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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Audi (with the A4) seems to be attracting those that once gravitated toward entry level 3 series BMW's.

    More importantly, Audi has embraced their performance side, and I think they are attracting BMW owners who are disappointed with BMW's run-flats and slide into blandness. It's very likely that next year's C7 gen A6 will be more fun to drive than the new 5 series, which by all accounts drives like a mini 7 series.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093
    edited November 2010
    And this hot on the heels of the C/D test of the C6 A6 (read "over the hill" model, A6) vs the new BMW 5 and Infiniti M, where the Audi was declared the winner a second time (over the Bimmer.)

    Of course, Audi, due in part to its last few years successes has cranked up their US MSRP's to BMW levels; so a primary former advantage of the AudiUSA brand -- price -- is, well, not so much anymore.

    I have an '09 A4 2.0T with all the toys on it but not premium paint. MSRP $49K+.

    A4, not A6. I had an '05 A6 and it was $53K+ -- the times they are a changin'.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419

    Of course, Audi, due in part to its last few years successes has cranked up their US MSRP's to BMW levels; so a primary former advantage of the AudiUSA brand -- price -- is, well, not so much anymore.

    A4, not A6. I had an '05 A6 and it was $53K+ -- the times they are a changin'.


    That's sort of true, and it sort of isn't. The base A4 is more expensive than in years past, but the S4 is considerably less expensive than the B6/B7 V8 powered car which Audi positioned against the M3.

    If you tick every box on the 535xi configuration page, you can spend $80K. An A6 3.0T Prestige with the few options available is $57K. That's more than $20,000 less than the BMW.

    I'm sure the C7 gen will get ADS and QuattroSport and a bunch of other new features to close the technology gap with the F10 5 series, and I'm sure the price will go up. But will it go up 20 grand? I don't think so.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I've been away from these boards several months and there was only 84 new posts since my last visit. I wonder if everyone else around here is as bored with the luxury segment as I am. I've since gotten rid of my '08 BMW 550i Sport and acquired a new '11 Ford Mustang GT500 back in the summer. Didn't even look back when I dropped the keys to my Bimmer off. Often times I even forget that I ever had it, and it was only about 3 weeks ago when I turned it in! :surprise:

    I hope everyone's doing well and in good health and spirits. Happy Thanksgiving!
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,597
    edited November 2010
    I wonder if everyone else around here is as bored with the luxury segment as I am. I've since gotten rid of my '08 BMW 550i Sport and acquired a new '11 Ford Mustang GT500 back in the summer. Didn't even look back when I dropped the keys to my Bimmer off.

    Funny you should mention it, I am Bimmer-less for the first time in 7 years as of a month ago, and thus far don't miss it. Don't get me wrong, I still think it is a great car line, but as are you, I'm less hyped up on the high lux. market.
  • moxiemoxie Posts: 33
    edited November 2010
    I agree that the luxury segment has become quite boring. Even BMW has more or less abandoned the "sport oriented driver" to cater to the much larger "boulevard cruiser" demographic - and I guess you can't blame them for that as, by all accounts they are doing very well. Even the 335i, with that sweet engine, feels kind of bland and heavy IMHO. And try and find a manual! - dealers here only bring in steptronics for their inventory.
    I think I'll test a Subie WRX STI - they only come with 6 speed manuals! ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I wonder if everyone else around here is as bored with the luxury segment as I am.

    I wouldn't say I'm bored with it, I'm just not sure there's that much to talk about. The E-class is boring, and while the F10 5 series is a lot less offensive to look at than the last one, it seems to be less engaging to drive. The new M is nice, but I think Infiniti needs another generation to get everything right.

    I'll be looking at the upcoming A6 and A7 closely.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I like the new M myself but now it looks like an over sized G Sedan. I don't think Infiniti did enough with it considering a new A6 and GS will be out soon. I think the design will be dated pretty quickly.
  • mlevinemlevine Posts: 205
    M37 was a nice drive in regular and sports mode. Eco mode not practical. Plenty of room especially in back seats. A6 3.0T with good acceleration back seats tight. Would not bother with A6 3.2 which is underpowered. BMW 5 series not comfortable in the front or back seats, but great engine. E Class design would take time to get use to. Most lexus drivers where I live are retired and I am not even close to that stage. I am not a fan of jaguar corcerned about quality issues. Difficult choice in this luxury segment.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,960
    edited November 2010
    Most lexus drivers where I live are retired and I am not even close to that stage.

    Ah so Grasshopper. With age comes reason and wisdom...... sometimes. :)

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I wouldn't say that about IS driver ;)
  • mlevinemlevine Posts: 205
    Most of the IS drivers I have seen are those who probably want to upgrade from a camry or avalon, but do not want to pay the ES 350 price. I like both the GS and LS models. In later years this may be a consideration. I have to decide in a few weeks about the following models; M37, A6 3.0T, MB E-350, and BMW X5 35i. Lease is up on Audi Q7, deals on the new model for leasing is terrible. Feedback always welcome.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I was inferring that in my area, almost all the majority of IS drivers I see are young girls which would not go along with Lexus is for retirement age people argument. I would say the IS is the Lexus exception to that older demographic.
  • Houdini1. Congrats on your 2010 Infiniti M35. You mentioned that it had 303 horsepower. I am pretty sure that the M35 has 330 horsepower. I am assuming that you just typed that wrong.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,960
    Thanks, but I think you meant that message for m4m as he is the proud new owner of the M35 !!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    If you own a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class but thinking about an Audi A6 for your next car, email pr@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information no later than Friday, August 12, 2011 to be interviewed by a reporter on the subject.

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  • freddybbfreddybb Posts: 95
    Dear BMW,

    I love my AWD 2006 530xi with a manual tranny. I bought it in August 2005, as soon as you released a 5 series with AWD (I live in New England). In spite of lots of problems in the first year (I will never buy first year models ever again), and having had to replace the water pump recently ($1300), I still drive it with joy after 86,000 miles. We like BMW so much that we have had two X5's since then (a 2007 that we replaced recently with a 2012).

    Why do I love my 2006 530xi?
    Manual tranny
    AWD
    Nimble and agile feel
    Great steering
    Great gas mileage (I can do 33 mpg on the highway in 6th)
    Great styling (to me, and lots of my friends and family)

    With great excitement I drove a 2011 535i today, and I am depressed. Why have you abandoned us BMW -- your faithful core customers who keep coming back to you?

    I could never buy the 535i because you took away the manual transmission (forcing me to buy the 550i is not the right answer), gave it lifeless steering, gave it a heavy-feeling and floaty ride (unless, I assume, I spring for fancy sport-inducing electronics), and made it look like a 7 series (if I wanted to drive a huge car I would drive the 7).

    What do I do now? Can't go down to the 3 although I would like to because I have three kids.

    Why BMW, why?

    Sincerely,

    A loyal, but disappointed, BMW fan
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 968
    The new double clutch automatic transmissions are actually better than manuals....e.g. the pdk porsche is faster 0-x mph than the equivalent car with a manual transmission...and offers manual steering wheel hand shifting. I would not buy a manual if a PDK car was available.

    That doesn't help your immediate problem though....The only family sized car I think has a double clutch transmission is the 2012 Passat, but I don't think it has 4wd. BMW does offer that transmission, but only on some limited high priced cars.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,863
    Faster isnt always better...

    If you like to row your own, PDK or DCT just isn't the same..

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  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 968
    edited August 2011
    Once you get used to shifting with your hands, PDK/DCT cars are almost as good as a manual shift car in spirited driving...and in traffic/cities, much more convenient. I've driven manual sports cars for years and I found the porsche PDK to be just shockingly good even though I am not at all familiar/confortable with shifting with my fingers (you do have to get the right steering wheel on a PDK porsche though to get the paddles..the stock wheel has very awkward shifting buttons.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    I've driven the PDK and love it, too. But it is DAMNED expensive to get the right one. Starting with just a Boxster, you have to add $3420! for the PDK and another $1480! for the sport chrono pack (the only way to get a PDK that doesn't automatically shift at redline). So a whopping $4900 for that transmission option. I love it, but I don't think I love it THAT much.

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

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,863
    The only way to get PDK is used... they sell for less than the manual version..

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  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 968
    Sportmatic cars sell for less than manual...but not true of PDK cars, at least in our area. PDK is much more in demand.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    PDK is so new, are you sure that's the transmission you are seeing on these used vehicles?

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

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,863
    No.. not sure... :blush:

    Try looking at ads and determining transmission type, without looking at the pictures... shewwwww.. it's tough

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    I typically see the older ones stating Tiptronic, which is very different of course. According to wiki, the PDK could be had in the 2009 Panamera, and, believe it or not, there is another generation of PDK even after that. I don't believe you'd find it too common until the 2010 models.

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

  • I believe PDK was the only "automatic" transmission offered by porsche starting in 2009 (although I'm not sure about the cayenne).
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    nope. not in the cayenne. you also won't find it in any hybrid models.

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

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    A reporter for a men’s lifestyle publication is interested in interviewing a male who has saved up enough money to indulge his goal of buying a luxury car. She wants to interview such a person to find out what unexpected benefits came his way, or how his life changed following this purchase. If you are interested in being interviewed, please respond to pr@edmunds.com with your name, phone number and the make and model of the car you purchased by Friday, September 9, 2011 .

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  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    Well, it was almost anti-climactic after the several weeks of research, test drives, posting and reading on this website. I have been driving my black exterior/almond interior 2012 E350 which I picked up last week and really like it. While the black exterior does get dirty sooner than my medium gray BMW 528i, this color combination is very rich and elegant, yet sporty at the same time. Even though the car is black, it looks bigger than it is.
    My salesman was very helpful and spent about 45 minutes going through the car with me, from programing the nav system, syncing the contacts on my cell phone, adjusting the memory seats (driver and passenger) and the list goes on (even the emergency release inside the trunk). I felt that the time was sufficient, and look through the owner's manuals for more details or to find out something that I may have forgotten from his walk-through. Using the different gadgets helps me learn them.
    I got the sport package with the P1 package, lane change/blind spot assist and AMG wheels. The nav system is easy to use, as is the radio. The voice control is pretty incredible and very responsive.
    The cabin is beautiful: the almond seating contrasts beautifully with the black dash and black carpet and walnut burl. The adjustable seats with memory for both driver and passenger are very supportive but comfortable.
    The E350 definitely feels more solid than my 2009 528i. It has a very nice ride, smooth yet sporty with good steering and handling. I think the 528 has a little more responsive handling, but that might be due to the lighter feel of the car.
    I'm very happy with the E350. I've owned several Lexus (ES300 and GS 300) and two BMW's (325 and 528) and I like the E350 more than any of them. All of them are great cars and I certainly am not knocking any of them. I think the E350 has features of both the Lexus and BMW. It has creature comforts of the Lexus (all of which the BMW does not have) but more personality than the Lexus. The sport package gives it good styling and handling more akin to the BMW, but it is much finer in detail, and roomier in front and back. The BMW is what I would consider a luxury sport car, whereas the E350 is more of a sporty luxury car.
    To all of you who are considering what to get, just read the comments of those who post on this site, see the cars in person and test drive them yourself, and get the car and features that suit you the best. Enjoy the experience.
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