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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Interstingly the BMW 5 series still remains the leader of the pack in the LPS class despite an 18 percent March sales drop. Which is surprising considering that the MB E Class model has been recently refreshed. I am sure the 5 series is going to get a nice boost from 528/535 sales.

    BMW M5 sales dropped 66 percent to hit a grand total of 128 cars for March. Wonder if there is a supply issue and God-forbid if it is a demand issue. I mean the new Audi RS6 isn't even selling yet.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Similarily to the updated MB E Class I would have thought that the new and improved Lexus GS350 would have higher sales. But that is not the case for both these models. I am sure CR's verdict has more weight on the sales of Lexuses than on the sales of the German marques. Despite MB being the lowest of the low in terms of CR's ratings their total sales have increased .

    The charts provided by Toyota linked below appear to have an error. On the March 07 sales list there are no Lexus GS350s? I guess the GS300 figures represents the GS350 figures?

    Lexus Sales
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    BMW M5 sales dropped 66 percent to hit a grand total of 128 cars for March.

    I'm not sure you can make much of a singel month comparison for a limited production car like the M5. I was in a large BMW dealer last week, and when I asked if they had any unsold 6-speed M5's, they indicated their was still a 6+ month wait.

    That said, I do not think the current M5 is as revered as the previous model, notwithstanding it's great V10 engine. The interior layout of the current 5 series and the i-drive gymnasitics you have to go through to tap into all 500 horsepower would be a turnoff to me. I believe that BMW needs to re-think making the 3 series and 5-series into more driver oriented cars from an interior design and functionality standpoint.

    And they really need to re-draw the 6-series. It is butt-ugly, literally and figuratively. Someone parked a Toyota Solara next to a 650i in front of the dealership and the two looked way too similar from the rear.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Your prefs and biases will surely virtually dictate what you do regardless of what we say.

    The fact that you are going for a used car will also limit the population of cars you can acquire, too.

    You didn't mention any "need" (different than a preference) for AWD.

    Knowing what I know, reading (too much) of what I read and seeing all the bytes we post here on edmunds and elsewhere, I would say "none of the above."

    I would also say, if you think 10 years and continue to think your posted choice, you CAN afford a new car.

    Right now, the Acura dealers (those with inventory) are on a tear with the new MDX, RDX -- the RL's are gathering dust.

    The RL is, considering content and performance, moving up the value scale every day.

    A new RL stands a better chance of being the best choice (thinking of money) for the 10 year journey than any of these used Germans.

    The BMW may be eligible for an extended BMW brand warranty (beyond mere CPO'ing which you would have to do with any of these.)

    The Audi, and I have one, seems, to me, at 34,000+ miles to be as tight and "new" as it did the day I leased it.

    My lease runs out in 14,000 miles (I bought 3,000 extra to get me through to the end "just in case" I don't bail out a few months early.)

    My current A6 (2005 3.2) is the first car in a long time, I would actually consider keeping a year or so longer.

    But, these Germans are "breathtakingly expensive" to keep out of warranty. And after the service pack runs out, heck even an oil change is a $100 affair.

    The MB CDI has something going for it in that the engine OUGHT to go the distance. Small comfort if everything else around it becomes a vacuum for money.

    You can afford a new RL -- they're giving them away.

    $11 down, $11 a month and if you don't have the $11, we'll loan it to you. Come one, come all to Kash's Big Bargain Barn Acura dealer, just a mental block and a bridge from downtown Cincinnapolis.

    :shades:
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,530
    "You can afford a new RL -- they're giving them away.

    $11 down, $11 a month and if you don't have the $11, we'll loan it to you. Come one, come all to Kash's Big Bargain Barn Acura dealer, just a mental block and a bridge from downtown Cincinnapolis. "

    You crack me up.
    So - when you 'retire', you'll be sellin' cars - right?
    - Ray
    Willing to drive most any distance just to see THAT . . .
  • kivikivi Posts: 12
    Yea sorry I noticed that a while after my message had posted. We tested the 530xi, but after hearing that the 535xi was soon on the way, I would have been very interested to compare it to the 530xi. Guess I just had 535 excitement on the brain when I typed that post. In reality however we still would have ended up getting the M35x because for us (Canadian) the cost of the similarly equipped 530xi was about $82k vs $67K for the M35x.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    and when I asked if they had any unsold 6-speed M5's, they indicated their was still a 6+ month wait

    If that is the case then the low M5 sales is a due to some supply issue(too low production levels).

    I believe that BMW needs to re-think making the 3 series and 5-series into more driver oriented cars from an interior design and functionality standpoint.

    I agree. The best car that will fit your above description could be a 1 series M Class. Due to BMW history I guarantee such a beast will not be called an M1.

    I dont know how the idrive is in the M5 but I do know how it is in my wife's BMW 530xi Touring. It's not bad at all once you get used to it. Also the dashboard is not so cluttered with buttons.

    Having said that I love the simplicity of my non-idrive BMW335i sedan much better. The only options I chose for my car is a sport package and metallic paint. Any other option for me is a frivolous waste of money.

    By the way do you have any idea if the new M3 will have idrive as standard?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    But, these Germans are "breathtakingly expensive" to keep out of warranty.

    Maybe? Have you actually owned an Audi out of warranty?

    In my particular case for the last quarter of a century I've owned many German cars out of warranty and so far my wallet remains intact. If my experiences were otherwise then I would not have bought two new German cars last year.(I am a frugal fellow by nature who hates spending a lot of money on repairs)

    Maybe my positive experiences has something to do with having a great independent auto mechanic that specializes in BMWs? I avoid the dealerships like a financial plague.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Mine was (98 A6), and I replaced it with an Infiniti. Too soon to tell if it was a good choice! I realize the new ones are better, plus a different chassis. But, I didn't fit, either.
  • All,

    Thanks for your input. It appears that this topic is starting to drift a bit off topic, so I'll now inject my opinions (and the best part of opinions is that they're ALWAYS right).

    The Acura RL (and TL), in my opinion is a fine car, but really does nothing for me in regards to exterior design, and the interior design is all about the distractions, as are most of the japanese brands (huge screens, too many buttons). This could explain the RLs lagging sales.

    The german sedans, with I-Drive, MMI, and COMAND, are guilty of their own crimes. But they drive so well, it *could* be possible to forgive them...if only they weren't so expensive to repair, if you can find a good tech.

    For me, maybe it's time to shop American. The '08 CTS looks promising, and if the current ride (9 years, 120K) holds on until then I'll give it a spin.

    Thanks again for your input. Great Forum!
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    1. 3 Series - 11,259
    2. G35 - 7,992
    3. ES350 - 7,444
    4. TL - 5,769
    5. IS - 5,077
    6. CTS - 4,881
    7. C Class - 4,486
    8. A4 - 3,783
    9. MKZ - 3,626
    10. TSX - 3,232

    Taken the 2 classes together, BMW is undisputed king of the sports sedans, Infiniti is king of the Japanese sports sedans.

    TSX is really cutting into TL sales. Why not just drop TSX, and offer a 2.5 V6 option with TL? Acura really needs a RWD platform to compete in the higher division.

    My guess is when a Lexus sports sedan, GS or IS, comes out, pent-up demand is strong from Lexus loyalists. Once that's satisfied, there's not much demand from cross shoppers with BMW, Infiniti, etc. There probably will be minimal demand for the hi-price, hi-power 'F' series.

    Audi's worldwide sales are fantastic, might overtake BMW soon. But as usual, can't catch a break here.

    With strong overall sales, Toyota, Honda and Audi can afford to miss out on their GS, RL and A6. But GM got to hit a homer with STS and CTS, with trucks and SUV sales slumping. CTS's a single, STS's an out.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    TSX is really cutting into TL sales. Why not just drop TSX, and offer a 2.5 V6 option with TL? Acura really needs a RWD platform to compete in the higher division.

    As long as buyers are staying with Acura, I'm not sure it matters whether they go TSX or TL. The TL cannot have a smaller engine with less power than the Accord.

    The TL needs at least AWD. Saab Viggen torque steer is not a positive attribute for a sports sedan. As long as Acura continues to half-effort the RL, it will be the same sales disaster it has been since day 1, RWD or no. They let the last one languish on the market for a decade. I just dont think Acura really cares about the RL.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    The TL needs at least AWD

    IMO that's just not good enough. Unless Acura can make AWD autos as well as Audis then yes I agree. But they dont.

    Acura should offer RWD and AWD on their TL just like most their competitors. Please Honda, spare us the excuses and instead start building a rwd platform for the next generation TL (aint gonna happen--just wishful thinking on my part)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    IMO that's just not good enough. Unless Acura can make AWD autos as well as Audis then yes I agree. But they dont.

    To be fair, Audi has been in the AWD game just a tad longer than Acura has, and it took them 25 years to figure out that if they push the torque to the rear wheels, their cars will handle better. The RDX shows though that Acura can do a decent handling AWD product that is not based around a front-mid engined RWD platform.

    It would be very smart for Honda to do a multi-purpose RWD platform like Nissan's FM, but in their typical way they'd rather devote enormous resources to the NSX, and continue to just slap Acura badges on the Accord.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    One thing that Audi did (and yes 25 years is a long time, relative to many of the others in the various segments) was (almost always) have the torque bias set nominally at 50 50. Quite a few of the AWD cars to this day are FWD biased and unlike Audi's approach (almost always) they are reactive systems, in that they require a split second to shift the torque to where it is needed. Audis equipped with the Torsen system "bind in real time." They are active systems not reactive systems. Couple, for one example, a 95% FWD bias (a Volvo S60 leaps to mind) and a reactive system and you have a car that can go in the snow but it can't hide its FWD bias.

    Audis biases that are not well hidden have been more a by product of the engine's placement and the front weight bias. I know it is all the rage these days to claim RWD biased AWD, but I would have rather Audi (years ago) had just decided to keep the Torsen system at 50 50 and figured out a way to even out the weight distribution.

    Of course if they do both -- which they claim they are keen to do (and the A5/S5 does offer some hope in that regard) all the better.

    My 50% 50% split A6 doesn't feel like an FWD vehicle because the torque split is 50-50, rather its "FWD-ness," if that is what it is, is due to its weight distribution problem, which is the root cause of the understeer -- understeer that Audi engineers do an almost unbelievable job of taming.

    Moving the engine back a few inches will help Even better and smarter suspension designs, etc keep on coming from Audi
    perhaps because of necessity. If an Audi were as well balanced as a BMW. . .well it makes me shiver to think how they would drive and handle.

    So, Audi sold 100,000 cars last month -- first time in history.

    The cheapskate in me knows this ultimately means the bargain train I have been driving all these many years has left the station. Gone, or soon gone, are the days when my neighbor's inline 6 cylinder 5 series with several, but not all, choice options was the same price as my V8 A6 with all possible options AND AWD.

    The price (for me) of Audi's success is -- er, expensive.

    What are the odds I'll be able to lease a $53K Audi next time for no money down, 15K/36/mo for $640/mo?

    Slim just left town.

    But, congrats to Audi -- man, if they make the A6 closer to 50 50 weight distribution, just imagine. :surprise:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They are active systems not reactive systems. Couple, for one example, a 95% FWD bias (a Volvo S60 leaps to mind) and a reactive system and you have a car that can go in the snow but it can't hide its FWD bias

    Right, but at the other end of the spectrum you have ATTESA E-TS, where the front wheels don't get any torque unless deemed necessary, which give the G and M a RWD feel. The RS4's torque distribution does seem to improve its handling even with the engine still hanging over the front axle, so I don't think Audi's decision to go 40\60 with the torque was just a marketing gimmick to keep up with the Joneses in Munich.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    They also, in this car, have a passive dual diagonal hydraulic anti-roll system, which, effectively, hides its porkiness over the front wheels.

    If all the brouhaha about the push back of the engine in the A5 is more shack than yack, AND if they are able to shift the weight rearward, well, we may have something.

    The G and M (and I am a fan) seem to have some drive-line lash or "lip synch" problems since they don't seem to act until there is that ever so slight loss of friction.

    Under the circumstances most of us have to live with, I would (were I somehow granted a magic wand) want a well balanced and real time RWD biased AWD vehicle.

    The 5x series is darn close.

    After all these years though, "nothing satisfies, quite like BEEF -- it's what's for dinner."

    Yet, if Infiniti wants to gift me a M35x, I'm there! :shades:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yet, if Infiniti wants to gift me a M35x, I'm there!

    The one thing that bugs me about the Infiniti AWD cars is that you can't get the sport package with them. I know in the past BMW xi cars with "sport" were mostly just big wheels and sport seats, has that changed? Even if a G35"xs" could come with the G35s wheels and seats, that would be better than nothing. The standard 17s don't flatter the new G at all, there's way too much sidewall for a modern sports sedan.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    At this point, here is what I believe is correct in response to your AWD+Sport desires:

    Sport used to mean: handling improvements due to anti-roll bar thickness increases (typically 20%), lowering of ride height (typically 20mm minimum) & with stiffer springs, plus 1 sizing of wheels/tires and a switch from H rated all-seasons to Z rated summer only, more damping in the shocks/struts (or active or passive damping), a reduction in the turns lock-to-lock, road speed sensitive power steering, sport seats, and trim bits. There are also several other performance and/or appearance bits that are included here and there, sometimes brake improvements or auto transmissions tuned for more sportiness and even a decal here or there, an emblem on the steering wheel or butt of the car may be added too.

    Presently, with the layering of option packages that makes the price go from the sublime to the ridiculous, the STS can sort of be had with a luxury-sport package and AWD (and MagnaRide.)

    The Audi A6 for years could be ordered with a sport suspension (which almost always included plus 1 sized wheels and tires and summer only UHP tires at that), sport seats, etc. The sport suspension and upsized wheels and tires were $1,250 in 2005 (the wheels and tires alone were $1,000.) Then, the magic of bundling hit Audi too -- and they concocted something I like to call "S-light." It is technically called S-Line and it is a true sport package plus an appearance package -- no grunt improvements, however. And, just like Cadillac's approach, it is overpriced (but it is less than the STS considering that S-Line is currently offered as a stand-alone option for a number beginning with a "3."

    If you want AWD and the sport suspension that most of us would associate with the term Sport Package, your choices are Audi and a $60,000+ STS (sort of sport package.)

    The AWD BMW, so they say, cannot have the sporting bits because of the AWD mechanism and the requirements BMW has for a true sport set up -- i.e., lowering the ride height.

    If you can wait, Audi promises a better balanced A6 AND a sport package in upcoming models.

    Mean time, an A6 S-Line can be had with all the things noted above and +2 wheels and tires (19") -- despite its heavy nose, such an Audi, so equipped (especially with the 4.2 FSI engine) really performs far better than its big schnoze suggests. Take one for a long test drive.

    Of course, with the V8, the A6 will be priced -- as an S-Line -- at that $60+K price point too.

    I hear the V6 is getting a horsepower transplant (boost) in the upcoming model -- which may mitigate this.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well how bout the new Luxury car in this segment the Hyundai Genesis coming out next year ?

    Any comments from this crowd ?

    Rocky
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Whachyoumean "this segment?" Did I sleep through Hyundai graduating into the segment? :confuse:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well how bout the new Luxury car in this segment the Hyundai Genesis coming out next year ?

    This is the mid-lux class. The Genesis is neither mid, nor lux. Its a 200" car.
  • You made a comment at the end of your note about a power boost to the Audi V6. Do you know that for a fact? That would be welcome news.

    I own a 2003 A6 3.0 . I love the car - It's been reliable (in more than 70000 mi) and very comfortable. I'm thinking of getting a new car and recently tested the new A6. I did not like the way it drove. It felt underpowered.

    Off-topic: The Audi dealer here sells Jags too....I tried the XJ8L, and we may have a winner. The drive is amazing. Someone, PLEASE, convince me that I shouldn't be getting the leaper.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well it might lack the badge rep but Hyundai, will be the next Lexus, in 10 years. They will graduate and will take a feel Luxury badge buyers with them from all makers.

    This car looks great and will be like buying a BMW 5 series at Acura TL money ;)

    Back to your regular schedule programming. Just wanted a opinion from the lux-crowd

    Rocky
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You made a comment at the end of your note about a power boost to the Audi V6. Do you know that for a fact? That would be welcome news.

    I'd have to assume that the A6 will be getting the updated version of the "3.2" thats going into the A5. Its not a big boost, something like 10hp. It's still going to get crushed by the 535i.

    Good news, you can buy used Jaguar XJ for the price of a bag of Skittles, and not even a big bag. A certified pre-owned XJ is the high-end luxury bargain of the century.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The only more or less official data is 265HP. A 10HP boost. The torque does not rise.

    There have been several less official statements (perhaps just rumors) that there will be a more powerful V6. The 3.2, with the typical conservative Audi bi-turbo treatment would easily match the engine that is in the 335 and 535.

    If Audi does not rise to the challenge, I would argue they will HAVE to cut the price of the A6 w/265 HP to lure someone to buy it if the 535 can be had for similar money (as the situation has been between the 5 and the A6.)

    So, to be clear. The only published info is for a +10HP boost. Yet we have seen these guys improve the breathing of these engines and get considerably more than 10HP. BMW itself cranked the 3.0 engine from 225HP to 260 without turbocharging. It would seem to be within reason that Audi, without the use of an impeller, could get a 6 cylinder engine a lot closer to 300HP than it is currently.

    Bragging rights are very important perhaps even moreso than the actual performance. If your LPS gets to 100kph in under 7 seconds (close to 6 in fact), and the other guy's is a 1/2 second less quick, yet the slower one can claim "X" HP, well, all is forgiven.

    I remember 1997 when Audi was bringing out the then current A6 (to the US). The 2.8 engine was putting out something like 193HP, but somehow appropriate breathing was added to the thing and it was able to come to the US with 200HP.

    It was still, more or less, a dog. A slug.

    The 3.0 was a great help, but it was the 2.7T that was the real performance version (even besting the 4.2 in 0-100kph.)

    But the 2.8 sold well, its sluggish performance was real, but it could be said to have 200HP. It also had what I call, "same day acceleration."

    Thus, the point is Audi HAS to be aware that a 300HP 535i and ix will blow a 265HP A6 away.

    I have to believe there will be, again, an A6 middle child.

    The fact that none is being announced, makes me all but certain it will happen. :surprise:
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Good news, you can buy used Jaguar XJ for the price of a bag of Skittles, and not even a big bag.

    You forgot to add the qualifier. This would be a bag of Skittles purchased at the movie theater concession stand. ;) So you'd still be paying a pretty penny.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Interesting post...taylOrd. I haven't read this forum in a while but I see some familiar posters here after all this time. The 2005 RL continues to run perfectly after 29,000 miles with no complaints from me. It is serving us well in our retirement. The miles are mostly city driving so it is a pretty good reliability test so far. Last time in here the Infiniti M's were the rage. What's happening these days in this forum... Audi or Lexus kicking butt?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The situation hasn't changed much since last year. The 5 and E continue to rule the segment, with the M holding down third place. The only real race will be for last place after the S80's "brand new" sales bubble evaporates.
  • What are the payments on 36 month lease with 0 down on 2007 BMW 550i vs MBZ E/CLS 550 vs LEXUS GS450h ? MSRP around $65000.
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