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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    edited January 22

    @dino001 said:I think people's wish to have MT diesel is simply misguided, based on what is not available and never tried.

    Well, I guess you told me.

    I've driven seven different diesels with manual transmissions (not counting my '71 KW with the RT910 Roadranger) in Europe between 2001 and 2013. I enjoyed each one and generally try to avoid complication in my vehicles. Manual transmissions rarely fail and cost significantly less to repair, plus which I can shift when and how I want, including skipping gears or changing my mind in the middle as traffic conditions change. That said, it's clear that BMW knows what it's doing, since there appears to be universal acceptance of what they're peddling.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523

    @cdnpinhead said: I've driven seven different diesels with manual transmissions (not counting my '71 KW with the RT910 Roadranger) in Europe between 2001 and 2013. I enjoyed each one and generally try to avoid complication in my vehicles. Manual transmissions rarely fail and cost significantly less to repair, plus which I can shift when and how I want, including skipping gears or changing my mind in the middle as traffic conditions change. That said, it's clear that BMW knows what it's doing, since there appears to be universal acceptance of what they're peddling.

    Can't compare what happens in Europe with here, in Europe more cars are sold with manual transmissions than here in the states, have to sell what people want.

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,427
    edited January 22

    @m6user:

    Well, I guess, our priorities are simply different. I'm sure it probably lies in one's definition of "fun" and what each of us considers a good experience. My point of reference for MT experience are good gasoline engines with long powerbands and decent torque (WRX, STI, 328), to which diesel simply cannot hold a candle in terms of driving satisfaction. I talked to many owners of diesels in Europe and "fun" is not even in their vocabulary. Their reasons of getting diesel is plain and simple - money.

    I consider current 328d a first BMW's legitimate entry in terms of economizing fuel efficiency, Such consideration was not as important in the past, but I guess times change, more and more marginal customers buy those things, so lowering their cost of ownership is one way of expanding the market opportunity. I think the 8AT is just right for it. I don't think 6MT would be any better in terms of driving experience and it would not provide any fuel economy savings. It might provide potential for better durability, but I didn't hear of massive failures of those BMW's autos. I may be misinformed, of course.

    The background of European popularity of diesel does not lie in its inherent "fun", or otherwise superior performance. It is a plain fuel economy advantage traded for clunky sound, higher noise, lower powerband. The diesel engines went long way from times when they were very slow and had unbearable vibrations. Today's turbos fixed that off-line acceleration problem - in fact the punch provided by diesel is better than gasoline - the only thing is it doesn't last. The maintenance seems to be more of an issue today, that's the price paid for better engine. The engines reportedly do not last as long as they used to, they are more sensitive to fuel quality, which can be a problem in certain areas and repair costs are massive. To be fair, that's true about all cars, not just diesels.

    In the world of $8-10/galon fuel (today's prices in Euro zone), every drop counts, so getting your car going further has real financial consequences, even for more affluent people. Only richest of the rich don't have to factor that in, the rest needs to consider if the great gasoline V6/I6, so popular with many Americans (not to mention V8), is affordable. Memo: it is not. Thus, the second and real only choice becomes a decent diesel. Prior recent boom, diesel fuel was also considered a lower grade byproduct and it was taxed less, creating a double bang for a buck (higher mpg on lower priced fuel). That advantage is gone now and one can already see the trend not as strong as it used to be.

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

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    edited January 22

    Regarding Diesels & Transmissions post (above):

    I suppose there is some chance that the manual transmission "option" will soldier on, probably for several more years. However, the manual transmission is, sadly, on its death-bed. Sadly? Sure, sadly -- because manual transmission cars (or more accurately said "some" manual transmission equipped cars) generally speaking are more fun to drive; and, until recently manual transmission cars provided real, measurable benefits simply unavailable with even the best transmissions that shift(ed) themselves.

    Today, however, the manual transmission crowd, of which I consider myself to be a member, really doesn't have any attribute (that can be measured) that makes it "better" than some automatics. And, the thing is, even those automatics which are inferior -- today -- to a stick-shift, will likely soon be replaced with incrementally better autos until virtually all the automatic transmissions on the market are equal to or better than manuals.

    Then, as a natural progression, all automatics offered will render manuals measurably inferior -- leaving only "fun-to-drive" as their reasons for being. Of course, in the ELLPS and LPS world, at least, manuals will simply no longer be offered as the upcoming crop of drivers is both unfamiliar with manuals (read: unable to drive them) and really confused as to why anyone would even want to shift a car.

    We are progressively moving toward the autonomous automobile -- at least if you believe the story on CBS's Sunday Morning program where the new autonomous technologies were put on display courtesy of Mercedes (and Volvo and, and, and).

    Manual transmissions, like light beers, are dead and they just don't know it yet.

    I used to jump in a cab in Munich (often a light yellow Mercedes) and most of the time it was a manual transmission diesel version of the MB E Class. These days -- well since 2005 -- most of the cabs are as noted but with automatic transmissions. My assumption is, this can be seen as a bellwether -- either a predictor or cause-agent of things that will "soon" be adopted universally.

    My 1995 Audi S6 was ONLY available with a manual transmission; I can't even imagine a 2014 S6 so equipped -- and, frankly, despite my "fun-to-drive" comments, I can't even imagine I would want a 2014 S6 with a manual trans.

    How many of the ELLPS and LPS cars on the market are even offered with an "optional" manual transmission? Or perhaps the more pertinent question is what is the % of manual transmission versions of these ELLPS and LPS cars that are sold (at least in the US, anyway)? I would be pleasantly shocked to hear almost any number greater than 2%. The economics of offering an auto and a manual version are, likewise, already in play -- if a German manufacturer has to certify both a manual and an auto version of a model to be able to sell them in the US (and elsewhere, I'd imagine), my guess is they will simply decide there is no economic justification for certifying a model that represents but a tiny portion of sales, no matter what we say here, or no matter what the editors and writers of Car & Driver, et al, [non-permissible content removed] about.

    I'm so happy with my S4's 7-Speed S-Tronic ("automatic manual"), I really don't even miss the stick shift. I did, however, test drive the 2014 S4 with a manual, and I must say it sure was "fun-to-drive". I'm over it now, however. To the S-Tronic I say: "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!” ;)

    Drive it like you live.

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,427
    edited January 22

    @markcincinnati:

    I agree. I already made peace with my next car being most likely AT. I had a good run - three manuals in the row, ordered and driving probably last 328 wagon with MT they produced for US market (if not last, it is likely to be one of ten last). It should have some number etched into it. It will take a real enthusiast to take it off my hands at a good price when its time comes. More likely I will have to accept a lowball offer from a dealer. :'(

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,893
    edited January 23

    @dino001 said: I agree. I already made peace with my next car being most likely AT. I had a good run - three manuals in the row, ordered and driving probably last 328 wagon with MT they produced for US market (if not last, it is likely to be one of ten last). It should have some number etched into it. It will take a real enthusiast to take it off my hands at a good price when its time comes. More likely I will have to accept a lowball offer from a dealer. :'(

    Dino....like you and Mike, I've also made my peace over my past obsession with manual transmissions. I can't say as I could better the performance of these new(er) autmatic transmissions.

    Probably the only exception would be a manual trans in a muscle car or a Miata.

    That said, that market is so small in this country, and the demand is so weak, it is must a matter of time before the manual transmission goes the way of crank windows and non-airconditioned cars.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523
    edited January 23

    It appears that BMW will be offering manual transmissions in the 2,3 and 4 series all M cars. There is also rumors that there will be a 2 series sedan too. So for those of you who must have a manual, BMW listened...

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,600

    @flightnurse said: It appears that BMW will be offering manual transmissions in the 2,3 and 4 series all M cars.
    There is also rumors that there will be a 2 series sedan too. So for those of you who must have a manual, BMW listened...

    I presume the sedan will be more of a Gran Coupe....

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048

    Wondering what the uptake will be on these new manual trans versions of the 2,3 and 4 series.

    Indeed BMW may have listened, but I have to believe that the number of folks who will actually go ahead and buy one of these versions will be tiny, tiny, tiny.

    I can't understand why a company would do this based on what I have to assume is a huge check that has to be written to get a car certified for sale in the US.

    But, I applaud the effort!

    Still lovin' the S-Tronic, I say: Drive it like YOU live.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523

    @robr2 said:

    @robr2 said:

    Ok I really hate this new format sometime it quotes correctly and sometimes it does not..

    From the postings on Bimmerfest, both will be offered, but only time will tell.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523

    @markcincinnati said: Wondering what the uptake will be on these new manual trans versions of the 2,3 and 4 series.

    Indeed BMW may have listened, but I have to believe that the number of folks who will actually go ahead and buy one of these versions will be tiny, tiny, tiny.

    I can't understand why a company would do this based on what I have to assume is a huge check that has to be written to get a car certified for sale in the US.

    But, I applaud the effort!

    Since the engine and transmissions in the 2-3,4 series are the same the added cost wouldn't be all that much.

    Now will dealers have many manual transmission cars sitting on their lots, I doubt it. Most of the hard core Bimmer fans will do the ED program so this means they will order their cars, so the manual cars will most likely come from these people, which is a small amount in regards to the total sales of BMWs.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    edited January 24

    European delivery uptake: That's another data point I'd like to have available. I've "researched" Audi's, BMW's, MB's and Volvo's ED programs (BTW, Volvo has a great DVD about their program -- but, well, as has been said, "Who's Volvo?")

    Pity that Volvo has become almost invisible and for some irrelevant; yet I always find these ED programs "exciting" and tell myself, "Self, we should pick up our next car in Germany and drive it on the Autobahn". But then it seems so easy to just rent a fill-in-the-blank for a few days, drive the rental on the Autobahn and not worry about parking YOUR new baby in a woefully small German, Italian or French or basement garage only to return to door dings.

    So, I end up renting or riding the train from Munich to Verona and enjoying the dining and drinking once you hit the Passo del Brennero (Brenner Pass, i.e.) and the Italian chef comes on board.

    Anyway, anyone know the numbers of us 'mericans who actually avail themselves of the various European Delivery programs?

    BTW, these programs -- especially Volvo's -- seem like a fairly good deal.

    DILYL

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,893

    Hearing some scuttlebut about the new 4 cyl in the upcoming Acura TLX. ~280HP with 270 torque at 1,500 rpm. That will be combined with a DCT trans (8-speed). It also includes Acura's 4 wheel steering (P-AWS) That sounds to be a good performer.

    If you follow the trend, the SH AWD version will have a 9 speed trans and a 3.5L V6. Guessing that it will put out something in the 310-325 HP range.

    These are shaping up to be some pretty hot cars if all this comes to pass....especially if Acura doesn't goose the price, which we're assuming they won't given they're trying to attract both the TSX (now discontinued) crowd and the current TL crowd.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523
    edited January 24

    @markcincinnati said: European delivery uptake: That's another data point I'd like to have available. I've "researched" Audi's, BMW's, MB's and Volvo's ED programs (BTW, Volvo has a great DVD about their program -- but, well, as has been said, "Who's Volvo?")

    Anyway, anyone know the numbers of us 'mericans who actually avail themselves of the various European Delivery programs?

    BTW, these programs -- especially Volvo's -- seem like a fairly good deal.

    DILYL

    For BMW the only veichal's that are not part of the ED program are the SUV, i.e X3,5 and 6 since they are made here in the US, however, you can do a factory delivery in Spartenburg, and go through the factory and then spend a day at the performance center. Also with the Ed program for the other cars, you have an option of having the car delivered in Spartenburg, and go through the performance center with your car. So you can take two vacation, one in Europe and One driving your car back home (or have it shipped at your dime home.) On Bimmerfest there is a whole thread about the ED program lots of info and I know that our next BMW will be done this way, I did on my 330i and loved it, but this forum opened my eyes on things I was not aware of before.

    In regards to the amount of Americans who do it, I'm sure it's a fairly small amount that do it. But you can save a fair amount if you do it. BMW use to offer free airfare to Munich, but the tickets were very restrictive.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523

    @graphicguy said:

    These are shaping up to be some pretty hot cars if all this comes to pass....especially if Acura doesn't goose the price, which we're assuming they won't given they're trying to attract both the TSX (now discontinued) crowd and the current TL crowd.

    When is the TSX being discontinued ?

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,584

    Volvo has a good program. Includes at least 1, sometimes 2, tickets to Sweden and a few nights hotel. And the price tends to be attractive too. I looked into it a while back when I was considering a Volvo, and at that point (early 2000s) I think you could even get configurations (options or how they were bundled) that you could not get on anything they were sending over. So it was possible to spec out an oddball for yourself!

    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!)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,584

    @graphicguy said: Hearing some scuttlebut about the new 4 cyl in the upcoming Acura TLX. ~280HP with 270 torque at 1,500 rpm. That will be combined with a DCT trans (8-speed). It also includes Acura's 4 wheel steering (P-AWS) That sounds to be a good performer.

    If you follow the trend, the SH AWD version will have a 9 speed trans and a 3.5L V6. Guessing that it will put out something in the 310-325 HP range.

    These are shaping up to be some pretty hot cars if all this comes to pass....especially if Acura doesn't goose the price, which we're assuming they won't given they're trying to attract both the TSX (now discontinued) crowd and the current TL crowd.

    GG, this does sound interesting. About time Acura got serious. Honda certainly has the technological ability to produce exciting stuff. They used to! If they spiffy up the styling too, and can keep the price below the Germans, they might just get back in the game.

    Maybe they will also slide the 2.4l down to the ILX (the normal AT cars) at least as an option. That could help revitalize that model.

    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!)

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,600

    @flightnurse said: When is the TSX being discontinued ?

    All that Honda has said is that 2014 is the last model year.

    There is talk that the Euro Accord will be redesigned for 2015 but nothing concrete. Maybe the TLX will be the Euro/JDM/Aussie Accord. IMHO, it makes sense since it will be made in North America and exporting it from here would make more financial sense than from Japan.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523

    @robr2 I hope that Honda will revamp the TSX a little more room in the back and a bit more HP could be a winning combo..

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,893
    edited January 24

    @flightnurse said: robr2 I hope that Honda will revamp the TSX a little more room in the back and a bit more HP could be a winning combo..

    FN....TSX is gone, at least from North America. 2014 is the end of the road for it.

    ILX is the new entry level Acura.

    Stickguy....Some more talk that the ILX-S (if it happens) gets the TLX 4 cyl. That would be a hot little car, if true.

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