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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • The market determines the number of dealerships.

    I totally agree with you on that point. However, It's not likely that Infiniti, a brand who has been around 15 years, is going to have the same market presence as brand that has been in the marketplace for as long as BMW. Especially considering their terrible missteps for the first 10 years.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Stop it! You're making my head hurt.
  • I wouldn't go so far as to say we ALL can agree that FWD revokes the membership in the LPS club.

    I agree with that statement. But I think RWD (alone) would exclude a car from the LPS ranks, too. But that is my opinion.

    The great thing, however, is that these cars all offer at least a version with AWD, which is, FOR ME, one of the characteristics for qualification as a member of the LPS crowd.

    But, before you say "yea but, or you're outta your pea pickin' mind," remember it is like the FWD statement, just an opinion.

    Time was when the best of the best were thought to be FWD -- and I'm talkin' DECADES ago.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    The way it should be I guess. BMW earned it's spot and Infiniti will have to as well. The M seems like a good start (not my cup of tea, but a lot of people seem to like it quite a bit). Certainly companies like BMW and Mercedes have made plenty of mistakes too, but they've both hit a lot of homeruns as well. We'll see if Infiniti can keep the momentum going over the long haul.
  • None of the listed cars would I ever consider, and neither should you, Mr. North American. These cars are built by overseas companies and take money from our economy. Consider 300C, Cadillac STS or CTS, Lincoln LS, Ford Crown Vic LX Sport, Chevy Impala SS or Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. All fantastic cars that cost less and in most cases outperform their Import counterparts. Being loyal to your country IS important.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I'm 56 - even older than you, Mark - & I don't remember when FWD was considered to be "the best of the best".

    FWD was no more than a novelty configuration - reserved for such memorable motorcars as the Citroen, the 3-cylinder SAAB (spelled with all caps in those days, IIRC) & the unforgettable Oldsmobile Toronado - until the gas cruch of the 70s forced manufacturers to look for ways to make cars smaller & lighter without sacrificing passenger & luggage space. FWD was, at the time, the obvious solution. Mounting the engine sideways made it possible to reduce the size of the engine compartment & thus the overall length of the car, thereby making the entire package lighter & more fuel-efficient. Without a driveshaft running from the engine to the rear axle, designers could lower the passenger compartment floor & increase legroom. Similarly, eliminating the bulky transmission freed up trunk space.

    In short, you can draw a straight line from the OPEC oil boycott of 1973-74 to the prevalence of FWD today. I would argue that given a world of cheap & abundant fuel, FWD would not even exist. Of course, we don't live in such a world, & that's why FWD makes perfect sense for mass-market family sedans. But it has never been the platform of choice for premium-priced sedans.

    Full disclosure: most of the cars that I've owned over the past 30+ years have been FWD. Moreover, my wife refuses to give up her '99 ES 300. Not long ago, I suggested in my characteristically heavy-handed way that she might want to swap it for an M35x (a car that I find particularly attractive) or an AWD GS 300. She would have none of that. But that doesn't undercut my point: once you've moved north of the entry-level luxury market segment, FWD has no place.

    And that's why I don't understand why anyone would nominate the Avalon or the Passat for membership in this club.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "Being loyal to your country IS important..."

    Too true. And the very best way to be loyal to your country is to avoid subsidizing its manufacturers that promote mediocrity. We call this "culling the herd", and it's part of something known as the process of natural selection, wherein only the fittest survive.

    300C, for what it is, I can see. CTS, after it's major overhaul next year may well (finally) really be there. The others are dedicated also-rans...
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,245
    Was the Cord FWD?

    Failing that, there was a GM product several decades ago with a chain driven front-wheel-drive system (Pontiac, Olds, Cadillac -- I can't remember) that was the first for quite awhile.

    Refresh our memories (for fossils like myself), or just tell us.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I basically agree with you, but unlike the Avalon, the Passat *does* offer an AWD version. Also, I'm not sure if this is still true (mark would know I'm sure), but the A6 did come in a FWD version, though I dont think that made it to US shores. Actually, now that I think of it, even the A8 once came in FWD, and that was on sale here.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I know, I know, dont feed the troll. Still, I have to say it.

    The "buy American" argument just doesnt wash anymore. It hasnt for years. First of all, you can eliminate all Chrysler products. A good portion of the 300's mechanicals are sourced from Mercedes Benz, and the money, ultimately, goes to Germany.

    While *some* GM products are built here in the states, if you think all of the parts that go into these cars are from US suppliers, your dreaming.

    Speaking of Ford, the Ford Fusion is built in Mexico. So, according to your own argument, if you buy a Fusion, you're supporting the Mexican economy, not ours. Its "import" competitors, the Camry, Accord, Altima, and even the Hyundai Sonata, are all built right here in the USA. While detroit is closing US plants like there's no tomorrow, Japan and Korea continue to open new ones HERE in the US, and bring new jobs with them, helping OUR economy.

    As I've said before, Bill Ford, Rick Wagoner, and Tom LaSorda have never done anything for me, so I "owe" them nothing. They have more than enough money already. If they make products I want to buy, I will. Otherwise, I'll continue to buy imports. The US is a free country, and we are free to choose what we want to buy.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I'll seriously consider any performance-oriented car with (1) RWD or AWD & (2) an honest-to-God stick shift. For me, this eliminates all of the cars that you suggest except for the Cadillac CTS.

    A few years ago, when the Lincoln LS (a fine car that's been clumsily marketed & will some day, I'm convinced, be a collector's item) could be had with a 5-speed stick, I tried to find one here on Long Island (about 30 miles east of NYC) that I could test drive.

    I visited every Lincoln-Mercury store in eastern Nassau & western & central Suffolk counties. Some of the sales reps with whom I spoke didn't even know that a stick was an option on the LS Sport model. One who did suggested that I drive 200 miles to an upstate dealership that might have what I was looking for on the lot, take my test drive there, & then come back home & buy the car from him.

    I wound up buying a BMW. Given my requirements, it was the most sensible thing to do.

    What would you have done, danio?
  • What country was the Avalon designed in. Also where is the Avalon manufactured?I would like any other information you can give me about this great car.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I don't buy the Chrysler money to Germany thing, LG.

    Matter of fact, I don't think there is such a thing as a domestic v. an import any more, strictly speaking.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You dont really buy the "merger of equals" thing, do you? Mercedes bought Chrysler. Anyway, that wasnt the point. I agree with you, there really isnt a line in the sand between domestic and import anymore, thats why MT got rid of their "import of the year" award. They only have car and truck of the year, and everybody is eligable to compete, just as they are in the market place.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    These cars are built by overseas companies and take money from our economy

    I couldn't agree more! I believe everyone has a nationalist duty to buy only domestic cars!

    My problem is finding a reliable Bricklin? :confuse:

    In case nobody heard of the famous Canadian car called a Bricklin here is a link:

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bv/bricklin.htm
  • I believe "someone" was educated an a government school! Every wonder about the origin of your TV, home audio/video equipment, camera, etc? As someone else correctly pointed out, made in America also includes Toyota, Honda, Nissan, MB, BMW, Hyundai, etc.... all whom employ fine upstanding Americans to assemble the cars Americans want to buy.

    Since these cars often are at the pinnacle in their classes, the "labor" element of the equation is not the problem. Could be that building rental cars just ain't gettin' it done. Save for a few (Corvette comes to mind), there is a valid reason why the Domestics are having it tough. When it takes give-away programs like the "Employee Pricing" gimmick used recently to move record numbers of cars, maybe you need to re-evaluate your brands.

    BTW, many of the Domestics are built in Canada, Mexico, etc. The market is speaking loudly to the Big 3 that PRODUCT REALLY DOES MATTER!! It is the only reason that Cadillac, for example, is finally building competitive cars.
  • The Cord does come to mind as does the first couple of Toronados (is that spelled correctly?)

    The "thought" I was speaking of was of a time, before almost universal RWD when the few FWD cars were the LPS cars of the day.

    Note that I do and did agree that I was NOT suggesting that I thought FWD (or RWD for that matter) was sufficient for inclusion into the LPS graduating class for 2005.

    Many folks do think that RWD is always superior -- and I do understand that point of view. Yet, today, it seems like "the crowd" all offers AWD in a growing number of their models; and, for me at least, AWD is a requirement to be included in the LPS hall of fame these days.

    Now, to the point about buying an American car -- well I really wanted to be able to do this, initially. But I came to the conclusion that buying an American car because it was American would yield the opposite outcome of what I wanted.

    The STS, for example, isn't bad -- but it is, IMHO, completely overshadowed by its foreign competition. Competition is good for our companies. Now, if it could be demonstrated that the STS could best the Germans or the Japanese, and/or be a better value, I would say vote for the STS.

    Unfortunately, I can't see supporting an inferior product for the sake of nationalism or patriotism or whatever ism that would suggest.

    To me, the Cadillac STS AWD is a fine effort that is priced unrealistically. The STS is somewhat like the Phaeton.

    Of course the Phaeton for $599/mo on a super subvented lease did make some sense -- the STS for $63,000+ w/AWD seems to have made the jump to ludicrous speed.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Naaahh.

    I don't think any interested party mistook the transaction for anything other than a hijacking, if you want my admittedly emotional response.

    It's just I don't buy the argument that all the profits go back to the corporate homeland. The model doesn't work that way; too simple.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Only the size and RWD keep the IS350 on my radar screen for May. AWD may be the sweet gig for some, but I'm loathe to give up my RWD. Truth be told, though the S4 Avant or A3 3.2Q may end up in the driveway, I'd greatly prefer it if the wee beasties had power to only two (rear) wheels. If I go AWD, it's a compromise on my part and no two ways.

    You are correct, though, I think increasingly one must offer it in the line up to be a for-real player. I think there are exceptions (7-series?), but it is a trend, as was FWD before it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think until recently, it was thought that if you want to compete with BMW and Mercedes, your car has to be RWD. There's no logical reason for most Lexus cars to be RWD only, or even RWD at all. RWD really has very few benefits over an AWD car with a front-mid engine design and proper weight balance. You get the ability to hard-launch (basically moot with an AT anyway), and the ability to do tail-happy "throttle steer". How many LS430 drivers are really powersliding their cars, or stop light racing by brake-torquing? My guess: 0. Even if an AWD LS430 weighed an extra 200lbs, lost a mpg or two, and needed a few more tenths to 60, I'd buy one in a second.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think you also have to take into account that not everyone is looking for a sportier car like the M or 5-Series and that the E-Class offers more choice than any other brand here in this segment. You have V6 and V8 sedans and wagons, all available with awd and then there is a diesel and the AMG variant in both sedan and wagon form. The E gets the sales by choice and by offering a car to those seeking more of a luxury experience. This is why BMW and Mercedes have co-existed for so long because they offer a similar, but different experience.

    There is no point IMO to buy a 5-Series without the sports package so those who aren't interested in what they'd call a "hard" ride buy something like an A6, E-Class or Lexus GS. Ditto for the Infiniti M.

    Why the E's sales are such a big mystery to most here is beyond me. How many people buying a 40-60K car are going to push them that hard, yeah I know a few 5/M guys here will, but they are a small minority. I think overall that most people who buy these cars are split between performance and ride/luxury and BMW and Mercedes cater to those two groups the best, imo. The two archrivals M and GS are building a rep for themselves slowly, but they don't offer the choice of models MB/BMW does hence their lower sales.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    By the way, I just read C&D's review in the Dec. issue. The FWD 3.6 they tested would make short work of any 6 powered car in this class, and could run with the V8s and not be embarrased.

    I just hate the most of America gets their mags before me! What did they say overall about the Passat?

    M
  • What country was the Avalon designed in. Also where is the Avalon manufactured?

    Not sure where it was designed but I would guess Japan. The car is manufactured in Kentucky.
  • I was thinking the same thing. I saw 2 M's the other night. Never saw such ugly tail lights.
    The M looked like a pimp-mobile.


    Totally tasteless IMHO.

    As is your comment.

    Us pimps need a stylish car. Since you've identified the purpose of the car please stop buy if you'd like to do business. Remember though, as you said, you get what you pay for.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Merc:
    I disagree somewhat about getting an M only with sport (yes, I know you said IMO). You can't get the AWD with the sport. As it is also a head-turner (to many, not all obviously), some may want the car only for looks (and probably interior size--it's huge next to the GS competition).

    The same could be said for the 5.
  • mg808mg808 Posts: 22
    From my understanding, the new Avalon was the 1st Toyota entirely designed in the US. The U.S. designers had to get approval from Toyota Japan to have dual exhaust on the Avalon. At first, Toyota Japan rejected the idea, but in the end, it was accepted.

    Note that its a single muffler design with dual pipes. In any event, it looks pretty nice.

    The Avalon is a nice BIG sedan for the $$$. Looks nice in certain colors.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    There are quite a few effective pharmaceuticals out there right now to aid one when one absolutely must have to view the utterly tasteless rear tail lights of the M at night(makes my sensitive skin absolutely crawl):
    penicillin..... for example.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Hpowders:
    BMW must've put a fresh can of happy gas in your HVAC system. I haven't seen you this bubbly since you got your 5!

    BTW, why are you seeing so many taillights on M's? Hmmm...lead or follow, lead or follow... ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I like 5's. I always wave to them as I pass them on the road (okay, so it's the sub 545's...hey, I needed the AWD here in MI. If only they made an M45x!).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My comment was about the 5-Series and getting the sports package. I haven't driven the Infiniti M without the sports package to know what the ride is like.

    Good point about the space in these cars, even though I liked the close-coupled feel of the GS better than the M.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They were very impressed with its power and handling compared to the traditional family sedan class, but complained that their 3.6 with the sport package was a little too sporty, and bumps in the road made it through into the cabin pretty much unscathed. Most of their complaints were about the price tag though. "People's car, but which people?"
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