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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "The driving dynamic difference between FWDers and RWDers is pretty obvious...I had an ES330 loaner a few weeks ago. Didn't drive anything like my IS300."

    Really? What a suprise! Next time, try to get a Mini Cooper S...

    "I do realize that most buyers worry more about things like stereo systems, cupholders, and wood trim than they do driving dynamics."

    But you're more enlightened than all of them, aren't you? Your Lexus has a limited-slip.

    "My focus on this board is on performance, not luxury."

    I can (and do) hustle my TSX around a race track as quickly and adeptly as any 'non-pro' driving a 325i or IS300. They qualify as performance-minded enthusiasts, yet because I chose a FWD sport sedan, I am relegated to "wood trim seeking poseur" status.

    Who's uninformed and irrational?
  • These are just my 2 cents why i picked my C230K Sedan 2 days ago
    1. Love the 2005 style, AMG style kit, standard 17" RIMS and the big oval exhaust.
    2. RWD
    3. too many 325i on the road and the 2006 3-series will be out sometime next year, don't want to drive an "old" car in a couple months.
    4. Dealer offered $4000 off MSRP that makes it around $30K w/ Auto, Sunroof, Xenon, and CD changer.
    5. i can see the little star on the hood when i am driving... people are getting realistic nowadays
    6. It's somewhat underpowered but i am ok w/ that coz i don't top my car more than 5% of the time 7. It's well balanced in terms of pricing, comfort, and performance.

    About the 04 325i (my close friend got one and i have borrowed it over a weekend), engine is smooth, steering is responsive (hers doesn't have sport pkg)

    Another friend got a 03 IS300, torque is great, gear is long (especially 1st and 2nd gear) fun to drive, but not worth the $33K, i paid my 05 C230K Sedan for under $30K

    Audi 1.8T Quattro, some turbo lag, great style, price bumped up a lot with all that options. If you are considering the Audi, wait till next year's 2.0L direct injection engine that had 200horses and faster response

    only spend about 3 miles in the TL. It's FAST!!! some torque steering, interior is great, comfortable, tons of standard features. but it depreciates more than a BMW and MBZ and it's still a Japanese car. If they make it RWD, it will replace my MBZ in my garage. I think if Acura make the TL RWD, it will cost at least $3000 more.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    fedlawman... I'll take FWD seriously when F1, Champ, IRL, Nascar, etc. have FWDers competing and winning!

    Of course, you had the knowledge to bring up the MINI COOPER S. Almost a dedicated track go-cart. The MINI is very specialty model. But the underpowered base model isn't anything to write home about. (In Europe there are even a MINI One and, I believe, a diesel.)

    The TSX (Euro-Accord) is a nice car. Reasonably priced. Excellent value. Great size. But to be serious, you have to have the 6-speed manual, in order to wring the most out of the high-reving enging. I'd love to know what percentage of TSXs sold in USA are coming with the automatic. I couldn't imagine driving a 4-cyl auto TSX!
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    Honda/Acura has indicated that the SH-AWD system presently found in the new 2005 RL will become a distinguishing characteristic of the Acura brand. Obviously, the 2006 TL would be a great candidate for that...

    John
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Pretty fair review.

    One quibble: The TL has higher residual values than the C230 or the 325.

    "Still a Japanese car": I'm not sure why it's this is used in a pejorative sense. The reliability reputation of Japanese cars is much better than European cars. Perhaps you're referring to the generaly looser steering of Japanese cars.

    The TL is not getting the RWD any time soon, but it will probably get the SH-AWD from the RL. It'll add $2000 to the price, in all likelihood.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    **People cross shop anything. What they cross shop has no bearing on how sales numbers are presented** ......

                        Bingo.!

              Some may spend months researching Bimmers or Benz's and in the final minutes, go home in a TL or a 300C, they might like the "name" Mercedes, but perhaps they leave in a Audi ... it depends on a potpourri of things: prices, their own personal taste -payments-, the way the vehicle handles or sounds .. that said, most make their final decision when they actually "feel/touch and drive the vehicles" .. it's a never a perfect science.

                               Terry.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "I can see reasonably informed rational buyers comparing FWDers like TL, TSX (the Euro-Accord), and ES to each other, but find it hard to see them comparing a RWD car, say a 330i or IS300, to a FWD car, like the ES330 or TSX. One drive in each will tell you how dramatically different are the two cars."

    Wait, so someone who compares a TL to let's say a 330i is irrational??? Let's face it the majority of people buying cars don't buy a car based on FWD or RWD but rather on which car they like better. To most buyers driving dynamics don't even matter in the sense you talk about because the *majority* of buyers don't take off-ramps @80MPH and basically, don't drive aggressively. Typically, safety, ride, comfort, and features are on most buyers minds. I don't think when a buyer doesn't care about their car being FWD or RWD, they are being irrational.

    And in the real car buying world, buyers compare cars more in terms of price then size or what wheels are being driven by the engine.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ........ The one thing about all this RWD discussion forgets is: Geographics ...

                 Most buyers in Denver, Chicago and Richmond probably haven't forgotten that 20/30 inches of snow they will be seeing - soon .....

                                     Terry.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    1. Well, how about a series that's actually based on cars that regular folks like you and I own - The SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship? The TSX's driven by Kleinubing and Plumb won just as many races as the BMW 3-series. The Mazda 6, Protege, and Nissan Altima are also very competitive.
    http://www.speedarena.com/news/publish/touring_cars/article_5249.- shtml

    2. Of course, when discussing FWD performance, the Mini immediately comes to mind. Still, even the "underpowered base model" will outhandle any car in this forum's segment, and is a blast to drive.

    Also, the Volvo V40 T5, Saab 9-3, Mazda 6, and TSX all offer performance that's comparable to any car in this forum's segment. Now, I'll concede that perhaps a professional driver on a closed course could extract a .10 or .20 sec advantage out of the RWD cars, but not you or me...especially on public roads.

    3. You claim to be a performance-minded enthusiast, yet when you said, "you have to have the 6-speed manual in order to wring the most out of the high-reving engine," you make it sound like getting a root canal. I didn't enjoy my root canal, but the slick 6-speed MT and sewing-machine smooth 7500 RPM rev limit is what sold me on the TSX.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    fedlawman... I prefer 6 and 8 cyl engines. More useable torque, esp. at low(er) RPMs. The TSX would be a blast to drive hard on the track, though you'd be shifting a lot and running very high RPMs. I don't do too much of that. I tend to stay in 3rd and 4th gears when "playing" with my car on the twisties in the real world. What are the RPMs for a TSX 6-speed in 3rd gear at 60 mph? 4th at 80 mph? (I do miss my old '98 540i6. Great engine and transmission.) Despite all the attempts, no one yet has repealed the laws of physics for front-heavy powerful FWDers. Ugly things like torque steer. That is why Acura, Audi, and Subaru use AWD.

    rroyce10... Geographics can have a huge impact on sales. Friend of mine lives in a metro area that has about 100,000 people (say within 50 miles radius), but that area does NOT have a single Audi, BMW, MB, Acura, Infiniti, or Lexus dealer. She is forced to consider cars like CTS or LS because she doesn't want to drive 75-100 miles for sales and service. There really aren't that many dealers for some marques (e.g., Infiniti or Lexus), esp. when compared to Cadillac or Lincoln.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    If all we care about is the average driver going about their normal routine, then why don't all you luxury FWD advocates push decent cars like Kia Amati and Hyundai XG350? Just compare room, ride, and luxury equipment. You'd save a fortune compared to ES330, I35, loaded TL. You could buy the bigger, more luxurious car for about same as the smallish 4-cyl Acura TSX (Euro-Accord). I'd love to hear why the ES330 is so much better car than the XG or Amati! I've put 60,000 nearly trouble-free miles on my '00 Hyundai Sonata GLS V6 5-speed manual, TC/ABS, leather, sunroof, etc. I'd take that for $20,000 over an ES330 for $35,000 any day!!!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "Well, how about a series that's actually based on cars that regular folks like you and I own - The ? The TSX's driven by Kleinubing and Plumb won just as many races as the BMW 3-series."

    As has been pointed out here numerous times, the cars are specifically handicapped to make the races compeitive. You win a few races, you are given ballast. SCCA rules are designed to produce competitve races, not discover which car is faster.

    http://www.speedvisionwc.com/media/2004/04-seb-pkit.pdf ( page 7 )

    Why do you keep ignoring this fact?

    dave
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    You are comparing a ES330, TL, I35 to XG350's and AManti's??

    Do you forget about something called Luxury, Safety, & features? Let's not forget the biggest advantage to the luxury cars as compared to the Hyundai's and Kia's-QUALITY.

    "I'd love to hear why the ES330 is so much better car than the XG or Amati!"

    Huh:

    -the ES330 doesn't have Chevy Corsica rear ends from like a decade and a half ago.
    -The ES330 has more features. HIDs, VSC, side curtain airbags, Mark Levinson stereo, rear sunshade, auto dimming mirrors, memory seats, dual front power windows.
    -The Es330 is safer. Hey, it's got one of the best safety ratings around.
    -It's higher quality(much). Better leather, real wood, quieter. Better fit & finish.
    -It's got prestige. Who want's to ride around in a Kia or Hyundai? I'm sure even most buyers of those cars would rather be in something else.
    -Dealer service.

    ".......then why don't all you luxury FWD advocates push decent cars like Kia Amati and Hyundai XG350?"

    Simple. the Kia and Hyundai aren't LUXURY FWD cars.
  • andyandy Posts: 23
    I always get a kick out of people who say a real performance car cannot have FWD. Unless you are taking your car to the track, nobody can realistically get significant benefits from a RWD car vs FWD. And even then its questionable. I think the whole thing is for bragging rights. Kinda like the whole horsepower war that is going on right now. How many people are going to use more than 250 hp to merit the additional 25% cost that a 300+ hp V8 allows.

    In fact, i just got back from the Lexus event in Houston. I test drove about 15 cars on the test track. I thought the FWD drive acura TL handled vastly better on the course than the Mercedes 320 and the Lexus GS 300.

    I could feel the difference in the spring rates (very soft on the 320 and 300) but as far as FWD vs RWD, i did not experience any significant understeer on the acura vs others.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    riez - "I prefer 6 and 8 cyl engines. More useable torque, esp. at low(er) RPMs."

    I say "toe-may-toe" and you say "toe-ma-toe."

    dhanley - "the cars are specifically handicapped to make the races compeitive. You win a few races, you are given ballast."

    I'm not ignoring this fact, I just think it's irrelevant given that the R.E.W.A.R.D.S. system applies to all competitors.

    It doesn't change the fact that in this series, the RWD cars don't seem to hold an advantage over the FWD cars- and that's my whole point.
  • When I was shopping for a car last year, I had 330i, 325i, S60, ES330, G35, GS, TL and TSX on my list. I almost ended up with the 330/325 or TSX and actually already began negotiating it. I didnt know why the IS300 never came across my mind since none of my friends had ever mentioned it.

    A 4 cylinder car is more than enough for a small/medium size sedan nowadays. 6 isnt a plus or minus, it lowers your gas mileage and raise the maintainance fee a bit. If you look at TSX gas mileage, its very impressive (22/31 VS 18/24). Unless the 6 produces 50% more of Hp/torque, but again you wont be needing them in the real world. I dont choose a car based on how many cylinder it has but on many other things.

    Has anybody ever complained driving an ES330 bcuz its a FWD? Why ES sells more than IS, a RWDer (its more expensive and a FWDer)? well I think you know the answer.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    maxhonda99... Methinks you've completely forgotten that the Lexus ES330 is a gussied up Toyota Camry. The Camry is NOT the be all or end all of automotive excellence. You should check out the STANDARD safety and luxury equipment on both the XG350 and Amati, and look at the price. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the last time I looked at the ES330 standard equipment list, tons of things were optional. Is leather now standard? Used to be optional. That Mark Levinson stereo standard? Have you driven either? The quality of my '00 Sonata has been better than either of the two BMWs I used to own or my old Lincoln LS.

    Noticed your first point was one of style. Another point is "prestige". Noticed no mention of performance or driving fun. Appears you are more worried about being seen in the "right" car than driving the right car. I don't care what others think about the cars I buy and drive. I buy and drive them for me, for my driving pleasure.
  • Noticed your first point was one of style. Another point is "prestige". Noticed no mention of performance or driving fun. Appears you are more worried about being seen in the "right" car than driving the right car. I don't care what others think about the cars I buy and drive. I buy and drive them for me, for my driving pleasure.


    Amen! The badge is meaningless.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I don't know if you spend any time in any of the two cars(es330 and xg350), but they from two different worlds. ES is a luxury car and XG is just working it's way up, camry has better leather than GX.

    As for FWR vs RWD, if I remember correctly you drive 200HP IS300, I don't think any modern FWD car with 200HP has any torque steer. TSX is very close if not better on the track than IS.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    I think it is pretty hard to argue against the assertion that the "typical" 325i or TL buyer is not concerned in the least about the difference between FWD and RWD handling dynamics. And I bet that typical covers at least 90% of those purchasing either car.

    Full disclosure: liked the 325i, Legacy GT, the TSX, and the CTS; didn't care for the TL, S40, Passat, or the G35. Your mileage will, of course, vary... (Criteria was fun-to-drive/four doors/manual transmission.)

    John
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Did someone say the Camry is the be all, end all of automotive excellence? Did someone say the same about the lexus ES? I don't think so.

    Oh yeah, the AManti and XG350 have excellent low prices and great feature content. But guess what. To get the great feature content at a great price, something has to give. Sure, Hyundai's quality has improved greatly, but it ain't up to Toyota standards. Hyundai may be making strides in the IQS study, but tell me when it gets there in Long term dependability and it consistently ranks at the top.

    I have driven a '03 possibly ES300 loaner about a year ago and I have driven the XG350(not Sonata). Sorry but the XG350 is not comparable in anyway to the ES. Not in terms of feature, quality, ride, performance, fit & finish. Nothing, nadda. The leather in the XG350 is low quality, the plastics are cheap, the overall interior feel is cheap. Although it is a lot better than Hyundai's from just 5 years ago.

    Performance or driving fun. What's your point? Neither car is about driving fun, so do I need to mention it? I will say the ES300 was a better driver than the XG350. The XG350 was ridiculous softly sprung, almost like a Town Car.

    "Appears you are more worried about being seen in the "right" car than driving the right car."

    Funny, I don't own a Lexus. Also, as you can see, I said "most buyers". How does that translate to *ME*?

    IT's funny how the ES330 is always at or near the top of just about every quality category as well as safety and resale value, yet you are trying to lower it to the class of a Hyundai.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    maxhonda99... I'm no automotive snob. I currently own a Lexus and a Hyundai. I love them both. My first brand new car way back when was a Geo (Suzuki). I've owned Buick, Ford, VW, Chevy (x3), Chrysler, Suzuki (x2), Mercury, BMW (x2), Lincoln, Infiniti (x2), Hyundai, and Lexus (x2). (For the money, I'd much rather have to pay for an XG than an ES. The ES330 does nothing for me from a driving standpoint, nor does XG. ES was just plain dull and isolating. But then luxury isn't near the top of my list of desired attributes.)

    pg48477... Torque steer isn't only tied to HP. The small displacement 4-cyl in the TSX has little torque, esp. down low, and has to be wrapped to very high RPMs in order to generate HP. FWDers can reduce torque steer using LSD, equal-length half-shafts, and good tires.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27
    Thanks much I will definitely try the S60R.
  • Hi jrock65, thank you for your response.

    Data i got from other forum,
    05 C230K sport sedan 36month 12k/yr, residual 60%
    04 325i 36month 12k/yr, residual 61%
    05 TL 36month 12/yr, residual 58%

    when we lease car, the residual is calculated based on the MSRP, for BMW, it's already a good deal if u can get $500 over invoice, for TL, it's hard to even knock off $500 from the MSRP, however, i am getting close to $4000 off MSRP for the MBZ. In conclusion, the larger the gap between the MSRP and the selling price, the less depreciation you will have to pay
    (assume that the residual are the same).

    I've done some research when i lease my C230K, i can get $399 plus tax ($0 down) on a C230K w/ MSRP of $34000, while i have to pay around $20 more ($0 down) per month for a TL w/ MSRP of around $32900. Not to mention that the MBCC charge more on the interest.

    It's a given that the reliability of German car is always a ?, that's why i lease the MBZ so that i don't need to worry about reliability issue and i did have 4 toyotas before (still having a 03 4runner and i have to admit that Japanese cars are problem free)

    I am sorry but i shouldn't have made the "still a Japanese car" comment, yes, you can feel it when u r sitting inside a MBZ or BMW or even a VW, (did own a 1999 VW golf before) may be it's my personal bias.

    SH-AWD will be an awesome car and it's well worth the extra $2k, (a 270hp FWD just doesn't sound right to me) but i think it would be great if you can get it at MSRP when it first came out.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    http://www.cars.com/carsapp/national/?srv=lease&act=rv&mk- nm=Acura&mdnm=TL&yr=2004&x=2&y=17

    According to the American Leasing Guide, TL is 52% at 36 months, 325i is 51%, and C230 is 46%. In any case, the differences are minor and all three hold value well.

    I'm surprised that you could only get $500 off a TL. Maybe it's b/c the 2005 just came out. In a couple months, they should be close to invoice.

    I know what you're talking about with the German/Japan distinction, although personally I prefer the "feel" of Japanese cars. In general, the leathers in German cars are firmer, Japanese leathers are softer, and German steering is heavier and Japanese steering is lighter.

    In any case, the MB is a fine car and hope you enjoy it.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    "I'm surprised that you could only get $500 off a TL. Maybe it's b/c the 2005 just came out. In a couple months, they should be close to invoice."

    How did you get the idea that TL'd be at invoice price in a few months? 04 TL never got to that point the whole year. What made you think 05 will get there suddenly?
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "How did you get the idea that TL'd be at invoice price in a few months? 04 TL never got to that point the whole year. What made you think 05 will get there suddenly?"

    B/c in my area (DC), you could get a base auto 2004 TL for $500 to $800 over invoice about 5 months ago. The Navi's were much harder to discount.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Got you. Well that's more close to the end of 04 model. But even then it's not at invoice yet (maybe when 06 comes out it will be). I think 05 has more Nav TL made now. Still, a $2,500 or so premium over non-Nav is expected.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    In most metropolitan areas, traffic keeps getting worse. So performance driving just isn't that possible on urban and suburban streets.

    But definitely having a performance car lends it cachet, even in crowded, rush-hour traffic. Especialy if the car looks muscular.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “But definitely having a performance car lends it cachet…”

    Heaven help us, now we’ll have to listen to lectures from Blueguy and Riez for the next week.

    Just kiddin’ dudes… Lo-o-o-ve you guys!!!

    Personally, I choose my cars based on how chicks with multiple body piercings like them.

    ;-)
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