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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Can I chime in? :blush:
    My short list was the IS250, the Acura TL and the G35x.
    I drove the IS250 and although fit and finish was outstanding, the size was a deal breaker for me, since I had a 4 yr old daughter who had to be comfy in the back. The lack of power had me worried about the novelty wearing off as well.
    That brought me to the TL and the G35x.
    I had to really weigh the pros and cons to come to a decision. Honestly, both are awesome cars and you can't go wrong with either one.
    For me, the G just gave me a feeling that the TL could not. The dealer, where I bought my 06 MDX, gave me a TL loaner on 7 separate days... one being a Type-S as well.
    As much as I enjoyed them (especially the MPG), I got bored with them.

    The G (for me) is WAY more fun to drive. It has more power and I felt more in control of the G as well. It offers more feedback (in a good way)
    I now have AWD when I need it (It's fantastic in the snow!) and RWD performance at any other time.
    Also, I found that my right knee hits the center console in the TL and my left arm, which I like to rest on the window edge, was uncomfortable. The window edge was too high and the arm rest was too low.
    The "Studio on Wheels" stereo in the G is more enjoyable and I also feel that the fit/finish/ level of luxury in the G is higher than that of the TL. I love the look of the real rosewood trim in my car and how it contrasts with the black interior.
    I also have absolutely no rattles after 14,000 miles and one year of driving.

    Again, this is all personal preference.
    I liked both cars, but the G just did it better for me.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,250
    Shipo, IYO, how does the 1-series compare with the A3? Which tips the scales for performance vs. utility?

    Regards,
    OW
  • Thank you scottm123, that's exactly what I was looking for. The 3 cars you named are the exact 3 I'm looking at right now. I currently do not have any children, but I do hope to start a family in a few years, so that does factor in.

    I think like you said, I won't know what car is right for me until I drive them.

    I graduated from LSU (Geaux Tigers) last year and got a pretty good job. I've been driving a Toyota Corolla for 7 years now, so any car I choose should be a significant upgrade.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Wow, I'd call the response of a 184 ft-lb @6000k+ rpm of IS250 a wee bit lazy compared to the 207 ft-lbs@~2k rpm of the A3.

    To each his own.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    If you want performance, dont even think about the IS250, there are cars that perform way better than that car. However, if you are talking luxury appointments, you cant go wrong with the IS250. Lexus poured its heart into that cars fit & finish. Reliablity is great on the IS as well.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Oh yeah, there are definitely cars that perform way better than the IS250. Just to name a few: M3, RS4, Cayman, 911...

    However, with the 70.4 mph through the slalom that puts the IS 250 ahead of the BMW 335i, not to mention about a half dozen very capable sports cars.

    Granted the IS is no 3-series but it's funny that people are trying to make it sounds like a Camry.

    Source: Follow-Up Test: 2007 Lexus IS 250
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    However, with the 70.4 mph through the slalom that puts the IS 250 ahead of the BMW 335i, not to mention about a half dozen very capable sports cars

    Yep, one review has it 1 mph faster through the slalom. But hard to beat the 4.8 to sixty.
  • I think this is not really a fair comparison. A3 and R-8 and M3 and IS250, they dont fall in same league.. I was looking for "Affordable" fun to drive luxury car, that's why A3 and IS250. I agree that A3 has a punch to its drive, but practically everyone shares that the Audi dealer service is bad, including my own test drive experience .. May be Audi has a special program, "How to treat your customers like crap!!":O). apart from the drive, if are going to keep the car for atleast 2-3 yrs, then the whole experience counts (pouring oil, dealer visits etc).. I checked IS250 again and again and the rear seat looks more tighter to me every time :o) I usually dont have passengers in my car but, the rear space almost looks like it i made for kids, thats why i am leaning towards A3 now. Saw a 2006 A3 for with 30K miles for $24K and a 2006 IS250 with 35K miles for $27K.. Granted R8 must be much more fun, but it wont be when you sign that monthly payment check ;)
    My quest (still....) continues..
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    But hard to beat the 4.8 to sixty.

    Wait, I thought the straight line performance isn't all that important in a sports sedan...

    ;)
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Yes, the IS250's rear seat is REAL tight, to have adults sitting in the back on any trips over an hour would be a pretty terrible idea. However, since my rear seat is normally unoccupied about 99.9% of the time that's really not an issue for me.

    My suggestion is that make sure you think about this thoroughly, if the tight rear seat bugs you then just turn around and look for something else.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    "Oh yeah, there are definitely cars that perform way better than the IS250. Just to name a few: M3, RS4, Cayman, 911... "

    I thought this was assumed knowledge, I was talking about cars in the $20-$40k range, unless if you also wanted to thrown in the Bugatti :)

    I have read the IS's slalom is great but you will have a tough time trying to convince anyone that the IS250 performs at par with any of the ELLPS.

    Choosing btwn the IS250 and the A3 is not going to be easy though, cos one has better performance and the other has everything else IMO
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    How is the RX-8 not a entry-level performance sedan? (luxury being mostly artificial leather and fake wood trim on any of these, I don't consider ANY of these "luxury" cars).

    Oh wait - you're actually going to claim that the IS250 actually has a useable middle rear seat? These cars are plainly built to fit four people, which is what the RX-8 does as well. And none will fit a linebacker in the rear seat, so I fail to see that point, either. The rear seats are there for kids and the occasional third adult in these small sedans. It's not a coupe, either - that's visual trickery. There really are four doors on it.

    I'd recommend at least driving it. Mazda's lack of positioning it properly or marketing it well aside, it's .1 second slower than a Porsche Cayman and is virtually identical on the track. For half the price. There's just nothing that comes close to it in its price range as far as performance goes. But it's like Hyundai or Volvo if you want to go back even further. People gave Volvo no respect for decades and then they came out with the 850 Turbo. And it blew the doors off of everything in its price range. Yes, it wasn't a Mercedes. Nobody who owned one cared - they were too busy having a blast driving them.

    $29K on and IS250, $32K on a 328i, $28K on an A4... or $24K on a RX-8.
    CarsDirect Price: $23,843(including delivery). That's an enormous amount cheaper than the competition. You could load one up with every last option offered and still not be at what a bare-bones IS250 goes for(no leather, either).

    CarsDirect Price: $28,710 - IS250. No HID headlamps, no heated seats, no sport suspension, no ... (don't even gt me started on the A4 in base trim) Add that stuff in ad it jumps to $33K almost instantly.
    CarsDirect Price: $28,408 - RX-8 GT/+ rear spoiler. If you want more bling, you have to start adding chrome and after-market accessories.

    $5K out the door cheaper buys a lot of gas.(5pmg difference is roughly 7100 gallons to make up at 3.50 a gallon)

    It's also the same reason a Prius is a no-win situation versus a Civic. 5mpg difference for thousands more in initial price is going to take you well over a decade to recover. Maybe two.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    you will have a tough time trying to convince anyone that the IS250 performs at par with any of the ELLPS

    Then don't, let the number speaks for itself...

    Except for the straightline acceleration I think the IS250 can hold its own against any other ELLPS.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Wait, I don't get it. Why are you taking shots at me? I like the RX-8, a lot, and I think that the IS250 is a total poseur sporting sedan that is numb to drive and has such a small back seat that I wouldn't even subject my 14 year old to it for a trip to school. The only reason why I was dismissing the RX-8 for this thread is that the OP is trying to decide between an IS250 and an A3.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The RWD, sports package, stick shift IS250 is a poseur sports sedan while the FWD, automatic A3 is not?

    Interesting...
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    As far as I know, the IS, 3 series, Infiniti G35, Acura TL & Audi A3/4 use real leather. On the 3 series you get leatherette if you want and they dont try to hide this. I believe only the Acura TL does not use real wood otherwise every other car above uses real leather.

    If you are going to include the Mazda why stop there, bring in the Hyundai Azera, Dodge Charger, etc. I think the reason the Mazda is left out is because its not "generally" considered to belong in the same group as the cars I included above. Or put another way, people aspire to drive a BMW, an Audi a Lexus, I am yet to come across people who aspire to drive a Mazda
  • riorebelriorebel Posts: 20
    Honestly, there are some good reasons you might choose the TL over the G35, but my main reason was my wife. She has a strange dislike of most Japanese cars, particularly Nissan (I think it goes back to one bad experience with a Sentra we had about 10 years ago.) When I took her with me to drive the G35, she hated it - a biased opinion, I'm sure. But I have to admit that it is a bit smaller than the TL, and I also like the slightly better mileage and the look of the TL better, as well.

    By the way, I am a HUGE Bama fan and I was pulling hard for you. Way to geaux, Tigers! (SEC fans learn to stick together here in Big Ten country!)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,706
    If you are going to include the Mazda why stop there, bring in the Hyundai Azera, Dodge Charger, etc. I think the reason the Mazda is left out is because its not "generally" considered to belong in the same group as the cars I included above. Or put another way, people aspire to drive a BMW, an Audi a Lexus, I am yet to come across people who aspire to drive a Mazda.
    ****

    And that's probably the truth here, like I said. Nobody wants to say, look at a Hyundai Tiburon or a Volvo S40T5 or whatnot most of the time. It's their money I guess, but as I pointed out, the price difference buys a decade's worth of extra gas and then some(140K miles or so for 5mpg difference!). The smart money is to ignore the inflated bling-mobiles where you're plainly paying through the nose for their products and instead start looking at the alternatives.

    Honestly, I'd rather own a blinged-out WRX than a base 328i with pleather and that miserable base engine. You can always add leather to a car, or a sunroof, even after-market if you have to, so you have to think really hard about the following question:

    - Is the car primarily an entry-level luxury or entry-level sportscar?

    IME, when people talk about this segment, bling is of far lower importance than the performance. It's always "I got a BMW and yeah it has leather and some nice features(revs the engine and grins)". Not, "I got this C Class and yeah it is sort of sporty" :P

    So ignore the bling and badge. Find a nice sportscar and add the bling in. Almost every maker has silly levels of luxury and bling as packages these days. You'll find that the field widened considerably.
  • sjaievesjaieve Posts: 252
    You know what, you just described a lesson I learnt the hard way. I bought one of the luxury brands I noted in my earlier post, it had the base engine and had lots of toys, real leather, real wood, almost everything. That base engine was crap, I mean everybody from Honda Accord to Honda Civic Si was faster than me in my Luxury brand. I learnt that the engine comes first with a car, then consider the luxury component. I sold the base luxury sedan recently (after one and a half years of onwership) and got a 3.5 litre, +300hp luxury brand. Now I am happy.

    I left out the names cos I dont want to seem as if I am bashing the other car cos other than the engine, that car was awesome
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    ". . .a base 328i with. . .that miserable base engine."

    Interesting phrase to apply to that particular powerplant. I've never seen anything that comes even remotely close in its ability to illustrate the "different strokes for different folks" concept.

    Let's see, scalpel or chainsaw?

    Both cut, and one is certainly faster.
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