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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    George Foreman fryer with GreaseBlock technology

    The 2013 Accord may have all of those extra goodies, but I'm still betting that after I got behind the wheel, I'd still claim my 2002 Honda S2000 was the best car Honda ever built under the Honda label. Manual seats, no tilt, telescoping steering wheel, a standard two speaker stereo with about 12 watts. But when you pushed the start button and started driving it, none of that other stuff mattered.

    Don't fall into the trap that thinking do-dads are what makes a car great. 278 horsepower to the front wheels and a weight balance that is still at least 60%+ nose heavy isn't going to get me all worked up over the new Accord, even if that standard George Foreman fryer has a self cleaning function.

    In fairness, the new Accord may be the best FWD mid size, mid-priced family sedan on the market. And congratulations to Honda for bringing upscale technology and safety to the mass market. But what I think needs to trickle up to Acura is a new attitude. I said it 5 years ago, and it's more true today. Acura could use Honda engineering technology to build a couple of RWD 3 and 5 series competitors with class leading driving dynamics.

    Sorry, I'm just grumpy because I'm about to dish out $75k for a new Boxster S or pre-owned 911 partly because Acura is too friggin boring to put out a $50k S3000 a decade after Honda showed they could kick [non-permissible content removed] with a $32k S2000. I've been hoping for some trickle up for a long time. Guess it's time to face the fact that it's probably not going to happen for my little niche.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,141
    edited November 2012
    Grumpy - you are obviously not Hondas target audience with the Fwd accord. I mean 75k for a boxer, or used 911, wow, last month you talked about the Tesla you had on order- maybe you should just wait for the NSX - it's an Acura.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,631
    I'd still claim my 2002 Honda S2000 was the best car Honda ever built under the Honda label.

    Really, I have to vote the NSX as the best Honda car ever built under the Honda label...

    I'm just grumpy because I'm about to dish out $75k for a new Boxster S or pre-owned 911 partly because

    What happened to the Tesla? Also how does someone cross shop a Boxster S, 911 and Tesla?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,456
    Also how does someone cross shop a Boxster S, 911 and Tesla?

    Because they can... ;)

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    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Mark- Lines are around the corner at my local Honda Dealer, TL owners are trading in their TL AWD TECH/BASE for the 2013 Honda Accord V6/I4-you swayed US over with your write up- YEAH RIGHT.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    Really, I have to vote the NSX as the best Honda car ever built under the Honda label..

    I suspect your vote is being cast from a distance that is pretty far away from the driver's seat of that car. I considered a pristine pre-owned 1996 NSX at the time I bought my new 2002 S2000 The $32k 240 horsepower S2000 equalled or exceeded the performance of the 270 hp NSX. Comparable acceleration, handling edge to the lighter, tighter S2000. The NSX had more prestige, but not more sports car guts or build quality. Not to mention that the NSX with 30k miles was $49k used and had been $85k+ new. Granted, the second generation NSX upped the performance slightly with the 290hp 3.2 liter engine, but the price of the NSX was never a remotely good sports car bang for the buck. On the other hand, the S2000 kicked the butt of everything within 50% of its price: base Boxster, Z3/4, SLK, 370Z. etc. Perhaps not in high torque, raw muscle car acceleration, or luxury do-dads, but in extraordinary engineering and visceral sports car performance and handling. I'll repeat that I think it was the best car to ever wear a Honda/Acura label.

    What happened to the Tesla? Also how does someone cross shop a Boxster S, 911 and Tesla?

    I like the "because I can" response, but then again, why not?? Same general price and with the Model S Performance Edition, it scoots 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Plus, I like the green concept, even if I don't think human farting was responsible for Manhatten being under a mile of ice 16,000 years ago. But alas, after a test drive two weeks ago, I've just about crossed the Tesla off my list. The interior layout and material quality was too much like a high tech golf cart then a high tech luxury performance sedan. I'm going to get back over for another drive with my wife before I decide whether or not to ask for our deposit back, but as of right now, I told the electrician to hold off extending the 220 volt service in my garage (the damn plug is in the rear of the car).
  • I was not and am not trying to sway anyone to do or buy anything, from Honda, Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Volvo or VW.

    On the other hand, I AM (but don't tell anyone) shilling for George Foreman's appliances.

    :surprise:
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    I'm probably not Honda's target market for a FWD Accord now, but it wasn't that long ago that I might have been. After all, I still drive a 2004 FWD TL 6-speed as my everyday car. My "trickle up" comments were more to question why Acura hasn't set itself more apart from Honda. Lexus has V8's and RWD, Infiniti is pretty far removed from the Nissan line-up. But Acura, much as I like the parent company, hasn't really done much that isn't more than a moderate uptick from Honda - other than putting SH-AWD in this and that.

    As for the new NSX, as my baseball manager/coach tells me, I'm not getting any younger. I'm having a tough time waiting for the new Cayman to be unveiled at the LA auto show in 4 weeks. By the time Seinfeld and all of the other celebrities get the first batch of NSX's, I may be ready for one of those motorized chairs they advertise on late night TV. Besides, haven't seen the details, but I have this stinking feeling that Acura is only going to offer some kind of computer aided automatic transmission on the NSX. That - and about $300,000 - are what keeps me from considering the new Ferraris. As long as I'm not in a wheelchair, I want to use my left foot to depress a real clutch pedal. Kind of hard to do that on a Tesla, given that it's only one gear. But everything else, I'll shift my own thank you.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,631
    The S2000 and NSX are not in the same league. While the S2000 handles well for the price of admission, not once in all of the years did I read any auto enthusiast magazine compare the S2000 and NSX together. As you pointed out the S2000 was fighting with the likes of Z3/Z4, Boxster, Z350/370 crowd. While the NSX was battling with Ferrari, Lambo's and such. Since the NSX was Honda's flagship sports car, I'm not too sure that the S2000 could be Honda's best built car. Now for you maybe, but that statement would be hard pressed to hold itself in a larger automotive community.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,631
    I'm not getting any younger. I'm having a tough time waiting for the new Cayman to be unveiled at the LA auto show in 4 weeks.

    If my travel plans stay how they are, I should be in LA for the auto show and plan on being there on Dec 1st.

    The next generation NSX doesn't do anything for me, I like the last generation, simple and straight forward...
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I like the "because I can" response, but then again, why not?? Same general price and with the Model S Performance Edition, it scoots 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Plus, I like the green concept, even if I don't think human farting was responsible for Manhatten being under a mile of ice 16,000 years ago. But alas, after a test drive two weeks ago, I've just about crossed the Tesla off my list.

    The problem is that the car is a half-baked attempt at an electric vehicle. They took a ready-made car, the Lotus Elise (which is a horrendously expensive platform to use) and then added a thousand pounds of weight to it in batteries.

    The Leaf, on the other hand, is a purpose-built EV and while it needs refinement and work, is actually pretty good for a first serious attempt at a EV by a major auto maker. Yes, I know other cars existed in the past, but this one you can actually *buy* and not lease, and it's not designed with government regulations and making some lawyers happy. It's designed to actually be a proper vehicle in the marketplace.

    They did make the S2000 until 2009, so you might actually get a very lightly used S2000.

    As for new, the Scion FR-S coupe is actually quite compelling. It's inexpensive, has a good engine and drivetrain layout, and just begs for a supercharger to be added. (my local dealer had brochures for local TRD suppliers/shops in the showroom and was saying that it would be 6 months, tops, before they were able to do it in-house).

    Independent shops are reporting yields in the 280-320HP range, which would turn it into a European car crusher, much like the NSX was.

    Yes, it's not Honda. But it's not a bad second choice if you need fas, fun, and new. (though I'd still take a S2000 in a heartbeat)
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,439
    It sounds like the factory will probably take care of the turbo for you within a year or so.

    one of this months car magazines had a piece on the turbo version of that engine, and certainly speculated that this car would get it (along with the WRX, etc.).

    I think it already has a nice balance of power, cost, complexity (or lack of!) as it is, and is more than fast enough. But, I am sure that they will make a boatload of money selling a turbo model for what, another 3K or so?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    not once in all of the years did I read any auto enthusiast magazine compare the S2000 and NSX together

    But I did that comparison. With my own butt in the drivers seat and had my own checkbook out.. 1996 NSX 30k miles vs. new 2002 S2000. They were a hell of a lot closer than you might be fooled into thinking from simply reading Road and Track and not doing the comparison yourself.

    Both the NSX and S2000 were hand built, side by side at the same Japanese factory. Both had fit and finish were FAR superior to anything made by Honda or Acura in the US. Both were engineered by the same team of Honda's Formula One racing team engineers. The NSX produced 90 hp/liter without turbos. Great for it's time in 1990. They improved it to 91 hp / liter a little later. The S2000 produced 120 hp / liter in 2000. You need a $140k 911 GT3 RS to approach that output today, 12 years later. The BMW M3, 104 hp /liter. Halfway between the NSX and S2000.

    The bottom line is that the 1996 NSX I almost bought had a price tag of $85,000 new, $15,000 more than the 1996 911 C2. But by 2002, even a new NSX was no where near the same performance league as a Ferrari 360 or (cheaper) 911S. Yet, at under $35k, for the entire 10 year run of the S2000, nothing within $10-20k of its price could match its engineering, build quality or overall performance. I'm not saying that the NSX wasn't a very good car during its early years. But way before the end of its run, it had become a underpowered, overpriced, stale car. And sold a few dozen the last couple of years before Acura finally and mercifully pulled the plug. The S2000 never suffered that level of competitive deterioration or indignation. It came in a winner, went out a winner vis a vis its competition.

    Some people - perhaps you - don' want to give the S2000 credit because it didn't cost $50k+ or carry the same exclusiveness/prestige. I look at it differently. Acura had a marginally competitive car in the $85k price range. It's biggest advantage when it was introduced was that it didn't break. Porsche fixed their reliability issues. Acura sat on its hands relative to keeping the NSX performance competitive. Honda had a sub $35k car that was the class leader, by a big margin, for a decade straight. That gets my vote. You can place yours on the NSX.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,439
    was 2002 the first year? My BIL got one when they first came out (He had the first one in central NY, and I imagine one of the earliest ones int eh country) and he still has it. Not sure of the miles, but I doubt he broke 35K on it. Babied toy, spends winters in the garage, probably has not seen rain in years. I wish my life was that good!

    my other BIL and I are both waiting for him to get stupid and sell it so we can fight over it (and I know now he can't afford it!). He sometimes gets antsy to buy a Porsche (older Turbo 9xx of some vintage) or a cobra kit car. But so far, he has not pulled the trigger, and if he does, the S2000 has to go.

    I drove it when new. Fun car.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,669
    Not to dis your reminiscing of the days-gone-by vis-a-vis the S2000, because I actually considered one until the kids started coming, but didn't the Mazda RX8 win most/all comparisons?

    RX8 was Japanese built as well. I didn't delve into the finer details regarding their build quality.

    The RX8 had other problems regarding ownership (muscle car mileage with econo-car torque)

    I just didn't see the S2000 as "that" fantastic; maybe I should have tracked one for the day :shades:
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    Stickguy - S2000 came out in late 1999 as a MY 2000. The years to own were 2002 and 2003, IMO. For 2002 they added glass (vs. plastic) rear window, stronger clutch / transmission, and a few other upgrades. But in 2004 they replaced the 9,000 RPM 2.0 liter engine with a 8,000 rpm redline 2.2 liter engine. Same horsepower, slightly more low end torque, but it lost a little of the high rpm edge that made it a fan favorite. Schumacher once commented that it's the closest thing under $100,000 to a Ferrari in spirit.

    Ivan - The RX8 never did anything for me. A couple of rungs down the ladder in performance, funky 4 door with mini back seat. It certainly didn't have any success on the track like the S2000 enjoyed. About the only thing it had going for it was the novelty of a high RPM rotary engine. But given the lower performance and horrific gas mileage, it didn't get beyond the novelty stage.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,141
    2004 tL 6 speed - so in car years you do drive a 2007 accord 6pd - now I understand- so maybe you are an accord target. . Most of us here also understand that Acura has not done its part to own 2 spots on the car list to the right(sorry billy), some of us have voiced this many times over- but hosts seem to be clinging to the idea that the tL and tsx should still be listed -is the ilx next? in actuality caddy a domestic car maker has better offerings.

    Love the talk of left foot action,just be careful lots of dsg and cvt lovers here- they will rant all day long about how much Better they are- texting also better with this option. The $75k talk, the tesla talk-great stuff but prob wrong venue- until the new 2015 3 comes out then that price could be a true comparison. Hearing leather will be standard.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    2004 tL 6 speed - so in car years you do drive a 2007 accord 6pd.

    Not quite. The 2004 TL 6-speed also came with Brembo brakes, a noticeably firmer sport suspension and summer performance tires compared to the automatic (since switched to high performance all season). So even though the Accord and some other FWD cars now have comparable horsepower, I would still put my 2004 TL as one of the best handling and braking FWD mid size sedans I've driven. Unfortunately, with the latest generation, the FWD TL has morphed into more of an Accord Plus, and the AWD one is nearly a quarter ton heavier and does not have a separate sport suspension set up even on the 6-speed manual version.

    I do agree a bit with your underlying point, though. Acura has not really acted like they want to be a distinct luxury/sport division from the mothership Honda. Certainly not the way Lexus has gone well above Toyota in product design and pricing with the LS and GS models. Hell, even Hyundai has a V8 RWD sedan that is priced higher then the droopy flagship RL, and they DIDN'T need a luxury division label to give them the balls to try. Infiniti has its own set of problems, but at least when they started with the Q45, they had the ambition of going above Nissan in a relatively big way.

    The good news for Acura is that I think Honda is a stronger starting point then Toyota and way above Nissan. But I'd like to see them show more commitment to designing and building cars that seriously compete with Audi's A6 and above and BMW's 5 series and above in the sport luxury segment. The ILX? Really? We've already had the Integra, RSX, TSX and the XXX. Do we really need another model that begs the question "where does this fit in between the Accord, Civic and TL?" They appear to be stuck in perennial underachievement.

    Note to Acura: Please, Acura, give me something with RWD and a 50/50 weight balance to seriously consider over a 535i or 550i 6-speed and S6. Go ahead and borrow some Hyundai balls to price it at $50-60k+ If you do it right, I'll buy one, I promise.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,257
    Excellent post! Very nicely put. :D
  • Glad you came back the way you did in your response, only question is, who buy these car anymore in the mass markets- East Coast?
    "Hell, even Hyundai has a V8 RWD sedan"
    I for one might trade up next summer for a 550 XI (operative word-might).
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,141
    Great rebut, billy loved it, but Quite similar. I might have been off a year with accord- the 08 newer body coupe came with 268hp 6- a very similar if not the same gearbox- throw on a pair of after market brembos and tire rack to performance tires -btw you get 18s on the accord- and you have a TL coupe- while the tL might be a great fwd turner it's still an accord in soul- a lot of soul. Which is not a bad thing- so again maybe you should save a buck or 30k and reconsider the accord.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    Tuner Accord coupe instead of a Boxster S? I don't think that's for me. I "tune" $50 million real estate projects for my day job, serve on a couple of boards where I "tune" companies for shareholders, and even "tuned" a falling down 1930's house (with a bulldozer) into a new FLW prairie style house for my wife and kids. But I've still got my $125 gas leaf blower pulled apart trying to figure out why it won't start. I wouldn't have the slightest idea of how you might tune FWD into RWD and a 60/40 weight balance into a 50/50. I don't think you'd want to ride in a car I've tried re-fitting with Brembo brakes.

    On the other hand, if I was going to take up a second career in mechanical engineering, I might start by figuring out how to replace a BMW steptronic with a 6-speed manual so Billy can have a manual transmssion 550ix's in his garage in a couple of years.

    Not me....but I do like your creative thinking.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,141
    I noticed the use of "" around a word tune, a lot. - don't get it - I said turner- ie left"turn" - "tuning" a car with new breaks and tires, that's not a tune - it's a upgrade.

    Glad your making a "tune" on realestate - watch out for those arms, ballon payments and contingencies. The comment was to say you were not an accord guy- well in a way you do own an accord, or at least a similar variation -
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    edited November 2012
    I started out with an 83 RX7 GS then a GXU RX 7 .I love those cars and they stopped making them.
    So I got into Integras , What a deal and fun ride.My last one was an RSX Type S it was a rocket ( can you say rice on here?)
    Then Acura decided that the TSX would be the entry modle (screwed )again.
    So, I had to go with BMW ,warranty was the seller,but the price was almost divorce city.
    My problem is I live in the East and Vail in the winters and swapping over to steel wheels and studded ties drove me nuts.I bought a VW Golf as I was impressed with the German quality,except for Mercedes. I needed a natural aspirated engine for the Rockies.
    Back to the 3 series do you think by laying out 41k that had the options that should of been standard I got stiffed.
    Why is it driving home after every car sale I feel like I just got screwed again.
    While my wife says that her IS was a bargain. :confuse:
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited November 2012
    I think it's because cars are too similar. Once upon a time, they were all designed by people who didn't know what they were doing. In fact, it wasn't until about WWII that it was decided to put things like gas pedals and so on in the configuration that they are now in, or to decide which direction doors would open up.

    So occasionally you got a real gem in the middle of the crap. Because people were trying everything and anything to be different and maybe make a breakthrough.

    Today, cars are all jellybeans and are all designed by people that all went to the same half dozen design schools. You feel like you had to compromise because every car *is* a compromise by the time it gets through a dozen layers of management and meetings.

    Your next car should be a classic. Something that is different, simple, and about the driving. Not about the options. Something that has soul and won't depreciate out from under you.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well said.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,456
    I needed a natural aspirated engine for the Rockies.


    I thought it was the other way around? That you wanted forced induction at altitude? :confuse:

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  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    What is going on with the yawn feast over at Infiniti? Everyone else seems to be moving forward with new products that are bringing new customers into their brand, even Acura, but Infiniti just seems to be sitting there with their arms cross. Forget the actual products, but where is the actual news of new entry level models coming, fuel efficient/hybrid models, within the next 6-10 months?
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,141
    I know this was to tweak me- but ill play the game. New customers -'like they are doing with the new Jx? They have a hybrid-
    Google Infiniti news smarty- pretty easy - enjoy the day

    http://wot.motortrend.com/spied-next-gen-infiniti-g-sedan-testing-near-the-nurbu- rgring-272761.html/0/
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,631
    I thought it was the other way around? That you wanted forced induction at altitude?

    Thanks you, I was lost on that one myself, I figured the turbo 4 would be the one to get, however, the GTI is the only golf to have non diesel to have a turbo....
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