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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,486
    edited February 2012
    I usually don't mind a little heat, can crank it myself at times. Opinions about issues generally don't get me worked up and I have no problem with people thinking BMW (or anything else) is an overpriced blank of blank, even if I think otherwise. That's to me within acceptable opinion difference range. It was the lemmings part that ticked me off a little. I'm cool now.

    I rechecked the warranty - yes, I got my math wrong. It is 6y/70K and 4y/60K b-t-b powertrain Infiniti vs 4y/50K b-t-b BMW. It is significant, so is the maintenance. To me it's about equal value, but one may prefer one vs. the other.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,113
    significant data about the maintenance crutch..

    the following was taken from BMW of Bayside website. (thanks flightnurse)
    IntelliChoice Data

    BMW has compiled data pertaining to the average cost* of maintaining other vehicles during the first four years of ownership. See how BMW's no-cost Ultimate Service plan compares:
    Brand Maintenance Costs
    Acura $970.75
    Audi $967.17
    BMW $0
    Cadillac $744.26
    Infiniti $649.40
    Jaguar $1112.53
    Land Rover $233.52
    Lexus $974.22
    Lincoln $922.14
    Mercedes-Benz $1086.60
    Porsche $1032.14
    Saab $385.29
    Volvo $918.93

    i agree about equal value-- but numbers tell the story
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited February 2012
    "it helps if people answer the question asked. i asked for a comparison between the acura tl and the infiniti g37."

    I think Sweeny answered your question.

    The G is sportier and most people think it's better looking. The TL is more refined and some people think it's better looking.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,486
    Acura has probably more value, defined as features for a price. They have "everything is standard" approach and it usually is one option/package. I like that, but it also has its limits.
    Infiniti is going to be faster, but some options can also add to the price. Acura can be had with manual and AWD combined, which is a big plus to me. To me a choice would be manual RWD Infiniti and AWD Acura, also with a stick. I hate that nose on Acura, but looks to me is something one can get used to. I'm more interested in interiors. Final decision would probably be based on availability, price of target configurations and actual test drive results.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,113
    dont know about the value comment-- i just maxed out options packages for both cars-- and its $45,970 vs $46,195 maxed out-(using each company websites)- with the infiniti being a 2 hundo extra--not that i would equip as such.... the manual trans with the 6 speed was a big deal for me when i was looking-- i didnot want or justify the extra 10k for the bmw, the acura while having the best shifter i have ever driven looked dumpy.. both the tl and G handle real well- the G is a little louder -and a little quicker- both have very nice interiors and both are great highway cruisers-- the TL has many buttons -- the G is a little simpler but both are very nice on the inside. Being from the North east I didnot want to live without the AWD-- and thought the G at the time was the better car with it being RWD bais and having the breed of cars like the old G, the Nissan Z and GTR under the same stable vs the Honda accord, TSX underpinnings of the TL. I am dissapointed I still cannot get the G with a 6speed and AWD- if someone goes that route with the TL i would understand even given its looks.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,486
    It's unfortunately this market. It's only BMW that has it available on all 3-series body styles, engines, drive types. Everybody else always knows better what's good for you. You end up getting manual only on one engine, one type of drive, often even not on all trims. Doesn't matter, Acura (TSX wagon only auto), Infiniti, Lexus, Benz, Audi, Cadillac. Everybody, but BMW limits the availability.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,113
    i agree the market and bmw does do a great job at that- - (but how about a 328x,335x manual convertible?) - Looks like audi dropped the manual for the base a5 convert and a4 wagon....I would bet its because few people actually look for the manual option any more and it wound not surprise me if bmw goes to retiring the option as well-- chatter was they were not going to bring a manual M5 to the states but backlash from the passionate made it happen..

    but lets not forget bmw also offers free wipers and oil changes on your new rig as well for the first 4 years.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    My question to the OP: are you buying or leasing?

    The G37x is an absolute road rocket. It is very balanced & turns almost like there's an axis underneath the car. Dynamically, it's a RWD chassis so it's going to be the better performer.

    The TL is going to be a better ride. Not Buick-like as some suggest, but very refined. From what I've read from magazines & other TH posters, the SH-AWD really transforms the handling characteristics of an otherwise FWD, nose heavy, luxury sedan. It's not as fast as the ag, but it's no slouch.

    Good luck & keep us informed. Test drives, buying experience.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,605
    In some sense I agree with you completely on the overrated thing, however BMW is really the only game in town that allows you to tailor the car to your liking. To offer a front engine, rear wheel drive, manual car with a good sport or an excellent (M) sports package. It is the only manufacture that has a sport package on all of its cars, even the mighty 740i. MB and Audi tried to keep up with BMW and lost, I give it Audi that they build a well built car, but it doesn't have the sportiness that the BMW has.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    My 2010 Acura TSX is far from perfect, but it is mine, or at least it will be all mine once the loan is paid off in a few years, but I digress. I'm trying to teach myself how to really drive it. Dynamically it drives very differently from my Prelude.

    With the Prelude, I just basically point the wheel where I want it to go & hit the gas. I usually don't have to brake.

    With the TSX, I lift off the throttle, stab the brakes, turn the wheel, allow for weight transfer, then jump on the gas.

    It's no secret that I think the brakes on my TSX are terrible. When the time comes that I need new pads, I'm going to put HAWKS on all 4 corners. I have them on my Prrlude and am happy with their performance. I'll Probably replace the front rotors with brembro oem cross drilled replacements.

    Once the oem Michelin tires are shot they are going to get replaced with some high performance summer rubber.

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

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    Surprised that nobody is sticking up for the TL SH-AWD

    I think the SH-AWD is great. Without switching anything off I was able to slightly over-steer coming out of a corner (if that's your thing). My current car has an esoteric sequence of commands to turn off the 'nannies'...only to be repeated next time it is started.

    The TL had a great amount of passenger room, nice dash (I don't mind buttons), and was very compliant over bumps, seams, etc. As far as acceleration is concerned it is very similar to all the others; really not that different. Only the 335 felt more lively in day to day driving; felt like all the torque was available 'now'.

    I like the 'old' beak style as well; didn't purchase one so I guess in a marketing sense it would count as a failure...

    I ranked it higher than the G37 because it felt more refined and seemed more expensive. I had the first G...the G35 and had a great time with it.

    I didn't go with a TL because I decided on a CPO IS350 which was more toss-able and had a lower price (than a new TL). It had similar refinement as the TL and is RWD; which isn't as great a benefit as some would argue...especially in the IS which tames much of the sportiness the RWD is supposed to bestow...

    So, if it were up to me in a TL SH-AWD vs G37 I'd go with the TL.
  • I had just gone through this same comparison myself although I also threw the Audi A4 into the mix. I've always been a Honda driver so I figured the Acura TL would be the next logical step. I test drove it 3 or 4 times really wanting to like it, but each time I was just left wanting something more. I personally didn't mind the exterior, but the interior had too many reminders that this really is just an expensive Honda (clunky Nav system, old thin strip digital clock, buttons galore on the console). The car was fast, but it was also pretty heavy and just felt big in my opinion. The SH-AWD kicked in when you accelerated around tight corners, but most of the time you're just in regular FWD.

    I had my heart set on the A4 - I loved the gas mileage, the refined interior and I actually liked the pickup of the 4 cylinder turbo better than the TL. The only thing I hated was the a la carte option pricing (how the hell can you not offer a trip computer or dual zone climate control or bluetooth in a standard trim) and the arrogance of the sales people who wouldn't come down from MSRP.

    Finally I decided to test drive the G37x and it was just the perfect balance with plenty of power - felt more powerful than the TL - and a refined interior with all the right options. I could care less about the Nav and the G37 lets you have that easy to use screen with all the functionality, less the $2k Nav. The TL without the Nav looked even more like a Honda and you'd have to rely solely on voice control, which was less than impressive during the test drive.

    I ultimately decided to lease the G37x as there are some great deals right now with the pending redesign coming for 2013. I've had the car about 2 weeks and am really happy with everything except the MPG, which I knew I'd start to really dislike as soon as I started filling up the tank. I think the Acura TL would be best in the long term as the reliability and resale are unmatched, but my plan is to lease the G37x for 3 years and hope that Acura gets their act together so I can buy something long term when my lease is up.

    Hope this helps.
  • I made my comparison for my car in the June - Aug 2011 time frame.

    Acura TL Advance SH AWD (auto, 6 speed)
    Audi A4 2.0T Prestige + Sport package (auto, 8 speed)
    Audi S4 Premium with a couple of options to increase content (auto 7 speed)
    Audi A6 Premium + with additional options to content it like the TL (auto 8 speed)
    BMW 335x with Premium, Sport, Nav, Bi-Xenons, +sound upgrade (auto 6 speed)
    Cadillac CTS/4 3.6 Luxury Edition w/19" wheels and paddle shifter (auto 6 speed)
    Infiniti G37X - with every option (auto 7 speed)
    Infiniti M37X with Premium and Technology (auto 7 speed)

    Mercedes C class with several of the packages to content it similarly as the A4 or TL (auto 7 speed)
    Volvo S60 T6 AWD with several packages to get it about to the Audi Prestige or TL Advance level of content (auto 6 speed)

    I had a lease price number in mind ($600 or less per mo), and I used a service (fee based) called Car Woo to see what the discount off MSRP could be; I also went, in person, to the dealers I test drove and asked for a lease quote at 36 or 39 months 15K miles per year.

    I bought (leased) the car on September 10.

    Prior to acquiring the TL, I had narrowed my choices to the cars that offered blind spot warning (BSW) either as part of a package or sold as a separate option.

    The cars I liked a lot (regardless of BSW):

    Acura TL (seemed close to an Audi S4 in terms of feel)
    Audi -- all of them
    Infiniti M (the G seemed cramped -- I felt like a bug behind the wheel, the thing is so narrow and the hood slopes out of sight, so you can't easily see the front end -- and couldn't be had with BSW)
    Volvo S60 T6 AWD

    Honorable mention: Cadillac CTS/4 -- no OMG handles?!? and no BSW, but very American classy and an OK performer -- but not a screamer like the Acura, the Audi S4 or the Volvo S60 T6.

    Worth noting: the G37X with the sport package did seem a lot of fun -- tons of power, good HUGE paddle shifters and a willingness to go (oddly, rather small wheels and tires, though.)

    So, if YOU like the power of the Infiniti G and do not feel crammed inside the smallest interior of the bunch (at least it felt that way compared to the Audi and the Acura which at ~72" wide felt roomy), you should go with the Infiniti -- you are right the Acura is one step away from being "ugly." I like the amount of tech in the Acura and the power is strong -- almost, but not quite S4 strong and the torque vectoring gets rid of the Acura TL understeer.

    On the other hand the new G, next year (?) will probably alleviate some of the size and content issues I had with it.

    Regarding the pricing -- the Acura TL SH-AWD Advance with backup sensors and splash guards was just south of $48K. I was offered 13% off MSRP. The best off MSRP I could get in person was 8%.

    I made a financial, performance, luxury (content) decision. Volvo was the worst in terms of an MSRP discount. Infiniti was second best (all from Car Woo, btw.)

    You can't go wrong with either of your two choices -- but the Acura is not really attractive (when you are on the outside, it is OK when you are on the inside) and the G will be refreshed in about a year (so they say).

    Purely on performance -- the G. Purely (for me) on affordability and almost the same performance the TL.

    I think of the S4 everytime I floor the TL or when I am carving into or out of a curve while applying the throttle.

    Drive it like you live. :surprise:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited February 2012
    What is it with these dealers? I went to look at cars (BMW's first) over the weekend and honed in on a CPO 2009 335i coupe. It had nice equipment (leather, nav, etc.) and only 17,000 miles on the odo, but they were asking $40,000 (marked down from $45,000!).

    I know this car was probably $50,000 new, but really, only $10,000 less than a new one? I bet if I asked about leasing a new $50,000 335i it would cost over $600/mo. That would mean a residual value of less than $30,000.

    So they clean it up and add $2000 profit, and that means a car like this should cost $32,000.

    And don't even get me started on Porsches. Dealers are asking mid-60's for 2008 C2's! Heh, I saw a 2008 Cayman S - beautiful with only $12,000 miles - and they wanted $50,000 for it. A new one is $60,000...

    It was a frustrating weekend to say the least.

    I really think I need to stick with E30s. They're cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, and they don't depreciate. I could buy a cherry 325i convertible for 7 or 8 thousand and be done with it.
  • I appreciate the responses since i last posted. you gave me a lot to think about re the G vs. TL comparison.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,605
    I wish Audi would do something with their 2 liter engine, it needs more HP then 211 hp, with BMW now having a 240hp turbo 4, Audi needs to increase theirs to the TTS's 256hp if they did that I really think Sweeny complaints that BMW cars are expensive, the base price for the top tier A4 is $44K and it only comes with a turbo 4.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    The CPO does add value...but I suppose that is up to the purchaser to decide if they want to pay for this 'value'.

    Did you attempt to negotiate? When I was looking at a CPO 335 coupe they dropped 2k off the MSRP without any real haggling. I'm not certain if that was their absolute bottom (I assume it wasn't).

    But of course this was a different dealer, time of year, salesman, state, etc, etc...

    The BMW CPO (I believe) is transferable too, so that is an added benefit as well.

    I only find "WOW" deals when I'm not looking to buy :)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I was just tire kicking so I didn't try to negotiate.

    I'm just surprised they price them so high. I know they will negotiate but I just wonder how many people they scare away.

    Used cars are such a high profit item for dealers because they get the cars at wholesale and mark them up tremendously. Unlike with new cars, buyers are almost completely in the dark as to how much the dealer payed for the car - there's no foundation to stand on for buyers to negotiate.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    So, the G lineup is going to be getting a redesign for the 2013 model year. I was hoping to get some people's thoughts as to what you think Infiniti is going to do to keep the G fresh, innovative, etc. This is especially in light of the new 3-Series with the turbo 4cyl and kick butt mpg.

    Look forward to hearing the discussion!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,167
    fedlawman.....was at my BMW dealer last week. They had a '12 328i (loaded up) and a new '12 335i (loaded). They said they were only taking offers of MSRP on both.

    Interestingly, given that scenario, my '11 335i was about $9K less (discounted) than it's '12 brother. For that large of a delta, the BMW would not have been on my shopping list last year.

    Sween...you and I don't agree, often. But, I agree with you assessment regarding the value proposition of the recent 328i update. It's entering into territory that other cars really make more sense.

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing that drives like a 3, especially with the turbo 3.0. As a side note, there is ZERO lag with mine. But, when the 328i 4 cyl starts creeping toward $50K (loaded) and the 335i creeps towards $60K (loaded), it's time to look at some other vehicles.

    To me, this is where the G37 starts making more sense.....the price creep of the 3 series puts it there....Infiniti didn't have to do anything.

    Those of you who've been around here for awhile know of my fondness for the TL. But, I think Acura is going to go in a different direction with the next iteration. I hope they bring out a TL-S before they move on (they usually do). But, I'm not certain they'll be as edgy with the new TL. To me, that would be a real shame.

    Audis...at least around SW OH, have very little at the dealerships that you can find. I'm seeing more recently. But, stocking levels are still very thin. And, I don't think it's because they sell a ton of them, as they can't if they don't have new stock. Drove an S4. Nice car. Not worth a premium over my 335 nor over an even larger premium over a TL SH-AWD.

    IMHO, Mercedes C or E class don't even come close to those mentioned above.

    Gas prices are once again artificially inflated. So, perhaps BMW is putting themselves in a good position with the 4 cyl in the 3 and 5 series. American public is fickle. They'll spend an extra $10K premium to get better MPG that amounts to $3K over the course of a hybrid's life.

    It's coming....gas prices are due for a monumental crash given that demand had been so tepid (regardless of what people are saying about China and India) and political posturing usually amounts to nothing but noise (how long do you really think Iran can keep from selling oil in Europe). MPG on all vehicles is advancing at a very rapid rate. So, all of this means that a collapse is coming. We'll see how many want a $50K 4 cyl luxury car then.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,167
    ^^^^^

    Sorry about that....looks like I started into a free-fall ramble with the above post. I don't get here that often these days. ;)
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,605
    Fedman it appears that BMW and Porsche's had thier value much better then others. However, if you look at the base price for a new 911, you are talking 80K base...

    The CPO 335i for 40K seems about right, a fully loaded 335i is almost 60K.

    You should be able to find a CPO 2009 off lease with less then 40K, which would increase the warranty to 100K for mid to low 20's.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,605
    Currently Infiniti has the G25 for the entry into the G sedan, which also gets better MPG then the thirsty G37. Right now I don't think a turbo 4 is in the works for Infiniti, however they need to raise their CAFE for get fined. Now since Nissan has some great diesels in Europe and Japan, not too sure why they don't bring these engines over to the US.

    Regarding design, Infiniti has been on a evolution of their cars, so maybe a refresh would help sales.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,113
    Yeah Audi needs to bump hp (which I Have mentioned before) but the engine does have a good enuf torque- unlike the tsx ( still in Elpps?) has what 180lbs. I like when you say the base price for a top a4 car- what, what, what...Moving on I agree Audi as also expensive when compared to base level japaniese comps for sure. The tl g give you more for sure- to bad they don't throw in free wipers and oil changes like the great BMW maintaince plan. (iPhone sorry for the mistypes)

    Flight nurse - why did you need my age again ?
  • I think we're going to see a bigger difference between the G25 and the G37. Currently the MPG and price differences are too small in my opinion so I wouldn't be surprised to see the G25 end up with a turbo engine and the G37 to continue on its merry way with a new more sporty exterior and LED daytime running lights. I think there are some pictures floating around out there from a recent auto show hinting at the new G coupe - looks a lot sportier like the Nissan Z.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited February 2012
    "You should be able to find a CPO 2009 off lease with less then 40K, which would increase the warranty to 100K for mid to low 20's."

    Based on the stickers I saw, I am very sure I cannot get a CPO 2009 335i for less than $30K.

    Fortunately, I'm not interested in a 335i. After driving it, I didn't like the response of the throttle. It's not turbo lag, per se, but there is definitely a disconnected feeling that I don't like.

    The only BMW I would consider right now is an E90 M3. I've given myself an upper limit of $60K (but I'd prefer to stay below $50K). I'm in no hurry so I can wait for the right car and deal.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I was first really interested in the G25 when it came out, but when I saw the mpg rating (which is the same as a RWD G37) for its size engine, it completely turned me off. I hope Infiniti rectifies it.

    I agree with the Nissan diesels in other countries, why they don't bring them over. I highly doubt they will, especially with the M hybrid, it seems that, at least Infiniti, is going to do a hybrid as their fuel efficient choice of technology.

    I agree, Infiniti is much like BMW in doing an evolution of their vehicles rather than a revolution, so I expect only a moderate refresh will be done on the G lineup. If they go in the direction of the essence concept, then they should be in good shape design wise.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,113
    From what I read Nissan and mb are getting together on a 6. Being a Nissan fan I don't know what to expect because from what I'm hearing mb is doing most of the work- should be interesting - I dont think it's going to be ready by 2013 so I don't know of any real update for the G is really in store - atleast what I have read - please share any links detailing the new G
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    The G is in its 6th model year, 2007-2012, its due for a redesign. Sales have sagged on the G, and with the new 3 Series, I can't see any logical reason to prolong the redesign into a 7th model year. I don't know of any luxury make bread/butter model, that has gone that long without a moderate-major redesign.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    The Lexus IS350 is from 2006 and is basically the same for 2012...same engine/transmission.

    The 2007 G was a G35...it was G37 in 2009.

    The IS is probably not Lexus' "bread/butter"...but whatever food group it belongs to, it's starting to smell a bit after so many years.

    I have an IS and if I were shopping today it probably wouldn't be close to the top of my list.
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