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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Is that above or below invoice usually?

    ~5500 below MSRP. Remember you also don't have to pay MACO fees (usually around $400) and the training fee ($180) with an ED. That alone essentially pays for the airfare for one person. The Lufthansa 2-for-1 deal usually runs $1k.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Even with a manual the car is little more than a redone Mondeo - an old Mondeo chassis at that.
  • jtlajtla Posts: 373
    Check out this forum if you haven't already done so. There is so much information that you will learn the ins and outs of ED in no time.

    BMW European Delivery
  • "I'll tell you one more time. JD Powers ranked the X second to Lexus. One of the other posters even pointed this out. I'm assuming that they polled a representative sample of the 400k owners out there. If you have a big problem with their survey results - carp at them. I will take issue with your GM statement. When I left the corporation, I don't think they tested anything twice - look at some of the crap they built and relied on their marketing muscle to sell..."

    I'll try telling you one more time, the JD Powers stuff is NOT a reliability ranking. It is INITIAL QUALITY, (whatever that means). To me reliability implies more than just how the car will do for 90 days. I'll drop it, I do understand why you said "second only to Lexus", I just think it has nothing to do with reliability and (as the other poster pointed out) JD Powers also gave the X Type a rating of 2/5 stars so they aren't that certain of the X Type's INITIAL QUALITY either.

    Sorry for coming off as ranting, your reliability statement just struck a nerve with me. As far as your car choice in 2010...there should be several good/fun choices, enjoy!

    I completely agree with your GM assessment. Believe it or not, I was thinking I might strike a nerve if I said something badmouthing GM so I tried to be diplomatic. I should have known that a former GM employee would know the "quality" of GM products :P
  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    What is MACO? And does BMW typically charge a training fee for cars purchased in the USA? Boy, these car companies really stick it to you with all these BS fees. It's sinful.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I am not alone in believing that features and performance per dollar is a measure of value. ALl you have to do is read any car mag or online site comparison to see this is the ONLY real way to compare vehicles. If you use subjective criteria to determine which features are valid and which are silly you cannot compare cars objectively. Generally speaking, cars with more stuff for your money are considered better values. This isnt something I have made up by any means. I never said that every car buyer makes a purchase based on value, but value exists nonetheless. No one can argue that a 911 is a better value than the Vette but some people feel the 911 is worth the premium even though they know its not better on value alone.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Midsize ruins it for me. ELLPS were compact sedans, not behemoth midsizers. Not sure what's entry level or performance oriented about driving a massive vehicle. "

    The difference in weight and size is minimal in most cases. You are acting like we are comparing a 3 series to a Lucerne. Most midsizers in this class are about 190 inches long and weigh about 3600lbs. The compacts are about 10 inches shorter and weigh 3400lbs or more. The compact A4 is heavier than some midsize luxury cars so you cannot always associate length with curb weight. I cannot believe that a well tuned midsize car is so huge that it would be noticable on the open road. In tight urban situations MAYBE a midsize car would seem slightly awkward but even that is a stretch.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    there was anything objective about car selection?

    Silliest thing I've ever heard. The whole process is nothing but subjective

    Worst offenders are the resale righteous, IMO. Non-emotional? Bah. They want to spend as little as the market will allow and hold on to as much as they possibly can when it's time to say bye-bye. That's an emotion. It's called greed...
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Not so, in my experience.

    My final three contestants in '03 were the 325iT, 540iT and the IS300 wagon. The '03 540it was not only a work of art, but a delight to the senses in most respects. But the difference in driving enjoyment was pretty substantial compared to the other two. Both of the smaller cars asked for action; craved curves. The larger entry was absolutely competent and capable, but by no means as provocative, even in sport trim. It was bigger and heavier and more refined, and felt it.

    Fun factor. In my book, that's both the P and at least half the L in ELLPS. IMO, the current crop have become so overly spacious, they are losing their fun factor, and are being replaced by the new class coming up.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    the current crop have become so overly spacious, they are losing their fun factor, and are being replaced by the new class coming up.

    Then why are you here ?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Ooh ... why are any of us here?? :confuse: 'Cause we're enjoying the conversation? :shades: :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "I am not alone in believing that features and performance per dollar is a measure of value."

    Well then, for people who feel this way, a BMW is not a good choice.

    But how do you and others ever justify spending more than $20,000 on a new car? The $33,000 G35 is a poor value when compared to the $30,000 Nissan Maxima. The Maxima has the same engine, TWO sunroofs, leather, HID's, Bose premium audio, power/heated seats, etc. 90% of drivers will rarely if ever drive a car hard enough to tell the difference in performance/handling anyways, right?

    Compared to the $27,000 Altima, the $30,000 Maxima is a poor value. The Altima with Premium Package (moonroof, fog lights, rear spoiler, heated leather seats, HomeLink, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, compass, etc.) has the same engine as the G35 and Maxima, is sporty and fun to drive, and it includes most of the luxury goodies too.

    But as long as we're talking value here, why not consider the $23,000 Hyundai Sonata Limited? Now here's a car that includes a powerful V6 (more HP than a BMW 328i), double wishbone/multi-link suspension with sway bars, and all the luxury and safety features that the Altima (with leather package) has. I doubt if most people could tell the difference in driving dynamics between the Sonata and the G35 during their typical commute.

    Is the G35's RWD, HIDs, and surround-sound audio system worth $10,000? Not to me, it isn't.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "If you use subjective criteria to determine which features are valid and which are silly you cannot compare cars objectively."

    I can and do use subjective criteria.

    I test-drove the E90 and thought it was the most dynamic and fun driving car in this class. I test-drove the G35 30 minutes later and thought the throttle response was sluggish, the clutch was grabby, the steering was overboosted, and the ride was too isolated.

    All subjective observations which made the $33,000 G35 a "poor value" in my book.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Well, since this is only a static display so don't fault me on not incorporating the "performance" and "handling" part into the discussion.

    Went to the Atlanta Auto Show over last weekend and pretty much spent at least 10 minutes in every ELLPS that was on the floor. I went with 2 buddies of mine, buddy A drives a 06' G35 coupe and buddy B will be looking for an ELLPS in about 2 years. So buddy A and me took the opportunity to give him some pointers about the current ELLPS market.

    Acura TL: still has the best looking interior in class in my opinion, even though I recently found out that Acura uses fake wood and carbon fiber. The quad exhaust was a nice touch on the TL-S but standard rims could use some steroid treatment. I did find a serious flaw in TL's interior though. The handle on the door panel was made out of rubber and one can easily twist it by applying some force to it. This may not be a big deal to some but to an interior nazi like me could very well be the deal breaker. This indeed is another cost-cutting evidence from Acura.

    Audi A4: Nothing to report here, same old interior as my friend's 2002 A4. Good fit and finish but lame in style.

    BMW 3-series: My buddies and I all agree that BMW has one of the best interior materials in this class along with Lexus but the style really belongs in the 90'. There was a pre-owned E46 parked right besides an E90 and we all agree that the former has a better interior style-wise.

    Caddy CTS: The new 2008 CTS was on the display ramp with a "Do Not Touch" sign to it. From a distance the interior looks great, good body style as well. I must say I am really impressed with this honest effort from Caddy. However, it does look substantially larger than all other ELLPS (including the TL) so to me this is really a 5-series fighter. I was curious about the material Caddy used for the lower part of the door panel so I asked one of the Caddy representatives to see if I can touch it. She told me it's the same material used on the current CTS and then led me to one of them. After inspecting the current CTS I was surprised that the lower door panel was actually made out of soft plastic. Even though it's one of those "spongy" type of plastic instead of the hard rubber kind on IS, it is still WAY better than the hard plastic that Infiniti uses on their G35. Score one for Caddy here. However, the current CTS interior still looks like crap to me regardless of materials.

    Infiniti G35: Much improved from the old model but cost-cutting evidence like hard plastics still makes it inferior to its competitor interior-wise. Still don't understand why the control buttons are facing up instead of the driver or at least forward. I was mocking buddy A about not waiting for the new one and after seeing it in person now he is seriously thinking about trading in his 06' for one of the 08's. Again, love the washi aluminum trim. Lexus, are you listening?

    Lexus IS: Nothing to add here, best interior in class in fit-and-finish and material used. Second in style only to the TL. Would like to see the metallic trim replace by aluminum during mid-life upgrade but I wouldn't hold my breath to it. Rear seat space is no doubt the smallest among this pack.

    M-B C-lass: Nothing to write home about, solid effort for an entry-level luxury car. Doesn't appear to be better than 3er and IS IMO. Since this is an outgoing model I am much more interested in the new 08' C-class.

    After the "tour of ELLPS", buddy B thinks TL is the best fit for him. He loves bigger space, doesn't need (ok, want) class-leading power and is not much of an enthusiast. However, that could very well change when it's time for him to make a decision but now TL is definitely the front runner.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    There seems to be, and rightly so, IMO, some debate here on what exactly the ELLPS class comprises. As new entries land on our shores, or hopefully are developed here, the indentified participants change.

    The A3 is already part of the game, and not just in my opinion; we will finally get a 1-series here as well. Both of those certainly fit the description and both are far more appealing to me (the BMW on paper) than anything currently being discussed in here, but that's my subjective view of course...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    I don't think the A3 qualifies, as it isn't a Sedan..

    Just my opinion.. I'm not the host here... ;)


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • hausshauss Posts: 169
    If it has four doors though doesn't that make it a sedan? Or would you state it's a hatchback or wagon? What the heck is it classified as?
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    That's OK, KY, autosite, last time I looked, was still tracking it as a coupe.

    Pretty hard to get a following in a thread on ELLPHs, so one must e'en discuss it where one findeth room... :blush:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    I call it a hatchback or wagon.. but, I'm not the omnipotent arbiter of this discussion.. ;)

    Lets put it this way... my wife won't consider one, because she doesn't like station wagons..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    CA DMV lists it as a wagon.

    A 1 series would be a godsend in this country.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    My sister said "station wagon" with a sneer when she saw the A3. Uh, she drives a cute-ute which is just a tall station wagon. People are odd.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Ever since the arrival of the Explorer Americans have fallen in love with the wagon all over again. They just don't want to admit it...

    If we leave A3 out of the mix here, IMO, we leave out a fairly influential player in the ELLP game. Certainly it's caused more than a few mfrs to reconsider their offerings' potentials here...
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,197
    I'll tell you one thing that's a great benefit with the A3 being classified as a station wagon.

    1. Insurance company. They view it as a station wagon which means a 30K car costs less to insure than your average 20K car (of course some of that probably has to do with Audi's excellent safety), but most is probably due to station wagons having a history of being driven by conservative drivers.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "...but most is probably due to station wagons having a history of being driven by conservative drivers..."


    Part of my love for the format. That and the fact that in most instances, wagons and hatches are in fact better balanced than their sedan brethren...

    If we don't talk out the A3 here, I'm not sure where we'd add it. Seems a part of the mix to me for sure...
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    A V8 powered 540 weighs considerably more than an IS300 or 325i. Teh difference is probably around 500lbs which is significant. Compare the weight of the G35 or CTS (which is kind o heavy) to the 3 series. The difference isn't that large, especially between the G35 and 3. Same goes for TL and 3 series. A couple hundred pounds between the cars at most.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    That weight was also accompanied by a beefier supension, more power, bigger rubber, bigger brakes and all items aimed at equalizing the experience. Point is a bigger car can be made as sporting as possible and still not have the joyous feel of a compact.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Well then, for people who feel this way, a BMW is not a good choice. "

    Exactly, that has been my point for some time now. BMW isnt offering anything exclusive for me that can justify spending thousands extra. While I may not be able to impress as many valets or brag about "ED" if I chose another brand I will just have to deal with that.

    I totally agree that today's midsize non luxury cars are packing so much content that it makes $30k+ sedans look like poor values. Cars arent great investments (contrary to what resale value addicts say) and if I can get the features I want in a non luxury brand and save thousands I will do so. In 2007 a $25k family sedan can run 0-60 faster than a 330iA which is pretty impressive. A few years back 6 speeds were only found in top end luxury cars and now they are found in Jettas and Auras.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    The 3 is one heavy car for a compact so I dont know that I would uplift it as a model of weight savings. Most cars 180inches long weigh far less than 3500lbs. The civic is a compact and I believe it weighs less than 3000lbs. If you want joyous feel I think a Miata or Mini is the way to go.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    330i is a 2006 model. Jetta GLI as far back as 2002 had a 6 speed.

    FWIW, you can buy used luxury cars and save thousands too. We bought a 30k msrp Audi last week for 8k off sticker. The car's perfect, only has 12k miles on it and remaining 4 yr/50k warranty. We paid less than we would have plunked down for an 07 Accord EX-L V6 (the 4 cylinder is so grossly underpowered it's not even close to equivalent).

    You like BMWs? Consider a 2006 325/330i at the end of 07. The 330is will be down around 30k (they're selling in the low 30s right now) and the 325is sub 25k by then for certain. I've already seen lightly used 2006 325is with premium/auto for 26k.

    I do agree about pricing for most of the cars. But once I drive a RWD vehicle I know that's worth a big chunk of dough over a bland FWD midsize car.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    What do you have against those of us who feel the compromise is in getting a 4 door car? We're already burdened by that but you want to further hamstring us and say boo to RWD, manuals, driving dynamics. If we want those features we're directed to a 2 seater convertible or a 2+2 FWD hatch. This segment is about performance too!

    Honestly, the 3 series is pulling 69-70 mph through the slalom and almost .9gs. Look at the numbers of an 06/07 Miata and Mini. They're not pulling any better but they are major compromises.

    And the A3 weighs 3200-3300 lbs. That 300-400 difference is night and day from an IS350, G35, TL, A4, etc. You feel it the moment you accelerate, turn, brake.
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