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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • fraincfrainc Posts: 11
    How did the M35 handily whoops the RL in the Motor Trend review. The M35 was .4ths faster in the 0-60, and slower in the slalom and skidpad vs. the RL. Plus I would like to see them test a M35 AWD against the RL and then see some more times. I don't call this handily whoops. And don't compare the M45 either.
  • The mid-size performance sedan market is shaping up like this to me:


    '06 Infiniti M

    How can Infiniti just plunge into this market? A lot of people who are shopping for this type of car already have their list narrowed a bit, and newcomers aren't very well recieved. Look at the new RL. In defense, it looks solid enough, but the RL and GS have not been well-recieved. As I will repeat later, there are certain companies that will just do better. Don't ask how, they just do.


    Acura RL

    The RL is kind of sad, just because Honda is so stubborn. No V-8 at all. The v-6 has nice horsepower, but its torque is less-than-great. The styling is blah, another Acura trademark, and it has no option for RWD. I'm all for AWD, but, in my experience, there's something about RWD that is just as desirable. Add to that the fact that Acura doesn't advertise a lot, and that all of their other cars are FWD, they can't compete.


    Lexus GS

    A lot of people are saying that this will be a no-show, and I really can't agree. I know that when I heard that Caddy was redesigning the STS I thought that it would be another stodgy Seville. Wrong again, Chris. If Toyota provides the degree of engineering and tuning that it did with the Scion tC to the GS, (albeit on a higher level) it will be able to compete. Also, lots of people like hybrids, but don't want a hybrid that gets bad gas mileage (cough Accord cough), is alightly odd (Prius), seats two (insight), or is a Ford (Escape). They want their hybrid with a degree of finesse, and Lexus aims to give them that with the GS. I hope it works. Still, don't be expecting a 545 killer.



    I like this car, and I really don't know why. It's more expensive than the rest, and until recently, you were only getting 221 horses for 50k. Ouch. It's improving now that they will discontinue the E320 and replace it with the E350. But hey! It's a Benz, and you can bet that the three point star will net bunches of people.


    5 Series

    Other than its odd styling and iDrive, the bimmer is probably one of the better ideas. At least in 545 or 530. The 525 does seem a little overpriced, though.


    Caddy STS

    As much as everyone loves this car, I don't.

    (Hides under desk.)

    The thing that annoys me is the styling. I think it's better than the CTS, which one might get cut upon touching, but it looks too grandfathery. Also, it isn't German. Yes, I discriminate when it comes to cars. Sure, it might perform great, but it's still a GM. So much for my new years resolution of being more open-minded.


    Audi A6

    I'm one of the few who thinks that the A6's grilleowrk is nice. It seems to be a competant competitor now, but when it comes to cachet, you can't beat Benz. Also, the BMW is more sporty in demeanor.


    Well, I think I've vented my steam. I'm out.
  • jmatthejmatthe Posts: 51
    I'm glad you vented your steam, and mostly hot air it is. Have you driven at least 4 of these cars? First of all, the RL is at or near the top of many ratings, lists and features and price. Styling is subjective, so who really cares about it anyway. I like it personally, in silver. The E class has less performance, features, quality materials reliabilty and price. You have german mystique disease.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Here is another review of the M.



    I'm quite intrigued by the active rear suspension.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    The only thing that caught my eye in that review was the AWD error. The M35x usually runs with 100% power to the rear wheels and can shift up to 50% to the front when needed (in infinitely variable steps).


    BTW, anybody hear anything about performance loss in the M35x with the extra weight compared to the base 35? How does the G35x compare to the G35 on dry pavement? Thanks.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The M is the car that doesnt have to make excuses for itself. Other than this, other than that, oh and other than this, the car is great. Sorry, but that doesnt sound like a great car. The M35\45 doesnt have the 5's pug-ugly styling, it doesnt have iDrive, it doesnt have Active Steering, it comes fully loaded for a heck of a lot less cash, and you know what, a NON sport equiped M ran with BMW's best, and matched it.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,039
    Your analysis reflects my own.


    I (so far) always buy cars. Leasing only makes sense if: 1) you can write off car expenses, 2) there's a terrific subsidy built in by the manufacturer (this happens, and needs to be considered, if available), or 3) you can't really afford the car and only want to rent it.


    That said, I continue to buy and hold. I value long-term reliability -- the vehicle should run well beyond 100K miles with little or no attention from the dealer (I do all my own oil/filter/brake stuff). I took a couple of forays into the American vehicle zone, but expect to go back to Asian at my next change.


    Live and learn. . .or not.
  • Kyfdx,


    Infiniti does have a bit of a recognition problem and they have also had a product line up that has been confusing/disorganized.


    However, IMO this is changing. The success of the G35 is no accident. The car has great acceleration, brakes and handling (great road feel which the Japanese have struggled to achieve). The car also has good interior and trunk space. If the new M is as good on the road as it looks on paper/early road tests, it should do fine.


    The reason the Lexus GS (and IMO the RL to a lesser extent) are marginal entries in the sports/performance area is they do not have the acceleration, braking or interior space to really trump other cars in their class. The RL does have nice handling and some other luxury features, but it and the GS have too many compromises. The new GS could be different but we will see -- it looks like you have to buy the GS400 to really get a competitive performance car from Lexus.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Despite all of the rational views here about the luxocars, I believe the Infiniti M's main problem remains weird styling on the front, particularly the "fish pucker" grill. I think that it will remain a turn off for many buyers. I think that they will struggle to sell 2K / month, without big discounts after the hot rod crowd gets their fill. I also wonder if the reshaping of the grill on the G towards the M look will hurt its sales this year. We'll see.


    Besides the ugly rear, the BMW 5 front headlight treatment also yields what one of my friends call 'owl eyes' or the look of a Ninja battle mask. The 5 being weird front and rear takes alot away from a previously class leading car.


    I think the RL will do ok, but won't make much of a dent in the class. Compared to the M and 5, it's styling is at least integrated and clean and it's features outstanding. I feel it will be heavily discounted before the year's out to keep the installed base trading up.


    In talking to my sister, who has been an Acura owner for years, she said "I already know that I have a much better car than my friends Mercedes and BMW's. I just love picking them up for lunch when their cars are in the shop for a week."


    IMHO, in the end, the E3XX and BMW5 have left a 10K+ wide hole in the market between the high 30's and low 50's and it's getting wider. That's why the Asian car manufacturers are there.


    You have to be crazy to pay 50K and up for a rather mundane, troublesome taxi cab platform from Germany or something as ugly as a BMW.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I think the M styling is fine. I can definitely see an overall resemblance to the Altima and G35, but it still looks better than all other cars in this class.


    The front end is the car's strong suit. The rear end, however, is kinda odd.


    People thought that G sales would die down after a couple years and the "hot rod" crowd had their fill. Well, what do you know, sales in 2004 were much stronger than in 2003. Frankly, I'm surprised by this too.


    One thing that impresses me about the M is that excepting the STS, it is the largest and roomiest car in this class. Yet it is also one of the sportiest as well, right behind the 5. Having both size/room and sport is a very hard thing to do, and it's something that even BMW hasn't able to do either. Other than the 7, Bimmers are almost always the smallest/least spacious cars in their segment.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    What's with the M's 11 cu ft trunk? That's a new low for its class. I guess they traded off trunk space for rear seat room. It wouldn't be so bad if the rear seat back folded down, but I guess it doesn't.
  • Footie, are you referring to the old M45 or the new M45/35? And as far as features, is there any other vehicle in this group or price range that comes more feature laden. Check out the link posted by jrock, post #565 and read the features content of the new M45/35.

    As far as styling, since it is subjective, all I will say is I believe the M45/35 grill is rather well integrated with the overall design, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I think the RL looks clean and also well designed, however in terms of price it is asking quite a lot, whether both vehicles sell in the numbers expected remain to be seen. Nuff said about the new 5 series styling, it has been critiqued in every review.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The M's trunk is 14.9 cu ft with the standard temp spare tire.


    The optional full spare reduces the trunk size to 11.4 cu ft.


    Interior volume is a class leading 105.2 cu ft.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Having both size/room and sport is a very hard thing to do, and it's something that even BMW hasn't able to do either. Other than the 7, Bimmers are almost always the smallest/least spacious cars in their segment."


    Interesting take. There is no evidence that BMW isn't able to do just that with a 5-Series, trouble is they like MB and Audi have to make a car that appeals to fickle Europeans so they have to size them accordingly, which means they've always come up smaller compared to similarly priced Japanese and American cars. The STS and the "Seville" before it have steadily shrunk for this very same reason, as did the new RL. How much larger is the M35/45 than the 5-Series on the outside? The previous Seville flopped in Europe, partly because of its size, hence the smaller model STS. I'm curious too about the A6 too, it seems to have grown much bigger this time around too? I wonder if that will matter in the European markets.


  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    They're probably able to, but they haven't. The larger a car gets, the less sporty it gets, all else being equal.


    The M is longer and taller than the 5, and the 5 is a bit wider. Just a couple inches here and there.


    Mainly, I like that the M has 4 more inches of combined legroom (81.5 in.) than the 5 (77.5 in.).


    Not THAT big a deal, but anytime you get some more space it's a good thing, b/c to me space=luxury.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree, and I can't wait for the dealer here to get some M's in so I can have a look. The car has really impressed so far...I just need to see that styling on the road or at least outside of Detroit's Cobo hall. I think I read that the M45's back seat is bigger than the Q45's. If true the next Q has to grow or it's finished.


  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    You're right, the Q has 81.3 in combined legroom, and has 102.1 cu ft. interior space.


    Poor Q, you really have to wonder who's gonna buy it when the M45 comes out.


    The M45 is cheaper.

    The M45 has more room.

    The M45 is faster.

    The M45 has more tech gizmos.

    The M45 is a newer design.


    I hear that they're replacing the "Q" designation with something else for the next model though.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 62,982
    BMW and Mercedes.. while always more expensive.. are moving the "5" and the "M" so far up in price, and so quickly, that they are leaving a big hole to be filled...


    Unfortunately for Infiniti, they are missing the hole... The cars look good at their base prices, but once you add on the options, they lose a lot of their advantage..


    Acura is a little different... At least in marketing, their mid-size car is the TL.. and their top of the line model is the RL.. (marketing, not actual)...


    So, the typical Honda/Acura buyer, when he looks at the RL, sees this massive discount vs. an LS430 or a Q45... Or... a step-up from the mid-sized cars for the same money..


    I'm not proposing that the RL actually compares with those cars.. just that it competes with them... But, of course, it still has to deal with the fact that $50K is a small market..


    I do think the new GS has a better chance.. just because of the greater impact of the Lexus name.





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  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    - 2006 GS300 RWD -


    Base: $42,900


    Premium Package: $45,335

    Rain Sensing Wipers

    Adaptive Front Lighting System/Headlamp Cleaners


    Power Rear Sunshade

    Ventilated Front Seats

    Intuitive Park Assist


    Fully Loaded: $49,865

    Mark Levinson Stereo

    Navigation System


    - 2006 GS300 AWD -


    Base: $44,850


    - 2006 GS430 -


    Base: $51,125


    Fully Loaded: $57,490

    Mark Levinson Stereo

    Navigation System

    Rear Spoiler

    Rain Sensing Wipers/Headlamp Cleaners


    Power Rear Sunshade

    Ventilated Front Seats

    Intuitive park Assist


    All prices do NOT include destination charge. The GS will not offer Lasercruise. Satellite radio seems to be an accessory.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Where did you get these GS numbers? Thanks for posting.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The GS gets the LS430's PCS system, which is radar, rather than laser based. Automatic cruise control is thus radar based.


    Nobody was buying the Q anyway.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    If these GS300 prices are correct, then it is several thousand dollars more than the M35, comparably equipped. Chalk it up to the Lexus premium.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Thats normal. Expect the next IS to cost more than the G35.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Is it Lexus premium or Infiniti discount? In the MT comparo, M35 was by far the least expensive!


    I don't think Infiniti, wanting to be performance oriented, needs a future Q at all. It's hard for a sedan that size to be about performance, that's why there's never M7. For BMW, 3 & 5 are much more important than 7. For MB & Lexus, wanting to be luxury leaders, it's different.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Agree. For the "sport first" image that Infiniti is going for, a full size anything is pointless, as full size inevitably hurts a cars agility, and its just not what shoppers in that class really look for.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I can't wait to see what they do with the Q because all of sudden (see new M45) it doesn't fit in anymore. It seems to be from the I35, G20 era. The current Q45 isn't a terrible car as most make it out to be, but its styling and their marketing of it as some type of sports sedan are what killed it in the marketplace, imo. Only BMW gets away with the sport-first theme on a large luxury car. Mercedes (S55), Audi (S8) and Jaguar (XJR) don't really concetrate on their sporty "variants" nearly as much as they do the more pedestrian S430/500, XJ8, and A8/L models.


  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    merc1, I feel you got it right. Streets and particularly parking spots are smaller on this side of the ocean than in the USA. Petrol (and therefore big big cars in terms of miles•gallon) is here more expansive as well.


  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Infiniti needs a full size lux boat about as much as VW does.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 62,982
    Oh.. I think they need one.. any one, besides the one they have now..


    Compared to the Q45, the Phaeton starts to make sense....


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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If I were Infiniti, I would've just buried it for 2005, rather than a pointless freshening and letting it sit in showrooms looking dated and pudgy compared to Infiniti's gleaming new metal for '06. Its like the Danny Baldwin of cars.
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