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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • Just out of curiosity, have you driven w/the sunroof all the way open? I test drove 2, both engine variants, in the fall & the noise/wind w/the roof open was painful to my ears. I mentioned that back then, but no one ever confirmed similar experiences. Only comments I remember reading were no one test drove with it open.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    The spec sheet claims 40" of headroom for the driver...is that true? With my older A6, without a sunroof (had to special order it) there was bout 40", but the sunroof took up 2.85", so it was barely over 37" for any car you could actually buy or want. On all of the new ones, it's almost impossible to get one without a sunroof, and if you do, you have to forgo most of the neat fun stuff. That's why I ended up with an M-series - it has the most headroom of any of the other models when equipped with anything worthwhile. The car is okay, but I liked the Audi better.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    For a week or so, much as I liked and appreciated the new A4, I still felt that I had not actually moved forward, despite my dealer's assertions that the new A4 was "better" in so many ways than the C6 A6 3.2.

    The new A4 2.0T is definitely a better car than the old A6 3.2. The new 3.0T engine though finally solves the A6's power problem and puts the advantage back in the C6 camp, (though of course it still gives up some sportiness to the A4). The new 3.0T also makes the 4.2 pointless, just as the 2.7T, especially in S-line guise, did to the old 4.2.
  • The 2.0T as it stands today also makes the 3.2 somewhat pointless, in the new A4 --especially when you factor in the $3300 premium, a weight disadvantage and a fuel economy disadvantage.

    Having said that, the 3.2 sounds better under part throttle than the 2.0T -- although both cars are more isolated from all sounds than my A6 was.

    There is more tuning that can be done to the 2.0T (factory tuning), too. But it seems there is little interest in improving the 3.2's numbers -- so the thing is, apparently, Audi has decided that a 2.0T and a 3.0T is your best overall value and performance choice.

    The die hards still can have the naturally aspirated versions and they cost more so, for the time being, it would appear everybody wins.

    I wish the 3.2 had been goosed in HP and Torque, but super or turbo charging perhaps allows us all to do more with less.

    Bless anyone who buys the 3.2 -- personally, however, I don't see the merit in getting the new A4 as a 3.2 when the 2.0T has all that torque way down low in the rev range.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Bless anyone who buys the 3.2 -- personally, however, I don't see the merit in getting the new A4 as a 3.2 when the 2.0T has all that torque way down low in the rev range.

    I agree. I'm not sure what Audi's plans are in terms of an A4 3.0T, but if they decide not do one because it would hurt the S4, they would probably be better off killing off the 3.2 and offering the 3.0TDi as the middle engine choice.
  • Here is an observation: the A4 3.2 appears to be able to be priced against the 328xi -- and if you HAVE to have 6 cylinders, the A4 3.2 apparently shows well against the 328xi (assuming both are comparably loaded up with options.)

    Of course the issue that can be legitmately brought up is that it is quite easy to pump up the A4 2.0T's price above $50K -- but due to the way low down torque of the turbo motor, the A4 is still performance competitive with the 328xi (in fact it is able to out perform the 328xi.) So, what does the 3.2 compete with? It is only able to pull well from idle due to a shorter final drive ratio (than the 2.0T -- which of course further decreases its economy.)

    You can easily equip a 335xi for under $50K, too and in that instance neither the 2.0T or the 3.2 are able to keep up if straight line acceleration means anything to you. Then there is the upcoming 3.0T S4 which if priced closer to the 335xi would make a persuasive argument.

    But the S4, no doubt, will be a wonderful and superior performer but at thousands more than the 335xi.

    I remember the old days where there were two or three models in the lines of each of the German maker's cars that were brought to the US. There was a 2.8A6 and up the ladder a 2.7TA6 and a 4.2A6 (and there was even an S6 avant) -- BMW had its comparable 5 series models and things seem so clear.

    The S4 is no M3, that is saved for the RS4, but then what purpose in the lineup does the 3.2 actually serve. I just config'd a 2009 A6 and once again there are two versions of the 6 the 3.2 and the 3.0T and then there's the apparently redundant (but way more $$$$) 4.2. I don't get it -- why bother with a lineup that doesn't progress in performance as you take the next dollar step up?

    At least BMW's approach makes sense.

    Oh, to heck with it, the 2.0T A4 is a great car, better than the 328xi in terms of performance, size, features and lux. But the poor 3.2 seems so out of touch.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    A reporter is looking to talk with consumers who have considered purchasing a luxury car in the past, but would not do so currently because of the economy, or consumers who have traded-in their luxury vehicle. Please send your email address and phone number to ctalati@edmunds.com by Friday, February 6, 2008.

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I just config'd a 2009 A6 and once again there are two versions of the 6 the 3.2 and the 3.0T and then there's the apparently redundant (but way more $$$$) 4.2. I don't get it -- why bother with a lineup that doesn't progress in performance as you take the next dollar step up?

    I configed an '09 A6... what happened to all the options? It seems like you have your choice of Premium/Premium Plus/Prestige and that's basically it. Where's the sport suspension option and everything else?
  • Mark, thanks for the nice comparo between your new A4 and the earlier A6. Not much to add other than I occasionally look at the A6 as an alternative to the E Class or a 5 Series. So for what it is worth, here is an interesting design issue. A frend of mine has an older A6 with the 3.0 V6. Nothing fancy nor exotic. Certainly not the twin turbo 2.7 engine. Just something to go to Trader Joe's in with a little more elan than a silver Camry. She likes the look of the A6 and the all weather ability of the quattro here in New England.

    Last week she had the normal 100,000 mile service done. The car was running well and she just wanted to keep to the factory maintenance schedule. Everything went smoothly except that on an A6 the entire front bumper and front end have to come off to get access to the water pump and the front end idler assemblies and timing chain. A minor oil leak from the one of the four (!) cams necessitated a new cam seal. Naturally, the crank seal was also done. What did this "normal" service cost? $2000!. The mechanics all said to us that they had seen frequent timing component failure as early as 105,000 miles. Does Audi pay for the 100,000 mile service on a CPO vehicle? If Audi wouldn't pay this service under the CPO plan, why buy a CPO Audi?

    That Audi would install a four cam engine with a fragile timing set-up as their standard duty A6 sedan engine is, frankly, nuts. Apparently the design of the MB and BMW timing components and far fewer camshafts, is much better and allow for up to 300,000 miles of service before the valves hit the head.

    As a side note, the well regarded indy mechanic who did the work commented that the aftermarket cam and crank seals that he originally ordered from the local imported auto parts store, were far inferior to the OEM dealer seals he eventually used. He commented also that Audi calls for mechanics to set the service interval light to come on at different intervals depending on the type of lube oil (synthetic or dino) installed. I am surprised. In my experience, other manufacturers don't make that distinction.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Does Audi pay for the 100,000 mile service on a CPO vehicle? If Audi wouldn't pay this service under the CPO plan, why buy a CPO Audi?

    Audi doesn't pay for any scheduled maintenance for a CPO vehicle. They only cover warranty repairs. Anything considered a "wear" item will not be covered. This is the same across the board. If you expect BMW to pay for your services at 100K, you're dreaming. If an Audi is still under Audicare when its purchased, that will be in effect until the normal warranty is up.

    The last gen C5 A6 was an expensive car to maintain. Sure it's a lot nicer to drive than a Camry, but that's the downside. An E or 5 of similar vintage is likely to be just as pricey to keep running.

    If you use the top grade synthetic oil, you can go buy when the computer says its time to come in for a change. If you use the normal stuff, you have to come in every 10.
  • I LOVE the Mercedes E-class. Bought an '06 E350 and its the best. The Audi A6 is okay, but it should really be rear-wheel drive. I love the daytime running lights on the A6, that really looks cool. The BMW 535i is nice, but ridiculous insurance rates. I'm not a huge Acura RL fan, they're overpriced and really nothing special. I don't care for Volvos so the S80 is just whatever. I REALLY hate Cadillacs, so the STS just sucks. Lexus GS is a pretty nice car, and not a bad price, and same goes for the Infiniti. I would have to say the Mercedes is worth the money, though. Please respond, I'd love to hear everyone's opinions.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    Hi Sean. You look like a fairly new member so welcome aboard. The E is a nice car but of the ones you mentioned I would take the GS. I feel the GS, however is overpriced, but a nice car.

    I own an 06 LS so that is my pick of the litter. You can buy a great 06 CPO LS for much less than a new GS. A no brainer in my book.

    I have owned a couple of Mercedes and the two I owned were pretty good cars so I am sure you will enjoy your E Class.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Audi A6 is okay, but it should really be rear-wheel drive.

    Then it wouldn't be an Audi. Aside from class leading interiors, Quattro (the real torsen full-time system, not the Haldex slip-induced setup used in the VW platform mates) is what makes Audis what they are. The next generation A6 due in 2011 I believe should be superb. I'm a big fan of the Infiniti M, and I think the next one which will show about the same time as the A6 will also be brilliant.

    I can't get past the styling of the 5 series, and I've never been a fan of the RL or the STS. The S80, like the last one, only makes sense as a used car. Residual values of big Volvos always crater, and they can be found at a year old for $30K. The quality of the GS when it was introduced was shockingly poor, though it seems to have gotten better for '08. When the M is so much more fun to drive, better looking, and much more comfortable though, I still see no reason to buy a GS.

    I would be too nervous about M-B's lousy quality control from '00-'06 to buy anything from those years. The number of lemon law buyback SLs I've seen in particular from that period are just incredible. Aside from that, I just find the E to be a bit bland, though compared to the abomination that is the brand new E, the old one looks gorgeous.
  • I have always loved the Lexus LS since it became the 430. It is amazing how much cheaper a certified pre owned car is than a brand new car. The E-class is half the price as an 06 or 07. How do you like your LS? They are just full of features.
    Lexus does make some pretty amazing cars. I had an RX330, and it was great, but was wrecked in an accident. We had a toyota avalon and now the mercedes. While I was recently at the Lexus dealer for my dad's Passat W8, I sat in an LS460L and it is an amazing car!

    Nice to hear from you, you seem very intelligent, not someone who just adds stupid, thoughtless comments.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    Sean, all dealers are DESPERATE to sell cars right now, so if you are in the market there are some great deals to be had.

    A late model LS, IMO, is the best car and buy on the planet right now. I bought my '06 last Nov for $34,500., 29,000 miles and it has been fantastic. Best car I have owned and I have owned a lot of cars.

    A Lexus Certified Used Car comes with basically a new car warranty (3 years or 100,000 miles) not just the power train but bumper to bumper so you don't risk anything there.

    Cash is king right now (if you happen to have any :) ) so you can really get a good deal. Check one out and make a ridiculous offer and you might be surprised.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • mako5mako5 Posts: 15
    Have a base 2008 m35 and I need a new speaker . Door speaker, 6 speaker system Does anyone know where I car buy speakers ?
  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Crutchfield.com. Or your local car stereo shop (not the installers at the local outlet of the national electronics chains; they're generally bozos).

    Unfortunately for you, the Infiniti M stereo is a non-standard setup. Ask the Crutchfield reps for advice on what'll work; they're generally pretty smart that way.
  • mako5mako5 Posts: 15
    Called Crutchfield and they said they did not have enough information on a 2008 yet to recommend speakers but Thanks.
  • I see what you're saying and i agree but i meant for the non-quattro A6 (that would be a 2009 A6 3.2) By the way, have you seen the new A6 3.0T?? I think thats a pretty nice car ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I see what you're saying and i agree but i meant for the non-quattro A6 (that would be a 2009 A6 3.2) By the way, have you seen the new A6 3.0T?? I think thats a pretty nice car

    The so called "FrontTrak" A6 has always been the base model that no one actually buys, it's just there so that Audi can say the A6 starts at just $45K. I've never seen a FWD A6 in the wild.

    The new 3.0T is indeed very nice. It's finally a proper replacement for the old 2.7T, and it allows them to take the 535i head on. The next one which will offer ADS and all of Audi's other recent technologies should be stellar.
  • Hi all,

    I am returning a 2007 M35X on a lease in May and will be looking to purchase something used. Tired of the lease and all the extra dollars which goes with it. I had gotten a great lease deal at the time, so I could not pass it up.

    Here is my question, i have been test driving 2006/5 RL's with around 35-38k miles and the $22-$24k price range. It seems like a nice car, but it is a bit tighter inside then the M. Does anyone have suggestions for other cars to look at? I really want AWD, and need to transport my family of 4.

    My price range is in the low 20's. Also, I am new to buying used, so any advice would be helpful on tricks to watch out for. I am in NY.

    hope it is ok to post this here. If not, please let me know where it should go

    Thx,
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Here is my question, i have been test driving 2006/5 RL's with around 35-38k miles and the $22-$24k price range. It seems like a nice car, but it is a bit tighter inside then the M. Does anyone have suggestions for other cars to look at? I really want AWD, and need to transport my family of 4.

    I assume you're not interested in just buying out your M35X? It seems odd to go from a 2007 to a 2006. In any case, I wouldn't recommend the RL, it's cramped, sluggish, handles poorly, the interior materials are mediocre, and the electronics are annoying. It's as exciting to look at and drive as a golf cart.

    A 2006 Audi Certified A6 3.2 would be a much better buy in the $22-24K range. It's much roomier and much more comfortable than the RL, and gets better mileage thanks to a modern 6-speed auto. Audi's MMI system is also vastly better than the Acura interface. The CPO warranty will cover the car until 2012, and up to 100K miles.
  • I would agree that the RL seems cramped. The back particularly is much smaller then my M35X.

    The reason I do not want to buy the lease is that it is $29k to buy out and honestly, I do not know if I trust the infiniti brand in regards to repairs. I have had a variety of issues.

    What is the repair record like for these 2006 Audi A6 3.2? If you got one, would you only go with a CPO?

    Any suggestions on where to look?

    I had spoken to someone who was stearing me towards Acura or Lexus because of repair records,

    Thx
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    It sounds like reliability and good customer service is very important to you. IMO both Lexus and Acura provide superior reliability and customer service. You might check out the ES or the GS. Heck, you could even get a 2006 CPO Lexus LS in the low 30's. I would certainly check it out.

    Despite various opinions you might get here, Consumer Reports is very high on the RL. Good luck !

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • draz2draz2 Posts: 50
    I mention this because I believe the TL competes directly (and favorably) with many of the more presigious cars in this category (i.e. A6, 5 series, E-class) at a price savings of $17-20k. The Acura pricing strategy eliminates all the annoying "packages" you have to buy to get leather, nav, xenon headlights, seat memories, etc. Only two choices. Do you want awd or fwd? After that, do you want the tech package or the base car? The fwd car comes with a 280hp engine and can be had with the tech package for $35,500. The sh-awd version w/ tech (305hp) can be had for $40k.

    Here's what you get in the tech cars: leather, keyless entry/start, xenon headlights, real time weather and traffic, a SOTA nav system with a nav screen that rivals HDTV, backup camera, seat memory, full ipod integration, a built-in hard drive that you can burn up to 400 hours of CD music directly onto, a restaurant guide with full Zagat ratings and descriptions, heated seats, dual zone climate control and bluetooth.

    All in a package that's earned 5 start crash ratings. The cabin is amazingly roomy as you might expect in a car that's 74" wide (compare this to the G35/37 which is only 69" wide -- the differences in interior room and comfort are immediately apparent). The rear seat is particulary noteworthy for it's size and is comfortable for 6 foot adults.

    I drove both the sh-awd and the fwd versions and settled on the fwd car because I live in NYC and I found the sh-awd car to ride too firmly for my tastes. It was jarring on bumps. The fwd car rode just perfectly. Firm, controlled but forgiving over road irregularities. Reminded me of Mercedes' suspensions which I've always regarded as class leading in this size/class of car. But if you live in an area with predominantly smooth roads, the sh-awd may be your car.

    I realize it may sound heretical, but I honestly believe the 2009 TL competes successfully and directly against to other cars mentioned above.

    And Acura reliability and build quality are second to none.

    Any thoughts?
  • Thanks for this info. I would love an LS, but trying to keep the price in the Low $20k range and also looking for All Wheel or Front Wheel Drive. Whenvever I look at a Lexus, they seem to be priced a good 20-25% higher then the Acura. I assume because of popularity.

    Do they sell 2005 CPO Lexus?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    You are certainly entitled to your opinion and should enjoy your car, but to answer some of your points ...

    Do you want awd or fwd?

    Well, therein lies the problem for a good number of folks shopping in this class. FWD is typically attributed to a "lower class" car. And it is cheaper to manufacture, which leads to some of the cost savings you've pointed out.

    The cabin is amazingly roomy as you might expect in a car that's 74" wide (compare this to the G35/37 which is only 69" wide -- the differences in interior room and comfort are immediately apparent). The rear seat is particulary noteworthy for it's size and is comfortable for 6 foot adults.

    That's great if a large car is what you are after. Personally, I found my Accord too large. I do like having the room for those occassions I need it, but I don't like it when I want my vehicle to act more like a sportscar.

    and that relation to the Accord doesn't help, either. If you notice in the list at the top of the page, the Lexus GS is listed, while the ES is overlooked. Kind of the same reasoning, I believe.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    Yes they do. I think they will cpo a car if it is not over 5 years old so you could go to the 2004 model year. Very few changes in the car from 04 to 06 so that is a good idea. I have seen a few older than 5 years that were certified. See what your local dealer has in stock. Some very good deals are out there.

    Some say that a good set of snow tires (all 4 tires) for the winter months is a good alternative to front wheel/all wheel drive.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • draz2draz2 Posts: 50
    Interesting points. especially so in that I currently own a 2007 ES350. Great car, mind you, but a snooze to drive.

    I know that most people associate fwd with "economy" which is why the TL offers the sh-awd (super handling - all wheel drive) option. As you may already know, this system is vastly superior to most awd systems out there in that it can vector the torque not only front/back, but between each individual wheel based on load and spin -- thus, the "sh" part of the equation. It blows the quatro system out of the water in both wet and dry handling.

    As to the car's handling, I can assure you it's razor sharp. The steering, in particular deserves special mention as it's so precise you could put the car thru a space with 2" on each side without a problem. It has terrific weight and road feel, too. Mind you, it's no Porsche (but what is?) but it'll more than hold it's own against the other cars mentioned in straight ahead speed and slalom handling.

    Sorry if I sound like an employee of Acura (I'm not, of course) but I really believe this vehicle doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Part of this may be due to previous generations of the TL which were bland, unrecognizable and, in many ways, mere conveyances rather that cars that stirred the soul. I think Acura has effectively rectified that with this current generation TL. I've owned Mercedes (1), BMW (1), Volvos (2), Audi (1) and Lexus' (3) over the years and I really do believe that in features, appointments, driving dynamics, room and sportiness this car competes on a more than even footing.
  • If you like infiniti M then you probably can get 2006 CPO M35x on low 20's.

    I would NOT recommend Acura RL.

    I have 2008 MDX and 00 Infiniti I30..

    00 I30 has better build quality (Surprising but TRUE)

    I30 has better software logic (for example headlight go out/turn on when keys are in ignition NOT when the door is opened - every time -you go back to car to get something head lights turn on and then off...There are other similar minor annoyances)

    MDX has TOO much technology that takes pleasure of driving away...and is making me nervous about repair cost outside warranty.

    The NAV (user interface) of MDX is not that great.

    Backup camera in MDX is very deceptive.

    Having said that SH-AWD is blast to drive.

    OK lf I were you what would I consider?
    In pre-owned
    Infiniti M, G
    Lexus GS, LS
    Acura TL (2008 and older - not technology intensive)
    I would also consider following new cars
    2008 TL (If you can find one)
    Nissan Altima/Maxima
    Accord
    Hyundai Azera/Genesis...doubt you can find genesis for <30K

    Also I would look at the cost of financing used 20K vs 0%APR and other incentives available for new car. (If you are paying cash for thecar then this is mute point)
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