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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Do you realize what this means? :surprise: Every sedan Honda/Acura makes except for the Civic is more or less on the same platform or a variation thereof. Yikes! The only real difference is whether or not it is built on the European Accord platform or the U.S. one.

    M
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,207
    Thanks for that.

    In the smaller class, I added the C230 to my short list. The BMW 3 is #1 on the hit parade, but the C is right behind -- both are RWD & can be had with a manual.

    That said, the (as always, anecdotal) reports of electrical/electronic & other troubles on the Mercedes "problems & solutions" boards are rather off-putting.

    I'm hoping you'll post again in a few years telling us about your 50K+ miles of trouble-free Mercedes ownership. Good luck, and enjoy that new car.
  • jobiejobie Posts: 47
    Interesting...I find myself in the same boat. I had a 2002 530i (old style) that I loved. The new style initially turned me off inside and out, not to mention the bump in price from mid-high $40K's for my last 530i to low-mid $50K's for the current model, which puts it even with the E350. I never looked twice at the E-class until lately - I think it's styling is great inside and out, and no I-drive. I just drove a 530xi last week - great driving car; I need to drive the '07 E350 to see how close MB has come to the 5's handling. I still don't like the stigma that will come with a MB, I got enough comments about driving a Bimmer.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    do some reading in the Edmunds comparo. RL fastest slalom. time. It loses 1 inch in rear seat legroom to I think the M. Other than that, everyone is within a tenth or so.
    Again my source is the 6 cylinder all wheel drive luxury sedan comparos. That is what I referenced. Apples, to apples so to speak.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I'm guessing you're using some humoristic sarcasm. But Honda/Acura only has 3 platforms (4 if you count the NSX); the Accord, the Civic, and the S2000. The majority of their cars are based on some slight variation of the Accord platform.
  • breldbreld Posts: 1,127
    I had posted a few weeks ago about my decision process. I had basically narrowed it down to Japanese vs. German, and eventually, M35x vs. 530xi. I had mentioned that the M35 made a lot of sense to me, with respect to price, reliability, reviews, etc., but that I simply felt more of a connection to the 530 - more of a gut feel than anything else.

    Well, I sucked it up, decided to spend the extra few grand, and went with the heart. I just ordered a 530xi with the premium, sport and cold packages, along with the stereo upgrade and window shades. And, by far the most significant distinction the BMW offers among this class - a 6 speed manual. Resale be damned! :)

    Once I started looking at this class of cars, I had resolved myself to giving up the manual trannie, just to open up the options and consider the Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Audi, etc. I had, in fact, started embracing the idea of an automatic, but found that it was more "theoretical" than anything else. I reveled in the idea of a "more relaxing" commute and "push it and go" acceleration, but in practice, when I went on test drives, I was somewhat underwhelmed with the overall driving experience.

    Having said that, I based my decision after driving all the cars in this class with an auto tranny, and when the 530 still won out my preference, I then decided to go ahead with the manual.

    2014 Passat - 2010 328xi M-sport wagon manual - 2008 A3 - 2009 Ody

  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    for manual ;-)

    Krzys
  • Your performance and theoretically your mileage will be better, too.

    According to my "manual or die" wife, you also will have more control (and I basically agree) and tons more fun.

    According to my (our) BMW dealer, resale is HIGHER on the sticks -- when a stick is turned in at lease end, it has no time on the lot, it just sells, period.

    Of course, according to this same dealer, NO stick shift new ones have any shelf life either, they usually sell before they are prepped.

    While I'm at it, this same dealer says, "X" drive sales are inventory, NOT demand, constrained at about 40%. Apparently, 4 of 10 3's and 5's are now sold (here in River City) as x models.

    A 530xi would they offer a real sport package rather than a sport appearence package with a stick shift and 18 or 19" wheels would be a brisk seller, methinks.

    Just as I was about to post that I had entered manual shifters anonymous and that the program was starting to work. . . :cry:

    Congrats!
  • breldbreld Posts: 1,127
    I have to admit, had they offered a "real" sport package on the xi model, I probably would have passed on that option. A few years ago, I would never have passed it up, but I'm getting to a point where I do appreciate the comfort and luxury side of the equation as well.

    In fact, one of the main factors in my decision was the balance the BMW offers. Many a Lexus salesperson pitched to me that a BMW, due to its sporty nature, can't match the GS for the luxurious ride quality. But, having a couple of test drives in each, I thought the 530xi, with standard wheels, matched the GS ride with regard to comfort, and clearly provided a sportier experience at the same time.

    That's the balance that appealed to me. Add a sports suspension and larger wheels (w/RFT), and I imagine the Lexus salesperson could have a point.

    2014 Passat - 2010 328xi M-sport wagon manual - 2008 A3 - 2009 Ody

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Again my source is the 6 cylinder all wheel drive luxury sedan comparos. That is what I referenced. Apples, to apples so to speak.

    The LPS "class" though includes the A6 4.2 S-line and 550i, which both handily beat the RL through the slalom. In any case, slalom tests are only a minor part of the handling equation. You'll have a tough time convincing anyone that the RL handles subjectively better than any of the other V6\AWD cars, save perhaps the GS300 AWD.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    think you have to compare Apples to apples. When you start getting in to different engine choices, and suspension set-ups, then yes, the RL will lose ground. Steering feel is another subject, yes, I totally agree, so is the torque steer in the TL. That's why TO ME it's silly to compare a front drive car that torque steers quite a lot, to an all wheel drive luxury sedan. Especially when the same comparison isn't made to all the competition. As far as an all wheel drive TL rendering the RL useless, possibly. Have you ever heard the expression "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle"? [Yes I know there are rumors, but please see quote about Aunts]
    I realize that I'm in the minority with the RL. I still say it's a great car at 41-44k.
    I think that some of it has to do with people wrapping their minds around a "50k Honda". I sort of get that, but that's how I am with Toyota/Lexus. Not worth it for a car that my mother would drive.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I understand what you're saying, but the other cars in the segment just offer more over their smaller siblings, that is all folks are saying here. Lexus doesn't share any of their platforms with Toyotas anymore past the ES model. Honda/Acura builds all of their sedans except the Civic on the same "global platform". The TL is going to need either AWD or RWD to compete with the 300hp+ hp rwd cars that are crowding that segment. The RL needs a V8 and rwd for people to take is seriously IMO. Even though V8 sales of the E/A6/GS/5-Series etc. are not as great as the 6-cylinder versions, having the V8 option sorta validates the car's position as a true mid-size luxury/sports sedan.

    I think a lot of folks who follow cars know that the RL's awd system is just a band-aid for the car being bascially fwd. For all the effort Honda put into developing the RL's awd system they could have developed a rwd chassis that is flexible enough to support both the TL and a larger RL. I bet this is the route they go next time around.

    The RL just doesn't offer any choice, every one of them are the same besides color and whether or not they have the nav package. Luxury car buyers start demanding more when you're talking about spending 50K, IMO.

    M
  • mbbrooksmbbrooks Posts: 16
    I did not drive any of the all wheel drive models except for the RL so that is another part of the equation.

    Your point about a "stigma" is interesting as well. In my case I was concerned that a MB was sending a less sporty more, well "older" message than a BMW. I have been provided unsolicited comments from several attractive women that the car is "hot" even though I am quite sure it is not stolen. I am also surprised how many people will take a double take on the car since here in SoFla there are a lot of nice cars.

    Good luck with your decision.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The RL just doesn't offer any choice, every one of them are the same besides color and whether or not they have the nav package. Luxury car buyers start demanding more when you're talking about spending 50K, IMO.

    Exacly, though NAV is standard equipment on the RL. In its first year, it had no major options at all, just little details like a wood shift knob. This year you can get Acura's version of Pre-safe Brake as an option.

    I definitely agree though that Acura's signature "one size fits all" pricing\options policy just doesn't work in the full on luxury arena. Take the seats, for example. Most of the competition offers at least one seat upgrade option, with 14-way+ adjustable seats for driver and passenger. The RL's on the other hand, are the same 8-way\4-way seats found in the TL and other cars at 1\2 of the RL's price tag. One of many examples of Acura cheaping out to keep the price down. It wouldnt be such a big deal if you could get higher tech seats as an option, but you cant. Rather pathetic on Acura's part considering that more adjustable seats have been in luxury cars for 15 years or more.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah that non-adjustable for height passenger side seat was a curious ommission for years and years in Acuras. Every European and nearly all American luxury cars offered the same major adjustments for both driver and passenger.

    I think that after this episode Honda will be forced to make some serious changes at "Acura". They can't be happy with the RL's sales performance in only the 2nd year out.

    M
  • After reading this thread for a few messages, I would have to agree with several of the points made.

    One that caught my eye though was "It is a lot of car for $41K" or words to that effect. I would think, assuming that is the recent/current buying experience, that the RL would be a very good value.

    What technical reasons there may be for Acura's front biased AWD do escape me, since this seems to be -- in this class -- not the expected case. I wonder why not at least make the bias "neutral" (50 50) for the sake of marketing, or if one is making such a change, why not just go to 40 60 and start the bragging machine?

    All the noise made about SH AWD seems to not have shouted out the FWD bias reality.

    Funny, I test drove an RDX two days ago and I have the brochure. It says that "up to 45%" of the power can be sent to the rear wheels under hard acceleration. It also says that when you're cruising down the highway, that 90% of the power is sent to the front.

    Now, for practical purposes, for most drivers, most of the time, I seriously doubt that this FWD "nature" is all that detrimental. But, I also think perception is reality.

    Rather than fight the fight and come up with 5 letter acronyms (SH AWD) and technology, why not just bite the bullet and go neutral or RWD biased and be done with it?

    Clearly "everyone else" is going RWD biased AWD or at least offering it -- sometimes being different is doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

    Then, what's up with the one size fits all approach, too?

    On the other hand, if this thing is currently offered up at $41K, it has to be a heck-of-a deal. :confuse:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What technical reasons there may be for Acura's front biased AWD do escape me, since this seems to be -- in this class -- not the expected case. I wonder why not at least make the bias "neutral" (50 50) for the sake of marketing, or if one is making such a change, why not just go to 40 60 and start the bragging machine?

    I have to wonder how much of a difference there would be other than on the sales material. The RL's architecture is inherently unbalanced and extremely nose heavy. Shifting more torque to the rear (it can already send 70%) is not suddenly going to turn it into a corner destroyer. For that, the car needs a diet, more torque, a sport suspension, and new architecture with proper weight balance. With the car as it is, all the AWD system can really do is eliminate torque steer, and help reduce (some) understeer.

    At $41K its "not bad", but thats clearly not low enough to get sales back up to where they were in its first few months on the market. I'll take the M35x for a few thousand more.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    The $41K selling price just might be enough to get a pulse from RL sales. The thing is, doesn't the MSRP sticker still show $49,995 plus dealer options? I haven't looked at a new RL sticker since they came out. A lot of people just don't feel like haggling with the dealer to get that $41K sales price. They probably take it for a drive, look at the sticker, and decide it's simply not worth it. Who knows? :confuse:

    They'll never admit it, but it's got to sting for the folks who paid full retail for RLs when they came out. Some folks paid $51K new when they first hit, then barely a year later you could buy a new one for $41K. Imagine what that does to the trade-in value. That's on par (probably worse than) any American brand vehicle. You could buy a Chevy Aveo with the depreciation on the RL! :surprise:
  • Well, you all know I know that the Audis (all of 'em) also are nose heavy. In fact, had I a magic wand with but one ZAP in it, I'd bag the 40 60 torque split initiative and go for the weight balance first. . .

    Acura, are you listening?
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    to be sure. My brother-in-law is a tech/gadget nut. When the RL came out, it was the most advanced car in the class for the money. I have a fondness for Honda/Acura to be sure, and platform sharing be damned, they are more fun to drive than any offering from Toyota/Lexus [with maybe the exception of the IS]
    Once again at 41-44k, the best deal out there IMO. I have to say that I would prefer that they do things with weight distribution as Mark has stated. I would wish the same for Audi's as well.
    As stated before, I am surely in the minority when it comes to this car. I have the minority vote in my house with my wife and 4 dogs :sick: I can handle it :shades:
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