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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,192
    edited April 2012
    I also listened to them/they when I decided on my CPO IS350 over a 335


    Judging a used car is slightly unfair to Lexus? Maybe the previous owner never changed the oil, or grossly neglected the car moreso than just abuse in driving it, but abuse in lack of maintenance. CPO means little to me. You simply don't know how it was "owned" previously. All of the cars I've had were bought new. That is a huge variable when you buy "used." One of the "risks" you take for saving money.

    Also, I believe a proper break-in in the first 1,000 miles may be crucial.... If I leased a car... I probably wouldn't break it in properly, but I've always bought... so I have.
    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
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    Yes that does make sense, my sample size is me :)

    I don't really follow CR for automobiles; there are too many variables.

    For comparison, you don't use your vacuum everyday, outside, in the rain/snow, in anger (some of you may), for fun, to eat on (in), over curbs, over grass, to compete with your neighbor (i'm guilty on that one); and don't have different strangers take it a part occasionally to repair/maintain it.

    I suppose they try to account for all variables and 'guess' the best they can.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    A decently made vehicle will stay in one piece whether you drive it like grandpa or you drive it like you stole it

    Good point; but you could 'make', via CR reports, a mediocre vehicle appear to be a decently made one by marketing towards 'grandma'. Who knows, I could be off, they could be tearing up the roads in the afternoons while I'm at work :)

    I too beat the snot out of my college car (83 tercel 4sp--rust hole I could put my fist through); just maintenance couldn't do much to get in trouble anyway :)

    Is that an AutoX track event? Any ball-joint issues? I've seen an RSX have one give-way...tire folded under the car...apparently AutoX events stress them.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited April 2012
    Yes that does make sense, my sample size is me

    That's what I thought. Real rational thinking. Oh, was that supposed to be funny?

    CR performs a function. Just because it reviews many different things shouldn't be a reason to question it's methodology or accuracy. They're just another avenue of information to assist one in making a purchase...not the be all, end all.

    OK, you don't read CR for your car buying decisions. That's great and who should care? On the flip side, why do you find it necessary to deride both CR and the people(who you constantly refer to as old or "grandmas" which in itself is pretty childish) that do consult it?
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    it reviews many different things shouldn't be a reason to question it's methodology or accuracy

    Point not question...just accept.

    OK, you don't read CR for your car buying decisions. That's great and who should care?.

    On the flip side, who should care that you do not care? You saw fit to "publish" your disagreement. I don't see one post here as being more valid than the others. I usually just pass-them-by.

    I don't ridicule the old; just point out they take better care of their cars (and sofas) than the young(er)...and they never seem to get out of my way.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,054
    . . .literally raped his '95 Geo Prism. . .

    Now, THAT would be worth the price of admission to see.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,192
    I did one autocross event with the BMW club, but it eats up my tires too fast. The Asphalt at Qualcomm's parking lot (San Diego) is from the stone age, so it's very cracked, rough/coarse, broken, gravelly, and just plain bad.

    Mostly have done track events on real tracks with the SoCal Audi Club in Buttonwillow, CA and Pahrump NV (which is this weekend again!)

    Yes, I'm going! 90K miles and redlining it like nobodies business!
    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
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,192

    I did have to replace the CV boots. One of them had come loose and the clamp was off, was at around 65K or so miles so I figured it normal wear and tear. Didn't affect the vehicle except that it would be possible for contaminents to get in where you don't want them over time. I did both because it makes sense to do both, because if one can fail, the other can too imminently. I see coupons in almost every auto shops advertisements for CV joints/boots, so it must be pretty common.

    Only cars that broke down at the last track event I went to were the Maserati blowing a hose (1st lap first day), and the Camaro (brand new model) V6 version (maybe Hertz special?) Automatic transmission apparently overheated and blew.
    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
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    That's enough on the validity of CR conversation. It's not the topic here, and it's gone beyond a little bit of off-topic chatter.


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  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    Yes lets get back to m3s, Porsches and how superior the 3 series is.

    Btw good article in ustoday on passat Tdi - 45 mpg- could TD be a real player in this class- love the torque and Mpgs -
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,192
    the S4 myself. An A4 will do if gas prices stay at $5.00 a gallon this summer though.
    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
  • Hello,

    I am in the midst of purchasing a used vehicle. I really like the G35's (specifically the 2007 redesign models) and TL's. I would love to hear some input, views, advice that you guys may have on the two cars. I have been looking in the 2005 to 2007 era, mainly because of financial reason and reliability of those years for these cars.

    If I'm a bit vague, please feel free to ask any questions.

    Thank you!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,637
    You want AWD, or not?


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  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited April 2012
    I'm not exactly sure if CR is a publication that I would use as the basis for my automotive purchases. We've been down the "CR argument" path so many times before here on Edmunds, I would assume we don't need to go down it again. I must admit however, that I am not a subscriber but I have taken to reading CR's automotive tests and comments of late because of reading some of the posts here on Edmunds. I was encouraged to see that CR now seems to have more subjective prose (not much more, but a little more) pertaining to the cars under their review. In other words, the CR reviews I have read over the past couple of months no longer seem to have been written by a Vulcan. Indeed, the test reports and comparisons seem to have been written pretty much by actual humans.

    I read, here, posts that discuss "reliability" (one of the WORDS that needs to be used carefully) and often the poster will suggest that the reason they didn't seriously consider a German car (for instance) is that they are unreliable. The poster will continue to say that they went with the Japanese brand (they chose) because of its reliability.

    I know there are lemons from the US, Europe and Asia -- and I know someone will likely have an anecdote to share about how his Audi or Volvo or Buick was constantly in the shop or broke down frequently. And, often the same person will laud the absolute reliability of their fill-in-the-blank car from Japan or Korea or somewhere else.

    I am also going to pass along what might be considered anecdotes, but they might also be considered data points. I can't remember EVER having an unreliable car including my first POC which was a 1963 Chrysler Newport. Moreover, since my wife and I have had over 30 German cars, I can assure you we really would have to go some to claim any of them (even the ones from the 70's) were unreliable.

    It is very difficult to find a car today -- from anywhere -- that would be able to be called unreliable.

    Here, however, is another WORD that probably should enter our vocabularies and that has both a difference and a distinction -- that WORD is "durable" (or durability.)

    The issue, in my mind is not how reliable the car is -- hell, all of these cars are reliable, they won't leave you stranded, and they won't break or have anything major go wrong with them for at least 50,000 miles -- many of them will go double that before any real coin is required to replace a failed part.

    What I have learned -- now having about 40,000 miles experience with two Japanese cars (one Infiniti and one Acrua) is that the Japanese cars have the reputation of being durable and being able to be kept so without breathtakingly expensive maintenance, once the warranty expires.

    The German cars are just as reliable, IMHO, but -- after the warranty expires -- they can be breathtakingly expensive to maintain and they stand the chance of not being as durable as their Asian counterparts, or at least they are perceived to be less durable than the Asians.

    I am not certain what exactly CR means when they speak of the reliability of such and such brand -- for from where I sit they're all very reliable these days. I am constantly told, however, that my Acura is likely to be "the most durable car I have ever had." But often the WORD reliable and durable are used as if they are different words but lack distinction.

    Makes my head spin.

    Are German cars less reliable than Japanese cars? You can't make that case with me. In fact, since I have already had to have the front brake rotors on my 2012 TL turned (due to warpage) and the rear differential oil changed (at great expense, I might add) and the car only has 15,000 miles on it, I would say it is the least reliable, no, check that, least durable car I have had this century.

    My 2009 Audi came will all maintenance paid as did my wife's 2008 BMW -- so far the Acura and the Infiniti seem to visit the dealership for some multi-hundred dollar required "maintenance" procedure about every 3,750 miles.

    If I only were looking at cars as being reliable, I would say the Germans (Audi and BMW) would be at the top of my list since I only had to visit the dealership about once every 10 or 15,000 miles, and when I did the visit was "no charge."

    My point is we need to use the correct word to describe these cars -- and I suspect what we mean when we say "reliable" is "durable."

    These cars, today, are all reliable -- some, however, are more durable than others. I suspect the Germans can be as durable (as the Japanese) with breathtakingly expensive maintenance procedures applied regularly after the 50,000 initial warranty expires. But since most of these cars are leased (the Germans, most certainly), most folks get rid of the cars before durability becomes a factor.

    CR is best used to buy toasters, not cars, if you axe me. :confuse:
  • I'm indifferent about the drivetrain - not a make or break decision for me.

    I'm currently coming from a FWD vehicle, which I know the TL is.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Excellent post as always mark. Pretty much every car on the road today is reliable. None, especially in this class of Mid $30 to $50K cars is going to leave you stranded on the side of the road.

    There's always the debate about how much value there is in BMW's including scheduled maintenance as part of the car's price. Now I don't have the receipts in front of me, so I'm going from memory here. I planned on keeping my former TSX for the long haul. In the almost 50,000 miles I owned it, I changed the oil (full synthetic) 5 times. Every time I brought the car in for an oil change, I had the dealer rotate the tires. There's $500 right there. I also had to have the rear brakes replaced at 33,000 miles. I was partially reimbursed for this via a class action law suit settlement. I had to have the front rotors resurfaced. Now Im a pretty educated car guy and know that most of the "major services" that are "recommended" are unnecessary, but They aren't cheap. I wonder how many people walk into the deslership's service department and tell them that the car calls for a B1 service and get charged $250 - $300 for what amounts to nothing more than a visual check and an oil change.

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

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited April 2012
    "I wonder how many people walk into the deslership's service department and tell them that the car calls for a B1 service and get charged $250 - $300 for what amounts to nothing more than a visual check and an oil change."

    Well that describes me -- hell, I came from an Audi and the mntce was "free," but every damn time I go in for an Acura "oil change" somehow, someway it turns out to be some $200+ -- and I think there are robots stealing my luggage too, come to think of it.


    Maintenance included has really spoiled me. :sick:
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    There are some services besides oil changes that are vital & necessary for a vehicle's long term durability such as brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid (why was that needed so early, btw?), coolant, & spark plugs.

    Remember, a dealership's service department usually makes the dealer more money than they make selling new cars. Most coolant & transmission fluid changes on Hondas are simple "drain & fill" procedures. The dealer can charge more money for a "power purge" service of these same procedures. Unless the car specifies something I mentioned above be changed or done, just tell them you'd like just the oil & filter changed.

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

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited April 2012
    Simply open the manual and get just the recommended service that the engineers that built your auto recommend. Dealers publish their own "over and above" suggested maint. items but they are just money makers and serve no real purpose to the operability or longevity of your car. I've had an Infiniti for almost 10 years(95k miles) and probably haven't spent more than a $1500 in routine maint the whole time. Oil changes are about $30-$40 and the dealer always rotated the tires for free during the original warranty period. Now Costco does it for free as part of their tire deal. That's about $150 a year and there were several years where it was just two oil changes and that was it. Total repairs to this vehicle are also under $500 although I do need a new power antenna. All in all very inexpensive except for the fact that it sucks gas.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,554
    edited April 2012
    Well, before I bought my 328, I went to the service dept. to talk what "free" really means. You see those "EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING BUT TIRES FREE commercials all the time. Surely enough, alignment is not covered. And of course, wouldn't you do a fuel induction system cleaning. Prices? $200 for alignment and $200 for cleaning. So your "free" maintence visit turns into dropping over four hundred bucks for services that can be performed at third in any other place and who knows if you even need one.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    While very long, your post did include interesting points but I do one again take issue with the toaster comment. They have available data for 10 years worth of data for each cars reliability- so the sample size is bigger then one Audi and one Acura - I agree with you that if you are looking new the first 50k in driving should be pretty worry free- plus if it's not the standard warrantee should help with the major items - and any savy person should know what's real required and recommended services and know what makes up one service. The german lease argument very true but what if your looking at a used BMW - shouldn't you look at an unbiased mag like CR (who has 10!yrs of data) to make an informed decision - or just ask a buddy who has had ONE reliable/durable audi that he owned from new ? CRs sample size - to big to ignore.(sorry for the long post)
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,338
    so far the Acura and the Infiniti seem to visit the dealership for some multi-hundred dollar required "maintenance" procedure about every 3,750 miles.

    Interesting you should mention that as the Infiniti salesman who dealt on my 2007 G35 lease admitted that the warranty would still be in effect even if the recommended maintenance (aside from oil changes) was not done. I don't know if that has changed from recommended to required.

    Reminds me, when I brought my '08 E-Class in for its 1yr. maintenance for $250+, not only did I get the checklist of things done, but I got a ding over the rear fender wheel opening for no extra charge :sick: .
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,637
    edited April 2012
    3750 mile oil change on our Infiniti was $27.... That included valet pickup and delivery ...

    We've had BMWs under the maintenance plan for 10 years total... Never needed an alignment or a throttle body cleaning.. Never had any maintenance recommended that wasn't included in the plan.. (not that I would have them do an alignment, anyway....)

    Now, on a CPO BMW, I've been stuck with one repair that I thought should have been covered... but, other than that, I've had only good experiences with them (they did quote me $950 for two tires and an alignment, though.... took a


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  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    Yep I pay 30bux for Infiniti oil change with coupon- 30k miles and 4 years I've put a total of 500 bux into car- Going to also need tires soon - looking at trading it in for 2010 cpo BMW 6speed awd 335 with m package- can u say needle in hay stack- also any CR issues will be dealt with before car leaves lot- should be
    3-5 years before delivery
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,130
    edited April 2012
    About the TL or G. Both good cars. Either would work. G is a bit fuel thirsty. So, that's something to consider. If you can find a used TL with SH AWD, that's the one to get. They handle superbly.

    Regarding maintenance, TLs really don't require more maintenance than any other Honda product. The SH AWD models require a little more, but not much more.

    Price for maintenance on a TL shouldn't vary much from a Honda either.

    BMW service.....on the one previous to my current one, I swapped out the run flats as they were horrid. The new run flats on my current 335i are much better. Aside from that, everwhthing else was covered, including brakes and windshield wipers ( the only two things that required service other than oil changes, tire rotations).

    I've used Costco gasoline almost exclusively in my vehicles, my son's vehicles and GFs vehicles for 10 years. Never had any problems with the fuel system needing to be cleaned......EVER!

    I throw in a bottle of Techron into the gas tank every 10,000 miles just to be on the safe side.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,554
    BMW service.....on the one previous to my current one, I swapped out the run flats as they were horrid. The new run flats on my current 335i are much better

    Before I got my 328i, I read about those terrible run-flats. Awful, people say, just loud and harsh. Then the delivery came and this supposedly terrible tires (I got sports pack, mind you so those are 17" performance summer), came to be quite allright. Of course, my point of reference is 2008 STI, so I may have a little skewed perception. Now almost six months and 7k miles passed and I'm still not feeling those tires being so awful. Yes, I noticed a little more noise on certain types of surface than one could expect in an entry lux car, but I'm not sure if similar performance GFTs wouldn't be the same. Those are Continentals, perhaps Bridgestones are worse, or perhaps RFTs are simply getting better. I even read that certain small punctures can even be fixed now, if one doesn't let the tire to go on zero pressure for too long (read, you get flat, you pull to the next tire store) - not sure if it's really true. People say a lot of things...

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    We all seem to agree (I think) that BMW's free maintenance is (1) built in to the price of the car and (2) has extended intervals since BMW started including it. Wherever you sit on this, there's no doubt in my mind that it adds value. I was looking through my own 328xi's vehicle computer and found that my car will require the following scheduled maintenance:

    15,000 miles - oil change (within year 1)
    25,000 miles - front brake pads (within year 2)
    29,000 miles - Inspection I - major service (within year 2)
    30,000 miles - rear brake pads (within year 2)

    Now let's use that schedule and see what else I can muster up.

    45,000 miles - oil change

    That's it for the maintenance that is included in the cost of my BMW. 2 oil changes (at the dealership) + 1 major service + front pads + rear pads add up to something.

    Now not everyone does the 20K miles per year that I do, so they don't get the full value of the included maintenance.

    Here's where things get interesting. When my lease is up, my car is going to have 50,000 miles. I'm going to have a few choices & decisions to make.

    Option 1 is obviously just to turn my car in and walk away.

    Option 2 is to buy my car (from the dealer, not BMWFS) after the lease is up & hopefully be able to negotiate a price that's significantly cheaper than the lease end buy out of a little more than $26K. Say I can buy it for $21K it would be a nice used car. If I buy the car, I wouldn't go for the CPO warranty (on my previous X3 they wanted $3K to certify it), but I most certainly would go for the extended maintenance pkg that covers the maintenance up to 100K miles. IMO, even at the $2K MSRP (think I could maybe get it cheaper), it will get me:

    50,000 miles - Front Brake pads (& maybe rotors)
    60,000 miles - Inspection II (major service incl oil, filter, brake fluid, trans fluid, coolant)
    75,000 miles - Oil Change
    90,000 miles - Inspection I (semi-major service)

    I'd also be financing the buyout.

    Option #3 is to lease another car. There most likely won't be these crazy incentives on the F30 328xi that were on my car, so I'm sure a lease with the same parameters (20K miles per year) is going to be upwards of $650 - $675/ month which is too rich for my blood.

    Option #4 would be to buy a similar car to mine that has literally 1/2 the miles. My only problem with that is dealers seem to have high asking prices on loaded up, off lease, CPO cream puffs.

    I'll see what happens. For now I Love this freakin' car!

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    I don't think the 17" run flats on my car are overly noisy or harsh at all.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,554
    edited April 2012
    I think there are also 30K and 60K oil changes there, aren't they?

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    That's part of the Inspection I & Inspection II services

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

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