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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • jcobyjcoby Posts: 140
    I will give you the same advice that I gave Topspin628 - get a BMW 5-series. I am a strong supporter of Lexus and would be glad to see you purchase another LS. However, I would be happier (not that my happiness matters in your car buying decision ;) ) if you found a vehicle that is more suited to your needs and desires. It is not just the price increase that has you looking elsewhere - you are getting a little bored with the LS. Only the Infiniti M can rival the 5-series in this class in terms of handling performance and overall driving excitement, but BMW offers very competitive lease offers on many of their vehicles.

    Just follow this link:

    link title

    It is quite likely that you will enjoy a substantial discount versus your current monthly lease payment by choosing the 5-series and you are also quite likely to enjoy your vehicle more than you currently enjoy your LS 430.

    Life is too short to not get what you want when you have the financial means to do so and live in a country that gives you the opportunity to freely fulfill those desires. Get what makes you happy and don't look back! ;)
  • The 3-yr.lease on my BMW 545 is up at the end of the month. I love the handling, performance and the navigation with head up display. It has been almost problem free...the run flats wear out quickly, lousy gas mileage 16mpg (maybe it's my driving). Biggest problem is that the seats are very uncomfortable for my 5'5" height...they just don't curve in the right place and cause back and neck discomfort. BMW offered assistance. So I drive around sitting up higher in the seat on a firm pillow...and with a neck roll on the headrest. I don't want another BMW because of the seat discomfort, I've never had this problem with Mercedes or Jag or even Ford or Honda! I have grown very accustomed to the heads up display, my favorite feature. Any recommendation on what to look at? Is there a heads up display anywhere else???
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Have you tried out a new 535i with the Multi-Contour seats? Here's what the BMW web site says about these chairs:

    "20-way power multi-contour front seats (includes articulated upper backrest, 4-way lumbar support, passenger’s-seat memory, active head restraints and adjustable side and thigh support)"

    You might find that these are just the ticket for your situation. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There was an episode of Top Gear where the Stig drove a Carrera S and a 4S on the same tight, twisty, dry track. The RWD CS was faster. If its GT3 RS v. Turbo on a dry race track, my money is on the GT3. Porsche 911 all wheel drive seems to be there to provide a safety net for the 911's tail happy nature, not to make the car faster.

    Think about how fast the Cayman would be if it had top level 911 power and a limited slip diff. It has the ultimate performance layout - mid-engine, RWD.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    I beg to differ. That Top Gear vid showed the C4S was faster C2S with the Stig driving both. The RWD was easier to handle.

    The 911 Turbo Coupe is AWD.

    Regards,
    OW
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    For some reason I had it backwards. My money is still on the GT3 RS though to beat the Turbo.
  • 5-Series 5,173
    E-Class 3,718
    GS 2,300
    M35/45 1,658
    A6 807
    RL 522
    CTS ???
  • In this class don't you mean STS, not CTS?

    I just came from 20 minutes (not driving, just sitting) in a $48K CTS DI, and -- well, hell, it seems to come "this close" to being a member of the LPS class.

    Alas, the CTS is (not yet) NOT a member of the club.

    The interior, for what its worth, is almost in the Audi class (which, for my money, is the best of the bunch.)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Did you happen to spend some time in the rear seat? I have and while everything else you say mirrors my own impressions, the rear seat is unlivable for anyone over about 5'3" for any reasonable trip.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Hi, Shipo. If I remember correctly, you were the resident BMW expert when I got my 01 330i with SP. I since went on a "vacation" to a Lexus LS430 and with that lease just about over, I'm thinking of re-joining the BMW ultimate driving crew again. What's your take on the 535i vs the 550i? Also, with some good deals on the 7 series, are they OK now after the initial first gen I drive issues.
    Any advice is welcome.
    Thanks
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Personally I am a fan of blown engines, have been for decades, and since the performance difference between the 535i and the 550i is so small and the price difference is so large, I'd go 535i all the way. Then there is the fuel economy issue...

    FWIW, configured apples to apples with the options I would order, there is an $8,800 difference in price.

    Hmmm, better fuel economy, almost identical acceleration (better at altitude and on hot humid days), less weight to throw around and significant savings. What's not to like?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • NO -- I did not spend any rear seat time.

    I was questioning the sales rep about how one would go about integrating a phone into the system that allowed you to check your voice mail. On*Star, lacking a keypad (and costing an arm and half a leg to use for calling), does not.

    The fact that the STS has bluetooth and the CTS does not (when a Mazda does) is difficult for me to square in this class.

    Audi (and BMW) make the integration of the phone, CD, nav, radio and voice command so easy -- and we all know that the Japanese cars can be even better at this.

    Many things to like about the new CTS (for the money especially), but, for my wife and me this bluetooth (or lack of) issue is a "do don't" -- without some way to use a phone hand and eyes free, well, thanks for playing.

    The GMC Acadia sales rep says there is a workaround, the Cadillac rep doesn't know anything about it.

    The back seat is tiny eh? Well, I thought the same of the BMW 5 series and find my A6's rear seats and room to be fine. The rear seat issue, for me, would not deter my acquisition -- BT on the other hand, well -- that's a different issue.

    I looked at the new (not really new) 2008 A6 3.2. The new wheels look nice. It is hard to tell, otherwise, that much has changed, even though I can find subtle differences.

    What is not so subtle is the new MSRP -- an essentially base A6 now crosses $50K. My 2005, all optioned, A6 was $53K, the 2008 would be perhaps $58K for essentially the same car (with a backup camera, that mine does not have.)

    The 5 series could be a contender, as could the new A4 -- the Cadillac seems like GM's best effort ever though and already the MSRP -$2000 is the asking price. Seems, BT notwithstanding, a heck of a deal.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,312
    There's no doubt in my mind (let's see, how does that go -- often wrong but never uncertain?) that GM in general & Cadillac in particular are dragging their collective feet on bluetooth only because they have to prop up OnStar.

    While it makes absolutely no difference to me, it's clear that many who drive cars in this category consider this a deal breaker. OnStar is an expensive (for both the user & the provider) partial solution to a question that can be answered much more effectively & efficiently elsewhere and that many of us never even ask.

    I wonder what the over/under is on when OnStar goes bust?
  • Yes, VERY often wrong, but NEVER uncertain these days! :surprise:

    I got the brochure on the new CTS. Woo woo!

    Beautiful piece, expensive piece and for the uninitiated, the prose makes it sound like the CTS is just short of the second coming. But the reality is so different. The CTS breaks no or, if any, VERY little new ground beyond its styling evolution. Much time and trouble was spent crafting the wording in the brochure: "More than a car, it's a Cadillac."

    The brochure makes much ado about the adaptive forward lighting (the lights turn with the steering wheel!), likewise about AWD and ambient interior lighting for pity's sake. The brochure like the car itself is beautiful, the interior especially is literally the best ever I can recall in an American car and as I look at the Bentley coupe that is parked next to the new CTS, I see that same "expensive" look in the CTS's interior as oozes from the Bentley's (and both were black with black interiors, too.)

    Impressive effort -- actually, for my taste, the new CTS (at least the interior) is more of the LPS genre than is the more expensive STS. The 304HP, AWD and the level of "available" equipment are right up there, mostly, with the Infiniti M's and the Audi A6's -- and the CTS interior darn near should shame BMW's 5 series interiors (although even they are no longer entirely stoic and confining what with their mostly black on black on black "inner sanctum" look.) And, my wife is quick to point out that if one equips a 5 series in an attempt to deck the 5 series out like a $48,000 CTS, that the price will shoot way past $60,000 -- perhaps way way past depending on what you think is "equivalent content."

    So, the CTS comes to market as a fantastic vehicle, able to stand nose to nose with the Audi's, BMW's and Infiniti's (and Acura and Lexus while we're at it) that could be purchased in the latter half of 2004 and 2005. And perhaps that is "good enough." There is little doubt the CTS what with its already MSRP minus $2,000 selling prices is the undeniable "value" winna and champeen. The mostly adoring press, too, is surely a good sign too.

    Yet, but, wait! Cadillac should, in some way other than "It's a bargain," LEAD -- in ONE way, ANY way -- even if its claims of "acts like a 5 series, priced like a 3 series" prove to offer the requisite verisimilitude, it needs to be more than a state of the art (2004) piece. It is, perhaps, now "even" in many ways with its (pricier) German and Japanese rivals insofar as content and "HP" are concerned (and compared to the Audi A6 3.2 which can easily be $58,000 and still have 255HP, the CTS is arguably somewhat more than even) but with all the chest pounding going on, it is, upon scrutiny, "barely even" and that parity is most accurate when the CTS is stacked up against MY 2005 versions of the cars it claims to emulate.

    Now, at age 56, I have another perspective -- this CTS is, despite it's "been there done that" features, a remarkable step forward. I'd even go so far as to say it is several steps forward when price is factored in. The Germans and the Japanese in many areas had (past tense) commanding leads over the CTS and a less commanding lead over the STS, but make no mistake the Americans were and ARE still playing catch up. What is most redeeming is the apparent gap closing Cadillac has accomplished (and we must keep this in perspective, "for the money.") I looked at a "one option" [sunroof and leather] Audi A6 3.2 [255HP] and it had a sticker NORTH of $50,000 -- an "all options" Cadillac CTS 3.6DI [304HP] was $48,000. With the exception of Bluetooth and rear backup camera (that the Audi did NOT have for THAT PRICE), the content of the Cadillac was higher and the apparent interior fit and finish was on-par with the Audis. So, Cadillac has managed to produce, as a 2008 MY, a car that has more motivation and "about the same" content as a car that began production in July 2004.

    Maybe this is the way "the species" evolve -- and maybe as I wind down my lease on Audi #28, getting a 2008 version of my Audi for perhaps $10,000 less is sufficient after all.

    At first I thought the Germans and Japanese had something to be concerned with -- now, I'm thinking that the only way this will prove true is if Cadillac (to name one) takes the STS to the next level and, indeed, takes its entire lineup to the next level. Lead in ONE way, ANY way, not just in value is what I think; and, I remain, VERY often wrong, but NEVER uncertain! :confuse:
  • Regarding:

    Infiniti also offers the V8 with AWD, something you can't get from ... BMW

    My impression is the 535Xi is more of a competitior to the forthcoming M-45x than the current M-35x. The fact that BMW uses 6 cylinders rather than 8 should not be an issue if the performance is competitive.

    I recently bought a 535Xi. I looked at the M-35x but had two concerns. One was the lack of a higher gear, or gears, in the transmission to cut down engine revs on the highway. The other was the engine in the M-35x is a generation behind what Infiniti is now putting in the G-35x.

    I would have compared the M-45x to the 535Xi, but when I made my purchase decision in late May, the M-45x was still a rumor.

    At some point in the future, when the M-45x becomes available, I would be interested in seeing a driving / performance comparison between it and the 535Xi.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... The fact that BMW uses 6 cylinders rather than 8 should not be an issue if the performance is competitive. ...

    Easy now. It has been argued here for a couple of years (not necessarily by you) that the Acura RL is not competitive because there's no V8. This treads fairly closely to that argument.
  • tayl0rd,

    Good point. To clarify, my comment was intended to apply to the 535Xi in comparison to the M-45x, assuming the engine in the M-45x is the same as in the current M-45.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • I've read the argument you refer to. Read the reviews, for instance, of the new STS with the high zoot DI V6.

    The conclusion? Who needs a V8 with a V6 THAT good.

    Ditto, I say, for the BMW with the 300HP turbo i6.

    I wouldn't think the lack of a V8 is the reason for the Acura's lackluster sales. If "magically" an Acura RL V8 would be brought out otherwise identical to the current 6 cylinder version, I seriously doubt there would be anything more than a temporary bump in sales.

    A V8 ALONE is not the street cred needed -- at least not anymore methinks.

    Sure, having the REPUTATION that goes with offering your cars with V8's or V10's or V12's doesn't hurt.

    But, MOST of the Audi A6's (90%) sold are V6's, the 535 + the lesser non blown 6 account for virtually all the sales of the BMW 5's too -- there are reasons, beyond offering a V8 that Acura can't give 'em away.

    My assumption is it is the product, the marketing, the sales organization, the price or the terms. And, while it could be argued that the product is lacking the option of a V8, I just don't buy that as the dominant reason for the Acura's lackluster sales.

    They've really cut the prices around here on the RL, and it is a very nice car.

    No one asked me, but if you did, I would say it is because the Acura RL is able to be mistaken for an Accord, er, make that EASILY mistaken.

    No V8 would fix that.

    So, it is the product that is at "fault." In this case, not the propulsion, but the style.

    Back in the day, when it was easy to call GM cars, Oldsmobuicks there were issues of differentiation too.

    Now, the issue of the M V6 being a last gen engine when compared to the G's, that, too, IMHO is a valid concern, not tied to the sheer number of cylinders.

    I have driven the BMW with the "35" engine -- WOW; who needs a V8 (and almost $10,000 more in cost)?
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Right, the lack of a V8 offering is the least of the RL's woes. But it was a factor that was brought up a lot when it came to model prestige. And speaking of mistaking the RL for an Accord, look at the dash of the new Accord and compare it to the RL. :surprise: It's clear that Honda doesn't really want to sell RLs.

    And I think the term you really want is Chevoldsmobuiac (shev-olds-mo-BYU'-ee-ack). :P
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    Not for long...Buick is doomed. The new GM term will be GMC-VY-AC for trucks, economy cars and cheap ELLPS's.

    I agree the Accord-like RL is NOT going to make it until the style is drastically scaled to the target market.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I agree with the above. But a further note on the engine. It's not whether the car has a 6 or 8 but the performance. The engine in the RL is not bad, but it does not compare well to its competitors. Thus, if Acura is not going to provide a better 6, they may need to add an 8 to the line up. For example, the 535 has a 6, but one would be hard pressed to say it does not perform. I was looking for a LPS for a year or two. The 530 did not impress me so I was considering the M45. My wife did not like the styling and I would have liked a higher gear. Therefore we waited and we're glad we did. The 535 provided the performance and styling we wanted. Interestingly, my dad has a RL so I have had a chance to compare the two. He loves his car. It provides the performance and value he was looking for. Had it magically appeared in my driveway a year or two ago, I would not have been unhappy. But, I am much happier that the 535 is now in my driveway (though it wasn't magic!)
  • You mean BMW made you pay for it ;) The 535 is a fantastic driver's car that retains the magic of the BMW straight six...

    It is the 1st car to come along to make me even think about giving up my '03 e39SP! Still hanging on to mine for now, though.

    Gotta love those comfort seats with the SP Pkg too...
  • OK, so I'm getting down to the wire. I just got some prices on the BMW 535xi optioned up with all the goodies: Sport Package (on the xi the sp includes comfort seats,shadow line trim and sport steering wheel-no change in suspension which is fine with me),auto trans, logic 7, hud,cold weather, Prem Package, Ipod, Nav. The dealer's first shot out of the box was about 2800 over invoice which converts to a very good lease price for either 24 or 36 mos. As you may remember, I am ending my Lexus LS 430 lease, a car which I wound up getting by "default" because I just couldn't find anything else out there in my price range that "rang my bell".
    So after 3 flawless, comfortable and numbing years, I am again looking for the "gusto". I like the 5 series but it's not a "gotta have it" car for me. Sometimes when I get a car that I lust after, the honeymoon soon ends and the blemishes become apparent. With my last BMW 330i, I liked it and then the more I drove it the more I loved it. So maybe that will happen again with the 5 series. The 550i which leases at about 250 per month more (8K difference in price!) is a real looker because I really like the sport trim available (body moldings) but I worry that the sport suspension and the wider tires will make the ride too jarring on the lousy NY streets. Shipo,do you know if you can you get the body moldings on a 535?

    I don't want another LS especially since the new model is so similar in feel and costs substantially more than the one I have. The BMW 7 is in contention, but again I don't know if I can justify the price difference to the 5 and I really don't need the room, it's just that I've gotten used to a big car ride. Maybe I should try the 6? I love the looks and it is kind of a rare car- don't see too many around. It's expensive but to me it's kind of close in look and style to the Bentley GT, the car that I would drive if I won the lottery and if I could also have a Prius for my conscience. The Jag XJ8 can be had for a very good price these days. I love the look but it kind of drove like an Avalon or Buick to me. Maybe I'm missing something. I also don't think that the interior is anything special-not like the Jags I remember. But I do love that style and again it's not so common- except in SO. CAl where I saw a lot of them last week. Oh, and by the way, in Beverly Hills, it's all S Class all the time and very few LS460s.

    So the bottom line, doc, is that I need a car I can love for 15,000 miles a year in the congested NE where my average stint behind the wheel is about 2-2.5 hours per day. Yes, I want comfort, reliability, style and something special. I want to get excited every time I go into my garage just to sneak a peak at my ride and every time I fire up the engine.

    You guys understand; If you didn't you wouldn't be here at Edmunds. I admit it, I am a Car-aholic! Within 6 mos of my 3 year leases, I find myself wandering by car dealerships "just looking". Then about one year in, I actually go in and start taking test drives... It's horrible-but fun:)

    I want it all!
    Let the fun begin.
    Comments? (Be nice)
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    650i for you, IMO. I would suggest the convertible for added style.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I'm curious on the 650 vert as to the viability with the top up. Since I live in the NE, I would estimate that at least 70% of the time I would not be dropping the top. Is it dark inside without a moonroof? Hard to see out of the back window to back up? It's is a striking car.
  • For a second I had thought that it was my own message topspin. I went through exact same thoughts just little over a month ago. Finished lease on Lexus LS430, looked into BMW 550, 535, 750 and even 650. MB S550 and CLS 550, lEXUS LS 460 and end up getting this Jaguar XJ8 on 24 month lease. Very happy with it. And I am also in L.A. so I understand your "local" trends.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    I have never been in a vert but for me, I'g get the M6 as my lottery car.

    Regards,
    OW
  • You guys understand; If you didn't you wouldn't be here at Edmunds. I admit it, I am a Car-aholic! Within 6 mos of my 3 year leases, I find myself wandering by car dealerships "just looking". Then about one year in, I actually go in and start taking test drives... It's horrible-but fun:)
    It's good to know I'm not alone ;) .
  • Wow! Scary coincidence. I even had the CLS in my mix too but I wasn't comfortable getting in and out and I felt a bit closed in.
    Anyway, I would love to hear your comparo on the XJ8 to the LS. Did you get the L or regular wheelbase? Vanden Plas? How much was the lease? I was a bit concerned that the seats weren't as comfortable as the Germans. I find the LS seats to be just OK, not great.
    Any review on the Jag and your viewpoint that lead you to go with it over the others that "we" were considering would be appreciated. (my wife thinks it's a bit stuffy, but I don't agree. I see it as stately and elegant and it stands out in the sea of MB's and BMW's)
  • Maybe we can get "sponsors". You know,guys you can call when you feel like your getting weak and may be ready to walk into a dealer :)
    Or maybe the FDA will approve a drug for it. If "restless leg syndrome" is a disease, than what do we have, Car Fixation Dis-Order? "Doc, I think it all started when I first saw my dad sneak into the garage to sit in his car.....I was only 2 but it had a traumatic effect on me! :)
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