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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I saw a lot more Alfas than Fiats or Lancias, but the Germans grossly outnumbered even Alfa. I can see why Fiat AG is in such big trouble. I only came across a single Quattroporte, and no Maser coupes or convertibles at all.

    Security was the worst at Newark, they made me take off my shoes, pull out my laptop so it could be scanned, etc, etc. Compared to that, security into London and then Nice was a breeze (I drove from Nice to San Remo in a new A4 2.0T TDI rental). In all cases though you're going to want to arrive at the airport at least 2hrs before your flight, and try to be at the gate at least 45 minutes before. If security isnt a headache, customs will be.

    Now that I think of it, I saw at least a few JGCs as well, not really sure why they would possibly want them. Not too many A2s, but plenty of A3s, the BMW 318i hatch, and gobs of M-B A-class. A large % were diesel in San Remo as well, which definitely makes sense. It was about 100 Euros ($130) to completely fill the A4, so I was happy for every extra mpg I could get over a gasoline 2.0T. My Audi was a tiptronic, with shift paddles on the steering wheel. Not much of a point with the diesel, since you're into the red at 4500rpm, shifting for yourself isnt much fun.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    ... the wood trim is REAL rosewood. That is very expensive and hard to get wood. Not contact paper, not cheap, lacquered over fibreboard, but real rosewood.

    If you had said you prefer the shiny look, fine. If you had said you just don't like wood trim, fine. ...


    Ditto; I agree!! Looks are subjective - likes and dislikes are subjective - period. Wood quality is objective - period. I haven't even chosen a car yet (narrowed it down to two - RL or M35) but I am tired of what's mostly RL owners bashing the M35 interior's QUALITY. I have asked for objective testable examples where the RL has a higher quality interior and no one has yet to provide a single objective example :blush:

    I have test driven the RL and the M35 extensively and find reasons to be imnpressed by both - including the looks of both! However in my opinion the heavily laquered wood in the RL looks amazingly like the plood in my MDX :confuse: Of course I like my MDX so thats OK. But the wood in M35 looks better in my opnion.

    Perhaps Consumer Reports should have tested the finish on the wood samples :shades:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In my opinion, the GS300 drives much better than the GS430, which has the HAL 9000 on your back. You think, hey I'd like to take this turn really hard, lift the throttle and bring the tail around a bit. "Sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cant let you do that".

    If your looking for a comfortable, quiet ride, a stellar NAV system, and flat cornering and ripping acceleration arent of critical importance, the GS300 could be a very good choice. The M is a polar opposite of the GS. It has SPORT branded on to its face, so that everyone can see. The GS has a little sport tatoo on the shoulder, so that it cannot be seen under a work shirt.

    The wood in the M is a matte finish, no gloss. If you're the type that thinks gloss = class, then yes, the M's wood will probably look cheap. I think both finishes are fine. I prefer the wood with light leather, and the aluminum with dark leather. I do wish though that Infiniti would offer the third black laquer trim that is available in Japan, that is my favorite of the three.

    I didnt have any problems with a jumpy throttle in the M. I thought both the V6 and V8 were great, but the M45 Sport is definitely the star of the show. If you're going to go that way, you have to go all out. Now all they need to do is offer a Nismo M45 Sport with a supercharger and 450hp+.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    "The fundamental difference between the two is that the Infiniti has built-in sporty goodness, while the Lexus takes a fairly good substructure and tries hard to make it great through electronics."

    Pretty much the same stuff as eveyone else on these two, but very well written. Lexus has got to look forward to end of comparo season, meanwhile the merciless spanking continues!

    http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=102927
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    With all do respect MSU we welcome you to the RL forum and hope you continue to have a good experience with your buying decision. It would also be good to hear from you about what you do like about the car. Edmunds subjectivity? Probably no more questionable than CR's.
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    I would think that there IS an attempt by Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Edmunds, etc., to be as objective as possible when rating and comparing new vehicles. As for which is better than the other, I cannot say, nor can most - one would have to objectively look at their test perameters, editors, evaluators, etc. If they all used the same criteria model for their tests, I would think the results would be more similar.

    What I do is look at ALL evaluations and then extract from each what is important to me rather than aver that Consumer Reports is more objective than the other evaluations, or that Motor Trend or Car and Driver is better. Each source contributes information aimed at better informing the buying/driving public.

    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.

    That's what I did when I got my 06 530i. It didn't receive all the rave reviews the M35/45 or Acura or Audi received, but it helped me test drive those vehicles that were tested. I agreed in some cases, with the evaluations, and disagreed in others. Remember, people buying cars have different needs, and many of them are subjective, i.e., style, comfort, room, power, handling, etc.

    If an individual buying a new car was completely objective in his/her motives/needs, then we would be buying cars based upon mags. In my case, I bought my car based upon information reported, and then made my decision after driving them.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I agree. I don't think you could go wrong with any of these cars. While I am happy to see the M do so well in various comparos, my biggest concern was rear seat room (three kids and all). Although the numbers suggest it is somewhat larger than the GS and RL, sitting in it at the NAIAS told me that the numbers don't tell the whole story. It feels much larger and more comfortable (from a size point-of-view, at least). If the RL won all the comparos, I still would have got the M. Now, if I had four kids, I would have ended up with a 6 spd MT G35 coupe and left the hauling solely to the SUV.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Don't you think most people coming into this forum have brought forward with them an opinion that probably won't be changed very easily. I have been a long tome Honda/Acura owner and ultimately wanted to own the flagship. Now that that decision was made, like most owners I am a bit protective of that decision as most of us are. However, I've been reading these forums for some time now and it's been an education. I am no longer so resolute. Any one of these cars in this forum would be a pleasure to own and I like reading about them. It's enlightening to read from some of the real knowlegable car guy's postings and we know who they are. I also enjoy a sense of humor and that gets demonstrated often enough. This is an exceptional forum right here and I'll just hang around it for a while. It's fun! :)
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Question for you, since you are a long-time Acura owner. Do you see Acura moving in a different direction than when they were first launched? The reason I ask is I always liked the look of the original Legend. I thought it was launched as a premium luxo sedan (not sport). Now with the RL, it seems like they are moving towards the sport side of things (where the old Integra and Vigor used to lie--dating myself a bit here). Do you see this as well, and do you see it as a good thing or otherwise?

    By the way, I test drove a Vigor a long time ago. I don't see why it didn't sell better.
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    I guess what you are saying is the bottom line is that these LPS's have been tested, retested, evaluated, compared, etc., to such an extent that if an individual purchased any of them in the top 5, they would be very happy, indeed. I don't know if I could completely agree with you.

    I would not be happy with a front-wheel drive vehicle or an AWD vehicle. This eliminates several from the group. Next, the M seats for the driver were just too harsh for me as I have a bad back. The GS300 was cramped for my left foot - almost didn't know where to put it as it was so uncomfortable. Thus, I was left with limited choices.

    Yes, all the LPS's are great vehicles, but not great for everyone. That's why there are several out there and thank goodness for that.
  • 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. ;)
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