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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    There is always post-service survey. Many of them are useless, with questions formulated in such a way that they make it clear they DON'T want to know what you really think. Will see what BMW sends me. If there is any open question that allows me write an opinion, I'll let them know what I think about those "recommendations". They probably won't care, anyway, but I like to give people a chance to make things better, if they are at all interested.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • We've had three BMW's and our dealer, The BMW Store, never suggested we spend anything with the dealership for the first 50K miles. We were even given new rotors at over 45K miles -- all with a smile.

    We would go in on Saturday's for the free hand car wash -- and would ask for the 6 point inspection (also free) which basically got us fluids topped off, air in the tires and a measurement of the remaining brake life and tire life. If we even made a peep about the wipers, well, new wiper blades, no fee, no questions asked.

    Although I had similar experiences at Audi, when I asked, they didn't seem quite as anxious to volunteer the free services or wiper blades, etc. But if you asked, they gave without any indication that they were anything less than happy to do so.

    One last thing, our BMW dealer requires every employee in the service department to wear WHITE lab coats -- and you would think you were driving into a surgical theater when you went to the service dept.

    This level of service and professionalism is impressive. Neither the Cadillac nor the Lexus dealers even come close. Audi also bested the Cadillac and Lexus dealers, but not the BMW store.

    Of course our BMW store is owned by the former service manager -- which probably means his motto, sales through service is more than a phrase.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    They took care of all the damaged parts, including the undercarriage bumper for the lift. I paid nothing at the end. How can I slam them now :cry: ?

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited October 2012
    At the end - the experience was shockingly disapointing. There was so much anticipation and the mountain gave birth to a mouse, as we say it in my old country.

    The steering did not get any better over time. I must admit, the car moved in prescribed directions, so it's not like there was no response. But there was no feedback - basically no feeling. Am I at the limit, can I go faster? Nothing.

    The 2.0l turbo engine is fast and torquey, transmission is brisk and great. If there is any automatic I can have, that's the one. These are admittedly strongest points of the new F30, especially with gas mileage almost 20% higher than my car in same conditions - impressive. But... I take my E91 3.0l NA with manual back and no thanks to a new car any time soon. Hard to explain. I may change my mind over time, but not today.

    Interior dials are really cheaper in feel and over time felt cheaper and cheaper. To describe the difference is between feeling a soft bump (E91) and hard ratchet (F30). The plastic on those also feels cheaper. I also just noticed that the sunroof liner was not motorized, as opposed to my wagon, but to be fair, I don't remember is E90 sedan had sunroof liner motorized or not. The wagon has a long panoramic sunroof, so the liner has to be moved with its own motor, as it is too far for the driver to reach when he wants to close it from the back. The non-Nav screen has 4:3 aspect ratio, the long panoramic ratio on my E91 Nav is so much better. From pictures it looks their optional nav screen is still panoramic, so you get a different screen than standard version.

    The screen had a gremlin - today in the morning I got "No signal" message and my ipod started playing at fast forward mode (radio played just fine) - really weird.

    I am absolutely NOT buying a new one and if, God forbid, I needed a new car, the shopping of other brands would definitely be on. Most likely into lower priced territory. There is no point of spending this much money if the product doesn't really deliver.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,416
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only 2 manufacturers that now offer good old rack & pinion in this ELLPS class steering are Infiniti & Mercedes-Benz.

    Mercedes-Benz seems to be pretty serious about improving the "Sport" in their Sport Sedan. The 2013 C-Class has a new DI 3.5L V6 (248 hp/251 lb-ft torque) in their C300 4Matic.

    They now have AGILITY CONTROL suspension that: "automatically adjusts the individual shock absorbers based on the road surface and the driver's current driving style. Valving inside each shock absorber automatically firms up during stronger body motions for sharper handling feedback and stability, and reduces the damping rates during gentler motions for a smoother, more composed ride."

    The 4Matic AWD system retains a 45:55 front/rear torque split. It is a RWD based AWD chassis.

    MB says 0 - 60 mph in 6.0 seconds w/ 7 speed automatic. The C-Class is handsomely styled with nice interior materials. This generation C is definitely not just a "cheap Mercedes."

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,100
    Mark...I've never had an issue with either The BMW Store or Jake Sweeney BMW. But, it was The BMW Store who loaded a case of Techron in the trunk, stating it was a good idea to add a bottle every fill-up. An overzealous tech writer? Probably.

    Jake has always bent over backwards for both sales and service.

    I consider us lucky to have two good dealers in the city.

    At one time or another, I've interfaced with probably every luxury dealer in the city, for one reason or another.

    The only one who was really quite bad was Thompson McConnell Cadillac. And, that was in regards to my late Mother's car (in which they made it a habit of fleecing her, and trying to fleece me).
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    I would agree with you that Mercedes is improving the "sport" factor, but that's somewhat of a relative improvement. Even with their improvements, and in spite of BMW's steering and Audi's weight, I would still put Mercedes solidly in third place ranking those brands on overall enthusiastic driving dynamics. I am basing this on three categories of comparison, most of which I've driven over the past 12 months:

    C350 vs. A4/S4 vs. 335i
    E350/550 vs. A6/S6 vs. 535i/550i
    SLK vs. TTS vs. Z4 (although none of these are within a mile of a Boxster S)

    That probably suits Mercedes OK. I don't think they are trying to compete with BMW and Audi for the serious driving enthusiast in these segments, as evidenced by no manual transmissions, a chassis emphasis on comfort rather than handling and slush box automatics vs. DSG's. But, to their credit, they are closing the gap a bit and making the choice of Mercedes for luxury not as much of a tradeoff. Unfortunately BMW appears to be inadvertently helping them to close this gap from the other (wrong) direction.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,100
    edited October 2012
    nyc.....the GF was all hot and bothered by the Benz C350 4Matic coupe when she was looking, before deciding on the S4. We test drove a totally loaded with tan interior (just like my 335i).

    It felt like a slug. Now, this was a 2012. I think the tech, build quality and materials were anything that wasn't met or exceeded by the BMW or the Audi. Maybe the 2013 is significantly upgraded. But, for $55K (which is the MB's sticker price), I felt it was waaaayyyyy overpriced.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited October 2012
    A friend of mine has a three years old C300 with manual transmission (previous generation). It actually feels sportier than I had expected - very much so. I remember I also drove both automatic E90 328 and same C300 generation back-to-back last year. The impressions were "wow, that Benz is really sporty". To be fair, I think it was "sports" C300 and non-sport package 328, so a bit unfair to the bimmer. But my though was Benz had nothing to be ashamed of - at all. Can't tell about the new C250 - suspect it does not hold the candle to the F30 328 in terms of power, but after this undewhelming steering experience with F30 I don't know anything anymore. :cry:

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    edited October 2012
    Dino sorry to hear about the dealership, I never had that problem, I would drop the car off and then received keys for the loaner (all in about 20 minutes.) Return loaner, receive my keys and off I went (all in about 20 minutes.) Not once was I ever "up sold" on anything, or "recommended" anything (since it is covered by the free maintenance if it needed to be done.) I would write the GM of the dealer as well as BMW about this experience, this dealer isn't living up to the true experience.

    In regards to your driving experience of the F30, like you, I like the drive-train the quick shifts of the 8 spd transmission keep the turbo 4 in the powerband all the time, the car "feels" much quicker over the E91. Also drive then E91 and F30 back to back you can "feel" the difference in the steering right away, the E90 is weighted and has a direct feel to it, the F30 does not, very "easy" and you are right very Buick like. BTW, the sport seats in any 3 series are the better seats for comfort , well next to the comfort seat of the 5, 6, 7 series and x5 and x6 comfort seats.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    F10 is a 5-series. E90 and F30 are 3-series. But I get your point - probably there is not much of a difference between current 328 and 528 steering, anyway.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Sorry about that I edit my postings, this is what happens when you are multi tasking (not really paying much attention.)
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    The questions had write-in sections, so I filled it with some spicy comments regarding these service recommendations. Had to really hold myself from saying it too harshly. I was still trying to tell them warranty work was great, but those recommendations were about revenue generation, not real concern. Not sure, if I want anybody call me back or not. Generally don't like these kinds of confrontations.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Dino, first off congrats on writing and submitting the survey, management can not make an informed decision without feedback from it's customers. It someone calls you back from the dealership, embrace it, it does not have to be confrontation at all, but a time to educate managements on your experience.

    My partner had an issue on his first service from the Nissan dealership. He responded to the survey, the GM of the dealership called Rick personally and they both spoke, at the end, the GM was grateful of Ricks honesty, the GM upgraded Rick to the Platinum elite level in their (the dealerships) service reward. This gave Rick two free services a year (basic) and 20% off all other services.

    Good luck.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    edited October 2012
    Beginning on page 62 of the Dec '12 issue of ROAD & TRACK and continuing through page 65, Honda has spent however much it takes to buy a 4-page, full color advertising spread dedicated to the "theme" and title "The Name of The Game." There is a boat load of text describing in the best copy writing money can buy, probably, the technologically advanced 2013 Honda Accord. From LED headlights to a feature-laden interior to the description of how the '13 Accord is both smaller on the outside and bigger on the inside.

    Of course the patient reader is told about the achievement of the "neat trick" of being more maneuverable, more powerful and more economical. The damn thing is safer, too -- it says so right in the ad copy.

    The car is full of such amenities as Pandora radio, Bluetooth this and that, a rearview AND sideview cameras , sat-nav, a voice activated bidet, collision warning, lane departure warning, LaneWatch, a George Foreman fryer with GreaseBlock technology, and even an available 6-speed MANUAL shifter, and to motivate the thing, you can get a 278 horsepower V6 that actually reverses the greenhouse effect of SMOG (on a planetary basis) and (apparently) push-button start and hands-free ingress if you are so inclined.

    Don't forget adaptive cruise control -- Honda didn't overlook this tech either.

    I'm sure I've missed stuff, I mean, c'mon the ad is four pages in length and mostly uses a small font as if this is an article about the thing, not an ad.

    OK, so I read this and I see the picture of the interior which approaches handsome, not Audi handsome but a far cry from any Honda I've ever been turned-off by (including my '12 Acura TL, which, while quite functional is hardly grin inducing when you get behind the wheel.)

    Now, then, as to the title of my post -- I'm used to the Audi A8 getting the bells and whistles long before the A4 and usually before the A6 and way way way before Audi's "cousins" the VW clan. I'm at least aware that Cadillacs [used to] get features, functions and other high-end content (aka, "stuff you'd like to have in your Chevy or Pontiac or Buick, even) before the lesser aspirational models. I assume that the new ATS, CTS and XTS all have content that is, for the time being, exclusive to Caddy's -- wouldn't want a lowly Buick LaCrosse to have blind spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control or whatever gimcrack or gewgaw du jour marks a Premium Car's territory (these days).

    The top o' the line from any car maker or "family" of cars usually gets the new tech, new toys, new safety kit or partridge in a pear tree BEFORE those poor cousins downstream, er, down-market.

    So, this 2013 Accord gets content, tech, etc, etc, that certainly seems like prime beef from as recent as 2011 in many of the world's high buck, high zoot, high prestige makes. Hell, this Accord seems awfully close to being premium-car state-of-the-art insofar as content and even safety engineering (high strength steel, and "ACE II" a body structure engineered to evenly distribute full-frontal crash energy [or nudity] more effectively for instance). Now the engine choices are hardly revolutionary, but they do (claim) to now include direct injection powerplants, CVT transmissions with paddle-shifters (yawn) and "double-downshifting" conventional 6-speed autos with rev-matching.

    My point is, shouldn't all this content, kit, performance and safety rigging be introduced FIRST in the Acura line? Then after two-years, one at-least, and only then be trickled DOWN to the Honda's?

    What a world, what a world -- The Wicked Witch from the Wizard of OZ.

    Drive it like you live.


  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,497
    I drove one a month or so ago.
    V6 automatic.
    Dynamically satisfying, to me.
    - Ray
    Currently a BMW 3 driver....
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,173
    They needed to make an impact with the Accord more than they needed to give Acura a head start. But I assume a lot of this will arrive there shortly (and some already is on the new RDX, at least with tech),

    and for this piece: a 278 horsepower V6 that actually reverses the greenhouse effect of SMOG (on a planetary basis), not sure if you were being funny (as with the grill, a feature I actually liked!), but Volvo actually did this. They had a coating on the radiator that absorbed CO2 (or something bad) and converted it to water vapor or some such good thing. Not quite sure it was a net positive, but just might have been.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • You mean you didn't find the bidet amusing?!? I must be slipping. :sick:
  • victor23victor23 Posts: 201
    Volvo actually did this. They had a coating on the radiator that absorbed CO2 (or something bad) and converted it to water vapor or some such good thing

    Just pandering to their traditional customer base. Like "organic" foods. Just wait until water vapor is bad too. Oh, wait, it is the most potent greenhouse driver...
  • victor23victor23 Posts: 201
    This is because Hyndai turned the business model upside down. The basis of the car business always was: add a gimmic, bundle with a load of unneeded cr... um... features, charge over the nose. Hyndai, in order to enter the market (although being far from a technical innovator), showed everybody that you can get a nonexpensive car with all most recent bells and whistles, even in pretty basic trims. Thanks for that! Hopefully, there is no way back. Although VW, for example, still requires you to upgrade to V6 AWD top-of-the-line at $42k just to get heated mirrors (which is a must in our climate).
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