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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "Maybe the next one up is the Impala SS since it has enough HP to compete with cars in this segment anyway... "

    Uh oh----priggly should be joining us soon ;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The only real problem then.."

    Those aren't problems, they are preconceived notions. I find Lexus LS and Hummer drivers to be worse than BMW drivers. But we probably shouldn't go there. :sick
  • Curious on suggestions: I've got just over $500 to spend on a lease and I'd like to get somethng fully loaded (incl. NAV).

    A42.0 or 328xi?
  • navboynavboy Posts: 32
    The 2007 G35 will have a hard-drive based navigation system with robust voice recognition, optional navtraffic, and lane-guidance which shows you which exact lane to be in on freeway interchanges and exits. It has an audio system which features a Burr-Brown converter, a hard disc drive which stores 150 hours of music, and a flash-memory card reader. One can control the radio (and the air system) with voice commands. The G35 also has a backup camera with superimposed guidance lines, which can predict the automobile's path. The dashboard technology in the 2007 G35 is more advanced than that in the M45.

    The 2007 BMW 335 has an i-drive based navigation sytem, limited voice recognition, and a trunk-mounted 6-disc CD changer.

    From the perspective of a discerning professional who appreciates advanced technology, I think the G35 makes the 335 look like doo.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "From the perspective of a discerning professional who appreciates advanced technology, I think the G35 makes the 335 look like doo."

    For a navigation system, I use my phone, VZNAV. As far as BMW technology it's in the car, engine, chassis and suspension. I for one, (and I guess other people who buy BMW), would rather listen to the sound of the engine, than talk to the car.

    So one could come to the same conclusion as you... from the perspective of a discerning professional who appreciates advanced technology where it counts, I think the 335 makes the G35 look like.....
  • navboynavboy Posts: 32
    I am looking for a vehicle with a smooth, quiet ride - a ride in which every lump and dip in the pavement is not translated into jouncing under one's behind. In comparing the Infiniti G35 and the base BMW 335, which do you feel has the smoothest ride? Are there an lux import cars (other than lexus) which have a smoother ride?

    By smooth ride, I mean less rigid and stiff; less likely to produce hammering and jolting while driving over uneven pavement.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    mercedes, acura tl
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    "I don't personally know any BMW owners who would call their cars reliable or well-made."

    My Dad has an '04 X5 3.0iA SP with about 56,000 miles on it. It has never once gone in for service besides the 3 times for scheduled maintenance. The last time he brought it in, they fixed the rear hatch that popped open a few times & replaced the head unit because the 1st 2 buttons started to wear down.

    My Mom has an '05 530iA with a little over 30K miles on it That has needed nothing but scheduled maintenance so far. I've actually considered buying the car when the lease is up next December. But the idea of owning an iDrive equipped BMW out of warranty scares me.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • Uh, some of us wouldn't get the navi, back up camera or a trunk-mounted/dash mounted hard drive. No thanks. i have an ipod. That's all I need.
  • A non-sport 325 is just plain mushy and nauseating for me to ride in, while the G35 (2006 and before) had a firmer, more enjoyable drive. True be told, I feel a little physically ill riding in a 325 with 17s and the sport package - it's too freaking soft. Non-sport bimmers make me feel even more ill.

    You can only imagine how delighted I am to get GMs and other marshmallowy cars as rentals all the time. Ugh.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    am looking for a vehicle with a smooth, quiet ride

    Dude, if that's what you are looking for then I'll have to say that you are looking at cars in the wrong segment then. Maybe you should check out the ES350 or MB C-class. An Acura TL should probably do it for you as well but some would argue that the IS350 has a softer right than the TL.

    It is funny that you said you want a smooth and quiet ride but at the same time the 2 vehicles that you are comparing have the least smooth and quiet ride within the class.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Why are you looking for advice in the luxury PERFORMANCE sedan forum for the smoothest possible ride?

    Kind of like going into a French bakery looking for the lowest calorie breakfast. Get a Lexus ES or Toyota Avalon. Add pillows on the drivers seat.
  • I might ask this question in one of the BMW threads, but thought I might get a more balanced response here. I am very smitten with the 2007 328/335i coupes. In the past I have stayed away from BMW's because a) they aren't as reliable as many cars, and b) I tend to keep cars a few years past the warranty period. I'm not saying that I think BMW 3-series cars are terrible from a reliability standpoint, just that they seem to be either at or slightly below "average" reliability and I am used to owning japanese cars that are generally rated well above "average".

    I agree with nyccarguy in that I am scared of owning a BMW with iDrive out of warranty. I know that at least one of the BMW faithful on these boards has stated that he only leases BMW's for a similar reason.

    Would an extended warranty make you guys comfortable with owning a BMW longer-term? Or is the issue more that routine maintenance is also very expensive and that is only covered for the first 4 years regardless of extended warranties?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Tough question. You're talking to a person who buys extended maintainence on reliable Japanese products. I would get the extended maintenance agreement on a BMW also.

    I would also not use the three of four opinions here as a benchmark for the reliability of any manufacturer.

    Repairing a Lexus and BMW for a similiar problem will have similiar costs. Estimating a brake job on a 4year old 335 vs a 4 year old Corolla, will obviously have very different costs associated with it. If you believe the extended warranty will cover the areas prone to failure the extended warranty is a good deal.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608

    I really love the new coupes also. I leased an '06 330xi last December. As in very nameplate, the cars improve each year but also get more complex, ergo, warrantee gets more valuable as we move through the years.

    I would definatly get extended warrantee to cover ownership for any of the higher cost cars. They are expensive, however. If you calculate the cost of extended warrantee over an additional 4 year period and add in the routine stuff not covered, I'll extimate $100/month is fair guess over the period.

    You pay more to lease but do not pay extra for the maintenance since you trade before warrantee expiration. If you buy the car, you need to keep it at least 6 years to be ahead of the lease on average. But if you get a major problem without coverage, the pendulum swings the other way.

    I always purchased but changed to the lease option exactly because of this. Also, I know I pay more (depending on miles driven) but I do not worry about major issues and the BMW warrantee is top shelf. Then at the end, the fun is choosing a "new and improved" model.

    Have fun and hope you get the car you enjoy and best of luck.
  • You pay more to lease but do not pay extra for the maintenance since you trade before warrantee expiration....

    I always purchased but changed to the lease option exactly because of this. Also, I know I pay more (depending on miles driven)

    Are we talking crazy high miles? Because 15k lease is far cheaper than the actual depreciation hit a 3 series takes. My last BMW lease saved me at least 2500 compared to the cost of selling the car after 3 years of ownership.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    entry level luxury performance sedan? Don't know that you can classify 'entry' without also talking price - is 50k+ for a 530, E350, or a GS meet all defintions of what most folks consider a 'luxury sports sedan' sure -- entry level not for most folks. Is even the small 330 pushing the price envelope. Probably. So really what you are left with are a few suitably powered FWD cars and a notable exception, the G35. And then, the dilemma, how can any car with 60% or more of its weight over its drive wheels be a true performance car. Acura has tried hard with the TL, ending up with ride sacrifices while still not eliminating the understeer endemic to the weight imbalance and the torque steer common to many well powered FWD sedans. Ditto for things like Maximas, Impala SS/GP.
    For my part, ending up with an Avalon Touring after shopping both the TL and G35, the Avalon and TL both at about 30k the G35 a few thousand more. The G35 definitely the only one that I would define as a performance car, it is a hoot to drive but at the price of the fit/finish and luxury levels found in the TL/Avalon. The TL, a muuch rougher ride - the Avalon the surprise I didn't anticipate - a car that will run with either of the other two (until the road gets really curvy), much larger and more comfortable, trading off some of that 'handling' for a far better ride. The Touring model definitely the trim line of choice, more tightly sprung and perhaps a little more 'fun'. Not sure though that 6 second 0-60 or 100 mph quarters necessarily makes it a 'performance' sedan though - don't think that is possible in a FWD car.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The TL rougher than the G35? I disagree. But it goes to show you have the drive the cars yourself and not rely on someone elses opinion. I'm glad you like the Avalon, it is way too big for my taste. And you hit the nail on the head with the disclaimer...once you hit the curves. Lots of cars do well in a straight line.

    You are on target on price. Is350 the same as the 335, TL coming in at about $34, with the base G35 at $30Kish. Of course no one will ever get a base G35.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The 2007 G35 base is actually pretty decently equipped. Comes standard with automatic, leather, HID, keyless start, metallic paint, and 7" LCD information screen. All for about $32,000 probably.

    Add automatic, leather, keyless start, and metallic paint to the 335i sedan, and you're already looking at $43,100.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    my purchase in the spring of 05 - both the TL and the G35 were hot sellers, the TL with maybe a 6-7% discount, the G35 about the same, the Avalon which I knew nothing about wasn't even on dealer lots yet and selling closer to sticker. Curse for those of us that end up wanting finer cars - demand has a way of keeping prices closer to sticker - could have gone to any of those 'Detroit' brands and gotten one of those 538% ;) discounts. Anyway the TL was the car I thought I wanted and was going to be about 30k no nav, the G35 to bring in up to the TL level needed a 3500.00 option package, the Avalon also 30k simlarily equipped to the TL. Can understand the comment about size, the Avalon certainly has a lot of that, the power and FE to boot, but a sports sedan it ain't. G35 certainly qualifies, my contention that it is the only truly 'entry level' sports sedan currently available unless you want to consider throw things like the Evo/WRX into the mix, but then I guess where is the 'luxury'.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Here is my experience with BMW’s, I never had a problem with my 3 and so as my two friends, one of them also owned 525 and it was also trouble free. My other friend hase 530 and it’s in the shop once a month, he is a big BMW freak and would get another one, no questions ask. So, I would say if it breaks few times in the first year or so; you’ll have problems with this car and if reliability is a big issue for you, you will not be happy. On the other hand if the car has no problems in the beginning, you should not have any issues in the future.

    P.S. 3 is the most reliable out of all BMWs, I would be comfortable with owning one.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I agree with others, IS350 or ES350 will make a perfect choice for soft ride, I did not find TL to be soft in comparison. However, if your hart is set on only two G35 and 335, I would say that 335 is softer and more enjoyable then G35. There is something in suspension setup that none of the competitors were able to replicate. While 3 is a better handler then G it also feels better on the bumpy road, I would not say it’s softer but defiantly not as bumpy as G. Actually, I just read article in Motor Trend and they confirmed my findings. I’d say that G35 has the least comfortable ride in this segment.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    How did you figured that?
  • How did I figure it?

    Pretty simple math:

    330i - MSRP of 43k. I negotiated a sale price of 39.9k. If I bought the car that'd be 44k out the door.

    My lease was 485 a month for 36 months, for a total of 17.4k.

    At lease return my model was selling for 24k but the residual was 24.6k. That's a 19.6k hit.

    I see a $2200 difference there (not including loan interest if I didn't buy the BMW for cash).
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Still don’t get why you use 44k as price if you buy and 39.9 if you lease. Taxes aside and lets say the selling price after 3 years is 24, would make the difference of 15.9 (39.9-24). To make it fair you should use the same selling price for both lease and buy. At the end of the day, lease is more due to interest, all things being equal.

    P.S. I too prefer to lease but found it more expensive then buying for cash and then trading the car in for a new one.
  • Still don’t get why you use 44k as price if you buy and 39.9 if you lease.

    If buy you pay taxes. If you lease you pay taxes on the portion you use. So, when I compare the two options, taxes play a huge role. Buy the car, you're down 44k, lease the car and you pay only taxes on the portion you use.

    Taxes aside and lets say the selling price after 3 years is 24, would make the difference of 15.9 (39.9-24).

    No. You have to pay the taxes. No way around it. Not sure what planet you're on but if you buy a 40k car, you're paying those taxes up-front.

    P.S. I too prefer to lease but found it more expensive then buying for cash and then trading the car in for a new one.

    no way. If you negotiate a crappy lease, sure. But given BMW's propped up leasing model, I come out ahead easily on leasing. BMW overvalues their cars residuals and usually gives you a decent MF. Bimmers lose about 20% of their value in year 1 - taxes included because you can't avoid paying them on a purchase.

    Secondly, trading in a car you lose even more. That's giving thousands away. Trading-in a car you're talking about another 2-3k difference in price from private-party resale. Trade-in value of my 03 330i was hovering in the low 20s. I woulda taken a bath: as will any person who trades-in a late-model car to a dealership.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Well, I guess we are on two different planets. If you trade in your car you only pay tax on the difference, therefore the tax you overpaid on the first purchase will go back to you after the trade in. Second, the residual value after 3 year lease is very close to trade in, for BMW that is. And please don’t quote me KBB or Edmunds as they are not even close on some models and makes. I spend my share on dealers auctions and I can assure you BMW in a good condition will bring good money. I can see you are very passionate about leasing and ED, there is no need to get upset if you perfect deal is not so perfect. Just go back to planet EarthJ

    Again, if you lease you always pay more, at lease the money factor if you are good negotiator.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you point out a few of the reasons why leasing a car is very rarely if ever reflective of the actual price paid. Other factors that allow for an 'apparently' good price include finance charge buydowns, something relatively new called 'market equalization' fees, adjsutable mileage allowances and fees, residual adjustments relative to the anticipated 'damages' done to the car at lease end. There is a reason why dealers prefer leasing - it is easier for them to get approved and much more profitable for them. Not to mention all those low mileage 'program' cars they get back to make even more of a killing on!
    Could never understand the logic of leasing unless, of course, you really don't drive much or really want a new car every 3 years or so. Many of my friends have cars on leases and will usually brag about that fictious lease 'sales' price, and then find halfway thru the lease or so that they can't use the car nearly as much as they want to, and ultimately are hit with mileage and/or damage chargebacks at lease end that forces the refinance of the residual on an actual purchase for several thousand more than what the car is really worth. Or is all rolled into another lease - a self-perpetuating problem, that sooner or later, has to be bought out of.
    In any event, although a good lease can minimize your monthly out-of-pocket, it will never be cheaper than an actual purchase, and a cash price remains really the only way to determine a car's actual sell price. And you are right, the only thing that dealers like better than late model trades is the service depts. - this is where they really make their money.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Just one more point, in case of the lease bank owns the car not the dealer. In most cases the BANK will sell the car on the dealers auction, the price they get will eventually make up residual % you get at the purchase. So, in real life residual value equals the price on the dealers auction (or in other words “trade in”). In case of BMW bank, they usually charge low money factor, therefore their residuals are very accurate, otherwise they’ll lose money, and trust me BANK will never loose their money.

    Not replying directly to you captain2, just continuing the trail.
  • jtlajtla Posts: 373
    Also not replying to you, pg48477, just continuing this thread.

    The true financial advantage on leasing comes from, as blueguydotcom pointed out, the saving on sales tax. Unfortunately, even this saving is often largely offset by the so-called acquisition fee ($600-$900) up front and termination fee ($350 to $600) at lease end. In some States, sales tax is levied on the selling price of the vehicle.

    Leasing can be a better deal than purchasing only when there is factory subsidy that is not available/applicable to purchase (for example, artificially high residual). Otherwise, lease is almost always more expensive than purchase. The reason is plain and simple: no dealer or bank would share with you the cost of ownership of a vehicle.
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