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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,637

    you just don't get it, but that is fine.. Just proves again you like to hear yourself talk.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,498

    @flightnurse said: you just don't get it, but that is fine.. Just proves again you like to hear yourself talk.


    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147
    edited May 24

    @roadburner @flightnurse - I "agree" to disagree - simple logic for me - if you pay 35k for a car why not compare to cars costing 35k and what you actually get/ or in the 320 case what you don't get. So "I get" the value of money. Just because you think its a great sports sedan doesn't mean its a great value. - as clarified by car and driver. I would also like to know how many 320s are being ordered with sport and stick- up east all Ive seen are awd and I'm assuming auto, dk about the sports package set up. I like facts as well

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,752

    When I bought my A4 way back in '98, one of the reasons I bought Audi instead of BMW was that even though the prices looked similar, the BMW didn't have ANYTHING standard. Not even a folding rear seat. I see that nothing has changed. Once you content it up, add $5K or $10K easily. If you want more sport than luxury, BMW is good. If you want some luxury, too, there are better values out there.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328

    That's certainly true. Could get a mazda3 with more options than a base 320 and even save a chunk of change. Still doesn't mean it is a good substitute for someone wanting a RWD sporty sedan, though.

    It's really so simple. Different shoppers have different orders of preference. Some folks put tech on top, some fuel mileage, some RWD/FWD/AWD.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,460

    funny thing though about the 320. People keep talking about it being a RWD, when in much of the country (at least the NE), almost every one at a dealer is an X drive.

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147
    edited May 25
    "funny thing though about the 320. People keep talking about it being a RWD, when in much of the country (at least the NE), almost every one at a dealer is an X drive."

    Would also bet most are auto, non sport and have a sunroof. - as this is BMW setup for sweet lease deal.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,135

    Is this the ELLS thread? Or the ELPS thread?


    Luxury and performance together.

    We will never agree on what constitutes performance, or luxury.

    Accord V6 will smoke a 320i - in a straight line.

    Sonata limited comes standard with features you have to pay extra for on an A4 - if they are available at all.

    We will all agree to disagree.

    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4
    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147

    Is a pleather non-sun roof 180 hp 4cyl considered lux or performance?

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,498

    Vinyl or leather? I could not care less. No hole in the roof? A MAJOR plus.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,875

    The very term "luxury performance" is tricky--in one way of looking at it, they are at odds with each other, in another way, why can't you have both in equal measure?

    For some, having a howling engine and gobs of feedback through your ears, hands and butt are anathema to "luxury", to others, any car lacking such things cannot be regarded as a "performance" car.

    I hate to bring up ancient history but in this case it might be relevant. When Mercedes first starting getting serious about capturing the luxury car market in America (by serious, I mean, large sedans, leather, wood trim, AC, automatic, plenty of gadgetry, plenty of power)--this would be in the very late 1960s, early 1970s---they ran into some serious marketing problems with former Lincoln and Cadillac owners.

    What was that? It was a lot of complaints about "these cars ride too hard" and/or "the shifting i too firm" and "the seats are too stiff".

    What the American drivers were experiencing was "performance" --excellent brakes, precise handling and a rational cockpit designed to help you drive fast.


  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,498

    I have an E28 brochure from the early '80s that contains the phrase "That unfamiliar sensation you are feeling is called the road."

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084
    edited May 28

    Been so busy for weeks! Promised myself I would at least make a post when the '14 S4 reached 10,000 miles. Well, I'm about 400 miles away from 11,000 and I need to report to the collective that once again Audi has managed to build an engine that starts out strong, reboots itself somehow around 5,000 miles into a stronger (and more economical) version of itself, then settles in for another 5,000 miles before it again reboots itself into a noticeably more potent version.

    My wife's SQ5 also has passed 10,000 miles and I am now fully able to discern the differences between her 8-speed tiptronic transmission and my 7-speed s-tronic.

    In a nutshell: the 8-speed seems, to me at least, to offer the most balanced (of the attributes comfort and sport) presentation of goodness in "D" -- the thing is virtually always in its sweet spot in terms of torque on tap, although the downshift rev-matching seems to be, hmm, "muted" or somehow pushed out of the foreground. Conversely, the S4 in "D" seems hell-bent to hide the performance of the supercharged engine behind a penchant to always shift up a second or a second and half too soon. Also, the s-tronic, in "D" really doesn't seem to want you to notice when it downshifts as you are slowing down.

    In "S" mode, the S4 can bear its teeth providing gobs of torque, a willingness to pull in second gear as if it were on a mission to pull a 100 year old tree stump out of hard dirt. Also, in "S" mode the S4 under even somewhat mild acceleration makes that delightful "burp or fart" sound upon up-shift, time after time. The s-tronic is a miracle of modern medicine in fact.

    When I got into the SQ5 the other day, I felt the transmission attempt to provide velvety shifts (which it did virtually all of the time, except when I pressed it hard, not to). The slight differences in feel between the two transmissions are that the s-tronic can also provide velvety shifts, but they are just "this much" smoother somehow -- shifts that under light or moderate acceleration are more heard than felt. The differences are subtle when you're pressing lightly on the right pedal, but even the masterful Audi transmission programmers cannot completely make the tiptronic mimic the s-tronic's slick moves.

    The sport seats in both Audi "S" models continue to impress with no break-in or break-down of any kind perceptible -- and, the interiors still look fresh despite the recent time I spent sitting behind the wheel of a Premium+ A3 (didn't get to drive it, however.)

    The technology too is impressive, even though the choice of T-mobile as the in-car WiFi carrier (3G with very poor signal quality about 1/3rd of the time and 2G with even worse quality the rest of the time) impresses like a turd in a swimming pool.

    I have repeatedly asked Audi for an upgrade to another carrier (AT&T, Verizon, cup and a string), I have to assume there is something that (for some fee) could be done to unlock the technology to get off of what has to be the worst cellular carrier ever (at least in SW Ohio). Of course when you get behind the wheel of a new A3 you notice NO T-MOBILE this time around. You can bet by 2016 all Audis will be divorced from T-Mobile. I'd keep my subscription if they'd price it in synch with its usefulness, perhaps $7.50 per month (in SW Ohio anyway). Instead they want $30 per month on a month-to-month basis.

    That fellow ELLPS lovers is the only flaw in other-wise delightful pair of "S" Audi cars.

    BTW - went to the Porsche dealer: finally they had ONE Macan S in stock -- hideous color combo, black on black on black (wheels), gawwd I thought goth was dead (I crack myself up).

    However, we do want to drive the Macan to see how the SQ5 holds up against it pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

    As always, drive it like you live. B)

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,719

    Isn't the Macan a virtual twin of the SQ5? Same powertrain and platform, right?

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084
    edited May 28

    Nope. Porsche engine, transmission -- lower HP and torque than SQ5 but offers the ability to option to over $90K with a super high output turbo V6 not offered by Audi.

    SQ5 lifted ground clearance; Porsche ground clearance in "hunker mode." 33% of the Q5 lives on in the Macan. Offers from Porsche a seemingly price competitive version of the SQ5, if you play with the configurations possible, however, the Macan does cost more. The presumably typically optioned Macan S at the Porsche dealership (which owns the Audi dealership too) was about $64K. My wife's Prestige SQ5 was $63.5K or something close to that. An argument could be made that the Prestige SQ5 with several upgrades is still less ($5K) than a comparably equipped Macan S.

    I would think, however, if you're looking at the two at sub $65K, the Macan may present itself as, well, a Porsche! And, even if the Audi is the "deal" it is still NOT A PORSCHE.

    I would want to drive both and I would want to be fair with the option set up.

    I am an Audi fan, to be sure, but the Macan could cannibalize the SQ5 -- not the mainline Q5's, the SQ5. Either Audi needs to up the ante (an RSQ5 perhaps) or be relegated to a rung lower in the giant pecking order in the automotive sky.

    Funny, Audi has registered the name RSQ3, but as far as I can find out, NOT the RSQ5 -- can you say "Marketing!"


  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147

    @markcincinnati‌ - great write ups on your experience with both audis. Now I have to ask the question you have 60k and need one car - which one of the audis do you pick? - I wish they still had the s4 wagon-

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084

    I guess I would go with the SQ5 if I had to choose but one. But, since I don't, I'll be very happy to motor on in the S4 -- which I still think is more fun to drive.

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738

    @flightnurse said: For the price point it's the entry level Sport Sedan that can he had with a manual transmission and sport package.

    Oddly enough, if you're comparing a base model 320 to other options, the various "Muscle Cars" can be had with more options. They handle just as well and offer RWD and a manual transmission if you want it. And for as much as $5K less. And we're not even getting into VW, Infiniti, and others, which also usually come with large year end incentives.

    I know this forum is about Luxury Performance cars, but the fact is that the 320 simply is so dreadful in its base form that it's not even as nice as a Civic EX. Now, with the bigger engine and more options, it's a great car, but anyone looking for a $30K or under car has a plethora of better choices.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328
    edited May 29

    but a muscle cars you are talking about aren't sedans.

    Its still a really simple equation. RWD + sedan + manual. Find another new one for less. The only chance is if street prices for the ATS or G are lower at any given time.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying its a good choice by any means. I'm just simply giving facts as I know them. You could get a Charger, but its a fat pig with auto trans. I honestly can't think of anything else. If Suby/Yota makes a sedan version of the BRZ/FRS, they'd be in a category of 1, I believe.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147

    Agree can't find one for less- bmw did it again- for 35k they are giving away RWD sports sedans-- let's be honest and call it what it is, a base car with nothing in terms of performance or luxury ----lux aside for my dough you could get a more powerful wrx standard- would have to live with driving the 4 wheels but you get a lot of what the bmw gives you- crappy radio, no sunroof, different looking front end, 6speed manual- but you would be driving a faster, sportier, sedan and save 8k bucks.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,084

    A part of the reason folks buy the LPS and ELLPS cars is "the logo." Yep, you can almost always find something that seems to equal and often better the "LPS" and/or "ELLPS" -- call it whatever you want (including brainwashing), but folks frequently look at a fairly large swath of the market and then end up with a "fill in the blank" because it is a "fill in the blank."

    I would suspect, as a somewhat related example, that the Macan S might cannibalize the SQ5's sales (especially if there are Macans on the lot for under $60K), because the Macan is a Porsche.

    My friend, thinking he had an a-ha moment bought a Passat CC thinking he got so much more than he would have gotten (in this case) in an A4. Now, the truth of the matter is that he may be accurate in his Consumer Reports Clinical assessment of the two vehicles.

    Perhaps "hate" is too strong of a word, but -- he hated the CC -- because it WASN'T an Audi. Same story goes for someone who did the same kind of thing with a Nissan instead of an Infiniti, they couldn't wait to early terminate the lease.

    Several additional data points are certainly possible for me to share with y'all -- but you probably have your own data points and stories to tell about someone who "saw the light" and finally got the Infiniti instead of the BMW and then, almost immediately, was pining for a BMW (which would have been seriously de-contented when compared to the Infiniti -- which cost less money too.)

    I sat in (didn't drive) a maxed out Avalon and sat in and drove the Lexus "ES," concluding the Avalon was mo' car for less money. Now, in my case, I have little if any affection for the Lexus brand vs the Toyota ) Avalon -- so I would think of myself as opting for the Avalon seeing no advantage to the Lexus that would justify an extra charge.

    But, somewhere back in back of my mind, I know so many "top class" folks who practically worship Lexi, so were I to be faced with the choice, I imagine I would ultimately cave (and opt for the Lexus.)

    Funny (well sorta), I'll buy Kroger Brand every time vs the national brand if given the chance and if the Kroger Brand (pasta for instance) is cheaper. I buy Costco shirts for crissakes, but I wouldn't own a Costco gas grill -- gotta be Weber.

    The badges on cars and many other things (and yes we do need those stinkin' badges) are quite an important part of selecting, buying, financing and "enjoying the ride" [of the new 'sheen.]

    I have no idea why -- maybe I really have been brainwashed -- but I have no interest in a WRX at virtually any "real life probable" price. I'd rather have a bone stock "fill in the blank" ELLPS any day.



  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147

    Fair commentary - and I do believe its brainwashing- I love the weber analogy because I'm the same with grills. The pasta right on as well.. Years back in 03 I bought a jetta gli because it gave me more car- 6spped vr6 then the acura tsx I also considered. I get the brand clout but for bmw but this car is pretty weak when you look at the stats sheet and consider price. Maybe the 1 series (is that happening?) will fix this, and you can have a little lux for a cheap price.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,588

    I know this is a sedans discussion, but for the same money I'd take an X1 with more power & torque than a 320i.

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,147
    edited May 30

    Yeah x1 but no manual , like what you are thinking tho

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited May 30

    @qbrozen said: but a muscle cars you are talking about aren't sedans.

    Its still a really simple equation. RWD + sedan + manual. Find another new one for less. The only chance is if street prices for the ATS or G are lower at any given time.

    So basically it has to have 4 doors at the expense of every other option and criteria? I can so live with two less doors and 10K less money spent for a car that drives better. (0-60 in 5.7 seconds vs 6.7?) The base model 3 series is just such a disappointment. 60 less HP just turns it into a slug that feels like you're driving an E30 with a almost thousand pounds added. Oh, wait...

    And they make you pay for everything including color paint. The article mentioned above didn't clarify that your choices without spending $550 extra were plain black and white. Not just non-metallic paint, but spray-can basic black or white to add insult to injury.

    $10K less and two fewer doors... If you need that easier back seat entry and exit that badly, you're better off just getting a SUV or a Camry.

    Also, of note was the test of a V8 mustang vs a M3 that was done a while back. The reviewer gave the "win" to the M3, but it was 0.02 seconds around a track with everything turned off in the hands of a racing driver. And a loss of 6+ seconds(!) with the normal driving assists turned on (same driver - ouch). Given the vast price difference, it was clear that the "muscle cars" of today don't handle anything like their namesakes.

    Sporty and performance? I'd take one of those "muscle" cars, add leather and all the goodies, and live with two less doors. And still be less money than a 320i with nothing on it.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,588


    Along the same lines, for an "as built" MSRP of $41,700 (metallic paint, cold weather pkg, HK sound) I'd seriously look into an X1 35i with its super sweet turbo Inline 6 over a 328xi.

    Just to stay on topic, I've only got 4 months left with my 2011 328xi. Time flies when you are having fun!

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

  • cherri4cherri4 Posts: 7

    Altima has athletic handling and abundant power optional six-cylinder engine does not have many problems.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,328
    edited May 30

    @plekto‌ Personal criteria are just that. Can't say I agree with "might as well get a Camry," though.

    So basically it has to have 4 doors at the expense of every other option and criteria?

    No. The point is 4-doors + RWD + new. That's the equation we keep talking about.

    I agree with the comment that the X1 > 320i. But, yeah, I guess it doesn't precisely fit the sedan category.

    EDIT: I just checked on X1 pricing ... you can't get a 28i sdrive with a manual trans?? Ugh.

    And its not just a matter of living with 2 fewer doors. Even if I cut 2 more holes in my Mustang, it would not make the back seat much more inhabitable. I can live with it because my need of the back seat mostly amounts to taking my 4-yr-old 3 miles to the daycare. But I find myself driving one of my other vehicles on those 2 days a week when I pick up both kids in the evening.

    Given the vast price difference, it was clear that the "muscle cars" of today don't handle anything like their namesakes.

    I'm not following this comment. Sounds like you are saying a '60s Mustang handles better than a new one, but I'm sure that's not what you meant.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,637

    @nyccarguy said: I know this is a sedans discussion, but for the same money I'd take an X1 with more power & torque than a 320i.

    But you can't fit 4 adults in a X1. IF people are looking at a sedan just on power alone then just move up the B7 and be done with it. But we are talking Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans are we not?

    I get the fact that Sweeny like to hear himself talk and beat his chest, this is a person who wrote on this forum he would never buy a sport sedan that didn't have a manual transmission... What happened..

    The 320i is a Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans sure one could go out an buy a accord, Camry or cough Altima, that has more equipment for less money that goes for everybody on this forum, not just me, but the aren't sport sedans. We each have our likes and dislikes for cars, but what i don't get is people talking down other peoples cars, for now the 320i works for me, I'm happy with it that is all that matters.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,000

    flightnurse: Quit taking it so personally and falling into other poster's traps. They are talking about a model of car, not specifically your actual car, and certainly not your child or partner. Chill brother. You have to admit that the 320 hardly could be called a performance car when many run of the mill midsize sedans have more room, power and bells and whistles than the basic 320. A lot of naturally aspirated I4s have more HP than the 320 and when optioned out are many thousands less than a similarly equipped 320. The two things that the 320 has going for it are the luxury nameplate and experience and possibly handling. I say possibly handling because the Mazda6 handles pretty darn well and has more HP than the 320.

    So, really, one can say the 320 is an entry level luxury sedan but is lacking on the performance side. Heck, people on here used to complain that the TSX with a measly NA I4 with 200hp and shouldn't be included because it wasn't performance enough.

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