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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • I drove the 06 manual G35. While i prefer the ergonomics of that car, the 07 is a better car in most other ways - better materials, smoother engine, better chassis, way less nvh, attractive exterior. Unfortunately, like the e9x BMWS, the 07 G35 feels a little too buttoned-down and less enthusiastic.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,891
    it does not have as much midrange usuable torque

    that just tells me you weren't driving a T5.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,891
    Last I looked Volvo or Mazda don't make luxury vehicles

    i agree with you about mazda ... but volvo?? If volvo doesn't make luxury cars, then neither does acura, infiniti, or saab. I'd easily put all of those in the same class as volvo. And I'm not saying your wrong. Maybe none of these are luxury cars ... but then we'd have to change the subject of this discussion.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "i agree with you about mazda ... but volvo??"

    Maybe you are right. But, I don't think of Volvo as a luxury car maker, in not the same way as Infiniti or Acura. Infiniti has a high end model, Acura has a high-end model. What is Volvos' high-end model, the S60? It's the same MSRP as a 3 series. And Saab? Even though Saab is on the list as an entry level vehicle, I don't think of them as being manufacturers of luxury automobiles.
  • I still see Volvo as a luxury nameplate.. The S80 stickers up into the high '40s and the XC90 goes as high as $57K.. They are definitely in the same league as Acura.. Some nice cars and some warmed over Hondas (Fords).

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    Volvo IS like Lexus and Infinity. They just dropped their budget-line back in the early 90s and never looked back.(ie - the 700 and 240 series).

    The 850 Turbo was one of the top three luxury sports sedans of the 90s - easily competing with the 3 series of the time.

    The S60 has more rounded sheetmetal, but it's still the same 850 at heart. A bit softer and more luxurious, but still very much a step up from a Camry, Honda, Buick, Misubishi, and so on. Plus, it handles superbly. Very "European" feel when you're driving it. Oh, and it's safe as a tank. The last of the Swedish designs as well. In a few years, Ford will have gutted it and it'll be a re-badged Mercury. But for now, it's a good alternative to the overpriced stuff from Japan.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "the XC90 goes as high as $57K"

    The highest MSRP vehicle in Volvo's space is not even sedan? This is a differentiator between Volvo and the others and the reason I don't view Volvo as a serious luxury manufacturer. In other words, at least in my view, you are one or you are not. Leather seats do not a luxury manufacturer make.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    They are nose heavy and handle as such. No balance to them.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    Volvo's early history is pretty easy to research, so I'll leave that out. What made them famous, though, was how they copied Mercedes' technology during the 60s, 70s and 80s - and reproduced it for 2/3 of the cost.

    Mercedes came up with nearly every safety invention that Volvo got its reputation for first - just who could afford a $12-15K sedan in 1967? Volvo cost a lot less and offered the same safety(and preformance) This is why I have always considered them to be a luxury maker at heart. They are(or were) the European version of Buick to Mercedes' Cadillac.

    Other than the 240 and 700 series(plus some ill-fated budget cars in Europe like the 300 series), their cars have always been aimed at providing a working-man's luxury alternative, exactly like Lexus started off as. Why buy Mercedes and BMW when Lexus offered 75-80% for half the price?

    See, I see four segements in the market.
    1:True budget. Aveo and Yaris and the like - you get a box that gets you areound.
    2:Average car - about 60-70% of the market.
    3:Budget luxury. Lexus, Infinity, Volvo, and so on.
    4:True luxury. Mercedes, Bentley, Austin Martin, BMW, Lotus, Saleen, and all the rest. Stuff us working class people usually can't afford.

    Now, there is some overlap between #3 and #4, like the Mercedes C class and the top-end Lexus models, but when someone posts here about wanting "luxury" and sets a low price-limit, it's clear that they are like 99% of us. They are really talking about category #3. And Volvo and Saab belong there.(the 9-2 aside - nobody wants a Saabaru)
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "Plus, it handles superbly"

    Compared to what? The Camry, Honda (Accord) Buick, Mitsubishi and so on? If so- that's about it. It doesn't compare to some of the other vehicles in this segment. It doesn't even get an invitation to a performance shoot out.

    "But for now, it's a good alternative to the overpriced stuff from Japan."

    I don't share your opinion about the [non-permissible content removed] models currently being overpriced. There are huge discounts on Infiniti and Acura products and can pick up 06 models of the G and TL in the very low 30's.

    As long as your happy with your purchase that's all that matters because it is YOUR money and you should spend it on what makes sense for you. BUT, IMHO it's a little humorous when you make generalizations about the performance aspect of the Volvo as well as the Japanese counterparts being overpriced.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I agree that Volvo is not a "luxury brand" compared to Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, etc. in that their top level car, the S80, doesn't compare to the Lexus LS, M-B S-Class,or BMW 7-series. No, I'd put the S80 closer to the Audi A6, and Acura RL kind of cars.

    I have to disagree that Volvo is not a "luxury brand" in the general sense. I'd say they are a "near-luxury" brand, most similar to Saab and Acura in market segment.

    Volvo's are well built, safe, and luxurious cars, but they don't come close to mid and top level Lexus or Mercedes cars.

    Actually, I think Volvo's are basically European Buicks. They are soft, comfortable touring cars with high-quality materials and luxury touches, but they are FWD and don't have any sporting aspirations at all (except for the "R" cars). Driving experience wise, I'd say they are very similar to the Honda Accord (crisp but not sporty handling with light overboosted steering and little road feel).

    I love my Volvo for what it is - a smooth, quiet, comfortable touring car with European flair and luxury appointments. But I don't pretend for a second that it is "fun to drive" or "sporty." It's not - it's a really nice Buick.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You posted very eloquently what I was attempting to say.
  • I agree that Volvo is not a true luxury car but neither is Lexus. Use the same measure for all the cars.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Actually not. Lexus is coming out with some very high-end models.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I actually prefer the Lexus LS to the Mercedes S-Class. I know it's personal, but I find the Lexus appointments to be softer and warmer, which is nice. The Mercedes is fantastic, but tends to be more on the hard, Teutonic side of luxury.

    Time has also shown that the LS is a very, very stout car. Look at how many early 90's LS400's you still see on the road. Most of them look as good as the day they drove off the showroom floor.

    I know if I was looking for a luxurious used car, I'd buy a 95 LS400 before a 95 S420 in a heartbeat.
  • WARNING - off-topic tangent in response to another post.

    "4:True luxury. Mercedes, Bentley, Austin Martin, BMW, Lotus, Saleen, and all the rest. Stuff us working class people usually can't afford."

    Bentley and Aston don't belong next to a BMW, Mercedes, or Saleen. Lotus doesn't even belong in the luxury group at all. (they are now a pure sports car - very little going on in the way of luxury - just go to youtube and do a search for "Top Gear Lotus" to see what I am talking about)

    I would add a 5th segment in there - Ultra Luxury
    ASTON Martin
    Ferrari (only the 612 Scaglietti, the rest are pure sports)
    Rolls Royce


    Having driven the top three in the list above (I haven't driven a 612, but I have sat in one), I can tell you from experience.

    Go sit in an Aston Martin DB9 or Bentley Continental GT (both cars I have driven on a track), then come back and tell me that BMW, Mercedes, or even Lotus can touch it for luxury.

    Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for german engineering, but they have a skewed idea of luxury. IMHO, they seem to think shiny and modern is luxury. IMHO, Luxury is about comfort, technology, and environment all coming together in harmony.

    Few car manufacturers outside of Bentley or Aston get it.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,246
    I know this is off topic but the ultra luxury you have experienced should be the benchmark for the entry segment.

    Considering this, MB, BMW, Acura, Lexus, Infinity, Caddy, Lincoln all are basically Entry Level except for the top end models of MB, BMW and new to the segment Lexus, IMHO. All the rest do not compete for the Ultra segment, really.

    But the entry level is where there is fierce competition and it's fun to see the evolution.

  • in terms of looks, I think the G35 looks the best in the entry-level luxury performance category. however, I'm not so sure as to how revolutionary this sedan actually is... a lot of parts I see I can find on the previous generation of the G35. 5.Sedan/1024/2007.Infiniti.G35.Sedan_015.jpg

    and that navigation screen has got to be the best thing I've ever seen.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I'm with you pal and view Volvo as a entry-lux brand for the most part. The S80, is about the only vehicle that can get into the $60K range as I've priced a few of them up with the options I'd want. I guess we need a sound criteria/guidline to go by of what is, and what isn't a luxury car. :)

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The guildeline seems to be the manufacturer builds luxury cars, ultra-luxury and exotics are excluded. The high-end sedan S80 does not compete with high-end offerings from BMW, Mercedes and Lexus although, you could argue it competes with the RL and the M45. Having said that you can compare the options of the S80 with the RL and M45. For 300 hp it's a lot more expensive than then 335, which is not a luxury vehicle. If the S80 is included in the group, it is the most expensive vehicle here and the top of the line for Volvo, while these other cars are the bottom of the line for the other manufacturers.

    I don't think anyone will seriously compare the S80 against the 550, at least in terms of performance. Maybe the S80 compares against the new 2008 600hp CTSV?
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