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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    edited October 2013
    I wonder if you actually have oil monitor, or it's just a software. I'm not aware of any manufacturer having a real oild quality sensors there, from what I heard and read, it's all calculated based on driving, but I may be wrong.

    BTW, I my "over the year comment" was directed to BMW, not Acura. When I wrote "you" I meant "one who owns BMW", not you, m6user, owner of Acura. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    No problem, I understood. Just stating the obvious I guess. I really have no idea how the "oil monitor" works in the Acura and it really doesn't matter all that much to me. I would get the oil changed at one year or about 7500 regardless of what the "oil monitor" or the owner's manual said. Unless, of course, the owners manual was even more stringent.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,310
    You guys peaked my interest. Since one of the local Benz dealers is close to my home, I wandered over there last night to look at the CLA. They had 2 of them (they said they initially had 4 but already sold two). One was $38K MSRP. It didn't have leather, nor the "fancy" diamond grill you see in the TV ads (it's an option).

    They wanted me to do a test drive. I declined. For nearly $40K, I think I'll pass. You can get a nice A4 for that money....or, an ATS....or a 320i...all of which I think are nicer vehicles. Heck...you can get a loaded up Acura ILX for less than that. Or, in reality, a G37x is selling for less than that these days. Just a hunch, but I'd say any of the above would be better cars than the CLA.

    No doubt they'll sell a lot of them...at least initially. I think those of us who fall on the "sports" side of luxury sport vehicles would be disappointed, though. Just one man's opinion.

    Side note....Edmunds forums flaky for anyone else?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,310
    edited October 2013
    m6...I pulled this out of my old file when I had my TL a few years ago. This is what Acura stated about the oil life monitor...

    "The TL has a Maintenance Minder system that automatically monitors the vehicle's unique operating condition to indicate to the driver when maintenance is required. Maintenance alerts are presented when the ignition is first turned on, not while driving (to prevent driver distraction). The system monitors engine operating conditions such as fluid temperatures and engine speed to determine the proper service intervals. The Multi-Info Display (MID) located below the fuel and engine temperature gauges in the instrument cluster indicates the remaining percentage of engine oil life, and then shows service is due with a "wrench" icon. A percentage-based countdown to the next service is displayed when the car is within 15 percent of the end of the service interval. A letter and number code is displayed to indicate the specific type of service that is required. If the service is missed, the MID indicates past-due mileage to express the urgency of the required service to the driver.

    The system is designed to eliminate unnecessary maintenance procedures, environmental impact and expenses, while ensuring that important service issues are addressed. In some cases, oil change intervals can extend to a maximum of 10,000 miles, which could spare the owner considerable money and inconvenience over the life of the car. The owner-resettable system monitors all normal service parts and systems, including oil, oil filter, tire rotation, air-cleaner, automatic transmission fluid, spark plugs, timing belt, coolant, brake pads and more."

    Thinking back to when the manufacturers stated oil change intervals based on mileage alone, I think the monitors might give a more accurate guesstimate on when your oil is depleted.

    I remember a mechanic friend who I would consult in my younger days of building a (money pit) track car, telling me he could tell if the oil was depleted just by smell and by rubbing the dip stick in between his fingers. I was amazed at that. Until I realized all he was doing was feeling for grit in the oil, and trying to determine if the oil smelled "burnt". Not very scientific. Of course, we didn't use synth oil, either.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 6,382
    No doubt they'll sell a lot of them...at least initially. I think those of us who fall on the "sports" side of luxury sport vehicles would be disappointed, though. Just one man's opinion.

    graphicguy - I went to the local MB dealer a couple of weeks ago to take a closer look at the CLA. You would have thought that a Kardashian kid had showed up, there were so many people surrounding the car.

    Like you noticed, the two they had on the lot were stickered in the $36-38K range. Quite a bit of money for what is a pretty small car. I guess everyone wants to play in the 'compact luxury' arena these days.

    I agree with you - those people wanting something sporty will probably shop elsewhere. 320i, A4, ATS would be good alternatives.

    Where it gets tricky is that you can option up some more pedestrian brands to that mid 30's price range - Optima, Accord, Fusion - and get way more features for the money. And, save money on maintenance. And, perhaps get a better warranty.

    Bottom line is that the lines are beginning to blur on the luxury side of the equation.

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,902
    Where it gets tricky is that you can option up some more pedestrian brands to that mid 30's price range - Optima, Accord, Fusion - and get way more features for the money. And, save money on maintenance. And, perhaps get a better warranty.....Bottom line is that the lines are beginning to blur on the luxury side of the equation.

    Of course none of those more plebian models can put a bit three pointed star on the hood......
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,017
    edited October 2013
    Thanks. Acura doesn't really say how it's done but I became curious by this discussion and found this:

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/oil-life-monitoring-systems.html

    Sounds like the systems work very well.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,674
    That is true, but none of those also put a 7 speed dual clutch with nearly 260 lb-ft at 1200rpm. Plus the MB has style those cannot touch.

    More features don't always impress me. While initially these were impressive new features...I no longer feel the "wow" about power mirrors and windows (a little tongue n' cheek here...). For me, after a few months the "new" features are "ho-hum". Not to say I wouldn't want power windows on a new MB :)

    I initially felt this about in-car nav's. They were amazing and seemed worth the thousands they commanded. Now it seems they are used as a tool to gouge the consumer; they'll integrate additional features (customizable settings, etc)...so if you want the 'features' you pony up for the nav.

    My former IS had the nav and I explicitly searched for one, but I never used the nav. My large phone with Google maps was always far more accurate and easy to use (and I didn't have to buy an expensive DVD every year to upgrade).

    The back seat may be a bit cramped, but the CLA is a bigger car than the current C class in every dimension.

    I haven't compared a loaded mainstream vehicle to the CLA, but if I'm right at $35K I think i'd forego an 'option' for the CLA style.

    Plus...I like the three pointed star...more than an H or an italicized H
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    "It seems strange that so many "electrical glitches" happen in German brands very early on."

    Window regulators are/were big problems for MB and VW, when I had my 300SDL I would go through two regulators a year, both on the drivers side, and at $370/e it got pretty expensive after a while. VW had the same issue for a while but no longer have that issue.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    Dino, I'm not too worried really, I'm figuring that the car has no real miles on it yet and the computer will start "analyzing" how it is being driven and recalculate when the next service should happen.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    The currently CTS (2014) is narrower then the the last generation, yes it is longer but the shoulder room is where it counts to many people.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    I'm guessing the "oil Monitor" works based on temps, driving style, whether it is stop and go traffic or highway, the speed in which one drives throttle position and over all how one "drives" the car. It would be interesting experiment to take two identical cars, drive one how normal people would drive and then take one and drive it hard, take it on the track and see if the oil monitor stays anything different and if the one who drives the car harder would have to come in for service sooner. OR does it matter with the new Synthetic oils how hard or easy you drive the car..
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    Ivan, the new do-dad's that cars have a nice and at times make for a easier trip, one thing I wish rental cars had was Nav, so far the only rental I have ever had that standard nav was the Infitii Q45 (The Whale) it was nice since I wasn't too sure where i was going, but I just use my phone the other times since the new goggle maps integrates well with the iPhone and when connected to Bluetooth and comes through the speakers.

    One nice feature I just found on my 320i is the ability to open the trunk by placing my foot under the bumper. It is a nice feature when your hands are full. Same new Do-Dad's are handy others are just gimmicks.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,902
    That is true, but none of those also put a 7 speed dual clutch with nearly 260 lb-ft at 1200rpm.

    I'll venture to say that the vast majority of the CLA buyers won't even ask or care about that. They are attracted to the shiny star and the $349 lease rate.

    Plus the MB has style those cannot touch.

    To each his own. IMHO, the styling of the CLA is overdone. MB seems to be overdoing the blades and cuts on the nose and tail.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,310
    edited October 2013
    Michaell...I agree with you....the auto industry has become so finely segmented, it really is starting to blur from one car model to the next.

    Just saw a Kia Optima that one my best friend's wife bought. When did those things get to be so nice?

    For $36K, is a CLA built better, does it perform better, have better materials, last longer, etc...than a loaded up (and less expensive) Accord? Hmmmm...I can't make that leap.

    Then again, I thought it was absurd when I read an article a year or so ago stating that a Mustang GT is the equal of a BMW M3. Maybe I'm starting to see the point.

    The times I walked into a Benz showroom, I always walk out believing there were better alternatives for a lot less money.

    With the CLA, MB is cashing in the chits they earned from the years their cars were considered overbuilt and overengineered...available only to the rich. Today? I'm not seeing it.

    I've probably hit the high end of my tolerance for how much I'm willing to pay for a car, regardless of its capabilities.

    My soft spot for Acuras is beginning to show, me thinks.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 6,382
    Keep in mind that the CLA is not the smallest offering .. they offer both the A and B class overseas (and the B class in Canada as well).

    Every so often I'll pick up a copy of CAR magazine, to see what's happening across the pond.

    Some years back, one of their editors wrote a column that talked about the shrinking middle class of car manufacturers. The improvement of Hyundai & Kia (and the other "low" cost brands available in Europe) and the continuing down market efforts of BMW, Audi and MB meant that popular brands like Ford, Vauxhall/Opel, Renault and Peugeot were getting squeezed.

    Might that be happening here in the States? It's possible, quite possible.

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  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,674
    >>To each his own. IMHO, the styling of the CLA is overdone. MB seems to be overdoing the blades and cuts on the nose and tail.

    You're correct...I was assuming everybody most love the styling because I think it's fantastic :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,837
    Hey... that's how I usually see it, too.. If I think it looks great, then everyone else feels the same way... or, they are wrong... ;-)

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  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,770
    Just what we need, another $50,000 BMW

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,310
    Thanks, Ray.

    NYC....I was thinking the exact same thing....just what I need...another iteration of a car I am keenly interested in.

    Must walk away....must walk away......

    ;)
  • With a $3,000 price increase, BMW is taking the apples to oranges marketing plan.. and letting Audi and MB battle in the entry level sedans (CLA/A3).
    Since most family oriented buyers will like the size of the 3 series/a4 and those (younger buyers) seeking a smaller ride won't mind the smaller 2 coupe and may prefer it over the a3/cla, this maybe a good plan.

    Regrettably, the last coupe I had was a 73 mustang and will wait for my midlife for a Stingray... so for a few years, hopefully I and you will be happy with the S4.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,902
    With a $3,000 price increase, BMW is taking the apples to oranges marketing plan.. and letting Audi and MB battle in the entry level sedans (CLA/A3).

    Don't forget the new 1 series is going to be FWD/AWD and compete in the same market as the CLA/A3.
  • I thought that wasn't due until 2017 model... when all the dust would have settled by then... (by then Kate Upton might be over the hill and Usher will be on tour with Lionel Richie)
    Wait, did you say the Mustang would be FWD too ;p
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093
    edited October 2013
    Quick take: 2014 S4 S-Tronic (333 HP 325 lb ft).

    There must be some reason that Audi would understate the power of one (or more for all I know) of their engines. Maybe it is a tax thing in Germany. Whatever the reason, it seems to me that there is no way this car has only 333 HP and 325 lb ft.

    I had heard that the 2.0T's power as it stands in the current A6 is understated (and I have driven the car and it does seem impossible that it is 220 HP motivating a car that big) and I read a test report of the S8 that wagged its finger at Audi for understating that engine, too, so I guess it must be an Audi practice to under-rate their engines.

    Of course, other than for tax reasons (if that really is true), why would they do this? I recall that Acura (and others) had to restate the power of the RL's 3.7L V6 (to less than 300 HP), suggesting to me that most car companies would probably like to find a way to overstate the power numbers (HP measured at sea level on a cold day, for instance).

    In any case, even with less than 1,000 miles on it, the S4 seems to have great, surprising, reserves of power -- perhaps sports car power. An RS version must be dangerous, if this S version is any indication.

    Once again, I find myself wondering why the recent spate of car magazine sport sedan comparos doesn't include this car!?
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648
    Mark when it comes to HP, the German's have always done it different. If you take the BMW 335i, the car makes 300hp and 300 lbs of torque, however, ifyou look at the times it run, there is no way that a 300hp car can run that fast, and dyno test have proven over and over again that it makes more power. Also the 7 spd DSG helps too. I also believe that engines today make power more efficiently then before. My 320i only makes 180hp and 200lbs of torque but the passing on the highway is effortless...
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    As for why the magazines aren't testing the S4 with the others, it may have lost a comparision test with one of the others in the past, I am not sure how old the current A/S4 is. Also the may be justifying it by testing RWD performance sedans, maybe they will do an AWD test later ( not saying it is right, but might be their thinking). I think generally the first answer is the reason ( same reason the c-class isn't in the tests). That said I am sure the A/S4 is right up there with the others, and depending on what you are looking for may be the best.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093
    edited October 2013
    Drove from Cincinnati to Columbus and back yesterday -- on the way back, crossed over to 1,000+ miles on the OD.

    Well, for reasons I cannot imagine -- other than the fact that here in Ohio we have raised the top speed limit from 65 to 70mph (and EVERYBODY does limit+10 and lots do limit+20) -- I got in with a "pack" of cars cruising along between 85 and 90, and for the hell of it, I got in the left lane and punched it for just a couple of seconds: an indicated 101mph "just like that!" Poof.

    I'm destined to get a ticket. Thank god for cruise control.

    End note1: it must be the all season tires, but this is one of the quietest cars (even at speed) I have ever been in.

    End note2: this is a 2014, yes? Yes. Why in the wide wide world of sports does the "iPhone/iPod adapter only have the iPhone 3, 4 and 4S "big" connector? I have a now outdated iPhone 5 and it uses the new "little" connector. The solution (and no charge) was for the dealer to give me an Audi connector that has a USB female plug on it. I take the 110 volt AC plug off of the cable, plug the USB male into the female and I at least have the ability to keep the iPhone charged. I don't seem to have any of the control or selection features I would have if I had an iPhone 4. This means, I turn on Bluetooth, plug in the USB, fire up the system and punch up whatever I want to listen to ON THE PHONE itself, then put the phone in the glove box and let whatever playlist I have selected run its course.

    My "old" Acura TL worked perfectly and seemed way way better integrated with both my iPhone and my Kindle Fire (which I used to use for audio books; now I use an iPhone app to do the same thing.)

    Endnote3: I got used to having the garage door opener work with the car turned off on the Acura, can't do it on the Audi. This means you have to close the garage door with the engine running -- I know it is only a few seconds, but with all the software controlled things the MMI permits/enables, you'd think there could be a menu item that lets you choose what will operate with the engine off. I know this is a picking of the nits, but there needs to be a software update to take care of some of the little things that shouldn't be on a nearly $57K car.

    Overall, however, this thing is a blast!

    More later.

    Drive it like you live.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    I'm not a big car enthusiast. Back in 2006, I was reading these forums for Audi and BMW but in the end bought a Honda because I knew I wasn't going to be driving much -- the 7 year old Honda has just over 23k miles.

    However, I'm thinking of getting something better and one thing that might drive my choice would be what kind of European Delivery program the manufacturer offers. Back 7 years ago, I think only BMW was doing ED and there were packages to drive through Switzerland and down into Italy, Lake Como to be specific.

    The savings, with FOB originating in Munich, could result in a lease that saved you enough to pay for the trip to Germany (maybe not to tour around Europe though).

    I see now that Mercedes and Audi are offering ED again.

    So do these and the BMW ED programs still offer substantial savings on leases?

    I still won't drive that much so I don't need a lot of miles per year but I'd at least start off with a good tour in Europe.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,949
    Volvo has a very good ED program. If you want to see Sweden, and want a Volvo.

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

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