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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Although I am a hardcore Acura/Honda fan and I love the current gen TL but I am having a hard time to digest that Acura is charging over $38K for a FWD, sub 300 HP car.

    $36K sounds like the ideal price for me.

    What do y'all think? Am I the only one to have issue with it?
  • from_flfrom_fl Posts: 113
    I loved Honda/Acura product during Senna era(Civic, CRX,Prelude, NSX, F1 cars). After his death, Honda/Acura product no longer excite me. The halo is gone.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 339
    When the current generation TL came out, what was the price something like 32,000 without the nav? 34 with it? That was a great price point for the time. Same thing goes when the last generation was introduced in 1999 for 28,000. Right now, the closer you get to 40,000 the closer you get to the ES 330, not too mention the remarkedly improved IS. Most people who buy Acura's buy them because of the value that they get in comparison to a Lexus. Therefore, an Acura should be a lot less than a Lexus. At 38,000 it ma be too close to the Lexus.
    2014 Highlander XLE AWD, 2009 RX 350 AWD and 2007 Odyssey EX
  • I think if you plan to drive the car in that much snow, you should consider getting a model that offers 4-Matic all wheel drive.
    I believe they offer the C280 and the C350 with the 4-Matic.
    Check out the tire rack for the all season tires.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    The TL-S is 2k more than the TL-P. For the extra 2k, you get the RL engine, manual tranny option, S seats, steering wheel and pedals, different exhaust, tail lights and other minor things. Some folks might see that as 2k well spent- others won't.

    It has 286 hp which is about 20hp less than the G, 335i and IS 350. I don't expect the TL-S to outrun, outhandle or outperform the G or 335i on a track but am still waiting to see the numbers this thing produces.

    Some folks are picking up the TL-S for 36k.

    I personally don't have an issue with it so long as you can get a discount on it.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    The TL and ES even at 40k are still two totally different types of FWD vehicles. The TL is a "sporty" FWD sedan and the ES is a ultra luxury boulevard cruiser IMHO.

    Folks might cross shop the two at any price point but the driving dynamics of each differentiate the two.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You know Pat, after I posted my last message last night, I started thinking that we might be wrong after all.

    I actually lost some sleep last night thinking about how I might have dismissed the "car that must not be named" a little prematurely. Humor me before you delete this.

    We (I) dismissed the MKZ as a non-performance car from a non-luxury marque, and that was that. Last night, I wrote that the MKZ is not worthy because it's based largely on the Mazda6, which is more or less a pedestrian midsize car.

    Here's what got me rethinking this - consider the Acura TL. You could argue that the TL is squarly in this segment - FWD yes, but peformance oriented, luxurious, high quality, and from an agreed upon luxury marque.

    But consider how much the TL and MKZ have in common. Both are FWD and both share 95% of their DNA with a 5-year old midsize car design (and the Mazda6 and Accord are direct competitors in price, performance, and features). Both marques actually exist in their own little "tweener" band of near-luxury, not actually luxury like M-B, Jaguar, and BMW.

    Compare both cars side-by-side, feature for feature, and the MKZ and TL have a lot in common (HP, wheelbase, weight, features, price, etc.).

    My conclusion? If the MKZ doesn't belong here, it's only because of Lincoln's heritage as a plush car maker compared to Acura's race heritage. Acura's literature contains detailed specs about the TL's performance features (roll bar diameter, turns lock-to-lock, size and type of brakes, dampeners, etc. while Lincoln literature lacks any specifics. Other than that, the two are pretty close on paper.

    One final point - I think perhaps that the base TL no longer belongs here for the same reasons that the MKZ doesn't. Years have marched on and we now have the TL-S - the base TL (which always was a little soft and floaty for my taste) now lacks a manual tranny option. All of the "go-fast" parts like thicker sway bars, 6-speed MT, etc. are all on the TL-S. The base TL is arguably more like a Buick than ever before.

    I'm sure many won't agree, but I feel guilty that I've wronged a competent car, and I want to make things right. After a lot more research on my part, the MKZ still isn't my kind of car, but I think it's more car than any of us have given it credit for.
  • I wish that Infiniti would offer this color interior for the new G35, as they do in Japan. I think that the wood looks fantastic with it. The carpet treatment is interesting as well. I like how they are bringing back the use Japanese art and culture into their design. Reminds me of what they were trying to do with the original Q45. :)

  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "Years have marched on and we now have the TL-S - the base TL (which always was a little soft and floaty for my taste) now lacks a manual tranny option. All of the "go-fast" parts like thicker sway bars, 6-speed MT, etc. are all on the TL-S."

    Do you think the IS 350 should be excluded as well because it doesn't have a manual tranny option? Yes, it has RWD and 300+hp but I don't think the IS 350 should be excluded much less the base TL. Although FWD, the base TL still has front and rear suspension characteristics of a sport sedan, rack and pinion steering, and a rigid body structure.

    The TL also has the "steptronic" transmission. A feature not found on the Lincoln. Personally, I think the steptronic transmission is a joke because it doesn't let you hold a gear for as long as you want- the computer kicks in. Nonetheless it is still there and it is combined with the drive by wire throttle system. All of the aforementioned combined make the base TL a "sporty" FWD sedan.

    Rumors about the 4G TL is that it will have 300hp+ and AWD.
  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 144
    drewsrx where did you find the pic? I loved that combo, when my A4 lease experies, I am strongly considering the 07 G35. I was leaning towards the grey leather interior, but after looking at the "burnt orange, brick or marroon" interior, I really hope that they offer if in 2008.

    Well, maybe in 08 they'll do it :>)

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Right now, the closer you get to 40,000 the closer you get to the ES 330, not too mention the remarkedly improved IS. Most people who buy Acura's buy them because of the value that they get in comparison to a Lexus. Therefore, an Acura should be a lot less than a Lexus. At 38,000 it ma be too close to the Lexus".

    I can't speak to "most people", but for me and many I know, Acura and Lexus are not as directly competitive as your post suggests, and as such there is no intrinsic need for Acura to be less expensive than Lexus. If my 2004 TL 6-speed were to be crushed by a falling tree tonight, there is still nothing in the entire 2007 Lexus line-up that would get me to stop in their showroom. The closest would probably be the IS350, but its dimunitive back seat and lack of a manual transmission are non-starters. Lexus could sell the ES350 for $20k and, in spite of that being an extraordinary deal, I wouldn't buy it. In 2001, I bought a Honda S2000, in 2005 a Porsche 911S. There is no price that would have gotten me to give the Lexus SC430 a serious look. As ggesg indicated, Lexus is more luxury oriented, Acura is more sport oriented.

    The closest we ever came to buying a Lexus was when we were SUV shopping last year. We seriously considered the GX, but ended up in a MDX due to the better 7 passenger functionality and the better on-road handling driving dynamics. The GX would have been less expensive, considering it qualified for a tax writeoff, but once again, didn't quite meet our needs and preferences.

    I know of some who have cross shopoped the GS and RL, but in that category, I'd be in a 530i or 550i (6-speed stick of course). ;)
  • Cheers fedlawman ! From the website.** In fact, it was voted the "Best Luxury Car Interior" by both industry and automotive journalist voters.gee I guess Edmunds journalists need to change their tune*** doesn’t hold anything back in performance, either. It boasts a 263 hp V-6 engine and available Intelligent All-wheel drive system to deliver a smooth, powerful and exciting ride.
    **Medium Premium Car class hmmm...Entry level Lux-Perf.sedan class maybe ??
    ***Ward's 2006 Auto Interiors Show
    hmm..are they a reputable source to judge car interiors-all those Mercedes fans feel slighted now, what was it the interior looks awful
    "…the has one of the most beautiful cabins in its class, miles ahead of Cadillac and Mercedes."****The Detroit News, 2/8/06

    fedlawman, Rocky, could anyone please post an interior and exterior image of the vs. the BMW 335i please ? How do you attach images to this forum ?
    Flash 11">
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    How do you post a picture of the 335 leaving these other cars in the dust? Seems to me the focus of this forum is on performance. BMW has the best drivers interior in the group, I love the simplicity of the dashboard. Simplicity does not mean cheap.

    I'm not saying any car should be bought carte-blanche just because, but each car has it's strengths and weaknesses. Each buyer likes different things. I'm not big on "fancy" interiors like Lexus. I like spartan, functional, high quality and driver friendly. To me no car manufacturer does that better than BMW.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Years have marched on..."

    Yes, 3 short years ago, the TSX and E46 325i were high on the list in this segment. Now they don't even blip the radar. The bar has been raised a lot in the last couple of years, and the base TL is not as competitive as it used to be (when this thread was in its infancy).

    "All of the aforementioned combined make the base TL a "sporty" FWD sedan."

    I agree, I think the TL absolutely belongs here. It is not the benchmark of this segment, but on a graph depicting the from "luxury" "sport" continuum, the TL is probably near the top of the bell curve (average) for the segment.

    The point I was making is that, upon closer examination of the "DNA," I have decided that the base TL and FWD Lincoln MKZ have a lot more in common than first meets the eye - that, if one is to be excluded, then perhaps we should re-examine the other one more closely.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "it was voted the "Best Luxury Car Interior" by both industry and automotive journalist voters."

    Calm down Flash. I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for the time being - based on paper stats and photographs. We should reserve judgement until we actually sit in, touch, and drive it for ourselves. Only then will we know if it feels as good as it might look on paper.

    Remember, American auto makers are notorious for their hideous interiors and cheap plastics. Most "premium luxury" American cars pale in material and build quality when parked next to a Honda Accord.

    Lincoln MKZ:

    I don't like it personally, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Here, I think this American car has a much nicer looking interior:

    Looks pretty nice, huh? Unfortunately, on paper only. In person, it's just a $20,000 Saturn - and you know it as soon as you actually sit in it.
  • rjorge3,

    That picture came from the Japanese Nissan website. They offer that color for the Skyline 350GT, which is our G35.

    I am not sure if it will ever be offered here because Infiniti has that color for the US Market M35/M45 & FX35/FX45 and it doesn't sell very well.

    But, I hope they offer it...


    They also did a better job on the interior lighting for the G35. No more orange, and they added LED ambient lighting.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    the last and only sport sedan Lexus ever made was the 1st generation IS. It had great steering feel, tight handling, a taut suspension, RWD, LSD, a nice I6 engine, great looking 5 spoke 17" wheels, and an outside the box gauge cluster (which I happened to like).

    People complained it was slow. In addition to being relatively slow, it got terrible gas mileage. People complained the ride was too stiff and jarring (that's how I like it). People complained the interior was too cramped.

    So lexus stuffed a 300+ hp v6 under the hood of a softly sprung chassis. they just took all the fun out of the car.

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

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    While the MKZ interior materials may be top notch, the design, to me screams, "K Car!" I could not live with that interior. While I prefer wood to aluminum, I do not like the lighter woods in any car. YMMV, of course.

    And yes, in the picture, the styling of the Aura makes the MKZ look all the more unacceptable.

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Sorry - I disagree. The X-Type may have upset the Jag purists, but, more X's have been sold than any other Jag model to date. Sales may have fell well short of Ford's unrealistic projections, but, about 400K of them went out the door so far. Those of us who own one love 'em.

  • Thanks fedlawman but you compared it to a Saturn. I asked to compare it to the BMW, are you afraid we will see the truth ? C'mon show us the interior of the BMW also, side by side. The exterior of the MKZ is gorgeous, K car please...I will get a posting of the MKZ against the BMW in the Current and Future performance sedans forum created by Rocky. I wont have to put up with this hypocrisy there.
  • I love that interior in the MKZ, it looks great with the exterior in Black pearlcoat and chrome rims.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    I agree. Don't care for the 'metallic' interior look of the MKZ. The Aura looks so much nicer.
  • I believe I read somewhere that the TL has faster slalom time than the IS350 due to the electronazis.

    That home boy that posted a review from the Detroit news should know that that husband and wife team that do the car section for that paper are beyond worthless. They are so worthless that comedians are just saying their names during stand up routines and getting laughs.

    Sorry, actually 3 things. What the hell are we doing still hearing this nonsense about that Lincoln? Does it have the fastest 0-Luby's time?

    Is their actually anybody besides Rockylee, and his love child flash11, that really believe this car is sporty?
    If so, please step forward and have a pie thrown in your face for being an idiot without a village.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Guess you're gonna be in absolute awe then. My son-in-law owned a Volvo S60 Turbo. After driving my 3.0 X Type he indicated that the Jag had more punch and handled better than his Volvo. He has since replaced the Volvo with a new Acura TL.
  • You can scoop up a 335 with gray, beige, black, terra (brownish orange) and lemon leather interiors. Yes, lemon. Most people don't realize this is available but you can get it through special order.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Does the interior define a car in this segment, or does the overall performance? I've seen the 3 series and MKZ side by side, in my estimation no comparison. BMW wins. Sleek and athletic. The MKZ is not that. (I want to add IMO). But that still doesn't mean there will not be a market for this car.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "you compared it to a Saturn. I asked to compare it to the BMW, are you afraid we will see the truth?"

    Sorry Flash, I showed the interiors to make my point. I didn't realize you were counting on me to perform a task for you.

    My point is that you can't tell the QUALITY of the interior from a photo. All a picture can do is help you decide which interior YOU like best. Completely subjective.

    Well, here you go...Flash

    and Function

    Personally, I find the MKZ interior almost grotesque in it's attempt to be premium. I count over 40 buttons on the center stack! It's just trying too hard to be something.

    The BMW interior is just pure, simple function over form - as a true cockpit should be.

    The MKZ is shouting, "Look at me, look at me!" while the BMW is whispering, "Let's go the long way today."
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608
    fed, great line! I try to find as many twisties as possible as the hills whisper back!

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I would declare the MKZ "Not Fit for this board" just based on that ancient-looking steering wheel.
  • "I would declare the MKZ "Not Fit for this board" just based on that ancient-looking steering wheel."

    I second that :)

    Seriously, straight from a truck.
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