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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    That is surprising but let's see what you ultimately choose.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    Let's see the CTS-V with all that power after 5 years of driving. Unless you only use it on the track, I'll gamble it fall apart often. Oh wait, let's add even if you only use it on the track, it falls apart often.

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,211
    Neither of us will be surprised by the ultimate outcome, I think. I already had my one go at an American vehicle in this class, and won't do it again, for reasons I've run into the ground, so won't repeat. The car itself isn't one of them.

    But, I wanted to list every RWD car that could be had with a manual transmission. So, there they were, together on the same list.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    Joe, if you are an enthusiast, and you attend the training, you can do anything. You just have to be passionate. I value everyone's judgment and views. So when I finally parked my butt in a BMW, I knew the difference after 1/4 mile.

    Just my view.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    Another glutton for punishment, I see.

    The DC based associate general counsel (a personal friend) for Saab aerospace drives ... a BMW 5 series. Does that tell you something? So much for their "born of jets" commercials. :surprise:

    When I was considering convertibles of all types a couple years ago, I tried the 9-3. I sure hope their fighter jets don't have that kind of handling or cowl shake. :cry:
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    To me, the real test is coming back to a model because when you switch you long for the feelings you had in your old ride. Blueguy says it better than me.

    That is why when you reach a certain level of anything, it is difficult to "downshift".

    In 18 months, I make my move. Let's see what is available so I can continue to move through the gears!

  • "BMW
    Audi (reliability?)

    Cadillac -- need to drive the new one. I like the look of the soon-to-be new Jag S-type, but not sure if it qualifies, and its an old chassis. Others, not really interested -- no like."

    You are worried about reliability for the Audi but not the Saab? From everything I have read the Saab is a reliability nightmare...much worse than the Audi. Jag reliability is in the crapper too.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Let's stop the exaggeration of pretending that other competitors cannot be entertaining compared to the 3 for owners who need and demand a better rounded package with more value."

    But that's the point, isn't it? The BMW does handle better than the other cars here. It is dynamically superior, and clearly offers the best driving experience of the group. Is the CTS also a sporty and capable sedan? Absolutely - just like Yamaha speakers accurately reproduce music, and Denny's steak is 100% USDA top sirloin.

    As for your other point, why is the CTS a "better rounded package?" Similarly equipped, the BMW 328i costs $2,500 LESS than the CTS. For example, a 328i with optional heated leather seats and xenon headlights stickers for $35,845. The CTS with optional power moonroof stickers for $38,230.

    So, assuming for a moment that the CTS and 3-series offer equal quality, features, comfort, refinement, etc. yet the BMW is the dynamically superior sport sedan, how is it that the Cadillac has more value?
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    So if I go, then I'll be able to pick the winning Lotto numbers? That sounds wonderful!
    Thanks for the tip.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    So, assuming for a moment that the CTS and 3-series offer equal quality, features, comfort, refinement, etc. yet the BMW is the dynamically superior sport sedan, how is it that the Cadillac has more value?

    Fed, It doesn't to the shopper who is in the know regarding ELLPS offerings. This is a global arena and some do not wander off-shore for consideration. For some, and I respect them all, the CTS will do just fine. Heck, my friend bought a 2005 and I made very positive comments to him regarding his choice. The CTS (I'll stay open on the 2008) doesn't do it for me in the looks department which puts it at the bottom of my list.

  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I agree, if a car does not look good to me, it is off my list automatically.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I agree, if a car does not look good to me, it is off my list automatically.

    Just the opposite for me: looks are the least important aspect of a car. I drive inside the car - and rarely, if ever look at the car from the outside.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    I just have to tell you, I appreciate your perspective. You are a true purist. Good stuff!

  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Same here. The look of a car has very little to do (maybe airodynamic) with its driving capability. If everything is good enough, then I will consider the look and color of my own taste.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I drive inside the car - and rarely, if ever look at the car from the outside.

    True. So to me I can live with a not-so-desirable exterior style but if the interior does not appeal to me then it's off the list automatically.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,285
    Saab and Caddy's rank near the very bottom of the list in terms of reliability from Consumer Reports' latest data which I read about last night. They have a chart similar to Problems per vehicle, but instead use a more intelligible % less and % more than average reliability based on all cars from all models. So the median/average is 0% reliability. 50% would be 50% more reliable than the average vehicle. -50% would be 50% less reliable than the average vehicle.

    SAAB and Cadillac have serious issues! Audi has done as they promised and brought reliability back to respectability and CR recommended (even the first year A3). Honda and Toyota are dominant. Subaru is truly performing at Japanese levels. Mazda, Suzuki, Nissan, & Mitsubishi lag behind. They noted that some Nissan models were good while others were terrible. The one's that were terrible were all built in the US however.
    VW still has poor reliability.
    Audi promised years ago to improve reliability and have done so, leaving VW in the dust.
    Mercedes has been negatively affected by Chrysler, and instead of Chrysler improving with the merger, MB has joined them in the pits.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,285
    I agree... when you are driving, it really doesn't matter what the exterior looks like (except the hood) or what color it is (except the hood and side mirrors).

    Therefore, I wouldn't go so far as to say I don't care about exterior looks, but I value interiors much more.

    By the way, the A3 is not an econobox. It has advanced suspension systems and components. All you have to do is drive one to figure this out.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,265
    I tend to keep the balance of everything when procuring a new vehicle. I also like to feel good when I look at it before I drive. It sets the stage for me.

    For BMW, I really liked the 98-2006 E46 and from this board, learned it drove well also. To me, the change in '06 was ok on looks as opposed to the 5'er which I am still getting used to. The new 5's lines from the sketches look much more fluid IMO.

    My favorite looking bimmer is the current 6 series.

    So, I'm not as pure as others about the drive bent. That is why I perceive the CTS the way I do. No attraction.

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The $38,230 price I quoted for the Cadillac CTS turns out to be for the "Sport" model with 18" wheels, sport suspension, and few other options.

    The CTS that most closely compares to a base 328i with optional leather seating is the "3.6L Standard" model. With optional power moonroof (the BMW comes with one), the Caddy stickers for $34,630. The BMW without the seat heaters (this CTS doesn't come with them either) has an MSRP of $34,545.

    Also for reference, MSRP's (rounded off) for some of the other ELLPS's:

    Acura TL - $34,000; TL-S - $38,000
    Lexus IS250 - $31,000; IS350 - $36,500
    Infiniti G35 - $34,000
    BMW 335i - $39,500
    M-B C230 - $30,500; C350 - $39,000
    Audi A4 2.0T - $30,000; 3.2 - $36,000

    Here's my take on this class:

    If you're shopping for an Auto Transmission equipped ELLPS, I think the G35 pretty much offers the best bang for the buck (HP, handling, luxury, quality, features, etc).

    If you're shopping for an ELLPS with a Manual Transmission, things get more interesting. The G35 is out of contention because it's 6MT drivetrain just sucks. I'd then eliminate the IS250, M-B C230, and both Audi's because they either lack HP, weigh too much, or both. The Lexus IS350 and Acura TL don't come with an MT (too bad), so they're out.

    That leaves the Acura TL-S, BMW 328i and 335i, the Cadillac CTS 3.6L, and the M-B C350 Sport.

    #1. A bare-bones 328i for $33,000 is #1 on my list for it's best-in-class handling dynamics (it weighs 250 lbs less than the 335i!), solid straight-line performance (0-60 in 6 seconds flat), upscale cabin appointments, and outstanding value for the dollar.

    #2. A tie between the 335i and Acura TL-S. The BMW offers RWD handling and more power, but the TL is less expensive and has more standard features. Both are outstanding sport/luxury sedans that offer a different blend of performance vs. luxury.

    #3. I haven't driven the M-B C350, but I have driven the outstanding C230 Sport. Assuming the C350 offers similar driving dynamics but more power than it's little brother, I'm thinking that the C350 offers BMW 328i performance at a 335i price. Of course, who can put a price on the "Mercedes feel" - it is a nice piece.

    #4. The Cadillac CTS needs evolution. It has good ride and handling, but the BMW and M-B are better. The 3.6L engine is smooth and sweet, but the CTS barely manages to reach 60 MPH in under 7 seconds. It's also ugly and cheap looking. I can't think of a single reason to choose the CTS over the less expensive BMW 328i. This is the oldest car on the list though, and the MY2008 CTS is looks promising.
  • calhoncalhon Posts: 87
    "They have a chart similar to Problems per vehicle, but instead use a more intelligible % less and % more than average reliability based on all cars from all models."

    It may seem more intelligible to you, but the reality is it hides vital information.

    Is the average 2 or 10 problems/cars? If it's 2, the difference between average and 50% below average is merely 1 problem/car over a period of years. With an average of 10, you're looking at 5 problems/car -- an entirely different ball game.

    So, which is it? What if the average is only 1 problem/car?
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