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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • Consumer Reports. Acura = all RED meaning "Highly Recommended" (That goes for over 75% of the Acura Fleet!) and highest resale value! and BMW & Audi = Black or Clear Circle meaning they still have problems! Dah!
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Easy, big fella. I've been a subscriber to CR since the 1970s, & as I write this, I'm looking at the April 2010 Annual Auto Issue. For the 3-series BMW, CR's "New-Car Prediction" is "Better than Average", which happens the be the same rating that CR gives to the Acura TL & which also happens to beat the "Average" rating that the Toyota Camry V-6 gets.

    The 5-series BMW's rating is only "Average", but that's mainly because of problems that owners have had with its sound system. The critical major systems - engine, transmission, fuel system, electrical system, etc. - get mostly "Much Better than Average", with a few getting "Better than Average". And let's face it: a bum car stereo is annoying but it won't leave you stranded 500 miles from home.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited September 2010
    Many folks, myself included, consider Consumer Reports data highly-HIGHLY suspect. So much so that when they declared the 2002 530i the "best car we've ever tested", I nearly cancelled the order I placed on a 2002 530i SP 5-Speed the week before they made said declaration.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Not just that, but there seems to be problem with the wheel alignment on the new 5-Series. There is a discussion on edmunds talking about it and I've seen it mentioned on two other sites as well. Hope BMW gets a fix quick for it b/c so far no luck according to the new owners.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,271
    edited September 2010
    Like it or don't, believe it or not, many-many of us have owned and driven BMWs for many tens (and even hundreds) of thousands of miles with nor or very minimal issues.

    Don't spoil their fun, they need those urban legends to justify their "sour grapes" attitude...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    That's why I avoid buying the 1st year of a new model. Even so, I'm confident that BMW will come up with a fix.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As I understand it, the issue isn't the alignment of the new 5-Series per-se, it is a software issue. I'm curious to find out what has changed between the prototype models and the production models that would cause such an issue.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    well the software glitch is causing an alignment issue since owners are reporting the cars are pulling to the right as I understand it; they say BMW has issued a fix for the software problem but many drivers who had it applied are still getting the pull :confuse:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Not to worry, they'll get it right. :)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Infiniti just announced pricing for the G25. $31,XXX. 7 speed automatic only, no sport suspension. So what will this G25 top out at? $34K? I'm out.

    An almost fully loaded G37S w/ six speed stick stickers for $39,XXX & sells for what, $35-36K?

    I'll take 108 extra horsepower for $2000 please Alex

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

  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Infiniti knows that as well so I would assume there will be incentives on the G25 bringing a fully loaded one to be less than a G37 once incentives are applied to that vehicle. I don't think Infiniti is stupid enough to charge full msrp on a G25 when a G37 with incentives costs just about the same.

    I think the range of prices is $30-$34 thousand. It will be interesting to see how many loaded ones will be on the lots compared to mid-level trims.
  • Interesting post. A lot of strong conclusions claiming "fact" without any data, even opinion surveys.

    I bought a 3 series recently after owning an A4, and a couple of Saab 900s. I bought these previous cars after testing TLs and G35s. I certainly thought the Japanese cars were as good looking and I liked the idea of owning a less blingy, more reliable car. But I like the road feel of the European cars so I bought the Euromobiles even though they did not have as many standard toys. I never tested a Bimmer in these 3 shopping trips because I think there has been a stigma or stereotype of a haughty jerk that is connected with Bimmer drivers. So, for me at least, the BMW image was a turnoff.

    But I have a hearing loss and now need a quieter car. So I tested more cars this time, including the A4, TL, CC, IS, ES, and the C300. And the 3 series, even though I think the 328 sedan is the least attractive of all these cars, especially the gorgeous C and G. Not only was the 3 series quieter than all but the land yacht ES, it handled better than the C300 and the A4. It handled much better than the TL, ES and IS. The G37 had similar handling. And the 328 had better ergonomics for a 6-3 guy and better highway gas mileage/emissions than all the other cars.

    As another poster mentioned, the 328/325 has better Consumer Reports repair ratings than A4 and C300 and the same ratings as the Japanese cars, except for the land yacht. I bought a three year used 328i for about 50% off original MSRP. I got over the image. The bad one that is.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited September 2010
    Again, no body looks at all the post and picks and choose what they want to nit pick on; It is a FACT, German automobiles cost more than their Japanese counter parts with the same equipment, etc. I'm not saying nor did I say that was a bad thing, its just the way it is.

    All I ever mentioned was the word prestige and how that contributes a lot to German luxury sales. I did say that was not the sole and only reason that people buy German vehicles but many on here seem to have missed that. I even mentioned BMW performance/handling as a key factor in conjunction with the BMW badge as reasons why they are so successful.

    You as well have strong conclusions claiming "facts" about the 3-Series without any data. Don't get me wrong, the 3-Series is a great car but, it doesn't have better city or highway gas mileage then all those other vehicles you test drove and I find it hard to believe it has the best ergonomics for a tall person considering there are other vehicles in that class with more front headroom then the 328 where when your taller, headroom makes the most difference. Not saying the 3-Series is a bad car, it certainly has several pros over some of the other entry-level lux sedans but not in those areas you mentioned.

    328i 19/28 mpg (F/R Headroom 38.5''/37.5'')
    G37 19/27mpg (F/R Headroom 39.1"/37.2")
    A4 22/30mpg (F/R Headroom 40.0''/37.5'')
    C300 18/26mpg (F/R Headroom 37.1''/36.9'')
    TL 18/26mpg (F/R Headroom 38.4''/36.7'')
    IS250 21/30mpg (F/R Headroom 37.2''/36.7'')
    ES350 19/27mpg (F/R Headroom 37.8''/37.0'')

    I'm not saying I only get Japanese luxury vehicles because that couldn't be further from the truth. I've had Acura, Infiniti, Mercedes, and a Caddy so far. Unless Acura changes direction, I'll most likely be shopping Infiniti, Lexus, BMW, and Audi the next time around.
  • murphydogmurphydog SeattlePosts: 688
    every thing you just described here also related to buying an Acura over a Honda or Hyundai or Nissan....

    Find that you like your Acura - but wow, talk about the kettle calling the pot black...
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    edited September 2010
    edwards i agree about the facts statement-- poor job in this and other TL related chats getting real facts. For a laugh read the 2009 + TL chat room-- its full of how fast the TL is verse other cars, how it handles, and other fluff pieces (im banned from that chat) - Fact the 3 series (no matter what the stigma or price) is still the standard in the entry level lux group.. I think its a fantastic car myself and would of bot one but decided the extra 10-15k (i have a G35x) wasnt worth it (vs 335xi) for my needs. I think all cars in this group are good choices... but for performance its 3 series (335) then G from there you go down the line (in no particular order) and its prob IS350, 328, TLAWD, C350, and Catty 3.6.. and further down the line is (no order again) A4, CC, sabb, IS250, ES350, TL Fwd, TSX, g25, caddy 2.8, suzuki..
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    while that is true, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, etc are not luxury companies so its puzzling why they would be brought up here; any luxury company in this country is going to have more prestige or what ever you want to call it from the mainstream parent company.

    I like the Acura I have, but nothing really from their current product line. That is not new news and not the first time I've mentioned it on here.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    edited September 2010
    Easy now. The main message you have been communicating in many of your posts is the following: "prestige and how that contributes a lot to German luxury sales." And over and over. But... you cite no data to support that oft repeated claim. That is my point. Not the other strawmen you bring up.

    And what exactly is a "strong" conclusion? I made some statements such as the ergonomics are better for a 6-3 guy than the other cars. Um, okay. I got in the cars and moved the seats around. I fit in the BMW much better than any of the cars, including the A4, which I actually owned. So, the manufacturers specs are relatively meaningless. For all its warts, CR does try to deal with the manufacturer discrepancies by trying to compensate for them. But even CR does not account for sloping roof tops, which hinder vision. I take it you don't have that issue of being a big guy ....

    Which brings us to big highway mpg. Thanks for all your googling of stats but I don't think they help this conversation, the point of which is to share experiences and go beyond the manufacturer and EPA dynometer specs. If you look on or at Edmunds self reporting responses, BMWs get remarkable highway mileage - and mind you, these are BMW drivers who drive fast. The 328, 528 and even 535/335s are almost legendary for getting 29-33 mpg going 70 mph. I averaged 29 mpg going from SB to SF doing about 72 mph. Sure, these are self reporting and anecdotal but the number of them certainly helped convinced me and my experience confirmed them. Again, that is what these forums are for.

    Also, your mpg numbers use 2 pretty suspect models. The A4 FWD, which is [non-permissible content removed] due to the fuel saving CVT and the slow, remarkably cramped, Toyota-like IS250.

    BTW, my post starts off referencing your apparent mission (BMWs are for prestige hungry wannabees) but mainly, I just wanted some buyers to take a look at my personal experiences. Have a glass of wine or something (after you drive that nose heavy TL, that is....)
  • Yes, performance wise, the G and the 3 series seemed much better to me than the rest. I did not test the higher end 335, IS350, C350 or TLAWD as they seemed a bit pricey to me and the gas mileage on all, except the 335 was pretty bad. I don't need AWD.

    So we all have our own needs, which puts us into different markets. I had never thought about it before but the TL drivers do seem to be a bit combative. I think this thread has a huge TL vs. G battle in past years. I actually like both cars (I considered both in 2 car purchases) and think that many people would be happy with either. I think the G and 3 Series are a little more engaging to drive but every once in a while, I pine for a slightly smoother car - maybe like a TL or C300. I never pine for a GM, Suzuki or Toyota....
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    smarty you just got worked.. lets hope billy posts something quick to cover this page up..
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited September 2010
    I find it laughable that when I do post actual facts and stats that do not support inaccurate claims of the 3-Series superiority in CERTAIN areas, like mpg for instance, excuses are used as to why those competitor models get either better or the same fuel mpg then the 3-Series or puts them down regardless; the 3-Series is not the best fuel economy vehicle in its class and just about matches the competition at best: though the 3-Series is most likely the best in the category for acceleration, handling, and performance oriented capabilities; each vehicle has advantages and disadvantages to its competitors, it just depends on what fits your needs and wants the best;

    what disappointing now is that I have provided stats which are simply brushed off as not being able to go by what the manufacturers of their OWN vehicles put out so whats the point of providing stats if they are just going to be dismissed; it seems hypocritical and a waste of my time then

    anyone today can beat window sticker EPA estimates in real world experiences and I've done it on my last 5 vehicles so that means that under ideal driving conditions and location any of those entry-level lux vehicles can be exceeded in those numbers on real world conditions or lowered if conditions are not ideal

    apparently by saying that a lot of BMW and MB sales are due to the prestige factor has offended some or they would not be making a big deal of it. I have said before there is nothing wrong with that and I'm not trying to put them down based on it; BMW, MB, and Lexus would not be where they are if it was not for a long, proud, prestigious history in this country and they have rightly earned that reputation; maybe it all has to do with the word "a lot" - maybe it would have been better to say "some", I don't know.

    apparently I'm some Acura fan boy who hates all German vehicles; he must of miss the part when I said I've had a MB before and I'm planning on shopping German the next time around; I must be shopping on the prestige factor as well then :P
  • I am starting to like you.
    Almost forgot, tons of compliments just keep raining in on my White Diamond Pearl TL AWD. This gentleman at church told me to take good care of his car (meaning my car).
    As another poster would say-

    Happy Motoring!!!
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    edited September 2010
    I asked you for data to support your long series of posts adamently claiming that a big reason people buy German cars is for prestige. You then supplied the data for headroom. Huh? Then I refute your data by stating that manufacturer space spec discrepancies are well known and you sound like I took your candy away.

    Please try reading the actual posts and responding to the actual text of the posts. It make the thread go better. For instance, if I say the 328 has better highway mpg than the other cars in its class, you are not responding to that statement by saying "the 3-Series is not the best fuel economy vehicle in its class." That is what is called a strawman. Since you do it repeatedly, I doubt I can convince you to stop but I will try anyway. I did not refer to overall fuel economy as city mpg was not important to me in my purchase. I, like a lot of other people, drive very little city miles as I walk or ride my bike to work.

    If I say that the cars you selectively posted are not a good representation of the 328 competitors, you are not responding to my post by saying "those competitor models get either better or the same fuel mpg then the 3-Series or puts them down regardless." First, I don't know what the heck that sentence means and second, my statement stands unrefuted. But if you want putdowns, here is one for you: the IS250 is blingy Scion tC. Please don't compare it to the 3 series.

    Also, I agree that no one cares about one's anecdotal experiences in beating the EPA numbers. However, people do seem to care about the dozens of reports from owners that could amount to some cumulative evidence about the real world operation of the vehicle that they are considering. (The EPA numbers are helpful for emissions though.)

    I do agree with one line in your post: "apparently I'm some Acura fan boy who hates all German vehicles;"
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    on a side note...

    My wife used my IS350 for her church ladies it makes a squeaky sound.

    Sounds like a bearing...or something.

    Doesn't sound sporty or luxurious.

    Luckily the 'wild pig' she claimed ran out and hit the side of her mini-van didn't get my IS...that darned pig left a white paint streak :surprise:
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    did you give your dad a ride home?? joking, good for you billy - you must keep it nice...
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    My real issue with the 3 series is that it's now a seriously overweight and misguided vehicle when you compare it to its roots. It just is a very fancy and plush "sedan". Now, it might be among the best in its class, but that's a lot like the "class" that includes cars like a Camry and Accord. Being the best of bland isn't what I want. And neither is "overweight and boring euro sedan".

    If you want a real sport sedan experience, you need three components(manual is a given):
    1 - RWD
    2 - Inline engine, preferably an I-6 or turbo 4 180-200HP minimum.
    3 - curb weight under 3000lbs. Preferably 2800.

    Nothing on the market fits this, though a few coupes and roadsters do. But just under 3600lbs is entirely in the wrong universe.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited September 2010
    The problem is that, in this era of airbags, anti-crush passenger zones, and gizmo packed cars, I seriously doubt any company could build your "real sport sedan" for an affordable price.

    FWIW #1, the 2011 328i weighs in at 3,362 pounds, only 165 pounds more than my 1999 328i. Not too shabby.

    FWIW #2, the last time a 3-Series sedan with an I6 engine weighed 3,000 or less was 1991 (although the 1992 tipped the scales at 3,021 lbs.).

    FWIW #3, given that the MUCH more capable 2011 328i weighs only 341 pounds more than the 1992 325i, I think BMW did a pretty good job at packaging all of the new safety requirements, structural integrity and extra size. Personally if I was given the option of the 1992 or the 2011, I'd choose the 2011 every time (although I would almost immediately chuck the RFTs in favor of a good set of GFTs, a move that will knock another 25 pounds of weight off the car). :)

    Best regards,
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,070
    Not to mention...

    '92 = 15.98lbs/hp and 16.69lbs/ft-lb. Peak torque 4700rpm. Mileage 19mpg average.
    '11 = 14.62lbs/hp and 16.81lbs/ft-lb. Peak torque 2750rpm. Mileage 22mpg average.

    And while I don't have the data to back it up, I'm pretty confident in saying a stock '11 would whoop a stock '92 around any track, even with the extra 300lbs. Progress ain't always a bad thing.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I hate weight, too. Just can't have it all for a reasonable price, though.

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

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,935
    edited September 2010
    ‘. . . almost immediately chuck the RFTs in favor of a good set of GFTs, a move that will knock another 25 pounds of weight off the car).’

    Have you driven a 2011?
    Not having driven a 335 since I bought what I have now, I was rather impressed with the ride in 2 335iS [ coupes ] that I have recently driven – both with 19” runflats. I have read that the dampers were changed. The ride was quite acceptable – and noticeably better than I recall from driving 2009s.
    - Ray
    Just one data point . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited September 2010
    The point is that no matter how much better the suspension gets at dealing with the extra unsprung weight of the RFTs, the ride and handling of the car will significantly improve by putting substanitally lighter GFTs on the car; and to a lesser degree, the acceleration and braking will improve as well.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,935
    Does the 3 have a 'well' in the trunk for
    a full sized spare?
    2016 BMW 340i
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