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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 8,698
    dino....granted, I've only driven a 3 with the SMG trans once, and it was only on a brief test drive. But, I came to the conclusion BMW's SMG trans isn't nearly ready for prime time. Maybe it's something you get used to. But, the one I drove was in a new 335is. It wasn't remotely smooth, nor was it particularly sporty.

    Again, could have been I wasn't used to it. But, I knew it wasn't for me within a minute or two of driving it.

    flightnurse.....I've heard rumblings on some of the other BMW specific forums when the PP first was announced that the 335is folks got the short end of the stick, considering what they paid to get the "is" version.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    Graphic I drove a M3 with the SMG and didn't like it, this was the last generation M3 ( I beleive) and I hoped they have gotten it right, but I guess not. Too bad, since Porsche,Audi and VW sure has. I would consider a new BMW with a SMG if it worked as well as VW's...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 9,619
    I know a guy who has been a DIE HARD stick driver his entire life. He had a 997 911 C2 (6 speed manual). He got rear ended at a light and the car was very badly damaged (he was in the hospital for 2 months). The car wasnt damaged enough to be totalled, but he said it never drove right after he got it back. He immediately began searching for a new car. His 1st stop was a BMW dealership. He nearly walked out when the salesman said they didn't have any 6 Speed Stick M3s in stock for him to drive. The guy practically begged him to drive the DCT equipped M3. He drove it and absolutely LOVED it. He ended up buying an M3 Convertible with DCT.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 19,698
    I have not driven a stick since my Accord was sold back in February (my Volvo is an AT, and the other car in the family is a minivan). I still occasionally push at the imaginary clutch, or reach to shift gears, but overall have not missed it. Just driving around town of course, so no big deal, but did get stuck in NYC traffic on my trip to LI!

    and my DD had been a manual for all but 3 months since I got my first car at age 17, which is many, many, many (sadly, I just had a milestone Bday) years ago.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    Ok boys, according to the Detroit Freepress the ATS will start at $33,990. Too high in my book. pricing-it-s-the-new-kid-on-the-block-

    enjoy the reading...
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    And when is the last time anyone paid MSRP for a GM car? When the rebates come (and they'll come quickly), you'll be able to buy an ATS for $29,500.

    Here's to hoping it isn't ugly...
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    And if I haven't said it yet, I think the new car to buy right now is the E90 328i - while they last.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    Well when I bought my 2000 vette there were not rebates on it, of course they do sell everyone they make.

    The size of the car is important, since the ATS is smaller then a CTS, not too sure how they is going to play out... The 2012 3 series is a bigger car then 2011, the A4 is about the same size as the 3, and the C class now has livable back seats. This is going to be interesting.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,283
    A similar article was on edmunds earlier in the week- I don't think it's the starting price but the options prices and standard features that need to define if it's a player -I think we need further details before totally dismissing a non-BMW. The article did point to the fact you can get the bigger eng 6 with some technology for 42k - which in a 3400 lb car could be interesting.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 43,617
    of course they do sell everyone they make.

    I think that's true of every car model, eventually...


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  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 9,619
    Thank-you for the compliment my friend:)

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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I had you in mind... I think you made a smart move.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 9,619
    I know I made the right move:). I enjoy every single mile I drive it.

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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Would you believe that I am even rethinking my position on AWD? At least, certain applications of it...
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    You are correct, however, in the case of the Vette, you wont see the past year model linger in the showroom very long. Not like other GM models..
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    Sweeny I'm not dismissing the car at all, what I'm saying is, for the ATS to be a home run, GM best get it right the first year. Since the ATS is being billed as a 3 series fighter, they will have a problem to start with, its size. It is smaller then a 3 series, A4 and C class.

    Yes, the ATS will have the 3.6L DI engine but that doesn't mean it will be a good car...
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 8,698 goes to show, an opinion is worth what I charge for it ;) .

    I didn't like the SMG in the BMW. Others may like it quite a lot.

    Over the last several years, I've strayed away from manual transmissions. I think the automatics have become so accomplished and efficient, I don't think I can match the performance of a good automatic. The 6-speed auto in my 3 is great. I know I couldn't match the shifts if I were driving it with a manual.....and I'm pretty good with the left pedal.

    Some cars just cry out for a muscle cars.....or a Porsche. Everything else, a good automatic will net more performance 9 out of 10 times.

    Someone mentioned 3 series diesel cars a while back in here. I was in Manchester U.K. for business a few weeks ago. My company has a couple of cars for those of us visiting to use. I think they lease them as they change every 3-4 years. They put me in a diesel Jaguar. Not a bad car, at all. They don't understand our (meaning U.S.) affinity for "petro" cars. But, gas is about $9-$10/gal there. So, diesels are very popular.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    Graphic when it comes to the argument for and against a manual transmission I would place BMW and Vette in the category as must have. Growing up I have had only three cars that didn't have manual transmission. 65 Mustang, 57 Continental Mark II and a 1970 Datsun truck that had a Buick V6 in it. However, after driving the VW DSG car, I could live with a good dual clutch transmission car, but BMW has not built one yet. I do see the future going in that direction when it comes to performance cars.

    When it comes to prices in the UK and the EU the price for Petrol and Fuel (diesel) are about the same, this is why Diesel's are so popular. BTW, it was me who talked about the 335d.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 335
    edited May 2012
    I think that regardless of the actual transaction price the ATS has to be priced less than BMW if for no other reason than frequently people look online to check out a car. I would think that if they are priced too close together no one would even take a hard look at the ATS at which point they might discover the discounts. Sometimes the "discount" doesn't appear quickly and it turns people off. Or in some markets, you have dealers that don't discount as heavily as dealers in other markets.
    2014 Highlander XLE AWD, 2009 RX 350 AWD and 2007 Odyssey EX
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,283
    Flight the 328 you ride is it manual or auto?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited May 2012
    I have now reached 15,000 miles on my 2012 Acura TL Advance SH-AWD. I have had two oil changes and at the second change the SH-AWD "fluid" was changed (very expensive.) The tires have been rotated twice.

    I keep the tires cold inflated to: front 37, rear 35. I decided to stick with the somewhat crappy OEM tires that came with the car, since they are all-season UHP's and I wanted to go through winter (very light even for Cincinnati) with the OEM's kind of to allow me to "testify" about the OEM selection.

    I added 4 splash guards and the backup sensors -- otherwise the thing is bone stock.

    I bring my own oil -- Mobil 1 -- for the changes, and all service has been performed by the dealer, Lindsay Acura, Columbus, OH.

    This is one boring car from a service perspective. It did, however, seem peppier after the second oil and "fluid" change -- in that respect it reminded me somewhat of my experience with Audi's -- they feel more powerful at 5,000 and again at 10,000 miles.

    I am not used to paying for service (Audi and BMW spoiled me in that regard) -- so $230 oil changes including tire rotations are painful. But in fairness, the reason for the expense on the last one was the SH-AWD fluid, which won't be changed again for a long time.

    This car seems almost freakishly unfazed by miles and time. There are NO rattles, no wear and tear (inside or out) tells that could give away the car's age (in miles.) Most of my German cars -- my 2005 Audi A6 3.2 quattro being the ONLY exception -- have always started to either feel or (upon examination) show their age by this point.

    The last two BMW's developed rattles in a similar time / miles situation. The Audi seemed to be a dirt magnet -- and I wash my cars twice weekly (including vacuuming the interiors), so it is not due to some change in my auto-hygene regimen that I tell you the Acura at 15,000 miles feels totally new, looks new, drives new, etc etc. The only difference is it gets somewhat better mileage now and it has a bit more pep in its step.

    Yet the TL remains a compromise car -- it is "in the ballpark" with the Germans I have been used to (and by in the ballpark, I mean broadly: features, content, power, price, etc.) but it is about 9/10ths. Now considering it's VALUE quotient, perhaps it is more than 9/10ths; but, when I push it hard through a curvy back road it makes me think, "this is soooo close, but just not quite there." Of course my lease payments are $100 per month less than the outgoing 2009 A4 2.0T quattro sport and the Acura still feels the same as it did (as noted above) the day I got it. The Audi, on the other hand, at 15,000 miles had already gone through a set of tires (and very expensive ones at that) and just seemed a bit more worn.

    I have come to a conclusion, perhaps incorrectly so, that like the hyper expensive tires that came with the A4 and pooped out young (they turned to powder in an effort to make the car feel as if it were on rails), perhaps the German cars perform better for a shorter period of time. The Japanese -- perhaps -- don't perform as well from the get go, but they "take a lickin' and keep on tickin'" with minimal fuss and care.

    The sales manager of the Acura store came from an Audi store and he remarked that the Germans make the best performing cars, period, but that they require the owner to take much more of an active role in maintaining that ultra high performance standard.

    I have a Sheltie -- very low strung, very low maintenance (groomed about every 8 weeks and that's it) -- perhaps the Sheltie analogous to a Japanese ELLPS or LPS car. Now, then, there are some other breeds which seem to be high maintenance, but win a lot more "best in show" awards -- perhaps the German cars are like a high strung high maintenance dog breed.

    Beats me -- the Acura certainly has been superior at one thing, though: not aging. :surprise:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 43,617
    Why does markcincinnati get his car serviced in Columbus?


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  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,038
    Mark: Thanks for the report. Happy to hear your Acura is not showing the interior wear and rattle problems I had with my previous generation TL and my two other Acuras.
    2015 Lexus RC350 F-Sport, 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, 2015 Buick Encore, 2017 Audi A4 Premium-Plus S-Line (son's got it)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 9,619
    edited May 2012
    15,000 miles is LITERALLY nothing for a Honda Product (nor should it be for ANY CAR at this price point). My 10 year old (146,200 mile) Prelude is extremely well screwed together. I'm still on the original shocks.

    Thanks for the 15K report. I'm glad you are enjoying the car (the 9/10ths of it anyway;) & the $100 per month in your pocket.

    You are bringing your own oil & still getting a $231 bill for an oil change? Your dealer seems to charge an awful lot of money.

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,283
    I've had a car for 30k and I dont think I've spent 231 bux total on oil changes and I use oil the dealer puts in.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I bought the car using -- the Columbus dealer gave me a 13% off sticker price.

    I drive to Columbus twice weekly, and I am always in Columbus on either Saturday or Sunday. The time between cities is 100 minutes.

    When the change oil reminder comes on, I call the dealer that I bought the car from and make a Saturday appt. I ask for the car I want as a loaner, an MDX or ZDX, etc and I get to test drive that car for the day whilst the car is being serviced.

    The $230 oil change was due almost entirely to the fact that at the second oil change the SH-AWD fluid has to be changed -- and it is very pricey.

    While 15,000 may be "nuthin" for a Honda (which is another reason the Acura is only 9/10ths), an Audi with 15,000 miles on it is middle aged. I have kept ONE German car more than 50,000 miles. The German cars drive great, perform great, look great and their features and functions are the standard by which the other guys measure themselves (or so I assume.)

    Yet ONLY this car feels new at 15k miles -- the German cars seem to begin the aging process by 15K miles.

    Now give me the choice of the Acura or the Audi and get rid of the price issues, well, at this point I would still go with the German despite my belief that it will age faster than the Japanese car. In fact I am starting to believe that an American car will also age more slowly due to the fact that we Americans think nothing of making two round trips to Columbus Ohio from Cincinnati per week, whereas a German would take a train for such a distance if at all possible (which it almost always is, in Germany and most of Europe.)

    Another example, I do business in Chicago -- 275 miles from Cincinnati. I used to fly. Now the 5 hour drive to Chicago is about identical to the time it takes to make the trip on Delta (all things considered.)

    And I can drive there in an Enterprise rental for a fraction of the cost of a plane ticket. These days I am probably putting 18-20K per year on my car because it is more prudent and pragmatic than the currently available alternatives.

    In any case all of these things seem to support driving cars that think 15K miles ain't no thang.
  • billyperksiibillyperksii Posts: 198
    Mark- just say "rear differential fluid" not SH-AWD.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Will do -- I was just quoting the dealer's lingo.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 123
    Markcincinnati, I find your posts very well written and informative. I just bought a Volvo S60. It will be a 2013. I will not take delivery until July. My recent cars have been Avalons and Subarus. At 15,000 miles those cars still felt like new. In you opinion, will the S60 be showing signs of aging at 15,000 miles like the German cars? Thanks.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,967
    Both of my 3 series are Manuals.
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