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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,094
    The Legacy GT is another one I'm looking forward to. But I'd be surprised if it bests the others. It will probably be faster in a straight line with a tall clutch dump, but on a track they will be much closer. Unless Subaru finally puts a real sporting suspension on a non-STi product, its not going to be very tossable.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    "You G35, TL & IS300 worshipers are gonna be upset when the new 2005 Legacy finally hits the shores. Performance and handling will leave those behind. I say it here now so you won't be disappointed when the mags say it later. "

    This car may be geared to get to 60 in less than 6 but lets see the real numbers when tested and see the rest of the story. I expect it to be a solid car but I doubt 3/G lovers are weeping just yet. 250 HP spread to 4 wheels is about what an a-4 but no M5.
  • If you review the few mag articles that relate specifically to the GT, they mention how balanced the handling is. The rub has always been the lack of power, and the interior refinement.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I can buy an SRT4 for cheap, put $10K worth of mods in it and blow everything away. But I ask myself, is this the car I really wanna drive? What does the ability to outgun every car with one that has not even a modicum of luxury have to do with anything?

    Yes you'll lose the race, but I'm sure you will think, look at that guy in the cheap modded American car, compared to my fancy A-spec TL. :)
  • For mountain highway travel, canyon carving and all purpose driving the Legacy has always been a sleeper. It now finally will have the engine the chassis deserves. Drive a Leagcy in the mountains and you will know what I am talking about. If you want mods then wait till the STi Legacy comes, rumour is 350-400 HP Turbo H6 to match up directly with S4. : )
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    Thats more like it..400 hp is the benchmark - I hope everyone has an offering with that in mind. It will come down to pricing if these makers can really produce what they say they are..pretty comparable cars...the car that we Infiniti enthusiast long await is called Skyline-GTR and it will have near 500 hp for a speculated 55k or so and look like a cross between a G and a bugatti and a viper. The 2006-2008 car shopping seasons should be interesting for us.

    Lets not forget that these are more sports cars than sports sedans. Hopefully I'll be in the minivan by then toting kids around. I'd love to have a 1986 caravan and a GTR for myself and the M5 or a tuaras for the finacee'.
  • Sorry riez, but the IS300 is the only Lexus that actually looks and feels like a regular Toyota. After sitting in the interior for five minutes one thing came to mind "Corolla". I am sure it handles great and all that, but the interior IMO the interior is major turnoff. Ok, maybe I am spoiled, but after driving an Audi for almost a year I've become what you call a "dash-stroker".
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    I sat in the audi my not quite father in law just bought and All I could think was Volkswagen. Which by the way is not bad considering the passat interior is one of the most refined even out of its own class. While the interior was nicer in the audi it made me bored. G may not have the warm simple perfection of the Audi...but it's not boring at all. Perhaps I enjoy chaos.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    speedracer... Put on over 30,000 miles in an '00 323ia (w/Prem Pkg) and nearly 30,000 miles in my loaded '98 540i6. The IS300 interior compares favorably. But then again, I'm NOT looking for fake wood trim, "warm" brown interiors, etc. I want only black interior and prefer aluminum/chrome trim piece interiors.

    The IS300 has beautiful "drilled" pedals and the interesting chronograph instrument cluster. The IS300 has one more legitimate gauge than either the 323ia or 540i6.

    The IS300 is a boy racer interior. Serious interior for serious fun! What more could you want out of an interior? Luxury? Not me!

    (My wife was always mad about the 323ia. It lacked the chrome doorsill plate like the 540i6. The 3 Series is just decent interior wise.)
  • BMW interiors certainly have the material quality you would expect out of a luxury car, but the styling itself is austere. IMO, a bit boring. The G35 is fine ergonomically, but the quality of some of the plastics is poor for a luxury car. The IS300 has a boy racer look that not everybody cares for, some of the materials are Toyota not Lexus quality and I don't care for that chronograph speedo and such. Audi interiors are not always ergonomically sound (putting a cupholder over the stereo comes to mind), but the quality of plastics is incredible, also there is so much attention to detail and style that it is a pleasure to sit inside day in and day out.
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    riez - I'm glad you enjoy your IS300 so much but you've got to come clean. How did you justify owning a car in this class range that gets SUV type fuel mileage (18/25)? Were you aware of this fact when you bought the car? Are the numerous trips to the gas station worth the driving fun?

    Do any of you out there consider fuel economy when buying a "Luxury Performance Sedan"? I know I do.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Do any of you out there consider fuel economy when buying a "Luxury Performance Sedan"? I know I do."

    Yes, my vehicle gets 32 mpg on the open road, even tooling along at a good rate. I usually get 24-26 in city driving. CR validates the 32, which I find amazing. Gas mileage is important for a daily driver. It wouldn't be as important for a week-end car.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    "Do any of you out there consider fuel economy when buying a "Luxury Performance Sedan"? I know I do. "

    Yes as long as its better than 14-16 I'm OK. I may get a prius next time and the GF an M5 - then I'll be in the right car to worry about mileage. From an expense standpoint gas has been a lower and lower percentage of my driving costs considering my car is fully financed and insurance is higher than 1k.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "I may get a prius next time and the GF an M5"

    Not me. M5 for me, gf gets Ferrari, wife gets RX330.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    "I may get a prius next time and the GF an M5"
    Not me. M5 for me, gf gets Ferrari, wife gets RX330. "

    With all the sitting our cars do we decided to cut back. She was going to get a 3 series or a murano or FX while I have the G - we both will be taking train soon to work so whats the point...we need one nice car and one beater. She got a Mitsubishi Outlander (can you believe i talked Princess into that??) for the simple fact we need AWD and want only one lux car sitting at the train station.

    SO next time it's my turn to get a beater. The prius may be the ultimate car for what we need 1/2 the time. I bet I could coast her down the hill to the station without even turning the motor on. My dads is impressive. I promised her a 5 to get this deal. I may end up in a Le car if they are more than the 80k i expect them to be...
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    LOL. Looks like you came to your financial senses. For a while, I thought you had more cars than Schwarzenneger.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    But on the other hand, I can afford an M5. The question is can I afford the insurance. :)
  • Thanks riez for the CR info on the G35. The G35 in that test is also lacking the sport package with the nicer tires and tighter suspension.

    As for fuel economy, despite technological advancement, performance and economy are fundamentally opposite objectives. And gas is cheap compared to the total cost of this class of cars.

    As an owner of none of these, but a long time shopper, my opinion on the best for each function.

    Exterior Design: All good, all different
    Interior Design: A4, TL, C-Class
    Size/Space: G35 and TL
    Acceleration: BMW, G35, TL
    Braking: all very similar
    Handling: BMW, G35, IS300
    Cost: Similar except the 330i, C-Class cost more
    Reliability: Japanese better than European

    For me personally, Acceleration, Handling, Size, and Cost are more important than the interior, so if I were shopping for a sedan it would lead me to the G35.

    But I am looking for a convertible, and I can't have a manual because my significant other will not budge on that issue. All that leads me to a 330Cic with SMG.

    Have fun and remember they are all nice cars, depending largely on what you want most.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    how can the TL with its 270 HP engine be placed behind a 225 HP BMW in acceleration?

    i've driven both cars. the acceleration on the TL is phenomenal.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Because the 330i is actually faster to 60 according to Car and Driver?
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    "Because the 330i is actually faster to 60 according to Car and Driver?"

    If that's true, it doesn't accord with my real world experience. Also, the VTEC engines are well known for not having a lot of low end torque. If the 330i and TL are both going say 40, I'm sure the TL would hit 70 a lot faster.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You can check car and driver yourself, I don't have the links handy. This information is actually posted up a few.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    kdshapiro, i believe your stats on car and driver. i could see a 330i beating a TL on a flat start, but not with a running start.

    also wondering if they compared manual to manual or manual to automatic.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    "But on the other hand, I can afford an M5. The question is can I afford the insurance. :) "

    We should be closer to middle aged and perhaps on the matrimony discount by then. Hoping for anti lawsuit legislation as well....I'd also consider the JET bike Jay leno bought if the M doesn't work out. As he describes it..."faster you go - the more it accelerates" That would be quite a feat if they can get a car to do that...was contemplating a rolls royce turbine upgrade on the G instead of a lightweight flywheel. HA
  • This is the one to watch in about a year's time frame. I'll bet the farm it goes AWD with the sooped up engine.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Doesn't say it's RWD...YAWN!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    chrisboth & kahunah... What percentage of long-term ownership costs do you think are related to fuel? Not much. Depreciation is the biggest hit. Don't forget about insurance. TTL. Annual registration. Maintenance, including tires.

    I paid about $30,000 for the car. I'm getting about 25-26 mpg. If I drive 100,000 miles over 6 years that will take about 3,922 gallons of fuel (at 25.5 avg.mpg). In my town right now premium (Amoco/BP Ultimate, the only fuel I use) costs about $1.63 per gallon. That would be a mere $6,393 in total fuel costs. My car insurance over the same time would be about $7,200. The intitial tax on the car was around $1,500. In the first five years of ownership, it will cost me about $1,950 just to register the car ($325 per year). Four sets of tires will cost me at least $1,600 (at just $100 per tire). And what will depreciation be over this 100k/6 years? Probably about $20-24,000.

    So that $6,393 in fuel isn't a big consideration. Say I got 30 mpg. That would be 3,333 gallons for $5,433. Or a mere $960. $160 per year. Or just $.0096 per mile driven. Is this a big deal? Not even a penny a mile.

    [Hope I did my maths right.]

    I'm getting nearly 26 mpg. That is SUV-like??? Not hardly! At least not at 74 mph which is what I normally drive on interstate.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Posts: 493
    I enjoy putting food in my baby. Its the insurance that makes me spin.

    I'm paying for a hit & run rings dinner right now via my insurance premiunm and I bet they are eating better than i right now...
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    You tell me, riez:

    RX330 20/26 (FWD)
    RX330 18/24 (AWD)
    IS300 18/25 (RWD) That's just pitiful.

    All figures courtesy of
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,358
    The RX isn't an SUV, it's a tall Camry station wagon with a lot of gadgets.

    But, the IS is not particularly fuel efficient fgiven it's size and output, but I expect that the new V6 engines (in the upcoming GS, and probably the next IS if there is one) will get betteg MPG.

    As Reiz pointed out, if you can afford a car in this class (and it's upkeep), the difference between 25 and 30 MPG isn't going to be a real big factor.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

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