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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,983

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Here's something to make your blood run cold:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323646604578403191117526644

    $480 for 6+ years? And you have to drive a strippo Camry? Yikes. This might have been a decent lease candidate.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,287
    edited February 26

    Some folks ain't got no sense when it comes to working out a car deal. That's what you guys are for!

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,983

    Sounds like upside down on a crap car plus poor credit. IOW chum in the water. At least she got something that should last and not cost much to run for the loan term if she can just keep it that long.

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

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,687

    @stickguy said: Which Lexus model is this?

    '02 RX300. Gonna sit back, smell the oil and chill. Researching a second opinion. Wife wants at least another 4 years/40k miles out of it for kids to use and big grocery runs to BJs... My guess is it ain't gonna make it that far without some kind of TLC. Doubt the oil issue will heal thyself!

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176

    @markcincinnati - like I mentioned I got the 13 s4, mine has the sports diff and audi select- the SD is not noticeable 90% or more of the time under normal conditions - in reading other post enthusiast love it- me I'm not totally sold that its a must have but for the extra 1k on a 55-60k car I could see wanting it- the prestige package for me is just a bunch of small extras that do nothing for performance and are just for added lux. I've only had my car for 2 weeks- will say with snow tires its a bull. Hills and turns not an issue even in 6 inches of loose snow. The car with snows is noisier then the old G was - but it does get 4-5 mpg better in my limited time in mixed driving. I drive mostly in individual mode- I set the exhaust to be dynamic (infinit standard), steering dynamic and engine in auto. I've also set the speed limit alert to 80mph as its very easy to miss given the small readout- I've also found the digital speedo to be extremely helpful- I have the V1 hard mounted near the passenger visor as well. Excited about the car and a bit worried about the German gremlins that maybe hiding.

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176

    @stickguy I like the new feature to add pix- but badges really? I don't need no stinking badges....

    image.jpg 864.8K
  • @sweendogy: I read an article about the "individual" settings that suggested the steering will perform at its best if set to Auto. I can't seem to locate the article, but I know it was in a fairly recent Car & Driver or Automobile or Road & Track, since those are the publications I subscribe to.

    I don't know if I can honestly tell much of a difference, but for what it's worth, I set mine to Dynamic, Auto & Comfort (engine/transmission, steering, exhaust sound, respectively).

    The primary (perhaps the ONLY) difference with the engine/transmission setting at dynamic is that the transmission will default to S mode which seems to hold in gear longer before upshift, perform obvious rev matches during downshifts and make the "fart" sound on upshifts more aggressive (hence my setting of "comfort" for the engine sound).

    Now that I have passed 5,000 miles I am noticing better gas mileage, improved performance and a feeling of "less friction" overall. I had really missed the cruise control in the Audi -- when I set the CC to, say, 45MPH in the Acura TL SH-AWD and then find myself going down a rather steep hill seeing a curve at the bottom, the Acura would start freewheeling, so to speak and pick up more and more speed (based on the grade). Then, to negotiate the turn, I would have to brake -- which turned the cruise control off, of course. In the Audi, set the CC for 45MPH and go down a virtual vertical drop and the CC holds the speed at 45MPH, period. Then when reaching the base of the downhill, I can negotiate the curve without killing the cruise control.

    It is a little thing, perhaps for some people. But my 2005 A6 and 2009 A4 had this feature and my 2011 Infiniti and 2012 Acura did not -- it seemed [on those Japanese premium cars] like a huge oversight.

    Another thing I like about the Audi CC is if you've set it, say, at 75MPH and you come into a heavily monitored construction zone where the speed limit is reduced to 55MPH, you can toggle the CC stalk to 55 and the car brakes and resets itself at 55. With the Acura, for instance, you could only coast down or apply the brakes yourself.

    I know there will be folks who are dead set against the car having this much "intelligence" or autonomy (and this ain't THAT much, folks), but it can simply be turned off if you don't want to "enjoy" a tiny bit smarter cruise control.

    In any case, I keep forgetting just how much technology comes with these German cars -- and how it does its best to help you not get ticketed and remain in control. I give this feature alone an "A" for its contribution to safety. B)

    DILYL

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 6,421

    @markcincinnati said: I had really missed the cruise control in the Audi -- when I set the CC to, say, 45MPH in the Acura TL SH-AWD and then find myself going down a rather steep hill seeing a curve at the bottom, the Acura would start freewheeling, so to speak and pick up more and more speed (based on the grade). Then, to negotiate the turn, I would have to brake -- which turned the cruise control off, of course. In the Audi, set the CC for 45MPH and go down a virtual vertical drop and the CC holds the speed at 45MPH, period. Then when reaching the base of the downhill, I can negotiate the curve without killing the cruise control.

    My wife's Mazda CX-7 does that as well ... will automatically downshift the automatic transmission to a lower gear to maintain the set speed on CC when going down hills. I agree, it's a nice feature to have - especially here in Colorado, where we have a fair amount of elevation change on the roads.

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  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648

    @markcincinnati said:

    Another thing I like about the Audi CC is if you've set it, say, at 75MPH and you come into a heavily monitored construction zone where the speed limit is reduced to 55MPH, you can toggle the CC stalk to 55 and the car brakes and resets itself at 55. With the Acura, for instance, you could only coast down or apply the brakes yourself.

    My BMW does this as well, infact when the car applys the brakes the brakes lights come on. I have been traveling between Phoenix and San Diego quite a bite as my father was in the hospital, and found this feature very helpful. I wonder why Acura do not do this..

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093
    edited February 27

    The Audi's backup camera screen shows trajectory lines that "curve" as the steering wheel is turned. The Acura? Straight lines, no curve, no match to steering wheel inputs.

    Now, the Infiniti, it had front camera and rear camera and trajectory lines when the car was in reverse and drive -- of course, it also had the wonderful, fantastic, gotta have it, around-view monitor. Of course now both Audi and BMW offer this tech, but it is still not universal.

    Of course, I recently read an article about how many times backup camera adoption has been pushed to a future year -- I guess we should feel good that the German and Japanese (premium) cars typically come standard with such tech and that it is pretty much "available" on the lesser cars from that mfgr.

    Looks like backup cameras are "probably" going to be required as of January 2015 -- but don't hold your breath. By the time the backup camera is a requirement, the all-around or top-view systems will be the norm in the premium segment.

    If you've not seen what an all-around top-view, etc, set-up can do, check out your nearest Infiniti showroom -- this is seriously cool tech that makes driving and parking in tight spaces, oh, only about a MILLION PERCENT easier and safer!

    I graduated from college in 1973 (yep, I am old) and I took a course in 1971 where a new technology was introduced (in a Chrysler, no less): anti-lock brakes. 1971. Let that sink in -- the first car I was personally aware of that could actually have ABS as it came to be called was a 1985 model year BMW "7" series which, as I recall, came to the US market in calendar 1984.

    What in the wide-wide world of sports took 13 years [for anti-lock brakes] to go from Chrysler (std equipment on the gas-turbine car they produced) to BMW (probably sourced from Bosch). The year following, ABS was offered on the Audi 200 (US name 5000S) quattro (and probably the FWD version too for that matter.) Yet, when was it that mere mortals could get ABS on their Blue Ovals and Bow Ties? It seems like it took decades!

    Of course it took another automotive eternity to make ESP widely available, too. To a certain extent Audi took a helluva long time to bring "torque vectoring" (aka "sport differential") to market -- doing so, I believe, sometime after Acura announced their version of torque vectoring with the mouthful of a name -- SH-AWD.

    I've had ABS, ESP, TPMS, sat nav, voice activation, blind spot monitoring, bi-xenon head-lights (except for the Acura), back-up or all-around view cameras and monitors and a whole host of other "ought to be standard equipment" stuff for longer than I can remember (and it is not -- yet -- due to a fading memory); this stuff is very cheap to make and probably all of this technology can fit in the space of one chip, with room to spare, these days. Why does the trickle down or even just the offering of the technology move at glacial speed for pity's sake?

    Another technology that "ought to be standard" is the 7, 8 or 9 (or more) speed transmission. I believe a base 4-cylinder 2010 Audi A4 was offered with an 8-speed tiptronic transmission; and, I believe every or virtually every BMW can be had with an 8 speed unit, too. The 8-speed's reason for being is economy and performance, yes? Why didn't Chevy -- to name one -- do what these Germans did: go to ZF and buy the 8-speed units and tout their benefits in their brand new Impalas and SS's and, same question for Ford. The efficiency and performance gains alone should have made this worth doing -- instead we've got a whole bunch of new "made in the USA" cars with "old" 6-speed transmissions.

    Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island. . . discuss amongst‎ yourselves. :o

    DILYL

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902

    @sweendogy said: stickguy I like the new feature to add pix- but badges really? I don't need no stinking badges....

    Oh, I dunno... the badges go really nicely with a snappy vest and a pocketwatch.

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  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,648

    @markcincinnati said:

    I graduated from college in 1973 (yep, I am old) and I took a course in 1971 where a new technology was introduced (in a Chrysler, no less): anti-lock brakes. 1971. Let that sink in -- the first car I was personally aware of that could actually have ABS as it came to be called was a 1985 model year BMW "7" series which, as I recall, came to the US market in calendar 1984.

    Mark, ABS was standard on MB S class in 1985, my 86 300SDL had them standard. Now did you know the Oldsmobile was the first US manufacture to have an Airbag as an option in the 70's. Needless to say, not many where sold...

    I thought Lexus was the first manufacture to come out with the 8 spd in the LS430. I do agree with you Mark that US automakers really needed to see the benefit of the 8 or 9 spd auto. I know that my BMW wouldn't be as lively if it had the old 6 spd steptronic.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,287

    That's right--1971 Chrysler Imperial had ABS on all 4 wheels. And apparently, it worked quite well.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093
    edited February 28

    Glad to see "us" scratching our heads wondering why the nearly 13 year gap between working ABS in a Chrysler (I think it was only 2-channel ABS, but hey it worked) and the German's putting it in their top of the line models. I had a 1986 Audi 5000CS quattro and it had ABS -- indeed, it had an "off on" ABS switch on the dash. The owner's manual explained when ABS worked and when it was best to turn it off.

    Of course they took the switch away when they found out that sometimes people would turn ABS off at inappropriate times because they thought there was something wrong with their brakes since they "pulsed" when ABS was activated.

    A case of ignorance winning out over technology.

    According to the owner's manual, you should turn your ABS off when driving in deep gravel or deep not packed (fluffy) snow, since you could use a locked wheel/tire to slow you down in deep gravel since a mound of gravel would pile up under the tires rapidly shedding speed. The mound-ing effect was cancelled by the action of the ABS, making the stopping more difficult in deep snow or gravel.

    In any case, my confusion and perhaps even frustration is with the slow adoption of tech that is actually very inexpensive. And American mfgrs are some of the worst offenders. Hell, they'll jump on putting power windows in an el cheapo car, but delay for decades incorporating ABS, ESP, blind spot monitoring, etc etc etc. I would assume the cost of the hardware for power windows, power sunroofs and power door locks is more than the cost of a backup camera and blind spot monitoring, for example.

    I'm pretty confident that the reason for the delay has something to do with perceived demand, costs and what the mfgr must see as their customers' perception of the value of such tech.

    To me, this [safety and/or performance and/or convenience] tech is almost essential any more. Even though I think factory sat nav is outrageously priced, I wouldn't leave home without it -- but c'mon to add "MMI" to an Audi is $3,500 -- and for that you get sat nav, bluetooth and voice activation of several of the car's systems -- all nicely integrated. This has to provide Audi with a super high gross margin -- and, even knowing that, the majority of cars my Audi dealer sells (which are overwhelmingly Q5s and A4s) come with MMI, "because that's what people want."

    Maybe things like ABS, when they were a $500 option, just didn't seem sexy enough, no matter how little it cost. Of course, now we're moving into a whole new era of auto tech -- autonomy. . . .

    "Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?

    HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.

    Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

    HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

    Dave Bowman: What's the problem?

    HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

    Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?

    HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

    Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.

    HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

    Dave Bowman: [feigning ignorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?

    HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

    Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.

    HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave? You're going to find that rather difficult.

    Dave Bowman: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore! Open the doors!

    HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye."

    DILYL :o

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    edited February 28

    I think the issue was perception of safety as a priority. At that time it was not not perceived as such and stereo or power windows sold well, whereas ABS or airbags were considered "fluff". There were many examples of drivers choosing entertainment, or convenience options over safety when it was done as an alternative of "free upgrade", or simple limit of total price. It changed today, but it is still expected to be "free". In other words ABS or stability control should be "free" (i.e. included in price that is same as last year model), but leather or premium stereo, no problem as an option.

    To best see how peoples' preferences changed is to watch evolution of Toyota cars. Toyota has almost six sense, when it comes to timing standard inclusion of equipment in the model vs. market demands. When Toyota offers something standard, it means the segment requires that as such. When it is still an expensive option, it means people will either be willing to pay extra or so without it. Detroit (GM especially) had an opposite problem - wrong timing. They'd put something on when nobody saw that necessary (e.g. ABS on Cavalier), but later they'd remove it when market was just about to demand it.

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,291
    edited February 28

    @markcincinnati said:> In any case, my confusion and perhaps even frustration is with the slow adoption of tech that is actually very inexpensive. And American mfgrs are some of the worst offenders. Hell, they'll jump on putting power windows in an el cheapo car, but delay for decades incorporating ABS, ESP, blind spot monitoring, etc etc etc. I would assume the cost of the hardware for power windows, power sunroofs and power door locks is more than the cost of a backup camera and blind spot monitoring, for example.

    Well, I'm going out on a limb here, but could it possibly have anything to do with the tendency of so many people in the U.S. (or, worse yet, their lawyers) to sue at the drop of a hat?

    As soon as a "feature" is included in a car manufactured in the U.S. that is supposed to help prevent X, the next time X happens because the operator of the vehicle is a certifiable moron, there will be someone, somewhere willing to go for the deep pockets.

    When did you last buy a ladder and read all the s*** (let's say stuff) on the various labels?

    Ain't life grand?

  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394

    That's about it, it is the sue happy legal system in the Staes that tends to limit new technology for safety in cars coming as soon a s it is available ( I seem to recall it took several extra years for the Germans to bring things like ABS, Traction Control, and even airbags, after they were introduced in Europe. To be fair though the American companies have introduced a lot of technology in the lower end of the market first ( Chrysler with at least a driver side air bag in pretty much every car they sold way before anybody else put them in standard) and GM with ABS in the Cavalier as already mentioned, and I think they were one of the first with traction control as standard in some lower end cars as well ( grand ams for instance). At least there is no longer an Americans car to hat I know off that still comes with a four speed transmission ( unlike Toyota). The eight, nine, and ten speed transmissions are coming from the us manufactures, but it takes time to not only develop them, but to get suppliers to make the parts, and factories tooled to get them built, and to figure out how to make it cost effective to put them in lower end models, they aren't free after all. And why just pick on the American manufactures, where are the eight + speeds in the Japanese ( and even the German ) mainstream line up, some of them still only have 5 speeds in most of their line up. And Chrysler is the one who is offering eight and nine speed transmissions in their lower end cars first, so it is a little unfair to say that the American manufactures are putting technology in their cars, on the other hand I do agree that their high end models ( I.e. Cadillac and Lincoln at least) should have had this technology within a year or two of it appearing on the German makes, and I don't recall that happening so in that respect you are correct. +

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,676

    @cdnpinhead said: Ain't life grand?

    I remember talking to BMW engineers in the mid '80s and hearing them tell about how much real-world ABS testing they performed before rolling out ABS in the U.S.- @4 years after they introduced it in Europe. In 1995 I did a bit of research and decided I wanted a BMW child car seat. BMW wouldn't sell them in the U.S. Wonder why? I had to have a seat brought in through "back channels."

    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: 45,287

    Mother Nature says: "You provide the slightest opportunity for a grievous mistake, and I will provide the Fool to perform it".

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093

    "If something can go wrong, it will." "If more than one thing can go wrong, the one with the most dire consequences is the one that will occur."

    And then there's that lovely extension of the Law: "If nothing can go wrong, something will go wrong anyway."

    The first two are neutral concepts, the third is just too pessimistic.

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176

    Couple of observations on the S4- when in the correct set up- sport, dynamic - it's rediculously quick- in comfort from a stand still in non sport it's a regular car- throttle even when pushed does not come to life like I thought it would. The s is a fantastic cruiser but rides harsh at highway, harder then I thought but that could be due to winter snow tires- I'm sure the summers will be an uptick but prob not to Buick or Lexus levels

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,093

    I have the all-season tire option -- and the ride is firm, but compliant, not rough. My previous A4 had the 19" 35 series tires (and the sport suspension, too) -- you were aware of every grain of sand on the road. The 18"s are 40 series, which are somewhat better since the sidewalls aren't quite as stiff and there is a bit more cushion between you and the road, given the higher/taller aspect ratio.

    The potholes here in Cincinnati have multiplied like rabbits this year -- I dread the almost unavoidable consequences of hitting one. Last time I did that it cost me one new wheel and four new tires. On an Audi, everything is breathtakingly expensive. We're talking a number beginning with a 2 -- yikes! Damn potholes.

    When I cruise down the highway with these tires, there is very little road noise and, being that the tire sidewalls are only stiff, not super-stiff, the ride is actually not an issue. I do, however, have the upgraded seats, which probably account for part of the comfort, too.

    You're right, when you put the car in Sport mode and use the paddle-shifter to blast up and down the highway, the thing really feels like a sports car. The paddles, in fact, in this car, provide the only "instant" shift I have ever experienced with any car (I love the S-tronic trans.)

    DILYL

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176
    I have 18' winter and 19' summers (which I have yet to try) - both are uber aggressive sport - I guess it's a nature of that set up- I have base seats and which have good support and grip. The transmission very good for an auto - agree
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176

    Wow these message boards are dormant -

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 6,421

    @sweendogy said: Wow these message boards are dormant

    We're all out driving or test-driving.

    B)

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  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176
    I guess or format still not taking hold-

    For those who are reading - put the 19's sports on just in time for another east coast snow storm
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,776

    @sweendogy

    I see you hate your state's front plate law. I don't blame you. Sexy looking S4!

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,983

    2 days max near me and you are at least replacing a tire, if not the wheel with it. And possibly a few fillings in your teeth.

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

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,176
    null
    Hope not - but roads are pretty chewed up here as well
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