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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523
    A few years back my partner and I were looking to buy an SUV, we stopped in an Acrua Dealer, talked to the sales guy (no pressure at all) he got a copy of our licenses and handed us the keys a MDX, said, we close at 9pm be back before that (this was at 4pm.) When we came back we talked to the sales guy and bought the MDX (touring with Nav.) It was the best test drive I have ever taken, no pressure whats so ever. We had it for 4 years until we traded it in on a 2009 X5.

    Is Acura still doing these kind of test drives?
  • Some do in CT- the ones who think they can milk you for your last penny- did someone say Norwalk CT.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,282
    Hmmm, maybe that's why I've never got to do a test drive without the salesman present, whether it was me or my significant other doing the driving and whether or not we were together or I was alone.

    Of course, I've only purchased a Honda and an Audi A3 new myself. Maybe driving into the Audi dealer with a Honda made them treat me like a VW customer.

    Do they ever impose mileage restrictions on you? I'd imagine if someone said be back before closing and that gave me 5 hours driving time, you could drive 300 miles easily averaging 60 MPH. I'm thinking 150 miles would be a sufficient test drive. In San Diego, that would be like a drive to Julian and back; which would be perfect to test all of the capabilities properly.

    I don't necessarily need to be alone, but I think 100 or so miles are needed to make a purchase decision on something over $30K.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,282
    I'm shocked you found the TL to be every bit the car the S4 was (well, almost). Doesn't the S4 have a 25 or so HP advantage as well over the TL?

    I'd always imagined the TL would have a much softer Lexus like ride vs. the sport oriented S4.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    edited October 2011
    Check this out -- and what you will read is about the big beak 5-spd version of the TL vs the toned down, little beak, 6-spd version of the TL.

    In this test, the cars had manual transmissions, to be clear.

    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1008_2010_acura_tl_sh_awd_vs_2010_au- - di_s4/index.html
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I remember one of the auto articles made some comparision of the G35 to a Ferarri or Maserati. Riiiiiiight.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,476
    edited October 2011
    A long time ago...

    http://www.330gt.com/MagazineArticles/CarAndDriver196503.htm

    My favorite line is \ and was when I read it, back in the day:
    'Also, it took a team of three talented mechanics and a [ lot ] of hard work under the hood to make it [ the Pontiac ] do what the Ferrari did all day with its left hand.'
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    edited October 2011
    All I am saying is I drove a 2011 S4 Premium Plus, followed by a 2011 Cadillac CTS/4, followed by a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD Advance. My reactions, without price considerations:

    #1 S4 if it were the Prestige version
    #2 TL, as is
    #3 Cadillac -- nice to look at, but too much emphasis on lux, not enough on sport

    With price factored in:

    #1 TL SH-AWD Advance (which includes 19" wheels and tires)
    #2 S4 -- but way too much money
    #3 Cadillac -- nice to look at, but too much emphasis on lux, not enough on sport

    I ended up choosing a 2012 Audi A4 Prestige w/sport package as my #1 choice since it and the TL were comparbly equipped and priced.

    Then, being a leasing customer, finding a 42 month lease on the A4 to be over $100 per month higher than the 36 month TL lease, I went with the Acura.

    The Acura does not blow me away -- but, FOR THE MONEY, the Acura is 8.5/10ths as "good" as the S4.

    The Acura continues to impress me everytime I drive it. I doubt I will have much lust for it -- the Audi seemed like the kind of ride you might consider pawning something for, not so the Acura or Cadillac.

    I gave the Acura a "+" since it is made in North America -- been a long time since I owned (or leased) something primarily "made in America,"

    I am NOT trying to convice you to choose the Acura over a BMW 3 or Audi A4 or even over a Volvo S60 T6 or Type-R. I am simply saying someone, once, did a cross comparison of an S4 and a TL and found them to be able to be talked about in the same breath, sentence and paragraph.

    If someone would have magically lowered the term and monthly lease payment price on the A4 2.0T Prestige, I would propbably be THERE, now.

    Mean time, I must say one thing for sure, the TL has the best factory sound system I have ever heard. The fact that it handles pretty well and accelerates strong is nothing but gravy. :surprise:
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,282
    Mean time, I must say one thing for sure, the TL has the best factory sound system I have ever heard.

    I have heard and read that from many people and sources. Find a DVD-A (DVD Audio disc) and put that in to be truly blown away for sound quality.

    However, I'm sure your tested S4 didn't have the Bang & Olufsen optional sound system which has garnered some magnificent attention lately for Audi.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    edited October 2011
    I have about a half a dozen DVD Audio disks, and you are right -- wow! My outgoing 2009 A4 Prestige had the B&O system and it was great, too, but nothing like the Acura ELS system in Dolby PLII or DVD-Audio (or DTS CD's for that matter, too.)

    I wonder why, in this day and age of BRANDING, that Acura chose not to have a tie in with a name brand sound system?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I have the upgraded bose on my G, I played "the matrix" and was blown away by the sound quality and separation. B&O though has a very good reputation for making top shelf products.

    I haven't heard the TLs sound system in person, but I've read on forums those who have and who have heard the G's system, say there are equals.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,282
    I don't know. Bose spends more on marketing than on the products.

    There is a saying, "No highs, no lows, must be BOSE!"

    Harmon/Kardon has a better reputation in sound quality, but even they seem to skimp out for BMW installations.

    I think Acura did the right thing in doing it themselves with no name tied to it, but probably, they did outsource to some company out there that remained nameless, or they hunted and hired some key personnel from one of the sound/speaker companies.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I guess it depends. I have a number of BOSE products and are very happy with them.

    We are talking about stock stereo systems. Based on the source I suspect there will be a lot of variability. The only thing is Acura can play dvd-a discs, which, imo is going the way of cassette. It is debateable if there is a real world difference between a DVD-A disc at 96khz and a DVD disc at 48khz.
  • My wife has the BOSE upgrade in her 2011 Infinity -- it is very good. But nothing, so far, comes close (OEM) to what is in the Acura (the ELS system, is the one I am speaking of.)

    The B&O was also very good -- it must be the sub-woofer in the Acura, since music "feels" so much more alive in the Acura than either the Audi or the Infiniti.

    I agree DVD-Audio, good as it is, is about as popular as DIVX. I suspect that this is, once again, caused by "good being the enemy of great!"

    I do find this somewhat confusing since Blu-ray seems to be a success and HDTV, too, seems to be the preferred way to watch TV these days.

    Some of the DVD-Audio disks are truly amazing -- and very scarce.

    Unfortunately, I end up listening to Sirius-XM most of the time. And, it is truly poor it is so limited in dynamic range and, frankly, fidelity. It is, however, better than most FM stations and being "never out of signal/range" is a big plus on those 100 mile commutes between cities I seem to make so often.

    I had hoped for more from Sat-Radio. But, I must admit I do like the station called Deep Tracks -- and Watercolors is pretty good too.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Re Acura ELS, that's what I'm saying. I've read a lot of he/she said on how good it is based on what audio source.

    Have you tried playing a high qualify DVD with 5.1 in the thing? It's sounds amazing.

    I agree about XM, however and this is a big however, I'll forgo the dynamic range to have the choice of music. 40's on 4, 60's on 6, 70's on 7, watercolors, soul/r&b whatever. I listened to xm when i rented the G in the desert, miles from anything. Loved it. Not to mention I'm loading up the harddrive with all sorts of stuff.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,282
    I guess it depends. I have a number of BOSE products and are very happy with them.

    Have you owned comparable products to the BOSE from other companies at similar price points?

    It is not debateable whether a regular DVD is as good in sound quality as a DVD-A. It is not only the difference between 96 Khz and 48 khz for the bandwidth but also 16bit vs. 24bit/96Khz.

    I'll take the Pepsi challenge anyday with my home audio system and I'm positive the differences are noticeable and substantial. I even have a 24-Bit/48 Khz that sounds noticeably better than regular DVD's.

    However, you are right, SACD and DVD-A killed each other in a double suicide just like the fate of HDDVD.

    Blu-Ray has SACD/DVD-A audio potential along with HD video capability to go with it, so once cars get Blu-Ray players, DVD-Audio will be obsolete.
  • Mark, XM is so yesterday, why pay for the services after the 3 months freebie?
    Streaming is the way to go these days- Pandora and the list goes on.
    I like Pandora in particular, it does not loose is connectivity as some of the other sources.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,282
    Not to mention that XM and Sirius are guilty of downgrading and compressing the beamed out signals so much that it negates any advantage in technology!
  • The thing is, XM is so easy to use and certain stations (mostly the ones with live announcers, it seems) aren't as badly compressed as others. I like the ability to listen to Deep Tracks for a while then switch to 60's, then classical, then Spa then Watercolors, etc.

    How would I get Pandora, live, in a moving car, pardon my ignorance?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    What is debateable and what I was getting at, is can you hear the difference at 65 mph over rough, noisy pavement? Between the two formats. I'll bet not.

    I'm not talking about a high-end home theater system, I'm talking about wind noise, road noise, rain noise all at once.
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