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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    You do realize that vehicles from the 5-Series below and E-Class below are not even considered luxury over in Europe?

    Absolutely. What's amazing is that we consider an Accord with a fancy badge on it and some upgraded suspension parts to be luxury over here. Now, to be fair, a lot of that is because they are a bit jaded over there, but you'd figure that the minimum standard would at least be something like a 5 series or similar in the U.S. Not re-badged Accords and Buicks and the like.

    Perhaps we've been driving crap for so long over here that we now consider above average to be fantastic. The TSX might be great to a lot of people, but they are simply unaware. To consider it a "luxury sport sedan", well it fails on both accounts. Front wheel drive, underpowered for its weight unless you get the V6, dead steering feel, and, well, the list goes on and on. If you consider it to be awesome luxury, well, more power to you.

    As for trying to find a "luxury sport sedan", well, my take on it is that nobody makes one any more. They now all make large luxury cars with a sporty suspension and needlessly large tires to compensate.

    Here's a challenge:
    Find me a car with 2 or 4 doors. If 2 doors, it must have a usable back seat. No, the 911 does not qualify, obviously.
    It must be rear wheel drive.
    It must be under 3000lbs.
    It must be sporty. Not rims and some spoiler but really upgraded.

    And that's before we add the luxury requirement to the mix.

    Can anyone here find one? Really. Maybe I forgot some vehicle or something? Everything I find is front wheel drive or hundreds of pounds heavier. Even raising the weight to 3200lbs adds a mere handful of choices in the first category. (since the E36 was 3200 lbs, this is as heavy as I'd consider)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You do realize that this is the "Entry-Level" Luxury Sport Sedan forum, right?

    There is a difference between luxury and near-luxury. All of these cars walk the line.
  • "hello- all 3 of these brands have been around for 20 years.. they have sold millions of cars and have huge amounts of brand cred across the world."

    I'd take issue with this, at least as far as Europe is concerned. Yes, Lexus has been around for a long time, but Infiniti as a brand is a very recent arrival. Is Acura even present there? My NSX I drove when I lived in the UK was badged as a Honda, not an Acura, and didn't suffer one iota because of it.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    Here's a challenge:...

    Not sure you'd ever find anything in the "Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedan" with those qualifications.

    The luxury...and the sedan part usually push it over 3000lbs...

    Audi TT (not a sedan...not really RWD...but probably just as good...over 3000 a little).

    ummm...How about a 911 :) Hey...for under $40k you can pick up a nice 05-06.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    I am, at this point, unable to comment on squeaks and rattles and premature seat wear. Are your comments based on personal experience?

    Yes, I've owned two. They were reliable, however :D .
  • 22332233 Posts: 64
    edited September 2011
    I believe that the Lexus brand and the Infiniti brand were created the same year.

    Infiniti was known then for producing ads that did not show the vehicles.
  • "I believe that the Lexus brand and the Infiniti brand were created the same year. "

    Which wasn't the point under discussion. It was whether those brands were known world-wide. Lexus were active in Europe pretty much from launch. Infiniti was conceived as more of a US brand. Infiniti cars weren't sold officially in Europe until 2008. When I left the UK in 2002, cars that were labelled Acura in the US were sold with a Honda badge in Europe.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Are the Hondas sold in Europe the exact same car as the Acuras sold here in the US? When I say exact I don't mean safety because there are obvious differences due to those regulations, but are they the same level of, for want of a better word, luxury. If so, what kind of prices are these cars being sold for in Europe? Maybe the Honda as we know it here wouldn't even sell in Europe because they would be too low rent so to speak.
  • We play football here-does the rest of the world care?
    Who cares what our luxury models are badged as in Europe?
    A guy driving around in a 5 series here might get waved at by European tourist thinking its a cab-big deal, culture clash.
    We live here, lets keep our focus here.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Of course its a challenge, because the criteria you place on a sports sedan is absurd. I never said the TSX is a sport sedan but the G37 and 3-Series most certainly are. You will find few people who will argue otherwise. I didn't realize that the 16inch and 17inch wheels offered OEM are needlessly large tires? I suppose some 14 inch ones would be better :P

    The problem is, you and many others place too much emphasis on what the rest of the world is doing in the car market. Who cares what is and what is not offered in Japan, or Germany, China, Korea, etc. Who cares that Lexus, or Infiniti, and Acura are not everywhere around the globe. What matters is they are here and have been for some time now. All that matters is what we are offered here and what we get to choose from. In my life, I have had plenty of mainstream division cars and luxury division vehicles, trust me, there is a big difference between the two.

    Unfortunately, people such as yourself, go in at bat with the mindset that they are just rebadged junk and not worth the money, but there is more than just the name and price. It is nicer materials, better put together body, longer warranty, better dealership experience, etc and some other perks you get at the luxury companies than the mainstream. I've seen it first hand from many different makes, both American, German, and Japanese.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    We live here, lets keep our focus here.

    I was just curious because I hear so often that many of our luxury brands are just glamorized non-luxury models in other parts of the world. I really wonder if they are that close or are the cars we get here really substantially upgraded when the Acura name goes on for example. If you don't want to answer the question just don't answer it. Nobody appointed you hall monitor.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Why is even finding a 3200lb RWD sedan these days so unreasonable? It's not a problem, because in *Europe*, such vehicles do exist. But we get the jumbo economy sized pigs in the U.S.

    3600lbs for a 3 series is criminal.
    When a previous generation Altima came in at 3000lbs, and it wasn't a tiny car, something's gone horribly wrong. It's not unreasonable to expect lightweight and sporty. The Maxda RX8 is (now was - hope the replacement isn't 3500lbs and FWD) 3000lbs. It gets it right. I actually did find a one car that fit my list. At least for a sport sedan. (yes, it has 4 doors, though their choice of having the rear two open backwards was questionable)

    Why is a G37 500 lbs heavier than a RX8? Surely the engineers aren't ITT Tech drop-outs.

    Also, from a handling perspective, larger tires will create more lateral grip so that we get better testing scores, but if the car is lighter, it can do just as well with even 15 inch tires. Compare an E30 to today's nonsense. Much smaller suspension parts, smaller tires, smaller brake calipers, and yet it runs much better than the current model in actual driving because you don't have to manhandle the thing and hear the tires howling to get good speed down a twisty road.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "3600lbs for a 3 series is criminal."

    The 2011 BMW 328i tips the scales at 3,362 pounds which is about 165 pounds heavier than my 1999 328i. Not exactly a lightweight, but not 3,600 pounds either.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    And how much does the 335i weigh? How much does the C 300 weigh? Cars are horrendously heavy today.
  • I appointed myself.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Why is even finding a 3200lb RWD sedan these days so unreasonable? It's not a problem, because in *Europe*, such vehicles do exist."

    I can't think of a single car that is available in Europe but not here that fits this description...
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited September 2011
    While not the universal answer to the many complaints about the weight of these cars we go on about, I suspect there is some justification for the piling on of pounds these machines have endured over the years.

    Among the reasons are the addition of more and more safety devices, electronic nannies (most of which I love), increased sound deadening, more content (which may be luxury content, increased unsprung weight (from ever larger and heavier wheels and tires, etc.)), larger engines, more gears in the transmission (although sometimes there are weight savings with some of the new transmissions. . .sometimes), widespread adoption or availability of AWD, more plush (and heavier) interiors, etc.

    Simultaneously, I assume the mfgr's are attempting to shave every ounce or pound they can with the use of lighter materials where ever possible and cost effective.

    As Pogo says "we have met the enemy and he is us." We want more luxury features, we want more powerful engines, we want the sportiness. and stickiness of AWD, we want our cars to be quieter and we want the big shiny wheels -- 18-inchers are for sissies, we need 19's, 20's or even bigger (and heavier) ones. We want tires that have side-walls that are super-stiff (hence heavier tires) and we want every possible power amenity: power seat massagers and ventilated seats even. Hell I don't want these things, I NEED them! Doesn't everybody?

    I suppose ABS and ESP and Brake Assist weigh something -- but gawd, why have a car without that stuff (and I certainly want the OTHER drivers to have these features, since THEY --- not me -- have become such dreadful drivers over the years.)

    So we're "stuck" with ever heavier cars -- because we WANT them, are required by law to have them and are, apparently, willing to pay for them.

    Frankly, virtually any of the following: Acura TL Advance, Audi A4 Prestige/Sport (or S-Line), BMW 335i xdrive, Cadillac CTS/4 3.6 Performance/Luxury, Infiniti G37X/S or Volvo S60 T6 would be welcome in my garage -- the fact that after 29 Audis in a row I bought a TL was simply that the damn thing came in nearly $200 less per month than the car I wanted, a 2011 Audi A4 Prestige/Sport. That and the 19" wheels and tires and a very sweet and smooth 305HP engine. Oh yea, and an even better sound system than the B&O system found in the Audi (and THAT is saying something.)

    I may find, as some suggest here, that the Acura will ultimately prove to be unexciting, uninspiring and prone to rattles and premature leather wear (on the seats). Residual values suggest otherwise, but I don't even have 1,000 miles on the Acura yet, so I am not a reliable or experienced witness.

    Anyway, kwitcherbitchin', the cars are heavy, heavier, heaviest mostly because we want them that way (or at least most of us do.)

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,017
    Fortunately, I'm available to take over.

    As long as the conversation is on-topic (which it is), members are free to discuss anything within the realm of ELLPS, even if the Sedan exists only in Europe or Madagascar, for that matter.


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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Like it or don't, if you want a car with in excess of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, you'll also need to buy a car with a heavier engine and drive-train. Throw just the engine from the 335i into a 328i (a process which will bump the weight in and of itself), and just watch what happens to the rest of the drive-train. Not pretty.

    As has been stated here before, between the regulated in safety features and the market demand for larger and more powerful cars, it is physically impossible to build a relatively inexpensive sedan with the size, safety and performance of a 335i for anywhere near 3,200 pounds.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    AMEN to what Mark & Shipo just said!

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    The goal of every single car manufacturer in the entire world is to SELL CARS! If we all "did the smart thing" by paying cash for our Camcord & driving them for 10 - 15 years until the wheels fell off, then luxury cars wouldn't exist. Performance cars wouldn't exist.

    People have the mindset of: "I'm paying $40,000 ($50,000) for a car and it better have..."

    Car companies make a lot of money off people who lease or get new car every 3-5 years. They spend many millions of dollars on advertising and marketing so you make sure you know about "the latest & greatest" out there. If you were a "serial leasee" and were driving a BMW. When your lease is up and your BMW is still exactly the same, are you going to lease another BMW or try something different.

    Forget the fact that you are an enthusiast (we are a drop in the bucket). If you were looking at one of these ELLPS today and everything else were equal except BMW's offering was still the E36 328i as it left us in 1998 (I know the E36 coupes stuck around until 1999) would you buy it?

    Today's E90 3 series is miniature enough as it is. Trunk space is laughable. Imagine if we were talking about an E36, 2 generations ago.

    The government (& the people) want more safety features. People want higher performance. People want more technology. People want cars that can carry 4 people comfortably. People want cars with generous sized trunks.

    The car companies are just making what the people want.

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

  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    You illustrated my point and others nicely. Let's go and talk about another country where the car market is completely different and where all of us shop for vehicles, over in Europe, :sick:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    Where everyone lives in a castle, the taxicabs are S65 AMG's, and there are no speed limits. :blush:
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Today's E90 3 series is miniature enough as it is. Trunk space is laughable. Imagine if we were talking about an E36, 2 generations ago.

    The government (& the people) want more safety features. People want higher performance. People want more technology. People want cars that can carry 4 people comfortably. People want cars with generous sized trunks.

    And they were doing the same nonsense in the 70s, when cars got heavier every year. People want more and more, and that just leaves us with a grocery getter and something that is more of a plush luxury sedan rather than anything that resembles true sportiness.

    To be honest, the trunk space on a E36 is more usable than today's car. Squarer body means a better layout if we're talking about grocery bags and the like. The EPA rated it at 86/10 The current model is 93/12. But it's rounded and the opening is terribly short length-wise.

    Lastly, the RX8 and the previous Altima both where 3000lbs. Large cars can be light. Sporty cars can also be light - and the RX8 is almost as good as a BMW on a track. There's simply no reason to not make cars lighter, because from a technical standpoint, they can be lighter if it's a priority.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited September 2011
    "Lastly, the RX8 and the previous Altima both where 3000lbs. Large cars can be light. Sporty cars can also be light - and the RX8 is almost as good as a BMW on a track. There's simply no reason to not make cars lighter, because from a technical standpoint, they can be lighter if it's a priority."

    The RX-8 is an aberration and shouldn't be used in the context of this discussion. Why? Because A) it has been out of production for nearly a year now, B) while the RX-8 may compete on a track with say a 328i, it has far less usable room, drinks more than half again as much fuel for any given distance at any given level of performance, and C) the engine is extremely difficult to clean up from a pollution perspective (one of the biggest reasons why it is no longer in production).

    The Altima? Seriously? I thought this discussion was about RWD sedans. If you throw FWD into the mix then yes, packaging efficiency and a compact drive-train can be combined to reduce weight; but at a cost (FWD being that cost).
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,061
    The main reason why the RX-8 is out of production was the engine was not effient enough, it past emissions with no problem, but it loved Oil, a quart in every 4K miles.

    Also I would put a 328 again the RX-8, I would place the 128 again it or 135.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Per a press release I read from Mazda last year, their biggest challenge (and subsequent reason for cancelling the RX-8) with the (then) current generation of rotary engines was meeting upcoming emissions standards; especially so in Europe.

    In this case I'm only the messenger.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited September 2011
    I thought this discussion was about RWD sedans

    I don't see RWD in the discussion title. If you mean that only RWD can be performance cars than that rules out the TL and the A4 unless you get the AWD. But then it's not RWD is it. Also eliminates the TSX which many on here don't think qualifies but I think it fits in as an ENTRY level luxury performance sedan.

    You're right about the Mazda or Nissan. They are not premium brands but have some nice offerings.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,072
    mark...'gratz on the new TL. They are mighty fine cars. Plus, the SH AWD version you have is much closer to an Audi S4 that Audi cares to admit.

    Looking back, Acura and BMWs are probably my two favorite brands....I've owned 3 TLs and 3-3 Series, which is more than any other brand/model.

    Like you, I've driven Lexus, Infinitis, MBs, Caddy. The comparable Acura and BMW always wins out over them.

    Where did you buy yours.....Superior or Columbia?
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Maybe I'm confusing threads, but if I recall correctly, the discussion about how heavy cars have gotten included a reference to RWD Sedans. While I'm personally biased toward RWD vehicles, I don't use my bias to exclude other drive layouts from the ELLPS segment.
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