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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    "Oh yeah, there are definitely cars that perform way better than the IS250. Just to name a few: M3, RS4, Cayman, 911... "

    I thought this was assumed knowledge, I was talking about cars in the $20-$40k range, unless if you also wanted to thrown in the Bugatti :)

    I have read the IS's slalom is great but you will have a tough time trying to convince anyone that the IS250 performs at par with any of the ELLPS.

    Choosing btwn the IS250 and the A3 is not going to be easy though, cos one has better performance and the other has everything else IMO
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    How is the RX-8 not a entry-level performance sedan? (luxury being mostly artificial leather and fake wood trim on any of these, I don't consider ANY of these "luxury" cars).

    Oh wait - you're actually going to claim that the IS250 actually has a useable middle rear seat? These cars are plainly built to fit four people, which is what the RX-8 does as well. And none will fit a linebacker in the rear seat, so I fail to see that point, either. The rear seats are there for kids and the occasional third adult in these small sedans. It's not a coupe, either - that's visual trickery. There really are four doors on it.

    I'd recommend at least driving it. Mazda's lack of positioning it properly or marketing it well aside, it's .1 second slower than a Porsche Cayman and is virtually identical on the track. For half the price. There's just nothing that comes close to it in its price range as far as performance goes. But it's like Hyundai or Volvo if you want to go back even further. People gave Volvo no respect for decades and then they came out with the 850 Turbo. And it blew the doors off of everything in its price range. Yes, it wasn't a Mercedes. Nobody who owned one cared - they were too busy having a blast driving them.

    $29K on and IS250, $32K on a 328i, $28K on an A4... or $24K on a RX-8.
    CarsDirect Price: $23,843(including delivery). That's an enormous amount cheaper than the competition. You could load one up with every last option offered and still not be at what a bare-bones IS250 goes for(no leather, either).

    CarsDirect Price: $28,710 - IS250. No HID headlamps, no heated seats, no sport suspension, no ... (don't even gt me started on the A4 in base trim) Add that stuff in ad it jumps to $33K almost instantly.
    CarsDirect Price: $28,408 - RX-8 GT/+ rear spoiler. If you want more bling, you have to start adding chrome and after-market accessories.

    $5K out the door cheaper buys a lot of gas.(5pmg difference is roughly 7100 gallons to make up at 3.50 a gallon)

    It's also the same reason a Prius is a no-win situation versus a Civic. 5mpg difference for thousands more in initial price is going to take you well over a decade to recover. Maybe two.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    you will have a tough time trying to convince anyone that the IS250 performs at par with any of the ELLPS

    Then don't, let the number speaks for itself...

    Except for the straightline acceleration I think the IS250 can hold its own against any other ELLPS.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Wait, I don't get it. Why are you taking shots at me? I like the RX-8, a lot, and I think that the IS250 is a total poseur sporting sedan that is numb to drive and has such a small back seat that I wouldn't even subject my 14 year old to it for a trip to school. The only reason why I was dismissing the RX-8 for this thread is that the OP is trying to decide between an IS250 and an A3.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The RWD, sports package, stick shift IS250 is a poseur sports sedan while the FWD, automatic A3 is not?

    Interesting...
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    As far as I know, the IS, 3 series, Infiniti G35, Acura TL & Audi A3/4 use real leather. On the 3 series you get leatherette if you want and they dont try to hide this. I believe only the Acura TL does not use real wood otherwise every other car above uses real leather.

    If you are going to include the Mazda why stop there, bring in the Hyundai Azera, Dodge Charger, etc. I think the reason the Mazda is left out is because its not "generally" considered to belong in the same group as the cars I included above. Or put another way, people aspire to drive a BMW, an Audi a Lexus, I am yet to come across people who aspire to drive a Mazda
  • riorebelriorebel Posts: 20
    Honestly, there are some good reasons you might choose the TL over the G35, but my main reason was my wife. She has a strange dislike of most Japanese cars, particularly Nissan (I think it goes back to one bad experience with a Sentra we had about 10 years ago.) When I took her with me to drive the G35, she hated it - a biased opinion, I'm sure. But I have to admit that it is a bit smaller than the TL, and I also like the slightly better mileage and the look of the TL better, as well.

    By the way, I am a HUGE Bama fan and I was pulling hard for you. Way to geaux, Tigers! (SEC fans learn to stick together here in Big Ten country!)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    If you are going to include the Mazda why stop there, bring in the Hyundai Azera, Dodge Charger, etc. I think the reason the Mazda is left out is because its not "generally" considered to belong in the same group as the cars I included above. Or put another way, people aspire to drive a BMW, an Audi a Lexus, I am yet to come across people who aspire to drive a Mazda.
    ****

    And that's probably the truth here, like I said. Nobody wants to say, look at a Hyundai Tiburon or a Volvo S40T5 or whatnot most of the time. It's their money I guess, but as I pointed out, the price difference buys a decade's worth of extra gas and then some(140K miles or so for 5mpg difference!). The smart money is to ignore the inflated bling-mobiles where you're plainly paying through the nose for their products and instead start looking at the alternatives.

    Honestly, I'd rather own a blinged-out WRX than a base 328i with pleather and that miserable base engine. You can always add leather to a car, or a sunroof, even after-market if you have to, so you have to think really hard about the following question:

    - Is the car primarily an entry-level luxury or entry-level sportscar?

    IME, when people talk about this segment, bling is of far lower importance than the performance. It's always "I got a BMW and yeah it has leather and some nice features(revs the engine and grins)". Not, "I got this C Class and yeah it is sort of sporty" :P

    So ignore the bling and badge. Find a nice sportscar and add the bling in. Almost every maker has silly levels of luxury and bling as packages these days. You'll find that the field widened considerably.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    You know what, you just described a lesson I learnt the hard way. I bought one of the luxury brands I noted in my earlier post, it had the base engine and had lots of toys, real leather, real wood, almost everything. That base engine was crap, I mean everybody from Honda Accord to Honda Civic Si was faster than me in my Luxury brand. I learnt that the engine comes first with a car, then consider the luxury component. I sold the base luxury sedan recently (after one and a half years of onwership) and got a 3.5 litre, +300hp luxury brand. Now I am happy.

    I left out the names cos I dont want to seem as if I am bashing the other car cos other than the engine, that car was awesome
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,275
    ". . .a base 328i with. . .that miserable base engine."

    Interesting phrase to apply to that particular powerplant. I've never seen anything that comes even remotely close in its ability to illustrate the "different strokes for different folks" concept.

    Let's see, scalpel or chainsaw?

    Both cut, and one is certainly faster.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    How is the RX-8 not a entry-level performance sedan? (luxury being mostly artificial leather and fake wood trim on any of these, I don't consider ANY of these "luxury" cars).

    They're not luxury cars. What Edmunds considers a luxury car

    People gave Volvo no respect for decades and then they came out with the 850 Turbo.

    And Volvo still doesn't get respect.

    RX-8 appeals to a niche audience. The back seat is unusable, while in the IS250 it's barely useable. Unless you're driving pygmies around all day. The RX-8 gets you Mazda service, while the IS250 gets you Lexus service. The RX-8 wins as a better track vehicle, the IS250 with AWD wins as a better street vehicle. The RX-8 has to be revved to the moon to get horsepower. If 100% of your driving is on the track, I agree RX-8 wins. For the rest of us....
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You are not the target market for a 528 either :)
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    No I will never buy the 528, Lexus GS350 is a far better car IMO. Infiniti M35 is also a better buy for the price. I canr afford those cars though :cry:
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    M35 is also a better buy for the price.

    The 5 has been the consistent sales leader in this segment. Maybe BMW is giving the people what they want, although I can certainly understand why this car isn't for you.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,645
    Back in '05, my final two were the TL and the G35x. I chose the TL because the TL offered (imo, of course):

    Smoother, quieter ride. G had a bit too much road/wind noise. And while the engine growl is kinda lovely, I just heard it too much.
    Better styling, both exterior and interior. Higher quality interior bits and pieces.
    Better mpg (child of "gas crisis" '70s...)
    I didn't really want the added weight/complexity of AWD. I'm a lifelong New Englander and skier, FWD has just done me fine (until the TL! Another story, but get snow tires...)

    Of course, this was Gen 1 G35. Fun to drive, powerful and I'm sure had I chosen it I'd be all smiles. But, my priorities ruled in the TLs favor. And I still dig it!

    As Gen 2 G is an improvement, just test drive the heck out of each of 'em. No wrong decision will be made. Also, note that a new gen TL is just down the road...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Or put another way, people aspire to drive a BMW, an Audi a Lexus, I am yet to come across people who aspire to drive a Mazda

    Those people who aspire to drive an Audi or BMW or Lexus must not have access to autotrader or used cars? Average sale price of cars is 30k. A 3 series moderately outfitted can run less than that. Audi's go in the 20s. Shrug. With the explosion of 30k+ SUVS and Crossovers, I doubt anyone really aspires to drive a Lexus or Bimmer.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    Yes you are right, the 5 sells almost twice as much as the GS or the M35. I think you present a good argument that BMW is giving people what they want. I cant dispute that, the sales support this. You took the argument to a segment I am not very familiar with, as I said before, I can't afford the car in that segment, and my comments will not really hold water, but here goes.

    For 52k, I can get an almost fully loaded GS350. For the same amount, I am not going to get the same options in the 528, now, given that the GS350 is faster than the 528, I think the Lex is a better buy. I dont believe one should drive a car that is worth 50k and have cheaper cars, run circles around such a car. This to me is totaly unacceptable. If one pays 50k, you need a car that has everything else that the cheaper cars have, plus more. The GS350 gives you that, the 528 does not.

    I believe BMW makes good cars, but the pricing does not make sense to me, I attribute the higher prices to lack of the economies of scale that Nissan and Toyota has, since their luxury brands share the same parts as the parent company's cars.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Wow, someone called the 3.0 a miserable engine? that's baffling. I miss two things about my BMWs... RWD and that obscenely smooth engine. Nothing like the inline 6 in any other make. Like buttah.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    but the pricing does not make sense to me, I attribute the higher prices to lack...

    ...of shopping skills?
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    What are you talking about? give me an example of what you mean so I kow exactly where you are coming from.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    "although I can certainly understand why this car isn't for you. "

    educate me :)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,651
    I don't want to get OT here, but have you ever driven a Lexus GS? UGH! Drive a GS back to back with a 528i. You say the Lexus is a better buy. Your car priorities must place emphasis on numb steering, touchy brakes, pillow soft suspensions, and gadgets galore (NAV, Mark Levinson Audio). I'm into a car that drives like it doesn't weigh so much with communicative steering, excellent body control and handling ability.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Sure the Lexus is quicker to 60, but who cares. Where's the clutch? What do you do when you have to - god forbid - turn the steering wheel?

    Why not just get a Buick and save $20,000?

    There's nothing like a BMW I-6. It may not be quick, but my friend's E36 325ic (5-speed MT) is a joy to drive just for the sound and feel of that engine. Puts a smile on my face every I drive it.

    These stoplight drag racers just don't get it.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    You can get a 5 series for about 6-7k below MSRP via ED. Add in the $1000 BMWCCA rebate. No reason to pay anything close to msrp on a BMW. So I look at the 50k msrp of a 535i and see 43k (including shipping and profit). Add in leather and sport and you're at 47.5k. A 535i with those options has an MSRP of 55k.

    So, when it comes to shopping for BMWs there are good shoppers and there's everybody else...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,379
    I learned that lesson long ago. I always opt for the top engine available in the model line. Served me well so far.

    As for the lesser HP, not everyone uses it so in this case, BMW is a different animal. The US cars I've owned and driven needed the top engine because the base available was SERIOUSLY underpowered....not so with BMW. The power difference is marginal.

    Regards,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    educate me :)

    See above posts by you :)
  • Thanks for the info riorebel and laurasdada. When the time comes for me to choose (end of the year), I'll probably test drive each one once or twice and then sit down and write my own positives and negatives and then choose. In the end, it doesn't seem like I can go wrong with any choice I make though.

    Question: How much of a diff. is there between the TL compared to the TL-S with regard to how smooth the car rides, handles, etc. Also how does the G-35x compare to its other models the G-35 Journey, etc.

    My girlfriend is the same as your wife riorebel, she hates all American cars (except the Corvette) and she hates Toyotas. I think the hate for Toyotas stems from her having a bad experience with a Corolla (her first car) like 10 years ago (I think it was a '92). She doesn't even want me to look at Lexus. On a side note, my parents have been buying Toyotas for the past 10 years and love them. My mom drives a '97 Avalon (bought brand new in '97), and has only put 32,000 on it in the last 10-11 years (she just pretty much goes to the store and goes home).

    riorebel, thanks for the SEC support. Honestly I cheer for every team in the SEC except AUBURN. As much as BAMA fans hate AUBURN, I would have to say LSU fans are right behind yall on that hate. Yall look to have a promising year (thanks to good recruiting), so good luck this year, except in Tiger Stadium.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    Agreed. I want an automatic car, as many bells and whistles as I can afford, power thats above par, in this day and age 300hp does the trick, no need to be competing with a nissan altima V6 in a 43k 528i.

    Driving dynamics that were described in other posts are a matter of opinion. I will stick with facts here, the engine used in the Lexus 3.5 litre engine is in the wards top ten list, together with the 335i's engine. If you buy a 528i cos of driving dynamics, more power to you, I will buy the faster car, you can stick with your driving synamics behind me :)

    I am in my late 20s, so gadgets are pretty important
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    LD,
    I could have written that post. Back in '05 I felt the TL was just a little more refined with the G being more rough around the edges. I think now though that the G has really improved in the area of refinement and has probably surpassed the current TL. Can't wait to see the '09.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    If you buy a 528i cos of driving dynamics, more power to you, I will buy the faster car, you can stick with your driving synamics behind me :)

    I am in my late 20s, so gadgets are pretty important


    Different strokes. You are one of the few people who buy cars on stats. I don't. The looks, feel and performance are all factored in. I don't go for gadgets, but there are certain creature comforts I want.
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