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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    They are "overpriced" because they don't benefit from "parts-bin" engineering like the domestics. The Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr, and MKZ are all worked over Mazda 6's.

    The Mazda 6 is a fine, sporty family sedan, but it's no luxury car. The difference between the 6/MKZ/Fusion and BMW 3-series is obvious the moment you climb in and close the door. The BMW has such a rigid structure that you can hear and feel it when you shut the door. The materials may not be "plush" by Buick standards, but the quality is a notch or two above the domestics - just touch the plastics or actuate a control stalk/button to feel the difference. Drive a BMW over rough pavement or expansion joints, and the rock solid structure screams quality and engineering prowess - not just suspension tuning.

    Finally (and most importantly), wind the engine past redline, brake late entering your favorite corner, trail brake while you heel & toe downshift, and then add gentle throttle to settle the car. Now feel for that little seam in the pavement through your hands, feet, and seat (you know the one) that tells you it's time to set up for the apex. Get on the gas smoothly, shifting weight to the rear wheels and tighten your line mid-corner. Nail the apex and smoothly unwind the wheel while adding throttle. Do this repeatedly and you'll understand why a BMW costs as much as it does (and why it's worth every penny).

    It's all about giving the driver precise control and feedback, possessing neutral, razor-sharp yet forgiving handling characteristics, and amazingly, still maintaining a compliant ride that's comfortable for everyday driving - all with 4 doors and a back seat. Nobody does this better than BMW.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,253
    It's all about giving the driver precise control and feedback, possessing neutral, razor-sharp yet forgiving handling characteristics, and amazingly, still maintaining a compliant ride that's comfortable for everyday driving - all with 4 doors and a back seat. Nobody does this better than BMW.


    Well said...I am a recent convert and was "hooked" on the first test drive. What a rush from all other cars I've driven.

    Regards,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    That happened to me on the first test drive. If you're a driver you can't imagine how precise the Bimmer feels if you've never driven one.

    Ok so it may not have an M/L steroe, but it is by no means a cheap interior. A BMWs 3 series engineering goes into the chassis, motor and suspension, not the cup holders.
  • Good point, stick vs. automatic does make a difference to some people.
    Engineering a manual shift into the Lincoln MKZ would be too much to ask from Ford right now I think but I will bring it up with my Ford buddies maybe the word will trickle to the right people :) That said, I found the MKZ a better buy overall, stick be dammed, than the BMW or MB I tried. I will try the 335i or a used E class within the next year before I make a decision. The MKZ sure was sporty at 263hp, really liked the power, the ride, and the interior/exterior design is perfect including the solidity at high speed. I will admit it is beefier and probably would not beat your BMW or MB in a race off down hair pin turn roads. Its just that its got this look, especially in dark colors with those chrome rims-very beautiful. Talked to a MB sales person today and she said its normal to feel that way, some of the North American products are actually good, but the major factor she said was how I would feel about it in 5 years, and upon resale or trade in, the loss in value is substantial. So if you want a BMW, MB, or Jaguar XK (Beautiful 007 look alike car by the way), you will have to pay the price. Myself, I guess I will suffer with a MKZ unless otherwise proven wrong. I firmly believe you are making a mistake not considering it comparible to BMW and MB. Strip the Beemer and MB badges and compare car to car, the Lincoln MKZ is definately comparible. Sorry you don't share my enthusiasm, you give too much credit to BMW and MB IMHO. Not having a manual stick option does not bother me in the least, but my MKZ will have the Nav.system,beefed up stereo,sunroof, chrome rims, the luxury group and hp to boot for the same price $35K vrrrum vrrumm ! I will have to deal with the resale issue after I have had years of driving pleasure with it :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Everybody has their priorities in what they look for in a vehicle. The reason people give instant credit to BMW is due to the reputation they have earned. Frankly overpriced is a value judgement.

    With my $10/mo VZ Nav couldn't care about navigation and I like a basic stereo with CD. I can use the VZ Nav when not in my car. What's important to you is not at all important to me.

    There are all sorts of choice out there for consumers. BMW and Infiniti have built a reputation and you know what their vehicles will do. The MKZ is up against some serious competition.
  • I drove a loaded Maxima rental during a collision repair last year. It was fine, but not what I would consider luxury (interior), let alone performance (handling). I've not driven a G yet, but extrapolating the Maxima doesn't get me very excited. .......

    .... 2 completely different cars. for starters, built on completely different frames, maxima is obviously fwd and G is rwd. Do yourself a favor and testdrive a G35 and compare to the maxima... no comparison.
  • , but my MKZ will have the Nav.system,beefed up stereo,sunroof, chrome rims, the luxury group and hp to boot for the same price $35K vrrrum vrrumm ! I will have to deal with the resale issue after I have had years of driving pleasure with it

    Enjoy. A 35k lincoln based on an ancient Mazda6 platform and sporting a lackluster 260+ hp engine mated to an automatic doesn't sound like fun to me.

    Strip the Beemer and MB badges and compare car to car, the Lincoln MKZ is definately comparible.

    Uh, I'd assume if you strip the badge from a beemer you'd have a motorcycle. Take the badge off a bimmer and you'd still have a tight RWD chassis mated to a sweet inline 6 and manual. Did you read the review of the 335i coupe in Inside Line this week? The e9x car is pulling sub 5 second 0-60 times and slalom speeds on par with an M3. We're talking about a track ready car that marries sublime performance to everyday civility.

    I paid under 36k for my 2006 330i. The 07 335i sedan is only $1800 more so sub 38k pricing for performance on par with an e46 M3 sounds like an insane deal.

    As for resale and cost to operate, the BMW is a tough nut to crack. Check out the 3 year true cost to own for the lincoln v. BMW 3 series. Look at that depreciation on the lincoln! :O
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We may not agree on everything, but I so admire your diehard enthusiast slant it makes for very stimulating reading. Makes me want a BMW.

    M
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I didn't know we were comparing a Volvo S80 interior to that of the Hyundai Azera ? I thought we were doing a S80 vs. Audi A8 interior comparo :confuse:

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    kd, I agree....I However think the S80, is way better looking. Just because I threw the S80 into the mix I wasn't expecting to get slammned. I was justifying the S80's place in the luxury segment and anybody can get some REAR LCD screens for their headrests. If $30k LCD screens are your thing then by all means select the A8 option. I'd rather pocket the dough and buy some LCD screens at Best Buy.

    Rocky

    P.S. The wood in the Azera, I mean A8, looks Hyundai Faux. ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    A8 rear cabin...you get what you pay for.

    Well, that isn't always the case even though I tend to agree with you. In this case I disagree with you. $30K for a center console and limiting my number of passengers from 5 to 4 isn't worth $30K to me.

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well in yours and a few others minds perhaps. The comparo of pics further proves to me the 2007' Volvo S80 might just be the best luxury car money can buy. The others might do this or that better but to me even if I had $80 or $90K to just blow on any car in the segment I'd still pick the S80. I'd get more car for my money, and wouldn't have to drive a car with a "eyesore" interior. I was kinda surprised you guys didn't throw in the LS 460. I suppose you didn't want make the A8 look that bad ? What's up with Audi anyways ? Whats that BMW i-drive BS gadget I see on the center console ? I see Mercedes using a similar device in the new S-class. I would assume after all the complaints about those devices the car manufactors would of scraped that idea. :confuse: What's wrong with voice recognition, or pushing a button ? :lemon:

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well, I was pointing out that the Mercedes and BMWs are overpriced for what you get. When you can get a vastly bigger and better optioned out competitor for less money, well, the name-brand factor starts to wear a bit thin.

    But for luxury performance undre $30K - something has to give. And I favor luxury over absolute performance if I had to choose which to go for.


    Plekto, I agree with you....BMW's, Mercedes, and Audi's are like going to the mall and paying "Sean John" prices at Dillards or Marshall Fields, when Levi's will fit the bill at Meijer's at 50-75% of the cost. So childish IMHO.

    I guess some couldn't be seen walking out of anything but a yuppie store with the so called "best".

    Rocky
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,253
    Resale will kill you in the MKZ...even if it cost you a few thousand more to upgrade to the 335, you need to do your homework because at the end of your US ride, you will be out the cash you thought you saved. Happens evertime with US made. Reality bites...from the many times bitten.

    Regards,
    OW
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Good post flash11, you also can take your savings and if you choose you can beef up the 3.5 with aftermarket performance upgrades for a fraction of the cost those Bimmer drivers spent. they might beat you in resale, but they better have opted for the extended warranty because those bimmers aren't cheap later on in life where your MKZ, won't be expensive to repair and maintain. So let em' talk resale, but you I both know once the BMW's get a certain age they will try to sell it ASAP to avoid maintence and repair costs. ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I paid under 36k for my 2006 330i. The 07 335i sedan is only $1800 more so sub 38k pricing for performance on par with an e46 M3 sounds like an insane deal.

    As for resale and cost to operate, the BMW is a tough nut to crack. Check out the 3 year true cost to own for the lincoln v. BMW 3 series. Look at that depreciation on the lincoln! :O


    Sure if you want PLEATHER, and no comfort conviences !!!!
    How many people are going to buy just a basic 335i ???? sounds like a waste to me....To get one half-way nice you need to spend $45K

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well that depends alot on how long he decides to keep it. If he's going to drive a car for a couple of years perhaps you are right. If he holds on to it he's definitely better off owning the MKZ.

    Is the MKZ going to depreciate $10-$15K faster over the # of years he owns the car ?
    ($29-$38K MKZ vs. $38-$50K+ 335i) Since we don't know the actual market-value of the MKZ or 335i we won't know the truth for a couple of years. We can only assume he's better off owning the 335i in a average lease cycle with the same amount of mileage allowed per yr. However if you factor in cost of ownership if he holds onto it outside of warranty the MKZ, will easily save him money on repair/maintence costs along with a significant lower price paid up front. ;)

    Rocky
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,253
    Let's say the MKZ cost him $37K. After 39 months, 36K miles it's worth around $17K residual. That's where you loose. There is no way around it. Unless you sell it private to someone who will give you the 17K.

    Only a few very desired US models hold their value. Very few.

    2007 Lincoln MKZ, AWD 4 Dr Sedan



    Window Sticker


    $37,540

    Purchase Price


    $36,495

    Odometer


    0 miles





    Program


    Bank Lease A

    Lease Payment


    $661 per month

    Term


    39 Months

    Mileage Allowance


    39,000 Total Miles

    Residual Value


    $16,698

    Purchase Option


    $17,048

    Money Factor


    0.00241

    Gap Insurance


    Included

    Down Payment


    $0

    Due At Signing

    $661 + sales tax and title fees
    Includes: First Months Payment

    Best Regards,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The reason you got "slammed" is because you're posting like the buying public is stupid and more specifically we are stupid. Comparing an A8 with an Azera, who are you kidding?

    In your mind the S80 represents the best thing going. If that were a fact, Volvo would be ruling the world instead of being owned by Ford. The Volvo has it's place, but I think the entire model line is ugly and unbalanced and drives the same way. The S80 has nothing in comparison to the LS, A8 or 7 series. It is not better looking, better handling or has a better interior. It is cheaper in eveyway possible than the luxury class cars you mentioned.

    In addition, the 335 will also dust every car in this segment in performance, you cannot do enough after-market upgrades to non-turbo models to make it as fast as a turbo. A little chip in the 335 will make it even faster. You get what you pay for.

    If price is your main concern you should not be looking at luxury automobiles as a comparison, because the S80 falls short compared to them in everything. Maybe you should head on over the high end luxury marquees forum and post an A8 is the equivalent of an Azera. See how you can convince these folks that own the automobiles. Maybe an Azera would be the car you are seeking?
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