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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Sounds good and I dont doubt the 3 series handling prowess. My argument is there are 3 or more other cars that could do the same thing and give you the same enjoyment.

    That's simply not true. I'm guessing you mean the IS and G. Maybe the C as your third? Only other ELLPS with RWD that I can think of.

    G35's handling is soft and it can't pull the same corners as a 330i.

    The Is350 is a boat.

    C Class would feel tight but it'd never let you approach those limits.

    Its not as if the only choices on the market are 3 series or Avalon. Sporty sedans are plentiful in 2007.

    For ELLPS, yes it is. I already broke them down. Quick recap:

    IS350 - soft, overpriced, lacking a manual, poor roadfeel, crappy suspension, impossible to order with desirous features, tight interior, ridiculously soft seats.

    G35 - overpriced, heavy, lacking roadfeel, tight interior, poor manual, less usable power than the 335i by a wide margin, not nearly as communicative or fun as the 328.

    C Class - extremely overpriced, simply not athletic.

    TL = fwd, overpriced
    A4 = fwd, overpriced, heavy or worse Quattro system and heavier.

    The ELLPS market is pretty dry. The whole market for performance sedans is tiny. Reduce it to RWD, manual and you're left with next to nothing.
  • justg0justg0 Posts: 70
    I have been following this thread for quite a while and it has turned out to be a really fun/interesting discussion. We live in a world that is so marketing driven, that it is really hard to make a true unbiased opinion about a product. You may think that you can ignore all the marketing crap, but not really.

    The only way to get an answer to this is to send a bunch of people to Mars (no TV, Internet, ...) before their minds have been tainted with the marketing put out by various automakers and once they are ready, have them test drive these vehicles ;)

    Until that happens, people will always be biased...
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    send them to mars and some will want a car with a soft seat and soft suspension - IS350

    others will want some sport and some luxury - A4

    More will want all the electronic gadgets - C Class

    Some may opt for the car with the tightest suspension, hard seats and lots of road feedback - 3

    The thing is, it's all subjective. There's no way to get an objective viewpoint on any group of cars.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I'm confused, you are criticizing "soft seats" but you are also saying those seats arent necessarily uncomfortable. If they arent uncomfortable than I dont see the problem. To me soft seats are seats the absorb you and lack back support. Many american cars of the 80s and 90s were like this. You dont find many cars like that today.

    reviews dont mean everything, but I was wondering if any auto writers shared your dim view of seating in cars other than that found in BMWs. I have never heard this complaint before now.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The ES with it's fwd bias is not part of this discussion. I can't understand you're reference point on this. Toyota sells more cars than BMW, but Lexus does not sell more ELLPs than BMW.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "To get swivel xenons you must get the tech package, thus adding on worthless doodads like navi and pushing the price to over 38k. "

    So the G isnt more expensive overall, its just more expensive if you want AFL but count nav as a "worthless" feature. I dont find nav to be any more worthless than AFL. Feature for feature, the G35 is the better value.

    The G35 is .5secs slower to 60 and to some people that may be a major issue. Not to me since the G35 is plenty fast. Using price as a reference the G35 should really be compared to the 328 and the G is faster than that model.
  • justg0justg0 Posts: 70
    The thing is, it's all subjective.

    It is. But that's not the point. BMW is "the ultimate driving machine" - now how much of that is marketing vs. reality? You cannot say that because you own a BMW and therefore biased. I cannot say that because I don't own a BMW and therefore biased. Only the green people from Mars can say that - yes, I think people turn green after living in Mars for a while!

    You can also just look at the numbers, but what's the fun in that?
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    everyone is entitled to an opinion but when reviewing the driving impressions of the vehicles you mentioned in various magazines there is nothing to suggest your take on these cars is accurate. While many say the 330/335 is the best car in terms of handling, that is not the same as saying the IS/G35, etc. is too soft. In fact the recent C&D comparo indicated that the G35's ride was a little to busy for their tastes. They said the 328 isolated the driver from harsh road impacts better and that wouldnt make sense if the G35 is "soft". The media also agrees the G35 is a great value compared to its German rivals so I fail to see why its overpriced. Usually the cheaper car isnt called "overpriced".

    I agree the current C class is overpriced just like its BMW rival.

    The TL is a great value and the A4 is a value as long as its not compared to anything from Japan. You cant defend 3 series pricing and call its competitors overpriced when the 3 is one of the highest priced in the class.

    There are 4 sedans in this class with RWD and manuals: CTS, G35, 3 and C class. Four options is pretty good and its 5 if we count the IS250.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Point was that in the US soft luxury cars that dont emphasize handling are very popular. A lot was being said about how many cars BMW sells and I just wanted to remind everyone that the soft ES is also very popular even though its a one body style/one engine model.

    its pointless to compare IS sales to overall 3 series sales because the IS is sedan only. There is no IS coupe, wagon or convertible.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I test drove the G and to me, the suspension was not as sophisticated as the 3. What does that mean? To me, it means "busy", harsher than, less tight.

    To some, that might be better. To me not.

    I will look to compare the '08 G to the 335 but at the end of the day, value/preference is subjective and satisfaction is THE objective.

    So, let's say that all ELLPS give some degree of each of these. IMHO, 3 wins for me.

    Regards,
    OW
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I'm confused, you are criticizing "soft seats" but you are also saying those seats arent necessarily uncomfortable. If they arent uncomfortable than I dont see the problem. To me soft seats are seats the absorb you and lack back support.

    To me soft seats suck you in and make you feel coddled and offer little in the way of bolstering.

    Many american cars of the 80s and 90s were like this. You dont find many cars like that today.

    Except for the Audi A4, TL and IS350. They feel like loungers.

    I have never heard this complaint before now.

    Dunno. I try to avoid reading reviews of cars I think aren't worth my time.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    t is. But that's not the point. BMW is "the ultimate driving machine" - now how much of that is marketing vs. reality?

    All marketing.

    You cannot say that because you own a BMW and therefore biased. I cannot say that because I don't own a BMW and therefore biased. Only the green people from Mars can say that - yes, I think people turn green after living in Mars for a while!

    No because they will show up with their own biases. Regardless of marketing, the car's feel to them will be subjectively assessed.

    Lexus is the Relentless Pursuit of Perfection. Yet, the IS350 is far from perfect based on a drive. Marketing = just words.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    I thought these discussion boards were for sharing ideas and information on ELLPS. I also thought another reason to be here was because we are enthusiasts of the category. I also thought we were supposed to have healthy and substantive debate about the various vehicles in the category. The more I read these posts though the more I see BMW owners/enthusiasts/fans jumping on everyone else for any criticism they make of a 3 series. Why is that? Am I the only one that sees it? And before you out there in this group respond to my post take a second to think about that first, please.

    There is not a single car in this class that is without fault. And there are seldom two drivers alike. For that there are a lot of options available. When one of the options does not meet your specific set of criteria that does not make it not an option. It merely means it is not a viable option for you. I go back to what I said before about sales of all the cars in the ELLPS category and BMW not having the majority of them. That alone should tell you that the other cars out there are strong viable choices to a lot of the consumers. Otherwise, we'd all be driving the same damn car.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    In fact the recent C&D comparo indicated that the G35's ride was a little to busy for their tastes. They said the 328 isolated the driver from harsh road impacts better and that wouldnt make sense if the G35 is "soft".

    I couldn't disagree more. Isolating the driver is not good; as a buyer I don't want to be isolated.

    Usually the cheaper car isnt called "overpriced".

    Features I want it's overpriced. Even at 34k it'd be overpriced as it doesn't offer what I want in its drive. The 03 G35 was gonna cost me 32k or so; i got a 43k 2003 330i instead because the difference in handling and drive was that noticeable.

    I agree the current C class is overpriced just like its BMW rival.

    Funny, as the IS350 is just as expensive...but you can't order it with options.

    The TL is a great value and the A4 is a value as long as its not compared to anything from Japan.

    Say what? an a4 with a V6 hits 40k in a hurry.

    You cant defend 3 series pricing and call its competitors overpriced when the 3 is one of the highest priced in the class.

    I can if what I get for the cheaper car is appreciably lesser. The TL at 32k is about 6-7k more than I would spend for a car like that. there's a performance, feel gap in a TL that's monumental from a G35/335. Night and day. We just took a TL Tpye-S out a few weeks ago and I laughed at the audacity of charging the high 30ks for a car that wasn't worth the high 20s.

    There are 4 sedans in this class with RWD and manuals: CTS, G35, 3 and C class. Four options is pretty good and its 5 if we count the IS250.

    CTS isn't counted. It's American and unworthy of ever being considered. IS250 is so slow and such a poor performer you'd be far better served buying a used e46. I already rated the other two. My money = no way I'm spending it on cars I find displeasing.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    hauss, there is no criticism, just personal preferences. Since this is a BMW board, I think you will tend to see a bias.

    Some think the 3 is a dime a dozen, some lixe Lexus or Infinity, some favor Audi.

    IMO, all cars will turn into junk sooner or later. The object is to have as much satisfaction as possible.

    Regards,
    OW
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    "They said the 328 isolated the driver from harsh road impacts better and that wouldnt make sense if the G35 is "soft"."

    BMW is reknowned for suspension that is stiff but not harsh; most reviewers agree that BMW has hte best combination of a stiff but damped suspension. Other manufacturers try to replicate this balance; IMO as of now no one has done it.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Dunno. I try to avoid reading reviews of cars I think aren't worth my time. "

    that explains quite a bit. Trust me, seat comfort isnt a major complaint about the models you mentioned earlier.

    I agree about soft seats, but I dont agree that seats in European and Japanese luxury sedans are soft. 80s GM seats were soft. Modern luxury buckets are not soft. Even if they were, most cars have adjustable lumbar support to give you the support you need for your lower back. Aside from you, I've never encountered anyone or read a review stating that all non BMW seats are soft. Could it be this is not a popular sentiment? I think that is worth considering.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    The recent Automobile mag long term wrap up of the 330s said the sport suspension was annoyingly stiff to many drivers. They were not feeling the ride/sport compromise. I think the standard BMW suspension is stiff enough for most people while the sport package may be overkill.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Right on target in your assessment. You are really going to get flamed big time.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,621
    Umm... this might be linked to the BMW boards, but it isn't a BMW board..

    Though, I can see how you might think that... ;)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • The TL at 32k is about 6-7k more than I would spend for a car like that.

    OK Mr. Wizard. Tell me what car at $25000 competes with a TL.

    I for one wouldn't pay what BMW wants for their vehicles. Having lived in Munich for a while and driving the Bahn takes the BMW panache down a few notches for me.

    Mercedes rules over there.
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    The TL at 32k is about 6-7k more than I would spend for a car like that.

    OK Mr. Wizard. Tell me what car at $25000 competes with a TL.

    I have to echo that sentiment. I'm one of those plebs who only gets to buy mid-$20's cars. They are getting pretty nice but they are not in the same ball-park as a TL (or a G-)

    Wife used to drive a used 3-series, great car (except for niggly maintenance) but not $40k worth unless money is just for fun and not for feeding the kids, mortgage, enjoying things other than my car etc.
  • justg0justg0 Posts: 70
    I am going to go out on a limb here - I have no real backing for my claim here.

    From reading the posts here and at various forums, I think that people who buy BMW have to justify to themselves that it is OK to overpay for drive/handling that a BMW is known for. They are also OK dealing with all the reliability problems that come with a BMW because, hey, all they care about is drive/handling. Now the moment someone tries to question that, it becomes a big deal since that is the primary reason they overpaid and was the fundamental basis of their decision. How dare you question that I cannot feel my BMW's handling when I am driving in stop and go traffic commuting to work :)

    I think I may need to buy a BMW just to experience that for myself :confuse: Better get back to work as I am going to need a lot of moolah...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "OK Mr. Wizard. Tell me what car at $25000 competes with a TL."

    I have a car review by CR where they say for 6K or so more the Honda Accord is almost as good as the TL. Now this book is a few years old, but that is what they said then.

    But I hear ya, I wouldn't pay what Lexus wants for their vehicles either. :D
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Don't sweat what bgdc says about the TL. It's his subjective opinion and even his own 330i is not good enough for him.

    The TL is a great balance between performance, luxury, techbology, reliability and value in a 4 door package.

    Anxious to see what the next one (4G TL) will be like. ;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'm going out on a limb by stating the thought that started this thread is the stupidity about people buying BMW for prestige and Lexus for everyday transportation (sic) :)

    I'm getting a second job, the IS350 with the ML costs about $45K. Need to experience what some have already experienced.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "I have a car review by CR where they say for 6K or so more the Honda Accord is almost as good as the TL."
    hahaha...yeah I read that too.

    I also read in a few comparos that the G is almost as good as the 3er.

    "almost" is well... all relative. ;)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    To expand on kyfdx's response, this topic is linked to the discussion groups of each of the vehicles listed above. It actually resides on the main Sedans board, not any individual one. :)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    ...I'm not getting is how some of you are insisting your subjective evaluations are somehow "correct" (my word, not anyone else's, but that's the attitude I'm seeing) when others here are being very clear they are expressing only their own personal preferences.

    Certainly we are all entitled to express what's important to us as individuals without others making declarative statements implying our opinions are not based in reality. Opinions don't have to be based in reality, they only have to reflect our own personal set of preferences. What I'm seeing is some of you doing a good job of making that distinction and some of you really kinda aren't.

    As was just pointed out, all of this is subjective. Maybe for a bit we could try to hear what others are saying instead of trying to shout them down.

    Ya think?
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    Very well put, Pat. That was the whole intent of my last post. None of these cars is terrible. Each of us just likes a certain one best for certain reasons.
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