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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,536
    I'd love to add a TL SH-AWD 6-Speed manual or BMW 328xi 6-speed manual to my short list, but my beloved Prelude remains (& will remain) the only stick shift in my stable. I can't justify having 2 cars in the driveway/garage that my wife can't drive.

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

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    How about trading in for a new wife?? Just kidding. Don't report me to "nyccarwife" for that bad joke.

    I had a bit of the opposite problem with my wife. We were trying to decide between another MDX and X5d to replace her MDX and then went to a Porsche dealer that had a 2012 Cayenne 6-speed manual in stock. Gorgeous black on black with all the right options and none of the dumb ones. Was willing to discount it to under $50k. My wife drove it and I almost had to pry her out with a crowbar. She was rowing those gears like it was a (slow) 911. But it was just a bit too small and I really didn't want to pay Porsche service costs for a vehicle that will likely be keeping for 8+ years and 120k+ miles. We ordered an X5d.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,536
    Lol @ trading in my wife! She has no desire to drive a stick (she has in the past on a few occasions). So as the old saying goes: "Nobody's perfect."

    I was going to ask you if you drove a Cayenne coming off of your 5 1/2 year live affair with your 911 Cab. After an '05 530i & an '08 328xi, I was almost certain my Mom was going to go for an X5. She drove the X5 & liked it a lot, but then drove a Cayenne & fell in love. You definitely made the smart choice going with the X5 diesel. There's A LOT to be said for BMW's no cost maintenance.

    Every time I spend a significant amount of time driving my wife's 2011 Pilot, I tell myself that it's comfortable & has adequate power. I drive my Prelude and enjoy the car's simplicity. I say to myself that I don't NEED a BMW (or BMW payment) as my commuter sled. Then I push my 328xi's start button and listen to the I6 purr to life. I love how the engine's power doesn't seem to peak, the perfectly weighted steering, the car's agility & balance, how it seems to cruise effortlessly at high speeds...

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,536
    My name is Bradd & I'm addicted to BMWs;)

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

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited August 2012
    Interesting review by C-Net and seems to confirm my sense that BMW may be losing its way with the new 3-series.

    My sense is that the new 3, being a little bigger, a little softer and a little more expensive, is creeping more and more into the "tweener" role that the 5-series used to play between the enthusiast 3 and executive 7. Especially when I look at dealer's websites and see almost nothing but automatic transmissions. At the present time, the largest Acura dealer in my area has 3 TL 6-speed manuals in stock and the largest BMW dealer has 0 (that's ZERO) 3-series with a stick in stock. What's next, cats sleeping with dogs??

    Even the C-Net reviewer slipped into a bit of bipolarism when he longed for a manual transmission to better match the great engine, yet commented that a $50k+ car shouldn't have as much road noise and feedback.

    It appears that the 135i is now BMW's enthusiast car. I was initially shocked when a golfing buddy showed up to our last outing this June driving a new 135i convertible. It was his "graduation present" for getting his last kid through college. I asked how he fit into that little "toy". He quickly pointed out that it has the same front seat interior room as his old 1987 M6, is considerably faster and better handling, and cost about the same amount.....25 years later. Not that price mattered - he owns/flys his own turboprop - but he bought the 135 for its virtues, which sounded a lot like why people used to buy the 3 series: DRIVING enjoyment.

    So is the 3-series gradually evolving into less of the driving enthusiast's choice and more of a "mini-5"?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,536
    Habitat - I felt the same way when I drove an F10 535i & 550i. Very nice cars. Fast (535i) & Officer, there is no way I was going 130 mph (550i). Even with settings on "Sport Plus," the cars' handling & road feel still felt isolated.

    Same thing when I drove a 650i Convertible. Very pretty & incredibly fast, but for $100K I wasn't blown away. I'll take a 911 C2 Coupe for that kind of cash.

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

  • According to Sweenydog, BMW is losing their way, Acura lost thier way and Infiniti is just mesmorizing the market with the G and the M.
  • Hab- I am done with the who is faster than who, heck I am in my thirties and it is a slush box (Great Family car though).
    As I said, I have the TL but my eye is on the 550 and the E63.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,868
    Any chance the hosts can clean up the messages titles here- no need for 20 names on a header

    I wish - it is a tech error, and we can't edit posts. Well, we COULD, but it messes up the order of posts and that's worse. It's an intermittent error, so when you see it, the best thing to do is just post a new message with a new subject line, even if you're replying. It's the only cure.

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,794
    Let's start by replying to this one....
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited August 2012
    Billy - You're killing me with "I'm in my 30's". I'm in my 50's and had to start playing adult baseball in a 30+ league just to prove to some friends (and myself) that I'm not all washed up yet. I'm not as fast as I used to be, but still haven't got caught stealing 2nd base in 3 seasons.

    The 550i and E63 are nice cars, although for my taste, I also think the CLS550 is a great looking car and plenty fast enough that the E63 is hard to justify.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure any ELLPS or even LPS is so enticing to me right now to have me dying to give up my 2004 TL. I could see driving it for the next 5+ years while having another fun car in the garage.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited August 2012
    but for $100K I wasn't blown away. I'll take a 911 C2 Coupe for that kind of cash.

    Wow then, have I got a deal for you:

    2013 911 C2 Coupe: Racing Yellow and Black (or your choice); 7-speed manual transmission.
    Options: Premium Package with Adaptive Sport Seats, PASM, Sport Chrono, Sport steering wheel. Period. No Sunroof, no Bose, and definitely none of the goofy things like alternating color seatbelts.

    MSRP: $92,000 +/-; Order it today for $87,000

    No, I'm not a dealer. I just want to live vicariously through someone else's wallet. And sorry, I know this has nothing to do with ELLPS - I won't let that happen again in this forum.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,868
    There ya go. :) If the replying person cleans up the title in their message, at least it is somehow "linked" to the original post. I'm not sure if, because it's still the same thread, the problem will replicate, but we'll see.

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  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,139
    Billy, please enlighten the crowd on why Acura should not be ridiculed for its current stable ? Follow up question, is it true your neighbors signed a petition to force you to garage your 2011 TL while home as to not negatively impact local home values? ;)
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,750
    On the other hand, I'm not sure any ELLPS or even LPS is so enticing to me right now to have me dying to give up my 2004 TL. I could see driving it for the next 5+ years while having another fun car in the garage.

    Hey habitat, I feel the same way about my '05 TL. At 126K and never having had to fix much of anything on it, I'm easily good for 200K.

    I'm just not all that impressed with the current crop - BMW getting soft, Audi too expensive, MB IMHO the nicest looking but less sporty, the G is great if you like raw power and growl instead of much refinement.

    I really do miss my '98 A4, though. :cry:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I think everything evolves in cycles.

    For a while (2004 through 2006), Acura was arguably #2 in this segment under BMW. Audi was overshadowed by BMW, Infiniti was showing promise as a Japanese BMW alternative, and M-B wasn't an enthusiasts choice. Cadillac was showing promise and Lexus was failing as a Japanese BMW alternative.

    Today, Audi is tops and Infiniti is arguable #2 being the best bang-for-the-buck choice in the segment. BMW and Acura have both lost their way (though the Roundel still has clout the cars don't deserve right now). Mercedes has improved quality and handling dynamics, and Cadillac has gained credibility with the Gen2 CTS (and the ATS is looking like a real player). Lexus remains content to do the same old thing and sell a ton of ES and RX 350's.

    6 years from now, I'm sure the picture will be completely different again.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,669
    I really do miss my '98 A4, though

    The new A3 sedan looks like a reincarnation of the 98 A4 with a modern feel.

    I'm guessing at that point it would replace the A4 in this ELLPS list?
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,631
    Bradd the 6 series is not really a sports car, it is really a grand touring, which is not a bad thing really.

    The new 5 series is OK, as I stated, if I was to get a 5 series it would be a 550i with the M sport package, which really makes it a M5 light. Yes, driving one is a lesson in control, as it is easy to drive it fast without knowing it.

    The 1 series will become the 2 series starting in 2014 and BMW will be bring out a series of cars sort of like the Audi "S" cars, I have read that in 2014 the 235i will have a M performance package, sort of like what BMW did with the 3 series with the ZHP package. This is why it is hard for me to get sell my 330i, it was/is a true drivers car, something that the current 3 series is not. The M235i will get the 315hp turbo six, which would make me want to sell my 330i, it will be a drivers car. This is something that Infiniti hasn't done with the G, its not a drivers car. The M235i will be less then what i paid for my 330i and give me more performance, so it is a win win...
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,631
    Bill you looking at a new 550 or used ? The current 550i is by far the best 5 series one can by, the Single turbo 6 in the 535 doesn't have the feel that the twin turbo 6 had, doesn't feel as sporty. The 550 is a fright train, I would take the 550 over the M5 any day.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited August 2012
    Fedlawman - what's your basis for saying Audi is #1 and Infiniti is #2 in this segment?

    Audi makes some very nice cars, but for all of the accolades the A6 gets, I don't think of it as an enthusiasts choice. No manual transmission, very heavy, an AWD system that is FWD biased, etc. It performs quite well, in spite of all of that, but I still can't think of it as a true drivers car. And in the performance line of the S4, S5, S6 cars, I would still never put them in the enthusiast's league of the M3 or M5. More like AMG-lite.

    If you are saying that Audi is #1 because they are the closest to "all things for all people", I'd probably agree. But they don't get my own blood boiling to dump my Acura TL and buy one tomorrow.

    On another matter, I think BMW needs to steal some Porsche engineers and put their vehicles on a big diet. The 550i weighs damn near the same as a Porsche Cayenne SUV. Which, by the way, dropped 400 lbs in its redesign and the new 911 and Boxster have also lost a few pounds in the Porsche spa. Not sure why BMW, "the ultimate driving machine" has been so slow to use more aluminum and charge its engineers to do more with less (weight).
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,624
    Man, you TL guys got me misting up here...

    Other than being a bit poor in the snow, my '05 TL was just one of my favorite cars ever. Great over-all package and, IIRC, not a penny invested in ~ 85,000 miles other than routine maintenance/wear and a ton of Zaino!!! Every time I see the current-gen TL and "The Beak," I shed another tear (no offense to the current owners, still a fine car and beauty is in the eye...).

    Why, oh why, did I trade the TL? Oh, yeah. Mid-life crisis... ;)

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    edited August 2012
    The Audi A6 quattro on day one was not FWD biased. It was a 50% 50% set up with a non-reactionary TorSen system. Torque was able to be shifted instantly F or R -ward based on circumstances. The non-reactionary system was unique (probably still is since most of the market doesn't use TorSen) since it was said to "act in real time." All other systems "react" which means there is a slight delay in the transfer of power to the end where it will do the most good.

    For years the Audi A6 quattro has been REAR WHEEL biased, but still uses a non-reactionary system.

    The TT, on the other hand, did not start out with the TorSen system, rather it started out with the Haldex system (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it is FWD biased and it is a reactionary system, meaning there is some lag whilst the thing figures out there is a need for power at the opposite end and then shifts power appropriately.

    The A6, since that is where we started, also can be equipped with a system that is called the sport differential, but you can call it a Torque Vectoring system and you'd be right. Acura's system is SH-AWD but it is, currently, implemented in its cars with SEVERE FWD bias (95%), and it, too, is reactionary. Those of you who have the 6-speed auto 305HP V6 TL SH-AWD can attest to the lag time in these reactionary systems by simply putting the transmission in drive and flooring the accelerator. For an instant (which seems like a second) the steering wheel twitches in your grip while the reaction time passes and the FWD power is shifted aft.

    Try an Audi S4 or even an A4 -- both, like the A6, with Rear Biased AWD -- floor them -- there is zero torque steer, since the thing is 60% RWD biased and doesn't have to react, since TorSen differentials "bind in real time."

    The new Audi A6 chassis, while still NOSE HEAVY, are much better with respect to weight distribution than they have ever been and somehow Audi has -- perhaps only for a brief 15 minutes of fame, so to speak -- managed to jump to the top of the heap insofar as performance is concerned.

    And, despite its high price tag, the new S6 is a price performer when compared to both BMW and Mercedes models that can keep up with it. Yep, Audis have cranked up their prices -- but, if there is such a thing as bang for the buck in the over $60,000 crowd, today that accolade would be earned only by Audi.

    I still remember my buddy who purchased a new 530 (RWD only) with a Premium Pack option, period. This was, admittedly 2002. My Audi A6 was a quattro with the sport package, premium wheels, nav and everything you could get on an A6, including premium paint -- oh yea, and it came with a 4.2L V8. My Audi was about $2K less. To even approximate the content (but not the engine) would have put the 530's msrp into orbit.

    Where was I? Oh, yea -- A6 quattros have never been fwd biased, and for several years now they have been rwd biased, but with non-reactionary awd (which, admittedly, makes them a bit heavier than the other ELLPS and LPS offerings from Asia, Europe and the US.)

    :P
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,750
    edited August 2012
    Other than being a bit poor in the snow, my '05 TL was just one of my favorite cars ever. Great over-all package and, IIRC, not a penny invested in ~ 85,000 miles other than routine maintenance/wear and a ton of Zaino!!! Every time I see the current-gen TL and "The Beak," I shed another tear (no offense to the current owners, still a fine car and beauty is in the eye...).

    Yup, 126K here in my '05 TL and no problems of any significance. While I sometimes wish for other cars, I know that if I ditched the TL I'd miss it. I learned that after ditching my '98 A4.

    When I see newer TLs on the road, I have no desire whatsoever for a newer one. When i see my own model on the road, I still think it's one of the sharper looking cars out there. Acura really screwed up with the redesign.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I am referring strictly to the ELLPS segment - the Audi A4. The A6, M cars, etc. are not ELLPS's.

    An A4 Quattro with 6-speed manual starts at $35K. It's a better car than the 328i. It's also the sexiest looking car in this segment (inside and out) with the best combination of performance, elegance, and refinement.

    IMO of course... :)
  • kushmdxkushmdx Posts: 4
    Was that 34900 price with the 1000 loyalty money or before that.
    Thanks
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,536
    You must have me mistaken for someone who doesn't have 27 years & 11 months until his mortgage is paid off, doesn't have to redo his kitchen (because the 1985 Formica cabinets are literally falling apart), figure out how he's going to send 3 kids (6, 3 1/2, & 8 months)... Lol!

    Sorry if my post was misleading. I test drove the car at one of BMWUSA's drive for team USA last year. I drove the 650i convertible on a hot summer day. I know it's a grand tourer & not a true sports car, but c'mon. It's a sport package equipped BMW, not an MB SL550.

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

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited August 2012
    I respect your opinion, but not sure I would agree with it.

    The A4, as with the TL, requires that you go with AWD to avoid their standard FWD setup. That's OK if you are comparing to a 328ix, but if the "P" in ELLPS is important, I still prefer the driving feel and dynamics of a 50/50 balanced RWD sedan. And, if you really want AWD and can get by the exterior looks of the TL, it appears to offer significantly better performance than the A4 Quattro.

    Personally, I don't find Audi's exterior design on the A4 to be that much better than the TL. The A5 is seriously great looking, the A7 very good, but the A4/A6 still look slab sided and plain/boxy in my opinion. When I think "sexy", the A5 qualifies, but the A4 needs a lot of work. Even the C-class sedans beat the A4 for exterior looks, IMO.

    Disclosure: I haven't driven a new A4 Quattro 6-speed manual. I am basing performance comparison on what is published and my limited experience with an automatic as a loaner. But giving up nearly 100hp to the TL and Acura's AWD system (perhaps) being more advanced from a handling perspective, leads me to believe that the A4 would not do well in a track test between the two. And maybe not against a 328i RWD.

    But.....sexy is an "O", so I do respect your "IMO".
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    OK, I guess a 911 will have to stand in line behind granite countertops, 529 accounts and a few other priorities. But hang in there, enjoy your kids (they grow up too fast) and let me tempt you again in 2040.
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