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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    All leases, all poseurs.

    Right, so when its the TL outselling the G, the numbers count. When its the 3 series mopping the floor with the TL, the numbers don't count. Makes perfect sense.
  • draz2draz2 Posts: 50
    Could you possibly take issue with the fact that BMW's are leased in far, far higher percentages than TL's (and Acura's in general)? Did you read last year how BMW had gotten killed with their lease returns? They overestimated the residual values and were stuck with huge inventories they couldn't sell at anywhere close to what they estimated the "residual value" would be.

    Not so with TL. I'd estimate that over 80% of TL sales are just that...sales. 3 series BMW's (in particular) are probably about 75% leases.

    Apples to oranges.
  • art234art234 Posts: 103
    It's nice to see such a passionate debate going on here.

    The Acura TL finished third in my choosing of cars for a number of reasons.

    First, while it had lots of whistles and bells, I didn't like the ride as much as the Audi.

    Second, the Audi was laid out better to my taste, and appeared more roomy in the front and back...while the rear seat room of the Acura may be slightly better, the trunk is almost 25% smaller than the Audi's.

    Third, just because there are more of a particular car on the road doesn't mean its better.....Audi usually holds its value better than BMW because there are fewer out there--they don't flood the market.

    I will also add that I drove the 335i x drive extensively as did my wife, and we both preferred the Audi. While we're talking 80something horses difference, the A4's performance was more than adequate, and the 2.0 actually outperforms some V6's out there, which is more than enough for me. I am not a horsepower junkie, and found the car to be fast enough for the short on ramps I deal with. Also the Audi's quattro system is about the best all wheel drive around especially in inclement weather--important to me since I live on a steep hill.

    In the end, I enjoyed the Audi overall better than anything else I drove, and while that is subjective to me, I am very happy with my decision. I am getting the car built to my specs, and it will have the whistles and bells that I like...including 3G MMI, which is far advanced over the 2009 offering.

    Regarding price, we are estimating the car will cost between $41K and $43K when all is said and done. They changed some packaging and equipment options for 2010, but I have already negotiated hard margin for the dealer ($500 over invoice, with all incentives to me).

    Choosing a car is totally subjective--what I like you may not. Overall I think I was just done with Japanese cars for a while (the Volvo was my wife's not mine). Also, Infiniti is starving right now, and based on my experience they deserve what they are getting. They are basically a dressed up Nissan with a much higher price, and not much more value. But that's just me.....
  • art234art234 Posts: 103
    FYI,

    Infiniti is also getting killed with lease returns, especially on M35's--which is why they are not holding their value. Nissan continually over-residualizes them to get attractive lease rates, and then chokes on them when they come off lease.

    Another positive note for seeing less of a car on the road--they usually hold their value a little better than mass merchandised cars....but time will tell.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,903
    In the long run all that matters is that it is your money being spent so you get to choose what you buy! Certainly the A4 is a fine car that is very appealing to a lot of folks.

    Passionate debates are what keeps my interest here at Edmund's but some of the rants are amusing. It shows a lot of immaturity because nearly all the cars represented here are great cars and attempting to belittle a certain car does not make another car any better.

    One other odd thing about this particular debate is that technically, neither the TL nor the A4 is listed here as being a luxury performance sedan! :)

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • draz2draz2 Posts: 50
    >One other odd thing about this particular debate is that technically, neither the TL nor the A4 is listed here as being a luxury performance sedan!
    -
    -

    And that's what rankles me the most. The TL undoubtedly belongs there. Nothing against the A4. It's a great car for what it is, but it's s very significantly smaller car with far less standard features than the TL. I think the TL solidly belongs in the class of the 5 series, A6, and E-class. And belongs there at a price that is far more competitive with their smaller siblings (A4, C-class, 3 series).
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    One other odd thing about this particular debate is that technically, neither the TL nor the A4 is listed here as being a luxury performance sedan!

    Good point. This discussion is supposed to focus on mid-luxe - not entry level - cars. If we want to debate Audi / Acura / BMW, we should be talking about the A6, the RL & the 5-series. Lower priced cars are off-topic.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    That sales number sounds reasonable. However, the Audi A4 includes the 2.0T and the 3.0. Let's assume (without knowing the actual) that the sales of 2.0T is 60% of all A4 sales, so the sales number of A4 2.0T is roughly 60% of Acura TL. Sounds reasonable?

    As far as the style, it is in the eye of beholder and as long as there are more people like it, it is a sucessful design - it definitely is not for everyone.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    IMO, they are not at the same level. 3 series smokes TL - not only on performance, but also in design, prestige and brand loyalty. Heck, I would consider Infiniti before Acura. But, if BMW's reliability can match up (with Infiniti, Lexus or Acura), I would own BMW exclusively.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    If you really need your ego stroked, then I guess you'd never consider a good car from a 'lesser' car company...just no status in that. Personally, if I liked the car, I wouldn't care about the others waiting in the room.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,262
    Wow, you're a real car guy. I can tell.

    Well, yeah, Mr. 36 posts, he is a real car guy. I often disagree with him, but his opinions are usually well founded and politely put.

    Acuras are cheap and good. I own one. I don't ever pretend that it's a real enthusiast's vehicle. It's an appliance, and a good one, but it's no BMW or Audi.

    Long story, but the old timers have heard it before and the newbies probably don't care.

    It's the never-ending "my cheap car is as good as (or better than) your expensive car" discussion.

    Keeps the boards going, I guess.
  • barryendbarryend Posts: 121
    Art:

    I have my 2009 Audi A4 Premium Plus, sport package, Nav for a week. I was thrilled with the experience. The comfort, ride and quality are fabulous. The front seat room is comparable to the M35X Infiniti's. Ride, sound control, steering and handling were superior.

    I read you can buy software to reprogram the A4 engine chips and gain 60 hp. $500.00 gains 60 hp. Not for me but some readers may want to know. Audiworld forums had an ad.

    We drove to Manhattan in pouring rain yesterday. Winding narrow parkways, bumpy streets, I-87, Sprain Brook speedway and I-287 which is in reconstruction for 5 years. The security and handling were outstanding. The ride even with sports suspension was excellent. No wifely complaints. The ride softened up after a few days driving. Now I am sold on the sports package. I am concerned about flats from potholes with the P7's but that is the cost of doing business.

    I am not opting for $750.00 wheel/tire insurance since it does not cover curb rash. If I ruin a tire I will pay. I only ruined one wheel in my recent life and found a new one on Ebay cheap.

    I am jealous you are getting the 2010 Nav. my 2009 was a waste of money. Costco sells better Navs for $300.00. Backup camera is excellent.

    When do you expect delivery of the 2010?

    Barry
  • draz2draz2 Posts: 50
    Interesting post. But tell me then, exactly what differentiates the 'pedestrian' Acura from it's more iconic competitors?

    Lets go down the list:

    Power- it has it in spades. Not quite as quick as the BMW 335/535 but faster than the 328/528 and way faster than the 2.0T Audi.

    Handling - With SH-AWD it'll outhandle virtually anything out there.

    Interior comfort/refinement - As long as your wish-list doesn't include wood trim, the interior of the new TL is as upscale and modern a place as you'd ever want to find yourself.

    Standard equipment/technology - I think we all know Acura leads the pack here. You're gettiing a backup camera, SOTA nav system/screen, ipod interface, xenon headlights, built-in hard drive, bluetooth, seat memories, heated seats, etc. all for well under $38k.

    Quietness. lack of NVH - Again, I invite you to take a 2009 TL out for a test drive. It's as quiet as my former ES 350 with much, much more power. The drivetrain is silky smooth and there's no vibration to be felt anywhere.

    Quality/reliability - Have you seen Consumer Reports or J.D. Powers lately? Acura consistently tops those lists.

    Safety - The TL is the only car that has earned top ratings from each crash test it has been in, bettering BMW (by a wide margin here), M-B and Audi.

    So remind me again just what is it that relegates the TL to a pedestrian class of cars?
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    "Whenever a car form Asia looks better, drives better, and handles better, the fall back position for disqualification is that it is not from Europe."

    That is exactly the mentality there and it is most for old timers (not always true though). When you look at the dashboard of Audi, BMWs, they are not as nice (compared to Lexus, even Infiniti and Acura). Sure, they looks solid and retro. with a touch of heritage, but, that does not equal to nice / fancy.

    Unfortunately, most of the chief editors for C&D and such are old timers - it takes time to achieve that position. So, until that change, the public view will be skewed - especially for those who knows very little and just follow the trends. How many times you see persons in BMW that does not know how to drive? But, it is their money, they want to spend it that way, it is perfect fine - in this economy, we need the boost from them. For the rest of us, we know what we want and what fit our needs the best.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    ...that this discussion is reserved for higher priced cars. See "What is this discussion about?" at the top of this page for examples.

    If you want to talk about the Acura TL, the Audi A4 or the BMW 3-series, you should go here.
  • draz2draz2 Posts: 50
    We are talking about 'higher priced cars.' We're simply calling into question some of the entirely-too-arbitrary distinctions which exist between those 'higher priced cars' and other equally competent vehicles. You don't think that'a a legitimate topic for this forum?
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    You're talking about entry-level luxury cars, & a separate discussion, called, logically enough, "Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans" was created just for them. But this discussion was created specifically for the cars that are the next step up, with base MSRPs well north of $40K. Again, look at "What is this discussion about?" at the top of the page for examples of makes/models that are in scope.

    If you're an Acura fan & you want to talk about the RL, stay here. But if you're interested only in the TL, then the entry-level sports lux discussion is more appropriate.

    Capisce?

    Back to our regularly scheduled programming: can a BMW guy find happiness with the Infiniti M35 or M35x? Until recently, I wouldn't have considered a Japanese entry in this market segment because none of them - the RL, the Lexus GS or the Infiniti M - offers a stick, & I don't do automatics. But now I'm an older guy with creaky knees, & I'm beginning to think that my next car just might have a slushbox.

    If I decide to stick with the stick, so to speak, then my next car can only be a 5-series BMW. But the field opens up considerably if I listen to my knees & go with 2 pedals. Infiniti gets high marks for its near-BMW handling prowess, so it's the Japanese brand that I'm most likely to consider. (I don't like the RL's styling or the GS's road manners.)

    Has anyone driven a BMW 5 & an Infiniti M recently? What are your thoughts?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    When you look at the dashboard of Audi, BMWs, they are not as nice (compared to Lexus, even Infiniti and Acura).

    Ok, you've lost me here. BMW, when they make an effort, are capable of some very nice interiors. The new 7, the X5, and even the new Z4 are world class inside, better than any Acura or Infiniti by miles. I haven't been impressed by any Lexus interior lately. The LS460 isn't necessarily bad, but it looks rather drab when compared to the likes of the S, 7, A8, or Maserati QP.

    The new ES is IMO a big step back from the old one, which had acres of rich wood trim. The new ES has acres of cheap gray vinyl, with a few bits of wood on the doors and console. The ES from the passenger seat is as luxurious looking as a Corolla.

    Solid and "retro" (whatever that means) isn't nice or luxurious, but cheap vinyls and plastics, fake chrome and aluminum bits, and cheesy switches and gauges with cheesy lighting is? I guess I just don't understand the young people. I'll stick with Audi over Acura.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419

    Has anyone driven a BMW 5 & an Infiniti M recently? What are your thoughts?


    I drove a 545i back when it was first released, haven't driven one since. I've just never really liked anything about the car. I was a fan of the old 540i Sport, but the current one just doesn't do it for me. The next one due soon will have an improved, X5 style interior and the new iDrive system, but based on what I've seen of the 5 GT concept, it will be dull as dishwater to look at. I'm not sure that going from ugly to boring is really an improvement.

    The M I've driven a few times. The styling updates for '08 and the change to white gauges are definite improvements. The 7-speed auto also solves one of its major faults - high revs at highway cruising speeds. That said, the styling still isn't my favorite, and the car is still a little lacking in refinement. If your really interested in the M, I would suggest waiting for the new version due in a year or so.

    As of now, I would take the A6 3.0T Sport or Jag XF over the M.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I would suggest waiting for the new version due in a year or so.

    Strongly agree. No matter what I do, I won't do it before the end of next year. By then, we should know all about the next-generation M.

    Nissan has succeeded in keeping it under wraps. I can't find any pictures - just speculation that there may be a hybrid version & that the M37x will get the 7-speed.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    "Solid and "retro" (whatever that means) isn't nice or luxurious, but cheap vinyls and plastics, fake chrome and aluminum bits, and cheesy switches and gauges with cheesy lighting is? I guess I just don't understand the young people. I'll stick with Audi over Acura. "

    Well, this definitely shows your old age there! Also, using words like "fake", "cheesy" does not really proof anything. As an example I can say: "Audi has cheap orange color display, cheesy dark dash with no aluminum/titan, with cheesy switches and gauges - the worst in any car I have seen ever, along with dirt cheap and cheesy interior and exterior lighting is nice? Give me a break!" - Other than the word "Cheap", "Cheesy", what else this sentence tell people - absolutely nothing than the attitude. So is your post - No, this not personal attack, I am just stating the fact, so do not take it personal.

    That being said, again, people vote with their wallet and the result does not lie - Acura TL over Audi A4 2.0T any day.
  • art234art234 Posts: 103
    Yes I have driven the 535xi and 528xi recently, as well as the 3 series of each, and the M35x as well. Last time I had my M for service (we won't go there), they brought out a 2009M to compare. Other than the gauges there is no major change from my '06. Still has the 5 speed auto, the ride is actually harder (plus for some), and I still think both BMW's were more balanced and more pleasant to drive overall. For what its worth my friend just got a brand new Maxima last week, and it rode better than the M...with similar technology.

    BUT I remind you that while I am very jaded and prejudiced against Infiniti based on my experience, my statement above is relatively objective and trying to be fair.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ...

    Handling - With SH-AWD it'll outhandle virtually anything out there.

    ...


    Funny how SH-AWD always receives so much praise, even from the rags. Yet when independent performance/handling numbers are published, the TL/RL are always at the back of the pack. :confuse:

    ...
    So remind me again just what is it that relegates the TL to a pedestrian class of cars?
    ...


    Because, all in, it's not significantly better equipped or a better value than an Accord V6 EX-L Nav.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Good post, Art. Thanks.

    While I have no reason to be prejudiced against Infiniti, I am biased in favor of BMW. For one thing, I own a 330i, which has been a terrific car. For another, a friend of mine who is leasing an '08 535xi wagon - probably the only one on Long Island with a stick - has been kind enough to let me spend several hours behind the wheel. I like pretty much everything about the car (except for the over engineered turn signals, which I still haven't figured out). Although it isn't as tossable as my 3 - no surprise there - it's a more comfortable car overall. I'm an older guy now & I appreciate that. It's certainly the best balanced mid-sized car I've driven to date.

    I might even buy the car as a CPO after he turns it in late next year.
  • art234art234 Posts: 103
    Barry,

    Thanks for sharing the experience--I can't wait to get the A4. It will be in hopefully toward the middle of July. I am actually letting my wife drive the M35x until the Audi comes in--the vibration in the drive train doesn't bother her. Then again she does what the dealer recommended -- turns the radio up.... :shades:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Funny how SH-AWD always receives so much praise, even from the rags. Yet when independent performance/handling numbers are published, the TL/RL are always at the back of the pack.

    SH-AWD does allow the TL 6MT to be incredibly fast on a track, the numbers don't lie there. Torque vectoring AWD can nearly break the laws of physics, and allow a car that should understeer wildly like a nose-heavy pig to embarrass properly balanced, RWD performance machines.

    That said, when it comes to things like road feel, on-center feel and precision, and progressive loading in corners through the steering, and body control and general "tossability", the TL comes dead last, as was evidenced in C&D's recent comparo. The TL may be able to scramble around corners faster, but the driver behind the wheel of a 335i will be having much more fun.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    "Your statement that the 5 gets "five stars or a good rating in most other categories in other tests" is simply not correct."

    I actually take the time to READ the words in these posts and read the NHTSA ratings. Words have meaning and can be verified. My statement that the 5 Series gets 5 stars or a "good" rating in MOST of the other categories is factual. The NHTSA gave the 2009 5 series 5 stars in 3 of 4 crash tests for passenger sedans. That is "most" and it's a fact, not generalized supposition that tends to substitute for knowledge and experience in this forum.

    Like many drivers, you also ignore driving skill, the capabilities of the vehicle, and accident avoidance as a safety factor. Those of us who have spent many, many hours behind the wheel at various tracks and in advanced driving courses know this first hand. Fortunately, Volvo is the perfect car for drivers who rely on the vehicle being a tank to protect them from accidents that they should have avoided in the first place. When you get right down to it... almost every accident is the result of human stupidity, carelessness, inattention, or lack of skill. Personally, I don't believe there are any "accidents". Most are "caused" by driver stupidity and lack of skill.

    So I stand by my statement that I will take a BMW over a Volvo any day of the week when it comes to safety. Unlike you, I speak from experience because I own both vehicles and have taken BOTH vehicles through accident avoidance courses. In fact, 3 of the 5 spaces in my garage are occupied by BMWs. So while you may quibble about things that you've read about, I'm speaking from personal hands-on experience.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    When you get right down to it... almost every accident is the result of human stupidity, carelessness, inattention, or lack of skill. Personally, I don't believe there are any "accidents". Most are "caused" by driver stupidity and lack of skill.

    Well, the word "accident" just implies that whoever was at fault was not intentionally trying to injure the other driver. I've heard the "I've been to a driver training school, or a defensive driving course, I'll never get hit" argument many times before. The fact is that in the real world there are situations where it simply does not matter.

    The 5 series does not do as well in a side impact collision as it should. The IIHS gave it a "poor" rating, their lowest, for driver torso protection, and rated it "marginal" overall. Say your traveling through an intersection, and a drunk driver decides to run a red at 50mph and smashes into the side of your car. I don't care how many courses you've been to, your chances of avoiding this type of accident are slim.

    The A6 aced the side impact test, as did the Volvo S80. The 5 did not. Your chances of walking away without injury from this type of accident are higher in the Audi or Volvo. That's a fact. I'm not saying it should be the only reason why someone should buy or not buy a car, just that those are the facts and something to consider.

    The fact that the A6 aced its front, side, and rear impact tests, and has superb active safety features like Quattro traction and excellent brakes, certainly made my decision easier.

    You can apologize for BMW as much as you wish, but they should've done a better job.
  • vavavavolvovavavavolvo Posts: 111
    Well said.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,903
    Very well said.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

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