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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,111

    I just earned a photogenic badge- yeAh - who are they marketing this new format to?

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    @sweendogy said: I just earned a photogenic badge- yeAh - who are they marketing this new format to?

    Not Edmunds. Just part of the product they are using. I doubt they are trying to focus on 15 YOs now.

    and while some people are still cranky about some feature or other being eliminated or just working differently, IMO overall it is a huge improvement. At least now you can easily load pictures, and every time I come here it actually opens and pages load quickly.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    Re: BMW beer tap shifter. How do you feel about the Jag hockey puck shifter? I'm still getting used to it. Son thinks it's cool...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,357
    edited February 25

    @laurasdada said: Re: BMW beer tap shifter. How do you feel about the Jag hockey puck shifter? I'm still getting used to it. Son thinks it's cool...

    At least the Jaguar shifter is relatively easy to figure out, although I'd dread the day when the car fires up but the knob refuses to elevate.

    I remember the year BMW introduced the beer tap; at the BMW CCA Oktoberfest BMW NA had several test drive cars and the BMW reps running the show had to spend a minute or two with each member before their drive explaining how the shifter worked. That is just ridiculous. Aside from the space saving justification given earlier no one has been able to explain how the beer tap is superior to a conventional automatic shift lever.

    I would not be surprised if BMW's designers get bored and decide to steal a page from Ford's Edsel playbook- and put all the shift controls on the steering wheel hub...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,758

    Please - don't call any of them shifters. They are gear selectors. IMHO, the BMW beer tap and the similarly dainty MB column selector as well as the Jaguar/Audi wheel and Lincoln buttons are different solely for the sake of being different.

    BTW - does anyone really needed the heated arm rest being offered in the next E class?

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665

    @robr2 said: Please - don't call any of them shifters. They are gear selectors. IMHO, the BMW beer tap and the similarly dainty MB column selector as well as the Jaguar/Audi wheel and Lincoln buttons are different solely for the sake of being different.

    BTW - does anyone really needed the heated arm rest being offered in the next E class?

    and...they are not head rests but head restraints...

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    @robr2 said:

    > Please - don't call any of them shifters.

    • Aye, Jag notes that the rising shifter (and I'm told you can still use it even if it doesn't rise, it should still twist in place) and rotating vents are part of the "handshake" to personalize the car to the driver. It is a fun show, but as I get closer to warranty expiration I'll probably set the vents to remain open. Just found out the '02 Lexus needs and engine rebuild...or new engine...awaiting more details. Ugh. :'(

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 3,536

    @laurasdada said: Just found out the '02 Lexus needs and engine rebuild...or new engine...awaiting more details. Ugh. :'(

    What happened? I thought Toyota / Lexus brands were uber-reliable. Only 12 years of use before an engine rebuild?

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    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4
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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525

    that's mighty rare unless someone overheated it and fried it?

    MODERATOR

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    I don't drive this car regularly, but have noted oil has been "disappearing" for a while (since wife/daughter don't check the oil, even though I've implored them to do so, I check it whenever I can), no obvious leaks. I had it checked today, fouled plugs oil in combustion chambers. I'm told it will be a pretty $ to further diagnose, find out what is causing the internal leak, gasket, crack... Just put a bunch of $ into the car: ABS sensors and vapor recovery cannister. Was the wife's car, now daughters and plan to teach son to drive in it at the end of the year. I've well maintained it, with regulare oil changes and following Lexus maintenance schedule, only 141,000 miles... But, it is costing $ every year for something... I don't know, clean it up, trade it on a newer used Subie or something... Nuts.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525

    Oh you need to go somewhere else--a simple cylinder leakdown test should diagnose the oil consumption issue.

    MODERATOR

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    Thanks, I only have very basic mechanical knowledge. I trust the shop I use, what/how does the leakdown test work?

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954

    @laurasdada said: I don't drive this car regularly, but have noted oil has been "disappearing" for a while (since wife/daughter don't check the oil, even though I've implored them to do so, I check it whenever I can), no obvious leaks. I had it checked today, fouled plugs oil in combustion chambers. I'm told it will be a pretty $ to further diagnose, find out what is causing the internal leak, gasket, crack... Just put a bunch of $ into the car: ABS sensors and vapor recovery cannister. Was the wife's car, now daughters and plan to teach son to drive in it at the end of the year. I've well maintained it, with regulare oil changes and following Lexus maintenance schedule, only 141,000 miles... But, it is costing $ every year for something... I don't know, clean it up, trade it on a newer used Subie or something... Nuts.

    Any car, even a "bulletproof" one, will start to cost money every year after 10 yrs old and over 100k miles. If it's less than a couple of car payments you're still doing pretty well. If in fact you need an engine rebuild, you got extremely unlucky if it was being taken care of. Many(no brands mentioned for obvious reasons) will start costing a lot of money shortly after warranty elapses. Sometimes age is a factor as well as miles.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525

    Basically you pump compressed air into each cylinder (top dead cener) with a special gauge and measure the % of leakdown (air leaking past worn parts). A variation of 10% between cylinders is probably not acceptable. THEN you actually listen for where the air is leaking...if you see bubbles in your coolant, you have a head gasket leak--if you hear air rusing out of your intake, you have intake valve or valve seal or guide problems; if you hear out of the exhaust pipe, you have an exhaust valve problem, and if you hear air coming out of your oil filler cap or dipstick hole, you have ring and piston problems.

    You can learn a lot from a cylinder leakdown test.

    MODERATOR

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    First car I've ever owned past ~7 years, knew it would cost $ to keep going, but not this much, M6user! Especially as it has been maintained. Bonus paid, bonus spent.

    Thanks, Mr. Shiftright, I googled the test after you recommended. I'll talk to the shop again, but they left me estimates of new, remfg and used engines. None too appealing, but in the past year spent a fair amount of $ maintaining/repairing the little darlin'. Including shiny new Yoko Ono tires... So, tough to just set it free. But, what happens next? My guess: tranny!

    Man, every time I get new shoes for a car, I end up trading it shortly thereafter. Put cool Vredesteins on the TL, then traded for the XK. Shod the XK with Conti DWS, traded shortly for the XF. Yoko Ono the RX and...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,595

    @m6user said: Any car, even a "bulletproof" one, will start to cost money every year after 10 yrs old and over 100k miles. If it's less than a couple of car payments you're still doing pretty well. If in fact you need an engine rebuild, you got extremely unlucky if it was being taken care of. Many(no brands mentioned for obvious reasons) will start costing a lot of money shortly after warranty elapses. Sometimes age is a factor as well as miles.

    While it's certain;y true that it costs more to maintain an older car it's not a given that they become money pits after 100K/10years. A well maintained modern car should have a "service life" of at least 150k and 15 years before it becomes cheaper to scrap it and buy new.

    There are of course exceptions, my Dad's '00 Deville had a cracked block at 11yrs/67K. I've never had an engine failure and one of my current rides has almost twice that mileage.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,357

    @andys120

    The only car with less than 110,000 miles in my garage is my wife's 2009 E90 3er. The only car that has had a couple of expensive repairs is the 2004 X3 with 159,000 on the clock. My 1995 3er track rat only needs fluids, brakes and tires between scheduled services.

    One other point; if you own your vehicles free and clear the lack of a car payment(s) will offset a lot of repair expenses. The average car payment is $460 with an average term of 65 months. I budget $500 per month for repairs/maintenance on all six of my cars.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525

    Well if the shop can't tell you what's wrong with the engine I don' see why you should listen to their expensive solutions. If it's sucking oil through valve guides or seals, that's a bad reason to replace an entire engine.

    MODERATOR

  • 5,000 Miles Down the Road

    A friend of mine, a marketing executive for a national software firm, always buys BMW’s and claims Audis are exclusively for “left-brainers” (I started out life as a computer programmer, so maybe there is something to that) because they appeal to technical types (tech-weenies, to quote my friend); you know these folks, those people who not only can create elaborate spreadsheets with impossible formulas, but also who can write actual computer programs as well. My wise-guy friend claims, even though Audi engines, transmissions and sumptuous interiors are either proclaimed by the motoring press to be “the best” or at least “tied for the top,” Audis remain soul-less machines, sorely lacking the all-important emotional hook to keep “serious” car people interested and perhaps entertained. They (Audis) are extremely competent and confidence inspiring pieces of machinery, but they somehow are not the stuff that inspires passionate prose – even though they are often the winners of three, four and five-way motoring press “comparo” reports.

    Although I, apparently, am in the minority who do not doubt Audi’s soul can be seen, heard and felt in its cars, I now present an S4 update now that I have passed 5,000 miles – much of it being driven in sub-freezing weather and on snow and ice-covered roads.

    The Audi in question is an Ibis white 2014 S4 Premium Plus model with the 7-speed S-Tronic transmission, 18” wheels shod with all-season tires, MMI/Navigation+, B&O audio, Magma Red Napa leather seats, carbon fiber trim, Audi side assist and Audi Care. I guess, perhaps I even wish, I would have gone for the Prestige model, now that I think of it, just for the articulating headlights. Of course now that I know how inexpensive the sport differential is, I should have insisted on getting that, too. With shipping and Audi Care, the pre-tax price was $57+K. As a member of the Audi Club of North America, I got an “automatic” 6% off the sticker, and as an Ohio resident, had to pay 6.5% sales tax. I put no money down and leased the car. I plan to buy the car and the Audi extended service package, if it proves itself to be as durable as it is fun to drive. I believe there is a way, too, to CPO my own car (for a price) giving me a warranty to 100,000 miles.

    At 5,000 miles the first service – basically an inspection and an oil and filter change – is required, subsequent service intervals are 10,000 miles.

    First off, the car has had no issues of any kind beyond a flat tire which only required a patch to remedy. Even on the coldest mornings (minus 11 F), starting was no problem and since I have heated seats there was only short-lived temperature discomfort. My butt was quickly warmed up, that is.

    Second, the S4 with the S-Tronic transmission is beyond a pleasure to drive – it goes all the way to fun to drive coupled with a boatload of confidence inspiration. The engine, transmission, brake and steering combination work together so well they have convinced me they are telepathic, responding to my foot and hand commands in real time. There is no latency: Press the accelerator and the car doesn’t pause that millisecond every other car I have ever had did, indeed it seems to accelerate almost a millisecond before my brain receives the confirmation from my foot that the pedal has been pressed. The paddle shifters, too, act, they don’t react – when I ask for an upshift, the speed at which the next highest gear is selected is faster (and smoother) even than the best manual transmission upshift, I could ever pull off. And, I should also tell you that the brakes slow or stop the car with such speed and control it is as if I had hit a giant, super-thick foam rubber wall. Finally, the S4 goes where you point it, when you point it. Body roll is minimal and it corners like a Ken Onion chef’s knife carves a tender beef roast.

    Other than the unabashed fart-like exhaust sound that accompanies high RPM upshifts, the S4 is very quiet and civilized inside, and the tuneage delivered through the B&O speaker system is sick – although I do miss the extra kick from the sub-woofer in the Acura TL’s DVD-Audio system.

    This year, Drive Select is standard, and it allows, in Individual mode, the driver to change the characteristics of the engine/transmission, steering and exhaust system sound. Settings generally include Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. I have mine set for Dynamic (engine/transmission), Auto (steering) and Comfort (exhaust note sound), although under full-throttle, even in Comfort mode, the engine growls and the exhaust snorts right on cue whenever the transmission upshifts.

    I have no intention of taking this (or my wife’s SQ5) to the track, but wrist-watch timed runs from 0 to 60 are, always under 5-seconds. To me, the S4 is a rocket in terms of its quickness; I’ll not be chipping this engine – it doesn’t need it. Time and distance take on entirely new meanings with an S4 – something I do attribute partially to the wonderful (Red) sport seats. Nobody does sport-seats better than Audi.

    In sum, at 5,000 miles the already quick S4 engine seems to have found and made available about 5% more horsepower and torque from just above idle on to redline. I will look forward to repeating this “+5%” phenomenon again, if all goes as usual, again at 10,000 miles.

    Perhaps because S4’s are not typically plentiful at your local dealer – there are rarely more than one or two of them at any of the Audi dealers I’ve been to over nearly three decades, they are “outta sight and outta mind” for many premium sport-sedan shoppers. This is a pity, for the S4 is that rare automobile that artfully combines, sport, luxury and a fair amount of practicality (it is in one of American’s most sought after configuration – a four-door sedan) in one fun package. If your auto shopping list currently includes an Acura TLX [coming soon], BMW 335, Infiniti Q50S, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS 350 F-Sport, Mercedes C-class or Volvo S60 Type-R, you owe it to yourself to take a long test drive in an Audi S4. If money is an object, I would assume a great second choice would be the upcoming TLX, assuming Acura keeps the S4-lite theme of the current TL SH-AWD alive and well. Or, you could get an A4 S-Line and have many of the same goodies that make the S4 such a treat.

    I’m getting the heck outta here now, while it’s still light out, and I’m going to take the long way home.

    DILYL

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954

    @andys120 I never said anything about an older car with over 100k miles automatically becoming a money pit. What I said was that a well maintained car that age/miles will probably need a couple of repairs equating to a couple of car payments......maybe something like $1000-$1200 per year. That is very reasonable because one, there are no car payments. Two, insurance is cheap as it doesn't pay to carry collision on a car over 10 years old IMO. Three, you don't worry about it in parking lots so much anymore or sliding off the road on ice or snow quite as much. A little less stressful. Probably the most stressful thing is the worry of when the next thing is going to break and is it going to strand you or not. Doesn't bother me so much but I would worry about my wife or daughter having a situation.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458

    @roadburner

    You hit the nail on the head. You budget for repairs & maintenance. Most people don't do that. They pay a car off and don't think about what it is going to cost to keep it on the road for X more years. They just blow their former car payment and then either put the next major repair on a credit card or trade the car in and take out a loan on a new car.

    A lot of people don't look at big picture things like total cost of ownership, instead choosing to focus on the monthly payment amount.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    now that I have inherited my Acura TL back (a 2000 with 174K on the clock) I do enjoy not really caring where I park. With the good cars, I OCD in a parking lot and go way away from other cars when possible. The TL has a few parking lot dings and a lot of scratches (patina?) already, so I don't think I would notice a few more.

    as to repairs, in the last couple of years it has needed some unexpected ones. But, no collision on it (makes a difference when my 18 YO is the driver assigned to it). Hopefully though nothing big happens, since I want to get some more "cheap" use out of it before selling it at the end of the summer.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458

    @stickguy

    Even with the coil packs you had to replace, it was still cheaper than spending $35 - $40K on a new TL.

    @roadburner

    Even with the large outlay it cost you when the transfer case blew in the X3, it was still cheaper than shelling out $40 - $50K for a new one.

    I have a customer who drives a 2005 Porsche Cayenne V6 with 190K miles on it. He can well afford a new Cayenne, but wants to see just how far he can take this one:)

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,357

    @nyccarguy

    Exactly. You have to evaluate all your options in a logical manner. If you go into panic mode you are well and truly screwed. And then there are the people who use the slightest malfunction as an excuse to buy a new car- to "save" money, of course... :D

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    @roadburner said: nyccarguy

    Exactly. You have to evaluate all your options in a logical manner. If you go into panic mode you are well and truly screwed. And then there are the people who use the slightest malfunction as an excuse to buy a new car- to "save" money, of course... :D

    Heresy if repeated over on Chronic Car Buyers!

    Debating what to do about the Lexus, get a second opinion. At a cost, of course. But, will live with it for a while, keep a couple of quarts of high-mileage oil in the trunk, check the dipstick (so nice to have a dipstick!) religiously. Wife would be up for a remanufactured engine, if that's the route we go. She had a coworker who went that route with his Toyota truck, he claimed he got another 100k miles out of the truck post re-engined.

    Probably limited or no road trips in the Lexus, just local driving, keep it for the utility. If we do re-engine it, at least it is a used car I'm familiar with and know it to be well maintained! Back in my XF, which still looks and smells new. Well, looks new under the winter coat all over the car...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    Which Lexus model is this?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525
    edited February 26

    $1200/yr is a very sober estimate and IMO, very accurate, for out of warranty cars. This presumes it is a car you've owned all its life and that as 100K rolls around, it's pretty much tip top. I've been averaging just about $1200 a year now for over 4 years, for maintenance, wear items and repairs.

    MODERATOR

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    My TL even with all the miles has not averaged close to that. The 2 (out of 5) expensive years might have run up around that much.

    Of course I am holding my breath that nothing expensive (the tranny) bites the dust on me. That might junk an otherwise good car.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954

    @stickguy said: My TL even with all the miles has not averaged close to that. The 2 (out of 5) expensive years might have run up around that much.

    Of course there are exceptions to every average. My recent Infiniti went 100k and 10yrs with total actual repairs of less than $500 not including wear and tear items. But IMO that was an exception as well. Can you count on it? Heck no especially with brands that tend to have a lot more expensive repairs after warranty like most German cars. They might not break often but when they do it is very expensive unless your brother-in-law can fix it.

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