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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Sweeny is just string the pot like he always does, we all know that F1 cars are not manual anymore, if a stick was better then all race car would have them, they do not. Period...
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,111
    Figured you would jump in with another greAt post - one that shines no light and adds zero value- so we enter the Flight Zone-
    Btw this is an Ellps board right.
    Who mentioned a golf? I did say GTI.

    Re- read my first post on the matter- or read it again for the first time.

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef0a892/13977#MSG13977
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Sweeny your argument has some weak spots, First it is ok to have a auto is you have a 40 mile commute on the Merrit,so why not have the best of both worlds, the DSG/DCT give the commuter the auto they need when commuting to work and the Manual when they play on the track.

    Sweeny when was the last time you took your G on the track? So have you drive it like 99% of people in america, to and from work and to run errands? Are you the type that will play ricky racer from stop light to stop light?
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,111
    edited May 2012
    Part 2 of the Flight Zone: you read my original post yet? Fully this time-

    Who's talking about the track? I never mentioned tracking at all - stay on point. I do understand people getting autos for the simple reason of being in traffic for a large portion of a cars use. Comment above about f1, while they do use a semi-auto gears - key term is semi.......
    (wiki) automatic gearboxes, and systems such as launch control and traction control, are illegal, to keep driver skill important in controlling the car- they want to keeep the driver engaged at all times, basically my original point from the post I linked to you.

    Staying in the flight zone--

    To answer your questions- have I tracked my g- no. Do I drive it to work and run Errands, no I have my butler Jeeves run my errands - and since my iPO going public tommorrow I will not work again.
    Do I blast from stop light to stop light, only when I see 45k BMW 328s (with autos) sitting across from me. Sometimes I race these 328s for pink slips, I have a few for sale sitting in my garage.

    I've done various schools- from skip barber to Team oneil - 8 different times on all types of tracks, on pavement, dirt and snow- not one of the cars I drove - from m3 to subi to mazda 3 to corvette was an auto or dct or whatever the auto lovers call the computer that changes gears.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    edited May 2012
    You have made one probable misstatement in your post -- typically a car that is ordered and awaited for months CAN be discounted more than one that is already on the lot due to the costs associated with what are called holding costs.

    Cars that are ordered should be cheaper and will be EXACTLY what you want. I find it amazing, confusing and, frankly, disappointing that dealers stock ANY cars other than what can be used for test drives.

    On the other hand, I realize the near suicide this suggests for American car dealers. I was literally unable to order a car, THE car, as I wanted it. The dealer gave me a 24 hour deal -- 87% of sticker on THE ONLY one that he had that was equipped as I wanted it, just not in the color combo I wanted.

    I have no idea how they did the deal, 13% is huge -- yes?

    I took the car, off the lot, with the worst interior color imagined by a human: black.

    And now I must apologize to those who think a black interior is a good thing -- despite the fact that it makes the car seem so much smaller inside, so drab and confining.

    Anyway, typically (especially for European cars) buying by ordering will get the best price.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Sweeny I fully understand that to make you feel better about yourself you have to make other feel worse about themselves.

    When this whole talk about Auto (DCT/DSG) vs stick there was no talk that the car had to a ELLP. When other talked about Lambo's and Ferrari's you dismissed them. Doesn't matter what forum we are in, when you make a blanketed statement that only true performance cars have a stick, this allowed people to bring in other cars to show you were wrong.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    I am amazed at seeing yet another series of posts lauding stick shifts, suggesting or even outright saying that if you were driving a stick shift that everything would be better., there is no

    Stick shifts are great fun, of that there is no doubt.

    I guess manual transmissions are also more economical and -- in some cases -- quicker.

    An argument can be made that you are a better driver if you drive a stick. Likewise it can be argued that you can be make your car perform better IF it has a stick-shift.

    But the reality is that most Americans have no interest in stick shifts, hence the difficulties in finding them, unless your order one.

    Stick shift cars are, practically, not technically speaking, DEAD. Even in Europe they are dying.

    An 8-speed automatic European car is pretty nice to drive -- as is a 7 speed Japanese car. Even some six speed autotrans are good these days.

    Ultimately, no one will offer a stick shift -- due to lack of interest from the market.

    No car maker -- like BMW -- will offer a car with ONLY a manual transmission (other than their top of the line which will remain automatic) due to customer acceptance.

    Live with it, I say.

    I ordered my last stick shift in 2003, knowing the direction would be more autos and few stick shifts as every day passes.

    Where we are today is not the worst place we could imagine -- and frankly I wish we all drove automatics -- OH wait, we're almost there already.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    You are right and wrong at the same time. It is a matter of psychology. One one hand, it is true that car ordered should be cheaper as dealer will not bear storage costs. On the other hand, many dealers, especially those in smaller markets are seeing special orders as opportunities to play classic "hard to get" game - they see you as already committed, so why bother to be aggressive with pricing. This is especially true on Euro delivery on BMW - dealers around my place don't even want to hear about discounting those. Of course, a threat to get it in place hundreds of miles away may work, but you must be ready to make good on it. I saw that playing so many times that it is not even funny.

    There are also other factors, like monetary incentives to move current inventory, no holdback on some brands (IIRC BMW, Audi), allotments and general "instant gratification" culture. At least German brand dealers are used to people ordering, but in many other places you see those deer in headlights faces, when you mention special combination and order in places like Toyota or Honda dealership. But even there it may not go as smoothly - last year I made an order on 2011 and it did not go through, cause they already closed the allotments on production. Lucky I got one a few months later.

    So many people would really have a hard time to understand why I would wait three months for a car, I had to explain myseld. The instant purchase is quite unique to American market - in many other countries people exactly order and wait a few months and think nothing of it, but here the market is better equipped to handle guy taking the blue one from Bay 25 than one picking options from the catalogue.

    So, there is a difference between what should/could be and what really is in practice.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,460
    Again dino001 you bring up some excellent points. "Like it a lot" is an understatement. I've proclaimed my love for my 328xi over and over. I got an excellent selling price (over $5400 off the $44K sticker), a low money factor (although not as low as the 0.9% APR for 60 months they were offering), and a high residual (64% for 15K per year plus 10,000 miles extra) of $26,406. I paid only a $795 bank fee, $350 for new CT plates, $72 1st months pmt, a $12.50 NY tire fee, & taxes on these fees. I made a $0 cap cost reduction & didn't pay a security deposit.

    At the end of my 2 1/2 year lease, my car will have 50,000 miles. Will the car last longer? Absolutely. I have no doubt that the Inline 6 motor and the E90 chassis each in their last year of a model run will be close to bulletproof.

    Yes I will know the car. I know there are literally thousands of similar 328xis that will flood the market in late summer/early fall 2014. Private owners always think their car is worth more than it is & dealers charge insane amounts for loaded up, low mileage, creampuffs. My parents each had 2 modern era BMWs (Dad - '04 X5 & '07 X5, Mom - '05 530i & '08 328xi) that both held up very well for between 10 & 30K past their respective warranties. Even my wife's former '07 X3 was only at the dealer for scheduled maintenance for the 3 years/ 45K we had it.

    If I wanted to buy the car out at a nice discount at the end of the lease, I would wantr to pay cash for it. I'm not so keen on the idea of taking out a loan on a used car with 50K miles that's going to need tires and a whole slew of maintenance (i might go for the extended maintenance pkg).

    Time will tell & we shall see.

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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited May 2012
    If you can bring your car someplace with room to play, a stick shift can add fun to driving. And although having an automatic transmission on a twisty mountain road might dilute some of the fun, I don't think it is fair to say that the MT is some kind of requirement for enjoying a sporty car.

    Because in this segment, there are many things that dilute the fun of driving, of which the auto transmission is only one.

    If one is serious about enthusiast driving, then one will not buy a car that is needlessly saddled with hundreds of pounds of sound-deadening material, power/luxury items, and computer-controlled safety systems.

    By removing a few hundred pounds of fat, car makers could equip cars with smaller and lighter engines, wheels, tires, and brakes and yet sacrifice no performance. What enthusiast would say no to that?

    And while I do love the thrill of shifting my own gears, heel-and-toe downshifting, etc., I also really miss threshold braking. What a challenge it was to approach a corner under full throttle, transition to braking riding that fine line just above lockup, then trail-braking to the apex before tracking out. Anyone can push a clutch - this took real skill to master.

    So really, if someone is going to claim the superiority of the MT, then they must also condemn those who have ABS equipped cars, heavy cars, large cars, luxury cars, etc. - really, any car that isn't purpose-built for sport is a compromise. If they don't do this, then they are simply drawing an arbitrary line in the sand.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Hey Fed, I wonder how often people really know what you were talking about, trail braking, heal and Toe, threshold braking etc... You are right it is one thing to push the clutch in and change gears, but it is another to be able to do this while the back end is sliding out and counter steer around a corner.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,111
    edited May 2012
    Smg, dct, rmv - all take a backseat to a short throw manual. If you are buying an m3 or a 335 or a 335s or a s4/5 or a Gti for that matter and don't spin your own gears - why bother.

    Here come the arguments about how far they've come- better mpgs, faster to 60- sorry. If the car has a sweet manual available - its tHe only way to go.
    ------------------------------------------------

    no comments about it being superior, nothing about 'only true performance cars, just a comment about my thoughts on a sweet manual. I like when guys throw out terms and statements that have nothing to do with the orginal comment - you can talk about F1, Lambos - all you want-
    ----------------------------------------------

    Once again this Blog, number one -- Your welcome Edmunds.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,137
    edited May 2012
    markcincinnati....I agree about buying ordered cars. BMW makes it attractive to take European delivery of an ordered car, for example. On the other hand, as you pointed out, some dealers act like ordering a car should "net" them extra $$$ for the effort. There's practically no effort involved, short of checking a few boxes on a computer screen and entering your contact information.

    One of the BMW dealers tried this when I was trying to get my car from the port. They acted like there was something special, difficult, and unusual about that. And, they felt they should charge me for that privilege. They either couldn't, or wouldn't, make the effort to get the car from the port. Yet, my selling dealer could...and not charge me for the effort. My selling dealer told me "sure....we'll get it....no problem". They didn't even want a deposit.

    I was going on vacation right after I spoke to them. They said they'd have it ready for me when I got back a week later. They did just that. It was waiting for me all shined up in the showroom the day I returned.

    I've bought new cars in configurations I didn't 100% desire in the past (usually a color I didn't care for...either in or out). I've bought them "on the cheap" figuring that would placate me. It never did. The undesirable parts of the car became more and more of an issue, that I usually got rid of them pretty quickly (not that I need much reason to buy a new car to begin with).

    But, I understand those who might do that. And, for good reason if the price is right. I just know me. I'll waste more money in the long run by doing that.

    Finally, it's totally ridiculous to think the only good sports cars (or any car for that matter) come with manual transmissions. Last post from me on that matter. Why bother with such silliness.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,505
    I ordered my BMW via European Delivery.
    US MSRP was just over $57K.
    Agreed selling price was just over $50K.
    - Ray
    One data point...
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    edited May 2012
    Wow, your terms are better than I even imagined. I think 26K plus tax for 2.5yr/50K miles 328xi may be higher than one may want to pay, but again, it is not completely outrageous, especially in context of knowing the car and getting a huge discount you got when you bought it and while you're paying your lease. It is basically giving a portion of that discount back, but if you love the car.... However, I can also see why you'd want to move on. All I'm saying don't rule it out just yet - simply wait until the time comes...

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    edited May 2012
    I observed the same thing. "Special order" is read by some dealers as a code word "I can take you for everything you got and you should thank me for my kindness". I would not be surprised if there were regional differences in that attitude. Here in Tampa I only know two people who did that: I and my Russian buddy pal. The natives don't even get the concept of order (well, not all of them, of course, but you get the idea). And the marked adpapts to that.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Ray great price, it must have been a leader ad according to some people.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Graphic when I bought my 05, the dealer never played games with me when it came down to price. Going in, I knew the price I was willing to pay for the car, and at the time, a 330i coupe fully loaded with the ZPH package was selling for MSPR off the lot. However, I knew that there was a 3% saving off the top when doing the Euro Delivery, so I knew there was wiggle room with the price. I was able to get my 330 out the door for less then MSRP. I got the car I wanted, with almost the color combo (the ZPH cars only came in black or grey leather, I wanted Tan) but other then that it was what I wanted. The hardest part was waiting to drive it in Europe and then again waiting for it to arrive at the BMW dealer after coming back from Europe.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Dino is it the dealer in general or the sales person that makes the difference? The other issue is instead gratification, people do not want to wait 6-8 weeks for their special ordered car to arrive. When I ordered my 05, I would hear people say, "Oh, I know someone who did that and when they got their car, it wasn't what they ordered." That might happen, but didn't for me and countless others who have done it. This might be the reason why I'm not a fan of the Japanese ELLPs, since I wanted it my way, and since the Germans' and American auto manufactures allow me to it I'll continue to go that route.

    On a side note, I love Tampa, reminds me of my home town of San Diego, also I love Babalu's over in St Pete, their wings and Grouper Nuggets are worth the trip when I'm in Tampa.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    edited May 2012
    I think it may be combination of dealer culture, regional market and the person as well. Also brand. For example, BMW claims that all their cars are dealer's orders, which basically means they give them allotments on model, but dealers have to order the configurations. I sometimes see really silly results of that, like 328i loaner with premium, sports, sunroof and NO fold-down seats. Actually, I heard it is quite common (3-series w/o fold-down seats) - I can only imagine faces of a new-to-BMW customers getting one from the lot and the discovering they can't fold it, but neighbor's 10-year old Chevy or Kia can.

    Moreover, BMW actually has some colors/interior available only as orders (you can see it online), which means dealers sometimes make up fake customers to get them (e.g. LeMans blue only available as special order with M-package on previous 3-series was one of those). So order is part of their culture. On the other side of the spectrum is Honda - no orders AT ALL - they make what they want and then stick it to the dealers to sell. They make them in batches (same cars coming off the line in series), which reportedly improves quality, but limist dealers. There were some stories of big time corruption in Honda of USA, where dealers were bribing regional managers to get popular models/trims. Other brands may have a "mixed culture", allowing some order flexibility. That definitely explains some stories of cars not fitting the orders - I would not be surprised if dealers were faking taking the order and then trying to fit whatever customer ordered to cars available in transit.

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,137
    flight...I was tempted to do European Delivery on my current car. I was starting to believe I wouldn't get what I wanted without ordering it. And, it would have allowed me to take a little trip to Germany, at a reasonable cost, since I could have booked so far in advance.

    When a dealer I visited (not the one I bought from) said they'd found the car I was looking for in port waiting to be delivered (to whom, I didn't know). They said they could divert it while at port. I had already agreed verbally on all pricing on the deal. They originally agreed to go and find the car for me, and do a dealer trade.

    Well, since they had to get it while at port, something triggered that they wanted to charge me an additional $500 to have it sent to their dealership. All dealership cars come from the port. It doesn't cost them extra. I asked them to explain, but got the nebulous, gobble-de-[non-permissible content removed], BS explanation.

    Concurrently, my local dealer, who said they couldn't find the car I was looking for, stumbled upon this same car at the port, about 3 days later than the original dealership. I explained I had a quasi-deal in place already. I gave them the numbers, they agreed to them (without the additional $500 fee to get it from port).

    Told the dealer if they could indeed get it, I was off on vacation and would get back to them after I returned. A week later, after vacation, I'm standing at the dealership doing the final inspection. Why my local dealer could do what the other (further away) dealership couldn't do, is beyond me.

    I'm not so certain this type of behavior is the sole providence of luxury dealerships. But, it seems some, not all, do try to try all sorts of crazy ways to pad profit in their deals.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    To some it may simply be a game. They see a guy, he knows what he wants, there is only one car out there to fit it, let's try "because we can surchage".

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,601
    Dino, my partner and I were at Chandler BMW last weekend, they have a very large selection of both used and new 3 series. Of the used ones were 10 ex loaner cars, 2011, 6 were 335i, all had the M sport package, Premium package, Nav, iPod connector and they were all black with black leather. Not the best combo here in Phoenix. 4 328i with only the Value package, iPod connector.
    Some of the other used cars looked like off lease specials, low mileage low optioned cars, Premium package and Value Package.
    Some of new 328 (sedans) were fully loaded, sport,Premium, convenience packages and Nav, MSRP 48K. There was one 328i coupe, with M sport package, convenience package, nav, Xenon headlights, BMW App, and Auto for 49K. BTW, no new BMWs with a Manual per the salesmen.

    This is why I would order my next car, I didn't see the color combo that i like or the options. I'm still trying to talk my partner into a 740i with the M sport package, however, the dealer didn't have a 740i or 740il only a 750il's...
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    I got black leather and I like it (Florida does not get as hot as Phoenix, but we get our share). Granted, I park in garage and my workplace has covered parking, too. The coolest thing - I can program my fans (ventilation) when I'm away. Works like a charm, when going shopping.

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,206
    Yes, that was your original post... which was the one I asked you to clarify. Your response in #13983 was, "Why bother getting a performance car- stick to Lexus Es." No qualifiers... just "performance car." Meaning performance cars should only come with a stick.

    Moving on to post 14005...
    So your saying the new fringed transmissions - when in auto mode tell you when to shift?

    No. When it auto mode, they do what they want to do. But put it in manual mode and you have all the control of a manual transmission without the 3rd pedal.

    but in auto mode the driver is not as engaged as one would be in manual transmission

    Well, first, I can't totally help here, as I don't drive mine in auto mode. But when driving my wife's minivan or Benz, I don't feel I'm any less engaged, no. When I'm driving around town, I am just as aware of what gear I'm in with those automatics as my manuals. The only time I feel disengaged in a vehicle is cruising on the highway, which involves no shifting in any of my vehicles.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,460
    Now I WOULD NOT buy the car directly from BMW when the lease is up. They DO NOT negotiate lease buy outs (they'd rather loose money on the car at an auction for some reason). If I were to buy the car at the end of the lease, I would buy it from a dealer. BMWFS won't sell ME the car for cheaper than the stated value, but they will sell it to a dealer at market price who will in turn sell it to me for a profit that's less than the stated residual value.

    So even if a dealer were willing to sell it to me as a skinny deal for say $2500-$3000 less than the $26,400 value (say $1000 - $1500 over their cost), I'm still going to buy the extended maintenance package (The car calls for brakes @ 50,100 miles, Rear Brakes in the high 50s, and an Inspection II @ 60K) + buy a new set of tires (I'm sure the continental RFTs will be shot by then). Not so much of a problem if I'm buying the car for cash, but again I need to finance my vehicle (whether it be by a new car lease or used car loan). Still cheaper than spending upwards of $50K for a new (4 cyl, electric power steering) 328xi. Paying off a 3 year loan for (about) $28K (Selling price + extended maintenance + 6.35% sales tax) would give me a monthly payment of close to $800/month ($777) for a used car with 50K that will have 100K by the time I'm done paying it off.

    The low mileage cream puff 328xis that people lease for 10,000 miles per year will have ridiculously high asking prices that are above my stated $26K+ residual value.

    So like I said, nothing is written in stone. But I might have to skip over BMW when the lease is up and lease a commuter sled as a means to an end. If I lease a cheap car for 3 years and can save $300/month & pay off our Pilot early. Then I can get something I really want (like another BMW). My problem is that I LOVE the way my 328xi drives.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    edited May 2012
    50,100? Really. You know it already? Aren't you just a few months in? Those brake numbers will change, you may need new pads sooner.

    Didn't you mention that you'll have 50K miles on it, or did I get confused? If so, I don't think it's fair to compare your car to those 10K/yr lease returns. BTW, also if you 50K miles at time of return, it will be your SECOND set of Continentals ready to be replaced ;)

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,460
    I know I will need pads sooner, but at 50,100 miles (happened to my Dad on his '04 X5 SP & my Mom's 328xi) right after the free maintenance period the car calls for front brake pads (second set).

    No you didn't get confused. In 2 1/2 years, at the end of my lease, my car will have 50,000 miles on it. I don't think it goes through tires THAT quickly. Don't forget, my Continentals on my xi (non sport pkg) are all seasons (That should last 50K miles). I'd guess the Tires on your (RWD SP equipped Wagon) are high performance summer tires that will last you (maybe) 30K miles.

    Anyway, hopefully you will ALL still be here posting so you can chime in. We've got a good group on this board.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,478
    edited May 2012
    Yes, I have summers. Yours are all-seasons, but are still marketed as ultra high performance. Check Tire Rack comments on those Contis. You'd be lucky to get 30K, 40K is you are careful. Of course, I can be wrong...

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

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    I have so little history with cars other than Audis -- which were all acquired from the same dealership and mostly from the same sales rep -- that my data point may only apply to Audis and for all I know may only apply to my dealership.

    Virtually every Audi my wife and I have owned were ordered -- I say "virtually" because there probably are a couple of cars that we didn't order, but we did at least dealer trade for the exact one we wanted. All of my wife's BMWs have been ordered cars -- and what follows applies to her BMW's too.

    When ordering, I have mostly ordered the top pre-configured model and added selected options or a manual transmission -- and certainly I chose the exterior and interior EXACTLY as I wanted it.

    I have, until this last time -- hence my abandoning ship and going with Acura -- always felt that by waiting 3 - 6 months I got the best deal on the exact car I wanted. Most folks I know seem to show off their new cars and during the walk around will say, "I go the one that I wanted, but it didn't have nav or the upgraded sound system or the heated seats that I wanted." HUH? Then they didn't get the one that they wanted, they compromised.

    Yet these same people will build half-million to one-million dollar houses and labor over the smallest details, or have the fireplace moved to the other side of the house (at considerable expense) because they want to sit and watch the sun rise, not set (or whatever.)

    Yet they'll buy $40 to $80K cars "off the lot" and [non-permissible content removed] for three years about the color or that it didn't come with that ONE special feature (which was an option) that drew them to the car in the first place.

    Of course those of us who do order cars are pretty rare, so I understand all the reasons you may think the dealer "saw me coming." My repeat purchases from the same dealership did have something to do with my sense that I got the best price on a custom ordered car, too, I would assume.

    You may feel if you go into the dealership to order a car that you'll be screwed -- well I guess that is possible, but most dealerships have a very small or zero deposit policy on ordered cars and many of the ELLPS and LPS brands don't even want any deposit. Furthermore, if you order a car and you change your mind, I know of nothing that can be done to compel you to take the car -- and even if you have a deposit placed on your new ordered car, if you change your mind they will refund your money, unless you signed some kind of binding contract stating that you will lose your deposit if you bail.

    I also get the desire for instant gratification -- so if you want to buy off the lot, have at it. I do believe you will be happier if you order your car exactly as you want it though. And another cool thing about ordering the car: you get the thrill (mostly) of buying the thing twice, once when you order it and once again when it FINALLY comes in 3 or 4 months later.

    While this thing is still on -- I love manual transmissions; if all car companies from this day forward only offered stick shifts, I would be OK with that, especially in German cars. On the other hand, if all car companies from this day forward only offered two-pedal cars, I'd be fine with that too, because THAT's how good these 6, 7& 8 speed autotrans are these days.

    Pretty soon, there will be no debate needed -- at least here in the US -- for the number of stick shift cars actually available is small (and hardly ever on the lot) and getting smaller from what I can tell. The Audi R8 will soon be dropping its third pedal due to lack of customer interest in shifting this super-car manually. After all the customer has the final say.

    And, the customer has spoken: manual transmissions "no," auto transmissions "yes." The people are voting with their dollars and automatics get bought and sticks "sit this one out."

    You can whine, rant and rave about the superiority of the manual transmissions until you are blue -- the market for manuals is tiny and continues to shrink.

    Live with it or do without (sort of what my mom used to say when I was growing up.)

    Mom knew best. :shades:
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