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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • das107das107 Posts: 6
    I'm deciding btwn a BMW 3xi(auto), the Audi A4 and the Lexus IS 250 AWD. I don't want or need all the bells and whistles just the basics ie. leather, power seats etc. What packages should I ask for? Does anyone have any information that could lead me one way or another? The Lexus seems to be more expensive and the dealers here don't budge a lot with pricing. I need to hear more peoples opinions. Also does anyone know when BMW plans to change the body and/or design? I don't want to end up buying a car to have the entire design change a year later. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from everyone.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,244
    Here's a 328xi with Leather, ZSP - Sport Package for the best seats I've experienced. This will give you no frills in comfort for $38,513 (Edmunds)

    You will not be disappointed...I drive the '06 330xi and loving it.

    Regards,
    OW
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I think das107 has specifically asked for auto tranny. So that's extra $1,250 for the Bimmer. Without the sport package (I don't think he asked for it), one should be able to get it for around $37,000 at sticker.

    IS250 AWD: around $35,000 at sticker

    Audi A4 2.0T Quattro: around $32,500 MSRP
  • das107das107 Posts: 6
    A 328xi (auto) with just the basics ie.power seats you think will cost me $37,000? That is higher then the dealerships quoted me. I really want to know peoples opinions comparing the 3 different cars. The A4 2.0T Quattro 08' is changing the place of the axel I think. Please correct me if I am wrong. For the money which is the best car? I don't drive a lot and don't drive long distances. I live in the city and drive to and from work.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,244
    If you live in the city, skip xi/awd. I do not think you need it unless you live in a city like Buffalo. 328i as equipped, $35,135. Snow tires in winter for another $600.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I've driven them all recently; 1st the BMW - everyone claims it is unequaled in handling. Who am I to argue. The steering is very weighty, possibly too much at low speeds for some. It does manage to feel very tight and extremely smooth all at once. Definitely the driver's car but if you're on city streets the whole time you might never notice. Lousy cupholders & average interior layout, but the backseat is surprising decent. 2nd the Lexus - I like it less each time. Interior is superb but I find it overly cramped even up front. There's no place to set your phone down. It's also slow and those are two bad strikes. I did think it had good steering weight, handles fairly well and cornered flat. To me, I liked the Audi best. It's not really any bigger but it feels less cramped. The little four banger is plenty quick and gets great mpg. My only problem with the Audi - it's tired, looks like it's been around forever (especially the interior which is the same one from like 1999) and will be replaced by a the newer, better model inside of a year. So it's out for me. Personally, I'm gonna get a used A6. HOpe this helps, these things helped me make my decision.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Lousy cupholders & average interior layout,"

    Lends credence to the fact that people do care about cupholders...lol. Disagree about interior, it's to my liking and not as busy as some other interiors.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Dude, I've gotta echo what circlew said. I lived in and around the Chicago area for well over a decade and I cannot for the life of me understand why you want to waste your money on an AWD system that you aren't going to use.

    Save your money, get a few extra goodies and be happy.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    I'd be worried that an IS250/AWD/AT might be a bit slow, lot of weight, small engine + AT. Just not what I'd want to spend that much money on for a car that aspires to 'performance'. But driving is the only way to tell.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Agree about the interior. I didn't notice how "lousy" the cupholders are during my test drive since I don't use it much anyway. However, 3er's interior is the worst out of the 3 IMO. It's just...too plain. I know simplicity is good but there is a difference between simplicity and plain. Interior wise, all 3 have similar quality and fit-n'-finish, it's up to each person to decide which style suits him/her the best.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Audi A4 2.0T Quattro has similar HP as the IS250 AWD, has smaller engine. Don't know which one weighs more though. 328xi will no doubt be the performance king by a mile out of the 3.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    A4 has torque in ample quantities compared to the 2.5 in the IS and with a $600 mod you can give the car 250 hp/280 ft-lbs of torque. On the AWD that'd get that car moving.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My vote is for a 328i RWD.

    Unless you really need AWD (i.e. anticipate driving in snow on more than an occasional basis), you are paying a lot for AWD. It is heavier, less fuel efficient and, depending upon how long you keep the car, prone to more expensive maintenance and repairs down the road.

    The A4 Quatro is a heavy pig, IMO. I've been given one a couple of times as a loaner and was anxious to give it back. For all of the drooling others do over Audi's interiors, I just don't get it. I like the interior and ergonomics of my 2004 TL better. On the other end, I am spoiled by my 911, which has best "German" style interior and seats of any car, IMO.

    I have not driven the IS250 AWD but, as has been pointed out, it would likely be highest in reliabiity, but lowest in performance and driving dynamics, if that is of any importance. Plus, the rear seat is almost worth a 2+2 designation (closer to my 911 than TL in leg room)

    If I were in the market for a new sedan today, the 328/335 would likely be at the top of my short list.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    My vote is for a previous generation 3 series, factory certified.

    *edit* Or two generations :)

    The new ones are like the new IS350 - bloated and heavy things with no soul anymore. Or wait and get the 3 series of old(idea-wise) in a new package when the 1 series comes out.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Well, I think you might have to go back a couple generations, not just one, to get a 3 series that has the "soul" you are looking for.

    I agree that the 3 series has grown practically to the size of the 5 series of 10 years ago. But of the cars under consideration, it still handles that size and weight the best, IMO.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Doesn't matter who comes here to ask for suggestions or whatever his/her criteria is the standard answer is always...

    BMW 3er RWD with manual tranny and oh, yeah, add the sport package.

    Cracks me up. :P
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I don't remember suggesting anything other than RWD to him. The roads and the weather in Chicago certainly don't warrant AWD, especially so for an in-town commute. Geez, when it snows, take the train or the bus or the El.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jamesspotjamesspot Posts: 57
    Used takeoff wheels -----------------> $500
    New high performance snow tires -------> $500

    The look on your mechanic's face when you thank him for mounting your 155 mph Z-rated snow tires -------------------------> PRICELESS!
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    "Agree about the interior. I didn't notice how "lousy" the cupholders are during my test drive since I don't use it much anyway. However, 3er's interior is the worst out of the 3 IMO. It's just...too plain. I know simplicity is good but there is a difference between simplicity and plain. Interior wise, all 3 have similar quality and fit-n'-finish, it's up to each person to decide which style suits him/her the best. "

    I tend to agree. The interior in Japanese cars looks much more high tech and modern. But it's a toss up between the 3-series and the Audi for worst interior out of the three cars mentioned. Unfortunately there is not much headroom in the IS. The BMW feels a bit cramped, but at least my head doesn't touch the roof.

    I would say, get the RWD with manual. Oh, and throw in the sports package. :)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    Actually I loathe the new 3.

    It's almost 3700 pounds! My father's 1997 Park Ave Ultra is the exact same weight. And it's not a small or unsafe car, either. It's the biggest Buick they made. Ever.
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