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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

1520521523525526586

Comments

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    Yes, wow. At least that makes sense. Not the price, it's outrageous, of course, but given who buys these, it's people who are much more particular and simply can afford it. No $399 per month crowd, no leader ads, rather you see most conveniences, some sport or appearance stuff, too. Unfortunately, BMW charges arm and leg, but they can, cause nobody else sells those, so you got to pay what they ask.

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,172
    2 had the m sport pack and all the other goodies - except manual -
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I heard there were some bribery scandals in Honda corporate, as dealers were trying to buy their consideration for more attractive lines and models.

    That was back in the 80's and early 90's - a great book about the subject is "Arrogance and Accords" and was written by a low level regional sales rep from Honda Corporate. Quite the insiders view of the car world and the greed it spawned.

    Remember, this was back in the day when there weren't enough Accords (and Civics) to go around, all dealers had the 'markup' tag on them and there was the voluntary import restrictions agreed to by the major Japanese auto makers (so as to give the Big 3 a fighting chance).

    Many of the senior sales executives at Honda were convicted. A few dealers, too, but mostly they provided the necessary evidence to the US Justice Dept to help nail the Honda folks.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    Sounds right. The manual is no longer available with wagon. :cry:

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    edited June 2013
    I was challenged here some time ago to produce evidence of modern diesel needing more maintenance. At the time I could not produce it, although I heard that assertion multiple times from people who know more about cars than I do. Now I have it - BMW will pay for its gasoline engines oil changes every 15K/2 years, while for its new diesel (328d) the period is 10K/1 year. That is tangible evidence that modern diesel engine requires more attention. Oil change is usually just a tip of the iceberg. I'm reasonably confident there is more. Nothing comes free. Diesel engines used to be very insensitive to fuel, now they are very sensitive (due to clean diesel), which mean any kind of impurities will adversely affect durability and service - in turn I'll expect more extensive work required to keep them up. It's all exact opposite to what's used to be. Old diesels were clunky, noisy, stinky and slow, but super durable and resistant to abuse. Many were naturally aspirated. Modern diesels are quiter, smoother, faster, all are turbocharged. As and engineer, I can say with some authority, there was a price somewhere. I'm guessing (just a man's opinion) it will be in lifespan and service. I'd not be surprised if their useful life came close to their gasoline counterparts and milion milers were things of the past.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,647
    It's not just Honda all of the Asian manufactures have it, even the Koreans. Since Lexus is so successful in the luxury and they do not offer a ordering system foe customers how long do you think the Europeans will offer it?
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,647
    If BMW is offering 4yr/50K free maintenance then what is the problem? I would suspect that owners of a 328d would follow manufactures recommendations on oil changes once the 4/50 is over with. Whether it is 5K miles or 7500 miles. Since there is no info on this as of yet.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    To the kingdom come - well perhaps at least in forseable future. It's completely different mindset. They do that anyway for their domestic markets - almost nobody buys BMW or Benz from a dealer's lot over there. The only reason for them to depart from that mindset is if they want to increase volumes and drop the price even further. Right now BMW's price sheet in the US market is about 5 pages for each model. In Germany it is a 50 page book. Three, soon four engine versions here for (non-M) sedan, nine version there (four gasoline: 316i, 320i, 328i, 335i, five diesel:316d, 318d, 320d, 325d, 330d) and that's just a start. They sell a lot more a'la carte options than here. Germans joke that base Mercedes or BMW doesn't even have a side mirror, because it comes in so many options.

    Of course, prices reflect that, too. We are lucky here to pay much less, but it is definitely at expense of choice.

    BTW, it seems you were on something in your early guesses of diesel coming as 320d. Based on published figures from here and there, it looks they simply took theirs 320d and renamed it 328d for US market, probably to justify price above 328i. A bit cheating, but it may be the US thing, where if you sell 320d at price above 328i people may simply not appreciate it. Too many issues with market positioning. Europeans know they have to pay much more for "equivalent" (whatever that means) diesels, it may take some time to break that news to Americans.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    The problem is post "free" period. Some people keep their cars longer than three years. The allure of diesels has always been their long life. If you trade every three years, of course no problem for you, just the next guy.

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

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,014
    Doesn't the payback for the extra upfront cost and small premium for a gal of diesel come after the 3-4 year period? What would be the incentive for diesel if you are leasing it for 3 years unless you just like the smell? It's not as if you see a lot 328s pulling trailers where you would need the torque.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    Don't ask me, I'm not the one yearning for diesel.

    To be fair, the depreciation on diesel may be better than gas, so you may get some of the upfront cost back at trading. But the whole idea of diesel is to lower your costs of ownership. One doesn't do that through 3-year trading cycle. At that point depreciation, even a better one, is still by far greatest portion of ownership. My orginal thesis was one gets the diesel (or at least used to) to keep it long, longer than gasoline powered car, as diesels are supposed to last longer. Moreover, the car was supposed to take some abuse on the way, as diesels used to. However, the clean diesel technology may be one that drives stake through that thesis. If diesels require more maintenance, got more fragile due to tougher emission standards and may not last as long ... again, why would one want a diesel? Oh, to save $500 per year on fuel. Ahhhhh. I see. So we spend couple of thousands more for new, another couple of thousand more on maintenance (maybe, we don't know it yet, but the early indications are there) then we shake and pray every time we pour the fuel (what if that fuel is not as pure as it's supposed to?), drive around with clacking noise looking for next gas station... Then at 100K-150K miles it croaks same way gasoline engine does... All to save us cool 500 bucks per year. WOW!!!

    I'm excaggerating here, of course, but so far I'm not convinced. However, I admit, this installment of diesel from BMW looks much more legitimate than the previous 55+ grand speed monster 335d.

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

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,014
    yeah, there are a lot of WAGs, though educated, in your scenario. There are many, many gas powered engines routinely lasting 150 to 200k without major trouble. Usually, after so many years it is the other systems that start to add up to major dollars and headaches that incent many people to get rid of the vehicle and not the engine. Just read about the Volvo owner that owns the world mileage record....2.7million miles on a gas engine. Rebuilt twice. Engines will last a long time if maintained very well. A/C, auto trans, fancy electronics, etc. not so much.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    A/C, auto trans, fancy electronics, etc. not so much

    How do you think they were able to get a clean diesel? Surely not by levers, rope and pulleys ;)

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

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,014
    I was mostly referring to things like NAV, radar cruise, lane positioning systems, etc etc. but realize there are electronics on both the gas and diesel engines as well. To what more of a degree they may be on a diesel I really have no clue.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    Yeah, I don't know that either, what I know it is much more than ol' good diesel of the past. I suspect it may be more than gas for one reason - due to the nature of fuel burning in diesel chamber (much higher pressures), the ability to control that burning clean may require much heavier computer involvement - but that's again my guess. It is based on how big of a deal it was to introduce ULSD fuel. The resistance was not just because of the fuel cost, but because of the additional cost of the engines (which probably comes from electronics) and the fact that lack of sulphur is supposedly damaging to old engines. Something to do with lubrication, don't know the details. There must be heavy electronics in that thing to run so smooth vs. old diesels.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,647
    Doesn't the payback for the extra upfront cost and small premium for a gal of diesel come after the 3-4 year period?

    There are many factors in how long it takes to make up the difference, the cost between premium Unleaded (PUL) and Diesel (D), the cost between the gasser and Diesel and how many miles one drives.

    Here in PHX, the price between PUL and D is roughly $.35/gallon, D is less.

    Of course the more you drive the quicker the even point. The last year of ownership of my 330 and 328i I had I placed 8500 miles on these two cars. It is not cost effective for me to lease or buy a new 328d, since it would take me roughly 15 years to break even, and this is if the price stays the same. Once a 328d is about two years old, which would put it at about the same price as a 328i (used) then the cost of ownership would roughly be the same, even if you place a 15% increase of service over the 328i, the saving of fuel MPG is greater then 15%.

    Is a diesel for everybody no, but be ready for Audi and MB to be offering more diesels in their cars for 2014, MB already has the GLK250 Bluetech on the lots and they are selling very well.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,172
    From automobile mag about the glk250 blue mentioned above "it will surely not sell in big numbers: diesels account for just six percent of all new Mercedes sales in the U.S."
    Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1305_2013_mercedes_benz_glk250_bluet- ec_4matic/#ixzz2Vxm0yRFd

    Can you expand on the comment they are selling very well? Where did you get this data from?
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    edited June 2013
    "Very well" is always a matter of expectations. If they think they'll sell 10 and they sell 20, it's better than "very well". Nothing is more effective in creating a buzz than shortage, artificial or real. That's especially true in low-volume models, when the demand can unexpectedly turn higher than expected and can't be satisfied due to low production, which was due to marketing team telling their bosses they won't sell many, not necessarily because of some evil plan. I'd like to see how many total GLK were sold and how many of those were diesels - moreover, how many did MB actually expect to sell.

    BTW, I just read somewhere that over 50% of people declared they'd "consider" diesel in their next purchase. Of course from "considering" to actuall buying is a long way, but those manufacturers who do it right (in terms of pricing, offering, etc.), could actually benefit from early move. I don't think we'll see a hype comparable to early Prius, but it is possible that that people will look at diesels and actually buy them. American public in its mass has a tendency (to put it mildly) for "one-dimensional" behavior. "Save on gas" mantra can overshadow any reason. I can easily see temporary diesel car shortages on dealers' lots, markup stickers and all the nonsense that comes with some superhot models. Of course paying extra couple of grand for a diesel will defeat the purpose, but who cares. Isn't that how we (as nation) buy new trends every time, all the time? Whether it's early Prius, or later Honda Fit, cash for clunkers, the story is the same. Media whip up a frenzy, people run and agree to outrageous terms just to be in this new wonder that's supposed to save them gas. They prepaid that saved gas for next 10 years, but who would bother to look at numbers? It's trend that counts. I have a diesel, but Jones across the street is still on the list - makes me a winner. :sick:

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    Edmunds used to have "Future models" tab with comprehensive brand-by-brand view on up-to-date knowledge on future models. It seems gone, replaced by generic automotive news column that's unsorted. It sucks.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,755
    My thoughts are that unless you are a cab driver or someone who drives a lot more than the 20,000 miles per year that I drive, it is extremely difficult to justify the purchase of a diesel or hybrid vehicle purely for the "gas savings."

    Here in the northeast, diesel is more expensive than 93 Octane. I paid $4.19/gallon for 93 this AM and Diesel was $4.35/gallon.

    The manufacturers are getting serious about selling diesel as a viable alternative. I personally LOVED the way the 2011 335d drove, but a car like that had an MSRP of well over $50K & was not offered with 4WD. MB & BMW seem to be bringing in their new 4cyl diesels at a price point that makes them easier to swallow. But, they are still more expensive.

    As dino001 pointed out, maintenance on these new, modern diesels is more intensive. More frequent oil changes (compared to their gasoline counterparts), a urea tank that must be filled by the dealer every X amount of miles.

    Diesels are not cheap to buy, own, or fill up every week.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    My understanding is urea tank is not universal (e.g. VW don't have it and BMWs are not expected to have it), but the rest is true. We also have diesel price higher than premium gas here in Tampa, sometimes as much as 10%, it is seasonal. It never goes even close to regular gas range, which means a decent regular gas four cylinder Honda/Toyota is really way to go for somebody focused on economy. This being ELLPS forum, focusing on fuel economy, especially through diesel technology, seems slightly out of place.

    I think it's classic "legend" thing - people heard that overseas it's popular, so they assume it must be such a great thing. I welcome choice, so I think it's great that they make a first seemingly legitimate attempt to introduce diesel as economic proposition. So far it was only VW that offered a legitimate choice. I don't count 55+ grand rich people toys from Benz or BMW as such.

    It is a bit strange that the diesel focus is on sedans rather than say SUVs and crossovers, where diesels would much more appropriate. I'd welcome diesel powered CRV, Forester, Rogue, Escape, Explorer and like - or workhorse 1/2 ton pickup trucks. That's were diesel would be just great, IMHO - not necessarily in 3-series. So why it is BMW/Benz spearheading this, not Honda, Nissan, or Toyota? It's probably political (CAFE standards hit MB more than Honda) and the investments in hybrid technology that would be threatened is you could buy a Rav4 or Escape with a diesel. Bizarre indeed.

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

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,669
    You are correct that "gas savings", inferred as $ savings, is not a wise financial plan for most individuals when deciding to purchase a diesel.

    There are other intrinsic values of a diesel beyond the efficiency...the addictive torque.

    When we go to lunch we usually drive in a co-workers new Passat TDI (manual). It is not a race machine, and doesn't belong on the track, but if kept within the confines of the legal speed limit it'll snap your neck at will. I even like how it sounds from the inside under throttle.

    The premium paid at purchase time *may* be recouped at sale time (as others have also mentioned).

    I'm not certain how well diesels will play in the ELLPS category, specifically the "Performance" portion, but the lowly VW definitely had the NVH within range of near-luxury specs.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    Interesting - I didn't know Passat's TDI has urea tank. That makes no sense to me. If Jetta doesn't, why would Passat? On surface it looks like same engine (2.0 l diesel). Beats me. Every day learn something new.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,647
    Government data, over on the Diesel forum someone post the sales number of the GLK250s they are selling better than what MB had expected. The GLK250 are less then the GLK350 and get roughly 50% better mileage.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The problem is North Americas "thirst" for horsepower. I think deisels make a lot more sense economically and environmentally when you look at the little 1.6L motors they use in Europe.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,172
    Love to see the numbers as this car only hit dealerships at the end of April and would be surprised the may monthly have been released yet. But if you are trying to say that diesel and hybrid car sales are surpassing overall us market growth rate you would have a legit point.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    A reporter would like to speak to a car buyer who refused to buy a vehicle because premium fuel was required/recommended by the manufacturer. If you did not purchase a car after discovering premium fuel was required/recommended, and instead purchased a car that requires regular fuel, send your daytime contact information to pr@edmunds.com by Friday, June 14, 2013 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I think a lot of that horse power thirst comes from needing it to pass left lane campers that run rampant in the US but not in Europe. The horsepower is needed frequently, and often to get around these traffic causing scumbags.

    If we didn't have high horsepower our roads would be even more clogged and congested than they already are.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I test drove at Carmax the '11 C300 and the '12 C250 both priced right at $30K.

    I was surprised the little 4-banger performed as well as the nice V6 in the C300. I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference blindfolded.

    The car rides smoothly, nicely, and handles really well in sport trim. The brakes felt strong and had vented rotors.

    However, I found a few too many bean counter penny pinching items for what is supposed to be a luxury premium car.

    I hate the fact the top roof rail seams are made of a black plastic regardless of what color you get. Works on black or dark gray, horrible with red.

    The '11 had an interior that fails in comparison to my memory of the '03 Accord Coupe LX V6 I had owned previously. The seats in the Benz are comfy, the leather nice, but the dash, center stack, and instrument cluster reek of cheap econo car.

    The '12 mostly fixes this, with a complete front dash redesign, with much better materials, fit and finish. The steering wheel is much nicer in the '12, and has better subjective styling too, but I don't' like that some of the plastic pieces on it look like they come from the same parts bin as my wife's '07 Civic. The plastic parts I happen to like least inside the Civic mind you.

    The HVAC controls bothered me a bit, but I'm sure some of these things you just have to get USED TO. I test drove these because in the past I wouldn't even look twice at a Mercedes due to their previous association with Chrysler (anything ever associated with Chrysler gets blacklisted for life in my book). But now that I've learned Chrysler fans blame Daimler for their downfall (twice in just a few decades I might add), I've decided to give Mercedes a good look and consideration. It seems to serve my purpose of spiting Chrysler better.

    I liked the C class, but I just don't see one with about 15K miles being worth $30K. $25K and your talking.
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