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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,598
    the title says it all... Be safe!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,135
    FN...sorry it took me awhile to get back to you. We've had the S4 on the road a ton visiting relatives over the holidays. Getting ready to head to a New Year's dinner.

    S4 did great in the snow (and slush). It doesn't have the summer tires on it. But, we've been through 6-8 inches of fresh snow, packed snow, icy snow. No problems.

    I'm not doing any full throttle burnouts. Nor am I trying to do an doughnuts. But, driving normally, no issues at all. Had a tiny scare when I had to stand on the brakes for some idiot who was going up a snowy hill (without getting a head start and no momentum) and started to slide backwards.

    I didn't feel ABS through the pedal, but could tell the tires were grabbing-releasing in quick succession. Tragedy averted (although the driver in front of me ended up in the median).

    335 ix has done very well, too.

    I wouldn't hesitate to take either car out in any weather short of blizzard conditions.

    I'm being chastised for posting and not getting ready for dinner. Gotta go!

    Happy New Year!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    Just wanted to wish you all a happy & healthy New Year!

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,111
    So 2 modern awd cars, that have all seasons, that cost 45k min each perform well in moderate snow- also good to know the rdx also does well in the same conditions.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,595
    edited January 2013
    2 modern awd cars, that have all seasons, that cost 45k min each perform well in moderate snow

    Given All-season tires, that's all you can expect of any car regardless of which wheels are driven or how much it costs. If you need to go in serious snow you'd better have good winter tires on (with the snow/mountain symbol on the sidewalls).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,837
    A reporter is looking for a new sports car buyer. If you have purchased a sports car in the past 6 months, please send your daytime contact info along with the make and model of your new car to pr@edmunds.com no later than Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET.

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  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,598
    OK, I'm sitting in the US Airways Lounge in Charlotte waiting for my flight home (I missed the earlier flight) and was reading some of my Bimmerfest forums, of course some people are talking about how the Germans and Asian car companies are going to make the upcoming CAFE #'s. The consensuses is Diesel is going to be the way. I have to agree, We know that BMW will be bring over 4 cyl oil burn, same with MB and Audi will use a higher HP version of thier 4 cyl oil burn in thier cars. Mazda has been teasing the auto mag's in regards to their SkyActive D (diesel) engine. Mazda hasn't confirmed or denied that the diesel is coming to the states, but from what people have stated, it will. If this is true, I'm sure this will open the door for other Asian brands to import them. So what is everybodies take on this?

    What will Porsche do to meet these tougher CAFE requirement? Import a diesel 911???
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    edited January 2013
    Yes, Mazda has definitely stated that the diesel is coming in the latter part of this year in the new Mazda6. I was just at a Mazda dealer a few days ago and they confirmed it. It's been confirmed in many of the Mazda6 reviews as well. The new Mazda6 just went on sale a few days ago with the gas engine only. the diesel is projected to arrive around the Oct-Nov timeframe. The CX-5 is also planned to get the diesel but it has not been confirmed yet as to timeframe. They will probably see how the diesel sells in the Mazda6 since the CX-5 is selling like hotcakes with the 2.0 gas engine already. Now that the new 2014 CX-5 is going to get the 2.5l engine it will probably appeal to an even broader market as the only real complaint anybody had about the current CX-5 was that it neeeded a little more zoom-zoom which the larger engine will provide.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited January 2013
    I don't know how the CAFE rules work and guess I should research this myself before commenting. But it seems to me that this is government regulation run amok. If there is a "cost" to natural resources or our defense budget because of our dependence upon petroleum, then charge a gas tax that covers it. And let consumers decide whether they are going to pay for the privilege of driving a Ferrari instead of a Prius. But the idea of forcing all/some manufacturers to limit consumer choices to achieve some CAFE target is a little f-ed up, IMO. Some people choose to live 50 miles outside of DC so they can have a 4,000 s.f. tract house on a 1/2 acre lot in a subdivision and others choose to pay twice as much for a 2,000 s.f. house close in so they can spend more time in it and less time in their cars commuting. Shall we tell homebuilders that they have to meet a certain corporate commuting time target?? I could drive a Ferrari 599 for my commute and burn less gas annually than the ex-urbanite that does 100 miles roundtrip in a Prius.

    What these bored government regulators really need to do is to kill Obama Care and take everyones tax bill and increase by the percentage that corresponds to the amount they are overweight. Double the penalty for any dependent children that are overweight. We'd end up with a balanced budget next year and a healthier country in a few more.

    Sorry, way off topic. I'll do some CAFE research at the Cafe this weekend.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited January 2013
    During my family visit in the Old Country this Xmas, I drove my dad's Audi A4 1.9TDI (2005, I think).

    Would never switch my 328i for it (or previous WRX/STI, or any other good gasoline engine), not in milion years. The clacking sound is still something to get used to. I appreciate better fuel economy and torque, but everything else is better on a good gasoline engine: sound (as for pleasure of well-running engine), noise level, vibrations, weight. Yes, the torque is higher on diesel, but it lasts for 1000 rpm and then it's gone - and when it's gone and you forget to shift, you get run over. May not be such a problem for those new 7-, 8- speed automatic transmissions, but my dad's A4 had 6-speed manual. I love manual transmissions, but not on diesels, apparently - you end up shifting back and forth, always caught on wrong gear (car stops accelerating after the torque peak in merging/passing, or it starts vibrating when left on too high gear for current speed - often issue in city driving).

    No, diesels are not such a pleasure as some may like you believe. Some of those issues may be (have already been) overcome on newer models, but in my opinion diesel engine belongs to tractor trailers and other heavy duty workhorse machines, not for passenger cars. SUVs - maybe.

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

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,144
    A reporter would like to speak to a woman who is a new Lexus IS owner. If you fit the description, please send your daytime contact to pr@edmunds.com no later than 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET, Friday, January 11, 2013.

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    edited January 2013
    In 2001 I was in Italy a couple of weeks for business and drove some kind of small minivan like vehicle. I can't even remember the make but it was diesel and a manual transmission(5 spd I think). I was impressed with how quiet and smooth it was. I didn't find the torque disappearing and remember driving around lake Garda and the curvy roads enjoying the scenery and shifting through the gears. Freeways were also worry free. I remember being passed by a Smart on the freeway at about 150 klicks and saying "holy crap, I wouldn't go that fast in that thing!"

    Point is, I think it depends on the particular diesel engine. I also believe I would try at a least a couple of modern diesels with 7-8 spd auto trannies before I made a blanket statement that all diesels belong in semis or farm tractors.
  • buyabuya Posts: 74
    Thank you. That was a helpful review. I almost forgot the turbo diesel lag that I felt in the bimmer I once had a fraction of a century ago. It was a good car, but the lag was still felt at times. And diesel wasn't widely available at regular gas stations either. There's no reason for me to reconsider buying a diesel yet, and if it's mpg I'm after, I may consider a reliable hybrid like Prius. I was about to reconsider turbo diesel cars. So thanks again.

    How do you guys feel about the Lexus 300h? Is it a prettied up Camry hybrid? Which would you buy?
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    Perhaps you're right, but VAG's 1.9TDI (previous gen 4-cylinder diesel) was a highly acclaimed motor, a special favorite in high-mileage used car markets, like my Old Country's (Poland). My dad's is abot 100k miles, which is nothing for those engines. Granted, that engine is also an older-generation, developed prior common rail technology. It is known for high durability and good resistance to abuse due to substandard fuels and hard working conditions. All great, but the price was noise, vibrations and short torque curve.

    The new enviro-friendly diesels are known for overcoming many of those issues (lower noise, not as much vibrations, better power delivery), but the price paid is steep - high maintenance and much reduced durability. So, if having to choose between noisy durable diesel, or quiet fragile diesel, I choose gasoline engine.

    I think many Americans confuse marriage of reason between Europeans and diesel with some kind of love without limits. Europeans opt for diesels mostly because their governments push them to do so by taxes on both vehicles and fuel and because diesels to get better gas mileage. In the world of fuel priced at $6-8, a lawn mower may be attractive for people mover.

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

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    What will Porsche do to meet these tougher CAFE requirement? Import a diesel 911???

    I think the average would be included in VW total...so the Golf's, Jetta's, etc would do the heavy CAFE lifting...
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Would never switch my 328i for it (or previous WRX/STI, or any other good gasoline engine), not in milion years.

    Not sure comparing a 328i to an older A4 1.9 TDI is a fair comparison. I'm driving a 2013 328ix loaner today with 1,400 miles on the odometer. Great car, but I have to say that the 335d would be my strong preference for both performance and fuel economy over a 328i. Had to shut off the engine start stop feature to maintain my sanity in stop and go traffic. There is no diesel clatter in my friend's 2011 335d and it definitely has more punch when you need to accelerate on the highway. He gets an honest 40 mpg on highway cruising at 75 mph and 30 mpg overall. The trip computer on the 328ix loaner shows 23.3 mpg overall; probably heavy city driving.

    That said, the current 8,400 rpm NA V8 M3 with a 6-speed manual is about as sweet as a 3 series gasoline engine can get. I'd be the first to admit that if a really sporty, engaging drive is what you want, hard to beat a naturally aspirated high rpm manual transmission car like the M3.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,598
    Dino of course some of the engine in Europe aren't as refined as others. To pass judgement on the car you drove in europe with one that are imported here is like saying, there isn't much difference in a M6 and a Yaris...

    Drive a Passt or Jetta diesel you will be quite surprised on how well they run and really how quite it is for a diesel.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,598
    Ivan, I'm not too sure about this, if it is true please post a link so I can read it. Because I'm sure Infiniti and Lexus would be linked to Nissan and Toyota. Since Infiniti, Lexus and Porsche are imported as their own brand, one would assume that they are separate brands.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited January 2013
    It would not be fair, pricewise, compare 328i to 335d. To me valid choice would be 335i vs. 335d - that would be no contest, IMHO. I understand all the limitations of comparisons between new BMW and old Audi. However, to be fair i terms of pricing, four cylinder diesel is one to make real comaprisons to the lower-powered gasoline engines, whether smaller 6-cyl, or turbo four.

    My point is, US based consumers THINK they want diesel because they see them in Europe and assume that's what Old World people want. All I'm saying, popularity of diesel there is artificially stimulated by public policy, taxation and other incentives. Anybody, who enjoyed American-market based ELLPS, would never even consider a diesel, except perhaps commercial vehicles, like taxi cabs and such. Moreover, the traditional advantages of diesels are going away. Bottom line - still clacking engine, less so than before, but more upfront cost, more maintenance, more prone to failures, sensitive to fuel quality, who knows if will last as long as older generations.

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

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    I thought all were based on the main company, e.g. GM, Toyota, Nissan...but it may not be that definitive

    Porsche would have needed to make the largest increase in mpg, however, the fact that VW absorbed the sports-car company means there’s a good chance that Porsche’s fuel economy will now simply be part of the conglomerate’s overall average.

    "Good chance" does not mean it is; not certain how it's determined

    C&D article
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 393
    Let's see aren't the new direct injection gas engines ( mostly) louder with a clattering on startup when cold, more sensitive to fuel quality( and carbonong up) and likely to be less long lived? I think until you drive a modern 4 cyl diesel, you may want to reserve judgement, at least the auto mags from Europe I.e Car magazine, are saying that the 4 cyl diesel 3 series is the one to have ( unless you afford the M of course). And yes they prefer the manual. I think there may have been something wrong with your family member's Audi, as that is not how I experience my diesel's power, and it is only a 40hp three cyl, but there is more than 1000 rpm of usually power, or perhaps it was just the corporate VW diesel was not really suited to a car the size and weight of the Audi, though I am sure the newer versions would be better ( they are no longer the top of the class for modern diesels, good but not the best).
    In any case what is wrong with having the choice of more diesel cars here, no one is going to force you to buy one if you don't want one, why can't those of us that do want one have that choice?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,135
    FN....just got home from the CES show in Vegas (~150,000 attendees). The cabbies are, in my estimation, the best gages for how the Vegas economy is doing. According to them, Vegas is coming along nicely with the recovery.

    Anyone who's been there knows the range of vehicles they use as taxis are all over the map. My limo guy picked me up at the McCairn in a 735i. Town cars aren't the limo of choice these days, so it seems.

    Asking one of the Prius taxi drivers if he'd consider a diesel, his answer was swift and emphatic....NO!

    His reasoning was the hybrids and gasoline cars have the same longevity these days. Plus, the additional cost of buying diesel fuel offsets any additional MPG.

    Segueing back to ELLPS, our 335i and S4 both get 20-21 MPG+ in the city, and nearly 30 MPG highway. These are performance cars capable of 0-60 sub 5 sec times that will cruise all day at 130 MPH + in quiet and comfort.

    Manufacturers have tried to get diesels to be more appealing in the U.S. I know a small, but vocal segment like them. They won't be successful here, however.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,598
    Graphic I was going to head to Vegas for a quick turn around and spend sometime at the CES (use to go for work between 86-96.)

    The problem I see, is that a premium is paid for the oil burner engine, then the price of fuel is more too. Just as the cabbie stated, however, with the new CAFE requirements coming into play, 30 MPG wont cut for the car manufactures.

    In regards to hybrids, is there a hybrid sold in the US that does not have a CVT?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited January 2013
    I think unfortunately your "dino" forum name perhaps belies a few dinosaur like biases towards diesels?

    The difference in price between a 2011 335d and the 2013 328i is a fraction of the difference between a 328i and a old VW 1.9 TDI. The 2013 328ix I had as a loaner had a sticker price of just under $51,000.

    As far as "anybody who enjoyed American-market based ELLPS would never even consider a diesel"? Are you talking about the 95% of American ELLPS buyers that end up in a slush box automatic with a non-sport suspension? Or the 5% that really want and buy a sport sedan? Because if it's the latter, unless you are in a 335is with a real 6-speed manual and sport suspension, you aren't giving up much of anything in the 335d. Its competitive 0-60, MORE than competitive 30-80, can be equipped with a sport package suspension, etc. I think I could spec out a 335d that would put it ahead of 90% of the so called American market ELLPS's on the "S" front. And the fact that it would get 30 mpg overall and near 40 mpg on the highway would be a bonus.

    Fact is, the 3 series has become a little less "S" with it's weight gains, size gains, and lower revving turbo engines. Great cars, no doubt, but the real "S" customers are probably heading towards a 135iM on one end, M3 on the other. So, given that, I see the 335d - and even more so the new breed of M diesels, including the M550d - being extremely competitive with their gas counterparts for the average American buyer. Especially those that consider themselves "S" oriented, but come up with various reasons for not getting a stick.

    As for more maintenance and reliability, that is the big advantage of diesels. We have plenty of 300TD's and SDL's in our area that are still chugging along just fine at 200-300k+ miles. Their counterparts - old 525i's have been recycled into paperweights long ago.

    I just put a deposit on a 2014 Cayman S last night. So obviously I'm not in disagreement with the fact that a high revving, naturally aspirated gas engine mated to a real manual transmission is the choice of preference for a sports car. But that's not what most 3.600+ lb ELLPS buyers are looking for, and I think current and future diesel technology will make more and more sense for the ELLPS application.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited January 2013
    1000 rpm was an exagerration, but I basically stand by my comments, also because I know more diesel owners than most Americans - not just my dad, but also number of friends and relatives. Pretty much all of them said the same thing - they all would buy an 8- or 6-cylinder gas cars, if not for the fuel costs. They DO NOT love their diesels same way I loved my WRX, STI, or E9x 328, or some other people love their Camaros, Mustangs, Corvettes, or even Acuras or Lexus. They buy those diesel cars, because governments in Europe made it impossible (cost prohibitive) to own vehicle like those listed above - not just by fuel taxes, but by excise taxes, registration fees, etc., all tied to engine displacement with sharp increases for everything above 2 liters. In that world diesel beats gasoline, delivering more torque and better fuel economy, indeed, mostly because gas engine fights with one hand tied behind the back. In the past, diesel fuel was also 20% less expensive than gas, not the case anymore, but it helped establish present dominance of the diesels there. However, the math is working less and less and there is a slight reversal in preferences. Those things take time, though.

    Anyway, call me a fossil. I'm not saying I'd never get a diesel, but as long as I can afford it, as long US government doesn't do same market rigging, as European, I take gasoline engine.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited January 2013
    We have plenty of 300TD's and SDL's in our area that are still chugging along just fine at 200-300k+ miles.
    You missed my point, exactly. Those 300 TD are old style diesels, true million milers, indestructible machines that would run on vegetable oil. They were also noisy, slow, awkward. The new E350 Bluetec is nothing of that. Yes, it is quiter, fast, nice, but its durability is not million miles, by a long shot. The old magic of "running forever" is gone. Even commercial vehicle drivers (bus, truck and such) confirm that the new machines are nowhere near in terms of durability in comparison to the old ones.

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

  • buyabuya Posts: 74
    Your sentiments are understood. I would too pick naturally aspired strong engine cars over cars boosted with turbo/dual turbo, diesel engine and combined engines. EV is in its infancy and it wouldn't even be considered. Fact is, the car industry doing business in the States does have to follow mpg stipulations set by our gov't, and the diesel engine seems most promising in helping them adhere to the scheduled guidelines. The gov't is not acting to help drivers save money. If enough people drive diesel, the fuel will be widely available and being a byproduct or not it will cost a lot too at the pumps. Americans like muscle cars, and if diesel cars dominate the market without offering desirable zoom power, people may scream for the return of muscle cars. Curious which current diesel or turbo diesel car you think is the best?
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    Curious which current diesel or turbo diesel car you think is the best?

    There isn't much to choose from, at the moment. Traditionally MB and VAG have good diesel motors, I'm sure BMW can hold its own, too. They're all in different market segments. Can't say I have any real opinion, what is better. I was susprised to hear that PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) was considered one of best in its class. Honda and Subaru have late diesel entries in JDM and Europe, heard good things about those (it would be really interesting to hear how diesel boxer sounds). All majors (GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan) have diesels in other markets, but bringing them here is not so simple, due to diferent environmental rules.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,598
    The new E350 Bluetec is nothing of that. Yes, it is quiter, fast, nice, but its durability is not million miles, by a long shot. The old magic of "running forever" is gone.

    Do you have the data to back up that statement?
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