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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    The abilities and liabilities of the tires are pretty important to most.

    There is no room for a spare in the X3 if you switch out the tires to non run flats.

    The interior of the current 3 series is very dated but the X3 interior is a huge improvement.

    There are many posters on the BMW sites that do not care for the run flats, although some do like the fact that they generally won't have to change a flat tire. Getting stranded if you are out of state is a big concern in addition to the noise and poorer handling.

    That being said, I love the handling of the current 3 series. I actually considered the E91 until I saw the interior. It also has run flats.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I totally understand about those BMW run-flats. All the German companies are ruining their cars...

    I was all set to get a Porsche 911 until I noticed that the passenger side windshield wiper arm was an inch too short. :cry:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You do realize that there are these places called "tire stores?"
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Hey fedlawman! Good to see you are still around my friend.

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

  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    I checked several national tire stores in my area and none stock the runflats. According to several posters on the BMW sites, most dealerships do not stock them.

    So if you don't travel out of state you're ok with the run flats.

    I guess you didn't do your homework researching this. Please go ahead and buy a car with run flats. Take some reading material with you if you go out of state because you may get stranded.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Who said anything about buying run-flats?

    Replace the run-flats with a proper set of Michelin Pilot Sports.

    Buy a donut spare or a can of fix-a-flat for the trunk.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You too NYC!

    By the way, don't get the G - too much of a lateral move from the Acura, IMHO :blush:
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    Me too...what's up with the Germans...

    I was all ready to sign for my new 911 and they didn't have a license plate holder...I turned around and walked out.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    I may have mistakenly thought you were advocating run flats.

    Another poster implied that German car companies other than BMW use run flats often. In fact, few other than BMW use only run flats. Porsche had them years ago on the 959.

    This site has arguments both ways for the run flats but the majority of these owners are against the use of them

    I considered taking the run flats off a new X3 if I purchased one but there is no convenient place for the spare except taking up space in the smallish space behind the rear seat.

    They are loud, do not handle as well in the opinion of many, cost almost double, do not last as long and if is difficult to find them in stock.

    Car makers should make the run flats optional.

    I like the G37 of all the fine cars mentioned here. It's probably the least expensive, has the great VQ engine, is good looking, handles well, is reliable, and is rear wheel drive (or all wheel drive). The ride of the TL is a different type of ride which I do not like. I've owned several Acuras but will never even consider these again due to their ongoing transmission issues.

    My second choice would be a current 3 series but I would ditch the run flats as soon as they wear out.....probably around 15,000. I'd replace them with Michelins. The donut spare could fit in the trunk.
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    Your Porsche "analogy" is weak and poorly researched.

    None of the current Porsches come with run flat tires.

    I wonder why this German company stopped using them?
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,338
    My run-flats were still going strong when I traded the car in with 36,000+ mi. on them. Although I would have preferred go-flats instead, I was appreciative of having them when I got a flat and could drive to a Discount Tire to have it repaired. Yes, I know they are not always reparable.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited August 2011
    Sorry, it's not that my research was poor, it's that you aren't following my logic. Here, I'll spell it out...

    Rejecting a BMW because you don't like the tires is akin to rejecting a Porsche because the windows aren't tinted dark enough.

    And while it's true Porsche's don't have run-flats, it's also true that 911's (and Boxsters & Caymans) don't come with a spare tire. Off topic, but I thought you should know that there are 100's of thousands of drivers buying cars in North America without a spare tire (no, not just Porsche's - Chevy does it too).
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Fedlawman - don't know if ya heard, but the TSX is now my daily driver. I inherited it from my wife who is now pregnant with #3, who will be daughter #1. I bought her a Pilot, I drive the TSX to work 5 days a week & the Prelude 1 day a week.

    Lateral? Ya think? 326 hp in my dd would be nice, but I have trouble keeping my two 200 horsepower 4cyl cars under 90;)

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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    #3! Wow, you've been busy! Cold winter?

    Well, of course it's not lateral in terms of HP, but in terms of refinement, balance, and poise, it certainly is (arguably a step down).

    Of course, HP was never my first priority anyways - I mean, I do drive a 4-cylinder too... ;)

    On the other hand, the TSX and Prelude are kissing cousins. Maybe you're looking for something completely different? I can understand that.

    Well, good luck with whatever you decide to do. I've pretty much decided that my next car will be a 911. Just waiting for the right time and car to come along.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,685
    Can I have that crappy 4-banger, when you get the 911?


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  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    edited August 2011
    I understood your logic sir but I guess I consider the qualities of tires way more important than license plates, tinting, or a windshield wiper.

    I never had a car with run flats and I don't think I ever will until there are substantial improvements in them.

    Some people really like them so that's what is nice about these forums. Everyone can list the pros and cons and one can make their own decision.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited August 2011
    The interesting thing is that these cars are in the same list.

    One is a large front wheel drive sofa on wheels that is trying to be a better Buick (and largely succeeding as well, I have to admit)

    One is a small luxury sedan that's extremely understated. A sleeper designed for people who really don't want to show off their money.

    One is a blinged-out rear wheel drive muscle car. A luxury 370Z to be exact.

    They all are great vehicles by themselves, but they also are completely different at heart. Honestly I need more information from the original poster because as it is, there is no real connection between the three besides price. Do you want luxury and refinement? Speed and power? A mix of the two? Do you want manual? What about size and weight?

    For example, if you wanted a luxury barge, then you should be looking at the TL, something from Lexus, or possibly a larger Buick or Cadillac. There's nothing wrong with wanting that (my current car is one - I hate small cars in Los Angeles traffic)

    If you want smaller and sporty, the G37, the CTS, and the 3 series all come to mind as top choices.

    If you want refined luxury, the Mercedes, Audi, and the Lexus IS(or possibly the GS) are top choices.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    There are discussions about RFTs and non-RFTs all over the place in the forums. This isn't one of them. Let's not get too sidetracked on this conversation. A little bit, when relevant, is fine, but let's keep the focus on the cars that are on-topic here.


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  • wirelesswireless Posts: 47
    Just ordered a 2012 C-350...

    IS - The Toyota driving experience is just really bad for me. Terribly numb, bloaty, wallowey. Haven't driven an IS but the styling, like most Japanese cars is derivative. It yells "Me too." I understand it will be sporty but the Toyota roots are there. I've owned two Toyotas. Will not buy a third.
    TSX - Wow where did Acura take such a wrong turn with styling? Just uncomfortable to look at. Nutty smiley face and weird rear end. What are they thinking? Cringeworthy. Acura never was that great at style. They've completely gone off the deep end. And Honda used be run by the engineers. Too bad.
    A4 - good car and I could get a huge discount, better than employee's due the company I work for. Wanted to love this car. Thought it would be the one. Even got the discount all lined up. Interior has slipped a bit for Audi. Good car, but not much of an upgrade over the Passat I have. Actually like the Passat more - inside and out. The Audi has a couple of cool features, best styling but driving it just didn't do anything for us. Also I've heard a lot about the repairs especially the turbo, e.g,, "cripplingly expensive."
    BMW - We drove the 330 and just don't get it. Distinctly downscale interior, drove fairly well. Honestly on this one I'll take a mulligan. I will allow that it is probably a great car, it wouldn't get all the accolades otherwise. For now neither my wife nor I get it. Just at a loss on this one.
    CTS - Looks ok. Interior good. Doesn't get good reviews. Just don't trust this car to be reliable, and stand the test of time in styling.
    S60 - I would be interested in a Volvo before Ford bought them. Now just like Jag, and the other PAG cars they have Ford parts running through them. Platforms, switchgear, engines. Like Saab and GM. You're buying a lot of Ford at an Volvo price. I like Ford... but at Ford prices. Also heard resale is bad as well as reliability.
    C-class - we ordered the C-350. Drove this vehicle and within literally seconds I knew it was something different. Easily the best car I've ever driven. In every way, the sounds it makes, the way it feels, the way it takes corners, everything felt perfect. My wife felt the same way. Way better than the Audi or Bimmer. I know it sounds implausible but it the difference is stark. The price is on up there but I'm at a stage in my life where I can swing it. We even drove the E-class but since my wife will be the primary driver, the C is best for her, easy to handle and toss around, more fun to drive, etc. Only concern is the German electronics after 5 or 10 years.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,077
    BMW 330: did you drive a used one? Cause the 330 isn't made anymore.

    S60: ford parts? I don't know who told you that, but it is not true. The only thing ford/Volvo shared were basic platforms, and even those were not "ford products" since they were jointly developed. There are no shared engines at all. Volvo always continued making their cars in Sweden with their own engineering. Under their new Chinese owners, that continues to be the case for now, too.

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

  • wirelesswireless Posts: 47
    The Bimmer was a 328. Still same impressions apply.

    As far as the Volvo goes: trim pieces, steering wheel, tires, wheels, seats, some emissions parts, etc. The may not be interchangeable but the same company makes parts for both. And while I agree that much may be substantially different, one cheap turn signal stalk is a real turn off. Resale value is said to be terrible, so used are a great deal.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,338
    Are there any changes to the 2012 C350?
  • wirelesswireless Posts: 47
    Yes, quite a few. MB say over 2000 changes. Big changes are the engine 268 hp to 302, direct injection, 10% better gas mileage, the interior was substantially upgraded, one review said it is better than the E class now. Just do a little research and you'll see the reviews. I haven't seen it in person yet. We drove the 2011. The 2011 wasn't bad but they say the '12 is a lot better. Read the Car and Driver review for more info.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I've been impressed by Mercedes as of late. Usually you had to get the S to get the top end engineering and reliability. And they were and still are incredible cars.

    The C class feels like a half-sized S class. And the difference is more stark if you just do something as simple as let a new TSX and a C idle next to each other. One sounds like it is made out of tin cans by comparison. Now, the Honda *is* a great engine, but it lacks that polished sound and feel that you'd get in, say, a Porsche or other high end car. It's exactly like thinking that your American made Fender Stratocaster is a great guitar (which it is) and then getting your hands on a true custom guitar. The goalposts simply moved without you realizing it, and now you're a bit ruined in your expectations.

    For the price, especially with year-end rebates, the C is becoming a very good deal.

    The other car that impresses me is the CTS. Reliability is excellent as far as I can tell, aside from the yahoos who break their CTS-V models' engines and rear diffs and then blame it on the manufacturer. My father has one and it sounds and drives 2-3 times better than any other GM car that he's ever had or driven.

    The IS and TSX and the rest simply feel dated.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,338
    Sounds like a nice car.

    Is the body changed for 2012? Was it custom ordered? When do you get it?
  • wirelesswireless Posts: 47
    Every piece of plastic was changed on the C-class. :]

    I ordered it with what I wanted. Not many options actually. The C-350 is pretty loaded to start with. I added keylessGO and 18" AMG Rims.

    It's supposed to start production in the first "decade" (10 days) of October and be delivered in early November.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,066
    Not too sure why you drove a 328i and a C350, since they aren't comparable. YOu needed to drive the 335i since it makes the came HP as the C350, but the 335i is much faster, handles and is a better car overall then the C350.

    You stated the A4 interior has slipped, how so? Since all mag's have ranked the interior of the A4 has best in class for the last 5 years, the fit and finish is above that of BMW and MB.

    I almost got a A4 but the BMW made a much better deal for me, so I bought a 2011 BMW 328i with
    6spd manuel
    value package
    Le Mans Blue Metalic
    Chest Nut Brown leather
    M sport package (it comes with the color)
    Moon roof
    Xenon headlights
    Comfort Access keyless entry
    paid $39K out the door.

    I looked at MB, but the price for a C300 but MG does not offer a sport package (one os standard on the C300 but its only an apparence package) on its entry level C class. Plus the local MB dealer wasn't really dealing, which wasn't a smarl move since the 2012 is a new C class.

    I'm very happy with my car, it handles well, its comfortable, and I love the manuel in the car. My next BMW will be a used 335d, I can't justify the price of a new one.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Awesome that you bought a 328i with a stick & sports Pkg! Enjoy! You had to special order that car, right?

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    There has been some discussion about the value of the scheduled maintenance. While it is built into the price of the car and we all know it isn't free, it is worth something.

    My 2010 TSX is 2 years old and has almost 40,000 miles. While I don't have all the paperwork in front of me, here's what I've done from memory:

    Synthetic Oil changes at 5K, 10K, 20K, 30K, & (almost) 40K @ $70 a piece at the dealership.
    Tire Rotations at the same intervals @ $30 a piece

    I had to have the rear brake pads replaced & the front rotors resurfaced & cut.

    I just had the air filter & cabin filter changed @ $149.

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

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