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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,708
    3 - you can push-start a manual in an emergency.
    4 - you can tow a manual easily.
    5 - a failing transmission will give you months of warning as opposed to *blocks*. Automatics literally can fail in the space of half a mile. Then it's a rock. The manual can be shifted carefully without a clutch AT ALL, in fact - if you know the gearing and shift points. And most cars can be driven to the shop just fine in 2nd gear.
    6 - you drive the car instead of it driving you. Case in point - a downhill sweeping curve. The automatic will upshift while you can keep it in third to power up the hill in a few hundred feet after the turn(typical of many mountain roads)
    7 - better gearing ratios. Zero lag-time to spool up to the proper speed for quick transitions.
    8 - the ability to get by with a lot smaller engine. Better mpg and less weight.

    And, yes, it's tons cheaper to fix. $350-500 plus labor will get you a racing clutch put in most cars. A typical clutch job runs about 500-600, so $1000 is a BMW or something overkill for most cars.

    The only two things you gain fom an automatic are:
    1 - idiot-proofing - anyone can drive it. (also, there's no physical or mental reason a woman can't learn as well as a man how to use a manual)
    2 - not having to shift in a traffic-jam. Note - I counted - two traffic jams on Friday here in L.A. I shifted 4 times in the first one and 6 times in the second. They both covered more than ten miles. I just planned and kept my speed at where I didn't need to shift endlessly. The idea that you need to shift 50+ times... someone's been feeding you a line.
  • To point 6: FYI, in manual mode the BMW auto will hold a gear in this situation and will rev match on downshifts as well.

    I own a stick, but it's a really good auto transmition on the 335i, not your granpa's auto.
  • Imgine the repair and maintenance cost on that 6 speed automatic in 5-6 years. Yikes. :O A buddy with an older 540i paid over 6k to get his automatic fixed. Call BMW and ask how much repairs would be for that tricky-dicky, cool auto in the e92s.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "With that in mind the performance numbers between the slush and the stick are such that there is no real reason to go with one over the other, other then the pure enjoyment of the manual."

    You need more reasons? Re-read the other posts that follow. Just because the "performance numbers" look similar, the driving experience with a manual is indeed, much more enjoyable. Especially in a car like the 335i.

    "In the end she would let me teach her."

    Bingo, you have your answer. You don't need to "give up the car". You don't need to file for divorce. If she's willing to learn now, teach her. There are far too many examples of "my wife refuses" that have resulted in premature castrations of stick drivers. Don't become one of them.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Of course a TL automatic is a dog."

    Sorry, I didn't properly context/qualify that. I don't personally believe a TL automatic is a "dog", even though I strongly prefer the 6-speed. I was giving "dafreak" grief for his statement that his (automatic) TL is a dog. I'm not sure why he thinks so.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You are biased when you thought your TL was faster and handles better than the Type S.

    I think you are the one that might be a little biased. The 2004 TL 6-speed which I have included as standard equipment a stiffer sport suspension than the automatic, the same Brembo brakes that are now on the TL-S and optional (which I have) high performance summer tires. It is my understanding that the previous TL 6-speed suspension was softened slightly for the current TL-S. Perhaps it is "improved" for comfort, but definitely not handling. I stand behind my claim that my 2004 TL 6-spped handles as well or better than the current TL-S, especially one with all season tires, albeit there isn't that much of a difference. If you want to claim that the TL-S is a little quieter and more comfortable over rough roads, I'll concede that.

    Regarding speed, I didn't take out a stopwatch, but as best I could tell, the horsepower increase of about 10% is MORE than completely offset, in my opinion, of going from a 6-speed to slightly heavier automatic with it's resulting drivetrain loss. And yes, I did try the paddle shifters. The TL-S automatic is just that, an automatic, torque converter and all. The paddle shifters do nothing to make up for the fact that the torque converter eats power and is slower than a manual transmission to fully engage. If Acura had put a BMW style SMG or Audi style DSG instead of an automatic, the end result would likely be different.

    I concede that the TL-S 6-speed would be quicker than the former TL 6-speed, since it does have 28 more horsepower.

    You mentioned one thing I am very curious about. As a former S2000 owner myself, I was very pleased with the TL 6-speeds gearbox having some of the same precision and feel as the S2000's short throw 6-speed. Why in the world did you get a TL-S automatic after having owned an S2000?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,261
    dafreak1,

    Good luck in advance. FWIW, I would lease for 3 reasons: warrantee period corresponds with making sure you are always covered (don't worry about over heat), you can afford a more expensive car without locking in the total cost of ownership, you get to experience a new car at lease end.

    As for options, sport suspension is part of the SP. Get it if you want the ultimate seats and a real performance. You can stretch the options in a lease also.

    Regards,
    OW
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    Or buy it and sell it at the end of the warranty period. Then buy another new car if you want one then. I'm not so sure leasing is a good idea for anyone unless it is more advantageous than buying for tax reasons.
    But I bet there is another board for this, right?
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    I believe dafreak stated he lives in Chicago. Our traffic is plenty reason to stray away from the manual.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Where does leasing provide any more of a tax benefit over owning? Especially in the first few years of use.

    Ownership also affords one better flexibility to get out of the car when they want, how they want, and to whom they want. If you're gonna only drive 10,000 a year or less and want a new car every 3-4 years, then yes, lease.

    I think the included maintenance for a BMW is a big selling point. But isn't that offered to those who buy instead of lease as well?
  • Leasing, if you own a business you write off the entire payment,

    Ownership and resale after 3 years (is he financing or buying outright)? is just flat out silly. BMW supports their leases in a big way.

    Included maintenance is for EVERY BMW. Leasing is the same as buying as far as BMW corporate is concerned. BMWFS leases the car, just as BMWFS buys the car and loans the customer the cash.

    Do some spreadsheets guys. Buying a brand new car off the lot and reselling 3 years later = burning money. You're paying full TTL on a purchase and for those first two years - even if you pay cash - you're so in the negative equity that car's a weight around your neck. Buy a 40k BMW (44k down then) and the moment you drive off the lot you're immediately out 7-8k.

    Buy and hold for 6 years - that pays off. Buy and resell in 3 years...silly.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    If one's to buy just make sure of one thing:

    The car is PAID OFF before you either trade it in or sell it.
  • Trade it in is almost always a negative for the seller and a big, big positive for the dealership.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Leasing, if you own a business you write off the entire payment

    Yea, but the interest on the loan payment is probably the same or higher than the lease payment. Also no money down, flexibility to get out of the contract easily and quickly without taking a bath.

    You pay full tax title and tags on a lease contract also. And being locked into a lease is as much 'weight around your neck' as having the negative equity, which is minimal if you buy a car that has excellent resale.

    For a business yes, lease the vehicle. For personal use there are a lot of advantages to owning the car instead of just renting it if you're gonna keep it at least 4 - 5 years. I've done both. I doubt I'd lease again unless the contract is subsidized and laden with incentives.
  • tubulustubulus Posts: 13
    Any reason? Is it hated on this forum? I've been shopping for a car in this class, and I think the A4 seems the right choice. I'm not much of a "driving enthusiast," just looking for something a little more fun to drive than the Accord I've been driving. Loved the 328xi, but it's just so much more expensive. I liked the G35x, but hate the mileage and not-quite-as-nice look. The only thing I am worried about on the A4 is maintenance costs - I drive 20k a year, and worry that it will add up quickly once I am out of warranty. Is everyone here just down on it because it's not a 6?
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    re You mentioned one thing I am very curious about. As a former S2000 owner myself, I was very pleased with the TL 6-speeds gearbox having some of the same precision and feel as the S2000's short throw 6-speed.

    I had a 2004 TL 6-spd also. Liked the TL's engine, chunky gearbox action and great stereo; disliked the on/off switch clutch, uncommunicative steering which loaded up heavily and asymmetrically, it's tendency to wander around if not watched constantly, it's flatspotting std EL42s. I drove other loaner auto TLs that weren't so bad, but didn't like mine. I now have the lowliest E90 with ZSP which I enjoy getting into every morning. It's just a sweet car. I always thought my TL was a bit of a pig to drive -- a seriously fast pig, but a pig nonetheless. Having intended to keep it for the duration, I got rid of it and took a soaking. The lesson here for me -- a 335i would be great, but in the end there's more to it than horsepower, and I just can't afford it, and travel where I want to, etc., so that's that. One car can be a sweetie, the next one in line just never feels right whatever you do to fix it.
  • Maybe in your state you pay full ttl. in california you only pay tax on the monthly payment.

    also, interest on a car loan is minute compared to an entire lease payment.

    bwm backs their leases with crazy incentives. i've seen 5 series leases for less than $400 a month and 0 down.
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    Also drove the TSX -- much nicer, more agile car than the TL.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "I had a 2004 TL 6-spd also. Liked the TL's engine, chunky gearbox action and great stereo; disliked the on/off switch clutch, uncommunicative steering which loaded up heavily and asymmetrically, it's tendency to wander around if not watched constantly, it's flatspotting std EL42s"

    It just goes to show you that everyone can have different impressions and opinions of the same car. On your positives, I agree with you on the gearbox and free revving engine. I am not that impressed with the stereo. Seems like it is clarity and power challenged.

    On your negatives, normal steering is not a problem with me as much as torque steer and wheel hop under hard acceleration. Also, I have no problems with the clutch. The tires I had were the high performance Bridgestone Potenza's rather than the standard Tourenza's. No flat spotting issues, but wore out after 19,000 miles and sucked in even light snow.

    The 330i w/ZSP is a very nice car and the TL is definitely a rung down from that car in steering and handling. But so are a few of the other RWD alternatives such as the IS and G35.

    I do wonder why you took a "soaking" to get rid of your 2004 TL. I bought mine for $33k and at nearly 3 years and 24k miles, I think I could get around $25k, if I'm to believe the Washington post ads for 2004's w/ navigation in the $25k-$28k+ asking prices. In the last 15 months, I've only put 4k miles on the car, as I have found our "fun" car (911S) to be a darn good daily driver. Perhaps I'll go fishing and see what I can get.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    Interest is miunte on a car loan? Huh? Run an amortization schedule and relook at that assertion. Maybe in the later years of a loan, but the first year is a bunch of interest.

    Leasing almost always sucks unless you get great incentives to take the plunge.
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