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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    And yet the Toureg V-10 TDI which is something like $65K is making a comeback..
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Now the question becomes: Will the existing Phaetons increase in value as collectibles?

    How many did they sell in North America?
  • No marketing, or hardly any -- what do they expect.

    Of course without a dealer network at the proper level, well. . .

    And, no need to put the Phaeton in Audi dealers, they already have one. . .

    I still think the concept was sound, the execution sucked, tho. . . :confuse:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Some good news for the few manual purists out there!

    BMW Z4 M

    The BMW Z4 M will not have SMG but will be sold only with a 6 speed manual!

    IMO that is the way it should be!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I seriously doubt it. They were not a limited production run, nor were there special factory options available that would make a car valuable. I cant imagine that resale on the car was any good from the beginning, and I dont see this helping matters any.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "I still think the concept was sound"

    How so? You mentioned that VW doesnt have the type of dealer service expected at this price level, they dont even have the prestige level of an Acura, let alone M-B or BMW, the car competed with Audi... how is this still a good idea?
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I'll just add this tidbit from sniffpetrol I lifted from a friend:

    There were red-faces in Wolfsburg last night following an embarrassing revelation about the origins of Volkswagen's innovative W12 engine. Although engineering experts initially believe that the W-pattern cylinder layout was a clever way of making a large capacity engine more compact it has now emerged that the unique format is simply the result of German people and their inability to say the letters 'v' and 'w'. 'I'm afraid this is true,' admitted one anonymous engineer. 'In Germany the letter 'w' is pronounced as a 'v' and this is where the confusion arose. We were ordered to create a new V12 engine for our flagship models but unfortunately someone wrote the 'v' down as a 'w', thus creating a needlessly complex engineering development programme.'"
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Sounds like you are really enjoying the M and that's the bottom line for any LPS owner. One thing Doc....I was reading the only unpublished Bond novel from Ian Fleming called "From Infinity With Love" and he described those driver seat abarations. Just a little friendly word of precaution...Be prepared to Jetison :surprise: out through the sunroof one of these days.(You do have a sunroof?) :shades:
  • The concept I was meaning was the "idea" to move VW upmarket -- to create a brand that "could" compete with Mercedes but at 80% of the price.

    The concept was let Audi go head to head with BMW and VW not try to be the sporty lux division, but the "classic" lux division.

    Most of the write ups about the car (the Phaeton V8) were positive about the effort (but with a lot of content borrowed from the A8L, that is not too hard to imagine.)

    It was not to be for many reasons, most of them I can identify and actually agree with.

    I thought the concept "could" work -- the execution made it darn near impossible to succeed without an infusion of money that thankfully VW couldn't and didn't even try to muster.

    I continue to be impressed with Audi's moves into the Premium class (but, they are RECENT entrants and they do not have the "been there all along" reputation [at least in the US] that the other Germans enjoy.)

    The Passat, hopefully, will benefit from the Phaeton's influence -- time will tell.

    So much can (and will) change over the next 24 months which is again when I will be back in the hunt.

    BMW's 530xi, Cadillac's STS AWD and the Infiniti M35x (in addition to the A6, of course) would merit my attention.

    Price too will be an important factor.

    If a new 530xi with a 6spd manual remains, it certainly could ascend to the top if it is not outrageously priced.

    Who knows, the whole landscape could change by then.

    I wouldn't really ever have been in the market for the L wheelbase Phaeton.

    If money was unlimted, or at least only slightly so, the Audi S8 looks like it would be the one to beat.

    That car looks like it puts a capital P in lPs cars.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "The concept was let Audi go head to head with BMW and VW not try to be the sporty lux division, but the "classic" lux division."

    Right, the only problem is VW is not, nor have they ever been, a luxury division, let alone a "classic" one. It would be like Subaru making an $80K super lux sedan. Could they do it? Sure. That doesnt make it a good idea. No one would buy one for the same reasons. Also, couldnt the luxury\sport thing be handled by something as simple as an optional sport package for the A8?
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Right, IMO. I full agree with you.

    Coincidentally, Phaeton has in some way had a similar death than that of the original Phaeton, the son of the Sun (the Old Greek God Helios). Phaeton robbed the 4-fire-horses-equipped car of its divine father only to loose control and fall down to the Earth, where the full set sat a horrendous fire. :sick: Then Phaeton and the fire were both put out by the Gods. :mad:

  • We are in agreement.

    I wonder what all this means with respect to the big bux Touareg's -- VW has a hard time here at least convincing most folks that their dealerships are up to snuff.

    I would think this alone would keep VW out of the LPS world for the foreseeable future.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    I wonder what all this means with respect to the big bux Touareg's

    My guess is that there will be a soon-to-be Audi Q7 V10 TDI that will replace the V10 TDI Tourareg! This substitution would eliminate VW dealership issues!
  • sdiver68sdiver68 Posts: 123
    Shopping the mid-size to entry LPS sedan space for my fiance, a decently equipped Passat is in BMW 330i territory price wise, and is not even as good a car overall as an Accord EX V6.

    IMHO, VW is in big trouble as long as the Euro remains strong to the dollar.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    I read that the V10 TDI for the Touareg was dropped for the next model year. However, from what I'm seeing around my area, the Touareg is selling quite well, even in V8 trim.

    BUT, from what I read on the Touareg boards here, they are plagued with problems. That's a big shame because it's such a nice vehicle, IMO. I think it should've existed in it's current form as an Audi instead. I don't like the looks of the upcoming Q7.
  • jo2jo2 Posts: 41
    I am a previous BMW owner who is contemplating jumping ship and purchasing the M35 sport becuase of all of its bells and whistles (i.e. sirius radio, dvd player, nav). In the past anytime I have ever strayed from BMW I have always regretted it becuase of the way it takes a corner. Has anyone out there driven both and found that the BMW wins becuase of the handling and acceleration?

    As far as I can tell by the internet the infiniti M35 sport seems to exceed the BMW on paper in every category. But true BMW owners know the feel that they get when they drive a BMW and other than a Porsche, I have yet to experience that with hardly any other car.

    Also the I-Drive on the BMW looks like a pain in the butt. Any BMW owners out there who think that you get used to it and it becomes second nature? Or is it always a pain?

    Any comments would be very helpful Thanks!
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    I've driven a 550i Sport, a 530i, and an M45 Sport. They both (550i Sport/M45 Sport) can nail a corner pretty well, but I don't quite trust the M's rubberband sized tires for really hard turning (at speed). I can't say that you'd be disappointed in the M35 Sport. I will say that you'll probably be disappointed in the 530i's lack of oomph. The 530i felt like a total dog. But a V8 makes pretty much anything less feel like a dog. I'm sure the M35 feels like a dog after driving an M45.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I know you said M35, but by the time you outfit a 530i with the same options you get on an M45 sport with the tech package (assuming you get the sport package on the 530), you are looking at similar MSRP's (actually a little in favor of the M45 sport). I believe the tires are actually lower profile but wider on the M (go to Infiniti's site and do the comparison--they have a good setup). You gain the rear-active steer on the M sport for even better cornering. get the option of a manual with the 5. How much is that worth? To some people, that would more than make up the difference.

    If you don't need AWD (only on the 530xi and M35x), my choice would be the M45. You do have to ask yourself how you will feel in a year if you go with the Infiniti (even if you love it) as you seem to subconsciously (or not) want the BMW.

    I'm not one to talk (since I had to have the M35x), but test drive, test drive, test drive.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The tough question is, can VW continue to exist here at all? Is there still room in the US automarket for a "value priced" German brand? And if VW isnt that anymore, what are they?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Toureg is CR's absolute worst ranked midsize SUV for reliability, with much worse scores than even Land Rover gets.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I drove both the M35 and M45.
    I found them both to be quite noisy.
    Handling not as good as my 545.
    I imagine the handling would be similar in the 530i.
    Gas mileage sucks in the M.
    The only thing the M has over the BMW is the brakes-the best!
    If the BMW didn't exist, I could probably force myself to like the M.
    If you get the 530i, by all means get the sport package!
    Also, kudos to you for actually asking a question that is relevant to this thread.
    It's been a long time....
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    I don't understand why VW can't get it together. They're the ONLY "value" priced German brand here. The only thing is when you start adding the options du jour, they aren't much of a bargain anymore and it's time to start looking at better values.
  • New Phaeton, 39 month 12K miles per lease here in River City $569 (about $3500 up front which includes the first payment and the sec dep.)

    Maybe the remaining Phaetons (on leases) could steal some LPS dollars -- seems like a heck of a deal.

    But, then the question and answer: "no I wouldn't lease it with your money."

    I want smaller, more nimble, not bigger and more floaty, no matter what (note: this excludes the new S8 short wheel base of course.)

    But when your BMW X3 is $581/month it does give you pause.
  • jo2,

    As for BMW's iDrive system, once you've programmed everything to suit your particular preferences, there is seldom any need to use it. Conventional switches & controls exist to control everyday functions such as A/C temp/blower speed, radio/CD mode & track/station number selection and various other functions.

    As an example of the iDrive capability, you can program steering wheel switches to control A/C and radio/CD functions. Want an alarm to go off at a programmed speed or the doors to automatically lock when taking off? No problem with iDrive!

    To duplicate the functional capability of iDrive, you would need several hundred switches/controls on the dashboard, which would rival the cockpit of a 747.

    To make a long story short, most of the criticism about the iDrive system comes from people who know little to nothing about it.

    As consumers continue to demand more and more functional capability in their cars, manufacturers are being forced to employ some form of menu-driven system to avoid a bewildering array of switches/controls. Like it or not, this is the future!

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    You think, jo2, you can move one knob up, down, left, right and click it?
    That's all there is to it.
    I'm no technology genius and if I find it easy, it's easy!
    By the way, the only time I use it now after 4.5 months with my 545 is to check my ongoing mpg.
    One move of the iDrive knob to the right and I get this information on the display screen.
    iDrive is terrific!
  • sdiver68sdiver68 Posts: 123
    LOL...Sport rubber band sized tires? The M Sport's 245x8.5x19 have a much bigger footprint than the 545/550 unless you add the Sport Package then they are about even.

    Drive both at speed and you'll find as Car and Driver found...the M45 is in a separate league from the 530 and easily able to hold its own with the 545/550...with the interior room that slots it right between a 5 and 7 size wise. In fact, does the 530i even belong in the LPS class when an Altima will show it Nissan taillights?

    Road and Track found the M besting the 545i Sport in skipdpad, slalom*, and braking...R&T gave the BMW points for road feel at slower speeds. They called objective performance "nearly dead even" and real world performance "every bit as quick".

    *Feb test.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    You have to drive them back-to-back on the same day, and then do it again the next day and the next day, etc. Only you can decide which factors are important to you. Neither car is perfect.

    I test drove all the LPS - here are some things I considered:

    * How's their driving experience and could I really tell the difference in 99% of my daily driving?
    * Which exterior styling attracted me the most and which interior felt most comfortable - after all that's where I'm spending most of my time. How about the gadgets?
    * Do I want a more performance-oriented car, a more luxurious-oriented car or one that is more well-rounded?
    * How much prestige do I need to have - this refers to the "badge" and I believe it is a factor in the segment IMHO.
    * Which car did I feel was most reliable, especially with all the electronics found in these cars. I know it's covered under warranty but I hate going to the service department for something that should have never broke in the first place.
    * The dealer service experience.

    Most people NEED basic transportation but LPS buyers WANT more. Rationally a Honda makes more sense than either car but emotionally who doesn't want a LPS instead? (actually I really want a Ferrari) You have to ask yourself if I bought an Infiniti (or BMW) and I pulled up to a stoplight next to a BMW (or Infiniti) would I glance over and think to myself "I should have bought that one" for whatever reason.

    You seem predisposed to BMW so I suspect that the Infiniti has to be a whole lot better than the BMW for you to really consider it. Say you give the Infiniti a 55-45 edge over the BMW, you'll probably still buy the BMW....just human nature.

    The M is Infiniti's first serious attempt at competing in this market. Imagine how good the car will be in future generations - the fact that they can compete with the heritage of the 5-series is compelling. They could increase the handling and decrease the road noise by simply changing their choice of OEM tires. What other improvements will they come up with?

    I tend not to listen to forum members who only praise their cars - I'm more interested in those who criticize their cars and give a more fair and balanced (sorry Fox News) opinion of their ownership experience. I have actually owned a 911, a M-B, a BMW, a Lexus and now Infiniti. Each had it's own unique characteristics - some great and some really bad. answer your question. I would have been happy with either car. It was close but I chose the M. When I'm at a stoplight next to a BMW (happens alot in SoCal) I have never regretted my choice. I feel very fortunate that I'm even making this choice at all.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    I also thought the M45 Sport was equal to or better than the BMW in handling but then again I miss the Porsche - let's talk about rails. And I'm sure every BMW owner will disagree with me though.

    Anyhow I still get a kick about using comparisons. If a test says my car is the best....well then it's "proof" that I made the right choice. If a comparison says another car is the best....well that test had serious flaws in it's methodology or the editors didn't know what they were talking about or had biases.

    Will be interesting to see how long it will be until someone posts a comparison that refutes your statement.

    Now I'm LOL!!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    November 2005 Motor Trend: 545 NON-SPORT beats the M45 SPORT in its comparo.
    Of course the M45 Sport with its powerful V-8 IS in a separate league when comparing it to the anemic inline 6 of the 2005 530i.
    The comparison was disgraceful and should never had been made.
    The M45 sport should only be compared to the 545/550.
    It was and the 545 non-sport beat it according to Motor Trend.
    And who am I to argue, IMNSHO? :)
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    "Anyhow I still get a kick about using comparisons. If a test says my car is the best....well then it's "proof" that I made the right choice. If a comparison says another car is the best....well that test had serious flaws in it's methodology or the editors didn't know what they were talking about or had biases."

    Ha! You nailed it! Good one! ;)
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