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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Thought it interesting that in the December 2004 issue of Roundel (BMW CCA) magazine they have a full report on the recent JD Powers APEAL survey results.

    "Entry Luxury": Chrysler 300(2005), Acura TL, and (tie) LEXUS IS300 sedan/SportCross & Cadillac CTS.

    The 3 Series doesn't make the top 3 in its segment. (Hard to believe it doesn't, esp. when the 5 & 7 Series & Z4 did. Go figure.)

    APEAL is based on "owner delight with design, content, layout, and the performance of their new vehicle", done after 90 days of ownership.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    After 6 years it dropped out of the top 3? Let's see what the new E90 has to offer.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The G35 claimed the top spot for resale value in the near luxury category. This car really is doing wonders for Infiniti's image in many different ways. ?cnn=yes

    BTW, I think these are the final months for the I35. Although no one talks about this car, it was probably the most important vehicle in Infiniti's history. Without its steady sales for the last 10 years, the Infiniti brand most definitely would have folded.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "as BMW was the best luxury brand overall,"

    ALG also said this....
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    "as BMW was the best luxury brand overall"


    best when it comes to combining luxury aspects w/ fun-to-drive factor, something most japanese cars dont have.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27


    Hey thanks for all the information. Still agonizing so I think I am going to have my wife drive the cars as well and come up with a consensus although I will have veto power !! (My car - she just got her car a 2004 Acura MDX)


    My understanding there is a seperate forum to discuss price and buying experience. If you would not mind it would be great to know what you paid. Also I got the impression you bought a 2004. Is that the case ? I have some price information from Edmunds on the 2005 but not the 2004. I suspect I will probably buy the car in NJ at one of the 2 local dealers down by me (Summit and Denville) unless somebody knocked me out with a deal. Based on your comments that seems unlikely.


    Thanks for all of your comments. I may go out today and narrow it down some more. (Probably down to the BMW and GX with a slight chance on the TL.) I think I am now leaning to the GX though. I'll post details when I finally decide.



  • Paid maybe a little too much-$33,000.00 for an '04 G35X with Premium (full size spare) wood trim, which looks really nice with Willow-it's grown on me), and splash guards. Oh well, we're happy.

      Is the TL a lot smaller?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118


    (mine's the red one)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Wow no wonder Acura is concerned about sales, what with 12 in the whole city.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    There are actually 13 in the city.


    Unfortunately #13 never shows up at our meets because he's always busy taking his BMW to the shop on the weekends. ;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Unfortunately #13 never shows up at our meets because he's always busy taking his BMW to the shop on the weekends. ;) "


    What you're really saying is the BMW is the gopher to and from the Acura shop :)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The only reason I ever visit my Acura shop is for a free car wash while I have a free muffin and latte.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,054
    isn't this special?


    In five years' time, it'll be interesting to see where the two brands are, relative to where they are today.


    Given how the Euro vs. the $ vs. the Asian currencies are trending, combined with the long-term (and initial, for that matter) reliability numbers are headed, I'm not sure I'd want to be holding European.


    As often happens, I'm almost as happy to be wrong.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    heck - I never have to visit my BMW dealer for the muffin, latte and car wash. They send over the car wash crew, muffins and latte right to my house. Other than that I have near "zero" contact with BMW or any other service center.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "They send over the car wash crew, muffins and latte right to my house."


    Oh yeah? The entire Acura service department came to my house last week and remodeled my bathroom, put up all my xmas lights, and then baked lemon pound cakes for the whole cul-de-sac - no, wife made the pound cakes.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Oh yeah - well can you top this????
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ...that Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus have historically superior customer service and vehicle reliability. You can argue with the methodology and results, but them has been the apples for about 15 years in a row or more going back to the 1980s. These three built their dealer network from scratch, in brand new facilities. Audi, BMW, and MB were stuck with the dealers they've had for decades.
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "These three built their dealer network from scratch, in brand new facilities."


    Does that really matter? Lincoln and Cadillac have also been near the top in these surveys and they've been around a lot longer than the Germans. Lincoln set a new record in the last CSI survey.


    Plus, you can get a basic service on a Northstar Cadillac (that's 8 quarts of oil) for $13 at my dealership. The latte and muffins better be pretty darn good to make up for that.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    It's not necessarily true that all Lexus dealers were built from scratch when Lexus started in late 1989. I know several NJ area Lexus dealers that started in buildings that previously sold & serviced other brands. One Lexus dealer that opened in 4th qtr. '89 was a Volvo dealer before.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    eaton53... Would be interesting to compare market share, sales, reliability and customer satisfaction date for both Cadillac and Lincoln in 1985 (before A, I, & L) and then in the post-A-I-L era (i.e., say 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2004). C & L, like A, BMW, & MB learned some hard lessons.


    maxhonda99... Did they renovate the building significantly? A, I, & L had completely new franchise agreements when they came on line. And they deliberately started off with small networks in an attempt to better "manage" customer service issues vis-a-vis dealers.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    The only changes were the addition of the Lexus dealership look. YOu know the beige/brown stucco exterior. Interior stayed pretty much the same except with the obvious furniture change.


    A new franchise agreement doesn't necessarily mean the new franchisee has to build totally new buildings. Ultimately any car showroom can be used to sell any other cars with slight modifications like a window where customers can look into the service bays, breakfast area for customers, etc.
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "Would be interesting to compare market share, sales, reliability and customer satisfaction date for both Cadillac and Lincoln in 1985"


    I don't think most of the surveys existed before about 1990... I believe MB was at the top early on and have been on the downslide for a long time.


    I'd guess that Cadillac and Lincoln were pretty bad at the beginning, but are near the top now. Cadillac's one of the few in the top 5 in IQS, VDI and CSI for 2004... only 3 brands have managed to pull off this trifecta - Lexus and Buick are the others.
  • cdost,


    I'm near you. I tried the GX AWD. I was not impressed with the way it handled on the highway (lots of road noise), and the brakes were really, really touchy (common complaint). The Summit infinit dealer is very nice.


    Denville dealer is nice, just won't go down on their prices.


    Have you considered the FX by infiniti? That's really nice, and you might be able to scoop up a really good deal on a 2004.


    Snagged a 325xi wagon elsewhere (c. 12,000 miles certified), but haven't been impressed with the gas mileage, yet. If I had known, might have picked the FX (if presented with a really good deal), but this summer was cringing at gas prices.


    I read somewhere that the Acura is kind of junky....but that's only gossip to be checked out on that board.


    Hope that helps. Good luck!
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    road noise is a common thing in a g35, brakes arent that touchy imo, try merc e-class, now thats touchy. while i like the way g35 (rwd) handles, the awd version is less impressive somehow, maybe its just me but the gxs handling isnt as responsive as its rwd version.
  • cdost1cdost1 Posts: 27


    Thanks for the headsup. I am actually heading out the door in about 30 minutes with my wife to drive both the 325xi and the G35x. I have quotes on both and I can honestly say I am not sure what I will do. The Acura is off the list. I am not crazy about the look.


    I'll let you all know what we do.


  • suenysueny Posts: 4
    In regards to the G35 touchy brakes: When I test-drove a 2004 G35, that was a big concern of mine. When I went back for another drive, I drove a 2005, and the "touchyness" was gone. I since learned that the 2005's have larger brake rotors than the 2004's. (BTW, I was also not crazy about the 2004 interior, but they improved that too.)
  • pkl123pkl123 Posts: 43
    Can you share the quote on the g35x ?
  • In addition to the quote, if you got one, please share your opinion on the 325ix vs. G35x in their performance and drivability. I just drove the 325ix. Haven't driven the Infiniti yet.
  • hi cdost, cargal and everyone,


    I'm currently looking for a new car. I have the 300C, 3's, G35, ES and TL in my list.

    300C is off the list because I wasnt impressed by it's handling, front grill and interior, but boy the car was really flying. I guess its time to move up to a real entry luxury performance class


    Test drove the ES, everything is perfect except for acceleration, speed and handling. And I guess this one is also off my list.


    Now I'm leaning towards the last 3 cars. I would have taken the TL off my list after reading some comments, but I decided not to (not yet).

    I havent test driven the car, no so crazy about it. Too many of them on the street.


    Having said that, I did some research on the new TL on all car related websites, NHTSA and many others. I'm quite surprised that ES'04 has more trans failures than all those 3's, followed by 3's, G35

    and TL'04. (I couldnt find any about trans failure on TL'04, is this for real?

    but more on BMW3'04, G35'04 and especially the ES'04)


    I'm going to test drive the G35 this afternoon and 330/325 later on. I'm hoping that G35 is the one. I love that sexy looking car.


    One question though, I read some post that the G35X is not as fast as the G35 and I also heard the 6MT has problems with it's transmission. According to some, Infiniti just hasnt issued a recall unless more people complain.

    Is there any other things that I should look at (I understand that the interior is probably the cheapest among the other 3 but I can live with that)?


    Thanks, darren
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    Trans failure was common on TL's pre 04 models, but i rarely heard of such problem happening to newer models.

    while imo the TL is the fastest, it doesnt handle as nicely as the other 2, particularly the torque steer and (sometimes) floaty ride at high speeds.


    The gx is slower, true, and somehow its handling isnt as impressive as the rwd model as well. i never drove the 6mt so i cant say anything about it. also, if ride-comfort is on your list you really should try before buying, since many people (including me) think the rides harsh and uncomfy on longer rides. one more thing, try the seats for a while to make sure youre comfortable w/ it, the seats controls are awkwardly placed and might hurt you on longer rides.


    3ers are ok, quite underpowered and overpriced though. i say comfort is better than the g but still second to the TL. oh and prepare yourself for minor electrical problems (common w/ any bmw models)


    hope it helps, goodluck
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