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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • carfan28carfan28 Posts: 43
    Acura RL is a good luxury cruiser.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Acura RL is a good luxury cruiser.

    It is, but I think the Acura's "comes with everything" approach could hurt its chances with the Ft. Lauderdale crowd. These are probably not people who are going to be syncing their Blackberrys while listening to a DVD-Audio disc. The RL's interior would probably just confuse them. That and the "brilliant" push\twist keyless ignition system would probably lead to some dead batteries.
  • carfan28carfan28 Posts: 43
    Yep, anyone who doesn't have the strength to punch through a chad and leave it hanging may have problems with one of the more sophisticated electronic gadgetry cars out there.
  • wbreaux1wbreaux1 Posts: 55
    I replaced the spark plugs on my 2000 E320 and the cost was $500, so $288 sounds great. .
  • All,

    I've been reading Edmunds boards for awhile, but have never posted a question.

    I'll very soon be in the market for a vehicle, but my pockets aren't deep enough for either of these three vehicles new. However, an '05 320 CDI or '05 530, or '06 A6 does fall within my budget, and I'm looking for suggestions.

    About myself, professionally employed (engineer), mid 40's, who buys and holds vehicles (I expect to keep this purchase for at least 10 years, and have no interest in a lease). Wife, no kids, but want a rear seat large for the occasionally visiting aging parents and passengers.

    Driving habits. Let's see, I gave up performing the stupid stunts I do see on the roadway, but I do enjoy fine machinery. Zero to 60 in 4.0 doesn't interest me (much), but having a somewhat thrilling commute does (not all pleasure is found experiencing g-forces). Most miles are commuting in town, with the occasional highway runs.

    Any long-term owners care to chime in about what to expect during a prolonged stay with these vehicles? I'm aware that all three will be expensive to maintain in the long run, but I'm willing and able to do so as long as I enjoy the ride.

    I'm deliberately leaving out my own preferences and prejudices, as I'd like to hear what you have to say. :confuse:
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Pretty much any of these cars are a major investment after the warranty runs out. I'd be very leary about keeping any of those cars for 10 more years. Part of the problem is limited quantity, expensive parts, not inexpensive labor for someone that is more than a corner hack. Each of these cars requires a lot of training and equipment to both diagnose and repair other than some of the simple things. Personally, the days of keeping a car for a long time without significant expenses are maybe limited to the less expensive, less well endowed vehicles without all sorts of electronics and safety systems. Some of them are just too much for the corner shop to handle, and quite expensive to keep going.
  • kivikivi Posts: 12
    No way would I plan on keeping these new high tech cars for 10years or more. Perfect example of why not is my father-in-laws Mercedes S430 which is now 2 years out of warranty. It has been a great car until the out of warranty repair bills started rolling in. In the last 4 months it has cost over $10,000 to replace the auto-leveling airmatic suspension system on the car. Two weeks ago the NAV/radio/CD control system died. The part alone is almost $7,000 (Canadian).
    Our new M35x is due to arrive in two weeks, and in 4 years and 2 weeks we will be returning it to infiniti. It will be time for a new car.
  • uglybearuglybear Posts: 26
    Don't compare MB to Infiniti or Lexus. MB is at the bottom of the quality list while Ininiti and Lexus are at the top. 8 years old Lexus on average has LESS problems than NEW Mercedes. So if you are planning to keep the car for 10 years, buy Lexus.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    As others have said, the maintenance and repairs for the cars you have listed could make a 10 year hold an expensive proposition.

    That said, I'd consider an Acura RL over the Audi A6. I own a 2004 TL 6-speed and it's quicker and more fun to drive than the RL, but not as luxurious. The RL has been a very tough sell for Acura, so good deals should be available.

    I enjoy driving BMW's much more than Mercedes, but the E320CDI is a solid car, IMO. My marketing director put 80,000 miles on a E300 Turbodiesel before trading it on a E320 CDI in 2005. The new car is quicker, gets even better mileage and still drives like new at 40,000 miles.

    I'd consider an extended warranty for any of the cars you are considering. Like you, I prefer to keep my cars for a long time. Still have a 1995 Maxima w/ 155k miles stationed at our second home. But after taking my 18 month old 911S in for a malfunctioning passenger power seat, and hearing that the cost out of warranty to replace a simple switch would have been $1,000, I will either give it up at 4 years or get an extended warranty. Too many electronic gadgets in these cars that will break long before the basic mechanicals give out.
  • djkidocdjkidoc Posts: 4
    Can anyone give me their opinion on a purchase. I'm coming out of a 04 CLK 320 and had a 01 330ci with manual and sport package before that. I appreciate sporty driving and handling but I also like a luxurious ride as well...I know that it is not necessarily possible to compromise one for the other so I am torn between the 5 series and the E class.
    If you need to take the car to 100,000 miles and would like to get some blue book value at the end of 5-6 years which would you guys purchase? how about if looks and performance and comfort were taken in consideration? thanks for any advise. I plan to purchase in the next 2 months...
    Ps. If anybody could recommend a bimmer dealer or benz dealer in the NY tristate area that gave them an awesome deal I would appreciate the advice... Thanks in advance...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The RL has been a very tough sell for Acura, so good deals should be available.

    I just noticed that there's a $3500 dealer incentive on the RL through the end of this month. That should make for some very attractive pricing.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'll very soon be in the market for a vehicle, but my pockets aren't deep enough for either of these three vehicles new. However, an '05 320 CDI or '05 530, or '06 A6 does fall within my budget, and I'm looking for suggestions.

    A certified used car is an absolute must with one of these. When the certified warranty runs out, its time to get rid of the car. You'll be much better off putting your money towards the next CPO car than taking the car to the dealer for its fifth $3K vacation of the year. CPO warranties should get you 5-6 years and somewhere around 100K miles of vehicle ownership. Beyond that, I'd say you're asking for trouble.

    The RL hasn't done amazingly well in quality surveys, and as its only two years old, nobody can really say yet how a 10 year old one will hold up. Even the GS doesn't have a great record. There's no guarantee that any of the Japanese models will outlast the Germans. I'd do the exact same thing with an Infiniti as I would an Audi in your shoes, buy CPO, get rid of it when the warranty is gone.
  • kivikivi Posts: 12
    Prior to test driving and comparing I was pretty sure we were getting the 535xi. The E-class was ruled out almost immediately after exploring it, because it just felt too much like an old folks car in styling, and certainly did not have a sporty feel to me.
    Initially I did not even entertain the Infiniti m35x, but after driving all the competitors, and finally trying the M35x ... we ended up ordering the m35x. I would encourage you to try the Lexus GS350awd, or the M35x. You may find yourself pulled in an unexpected direction. (The lexus did not have enough head room for me 6'2", but otherwise was a very nice car).
    If it is only a choice between 5 series or the E. I would choose the 5 series in a flash. No hesitation at all.
  • uglybearuglybear Posts: 26
    Get BMW but skip sport package. This way you'll get BMW handling but cushier ride. Sport package comes with stiffer suspension. If you like larger wheels, you can buy them later, separately, without having to take sport suspension along with them. And remember, BMW sits higher than MB in the quality / reliability list. BMW is not the best, but I will take 'average' reliability over 'much worse than average' any time. See JD Power and Consumer Reports.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    If you skip the sport package, you might as well skip the BMW altogether. A non-sport BMW is not one bit better than every other car in the segment when it comes to handling. It's pretty bad, actually. I've driven a non-sport 530i and was amazed at how terrible the handling was compared to what I was expecting of "The Ultimate Driving Machine."
  • uglybearuglybear Posts: 26
    I did feel difference between 530xi and 530i, but not that much to say it is no longer BMW. 530xi sport package does not include active stabilization or stiffer coil springs. Still, it handled much better than Lexus or Acura RL. I never drove M35x, so I don't know about Infiniti. If one is to buy the car and keep for a long time, it is alwaysis possible to put aftermarket coils like Hamann later and/or put on bigger rims with lower profile tires.
  • djkidocdjkidoc Posts: 4
    oh, i'm definitely considering the E 350 4matic with the sport package. does it make it a better competitor with the 5 series if that is the case? btw. thanks for the replies..
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Tough call there. I've also driven the E-class with and without the "Sport Package." (I've driven everything in the segment.) Not much difference in the E-class with or without Sport Package; both are fairly pedestrian. The difference between a 5-series with and without Sport Package is quite large. It doesn't even feel like the same car. The difference between the Infinity M with and without Sport Package is only noticeable at the extreme limit. If all you do is occasional higher than average cornering, the difference between the two is imperceptible. If you drive like a madman around turns (me), then the non-Sport Package will let you know you don't have the Sport Package with lots of protest from the tires and straying across the line.

    But back to the BMW. Without the sport package, I'd say it's on par with the Lexus GS and Acura RL. No, even with SH-AWD, to me, the RL is merely adequate. I wouldn't call it sporting. Many owners have, though. Just a difference of driving styles and what's acceptable to the individual.
  • aflcaflc Posts: 8
    In terms of reliability, Audi has moved up quite a bit, #12 overall, better than any of the other German brands. This upward trend may be a predictor of future build quality.

    If you want a stable ride with both comfort and sportiness, I think Audi offers both, packaged together, to a greater extent than the other two brands.

    If you were to get the Air Suspension you would be able the better adjust the ride comfort to suit your needs. Dynamic mode for the times you're in the mood for some fun. Comfort mode for those bumpy roads.

    Also, you have the option of standard Drive mode, for regular driving, vs Sport mode, which allows for quicker down shifts and slower up shifts. And don't forget the Sports Seats, added comfort along with better support.

    But, I've notice that most of the Audis out there come with Standard Suspension. Which really does a disservice to the Audi brand. Do try to find one with Sport or Air suspension. To quote tayl0rd :
    If you skip the sport package, you might as well skip the BMW altogether
    I would somewhat agree for the Audi as well, w/ and w/o Sport Package is like driving two different cars. Although one does have the added benefits of having Quattro in the Audi.

    I think for your needs, you will be very pleased with the A6. Not too hard, not too soft... just right.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    A non-sport BMW is not one bit better than every other car in the segment when it comes to handling. It's pretty bad, actually.

    But back to the BMW. Without the sport package, I'd say it's on par with the Lexus GS and Acura RL.

    Blasphemy. What you're saying is akin to a pro golfer telling a 5-handicap golfer that he's the same as a 20-handicap. It's inaccurate. You just have no tolerance for anything less than a BMW sport suspension.
  • "Blasphemy. What you're saying is akin to a pro golfer telling a 5-handicap golfer that he's the same as a 20-handicap. It's inaccurate."

    Good analogy and correct statement.

    I drive a 2003 M5, so I could claim that any non-"M" BMW isn't worth it. And that would be equally absurd.

    The non-sport 5-series is second only to the 5-series sport models in handling, steering and driving dynamics in this segment. Nothing by Audi, Mercedes, Acura, Infiniti or Lexus is going to handle as precisely. I could disparage each and every one of those nameplates with criticisms such as "Audi's are obese pigs", but that's just being obnoxious. All of these cars have some quality attributes. But none have the driving dynamics of the BMW 5-series, IMO. Take plenty of test drives for yourself.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    kivi,

    Did you drive a 535Xi? Or is that what you were considering based on driving a 530i/530Xi? Reason I ask is I didn't think the 535's were out yet, although you can apparently order them.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    5-Series 4,315
    E-Class 4,019
    A6 1,038
    RL 719
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    No, even with SH-AWD, to me, the RL is merely adequate. I wouldn't call it sporting. Many owners have, though. Just a difference of driving styles and what's acceptable to the individual.

    The RL isn't a sports sedan. There was a test (I think it may have been on Fifth Gear with the Honda Legend badge) where it was on a race track, and it was all body roll and tire-squealing understeer. The "super-handling" bit just keeps it from having atrocious understeer. Audi is able to disguise the A6's FWD nature, but Acura hasn't really learned that trick.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,526
    March deliveries:
    STS 1,555 = off 32.4% from March 2006....
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Infiniti M 2,768
    Lexus GS 2,103
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Infiniti M 2,768
    Lexus GS 2,103


    Interesting, that may be the M's best month yet.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Control your enthusiasm.

    M sales are up merely 1.5 percent for March and down year to date by about 6 percent compared to 06 figures.

    What is interesting is that every single car in the LSP segment is faced with declining or at best stagnant sales.

    Are buyers flocking to smaller sibling models like the BMW 3 and Infinti M. Apparently that seems to be the case.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Are buyers flocking to smaller sibling models like the BMW 3 and Infinti M. Apparently that seems to be the case."

    In the case of the BMW 3 vs. 5, there is the small matter of the fact that the 3er got the new engines months before the 5. My guess is that once the 528i and 535i hit the streets, sales will pick up.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    M sales are up merely 1.5 percent for March and down year to date by about 6 percent compared to 06 figures.

    Perhaps, but 2700 is still a very good month for Infiniti. Its usually neck and neck with the GS, but they hammered Lexus this month. That "not that reliable for a Lexus" report from CR certainly can't be helping the Lexus, especially when the M is CR's all-star luxury car.
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