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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    braking - sorry the 70 to 0 braking of 189 reported in C & D was not the best numbers. I guess if you keep the TL at sixty even your golden.

    engines - BMW has a 3L NA engine that puts out 400+ horsepower. But unfortunately we'll never see it.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    A new 2004 Accord drove up into my driveway last night. It had all the goodies, sat/nav etc. Out the door price was a little over $28K. The TL with nav is about $35K. After tooling around in this vehicle I realized the only reason that people would go for the TL at $7K more or the TSX which is a four-banger is the "so-called" prestige factor of the Acura brand.

    You could never derive the additional $7K in driving benefit from a TL. And it beats the TSX hands down. For the price/feature content this car beats 'em all. Of course it is FWD and if you are happy with that you will probably be getting a reliable Honda, with a powerful engine and a smooth drive train.

    After thinking about it I can see why there might be some people who don't want to spring for the extra money for a 330i to get it identically optioned. It's because the perception is they are actually getting less for their money. I can now see that, as I believe when you buy a TL with nav etc your money has hit the point of diminishing returns against a similiarly equipped Accord. You are actually paying more money to get less car.

    While I really wanted an X3 due to the NE climate, I might have to reverse myself and say the Honda with nav and such offers the best bang for the buck (even though it has torque steer and fwd) and save myself $12 grand, which I can use towards my kids college education or home improvements.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    For those who love numbers, compare performance and price numbers for cars like the Neon SRT-4 and Sentra SE-R Spec V. Ensure you add the available performance options like LSD to SRT-4 and the Brembo brake package to the Spec V. Then compare these cars, which cost around $20,000, to the 330i or TL. That SRT-4 will run (run over?) the TL or 330i and save you a small fortune in the process. But is it a legitimate comparison?

    Price to performance is not the only way to go nor even always a relevant comparison.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    kd, People buy TL over Accord, for the same reason you bought your 330 over 325.

    riez, Those two cars you mentioned have no luxury factor, if I would settle for something like that I would get WRX Sti or Evolution 8.

    zumbalak, looks like you have a lot of experience driving RWD, that is why you had few scary moments driving FWD TL, you dont drive FWD the way you drive RWD. I for example had a few scary moments driving G35 coup 6mt, bacouse I'm not use to pushing RWD to the limit, I even span once.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    pg48477... You prove my point. If luxury is the primary criteria, then why are people obsessing about performance numbers? And if price/value is the primary criteria, then there are a lot "better" less expensive cars out there.

    And that leaves us the dilemma of this board: What does it mean to be a "near luxury performance sedan"? Are luxury and performance equal? Or is performance more important than luxury? Or vice versa?

    I firmly believe in performance taking precedence, but not at the expense of luxury. And other factors like reliability, warranty, customer service, operating costs, etc. cannot be left out of the equation.

    But if you don't define terms and weight what is important, all you do is debate apples and oranges? Or Granny Smith apples vs. Red Delicious apples?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    There have been some recent posts suggesting the TL is overall best value. By whose yardstick are we measuring? And what is the factual criteria?

    1. number of goodies
    2. size of backseat
    3. driving experience
    4. hp and torque
    5. oveall performance numbers
    6. cost and financing
    7. drivetrain

    What are the soft criteria?

    1. looks of vehicle
    2. estimated resale value in x years
    3. quality/luxury of interior
    4. manufacturer reputation
    5. dealer reputation
    6. supposed value of automobile (note hard value goes up as total cost decreases, but soft value is based on the compromises one finds in the automobile. For example a Hyundai has a lot of hard value, but to some people not a lot of soft value. Is hard value or soft value more important?)

    One size doesn't fit all.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    For me performance is important, but money is also important. For example I would not pay 10K+ more for 330 over TL for only marginally better handling, but worse power train. On the other hand I would pay 20+ more for M3 which has way better handling and way better powertrain.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    You finally answered your Huyndai question.
    Both are important and TL would be had to had with 330. If you compare everything you just said, assuming that TL and 330 cost the same , we probably would have a tie. But being that TL cost 10K less, we now know who the winner is:)
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Think that's a topic for another board, but I don't think anyone can argue that v6 Camry or v6 Accord (will refer to them as CamCord from now on) give you best bang for buck. Yes, you can get a lower brand car but the CamCord is renowned for its reliability and low gas mileage and due to its reliability has a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

    With respect to the price differential between a nav-Accord and a nav-TL, I agree the nav-Accord wins in the value equation, but from what I've read (somebody with more exp. with both systems please help me out) the Acura's nav system is a lot better. I have not bought any nav systems in my cars to this point (I find a $20 map/atlas that I can carry from car to car is a pretty unbeatable value) so I don't know this for sure, but my understanding is that the nav system on the TL allows you to say "Phone Home" and then the car will dial the number for you, whereas this is not possible on the nav-equipped Accord.

    Now this may seem silly to you but I kind of dig this feature a lot for 3 reasons:

    1) I never use a cell phone when driving (unless I'm stuck in traffic and need to tell someone I'll be late) because it's dangerous so to be able to make voice-activated calls is incredibly useful. Time is money and if I can conduct some business while on the phone and save some time, the Nav system on the TL could pay for itself. Also, if you must talk on the phone, this is a much safer way to do it and could save your life, which is definitely worth something.

    2) One of my favorite shows as a kid was Knight Rider (in spite of David Hasselhoff) because the talking corvette with the roving Cylon eye was just so cool. There is a fun factor in talking to your car and getting a response back that is hard to quantify.

    3) If I buy the TL, it'll be the 6MT so with a stick in right hand and wheel in left hand, voice-activated calling is really more than a luxury, it's almost a necessity.

    The point is although objectively the nav-Accord beats the nav-TL, I think there are some good reasons to spring the extra $ for the superior Acura nav./voice system.

    With respect to the current generation v6 Accords, I found that Honda took all the driving fun out of the current gen. Accord. To me, they have the driving feel of a Camry and frankly, the Camry is a better Camry than the Accord is. When you compare prices on the non-nav Accord v6 and non-nav TL, I think the price difference is only $3,700 (based on my market research that I could get the Accord for $600 over invoice and the TL for $2k under MSRP based on what's been posted on the prices paid boards).

    I think the extra $3,700 is money well spent to upgrade from non-nav Accord to non-nav TL. Also, I really want a 6MT and unfortunately the Accord sedan does not come in 6MT and v6. I'd have to get the Accord 6MT v6 Coupe.

    And my wife's response when I suggested that we save some cash on my car by me getting the Accord 6MT Coupe was: "I always sit in the front and you are responsible for putting son in the back seat and pulling him out of the back seat."

    Well I like to save money like the next guy, but destroying my back is not the way I'm gonna do it so it's the TL for me.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I don't normally defend kdshapiro, but I really think that his basic point that "value is in the eyes of the beholder" is correct.

    It's kind of hard to compare the TL to any BMW b/c pricewise it's closer to the 3-series but sizewise it's comparable to the 5-series.

    If you are someone who places a high premium on being able to hit 270 degree exit ramps at 65 and really enjoys driving your car beyond 8/10ths on twisty roads, there really is just one sedan out there for you and that's BMW. Also as someone who drove a 3-series in his 20s, I have to say that I had a much, much easier time picking up hot girls with that car than any other car I've had before or since.

    I think if you exclude the 2 factors I mentioned above, the TL whomps the BMW 3-series, but getting hot girls with minimal efforts is, as they say in the MasterCard commercial, PRICELESS.

    OK, I think most of the people on these boards are men and hopefully I haven't offended any women.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    TL is right in between 5 and 3 in size, plus its being considered Near Luxury Performance Sedan.

    Everybody have their own opinion on any subject, but consideration by majority puts thing in perspective.

    I also place a high premium on being able to get of the corner by accelerating hard, and I believe FWD is better in this department.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Your post is interesting in that you are arguing with yourself, at times, as to what is a better "value" - the Accord or TL.

    As many of us have noted, although value is relative, it may also be measured objectively. However, even this objectively quantifiable factor may be viewed subjectively, depending on the viewer's wealth, dispositions and priorities in life, spending habits ... and not to mention the proverbial "ego" or "status" factor. As to the last factor, people seem quite touchy -- defensively and offensively :-)
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    "OK, I think most of the people on these boards are men and hopefully I haven't offended any women."

    I would be more careful if I were you, because I am not sure whether our revered host "Pat" is Patrick or Patricia :-)
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    ...the Knight Rider car was a Pontiac Firebird not a Corvette. Perhaps the show's producers felt that the Firebird offered better value.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    pg48477... You write, "For example I would not pay 10K+ more for 330 over TL for only marginally better handling, but worse power train." But you can say the exact same thing, only even worse, for the Accord V6 vs TL. They are siblings from the same company. Thus, if you can't say it for the Accord, you can't logically say it for the 330i.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    We always end up apples to oranges because we can't agree on even the most basic of things. For example, what is the relevant price spread? Is it under $40K? Over $25K but less than $45K? For me, I think the "meat" of this market segment is in the $27,500-$32,500 range but this segment includes outliers costing at least $25K but no more than $35K. But notice how subjective everything is?

    Thus, for me, the 330i comparison should be with a stripped one, not a loaded one. The loaded ones and the 330i with Perf. Pkg push $40K. To me, $40K is squarely in the realm of luxury performance sedan. There ain't no "near" at $40K. That is why I went with a loaded IS300 manual for approx. $32,500 MSRP when a similar 330i was nearly $40K. For $32,500 MSRP I could get a decently equipped (but just) 325i but not a 330i. (And I don't want to bring in ED issue.)

    Wish we had three boards. One for FWD, one for AWD, and one for RWD. For me, there is no such thing as a "performance" FWDer. That is an oxymoron. And I wouldn't want the weight penalty that AWD brings.

    And, staying purely, subjective, there is no such thing as a "performance" car with an automatic transmission. So these discussions would only be covering cars not controlled (dominated) by slushboxes. "Performance automatic" is also an oxymoron.
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    The IS300 is simply no match for any model TL (automatic or manual) in all categories.
  • shenkarshenkar Posts: 159
    "And, staying purely, subjective, there is no such thing as a "performance" car with an automatic transmission. So these discussions would only be covering cars not controlled (dominated) by slushboxes. "Performance automatic" is also an oxymoron."

    Uh..riez, there's a Mr. Enzo Ferrari on the line to speak with you.
  • shenkarshenkar Posts: 159
    saugatak, the cellphone interface you described (Handsfreelink) is a standard feature on ALL 2004 TL's...not just cars with Nav sys.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    First, IS is not really a performance car, RWD dos not make akar performance.
    Second, we all know that BMW makes one of the best handling cars in the world and it have nothing to do with it's being RWD. If you know Mini Couper is also made by BMW and it handle better than 3 series, and it's FWD.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Second, we all know that BMW makes one of the best handling cars in the world and it have nothing to do with it's being RWD. If you know Mini Couper is also made by BMW and it handle better than 3 series, and it's FWD."

    As the saying goes on American Idol - "I beg to diffa". Your statement is incorrect to the extent it is not the size or weight of a 3 series. Yes you can make a go-cart perform better than a three series, but make the Mini-cooper 3300 lbs, give it four "real" seats and it wouldn't outhandle a go-cart. With 0 to 60 acceleration of 8 seconds, I'm not sure how it outperforms the 330i. But in it's weight class, it just does fine. The SRT4 also outperformns the 330i, but add an additional 400lbs or so and it wouldn't accelerate it's way out of a paper-bag. Add 500lbs and 2 more seats to an S2000 to make it's weight equivalent to a 3 series and it wouldn't perform either. Yes it's very easy to make a car that out accelerates any other car, just cut down on seats, and mitigate with weight and you've got a winner. But we are not talking about these types of cars.

    To some paying the additional $$$ for a 330i, a vehicle with the best drivetrain in the business, smoothest in-line six, vaunted handling is worth it. To others it's not. What's so hard about that?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    shenkar... Over the past 50 years, what percentage of Ferrari have had automatic transmissions? Just check out the resale value of Ferrari, comparing automatics to manual.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    kahunah... I beg to differ. My '04 IS300 manual brings way more many smiles to my face than any FWD TL ever can. And certainly more than any '03 or earlier TL Type S automatic! There is nothing less fun than torque steer. And having 60% of weight over the drive wheels isn't my cup of driving tea.

    But guessin' we are talking apples to oranges. I'm talkin' pure driving pleasure on real world roads I drive. Not tracks we don't drive on or track test results. Huge difference.

    Will be interesting to see how reliable the new TL will be. The IS has a proven track record.
  • shenkarshenkar Posts: 159
    "...Over the past 50 years, what percentage of Ferrari have had automatic transmissions? Just check out the resale value of Ferrari, comparing automatics to manual."

    riez, I'm just saying you might want to rephrase that last statement in post 332, cause it's false...and I just proved it. The "past 50 years" and "comparing values" are separate and unrelated issues. I'm only talking about the manual vs automatic argument you made in that post. Doesn't hold water, as is.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    riez - is somewhat correct but where I live I would never own a manual as a daily driver. So if by definition I don't have a sporty car, so be it. I would however own a SSG/SMG or the like. I just don't want to have to put my foot on the clutch. :)
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    OK, I am glad you understand that RWD is not everything in performance.

    0-60 acceleration have nothing to do with handling, that what I was talking about handling not overall performance. But if you want to go this way TL is fester than 330 0-60, so what's your point?
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    IS is not 50/50 balanced either, so I don't know why you so proud of it. Plus 5MT is not enof for 225 engine, you need at least 6MT to even be close. IS have nothing on TL, NOTHING.
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    As in your IS300 is no match for my 270 hp Brembo equipped 6MT TL...on any road! But I didn't have to say it, as others agree also.
  • shenkarshenkar Posts: 159
    riez - is somewhat INcorrect, kd. And so are you, if you believe his assertion.

    I ask you both to consider, among others: Ferrari Stradale, Modena, Spyder, GTA, Maranello and Enzo models, which all have automatic transmission options. Would anybody in their right mind presume to say these are not "performance" cars because they don't have 4, 5, 6 or 7 speed manuals, as riez is asserting?

    Or what about the Porsche Turbo, BMW 760i AND the M3, Maserati Cambio, Audi RS6, Mercedes E55, C32, S55, S600 and a slew more than I can think of at this moment.

    He kinda jumped off the bridge without a parachute on that one, and you playing the devils advocate again, followed him over.
  • In the same way as your analysis of Mini Cooper vs. 330i, the 330i would also lose its edge if it had to gain the extra width and wheel base to match G35 and TL, as the 530i indeed does in the handling and accelearation departments to both. BMW has been playing this rigged game of fielding a smaller sausage to win the handling-happy rag writers for a long time.
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