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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    Every time I came to a stop, the car would shut off. WHAT?

    It's supposed to. The stop/shutoff is being used by a number of makers as a fuel-saving feature. You may have noticed that the motor would restart once you released the brake.

    This feature can be defeated by the simple push of a button.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • So every time I get into my car I have to disable this? No thank you..... More importantly, the sudden rattle or shaking once the engine started was enough for me to disapprove of the car. This is the reason I liked my old G and my Current TL, both cars offer enough technology but not overwhelming enough to take over the pure pleasure of driving a car.

    This technology MIGHT become the norm of the future, the same way a lot of these 4 Cyl Turbo engines are becoming the standard, but as long as I can have pure V6, that is exactly, what I will buy

    The G was becoming a little stale when it came to the interior design. I think Infiniti should have made some small little tweaks to refresh the center console in order to keep up with the looks. BUt again, I will take any G over a 3 series BMW... not to mention my current TL
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    According to Automobile Magazine "BMW announced last year that it would be bringing a more efficient 328d diesel model to the U.S., and the EPA has now released fuel economy estimates for this model. The 2014 BMW 328d sedan is rated at 32/45/37 mpg city/highway/combined when equipped with rear-wheel drive, the 2.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder, and an eight-speed automatic. The all-wheel-drive BMW 328d sedan and wagon receive slightly lower estimates of 31/43/35 mpg." u6L2
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,099
    edited August 2013
    andres3....tough choice. I truly love the S4. It's not been "bullet-proof", however. It spends some time at the dealer for one thing or another about every other month. Some of the things Audi just can't seem to fix (hiccups in the MMI/B&O audio system is something that's a continued to be troublesome). My Quattro system is binding at slow speeds. They're working on that now (awaiting parts from Germany). There have been several other issues, too.

    Is the TL SH AWD equal to the S4? Nope! S4's supercharged motor is a joy. It's muscle car fast, gets decent MPG. The car handles very well and is comfortable.

    I mentioned in here that I've owned a couple of TLs, including the '10 version. I never had any issues with the styling. I do think the redesign make the car look a lot better, though. Now, it is quite handsome. My sister just bought a '13 AWD Advance. She says she's getting 22 MPG. Although, I've had just a little seat time in it, Acura seems to have made subtle running changes that makes the car handle better, ride better. Her leather seats feel nicer than what I had in my '10, or what I have in my S4.

    The S4's trick DSG trans is the best in the biz. While the TL's trans is better (6-speed), it's no match for the Dual Clutch unit in the Audi.

    So, the the S4 worth $10K, $12K, even $15K more than the TL SH AWD? Only you can make that judgement.

    I love what the S4 does on the road. I do get weary of taking it to the dealership once every 8 weeks, and being without it 2 days, 4 days, a week at a time (they do give me some slick rides to drive though, including one very sweet TT).

    On the other hand, a TL will just worries.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    edited August 2013
    I do get weary of taking it to the dealership once every 8 weeks, and being without it 2 days, 4 days, a week at a time (they do give me some slick rides to drive though, including one very sweet TT).

    I'm sure the S4 is a joy to drive(when you have it) but I absolutely would not put up with a $50k+ car that broke every 8 weeks or so. I could care less if the fix is free and I get a cool loaner. It would just be too much of a hassle. I'm sure this may be an extreme case but your experience is the common perception and you know what perception is.......reality.

    If I want that I'll spend $20k and get a 4yr old G or TL and still only be in the shop a couple of times a year if that. Hell, my wife's Mazda6 is 6 years old and it has never been in the shop once for repairs. One thing had to be adjusted and that was done at the first oil change. Every single other visit has been for normal, routine maint. So far my new Acura RDX has not been back to the dealer even once in my first 10 months of ownership. Hasn't even had it's first free oil change yet. Soon though. I truly hope the glitches with your car get fixed and you have some relief from trips to the dealer.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,107
    On year 6 and 35k miles on my g- been only for oil changes and one set of pads. Something to be said for Japanese sudo lux cars without the "free oil change" plan. I don't care if the loaners are Porsches it gets old quick.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    What I've seen from driving TL-SH AWD and looking at the S4 (and knowing it's performance figures).

    The TL gets what I consider low mileage, the S4 has 10% more power and 10% better gas mileage to boot. That's probably due to the TL being about 250 lbs. heavier and it is bigger with more leg room, as well as not having a 7th gear like the Audi (nor the efficient dual clutch system).

    I do think the new TL's are improved in the looks department, but the styling still leaves me thinking "plain Jane." The S4 is a truly beautiful car, and has what appears to me to be a paint job a few notches higher in quality. The S4 offers some color selection (not much) while the TL offers almost none (White Black, and shades in between, along with an ugly purple they call red).

    TL Pros: Bigger, more leg room, more rear seat room. Reliable.

    S4's Pros: better engine, better transmission, better interior, better exterior, better design, better styling (I realize that's subjective), better color selection, lighter/smaller more nimble.

    Frankly, Edmund's TMV puts the TL at $39,500 with the AWD and Tech package. I've looked at all the details, and frankly, Acura in my view should have priced it at $37,000. They did take some shortcuts....

    For instance, the roof rails are not body colored .

    Also, the 3.7 from Nissan/Inifiniti have about 330 HP, why not Acura's?

    The base FWD TL costs $4K more than the Honda Accord V6 and for that you get 2 added HP, 2 less MPG, and a somewhat nicer interior. Just throwing that in there for anyone considering a FWD TL.

    As nice as the TL-Tech interior is, the S4's is better. I compared a base TL-AWD w/ the Tech package, and the tech package has nicer perforated leather than the base model, but the S4's Nappa leather was still clearly superior to both (softer and nicer). Yes, I know the Nappa isn't standard.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    My '06 A3 has nearly 103,000 miles and has been very reliable. I'm also in no hurry to get rid of it, or in any hurry to sell it. I can take my time.

    Granted, the S4 is a much more complicated car than a FWD 2.0T A3.

    Oh, another Acura pro, the ELS sound system plays DVD-Audio even in 2013!
  • The base FWD TL costs $4K more than the Honda Accord V6 and for that you get 2 added HP, 2 less MPG, and a somewhat nicer interior. Just throwing that in there for anyone considering a FWD TL.

    I did and for the extra $4500, I ended up with the better car as far as luxury, warranty, name (IMO), looks (IMO), dealer experience, and extras 18 inch wheels (Special Edition), free 3/36 Maint. plan, and not to mention the overall driving satisfaction. To me, it was totally worth every penny. I feel confident that when I sell the car, I will be able to get the extra $4500 that I paid back in my pocket.

    I did not look at the S4 due to budget, but I did look at the regular A4. The TL offered the better play based on the Pros you had mentioned. A real steal for $32K
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,107
    You paid an extra 4500 for the same engine - older car from a luxury division that has an extra year warrantee and a better stereo. The 4500 you spend will never be realized in trade or sale- - if so please show me the math- that same 4500 should if bought correctly should be a lot tighter because we all know Acrua is not selling any (non-mdx) cars for anywhere close to sticker. Honda on the other hand depending on market is getting a lot closer to sticker then big brother. Free maintence is huge ask any bmw owner- agreed but given the accords background doubt you would need more then a couple of oil changes. Name looks- really- you and billy are prob the only 2 people who actually believe the TL is attractive, that and the "people" he seems to talk about that give him compliments. :sick: with all that being said I do think the TL is a better overall value then any A4. Good day
  • mrminsky1mrminsky1 Posts: 23
    edited August 2013
    The msrp the TL was closer to $9000 higher than the Accord. Have you seen the TL SE with some of the nice extras including the leather, wheels, etc?. So yes to me, the premium was worth it. But this is the same question we have been asking for years.

    ES350 or Camry (now the Avalon)
    TL or Accord
    G37 or Maxima or Altima

    and since Audi is in question as well, why not get the VW GLI versus an A4 FW? People like to compare all these vehicles to each other and assume that the mainstream ones drive and feel the same as their luxury counterparts. The Answer is no. I drove the Accord and I though it was a lot of car for the money. However not at the same level of the TL. I actually liked it and would have been a strong possibility. But when I looked at TL, I really thought I was getting more for the money. The newer SE trim is fantastic. I liked the looks and the drive. The leather and seats are top notch. The interior was a step above. The 18 inch tires and wheels were a knockout. the spoiler is super cool. Both the suspension and the driving dynamics are different. So the cars might be very similar in many respects, but the cars are very different. to answer your question, I think I can get the $4500 price difference when the time comes to sell it. If not, hopefully, I will feel that based on what I paid, I got my monies worth.

    I know looks are very subjective so what looks good to one my not look good to another. I think the newer version of the TL looks great. THe new Accord would have been a fine choice too, but the small Acura premium was worth it to me.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    edited August 2013
    Absolutely agree with you that there is usually a lot more than meets the eye in the differences between the "luxury" version and the "regular" version. When people say the A3 is a GTI with a nicer interior I laugh. There were and are real suspension tuning, sound insulation, quality (paint, fit/finish, QC for less issues) that made them far different. And for me the interior was a wide margin apart that the premium was worth it (also longer warranty and free maintenance back in '06).

    However, playing devil's advocate, I'd value the Acura's longer warranty over Honda at about $0.01, since you'll be likely to never use either, even if they made it a Korean length warranty. :P :)

    I think the 2013 Accord vs. TL comparison is particularly intriguing this year because the new Accord is so far improved moreso than previously and the TL is unchanged this year. I think it makes the comparison closer than any other. I mean, the extra fuel efficiency of the Honda is a very big deal and margin and you only lose 2 HP to the FWD TL.

    Looks are subjective, but if you prefer one over the other, I can see that being worth $1-2K.

    Better leather and interior is EASILY worth $1-2K in my book.

    I'm sure 18" wheels are available on the Honda, and I think may just be standard on the V6 EX-L trim that would be comparable. If not I'm sure it's an option.

    If the Acura still maintains a superior suspension tuning and handling package then that's worth some dough too, but I've heard Honda has closed that gap.

    As to the better name, that's paying for the badge, me personally, woudn't pay more than $0.01 for that. Subjective vs. objective differences.

    Back in 2006 I compared the TSX to the Accord and the TSX for sure had a far superior interior and fit & finish. If you can't see it; those buyers should get Chrysler's.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    $32K is a great deal by the way for the Base TL FWD. What would you figure an equivalent deal is for adding SH-AWD and TECH. Looks like that would add $7K at least unfortunately from the quotes I'm getting.

    I'd pay $500 extra for the upgraded perforated Milano leather, and $500 extra for the ELS sound system. The voice navigation, back-up camera, and other "TECH" Package goodies aren't really worth more than a few cents to me, but the package runs around 3,500. Rear visibility is lousy though, so the camera may be useful.
  • mrminsky1mrminsky1 Posts: 23
    edited August 2013
    The Extra Year of warranty and the Overall dealer experience is better and worth something. The Acura might not have the cache that Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes might be , but it is still an entry luxury badge with a little extra to boost.
    I get the latest TL has not been a hit. I am not going to tell anyone otherwise. I get Honda has made some questionable moves with their designs and general consumer appeal. But I still rather have an Acura badge than a Honda Badge especially when you consider how Acura has been discounted the Tl and how close in price it is the ACCORD. Again, the TL should retail much higher and it isn't so the playing field is not the same. Since I paid closer to $32K rather than closer to the $40K might be I would have considered something else. Maybe!!!!!!!!

    As I said before, the new ACCORD is a fair comparison the base TL and you make a strong point. Some people might like the design better and the price better. But again they are not the same cars and when the premium brand can be had a such discount, it becomes a no brainer of a decision.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,099
    andres3...sounds like you really like the S4. They're great cars. Go for it. I will say that the Audi S/C 3.0 is WAAAAAYY UNDER RATED. My guess is it puts out closer to 350+ instead of the ~330HP they advertise.

    I don't have the nappa leather in mine. I have the leather/synth suede stuff. It complaints.

    Really find both the Acura and the Audi to be similar in materials and build, inside and out. Paint? I have the Ibis White. No metallic. The only S4 colors I've seen on the lots are my white, a metallic white (extra cost), black, metallic black (extra cost), a mid-level blue (extra cost). Audi interiors are black or grey. Not sure about the TL's colors these days. I know my sister's is metalic black. My former TL was something called "Bellanova white" (metallic white). I don't remember paying more for the metallic, but Acura may have changed their tune. Don't know that I can say the paint job on one or the other is better. Leather on my sister's TL is pretty darned nice. Her seats are nicer (comfortable with good bolstering) than the ones in my S4 (hard and highly bolstered). She has full leather, I don't. Shifter in the Audi gets red hot in the summer sun (plastic). TL has a leather shifter....does not get hot. I do like the steering wheel of my S4 better. Plus, the S4's dash and console area is prettier.

    The electronics in the TL are much better than those in the S4 (which has been where most of my warranty work been). Some MMI issues my dealer still can't figure out.

    Different cars, different routes, different drivers, but I get about 19 MPG overall in my S4. My sister says she gets about 22 MPG overall in her TL SH AWD.

    The 3.7 in the TL SH AWD is down on HP compared to the 3.7 in the INfiniti. But, the Acura has more torque than the Infiniti.

    I truly do wish my S4 spent less time at the dealer's shop. It is a PITA. But, when it's on the road, it's a true joy to drive.

    Then again, so is the TL SH AWD. Bottom line, you can't go wrong with either as long as you go into it with open eyes.

    Tough call. Your money. Do what you want. Let us know what you land on. BMW dealer had a "drive event" a couple of weeks ago. At the S4's price, I'd throw in the 335i xDrive into the mix. The F30s aren't as good as my previous E92, but they're still good cars. At that $55K price point, you can get a pretty loaded up 335ix. A Premium Plus S4 with B&O and DSG will hit right about the same price range. Plus, I believe BMW dealers are more willing to deal than Audi dealers.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,496
    'So every time I get into my car I have to disable this? No thank you..... More importantly, the sudden rattle or shaking once the engine started was enough for me to disapprove of the car.'

    FWIW - I had a 328i as a service loaner recently.
    The car 'remembered' the auto stop\start setting
    across shutdown.
    Though I still would not consider buying or leasing one,
    for several other reasons..
    - Ray
    Not going with BMW at lease-end
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590 BMW dealer had a "drive event" a couple of weeks ago. At the S4's price, I'd throw in the 335i xDrive into the mix. The F30s aren't as good as my previous E92, but they're still good cars. At that $55K price point, you can get a pretty loaded up 335ix. A Premium Plus S4 with B&O and DSG will hit right about the same price range. Plus, I believe BMW dealers are more willing to deal than Audi dealers.

    Interesting to note that in the Sept Issue of Motor Trend they did a test of the 335i X-Drive, Audo S4, Lexus IS350, Cadillac ATS, Volvo S60, BTW that is how the finished too. Granted the BMW tested price was 61K, which is really stepping into a completely different priced cars, but at the end of the day, Motor Trend picked the BMW as the winner.
  • Not impressed with what BMW has been doing as of late with some of these cars for the premium they get. I love their styling and I always have, but their newer 4 cyl have a lot to be desired. Their reliability has been horrendous with their turbos. You either love them or you hate them...
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    Graphicguy, your experiences mirror my somewhat dated ones.

    I bought a new '98 A4 2.8 6cyl, stick, sports package brand new. I drove it 6 years and loved the car. I did start having some reliability issues with cooling and the dealer had trouble locating the problem. I had a number of visits out of warranty and spent $1-2K on the car and it still wasn't fully fixed. Reluctantly at 88K miles (much sooner than I usually get rid of a car) in 2005 I replace the A4 with an '05 Acura TL.

    I'm still driving the Acura and I'm at 133K, with almost zero problems. The Acura is technologically superior to the Audi. The interior features are better although I felt the luxury quality of the Audi interior was superior (but the Acura is still quite good). In driving qualities there was no comparison - the Acura is a nice cruiser; the Audi was a fabulous car to drive stick, much more agile, and it was as smooth as butter.

    I only wish I could have the Acura levels of reliability in an Audi or other German car. I still like the Acura a lot, but I really miss that Audi. But I don't miss the reliablity issues and dealer costs.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    free 3/36 Maint. plan,

    Never heard of Acura doing a maintenance plan, that's certainly worth some bucks, is that something you had your dealer throw in, or an Acura program?
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