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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • Maybe it's just me, but don't the RL, M35 and GS300 all awfully similar. I took a good look at each at the Chicago Auto Show, and I swear I could barely tell them apart. Aside from the Audi, this new crop of $50k sedans are all pretty dull, and it's not as if Inifiniti and Acura don't know how to design cars with pizazz. I suppose it has to do with the perceived conservatism of the target demographic, but I really think these designs are uninspired...
    While I'm on the soapbox, I'd also like to know why none of the Japanese automakers have come up with a vehicle to compete with the CLK. It seems a sport coupe in this price range would be met with a lot of interest among boomers with older kids or commuters (like me) who spend a lot of alone time to and from work and would like something a little jazzier than a sedan, but with a usable back seat.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    There are some rumors of an M based coupe/convertible to go up against the 6 series and the CLK. It'll probably depend on how succesful the M sedan is.

    I haven't heard anything of a GS or RL based coupe, I doubt it'll happen. However, the next gen. SC might be more of a CLK fighter, and may be available with the V6.
  • Well, it's not just straight speed that you get with the larger engine. It's quietness, decreased vibration, smooth effortless power. It's not all about speed. It's luxury and comfort that's afforded with the better motor, too.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    "Well, it's not just straight speed that you get with the larger engine. It's quietness, decreased vibration, smooth effortless power. It's not all about speed. It's luxury and comfort that's afforded with the better motor, too."

    I know your post wasn't aimed at me directly but in your opinion would a V-8 give a luxury performance car the added qualities above or can it be achieved with the 6.
  • If a V6 or straight 6 could replicate what an 8 does there wouldn't be 8's selling for 10 grand more than what a 6 does, right?

    Different topic but an RX330 (glorified over-priced canadian camry station wagon) drives like crap compared to an X5.
  • look at the excessive overhangs in the front and rear on the RX. the short wheel base along with these overhangs make it far from a nimble handler......sloppy.

    An X5 or especially an X3 are much better drivers as you might expect in comparison to a fancy camry station wagon.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    "It's not all about speed. It's luxury and comfort" -virtual bm

    I'd rather drive our RX330 during a 3 hour trip on the interstate in PA than an X5 or X3, as I suspect anyone else would who knows anything about the three vehicles. Particularly since the RX330 hauls the four of us and triple the cargo behind the rear seats compared to the other two. One of my partners refuses to bring his X5 out in the snow while we do not give it a second thought with our RX in our PA winters. Perhaps the sporting tire and awd bias in the BM is to blame?

    The RX330 has AWD and more ground clearance not available in a camry wagon, among other advantages. I do not see the need for an X5 to exist now that the 530xi is nearly about. The RX330 does not pretend to be a sports car but the X5 pretends to be an SUV and does a terrible job at it, imo.

    For me, I will save my tight handling/cornering for the Boxster-S next to the RX330 in my garage.
  • senneca01senneca01 Posts: 34
    Here is a little tid-bit for you all.

    Infiniti just ranked #1 in Strategic Visions Total Quality Index.

    It tied with Mercedes-Benz. Lexus, Jaguar, and Cadillac came next in a three-way tie.

    The G35 and FX were the highest in their respective classes.

    http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.aspx?contentid=4020223&src=LPused

    "...owners are asked about more than vehicle features and problems that emerged. Strategic Vision said TQI incorporates the experience of buying the vehicle and driving it, too."
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The "personal luxury coupe" market died about ten years ago. Remember cars like the Acura CL, the original Lexus SC, or the Lincoln Mark VIII, dead, dead, dead. Nobody can sell a coupe in the North American market anymore, so Lexus wisely changed the SC into a convertible.

    There are a few that are working, like the G35 coupe and CLK, but its just such a small niche that I dont think there's a case for other automakers to try and get microscopic pieces of a tiny pie.

    Oh and virtualbmw, I would argue that the X3 is a tarted up Rav4 with a 500% price increase. At least with the RX you can see where the money went.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think the coupe market is what the automakers make of it. The G35 does fine, as does the CLK, and the even the Mustang. Ford's Thunderbird, and countless GM coupes just went bust from the start and I don't know why in every case. I think a coupe, done right will sell.

    A lot coupe failures are due to automakers letting they go too long unchanged as was the case with the first generation Lexus SC, a car that I thought was truly something to behold back in its day. The previous Mercedes CLK had the shortest model run of any modern day Mercedes, just 5 model years. Then you have cars like the GTO which on paper should sell out but is a sales dud. The theories abound - styling, no nav, no heated seats, poor trunk space and so forth. Is their any mystery why the last Buick Rivera died? Older folks can't get in and out of Coupes to good. I know the older folks I know hate cars that require them to bend and what not to get in. I think Coupes like the Acura CL died because it actually looked worse than the sedan it was based on. Bass ackwards. It surely didn't die due to poor handling.

    The Coupe market is a very fickle market segment, but despite what GM thinks the market does exist. I find it truly amazing they blame the market for the F-Body's demise, yet the Mustang has been a hit every since its last redesign in 1994 and now again for 2005.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I was talking more about the $40K+ lux coupes than necessarily a mustang or Z or whatnot. The Japanese performance coupes also died out in the late '90s due to rediculous price explosions, but they are all coming back. Nobody is chomping at the bit to make a new luxury coupe. I think price is largely what determines wether a coupe will live or die in that class. If people dont think the car is worth the money (Crossfire, GTO) see ya.

    The luxury coupe is a different animal. The CL was too big and heavy to be particularly agile, and it was ugly as sin, so its death is no real surprise. Volvo's C70 sales were almost all convertibles, and they dumped the coupe competely years ago. I'm not sure if an actual redesign in '97 instead of just a little grill would've helped the SC at the time or not. I know by the time '98 rolled around, everybody in my neighborhood had an ML320. I think the market just dried up.

    The F-body twins died out because they were just bad cars. The styling was terrible, the interiors were terrible, and the handling was terrible. Nobody is interested in that anymore.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "The F-body twins died out because they were just bad cars. The styling was terrible, the interiors were terrible, and the handling was terrible. Nobody is interested in that anymore.

    Very true. GM let the cars go on forever with very little changes. GM, BTW has just killed or frozen their new rwd platform that could have given hope to replacement for these and a new generation of RWD Buicks and a proper GTO.

    I think to make it in the luxury coupe market the maker has to keep the car fresh either with updates or costly redesigns every 5 years. Not easy for every automaker to do obviously.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Not a surprise there. They problably feel that the... Epsilon I think, platform thats under the 9-3, Malibu, etc, is good for another 20 years of service, thats GM think for you.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "Well, it's not just straight speed that you get with the larger engine. It's quietness, decreased vibration, smooth effortless power. It's not all about speed. It's luxury and comfort that's afforded with the better motor, too."

    You missed the point totally. Did I talk about luxury, NVH? Merc1 said the RX400h doesn't improve handling over the RX330 but only improves straight line performance and that makes paying additional for the RX400h pointless. I said it's basically the same story with a number of other products on the market such as the: E430/E500 vs. E320. GS430 vs. GS300. A6 4.2 vs. A6 3.2, 530i vs. 525i, or 540i vs 530i. Correct? Last time I checked these cars basically handle the same with the bigger engine or the smaller engine so all you really get is more straight line power.

    Yet for some reason it's worth it to spend $10K more for a E500 over a E320 while it's not to pay $5K more for a RX400h over a RX330 even though the more powerful RX400h will also give you better gas mileage. Will a E500 do that over the E320? or a 530i over the 525i?

    About the RX330 being a sloppy handler. Yes, compared to a X5, I would say it's a sloppy handler. But compared to most other competitors, it's far from sloppy and in fact it is competitive with it's competition overall like the Acura MDX, Mercedes ML.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I have to agree with max. Nothing decreases vibration and noise like running on ELECTRIC power. Is that worth a few grand?

    I think what merc was getting at is that the RX's handling isnt good enough for the 400's additional muscle, which I dont think its true. Its faster yes, but a Cayenne Turbo, no. I would argue that an S65 AMG is a lot more dangerous than any RX400h. An S class at 200mph and an Enzo at 200mph is a little different.
  • It's foolish to imply that I don't know anything about the three vehicles.

    Clearly the X5 or X3 is a superior chasis with better body rigidity and therefore increased handling benefits lending to better safety. As far as seating and cargo room, the X3 or X5 will have plenty of room for 4 passengers and by that logic you may want to opt for an excursion or a trailways. Triple the cargo room? Not hardly...the X3 has virtually the same interior space as the RX but has longer wheel base even though the RX is a longer vehicle. That means "tippy". More length and a shorter wheelbase means poor cornering and overall road manners. The X3 also has better ground clearance than the RX. They are both all-wheel drive.

    Is the RX more comfortable and quiet, yes. Does it drive better, absolutely not. Does the RX provide better active safety, certainly not.

    So, if you prefer the RX, that's good for you. It's just your preference.
  • looks can be deceiving.....

    a vehicle is first and foremost for driving, right? The lexus would make a great living room but I wouldn't want to have to make a panic stop or an emergency lane change in one.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "The lexus would make a great living room but I wouldn't want to have to make a panic stop or an emergency lane change in one."

    I wouldnt want to be on the phone with AAA in a parking lot somewhere because my X5 wont start :)
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    virtual bm:

    "Clearly the X5 or X3 is a superior chassis with better body rigidity and therefore increased handling benefits lending to better safety"

    Many, many more factors than 'body rigidity' lead to a superior chassis, increased handling, and better safety. That the X3/5 is better in all of those categories simply because it is more rigid is absurd.

    "As far as seating and cargo room, the X3 or X5 will have plenty of room for 4 passengers and by that logic you may want to opt for an excursion or a trailways. Triple the cargo room? Not hardly...the X3 has virtually the same interior space as the RX"

    The X3/5 does not have plenty of room! Read any review(including edmunds.com) and you will see that the lack of room is a serious criticism.

    The RX330 has 31.9 cubic feet of luggage space which is a multiple (x2) of the cubic feet of luggage space of an X5 (16.5). That is a huge difference for a family of four. Hardly the 'same interior space' as you state.

    "RX but has longer wheel base even though the RX is a longer vehicle. That means "tippy"."

    The RX330 wheelbase is 4 inches shorter than an X5. The RX330 is about 2 inches longer than an X5. A whole 2 inches longer? About 3 inches of overhang front and rear makes an SUV sloppy huh?
    Things such as center of gravity have much more to do with "tippy" than 2 inches of length difference. I cannot say what the CofG for each car is and I doubt you knew when you made your erroneous statements.

    "The X3 also has better ground clearance than the RX. "

    The X5 has 7.1 inches of ground clearance. The RX330 has 7.4 inches of ground clearance. X3 has 8 inches. You brought up the camry wagon not me.

    I understand you are trying to qualify 'drive better' and 'active safety' but I must, yet again, disagree. I believe my RX drives better than a X5. It does not have a faster salom speed but I do not drive salom's. The RX is supremely more capable on an interstate, so to me it drives better.

    Active safety is more than a function of turning tighter at a higher speed. All the fuss about vehicle slip control and the like are proof. The RX330 is in fact in the top 10 of the insurance industries tests for crash safe vehicles. The X series is not.

    I reviewed these and other pro's and con's at (too much) length before I chose to put my cash toward the RX330.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    "The RX330 has 31.9 cubic feet of luggage space which is a multiple (x2) of the cubic feet of luggage space of an X5 (16.5). That is a huge difference for a family of four. Hardly the 'same interior space' as you state."

    Toyota measures to the roof.. BMW measures to the tops of the rear seatbacks...

    If you have ever looked inside the two cars, it is pretty obvious that the RX300 is not "twice" as big as the X5.

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