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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I knew this was the thread to seek help. I respect and appreciate all the "regulars" here. :)


    P.S. I don't see a PM option here. How do you contact a member/host?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Fed sorry to hear. As long as your bro is ok.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    What about me? I was sitting next to him, helpless to stop the nightmare as it happened in slow motion! :surprise:

    Seriously though, thank you KD, I do appreciate the sentiment. That is truly what matters and we are both physically OK - no injuries.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,726
    Fedlaw sorry to hear that, yes, sitting next to him would be the worse, it is that bad to repair?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 32,305
    Click on any member name.... you can access their profile, which will include their e-mail address, if they have chosen to make it public.

    All Host e-mails are public in their profile.

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Got it, thanks kyfdx!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited February 2012
    Thanks flightnurse...

    There doesn't appear to be any suspension or driveline damage, but both bumpers were ripped off, and both front fenders were pushed back and up into the A-pillars. The oil cooler is bent out of shape. We didn't see any evidence of frame damage, but the glove box doesn't close properly anymore, leading me to suspect more unseen damage. There are numerous light paint scratches all over the passenger side of the car. I haven't driven it, but the engine runs, there are no new leaks, and the rear wheels are still attached to the crank, so that's something.

    Most of the expense from the bodyshop estimate is because they would replace body panels and have to paint the entire car to get a good blend. Do a four-wheel alignment and then insurance added $2500 for additional unseen work that is expected to be needed. Total estimate to repair is $15K - $17.5K.

    I'm considering buying the Salvage and piecing it back together myself. USAA wants $4200 for it and I'm sure I could fix it for a lot less by bending things back into position, buying bumpers online and having MAACO paint them, etc...

    Part of me knows it will never be the same and I'll think of my brother whenever I drive it. Maybe I'll just buy the salvage, part it out, and move on.

    I really don't know what I'm going to do yet.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 8,214
    Oh gosh. First & foremost, I'm really glad you are both OK & didn't get hurt. Let us know what happens with the insurance company.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Thanks nyc, I will.

    On a somewhat brighter note, I did put out a couple of feelers for CPO Porsche 997's yesterday...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,951
    Kind of does sound like the unibody is bent. Did you have this insured through standard insurance? Or on classic insurance with an "agreed upon value?"

    If standard insurance, I would add some of those in the back of Roundel as comps. I saw a couple in the most recent edition that were something like $25k-$30k, IIRC.

    '14 CTS Vsport; '15 Fit LX 6-spd; '98 Volvo S70 base; '14 Town&Country Limited

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited February 2012
    It is a "cash value" coverage. I didn't have the option for "agreed value" with USAA. I did look into Classic insurance when I got the car, but at the time, I believe it was too new still and there were limitations imposed on how I use the car that didn't work for me at the time. I should have revisited it more recently, but I didn't get around to it. My fault, for sure...

    Good advice about the Roundel classifieds. I have printed out a bunch of comps I have found online, but not from the Roundel.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,951
    well, just an FYI in case you fix it or buy another classic, things apparently are a bit different now.

    Back in the summer, we bought a 300E for the wife. I too was worried about the perceived limitations on a Hagerty policy (for example), so I shopped around. Found another company that offers classic "agree upon value" coverage but also lets you choose a more liberal policy where you can drive the car for pleasure use up to a total of 7500 miles per year. So I bought that. (Wish I could remember the name off the top of my head, but I know I posted it on the Project Cars discussion.)

    Not long after, Hagerty was bugging me for some feedback. I wrote on the form how I didn't like their restrictive policies. A rep called me after that to talk about it. He said they will cover for pleasure use and not just "to and from car shows." Which is good because I still have my MR2 covered by them.

    So, anyway, there are options out there for you.

    Good luck with this one. Anxious to hear a good outcome.

    '14 CTS Vsport; '15 Fit LX 6-spd; '98 Volvo S70 base; '14 Town&Country Limited

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Thank you for the info, that's really good to know. I may yet benefit from it in the near future.

    I'll definitely let you know how everything ends up.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,750 others said, glad to hear you and your BIL are OK.

    I don't envy you regarding dealing with the insurance companies. It's always a crap shoot whether they will actually do what's right by their customers (regardless of what their TV ads claim). Hope they of luck!

    Regarding the 4 cyl lux cars, I don't like them. They are not as smooth as their 6 cyl counterparts. The 328i I drove was down on performance vs the 6 cyl 328i I test drove last year. And, it's not nearly as smooth. Yet, it costs more. Go figure.

    BMW does have an outlet for their 4 cyl's called MINI.

    It's no secret that I like well performing cars. That's the reason I like the TL SH AWD, the 335i, the Taurus SHO, etc (all of them were on my shopping list last go round).

    I pretty quickly dismissed the Audis and MB (a C series, even with a 6 cyl, but down on power) for that very reason.

    Call me whatever name you want. But, I put power before fuel economy....every time.

    We'll see where the whole 4 cyl thing ends up for BMW. Haven't driven a 5 series in awhile. But, the trade rags I've read aren't too enamored with it using the 4 cyl. local dealer had an '11 535 GT in the showroom, loaded, MSRP well north of $60K. It had ~1,100 miles on it, used by the sales manager.

    They had a price on the windshield of $49,999. If I were in the market......?????!!!!!!
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,218
    Yep, I also look at "leader adds" while drive as well
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,218
    While I agree with you on power, I think it's very important as well, but the examples of Taurus Sho and Tl might be a bit of a stretch . Both are very heavy and are middle of the pack overall performers- that are based on family FWd platforms, and I'm sure you did your research but and the car rags agree. - sales numbers also point to the fact they are mid level players at best.
    That being said the 535 is a fantastic example where just Enuf power plus performance doesn't warrent the bigger engine.
    Here's a review of the new 3, they did mention the engine was a little different but has more power.

    I think we have turned the page -4cyls arethe new Elpps, atleast the ones that produce torque and hps.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 8,214
    I'll be curious too as to how well received the new 4cyl is by the non-enthusiast crowd. My dentist is picking up a 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 next week. He drove it back to back with the 2.0T and really preferred the way the 3.2 behaved. He's not an enthusiast, just likes European cars.

    There used to be a "4 cylinder stigma" that I don't know exists anymore in certain circles. Fuel economy is on everyone's mind these days (and has been for quite some time now). I always enjoy a good car conversation outside of my enthusiast friends. People used to talk about acceleration & horsepower. Now the first question you hear someone ask when someone else gets a new car is: "How is it on gas?"

    I wonder what kind of crazy incentives BMW will offer on the E90 335 & 328 xi before the new F30 Xi models come out. Cash? Low financing?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • btc33btc33 Posts: 2
    I make around $46,000 a year and am looking to buy a entry level luxury car for around $18,000. I am not a fan of Camrys, Accords, etc. I am just wanting to make sure I get a car I can afford the maintenance costs and and one that is not going to have issues a lot. I know I can afford to buy one but I just want to make sure I can afford to own one.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,572
    I assume you want a used car - and it has to be quite used (4+ years old). I own BMW myself, but bought it new with maintenance. I love, but would not get one for 18 grand, especially if did not have more money to spend after the purchase.

    If maintenance costs are real issue for you, start with Acura TSX or TL. TL is definitely more luxurious, but more expensive and larger; you'd get newer TSX. TSX is smaller, but also more agile and better on gas. TL is basically luxury version on Accord. TSX is a top line of European/JDM car also called Honda Accord, but it's a different vehicle altogether.

    My second choice for low maintenance entry level/semi luxury would be 2005-2010 Subaru Legacy GT or 3.6R (the last letters are important - it's a turbo version or 6-cylinder of Legacy, respectively). GT is very fast and has 6-speed manual transmission (if that's important to you), not so great on gas and may be hard to find. Legacy 3.6R Limited has a smooth 6-cylinder engine and AT and also decent level of equipment.

    Third choice - Infiniti G35. For 18 grand, it may already be too old to be "problem free".

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,218
    I will be less rude "I bought a BMW new but would never get one for 18k",

    Ok well how about a lease. _ Acura, Infiniti, BMW and others offer competitive leases that for that same 18k over 3 years you can get into a Elpps car.

    On his Infiniti comment I have a 07 g35x with 30k miles - it can be had for 20k but in this economy would consider 18k- no problems, new stopers but does need tires. so In conclusion I think you can find a car - not cerified for 18k, year 2007 or better that will satisfy your needs. -
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,678
    You could get an 06 IS350 if you don't mind an automatic. It is basically the same as the new 2012.

    You'd have HP that was tops in 06 and is still competitive today and you'd have the "Lexus" reliability...if you subscribe to that sort of thing...
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,750
    edited February 2012
    btc....I don't know your personal finance situation (married? house payment? credit card bills?, etc), but would be willing to state that if an unexpected car repair comes up, you would be hard pressed to cover it.

    With that in mind, I think I would probably stay away from the lux brands. Even though Acuras, Lexus, etc are known for their reliability, they do break. And, they do cost more than their more plebeian Honda and Toyota counter parts.

    Don't discount Ford or GM either. You would be able to pick up a new Focus or Cruze for that amount with warranty, and probably better performance than older lux cars.

    You could probably pick up a nice, 2-3 year old Camry or Accord for that money, and be relatively assured you'd get a lot of trouble free miles out of them.

    Audi, BMW, etc, while good cars, are not economical to maintain, even if nothing major does go wrong with them. Unless you can do it yourself, even routine maintenance items will be expensive.

    In short, set your sights lower, until you get more established into a higher tax bracket.

    Good luck!
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,572
    Well, didn't mean to. All I was saying, if 18 grand was all I had and I had no apetite for above-average repair/maintenance, I would not buy a car I currently own, even though I absolutely love it. Trying to be a realist. It is actually very easy to buy something, but to own it is a different story.

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,951
    edited February 2012
    S60 2.5T FWD. ONLY that model. Do NOT get AWD in this car! And it has to be '07 or newer for better transmission reliability (unless you are getting a stick, in which case it doesn't matter).

    I also endorse the G35. Or you could get a Maxima.

    '14 CTS Vsport; '15 Fit LX 6-spd; '98 Volvo S70 base; '14 Town&Country Limited

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,726
    edited February 2012
    Sweeny you and leases.... Leases are not for everybody and most of the time cost more in the long run then buying a car. To get those ultra low payments come mileage restriction which is you are not careful can add up to thousands of dollars at the end of your lease. Most ultra low leases have a cap of 30K for 3 yrs.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,726
    18K can get you some nice cars, however they will not be new, and I would avoid a lease at all cost. What cars appeal to you? also do not forget to add the cost of insurance, once you step up to the lux brands, Infiniti, Audi, BMW, Acrua, lexus, insurance goes up too. One thing you need to remember is, just because it comes from Japan doesn't mean the cost of maintenance will be less then those from Germany. The same can be said for cars from the US. Most of us can give you some advice or tell you the pros and cons of certain brands over others most of is can very objective too.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,218
    Leases allow you to get more far with the least amt of money- I was throwing the option of leasing to our new contributor. I own 2 cars but have leased in the past when I was less liquid so i think it's a good option. Please spare us with the leader add spew, over have the 3 series sold are leased.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,572
    edited February 2012
    Leases allow you to get more far with the least amt of money- I was throwing the option of leasing to our new contributor

    No, they don't. They allow you to think you are getting a better car for less money, just because you are paying less per month. Long term lease can be very, very expensive, if you don't know how to lease. "Low payment" lease is great to park the car and look at it - just not drive it. Yeah - then it is "cheaper". But when you actually need to get anywhere with your car, the "cheap" lease bites.

    I'm with the nurse of this - leases are NOT for "beginners". You need to educate yourself before you go there, otherwise they'll skin you alive. You need to know exactly how many miles you need, what depreciation, residual, money factor are, how to calculate lease, what are traps, why big downpayment is a bad idea, etc. And boy, at less than 50 grand a year you have no business even coming to a new car lot at lux brand dealership. I know it's harsh, but that's the reality. Our country is in its current trouble exactly because people think they could get a half milion house on 50 grand. Same applies to cars. You get it when you can afford it, not sooner.

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,218
    For 400 bux a month - you can get a Acura tsx-yea it's 10k miles a year - but again it's an option for some. A long term lease =what? 3 years are the avg lease deals. So for 14400 you can get a tsx for 3 years.

    The point is this may be an option - you need to educate for sure before doing it - just like when you buy a car you should - or sailing a boat.

    Pretty sure you and nurse - are one and the same when it comes to hateing leasing , which is fine but it is an option for some. No money or little down, smaller payment, works for some. Look at all those 3 series rolling around - you think most are paying cash, financing or leasing those puppies. I'm sure a good % of those people don't make this big bux like you and nurse.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,572
    By "long term lease is expensive" I didn't mean a long lease term, I meant that in the long run leasing costs more, as in after three years you need another one, and then another one, which adds up to total cost higher than buying a car and keeping it (leasing new cars means you absorb steepest portion of the depreciation every time you do it).

    I don't hate leases, not at all. I think their fine for people who know what they're doing. In fact, for some brands and models, lease is better than buying as long as you get the right mileage. Manufacturers sometimes subsidize leases more than they do purchases (by e.g. inflating residuals and/or use money factors below market rates), which makes them more attractive, even with larger fees (e.g. $800 acquisition fee translates to over half percentage point in a loan). In a sense, when you get inflated residual on a lease, you buy then a smaller portion of a vehicle than you should (the rest is picked up the manufacturer). If market residual value is 42%, but the lease says it is 52%, then you get discount eual to 10% of MSRP, even before you negotiate the price (usually it is not as drastic). The fees (acquisition and disposal) will take some of that back, but if money factor is also low then it could be a winner.

    My issue is that a lot of people don't understand all aspects of leasing, don't understand true costs of leasing that goes beyond monthly payment, but do it anyway and then get burned. Just because something is less per month, doens't mean it's cheaper.

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

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