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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,305
    Back in 1984 I was driving my 1973 Bavaria through PA on our way home from our first BMW CCA Oktoberfest. It was a drizzly Sunday morning and my wife was reading a mystery novel. My CB and first generation Escort indicated a threat-free environment so I slowly eased the old sled up to a 100 mph cruise, which I maintained for almost two hours. My wife's only comment was "Wow, it took us almost no time to cross Pennsylvania."
    Four years later I was evaluating an early E32 750i outside Rochester New York. I took it up to 125 mph and asked my wife how fast she thought we were going. She guessed 80 mph...

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

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,708
    ... I have boring stories about my indoctrination into BMWs, as well, but I'll save those for another time...

    The speed thing, though... (warning, this story is boring, also).. Four of us were driving up the road about an hour to eat dinner, one evening... In my '84 911.... (hey, I'm not sitting in the back, what do I care?).. The other guy is sitting upfront with me, we have a conversation going, and the women are in the back with their own conversation.. From the back, I hear... "Geez... let's open this thing up and see what it will do" (not my wife, obviously)..

    "Well... uh.. we are already doing 105... how fast do you want to go?" :)

    It's amazing how smooth and controlled German cars can be at speed... she had no idea we weren't going 55 mph.

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,423
    I had to really watch myself. Looked down a few times and was going over 90 & Mom's 328xi felt completely planted & stable.

    Having the 300/300 N55 motor would be complete overkill for me.

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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Not boring at all...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,423
    Any story involving a 911 is NOT boring

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,108
    pretty quiet overall, not many people and to be honest no real draws

    bmw- a no show
    ford- showcasing its new focus and explorer
    Chevy- 4-5 Camaros, volt but could not sit or touch it--same with nissan leaf
    acura- showcasing the new Tsx wagon, did notice a bunch of people looking/sitting in the Tl
    Caddy- CTS-V wagon maybe the meanest car on the market
    Dodge- people around the challengers, nothing else.. Jeep draw was the Wrangler
    Audi- A4/S4 big crowd--
    Infiniti- really quiet, couple of people looking at the monster suv
    Volvo- S60 big draw, i sat in it was not impressed by the dash, lots of open space
    LExus- IS350 awd was highlighted - 46k
    Buick- 10 old people looking at the fleet-- kind of funny actually- but they did highlight the new Regal GS-- good looking car-- also LaCrosse eAssist that gets 37mpg on the highway

    I've been to nyc auto show - not the same in boston
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,591
    I, too, went to the Boston show. I do miss the NY show (been going since it was at the Coluseum!), how about the other "models?"

    Hello, Andrea from Lexus (formerly Infiniti)...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663
    Today in the parking lot at work I noticed a beautiful black 2011 Volvo S60. Never driven one so their dynamics could be trash...but it sure was nice looking; it definitely looked more modern than my ol' IS350.

    Then at lunch I saw a beautiful black Lincoln MKS. I'm not certain what trim level they have but it was really gorgeous.

    Maybe it was because they were freshly polished black cars...or maybe a shift in the industry.

    I recently read the review of the Kia Optima and thought "what a compelling car", "I could commute in that", even though intellectually my synapses are still firing "yuk" when I think of Kia.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    Actually Volvo S60s, especially if they have a manual transmission, are wonderful vehicles.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,108
    Don't think the new ones offer manuals with the new ones yet. Car very good looking on the outside but the inside of the one I sat in was pretty boring. On the above post on the Kia I also think they are pretty good looking cars - with the turbo 4 and loaded they are as competitive as the tsx, base tl, and other front wheel 4's in this group-
  • group,
    just wondering if anyone out there has looked at the Nissan Maxima? I have expanded my serach from Lexus and Infiniti and would appreciate any comments.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    It's a fine car, though to me it seems a bit "last generation". IMO, there's zero reason to buy it instead of the G37. IMO, it's a bit like the Buick Lucerne or Grand Marquis in that it's a vehicle that's left over/still being produced and stuck in an odd place, because it's not really filling any specific role/market segment at this point. They've always made the Maxima and probably always will. For me, though, the CVT in the Maxima just kills it completely. And it's needlessly pricey to fix. You'd think less parts would equate to a cheap fix.

    But I do understand your wanting to look at other options. Lexus seemed overpriced and stodgy to me - and everyone has one, it seems. BMW makes a nice car, as does Mercedes, but cost to own is high(love the new E class, though.. wish I could afford to own one). Audi's larger vehicles are gorgeous inside but also suffer from maintainance woes. The list quickly dwindles.

    I'd look at the Acura TL or possibly the CTS (you didn't specify sporty or luxury preference) Both can be had for about 32K through various sites like Truecar. It turns out they all are using the same back end call centers - I got a quote from Truecar and a couple of other sites recently and got the same receptionist on the phone (though different agents). So it works well enough to get an idea at least of the price locally.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Unlike pleko, I can give a better balanced impression on the Maxima since I have the new one and considered it heavily against the G37. There is plenty of reason to buy a Maxima and sales of the current gen prove that, but it depends on what your looking for specifically.

    If you don't have a family or a big family and want something with a luxury bad, better materials, and a sport firm ride/handling then the G37 is the one that makes the most sense.

    If your like me and want something that is more a roomier family sedan but with a sport look/flair to it then the Maxima fits the bill better. The maxima is much more comfortable inside and if you get the premium package you get the heated steering wheel, power rear sunshade, dual moonroof, cooled front seats, auto dimming side mirrors, sport bucket seats, and a couple of other goodies that you can even get on the G37.

    To me, the Maxima is the best handling FWD sedan I have ever driven to date. Its got a great turning circle for its size, just the right ride quality balance, and if driven properly, yields decent mpg with the CVT. Only thing is, if you've never had a CVT before, it's going to take you about 2-3 months to get used to it. It was odd at first, but after 1.5 years, it seems like normal to me and I have had zero problems with it in almost 17 miles.

    This gen max is a world's different from the last one and to me has a much more stand out body style then the G37 does but that vehicle itself is due for a redesign in 2012. I suggest you test drive both vehicles, like I did, and see which one suits your needs better. They are two different vehicles, despite what anyone else on here leads you to believe.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The single largest "fail" vis-à-vis the Maxima is that it is no longer available with a stick; the G37 can still be had with three pedals under the dash.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    What got me was that the Maxima is only 3 inches longer than the G37 size-wise. It's mostly sheet metal. FWD and CVT makes it frankly into an Avalon or Lucerne clone - it's nice and spacious, but it has a serious problem competing with the big RWD luxury cars.
  • thanks for the replies, I drove the G but not the Max yet. I like a car with some room and the G was a little cramped. I did own a 01 Max that I loved, but the new ones are totally different.Also, have some concerns on gas mileage with the G but you give that up for performance.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Have you driven the Hyundai Genesis? You really should.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Sorry smarty, but if you cannot give a "better balanced" impression of something you paid $$$$ for, compared to a casual observer that hasn't spent any of their own $$$$ on a product.

    Having said that, I agree with pletko on a lot of points. The current-gen Maxima is a shell of a car that it used to be. The "four-door Sports Car" moniker than Nissan used for it is long since gone, and it's been replaced by a sedan that doesn't fit into any distinct category anymore. It's essentially NOT an entry-level lux sedan (as much as Nissan would like it to be) because the materials and fit-and-finish pales in comparison to G (which is essentially the same price). It's too expensive to be a viable midsize sedan, and why spend a few grand more for a nameplate when the Altima can be optioned similarly for a lower price?

    If you're looking for some room, the Caddy CTS is a good alternative, as well as the aforementioned Genesis. Also check out the Acura TL.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Nissan got rid of the stick b/c when they offered is NO one was buying it and it got the point that they were losing money on the ones they were spending the time making a stick available on. So you know what, we only have ourselves to blame for that one. Now that Nissan no longer has it everyone whines about it but no one was buying it when it was here.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I don't think its suppose to be a big RWD luxury competitor b/c if it was then there would be practically zero difference between it and a G37. Yeah, the Max is only 3 inches longer but its almost 4 inches wider which is what makes the difference and gives it so much more room. The G37 is designed to be a cramped sports sedan like a 3 Series.

    If you think the FWD and CVT has turned it into a Avalon and Lucerne clone then you really know nothing about the car. The Maxima rides and handles 10x better than both those vehicles and isn't even close in any driving dynamics. Plus, despite having the CVT, I've been able to keep up with plenty of regular automatics and manuals with the car so its performance capabilities aren't void or completely handicapped b/c of it. That is just an excuse people use to not get the car.
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