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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Mark ... I agree ... they were successful with me ... prior to the 2004 325i, I had a 1999 Passat. I think it was the first car I had with leather seats ... I easily slipped into "all BMWs are luxury cars" ... it took almost a year for me to let it into "my thick skull" (as my father would have said) that this was an updated version of the 2002 a neighbor in Colorado still owned in the mid 1970s. Rather Spartan. Neat. Simple. No luxury anywhere really ... always asking people in the back seat if they needed me to move my seat forward.

    I think that experience was one reason I was so wowed by both the M35 and the A6.
  • erfanerfan Posts: 12
    Thankyou all who gave their valuable opinion. I test drove the RL and TL today. Chose an Acura dealer for service for my Accord and took the two cars for a ride one after the other. The RL was plush and quiet, but seemed just a little sluggish. The TL was peppy but did not cancel out the road noise to my liking. Maybe I'll test the GS 300, IS 350 and M35 and 45, the 530xi, the E350....or maybe I'll just sit on it for a while and keep reading the postings in this forum.....!
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    I've had a similar opinion for years. People quote Consumer Reports surveys, Detroit drools over the J.D. Powers survey, and they're all based upon owner responses. Now, I've been in discussions with other guys (women, also) who support the wisdom of their purchases, regardless of the number of trips to the shop. It's the "ego" factor. No one wants to look like a dunce or an idiot for spending a lot of long green on an unreliable vehicle. So, they all say the car is "wonderful"! Even when faced with verifiable statistics that there might be a serious problem, their car just never has "that" problem.

    You are absolutely correct, until the "real" numbers become available (probably never), all of the surveys are simply -- interesting!!!

    But, one thing never changes -- Life is Better at the Beach!
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    My experience, never, and I mean NEVER, own a car out of warranty. Then, be sure that the warranty provides you with equal transportation in the event the car needs to be in the shop. 5 years is not a long time to own a car. Normally, that's about the length of time that we have ours; 4 to 5 years, and 80 to 90 K miles. We currently own 2 vehicles, both with extended warranties. Paying for service on a car, especially a BMW, Mercedes, Audi -- would drive me to the poor house!

    Many articles will tell you that it's not worth the cost of the extended warranty. Again, in my humble opinion, that's just not so! Figure it out; hourly rates, cost of parts, etc., etc. Peace of mind is worth something, as well. Anyway, good-luck! I don't think there is anything mechanical that might not break down.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I have had 3 BMW's since 1993.
    No problems at all.
    My 3 BMW's have indeed been wonderful.
    I have never been asked to participate in any JD Power surveys.
    I am far from alone in having trouble-free experiences.
    You can believe what you want to believe.
    Those surveys are a crock,IMO.
    If BMW's had such terrible problems, why are sales going throught the roof?
    People aren't stupid.
    That's why they wouldn't touch Audis.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    You are correct -- keeping any one of the LPS cars out of warranty is a risk. Keeping the German ones out of warranty would be, however, a way for y'all to understand the meaning of the words "breathtakinly expensive."
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    While cross-posting is discouraged, allow me to repeat the following, having to do with why Consumers Report data doesn't appear to correlate with what is often read on Edmunds boards:

    I think it's important to consider the source of CR "data." Those who categorize cars the same way as CR does its core competencies (appliances & house paint) are generally NOT (that would be NOT) automobile enthusiasts.

    I'll tolerate CR's appliance & paint ratings (we do subscribe), but have always (well, for the last 40 years) taken their opinions of things like audio equipment, cameras & other products for which professionals & enthusaists wouldn't be caught dead using the "check rated" item with well more than a grain of salt.

    Here's a question CR might ask: How do you routinely transport yourself? a) walk, b) bicycle, c) mass transit, d) evil resource-sucking, carbon-dioxide-producing, non-recyclable-product-containing, single-person-carrying selfish product? If you're so bold as to choose d), then you'd by-god better be driving a Prius or Corolla -- Civics are OK, I think.

    CR probably still makes a fortune selling their invoice pricing data (though I'd bet a lot less than they did before the internet), "how to buy a car" & "how not to get screwed" stuff to the car-buying (computer-averse) masses, so they've decided to nod now and again to the enthusiast or otherwise irresponsible car-driving masses.

    However, their core supporters buy most things just as they'd buy appliances & house paint -- the truly anal also endure the half-hour or more it takes to fill out the annual survey book & don't (IMNHO) represent anyone who has passion about anything on earth but saving money in a PC fashion -- this cohort values green efficiency above all else.

    Some of us are at the other end of that scale, where cars are concerned.


    That's what I posted elsewhere, and to your "Life is Better at the Beach," I'd respond, Life is often better in the mountains.

    Enjoy that beach.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The RL was plush and quiet, but seemed just a little sluggish. The TL was peppy but did not cancel out the road noise to my liking. Maybe I'll test the GS 300, IS 350 and M35 and 45, the 530xi, the E350....or maybe I'll just sit on it for a while and keep reading the postings in this forum.....!

    I got a similar impression driving the RL. It doesn't accelerate, especially from a standstill, nearly as fast as its 290hp would suggest.

    Couple of comments to make about your other choices. If you're interested in something faster than the RL, the GS300 AWD is probably not going to satisfy you. Weren't you looking for an AWD car? The IS350 and M45 are both RWD only. The IS250 AWD is pretty slow, and its also a very small car.. I'm not sure how important rear seat room is to you, but the IS basically doesn't have any.

    If you're genuinely interested in an entry-lux car like the TL or IS, a G35x could be a good choice. It actually has room for adults in the back, and with the new G about to hit, I'm sure you could get a very sweet deal on an '06. Then of course there's always the 330xi, A4 3.2, and C-class 4matic to consider.
  • erfanerfan Posts: 12
    Back seat room is important to me. I wonder if you have any experience driving a RWD in one of the northern states in winter. My house has a slight uphill drive which can be a little treacherous with snow for the FWD Accord. I do not like the G35's shape and if a new model is about to hit the market, I would rather wait. Don't you think the 330 and A4 have the same backseat problem as the IS?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The 5x's and A6q's have better back seats -- especially of the two the A6. The M35X, too has a real back seat.

    The new Gx from Infiniti if it follows the trend, will be either bigger or better packaged -- or both. Knowing Infiniti it will have AT LEAST the 280HP engine, which I can attest is quite potent.

    Mercedes upcoming turbo diesel 4Matics (if you indeed can wait) still would be right up there, at least for evaluation purposes.

    I don't know a lot of folks with Mercedes -- the ones I do have the diesel versions and some of them are well beyond 150,000 miles with little more than routine servicing.

    The Energy act of 2005 provides the buyers of one of these clean diesels with a tax credit similar to the hybrid's too.

    If you can wait.
  • turnbowmturnbowm Posts: 76
    "No one wants to look like a dunce or an idiot for spending a lot of long green on an unreliable vehicle. So, they all say the car is "wonderful"! Even when faced with verifiable statistics that there might be a serious problem, their car just never has "that" problem."

    Most of the people that I've talked to have been pretty open (and honest) about their ownership problems. Most every MB owner I've encountered, for example, have said "NEVER AGAIN!" A neighbor with a Lincoln Navigator is always telling me what a P.O.S. it is.

    No doubt there are some who are in denial where car problems are concerned, but I have no problem admitting a mistake..... I calls 'em as I sees 'em.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    You spends your money, you takes your chances. :sick:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I wonder if you have any experience driving a RWD in one of the northern states in winter. My house has a slight uphill drive which can be a little treacherous with snow for the FWD Accord. I do not like the G35's shape and if a new model is about to hit the market, I would rather wait. Don't you think the 330 and A4 have the same backseat problem as the IS?

    Well, southern Pennsylvania isn't exactly Maine, but we've had some heavy snow in the past. If you're willing to get a full set of Blizzaks or Dunlop Winter Sports, a RWD car with traction and stability control can do a passable job in light ice and snow conditions. Anything more than that. and you're going to want AWD.

    The new RWD G35 is almost here, but the AWD G35x probably will not hit until next year, assuming Infiniti follows the same pattern as last time. If you don't like the looks of the original G though, you probably won't like the new one, as they look pretty close.

    The 3 series and A4 are a little bigger in the back than the IS, but not by all that much. The G and TL are much closer to midsize cars, and have bigger rear seats.

    If you haven't seen it yet, here are some pictures of the new G35 to give you an idea:

    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101738.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101811.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101825.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101837.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101917.- jpg?undefined

    The interior has been given an M style NAV interface, and VWish gauges. I guess they are done with the orange thing.

    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101949.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-102006.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-101752.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-102021.- jpg?undefined
    http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/AS/2007-infiniti-g35-lg/SP32-20060606-102043.- jpg?undefined
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The new Gx from Infiniti if it follows the trend, will be either bigger or better packaged -- or both. Knowing Infiniti it will have AT LEAST the 280HP engine, which I can attest is quite potent.

    Infiniti hasn't released final power ratings yet, but they are saying "300+hp". I'm sure they are keen to match or beat the 335i and IS350.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Well it does appear that it is better packaged and perhaps even a smidge bigger. 300HP would be a bonus if it didn't suck gas!

    The breed keeps improving.

    Money where mouth is time -- the folks who won't admit (or so say some) they have lemons or bad cars, etc, may really feel that way (up to the last minute.)

    How many repeats are there -- that perhaps is more telling than the subjective opinions and rationalizations we are all guilty of from time-to-time.

    My wife, SWEARS, she will buy another BMW.

    I am not so sure of that, but I'll take her at her word for now -- kind of thing, ya know? :shades:
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I honestly believe that there are two different kinds of buyers, whether or not they have a good/great experience with a car. Some have a good experience and stick with it (Mark, for one--dare I say extreme--example :) ); others are like me.

    I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying my old 328 (leased at the insistence of another). However, I just can't commit myself to being a repeat buyer when there are so many other appealing vehicles out there. To me, it would be like eating hamburger (or filet) every day. I just need to experience other things.

    I love my M35x, but I probably won't buy Infiniti next time. I just want to try something else. I went from a turbo Probe, to a Jeep Gr. Cherokee, to a 328, to a Durango, to a Galant, and finally to my M. I loved every one of them for various reasons. Next time I may just get a Saturn Aura greenline or redline. Or a Camcord. The only thing I know is that it won't be a Buick (I could never live down the stereotype I have created for myself with that brand).
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    over in the HELM thread we are being ganged up on by those Lexicons [well one in particular] who think that Audi should not be considered a Helm :sick: :P
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Repeat buyers run the risk of missing out on some fine automobiles because they refuse to even consider the competition. I know a few BMW owners who wouldn't even test drive a Japanese brand. I let a few of them drive my Infiniti and guess what? They thought it was more luxurious, comfortable (especially the back seat) than their BMW 5 and they couldn't really notice any handling difference. They mentioned minor problems with their cars but the biggest gripe was how poorly the BMW service department acted towards them. Free maintenance? Build it into the price of the car, then make it difficult to schedule an appointment and suggest spending some cash on other things you might not need when in for your free service.

    I always get a kick out of forum members who criticize the competition without ever owning them. Lease a BMW for three years, then lease an Infiniti for three years - then compare the ownership experiences of each. You will come away with a much different view of each automobile - didn't some poster mentioned it takes a few years to overcome a thick skull full of preconceived ideas? I did ny three years with BMW, now I'm on year two with the Infiniti.

    By the way I'm in the "Not ever again" camp when it comes to MB.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Since I do not exactly know what is being discussed on the HELM forum, I can perhaps begin by asking if BMW and Mercedes vehicles qualify as HELM candidates.

    If only such cars, WAY above the $120K price range are in this league, then perhaps Audi is NOT in the HELM class.

    The Audi A8, A8L, S8 and A8-W12 certainly would qualify on features, functions, performance and luxury/amenities -- if the class under consideration includes BMW 7's and the Big Benzes.

    If this is a Maybach (is that spelled correctly?) forum -- or a Bently or Rolls forum, well perhaps the Audi doesn't qualify due to its much lower price point (as the most expensive Audi I've seen is just south of $130,000.

    The Big Audis are certainly High End cars by most measurements and qualifications. The fact that they may be hundreds of thousands less than other cars that ARE indeed marketed to humans, may make them not qualified for such discussion.

    Perhaps super premium LPS car would be a good name for one of these top o' the line Audis.

    An S8 would be my choice in a world that cares not about price.

    Sorry I am so lower class. :(
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The folks who "would never" and have never irk me, somewhat. Too, those who would "never again" or "only" (and I do recognize I am darn close to the latter at least based on my purchase history) also at least confuse me.

    The "only" folks -- and again I am darn close to being one of them -- can be difficult to have a conversation with. The ONLY "Toyota" crowd, frankly, seems to be the most difficult to have polite conversation with.

    Of course, I find it difficult to discuss anything with the only Japanese or only German crowd -- and it really gets them when you point out that these cars keep getting more alike in content and quality leaving styling as THE key differentiator.

    The way things are, however, is good for the market, good for the consumer and the competition is good for the manufacturers, too.

    If someone swooped down and gifted me a Cadillac STS V8 AWD with all the sport and lux stuff possible, I would drive it for at least 49,999 miles most likely.

    I love the debate is the point -- but it is almost like politicians anymore, without the crawl beneath them, I wouldn't know if they were Democrat or Republican.

    Signs of the times.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I might just take you up on that.
    My 2005 545's brakes cannot modulate to a smooth stop.
    Always a "jerk" at the end. Drives me nuts!
    The Infiniti M's brakes were better when I drove one last summer.

    The M is on my very short list along with the Porsche Cayman S.

    I am just about at the end of leasing year one. No reliability issues with the BMW.
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    Gee, I never realized it but I guess I'm a "never" guy. "Never", as in "never will own Japanese" -- made in America or not! And -- driving them doesn't change my mind, either. I guess I'll just have to miss out on all of that Japanese excitement and having "cut off my nose to spite my face", will just have to motor on through life with what's left; maybe a Buick. But I'll probably need to hurry because the Chinese are coming. Now that's going to be exciting; just imagine that in these forums!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The great thing, however, is that we can -- thus far -- discuss our predilections here and even if no minds are changed, we can at least see other points of view.

    Takes one to know one, would be a bit of self description -- for until I "almost" became an M35X driver, I had always thought the way to go was with the "best of breed."

    For years that meant -- with respect to cars -- German.

    When the buzz here was rising pertaining to the Infinitis and the price of the new Germans was so far from the Japanese, I did start to test drive and read even more (here and in the professional journals.)

    Thus far, I only remain unimpressed with some of the offerings from Lexus -- and that is simply because I am convinced my leather Barco-Lounger would corner better.

    But so many people (and not just here) go on about "reliability" (and sometimes durability) above almost all else -- and even though I understand wanting more reliable cars, I want cars that are more engaging (for wont of a better word) to drive.

    I don't think, however, if Lexus starting building BMW or Audi rivals (in that sense) that I would have any problem at least considering them.

    Now retired, a friend and former boss of mine, will not have any German car, but will have either American or Japanese. A frequent European traveller, he has been everywhere but Germany (but does frequent France.) I assume there is either "history" or "current events" at work there, but we don't discuss it.

    He says life's too short to go to Germany when you can go to Italy or France, bla bla bla. For years he drove Cadillacs, now it is Honda mini-vans (but he also has an SRX, "just in case?")

    Your "never" this that or the other thing is fine with me -- unless it starts creeping into "analysis" of other's choices, concludes they are wrong, but has no basis in experience.

    As I said, takes one to know one -- I never understood the attraction of foreign cars, growing up. Then, once I started driving German cars (the company I worked for had an Audi, BMW and Porsche -- and I got to drive an Audi "Silver Fox"), I looked down my nose at the Americans AND the Japanese.

    These days, although hardly mellow, I find little to NOT like about most of these cars we wax on about here. Sometimes I lament their seemingly common bloodlines, almost as if they are "twin sons of different mothers" as two "bergs" were called in the late 70's (great album BTW.)

    If you are of the "never" or "always" persuasion, perhaps I can simply advise you to broaden your horizons. Maybe, too, I'll take my own advice.

    "Once a Rolls Man, always a Rolls Man [sic]. . ." Magic.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Mark ... potentially touchy subject ... I think your post balances others nicely.

    Edward Said became known for his evaluation and critique of a set of beliefs he referred to as "Orientalism" -- certainty about what the Orient is. seeing Asia as separate, eccentric, backward, different (in a less-than-the-real-thing way), etc. Thing originating in Asia are judged in terms of, and in comparison to, the West, so it is always the Other and the inferior. That's not the same thing as people here expressing preferences for the German history of automotive engineering over the Japanese history of such engineering and I think posts like yours help keep us from inadvertently crossing the line into the kind a certainty-attitude Said described.

    I enjoy (or don't) specifc cars, not all cars from one country or continent or even from one manufacturer. I liked the Audi A6 with the V8 best of the Audi line (for the pure driving thrill) but might well have opted for the V6 (for combination of fun-driving and overall owner-pleasure). I don't much like the G35 sedan, but immediately enjoyed the feel and drive of the M35 sedan. I tried several MB E350 models and could only have imagined taking the one I saw with the sport package. I get a kick out of driving certain front-wheel drive cars (like the Mazda 3) when horsepower is not more than 200, but hate the torque-steer when hp gets over 250.

    The fun we are able to have on these forums is due to manufacturers providing distinctive engineering, design, and production packages from which we can choose. Getting at what's distinctive about each LPS and hearing why a specific person matched up with a specific car is likely to have greater yield, in the long run, (arguing about there being "a best" LPS is fun too).
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    You are a lesson in self control and class, I on the other hand am a hot headed, big mouth. Never the less, don't get the idea that I roll in those kind of Helms. Have you seen the inside line article on Audi and it's business woes, but beautifully made cars? A very interesting read I assure you.
    Many happy returns of the day
    drumminham
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    dhamilton ... good tip on that article ... author offers an interesting hypothesis for Audi's sales not being better.

    Im shopping Audi and other LPS sedans recently, I got the impression that Audi salesperson's attitude was that if I was going to get a BMW or MB, well so be it, but that he was really worried I wouldn't see through "hype about Infiniti M35" and, among other realizations, realize that in a few years the resale value of the A6 would certainly be better than that of the M35.

    Also, in my neck of the woods, much as the Audi CEO told that reporter, Audi is paired up with VW. They are side by side on the showroom floor. Lineup of cars at service dept, more VWs of course, creates sense you'd have a long wait, which I always did when I brought a VW there some years ago.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Audi's Business Woes?

    What woes?

    Don't recall seeing too much about Audi's woes -- unless you call best 5 months in the company's history a woe.

    Or, are we thinking of the LARGER sense: VW's woes, which seem to be widely published.

    GM's woes -- aplenty.

    But, I know not if Cadillac, alone, has woes.

    The Cadillac lineup seems to be getting better with every tick of the clock -- hope its not too little too late.

    The CTS next gen could be a contender as SHOULD the STS.

    Anyway, what woes have befallen Audi AG? Or Audi of America for that matter?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I suspect what dhamilton saw and then I read is what led to use of that word:

    "Audi makes some of the best luxury sedans in the world, but its U.S. sales would suggest that these guys produce motorized tin cans.

    In the last 15 months, I've test-driven Audi's A6, A4, A3, A6 Avant (wagon), S4, and most recently, the Q7. With each one, my admiration and adoration for all things Audi grows.

    However, nowhere near enough consumers share my lofty opinion of Audi. Through May, Audi sold 32,500 passenger cars in the U.S. Meanwhile, BMW sold 88,000 cars, Lexus sold 67,000 and Mercedes-Benz had sales of 71,000."

    That's how the reporter put it at this website:

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Columns/articleId=115702
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I’d like to know what the regional US markets are like for Audi and the concentration of their dealerships. Anyone know? How many dealerships are there in the US compared with MB, BMW and Lexus? I bet it’s somewhat proportional to the numbers Charlie posted right above.

    I would also bet that most of Audi’s stores are in the northeast and they need to build more elsewhere. You’d never know there is any problem with Audi by their presence around the NY area. I see tons of them on the road—all of this with very little advertising.

    The entire auto market is hot and I would guess they just need to put out their hat and collect the money falling from the US heavens. I know merchandising requires a much bigger effort than advertising but they have to do it. There is no reason why Audi should do so well globally but not in the US. I don’t think their image nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. Quite the contrary.
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