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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    I agree with much of what you say. And, in fact, In 2004 I bought a TL 6-speed that was even less than a clone of a 3 series than the G35. I got a fun to drive "sporty" (vs. sport) sedan that had more room for the family, good ergonomics and technology, and excellent reliability.

    But....I would still contend that part of infiniti's problem is self inflicted. They themselves tried to compare the g35 to the 3 series in marketing materials. And by producing a coupe version that is essentially a refined 370z with a back seat, they were clearly hoping to win the comparison on performance and driving dynamics.

    You can keep contending that they are a viable alternative for other reasons and attributes. I agree. But flight can also contend that, unlike the TL or Lexus ES, the G set itself up for and encouraged a more direct comparison to the 3 series on those attributes that fell short.

    The G is what it is and people can and do buy it based ( hopefully) upon the actual attributes.
  • "I would like to think that's true, but it seems it's an epidemic of lazy people who have or take no pride in their own work."

    Actually at the BMW plant in Greenville SC they don't hire "lazy" people. Competition is high for jobs there and they have their choice of good people. I had a relative who worked there plus I know someone else who went through the hiring process.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 8,485
    m6user....I think Infiniti marketed/positioned the G as competition for the BMW 3 series. Problem with that is, BMW is a moving target. They keep upping the ante, sometimes in as little as major upgrades happening every 2-3 model years.

    So, Infiniti is left competing on price, instead......"almost" as good as a BMW, but at a lesser price. Nothing wrong with that. Ask any small business person how that works out. You must have very large quantity of scale to compete on price. Out of all the parameters any company wants to use as a competitive advantage, price would rank at the very bottom.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,132
    edited October 2012
    I don't disagree at all that Infiniti tried to be closer to a BMW 328 than either Lexus or Acura and marketed itself as such. What I don't agree with is that Infiniti was trying to copy exactly the experience of driving a BMW 3. I really don't pay much attention to manufacturer press release info or commercials as that is just hype.

    IMO the G has some attributes(MPG not being one, it sucks and another reason I did not buy) that are better than the 3 which I think (most) everyone can agree on ie. power, interior sophistication, low(long term) maint. and repairs. In other ways it is about equal ie resale value, dealer experience. The area where it and just about every Asian or American car falls short is in the suspension, steering gear and weight distribution which gives the BMW such a dynamic driving experience that hasn't been duplicated. But I also argue that the vast majority of people buying the 3 don't use, need or appreciate that driving dynamic as they lease their auto(like over 90% take rate) tranny "beemers" to impress. And that comment was not meant to insult the true enthusiasts that buy it for the drive and not the show. So if you take that factor away as a real draw then things equal out a bit more. The new ATS is apparently very close and maybe better in some respects from the reviews that I've read but it is too new to really even form an opinion on yet. Although I'm sure many BMW fanboys have pretty much written if off already.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,132
    So, Infiniti is left competing on price, instead

    Disagree. I won't repeat for the nth time some of the attributes of the G that can compete with the BMW besides just price but suffice to say that it has things that people look for in a ELLPS besides just price. I do agree that there is nothing wrong with being second best at a lesser price if you have a business model that makes a profit by doing it. Agreed that if ALL you are going to sell on is price than huge scale is necessary but as I've already said, I don't believe that is the case with Infiniti. Street prices for the G are much less than the 3 but so are just about every other comparable car out there. When you have the cache you can price high. That's capitalism.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Although I'm sure many BMW fanboys have pretty much written if off already.

    Which is to be expected. After all, they don't call them "fanboys" for nothing.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,982
    The quality of conversation here has gone downhill due to labeling certain drivers and some of the juvenile jabs at other members. Let's try to stay on track discussing vehicles and not what we think of other members or drivers of vehicle brands.


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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    I think we agree more than not, and I never said nor meant to suggest that Infiniti was trying to copy the BMW 3 with the G. And I agree with you that there are many attributes by which to compare these cars, both performance related and non-perforamcne related.

    That said, I am not sure how you conclude that the G is "better" than the 3 with respect to power. In just about every road test I've seen, the 335i is anywhere from a couple to quite a few ticks faster than the G37 in a straight line. Here's one source if you go down to the Infiniti header and check out the comparison test with the TL SH-AWD, 335i and S4. If anyone has the upper hand on the 335i in measured performance it's Audi. But even I would argue that there are subjective things about the Audi I don't like - nose heavy, heavy heavy, AWD vs. RWD - all lead to a somewhat less nimble feeling than I prefer. Can't dispute the fact that they post great numbers, just don't like the subjective feel of how Audi gets there. I'd say the same thing about a Porsche 911 C4S vs. C2S.

    TL vs. 335 vs. G37 vs. S4
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,132
    I conclude it by comparing the G to the 328 which I specifically stated in my post. IMO the G and 328 are the respective ELLPS models and at about the same entry MSRP. A 335 with leather, etc is about $10k more. I use leather at it's standard in the Infiniti. The base TL and the sh-awd TL is a similar situation but the price difference isn't as substantial. Same with the A4 vs. S4. The 328, TL, G, A4 all are about the same starting MSRP I believe.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,892
    To be honest, I "saved" for about 20 years to buy the XK. Tried to keep a low profile at work, since it costs twice my salary... :surprise: That didn't work. I've had EVPs come up to me and note, "beautiful car." I'm sure they've contacted HR to find out who I am...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,132
    I'm sure they've contacted HR to find out who I am...

    Or the books! ;)
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 8,485
    laurasdada.....good for you. Your Jag sounds beautiful.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,892
    edited October 2012
    Thanks, I think it truly is. Unless, of course, you have to sit in the "back seats." Then, not so beatiful! But, to have them there for emergencies (and insurance co.!) is nice.

    After a lifetime of mostly sensible shoes (including a dark period of company cars: Olds 88, Mercury Sable, Dodge Intrepid... None bad, none memorable for any outstanding qualities. Maybe the styling of the Intrepid, but not the build quality or quietness), I was looking for something special. Something you don't see coming and going. And that had more than just skin deep beauty. Got it.

    Not mine, but similar:

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • buyabuya Posts: 74
    Sold mine. Still drove like new, but as scrap metal to a garage. Who else can take good care of that car and find a Jag enthusiast to take good care of it? Yup, you get people admiring your car out loud all the time.

    These days I'm looking at Japanese and Korean cars for simplicity of ownership. I guess I can still sense which car was mine if I sold it, even with 1000s of Asian cars on the road.

    Tesla is coming out with a nice looking EV. Worth being noticed by your EVPs.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 6,113
    I think we should add the Audi 5000 to the list. A guy had a 1980 Audi 5000 in pristine condition last weekend for a driving event in Southern California. He was actually able to keep up fairly well with modern Audi's, including an S6.

    Or are only "currently" sold vehicles allowed in here? :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I seem to remember the 5000 being pretty quick, but only in "Park" with your foot on the brake pedal... :P
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    I seem to remember the 5000 being pretty quick, but only in "Park" with your foot on the brake pedal...

    Quick indeed! Porsche borrowed that Audi feature, re-packaged it as an option, and now calls it "launch control" in their 911's equipped with their PDK transmission. Although for some reason it doesn't work in "Park" anymore, you actually have to be in "Drive".

    Pretty amazing that Audi managed to stay afloat after all of the bad press and class action lawsuits. I had a business associate that bought an Audi 5000 just before the poop hit the fan and his pregnant wife demanded he sell the car less than six months later. Don't remember the exact figures, but he got less than half what he paid for it and it only had 3,000 miles on the odometer. Audi later sent him a $10,000 coupon to be able to use on a future purchase as a "sorry", but he let that expire and still hasn't been back to an Audi showroom since.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 6,113
    edited October 2012
    I'm amazed that American drivers that can't tell the difference between the gas pedal to the brake pedal have survived. A lot more amazed, than say from Audi surviving a Toyota Prius like scam on the highways by a scam artist looking for plublicity.

    Humans will forever blame their equipment and their machinery for their own human mistakes and errors.

    Early this year in the NFL a player went to spike the football right after catching a touchdown, and the football flew out of his hand so that he had an empty hand spike motion going on; what did he do? He looked at his gloves as if they were defective or going to be covered in baby oil. :P
  • What are you trying to say?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,857
    Early this year in the NFL a player went to spike the football right after catching a touchdown, and the football flew out of his hand so that he had an empty hand spike motion going on; what did he do? He looked at his gloves as if they were defective or going to be covered in baby oil.

    That was Gronk - not exactly the sharpest knife in th drawer.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    I think the thing to remember is that the North American market was a very small part of Audi's empire at the time of the alleged 5000 problem, (whether that was electro-mechanical, human stupidity - or worse), and probably still is. A poor name in one - at the time small market - doesn't mean a company is destined for the scrap heap, as evidenced by their continued success worldwide.

    Here in Europe I believe the 5000 was badged as a 200 and was highly regarded, i.e. the 100's big brother. I don't recall any similar incidents over here, at the time or since, with Audi cars. I don't drive an Audi; never owned one as I believe they are over-priced VWs in pretty dresses. I much prefer my VWs dressed as Skodas for many reasons, not just price but also better build quality and dealerships. However, Audi have been building fine cars for a long time and, if you must have the badge and are prepared to part with the money, then why not ?

    Interesting that Audi are a relative newcomer to the high-end market, (or any market), unlike Skoda who have been around for considerably longer and even survived the disaster that was East European Communism. The original Skoda Superb was a competitor for Rolls Royce et al in it's day. Try the Googly thing to see about it. The current Skoda Superb puts Audi to shame in the value department, (and quite a few others, also). But I doubt it's coming your way in the foreseeable future.............VAG aren't stupid. :)

    Just my two penn'orth on a grey Friday in Middle England. :cry: Have a great weekend.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,751
    I had a 5000 - 5-speed manual trans.
    - Ray
    Only experienced intended acceleration ...
    [ and rather leisurely, at that ]
    2015 Charger R/T - yup, it's got a Hemi...
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,132
    I assume you mean U.S. drivers so not to offend our brethern north and south of the U.S. borders. However, what you're referring to is not the fault of U.S. drivers, it's due to U.S. laws written by and for U.S. lawyers. :sick:
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 8,485
    Never drove one, but rode in one. Those 5000s were big (at least they seemed big to me, at the time). And, it was comfy.

    It was a business colleague who bought it. I remember the "unintended acceleration" snafu hit about 2 or 3 months after he bought it. Although, it was a good car for him, as he kept it for 7-8 years with no complaint, his resale was dismal, at best. He never went back to Audi, either.

    I too, am surprised Audi survived in North America after that. But, they soldiered on. And now, I'm sure Cadillac would love to have the reputation Audi has right now.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,892
    A grey Friday here in New England, too. But, the trees are bursting with color! The bad news, New York leaf-peepers appearing like locust :P

    Yeah, Robr2, Gronk. Big, dumb animal. Talented, though. Glad he is ours! Now, Tom just has to find him open more...

    Thought: While Fisker Automotive may or may not live to see the future they are trying to help shape, Henrik Fisker can certainly design an attractive car. Lexus (Toyota) should consider hiring him as a consultant to inject some coherent and attractive style to their lineup. The "spindle" grille ranges from innocuous to ghastly, depending upon the model it adorns. And, the slab-sided styling of their models grows ever more bland. Imagine combining the reliability, luxury and (with the new GS) somewhat new found sportiness with the style of a Karma, BMW Z8 or Aston Martin DB9? (Please leave Ian Callum at Jag, I look forward to the Marque's continue comeback). IMHO, of course.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    I'm sure Cadillac would love to have the reputation Audi has right now.

    Yes indeed. Proves that Audi's "unintended acceleration" issue was easier to eventually overcome than than Cadillac's decades long issue of "unabated depreciation".
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 6,113
    I believe I saw Audi outsell Cadillac recently..... or am I imagining things?

    They continue to grow, advance, and head in the right direction moreso than other car manufacturers in my opinion.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    They continue to grow, advance, and head in the right direction moreso than other car manufacturers in my opinion.

    I'd generally agree, except they have a severe weight problem. Partly because all of their performance models are AWD, but also because they appear to think weight isn't an issue. You know, the "big is beautiful" denial syndrome. The Q7 is a half ton more than the Porsche Cayenne and not as big inside as the 700 lb lighter MDX. An Audi TT is about the same weight as a Porsche Cayman - with a water buffalo sitting in the passenger seat. BMW's 5 series has bloated up as well, but the Audi A6 is heavier yet.

    I think they need to add some calisthenic instructors to their engineering department.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    An Audi TT is about the same weight as a Porsche Cayman - with a water buffalo sitting in the passenger seat.

    A baby buffalo?

    I see the TT only a couple hundred lbs over the Cayman; not too bad since its AWD and has a couple pretend seats for small children. 3153 lbs isn't that bad.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    3153 lbs isn't that bad.

    It is when it is attached to a their below entry level 211 hp engine. The fair comparisons are:

    Cayman S (320 hp) @ 2,976 lbs vs. TTS Coupe (265 hp) @ 3,219 lbs = +243 lbs; -55 hp
    Boxster S (315 hp) @ 2,910 lbs vs. TTS Roadster (265 hp) @3,394 lbs = +484 lbs; -50 hp
    911S Coupe (400hp) @ 3,075 lbs vs. TT RS Coupe (360 hp) @3,306 lbs = +231 lbs; -40 hp

    Porsche is redesigning the Cayman S along the lines of the new Boxster, so its weight is anticipated to drop another 80-100 lbs for 2013.

    Again, my point isn't that Audi doesn't make some great cars. They absolutely do. I particularly like the S5 and A7/S7. But the added weight (and AWD) makes Audi's so-called sports cars and sport sedans feel much less nimble than I would prefer. They get decent straight line performance, but, as Clint Eastwood might say, they have "trouble with the curves". At least in imparting the same kind of nimble feel and driving pleasure.

    Considering that my 1995 5 passenger Nissan Maxima SE tipped the scales at 3,001 lbs, I'd really like to see similar sized offerings by Audi and BMW try to stay in the 3,500 lb range. That gives them an extra 500 lbs for more safety equipment, stronger frame and chassis (although my Maxima was as solid at 150k miles as it was new), and techno do-dads. But 4,000 lbs for a mid size sedan is just too much, IMO. Hell, Porsche has now got their Cayenne down to under 4,400 lbs; surely they can lend a weight reduction engineer to Audi for a few weeks.
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