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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    designman... My primary consideration is how well the car performs (for its price). Looks are secondary. And I really could care less what others think about my car. I don't buy cars to impress others. I buy them to enjoy the driving experience. Guess it is the difference between being seen in a car driving down a city street and being out in middle of nowhere driving on some great long and winding roads.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Pontiac's goal was to become a "poor man's BMW."

    Yes, that is it. BMW does not design towards GM, GM designs toward BMW. BMWs bold and innovative designs in part are to pull away from the masses and imitators. The is no denying the heritage of these brilliant designs, but the Pontiac is the flavor of the month club.

    I saw somewhere else pictures of a Sebring against a 645. I was absolutely aghast at how similiar these cars looked. It was said that BMW was copying the Sebring. Then coincidentally somem time after, I saw a 645 and Sebring in the same general location in a parking lot and it was obvious these cars share the same traits as a Ferrari with a Hyundai. Pictures do lie. In person the hertiage of a Pontiac and a 5 series are also obvious.

    BMW should be flattered, after all imitation is the sincerest form of flatter.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    primary consideration is how well the car performs (for its price). Looks are secondary. And I really could care less what others think about my car. I don't buy cars to impress others. I buy them to enjoy the driving experience. Guess it is the difference between being seen in a car driving down a city street and being out in middle of nowhere driving on some great long and winding roads.

    Amen. Buying cars because they're "head-turning"...sounds like a self esteem issue.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Personally, I believe the 6 series is little more than a bloated Camry Solara.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    When a car must have 4 doors, a backseat, engine in the front, and a trunk in the rear, there is only so much a designer can do...especially in the entry-level class, where customers tend to be very conservative.

    Personally, I dislike styling that appears contrived (Cadillacs, Bangle Bimmers, Nissans)...styling that tries to make a statement or artificially evoke a feeling without regard to function. That's why I like the current 3 series, TSX/TL, and A4.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,103
    "Personally, I dislike styling that appears contrived (Cadillacs, Bangle Bimmers, Nissans)...styling that tries to make a statement or artificially evoke a feeling without regard to function. That's why I like the current 3 series, TSX/TL, and A4."

    Amen!!

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    absolutely agreed on that.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,311
    that colour thing.

    Regardless of the capability of the vehicle, why must all of them be the same tint? My cars' manufacturer chose to delete the manual transmission two (or was it three) whole years into the experiment. Given that degree of commitment to serious sports sedans, I'm not surprised that the colour choice is so weak for the Lincoln LS. I'm not so sure what the issue is with the others.

    Apparently all in this class thinks that colours that stand out are offensive. Can we all say "lowest common denominator?"

    I knew we could.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Come on. Looks may be secondary to performance but they still matter. You can't dismiss interior and exterior design as easily as that.

    A car is more than an engine mated to a transmission and bolted on to a frame.

    While enjoying the performance of a car, why not enjoy its beauty as well?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Style is sculpture. Performance is dance. If you don't appreciate both for what they are, you could be missing out my friend, like a person who eats only steak and refuses to sample cuisine.

    And all of this has absolutely nothing to do with others think. I don't hear anyone around here talking about impressing others. The term "head turner " is pretty generic and benign—synonymous with "knockout", "butt-kicking", and the corny, callow, yet always enchanting "like totally awesome dude". Maybe you are reading too much into it.

    :-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "I applaud Cadillac and Nissan for being bold and original in their styling. Even if it doesn't quite work, it's a design that can be improved on and makes a striking contrast to what is out there today."

    Well said. Yeah, they both bumble with some of their efforts but are getting things done. I would guess the Nissan/Infiniti design team has IQs ranging from 10 to 190, unlike BMWs which has a collective IQ of 2. Nissan just has to put Maxima out of its misery. With reservations on the front end G35 rocks—that 3/4 rear view is nice. Hey, have you seen this alleged Nissan GTR concept? Even if it's someone's hyperactive Photoshop imagination, I say find the guy and hire him!

    http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=3048&cat- - egoryId=10

    "The Cien is a beautiful car. V12, 750HP, decent gas mileage due to DoD, what's not to like? If it makes it to production, it'll certainly spank BMW's 760i which itself is a wonderful car."

    Saugatak, go easy man, you're messin' with the Apples 'n Orange Nazis. I'll come to your aid because I'll compare diamonds to hot dogs, but trust me, this one has trouble written all over it!

    ;-)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    And all of this has absolutely nothing to do with others think. I don't hear anyone around here talking about impressing others. The term "head turner " is pretty generic and benign—synonymous with "knockout", "butt-kicking", and the corny, callow, yet always enchanting "like totally awesome dude". Maybe you are reading too much into it.


    no, the term head-turner means you want people to notice the car. you want comments. you want to be noticed. this is the precise reason I hate owning a BMW. Like many other makes it's got a reputation - a bad one - for being driven by uppity people seeking attention.

    The metal on the CTS screams, "Pay attention to me." As does the sheetmetal on most exotics. Many people are attacking pontiac precisely because they made the new GTO a stealth car that has no bling, that nobody watches the car pass and peers inside to see "who is driving that?".

    Looking for a car to be a head-turner is absolutely no different than painting a Civic pink, dropping it, fitting dubs and neon lights and topping it off with a big spoiler. It's all about attention.

    BTW, this is one reason I prefer the old M3. No gills. Nothing outwardly too different on the last gen M3. A debadged 03 M5 is the ultimate as it can stomp the hades out of most cars and it's pretty much nondescript. Different goals...I want to cruise anonymously with all the performance and power I can get. I don't want to be noticed. Apparently others do.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Styling/design tends to be about today and the next 10 minutes. Just standing out. Making some bold statement. But only time will tell if the shape lasts and looks fresh in the future. True performance lasts forever.

    A classic, almost by definition, is a timelessly styled car that truly performs in comparison to the other cars out there. Think of the Porsche 356 and '57 Chevy. Or the Jaguar E-type, Corvette Stingray, and Aston Martin DB6 in the 1960s. The BMW 1600/1800/2002 in 1960s and 1970s. Maybe the Fiat X19 or Porsche 914/6 in the 1970s. Audi in the 1980s. Dodge Viper in the 1990s. Or the various 911s for about 30 plus years.

    There aren't that many design classics. Even normally beautiful exotic marques like Ferrari or Maserati have a ton of duds and mediocrities. (Can't say too many Italian cars after the 1960s impress me. Their exotics went down hill styling-wise in the 1970s.)

    Give me a conservatively styled car (possibly with a bright exterior color like red or yellow, for excitement) that is an all around performer. That is the car that stands the test of time for the average person.

    Now if only I could afford an M3 or M5!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "A debadged 03 M5 is the ultimate as it can stomp the hades out of most cars…"

    Could it be that "stomping the hades" out of other cars is also another way of seeking attention? Dealing with our insecurities? Validating ourselves?
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    no, the term head-turner means you want people to notice the car. you want comments. you want to be noticed. this is the precise reason I hate owning a BMW. Like many other makes it's got a reputation - a bad one - for being driven by uppity people seeking attention.

    I think you're being too judgmental and not sufficiently appreciative of esthetics.

    Lots of people (including myself) enjoy and appreciate beautiful things.

    I spend money redesigning the interior of my house b/c I enjoy living in a beautiful home.

    Every time I see a beautiful woman I always take a look b/c I like looking at beautiful women.

    When I see a beautiful car (for example, the upcoming Ford Mustang is just GORGEOUS IMO), I turn my head because I enjoy looking at it.

    Because someone is in a "head-turner" car doesn't necessarily mean that he is "craving attention." It could just be that person genuinely enjoys and gets pleasure out of the look of his car.

    And why do you care what people think of other BMW owners? As long as you enjoy driving it, to hell with what others think.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Give me a conservatively styled car (possibly with a bright exterior color like red or yellow, for excitement) that is an all around performer. That is the car that stands the test of time for the average person.

    Now if only I could afford an M3 or M5!"


    Alright Riez!! At least we agree on the M5, the sporty quality of red and yellow, and prudent maintenance habits!!!!

    ;-)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The metal on the CTS screams, "Pay attention to me."

    Yes it does, unfortunately it's the ugly duckling of the entry level luxo crowd. Unlike a BMW which just quietly sits it it's corner and says" "Look at me I'm handsome". The BMW doesn't scream, it gets noticed through it's timeless styling.

    Hey do you want red/purple spike hair (Caddy) or slicked-back grey-silver hair (BMW)?
  • dcwong1dcwong1 Posts: 54
    Is debadging a model name on the trunk lid another way of seeking attention? I've never understood why people debadge their vehicles. Can't people be happy with want they have?

    BTW, an M5 is easy to spot by the quad exhaust, side gills, and the front fascia.
  • cheerioboy26cheerioboy26 Posts: 412
    That autospies link is a Photoshop of an Opel. Someone on FA said " Look at the interior of both of these cars through the windshield as well as the A-pillar detail. What sold me was the little horizontal line that is reflecting light in the rear seat area of both cars.
    "

    compare with

    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/large/1749-2.jpg

    Opel presented the Insignia, an automotive vision of the future and a design study with a new formal concept, for the first time at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (September 13 to 21, 2003).
  • rckyvntrrckyvntr Posts: 17
    The person who started this thread on Jun 17, I feel surprised, enlightened and thankful – all at the same time.

    I am surprised that the topic elicited such heated discussion. Everyone could have simply said “Go away … you’re blasphemous to have raised the issue. You just don’t understand.”

    I am also enlightened and thankful, because I have learned a lot by reading the responses.

    There is one thing I would like to clarify – while I can understand that this may be an issue of insecurity for some – it is not that way for me. I am a secure person, and I know what drives (no pun intended) my needs. When I use the term “head turning” I refer to the simple enjoyment and excitement one feels as she drives a vehicle that is so attractive that people’s heads turn.

    My dilemma is …on one hand, I feel very proud to be at a point in my life where I have a choice among the brands (Lexus, BMW, Infinity, Cadillac, Acura, etc.) of automobiles whose owners have included some of my mentors. On the other hand, I feel bored, resistant and unfulfilled when I think of advancing to a class whose vehicles are bland, common and cookie-cutter in their outward appearance.

    The very manufacturers of these automobiles demonstrate their recognition of the problem by their attempts to change – (ref: BMW’s Bangle; Cadillac’s Stealth theme, etc.). Additionally, owners (on this discussion board and among those with whom I have spoken) demonstrate, by their heated dialogue, that the issue is alive and unresolved.

    My hope is that, when this discussion concludes, everyone gains from it. I know I have gained tremendous insight. Thank you.
  • jazevedojazevedo Posts: 34
    I don't understand the desire to be stealth. Unless you happen to race people alot on a daily basis? I've driven a 94 Mustang GT for 7 years so I've never been one to try to impress other people with my car, but as soon as I get my 330i with performance package, you won't find me removing the "badge" or swapping out those awesome 18 inch wheels for some boring 17's to go stealth. I think it's okay to want people to like your car's looks. It's a big purchase, so wanting some turned heads doesn't make a person pathetic in my opinion.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Could it be that "stomping the hades" out of other cars is also another way of seeking attention? Dealing with our insecurities? Validating ourselves?

    Nope, it's like carrying a nuclear weapon. You know if push comes to shove you've got the means to finish off anything that gets started. Beyond that, for road trips nothing beats a car that can cruise in the 90s or 100s with ease.

    I spend money redesigning the interior of my house b/c I enjoy living in a beautiful home.

    I do that to up the resale value. In fact I'm about to add 200 sq ft to my house for more than aesthetics...when homes are going fo over 400/sq ft you can see the ROI. :)

    Is debadging a model name on the trunk lid another way of seeking attention? I've never understood why people debadge their vehicles. Can't people be happy with want they have?

    Actually it's common in europe as people think it's ostentatious to have the badge of the car on display. I'd remove mine but the car is a lease.

    BTW, an M5 is easy to spot by the quad exhaust, side gills, and the front fascia.

    No gills on the 03 and earlier M5s. That's something BMW has added to the 3 and next gen M5. Bummer. As for the quad tail pipes...most people couldn't tell if the car that sat in front of them at a light had 1 2 or 20 pipes.

    I don't understand the desire to be stealth. Unless you happen to race people alot on a daily basis?

    Why not just a desire to go unnoticed?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Cheerioboy26…
    Good spot. Yeah I do remember that Opel and definitely liked it. I find it amazing how good concept cars never make it to production. I would also say the other guy is an excellent Photoshop artist. I think there is enough talent out there that is worth seeking. Then again, auto manufacturers have to work on their decision making. I have to believe they just turn chicken and perceive many concepts as too radical. And I am not convinced they are using focus groups scientifically hence effectively. It's hard to say though because they are very protective of such information.

    Jazevado…
    I think stealth has mostly to do with speed laws, avoiding the man. Also, there is a modesty factor—being enthusiastic about performance driving without pounding one's chest, like Jason Kidd laying up instead of having to slam dunk on a breakaway. I appreciate flashy cars, but there's something tantalizingly sexy about an M5, like a gorgeous woman whose beauty can't be hidden by conservative clothing and lack of makeup.

    "She don't know she's beautiful,
    She ain't that kind."

    -Sammy Kershaw


    Blueguy…
    Yeah I like the idea of debadging. It annoys me when cigar smokers leave the label on, especially the ones who smoke them routinely. Some guys just seem to wear a sign that says "look at me I'm smoking a Cohiba." A while back I played golf with some guy who had questionable social skills. The words came unedited, from his brain straight to his mouth. Out of no where he tells me "take the label off your cigar". Usually I do but I just happened to forget in a rush to get to the tee. I laughed and told him, sorry, you are very right. Actually it was a refreshing encounter. I guess there's something to be said about candor. And I never forgot to take a label off after that. Actually I stopped smoking them for quite some time. Talk about things that aren't the same anymore.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Blueguy…Yeah I like the idea of debadging. It annoys me when cigar smokers leave the label on,"

    Okay, that answers that question. :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,103
    I'm not sure why I like it, but I do... A Boxster passed me the other day... Not one thing on it to give you a clue. No Porsche crest on the hood... As near as I could tell, no crests on the wheels, and absolutely nothing on the rear.

    It was just a very cool.... CAR

    It is the "anti gold package"

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • dcwong1dcwong1 Posts: 54
    I must be like you. I'm not into the "gold package" offered by a lot of the Japanese company. If you want to be seen, the shape and body of the car should speak for itself.

    Concerning the Boxster, it seems like everything on the car is an option. Great car to drive but pricey.

    IMO, a car's line should still be fresh 5 years down the road and not be seen as the latest fad. It seems like the A4, 3-series, and the C-class will age gracefully while the CTS and possibly the G35 will need new body work. Not sure about the TL.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,311
    a vehicle that expresses my personal preference for colour, handles & performs well and has long-term reliability.

    How anyone else views it is beyond tertiary. When I look at my car, assuming it's something I really like, as opposed to something I can (barely) tolerate, there's a visceral difference, particularly when it comes time to get another.

    That bland business tends to dilute emotions of this sort.

    Bottom line: the vast majority of the people who acquire cars in this class have no concept of performance or any of the other things that Edmunds people find so important. Those of us here are a vocal but completely irrelevant minority.

    Would that it were not so.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    also make a statement?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Very interesting discussion about styling.

    I initially thought the CTS was the ugliest thing to hit the road. While the car still isn't a classically good looking car in my book, they did nail the proportions. The only thing left to do with the next generation is to smooth out some of the harsh lines and sharp points. I don't like cars that look as though they will cut your hands if you try to feel the sheetmetal. They may have done just that (smooth out the edges/sharpness) with the 2005 STS, but the theme may not work as well on a larger car. I'll have to see the STS in person to determine that.

    It is now official. I love the look of the new Chrysler 300C. I saw a few of these this past weekend. Rolling in a sea of forgettable, boring car this car really stands out. It looks like a pure gangsta car through and through. I don't know where everyone else lives, but in the Chicago area this is the hottest car on the street right now. Everyone one from older couples to young fill in the blank wannabes adore, desire and are buying this car. This is bold American styling at its best. I love it. With a SRT-8 version coming and awd, they may keep the sales going for quite a while. I don't have to tell you how bad Chrysler needed a "hit".

    BMW. Not sure what to say here other than that they've probably ruined one of the top 5 most recognizable design languages in all of cardom. I still at 3 years later detest the 7-Series. The 5-Series is little better, especially in darker colors, but it still gets smoked by the E-Class in styling. The 6-Series if there ever was a car who's whole look was ruined by one element, that big old square [non-permissible content removed]! BMW really better ask themselves about what they want for the 2006 3-Series.

    The Acura TL comes so close to being a styling star, but no cigar. Contrived and messy styling imo. That character line and those side sills don't work together. Dealers here are adding protective strips right below that charater line, creating a true mess. Factory mud flaps, yuck. Honda it seems is destined to style every 4-door car they make like some variation of an Accord. Witness the 2005 RL. Giant Accord. The TSX remains the best looking Acura, imo.

    I'm slightly worried about a company that seemingly could do no wrong when it came to styling, Audi. They're going to put the new grille on everything by 2006. Not sure about that. I liked the new grille design on the A8L W12 but I've yet to see the new A6 and facelifted A4. Careful. The current A6 had no styling rival in it's class until the 2003 E appeared, imo. The 1998-2004 was just perfect in that sense to me.

    Nissan is hit or miss stylistically now. The Maxima is a mess inside and out. The Murano and Quest are messes inside, either cheap or just plain weird. The Altima was good looking in 2002, but has since blended in. Nothing tops the Passat in the family segment in styling for me.

    Just a few thoughts....

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've always thought that BMW, Mercedes and Audi did the conservative, but handsome thing better than anyone else. All three have had their high points with this them, arguably with Audi and Mercedes at least now being most successful with it since BMW has gone off in another direction with their latest cars.

    VW's Touareg and Phaeton are just so classically handsome to me. Volvos always kinda wore their functionality first until now. The styling was drawn and shaped around the safety cage.

    M
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