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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    edited October 2011
    A better question would be why do you have such a vendetta against it? Acura, as a brand, may have gone astray of some their sportier past models but that doesn't change the TSX that much at least any more than other brands have grown and gotten heavier. Acura is a luxury or a near luxury brand. TSX is it's entry level offering and it's a sedan. The only questionable operative word in the title of this thread then would be performance which is somewhat subjective. So for you to set the bar is quite assuming it seems.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    edited October 2011
    is this ever going to end?

    People who own or have driven the 1st gen TSX seem very pleased with it. One or two people who haven't seem to have a near-psychotic problem with it.

    It's just a car. These days anything with a manual transmission is 80% of the way to being a sports sedan. There aren't many anymore.

    The last time I remember things getting this weird was when there was a board on here called "BMW 5-series or Pontiac Grand Prix GTP," where people who were totally invested their personal opinions went on for years (well, maybe it was months, but it seemed like years). There was a GM fanboi who just kept on and kept on and kept on.

    Oh well. . .
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,108
    edited October 2011
    well the board is to talk about Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans which I feel and have shown by reviews and sales figures that it does not belong here in its current state. Others have given personal thoughts but nothing concrete on why it belongs here- i like facts over subjective comments to prove a point.

    and i'm spent.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    ok but again where is the proof that this car should be here...

    Trying to prove a subjective judgement is silly. And citing car magazines (which are also subjective judgments) isn't much better. The fact that we aren't sure means it should probably be IN the discussion.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,108
    ok then why when comparisons are done by the major car mags and even edmunds is the TSX grouped in with lesser cars? your right that is silly
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    edited October 2011
    ok then why when comparisons are done by the major car mags and even edmunds is the TSX grouped in with lesser cars? your right that is silly

    Well post 12200 said that facts are better than subjectivity. And all of this is subjective. Wouldn't the sensible way to approach it be to INCLUDE a vehicle if a high fraction of posters (subjectively) think it should be included? There aren't any "facts" that clearly put this vehicle OUT of the discussion, and for any "facts" one might cite, others could cite similar "facts" about different vehicles that would exclude those, too. :surprise:

    What is silly is that this forum is for just discussions. It's not like anybody has to love any car or buy any particular car. :blush:

    And by the way, I also feel the TSX is bloated and soft - not all that sport or luxury. But I don't see why it can't be discussed.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    There really is no subcategories of this class, such as premium, performance, etc. This category is made up of all the entry-level luxury offerings of the luxury manufacturers which are the vehicles edmunds has listed here, they just titled the thread wrong. It should be just entry-level luxury sedans, which the TSX falls into.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    I can agree to that change.

    The problem is that the sport sedan has really been replaced with the "Hot Hatch" segment in Europe and almost none of it has been offered in the U.S.

    Small, nimble, fast, and luxurious. Tons of choices in Europe in the hatchback and B class segment. Almost none over here. We get big and heavy luxury vehicles instead.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    ok but again where is the proof that this car should be here

    It's right up underneath the title, where we put it...

    This discussion is about those listed cars... not whether someone thinks they belong there...

    So...lets get back to it...


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,412
    A large percentage of any of these cars are leased. You can't go by the manual transmission take rate to decide whether or not any particular car belongs in this category. The take rate for manual transmissions in the USA in general is probably less than 10%.

    People lease for 4 reasons:

    Business reasons where they can take some sort of tax deduction.

    They can afford to & like to be in a new car every 2-3 years.

    Leasing is used as an alternative method of financing that works quite well if you can live within mileage limitations.

    People lease to get a more expensive car at a cheaper payment. Many of these people do not understand leasing and shouldn't be doing it.

    There are tons of leased TSXs, TLs, 328s, 335s, A4s, IS 250s... among others in my area. I WAS nyccarguy a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I fled the city back in '04 for Westchester County & moved to Stamford, CT last year. Not Long

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

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,496
    edited October 2011
    Some details:

    Day 1 – Friday 16 Sept. – delivery & drive to Krimml, Austria:

    We cleared customs and collected our checked bags without incident. Service on the flight was excellent, and the food [ 2 meals ! ] was quite good. [Lufthansa A340-600.]

    We met Rolf [ retired BMW employee ] at the designated spot and he drove us [ in his BMW Diesel Wagon ] first to the local BMW dealer in Munich and across the street to acquire several excellent local maps and the toll vignettes [ stickers ] required in Austria and in Switzerland, then delivered us to the Welt. Just in time to watch the 11AM ‘motorcycle on the stairs’ show. Interesting. Rolf charges a very reasonable fee, and it was great to just try to sit back and relax [ after a 6.5 hour flight from Boston ] while he drove and talked.

    We filled out the required paperwork and the customer service rep. recited a list of potentially useful information – most of which I had seen before on various forums. He was quite efficient and cordial – and answered a few of our questions. The reminder about ‘no right turn on red’ was quite handy – as this was something I had to keep reminding myself about all trip long. And I was cautioned again that Switzerland traffic police allowed no violation of their speed limits – period. Noted.

    We had about 45 minutes until our scheduled orientation and background presentation, so we sampled various goodies in the “Premier Lounge”. Very nicely done & convenient – high above & overlooking the vehicle delivery area.

    We had our presentation [ fine, nothing spectacular – for me ] and went to see the car. The customer service rep. pointed out various features [ this is my first BMW ] and set various preferences [ KM vs. Miles for the trip, etc. ] and we were on our way. [ pictures ]

    Actually just had them park it for another half hour or so, allowing us to peruse their gift shop briefly and pick up a few food & drink items at their café, for the afternoon drive.

    They certainly treat you well and the process is well thought out - and we enjoyed the experience. We could have also done a factory tour and \ or the BMW museum, but I had decided not to do those this time, based on our priorities & our schedule.

    I had rented a GPS \ Navigation system with appropriate maps, and the first use was to help me drive out of Munich and onto the A8 heading south and east. Worked well here – and several other times, as well. Here it was quite helpful in showing what lane[s] to be in before approaching turns, etc. once on the Autobahn, I was quite well behaved, speed-wise - even on the few unlimited stretches of this highway – breaking in the new motor & all.

    My daughter was quite tired and dozed off as we left the A8 and headed straight south on A12 \ E45 \ E60 toward the Austrian border.

    The navigation system routed us differently than I had expected, and I did not realize it immediately. It also re-routed us a few times around what it saw as traffic congestion [ there was none ] so we were a couple of hours later than expected arriving at the B&B in Krimml. A lovely B&B within sight of the Falls. Had a very good dinner in their restaurant – beer brewed on-site, met my daughter’s approval - and we went to bed.

    = = =

    Day 2 – Saturday 17 Sept. – Krimml to Verona, Italy

    There had been rain overnight – and there were wispy clouds around the area – with thick overcast. [ pictures ] We had breakfast at about 9 and headed toward the Falls. We actually drove past the Falls and up to a couple of overlooks [ start of the Gerlos Pass \ Alpine Road – pictures ] and then drove back down to park and hike in. The sun came out brilliantly as we started the trek.

    The hike up to various views of the Falls was fairly steep, but the scenery was quite spectacular. [ pictures ]

    After we finished the hike, we stopped at their café for coffee and an apple strudel. Excellent! We stopped back in the village to just stroll around for a while, just enjoying the ambiance.

    Then we were off – heading up to the Gerlos Pass. The sun was out and we stopped several times to just enjoy the views. Just after passing the summit [ and paying the toll ] we pulled off at a tiny [ closed ] ‘kiosk’ and scenic vista – lovely lake and glaciers above. [ pictures ]

    Descending, there was just no where that I could pull over \ off the road to safely stop. And the road demanded attention. The views were often stunning – and the road was in excellent shape [ as were most roads we encountered in Austria ] and I just needed to pay attention. My daughter really enjoyed the views!

    Heading back north toward the A12 \ E60 we encountered some sort of festival [ in Stumm or Fugen? ] that involved cows with elaborate ‘headdresses’. Unique in my experience.

    And we stopped at a McDonalds for a quick bite of lunch. Odd to see their take on menu, etc. And my daughter bought something [ delicious ] from a trailer parked in the lot next door.

    We hit the highway, toward Innsbruck, turned south and crossed into Italy. This is where we encountered the first real issue of the trip. I had not done sufficient research to realize that the area from before Trento to Verona was as industrialized as it was. My bad. I had expected to be able to simply [ ? ] pick an exit off the highway and find a hotel or B&B to stay for the night. This turned out to be a very bad idea. Long [ and winding = narrow switchbacks, in the dark ] story short: We finally asked a toll-taker at an exit in Verona for a recommendation at about 9PM, and stayed at a hotel just off the highway. Very basic, small rooms, but adequate & inexpensive.

    = = =

    Day 3 – Sunday 18 Sept. – Verona to La Spezia

    We had a surprisingly good breakfast at the hotel and then headed south, toward La Spezia. This drive was relatively uneventful, until it started to rain. The highway was well worn [ tire ruts ] in spots and even with brand new Michelins, there were times when I felt it prudent to slow somewhat. And the GPS \ nav again became confused – taking us on a more circuitous route [ even narrower and more winding ] than necessary from La Spezia to Pitelli. Really, really narrow streets. Cars parked on either side. Raining. Not confident of the Nav system’s routing – somewhat stressful. But we did arrive – and not too late = 4:30 or so in the afternoon.

    After settling in, we asked about a place to have dinner. A few mis-communications and assumptions and much walking later [ and rather wet ] we managed to have pizza at the only place in the village that was actually open at about 6 or 7 on a Sunday evening.

    It rained, often quite hard, and was quite windy until 3 or 4 AM. Then cleared and calmed.

    = = =

    Day 4 & 5 – Monday & Tuesday 19, 20 Sept. – Cinque Terre

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,496
    edited October 2011
    Day 4 & 5 – Monday & Tuesday 19, 20 Sept. – Cinque Terre

    I had decided early on [ for several reasons ] that we would park the car at the B&B and leave it there until we left on Thursday. We took a bus to La Spezia and then the train to each of the villages – bus stop right across from the B&B.

    I will not detail everything here. Suffice to say that the scenery and the town buildings are everything we expected, and even more! The color of the water was striking – and the surf generated by the overnight storm added interest and texture. Beautiful. [ pictures ] The high temperatures were a bit warmer than is typical for this time of year all 3 days – but cool each morning, for breakfast outside on the deck.

    We had gelato each day we stayed here. In fact twice one day - outstanding!! The lunch each day in the different villages was quite good. And the sight-seeing was just amazing.

    = = =

    Day 6 – Wednesday 21 Sept. - S. Terenzo and Lerici.

    The woman who runs the B&B where we were staying suggested that we would enjoy spending some time walking through these two local villages. We did. Interesting architecture. Beautiful old church – castles – lovely. And we had a very good lunch right at the harbor. I’m guessing we walked over 4 miles this day – much of it up and down the hills. But worth every step.

    Day 7 – Thursday 22 Sept. – La Spezia to S. Bernadino, Switzerland

    Despite our prior experience, we decided to try the same strategy that had blown up in our faces before – meaning: look for a place to stay for the night, off the highway, once well into Switzerland.

    Circling around Milan to the southeast, we headed toward Como. Again, the vistas were lovely, but safely pulling off the road to stop and really enjoy them was problematic.
    [ pictures ]

    At one point [ perhaps near Chiavenna? ] my daughter noted that one of several waterfalls [ dropping hundreds of feet from the peaks on either side of he road that wound up the valley floor ] looked like we might be able to exit and drive back to see it somewhat closer. She was correct [ that happened a lot ] and it was well worth the slight ‘detour’. [ pictures ]

    We ended up staying at an exquisite little hotel in San Bernardino. Just before the entrance to the San Bernardino tunnel, this a tiny old village – primarily geared to skiing. We were ‘off-season’ and the town was very quiet. The water in the creek running through town was clear. The air was crisp, cool and clear. Just lovely. We had excellent fondue for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant and slept well – enjoying the fresh mountain air – at over 5,000 feet elevation.

    Day 8 – Friday 23 Sept. S. Bernardino to Memmingen, Germany

    We had another excellent breakfast [ more wonderful bread ] at the hotel and headed north. On the Autobahn [ 96 \ E54 \ E43 ] approaching Memmingen, I had my one opportunity to briefly explore the outer limits of [ my experience in ] LEGAL, very high speed driving. A break in traffic [ Friday PM ] allowed a quick blast to 135+ MPH. Exhilarating. But traffic again intervened and I was back to 100 – 115, or so on most of the unlimited sections. This was also the case the next day, Saturday, going to the Munich airport – generally able to hold a steady 100, with a few blasts to 115 or so – then back to 100. Holding 115 MPH for a few minutes at one point was quite satisfying. Being passed while doing 100 MPH by Porsches [ and others, but most often Porsches ] clearly doing 140, 150 MPH or more was quite an experience as well!

    We arrived in Memmingen in time to spend a few hours exploring the old city area, town square, churches, etc. We ate dinner at the hotel - very good.

    Day 9 = final day – Saturday 24 Sept. – Memmingen to Munich Airport and fly back to Boston

    We slept well, until a local, nearby church rang the “100 o’clock” bells. The ringing just kept on and on – at 7AM. Oh, well – time to rise and shine. Another very traditional breakfast at the hotel, an hour or so at the farmers’ market in the town square [ best looking produce and fruit I have ever seen ! ] and we packed up for the last leg of our journey. We drove to a car wash, then to a final fuel stop [ ended with exactly the quarter tank the shipper recommends ] and drove to the airport to drop the car off, and [ after waiting in several lines, including 2 security checkpoints, since we were flying to the US ] we flew home without incident.

    A few overall impressions:

    This was a wonderful trip. It is hard to describe the feeling of driving for miles through what looks like the biggest postcard in the world. Large areas of both Switzerland and Austria were absolutely magnificent and spectacular.

    Cinque Terre was all we had hoped. We spent 2 full days exploring and enjoying all 5 towns and it was amazing. The other 2 small villages we visited near the B&B on our third day there were a charming surprise as well.

    The times I was stressed were mostly a result of no experience driving anywhere in Europe and knowing very little German or Italian. [ Meaning, mostly my fault. ] I do not expect to return to Europe anytime in the next few years [ if ever ] and my daughter had downloaded a translation app. For both Italian and German - so did not expend a lot of time or effort trying to learn the languages. Some of the country and village roads in Italy were scary narrow. And I wish they had the option to just buy a sticker for use of their toll roads. My one ‘incident’ [ scraped the left front rim ] was while struggling to deal with an un-attended toll booth at an exit somewhere south of Trento after dark. I drove too close to the curb, trying to understand and deal with the instructions and reach the ticket \ credit card slots, etc. [ sigh ] Oh, well.

    Why not Rome or Florence or Milan or Venice, one might ask? My daughter spent over a week in Italy a couple of years ago, and had an opportunity to visit each of those places. And I was just personally much more interested in the Austrian and Swiss Alps and the Italian Mediterranean coast than the cities. We were both quite happy with our choices!

    The car – 2011 335iS Coupe, Le Mans Blue, Gray Leather, DCT, Premium Package, Comfort Access, Heated Front Seats, Satellite Radio. -

    I test drove 2 cars equipped essentially identical to what I bought, except they both had the optional 19” wheels & tires. For me & for my typical driving, I decided that the 18s would be fine – and offer a somewhat better ride. The car was delivered with Michelin Pilots – excellent tires.

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,496
    Given that every time I drove ‘my’ new car, it had my daughter in the co-pilot’s seat and a trunk full of our luggage, I was very impressed with the acceleration and response at every speed and under every condition. [ I am really looking forward to driving it with only me in the car ! ]

    The performance exhaust system is perfect, for me. The DCT is a jewel, manually or automatically upshifting very, very quickly & with precision, and no perceptible interruption in the flow of TQ application. Very smooth – and fun! And downshifting manually with perfect rev-match every time. Very impressive.

    I found the ride [ even with fairly low profile RFTs ] to be absolutely perfect – at any speed and on every surface we encountered.

    I certainly did not stress the car, handling-wise, with my daughter along and driving unfamiliar roads – but under all conditions the steering feel, response and the balance were confidence-inspiring.

    Dynamically, I find this BMW a near perfect blend of practicality and performance. I enjoyed almost the entire driving experience [ exceptions noted above ] and I am really looking forward to re-delivery here in [ says BMW ] 6 to 8 weeks.

    Why the 335iS? Having driven more than one 335i with Steptronic previously, I was most interested in the additional HP, and [ particularly ] the additional TQ and the 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission of the ‘iS’. The handling poise of the 335 with a significant bump in acceleration and better gear shifting was enough to draw me in to test one. FWIW: I am quite satisfied with the ‘iS’ – and [ for acceleration and handling context ] my previous car was a Corvette.

    set full screen mode [ option bottom right – and \ or F11 on firefox ] end enjoy ideshow
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    edited October 2011
    that was great. I've been to Europe several times and was able to absorb how things work at company expense during my first 3-4 visits; I can appreciate how hard it would have been to have taken such an ambitious journey as a maiden voyage. By the time I took my wife over I had a much better grip on things, one of which was when to ignore the GPS.

    I also enjoy the Swiss & Austrian Alps -- thanks for the descriptions & photos. I arrived last year too late to use some of the prettier passes, but there's always next time. Northern Italy may be on the agenda as well, given your great intro.

    Parking and using shanks mare & public transit has a lot to recommend it, though I find it hard to do with a rental that's costing a pretty penny each day it sits -- you didn't have that issue.

    Wow, just over a week ago. You'll have those memories forever. Thanks again for taking the time to share your trip in such detail.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Yes, thank you.

    I've never been to Europe but I've always wanted to go. I really enjoyed reading about your trip and looking at your pictures.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,100
    Yes....Thanks, Ray! What a great report. Maybe NYC can give us a report on driving his TSX around NY. :P

    Actually, I think the TSX is a sports sedan that appeals to a different demographic than some would think. I know my son's friends (all early 20s) love the TSX. Seems as if that feeling switches once that 30+ year old threshold has been passed.

    I've had a TSX loaner when I still had my TL in for service. They're really nice cars. Decent power....handle well.....relatively comfy.....lots of options as standard.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Very nice, I did the Euro Delivery of my 2005 330i Sedan with the ZHP package. Had a blast driving around Europe, my car has the nav system, I was able to get a copy of European DVD for the Nav system which made it very nice. I just bought a 2011 328i sedan with the M3 package and 6spd Manuel from a dealer. But we are going to get a 535i next spring and will do the Euro delivery on that car. Its going to be a nice trip..
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,412
    Took the TSX "out to the ball game" on Friday night, watched 1.5 innings of baseball, then sat through an hour & a half rain delay until the game was postponed until Saturday night. The TSX's backup camera made street parking a snap. Took the TSX back to the game on Saturday night & saw one of the most amazing baseball games ever.

    I appreciate your candid thoughts on the TSX & tremendously respect your opinion. I'm sure your TL SH AWD would run rings around it. At the price point, it's not bad though.

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

  • Ray, I have been looking forward to your write up. You did not let us down. I wonder why you stated you will probably never return?

    My wife and I have been to Germany about 25 times -- and we have taken the train from Munich to Venice (which goes through Verona) so many times we cannot remember, but each trip has always been better than the one before it. Breathtaking scenery, excellent sometimes food-gasmic meals (especially in Italy) -- the 5 course meals on the train trip to Venice are all Italian and all very nice, considering the food is on a train.

    We've stayed in Verona many times and we are fortunate enough to have access to a relatives apartment in Venice -- although we have stayed in many hotels in Venice, including the Danieli (worth saving up for.) We find virtually every part of Europe worth a return visit is the point. Why will you not be returning, pray tell?

    Loved the running commentary about the car, its transmission, tires, etc and even your reason for choosing it over others.

    Nice job!

    And, thanks! ;)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    edited October 2011
    I have been reading the endless running commentary apparently about the inclusion of the TSX in this discussion forum.

    I tend to agree the TSX doesn't fit in with the other cars -- I am on day three of having a loaner TSX while my TL gets backup sensors installed (I live in Cincinnati and the dealer is in Columbus, and I travel to Columbus every Saturday, so here I sit with a TSX and an '09 Audi A4 Prestige/Sport (tiptronic) at my disposal.)

    Over the weekend I drove both cars extensively -- I prefer the Audi, DUH! But the TSX was "a very nice little car." It seems outclassed by the other cars in this forum, but, I say let it stay here and let's not bash it. It seems the TSX is a fine machine, but is somewhat lacking in both lux and performance characteristics -- for MY taste.

    Let's move on, let's accept the fact that ALL of these cars are fine machines in their own right. They can't all be BMW's or Audi's or whatever your ideal is of an ELLPS. I think I have driven virtually all of the cars listed at the top of the page -- I like some better than others, but, overall I think they are ALL mighty fine.

    Since I just leased a new TL, I would assume you might think I am going to tell you how great the TL is and how it could kick your fill-in-the-blank car's butt. Maybe it could, maybe it couldn't. I didn't get it for that reason -- I got it because of its value. I may live to regret buying on that criteria -- I'll let you know.

    I will be turning in my Audi this week -- I will miss it. At 53,000 miles it feels like it is about a 20,000 mile old car -- and since the tires have plenty of tread, it still performs better than most cars on the highway. But, so does the TL SH-AWD Advance. While the Audi is "better" (as far as I am concerned) I just don't see that the price premium the Audi commands is justified. That is just me, perhaps -- I know that (finally) Audis are once again selling well, most reliability issues are behind it (I can testify, however, that I NEVER had reliability issues with 28 of my 29 Audis), its style always turns head and the driving experience is only rivaled by Infiniti and Acura -- and BMW, of course.

    Yet, you know, the S60 is the car I would have most liked to have leased for 36 months if there would have been ANY wiggle room in the S60 cap cost (which there was ZERO). If you have driven an S60 T6, you know what I am talking about -- it seems like a hell of a lot of fun. Truth be told, I thought the S60 T6 was more fun than a new 3 series X-drive flavor.

    The CTS too, had its merits, but one deal breaker -- no OMG handles for the driver or front-seat passenger (whose dumb idea was THAT?!?) I wouldn't take the CTS seriously for that one omission -- and for love nor money, you couldn't get blind spot warning on a CTS 4-door sedan (again, at this price point, in this class, a serious omission, specially when you can get a Taurus with it for pity's sake.)

    Anyway, I pretty much like or love most of the cars in this class -- they are the right size, the right power (usually) and make an old fart like me feel like I am driving something that can outperform virtually anything else on I-71 and I-75 here in the Big Town of Cincinnapolis.

    Drive it like you live.

    I'll sign off now, knowing I am often wrong, but NEVER uncertain.


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