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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    edited September 2013
    Exactly, it is all relative. All they have to do is convince enough people it's better than the alternative. The funny thing is their competitors are moving toward that point from the other side, making it very crowded market with small differences. I guess that's inevitable in world of mass production, one has to cater to least objectionable rather than try to stand out. It's the price for going from niche to global.

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,101
    dino...stickguy....I think you both hit the nail on the head with the 3 series. BMW did cash in their chips on the new one. But, they've been moving away from sports sedan into more mainstream waters for a while now.

    I think the thing that BMW has that VW did not, at least in this country, is the cachet of their brand. VW lost their "cool" factor a long time ago.

    Now, does BMW retain the cool factor after moving their cars into more mundane territory? Remains to be seen and we probably won't know for another decade or so.

    markincincinnati.....I think what kills the Q50 is that drivetrain. It's getting long in the tooth. And the NVH factor has never been its strong suit. It might be OK in an Altima or a Maxima. But, in a $50K lux sedan? Not so much!

    I'm thinking you did the test drive up at Kings Automall? Those guys used to send me stuff all the time. But, sounds like they had something of a management shakeup as the previous GM who had been there for years, is no longer there. One of the sales people (whose name I did not recognize) must have dug up my email info from their files. I got an email from him towards the end of last month touting their HUGE selection of Q50s and their willingness to "deal" on them.

    No sure what that means with a car that just hit the streets.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    "No sure what that means with a car that just hit the streets."

    Have you ever got something from a car dealer that said anything different???
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    Of course.
    "Sells like hot cakes", "We can't get enough of those", , "The supply is very tight" "Everybody is asking about this color/trim (of course it happens to be one you want). All to make you believe you need to pay up to get one. This is especially true with "all new" models that just arrived. The supply shortages may even be real, whether they are due to demand, or ramping production, a well-trained salesman will always spin it into "c'mon buddy, you're paying the sticker today".

    If the car is new and they already say "we have huge inventory waiting just for you", things are really slow.

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

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 3,215
    Couldn't you use the dealer's website to see how many of a particular model are available?

    Then you would be armed with better information as to whether a model is 'hot' or not.

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    I didn't mean specifically, just in general they always use some kind of come on like that. In the Q50's case, I don't think they are desperate yet as it just hit the dealerships a few weeks ago and from my few drivebys of the the local Infiniti dealer it didn't look like they had that many Q50s in stock. I think you are reading way too much into into an email from a car salesman.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,476
    You may be correct. It may be as simple as a relative "we have large choice and the guy across town does not". It was Mark that planted the thought in me that Q50 may not be selling. It certainly is too early to tell.

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

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Depends. Some services that the dealerships use list ALL inventory available at that dealership as well as nearby dealerships. I've seen dealership personnel complain about this before, as it gives consumers the impression that the vehicle they like is available on the lot of the dealership whose website they're viewing.

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  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,577
    edited September 2013
    To Mark or anyone who's driven the Q50: Does the Q50 drive essentially the same as the G37 it replaced? It has an improved interior and more tech., but has the same (aging and ubiquitous Nissan) engine. Does it still exhibit the same characteristics, such as the overly intrusive boy-racer exhaust note, for example? (Some like it, some do not.)
  • I drove a fully loaded Q50S AWD. I drove into the dealership in a 2011 FX35 -- I have test driven the M37X's and several other Infinitis within the past 4 months.

    The thrash of an Infiniti V6 certainly isn't banished from the new Q50, but it is way way muted in the new evolution of the G sedan. I wouldn't mind having the sound of the Q50 at full-cry enter into the cabin of a Q50 I was driving, it has been so tamed.

    I'm not making excuses -- or at least that is not my intent -- I dare say so few people have ever even test driven one of the new Q50's, the product is hardly an issue.

    The car's anonymity is what I was remarking upon (in my "ink" post) -- due to what I would call damn near a marketing implosion. The Q50 should have had an Audi or a BMW-like launch -- a launch designed to tease, announce, build buzz, showcase and provide plenty of first drives, "drivens" and side-by-side comparos. Instead the new Q50 has been brought to market with about as much buzz as there would be for a closeout sale of 2008 full-sized pickup trucks that have been on the lot since, well, 2007.

    I don't mean to be carrying Infiniti's water even though I can tell you the Q50S AWD drives like it belongs in a comparison with a new BMW 3, Cadillac ATS, Audi A4 (or even S4) or Lexus IS 350 F Sport.

    If you think the Q50 will provide a disappointing aural experience -- especially at full throttle -- you will be proven wrong (happily, I would hope.)

    The Q50 does raise the bar in the "sport sedan" class (for 15 minutes)-- but, you're right, the engine does need to be re-thought and redesigned. I'd say the transmission can "keep on" perhaps for another year or two before it MUST be replaced.

    In contrast, the IS 350, which also came to market with an "old" engine, has an even more transformed package to distinguish itself from the outgoing IS. And the IS has had a "crack team" of marketers getting it in front of the target market. It has been in no less than two comparos already this year -- and its "handlers" seem hell-bent on getting the word out on the F Sport version as if to say, "this is not your grandfather's Lexus."

    I have no reason to want to waste your time, so with that in mind, please take a test drive of a new Q50S AWD and post your impressions.

    The Q50S does indeed seem to be Infiniti's best sedan ever!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    Maybe the reason the Q50 wasn't included in some of the comparos or extensive test drives was because of availability and the fact that the drive train didn't change that much if at all. There's a review of the Q50 over on Left Lane News that is pretty positive in regards to the "roar" being a little tamer maybe due to sound proofing more than anything. The quality of the interior pieces and the tech impressed them quite a bit. But in that comparo you referenced, they could have at least thrown in a G37x just for comparison purposes but maybe they figured they have done that show before.
  • No disrespect, but how is an Infiniti a drivers car? BMW and Audi yes.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    prob because its a performance car and the 2 extra lbs would slow it down.

    ________

    hAHAHAHAH, i DON'T THINK that's the reason. I think it comes down to Audi liking to make all its profit from options. They figure people that just have to have a fully loaded model with all the bells and whistles won't mind that it could nearly double the price of the car. Okay, so that's an exaggeration, but the options can kill you. Its easy for someone to pay S4 prices on an A4, for example.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    Agree with your assessment 100%.

    When I went to the Infiniti dealer, he asked if I was interested in the new Q50 vs. the old G37(S). I was about to answer G37, but instead, said, well..... what's new with the Q50, what's different?

    He went on for about 2 minutes spewing information on a bunch of gadgets that add zero fun factor to the car. They were all about driving automation features for drivers that can't drive themselves.

    I think he might have said something about an adjustable suspension so they can make Lexus customers happier.
  • "I think he might have said something about an adjustable suspension so they can make Lexus customers happier. "

    Acura customers too.:)
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,101
    Kirstie...I've seen that at dealerships before. They show lots of stock. You call them. And, they say "those units are on their way". In short, they list every car/model the manufacturer makes and give the impression they're in stock.

    My Audi dealer does that.

    In the case of the dealer I'm assuming markincincinnati is talking about, I'm familiar with them. Matter of fact, I went past their store last night (which is being remodelled). They do indeed have a large inventory of Q50s sitting on their lot.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,708
    They've always carried a lot of inventory of the lower priced models..

    When we were shopping a 2011 G37X, in October of 2011.... they had 25 of them on the lot (plus 2012 models, as well...)

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  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    edited September 2013
    Puffinalong -- no disrespect taken. And, I can't believe I am somehow seeming (even to myself) to be defending or at least suggesting the G37x, er Q50S(x) deserves to be compared with the Audi and the BMW.

    My wife's and my automotive history is overwhelmingly (~93+%) German, overwhelmingly Audi, but also can count 3 BMW's (all awd variants) and 3 VW's (2 Passats and 1 Jetta) among one Infiniti (2011 FX35 Premium AWD) and one Acura (2012 TL Advance SH-AWD). I have been to 5 driving schools, 4 with Audi in Austria and 1 with BMW here in Spartenburg. My wife "forces" (not too tough to do) us to test drive no less than 10 automobiles per year, except in the last year of her lease (such as 2013) where she ups the test-drive count by at least 3.

    I am (or, better said, we are) capable of providing "informed" data points here on Edmunds -- hardly professional, but more than simply casual. We are probably anal in our test driving methodology -- always going over the same routes, same speeds, entering corners at the same speeds and even taking along the same MP3 and/or CD's with us to check out our tester's audio capabilities.

    We attempt to drive the SPORT designated models (and always the AWD models) of everything we test drive. We subscribe, at any one time, to no less than four auto enthusiasts magazines (plus Consumer Reports in case we need a new vacuum cleaner) and read and/or watch as many websites and youtube tests as our non-working, waking hours allow. We don't have kids, so we have a lot of time to study up on current automotive fact (and fiction.)

    Repeatedly, the "G" Infiniti cars have been dubbed "the Japanese BMW" -- never once, that I can find, has either Audi or BMW been dubbed "the German Infiniti" -- which is partially due to marketing and partially due to the product itself.

    Infiniti's sport-sedan creds are not legion-- but they are also not ancient history, either. A nicely equipped G37X/S over the past two or three model years has never been an undesirable vehicle and in some instances it wins categories or comes in as a top two or top three finisher in automobile magazines' comparos (that is automobile with a lower-case "a").

    Further accolades regarding the Infiniti G can be found by kliking here:

    ~ http://www.infinitiusa.com/g_sedan/awards-reviews.html

    Once again, although I have been impressed with the new Q50S/AWD with the optional steering upgrade, I have not decided to be a two-time Japanese (let alone Infiniti) buyer.

    As a member of the Audi Club of NA, I have at least the motivation of a minimum 6% off list discount "coupon" to make me revisit the A4 (or possibly A6 with sport package, of course); and Acura is already pushing and prodding me to "pull ahead" with an new (2013) TL (but since I have a 2012, it makes me wonder, "why bother?") Volvo's S60 T6 type - R is also interesting as is the IS 350 F Sport Lexus and even the new -- albeit routinely bashed -- 3 series. I've even looked at a Chrysler 300S and a Taurus SHO just in case. Part of me will at least mostly seriously give a critical look-see at the Cadillac ATS (and CTS) and the AWD Buick Regal GS.

    So, I am not, per se an Infiniti lover nor apologist, nor am I yet willing to reject the Q50 out of hand solely on the merits of a really lackluster marketing campaign.

    I remain willing to say the new Q50SX is the best Infiniti ever (that I have driven) and absolutely worth being compared to the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 -- and, if you, like Infinti, compare these three vehicles at "the exact same price point," the Infiniti will win on content even if much of that content, as I noted earlier, seems to be hell bent on removing the driver from driving. . . .

    Speaking of that: Drive it like you live. ;)
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,108
    While I love the comments and reviews I wonder what could actually be gained interms of a true review from a simple test drive that lasted 15mins in a controlled environment. I've been to a few apple stores, played around with a few gizmos and thought they were cool but is that a true review of those items? The quotes Japanese bmw, The long post on the Audi discount I don't get- (audi club discount, really?) seems a bit drawn out and forced to prove some point which is never really given, is it a good or is it a tech driven value? Or at the price point, like the g it really is 90% of Bmw driving and 110% Better in tech? I'm going to reserve my own thoughts on the q (ugly name) once I've driven it and once the experts have compared it to its true comp. I would also note for real value seekers, if indeed there is a surplus of q50s on the lot and they are indeed good cars one could take advantage of such a mistake that someone else posted as infinitis fault at launch in lack of proper advertising.

    Drive fast, take chances
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    edited September 2013
    I urge you to take a test drive of the Q50S AWD -- which is pretty easy to do since there appears to be NO RWD samples available (at least here in my part of the country).

    I encourage anyone who is serious about spending any money on any of the cars discussed in this forum to reserve judgement until post test drive. My response, perhaps too broad, was intended to encourage Puffinalong (and anyone really) to test drive a car before assuming it wasn't worthy of being spoken of in the same breath as Audi and BMW.

    Infiniti spokespersons seem to want "us" to test drive the new Q50 against such competition as the A4 and 3 series at a price point. And, they do have a point -- at a nominal $50K, the Q50 will present itself with significantly higher content than an A4 or 3 series.

    According to Infiniti's product advocates, an Infiniti Q50S (at the same price point) will best an A4 or a 3 series. This may or may not translate to the new Q50 bettering an A4, IS or 3 series in an enthusiasts magazine comparo (Car & Driver for example). Yet the Infiniti marketing execs and product specialists who travel the country on behalf of the brand are able to spout why the Q50 will outgun the A4 and 3 and IS and ATS given a monetary equalizer.

    I doubt Car & Driver will limit its test subjects MSRPs to make sure their reviews are "a fair fight."

    Given no limit (in this context) to price, I would assume that an Audi S4 or S5 or BMW M3 or M4 (not yet available) would be selected by a significant majority of folks -- assuming they didn't have to make the payments.

    Given no slack (regarding price), however, I assume most of us will go for the maximum they can get "for the money."

    Based on the new Car & Driver, I'd be quite willing to take a new RS7 Audi -- for $50K (dream on) were such car actually put on sale at that price.

    And, yes, if you are a member of the Audi Club of NA, you do get a certificate good for 6% off list should you want to go that route (or course if you can negotiate anything better than 6%, you should take it!)

    Drive it like you live!
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