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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • I test drove the CTS with high hopes as I love the way the bigger Caddies handle and like the looks of the CTS. I was disappointed. For me, it was draggy, bumpy and the steering/handling wasn't at all like the larger models. Just my opinion, I know others love theirs, but if you're looking for a Caddie drive in a less expensive, smaller body, the CTS is a non-starter. I understand they are coming out with a V8 very soon.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27

    I am kind of stuck and could use some help. I am trying to do the Pros and Cons of a 325xi, G35x and a TL. I live in the Northeast so the AWD would be nice but not a necessity. I drove all 3 cars was leaning toward the BMW but it seems a bit underpowered vs the other 2 in the decision set. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill or is should this be a concern.

    Also I heard from some folks that the TL tends to develop some rattles reasonable quickly after purchase.

    Thanks for any counsel.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    rattles: as far as i heard its true w/ the previous TL, but i never heard of such complaint with the new TL

    the 325xi might seem a bit underpowered, but its all about your preferences. with G35x you'll get the power but sacrifice the comfort and luxury due to its harsh ride and low quality materials. th TL has both power and comfort for $33k, quite a decent offer. if power is on top of your list, the g is worthy, but if you want luxury along w/ it you might wanna consider the bmw or the TL. hope this helps :)
  • I was in the same situation except I was looking at the 330i and TL and I chose the g35X and every day I drive this car it just lets me know I made the right decision the best part of this car is at the bottom of my feet (the pedals) its like an extention of my body it just does what I want it to do!!!!
  • Velostic, with all due respect, you're missing the point of the CTS. This car was never designed to look, drive or handle like the larger models, especially the Deville or the old outgoing Seville. I for one am very happy that this car is nowhere near the handling, road feel or performance or my old Deville.

    Also, the CTS already has a V8 model..the hot rod CTS-V. THere is no indication that there will be any other kind of V8 version of this car in non-hot rod form.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27
    Thanks for the reply. Right before I saw your response I punched up the 330xi. Looks like that would be a more fair compartor vs the TL and G35x. It looks, though like it will be north of what I am willing to spend.

    I am going to go back and drive all 3 again and try to decide.

    Thanks for your help.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27
    Thanks for your response.

    I am curious about your comment on the low quality materials on the G35x. Would you be able to elaborate a bit ?

    This car for me is about being fun to drive. Our other car is a 2004 Acura MDX which acts as family wagon. I need the practicality of a sedan but beyond that I want something that will perform well and be a fun ride and age well. My boss has a 325 and says it drives with 100k miles like it was new.

    I have had great luck with 3 Nissan's so just when I was about to eliminate the G35x I decided to keep it in the mix.

    Thanks again for your insight
  • brew99brew99 Posts: 86
    I went through a similar decision last year and ended up with the TL. Not sure how much snow you get where you are but the front wheel drive of the TL handles the white stuff quite well. The car is definitely fun to drive and the AT version does not have any real torque steer to be concerned with. I reaaly liked the performance characteristics of the G35 but could not warm up to the interior. The 330 was a little out of my price range and the general small interior size of the 3 series also did not work for me. All 3 are great vehicles however, enjoy the decision making process.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27

    Thanks much. Just when I think I am leaning in one direction I get a note like yours and I am back to undecided. I think the 330 is going to be out of my range also but I figured I would at least check it out.

    As far as the snow goes I am in Northern NJ so some winters are real bad some not so much. Need the FWD or AWD for piece of mind though. I have RWD SUV now and I buying this car because the SUV is a tobaggan in the snow.

    One question. I have read in another forum about a problem with vibration on the TL at highway speeds 55 - 60 mph. Have you had any experience with this ?

    Again thanks for the counsel.

  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    "I am curious about your comment on the low quality materials on the G35x. Would you be able to elaborate a bit ?"

    well, compared to the other 2 the g35 just feels a lot cheaper inside. the plastic feels and looks cheap, and imo the leather seats are overly firm, and many people said the seats hurts their backs on long rides.
    on the positive side i wont deny that the g is fun to drive, while i'd say the TL is the least fun to drive since it doesnt handle as nicely as the other 2.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    FWIW - I've made it through the last 3 winters with all-seasons on my 3 series. Traction control does wonders. The only snow I couldn't make it through are those uplowed roads where the snow was higher than the bumper. HTH.
  • November Sales:

    Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 6,297
    Lexus ES300: 5919
    Acura TL: 5839
    Infiniti G35 Sedan: 4158
    Cadillac CTS: 4091
    BMW 325 Sedan: 3910
    Audi A4 Sedan: 3192
    Acura TSX: 1281
    BMW 330 Sedan: 822
    Lexus IS300: 582

    versus October Sales:

    Acura TL: 6717
    Lexus ES300: 5997
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 4748
    BMW 325 Sedan: 4324
    Cadillac CTS: 3798
    Audi A4: 3359
    Infiniti G35 Sedan: 3188
    Acura TSX: 1870
    BMW 330 Sedan: 1278
    Lexus IS300: 556

    Enjoy, cybersol
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751 search for BMW

    Total 3 series sales all configurations for Nov: 6838.

    Or saying another way BMW sold 3,505 non-sedan 3 series units.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Acura dealers have to be quite happy!

    November Sales:

    Acura: 7121
    Lexus: 6501
    Mercedes-Benz: 6,297
    BMW: 4732
    Infiniti: 4158
    Cadillac: 4091
    Audi: 3192

    Japan: 17,780
    Europe: 14,221
    USA: 4091

    October Sales:

    Acura: 8587
    Lexus: 6553
    BMW: 5602
    Mercedes-Benz: 4748
    Cadillac: 3798
    Audi: 3359
    Infiniti: 3188

    Japan: 18,328
    Europe: 13,709
    USA: 3798
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Doesn't really make much sense to combine TL and TSX sales... entirely different bodies, engines, price points.

    Guess it doesn't really matter anyway.

    I'm surprised by how well the C class is doing.

    No doubt the new 3 will capture the top spot again when it comes out.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    BMW combines sales:

    Cars: 12,796
    SAV: 7,936
    Mini: 3,363
    Total: 20,000+
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Top 10 Reasons for Avoiding a Vehicle

    1. Styling
    2. Reliability
    3. Costs too much
    4. Poor quality
    5. Resale value
    6. Too small
    7. Lacked performance
    8. Didn’t offer incentives
    9. Poor gas mileage
    10. Maintenance costs

    Sounds a lot like people's criteria in a significant other. =0
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Isn't reason 3 and 8 part and parcel of one another? That's a great list, but isn't 1,3,6,7,8,9,10 very subjective.

    Putting it another way, why would anyone buy an overpriced, unreliable, poor performing, low quality expensive to maintain car the size of a matchbox?

    Are there any new models that actually meet that criteria?
  • Yeah, they're called Volkswagens.:)

  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I dunno, I'm not sure how JD Power conducted the study. Some of it do sound redundant. I guess it makes sense that most of that stuff is subjective, since if people bought based just on objective criteria, we'd all be driving the same thing.

    #1 did surprise me though. Didn't think styling was that important, since we spend most of our time inside the car, not looking at it. No wonder car makers spend so much time agonizing over the design.

    I'm also surprised that safety didn't make it on the list. Maybe Americans are just superficial, and care only about the here and now! ;)


  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    What? The only one that is subjective is 1.

    And if number 1 is so important, I guess if Toyota made better looking cars they'd own the world. Don't get me started with BMW.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I agree with your question about safety. Don't we car about how safe a car is?

    I can understand the styling aspect. The car has got to fit inside and out. Even for those that buy car appliances, I would think the styling has got to matter considering how much time most of us spends in a car.

    blueguy: LOL

    designman: styling is subjective, but most people I know love the looks of the new 3/5/7 including me. BMW makes handsome timeless vehicles. Don't get me started now.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    OK kd we won't start each other up, which reminds me... think I'll put on some Stones.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I already did.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Is MB dropping "free" maintenance? If so, anyone seen what they are now recommending for maintenance? What are the pre- and post- intervals?

    Technical Editor Mike Miller has some fascinating comments in the February 2005 issue of Bimmer magazine. As Mike points out in his article on manual transmission and differential fluid changes:

    Pre-"free" "recommended" maintenance intervals:
    - 1,200 mile break-in service
    - oil changes every 3,000 miles
    - automatic transmission fluid and filter change every 15,000 miles
    - manual transmission fluid change every 30,000 miles
    - differential fluid changed every 30,000 miles
    - brake fluid chance annually
    - coolant fluid changed every 2 years

    Post-"free" "recommended" maintenance intervals:
    - No initial break in service (except M)
    - Oil and filter change around 15,000 miles
    - No automatic transmission fluid or filter changes
    - No manual transmisison fluid changes
    - No differential fluid changes
    - brake fluid changed every 2 years
    - coolant fluid changed every 3 years

    He also points out:

    "BMW dealership technicians no long open up gearboxes and differentials for repairs. Instead, the factory fix is to buy a BMW remanufactured gearbox or differential--or automatic transmission-instead."

    "No one knows exactly what BMW's proprietary ATF is, so no one knows if there are viable alternatives. We do know that BMW dealerships charge about $500 for an ATF and filter service, mainly due to the price of the ATF. That's assuming you can get them to do the job, which is often not the case."
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yes, there has been some conversation a while back in the MB discussions about the issues of dropping the free maintenance. You should be able to find it with a search ...
  • Greetings. I just picked up my G35X and have only driven about 50 miles so far, but am liking it more and more.
      This is my first new car, and I agonized/obsessed for months over decision of which to buy. As we have an eleven year old and drive to Ohio two or three times a year, a sedan with a somewhat roomy interior was mandated. I was loving the Saab 9-5 Aero, but only with large incentives would I go for a car that stickered for 43K. I liked the Saab MPG, but turbo lag bites. Saab also had no rear or curtain airbags. Volvo S-80 was also expensive, had the airbags, but the interior and trunk seemed smallish and was down on power. M-B, Audi & BMW 3 were too expensive. A friend has the 330 Xi, and wonders if her thirteen year old will fit much longer...
    I hated the BMW 5, anyway.
      So, here I am. AWD is fine with me; I may be able to finally forego winter tires. I'm across the river in Westchester, btw. Coming from a '94 Accord LX, the Inf. seems plenty lux for me!. The mpg should even be better for you coming from an suv. I probably paid a little more than I should have, but the "buying experience" was ok. Ramsey Inf. had some good quotes; try the website. Good luck, and let us know what happens.
  • aegaeg Posts: 23
    I am also across the river in Westchester Did you buy the car from Pepe or in NJ. How was the buying experience. I have looked at the same cars as you. Have had Volvos for years. Some of the cars you looked at have excellent safety records. What do you know about the G35x. Crash tests are mixed.BTW I continue to obsess about which car to buy. I am even toying with buying a volvo with osd program to save some money and make a mini vacation out of it I must say the G35x seems like it would be an enjoyable car to drive.
    Thanks for your input.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    If you're planning on keeping your car "forever" you really should do more than the extended intervals. On my 3-er i do 2 seasonal oil changes a year, flush coolant/brake fluid every 3 years, and MTF/diff fluid every inspection 2.

    Now, all this will be for nought if i trade the car. I think this is a lot of the point of the extended intervals. We have it in the back of our mind that we ought to trade our car for a bright, shiny one that hasn't had 4 oil changes in 60K miles.

  • Howdy, AEG. I bought from Pepe. They have some leftovers, but they are not going to lose money, as there will always be another customer along in the future, and they have something that we want. I was afraid that dealer servicing would be difficult if I bought from say, Ramsey, and had to go to Pepe for service, as Jersey would be really inconvenient.
      The salesman did his job as a salesman despite my best efforts to do mine as a consumer, but he was a gentleman, as was the business manager. They both did me a couple of favors that saved me a few bucks. I feel that I was not taken advantage of. Short of a direct plug, the big Irish fella whose desk is right next to the Pumpkin colored FX sold me the car. Remember though, they're not really about the price dickering. At least they still know my name four days later!
      I haven't really flogged the car as I am breaking it in, but that gas gauge isn't afraid to move...
      I happened to catch a Discovery Channel program about auto safety recently that showed an offset front crash test of a G35 (ugly green) from 03, and the engineers demonstrated that the results were satisfactory. I don't know why NHTSA hasn't posted the results, or maybe it was the insurance company people testing the car.
      SAAB's policy of glacial changes turned me off-Why can't they do curtain airbags in the 9-5? The 9-3 has them, but it's smaller.
      The S-60 is too small. The S-80 had everything I wanted, but it, had less power, and felt tighter inside. Big Dee had one AWD in Nov. and seemed willing to deal, but the Volvo was primarily FWD, which I'm kinda sick of.
      Plus, there are the perceived factors (correct or not) of Swedish unreliability and weirdness associated with the Saab.
      I'd love to visit Scandinavia, but I wonder if the dollar's weakness make the EDP economical?
      Every owner and professional review of the G35 & G35X that I read was overwhelmingly positive; the most prevalent negative from the owners was the gas mileage. The fact that I've got a car that is comparable to a 3-Series with more room, Japanese reliability, and lesser insurance costs for about 10 large less tickles me.
      I think Road&Track did a multicar comparo of near-luxury sedans a couple of years ago, and the G35 won! That article really made me investigate the G35, and here I am now.
      BTW, I think that Pepe has copies of that test available in the showroom.
      Happy Shopping!
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