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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    People reacted more to my saab than my bmw--i think it belongs.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I did not know you care much about what other people think about your car.

    I do care because since I've purchased a BMW I've found I'm treated quite differently when people connect me with the car. For the most part the experiences have been quite negative but the fact remains in my Protege I'm anonymous. Not so in my other car.

    I buy cars because I like it not because others think it's prestigious or not.

    I never wrote you or I did otherwise. But when you read the reasons most people buy cars it's rarely related to how the car drives - reputation for dependability and resale is what drives honda and toyota in such a big way.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    FWIW, I think Saab belongs here. The 9-3 and 9-5 are cross-shopped with all of the above cars, at least in my area (NY).

    Wow in all my time helping friends and family drive cars I've only gotten one person to even test drive a Saab. She thought it was nice if underpowered. I have two friends who were raised on Saabs and there seems to be some kind of genetic code that passes from parent to child to get the kid into Saabs.

    When I did my looking, the Saab never entered my radar. Front wheel drive and GM...running for the hills.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree with what you're saying for the most part, but the Phaeton is most definitely a full-on luxury car, reguardless of the badge. It might have the wrong badge and sits in the wrong showroom, but it is the real deal.

    pg48477,

    I take it you mean the Phaeton, not the Phantom? The Phantom is a Rolls-Royce, and it is several times more luxury car than anything being discussed in this topic.

    M
  • easyrider300measyrider300m Posts: 1,116
    It is a car that defines near luxury. The 2004 is selling at about 28,000 after discounts and incentives. I think it has the most bang for the buck in the near luxury class.

    And the soon to be released Chrysler 300C Hemi version should also be considered although I think it may be eligible for the luxury car class, not just near luxury. It will sell for around $34k very well equipped.

    I own a 2000 300M with 70k on the dial and it still rides as good as the day I got it. Some of the members of the 300M Enthusiasts club claim (with some slight modifications) that they get under 15 second quarter mile times. And the car just has very unique and classy styling
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,613
    but if subaru is being disallowed, then so is Chrysler ... no matter how nice or expensive it may be.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,613
    just wanted to add Lincoln LS to the list.

    and i still vote for Saab. If its not in the same category as Volvo and Acura, then where is it? Its definitely not competing with Civics and Sentras.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    Chrysler is actually a luxury brand according to Mercedes...The crossfire would be here if it had 4 doors and the pacifica is a pretty well done luxury hybrid....people may not recieve chrsyler as a lux brand but they certainly intend to be one. Everyone wants some entry lux pie and soon enough even the subbie may have to be included despite the branding thing.

    Fact is affluence is out there even where you dont see it and those "stealty wealthy" may just be able to get the lux and not the badge and the uninvited perceptions that a merc or bimmer bring you. The wealthiest people i know drive accords and the pay checks to paychcks drive 5 series. A company like Subaru can give those who like to be unseen a little of what a bimmer offers without the price or the BS.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    A company like Subaru can give those who like to be unseen a little of what a bimmer offers without the price or the BS.

    ROFL. Scoobies have one big strike right off the bat: AWD. Another would be cheap interior materials. One more would be the total lack of style inside and out. Kia Rio exterior and interior pretty well matches the WRX.

    The WRX/STi is a fast car. That's all it offers. If speed were the only criteria for getting a car most of us would be driving around in one of those buzzy, chincy econoboxes.
  • mgh_1mgh_1 Posts: 22
    Aren't the Lexus 330 and the 300M substantially about luxury with no significant emphasis on performance?

    I know we could say acceleration equals some form of performance, but I was thinking the handling aspect comes into play as well.

    IMHO I look at the LS as more luxury than anything else.

    The Saab 9-3 and 9-5 belong in my eyes.

    Just my .02.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    IMO Subarus do not belong in this category while the Saab 9-3 should definitely be added to the list.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    Thanks for the support. I can see the arguement for calling it a "tweener" brand, but it is a brand really shopped by people also looking and can afford Acuras, Audi's, BMW's, and Volvos. I hope Pat will add them to the list.

    As for Subaru, I will give up the ghost. Although I think it deserves a consideration, maybe not yet until the updated models come out and prove something. But note Subaru is also cross shopped with Acura, Audi, Audi, BMW and Volvo for sure. Note also, all the brands mentioned in this topic have reacted to what Subaru has done, so the other brand managers know whats up.

    I wont argue AWD vs RWD, it's a preference. But AWD provides awesome driving dynamics for a multitude of surfaes and conditions.

    The Chrysler 300M deserves consideration, not for the brand but the car itself.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    "ROFL. Scoobies have one big strike right off the bat: AWD. Another would be cheap interior materials. One more would be the total lack of style inside and out. Kia Rio exterior and interior pretty well matches the WRX. "

    The wrx is a tin can...i was referring to a 250hp upscaled sedan for 05 - the Legacy. Of course its awd but so is the a-4. And while i wont buy one I know pleny of people making 300k who would. They just dont care about RWD the way we do! ...and they dont care about affluence but will spend 32k no problem. THis is a great segment with lots of people and lots of $...all the rules are changing fast and even KIa and Hyundia have nothing to stop them from competing too even in RWD format someday soon.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The wealthiest people i know drive accords and the pay checks to paychcks drive 5 series."

    Wow, the wealthiest people I know drive $300K cars, care about RWD and have interesting automobile collections, but what has that to do with the price of tea? Seems like some of this conversation is about the type of person that drives one of these cars and not the type of car a person drives.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    First, this isn't about wealthy or not wealthy people. It is about entry-level luxury performance sedans. We aren't here to talk about people; we're here to talk about cars. Let's not get into categorizing (generalizing, assuming, stereotyping) the folks who drive them.

    Now, as your host, I am officially declaring this discussion about the following vehicles and no others:

    Acura TSX and TL
    Audi A4
    BMW 3-Series
    Cadillac CTS
    Infiniti G35 and maybe I35
    Jaguar X-Type
    Lexus IS 300 and maybe ES 330
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Saab 9-3 and 9-5
    Volvo S60/S60R and maybe S40

    As I said earlier, feel free to NOT discuss the "maybes", but I'm not going to rule them out. If you want to talk about them, talk about how they do or do not fit the "performance" description along with anything else of interest.

    I am ruling out all other suggestions, though, for the reasons stated earlier. Those reasons include the fact that we should keep this to a marque that intends to convey luxury across its spectrum, it is nonsensical to have a never-ending discussion about what the discussion is about and most importantly, it's time to draw the line.

    So here it is - talk about the cars in my list or go make another discussion if you need to talk about something else. Just keep in mind that another vague, undefined category doesn't serve any purpose. To keep it useful, interesting and productive, be sure to clearly define the topic.

    Okay? Have at it!!

    :-)
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    First of all, Thanks Pat for adding the Saabs to the list.

    Acura TSX and TL
    Audi A4
    BMW 3-Series
    Cadillac CTS
    Infiniti G35 and maybe I35
    Jaguar X-Type
    Lexus IS 300 and maybe ES 330
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Saab 9-3 and 9-5
    Volvo S60/S60R and maybe S40

    Here are my rankings, what I would buy now(within 40-42K cap) if I wanted to buy a "Entry Level Luxury Perfrmance Sedan":

    1.) Acura TL
    2.) BMW 330i w/Sport Pkg - 6spd
    3.) Saab 9-5 Aero - 5spd
    4.) Audi A4 3.0 Quattro Sport Pkq - 6spd
    5.) Volvo S60 R
    6.) Infiniti G35 Sedan Sport Pkg - 6spd
    7.) Saab 9-3 Aero - 6spd
    8.) Cadillac CTS w/Sport Pkg
    9.) Jaguar X Type
    10.)Lexus IS300
    10.)Mercedes C240 w/Sport Pkg
    11.)Volvo S40
    12.)Infiniti I35
    13.)Lexus ES300
    14.)Volvo S60
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    http://www.world-challenge.com/2004/events/seb/tc-results.html

    Right now, fourteen BMW 3-series drivers are wondering how they got whooped by a FWD, 4 banger.
  • raherraher Posts: 99
    Ooh boy those RWD only folks have got a task on their hands coming up with an explanation as to how this could have happened. I guess the guy driving the TSX didn't know he didn't stand a chance because of torque steer and knowing in advance those RWD guys had "perfect balance".blah blah blah
    Once again that old addage turns out to be true..when the green flag drops, the BS stops!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Between the TL and 3series. It depends on your priorities. If I wanted seat of the pants M3, for 3 series prices, it would be ZHP at the top of the list. If I cared not about the precision feel of a BMW and slickness of the looks and just needed a car.. I will admit if those were the only 14 cars in the universe, it would be the Acura TL.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,613
    i haven't driven one yet, but by all accounts and specs thus far, I'd have to say the new S40 T5 6-speed is going to be high up on this list for me. Certainly much higher than number 11 (looking at buddha's list).

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    S60R would probably outperform any car on the list, but it's a bit expensive. I would consider 330 but new model should come out soon. If only TL would come in AWD. I think TL with A-spec would handle as well as 330 performance package, but 5k+installation is to much.
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    I find it quite amusing that for 5 pages or so the discussion focused on what the discussion was about. Reminds me so much of meetings meant to talk about other meetings.

    I think Pat's list is a good one. One addition in both my opinion and from magazines that compare vehicle in this class would be the Lincoln LS. First of all, Lincoln is obviously meant to be Ford's luxury brand. Secondly, the LS costs between 30-42k in most configurations. Third the car itself definitely has both luxury and performance intentions. By all owner accounts, it performs and handles well, even if I personally would not be interested in a Ford product at this time, so that I have not driven one.

    Back to talking about cars... If I were shopping today, taking into account that my priorities are size, performance, price, reliability, and then luxury... these SEDANS would be on my shopping list in this order:

    1) Infiniti G35
    2) Acura TL
    3) BMW 330i
    4) everything else

    Enjoy, cybersol
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,613
    I said it before, and I'll say it again, i really think this needs to be added.

    according to C&D, 0-60 in 6.5 and:
    In most track trials, the Lincoln set stellar marks. Although it was wearing all-weather tires, usually thought to be a disadvantage, it outran all but the Benz on the skidpad and topped all in the lane-change test. Very shrewd choices were made in the chassis tuning of this car.

    And since the Sport V8 comes in at $40,500 with delivery, the only fault I see with it is the lack of a manual tranny. But I don't see that as a reason to exclude it because some folks prefer an auto and some even require it.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    LS is no near luxury, if anything it would compete with 5 series GS, RL and E class.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "LS is no near luxury, if anything it would compete with 5 series GS, RL and E class."

    Not even close to these. IMO of course. Yes if you measure rear legroom, but all of the above vehicles are a cut above the LS in terms of amenities. The LS has no more luxury than a Mountaineer.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    You right, I was also referring to size. LS is a to big to be considered near luxury, and not enof luxury and quality to go up to E-class.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    ... nominations for "the list" are no longer being accepted ...

    Anyone want to talk about the cars that are on the list?

    :)

    Acura TSX and TL
    Audi A4
    BMW 3-Series
    Cadillac CTS
    Infiniti G35 and maybe I35
    Jaguar X-Type
    Lexus IS 300 and maybe ES 330
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Saab 9-3 and 9-5
    Volvo S60/S60R and maybe S40
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,613
    ummm... yeah... ok... sure... the lincoln has a whopping 3.8 inches in length over the CTS and the CTS even has more rear legroom.

    But, regardless, i've grown tired of getting disciplined by the principal. so have at it.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • scott1scott1 Posts: 50
    I went through all of the comparisons of the cars on this list in January while I was trying to decide which car to order. I ended up ordering a CTS with the luxury/sport package and the dvd navigation system. (blue chip exterior, light gray/ebony interior).

    I drove the BMW 3 series and liked its driving characteristics, but didn't care for its styling or interior room. The same can be said for the Mercedes C class..I drove a V6 version and while it was a solid quiet riding car, it didn't have the interior space I was looking for.

    I very seriously considered the Lexus ES 330, but ultimately decided that while it rode very smooth and quietly, the handling just wasn't there. The fact that it basically looked like a Camry didn't help either.

      I had a bad prior ownership experience with a Honda, so did not consider the acura.

      The CTS seemed to have exactly what I was looking for. A quiet comfortable ride combined with excellent handling, plenty of interior space in both the back and front seats, and a very refined smooth and powerful engine. The real bonus for me is the styling of the exterior though...the CTS is one fine looking car from any angle, and doesn't look like just another box on wheels.

    I checked with my dealer today and he expects my car to be delivered within the next week or so. I'm looking forward to that.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Well, here is something that autospies has to say about the next 3. Doesn't really say anything that people didn't know or were speculating already.

    http://www2.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=2742&ca- tegoryId=11

    I don't think BMW is going to keep the price of the car same or lower with more standard features. They did really jack up the price of the new 5. We'll see.
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