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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • That's exactly the issue - limited space. I believe at the time, models were chosen based on the higher-volume sellers or those for which we see the most consumer traffic/interest in the forums. The list isn't meant to be all-inclusive or limiting regarding what vehicles you can discuss - as long as the vehicle reasonably fits into the ELLPS class, it's fine to talk about.

    Looking at the list, it seems we could replace the Mercedes C-Class with the Volvo S60. It *has* been updated - I remember taking out the G35 and replacing it with the G37.

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,892
    True or they could even replace the TSX as they already have the TL listed from Acura. That would satisfy all the people that seem to have a hang up with the TSX(they wouldn't see it displayed) but we can still discuss as a viable alternative. All these cars don't have to perform exactly alike or be priced the same to be in the same class. There always has to be a starting point in any category and I would suggest the TSX is that starting point. Is it as fast, handle as well, etc etc as many of the others? No, but it still belongs in the mix.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I would rather see the S60 take the place of one of the Lexus sedans. They are much more redundant than the TSX and TL.
  • I agree - no sense in listing two very similar models. Most of our discussions across the forums about the IS250/IS350 are combined anyway, and it's not that much of a high-traffic model.

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,892
    edited October 2011
    I have no vested interest so I don't care much which cars are mentioned in the heading. I fail to see the big deal in all of this. All ELLPS are welcome for discussion as the host stated....whether they are listed or not. But listing a car that doesn't get much attention may be good thing as it would generate some discussion about it.
  • After driving my 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD with Advance package and automatic transmission for 8,000 miles, I can make a few observations. The car has been reliable, though lately it rattles, perhaps from the sunroof. The seats are comfortable. The HVAC and in-car electronics are excellent. On the highway it gets about 27 miles a gallon; in town, about 17 miles a gallon. The engine and transmission are both quiet and smooth.

    Within 250 miles of my getting the TL at the end of April 2011, I bought a set of four Continental ContiExtreme DW summer tires, which are so much better than the OEM Goodyear tires. The TL on the Conti tires is fun to drive! The Contis stick like glue, are quieter, and smoother riding. Today in anticipation of winter, the Goodyears were installed on the TL; the Contis will be stored until next April. I will miss the Contis. I recall that the Goodyear tires were noisy, rough riding, and had low limits of adhesion. I hope that they'll perform well in shallow snow.

    I've owned several high-performance all-wheel-drive sedans including a 2001 Audi A6 4.2 sport, a Subaru SVX, which is my all-time favorite, and two Subaru Legacy spec.B sedans. I was inclined to get a new Audi S4, but chose the TL after driving a BMW 535ix, Volvo S60 T6, and Infiniti M37x. The TL seemed to be the best all-around vehicle. The TL was appreciably less costly to lease than the other cars.

    The TL delights in many ways, but disappoints in some ways. The forward visibility is atrocious. Thick, raked A-pillars create huge blind spots; turning left or right always seems risky. Rear visibility is severely limited. The back up camera has primitive software and furthermore rain on the camera's lens reduces its utility. The trunk is oddly shaped and small for a 194-inch long car; if you don't lift the trunk deck as high as it will go, its pointed bottom lip will stab you. The only clock is an inch-long digital display buried in a panel near the radio buttons. The navigation system's system has irritating quirks that should have debugged long ago. The car would benefit from a reduction in window and road noise.

    The TL is so close to being a fine car, but I wouldn't buy it or any car ever again with small windows, high belt line, and atrocious visibility.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 323
    edited October 2011
    I would think that in the real world few people actaully want a "performance car". Most people want a slush box and not a stick. Furthermore, at least in my next of the woods, people don't want a RWD BMW or Mercedes. They want AWD so it goes in the snow. In short, performance isn't that big of a deal.

    The TSX is every bit as sporty as a CTS or the S60 if not more so. It seems people in this forum, which I have read on and off for years, care about a manual transmission and rear wheel drive. Well, few if any of those cars are sold in my area. Most BMWs are x-drive and with only a few manuals are actually sold.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    I'll agree the TSX belongs. If only for it's quality interior appointments and exacting assembly from Japanese artisans. I found it to be "tighter" than the USA built TL a few years back (previous generation models).

    I had a 2003 Accord V6 and it's interior was best in class in my opinion, but the TSX clearly goes beyond anything Honda has or had in luxuriousness of the interior. I haven't driven a TSX so I can't speak on that, but I'm very familiar with the way Honda's drive, and would say that Honda/Acura have mastered the art of sporty FWD cars. FWD can be great when engineered correctly for sport and performance.

    I currently drive a FWD Audi A3, and can say that Honda/Acura/Audi/VW are in their own league when it comes to sporty FWD performance.

    I don't think anyone can touch them on Front Trak/FWD.

    If your goal is to be fast, FWD can work. If your goal is to do powerslides and drift, FWD is a problem.

    I think in the future I will prefer AWD. Absent the weight penalty, AWD rocks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited October 2011
    "Today in anticipation of winter, the Goodyears were installed on the TL; the Contis will be stored until next April. I will miss the Contis. I recall that the Goodyear tires were noisy, rough riding, and had low limits of adhesion. I hope that they'll perform well in shallow snow."

    Assuming your car came with the same Goodyear Eagle RS-As that mine came with, I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. I bought my car in November of 2008, two days before a light dusting of snow, and the RS-As proved to be as bad in the snow as the Michelin Pilot Primacys which came on my last BMW (with the Sport Package which features summer tires).

    Fortunately I'd been forewarned about the RS-As and already had a set of Pilot Sport A/Ss on order, and once they were installed after 714 miles, I sold the (virtually new) Goodyears for something like thirty cents on the dollar (and was happy to get that much for them).
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited October 2011
    "I fail to see the big deal in all of this. All ELLPS are welcome for discussion as the host stated....whether they are listed or not."

    I agree, but I think that for internet search purposes it might make a difference. I'm not a web master - just an anal retentive car enthusiast, so what do I know? :P
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    edited October 2011
    . . .but I posted it over on the 2012 Acura TL (only) board, which doesn't have as much gravitas, based on the number of posts, as this board. So, if you get a moment and care to discuss my premise that Acura needs to get its Premium Class (or ELLPS, if you will) game face on, or else, please take a look-see at my thesis and hit me with your best shot.

    You can read the, er, offending post (#42) here, if you like:

    markcincinnati, "2012 Acura TL" #42, 24 Oct 2011 2:57 pm
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,050
    mark - good post-- something ive been saying for years- the acura line as we know it has not life and needs to be revived. Its been past by both lexus (luxury) and infiniti (sport) and no where near the germans. Where is the NSX, the integra, or the legend.. Cars are recycled from the parent acura line, like oldsmobile used to do with chevy cars.. olds no longer exists -for good reason. Acura needs to get the game back on, i agree, where is the passion for driving.sure they build a nice sedan that will last 10 years but.. sorry boys with the TSX and the TL's-- your cars are fine autos but not sports sedans.. (HOSTS its time for a change to this category, i mean its been 10 years, get rid of the TSX, keep the boring TL and add a Volvo, i mean do the math ELLPS its in the price range, produces more power, has awd and has been talked about for months-its 2012 not 2002)
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,050
    edited October 2011
    why not say this a year ago when it was first mentioned ? I mean its been pretty well know by all the TSX should be moved lower in the class due to the fact that it has less power, is fwd, and has never been mentioned by magazines that we all read as being a player in the group?- the posters of the blog should be heard..
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,695
    ... the posters of the blog should be heard.

    Personally, I've seen it repeated many times that the TSX belongs in this discussion, yet SOME poster just can't let that lie.....I wonder why? Nobody is forcing anybody to buy the car. :surprise:
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,892
    One word about this constant TSX rant.......boring.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    edited October 2011
    I will say that there was an Integra at the track, and it kept up with me in my A3 (with some mods too) and I'm a pretty fast student driver.

    Of course, I let him pass once, and then he proceeded to spin out and get about 6" deep in the dirt n' gravel on the very next turn as I stayed right behind him, but for a lap or two, he stayed with me.

    Didn't Edmund's Inside Line recently show a ten year old RSX ran circles around a 2010 Civic Si.

    Haven't seen a TL or TSX at the track yet.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,278
    test drive.

    I'm talking a serious test drive where you can really drive the car, probably to the point where most car salesman wouldn't want to go along for the ride?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    Just tell them that's what you want to do. Explain you need to take it out for probably an hour or more so you can be sure. Doubt a salesman will want to spend an hour riding along with you.

    If they do insist on going along, I go ahead and do what I would do as if they weren't there. It is their own damned fault.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    edited October 2011
    I have found that LPS and ELLPS car dealer salesreps virtually never go along for the test drive -- assuming the car you show up with at the dealership is already in the same class or that the car is at least fairly new and you don't look like something the cat dragged in.

    If you show up at the dealership with your significant other, too, I can bump that up to "the salesrep NEVER goes along for the ride." Now, one thing they do, if you are a stranger to the dealership, is photocopy your driver's license.

    On the other hand, if you go into a Ford dealership (not picking on Ford), to drive a new Taurus, they ALWAYS go on the ride with you, ditto with Honda, Mazda and VW, to name a few.

    Since it has never happened -- the salesrep ride along -- with this class of car, I usually take a long test drive (about 1 CD's worth) and then almost immediately go onto the next car I am considering and repeat the same test drive (over the same roads, route, etc.) also for about 1 CD (the same CD, natch.)

    My wife and I have a routine for testing that permits about three (maybe four) cars to be tested back to back to back (to back) in one day (Saturday or Sunday if possible.) This most recent time we used the video capture feature of an iPhone 4G and she recorded my reactions while I drove and I recorded hers, etc -- as we drove each car over the exact same route, speeds, etc, etc. Afterwards we compared our instantaneous reactions as first I drove an Audi, then a Cadillac then an Acura (ditto her.)

    Frankly, and I know many here will argue that I must have been on something, we drove an Audi S4 Premium Plus, a CTS-4 Sport Luxury (with 19" sport package) and an Acura TL SH-AWD Advance back to back to back: we found the S4 and the TL to be twin sons of different mothers they were so close in their capabilities (and the TL was the clear price winner.) The CTS4 was "very nice" but seemed to lack the weapons grade torque the other two seemed to have (and I admit the S4 had more, but the difference was not worth the extra premium price, especially considering the fact that the S4 didn't even have nav.)

    Our test drives include: acceleration runs (to 80+MPH), parking lot (empty) "slalom runs" (to test understeer -- be aware this causes motion sickness if you have just eaten), panic braking (with ESP on and off), freeway driving (20+ miles, one way, or so, at least) and secondary road (where there is very low traffic) "performance" driving.

    We listen to the radio (AM, FM and Sat) and the CD. We test for bluetooth pairing with a Blackberry (difficult to do for many cars) and we see how intuitive the voice command/prompt systems are, etc.

    If you take along some popcorn, you can make a really entertaining day of it -- and come to some rather unanticipated conclusions, too. Take me, for instance -- I thought for certain I would end up with Audi #30 or an Infiniti M37X. Acura wasn't really on my radar. I thought I would end up with a Volvo S60 T6 before I would ever go for a "butt ugly" Acura.

    DOH! :surprise:
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The 2012 M is gorgeous. And I somewhat disagree about the salesperson going along for the ride.

    Honda, check. Toyota, check. Ford, no. Lexus, no. Acura, never drove it. BMW, didn't have to drive it.

    Im now 4 months into my g37 and that vehicle puts a smile on my face. I was going to go for the 335i but the value and sportiness and price point of the g was hard to refuse.

    I rented both the g and CTS for a week. The week rental of the g is what swayed my decision. The acura didn't do it for me, even though I'm a fan of Honda. Wasn't interested in Audi or Volvo. Es wasn't sporty enough. G is quick when you get on the gas and rides like its on rails.
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