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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • No one's crystal ball is clear. However, I attended a presentation recently about the US (and global) economy. When "regular" reaches $3.40 will be the beginning, just a smidge mind you, of "pause at the pumps."

    Coupled with higher interest rates -- gulp.

    After several years of having V8's and one 2.7T turbo (very thirsty), I opted for the Audi V6 FSI specifically because I am certain $3.00/gallon regular will be a (~) 2005 event. Perhaps this is insane to be buying $50K+ cars and looking at gas prices as "an issue."

    Perhaps it is -- but the larger concern, beyond the obvious is the imact on "everything" not just my upper-middle-class lifestyle and ability to buy gas.

    Here is the "shocker" -- some authors are writing that $5.00 per gallon, while not near term likely, is not a distant far off event.

    OK, the flip side is at $70/bbl of oil, getting abundant (?) oil from Canada that was previously non econmically feasible to go after becomes an economic and technological "no brainer."

    I am neither a fan nor a foe of Lexus -- but the upcoming hybrid LPS car "ought" to be just what we need (as well as several other technologies.)

    I would expect the LPS cars to "pioneer" performance and new fuel saving technologies.

    Even my 3.2FSI seems to sip gas considering the size car it is in (my A6).

    We live in "interesting times."
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Well, my 545 has got about 15,000 miles on it and it's been flawless so there is reason to hope. Honestly, most of the issues with the E60 have been recalls for software upgrades which, while they are a pain, are not unusual for a newly redesigned car. E60's have not been plagued by the type of problems that say, the E Class has had (and it's been around long enough to be better frankly). I think that since we're getting into year three of the design it's probably going to be much better. Sure, there will be a car here and there that just weren't put together poperly, but in general I think it will be a reliable car (as far as German cars go that is).
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    I agree!!! The only issue I've had was an error message on my odometer screen (as opposed to the I-drive screen) showing SOS not working. That's the BMW assist signal. They did everything trying to isolate the problem, but finally gave up on it and installed a whole new piece of software ($2000+ part) but every so often it still shows up. All I do is shut the engine off, restart it, and it's working again. So it is obviously some sort of a glitch that I will learn to live with. Otherwise, the 530i 06 has been flawless in performance, fuel economy, handling, etc. At least my 530i has not had any mechanical problems.

    The main problem with BMW service centers is that they are so overwhelmed with work for warranty issues that unless you have an emergency, you need to wait a while for a loaner car and an appointment.

    I would assume in smaller towns with less population density, this is not an issue, but in large populations centers like the southeast coast of Florida, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, LA, SF, etc., it is a problem.

    I am the executive assistant to the owner of an Infiniti dealer down here, and we do not have the same problems as BMW. We have loaners, we can take care of customers, and don't have major issues with the Infiniti line.

    Thanks for the input, and enjoy yoru 545
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    That's not really true at my dealership which is one of the largest in the suburbs of Chicago (about 20 minutes from downtown). They always get me in quickly and have a loaner waiting if I need one.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    "We believe this legislation will accelerate more widespread adoption of our LDW system and other intelligent vehicle technologies that help make our highway travel much safer."

    Wow! :surprise: :surprise: Talk about big business controlling the government!! :surprise:
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    BMW 545i:
    350 miles.
    Flawless performance.
    Flawless iDrive.
    A rocket on wheels.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,650
    .. and it uses a lot of gas?

    Go figure!! :surprise:

    Seriously... it would be worth it, to me...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • janssenjanssen Posts: 74
    I am the executive assistant to the owner of an Infiniti dealer down here, and we do not have the same problems as BMW. We have loaners, we can take care of customers, and don't have major issues with the Infiniti line.

    I am curious, having been a BMW owner, and now being an Infiniti owner:

    Why the difference? Is it dealership-dependent, or is it a difference in corporate culture?
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    hihomike wrote: "The main problem with BMW service centers is that they are so overwhelmed with work for warranty issues that unless you have an emergency, you need to wait a while for a loaner car and an appointment."

    I'm a BMW owner in Charlotte, NC (county pop. 750,000) which has one BMW dealer. I dropped in several days ago (no appointment) to have a tail light replaced. The car was in and out before I could finish ogling the 911's and Boxters next door. It is necessary to make an appointment if you want a loaner for routine maintenance/service, but that's hardly a problem. Usually, it's quicker to wait on the car than to make an extra round-trip in the loaner to retrieve it.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    My A6 just broke 3200 miles...Leased it mid May...and am averaging 24.50 MPG so far...Pretty soon, when gas gets to $3 (which I understand it is in many places in California right now), maybe a lot of the comparisons will switch to MPG as a category. Thanks President Bush for screwing up our country and giving us higher gas prices!!!
    BTW, I heard the gas mileage on the Lexus hybrid RX400h isn't that great...I think its only like 8-10 MPG more than the regular gas version. Which may be good for an SUV but not worth the premium you're paying. I think the Toyota Prius is a cool car (with real high mileage...especially in the city).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Acura is the only one of all the Japanese High Line cars and most of the German cars that doesn't offer a V8 engine. Why don't we go there if you're really trying to defend the RL. Why is this the case?"

    You'll notice that GS430 makes up a very small percentage of GS sales. Its always been that way. Most of the LPS cars have a vast majority of a 6 sold as the engine. Acura did the math and expected maybe 10% V8 RL sales. Thats 200 cars a year, and only if the RL was selling at the rate Acura projected. So far it seems to have only turned in one month of the sales numbers required to reach a 20,000\yr goal. They decided that the expense of developing a brand new V8 from scratch would not be worth it for 200 cars a month, so there's no V8. The other possibility is to slap IMA on the existing 3.5L V6, and I think thats pretty likely to happen. They are the only ones that can compete with the GS450h, and if the Lexus does well, its a pretty sure bet that Acura will make a RL hybrid. It would also cure the RL's low end torque problem.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lemme guess, it was the NYT article, right? I've had to defend the 400h 3 times today already. NYT completely missed the entire point of the 400h. When Lexus announced that they were going to offer hybrids, they said that the Toyota versions would strive for the best mpg, and the Lexus versions would be designed to get as much extra power out of the electric motors as possible, with any increased mpg as sort of a bonus. The RX400h was NOT designed to get Prius-like mileage. Another total misconception is the supposed $10K premium for the 400h, which is completely incorrect. The BASE RX330 stickers at just below the $40K mark, where as the RX400 starts at $49K, so everybody assumes that the 400h costs $10K more. What they fail to mention is that the $39,990 RX330 has cloth seats, and NO options. Any Lexus dealer will tell you that you cant actually buy a total stripper RX330 like that, unless you special order it. The ones on the lot all cost at least $42K.

    If you actually spend the time to build an RX at lexus.com (apparently NYT was too busy for that, or too biased to report anything that would dampen their argument as to why the 400h stinks) you'll notice that a completely loaded RX330 comes in around $46,5. The 400h comes with just about every RX330 option as standard equipment. The only option is the ML stereo, which brings it up to around $51. Therefore, the actual price for JUST the hybrid motor is $4500, not $10k. Factor in the $3500 tax credit for hybrids, and you can get into a RX400h for $1000 more than a similarly loaded 330. Try going to a MB dealer and telling them you want an ML500, but you're only willing to pay $1000 more than the ML350 costs. See what kind of reaction you get there.
  • "Acura did the math and expected maybe 10% V8 RL sales. Thats 200 cars a year, and only if the RL was selling at the rate Acura projected. So far it seems to have only turned in one month of the sales numbers required to reach a 20,000\yr goal."

    My 10% of 20,000 math equals 2,000 :P
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    I believe I read in the current issue of Motor Trend (Sept.) that Acura will introduce a V-8 for the RL in...2011.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The fire sale lease I got on the car more than pays for the gas. I imagine the mpg will improve after the break-in period is over. I'm getting 19mpg in mixed driving.

    The problem is that 80mph with my 325i has effortlessly become 90mph with the 545i.
    I'm going to really have to watch it on the interstate.

    What's really a lot of fun is all the redneck flat-bed truckers who come tearing down an adjacent lane with the sole mission of attempting to pass in front of me, giving it all they have, but you know what? I just give it a little touch on the accelerator and they simply can't do it.
    Regards,
    The Titanium Silver Streak
    ;)
  • The new issue of Autoweek has a comparison of the M45 vs. GS430, it is their cover-story. The M45 beat the GS430 by a landslide. They thought that the VDIM system on the GS is too obtrusive and the both the brakes and steering are overboosted. They also complained about the transmission not knowing the proper gear to be in at the right times. They said that the GS has a good chassis, but Lexus uses too many electronics with ill effect to try and make a great car.

    They liked the M45 in almost every respect. They liked the intelligent transmission, acceleration, brakes, handling, rear-active steer, and grip. They basically say that the Infiniti has sportyness built into the car without having to resort to what Lexus does (i.e., to many electronic nanny's).

    In the last sentence they call the M45 a champion, and say, "Sayonara Lexus!"
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    You say 20,000 cars a year...then you say only 10% of these and state 200 cars a year...then you later say only 200 cars a month. Which is it?
  • for $80,000, you can buy 1/2 a 3 bedroom home.

    Wow, not where I live. The three bedroom house next door just went for $750,000.

    The only time I rode in an e60 530, I found the hesitation on acceleration to be very annoying. How's yours?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I have to agree with the thoughts on the GS430. I thought the steering and brakes were both horrible.
    The steering was wishy-washy. No effort required. The brakes grabby to the extreme.
    The GS300 was actually better. I had no problem with the brakes and steering.

    Watch out for Infiniti. They are definitely an exciting story.
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    No hesitation whatsoever. But I have the 06 530i. I did notice it more in the 05 530i, with the 225hp engine.
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