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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    BMW sells a lot of cars. Maybe their target market doesn't read CR. :blush:
  • wirelesswireless Posts: 47
    Yeah I know what you mean about a loaded up C250 - they have those in the dealership for just shy of $50k. Beautiful cars if you wanted loaded up everything and I think the gas mileage is a little better.

    Personally I wouldn't mind the smaller engine as much as the turbo. Just don't trust the long-term reliability of turbos. Have heard bad things about the Audi's and VWs ("cripplingly expensive to repair").

    My wife said get a powerful engine and, man, who could argue with that? :)

    I live in NC so no need for AWD. I heard the C350 AWD drive will be out soon though.

    Getting ready to leave on an 8-hour trip in a few minutes... in the Toyota Minivan Argggggggg!!!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,973
    I only know I don't. ;)

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,771
    kd....never been a CR fan. Their flaw is they tell their readership what their reliability should be, and they respond accordingly. That's why Hondas have been at the top of their lists for so long. On top of that, they only grudgingly took Lexus/Toyota off of their "recommended" list when they were going through the unintended acceleration fiasco. Even though Toyota was exonerated, CR had no reason to pull them from the recommended list, other than public opinion.

    So, if a BMW is thought to be problematic, regardless of the facts, CR rates them as such. Perception is reality is CR's world.

    I agree with you. I doubt CR sells many subscriptions into the BMW market.

    For decades, they put different values on cars than those of us in here do. In CR's world, everyone should be driving a Camry, Corolla, Civic or an Accord.

    I haven't read their mag in 15 years. When I did read their rag, I didn't find one thing about their ratings and opinions I agreed with. I just hear people in these sorts of threads talk about them.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,579
    edited April 2012
    Even though Toyota was exonerated, CR had no reason to pull them from the recommended list, other than public opinion

    Too much conspiracy theory, IMHO. It is actually much simpler. Besides acceleration fiasco, Toyota was actually going through a quality dip during mid-to-late '00. It was related to their goal of being No. 1 in sales, catching a moderate case of GMnitis, absorbing too many new suppliers too quickly and attempting too aggressive pricing cuts to meet the points (and sales quotas). The acceleration thing was just the apex of the process. Regardless whether the issue was real or imaginary (pedal was real and they kicking and screaming admitted it, electronics may have been imaginary) , CR simply noticed what people did - their new spanking Camries and Lexuses (Lexi?) were NOT as reliable as the previous ones. They had no choice, but take them off that "automatic recommendation" list. BTW automatic recommendation really meant that if a new model tested well enough to get positive review, they would not wait for the reliability data to recommend it, as history of previous models had a consistent track record of good reliability. Toyota simply lost that streak. There are plenty of models that have good reliability, but are not recommended due to lower score in tests and vice versa - good score, but reliability below average, or "New/no data".

    It is all consistent. One can dispute their ratings (they tend to focus things that enthusiasts simply don't care about and other items that are very important to the enthusiasts get low weight in their score), also their reliability survey method can sometimes be disputed, as well. I just don't exactly believe in conspiracy that the results are predetermined. BMW 3-series is usually "in or out", depending on the year, point in the cycle. They usually get top ratings in their category (so even CR likes them as ELLPS), but the recommendation is occasionally withheld, when the survey data shows consistent issues with significant repairs, regardless whether paid by the owner, or in warranty.

    BTW, Honda is going through similar crisis today as Toyota did in late '00. It is not related to reliability, but to overall design/quality feel. The new civic is such a flop (not in real terms, vs. expectations and competition progress) that Honda decided to accelerate the refreshing cycle.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,579
    edited April 2012
    For decades, they put different values on cars than those of us in here do. In CR's world, everyone should be driving a Camry, Corolla, Civic or an Accord

    That is not entirely accurate. They place vehicles in different categories. It just so happens that small and midsize sedans are most known and followed by people, hence Camry or Corolla. They have other categories, too and occasionally test them. BMW 3-series consistently wins its own class (sporty upscale sedan) in terms of points, it even sometimes gets recommendations, which it can later lose due to reliability data. Same often happens to Passat - it very often is on top of the ratings, but it does not get recommended due to reliability. Then Camry/Accord step in, as being half-notch below, but with better record.

    They do not say "you should buy ..., period". They say, "If you want a familly sedan below $30K, you should buy...". Big difference.

    In other words, their criteria and values are not as different as yours, but they use a two-stage evaluation process. Step one is the car merrits, as what pertains to its category. You score above certain threshold, you become a candidate. Step two is reliability data. It just so happens that those darlings of ours also happen to be more prone to failures than those more hum-drum offerings of others.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,736
    Sweeny to set record straight In a posting that was pulled by the host, I responded why I asked your age.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,051
    I haven't read their mag in 15 years.

    Yeah, I'm going to take your perception as reality. Got any proof that people filling out their surveys are just lambs led to slaughter and who can't seperate fantasy from reality? Gimme a break.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,930
    CR isn't for enthusiasts. BMW drivers tend to be enthusiasts; therefore, CR isn't for BMW shoppers. I doubt anyone wondering whether they should or shouldn't get a BMW bothers consulting CR.

    It's more for items where there isn't a wide array of difference in performance and options - say, toasters. Toasters have one job - to turn bread that isn't toast into toasted bread. Some may do it a bit faster or more evenly, and may last longer, but that's about all there is to rate.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,736
    KD interesting point, however, Hyundai has an interesting approach when it comes to the Equus. If you want to look at one and are serious, the Hyundai dealer will bring the car to you whether it is at home or the office, so you don't have to walk into a dealership. If and when it comes to service, Hyundai will come and pick up the car from you, with a loaner car. Hyundai knows that if they want to be taken seriously they have to play different. I also like the fact that the Equus's owners manual are on a iPad that comes with the car. Again, thinking outside the box.

    I believe the Genesis is a luxury car, for Hyundai. For the size, equipment and, price they have a great product. Give then another year or two and I truly believe they will be a big player in the luxury car market.

    People laughed at Acrua, Lexus and Infiniti when they started and today, we have people who do nothing but praise them like they are gods.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,678
    I don't think there is any proof that people are filling out CR surveys as lambs...but there is no proof they are not.

    I think CR and even JD Powers is about as good as we can get trying to determine reliability.

    Which isn't very good...

    Let's say you have two cars MB E class and Kia Rio. I would suspect that if both experience 5 minor problems that Mr E class would note every single one. There is an expectation that once you spend a certain amount that everything should be working correctly (I also subscribe to this theory). The Rio guy didn't see the, fictional, power window switch not working as a problem...because didn't leave me stranded...and they fixed it under warranty.

    I would also suspect that once you start adding in "free" maintenance it skews the results.

    Then I have my couch theory that relates to demographics. Give the same couch to college dudes and grandma. After 3 years which couch is more "reliable". What if grandma's really liked a particular couch (wonder why Buick is so high on JD Powers...). Or why, for some reason, the Lexus GS and IS had worse than their "normal" reliability rating; answer: because they sell those to people like me (drive it like you stole it).

    Speaking of JD Powers. A while ago I compared the long term reliability from two separate periods. Conclusion: A new Audi is as reliable as a Toyota from 5 years ago...the new Toyota is even more reliable...but if 5 years ago you were "happy" with the number of problems per 100 could justify a new Audi :)
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,051
    Interesting point of view. How would you explain that different brands and models within change in the CR results from model year to model year? Wouldn't the people owning them have the same attributes and be reporting similarly. A MB owner wouldn't suddenly become complacent about the 5 problems and the Kia owner wouldn't suddenly become more critical. Probably no real way of ever determining and it probably works on a curve anyway.

    Oh well, this discussion has strayed way off topic and I'm sure people want to move on.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,579
    A MB owner wouldn't suddenly become complacent about the 5 problems and the Kia owner wouldn't suddenly become more critical

    Actually, they potentially could, very much so. It is a game of expectations. Doesn't mean this is the only variable, but it is important one, often not taken into account.

    I would add, I don't care much for JP Powers' methodology. There were several times, when I read results of their surveys vs. what I knew about the car, it became evident to me there is a lot pretending there. Case in point - Subaru Legacy. Since 2005, it had three distinct levels of trim with totally different engine performance. While standard four cylinder is so-so, the GT trim turbo is a beast, one of the fastest in the group. Yet, JP Powers would allow you to choose specifically "GT" trim and would still assign lower than average acceleration to it. I suspect, the surveys were not properly sorted, there was probably not enough data for separate GT trim, but JP Powers would not admit that - they'd rather give you garbage data based on averaged low-end trim line and pretend it also pertained to the higher one. Once I discovered that, it became clear to me these guys know much less than they are pretending to do.

    Not to mention their choices for categories, like "harsh ride" somehow becomes part of a "quality" in their "initial" or "long term" quality studies. Pure ignorance taken to extreme.

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,342
    edited April 2012
    with CR survey methodology is that it's a self-selected cohort. The people who take the time to fill out the multi-page survey (IMHO) are either really upset or extremely pleased with their vehicle, or worse yet, have an axe of some sort to grind (Pious drivers, anyone?). Run-of-the-mill people who have better things to do with their time aren't included.

    It's anythiing but a statistically-valid survey, but no one seems to care, and here we are.

    Plus which, a flaw that causes the car to stop running isn't differentiated from one that's an inconvenience or a minor annoyance in a system that 99% continues to function.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,736
    wireless I haven't read many personal reviews of the current C class from owners, I like the coupe though but the price I can't warm up to. I was a big Benz fan many years ago however, I have a secret desire for a E55 wagon.

    The design of the current benz doesn't do it for me, however it is typical german in its design, something that BMW and AUDI are not. We all have our likes and dislikes, this is what makes the world go around.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Lexus, Acura and Infiniti set the bar in terms of dealerships. There is a Toyota and Lexus dealership in my neck of the woods, right next to one another. I cannot image the Toyota dealer selling an LS 460 out of it's showroom, which is akin to Hyundai selling the Equus next to an Elantra.

    Not that that is bad. But American buyers, imo, expect the dealers to walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to luxury vehicles.

    I'm not sure I would be happy to have these service guys drive my car back and forth the dealership. My ex-BMW dealer had that option, but I decided not to avail myself of that particular service.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,220
    edited April 2012
    "CR isn't for enthusiasts" - bold statement - I subscribe to CR and own a car in this class- and i shopped BMW, and continue to cross shop the class. I take what they say along with what other mags have to say as a good barometer for what my next purchase should be- its not set in stone but it's a guide- they are not a "rag" and have no support other then subscribers so I take what they say seriously - unlike other mags that are tied to certain product lines.

    (not directed at host) I love when people argue about what Consumers are saying about the BMw - mind you these are people who bought (or leased) a car and are just posting an opinion so other consumers know what to expect. Toyota argument - nice try but really?
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,220
    It must of been a real kick to the shins - rock on
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,736
    KD from what I have read the person who comes and picks up the cars is a Concierge type person, so in theory one would never have to step into a dealership at all.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 16,113
    now that sounds like my kind of semi-retirement job!

    much better than working the front door at Walmart.

    Actually, all the shuttle van drivers at my Honda dealer are retired gents that do it for pocket money (or to get away from their wife!)

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 8,236
    Hyundai for doing what Lexus did way back in the day. I can see how the Genesis works, although I don't see any in my neck of the woods because they DO NOT offer AWD (AWD is expected here in the northeast). I'm not sure who the target market for the Eqqus is. My parents are 66 & 64. They both drive cars that cost what an Eqqus costs (2011 Cayenne V6 & 2011 Tahoe LTZ). I can tell you that there's no way either of them is setting foot in a Hyundai dealership. They also tend to like the firm ride of a German car.

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

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,736
    Once again this is why we have choices, for me I don't care about the dealership experience, as long as I can drop off my car, and get out in a reasonable amount of time I'm happy. Now I like the idea on not setting foot in a dealership as all to buy and get my car service sounds great. I think the buying process is horrible, but BMW, MB, Audi, Lexus, Acrua, Infiniti have it right, have a nice clean dealership with a very relax atmosphere it the correct way to go.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I replaced my M today...



    I want to thank the gentleman pictured with me who took such good care of my car for the past 17 years.


    And yes, the E30 will be parked next to it in about 2 weeks! Talk about clouds with silver linings... :)
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,220
    edited April 2012
    Nice guy -Love your purple tie- killing it . Not that I care But becareful people on this chat hate when you stray off topic, Porsches and jeep references not allowed.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 8,236
    Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! What year is that? 1995? Mazes-Tov & may you have many, many, years of fantastic driving experiences with it! I love that car!

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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Thanks NYC!

    1995 C4. One owner local car.

    Funny, it just occurred to me - I got both the 911 and the 318ic for about the cost of a base 328i... :blush:
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 8,236
    Those '95s are what made me fall in love with the 911. I didn't particularly care for the styling before that. I thought they looked like a squashed bug. I was a 944/928/968 fan. Ever since I first laid eyes on a '95 911, I immediately added it to my list of dream cars! How many miles are on your C4? How'd you find it? Why was this guy selling it?

    I'm starting to dip into my BMW's performance potential. First and foremost I'm so impressed with how well the chassis is balanced. It pours itself around curves. The entire car is very fluid.

    I used to say that I'd only want a RWD 3 series with a Sport Pkg & frowned upon BMW for only offering a cosmetic sport package with AWD. Not anymore. I'm so happy with how well my 328xi drives. I don't feel the need for anything sharper & a bit lighter (Sport Pkg & RWD). I don't feel the need or want for anymore power.

    When I drive a car, I always try to pick a theme song for it. Something that suits the car perfectly. My Prelude's theme is "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream.

    For my 328xi, since I'm leasing it and have to give it back in 2 1/2 years, I picked "Stay With Me" by Faces. "Yeah I'll pay your cab fare home, you can even use my best cologne, just don't be here in the morning when I wake up."

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,771
    edited April 2012
    Kirstie....thanks, you more eloquently explained what my cumbersome post attempted to say.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,771
    Fed....BIG CONGRATS! That is sweet!
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,771 and I view CR the sams way. Their ratings simply have no statistical validity.
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