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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'll have to look at the picks again, because I didn't see anything even close to a Buick about the Passat. VW/Audi does have a lot of front overhang on a lot of their cars and everyone knows why.

  • liyliy Posts: 47
    I don't why (VW/Audi) has "a lot of front overhang on a lot of their cars..." Why?

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    We all have our opinions and perspectives on the cars we discuss here, but here is another voice from the new C&D (writing about the new GS):

    "All told, the GS300 AWD provides a driving experience that's exactly what we've come to expect from Lexus: creamy, competent and quiet, augemented by beautiful interior appointments and celestial sound. None of that adds up to passion, at least to us. But for most prospective buyers, that won't matter."

    Jay Leno too was attributed with saying something to the effect, ". . .Lexus makes perfect cars, perfectly boring cars."

    I have not driven the Lexus, but I sat in the three new Japanese rivals, the GS, M and RL. The Lexus certainly had the lux/posh routine down pat. It was beautiful on a scale of 1 to 10 at an 11.

    I am 53, the Lexus seems to appeal to someone much older than I, in the same way, I used to think Cadillacs and Buicks and Lincolns appealed to the post AARP set.

    If, forced to choose, today between these three contestants, I would go with the M. Yet, this may not be fair, since I have only driven the M -- who knows, driving either the GS or the RL might change my mind.

    Thankfully, I do not have to make the decision today.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Mark, What were the acceleration and skidpad figures for the GS300 C&D tested? Thanks.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    I drove the GS 430 and it will not appeal to the AARP set.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It has to do with Audi's engine/transmission layout. In most of their cars the bulk of the engine's mass sits in front of the front axle which makes the front section sort of longish looking, on some models. Audi being a expert stylist can usually hide this, but not always. The layout also has an adverse affect on handling, especially compared to BMW, which they want to compete with model for model.

    They're getting better are moving all the hardware towards the center of the car, or behind the front axle line, but still. The A8 and VW Phaeton for example still have most of their engine in front of the front axle, not good for handling.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    This is what I'm talking about. The new Passat seems to have more hanging off the rear than the front.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh, I see what you mean. There might be an extra inch or so on the rear overhang compared to the front, but I hardly see where it makes the car even close to being unattractive imo. This new Passat just like the old one when it was introduced, looks better than anything in its segment, imo. Simply gorgeous to me. Cars like the Maxima, Avalon, Accord and Camry look like lawnmowers in comparison.

  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Mark, Now that you mentioned your age, I've got you by 10 years. (Which has nothing to do with anything... :-) But I Always enjoy your posts. Well almost always. The one thing I can't figure is.... When are you going to make time and test drive the RL. It's been around 4 months longer that the M you drove. But you talk about it all the time and you are in the RL forum all the time.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree the Accord, Maxima, and Camry arent much to look at. I like the looks of the new IS, G, and TL better than this Passat though.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    That is good to know, as my AARP literature has picked up recently.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 48,873

    I was just reading my latest issue of BW.. I assume you have seen it?

    A celebrity in our midst... ;-)



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  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Just finished reading about 3 series in Automobile. Very telling that, when it discussed the cars that might match or surpass 3, it mentioned the next gen Lexus IS and Infiniti G. C class and A4 didn't rate even a mention.
  • tiag_m5tiag_m5 Posts: 54
    Dude, You are guilty of the same mis-matches as most of the comparos re the RL. First of all, wait until the BMW 530 is laden with the AWD system, optioned up then tested next to the RL. It will weight about the same, be slower and cost a hell of a lot more.

    Dude, I think you need to check your facts again. The 530i is already a markedly better performer than the RL in nearly every quantitative and qualitative performance comparison. The current BMW 530i with 225hp already spanks the RL in the 1/4 mile, 0-100, braking, lateral grip and other dynamic measures. The only performance advantage the RL holds over the 530i is 3/10 of a second to 60 and even this small lead will vanish when BMW releases its new 3.0 liter engine with even more power.

    Also, you're just kidding yourself if you think the 530i with all wheel drive will "weigh about the same" as the nose heavy RL. As it is, the RL (“The Whale”) weighs a good 600lbs more than the 530i. Sorry, but the addition of an optional AWD system simply isn't enough to close that gap. If anything, the significant increase in power will more than offset any small increase in weight due to AWD.

    Still will be lacking features,ergonomics, reliability, looks, and interior quality.

    Really? Could you please direct me towards all of the "features" that the 5 series lacks relative to the RL. Last time I checked, the 5 had all the features that the RL has and then some (Head-up display, SMG transmission, etc.) You may have a point about reliability, but that's about it. You must be blind if you think the RL has better "looks" and "interior quality" than the 5. Simply put, the RL is one of the most atrocious looking cars on the road with an interior lifted from the Civic to boot.

    In fact the RL beats it on safety as well.

    ROFL. This has to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time. How exactly does the RL beat the 5 for safety? The 5 series has more safety features than the RL and a better company reputation for safety to boot. In fact, last time I checked, the RL didn't even offer rear side airbags! Not to mention the RL still uses a 1980s era 3-Channel ABS system... good for 180ft stops from 70mph.

    The last data I saw had the RL on par with others on stopping distances.

    You saw wrong. Car and Driver has tested and confirmed that the RL has the longest stopping distance of any car in its class. The brakes on the RL are absolutely horrible. Go look it up if you don't believe me. 70-0mph was measured at a chart topping 180 feet while the 545i did the same stop in 156 feet and the 530i did even better. Not only does the porker RL have the worst brakes in its class, but also among the worst brakes out of any class. For example, the BMW X5 SUV does 70-0 in 167 feet and it isn’t even a car!

    My dealer service experience has been light years better and actually caused me to switch from BMW to Acura alone.

    Wow, downgrading from BMW to Acura because of dealership experience sounds pretty lame. Who cares about how friendly car dealers are? If you're willing to switch brands simply because the Acura sales staff sucks up and makes you feel warm and fuzzy you must not be much of a car person.

    It's about the whole package here. If you are talking sports cars, then track performance is what matters. Maybe.

    What whole package are you referring to? I guess by "whole package" you mean brakes worse than many large trucks? Or maybe you mean underwhelming acceleration from the over-hyped and under-performing, “no-torque all rev” Honda engine? Or maybe you mean greasy handling and non-tactile feedback? Or maybe it’s the bland Honda styling and cramped interior that are part of the whole package? Interesting.
  • jmatthejmatthe Posts: 51
    Your data point on braking is the only one where the Acura did poorly. Try reading a few others. The 5 is the ugliest car made today in its class. Go look at dealer lots. they are full of them, some dealers offering 4-8 K off to move them. Your data on weight is unoptioned weight. Loaded up with similar equipment, the difference is much less. Do you own a 5 series? Safety? I was referring to the crash test data. RL best car ever tested.
    The dealer experience is not about nice guys...about getting things repaired right, loaners when needed and promptness. My old BMW service guys were really nice guys. We had coffee every other week while I sat waiting to be picked up (no loaners usually) bringing the thing back for the same problem half the time. Obviously you don't own one or you would know what that is all about.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    You have an annoying habit of calling people names who do not agree with you on highly subjective issues.
    To wit in your reply to jmatthe:
    "You must be blind if you think the RL has better "looks"....than the 5."
    You are entitled to your opinion. But jmatthe is also entitled to his/hers.
    Your posts can be informative if a little too emotional.
    I suggest you try real hard to STIFLE THE NAME-CALLING!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Well, I do have a 545 and I'd put it up against the RL any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Lots are full of them? I don't know where you live, but that's certainly not the case here in suburban Chicago. Plus sales of the new 5 are consistently getting stronger and stronger. 4-8K off? Go ahead and try to get close to 8K off. I got 2700 off on mine and made them move up a bit on my trade-in (year old 330xi), but that was absolutely all they were willing to do. FYI, my dealership (which is pretty large) only has two 545's on the lot at a time. Obviously, they'd have more 530's because they sell more, but often times you have to order BMW's anyway because they DON'T keep a lot of cars on their lots comparable to other brands. You're certainly welcome to your opinion of what the car looks like, but as I've said repeatedly to people on these message boards, in real-world experience with my car I have yet to take it to the car wash without someone telling me what a hot car it is (and I honestly could care less what they think so it's not like I'm looking for their validation). IMO comparing the Acura RL to the BMW 5 series is comparing apples to oranges. The RL simply doesn't compare in terms of performance, to to be fair it really isn't meant to. It's got a completely different target group of buyers. BMW competes with MB, Lexus, Infiniti and Audi for the most part. I would say that Acura is more in the Saab, Volvo and lower-end Lexus, Infiniti market.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Hey rich545.
    Have you had any software issues with the 545?
    I notice several consumer reviewers on Edmunds mention this.
    I do intend to test drive the 545.
    You take it to the car wash?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think ALL of the personal comments in here need to stop.

    We do need to remember we are discussing - discussing - opinions about which we may certainly disagree. If we all agreed on all these issues, there'd be nothing to talk about.

    There is no reason to insult someone if you feel differently about something than he did.

    Let's tone it down.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Yep I saw it, guilty as charged. Hopefully I have not ticked off Audi -- but, I calls 'em as I sees 'em.

    The new Automobile magazine has a wake up article about German quality and reliability. Mostly the article is a big indictment against Mercedes and VW, but my interpretation of the article is that, other than Porsche and possibly BMW, the Japanese cars -- in GERMANY -- are the ones that the natives vote as the highest quality and most reliable.

    The Emperor Has No Clothes, indeed.

    Now, however -- I must add, I have had some problems with my Audis since 1977 -- but I would NOT conclude that they are anywhere near as bad as the article in Automobile might lead one to believe.

    My current Audi, and my wife's (both 2003 models) have been fundamentally trouble free. The battery in my wife's key fob keeps dying and I had some On*star problems the very first 11 days of ownership. Other than that, routine. I even have the original brakes on my allroad. The previous two A6's 4.2's went through a combined total of 9 sets of rotors and pads in a combined milage of under 60,000 miles.

    My only recurring problem is the tire pressure monitor seems to only work above 45 degrees -- and this has been since day one. I guess it could be the batteries in the sending units, but I picked up my allroad in October 2002 and the TP monitors worked until it got cold here in Cincinnati, then started working again in Spring. It has been not a big enough of a deal to bother with. I would hardly condemn the brand as low quality and unreliable based on our experiences.

    Those of you who saw the March 14th BW article may think I am or have become anti-Audi. Quite the contrary -- but I do have my concerns but they are overwhelmingly a concern that Audi has lost its marketing edge. I include in that broad brush concern, the lack of a stimulative leasing program and the failure of the marketing types to prevail when the new A6 3.2 came out "less quick" than the outgoing A6 S-Line.

    If someone would have asked me, I would have said to lower the final drive ratio by a few percent, which would have probably decreased the gas milage by about 1 MPG but would have improved the 0-60 time by an all important tenth of a second or two.

    Indeed, the final drive ratio could have been lowered and the gearing for 5th and 6th gear overdriven just a hair and the highway milage would probably have remained intact, while simultaneously making the car quicker between 0 and 65mph, which, as we all know is "the number" here in the US.

    Here's another relatively simple "touch" too -- rear seat video seems to be offered or coming soon all across the board, from US and Japanese manufacturers alike -- even the new Audi Q7 (and I think allroad) were shown with rear seat video.

    Two things leap to mind: profit center and giving the customer what they want. It seems odd to me to read in the BW article that the Germans have had so many problems with electronics -- since they inevitably bring electronic options and features to market several years after their competition from the US and Japan.

    Anyway, my loyalty to the goodness of the products and to that special feel you get behind the wheel of a German car remains largely intact. What has been eroded, however, is my belief that Audi (to name one) actually has "listened" to the [US] market. The BW article did offer up some encouragement -- but it still seems Audi has a couple of years of catch up to play. The thing is, they have -- apparently for no good (or perceivable) reason -- not capitalized upon their inherent differentiation. Now is the time to strike -- but apparently giving the marketing machine a tune-up isn't going to happen soon enough.

    The good news is: the products themselves. The bad news is: (that old saw) "perception is reality." You cannot simply price your cars "higher" as if that will make them actually worth more in the consumer's mind. You have to demonstrate that they are different, better and then they will be worth more. If BMW would raise their prices (for leasing, to make the point) to Audi's level -- the Audi would be a much higher value proposition. Unfortunately the market perception ranks BMW higher than Audi and a more expensive BMW can be leased for a significantly lower price than a less expensive Audi.

    Unfortunately, Audi has not yet earned that ranking on this side of the Atlantic (perhaps it has elsewhere).

    It pains me.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I haven't had a single software issue with mine. In fact, my only complaint about iDrive is that I find the processor to be kind of slow. Yes, I do take it to the car wash. I honestly don't have time to wash it myself everytime I want it clean (nor the inclination in the winter especially). I well aware of the reasons not to take it to a car wash, but at the end of the day it really is just a car. I love cars as much as anyone else, but I do feel that we (myself included) can get a little ridiculous about babying them. Hey, at least it's a good car wash!

    I wanted to talk about the Japanese vs. German luxury car issue for a second. One thing that I think is important to realize here is that there are many people that don't really cross the line between the two. Myself as an example, I honestly don't even consider Acura, Lexus or Infiniti when I'm looking to buy a new car because frankly I just don't like Japanese cars. I respect them in many ways, but they just aren't my thing (and I have driven many of them). I think I repesent a lot of BMW owners in that sense. I'll look at MB or Audi, but I have no interest in their Japanese counterparts. It's not about snobbery, and I think that Japanese cars are better in many respects. It's just that I happen to like how German cars feel to drive and I just feel comfortable in them. I'm sure it's the same for many Japanese car owners. There's nothing wrong with this; it's just really personal preference. Hell, it's probably not even really based on as many tangible things as we seem to think. Many of the differences in handling dynamics are so close that we really probably can't feel them. We think we can, but I think it's largely based on our perceptions more so than reality. For example, if a car is .01 seconds faster 0-60 does that really feel much different? No. Bottom line is, I like BMW's because they suit me in more ways than other cars. I'm sure the same is true for anyone that tends to choose one car brand over another consistently.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    Thanks for the comprehensive answer. The 545 is next on my test drive list.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    When's the last time you bought a TV built in Germany? Japan rules the world in electronics, and that translates to their cars as well. LG and Samsung are hot on the heels of Sony, Matsushita, and Hitachi, and that seems to be translating to Korean cars as well. Its certainly shocking to see Hyundai with Honda and Subaru as its peers in PP 100 vehicles.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,296
    The Koreans are catching up with golfers, too. Many fine Korean girls on the LPGA tour.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    >>My dealer service experience has been light years better and actually caused me to switch from BMW to Acura alone.

    >>Wow, downgrading from BMW to Acura because of dealership experience sounds pretty lame. Who cares about how friendly car dealers are? If you're willing to switch brands simply because the Acura sales staff sucks up and makes you feel warm and fuzzy you must not be much of a car person.

    Where in jmatthe's post did he refer to sales staff?? Most likely he was referring to the arrogance of the BMW service staff, which is anything but a lame reason. I have three friends who won't even consider BMWs because of their past experiences with BMW service staffs. In the DC area, most of them act like they're doing you a favor by talking to you. They also act like any problem you're having with their wonderful car is your imagination until proven otherwise.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The German dealer superiority complex is what caused me to jump ship for my '96 LS400, and I havent looked back since.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    "Those of you who saw the March 14th BW article may think I am or have become anti-Audi."

    "BW"... are you referring to Business Week magazine? I'd like to read the article.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 48,873
    Yes, he is.. check it out.. He is quoted..


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  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    So by your logic a car is only summed up by its electronics? Hyundai, Honda and Subaru are irrelevant to the discussion because they aren't competing cars. I mean, I'm willing to concede that Japan builds better TV's, but to assume that translates to cars is quite a jump. Are they in general more reliable? Sure. Are they as fun to drive? Not in my experience. Take my mother-in-law's LS430 for an example. It's a car that you ride in rather than one you drive IMO. It feels similar to a Cadillac to me. Again, I'm not saying Japanese cars are worse, I'm just saying that in my opinion, German cars offer a more spirited drive.
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