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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "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??!!."

    Pathetic? That BMW elects to make leather an option, but whose standard leatherette is better than the crappy BarcaLounger leather on most American cars and even some Japanese cars? And that they charge $475 for metallic paint.

    No, that's not pathetic. Lexus calling the IS350 a "sport" sedan and not even offering a manual transmission at ANY price. Now that is PATHETIC. . :P ;)
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    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.

    LMAO!!!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,262
    Extremely well put.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Cadillac is the one charging big bucks for fancy paint. $995 for "infrared," "thunder grey," and "white diamond."
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    habitat1, it's just too bad that you and Lexus apparently disagree on the definition of LUXURY performance/sports SEDAN. I guess Lexus came out even by losing you as a potential buyer (or were you ever one?) but lured me (the Honda/Acura faithful) into an IS350 from TL and 3er. Maybe you are a more experienced driver, more of an enthusiast than me, more well established than me but at the end of the day, my money is as good as yours as far as Lexus' concern. ;)
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    $995 for "infrared," "thunder grey," and "white diamond."

    One grand for paint is just PATHETIC.

    By the way, my apology for not getting the fact straight on how much BMW charging their metallic paint.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    No problem. I shouldn't have gone off like that. My apologies.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Louis, neither the TL nor the new IS fits my personal definition. The TL is an entry lux bargain, IMO, but loses on the performance side by having the power on the wrong end. Even though Honda is the absolute leader, IMO, in driving front wheels, and has become adept at steering feel for a FWDer, it's still nowhere near a 3 or A3 or A4 for driving feel, and from personal experience the torque steer is still there, especially under hard foot. The IS is just go fast (with great brakes) and total isolation from the pleasure of real driving experience.

    Even with the 3 porking up and bulking out beyond reason, I'd still take it over any TL iteration or new IS, and I don't have any interest in a 3!.

    You're quite right, however, that Toyota knows its audience and plays up its strengths in that way. Same for Honda more or less.

    BG: I don't know about John Q. seeing through marketing hype. Far as I know, SAAB is still selling cars... }-]
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The IS is just go fast (with great brakes) and total isolation from the pleasure of real driving experience.

    Ironically, those 2 characteristics (fast and good brakes) were exactly what I was looking for. Does IS exhibit more isolation than its competitors in this segment? Definitely. However, saying that it has total isolation just couldn't be further away from the truth.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    luxury cars in general are rip offs and this is not something that applies to BMW alone> Anyone who thinks that the average 328 driver bought the car simply to attack switchbacks is out of touch with reality. Not saying that applies to you but thats just a simple fact. When most of these cars are used for low speed commuting more than anything else I have to question how anyone could honestly think most BMW drivers (or any other sports sedan drivers) are out abusing their cars and testing their handling limits on a regular basis. BMWs are used to drive to work and run errands in heavy suburban traffic just like other cars. Sorry, but I doubt that at least half of the people I see driving BMWs have any interest in pushing the envelope. I am basing this on the age and gender of many BMW drivers I see. They bought the car because its expensive and garners respect. Never said the same isnt true for Lexus models.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    well forgive us if we disregard your comments about domestic products. Its one thing to say you have no desire to purchase certain brands but you respect them when they make competent vehicles as opposed to saying you unequivocally hate anything and everything that is "American". I dont ever plan on buying a BMW but they make nice cars as long as you can afford them. In fact, I dont ever plan on owning any car from Germany regardless of my ability to aford a German car but I wouldnt go so far as to say I hate German cars. They have many laudable attributes.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    The only advantage Acura offers vs Cadillac is resale and better interiors. Of course that better interior thing only applies vs the current CTS and STS. Other Cadillacs look just fine as does the new CTS.

    I think the TL is a decent value but its too popular and too similar looking to the much cheaper Accord for my tastes. I also dont like that you cant get 18" wheels, split folding seat and I think the wheel designs are dull. I am also not a fan of the cars rather lenghty front overhang which seems excessive, even for a FWD car. The best thing about the car is its interior but the IS and G35 have caught up.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Pathetic? That BMW elects to make leather an option, but whose standard leatherette is better than the crappy BarcaLounger leather on most American cars and even some Japanese cars? And that they charge $475 for metallic paint. "

    It is pathetic and Lexus and Cadillac should be ashamed of doing the same. Leatherette is offered so BMW can ship out cars with optional leather and boost the sticker price. Charging extra for metallic paint that is standard on cars costing thousands less is also ridiculous. BTW, I find the leather on most cars costing $30k or more to be pretty nice. I dont think BMW has exclusive rights to quality leather by any means. I think GM vehicles (esp Buicks, Saabs and Cadillacs) have very supple leather.

    Most buyers in this segment dont want manuals so in my book the IS not offering a manual isnt going to matter much. I think the car's sales prove me to be correct. Not that I am a fan of the car.
  • Even with the 3 porking up and bulking out beyond reason, I'd still take it over any TL iteration or new IS

    That's you.

    I don't fit in a puny 328. Most guys over 6' and 225 lbs can't. That's a big market that BMW can't garner.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    How about proofreading your post and rephrasing?
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Acura does offer optional 18" wheels for the TL. ;)
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Let me guess, they are dealer installed. I dont count those options. I am talking about 18s on the car from the factory that do not require separate installation. Prices on dealer installed rims/tires are quite high and its much cheaper if they are included on the car. Of course Honda/Acura is famous for making simple things dealer accessories to boost profits at their dealers. I have seen many Type S TL's in recent weeks and they did not do enough to make that car stand out. The wheels are dull and too small and the car is essentially unchanged except for the big exhaust pipes.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    louiswei,

    I couldn't resist pulling your leg on the definition of "PATHETIC".

    I own two cars on the opposite ends of the option pricing strategy. My TL 6-speed's entire list of possible options was a total of two: navigation or no navigation and all season or summer tires. For the automatic, you don't even get the second choice. The option list on a 911 is about 10 pages long and yes, the standard seating surfaces are Porsche's version of leatherette and mettalic paint was a $825 option. My former Honda S2000 came with standard leather, standard metallic paint and 0 options, period. Pick your color was it.

    It doesn't bother me that BMW's pricing strategy makes you check a box and pay extra for leather. I can do the math and figure out if it's still a good deal. Granted, perhaps BMW could get some economies of scale and pass some savings on if they just made leather standard. But for some, saving a few dollars and taking a 3 series with leatherette may be more comfortable for their budget.

    My leg pulling was that Lexus gives the sport oriented driver no manual transmission option in the IS350, period. And then calls it a "sport" sedan, not a compact "luxury" sedan (I think). That's higher on my scale of pathetic than optional leather. And it's a gripe I also have with AMG in the SLK55 and C63.

    That said, I'll let it go - and your leg as well. ;)
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    My TL had good brakes and, to my mind, was fast. It just lacked balance and wasn't fun to drive. Hair trigger clutch; heavy, uncommunicative steering; poor, flat-spotting EL42 tires; a feeling of having to fight the car whenever the road camber varied. My 325i is more intuitive, drives more as a mechanical extension of my intentions. There's more to it than numbers, and I look forward to driving the little sparsely optioned (ZSP, manual, white with black leatherette, poplar, xenons, heated seats, Sirius) Bimmer every day. I wouldn't call it a luxury car (my original choice to replace the TL was a Mk5 VW GTi, also a great car to drive). Someone said on this site that a C-class is a step on the way to an E-class, but a 3 is the destination. Absolutely.

    In the TL's favor, Honda does know how to put together a decent stereo, and the climate control is well-behaved and powerful. Many people clearly like the car. Perhaps mine was a bad one.

    BMW cup-holders: not an issue, and kudos to the Bavarians for providing ones that, with little subtlety, indicate that they view the marketing requirement to include them with appropriate contempt.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Why in the world would Acura put 18" as standard equipment on a FWD sedan? It doesn't make sense and Acura did the right thing IMHO for not putting anything bigger than 17" from the factory. Putting 18" as standard equipment on a FWD sedan is counterproductive.

    Oh, and you think Acura is the only one making simple things into dealer accessories? The TL comes with everything pretty much standard. If you think Acura or any manufacturer charging for spoilers, underbody kits, and 18" wheels & tires is wrong then that's your opinion. :confuse:

    "The wheels are dull and too small and the car is essentially unchanged except for the big exhaust pipes."

    Looks wise- sure. But the 3.5 liter engine in the S is hardly "unchanged."
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    Their approach is very different to BMW's, where almost everything is a standalone or packaged option -- like Detroit used to do it 30 yrs ago.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    The following FWD cars have 18s from the factory: Impala, G6, Aura, Cobalt SS, Jetta, GTI, Lucerne, DTS, Sebring, etc. I see no reason Acura cant put larger wheels on the TL. What is counterproductive about having wheels large enough to feel the wheel wells and give the car a sportier look?

    Most automakers have dealer accessories, but we all know Honda is notorius for making relatively common options available solely from the dealership. The TL has most of what you need so most people can shy away from the accessories, but there is undoutedly an overpriced spoiler and set of larger rims waiting for you at the dealer. I dont see why this is necessary.

    TL-S is fast, but I dont think speed was ever the base models problem. In terms of acceleration the base model is good enough for me. I just think $4k should get your more than a bigger engine and quad pipes. No other car company makes hi performance models and doesnt add larger wheels. Acura needs to join 2007 and put 18s on the S at least. The Civic Si and TL-S shouldnt have the same wheel size.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    BMW is branded as evil for offering ette with the car. Lexus does it on their number 1 seller the RX, no big deal. Audi does it, no big deal. MB sells the C350 with 'MB tex' and it's no big deal. BMW sells without leather - that's a big deal.

    So really it's the Lexus IS, Acura TL and the G35 that come with leather standard.

    So 50% of the ELLPS market does not come with standard leather (BMW, Audi, MB) and the other 50% do (Acura, Lexus, Infiniti). The way everyone wrote about it, you'd swear all the ELLPS cars come with leather standard but BMW. As it turns out, that's not so.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,262
    You're absolutely right for me, but only for 51 of the 52 weeks of the year, sometimes 50.

    I live for that other week or two.

    I get to revisit or (rarely - I really have been (almost) everywhere) discover really fun places to drive -- curves, hills, no traffic -- you know the drill. I've made any number of 3-5K mile 9.3-day drives (Friday afternoon through the Sunday costs only five days of corporate vacation) all over western North America.

    This coming July I'm looking at a journey to Inuvik (if you need to ask, you don't care). There's lots of fun stuff between here & there, & even though I'm used to late/early sunshine (lived in Edmonton) in the summer, I've never been above the Arctic Circle. Looking forward to it, in a big way.

    These sorts of trips justify my owning whatever car I've got, and have since I was 20. Before that I owned motorcycles.

    The last time I went north my 510 was making noises, so I borrowed the family Voyager & drove to Ft. Simpson & back. The trip was fun -- the vehicle. . .not so much. The trip is the deal, in my world, but it's better in a nice car.

    Otherwise, I may as well own a Tercel (or whatever they call the equivalent this week). It sounds like some think I should.

    Sorry.
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    In this part of the world at least, 17 is a better compromise than 18. Not sure what filling the wheel wells has to do with the price of bread, or, for that matter, whether a 17 with a taller profile tire fills them less than an 18 with a profile that makes the rims more vulnerable to the mess of potholes, crippled expansion joints, broken car debris and other decorative trash we call interstates around here.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "What is counterproductive about having wheels large enough to feel the wheel wells and give the car a sportier look? "

    Ahhh, now I see why you feel the way you do. I was thinking you actually thought the 18" would make it perform/handle better. Sure, for looks only, I agree.

    IMHO, the TL looks sporty enough without any accessories.

    "I just think $4k should get your more than a bigger engine and quad pipes."
    Well, the S does come with Navi standard (at least a 2k option),Brembo brakes, stiffer suspension, paddle shifters in the auto tranny and some other "cosmetic" differences.

    I personally would not characterize the S to be a "high performance model" like the M, AMG, V, S..any other letter I forgot?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "I just think $4k should get your more than a bigger engine and quad pipes."

    It does.

    Performance upgrades - 30 more HP, thicker anti-roll bars, larger front rotors and Brembo calipers, high-performance summer tires, sport seats.

    Cockpit upgrades - Active Noise Control, paddle shifters (auto), red instrument lighting.

    Exterior - quad-exhaust, lip spoiler, ground effects bodywork.
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    "I dont think BMW has exclusive rights to quality leather by any means. I think GM vehicles (esp Buicks, Saabs and Cadillacs) have very supple leather."

    Are you serious? Have you sat in a leather equipped 3 series?
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    "Most automakers have dealer accessories, but we all know Honda is notorius for making relatively common options available solely from the dealership. "

    On the contrary, Honda is well known to limit its trim levels and offer most options standard. I don;t understand what you are referring to. Look at, for example, an Accord EXV6; what options are missing that are notoriously priced?
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    "You guys fail to admit that most BMW 3 series buyers are buying it simply for that badge"

    You will never understand why a majority of 3 series buyers buy it. Could it be that the car is an extension of one's intentions? If you have driven it and don't feel any different; then its definitely not the car for you. The closest I can relate the driving experience of my 3er is to a fast motorbike. If this is something a person does not feel after driving the car, then it would not make sense buying it.
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