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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    Nice ride! Hey, my GP was the same color...less the dings!

    Regards,
    OW
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    You guys are old. :)
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    That's right! Old is good! :shades:
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    I find the 06 3 series to be comfortably roomy in the front, and can be somewhat roomy in the back if you pull the seat forward, but cannot be both at the same time.

    When I put the driver's seat back to my normal driving position, I'm hard put to place a bottle of champagne on the floor behind the front seat (a bottle of bordeaux might fit). If I move my seat forward to let an adult sit in the back, then my legs and arms are uncomfortably positioned.

    I sat in a new G35 at the Auto Show, and it did not feel any roomier in the back seat than my 3 series, while the IS-250/350 was even smaller. The TL was roomier. I know the GS-350 is not in this group, but as an aside, with the driver's seat in a comfortable position for me, I found it was about as tight in the back seat as my 3 series.

    Bruce
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Looks like a Peugeot UO8...
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    It is. Double-butted, all steel. Solid as a rock and light as a feather (for the time).
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    At 5'7" hab, you're on the smaller scale.

    But your first car? Shoot everybody's first car seemed great to them.

    Add me to the list that finds t'she 328 tight. I'm 6'1" 207 (on a good day) and found the 3 (and the G35's) cabin too narrow. My left knee rode the door handle. Maybe they can re-engineer that - I really wanted the 3 series.

    I sat in a TL and was free at last. Lot less money. No hassles finding the car with the right 'package' cause the car comes loaded with everything. Great gas mileage and safety etc. A real looker too.

    And the FWD thing is a very minor issue overshadowed by all of the above.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Yeah, so what?

    I'm not being snotty about it. No, really. ;)

    Your '06 would be slightly larger overall than my '03 IS wagon, and have a touch more rear seat, I think. My wife and two kids (girl 13, who already takes after my height of the family and boy 11 who will when he hits 15) fit in there just fine for around town, and we are fully comfortable for trips up to two hours or so one-way (that's with overnight/weekend luggage). No problem whatsoever.

    Now, it's not our principal family hauler. That duty, plus the long hauls, falls to the Town & Country, and it performs admirably in such capacity.

    I'll speculate that these sedans are not the principal family vehicle for most posters, but rather their car, and get used fairly infrequently to schlep four full-sized adults (let alone wife and kids) any further than lunch from the office or home from the links, something even my little IS will do with relative ease.

    Makes more sense to me to buy a midsize than decry the lack of space in a compact, which is what the EL, whether L, P or both, has customarily been.

    Another reality, to me, is that the EL only makes sense if you're dicussing the OPP vehicle from a "lux-sport" mfr in the first place. For Caddy, big and bulky CTS is their OPP, and for now same applies to BMW here, until the 1/2 hits. Not so Audi, nor Acura. It would not surprise me in the least to hear Nissan announce a new slot for Infiniti at next year's shows, and there has been word previously that a slightly smaller 250-based 5-door is on the boards at Toyota for Lexus.

    Interesting about the GS, but predictable I guess, as it now shares platform and parts with the now oversized (IMO) IS.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    But your first car? Shoot everybody's first car seemed great to them.

    The hell it did. My first car was junk and I knew it. My parents gave me two options: go to the local high school and get a car or go to the private high school and buy my own car. I picked option 2 and had a horrible 1983 Ford EXP. 52 mile roundtrip to my high school and back in a car that seemed to have a major breakdown at least once a month!

    Great gas mileage and safety etc.

    21 mpg is great? http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorCompareSideBySide.jsp?column=1&id=23551-
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Did I mention that the 1978 Datsun B210GX was REAR Wheel Drive. IIRC, almost every Japanese car other than Honda, was RWD at that time. Datsun finally came out with an F10, essentially a FWD version of the B210, that looked like crap and nobody bought.

    So, given that my hometown gets an average of 100-120 inches of snow per year, I also find it humorous that some folks think FWD or AWD are the only possible ways to get around in a little snow. If that were the case, and if they called off school for snow in my hometown like they do here in DC, I'd still be up there trying to complete high school. As it was, we had one (1) snow day in my 4 years of high school - and that was only because ice brought down the power lines and the back up generator failed. :surprise:

    Geez, I'm starting to sound like my parents did.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Datsun finally came out with an F10, essentially a FWD version of the B210, that looked like crap and nobody bought."

    Hey, my dad bought one!
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    I get 32 mpg highway in an 06TL- and that's with the punches to 100mph real quick in the boonies for the hell of it. City about 21 mpg.

    I have an 06 4 cyl Frontier for weekend duty and it gets maybe 25 mpg highway.

    260 hp and gets 32 mpg vs. 158 hp and gets 25 mpg - I'd call that great gas mileage for the TL.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Hey, my dad bought one!"

    Well, almost nobody. ;)
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    hab, you're from PA, right? Where in PA do they get 120 inches of snowfall a year? I think you're a bit off. I'm from upstate NY (Binghamton to be exact) and we used about 3 snow days a year on average in my HS days ('84-'88 for those keeping score) and averaged about 80-90 inches of snowfall a year. I've got a ton of relatives throughout eastern PA and they were always several inches behind anything we ever got when the snow came.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    I've got a GS350 and I don't find that statement to be true. I can sit in back behind the driver's seat set to my seating position (I'm 6' 1" with long legs) with maybe a half inche clearance for my knees. At the Atlanta Auto Show a few weeks ago I was unable to do the same thing in a BMW 328i - I couldn't even get in the back seat without sitting sideways. Now, my TL is roomier. I can actually sit in the back behind the driver's seat set to my postion fairly comfortably. I could probably ride that way for a few hours.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    It also depends on how one's body is built. For example, I am 6'1" with a long thigh (about 2'). So with my normal driving position there is no way that another 6 footer can sit comfortably behind me even in a TL, neverthless the IS, 3er and G.

    Also, the TL is roomiest because due to its FWD layout.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    I was out on the Acura website this morning some new material on there for their motorsports programs. Two things in particular caught my eye the SCCA Speed World Challenge series and the Grand Am series. Apparently Acura's TSX has been a pretty successful platform there and it competes against the BMW 3, Audi A4, etc. From what I read it seems modifications are minimal in both classes and it's mostly likely those TSXs are FWD. Bimmer fans how can it be that your beloved 3 series is getting beat on a track by a FWD platform?

    On a different note I've put up some postings in a few places here on Carspace looking for help with repairing a paint chip and haven't had any luck getting a response. I know this forum isn't for that but if anyone on here has any advice for me I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Northwestern PA - Erie:

    Seasonal Snowfall: 104.7" (average)

    **Season Snowiest Winters**
    1. 149.1" 2000-01
    2. 143.0" 2002-03
    3. 142.8" 1977-78
    4. 131.3" 1993-94
    5. 129.1" 1995-96

    Weather - Channel 24
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Cars were lighter back in the day for a reason and that doesnt mean those cars were better. Sure cars are heavier now, they have more safety features, more sound deadening, more electronics, larger brakes, larger engines, etc. The days of 3000lb family cars are long gone but that doesnt mean cars like the 3 series or A4 are "huge" all of a sudden. The A4 is pretty heavy due to AWD but its still small. The 3 series is small and relatively light. I do not see any need to buy a Mini or Scion just because sport sedans weigh 3400lbs. I can fit into a lot of cars, but that doesnt mean I can fit there comforably. I can fit in the trunk of a DTS, but it's not where I would enjoy spending time.
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    I forgot about Erie, PA - my bad. The rest of the state as you can see from this government website doesn't get nearly as much. Not sure how Channel 24 tracks their data or how far back they've been tracking.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/snowfall.html
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    wale_bate1,

    I think you answered the so what. It all depends on what your requirements and priorities are.

    In my own case, if the car is primarily for 1 or 2 people, and only an occasional back seat rider or 2, then the 3 series is more than adequate for me.

    But if I want to carry 1 or 2 passengers in the back seat on a regular basis, or for long distances, then the 3 series is not a good choice, for me.

    We have another car that fits passengers in the back seat more comfortably than the 3 series sedan, an X3. I find it quite roomy, especially considering its only 1.6 inches longer. But that doesn't rule out my interest in one day having a sedan with more back seat room so we don't always have to take the X3 when we have 3 or 4 in the car.

    I'm surprised you consider the IS oversized.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    hauss,

    I was saying the back seat of the GS-350 was about as tight as a 3 series. In fairness, it was not as tight as the 3 series.

    I cannot get into the back seat of my 3 series with the seat in my driving position. In the GS-350, I could get into the back seat, but it took a lot of work and I felt really snug once there. The biggest problem for me was trying to get back out - that took a lot of work. This was in contrast to the roomier back seats for other cars in that category, such as the M35/M45.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Seriously, are we talking a quick drive of about 150 miles (less than two hours), 300 miles (3-4 hours)?

    My feeling is that if it has a back seat it's good for any normal adult for 30-45 minutes. They may not like it but suck it up.

    The 335i weighs 3600 lbs. For comparison an e46 330i was less than 3300 lbs. That's a big, big jump and no amount of HP will offset the physical bulk now added to the vehicle.

    They didn't add 300+ lbs of safety to the new 3 series. They simply fattened the calf with an assortment of worthless add-ons (sound deadening being one of them).
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    bgdc, I don't think you'd want to spend even 5 minutes in the back seat of louiswei's IS350 with him driving it in his normal driving position. We'd have a hard time stuffing you in there (I think you'd just have to lay down on the seat in the fetal position). But maybe he'd be nice enough to sacrifice some leg room for himself and slide the seat forward. :)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Hauss, the TSX is a great car, but you cannot use racing as a benchmark. I was a TSX owner when the TSX hit the Speed World Challenge, and I really enjoyed watching the Acura mix it up with the BMW 3-series.

    During the TSX's first year, it gave the BMW a very good run for the money, but Bill Auberlein and the E46 325i dominated the series. In an effort to even the field, the following year SCCA handicapped the 3-series with more ballast and throttle body restrictor plates - it worked. The BMW dropped down to a mid-field runner and Auberlein et al left the series, only competing in a handful of races (which they still managed to finish on the podium).

    The TSX is a terrific sedan with great potential for performance (and lots of aftermarket speed parts available). On the street, it's a worthy competitor to the E46 325i (and a luxury/performance bargain). On the track, it's FWD layout and forward biased weight distribution puts a damper on the fun.

    I started doing HPDE's back in 2003 and to my mind, rather than tweak the TSX and try to turn it into a more balanced sport sedan with better tires, thicker rear sway bar, more HP, etc, I decided I'd much rather start from scratch and get a proper RWD sport sedan - which is why I sold my TSX and bought a BMW 2 years ago.

    On paint chips - try this kit. http://www.touchup123.com/default.aspx? I bought the basic kit for my M3 a few months ago, and with great care and patience, I repaired numerous chips to the point that I won't get the car re-sprayed like I originally planned. Here's a before and after shot of my front bumper (the white chips in the after photo are new chips I've acquired since doing the repair (the Pacific NW is very hard on car finishes!).

    image

    image

    You can still see the repairs if you get in close and look, but they don't jump out and grab you like they used too.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    If I remember correctly, it was worse than simply adding ballast, they were making him add it to the front of the car only... not allowing him to keep the 50/50 weight distribution.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Yes, you're right - but it wasn't just Auberlein. All of the E46s had to comply.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    Just saw these. I LIKE it!...enjoy!

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    img src="http://images.leftlanenews.com/content/3-m3-engine.jpg

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    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    BTW,the claim is that the V8 is lighter than the previous engine. Fed, BGDC, Ship, et al, let us know how the performance should pan out with this new force du jour.

    "The engine is the lightest V8 in the world, weighing less than the previous M3's inline-six."

    Regards,
    OW
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