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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    the title says it all... Be safe!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,098
    FN...sorry it took me awhile to get back to you. We've had the S4 on the road a ton visiting relatives over the holidays. Getting ready to head to a New Year's dinner.

    S4 did great in the snow (and slush). It doesn't have the summer tires on it. But, we've been through 6-8 inches of fresh snow, packed snow, icy snow. No problems.

    I'm not doing any full throttle burnouts. Nor am I trying to do an doughnuts. But, driving normally, no issues at all. Had a tiny scare when I had to stand on the brakes for some idiot who was going up a snowy hill (without getting a head start and no momentum) and started to slide backwards.

    I didn't feel ABS through the pedal, but could tell the tires were grabbing-releasing in quick succession. Tragedy averted (although the driver in front of me ended up in the median).

    335 ix has done very well, too.

    I wouldn't hesitate to take either car out in any weather short of blizzard conditions.

    I'm being chastised for posting and not getting ready for dinner. Gotta go!

    Happy New Year!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    Just wanted to wish you all a happy & healthy New Year!

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,106
    So 2 modern awd cars, that have all seasons, that cost 45k min each perform well in moderate snow- also good to know the rdx also does well in the same conditions.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    edited January 2013
    2 modern awd cars, that have all seasons, that cost 45k min each perform well in moderate snow

    Given All-season tires, that's all you can expect of any car regardless of which wheels are driven or how much it costs. If you need to go in serious snow you'd better have good winter tires on (with the snow/mountain symbol on the sidewalls).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    A reporter is looking for a new sports car buyer. If you have purchased a sports car in the past 6 months, please send your daytime contact info along with the make and model of your new car to no later than Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    OK, I'm sitting in the US Airways Lounge in Charlotte waiting for my flight home (I missed the earlier flight) and was reading some of my Bimmerfest forums, of course some people are talking about how the Germans and Asian car companies are going to make the upcoming CAFE #'s. The consensuses is Diesel is going to be the way. I have to agree, We know that BMW will be bring over 4 cyl oil burn, same with MB and Audi will use a higher HP version of thier 4 cyl oil burn in thier cars. Mazda has been teasing the auto mag's in regards to their SkyActive D (diesel) engine. Mazda hasn't confirmed or denied that the diesel is coming to the states, but from what people have stated, it will. If this is true, I'm sure this will open the door for other Asian brands to import them. So what is everybodies take on this?

    What will Porsche do to meet these tougher CAFE requirement? Import a diesel 911???
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    edited January 2013
    Yes, Mazda has definitely stated that the diesel is coming in the latter part of this year in the new Mazda6. I was just at a Mazda dealer a few days ago and they confirmed it. It's been confirmed in many of the Mazda6 reviews as well. The new Mazda6 just went on sale a few days ago with the gas engine only. the diesel is projected to arrive around the Oct-Nov timeframe. The CX-5 is also planned to get the diesel but it has not been confirmed yet as to timeframe. They will probably see how the diesel sells in the Mazda6 since the CX-5 is selling like hotcakes with the 2.0 gas engine already. Now that the new 2014 CX-5 is going to get the 2.5l engine it will probably appeal to an even broader market as the only real complaint anybody had about the current CX-5 was that it neeeded a little more zoom-zoom which the larger engine will provide.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited January 2013
    I don't know how the CAFE rules work and guess I should research this myself before commenting. But it seems to me that this is government regulation run amok. If there is a "cost" to natural resources or our defense budget because of our dependence upon petroleum, then charge a gas tax that covers it. And let consumers decide whether they are going to pay for the privilege of driving a Ferrari instead of a Prius. But the idea of forcing all/some manufacturers to limit consumer choices to achieve some CAFE target is a little f-ed up, IMO. Some people choose to live 50 miles outside of DC so they can have a 4,000 s.f. tract house on a 1/2 acre lot in a subdivision and others choose to pay twice as much for a 2,000 s.f. house close in so they can spend more time in it and less time in their cars commuting. Shall we tell homebuilders that they have to meet a certain corporate commuting time target?? I could drive a Ferrari 599 for my commute and burn less gas annually than the ex-urbanite that does 100 miles roundtrip in a Prius.

    What these bored government regulators really need to do is to kill Obama Care and take everyones tax bill and increase by the percentage that corresponds to the amount they are overweight. Double the penalty for any dependent children that are overweight. We'd end up with a balanced budget next year and a healthier country in a few more.

    Sorry, way off topic. I'll do some CAFE research at the Cafe this weekend.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,475
    edited January 2013
    During my family visit in the Old Country this Xmas, I drove my dad's Audi A4 1.9TDI (2005, I think).

    Would never switch my 328i for it (or previous WRX/STI, or any other good gasoline engine), not in milion years. The clacking sound is still something to get used to. I appreciate better fuel economy and torque, but everything else is better on a good gasoline engine: sound (as for pleasure of well-running engine), noise level, vibrations, weight. Yes, the torque is higher on diesel, but it lasts for 1000 rpm and then it's gone - and when it's gone and you forget to shift, you get run over. May not be such a problem for those new 7-, 8- speed automatic transmissions, but my dad's A4 had 6-speed manual. I love manual transmissions, but not on diesels, apparently - you end up shifting back and forth, always caught on wrong gear (car stops accelerating after the torque peak in merging/passing, or it starts vibrating when left on too high gear for current speed - often issue in city driving).

    No, diesels are not such a pleasure as some may like you believe. Some of those issues may be (have already been) overcome on newer models, but in my opinion diesel engine belongs to tractor trailers and other heavy duty workhorse machines, not for passenger cars. SUVs - maybe.

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

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,960
    A reporter would like to speak to a woman who is a new Lexus IS owner. If you fit the description, please send your daytime contact to no later than 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET, Friday, January 11, 2013.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    edited January 2013
    In 2001 I was in Italy a couple of weeks for business and drove some kind of small minivan like vehicle. I can't even remember the make but it was diesel and a manual transmission(5 spd I think). I was impressed with how quiet and smooth it was. I didn't find the torque disappearing and remember driving around lake Garda and the curvy roads enjoying the scenery and shifting through the gears. Freeways were also worry free. I remember being passed by a Smart on the freeway at about 150 klicks and saying "holy crap, I wouldn't go that fast in that thing!"

    Point is, I think it depends on the particular diesel engine. I also believe I would try at a least a couple of modern diesels with 7-8 spd auto trannies before I made a blanket statement that all diesels belong in semis or farm tractors.
  • buyabuya Posts: 74
    Thank you. That was a helpful review. I almost forgot the turbo diesel lag that I felt in the bimmer I once had a fraction of a century ago. It was a good car, but the lag was still felt at times. And diesel wasn't widely available at regular gas stations either. There's no reason for me to reconsider buying a diesel yet, and if it's mpg I'm after, I may consider a reliable hybrid like Prius. I was about to reconsider turbo diesel cars. So thanks again.

    How do you guys feel about the Lexus 300h? Is it a prettied up Camry hybrid? Which would you buy?
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,475
    Perhaps you're right, but VAG's 1.9TDI (previous gen 4-cylinder diesel) was a highly acclaimed motor, a special favorite in high-mileage used car markets, like my Old Country's (Poland). My dad's is abot 100k miles, which is nothing for those engines. Granted, that engine is also an older-generation, developed prior common rail technology. It is known for high durability and good resistance to abuse due to substandard fuels and hard working conditions. All great, but the price was noise, vibrations and short torque curve.

    The new enviro-friendly diesels are known for overcoming many of those issues (lower noise, not as much vibrations, better power delivery), but the price paid is steep - high maintenance and much reduced durability. So, if having to choose between noisy durable diesel, or quiet fragile diesel, I choose gasoline engine.

    I think many Americans confuse marriage of reason between Europeans and diesel with some kind of love without limits. Europeans opt for diesels mostly because their governments push them to do so by taxes on both vehicles and fuel and because diesels to get better gas mileage. In the world of fuel priced at $6-8, a lawn mower may be attractive for people mover.

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

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    What will Porsche do to meet these tougher CAFE requirement? Import a diesel 911???

    I think the average would be included in VW the Golf's, Jetta's, etc would do the heavy CAFE lifting...
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Would never switch my 328i for it (or previous WRX/STI, or any other good gasoline engine), not in milion years.

    Not sure comparing a 328i to an older A4 1.9 TDI is a fair comparison. I'm driving a 2013 328ix loaner today with 1,400 miles on the odometer. Great car, but I have to say that the 335d would be my strong preference for both performance and fuel economy over a 328i. Had to shut off the engine start stop feature to maintain my sanity in stop and go traffic. There is no diesel clatter in my friend's 2011 335d and it definitely has more punch when you need to accelerate on the highway. He gets an honest 40 mpg on highway cruising at 75 mph and 30 mpg overall. The trip computer on the 328ix loaner shows 23.3 mpg overall; probably heavy city driving.

    That said, the current 8,400 rpm NA V8 M3 with a 6-speed manual is about as sweet as a 3 series gasoline engine can get. I'd be the first to admit that if a really sporty, engaging drive is what you want, hard to beat a naturally aspirated high rpm manual transmission car like the M3.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Dino of course some of the engine in Europe aren't as refined as others. To pass judgement on the car you drove in europe with one that are imported here is like saying, there isn't much difference in a M6 and a Yaris...

    Drive a Passt or Jetta diesel you will be quite surprised on how well they run and really how quite it is for a diesel.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Ivan, I'm not too sure about this, if it is true please post a link so I can read it. Because I'm sure Infiniti and Lexus would be linked to Nissan and Toyota. Since Infiniti, Lexus and Porsche are imported as their own brand, one would assume that they are separate brands.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,475
    edited January 2013
    It would not be fair, pricewise, compare 328i to 335d. To me valid choice would be 335i vs. 335d - that would be no contest, IMHO. I understand all the limitations of comparisons between new BMW and old Audi. However, to be fair i terms of pricing, four cylinder diesel is one to make real comaprisons to the lower-powered gasoline engines, whether smaller 6-cyl, or turbo four.

    My point is, US based consumers THINK they want diesel because they see them in Europe and assume that's what Old World people want. All I'm saying, popularity of diesel there is artificially stimulated by public policy, taxation and other incentives. Anybody, who enjoyed American-market based ELLPS, would never even consider a diesel, except perhaps commercial vehicles, like taxi cabs and such. Moreover, the traditional advantages of diesels are going away. Bottom line - still clacking engine, less so than before, but more upfront cost, more maintenance, more prone to failures, sensitive to fuel quality, who knows if will last as long as older generations.

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

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