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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    When your hands (or pockets) are full and getting your keys out of your pockets is difficult, it sure is nice to not have to worry about it ... you don't ever have to dig for keys. It may be an even bigger benefit for women who keep their keys in their purses ...

    I have grown very fond of the Intelligent Key on my FX35. To me its a very nice addition to any LPS vehicle. It does take some getting used to, however the learning (or is that "conditioning") curve is short. The only issue I have with the system is one of our cars has it ('04 FX35) and the other doesn't ('04 MDX). You really do get conditioned to having it and forget to get they keys out when in the other car. Usually in the MDX I sit and reach for the "button" and then take the keys out of my pocket. :blush:
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    A key fob that you never need to handle and an ignition that you never need a key for, voice commands for phone calls, sound system and navigation, and when the car behind you is blinding you with his brights you touch a button and your rear window shade raises to give you the peace you may be looking for....ah now thats an idea that sounds good to me! :) (The 2005 RL--a fun car to drive too!)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I found my window sticker on my new A6 and the one on my wife's BMW X3.

    My navigation system was MSRP $1500, my wife's $1800. It HAS, at least in these two instances -- apparently -- come down.

    I had so little time behind the wheel of the M35X, that I got only to use the voice command to change the radio stations. In my A6 it has "intelligent" phone commands for dialing. Well, they are a heck of a lot better than my last couple of Audis which had you speaking one number, waiting for the computer to respond in kind, until you got to the end. If you went too fast the computer would command you to go "slower" -- now, I just say, "dial number 555-1212" and there it goes.

    I command "CD" then I say "Play Cold Play" and the new X&Y CD fires up; I say "Radio" and then "Play Jazz Cafe," etc etc etc.

    Now, perhaps part of the reason I like the voice command so much and am convinced it is a necessity, is that there are no fewer than 42 buttons, dials and knobs on the console and dash board -- not including the view screen, overhead buttons for lights and garage doors nor the tach, speedo and the secondary view screen (which is further sub-divided into 4 more little screens) between the tach and speedo. And, then there's the mirror button, the outside mirror control, the power window switches, power seat switches and three stalks on the steering column.

    If I had a "normal" dash board with a couple of controls for the heating and air conditioning, well perhaps the voice command would be more of a toy.

    Try going into a large unfamiliar eastern US city, in the rain, when the sports complex du jour lets out -- plus tolls and tunnels and thank god for sat nav, auto lights and wipers, AWD and voice command to somewhat allow you to keep your eyes on the road, all while you are somewhat attempting to take the edge off by listening to Sirius or that new Coldplay album.

    Now that the voice stuff has gotten THIS good (which is a huge improvement over the past 5 years), it really makes me want a whole bunch more stuff to be controlled by voice. "Temperature: 68 Auto" "Driver's Seat warmer: level 3" etc.

    No longer do I wish to be "beamed up," no no no, I wish to be "plugged in" (just like Keanu) -- take the red pill.

    "You are now interfaced with the car's matrix, Neo."

    It must be the heat. (100F in River City) :shades:
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    That's interesting, but i have a different take on this.

    Back when Acura introduced the Nav on the 96RL as an option, they put it as a $2200 option. That was a very limited functionality NAV. At that same time, Garmin and others had hand held NAV's in that same price range. With the 99TL, Acura really brought the NAV into the mainstream and if I remember, almost 35% of their vehicles were coming out with NAV's on them ($2000 option). By 2002 the NAV was into Honda world with the Ody being the first to get it. At this point in time, i.e. 2005, NAV is all over the Honda and Acura map. They have significant volumes. If you look at hand held NAV's they are down into the $700s for a decent pad, so I think the car company has apparently huge margins on the NAV. What is changing is the cost of software. I remember the 98RL's NAV software CD (back then it was on a CD) was $95. Eventually the price climbed up. Right now I think most Acura & Honda software DVD's cost about $190, give or take a few bucks. The content on the DVD has increased astronomically. I would not blink an eye to fork out a couple of hundred bucks every couple of years for a power packed NAV DVD, if I had a honda or acura product in my garage. I personally rate their system as tops in the affordable mainstream or luxury brands. Their content, touch screens, layout and voice activated gizmos are simply top of the line. It sux that the cars that I acctually own don't have any comparable product. In fact however much I'd love to have a NAV in the 3 convertible, I've no clue where in the hell they'll fit it in, i've barely got space to pack myself in there.... ;)

    anyways, the way I see it, NAV is too mainstream to be expensive anymore. I have a similar story on both bluetooth and satellite radio, but that's for another day.

    I just had to mention this because somebody asked me recently what I consider my best job to date. It was back in 1993-95 when I worked as a lead programmer at a little company in south jersey, where they created and deployed the whole EZPass thingie... i look back and think, i did do something that has had an impact on a lot of people's lives (good or bad....) life has moved on so much for me... NAV, EZPass... gizmos shizmos.... lets get back to makin moolah :P

  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    Navi and voice command are two toys that -- have become "necessities" as far as I'm concerned

    I've loved my navi ever since I bought my 99 RL and now my 05 RL and have often considered it a "necessity". However, yesterday it was vital. I had to go to an address in NE Washington - an area I've rarely been to (and which has some neighborhoods I wouldn't want to accidentally go through). The Mapquest directions were two pages long to go 3 1/2 miles due to all the one-way streets and places with no-left turns. I can't imagine where I'd have ended up if I hadn't had my navi! However, my navi took me there with no problem. At that point, it was worth a lot of money.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .Cincinnati, is NOT a large city, it is, rather, a big town with an SMSA of about 1.5 million. Yet, I find myself regularly needing to go places I've not been before and then needing to "get the heck outta dodge" back to the office the most efficient way (and that can mean, sometimes, avoiding our clogged Interstates: I-71, 74, 75, 275 and 471.)

    I have put into my nav system my office and my house (and several other points of frequent need to get to "from here" or get from "to there.")

    I find myself in an unfamiliar part of town or needing to avoid the clog and I say "navigation" the Navi lady says "Navigation" -- I say "Navigate to Office."

    And my default is "fast" -- if that doesn't work, I dial in "short" and or "avoid freeways" and the Nav lady dutifully routes me outta here!

    My new Nav lady is very stern, however. When I get into the 2003 TT, the Audi Nav lady says, "please turn left in 300 feet." The 2005 Audi lady says "Now turn left!" No please, no persuasion, just "do it!"

    I'll have to see how the BMW Nav lady speaks, but I believe she is more stern than the 2003 version, too.

    You're all right -- this Nav stuff has just about crossed into "needed" option rather than "wanted" option territory.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    How does the Audi lady react if you make a mistake following her directions? Thats the thing I find most inhuman about the Lexus lady, she has unlimited patience, and will dutifully re-route and try to get you back on track without a single complaint.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Ms. Audi will tell you to "make the next legal U-turn" if she can't re-route you, but the default (which can be changed in the options) is to reroute when going off the scheduled path.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Perfectly accurate!
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Well you have to subscribe to CR to get the reports. I am not affiliated with CR.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    I do subscribe to Consumer Reports. I'm not aware of any complete test they've done on the new GS. The last GS test they did that I know about was years ago on the previous generation.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The RL, M, and GS have yet to get the formal road test treatment. CR buys every car they test, so it usually takes them quite awhile.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Newaudiowner, I moved your post and one reply to the A6 discussion - here's the link: newaudiowner, "Audi A6" #5712, 26 Jul 2005 9:52 pm

    Hope you get it worked out.
  • armen6armen6 Posts: 17
    Does anyone know what the current Infiniti summer sales drive is about? Is it a finance offer or incentive offer? Does it apply to the M or other vehicles? Are the M's really selling as well as dealers claim they are? I will not buy one until the prices dip. I am in NJ and tried to deal with Salerno Duane but their Internet sales area is unwilliing to make me a good offer (at around $1000 over invoice) for tech/journey package. They can wait, and I can go to three other dealers in NNJ. My '00 Max is still going strong and I can drive it into the ground before replacing. The salesmen hate it when I tell 'em that.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Current deals (Cincinnati) seem to be about Invoice + $2,000. But with all the employee this that and the other and "the other guys" end of year, etc. -- it is quite possible that many of the LPS hot cars are being priced attractively or subvented.

    Unless the M's really are as hot as it might seem (wait until Monday and we'll see how the LPS suspects did in July -- probably posted right here on Edmunds), I would think that Invoice + $2000 would be THE MAXIMUM cap cost that would be required.

    Cost plus $1000 is probably attainable somewhere within the sound of your voice.

    My guess is that you are NOT ordering the car, but are willing to take something in inventory just as long as it has the Technology/Journey package and isn't purple (or some other color combo you don't want.)

    Don't give up.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    On CR tests. Apparently, according to earlier posts on this board, the RL and the M are about to be reviewed in the September issue of Consumer Reports, which should be on the newstands in a few days, with the singular omission of the GS, and the singular inclusion of the Avalon, which, perceptive voices on this board have concluded, is a setup job, so to speak, with CR sounding again the trumpet for frugality and against the conspicuous consumption of the LPS.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    (Responding a little late...sorry) I well remember being in parts of DC in a red Prelude (Pre-navi) and wish to heck I knew where we were. (It isn't quite like trying to navigate around the city of North Platte is it?) Good thing you used the Navigation system. I thought I knew every nook and crany in Metro Milwaukee and how to get there but the few times we used the system it has really taken on routes that save time.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    It isn't quite like trying to navigate around the city of North Platte is it?

    No, it isn't. I haven't lived in the North Platte area for over 30 years, and I can still find my way around pretty well, new developments aside. Most streets go straight north-south and east-west. None of the meandering streets and roads of Northern Virginia, or the diagonal avenues and traffic circles of DC. Arlington is especially difficult - there are numbers that are repeated as St., Rd., and Pl., often they're all together. Then you add in the numerous streets that start and stop multiple times (I've heard, though I don't know for a fact, that there is one street that starts and stops 16 times) and you have a recipe for total confusion. I've lived in Arlington 17 years and I use my navi at least once or twice a month just to find addresses in Arlington.

    What I've found with my two navis is that 95% of the time it's a fun to have gadget, but 5% of the time it's an absolute have-to-have necessity.

    People who read these posts who live in cities like North Platte and don't go too far afield probably can't comprehend how valuable a navi can be, even in somewhat familiar areas. However, I can't imagine ever having another car without it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not particularly upset about it. I dont look to CR for driving impressions. My guess is they will bash the M for being too rough, and say that yes, the Avalon offers you more usable people space than the RL and most of the tech stuff for less.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Don't forget-Markcincinnati-If the Avalon wins the CR test in next month's issue, you owe me an imaginary beer. You can wire it electronically to my account sort of the way Tiger Woods went to bed after the British Open on a Sunday night and found 1.2 million more bucks in his bank account the next Monday morning. ;)
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Yes, CR's reviews have their limitations and are based on the needs of middle-class young families with kids, their readers. Yet they have tested cars like the Corvette (and liked it) , and, Lexusguy, they praised your car, the 430, as one of the best cars (if not the best) they have ever driven.

    Also, their tests are consistent (standard measurable criteria) and objective, compared to the car mag tests which are notoriously subjective and inconsistent. Car & Driver once confessed, for example, that their noise ratings are not at all consistent from car to car because they are taken on different kinds of road surfaces, CR would never do that. Their ratings are comparative from car to car.

    Also, the car mag tests are weighted mainly toward speed and handling. CR has more real-world tests, and also weighs reliability, something the car mags completely ignore.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I hope you won't mind Yuengling Lager.

    I give no credence to anything CR says about cars beyond the facts of the case.

    For all I know, CR might say the Neon SRT-4 makes more sense than an Audi S4 or BMW M3 based on some specious argument they might make. Granted the SRT-4 may out accelerate the two Germans in this imaginary comparo, and granted it costs less, etc etc -- but that doesn't make it a "Silk Purse" if you get my drift.

    I'll honor my bet -- but if the Avalon beats the LPS contenders we all chat about here on edmunds, well, it will once again prove that CR is great at getting facts out. But we all know that the most compelling reasons to be so passionate about our cars are mostly subjective or are conclusions based on "a certain point of view."

    Now, I might grant CR's ability to report on reliability (but from what sample?) has more than my passing interest. But, generally speaking, the passion, opinion and experiences reported here vastly outweigh anything CR says.

    As far as I'm concerned my Audi A6 is "free from defects." My outgoing allroad at 46,000 miles was also virtually trouble free. Over on the A6 boards there are posts from people who have had such bad experiences they are only able to discuss their disgust for Audi and its cars in barely civil terms.

    I suspect such contrasts are also true about BMW's, Chryslers, Porches and even Acura and Infinti (and Subaru, too.)

    Often when I read CR about things such as cars and audio speakers, I feel like I am reading a recipe. Two cups of this, a teaspoon full of that, baked at 350 for 35 minutes -- but no real discussion of the taste, smell or texture of the combination and style of preparation.

    If I happen to love the ingredients, I guess it might be safe to extrapolate that the combinations will yield a tasty dish.

    If I like 300HP cars and X speed automatic transmission seem like a neat idea, well maybe I'll like the new Mercedes or Jaguar or Lexus, since these cars offer these "statistics."

    CR is great for appliances -- and this is personal -- I lend little to no credence to their views on products that we humans devote this much passion to.

    But, I'm obviously a screaming voice in the wilderness. :shades:

    P.S. I value what is said here about the cars at least as much and I believe moreso than C&D and R&T and Automobile and European Car, Car and Motor Trend -- but I do read them (and, shamefully, more -- I am a magazine junkie.)
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I see no shame in being a magazine junky especially when it involves passion over our driving machines. I like Consumer Reports for appliance comparisons too, but not automobles.

    You mentioned Yuengling Lager. If you like Lager and can get your hands on some Sprecher Special Amber, I highly recommend it. Randy Sprecher left Pabst and in '85 started his micro brewery here in Milwaukee and is famous for traditional old world method full flavored brews.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They might've liked the way the Corvette drives, but its not a "recommended" car. Yes the LS430 is a CR "top pick" but because of its simple to use controls, the fact that it generally costs less than any other car in the class, and the fact that its the world's most reliable sedan (says JD power) and the second most reliable car of any type in the world behind the SC430. That kind of thing makes the CR guys drool. I dont think they really care all that much how the LS actually drives, or they would've mentioned the very rare but technically optional "Eurosport" suspension.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Anything with lager in it would suit me just fine.
    I am going against the CR reliability ratings and will be taking possession of a 2005 545i within the next week. I had a trouble-free 325i for the last 3 years. So we'll see what happens with the CR "black-circled" 5 series.
    If it gives me trouble, you guys will know.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Corvette isn't on CR's recommended list mainly because of its wretched repair record over the years. They've praised it as a sports car. And they like the 430, not just because of its simple controls and reliability but because of its ride, handling (for a luxury car) , superb engine, silence, ergonomics, roominess, etc.
  • aas5aas5 Posts: 50
    if you order you will get much closer to your goal in pricing...And in NJ, I am not sure you will have more luck with others (Park Ave, Lynnes, Catena or Ramsey) than with Salerno, just based on my experience.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Right, but the S class and A8 have the ride, handling, engine, silence, and roominess as well. They cant even manage a recommended tag though. Why? CR doesnt like the controls, and they arent reliable enough.
  • galgalgalgal Posts: 1

    I'm looking into a comparison review of RL, M35 and GS300.
    I really don't want V8 and do want AWD.
    Those 3 fully loaded (AWD, NAV sys, premium audio etc) should cost about the same
    (around 50K)

    Has any one seen such a review.

    Many thanks, Galgal : :)
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    CR's policy is not to recommend any automobile that has a below average reliability record, no matter how well it performs in their tests. This happens all the time. This makes a certain amount of sense.

    And, it isn't true that they just recommend plain Jane cars. They loved the previous BMW 530 and said it was one of the best cars they ever tested. Likewise, when its reliability is up, they love the BMW 330. Etc.
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