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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • billyperksbillyperks Member Posts: 449
    Post your message on the Infiniti board, let buyers and owners beware.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    billyperks - he did - several of them.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    "there are too many of them and I feel that they are priced too high for what you get... "

    I'm not sure which of these mass produced cars are actually "rare" on the road. All of these cars have sporty rides with some leaning more towards performance than others, but this would be my short list:

    BMW 3 series - If I wanted the benchmark
    Lexus IS300 - CR rates this cars drivetrain almost as good as the 3-series. And as riez points out is has LSD.
    Infiniti G35 - Stripper version almost the least expensive of the bunch.
    Lincoln LS - I would question the reliability of these.
    Cadillac CTS - should be awesome with it's new engine.
    Audi A4 - all around nice car.
    Acura 3.2TL - for a sporty sedan this would be at the top of the list.
    Acura TSX - nice for a people without families
    Mazda 6 - Not withstanding the rust issue that seems to be on Edmunds boards, the 6 goes head to head with the TSX, although the TSX has more upscale features.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The Mazda 6 is having a rust problem?

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Member Posts: 200
    how much can a car cost before it's out of this category 30, 35, 40?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    The 3-series fits the definition of near luxury by almost every review and mag. Even if one takes every single goody and runs the price up to $45K it's still near luxury. The 5-series by comparison has more upscale features, and with good negotiations you can get one for a hair over $40K. There are no absolutes and people have their own opinions. But to me the cars discussed here are all in class.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Strongly believe the segmentation should be based on what is actually paid. Not on inflated MSRPs. This is really a sign of what the market thinks is the real value of the car.

    Think the heart/meant of this segment is around $27,500-32,500. With the fringes at $25,000-27,500 and $32,500-35,000. A car with an MSRP of $40,000-$44,000 that actually sells for around $35,000 really is in this segment. Lincoln (LS), Cadillac (CTS), Infiniti (M45) and some others heavily discount their cars.

    This would cover everything from Acura TSX, Nissan Maxima, Jag X-type 2.5, MB C230, and 300M (at the low end) and the 330i, 525i, Jag X-type 3.0 & C320 (at the high end) with a ton of cars in the middle. Leaves cars like CTS6, LS6, and IS300 in the middle.

    Jag X-type a great example. Easy to see MSRPs of the 3.0 over $40,000. But Jag needs heavy subsidies and discounts to move. And for 2004, Jag lowered the base price of the 3.0 by a couple thousand dollars and added a couple thousand dollars of "free" standard equipment. The market spoke what this car was worth!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Not to pick nits, but didn't you in anotherpost above somewhere suggest cars should be compared MSRP to MSRP? Here you are doing an apparent flip-flop.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Member Posts: 200
    35 g's is the top. Then I would submit to you that the 2004 BMW 330i with sport pk., 18" wheel, and adaptive xenon headlights in jet black would be the perfect pick. Looks like dealer cost for euro delivery is 33,600. I'd pay the 35 g's and scrounge up airfare to Munich.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    kdshapiro... I've always tried to base a purchase decision on what I can buy a particular car for and how much I think it will cost me to own. MSRP is an important consideration, more so for those marques that can charge at or near MSRP. But the reality of a specific purchase decision has to take into account the actual money that will change hands, both now and in the long haul.

    Remember the old G35 vs 3 Series debate? I always mentioned BMW CCA discount for members, long-term resale value, value of free maintenance, etc. Others raised ED price. I also included CPO. When G35 first came out, there was a limited supply and it was hot to market (with dealers not moving much off MSRP, though that has certainly changed now) compared to the readily-available E46 3 Series (that came out as MY99). Just looking at MSRPs didn't do justice to the cost analysis.

    Of course, since discounts may vary by region, time of year, etc., MSRP always has to be an initial starting point.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,463
    not only do discounts vary by region, time of year, etc, but they vary by buyer. Comparing what YOU could get 2 different cars for can be completely different than what I could get 2 different cars for. Just because your local BMW dealer gives you $10K off car X doesn't mean I could do the same or vice versa. So comparing what cars "sell for" is extremely difficult. The only way I've seen to do something like this fairly is to use an online buying service where the prices are available to the public (like carsdirect or similar) or to strictly use TMV here on edmunds.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Along with this the hit that is taken you sell a vehicle is your personal hit or personal depreciation. It does not represent the national average. Your car may be in a hot or cold market, good or bad condition and you may have good or bad negotiating skills.
  • bimmer97bimmer97 Member Posts: 12
    has anyone have info regarding how the s60r compares to the g35 sedan?
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,501
    the S60r costs more, but has much better seats and AWD. Probably comparable performance. G has a bit more room in the back seat.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • bimmer97bimmer97 Member Posts: 12
    ? re G....what can a person due to increase hp from 260 to 280+ without doing extreme and $$ innovations
  • ruskiruski Member Posts: 1,566
    can you translate what you wrote?
  • bimmer97bimmer97 Member Posts: 12
    questions. has anyone driven volvo's s60r and how does it compare to the g35.
    ok 3rd question. if i get a sedan what can i do to create more horsepower without going overboard in expense. i want a performance sedan not a kids car.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    The volvo is fast off the line - but IMO its a turbo vs NA thing which I believe all else equal you take the NA. People who ahve driven the Volvo have said that it's very fast but not quite a sports sedan and doesn't feel as planted as a G or 3.

    To mod the G you can do a ton with the work the guys owning 350Z have done - since the underpinnings are the same as the G the G guys do what the Z guys innovate. Cold Air intake, Pulleys, light flywheel, grounding kit, intake plenum upgrade, cams are available, headers, catbacks and true duals are almost availble. ECU upgrades to raise redline and improve mods where the ECU retard them by defaukt are available as well.

    PS a guy with exhaust intake and plenum upgrade with a ECU flash got a 14.1 in an auto sedan. I think you could get to 13.9 with all the above. NA baby

    Some or many of these may add up to a couple grand but its fun for me over time to do most of these things. Much more mods I think the m3 was good for and plenty more to come. There are some serious enthusiast in G forums out there too. Check em out
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,463
    ECU chip or reflash, exhaust, and intake.

    with the R you'd probably be up to around 340-350 hp with modest mods like that. With the G35 its tougher to say, but maybe you could get it up to 275-285 (if a chip is available) without getting into the big money mods.

    Probably the biggest advantage of the R aside from AWD is the 4C suspension. I really don't know why anyone would say it doesn't feel as planted when all reviews I've read state that you would NOT want to use the Advanced setting on the R unless you were on a track. Sounds pretty planted to me. But I haven't driven both cars, so take that for what its worth.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • speedracer3speedracer3 Member Posts: 650
    My A4 1.8T CVT has been a pleasure going on 7 months and counting. The car handles like a dream, has more than enough power and has been dead on realiable to date. Kudos to Audi for such a fine automobile.
  • helena143helena143 Member Posts: 8
    Hi. I am trying to decide between the G35 and a BMW 330i, and wud appreciate any ideas on what else I shud try. (I've tried both cars plus the IS300 and the RX-8). I was almost sold on the G35 until I read about its brake and cd players problems. Plus people are not pleased with Infiniti's service.

    I guess now I have no option, b/c the only comparable car to a G35 (BMW 330i w/ performance package--a must. Otherwise it's too slow.) is too much $$$. After receiving excellent service from both Honda and Saab, I have no interest in getting crap from any service dept./dealer. I mean, Saab gives you a loaner even if you are getting an oil change! And they just finished replacing the entire 200 watt Harmon Kardon sound system on my 9-5 because ONE speaker was fried (which was me playing the music too loud, not a defect). I definitely do not want to downgrade either in car quality (my 9-5 has been PERFECT) or service.

    However, I just did some research on Lexis and and Infiniti is rated very high by JD Power and Associates.

    For initial quality for the 2003 model year:

    1. Lexus
    2. Cadillac
    3. Infiniti

    8. BMW
    11. Honda
    14. Benz
    29. Mazda
    32. Saab

    For dependability in 2003 (this rated vehicles of the 2000 model year after 3 years):

    1. Lexus
    2. Infiniti

    13. BMW
    12. Saab
    26. Benz

    For 1998 models after 4 years:

    1. Lexus
    2. Infiniti

    10. BMW
    16. Benz
    19. Saab

    Yet the bottom line seems to be that even tho Infiniti sells great cars, it has never developed the cachet of Lexus, much less BMW, etc. So it is desperate to sell cars. It is trying to rebuild its line (and Nissan) out of the slump brought on by the weak Yen and the success of Lexus.

    Of course, the problem is that it seems to be caring more about GETTING customers than keeping customers.

    Unless I get this car for below invoice, I won't take the chance on crappy product or service.

    Am I right?
  • bimmer97bimmer97 Member Posts: 12
    I think the s60r is nice inside , has soft leather all around, infiniti has more hard plastic. imo orange gauges look horrible in g35 while volvo has cool looking blue.
    clutch is stiffer in g35, volvo has a light but spring loaded feel. the shifter of the G vibrates and takes a lot to get used to when shifting into reverse (Far right and downward motion) volvo doesn't vibrate and shifts into reverse more normally( what i'm used to)
    both look good but have totally different looks G 35 has that japanesse looks whiel volvo has a more sedated euro look.
    volvo steering feels looser at low parking lot speeds but tightens up when speed is increased. G-35 feels a little tight. both stick to the road and both seemed like they stop pretty well. i did not feel tubro lag and s60 had pop when accelating. s60 is awd and weighs more(don't need awd in Fla) i think the s60 is a little faster and hold a little better big 18" wheels w P zero's.
    so my delema is which one do i get.
    what will hold up betterin the long term. s60r is awd which i guess is nice but really isn't needed in Fla.
    one is more expensive but is damm good both in and out. one is cheaper looks better out then in.
    I think the g35 sedan wont hold value as well as the s60r because they will be produced in greater quanity.
    any opinions would be appreciated.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    has the best residual of any coupe sold right now including BMW - per kilingers who i think does lease residuals. THe sedan supposedly is worth 56% after 4 years and the Coupe 62%. I'll live with that. Volvo with turbo may not be the easiest car to unload 4 years old.
  • bimmer97bimmer97 Member Posts: 12
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    If you want accurate information on lease residuals the car-man in the finance and warranty board will be able to tell you.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    what the residuals are. Kiplinger provides finance co's with residuals.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    If you want to acquire a car you have to go to the dealers and negotiate a deal. BMWs have had historically very high residuals while Infiniti has had historically low residuals. Nothing I have seen or heard of has changed this. But you have to be willing to go toe-to-toe witht he dealer to get the best deal.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    is just that history. Residuals change all the time - get the facts before you decide based on a forum with old information.
    PS there is no negotiating the resiudual. it is what the bank tells you it is and no car dealer can change it
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    There may be not negotiating the residual, but everything else is up for grabs including the cap cost. History is useful in that it gives a sense of the future. Reputation which is the companies number one asset is based on history.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    of cap cost and residuals reflect market sentiment of a used car in the past. Nothing other than current residuals and money costs matter right now for a new car purchase. If history is an indication of future perfmance meaningful info is best found elsewhere such as the JD power results. When residuals for 4 years out are best in class right now - why would you look at the past. markets change - dont buy stocks this way
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Most people buy blue chip stocks based on past history. I don't anyone who throws out a blue chip stock because they had a bad quarter. Usually look at the bigger picture. The same with lease residuals. The reason they are high for BMW is historically people are willing to pay a good dollar for BMW used vehicles.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    There is no fluffy big picture to a quantitatively defined lease residual. The G Coupe gets best in class in Kiplinger's December Personal Finance Issue. BMW get some nice comments as well but RIGHT NOW - the only thing that matters is what the math works out to be on a deal done today. By virtue of today's lease residuals it costs less to buy G coupea as opposed to a 330ci ~ all else equal.

    You're not wrong to say that people have historically paid more for used Bimmers e it's true. Now the reality is people will pay the most for a G coupe of any car out there. Infiniti has had great cars for thier entire existence and now the market has bidded up one car int he lineup to reflect this. BMW manages it's used car markets better than anyone and perhaps Nissan learned something. History is nice but inadequate in most cases to accurately determine future trends. People who look backwards only in portfolio management get fired. In fact the real finds are in places where history has not been so kind.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    History is generally the only accepted principal in the financial markets. I'm not sure why you say it isn't. You are correct, lease residuals are enforce for a deal done in this specific minute. They can change in one day. But Kiplingers doesn't make the market, they report the financial news and again the reason BMW lease residuals are typically high is due to the overall demand of used/CPO vehicles.

    Check this link for a comparision between BMW/Audi/Infinity:

    Car_man "Lease Questions - Ask Here" Oct 7, 2003 7:19am!keywords=allin:msgtext%20limit:.ee9394d%20g35
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    The statemnt I was rebutting

    " Nothing I have seen or heard of has changed this. But you have to be willing to go toe-to-toe witht he dealer to get the best deal. "
    Read the article. The bank buys the residual info from some one who analyzes the market. IF not Kiplinger then who. Even if they are reporting the facts can say you've seen this change.

    RE the financial discussion perhaps we should take it elsewhere. The only fundamental principal held by Chartered Financial Analysts, the highest designation for institutional money managers is having a basis for representing to a client that an invstment is suitable based on his needs. This specifically has to based on forward looking fundamentals. Reversion to the mean priciples suggests that what has done well in the past will not in the future and vice versa.
    History is about the last place you can justify an investment to a board a judge or the disciplinary body that can revoke the charter. Any one in money magagemnt - not a broker - will tell you history only serves to put a company on the radar for your selection process. IF you want to read up on this type "modern porfolio theory" into google
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    I didn't get my lease from a bank and it's either 62% or 63%. As of one month ago, the above link suggested Infiniti was points behind BMW. If it is now changed, it's changed, and it will change tomorrow again. But again history suggests that BMWs hold a higher residual than Infiniti. If Infiniti is pumping up the residual there will be a glut of used G35s available at bargain basement prices in a few years.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    66% for a coupe G after 3 years. Read it one more time - december issue. INfiniti can not set the residuals - the banks do. Any time I say bank it's interchangable with financial institution. Did your mom lend you the money? Most institutions have similar numbers. It will change tommorrow but probably not drastically. The glut of ubiquitous 3's may drive that down - could be time to get a deal on a CPO 325!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    chrisboth - the lending instutition sets the residuals. If the lending institution is wholly owned by the manufacturer they can set any residual they want.

    Will someone come forward and say they leased a G35 coupe with a 66% residual? What was the money factor? I'm not buying Kiplingers to see what the Infiniti residuals are.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    and if they set it too high they lose thier job or business. predicting values 3-5 years out is an art and setting them this high has to be based on great market percpetion and actual values obtained in used car markets. You get stuck with 66% of a car you have to be able to make money on it still. Apparently institutions belive the G is the best coupe out here based on available and recently changed residuals.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Member Posts: 650
    In the best residual for a G35C is 62%, the best residual for a BMW 330i is 56%. standard 36 month lease with 0 down buying the car at MSRP yields these payments:

    BMW 330i: $597/mo
    G35C: $496/mo

    $100 difference. Just wanted to throw some numbers out there. Personally, I lease what I like and don't let residuals make the choice for me. My A4 has a much lower residual than both the G35 or the BMW, but I enjoy the heck out of it.

    My 2 cents

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Interesting comparing apples to apples gave slightly over a 50% residual on the G35.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    "old information" It does not reflect what actually happens currently. IE not real time such as the awesome TMV sponsored by this site.

    It's a better residual now there is no going back
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Probably extremely accurate, check it out!
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Member Posts: 650 uses residuals from leasing companies. Most folks will lease through the manufacturer's financing arm, and those residuals tend to be much better than those from leasing companies. If NMAC wants to to subsidise 66% residuals, that's ok, I am sure the money factor is adjusted for the higher residual anyway so it balances out.
  • georgi1georgi1 Member Posts: 1
    speedracer, you are right. In cases where companies offer higher residuals they would demand high interest (or money factors, if you'd prefer). In my experience the manufacturer's own financial company usually gives the higher residuals. However, beware that even though the monthly payments of high-res/high-mf & low-res/low-mf come out the same, if you decide to buy the vehicle at lease-end you would have to pay more for the higher residual. Personally, I've found the residual values on to better reflect what I see on used-car listings.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    "you decide to buy the vehicle at lease-end you would have to pay more for the higher residual."

    Then one should be buying outright from the beginning. Leasing for 3 years and then buying is more expensive than buying outright from the beginning.
  • mariner7mariner7 Member Posts: 509
    As everyone should know, Nissan/Infiniti fortunes have changed completely the last few years, including residuals, so the past is not much of an indication. Apparently there's a auto research that predicts five year residuals, and obviously G35 is not five year old yet. It predicts the G coupe will have the best five year residual in its class, which includes 330Ci.

    In the non-premium market, Nissan residuals are moving closer to the perennial leaders Honda & Toyota.
  • gregory28gregory28 Member Posts: 174
    The '04 TL is rated number 1 in a comparison of 15 "near luxury" automobiles. Consumer Reports is THE most respected publication for reviewing automobiles because they accept no advertising. Furthermore, CR rated Acura the number one manufacturer in the world for reliability two months ago- based on most recent models; 1999-2001.

    It was ranked number 1 based on performance, luxury, sportiness, value and reliability.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Not knocking Acura or CR, but JD Powers website presents different information on reliability, just look it up.

    Serious sports sedan enthusiasts recognize inherent limitations of FWD vs RWD. Yes - so if you want a good "value" automobile an Acura is it. Actually the best "value" around is the stripper G35 without leather for $26K for $10K less. If you want to drive the best entry level sports sedan in the world, it's the 3-series.

    BTW BMW was given the ALG awards for having the highest residual value of any manufacturer. You can read about it, on their website.
  • chrisbothchrisboth Member Posts: 493
    "Consumer Reports is THE most respected publication for reviewing automobiles because they accept no advertising. Furthermore, CR rated Acura the number one manufacturer in the world for reliability two months ago- based on most recent models; 1999-2001."

    CR is known for mom and pop minvan level reviews of cars they have no business even driving. Most enthusiast would probably ignore CR and look to the true auto mags for opinion before buying. CR is great for people who know nothing other than what people tell them and want a camry.
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