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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Just received their Car of the Year issue. They listed 28 cars as "contenders" and reduced it to 9 finalists listed below in alphabetical order.

    Audi A3
    BMW 3-Series
    Ford Fusion
    Honda Civic
    Hyundai Azera
    Infiniti M
    Lexus IS (the GS was only a contender)
    Mazda MX-5
    Mercedes CLS

    Their ultimate winner - the Honda Civic. If money, reliability and family's comfort were no objects, I'd buy the CLS 500 - quite an attractive car IMHO. Sadly none of the LPS are really that stunning.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I have respect for both of your opinions about your cars. The Audi A6 and the BMW 530 are nice cars. You both have admitted to not driving the RL. That too bad.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Only because I don't like Acura telling me I have to have a loaded car-take it or leave it.
    I would never purchase a car under that circumstance.
    However, I eventually want to drive the RL and A6.
    It will help me appreciate where owners of these cars are coming from.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The Honda Civic has received a lot of good press lately.
    I would probably choose a Mazda3 if shopping around for a car in this category.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Hpowders:
    I hope you know I wasn't trying to offend either. I know you like to stir the pot...I just like yanking pot-stirrers chains by occasionally suggesting that they are drinking from it, too.

    I am glad you like your 5. I like my M, too (but I don't say Ghosn and Hallelujah in the same breath...well, except to say that I don't).

    Guess I'm gonna have to use more emoticons. :blush:
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Nothing like irresponsible journalists trying to create news. That article was one of the biggest crocks I have ever read in the auto rags. None of the cars cited had Bangle motifs. The new MB S? Who the heck is he trying to kid?

    FURTHERMORE…

    Many exterior current BMW styling features have been blatantly ripped off from other cars. So Bangle isn’t influencing anyone. Bangle gets “credit” because his staff took ugly to extremes.

    The term “Bangle butt” is now generic and should be sanctioned by Webster’s. However, it was ripped off from Bentley, Chrysler and Honda long ago.

    Also the flaky BMW headlamps are not original. Go look at the Aztek headlamps for living proof. You usually don't notice the Aztek lamps because they are camouflaged by all of the other action going on up there. Yep, they hitchhiked on to that baby.

    Lastly, the “Bangle butt” is a misnomer. It should be called the Hooydonk Butt or Hooydonk Dank because Adrian Von Hooydonk designed the 6 and 7, not Herr Bangle.

    The only BMW motif that is probably original and is being mildly emulated is the Bangle scar tissue aka flame surfacing.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Thanks. We all tend to get a little too enthusiastic at times.
    Time to take a step back, take a deep breath and put things into perspective.
    Makes me realize what really is truly important in this world...

    Cars! Cars! Cars! ;)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Ouch! A strong indictment from a fellow raccoon.
    But at least you support your argument with facts.
    If I ever get to see an Aztek, I will definitely be checking the headlamps.
    Woo! Woo!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Many exterior current BMW styling features have been blatantly ripped off from other cars."

    The did it in such as way as to be original though. For that I give Bangle credit. If another designer could of thought of it they would have, but they didn't. In other words, BMW is original in it's rip-offs. Betcha other car manufacturers wish they could be as original as Bangle. :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Scathing reaction to that article - what took you so long?

    I too didn't see what they were talking about listing all those cars that were supposedly influenced by Bangle. The new S-Class has a Maybach butt, not a Bangle one. The other cars they listed may take one thing here or their, but only if you really use your imagination. If anything the new Lexus LS looks like VW Phaeton to me, especially from the front, not a BMW.

    M
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,753
    Only because I don't like Acura telling me I have to have a loaded car-take it or leave it.

    Well if that is the case you're going to love BMW. They're the kings of selling stripper models with prices that almost look reasonable. Just don't assume you'll get anything standard on the car.
  • Well if that is the case you're going to love BMW. They're the kings of selling stripper models with prices that almost look reasonable. Just don't assume you'll get anything standard on the car.

    I agree totally. It really turns me off to see a "luxury" car advertised at a reasonable price only to discover that nearly everything that makes a car "luxury" is extra. The first time I looked at Lexus cars and discovered that leather seats were extra did it for me. As far as complaining about Acura and its "loaded car-take it or leave it", what about so many of the other cars and their packages. Everything sounds like its ala carte, but then you start looking and if you want X option, you have to buy Y package that contains eight options you don't want (or the price makes it so unattractive to buy just the one option, you end up with the package).

    An additional irritant is trying to find the car with the options you want. If you don't order the car and wait months, you end up getting one without some of the options you want, or getting a lot of options you don't want.

    At least Acura is honest and up front about it - here's the car we make, with these features, period.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    With the 5 series I can choose comfort or sport seats, regular or premium sound, nav. or no nav.
    With Acura, what you see is what you get. No choices.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The Acura TL is a bargain assuming you want a loaded car.
    I would rather have the choice especially since I never use a nav. system.
    The car is no bargain if I must pay for stuff I will not use.
  • My entire thesis is that all of these "data points" are irrelevant -- including US monthly sales figures. The reason is just as subjective as the data points (other than the data points that are actually facts -- and those are very few and far between), and that reason is, to me other than styling, this group of cars at this point in history seem so much alike in almost all of the points that are used for evaluation.

    Indeed, the content, performance and now even prices continue to converge and are now revolving around the same sun.

    Today, the 530xi w/6spd manual would be my choice as the number one vehicle were I not encumbered with another 29 lease payments. The cars offering V8's would be great performers every one of them (I assume.)

    But, as much as I like performance, my last three V8 Audis sounded sweet and sucked gas like it was water -- I assume all these V8 versions are thirsty. And, since only Audi and Cadillac offer AWD and a V8, well I discount them.

    Every day my short commute to the office seems to take longer and longer. I am, due to traffic, driving ever more slowly. Rarely do I get much chance to stretch the legs of my car. Even more rarely can I carve through twisties (even though I do so at every opportunity.)

    We enjoy (and perhaps love) our cars increasingly for subjective reasons. To repeat, ONLY the BMW stands out -- and I'd wager the one BMW that stands out (and for some of us is superior when configured thusly) is NOT the one purchased most often (AWD + 255HP + 6spd manual.)

    While I appreciate the banter -- and I hope it will continue mostly unfettered -- I do hope the car manufacturers soon come out with clearly (or more clearly) differentiated cars.

    At least, at the moment, styling cues do separate these cars. Remember when Lexus cars were shamelessly copying Mercedes?

    Reading the magazines, and worshipping their prose as some folks apparently do (especially CR which I find confusing) it would seem we would all have test driven the Infiniti M, the Audi A6 and even the STS. Perhaps, too, if you are a long term C&D reader you would have felt the need to test the RL. I do wish I would have been able to test it -- rather than just sit in one at the auto show, but it didn't happen. Then I just kept seeing Accord when I looked at the RL and, well the Infiniti just blew everything else away (at the moment I put my deposit down.)

    The overwhelming reason I am in the new A6 is the apparent "hail Mary" play by Audi and my dealer with respect to the price.

    Had things taken their course, I am certain I would be here happily driving the car that the overwhelming majority of "experts" say is the best -- the "M."

    Yet, if BMW would swoop down and say "here is your new 530xi and we'll take care of the lease on the A6," I could see myself driving the only one of these cars that is clearly different (today.)

    For what its worth, I am not a fan of the exterior styling of the "5", but that is really minor -- since I don't find it repulsive. Hey, I was willing to live with an "M" which I think is also kind of an ugly duckling.

    And, for pity's sake, sometimes the front end of the A6 is just too much for even me to stomach.

    Great time, great place to be alive -- can't wait for the next generation of this class of cars, in fact. Hope they figure out ways to remain competitive and differentiate themselves at least a tad bit more.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It also makes every Acura on the road just like every other Acura. The only differences being either with or without Nav and the color. I can see where this is appealing from a price/equipment standpoint, but it makes Acuras very non-unique cars, IMO.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    BTW Merc, give this some thought. The only aspect of the V8 Vantage I truly like is the lone piece of “Bangle” scar tissue that runs across the side of the car from the vent. The motif is use sparingly, just once, like a comet and its trail of stardust, and it truly gives the car visual motion. When they slather it on thick as is the case with BMWs, it’s like pouring the entire contents of the salt shaker on the steak.
  • The Acura TL is a bargain assuming you want a loaded car. I would rather have the choice especially since I never use a nav. system. The car is no bargain if I must pay for stuff I will not use.

    Before too long, nav systems will be so standard, and so expected, that selling a used car without it might be problematic.

    Also, as I've pointed out before, sometimes you get a feature like nav, that you think you'll never use, and once you have it you find it's very useful. This happened to a friend - now he'd never buy another car without a nav. It's now happened for me with Bluetooth. I'd never have sought out the feature, or paid extra for it. However, now that I have it, I find it's great.

    A recent experience with my nav - A friend and I were going to meet friends at an unfamiliar restaurant. My friend, who thinks nav systems are a ridiculous waste of money, pulled up the restaurant on Mapquest. He called me up and said "I don't think we can get there from here!" Due to the location of the restaurant at the confluence of two freeways and several major streets, the routing looked nearly impossible. My navi took us there with no hesitation whatsoever. While waiting to be seated, I overheard the hostess trying to give directions on the phone to someone. Even as good as I am with directions, I would never have been able to find the restaurant based on her instructions, even though they were exactly correct.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Actually, I meant to say Acura RL.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    You get a nav. or no nav. choice with the TL.
    You have to get nav. with the RL.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    and I'd wager the one BMW that stands out (and for some of us is superior when configured thusly) is NOT the one purchased most often (AWD + 255HP + 6spd manual.)

    Hey Mark... I always appreciate your posts. Be sure to add the 215HP 525 to the mix because it sells almost as many as the 255HP 530. My thesis has been that we on this forum do not really represent the majority of LPS buyers and consequently what is important to this wise group might not be that important to the people who lease the majority of these fine automobiles.

    Like it or not, auto mag writers are hired because they are "experts" but when making an emotional decision like buying a LPS who needs experts? This wise group continually thrashes them and I'm guessing here but... I doubt a majority of the leasing public read or care about their thoughts.

    For the record I would choose the 545 (the 550 wasn't out then) barely over the M45 but I would choose the M35 barely over the 530/525 - which is what I actually did. I wonder how many LPS leasers actually test drove or seriously considered many alternates? I know that my local Infiniti dealer has received quite a few 3-year old BMW and MB trade-ins for the M but no Acuras, Audis, Cadillacs or Lexi, but that really doesn't prove anything.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    With all the talk about Bangle's design "genius" let's not forget that he really didn't turn a company on the brink of bankruptcy around and make it a luxury contender - that would be Carlos Ghosn's claim to fame. Before Bangle I don't recall BMW having troubles selling their autos. Nissan/Infiniti before Ghosn was in trouble.

    The year before the G was released not one Infiniti dealer was profitable but then Ghosn introduced the G, FX and now the M and Infiniti dealers are profitable and rapidly expanding. He introduced daring designs (some are ugly), better management techniques, and improved production methods. He still needs a smash new Q45.

    The company had the reasonable expectation that the M would not outsell the established brands (it takes alot of years to build the brand identity) but the fact that they are a serious contender considering their "heritage" says volumes about the Ghosn effect.

    PS check out the older posts 546 and 548 for some other insightful thoughts.
  • Subjectively, I would assume the 525xi with the manual would "seem" to be a better performer than the 530xi automatic -- however, I have not been able to drive a 525 of any flavor and have only twice driven an AUTOMATIC equipped 530xi (dealer won't stock manual versions since he says they just rust or are so heavily discounted they might as well be purple.)

    My imagination leads me to believe in the 530xi stick -- that coupled with the fact that I do get to drive my wife's X3 3.0 with sport and manual and I extrapolate that the 530xi stick would only be a step up.

    Yep, the V8 M and A6 and 5 are probably awesome. But of these three, my choice would have to be an "Sline" A6 since I won't have one without AWD.

    I wonder if the Mercedes V8 4matic equipped cars are in the LPS class -- or are they the next step up from LPS if for no other reason than price?

    Were funds unlimited, I would (based only on articles) choose the new Audi S8 -- but funds are not unlimited.

    I read the editorial about diesel cars, especially the 4.2 Audi diesel, and for me that might be the ultimate LPS car if one were dumped into an A6 Sline outfitted version.

    I was recently in Munich and at the BMW museum there certainly appears to be testimony enough to convince me that a diesel Bimmer would be the top dog, too.

    Of course all the Mercedes diesel taxi's further support the notion that the right car for the time would be diesel, and one would think the right car as battery technology improves would be a diesel electric hybrid.

    The LPS cars will be, I predict, the birthing place for these technologies in the US if we ever get our fuel quality up to par.

    Top gear had a piece recently where a journalist drove from London to Wales and back (in traffic) -- a journey of 800 miles -- in an Audi A8L V8 diesel (4.2 twin turbo.)

    The fuel tank in this land yacht was 19 gallons.

    You do the math.

    This was in a whale sized car -- hmm, what would happen if Audi, BMW and Mercedes offered such engines (in the US) in their A6, "5" and "E" class cars? 45, 50 or more MPG (using all the tricks the TV journalist used to achieve 40 MPG in an A8, of course.)
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,753
    The Acura TL is a bargain assuming you want a loaded car.
    I would rather have the choice especially since I never use a nav. system.


    The nav system is optional on the TL, you can easily buy the car without it.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,753
    It also makes every Acura on the road just like every other Acura. The only differences being either with or without Nav and the color. I can see where this is appealing from a price/equipment standpoint, but it makes Acuras very non-unique cars, IMO.

    I don't understand how that is important. I mean, the first thing I notice about a car is the model and the color. I can't easily see the seat type, the audio system type, whether the rear seats fold down, whether there are heaters in the seats, or what transmission it has. And I don't usually go inspecting cars that are on the road for these things. Sounds like a red herring to me.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    In defense of MR. Bangle, it seems he has had to battle his way even with BMW owners. You can find his detractors... over 12,800 have signed an internet petition to have him removed. http://www.petitiononline.com/STOPCB/petition.html

    Recently however one thing that can not be disputed is Monthly sales of BMW automobiles were up 44 percent, to 18,419 cars compared to 12,796 sold in November 2004. Why is that?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I indicated this in my post # 5349.
    When I wrote TL, I really meant to say RL.
    One has to get the nav. on the RL.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Because the 12,800 make up a minority.
    Circulate a petition of BMW owners who approve of the job Bangle has been doing and there would be many more than 12,800 people willing to sign, IMHO.

    As for me, I am sitting here with my trusty Bic at the ready.
    One has to be fast, however.
    My goal is to humbly be among the first million signatures.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    When I see an RL on the road I know exactly what kind of equipment is on that car. So what? Too me the car is pure poetry in motion and that's all that counts. If someone else chooses to notice and like the car that's great. If they don't then well...I'm not going to know or care but I refuse to try and hold them by the nose and pour down that cod liver oil we were talking about earlier. ;)
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