW because they want one. Maybe there is evidence of the average number of cars looked at/tested prior to purchase?
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    Since you can't use 2 months of 2007 figures for two months because auto industry sales are cyclical...try these links instead...

    http://www.forbes.com/vehicles/2006/12/15/best-selling-luxury-forbeslife-cx_dl_1- 218bestsellingluxurycars.html

    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/03/0301_bestlux/index_01.htm
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Better based on what?

    That was my subjective viewpoint. you can offer me a Corvette Blue Devil for $5 and i won't touch it simply because it's American. I'm totally biased and will not own an American car. The rest of the world is fine but I refuse to support the American car industry.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    That's not proof of why someone buys the car they did. It just means no one car is the predominant choice to anyone in the market for one. Some sell more than others but none takes the majority. Now, if we could find a data showing us how many cars a buyer looked at before purchasing and what ones they looked at we might have something here.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Agreed. We have the internets...get to it. :P
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I've read the entire internet... twice.
    I didn't see that page ;)
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    LOL! I've already wasted too much of my companie's time and money reading and writing posts on here today. :D
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "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."

    If that's your thinking then you would be far better in an Acura TL than any Cadillac. Better fit and finish, better dealer service (at least in my area), much better quality interior materials, more standard features, lower cost and considerably better resale value. In terms of performance, the only holdback to the TL is a FWD setup, but that's not an issue below 8/10ths and the better FWD traction would help in rain or snow.

    Why in the world someone would buy a CTS over a TL is beyond me. There isn't an objective rational reason I am aware of - except if you live in Detroit and don't want to have your car keyed by some redneck.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Here's one interest metric...the most researched cars lists on KBB, Edmunds, etc:

    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/mostpopular/index.html
    5. 3 Series
    11. G35
    18. TL
    28. A4

    Most Researched Sedans for my area:
    http://www.kbb.com/kbb/Selection/ZipCode.aspx
    7. TL
    9. G35
    14. ES350
    18. C class
    21. IS
    23. A4
    25. TSX

    I did it for my area code, beverly hills, la jolla etc. Numbers were the same.

    intellichoice - http://www.intellichoice.com/carBuying101/Top10Researched

    6. TL
    7. G35

    NCTD - http://www.nctd.com/review-top10.cfm
    March 2007
    7. G35

    Consumer Reports
    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2007/01/most_popular_ve.html
    7. TL

    One thing seems clear - online the G35 and TL get quite a bit of attention from perspective buyers.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Working from home today - and it's a really, really slow day. Most of the staff is heavy into development or off meeting with partners across the nation.
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