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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    If you have a dad that will spend $40,000 + on a 16 year old driver's first car, I can only ask, could he buy me a car, too?
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    If you have a dad who would spend $40K + on a car as powerful as the ones under discussion for a 16-year old male, someone should call the local child protective services agency for you and the mental health authority for your dad.
  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    I'm not sure this 16 year old knows the tradeoffs when selecting a car, let alone a LPS. If a 5 series is desired, why not a '00 M5 for about the same $. Why not an '02 Carrera? For kids, a car should be safe, reliable, and inexpensive to insure. Sorry to be such a cynic, but what is the # killer of teenagers? What about a used es330?
  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    I subscribe to CR but not for the car issue. Everyone on this board seems to miss the point that CR uses a very different criteria to judge their cars than the other pubs. CR buys their cars off the lot unlike all the other car mags. CR takes NO advertising. No free Swedish massages for their editors. No GT3 loaners for the weekend.

    The CR car buyer is very cost conscious and values reliability first, cost second, and amenities third. Fun, passion, and sexy lines or sounds are not as important.

    I've owned German and Japanese cars and generally agree with CR's reliability ratings. My 325i, 745i, and 996 have been less reliable than my integra ls, previa, es330 and rx330.

    You can dispute CR editor opinions, but you cannot deny the TRUTH in the reliability ratings because they are survey results. While I generally disagree with CR editor's opinions on German cars, I completely agree and believe their used car reliability ratings.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,472
    Very well said rayng. You hit the nail on the head.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    As Mark said, this is the wrong class for those cars. Compared to the Germans, the Japanese have a somewhat strange approach in the entry class, because some of their cars are specifically designed for our market, and thus a lot bigger than the German world market cars. Despite this, they are still in the $30-40K entry category.

    MSRP has no relevence to real cost of aquisition, nor does the nominal "sale price" in the a lease. The overwhelming majority of 5 series and E class are leased nowadays. With 525i lease starting in the mid $400's, it is definitely in the ES and RX price range . . . some IS350's are leased for higher monthly cost. I know many two-"professional" families cross shop 525i and the ES.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Nice as they are, they are NOT currently in the LPS class. The cars you noted are Near LPS cars.

    Would agree with you a decade ago, but nowadays, the cost of leansing of 525i has pretty much reduced that car to the Near LPS price range thanks to lease subsidies. As we know, the 5 series is the grand daddy of LPS segment, and the majority of 5 series on the road today are 525i's.

    The Premium class as is commonly defined cannot include FWD cars either

    As we know, Cadillac had been nearly all FWD for two decades before the arrival of CTS . . . Volvo and Saab are all FWD platforms, and so are most Audi's . . . FWD platforms with AWD extensions on some models.

    The ES, TL and CTS (and G) are not in the same league as the GS, RL, STS (and M) at this point.

    Perhaps, to a certain degree . . . just like 525i is not in the same league as 545i. ES-GS300-GS430/GS450H is a pretty good match-up corresponding to 525i-530i-540i/545i in terms of midsize luxury lineups for cross-shopping. ES's second-rate handling and 525i's second-rate accelearation make both models lacking in performance. The GS300 and 530i models are the real starting points for luxury performance sedans for the two brands.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    525i barely makes 200hp, nearly 20% less than the outgoing Accord V6, and over 30% less than the new Camry V6.

    I had a small-6 5 series as my first car. It was a choice made based on safety . . . back then the Japanese makers had not quite discovered the money to be made in safety ;-) I bought it with my own money, but the choice was a gesture to make my mom content (I really wanted that Porsche ;-)
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Leasing a 525i cost much less than buying an '00M5. 525i is a luxury family sedan with a BMW badge, making only 200hp or so, less than many V6 family sedans (in fact all of the big three Japanese makers make family sedans that deliver at least 20% more power) . . . as such, it is not a bad choice for kid's first car . . . especially considering that the gap insurance that comes with the lease will cover an early totalling ;-) It is a crash-worthy car after all . . . and the kid will learn humiliation the very first time he tries to race his classmate's hopped-up Integra . . . and never do that again. Getting the kid a used M5 with an unstable and menacing idle however would indeed be irresponsible.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    I don't know if you read, the latest CR automobile rankings actually placed a heavy premium on "fun to drive" and performance. M45 displaced LS430 for the premium sedan over $40k (or is it $50k) category. Honda/Acura won 5 out of a total of 10 categories, way more than Toyota/Lexus, largely on the performance factor.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I don't know what they call the wind, I said the "wind cries Mary." I was attempting to make the reader pause to think "where did THAT come from." Perhaps, to reflect on the entire song, a song that ends:

    ". . .will the wind ever remember the names it has blow in the past? And with this crutch, its old age, and its wisdom it whispers no, this will be the last. . .

    And the wind cries Mary."

    The Wind Cries Mary
    (Jimi Hendrix)

    From the album "Are You Experienced," 1967.

    I actually hadn't thought about the status aspect -- I was talking about my assumption that CR tends to weigh a rating or evaluation based on some concept they appear to have pertaining to "price vs value." They probably value status or prestige even less.

    Like the Tag vs. Tissot example where it is assumed [by CR] that you only desire to know the time, it is really difficult to prove that for the purpose of driving from point "a" to point "b" day in day out that a $50,000+ car is "worth" the extra $15,000 (or more) over something like a Chrysler 300C or Avalon or Lucerne or Infiniti G, etc.

    Refinement, style, content and yes even prestige and status are difficult to scientifically or statistically value -- so it seems that the conclusions about LPS cars are often, umm, less enthusiastic than "ours" here on these blogs. The same enthusiasm (or lack thereof) is also evident from the paid writers at Automobile, CAR, Car and Driver, European Car, Motor Trend and Road & Track (and others too numerous to keep listing.)

    Expensive cars (even these "upper middle class" expensive cars) really play to our hearts more than to our heads -- but that's my conclusion.

    It is certainly possible to determine the best car of the bunch based on some criteria that can be measured. I wonder how many people would agree with the conclusion that the Acura RL was "measurably" the best? (Not that I am saying I know this to be true, BTW.) Sales figures currently suggest the Acura is the least popular of the LPS group. Heck recently, the BMW is selling almost 6 times as many 5's as Acura is selling RL's. The content of the RL is superior, as is the horsepower. The BMW has been called ugly and it has been said it is a style that grows on you. The Acura may look somewhat like an Accord, but it has rarely if ever raised the ire of as many folks as the Bimmer.

    The point is and remains, edmunds and the popular magazines (with advertisements) are better sources of "information" (opinion) for LPS cars than all the charts and graphs and frequency of repair ratings these Consumer magazines can ever publish.

    I like the style of my Tag -- I also like the Tissot, but for whatever reason, the Tag would be my choice. But not because it tells time any better than my Casio.

    "The traffic lights, they turn, uh, blue tomorrow
    and shine their emptiness down on my bed. . .
    The tiny island sags down stream 'cause the life that lived is, is dead. . .
    And the wind screams Mary."
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    You made a good analogy with watches.

    In the old days a watchmaker's reputation was based on the on how precise his watches kept time. And back then you had to pay big $$ for such precision.

    In the old days a car's reputation and prestige was based on how durable and reliable their cars are. People paid big $$ for MBs because they were the benchmark of reliability.

    Today a cheap quartz is as precise in timekeeping as the most expensive watches today.

    Today a cheap Corolla is as reliable or in most cases even more reliable than the most prestigious cars.

    Bottomline: Technologies and affluence can change a consumer's priorities.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Luxury Performance Sedans

    What is this discussion about? Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS 300, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan

    Our hosts have allowed a fairly wide latitude here on this forum -- and I think rightly so. What I was attempting to clarify without being "brusk" was a fairly commonly accepted classification of cars we discuss herein.

    The comments I made were appropriate to this thread -- for I know what would certainly happen if we started to include BMW's 3's, Audi's other A's (4's and 8's) and Mercedes C's or S class models.

    A temporary diversion seems to be not likely to get an edmund's finger shaken at us. Were we to elect to chat up the sub-LPS or super-LPS class cars, we would be directed to other forums.

    Broadly speaking the 5 class of Bimmers are discussed as full fledged members of the LPS class. Audis A6's and perhaps the upcoming S6 will fit, too. Perhaps the new S6 with the V10 will no longer qualify and there will be a BMW M5 and Audi S6 (or will it require an RS 6?) board then which might be dubbed, RLPS cars for "Real" LPS cars.

    At this point you will probably get very little buy in of a Lexus ES or Acura TL or Cadillac CTS as an LPS car.

    Moreover, the M3 or S4 which can be optioned with lots of lux stuff just doesn't fit here in the current categorization.

    I did not make these "rules" -- I am not the "categorizer" -- I attempt (somewhat) to live within the guidelines for LPS cars as we have apparently agreed to.

    BMW's 5's, all of 'em, count, at this juncture. If you are not a fan of the 525, I can only suggest, as did my dealer, to take a nice long test drive of a manual shift 525 and 525xi and see if you don't see the justification for calling them full members with all the rights and privileges due to an LPS club member.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Here is what I would suggest as a seriously nice car for you:

    An Audi A4 3.2 Sline 6 speed manual transmission with Premium, Cold, Technology packages and upgraded systems and literally all the options on the check sheet.

    The BMW 330xi too would be a stong contender, but would not be able to be had with a sport suspension package.

    The A6 has pushbutton start, too, if you must have this.

    Gee, with someone else buying the car, and with that kind of price range -- put the cars up on the wall and throw a dart. You will not be let down.

    I'd go for the manual transmission version of the 5 if you can't see yourself in a "lesser" A4 3.2 Sline.

    The interior of the A6 does, IMHO, trump the Bimmer though.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Someone on the RL board suggested that the low sales of the RL is misleading because other makes combine a number of models in one category. The 5 outsells the RL by a wide margin, but the 5 includes several different cars: the 525i, 530i, 525xi (?), 530xi (am I right here?), the M5, etc, whereas the RL is only one car.

    What do you think of that argument? I think there's a fallacy there.
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    I am a bit disappointed by some answers you got that did not address your basic information need. As you are considering a 5-Serie, this is the right place you are supposed to be in and you are fully entitled to get the car your father offers to pay for.

    Both A6 and 525i are good cars with reasonable performance. Audi are known for having excellent cabin trimming quality, whereas BMW are a step behind. A6 being a FWD and 5-serie being RWD, both cars hold the road very well, but I suggest you have those models test driven before you make any decision.

    Whereas others may criticize your father for putting such an amount for a first car, I rather consider that this is a testimony that you father trusts you deserve to get a nice car and hold it well. This is a great opportunity and you made the right move to ask others for their view.

    If you really wish to get some exclusivity, the A6 sells much less than the BMW so you are less likely to have friends driving identical model.

    IMHO, the A6 would be closer to your need because of its high quality interior and elegant outside profile. If you are looking for space inside you could even consider the estate version.
    have you contemplated the Jaguar S-Type? This is a pretty
    nice looking car that would offer even more exclusivity than the previoulsy mentioned brands.

    If money is not a big deal and you want something nearly as rare as a maserati, you could even check this model out 9.html

    which is a nice piece of Italian Design. A bit smaller than a 5 or an A6, but a true head-turner

    Keep us informed about your decision.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    I am a bit disappointed that you called the A6 a front wheel drive car. I am a bit disappointed that you think a Maserati could be had within his 60k limit.
    In summation, i'm a bit disappointed :confuse: :blush:
  • yea i like the a6 with s line alot. id have to say the downsides o getting a bmw is the to simple interior. and the fact that everyone has one. so the final decision is audi a6 over bmw 5 series???
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    oh yea of little patiance. If you want a car with tech goodies you should check out the Acura RL. But please don't do anything until you have driven them all.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You should actually drive one of these vehicles before dad writes the check. I'm frankly rather surprised that someone aged 15 would have any interest in this class of car. These cars belong in executive row, not parked at a high school.

    Shouldnt you be interested in the new Shelby 'Stang? Or a Z? Or S2000, Boxster, Elise, etc? Save the space for the kids and the ability to wirelessly sync with your Treo when you have kids and a Treo. If you can afford a 5 or A6 for your first car, I dont think insurance premiums are going to be a problem.
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    > am a bit disappointed that you called the A6 a front wheel drive car.

    Sorry to disappoint you but the A6 is basically that. That some models are available as Quattro as an option or exclusively on bigger engines does not change the basic architecture of this car. Most A6 sold in Europe are FWD only anyway.

    Some 5-series are available as 4WD. Why aren't you disappointed that I call the 5 a RWD then?

    >I am a bit disappointed that you think a Maserati could be had within his 60k limit.

    I never claimed this, although this is may possible in the 2nd hand market. I just claimed that Alfa-romeo has maybe the same level of exclusivity in the US because I guess Alfa don't sell many more than Maserati and maybe less. I welcome any figure contradicting my view

    > In summation, i'm a bit disappointed

    Well we both have same feeling even though the reasons are not the same.
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    > I'm frankly rather surprised that someone aged 15 would have any interest in this class of car.

    I was interested by this class of cars at about his age, quite some time ago though. Even bigger: the S-class was even one of my favorite.

    >These cars belong in executive row, not parked at a high school.

    This is a refreshing change from all those cars that we easily label as being for young drivers. Why should he be compelled to share the same tastes as the majority?

    Maybe he plans to take some friends in and considers rear leg space as valuable? Let us let him just share his ideas.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I guess I would have to question why you want cars of this size? Maybe you plan on having 6 foot classmates riding in the back--I can see that as reasonable.

    For pure fun in one of the premium brands, I would look at the 3 series, G (coupe 6sp MT, unless you need 4 doors), IS, and A4/S4. The Audi and Lexus will have better interiors. They all look nice from the outside.

    Most of these smaller cars will perform better than the LPSs listed for this board.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    And before I get a string of quoted 0-60 times, let me clarify that I mean handle when I say perform. Although 0-60 times are going to be decent across the board.

    You give up some of the L in LPS when you drop down in size.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    ...and I have a 16 year old daughter and a 13 year old son, there is no way on Gd's green earth that I would ever turn loose in a BMW (or any of the cars discussed in this forum) my newly hatched driver.

    Several years ago in Bethesda, Maryland, there was a horrific crash of a BMW driven by a 16 year old who had gotten her license only two(?) weeks earlier. I don't remember the exact carnage tally, but there was death and destruction to both kids and property. I remember thinking (and this was before I had bought my own bimmer) that it's ridiculous to buy a kid a "car like that." But I was focused on the expense; I didn't know anything about the performance of these cars.

    Fast forward several years. I am putting a good 18k miles a year on my 530...and I can tell you neither my daughter (whom I trust implicitly), nor my son (who I don't feel is nearly as responsible as his sister) is or will be getting behind the wheel of my car now or anytime soon after they obtain their driver's license. The car is way too responsive and powerful for an inexperienced driver. Couple that with twisty two lane roads and the attraction of showing off for friends, and as the crash in Bethesda demonstrates, you have a recipe for disaster.

    I couldn't care less about prestige. Okay, I care enough--IF I were to buy my child a car--to provide something nicer than (insert the dumpiest make and model you can think of because I've just gone blank), but I am interested more in putting my child in a safe, manageable car than one that can beat me down the line in 6.0 seconds.

    The last thing I ever want to do is get that phone call at 3 AM. I have experienced more than my share of parental nightmares over the past 16 3/4 years, virtually all of which were beyond my power to prevent. The basic criterion that drives my decisions as a parent is whether if something goes horribly wrong I would be able to look at myself in the mirror and say I had done everything in my power to avoid placing my child in that kind of situation. That poor mother in Bethesda has to live the rest of her life with the knowledge that she bought her daughter a car that was too powerful for a new driver to control. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

    Just my two cents.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Well said. Fortunately, I have 4 years, 10 months, and 20 days before I have to confront those fears. (But who's counting?)

    I am surprised that I don't see more kids driving large Buicks for the reasons you state. Put a couple of tons of iron around them with all the latest safety equipment and an engine large enough to get them OUT of trouble, but not so large as to get them IN trouble.

    I will play devil's advocate for a moment, though. The 525 is large, has plenty of safety features, and has an engine that meets the above criteria. I might argue that a highly responsive car that will not do the unexpected in emergency maneuvers is actually safer.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Those 4 years, 10 months, and 20 days will go faster than you can imagine. I still cannot believe I have a JUNIOR in high school, who is thinking about where she wants to go to college. Yikes. My silver hair doesn't make me feel old, but this does.

    I believe too many parents are more interested in being their kids' friends than being their parents. And they have too much disposable income, so instead of buying something plodding but safe, they splurge on the fancy stuff.

    I've never driven a 525, so I can't comment on its power other than to say that what I've read agrees with your claim. I agree that the car is very safe (I believe the 02 5 series won awards for being the safest in its class--or something like that). And I agree that a well-engineered car will be more reliable in an emergency situation. But the more responsive the car, the greater tendency to overcorrect because it takes less effort to get the car to respond. And at high speeds, there is a smaller margin of error when making those corrections. I believe the best car for a teenager is one that strikes a compromise between handling and power, but that also doesn't scream too much of prestige (to lower the tendency to show off, and because I don't believe in handing the world to my child on a silver platter).

    What's my daughter going to drive once she gets her license (she isn't particularly interested in driving right now, believe it or not)? My 92 ES (which will remain my car; I'm not giving it to her). I know, it's a Lexus. But it's a 13 year old Lexus, it has only 82k miles on it, I know its history, and it can't touch the bimmer 0-60. Works for me.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Indeed, the wind does cry Mary. But it's also true that They Call the Wind Mariah. ;)

    You're old enough to remember that - I know because *I* am old enough to remember it, and we're right up here together!! :P
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    I'm frankly rather surprised that someone aged 15 would have any interest in this class of car. Shouldnt you be interested in the new Shelby 'Stang? Or a Z? Or S2000, Boxster, Elise, etc

    I am not old enough to own the cars above. Currently I have to find cars that can fit my kid's booster seats. Those cars you listed above are the exact cars I dream of owning when reaching the empty nester stage( about 15 years and 3 months hence from today) :shades:

    In 10 years time my wife's 83 MB300D will be given to our kids. Assuming ofcourse our kids dont mind being ridiculed :(

    In fact maybe not!
  • so does the a6 have a keyless go, like the bmw. cuase an option says avanced key but im not sure what thatis???
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