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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    If I like the way chocolate cherry funky monkey mint chip ripple tastes, then I'll visit that one.

    To me, TL is more like a vanilla/chocolate/strawberry type of ice cream, the kind of flavor that appeals to a broad range of people. Might not be everyone's cup of cake but to Acura, one sale to an enthusiast is just as good as a sale to a regular Joe.
  • Terrible analogy. You can't compare buying decisions on $2 products that are used up within 15 minutes to buying decisions on $35K-$40K products that are kept for 3-10 years.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Very interesting to read various oppinions here.
    After my 96 Maxima was totalled in 2002, I decided to buy something a little nicer. Test drove TL one time, ES300 two times, I30 3 or 4 times. Very difficult to decide. I wanted to have ES which was the quietest, but everything else of it was a bit short.

    I don't know why but something trigged me and I ended up with an 02 QX4.

    However, I remember that when I had hard time deciding, anything could suddenly swing my decision. It could be just one car has real wood (ES) but the other does not (I30), or one car has cold air vent at back but not on the other...

    I like some performance(0-60, 1/4 mile...) but definately not my main factor. My car is basically for home-work-home.

    Yes, "value" is vague to me. If I really like one car, I will see value in it.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    "For an average driver, FWD is better; for performance, RWD is better..." I heard it from my friend who used to drive sports cars.

    Is it? I need to learn...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It depends if you are interested in driving while you're driving or listening to the radio while your driving. FWD is easier to navigate in snow, RWD is more fun after you get used to it.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Totally agree.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    " ... I prefer AWD with the associated compromises in handling"

    For me and my own personal priorities, AWD is a requirement, not just a preference. About 4 years ago, when I bought my first ELLPS, and had AWD as a requirement, I only considered two choices, an Audi A4 quatro and a BMW 3 series Xi model. I did not like the interior of the G35x at all (new one is much nicer), I got the impression the Mercedes 4 matic C series was not very sporty, the small Jaguar AWD model had poor reviews, and I can't remember if there were any other choices.

    Today, there are more choices in AWD ELLPS cars, and the number of choices is growing, so that is a good thing from my perspective.

    I've had sporty cars in the past (Alfa Spyder, GTI, SHO), but was driving a 98 Accord V-6 coupe when I took a test drive in a previously owned 2001 BMW 330Xi. It took me all of about 2 microseconds to say wow, this is a completely different animal, and I bought it on the spot (have since traded it in on a 2006 330Xi).

    I would not have purchased a BWM if they only came in RWD, but I do understand the performance advantages of RWD (and owned many RWD cars earlier in my driving career). I have never driven a RWD BMW, but their handling must be something else as I am quite impressed with the handling of my 330Xi.

  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Thanks for the answer.
    I remember one time I was driving very slowly like a few MPH, on a ski site road covered with snow turning into ice. For fun I switched my QX4 from auto to 2WD (real). Right at that moment the car started slipping towards the curb. I quickly switched it back and the car went back without hitting the curb.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041

    Two excellent posts in a row.

    Hang in there. They're tenacious.

    Some of us wish to pay only for what we want. If what we want is a RWD platform with a manual transmission & not much else (besides what comes with a car with those two things). . .
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608
    I agree with you. AWD is my thing also.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608

    I have the same car and although I agree the AWD has a slight disadvantage in the handling department, I rate it still better than the 330 non-sp since I drove a loaner for 1K miles.

    I had the same experience when I drove this car while testing. It just "did it" for me.

  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    I agree with you. AWD is my thing also.

    I have miniscule need for AWD here in the South. The Southern/warmer states are growing hugely compared to the Northern/colder climates. I'd expect the sales of AWD cars over the next few years to flatten and then wane.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    The TL has a manual transmission. Not sure how I proved your point. If you want RWD than the G35 and IS can be had cheaper than a comparable 3 series.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Yes the 2008 CTS would be the choice. The others are fine but all have flaws that would have be going in a different direction. If the G35 looked better I would get it, but its just not doing it for me styling wise. Many people would mistake the '07 for the '06 because they are that similar.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Yes, about $4000 more than a base TL. But the BMW's HID's are swiveling and auto-leveling. The BMW's leather seats are all-leather, not "leather-trimmed." The BMW's heated seats are 3-stage instead of 2-staged. So, how much more do these features cost compared to the Acura "equivalent?" "

    I know one thing, those features arent worth $4k in my book.

    "Also, How much does brake fade compensation and brake drying cost? What about Dynamic Cruise Control? These safety features are standard on the 328i.

    And what if you want headlight washers? Comfort Access? Active Steering? Sport Package? manual transmission? RWD? All-Wheel Drive? "

    I didnt know dynamic cruise was standard, that is the first I heard of that. As for the other stuff, you can get it but it will cost your dearly. Adding those options will put you in RL territory, not TL territory. According to people here those kinds of features are unnecessary distractions and are not essential to the 3 series experience. If that be the case I dont see the point in mentioning that the 3 series can be optioned up to $45k+ and the TL cant.

    Can you verify the TL has partial leather? I havent heard that before. Most cars have leather on the front part of theh seats and something cheaper on the back part facing the rear passengers. You can equip a 328i to be cheaper but its still missing quite a few features on the TL so its not cheaper on a feature for feature basis. There is a site called that gives you good comparions of models taking options into account. It will show you that a car like the TL is MUCh cheaper when you account for features not on the 328.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Some of us wish to pay only for what we want. If what we want is a RWD platform with a manual transmission & not much else (besides what comes with a car with those two things). . ."

    This argument continues to be made as if the 3 series is the only car on the market that can be had with RWD, a manual and a less than full plate of options. The G35, C class and CTS all offer the same thing to customers. I understand that some want to deride the TL for coming loaded but most people like that idea and the TL is cheaper than most of its competition if they are comparably equipped. If you insist on having a luxury car that is equipped like a base Accord and only want a manual tranny, you can get that with MB, Caddy and Infiniti models. That's three other RWD cars in the same price range as the 3 that offer what you are talking about. I dont understand why people keep saying if you want those two things you dont have many choices. If you really only want to count base models you can include the IS as well.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    There is a site called that gives you good comparions of models taking options into account.

    1487, that is an excellent site which allows people to obtain price of different cars according to his/her own preference.

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    The TL has a manual transmission. Not sure how I proved your point. If you want RWD than the G35 and IS can be had cheaper than a comparable 3 series.

    You also wrote: RWD isnt an essential feature for many car buyers. I'm talking luxury or technology features.

    You're making a value judgment right here. I agree that many buyers don't value RWD and a manual; I value it more than leather or bluetooth. Neither side is right or wrong. They're placing value on things I see as detractors to the value of a car. They're negating value at times with some features.

    The IS350 is worth less to me as a buyer - like my example of a loaded 335i - because it is outfitted with a transmission that retards my enjoyment of a car. How do I put a value on that? If RWD and manual fun has a baseline personal valuation of 35k to me, then how far does that drop an automatic equipped car?

    Well in my value system that makes the car pretty much unlivable. I would probably rather FWD and a manual before ever owning a car with an automatic; having driven the IS350, its automanual is one of the worst I've ever experienced on a car. So, I'd say a RWD car equipped with a bad automatic must be worth less than the absolutely cheapest new manual FWD car I'd own: a GTI. A GTI runs 24k. So figure 22-23k is my valuation of any IS350. Regardless of features or content beyond the RWD and manual, I know I won't live with a traditional automatic.

    Private valuation - we all have it. When we buy we've generally reconciled that our purchase meets a threshold where the cost to value is level in our heads. You expressed earlier that you don't see the value in ELLPS. Your private valuation of the group of vehicles is markedly less than the collected MSRPs and thus you will not strike a deal for one.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    "Can you verify the TL has partial leather?"

    Yes, my '05 TL has (like many cars) "leather seating surfaces." Basically, where a body part touches the seat: leather. Many cars have optional "full leather." The rest is probably vinyl. Hard to tell the difference without close inspection. NOt sure if that is a compliment to the vinyl or an insult to the leather!

    Also, TL has faux-carbon fiber trim which I think looks better than the faux-wood. The faux-wood just looks so much more faux! But, real aluminum. I would prefer wood to aluminum. Real wood. Or less faux faux-wood. And real plastic! But quality, attractive plastic. Not CTS-horrid plastic...

    '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.

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    disagree. True Delta puts zero weight on any features. It also fails to deduct value when a car lacks features.

    I ran an MKZ v. a 328i 6 MT ZSP and according to True Delta the MKZ was worth significantly more because it had worthless trinkets like memory seats and automatic transmission. Now, how could the MKZ's automatic tranny make the car worth more to a buyer who specifically rates it against a manual car? The MKZ lacks stability control, yet it was dinged for this, while the 3 was given $25 for having DSC. Stability control is only worth $25?! The MKZ lacks a sport package and again this didn't hurt the MKZ's pricing. Obviously, the buyer wants manual and sport packaging; the system refuses to weigh options based on user desires. Thus true delta's methodology is flawed.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Your value system is different than mine and some others on this discussion. I place great value on the drivers experience BMW delivers. I place less value on electronic doo-dads that's don't really contribute to the driver experience. For example DVD-audio for me is neither a deal maker or deal breaker.

    That BMW delivers a basic sedan that feels as if it's riding on rails is what some of us place value on. Others place less value on this drivers experience and really want the doo-dads that differentiate these vehicles from their plebian relatives.

    You make good points, but you seem to be at the other end of the spectrum with regards to where the value lies in the ELLPS segment than some other posters. Nothing wrong with that and you acknowledged it.

    Honestly, the line about getting a luxury car equipped like an Accord is a bit condescending. It is after all my money I'm spending, not yours.

    And I defend my right to defend the car of my choice. :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "those features arent worth $4k in my book."

    Yet, the TL costs $6000 more than the Accord V6 EX-L and it's worth it?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Yet, the TL costs $6000 more than the Accord V6 EX-L and it's worth it?"

    That's waaay different. But don't ask me why. :confuse
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    know one thing, those features arent worth $4k in my book."

    What you are actually saying is that DVD-Audio, HIDs, leather-trimmed seats, and driver memory settings are features YOU place value in, but you place NO VALUE in RWD, dynamic cruise control, or brake fade compensation.

    Your assertion that the TL (or CTS, G35, etc.) is a much better value than the 328i is nothing more than your personal value statement - it is not based on facts.

    And how can it possibly be? We're talking about luxury items, which by their very nature, are driven by personal values. The "facts" show that all of these cars are a poor value compared to a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. We are willing to pay more (much more) for these cars because they appeal to our emotional AND practical sides.

    Saying that a Cadillac is a "better value" than a BMW is like saying that Aaron Copland was a "better" composer than Gustav Mahler. You can say it, you can even present some "facts" that support it, but you can never prove it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Saying that a Cadillac is a "better value" than a BMW is like saying that Aaron Copland was a "better" composer than Gustav Mahler. You can say it, you can even present some "facts" that support it, but you can never prove it."

    Ohhh, that's a tough one. Fanfare for the Common Man versus Mahler's First. Ouch. I'm glad that that I have both and can listen to either when the mood strikes me. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • jimmy81jimmy81 Posts: 170
    Who's Aaron Copland and that Gustav guy?

    I contend that none of these ELLPSs are good values. You're right - the Camry and Accord are probably the best car out there that we need. Or even step down to a loaded Elantra for that matter. But there's a huge difference between need and want.

    These guys that "need" a 46'' LCD 1080p flat panel HDTV can tell you how they're such a great experience etc., but if you watch one hour of TV a day you'd probably not be convinced of their value.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well, Mahler's First is available on DG for $7.99 while Fanfare costs $10.99 on EMI - although you do get Rodeo on the disc too.

    Which is a better value?

    BTW Shipo, you were supposed to complement me on choosing an American composer to represent Cadillac and a German composer to represent BMW.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    but if you watch one hour of TV a day you'd probably not be convinced of their value.

    We watch less TV than that per week and only in HD. Yes, HD is worth it. Like sushi, if you're gonna bother, get something that's really good.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yikes, my bad. :blush: Of course my favorite version of Fanfare was done by a British Invasion rock band and my favorite version of the First was done by the big brassy CSO of the 1980s. International music for cars sourced with parts from all over the globe. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Ah, the 80's. Georg Solti!

    BTW, there's only one recording of Mahler's 1st that I listen to - Bruno Walter's.
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