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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • dap2006dap2006 Posts: 68
    OK, my 2008 Acura TL-S lease is ending March 2011 and I'm trying to decide on my next car. There are many things I like about the 2011 TL but the new beak and added size are really negatives I don't think I can get past. I just drove a 2011 G37S (auto - wife ruled out the manual.... :blush: ) but it seems a bit small - I'll have to drive it again. I enjoyed the power and handling. Any thoughts out there? Any other cars to consider? I'm not a fan of the American offerings and while I love the drive of the 335i I don't like the price tag with all the options I'd want... :confuse: I've been on this board for several years now so I know someone might offer some thought I hadn't considered...
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Does it have to be new? I have several that I'd recommend if you are willing to consider something a couple of years old, like a 2008 CTS. 20K, give or take, and just about perfect for your needs.

    I guarantee that it's not "American" in how it's designed or drives. Probably the only thing that GM has for sale now, in fact, that is like that.

    My second recommendation is actually also from GM, but you'd have to get a 2009 model, because GM stopped importing it to the U.S. then. Go test drive a Pontiac G8/Holden Commodore. It's a fantastic vehicle and is no problem to find one for less than 20K, certified. If you want something that handles well, is RWD, has a nice interior, and is a total sleeper/under everyone's radar, while being one size larger than a G37 - without the silly price tag, look no further.

    I personally like it more than the current CTS. I'm still incredibly shocked that GM took it's #1 selling passenger car in Australia(and best IMO, that they currently make worldwide) and stopped importing it to the U.S. Such an incredibly idiotic move. But you can get one used. Change the badges if you wish. ;) Note - it's also sold outside the U.S. as the new Chevy Lumina. So at least there's some hope of it returning next year or so.

    These two are the only options from GM that will satisfy you if you like how the TL and Infiniti and so on drive. Everything else, yes, it's a toad and should be avoided. But do check these out - you might be able to get a used/certified car and own it for only a little more than the payments on a lease of something like a 3 series.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,164
    A4? (new or slightly used)
    BMW (slightly used)?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 12,530
    If you like your '08 TL-S & think the new TL is too big (and beaky), try and get your hands on a TSX V6. They don't sell well and can be had for a boatload off sticker with incentives. Keep us informed of what you go with.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • dap2006dap2006 Posts: 68
    I really haven't considered the TSX because it seems like a step in the wrong direction - I'd like a car with more, not less than I have now.

    I've considered the A4 or S4 but I've read a lot of bad things about Audi reliability.

    As for BMW, I think I'd have to move up the 535i to get the size and features I want, but I don't like the idea of making the payment each month :sick:

    The IS350 was a thought but it has no back seat to speak of, among other faults...

    And on top of all that, I don't want to buy a used car - I'm looking at a lease because I want to swap this car out every 3 years and not mess with sales....

  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    Yes I know ... not the luxury nameplate ... CVT ... but all the luxury amenities ... and killer lease deals.
  • jtlajtla Posts: 373
    Based on your two posts, it pretty much leaves you with G37S :)
  • jtlajtla Posts: 373
    I was gonna to suggest the same, but the price of a loaded Maxima is approaching that of G37, not to mention its FWD set up and CVT.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    I'm assuming your requirements are similar to your 08 TL i.e. you're ok with FWD...don't need super sport suspension tunning.

    You want space...more than an IS...something around a 5 series (if the price was right).

    You could almost list all manufacturers and they'd each have an offering in this segment.

    You mentioned that you're apprehensive about Audi reliability. Since you lease are you concerned about being stranded and/or inconvenienced with repairs?

    I'd take a look at the domestics as well (I actually liked the CTS...coupe looks very nice too)...go drive a CTS, LaCrosse, SHO...even go drive an MKS and see...of course if you 'know' you're not going to buy one then I suppose you're just waisting your time (I was surprised).

    If you're not keen on domestics how about the European? C350 is very nice, S60 looks nice (never drove)...might be small if a 5 series is your size requirement.

    At this point, for me, I'd lean more towards a new A4 2.0T...does everything well, looks real elegant and has good mileage.

    I liked the new TL as well (I also like the looks :) ) wasn't too large and the SH-AWD let me over-steer the back end out a that was pleasant. Plus you'd get your space requirements (guess Maxima has similar specs too).

    New Infiniti M37?

    You may also lean towards the vehicles with the 'included maintenance' as well...
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    It's painful for me to admit, but the beak on the current TL is the most hideous thing I've ever seen! This is coming from someone who still can remember my first time driving my cousin's brand new 1986 Acura Legend (dark blue with gray lower accent) and realizing that it was the most special car I'd ever driven. I later owned a 1994 Acura Legend GS that was the love of my life until it was demolished by a drunk jerk driving a huge 4x4- but it saved my life. I also owned a 2002 TL Type-S that was a spectacular car in every way...until the transmission went out at 32k miles and then again after another 20k miles...I didn't want to own it if/when the third transmission failed if it was out of warranty, so I had to get rid of it. Suffice it to say, I've been an Acura-phile from the very beginning in late 1985...but the newest designs range from bland to downright vulgar (TL)....the TSX seems to suffer the least from this design 'theme'?

    Have you considered the TSX V6 as a possible replacement for your '08 TL-S? It is less than an one-inch +/- in front and rear head, leg and hip room compared to your TL. Overall passenger volume is 94 cu ft vs. 98 cu ft for your TL, so it's only very slightly smaller. Interior cargo (luggage) volume is virtually identical at 12.6 vs. 12.5 cu ft.

    The Infiniti G37S is almost identical in every interior measurement (head/leg/hip room) to your TL, with 99 cu ft of passenger volume and 13.5 cu ft cargo volume. So it's not smaller in any way than the TL, but the interior design or other design aspects may may it 'seem' to be...I'd give it another look before ruling it out!

    If you are leasing, would the larger Infiniti M37 also be within the realm of possibilities? It has a boost in headroom and legroom in front and rear compared to the TL. Total passener volume is 104 cubic feet and cargo volume is 14.9 cu ft. Not sure if I like it any better than the G37S, but it might be something to consider....

    And one other wild card that I will recommend, if a luxury 'brand' isn't esssential and you're just wanting a car that looks and performs in the same realm with most entry-level performance/luxury models- the 2011 Mazda6 s Grand Touring 4-door. The current 2010 is a very impressive vehicle, with exceptional handling and plenty of power any time you need it! The 3.7L V6 only has a 272hp rating, but it has 269lb-ft of torque (matching the torque figures for the 330hp M37 and exceeding all the other cars discussed above, despite their 280-328hp ratings). It also hits that torque peak at 4250rpm, compared to 5200rpm in both Infinitis.

    The only two options on the 2010 MZ6 s Grand Touring are Voice-Activated Navigation and the Technology Package. The Tech Package adds Advanced Keyeless Entry & Start with push-button starting, SIRIUS sat radio, LED tail lights, Fully automatic Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, power passenger seat and rain-sensing wipers. With those two options, it is a very close match for the G37S, feature-for-feature but for $6-7k less! The 2011 model is getting a 'refresh' that willl only make the car more attractive and upscale in look and feel. It's worth a visit to the Mazda dealer one day, just to experience the car for yourself. My best friend and I took one for a test drive two weekends ago and he wasn't even in the market for a new car....but he traded his 2008 IS 250 on the spot for it! =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited October 2010
    I can definitely feel you about the new TL. I have a 08 as well and the new one is such a turn off on the exterior for me its not even funny. If you think the G37 is small then I would not recommend a 3 Series or C-Class since they are even smaller on the inside.

    I would recommend a Caddy CTS or like other's have mentioned the new Maxima. If your looking for the true sport sedan feel you won't get that completely with the Max due to the CVT/FWD but it definitely has got a more sport oriented handling and power. I ended up with one b/c like you did not want a G37 due to the cramped feeling when in it. The Max has plenty of room, pretty sporty body style, and you get certain features you normally can only get in luxury sedans if you get the premium packages. The leasing and financing for it are excellent and many people are getting fully loaded ones for $34-35k.

    If that doesn't fit your bill, I would check out the Genesis but again, some people don't like the Hyundai name plate.

    Not sure what budget or finances are for your but if possible, I would check out the new M and 5 Series as well. They are definitely going to fit your bill when it comes to size and features but you will pay more for them obviously.

    Best of Luck!!!
  • dap2006dap2006 Posts: 68
    Great post! Gave me some things to think about. I haven't been an Acura fan as long as you but I had a 92 Accord that I loved and kept 12 years - I got a 2006 TL after that and then my current TL-S. I had driven the 335i before I got the TL-S and loved the drive - almost pulled the trigger but my wife had loved the Honda/Acura's (2 previous Civic's) so I caved and I went with my current ride (which is nice, don't get me wrong).

    I'm not a Mazda fan but I'll take a look at the MZ6 to see what it looks like. I can't see me driving a Benz, though - too much coin for what you get.

    So far I'm thinking the Audi A4/S4, G37S and M37 seem the likely suspects... :shades: :shades:
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    I loved the Mazda6 V6 as the manual-auto mode I had it in 1st gear at around 4k rpm -- just going down the street. I hammered it and chirped the tires into 2nd gear.

    Not really a marketable feature...or even worthy of purchasing it for (since it is very good overall). But a very powerful V6. Rear seat room is HUGE too.

    LOVED the manual in the Mazda 6...too bad it only was on the 4cyl

    Not much love for the Mazda 6...don't see many.

    Same as the VW CC -- don't see many. I actually prefer the CC over many in this thread.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I will mention, though, that the new CTS is worlds better than anything Mazda makes. It's positioned in Europe as a BMW 5 series competitor at a lot less money.

    My parents just went through this exact same scenario. And had it down to the same models are you are looking at. And the CTS just simply was a superior product to the Infiniti. The only vehicle that gave it serious competition was the C300, which is my #1 pick if money is no object. It;s everything that you want and Mercedes is apparently finally making their cars right again. Though currently only the C class is benefiting, as will the upcoming model E class(it takes time to re-tool and phase in new technology)

    Also, I mentioned the G8 because while 2009 was the last year for it, it had the same suspension and engine as a CTS. It's a worlds better choice than the LaCrosse and actually is fairly attractive by comparison(looks like a cross between the CTS and the LaCrosse, IMO - slightly rounded but not a jellybean.

    But let's look at the math on slightly used vs lease:
    First off, Infiniti has no financing options currently on 2011 models. (it's impossible to find a 2010 to lease at this point). Fail.
    Let's look at Acura, then. Oops. Same deal.
    K... Mercedes. Mercedes always runs leases(as does VW and Audi)

    C300 $349/month for 27 months. 10K/yr. $3141at signing.
    Total at lease end: 12215 in payments. $452.41/month.
    (a BMW 328i is $439/month with 0 down at signing for reference)

    Let's have some fun, then. :)
    2011 Accord EX. $229 /month for 36 months. $1499 at signing.
    Total at lease end: 9743 in payments. $270.64/month.

    Now why would I do this comparison? Because to lease any vehicle, you have to factor in what it costs versus a used model that still has the same amount of factory warranty left. 36 months lease vs 36 months(or more) warranty. Now, the main deal here is the drive train, which is pretty much all that matters(most certified cars get an extension anyways and the gremlins have been worked out/fixed. It's basically a wash, IMO, since a 2 year old car won't break anyways unless it's something nasty like a Suzuki or Daewoo.

    I did a 2 minute search for a 2009 G8 with low mileage and under $25K.

    Figure $22K now and $12K in three years. That's $10K for three years. I put the Accord in as a comparison because what this means is that you can get a certified year old vehicle and run it for three years for the same price as an economy car lease.

    But there's no wear and tear adjustment, no money factor idiocy or other tricks, no mileage cap or penalty. In short, you can OWN and decide to keep to trade whenever you want for the same price as a lease. The only difference is the payment structure per month. But a 72 month payment plan will usually net (now due to silly low interest rates) about the same monthly payment as a lease. If you want out of it, or to buy it at the end of the "payments", it's a clear win. Keep paying the bank or just sell it and end up with 0 month owed after 36 months.

    I get about $350 a month in this scenario vs $450 a month for the Mercedes or BMW.

    Note - you can get a 2008 CTS for about ~25K and the money works out the same as the CTS depreciates a bit less - ~15K at 6 years old. The only difference is $400 a month and the same $10K total cost.

    Let some other person eat the 10-15K initial depreciation. Never buy new.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    I will mention, though, that the new CTS is worlds better than anything Mazda makes. It's positioned in Europe as a BMW 5 series competitor at a lot less money.

    Here in UK, the BMW 5's run from £31k for the 523i SE to around £50k for the 550i SE, with lots of diesels. The Cadillac CTS runs from £27k for the 2.8 V6 thro' £30k for the 3.6 V6 to £56k for the 6.2 V8, (though who would buy that beats me). CTS is generally compared unfavourably to BMW/Merc/Jag/Audi due to poor ride/handling, (our roads aren't great), and having no diesel options..............a very big points loser !

    Not sure I've ever seen one on the road.

    The Mazda 6 runs from £16k for the 1.8 S through to £23k for the 2.2D Sport Estate, (wagon). Gets rated highly, for price, if a tad noisy and there are lots of diesels.
  • dap2006dap2006 Posts: 68
    I drove the Audi A4 Premium Plus w/ sport package today - I was looking for a Quattro but they had just arrived and weren't prepped yet. Great interior, solid, high quality all around - liked the nav, seats, LED's etc.. much to like here. Only problem - turbo lag. The salesman assured me the car would learn how I drive and adjust within 500 miles, also that the Quattro had half the lag - I'll go back and see. Other than that, very pleasing...

    Anyone else have any experience with the A4 turbo? Does the lag improve?
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,164
    Personally I don't see how 4wd or "learning how you drive" would get rid of turbo lag. Might be a BS salesman wanting a sale or lease. But what do I know?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, yeah, the U.K. is its own bit of insanity when it comes to vehicles. Bigger autobahn and highway cruisers aren't really appreciated over there. Doubly so if there isn't a diesel option. And, the new CTS doesn't have a tiny engine option, either - you get big and guzzling or you go home ;)

    But here in the U.S., yes, it's cheaper than a 5 series by a fair amount especially at the end of the model year, is a bit more reliable, and drives essentially the same. Of course it's now a 3 series competitor, but few things are.
  • v8nutsv8nuts Posts: 7
    edited November 2010
    well I decided to get the 335i last year and am glad I did it is worth every penny . I drove my friends G37 and was very disappointed in the way the engine makes it power compared the the twin turbo 335. There is nothing like the torque of twin turbos on the street with all of it available at 2k or so...
  • Well, yeah, the U.K. is its own bit of insanity when it comes to vehicles. Bigger autobahn and highway cruisers aren't really appreciated over there. Doubly so if there isn't a diesel option.

    Absolutely correct...............but you do us a dis-service. We have lots of bits of insanity when it comes to cars. Why else would people buy Peugeots or G-Whizz electric death traps ?

    Still, with gas at circa $7 per US Gallon equivalent smaller and/or diesel engines are not so much insanity but rather financial imperatives. ULSD is, of course, up to 20 cents more expensive, (but it's the only diesel fuel you can buy for road use).
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,978
    edited November 2010
    "Also, I mentioned the G8 because while 2009 was the last year for it, it had the same suspension and engine as a CTS."

    The CTS was not & is not available with a normally aspirated V8.
    The G8 GT [ I have one ] has a n/a 6.0L V8.
    I considered the CTS before my purchase -
    and the availability of a 6.0L V8 would likely have
    pushed my to select the CTS.
    The V6 in the CTS [either version] does not provide the TQ
    I really want...
    - Ray
    TQ addict
    2016 BMW 340i
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    A reporter wants to talk with someone who is deciding between a new Lexus, BMW and/or Mercedes. Please email [email protected] asap with your daytime contact info, your city and state, and the vehicle models currently under your consideration.
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    Corporate Communications


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  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    A reporter wants to talk with someone who is deciding between a new Lexus, BMW and/or Mercedes. Please email [email protected] asap with your daytime contact info, your city and state, and the vehicle models currently under your consideration.

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  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, I was talking about the normal version. The V8 G8 is its own brand of special goodness that makes a CTS-V kind of a non-issue for most people who don't plan to use their car on track days.

    Still sad that they took such a nice looking vehicle out of their lineup. What we have left for us normal working class people are cartoon cars like the Camaro and Charger when this actually also worked as a perfectly find daily driver/family sedan.

    Still, even a base model G8 is a great car if you can't afford a CTS.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,299
    good well enjoy your beemer-- also know they just recalled the car.. the nissan 3.7 or 3.5 has yet to leave a owner at the side of the road-- worth every penny....well we will see --for my 10k its nissan. sorry they make a better car
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    good well enjoy your beemer

    FYI: "beemer" refers to a BMW motorcycle, while "bimmer" denotes a BMW automobile.

    Just thought you'd want to know.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "the nissan 3.7 or 3.5 has yet to leave a owner at the side of the road-- worth every penny"

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

    NHTSA Campaign Number: 02V245000
    Potential Number Of Units Affected: 18300

    NHTSA Campaign Number: 03V455000
    Potential Number Of Units Affected: 630000

    And don't forget the big G35 airbag recall to fix airbags that may not deploy in a crash or the current 2+ million worldwide recall for faulty ignitions that may stall the engine.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    The whole thing constitutes a ridiculous and unsupportable argument - EVERY vehicle has left SOME owner stranded somewhere. They're machines. They break down. Mass manufacturing leads to inevitable defects in some units.

    My G35 has been perfect for over 100K miles, but that doesn't mean I discount the issues that others have had with the same year/make/model.


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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Exactly my point. Thank you.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 12,530
    To agree with fedlawman, my brother-in-law has an '06 Civic LX & an '07 Durango Limited. Guess which one had to have it's engine replaced at 60K with fanatical maintenance?

    The Civic

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

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