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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I loved the Vigor. Owned a '93. When I see them on the road I still check them out and look at the overall condition. As I headed toward retirement I Thought the 2000 TL was Acura's best car at the time, drove it for 4 years and in 2004 when the newly designed TL was first introduced, I had my money ready but backed away from it because I thought Acura was taking it in a direction that was too sporty for us. Knew Acura was designing a new RL for 2005. I always liked the Legend but felt the RL became a little stodgy but knew that they were designing something special for 2005. It arrived and I loved it from the first look. I feel that Acura is moving in the right direction with this new design, AWD, and sport package. It is a supurb automoble and the electronics are a fringe benefit. (Meanwhile when I go in for service they give us new TL's to drive and that car has grown on us) Maybe the wife will some day replace her Civic with a TL. Meanwhile our son drives over in his BMW M3 and says Dad ....buy it from me for mom when I get the new one. Yeah son sure!!!!! ;)
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I'm confused. The 2004 TL was "too sporty," although you now want the wife to have one; the previous RL "too stodgy;" but the new RL w/ sport package is just right?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "I always liked the Legend but felt the RL became a little stodgy".

    Agree completely. The original Legend was a great car, and for its day, was quite sporty. MUCH more so than the '96-'04 RL. I think in '96 Acura tried to position the RL as a bargain LS400. Infiniti tried the same thing with the '97 Q"45". Neither of them had particularly good results, as Lexus makes their own bargain LS400, called the ES.

    I think those original Acura's had some spunk, and that the company lost their way a bit in the mid '90s. I also didnt like how cheap Acura interiors became. I think the '99 TL is their low point, it was barely any better than the Accord, and the black wood in the Type S TL and CL was horrible. With the Type S cars and now the A-specs, I think Acura is getting back to where they should be, though I still think Acura should offer the hottest JDM Honda models, such as the Integra Type R, instead of the diluted RSX Type S. Honda has this strange aversion to bringing any Type Rs to the US. Do they really believe TSX owners wouldnt want more horsepower (Accord Euro R)? In any case, what Acura has now is way better than the bland-mobiles they had 10 years ago. After 10 years, the RL is finally a truly competitive car, which unfortunately still cant be said of the Q45.

    The new found strength of all three Japanese luxury marquees will really put pressure on the entrenched players, and pressure is always good for the industry as a whole.
  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    "where the old Integra and Vigor used to lie--dating myself a bit here.."

    I suspect most everyone on this forum recalls the Vigor- in fact it is an accomplishment that we have not forgotten it!

    For those of us not in a huge hurry to but a new car, has anyone heard if Infiniti is planning significant changes for the M for 2007 (ie the passenger seat)?
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Yes, the 2004 TL was a serious change from the 2000-2003 model and I thought they took the car in the wrong direction at the time and backed away from it. Acura in my opinion at that time was going after a new demographic and I personally did not like the new design. Today I feel differently about the TL because we have driven it a number of times and it has grown on us. It ultimately would be her decision but yes, I could see my wife in that car. Yes I thought the previous RL was too stodgy and the design of the 2005 attracted me immediately. Performance was not my highest priority, 6.7 seconds in the 0-60 is not exactly lightning and I look at the SH AWD as more of a safety control factor. I really like the interior design and the comfort level of the seat with electric lumbar support feels perfect. My only concern ...the car is very quick between 50 and 80 and is quiet so I have to watch it.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    With all do respect MSU we welcome you to the RL forum ...

    Dude I've been a member here since January '01 and I do not appreciate your sarcasm :confuse: You hate CR and that is fine.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    So, as to which is the better evaluative process is not as critical as the fact that each comparison done provides "food for thought" or information that assists one in selecting the car that best fits his/her needs.

    I agree with you. As I stated in my orignal post the vehement dislike of CR and the false accusations of their lack of a quality test facility and trained engineers at least got me to thinking. I am officially on record that ALL magazine comparos (including CR) are useful and provide credible information (as well as subjective opinions). But the CR bashers got me to questioning just how credible the others are :confuse: I know for a fact that CR has a modern test facility and highly trained engineers (despite the false claims to the contrary). But do the others have quality facilites as well? I did a quick search with no results.

    My original question is still unanswered. Does anyone have a link that describes Car & Drivers test facility? Or Road & Track? Or Automobile? Or Edmunds? I had always assumed that these dedicated automobile mags had state of the art facilites. Or do they? Thanks to the CR haters for opening my mind some :shades:

    Since others have brought up the issue of credibilty of the comparos we all love to analyze and discuss, I thought it might be interesting to at least look at credibility. It is not my intention to offend anyone, although some folks do seem to dispise some of the magazines.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    I found some info about Automobile Magazine's Testing Proceedures and Philosophy. :shades:

    http://automobilemag.com/test_data/index3.html

    Still nothing on Car & Driver, Road & Track, or Motor Trend :confuse:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Have you found Edmunds.com Editor in Chief Karl Brauer's Karl's Daily Log Book discussion? There has been a lot of conversation there about reviews lately; you ought to check it out. Karl is away for a week or so, but you can catch up with the conversation and then ask him about the test facilities when he returns.

    We really need to get back to the cars themselves in this discussion, though.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    This is a good discussion! I've often wondered about the quality and credibility of the various magazine tests. Especially after I've quoted CR, and was immediatly jumped on by what seem to be a large number of CR bashers who seem to think the car mags are the end-all for credibility. The only basis they have for this conclusion seems to be that they are car mags, and therefore car enthusiasts, while CR tests everything, and therefore they must test cars like they test appliances or cereal. I've also read that CR has excellent test facilities and highly qualified drivers and engineers, so I think a lot of the bashing is not deserved. I tend to think that the CR results are less biased and less prone to outside influences than many of the "enthusiasts magazines". I'm not sure about Edmunds. ;)
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Enough of the over-analyzing of CR and other "experts." Let's face it, ALL of these reviews contain a lot of opinion. Sure, there exists basic testing methodology and statistics, but at the end of the day, each of these reviews are skewed in their own ways because they represent OPINIONS.

    The car mags are FOR PROFIT ventures that strive to appeal to their readership. They get their revenues through subscriptions and advertisement (predominantly from the car manufacturers). Their articles will indeed be biased in the sense they are trying to appeal to the demographics and interests of their readers, and their advertisers.

    Consumers Union is a NON-PROFIT organization that generates revenues through subscriptions and donations. They must appeal to their readership like the for-profit car rags, and their articles will also be skewed by OPINIONS. However, CR also receives significant donations from trial lawyers, safety advocates, and certain constituents like medical professionals. Their focus will naturally be tilted toward consumer protectionism and safety. Although they accept no advertising per se, they still directly and indirectly appeal to their greatest donors. And these happen to be trial lawyers and safety advocates.

    Okay, let's move on to other topics.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    CR results are less biased and less prone to outside influences than many of the "enthusiasts magazines"

    Definitely, since they don't accept advertising.

    Still, there's no way of really proving whether the non-quantitative portions of their reviews are any more or less reliable than anyone else's.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's get back to the cars, okay? Some of you might want to resume this discussion in the discussion I linked earlier - Karl's Daily Log Book - msu79gt82 has made some very good posts on the subject of revies there.

    There may be a more appropriate discussion in News & Views about CR and other review mags - there used to be, but it might be archived. If so, you can ask pf_flyer to reopen it, or start a new one, if you want.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The final test, and the one that is most meaningful for you is your own test drive. The magazines are helpful, but you have to make the final decision based on your own needs. My post about CR was a response to all the bashing I received every time I would refer to CR, and I thought that bashing was not justified.

    I've made my choice, I can say after research and spending a lot of time in all of the cars in this forum, the Infiniti M35 is my choice, so coincidentally, I agree with CR.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here is where to pursue this line of conversation: Consumer Reports - Testing & Review Methods.

    Have fun!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I've provided a link where the conversation about CR may continue. It is off-topic here.
  • rrobrrob Posts: 51
    Opinion vary on this, like everything, but . . .

    I like the wood on the M and it was one of the factors in my purchase. I have never been fond of the very shiny wood finishes on most LPS. That said, the wood trim on my M was very dull until I polished it with a good quality wood polish - this gave it a much richer look,still not shiny. I've gotten a lot of comments on the interior, most, but not all positive. One Bimmer driver did have an "is this real?" comment.

    As to the overall feel of the interior, I think cars in this category should make a statement and thus fit different drivers tastes. I expect cars in the 20-30k range have more generic interiors. In this group vive la differance!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah I dont have a problem with the matte finish, but its definitely not for everybody. It would be nice if Infinifi offered gloss as an option, like MB does in the CLS.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    I know, at one point in the past, Jaguars had a silky finished wood as a go between, between the gloss and the matte and it looked so much more better... but they discontinued it too.

    never seen anybody else have that. i find high gloss extremely plasticky in looks
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It depends on the color and grain of the wood, some look fine with super gloss, some look terrible. The ES330 for example has lots of gloss, but it looks great. In cars out at the moment, I think the Audi A8 has the best looking wood trim.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The ES330 for example has lots of gloss, but it looks great."

    Not really. Those glossy wood interiors are not to my liking. But to each their own.
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    I was considering the M35 sport as it has the two-toned interior that I want: grey leather with black floors. My current Audi has beige leather seats and door inserts with black carpet and dash. I love the look! I'm not a fan of the aluminum, so I was considering an aftermarket trim addition. The dealer has a guy they recommend that can put in ANY color or finish of wood in place of the aluminum. I'm thinking of a glossy finished walnut trim. It runs about $600.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Just make sure its not one of the horrific "wood dash cheap!" kits that look like contact paper.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    if you watch "this old house" you'll notice, that show has enough shop tools around to fashion real wood of any type for any car in any shape with any finish ;)

    ksso
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Yes but be careful not to select birds eye maple as it may create a maze on your dash and mice mistake it for a cheese cutting board! sorry KSSO...you started it.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    A lot of people don't like shiny wood trim because of the cheap aftermarket kits that are available. Especially the lighter tones that look yellow. If, however, you get a Mercedes Benz or Audi or BMW or another high end car, you basically know it's real wood...except maybe on a 3 series or A4 ( I don't know if those are real wood).
    If you look at cars like the new Toyota Avalon, it's obviously plastic made to look like wood.
    I like non shiny wood too...but if you look close at the M35's wood, if I can call it that, it looks like plastic...I'd rather have plastic that looked a lot like wood than wood that looked like cheap plastic. But, it's not just the wood that cheapens the M35 for me. How come they have the cheap looking straight handles that are leather covered to close doors from inside. You know what those will look like in a year...espcially in the light color...same for the shifter knob. It's not just the wood that makes the Audi's interior on the A6 or A8 look great...it's the combination of wood, aluminum and leather inserts that complete the beauty of what is the interior of an Audi. Door handles are aluminum or at least they look that way. I think the interior of the M35 is great looking in the aluminum interior dash you get with the Sport package...they should offer it as an option on all cars...not just sport.
  • bfeng7bfeng7 Posts: 47
    Mark,

    Full disclosure first: I work for Bose ... in the division responsible for Audi and Infinity (the car brand) audio systema. Previously, I worked for one of the most well respected audio consultancies in the worlds (concert hall design, noise control, sound quality, etc.). Maybe I know something about sound. One of my 3 home systems is built up around Aerial Acoustics speakers, which I don't think sound too shabby.

    I have a suggestion.
    Go price out a midrange driver for a B&W 802, or a Revel F32, or a (pick your brand of high-end speaker). Now consider that the price of that one midrange could be not so different from what the automaker spent on all the speakers in the whole car. Then add 1 woofer, and consider that just maybe the price of your two drivers is more than all the car's speakers plus the amplifier, plus the DSP processor, plus wiring harness, etc.. Consider that a telephone from B&O (which has a LONG history of producing truely high end audio ) might possibly cost more than an automaker pays for their entire premium audio system.

    Try it another way. If an automaker decided use 4xtweeter, 4xmidranges, 3xmid/tweeters, and 2xwoofers of the same quality used in a high end speaker, and then they added an 8 channel amplier of mid/high end quality, what do you think you'd have to pay for that premium sound option? Now add some DSP horsepower that compares to something like a Meridian DSP 5500 speaker system. That set of parts, would cost you something like $10,000. Are you prepared to pay that for premium sound in your next car?

    Try it from the other angle. Let's say car maker "X" charges $1000 for their premium sound option. What do you think their markup is? If it is anything like home audio ... maybe their cost was $400 for that system. What can you buy for $400 these days? Can that gear survive 85 degrees C summer days, freezing, humidity, shock and vibration, dust, water, etc. and still work after 3 years?

    So, it's not a stretch to see that automakers can't spend much money on premium audio, relative to what you'd have to spend to get a decent 5.1 system at home. Judged in that light, I think Bose and it's worthy competitors are doing pretty darn well.

    Cheers,
    B.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    "I think the interior of the M35 is great looking in the aluminum interior dash you get with the Sport package...they should offer it as an option on all cars...not just sport. "

    Even if the aluminum is fake? What's the difference, fake hot stamped aluminum or fake plastic wood? I think if it looks convincing, and it looks tasteful, it will fool even the most discriminating among us. Plastic wood is used on some very high end furniture, and very few customers know it.
  • I stand corrected. I knew that in the past it was a deduction not a credit, didn't realize that changed on 1/1/2006. Your link estimates the credit on the RX400h to be $1,300 though so it isn't that far from my estimate of $1,000 anyway.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    Damn, I couldn't agree more. I have had a 7.1 system since late 1999 and I cannot believe I spend just 3K on wiring and cables... but then again, I was under 30 back then so we'll write it off to careless monetary abandon and immaturity.

    Getting back to cars, I think for the few hundred or at most 1000 bux that you pay for a premium sound system are entirely worth it. The only exclusion will be the harmon kardon tin-pots that crackle in my wife's bmw.... it is the boomiest, ugliest sounding premium system i've every paid for... overall if you see, the mark levinson's in lexus or even the bose or non-bose systems is acura are absolutely UP there...

    i personally think the german car's are a little behind on this front.

    my person 2 cents.
    ksso
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