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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    "If you put an Audi A4 2.0T SLine together, it can easily zip right past $50K -- and we all know how easily that can be done with a 4-cylinder BMW 3 series, too. "

    Mark, lately I have been leaning more towards an Audi then a BMW, simply because of price, I have built on Audi's a very nice (to me) A4, Premium Plus, 6 spd manual, Sport package, B&O sound system, read thoaix (thoracic) air bags, and MMI for $45K, if push comes to shove I could do without the MMI and have the price $42K. This to me is a bargain in this segment, now your price of 50K is for a top of line A4, which only comes with the 8 spd Tiptronic which is a great transmission. I think AUdi has a edge over BMW when it comes price, I can't build a 328i for 42K and get the options I get on the Audi or for 45K either. BMW will have to do something in regards to it's price, granted, the "badge" people will only follow for so long before the price is too high an start looking else where.

    Graphic has talked about issues with his S4, which has me some what cautious about pulling the trigger on a A5 (I don't need a sedan.)
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    Ivan the BMW finished dead last against other sport sedan, not a Mazda 6. I would love a car mag to do a comparison between 32x and a top level mazda 6... I would assume the BMW would win...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    I've got to find out why I'm not getting invitations to the Infiniti events!!

    Free food is right up my alley...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,317
    You guys make some really good points. Fed, don't know why, but I thought you lived near me. Thanks for the input.

    Mark....I really couldn't agree any more with your assessment.

    FN....don't let me scare you away from Audi. I really like the car. It's been a long, long time since I've had to go to the dealership as much as I have with the Audi, however. That said, they do their best (at least the one furthest from me does their best) to ease any inconvenience I have to endure.

    And, as all of you state....the new BMWs are good cars. They just aren't good BMWs. We'll see how this plays out for them. Personally, no way, no how I'd pay $40K plus for a 320i. Going to the other spectrum, no way, no how, I'd pay high $50s for a 335ix.

    So, I guess their sweet spot is the 328ix. But, even there, you're knocking on the $50K door, optioned up.

    There are a lot of cars that will be well within the performance ball park of those BMWs for a lot less money.

    That's where the Acuras and Infinitis start to make more sense.

    Even the new MB CLA or the Caddy ATS look better than a 320i.

    Maybe the new 4 series would lure me in. Then again, I'm sure that's going to be priced higher than the 3.

    Maybe BMW isn't looking for that repeat buyer. Maybe they just want the new buyer in the hopes that as they get older they'll have no issues keeping them in the brand's family. So many of us former owners making a change for something else, though.

    Wonder, what exactly, they're trying to do?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,317
    kyfdx....you have to incessantly stop by their showrooms to get these invites to the new car rollouts. Of course, as Mark states, you also have to be willing to get a barrage of "special offers" once you attend one of those.

    They must know I'm not a fan of Infiniti, because I didn't get an invite, either. That said, I'm certain I'm in their database, given as many times as I've been in their showroom trying to find something I like.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    edited August 2013
    Wonder, what exactly, they're trying to do?

    It's called money, market share, cashing out, responding to popular demand. How many times you heard people complaining that 3-series (or A4, or C-class) was too small inside, rode too harsh, had too heavy steering. For majority of people bigger car is a better car, one they can justify spending more money (especially in sedan category), also good road feedback is interpreted as faults in design. So the logic seems like this: BMW knows they (still) have a REPUTATION of sporty car with great image and as you know being sporty and young is everything in media world. However, the true sport is unpallatable for people who have no concept of why car actually moves forward and back. They know there is an engine, because that's the part making noise, but other parts of vehicle, like transmission, suspension, drive shafts, etc. are more like Klingon or Suahilli to them. So BMW knows it is pointless to convince Joe the Doctor, or especially his entitled wife, son, or daughter (it could also be Jane the Lawyer, to make it gender equal) that sporty cars need to be smaller, driver a bit harder and use more fuel. It's easier to change the car and still market it, like it were once removed from Formula 1 or Le Mans. "Everybody" wins - Joe/Jane (and their family) get a "sporty" car, BMW gets a fat check.

    The people who actually gave that image and advocated it to Jane/Joe don't really matter, they are minority and in BMWs view have nowhere to go, anyway. Of course, Lexus, Infiniti, or Acura beg to differ, but nobody listened so far. However, more and more people seem to be tuning in and who can blame them. If you can get car that's not that different for (sometimes much) less and you even get extra ponies, or better reliability, or "stuff" inside, why hold onto something that's no longer so special.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,551
    'They know there is an engine, because that's the part making noise...'
    LOL - best statement I have read here is a while...
    - Ray
    Soon to be divested of my BMW...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,772
    As the prices of these "new" ELLPS keeps going up & their driving experiences (according to us car nuts) keeps diminishing, some of our favorite vehicles to discuss here will be coming off of their short term, blow out leases at prices in the mid $20K to low $30K. As we all say, a lot of these cars are "worn" and not driven will still be under factory warranty as well as having some sort of CPO coverage. Imagine the possibilities for the price of a fully loaded Camcord you could have a 326 hp G37X, a 335d with 425 lb/ft of torque, a C300 Sport 4Matic with an electronically controlled adaptive suspension, a TL SH-AWD with its torque vectoring rear differential... All with what? 20 - 25K miles.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,674
    heh...yes the 3 would probably win against the Mazda 6.

    My comment wasn't specifically in regards to the Mazda 6 but in reference to "but no other car rides/drives/handles like a BMW...still".

    I haven't driven anything recently; last 3 series was a 335i coupe 3-4 years ago...and the previous gen Mazda 6 when it first came out. I thought that Mazda 6 lost in handling when compared against a VW CC...so the 3 was definitely the winner back then.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I really want to see what a FWD entry German car will drive like.....

    Go drive an Audi A3. I seriously doubt the others can do a FWD performance entry level luxury car as well. If you hate sport backs/hatches/wagons, wait one more year for the new A3/S3 sedans to come out that will blow away the competition. Of course, they are going to be slightly smaller than your C250/3-series offerings, but still bigger than a 1-series. They say the CLA is bigger than C series; strange... hope it's not heavier.

    I've looked very closely and detailedly at all the available sport sedans in the 35K to 50K range (including new Accord and 6 for good measure), and I can tell you that you get a lot of value and bang for your buck at Audi. There is simply a lot of cost cutting I saw in the '13 G37 and '14 ATS, even more than what you see in a '09 335i.

    To show you how far down BMW has sunk, the BMW of San Diego dealer either had zero or one single 335i models in stock, and I don't think it's because they were selling like hot cakes. He said it would take him 20 minutes to "go get" and show me the only one he had, and I was like no thanks. They had plenty of 320 and 328's. I built a 335i with quite a lot of options on the website for about $45K, not sure why people would get 328 or 320 if that was accurate, guess that proves they are badge buyers.

    The S4 is the most expensive car I looked at, but it was also the best, and it had the least amount of noticeable cost cutting/bean counter penny pinching moves. I'd say Acura TL comes in 2nd in that regard close with BMW. Next Lexus, then Infinity, and worst is ATS. Admittedly, the G37 is an old design, and it shows (all of the competition's interiors have exceeded it handily; not just Audi's). I didn't even look at the Q50 because when I asked the salesman what was new, he listed a whole lot of NANNY Driver automation features, a slew of gadgets that had nothing to do with improving the car's fun driving experience, and offered nothing else (okay, 2 more HP; big whoopee). Not one new feature interested me whatsoever, as I can drive just fine without the driver assistance gimmicks. Amazingly, he said all the new gizmo's didn't raise the price; which he later admitted was probably about $5K off from being accurate.

    Want examples of cost cutting shames?

    1) In the ATS and G37 the moon roof cover felt like a piece of cardboard with extremely poor fit and finish. It slides loosely all around, left and right, up and down as you move it from open to closed.

    2) I believe both (100% on G37) forget to put any door sill trim piece on the rear doors. Infinity has an upgrade option where you can get a lit up Infinity nameplate on your aluminum door sill at the front, but even with that extra cost option, you just get a black plastic sill plate on the rear.

    3) Check out the trunk lining and finishing.

    4) Brake calipers are at front instead of the more weight balanced rear of the rotor (TL, G37 included)

    5) Why can Audi (and even low cost VW) get rid of the ugly roof rail seams/joints black plastic, but BMW, MB, Acura, and Infinity can't? BMW at least paints/colors the trim plastic to match the body, the others don't even bother. I guess this is why everyone has 2 or 3 versions of black and it's so popular a color?

    6) If you haven't developed a dual clutch auto-manual transmission, you are behind the times power-train wise. All the other auto transmissions are just gimmicky with shift paddles, S-modes, and all that non-sense. If it isn't a direct shift gearbox that uses a clutch, then don't pretend to be; it's like fake hood scoops or something. Once you go DSG, it's tough to live with anything else. Next best is Honda's new CVT which doesn't feel like a CVT; even better than TL's 6-speed. Even 8 gears doesn't change the fact a slushbox is still a slush-box :sick:

    The CLA has the most promise in AWD AMG tuning, but I'm sure it'll cost a fortune based on C63 prices.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    edited August 2013
    Is the 320i FWD? I ask because I don't know. If it's RWD, then I'd say it's got an advantage over the Mazda 6. Probably a weight advantage since it's smaller too. That being said, if I could get a brand new 335i for $45K that would be the way to go. 328i should be $35K well equipped.

    I actually recently test drove the latest versions of the TL-SH-AWD Tech, Lexus IS 350 (RWD), S4, ATS (2.0 and 3.6), G37S Sedan, Mazda 6, Accord sport, and used '09 335i since BMW doesn't carry them in stock new apparently.

    If I was rating them on just driving fun, excitement, and pleasure (blocking out everything else, ranking is as follows:

    1) Audi S4
    2) 335i (6-speed auto; impressive for used car '09 37K miles)
    3) Virtual Tie with TL-SH-AWD and G37S, I'd have to test drive both back to back again to pick, but with a gun to my head slight nod to G37S.
    5) Well behind the top 4, but just barely ahead of #6 and #7 on this list, IS 350 F-Sport RWD and non-F sport (didn't make much difference).
    6) Accord sport CVT
    7) Mazda 6 touring (19" wheels, 6-speed auto).
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,977
    320i is RWD. Basically a detuned, decontented 328i "loss leader"

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    Graphic's S4 issues are with a 2013 model, I'm betting and guessing that Audi will have worked out all the kinks and quirks by the 2014 model since it's the 4th year of a model run and the 5th year for the A4 platform it's based on.

    In fact, I'm betting a lot, as I just made an offer on one at an Audi dealer, and they accepted it! 50K for a custom ordered just the way I want it, nothing I don't, lightly optioned S4 MSRP comes out to $54,095 (I should have it in 3 months). A tremendously great bargain and I'm actually surprised they said yes so quickly to the deal. Every S4 you find at the dealer is optioned up to the gills from $55K to $61K MSRP which makes them very expensive (go with less options, more car). Never understood features or gadgets causing someone to get an ultra optioned up A4 over a less optioned up S4 at similar prices.

    If all you want is features and gadgets, why not just get a Korean car? MMI is nearly $4K after taxes, why not just mount a laptop or IPAD in the car for 1/4 the cost? The options are definitely where they are making their money and profit. I want more car value for my money, not more bells and whistles. My $50K + is going for the S4, not an A4.

    But I agree, Audi's are a bargain at every price point from what I've seen of the competition and their prices.

    Options I got had everything to do with either the looks or the drive of the car:

    S4 Base = $48,000 + $895 Destination

    1) Misano Red Pearl Paint $500
    2) S-Tronic Dual Clutch Auto-Manual $1500
    3) Sport Rear Differential $1,100
    4) Bang & Olufsen (since I'm kind of an Audiophile, and it was a bargain stand-alone upgrade) $850
    5) Full Complete Fine Nappa Leather Interior Seats, trim, door armrests, and contrasting stitching all around, in Magma Red inserts (this was the only and last option I wasn't sure on and had a big debate on whether it was worth the price increase; I believe it is after investigation in person, and I'm not a huge leather fan, but I like the contrasting color options and fine detail improvements, in addition to the leather material being better quality with this package). $1,250

    I admit this is way below TMV and a tremendous amount of car for the money if you ask me.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I think someone would get a TL over the admittedly awesome new Accord for the following reasons:

    1) TL has a nicer quieter more luxurious interior.
    2) TL TECH has a sound system 100X better than Accord's
    3) TL can be had with SH-AWD which makes it a track-able car; whereas I doubt I'll ever see someone take out even a 280 HP V6 Accord with FWD. The 4 cylinder Accord Sport tops the Mazda 6 by 4 HP even; still, I seriously doubt I'll see someone track one.

    Really the differences amount to the sophistication of the drive train, FWD vs. RWD or AWD, the suspension tuning and refinement is huge (although the ATS lacks that), the bigger better brakes, the extra HP (although BMW likes to break that rule), and less de-contenting/cost cutting measures you can see.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    "kyfdx....you have to incessantly stop by their showrooms to get these invites to the new car rollouts. Of course, as Mark states, you also have to be willing to get a barrage of "special offers" once you attend one of those. "

    Uh... I bought a car from them..... shouldn't that be enough?

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    "To show you how far down BMW has sunk, the BMW of San Diego dealer either had zero or one single 335i models in stock, and I don't think it's because they were selling like hot cakes. He said it would take him 20 minutes to "go get" and show me the only one he had, and I was like no thanks. They had plenty of 320 and 328's. I built a 335i with quite a lot of options on the website for about $45K, not sure why people would get 328 or 320 if that was accurate, guess that proves they are badge buyers. "

    I read this, this AM, and after finishing work, I drove over to SD BMW I happen to be in Kearny Mesa today, they have 3 335i Convertibles new , and 3 335i sedans all MSRP 53K, converts cough... 63K.... In regards to your building 335i online for 45K with quite a lot of options, what options, the cars base MSRP with Delivery is $44K add sport package and you are at 46K...

    I found it interesting that BMW mecca (SoCal) they don't have more 335i's, SD BMW has about 90 328i's, ranging from 35K all the way up to 51K, and many 320is in the 35K range. Lots of X1's and X5's on the lot, it seems that in San Diego, 328i's, X1's, and X5's sell pretty well.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    "Graphic's S4 issues are with a 2013 model, I'm betting and guessing that Audi will have worked out all the kinks and quirks by the 2014 model since it's the 4th year of a model run and the 5th year for the A4 platform it's based on. "

    I'm looking at used A5's, however, I have eyed a couple used S5's. San Diego Audi has no S5's, which I was surprised. For this trip I have a 2014 328i as a rental, I'm surprised it has premium and sport package. The ride is typical German, firm yet controlled, steering is too light for me, but over all, not bad.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,772
    Congrats on ordering your car the way you want it & not just picking something for $50K off the lot! I know you track your A3, so I'm sure you'll have an absolute blast in your S4

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,317
    edited August 2013
    Andres...congrats. The S4 is a very nice car.

    Yours is almost equipped the same as mine. I didn't go for the metalic paint (mine is Ibis White). I didn't opt for the "fancier" leather, either.

    Everything else is the same, however.

    Yours has to be coming in just a bit north of $55K MSRP, right? I don't remember exact numbers, but being an Audi supplier, we were able to buy the car for 6% off MSRP. Audi doesn't seem to rebate or subsidize leases like BMW does.

    Problems aside, you're going to have fun with it. BTW, supposedly mine is done tomorrow, after Audi having it a week. It's supposed to be totally cured of all its ills. We'll see.

    FN....as scarce as S4s are, S5s are even scarcer. And, I can't for the life of me see why there is such a price difference between the two. Yes, the S5 is a coupe, with slightly different body work from the S4. But, the chasis and drivetrain are the same. The interior is the same. The features/options are the same. Yet, I haven't seen one S5 (of the few new ones I've seen) with an MSRP under $60K.

    Funny thing about the 335i. You'd be hard pressed to find much of a selection of them, anywhere you look. I don't know why either. Yes, it can be optioned up to $60K (which puts it on par, options-wise, to a $55K S4). A stripper 335i, if you could find one, might be available for $45K. But, good luck finding one of those.

    To me, just the mere fact that the 335i has a much sweeter 6 cyl than the 4 cyl in the F30s might be worth the price delta. Still, the price vs performance equation seems to be tilting precipitously towards the price end of the scale. That's not a good thing.

    ray....any particular reason why you're dumping your BMW? Where are you focusing your attention for its replacement?
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,551
    'ray....any particular reason why you're dumping your BMW? Where are you focusing your attention for its replacement? '

    Several reasons, but many have been posted by others here.
    BMW seems to be moving toward greater & greater volume -
    at the expense of the enthusiast drivers, that helped build
    their reputation.
    I bought a 2013 VW GTI - DSG.
    [ I know... ]
    And I am very happy with it, so far, at just past 1,000 miles.
    - Ray
    Enjoyed that straight 6 - a lot....
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,674
    Just this week I aided a co-worker in her automobile search. We compared a new Accord and a used 2012 TL. The 2012 TL (non-SHAWD) was just under $27K and around 20k miles.

    In addition to the items you listed it also has the better warranty and is a luxury brand (in her eyes). The TL does seem like a bargain if you don't mind the styling (looks 'ok' to me).

    Going -used- throws a bunch of variables into the mix and it is not really apples to apples.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093
    edited August 2013
    You wrote: "we all know that BMW wouldn't make a no frills sport sedan. . . "

    Perhaps you should amend that by adding . . .that they would export to the US (and probably some other regions as well.) Although my last visit to Germany was in 2006, I have been there about 25 times and several times I have rented (from Avis or Hertz, etc) cars for part of my time in Europe -- primarily so that I can drive on the Autobahn.

    Audi, BMW and Mercedes alike make and sell many "no frills" vehicles and versions of the cars we get here in the US that are way way down scale in features, functions, content and performance.

    Many European taxis are base-r than basic German cars -- no carpet, plastic seats, no "glintzy" trim bits puny, puny powerplants -- and completely devoid of any kind of bling or high-end pretense.

    It seems to me that there is room for these "high end" [German] manufacturers to bring all kinds of higher end and lower end products to the US. In fact it is probably quite easy to bring out less expensive versions of our market (i.e., premium) Audis, BMWs and Mercedes across the board (within reason, of course).

    Moreover, it seems folks will, given the choice and a way to justify the cost, always take the Acura over the Honda, the Audi over the VW, the Lexus over the Toyota and the Infiniti over the Nissan (to name a few.)

    And, unless the manufacturer is so stupid as to not differentiate between the Lexus and the Toyota, there will be a very noticeable difference between the pedestrian and the sublime versions.

    I think gone are the days where the emperor truly had no clothes -- today there is a wide margin between the Chevy Impala and the Cadillac XTS -- and the price reflects the difference (and perhaps OVER reflects it, to be fair and balanced.)

    The VW Quantum and the Audi 4000 (remember when?) were much more like fraternal twins then than any more recent models.

    You may believe (and I typically agree) that the Infiniti isn't worth the uptick in price over a "similar" Nissan, but the Infiniti (or whatever you're on about) is different, more -- and most pros and amateurs alike would say "better."

    There is an apropos phrase that mostly fits here: "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. . . ."

    Now of course I could be wrong (but not uncertain) -- but if I am wrong, then by this time next year we'll ALL be buying and driving KIA Cadenza's -- 'cause lordy lordy there ain't nuttin' that even comes close to this puppy at any price.

    I have been, more than once, unable to afford the "better car" (I'm driving a freakin' Acura TL for pity's sake -- after years of only having Audis -- I am living proof!) -- but I never stopped thinking the car I had to pass on (due to my financial circumstances) wasn't worth its asking price.

    I'm already counting down the days until I will return to my favorite German car dealership (and, to be fair, I will also check out what Acura and Infiniti are offering up at the moment of truth). We all rationalize -- or at least most of us do; but it is unlikely that a fine high-zoot German sedan will seem similar to even the best Mazda 6. We tell ourselves that the Mazda is just as good (or close enough) as the German (or whatever premium car is your first love) offering to rationalize our choices.

    I could live with an Acura TL -- if I have to -- for years, they are very good cars and good values (and they seem durable as all get out). But, if I am in a position to return to the REAL Premium brands (and you know who they are), I'll do so in a New York Minute.

    Drive it like you live.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,317
    Mark....I should fall into your camp, but I don't. I DO own an Audi, and I DON'T believe its price justifies the premium over a more "pedestrian" (as you feel) Acura or Infiniti.

    Is the Audi a nice car? Absolutely. I've rented plenty of VWs when I travel. I can see there are more premium bits in the Audi than there are in the VW. I also see the things that are the same.

    Personally, I'll never again take for granted what the Japanese Premium Brands excel in....that is reliability, longevity, brick like build quality. Those things do indeed matter....a lot.

    Of course this little diatribe comes hot on the heels of picking up my allegedly repaired S4 this a.m at 7:30 a.m. There was a littany of things the dealer did. None of them fixed the problem (as I learned when I got half way home), and now they've introduced some squeaks and rattles into my console area (supposedly caused by removing and replacing the MMI). Quattro is still "binding", but not as much as before.

    So, either live with it. Or, keep schlepping it to the dealer.
  • I do feel your pain -- my first (and only) new A8 spent more time (or it seemed that way) at the dealership than in my garage.

    Generally speaking you did take my message as I meant it. My thoughts, however, regarding the status of the cars would be to call the VW the pedestrian vehicle -- the Acura and Infiniti are, to me at least, still in a "class" that is above the pedestrian Honda and Nissan.

    I had an S6 a few years back and I loved it -- yet it too spent too much time in the dealership's repair bay.

    But I have not had what I would call a totally confidence inspiring experience with my Acura. My issues with my Acura TL SH-AWD are -- if I am able to pull the emotion out of the equation -- dealer related.

    As either an anecdote or a data point -- you decide -- I complained at the first oil change (about 8,000 miles) that there was a noise and sensation that I believed to be warped brake rotors. Every time I touched the brakes at highway speeds there was a "shudder" and vibration that felt like warped rotors or wheels that needed balancing.

    The dealership decided to "turn the brakes" -- in fact they did this exercise two times (to no avail.)

    I went to another Acura dealership -- one that has no connection with or to a Honda dealership and their diagnosis was that I had 3 warped wheels (they said they were "bent".)

    Acura corporate said, "your fault -- or at least not OUR fault." But, the dealership (the second dealer, that is) appeared to go to bat for me and was able to get 3 new wheels at 50% of the SRP. This cure for the issue happened around 25,000 miles. Of course the "overall" safe/smart/prudent thing to do was to replace all four tires, too (at a cost of about $1,000 from the tire rack.) I also had the new wheels and tires road force balanced -- at a slight discount (at the dealership.) This cure cost about $2K, plus I had the displeasure of driving over 20,000 miles with what felt like warped brake discs.

    Otherwise the car has been and my sense is, will remain, both reliable and durable -- but I just can't shake the [emotional, probably] sense that my Acura has (for wont of a better term) "too much Honda" in it.

    I'd take the S4 any day. Now, I know or at least I think I know what you're thinking: The S4 could be nearly $20K more than the TL -- and typically would be at least $10K more (my TL had back up sensors and other Acura accessories on it for a total MSRP of a bit south of $48K.)

    You've had either a bad S4 or an unsatisfying dealer experience -- or both.

    Generally speaking I would think both of our experiences have been -- for the respective brands we're talking about -- way below our expectations. Everyone I know of says Hondas, er, Acuras are easily good to go for at least 150K -- with only routine mntce.

    Audis, of recent vintage are, typically, also reliable and durable -- and return much more driving pleasure than competing Acuras.

    But please note that my "short list" when the time comes, in about 11 months, will contain Audi, Acura, Infiniti and probably Volvo. I may even give another look-see at a BMW (probably not, though.)

    I may fall victim to the most "bang for the buck" car -- which could turn out to be another Acura TL or TLX (or whatever they call it at the time). Right now it seems to me that something like a Q5 with the supercharged engine is a cross between an A4 allroad and an S4 -- for less money (when well equipped) than either of the other 2 Audis.

    I hope someone from Audi reads these posts. Were I in that position (a paid forum reader of our rants and raves) I would certainly try to reach out to you "from the factory" and make your situation right -- if for no other reason than to turn you into a brand fan, instead of a brand foe.

    I still say it is easier to pay too little and regret it than pay what seems to be a bit too much (at the time) and love it.

    Good luck with your dealership.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    Thanks! As much as my finances are thanking me a bit for having 3 months to prepare for this HUGE purchase (for my budget, was definitely stretching; but pre-owned S4's seem to be holding their value REALLY well, are popular fast sellers making them rare, and I didn't see the value in a lightly used one if it was going to cost nearly as much if not the same amount (given the usual 60K MSRP they are typically bought at).

    If I'm going to spend a large amount of money, Audi or anyone else better believe I'm going to be picky what my money goes towards; so a custom order seemed like the only option to me. Thankfully, Audi still makes enough options stand-alone that you can get it just right! Acura groups too much junk together.

    I will admit however, even with the Pro's of having 3 months longer with an old "cheap" car to shore up the finances, the con's are I'm anxious and can't wait to get my hands on the new S4! I can see why people without strong will power or color preference just have to have something right now, today! Turns out Escondido dealer only needed $1K down (SD Audi wanted $2,500 down), I emailed my offer to SD Audi, and about 22.5 hours later, without a response, I decided to extend same offer to Escondido Audi in person, and they jumped for it (after a couple of attempts to get me to go up).

    I feel just a tad bit bad as the sale-person that helped me previously at SD Audi said they were with clients all day long and just didn't get to my e-mail until after 5. I had assumed and figured the sales manager was mulling/balking over my offer for too long. Probably in hind sight I should have called to make the offer and/or confirm she got the email. However, I'm sure she will learn not to ignore e-mails; it could be an offer to buy!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    S4 Fancier leather option: Hardest one to pony up for as it MSRP's at $1,250. However, I noticed all the details it comes with from the fine Nappa Leather all round, to the contrasting stitching (in the color you choose) on the center armrest, shifter, steering wheel, seats, and door armrests. I loved that level of attention and contrast. Most importantly though, at least in the S5, they cut the Alcantara seam about 1/2 to 1" too high on the upper seat section. If you lean your upper seat back at all, you can see the vinyl mesh material where it meets the lower seat cushion. In the S4, the Nappa leather was cut lower down, so even way leaned back, you couldn't' see the less desirable seat trim.

    Audi Club North America members in good standing also get the same supplier 6% discount. That's a very good deal! It's well below Edmund's TMV of average transaction prices for the S4. However, I needed a GREAT deal in order to go new. With the "fancier" leather, I was over my stretched $50K threshold (before taxes), without it, I met my price target. So my offer was $850 below the 6% discount. Probably around 6.4%? I didn't do the math exactly. My A3 ownership also gives me $1,000 loyalty rebate back on the back end after taxes as well. In CA, sales tax is ridiculous so figuring 10% for tax, title, license, and fees is about right I'm told.

    2014 S4 has Audi Drive Select standard, in exchange for raising the MSRP $500 bucks from 2013. The Sport Diff option went down $150 from 2013 probably because Drive Select is already on the car. I told them the price increase wasn't my fault, I'm sticking to my offer at $50,000. :)
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    If the 335i new is the same price as the S4, I made the right decision in my book; hands down.

    Maybe I accidentally clicked on a 328i when I equipped it for $45K (or maybe I was looking at Invoice price on 335i)?

    I liked the power in the '09 335i sport package sedan (the drive, not really the interior), and if it wasn't for the brakes locking up, I might have liked it enough to buy it (and it had shameful All-Season tires). Carmax lowered the price on it to make up for the bad tire selection I see... tempting... .. :)

    It had a heavy effort filled steering similar to the '11 S4 I test drove, which I liked on both. I have to admit, I preferred the higher effort steering in the older S4 to the '13 S4 I test drove (not a deal breaker though; just a preference). In 2013 they went electromechanical steering supposedly for efficiency. Since the gas mileage didn't change, I can only assume it made a .5 MPG impact or less and rounding variance didn't help them.

    I have a thing for nice steering wheels. As much as I loved the old steering wheel in the Audi's, the new '13/'14 version is even nicer! I didn't think Audi could top the previous version, but they did!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    When I went to Hoehn Audi in Carlsbad about 2 weeks ago, they had no (I mean zero) new S4's and at least four (4) S5's!

    They did bring out a used '11 S4 that they claimed was sold, but since it hadn't been paid for, it was technically not sold until tomorrow, and I could "steal" it, if I wished. It was the only used S4 they had.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    edited August 2013
    The TL looks "OK" to me too, but there's a big gap from looks "ok" to looks "beautiful."

    If looks and style don't matter to someone (or your tastes just differ), the TL is definitely a value bargain buy right now.

    If Audi rejected my $50K offer (not including fees/taxes) after trying at like 5 dealers, I'd of probably offered Acura $40K out the door on a TL-SH AWD Tech (37,500 + taxes - 1,500 conquest rebate). About 2K below TMV, not sure if that would have flied?

    As the most recent cross shopper of the TL-SH AWD vs. S4 here on this board and forum, I can say that I couldn't justify a full $15K delta, but close to it seemed rational to me. That is why I needed to get Audi to agree to an offer that kept the S4 within that $15K delta with the Acura (assuming TMV best deal on Acura).
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    "Perhaps you should amend that by adding . . .that they would export to the US (and probably some other regions as well.) Although my last visit to Germany was in 2006, I have been there about 25 times and several times I have rented (from Avis or Hertz, etc) cars for part of my time in Europe -- primarily so that I can drive on the Autobahn. "

    Nah, I wont amend what I wrote, since I wasn't talking about what could be had in Europe, v. here. We know that BMW build a 316i gasser stripped...

    I was talking about allow us as in the US, to be able to build a true sport sedan. The current M sport package is a start, but I'm more talking about like the ZPH package that I had in my 330i, close ratio transmission, higher revving engine, more HP, better suspension bigger rims and tires. Allow us to order a 335i with a ZPH package. No leather, No Nav, no Sunroof, no power windows, increase HP to 320hp and have the price at 46K. So the same thing with the 328i, have price aat 36K or so. Bring back the true sport sedan, Do not allow it to come with an Auto or is it does make a DSG type in the M3... You can still sell the yuppie cars but do not discard the people wanting a true sport sedan.
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