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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    It's very dealer-dependant, though. The dealership in Van Nuys, CA, for instance, doesn't act like manuals exist. Lol. Valencia, also, same deal. Oddly enough, Beverly Hills groks manuals. Course they want full msrp and act like you need a reservation as expected. :P

    The shame about sunroofs is that almost all new cars moved them back 4-6 inches to accomodate the lights/garage opener/etc cluster on the ceiling. This places it too far back to be viewed out of while you are driving. You can feel the wind and stick your arm up and such, but unless you turn your head sideways, you see no sky.

    And they leak and cost a fortune to fix when they get older. Just... not my thing. Now, a Porsche 968 with its cavernous, gaping wound of a sunroof... ah... that's a whole other story... :)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And they leak and cost a fortune to fix when they get older. Just... not my thing. Now, a Porsche 968 with its cavernous, gaping wound of a sunroof... ah... that's a whole other story...

    Ah the ole 968. I saw one on the road the other day. Made me reflect on how much the world has changed in such a short time.

    BTW, a genius car salesman tried to tell us recently that the sky roof on the A3 - two giant pieces of glass atop the car - helps to keep the vehicle cool. My fiancee looked back at him and asked, "Are you familiar with the term greenhouse effect?"

    Same guy also tried to tell us the DSG tranny was the same as a Porsche Tiptronic. Honestly, they need to test these guys.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    What kind of A3 did your fiance end up getting?

    I have to admit, I find my A3 to be the most fun to drive car I've ever been in/let alone driven. I used to not have fun driving (especially with traffic in CA), but the A3 changed that. Now, I just wanna drive to drive the A3. :)

    The sport package suspension works wonders.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Premium package, XM, DSG and Ocean Blue something paint.

    It's a 2006 with 12k miles on the odometer. Not bad when you consider the couple bought it 20 months ago -
    yep 600 miles a month! The previous owners were almost as golden as the "lady who just drove this ferrari to church on Sundays." A yuppie-ish couple, they loved the car but some financial difficulties made them give it up. We scored as the car's immaculate and of course still covered by Audi's 4/50k warranty.

    Another big bonus - beyond her constant smile while driving it - the owners surrendered the car for a point that's well below KBB/Edmunds and saved us about 7-8k if we'd bought new.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,682
    DSG?

    MODERATOR
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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355
    Blue,

    How would you describe the drive in the A3 vs. your outgoing 330?

    Regards,
    OW
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    DSG = direct shift gearbox. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-Shift_Gearbox

    Everything SMG was supposed to be but wasn't.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,682
    No.. I was asking... Does your's have DSG? I'm guessing yes.. :)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Oh, hmmm. The A3 feels far lighter and more responsive. Move the wheel and the car responds now and the chassis doesn't slowly react like BMW's e90. The engine pulls and pulls effortlessly. It's disquieting how the 2.0T just starts pulling and never really lets up. Of course, the seamless, near instant shifts of the DSG also help make engine always seem like it's at the top of the car's 207 ft-lbs of torque. Again, lighter car, fast tranny, strong torque = fun.

    Now, it's light and responds quickly. Unfortunately, for me the heavy understeer of FWD still seems foreign. I don't recall my Protege ES exhibiting so much understeer. Also, the A3's heavier and more nose-heavy, I think, than my old 2003 ES; that may explain it some. Regardless, there's front end plow and as she got the premium package, the suspension's not set up for my aggressive style.

    For her, it's perfect. Some sport, lots of fun, lots of utility and enough luxury to keep her happy. For me, it's too soft - I knew that from 2005/2006 test drives - but amusing nonetheless.

    I'm actually stuck in a predicament as I was aiming for the 4 door GTI but having two Mrk V-based cars with the same engine/tranny/chassis might be too creepy. Damn VW for not offering the R32 as a 4 door. I'm supposed to show my 330i to a perspective buyer tomorrow (another guy offered to fly in this weekend from SF) and I must say I'm now a little at a loss. Perhaps a Miata for a year or two, or maybe a Mini for a year or two. Keep the bimmer for the remaining 11 months and start over in 08? Gotta ponder it all as I feel ill thinking about having almost near twin cars.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Yes. She can drive manuals but prefers autos. This gives her both worlds as she loves toggling to a lower gear for more power instantly.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    it's what's for drivin'.
    :shades:
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    You guys fail to admit that most BMW 3 series buyers are buying it simply for that badge. I mean c'mon...until about 3 years ago you had to buy an expensive option package to get power seats and a few years before that it was power windows! Those are basic things in a luxury car, with or without the P! Now, you have to upgrade the damn thing to get leather. WTF????? Here in Atlanta you can't throw a stone without hitting a 3 series. Be it one of the Banglelized versions or previous. And most of those are the base model and a good many of those are without the upgraded options that should be standard on a car of that cost. Even at the base model's cost. You cannot tell me most of those people are buying the car for feel. If we were to survey most of them I'm confident they'd mostly tell you they like the image and prestige of a BMW and think it looks cute!

    I will give them credit for this though. They're improving their base model to include more and more options. But get with the program, BMW, and offer leather as standard. Leatherette is a joke. And do it without raising the cost. There's no reason for the leatherette.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Many people don't want leather. Many also want cloth as an option. Reconcile that with your luxury standards.

    In fact many BMW owners complain about all the junk on the cars now. Some don't want the moonroof or the auto AC or DSC. What about RFTs? Luxury some would say, while myself and others have ditched RFTs because of their weight and influence on handling. Personally, I would like a great deal of the sound deadening material removed from my car.

    If I go BMW again I may opt for the ette as I was in an 07 with it and it felt fine.

    Can't speak for most buyers. I know why many here bought the car.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    monotonous but I have to agree with BG again. Plenty of buyers in the Hall have voiced a strong preference for cloth. It's not my choice, but I certainly understand it. I prefer Alcantara myself.

    Ditto on the leatherette. I think BMW's quality is outstanding frankly. A great option for PETA types as well.

    ACC I have never liked on any car personally. Set it and forget it is a crock, IMO, especially with the systems that perpetually run the compressor whether necessary or not.

    Luxury is in the seat of the beholder?
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    "Can't speak for most buyers. I know why many here bought the car."

    That's kinda my point. Those of us on here are not the average Joe or Jane out buying these things.

    Also, I think very few in the ELLPS market would consider leatherette a better choice to leather.

    And just throwing this out there but if you're looking for more P than L in a car why not try something in a different category? I mean a Porsche's interior is pretty spartan compared to that of the average ELLPS. Might cost you a bunch more but then again you might be able to get a used one for a decent price. Then you'll get more go than show.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Got to agree with hauss here, a $39K car (MSRP, I don't want get into the Euro delivery discussion) without leather in today's auto market is PATHETIC. And BMW also charges another grand for metallic paint! WTF??!!. Hands down that the 3er is definitely the performance king in the ELLPS segment but regular Joes and Janes ain't gonna take notice of that comparing to others such as the IS and G. Let's be frank here, I know many regulars here are the true enthusiasts and value the P way above L. But I still think the majority buyers out there are more likely to be the regular Joe/Jane type and standard leather plus no cost for metallic paint would make them much happier.

    Face it, most people buy BMW because its a BMW, not because it's the best performer in its segment. Also, most people buy the 3 not because its the best ELLPS out there but it's because they couldn't afford the 5.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And just throwing this out there but if you're looking for more P than L in a car why not try something in a different category? I mean a Porsche's interior is pretty spartan compared to that of the average ELLPS. Might cost you a bunch more but then again you might be able to get a used one for a decent price. Then you'll get more go than show.

    Look over your paragraph for a second. We're in the Entry level luxury performance sedans forum. Does Porsche make a sedan? Nope. And FWIW, Porsche's interiors are great!

    The market for performance sedans is exceptionally small. You want 4 doors, power, handling, at worst AWD and a manual.

    Some might call the Evo and WRX performance sedans. After that you've gotta move to the Speed6/Legacy and then G35/3 series. Higher still would be the 5 series and yeah no others with even a manual.

    So if one wants some measure of luxury that pretty much negates the WRX/Evo options instantly. Stupid fun cars but they always feel like what they are - bargain basement rockets.

    Speed6 steps up the luxury but adds serious poundage and it uses a wonky Haldex AWD system. Legacy's got the performance part down but inside it feels cheap, cheap, cheap.

    So we're right back at the G and 3 series.

    When it comes right down to it, a performance sedan is not an easy car to come by. It's already a compromise vehicle as it seats 4-5 people, has 4 doors and thus must be kept to a certain shape/size.

    Many of us feel we've compromised enough by going 4 door sedan. We're opting for a basic level of utility in exchange for a few moments each day of fun. We can compromise more and get a FWD vehicle or an auto-only car but to the few of us that repress our Speed Racer Id, we feel like we've given up enough for the sake of family, job, etc, so we're not backing down from our basic vehicular requirements.

    I don't relish giving up RWD or a manual in my 4 door sedan. I'm living enough for others by getting a 4 door sedan - the hell if I'll surrender the last vestiges of fun I know in a car.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    By dealership satisfaction I was talking about owners opinions of the dealerships. Caddy does very well in JD Power surveys. So does Lexus and Jaguar. Just want to be clear.

    "Any non-american car is better. Prestige is not a factor and never will be as luxury nameplates are meaningless marketing. "

    Better based on what?
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Anything that can be safely done on public roads can be done with any of the cars in this class. You need to be at a race track to hit the type of speeds where one MIGHT be able to appreciate the difference offered by a BMW with the sport package. without the sport package a BMW is just another RWD car, very competent but nothing exceptional.

    "If you can't exercise the car, then what's the point of getting any ELLPS? You don't need the P: just stick with the L part."

    Sounds good but we all know most luxury buyers are getting a car for image, not performance capability. Most 3 series owners could care less about exploiting the capabilities of their car at high speeds. They have the car to show that they have "made it" and your social status will rise if you push a BMW.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And BMW also charges another grand for metallic paint!

    Metallic pain is $475. Is it that hard to look up facts before you post something that's patently false?

    But I still think the majority buyers out there are more likely to be the regular Joe/Jane type and standard leather plus no cost for metallic paint would make them much happier.

    They can buy other cars. I think you're all ignoring the sales of 70k TLs, 40k IS250/350s, 60k of ES350s, 40k of A4s, 60k of other cars like the C, Saab, Volvo, TSX.

    The market is saturated with non-performance angled cars. The 3 and G appeal to that narrow market.

    Face it, most people buy BMW because its a BMW, not because it's the best performer in its segment. Also, most people buy the 3 not because its the best ELLPS out there but it's because they couldn't afford the 5.

    Find some proof of that. Honestly, this is bandied about so often. Do you believe someone drives a 328i with an msrp of 40k because it has a badge and they totally ignore the Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, MB, Acura models? There comes a point when you must look at the market and wonder if you're saying each year 90k out of 100k people bought a 3 series based on marketing, while the other 400-500k that bought other brands did so because they saw through BMW's marketing ruse.
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