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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2013
    My 2004 Volvo V70 had an MSRP of more than $32,000 when I bought it. My wife and I went looking at cars last weekend and fell in love with the Subaru Outback. AWD, leather, moonroof, bluetooth, etc... And MSRP was just over $30,000.

    It even rides better than our now 10 year-old Volvo. More car for less money - Im very tempted to pull the trigger.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,159
    "The S4 is far from an average car though " yep we get that'and somehow the rear camera is not standard, prob because its a performance car and the 2 extra lbs would slow it down.

    btw they don't make the rav4 with a 6 anymore.

    Check check

    Drive fast, take chances
  • billyperksiibillyperksii Posts: 198
    edited September 2013
    I gussed you lucked out.
    My house cost me 229K 11 years ago, now I am upgrading and its running me nearly twice as much.
    Go figure.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,639
    "give a short impression of your time with the new Impala"

    Over all I liked it, the fit and finish is first rate, the car "feels" more expensive, seats were excellent for comfort, the way the car rode was more connected to the road then any other chevy sedan I have driven. The engine is the 3.6; DOHC 306hp, w/ 6spd auto. The engine revved and wanted to go high but of course the fuel cut off kicked in, the 6 spd auto shifted well, good up shift with no hesitation and downshifts were smooth. I was impressed with the car, no rattles, the car almost rode like a German car, but not as refined as one. I have driven two of them one a top of the line 2LTZ and a 2LT. Behind the radio is a "hidden" compartment that has a USB port so one could load a iPod or ITouch and leave it there connect and not have to worry about it. The cars had 5 USB ports in it, this is the first car I have had with this many. Ford really needs to do something with their Taurus if they want to be competitive in this segment.

    So I liked the car, it is now one of the cars I look for when renting. BTW, so far I have averaged 26 MPG with the cars. I'm sure once they bring the 8 spd/auto into the MPG will go up. I have pictures of the interior but I don't know to upload them.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,159
    5 USB ports - thing must way a ton.

    Interesting review I think the impala is a nice sedan and the reviews say the same will be interesting to see the SS sedan and how well that does
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    Tks. My wife will be looking for a replacement sedan in the next 6-12 months and the Impala is a possibility. I've only seen a couple on the road and I hear they are in short supply at dealers so the fact that you can get them readily at the rental counter is unusual. Guess they wanted to get them out to be experienced by many and the people that tend to rent full size autos are probably their target audience on the most part. How did it compare with the your partner's Genesis?
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,669
    >>5 USB ports - thing must way a ton. <<

    Yeah...probably the new lead based USB 3.0 ports :)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    edited September 2013
    Johan de Nysschen has his work cut out for him. The new head honcho of Infiniti &#150; formerly of Audi (of America) for almost 20 years &#150; has to do for Infiniti what he did for Audi. He must take a run at making you think of BMW (or Audi) as the German Infiniti. Tall task? Well, based on the lethargic launch of the Q50, I don&#146;t envy Johan.

    You may or may not lend much credence to Automobile, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Popular Mechanics or Road and Track&#146;s gravitas in promoting [automotive] brands. If you discount these magazines&#146; influence, fine &#150; I would imagine, however, you are at least aware of them (especially if you are participating in this and other car-centric forums).

    The point I will hopefully make is highly derivative; indeed, without apology, the influence for my conclusions has been shaped by John Naisbitt&#146;s 1982 book, Megatrends. Perhaps I should clarify and sharpen my focus: My point &#150; to be revealed shortly &#150; is based on using a technique of observation and counting how much &#147;ink&#148; is spread pertaining to a particular subject, story or brand or product. Moreover, once the quantity of ink has been identified, it is also of importance to identify and rank the content (or the &#147;qualities&#148;) of the ink.

    We&#146;ve all been hearing and reading about the new Q50 for what seems to be a long time (in automotive product life-cycles). We&#146;ve seen full-page ads in the major automotive enthusiasts&#146; magazines for at least a couple of months. What we haven&#146;t seen are test reports, comparison tests and &#147;First Drives&#148; &#150; yet we&#146;re seeing ink (for several months now) about cars that aren&#146;t even available for purchase, e.g., the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 to name just one.

    Audi and BMW, too, seem to be masters at garnering great quantities of ink about cars that are either still on the drawing boards or aren&#146;t yet in production form, e.g., the BMW M4. Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and even KIA (!) are very adept at keeping the volume of the buzz about their brands and products cranked up to 11.

    I just got the new Automobile magazine yesterday (October 2013 issue) &#150; the New Cars for 2014 issue. Page 38 - 40, &#147;Driven: BMW 435i&#148; offers up less than a review but more than a rehash of the corporate brochure &#150; the car is discussed, albeit briefly, in terms of performance, style, ride and handling. The spread includes pictures of the car&#146;s anterior and posterior as well as its engine and interior (in red leather). This marks at least 2 mentions (ink) of the &#147;4 series&#148; in this issue.

    Further evidence of the virtual lack of any buzz regarding new Q50 is the &#147;Sport-Sedan Slugfest&#148; in the June &#146;13 Car and Driver &#150; where the BMW 3, the Cadillac ATS and the Lexus IS duke it out for king of the hill bragging rights. I would have thought Infiniti would have busted its hump to get the Q50S included in the slugfest. I would argue that the Infiniti, not the Lexus would have been the odds-on favorite choice for this comparision article based on the G37 being dubbed (more than once) the Japanese BMW. The highly anticipated (and touted) Q50 being excluded from this comparison is an incredible marketing blunder &#150; especially since Infiniti has been showing off the Q50 for several months now at invitation only dealer events where Infiniti representatives regale the invitees with anecdotes wherein the Q50S betters Audi A4&#146;s and BMW 3&#146;s on the track.

    I was, understandably I think, eager with anticipation when I turned to page 56 of the new Automobile magazine to see the mini article, &#147;Driven: Infiniti Q50.&#148; Unfortunately, there is little ink devoted to a discussion of how the car performs. Indeed, what struck me was the following: &#147;. . . the Q50 is not so much an all-new sport sedan as a refreshed and rebodied Infiniti G37.&#148; Most of the remaining ink pertained to the Q50&#146;s ability to [almost] drive itself.

    Even an admitted gadget-geek (like me) would likely be underwhelmed by the content of this &#147;ink.&#148; Practically speaking the buzz potentially created by this ink is arguably not the kind of buzz Infiniti probably was hoping for &#150; and it is certainly not the kind of buzz that is likely to retain the brand&#146;s (or the Q50 itself) image as &#147;the Japanese BMW.&#148;

    Although I have driven a new very high-contented AWD Q50S and can absolutely attest to its worthiness as an A4 or 3 series (and therefore IS and ATS) rival, this conclusion has been reached in spite of Infiniti&#146;s dismal marketing efforts. I seriously doubt the majority of the market the Q50 seems to be courting will notice the Q50 until (or unless) the ink spread around about it focusses more on the performance, luxury and driving dynamics rather than its expensive technology package that seems hell bent on distancing the driver from, er, driving.

    My wife &#150; currently driving a 2011 Infiniti FX35 AWD Premium &#150; sums it up this way, &#147;Infiniti&#146;s do everything well &#150; but they don&#146;t seem to want to involve their customers as drivers. The Germans, especially Audi and BMW somehow imbue their cars, their dealerships, their owner clubs and web sites with customers who are passionate about the brand. Indeed, the thing lacking from Infiniti is a soul or a passion to both drive and be driven.&#148;

    Perhaps that it why even a &#147;pull ahead&#148; deal Infiniti offered her couldn&#146;t compel her to be a two-time Infiniti owner. She went to Audi, BMW and Volvo and drove a like-priced ($50K) Q5, X3 and XC60 and ended up ordering a &#147;passion inducing&#148; supercharged 2014 Audi Q5. Pity, the Infiniti brand (and most of the products individually) can&#146;t seem to catch a break.

    The &#147;Megatrends&#148; methodology seems to indicate BMW is unlikely to be known as the German Infiniti any time soon.

    Drive it like you live. :confuse:
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,505
    I just read an article about sales of 3-series going gangbusters. Basically another piece of evidence that enthusiasts don't matter, at least in short run. People are lining up to buy this "sports sedan" probably for reasons why the same people didn't buy them before - it's big, comfy, easy to drive. But it's a BMW, so it must be sporty, right? Since they've never sit in a true sporty car, if they had, they thought it was uncomfortable crap, how would they know the difference, anyway.
    Looks to me BMW cashed the chips and they bought huge sale boost. It will be interesting to see long term effects of this. VW made a similar gambit with Jetta and Passat by decontenting them, stripping all those good suspension components and making barges out of them. It worked until it stopped. After couple of years of initial huge boost they hit a wall and sales stalled, even fell at some point. I wonder if same could happen to BMW. Maybe not, who knows. One thing is certain, my not liking (hating actually) the new 3 steering doesn't matter.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,582
    well, maybe it is no longer "sporty" to old school BMW types, but for anyone coming out of mainstream cars (Camry say) or a Lexus it is certainly a major step up the sports sedan spectrum.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,505
    edited September 2013
    Exactly, it is all relative. All they have to do is convince enough people it's better than the alternative. The funny thing is their competitors are moving toward that point from the other side, making it very crowded market with small differences. I guess that's inevitable in world of mass production, one has to cater to least objectionable rather than try to stand out. It's the price for going from niche to global.

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,253
    dino...stickguy....I think you both hit the nail on the head with the 3 series. BMW did cash in their chips on the new one. But, they've been moving away from sports sedan into more mainstream waters for a while now.

    I think the thing that BMW has that VW did not, at least in this country, is the cachet of their brand. VW lost their "cool" factor a long time ago.

    Now, does BMW retain the cool factor after moving their cars into more mundane territory? Remains to be seen and we probably won't know for another decade or so.

    markincincinnati.....I think what kills the Q50 is that drivetrain. It's getting long in the tooth. And the NVH factor has never been its strong suit. It might be OK in an Altima or a Maxima. But, in a $50K lux sedan? Not so much!

    I'm thinking you did the test drive up at Kings Automall? Those guys used to send me stuff all the time. But, sounds like they had something of a management shakeup as the previous GM who had been there for years, is no longer there. One of the sales people (whose name I did not recognize) must have dug up my email info from their files. I got an email from him towards the end of last month touting their HUGE selection of Q50s and their willingness to "deal" on them.

    No sure what that means with a car that just hit the streets.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    "No sure what that means with a car that just hit the streets."

    Have you ever got something from a car dealer that said anything different???
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,505
    Of course.
    "Sells like hot cakes", "We can't get enough of those", , "The supply is very tight" "Everybody is asking about this color/trim (of course it happens to be one you want). All to make you believe you need to pay up to get one. This is especially true with "all new" models that just arrived. The supply shortages may even be real, whether they are due to demand, or ramping production, a well-trained salesman will always spin it into "c'mon buddy, you're paying the sticker today".

    If the car is new and they already say "we have huge inventory waiting just for you", things are really slow.

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

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,430
    Couldn't you use the dealer's website to see how many of a particular model are available?

    Then you would be armed with better information as to whether a model is 'hot' or not.

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    I didn't mean specifically, just in general they always use some kind of come on like that. In the Q50's case, I don't think they are desperate yet as it just hit the dealerships a few weeks ago and from my few drivebys of the the local Infiniti dealer it didn't look like they had that many Q50s in stock. I think you are reading way too much into into an email from a car salesman.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,505
    You may be correct. It may be as simple as a relative "we have large choice and the guy across town does not". It was Mark that planted the thought in me that Q50 may not be selling. It certainly is too early to tell.

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

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    Depends. Some services that the dealerships use list ALL inventory available at that dealership as well as nearby dealerships. I've seen dealership personnel complain about this before, as it gives consumers the impression that the vehicle they like is available on the lot of the dealership whose website they're viewing.

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  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    edited September 2013
    To Mark or anyone who's driven the Q50: Does the Q50 drive essentially the same as the G37 it replaced? It has an improved interior and more tech., but has the same (aging and ubiquitous Nissan) engine. Does it still exhibit the same characteristics, such as the overly intrusive boy-racer exhaust note, for example? (Some like it, some do not.)
  • I drove a fully loaded Q50S AWD. I drove into the dealership in a 2011 FX35 -- I have test driven the M37X's and several other Infinitis within the past 4 months.

    The thrash of an Infiniti V6 certainly isn't banished from the new Q50, but it is way way muted in the new evolution of the G sedan. I wouldn't mind having the sound of the Q50 at full-cry enter into the cabin of a Q50 I was driving, it has been so tamed.

    I'm not making excuses -- or at least that is not my intent -- I dare say so few people have ever even test driven one of the new Q50's, the product is hardly an issue.

    The car's anonymity is what I was remarking upon (in my "ink" post) -- due to what I would call damn near a marketing implosion. The Q50 should have had an Audi or a BMW-like launch -- a launch designed to tease, announce, build buzz, showcase and provide plenty of first drives, "drivens" and side-by-side comparos. Instead the new Q50 has been brought to market with about as much buzz as there would be for a closeout sale of 2008 full-sized pickup trucks that have been on the lot since, well, 2007.

    I don't mean to be carrying Infiniti's water even though I can tell you the Q50S AWD drives like it belongs in a comparison with a new BMW 3, Cadillac ATS, Audi A4 (or even S4) or Lexus IS 350 F Sport.

    If you think the Q50 will provide a disappointing aural experience -- especially at full throttle -- you will be proven wrong (happily, I would hope.)

    The Q50 does raise the bar in the "sport sedan" class (for 15 minutes)-- but, you're right, the engine does need to be re-thought and redesigned. I'd say the transmission can "keep on" perhaps for another year or two before it MUST be replaced.

    In contrast, the IS 350, which also came to market with an "old" engine, has an even more transformed package to distinguish itself from the outgoing IS. And the IS has had a "crack team" of marketers getting it in front of the target market. It has been in no less than two comparos already this year -- and its "handlers" seem hell-bent on getting the word out on the F Sport version as if to say, "this is not your grandfather's Lexus."

    I have no reason to want to waste your time, so with that in mind, please take a test drive of a new Q50S AWD and post your impressions.

    The Q50S does indeed seem to be Infiniti's best sedan ever!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006
    Maybe the reason the Q50 wasn't included in some of the comparos or extensive test drives was because of availability and the fact that the drive train didn't change that much if at all. There's a review of the Q50 over on Left Lane News that is pretty positive in regards to the "roar" being a little tamer maybe due to sound proofing more than anything. The quality of the interior pieces and the tech impressed them quite a bit. But in that comparo you referenced, they could have at least thrown in a G37x just for comparison purposes but maybe they figured they have done that show before.
  • No disrespect, but how is an Infiniti a drivers car? BMW and Audi yes.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    prob because its a performance car and the 2 extra lbs would slow it down.

    ________

    hAHAHAHAH, i DON'T THINK that's the reason. I think it comes down to Audi liking to make all its profit from options. They figure people that just have to have a fully loaded model with all the bells and whistles won't mind that it could nearly double the price of the car. Okay, so that's an exaggeration, but the options can kill you. Its easy for someone to pay S4 prices on an A4, for example.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    Agree with your assessment 100%.

    When I went to the Infiniti dealer, he asked if I was interested in the new Q50 vs. the old G37(S). I was about to answer G37, but instead, said, well..... what's new with the Q50, what's different?

    He went on for about 2 minutes spewing information on a bunch of gadgets that add zero fun factor to the car. They were all about driving automation features for drivers that can't drive themselves.

    I think he might have said something about an adjustable suspension so they can make Lexus customers happier.
  • "I think he might have said something about an adjustable suspension so they can make Lexus customers happier. "

    Acura customers too.:)
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,253
    Kirstie...I've seen that at dealerships before. They show lots of stock. You call them. And, they say "those units are on their way". In short, they list every car/model the manufacturer makes and give the impression they're in stock.

    My Audi dealer does that.

    In the case of the dealer I'm assuming markincincinnati is talking about, I'm familiar with them. Matter of fact, I went past their store last night (which is being remodelled). They do indeed have a large inventory of Q50s sitting on their lot.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,077
    They've always carried a lot of inventory of the lower priced models..

    When we were shopping a 2011 G37X, in October of 2011.... they had 25 of them on the lot (plus 2012 models, as well...)

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  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    edited September 2013
    Puffinalong -- no disrespect taken. And, I can't believe I am somehow seeming (even to myself) to be defending or at least suggesting the G37x, er Q50S(x) deserves to be compared with the Audi and the BMW.

    My wife's and my automotive history is overwhelmingly (~93+%) German, overwhelmingly Audi, but also can count 3 BMW's (all awd variants) and 3 VW's (2 Passats and 1 Jetta) among one Infiniti (2011 FX35 Premium AWD) and one Acura (2012 TL Advance SH-AWD). I have been to 5 driving schools, 4 with Audi in Austria and 1 with BMW here in Spartenburg. My wife "forces" (not too tough to do) us to test drive no less than 10 automobiles per year, except in the last year of her lease (such as 2013) where she ups the test-drive count by at least 3.

    I am (or, better said, we are) capable of providing "informed" data points here on Edmunds -- hardly professional, but more than simply casual. We are probably anal in our test driving methodology -- always going over the same routes, same speeds, entering corners at the same speeds and even taking along the same MP3 and/or CD's with us to check out our tester's audio capabilities.

    We attempt to drive the SPORT designated models (and always the AWD models) of everything we test drive. We subscribe, at any one time, to no less than four auto enthusiasts magazines (plus Consumer Reports in case we need a new vacuum cleaner) and read and/or watch as many websites and youtube tests as our non-working, waking hours allow. We don't have kids, so we have a lot of time to study up on current automotive fact (and fiction.)

    Repeatedly, the "G" Infiniti cars have been dubbed "the Japanese BMW" -- never once, that I can find, has either Audi or BMW been dubbed "the German Infiniti" -- which is partially due to marketing and partially due to the product itself.

    Infiniti's sport-sedan creds are not legion-- but they are also not ancient history, either. A nicely equipped G37X/S over the past two or three model years has never been an undesirable vehicle and in some instances it wins categories or comes in as a top two or top three finisher in automobile magazines' comparos (that is automobile with a lower-case "a").

    Further accolades regarding the Infiniti G can be found by kliking here:

    ~ http://www.infinitiusa.com/g_sedan/awards-reviews.html

    Once again, although I have been impressed with the new Q50S/AWD with the optional steering upgrade, I have not decided to be a two-time Japanese (let alone Infiniti) buyer.

    As a member of the Audi Club of NA, I have at least the motivation of a minimum 6% off list discount "coupon" to make me revisit the A4 (or possibly A6 with sport package, of course); and Acura is already pushing and prodding me to "pull ahead" with an new (2013) TL (but since I have a 2012, it makes me wonder, "why bother?") Volvo's S60 T6 type - R is also interesting as is the IS 350 F Sport Lexus and even the new -- albeit routinely bashed -- 3 series. I've even looked at a Chrysler 300S and a Taurus SHO just in case. Part of me will at least mostly seriously give a critical look-see at the Cadillac ATS (and CTS) and the AWD Buick Regal GS.

    So, I am not, per se an Infiniti lover nor apologist, nor am I yet willing to reject the Q50 out of hand solely on the merits of a really lackluster marketing campaign.

    I remain willing to say the new Q50SX is the best Infiniti ever (that I have driven) and absolutely worth being compared to the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 -- and, if you, like Infinti, compare these three vehicles at "the exact same price point," the Infiniti will win on content even if much of that content, as I noted earlier, seems to be hell bent on removing the driver from driving. . . .

    Speaking of that: Drive it like you live. ;)
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,159
    While I love the comments and reviews I wonder what could actually be gained interms of a true review from a simple test drive that lasted 15mins in a controlled environment. I've been to a few apple stores, played around with a few gizmos and thought they were cool but is that a true review of those items? The quotes Japanese bmw, The long post on the Audi discount I don't get- (audi club discount, really?) seems a bit drawn out and forced to prove some point which is never really given, is it a good or is it a tech driven value? Or at the price point, like the g it really is 90% of Bmw driving and 110% Better in tech? I'm going to reserve my own thoughts on the q (ugly name) once I've driven it and once the experts have compared it to its true comp. I would also note for real value seekers, if indeed there is a surplus of q50s on the lot and they are indeed good cars one could take advantage of such a mistake that someone else posted as infinitis fault at launch in lack of proper advertising.

    Drive fast, take chances
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    edited September 2013
    I urge you to take a test drive of the Q50S AWD -- which is pretty easy to do since there appears to be NO RWD samples available (at least here in my part of the country).

    I encourage anyone who is serious about spending any money on any of the cars discussed in this forum to reserve judgement until post test drive. My response, perhaps too broad, was intended to encourage Puffinalong (and anyone really) to test drive a car before assuming it wasn't worthy of being spoken of in the same breath as Audi and BMW.

    Infiniti spokespersons seem to want "us" to test drive the new Q50 against such competition as the A4 and 3 series at a price point. And, they do have a point -- at a nominal $50K, the Q50 will present itself with significantly higher content than an A4 or 3 series.

    According to Infiniti's product advocates, an Infiniti Q50S (at the same price point) will best an A4 or a 3 series. This may or may not translate to the new Q50 bettering an A4, IS or 3 series in an enthusiasts magazine comparo (Car & Driver for example). Yet the Infiniti marketing execs and product specialists who travel the country on behalf of the brand are able to spout why the Q50 will outgun the A4 and 3 and IS and ATS given a monetary equalizer.

    I doubt Car & Driver will limit its test subjects MSRPs to make sure their reviews are "a fair fight."

    Given no limit (in this context) to price, I would assume that an Audi S4 or S5 or BMW M3 or M4 (not yet available) would be selected by a significant majority of folks -- assuming they didn't have to make the payments.

    Given no slack (regarding price), however, I assume most of us will go for the maximum they can get "for the money."

    Based on the new Car & Driver, I'd be quite willing to take a new RS7 Audi -- for $50K (dream on) were such car actually put on sale at that price.

    And, yes, if you are a member of the Audi Club of NA, you do get a certificate good for 6% off list should you want to go that route (or course if you can negotiate anything better than 6%, you should take it!)

    Drive it like you live!
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