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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yet its clear that cars get a bit less expensive every generation as well - at least in be entry-level of each segment. You can thank Hyundai and others for putting pressure on the older players.

    Afterall, the price increase on a base CTS isn't hardly a blip. The next one may be a little more money, but certainly not 3-4K more.

    I think part of it is that $40K+ still sticks in most buyers' minds as "wait a second... that's expensive!" - certainly to people lokoing for "entry-level" anything.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Buying a 35k-45k ELLPS is not just about making the purchase. People have to factor in TCO. In reality, if folks are taking a second look at the "price" then they really shouldn't be looking in this segment.
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    Whereas I agree that $40,000 shouldn't be a "cap" anymore... maybe something like $45,000 should. As a Mercedes-Benz C Class owner, the C350 (with options) can still be had for well under $45,000, but not under $40,000. I'd imagine the BMW 3 Series would fit the same bill for the best engine/package in the line.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    That's just plain silly.

    It says at the top of this page:
    Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans
    So tell me why this shouldn't be included as well. It's brand new, and it's under $43K.(a 2007 is $48K, btw)

    I can hear it now. Everyone crying "foul!" while at the same time saying that the upper-end/more powerful versions of the Lexus, 3 series, or C-class somehow should be allowed. "But it's not entry-level".

    And neither are the high-performance versions of the 3, C, and IS, either. $40K is a good limit because it takes almost of these souped-up sedans out of the competition.
    (and technicaly, you can get a 338i for under $40K - so no whining - though it's clearly NOT BMW's entry-level offering, it does squeek under the line)
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    and VW is not a luxury nameplate and Passat is not VW's entry level sedan either. Sorry. Don't mention it in here again.
    Passat fails to make the grade.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    yeah, these 3 are entry level sedans within their luxury nameplates' offerings. Well, the IS250 is, and the IS350 is pretty much just an optional engine in that entry car.
    Price does not determine whether its an ELLPS.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    The arguments keep re-surfacing. Hahaha.
    Host defines the breed, and has in the past.
    Have the rules changed host?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This discussion is about the cars listed at the top of the page. If anyone wants to change the cars being discussed, please start a new discussion. Thanks.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    this is precisely the reason.

    What is the MSRP on this car, $51K/$52K? Just because GM products have their value fall like rocks is no reason to include them in less expensive segments. With the 335 their MSRP is to expensive, but in the case of CTS-V their supposed retail is within the "range". I think not.

    Oh and by the way, have fun buying that car in New Hampshire.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608
    They probably will KILL the CTS anyway....then resurrect it...NO WAIT, Lets call it Eldorado!!!

    That is why the US auto industry really can't survive. No definitive direction. MKZ CTS...means nothing in terms of best of breed. Too GENERAL for me anymore.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,984
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, MSRP only!

    Hey, my uncle carl's roommate's brother got an M5 for under $40k! So it belongs here! ... uhhhh.... NO! Our only true provable number is the sticker.

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

  • Loved my 98 M3/4, but the E90 335i I just got is better. The only thing I miss about the M3 is the lsd.

    Besides that the 335i is better in every way from my point of view. Better brakes, ride quality, quieter, handles as well(I have the spt pkg), more comfortable seats that hold you better as well, nicer interior quality and much more power, expecially down low in the rev range.

    The 98 M3 sedan was the ultimate ELLPS in it's time and for quite a few years after, but others have now surpassed it.
  • Just a quick question about the list at the top of the page.

    Why are the IS250 and 350 listed seperately while the A4, 3 series and C class are listed just once?

    Not really important, just wondering.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 339
    Just my two cents. Most people cross shop vehicles based on price and people buy cars based on payments. I find it hard to believe that someone is looking at a base CTS and a 335. There is just too much of a difference in price and monthly payments. Thus, while they are both ELLPS they are not competitors.

    Also, MSRP is accurate for the Japanese but is not accurate for Americans. The ELLPS segement should be defined based on model, not price. Lastly, at least we are no longer arguing about the MKZ.
    2014 Highlander XLE AWD, 2009 RX 350 AWD and 2007 Odyssey EX
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608
    After driving a BMW, a CTS is the farthest thing from even a test drive, IMO.

    We can discuss it here for it is the best the US has to offer at this point. The name will probably change soon anyway. ;)

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,984
    of course i agree that many cars can be bought for less than msrp, but the reason why i am so adamant that msrp be the only measure when setting up the parameters of a discussion is because, as i posted here long ago, you are asking for trouble when you use anything else. You could have a vehicle thrust into the discussion based on anecdotal evidence of a one in a million deal. And what happens when a car fits the price cap one month due to a special rebate and employee pricing but then goes back to being too expensive the next month? MSRP is the most consistent and reliable measuring stick we have.

    And as far as being defined by model, that is a topic we have covered before as well. If it were purely on model, then the TL and S60 would be excluded because they are not the entry-level models of their manufacturers.

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

  • It's the quiet, isolated feeling that drives me nuts about the e9x models. I miss my lighter, louder e46. :(
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Would you say the entry level for acura would be the TSX ? :surprise:
  • I consider both the TSX and TL entry lux cars. Acura/Honda doesn't have what it takes to compete beyond that realm. For some reason they're afraid to offer a mid-size or full size luxury competitor. Then again, they also refuse to offer RWD. Weird.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Then again, they also refuse to offer RWD."

    Except, of course in the case of the S2000. It is a conundrum that Honda has produced a $33k limited edition sports car that matches the $50k Boxster and, IMO, crushes the Z4 and SLK in driving dynamics and performance, but has left their mainstream Acuras struggling to compete in the ELLPS market with FWD and the LPS market with AWD and an anemic V6.

    I still think my 2004 TL 6-speed at $32k was a nice balance of luxury and performance compared to the 2004 crop of competitors. But now one would need to spend $38k+ for a TL-S to get a manual transmission, no more luxury and slightly more horsepower driving the wrong wheels. The 2007 TL-S is less competitive, IMO than the former 2004 TL 6-speed, relative to its price, performance, value positioning. If I had to do it all over today, I'd likely be on a plane to Germany doing the ED thing.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    For some reason they're afraid to offer a mid-size or full size luxury competitor

    What about the RL?
  • The RL sells for the high-30s to low 40s. Seriously, it's a massive swing and miss. Acura dealers give them away.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I agree blueguy, I have talked to dealers and they tell me the TL and TSX are thier big movers.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Don't mention it in here again.

    Please don't ever talk to me that way again.

    Passat fails to make the grade.

    Only in closed minded individuals

  • I test drove both on the same day. I liked the BMW driving dyamics better. However, I liked the CTS driving dynamics better than those of the Lexus IS 350. I tested all 3 in slushbox configs.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Just my two cents. Most people cross shop vehicles based on price and people buy cars based on payments. I find it hard to believe that someone is looking at a base CTS and a 335. There is just too much of a difference in price and monthly payments. Thus, while they are both ELLPS they are not competitors.

    Yet they might very well cross-shop a 330i. $40K, or a $10K range, is more than the manufacturers themselves consider to be a "segment". Raising it to a $15K range is just too much, because, honestly, you are righ. People shop by payment almost exclusively these days. And $35K, maybe pushing it to $40K is vastly different than $45K.

    We're talking abot $600 a month versus $900+ a month. That's a whole different level to the first time LPS buyer.
    (hence the "entry level" part)

    CarsDirect Price: $42,775
    Guess what car that is? A BMW 5 series! $45K is more than a 5 series starts at, so $45K is plainly too high a limit.

    CarsDirect Price: $44,417
    Guess what car this is? A GS350. Again, $45K is too high a range for the sort of car we are discussing.

    Cars Direct Target Price: $43,395
    This is a Porsche Boxster. And we all know Porsche vastly inflates its prices. Someone looking to spend $45K on a car is in a whole other world than "entry-level" these days.

    It and the upper-end/pimped-out/big engine models of the other cars don't really fit the description of "entry-level". The original poster actually said that as well - no souped-up "V/R/etc" type cars.

    And, yes, since the 338i is technically under $40K, I have no problem keeping it - though it's obviously probably the most expensive car ANYONE wold possibly consider in this segment. ie - they'll splurge for a base model 338i.. maybe. But certainly not anything else.
  • I'm curious to see what the opinions are after test driving the 2008 CTS when it becomes available. The interior of the new car seems to be a pleasant surprise, so I'm wondering if the driving dynamics might be better than anticipated from the current model.

    I haven't looked at an American car in eons, but I have to admit I like the styling from what I've seen in the pictures.

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    It should be nice, *If* GM can actually make a proper interior. I'm 110% with Top Gear on this one - American manufacturers idea of luxury is to make a bigger version of the same thing or slap some leather on it. They just don't get it, with maybe 2-3 exceptions.

    Hopefully the CTS will be one of them.

    NOTE - GM and Ford make excellent luxury cars outside of the U.S., so it's not that they can't - they just choose to nerf us.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    We're talking abot $600 a month versus $900+ a month.

    Well, not exactly.

    In the first place, most people who find monthly payments of this nature a problem don't buy, they lease. Even beyond that, BMW & Benz (among others) subsidize leases (through money factor and/or residual) to a fare-thee-well. The only time a lease makes sense to me (I can't write it off as a business expense) is when the manufacturer makes the monthly lease payment artifically low. I may actually lease a car next time -- amazing, at least to me. I generally buy & hold.

    The people who can actually afford cars in this segment either make the payments you cite, pay cash (or a large fraction) or lease.

    If you can't pay, you don't get to play.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "NOTE - GM and Ford make excellent luxury cars outside of the U.S., so it's not that they can't - they just choose to nerf us."

    Hm. Don't agree with that assessment.

    The problem(imo) is that the average domestic buyer isn't going to pay $5000 extra for the sort of thing that tends to differentiate us/foreign luxury cars. Perhaps GM could build a caddy as good as a merc. But the average caddy buyer won't pony up the extra $10K not being spent on a bigger vehicle, and the average merc buyer will take their sweet time warming up to cadillac.

    I have a buddy with a CTS and even he says the interior sucks. But he wanted a big decent-handling luxury car for cheap, and he likes the exterior.
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