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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    Some nice possibilities, especially at that price. Hopefully the new auto tames it a bit, but it shocks me that they don't make a version with better mileage at 250HP. They would sell loads of them (just like teh 328 outsells the 335 by a lot). The interior is much more M like. MPG is terrible, so I'd honestly probably just get an M35x instead, since it is plenty fast enough for me, and there are lots of used ones.

    Need to drive a 2003 530i too..and probably a few others.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited May 2010
    Well, funny you should mention that... :P

    The G25 is coming out this fall. Same car, smaller ~220hp engine. The base model should be in the $27-28K range(msrp at $29-30K would be my guess, invoice closer to $27K). Finding a program/dealer car a few months old for $25K should be possible. That is, if you can wait 5-6 months.

    And, yes, the automatic tames it quite a bit. It drives more like a 5 series or E class than a Z. (that said, yes, it will make scenery go by very, very fast.)

    There are pictures online but Nissan is keeping very mum about the car. My guess is that they want the competition to get theirs out first and under-cut them. I'd suspect that they are worried about the IS250 and the new Regal, though the Regal is out now, so we might expect a major announcement sometime soon.

    EDIT:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Skyline
    It's sold as the Skyline 250GT(same exact car as the G25, essentially) and is currently on sale in Japan.

    The combined fuel economy for the car (testing comes from Singapore, of all places) lists it as roughly 24-25mpg combined, with a highway figure of close to 35mpg. One site in Japan lists it as getting 38mpg in a test, but that was on a track under controlled conditions.

    And it should weigh about 3250lbs - about 300lbs lighter than the G37. This will make it a great car among people who like mountain roads, since the only complaint with the G37/Z370 is its weight is a bit more than you'd like for serious mountain roads.

    G37 5.6 seconds.
    G25 7.0 seconds. (that's about a second faster than the IS250 and Regal)

    It's not stupidly fast, but it certainly isn't a slouch, either. Getting that type of performance out of a tiny engine like that is amazing, really.

    If they pull it off, it'll be the equivalent of a hat-trick. Low cost, sport/luxury, and economy car mpg. All while NOT being slow.
  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    edited May 2010
    Interesting...looks like they dropped a beefed up version of the 2.5L four from the Altima in? Or is this a smaller displacement V6?. I really like the small 6 in the IS250 and the efficient 6 in the 328. I can't see paying premium prices for anything with a 4, although I've considered it with the Audi/VW 2.0T. I wonder where the weight drop comes from? 7 sec 0-60 is not bad at all.

    Fortunately, I do have time...no hurry really.

    ***
    Just read a few reports. No turbo, 2.5L V6, specs around the 220 mentioned. Of course some writers asked "why move downmarket". Do these writers live in the real world? Not long ago, 220 was pretty powerful...300 was reserved for rarified company. This is a brilliant move.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, 220HP is plenty, as it comes close to the 15lbs/HP make-or-break sweet spot. (14.7 actually) For reference, that is 3000lbs and 200HP plus at least 200lb-ft of torque.(basically a 6 cylinder engine, preferably as small and quick to rev as possible)

    The IS300 was very close to this magic ratio. BMW has tried to maintain this as well, though the recent 3 series' are too fat and suffers greatly in handling compared to the E36, which is still the best choice - it's the last "classic" BMW worth getting. But, at 10 year old, now, it's a dicey proposition due to maintainance.

    That's why the 1 series is so popular - lighter and quicker on its feet for a fairly reasonable price. It eeks just under the 3000lb limit/ proper ratio. Very fun to drive as a result.

    The problem with the Regal and IS250 is that they are in the 3500-3600lb range and lose their edge. Not *quite* fast enough, not *quite* agile enough. Sure, the bigger versions (IS350 and Regal GS when it comes out) are stomping, wild beasts, but they lose that small sport sedan feel,. And they cost a lot more money.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,438
    I'd be surprised if they could cut 300 lbs compared to the G37. I mean, we're talking same platform. Changing just the engine wouldn't save that much. Unless they are going to use lightened body panels, which would add cost, I don't see it happening.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    edited May 2010
    . . .why not look at a new Genesis (with the 6) sedan. A friend of mine bought one and he says the deals on them are "impressive." He had come from a 5 series Bimmer, the last in a string of many, too. . . . Far as I can tell, although he is hardly rich beyond the dreams of avarice, he bought because of the deal compared to the deal plus the content differences on yet another RWD 5 series, not because he no longer could afford a 5 series.

    I thought, at the time, he was crazy -- now, not so much. And, before you think I am crazy, my current Audi (#29 in my life -- including the ones that have been mine or my wife's) is an '09 A4 Prestige with the 19" sport package and ADS on it -- I live in Cincinnati (that is we have about a 70 30 ratio of road to potholes); all that lovely sportiness I paid for is virtually useless. I play dodgem' with my car -- and including the factory originals have now had 12 tires (4 OE plus 8 replacements) due to tire damage. I love the sport quotient of these great German cars (and probably the Japanese and American cars of the same ilk) -- but frankly, until the US, Ohio, Hamilton County, Cincinnati infrastructure reaches a road to pothole ratio of 95 5, my cars sport/lux quotient is great to look at but virtually impossible to enjoy (much.) If I could get an AWD Genesis, I'd probably seriously consider it -- or a tank with rubber treads.

    Perhaps a new or demo or leftover Genesis (or lightly used one) is out there somewhere at an even better price. The warranty is impressive and the car certainly seems to push many of your buttons. :shades:
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    I'm getting bored with looking at all the usual suspects in the family car line...Altima, Camry, Accord, etc. C300 too small. IS 250 same. Thought I'd move up a bit and test drove a 2007 G35. 38,000 miles, dealer asking $25,800. Nice ride. Miles a little high, price a little high. But do I need 300+ HP for my 2d car??? Might get 18 MPG on premium fuel in the city?? I'll probably pass...though I'd be a Happy Boy in a G25. What to do? What to do?
  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    You're not crazy. I was just looking at the Genesis. Power is there with the 3.8, mileage is better than most, and honestly, is a damned handsome car when you see it on the street or in a parking lot. My biggest concern personnally is the size...I look at an A6 and think, damn, that's a bit bigger than "mid-size". Then comparing the the Genesis to the A6, it is longer, but not as wide. It is longer and wder than a 5 series, M35 or MB E350. I just don't know if I want to drive anything that big (length in particular). Lack of AWD is a drawback.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,438
    Lack of AWD is a drawback.

    Only if you are offroading or deal with 6 months of snow, IMHO.

    I made it through 3 blizzards this year with a '92 Benz with snow tires. No traction control. No stability control. Just the snow tires and an antiquated ABS. Not one iota of drama driving in horrible conditions (had to take 9-month pregnant wife to the hospital in the middle of the night after 2 feet had fallen and no signs of letting up). I'm a convert. I am no longer concerned about having a RWD daily driver. (although that is all I grew up with, so go figure why I, and so many other people, have forgotten we survived it then, so we'll survive it now.)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    On AWD, I look at it this way: I have a 20 plus degree grade in my driveway, so hill climbing is critical. RWD will suffer compared to AWD at hill climbing, even with snow tires (it will better AWD in stopping and turning with snows vs all weather). Then there is the cost of buying wheels and tires, and paying for the changeover and storage (I have no room for 4 sets of wheels/tires). The cost probably evens out, but AWD is just more convenient, and you don't have the occasional early or late snow, or the unusually warm winter days that chew up your snow tires. So I could give it a try...hell I grew up driving a 77 Cougar in the snow...no ABS, no traction control, and horrifically bad front/rear weight balance. Of course it couldn't climb our snow covered driveway then either.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited May 2010
    If you have a 20 degree driveway, you need 4 wheel drive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7dVFY5CxT0&feature=related
    The problem is that the systems try to out-think the situation and react too slowly. So they get stuck and actually in some cases literally stop turning ANY of the wheels despite the throttle being on full. 6:15 is the part to watch - a dirt hill climb.

    What appears to happen with most of them is that the system transfers enough power to the rear wheels to merely keep the vehicle's place stable on the hill and does the climbing with the fronts alone. This works to a point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xJusLJQbv8
    Ouch.

    Trust me - almost all of the drive systems that transfer power back and forth fail like this and are only good for getting unstuck from a flat snowy driveway or the side of a road. Note - Subaru and a few others are full-time AWD and do work. Part-time is rubbish, so don't bother wasting your money.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXOPcwMnC6c&feature=related
    4wd. Just pay the extra money if you really need snow performance.

    Snow tires are much more critical, though:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P03wqClnq-0&feature=related
    A nice video I found showing how AWD isn't going to save you while snow tires likely will. There are 6 in the series - it's very informative, if a bit repetitive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXuhfwY74b8
    A bit more funny :)
  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    Here's my experience so far:

    2000 Volvo v70 XC: usually climbed the driveway with few problems
    2001 FWD S60: had major problems, even with just light snow. However, I when put Nokian WR all season/snow tires on, and it climbed as well as the XC did.
    07 Lexus RX350: Climbs pretty well, similar to the Volvo.
    07 Subaru Tribeca: Climbs ok, but slides more than the Lexus or Volvo XC, and is much worse going down. Why? 255-55-18 tires act like snow saucers. Stupid choice by Subaru.

    So I'm reluctant to move away from AWD, and the modern electronic systems do work better, in my experience, than the YouTube videos show, especially when good AS tires are used. In fact, the superior Subaru system proves less important than the tires in most respects.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,438
    the superior Subaru system proves less important than the tires in most respects

    That's really the key point. If someone NEEDS awd/4wd, then they also need to be concerned about what tires are on there. It is the most important part of the car.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I made it through 3 blizzards this year

    I think "made" is the operative word. I used to live near Buffalo and owned a car without ABS or AWD. I "made" it through horrible winters. My RWD did have snows.

    My Subie with good all-seasons, ABS and AWD, is a much better driver than my old RWD.

    I also "made" it through several winters in my BMW with just all-seasons.

    A number of houses in my development have 20 degree inclines. I have pictures during the winter where cars were parked at the bottom of the driveway. For those houses the trucks and AWD models were the ones that made it up the driveway.

    Until I move to San Diego (or Phoenix), AWD will stay on every vehicle in the family.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    We had a nasty, nasty winter. My Subie with all seasons did just fine. The only reason I couldn't drive it out of the garage is the the snow on the ground was above the front grill, I wasn't even going to attempt it.

    In my opinion, unless you are in a climate where the majority of winter you deal with huge snowfalls and unplowed roads almost any AWD system will be fine. If I had to deal with huge snowfalls and unplowed roads on a regular basis, I would get a big truck with AWD and outfit it with snow tires.
  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    Well the search continues. I drove a 2008 Lexus IS250 AWD. Not fast, but not a dog either. Cockpit was nice, if slightly tight. I was very happy with the balance between handling and ride on out broken pavement. It's just quite small in back, and never inexpensive. Wondering if I can suffer FWD again with an ES, which would be bigger and faster...without the handling.

    Next stop, a 2007 328xi. Interior had many loose pieces and was a grade, no two grades below the Lexus. Hell the interior in my Tribeca was a grade better. Ergonomics however, were perfect...armrest exactly where it is needed (Subie's is 6 inches too low). Seat was fine. More room in back than the IS. Now the drive...there wasn't one. Battery was dead and couldn't be jumped. Yes, BMW is off to a glorious start. Don't even ask about cupholders. This same place has a 525xi and a MB E350 4matic. I'll give those a go instead.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I had a BMW, and over the years I've driven almost every model extensively except the M variations and Alpina. They drive like they are on rails. (As an aside I didn't have any issues with my BMW)

    I was just in an 2010 ES and I have to say the interior is nicer than a CAMRY but was just so so to my tastes, a little classy not really luxurious, but defintely upscale. Yes, it has all of the bells and whistles and drove very nice, buy you pay for the Lexus(BMW) experience. As an aside I'm a fan of BMW interiors, they have exactly what it takes to drive the car and nothing else, I even like idrive.

    A friend has the IS250 and I've ridden in the car many times and I agree with your assessment.

    I'm not one to get a pre-owned/used vehicle. I know there are people on this board who go to sites to get in my opinion unrealistic pricing on certain vehicles. I know of nobody who has ever gotten a car from one of these sites, so it's not something I would ever try.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,438
    edited June 2010
    Until I move to San Diego (or Phoenix), AWD will stay on every vehicle in the family.

    The weight and fuel penalty for EVERY car year round for just a few days when its needed? Well, to each his own.

    Next winter, I'll be trying out FWD with snows (my luxury performance V70... to stay on topic ;) ). We'll see how that goes. Considering my S70 with good all seasons was one of the best winter cars I ever had, I have no doubt I'll be just fine.

    And, yes, I'll be hoping to "make" it through. Not sure what else I could ask for. Winning a winter rallycross? Summitting the highest peak in NJ in record time? Nah. Making it through is all I want. Just like I did with my Subaru, G35X, XC90, Pilot, Pacifica, and probably a couple of other AWD/4wd vehicles I'm forgetting.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    The weight and fuel penalty for EVERY car year round for just a few days when its needed? Well, to each his own.

    Quoted for agreement.

    As someone that's lived in Upstate NY (Syracuse), I've dealt with all kinds of weather, including snow that falls from 4-6 inches PER HOUR. I've also driven all kinds of vehicles, from subcompact cars to pick-ups and full-size vans. No matter which wheels are driven, winter tires are BY FAR the best choice. I've had better control in 4 inches of snow with a 2WD pick-up with winter tires than an AWD compact with all-seasons.

    Don't forget the weight penalty (and worse fuel economy) that AWD adds compared to a similar FWD/RWD vehicle, the better chances of driveline/mechanical issues/failure, and the tighter tolerances in terms of tires (which adds to more out-of-pocket $$$$$).

    AWD is by no means a necessity in the snow belt, as long as you know how to drive in the snow, and use a set of proper winter tires that also help to STOP and STEER, not just accelerate.

    And, yes, I'll be hoping to "make" it through. Not sure what else I could ask for. Winning a winter rallycross? Summitting the highest peak in NJ in record time?

    Yeah, those "rally" drivers are usually the SUVs and/or Subaru drivers that fly by me in a snowstorm, only for me to pass them when they're buried in a ditch and need a wrecker to pull them out.

    OT: Did anyone notice how the 2008 G35 is still shown on the right when it's now two (almost three) years old and superseded?
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    I had a 2007 BMW 335xi with ContiProContact tires in some nasty Boston winters. Not once did I ever get stuck even when the town plowed snow right up against the parked car. The car drove like a dream, never an issue either summer or winter for almost 30,000 miles on the OEM tires.

    I now have a 2011 335i xDrive with new ContiProContacts and have every expectation of no issues. The BMW interior is exactly what I want, the exterior looks better than any other compact 4-dr sedan, I have 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of stump-pulling power.

    I'll meet you at the bottom of the hill, and I'll call you and tell you how luxurious the ride up the peak was, and I'll call you a tow truck if you need one.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited June 2010
    I can see it now...

    Your driving to work during a blizzard in your $50,000 335xi wearing steel wheels and Nokians. You're a fearless mountain goat!

    So there you are, sitting at an intersection casually sipping your non-fat latte when you catch movement in your peripheral vision. You turn your head just in time to see a Cadillac Escalade with 24" all-season tires careening towards you sideways. You make eye contact with the other driver just as...BAM!

    If I lived someplace that had long winters and got a lot of snow, I wouldn't buy an AWD sport sedan and winter wheels and tires. I'd buy the RWD version and with the money I saved, I'd pick up a 10 year-old Jeep Cherokee or Nissan Xterra.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,579
    " I'd buy the RWD version and with the money I saved, I'd pick up a 10 year-old Jeep Cherokee or Nissan Xterra."

    Funny you should mention that; I have a 1999 Wrangler in my garage...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • slance66slance66 Posts: 21
    The spare 4WD Jeep is a nice idea, unles you need garage space, and you live in MA, where insurance is brutal. I drive 7 miles round trip to work....have tow cars to accomplish that is just not a good idea. Can a RWD car with snows climb my driveway? Maybe, maybe not. I have every confidence that it would be fine on the roads...better than fine really. So I'm prepared to pay the penalty of AWD, or suffer a FWD like a Maxima or ES350. Alternatively, I can keep my Tribeca, which has very good steering, a decent interior, bulletproof reliability and no problems in the snow. It's starting to make the most sense.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    Your driving to work during a blizzard in your $50,000 335xi wearing steel wheels and Nokians. You're a fearless mountain goat!

    So there you are, sitting at an intersection casually sipping your non-fat latte when you catch movement in your peripheral vision. You turn your head just in time to see a Cadillac Escalade with 24" all-season tires careening towards you sideways. You make eye contact with the other driver just as...BAM!


    1. I don't change out the wheels or tires in the winter. I didn't for 4 winters in the '07 335xi and never damaged them in the winter. I did manage to give both front wheels road-rash when trying to park too close to the side curb to avoid door dings. The ContiProContacts have never failed me.

    2. With Oyster leather in the '11 335i, I don't drink or eat anything inside the car. No one does under any conditions.

    3. The scenario you describe is a recurring fear with the lunatic drivers in the Boston area. I drive very defensively here.

    I would normally agree with you and go for a beater with AWD and great off-road tires for the winter, but like a recent post, a third vehicle is completely impractical for a number of reasons.

    I have a radar detector but what I really need is a Moron Detector for those idiots in SUVs who have no concept of how much momentum a 2.5 ton truck carries and how hard it is to slow it down under the best of conditions. Until someone invents such a device, I keep my distance and my eyes wide open.

    xeye
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    If I lived someplace that had long winters and got a lot of snow, I wouldn't buy an AWD sport sedan and winter wheels and tires. I'd buy the RWD version and with the money I saved, I'd pick up a 10 year-old Jeep Cherokee or Nissan Xterra.

    Now there speaks a practical fellow. Get the right tools for the job and keep life, (relatively), simple. Here in the UK, 4WD is more to do with style and supposed, (or wished-for), status. Very few ever venture off smooth tarmac and our winters are classed as "severe" with 4" of snow for a week. My trusty Volvo S60 with just FWD and all-seasons does just fine. If I think it won't - I don't go. However, an old diesel Land Rover might be fun - if you like teeth-shattering vibration and no heat. :)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,579
    However, an old diesel Land Rover might be fun - if you like teeth-shattering vibration and no heat.

    The only 4X4 I'd rather have than my Wrangler is a Defender 90, but they cost 2-3 times more than my Jeep... :cry:

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Shoot, why not just go for it and get a Unimog? :P

    Now, that's teeth-shattering.(though being able to see over delivery vans and small buses is a huge plus)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The weight and fuel penalty for EVERY car year round for just a few days when its needed? Well, to each his own

    Correct. You mentioned NJ, I understand there were some huge snowstorms there last winter. No secret I have a Subie, and yes, yes, yes to your comment.
  • murphydogmurphydog Posts: 503
    xeye - your comment got me thinking - I don't know who is worse, the over confident winter driver in the big car / SUV OR the person who is so clueless they put one tire chain on the front wheel and one on the back wheel of their Accord cuz they don't know if it is FWD or RWD...sadly enough I saw that a few winters back here...
  • jspagna1jspagna1 Posts: 34
    Winter tires make a world of difference. I drive a 4Runner with AT tires and we also own a 2010 Acura TL SHAWD and a 2003 Maxima and I have dedicated snow tires for both vehicles and those cars are better in the snow than my 4Runner any day of the week.
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