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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The E350 goes on sale at the end of this month. The 530i I'm not exactly sure, they're saying April on all sites BMW.


  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Cool, just in time for the M35 and GS300. Gonna be a shootout.


    Here are the first drives for the GS and the M:




    Pretty positive for those cars, although not that in depth.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Clearly, I like the M45 more than the GS. The GS is just awful looking to me, way too long and heavy looking. It almost looks like a S-Class or A8L size vehicle.


  • There will always be the next best thing. Of the choices we have today, the RL is the best. Next month maybe something else, then the month after that. If you wait long enough you won't have to buy anything.

    I waited 4 months for hte RL to hit the shores, couldn;t wait another 5 for the wave of catch up form the Germans.
  • You think the M is better looking than the GS?


       You're slipping....and sliding away!


  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I understand. Everyone has different reasons for purchasing different cars.




    Of course I think the M looks better than the GS. You like the GS now? You hated it when you first saw it.


  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I'm with merc on this one. I'd give the nod to the M over the GS in looks.


    Some people get so surprised when others have totally different opinions in terms of car design, but it really is a very subjective area. Unless, of course, you're talking about the Aztec. =)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Yep, it sure is. They give you a loaded to the gills car for about the same price as a base European car. Doesn't come with anywhere near the prestige of course."


    Only the E starts at what an RL costs, and the 5 is close. You pay extra for those badges. The rest of the competition start a lot lower. As I've said before, the A6 3.2 starts at $42K. M35, $40 or 41. GS, $43 or 44. STS, $42 or 43. A loaded A6, M35, GS, or STS is roughly similar, but you dont HAVE to buy them that way.


    A TL comes loaded, and goes for something like $33k. A loaded ES330 can be well over $40k, and an A4 can get into the mid 40s. Even the G35 can hit $37 or 38K. Did Audi and Lexus make their A6 and GS too cheap? No, Acura made the RL too expensive.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I was responding to merc's comment about the "European way", not other Japanese cars. The A6 does start much lower.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I wish someone could explain to me the what the issue is with the price of the RL. Is it that you feel lack of control over your ability to pick options? Is it that there's no blue propeller/3 pointed star on the hood?


    I drive a 2001 E320 4matic and thanks to reliability issues and the service experience I'm facing the fact that I'll be changing cars in the spring.


    I drove the RL and I was very impressed. Personally it doesn't have the "heft" or feeling of solidity on the road that my E320 has. However, it is a very strong car. It beats my car feature for feature (I have mine maxed out).


    My issue with the RL? Rear seat space. I have a child safety seat in the back center. I can still seat two (admittedly skinny) adults on either side). That doesn't work with the RL. Secondly the trunk is a bit smaller but I think I could live with that. Otherwise I see that this car compares very favorably with my current car.


    M35/M45 is no holy grail from a pricing perspective. Lets say you wanted the M35AWD and you wanted a rear power sun shade (for example). To get that you need Journey + Technology + Premium. You are over 50 Large.


    I will look at the new GS300AWD but that's a 60 mile round trip for service (another story) so I probably won't seriously consider it.


    Do the people complianing about the US price of the RL actually own/have owned a car in this class? Or is this just a paper analysis with a bunch of personal expertise thrown in?



  • gabmangabman Posts: 284
    Big Rob,


    I too will be changing cars in the next 4 weeks. I test drove the RL and opted to go with a M35X without NAV and DVD player.


    From what I have been following on this board, the issue with the RL is that the consumer does not have a choice. Acura have opted to market the RL with a "take it, pay full price for it or leave it attitude".


    In your comments, you mention that you have a need for a rear power sunshade and with the M35/45 you have to get considerably more options.


    However, if you were to find a different solution or forego your need for a power rear sunshade, then you would be able to do a deal on an M35 for considerably less than the RL providing of course you did not want all the other packages such as Nav and DVD.


    The issue here is all about choice or the lack of it when contemplating the purchase of the "RL".


    By the way, I test drove the RL back in November and the M35 yesterday, if my memorey serves me correctly I think the M35 had more room in the back seat.


    Good luck with your choice.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "I will look at the new GS300AWD but that's a 60 mile round trip for service (another story) so I probably won't seriously consider it."


    It takes about an hour and a half round trip for me to get to my Lexus dealer in Carlisle. Fortunately, I never have to go. My friendly Lexus service rep comes to my house.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    Gabman, thanks for the reply.


    I was using the example of the power rear sunshade more as an example that Infiniti's pricing isn't necessarily much more flexible than Acuras. It isn't a deal breaker for me. I have it on my E320...I don't even recall if the RL had it.


    I agree, from what I can see the M35 is a bit more spacious than the RL. I look forward to seeing it in person. The cars look to compare very favorably.


    The pricing structures are a double edged sword. For instance, on the M35x, I'd take the journey package and I'd probably take XM. I'd like the upgraded rear seat accomodations (reclining/ventilated and sun shade). I have no desire for 5.1 audio, NAV, laser cruise, rear entertainment system, run flats, etc. So with the way Infiniti currently prices, I have to max it out to get what I want. They have some items ala-carte, why not all???


    In my opinion, some choice is worse than no choice at all. Acura takes that aspect out of the equation.



  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    they do that for your regularly scheduled maintenance? The mercedes dealer would laugh at me if I asked for that level of service.


    When they pick up your car, do they leave you with a loaner? Even for something small like regularly scheduled maintenance?


    What is the maintenance interval on the GS? That is the ONLY thing that spoils me w/my only requests maintenance every 11K-12K miles. If I had to go to that damned dealership every 5K-7K miles I'd be in prison by now.



  • gabmangabman Posts: 284


    I am not going to get into the merits of the M35 compared to the RL as I have come to learn that peoples taste are very subjective as are their needs when they purchase a car. For instance I no longer have small kids and the need to get a DVD player for the rear seat passengers is not my need.


    When I compare vehicles, I always compare vehicles that are in the same market segment, currently I am purchasing in the Mid-Luxury segment whereas my current car (G35) was in the entry level luxury segment.


    When I saw the RL, I compared it to the Audi A6, BMW 531, Infinti M35. I don't think that this car compares with a Benz with equal equipment (just my opinion). The fact that Acura decided to load this car up with tons of great options and price it accordingly in my book does not take it out of the Mid Luxury segment and I came away with the opinion that the RL is over priced. I am not even sure anymore if the RL came with a DVD player and screen for the rear occupants ( Can someone let me know).


    By the same token, when I am out looking for cars I can't stand having to sit down with a sales rep and discuss tons of options and watch the price keep creeping upwards.


    A case in point is the Audi A6, (please keep in mind I am in Canada and am quoting Canadian $$ pricing.) . I went to price the Audi and we started with a base price of $ 59,500.00. After adding the exact same options that I was getting in the M35, I had to purchase no less than 8 different options and the price rose to $70,600.00, and this is with no Nav or DVD.

    To be fair the Audi is maintanence free for the duration of the warranty whereas the M35 is not.


    Bottom line is that when I shop for a car I want a car that is fairly well equipped that I do not have to order and wait to be produced. To me Nav and DVD are frills that I want to be able to choose or not choose. This is one of the major reasons why I like Japanese cars, save the RL. I have nothing against Acura, I even currently lease a TSX.


    Just a quick comment on your rear seat desires, My current G35 has reclining rear seats that I was so proud of, problem was that there has not been one person that has sat in the rear seat that liked them. Perhaps they could be handy on long trips with small kids in the back but for day to day driving I have found that my passengers like to sit up and see where they are going.


    As far as ventilated seats go, the M35 will be my first car with them so have to reserve comment until things warm up around here.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "they do that for your regularly scheduled maintenance? The mercedes dealer would laugh at me if I asked for that level of service.


    When they pick up your car, do they leave you with a loaner? Even for something small like regularly scheduled maintenance?"


    Yep. Its Lexus policy. The service interval for my LS is 7500 miles, not sure about GS. They come to the house, pick up the car, and leave me with either a Camry or Avalon for a few days. (Rahal Lexus is also a Toyota dealer). Then they wash it and bring it back. I dont have to do anything at all. Interestingly enough, the Mercedes dealer in the same area does it as well. Its not Mercedes policy, they do it from pressure from the Lexus guy next door.


    I wish Jaguar had that policy. The only time the LS ever sees the service department is for scheduled visits. My XKs have been to the Jag dealership many a time, and Im always the one that has to do the driving.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    very interesting. Thanks for the info lexusguy. I'll have to take my visit to the (1) lexus dealer in NH more seriously.



  • kfhmailkfhmail Posts: 199
    You said you did not agree with my comments... which ones? I could not tell from your message.
  • Here are three of these competitors similarly equiped with the main feature differences listed.


    Acura RL

    *Onstar, Traffic Link, Power Rear Sunshade, 17" wheels, Heated 8/4-way power seats (thus no height adjustment on passenger seat)

    MSRP Price $49470


    Audi A6 3.2 Quattro with Premium, Convenience, Nav, Cold, Sat, Sunshade, Voice Rec, and TPMS

    *Power Rear Sunshade, 16" wheels, 12/12 way power seats

    MSRP Price $48670


    Infiniti M35 AWD with Journey, Nav, and Sat

    *Rear View Camera, 18" wheels, Climate Controlled (Heated and Cooled) 10/6 way power seats

    MSRP Price $48110


    So, similarly equiped the AWD M35 and A6 are both slightly less expensive than the RL. And you still have the flexibility to drop options for a cheaper car or add options for more features, neither of which is possible for the RL. I think these are the factors that make people perceive the RL has less value than some of the competition.


    All in all, I think if the RL price had come in 3k lower, then there would not be any perception of a lack of value.
  • The 2006 GS300 AWD is $44,850


    New Standard features included in base price, but are not limited to:

    Heated Leather Seats with Memory

    Smart Entry with Push Start Button

    In Dash 6 Disc Changer

    Projector Type HID Headlamps

    Knee Airbags

    Wood Steering Wheel and Shift Knob

    17" Wheels with All Season Run Flat tires

    "Premium Package"

    Rain Sensing Wipers/Adaptive Front Lighting System/Headlamp Cleaners $525

    Power Tilt&Slide Moonroof $1000

    Power Rear Sunshade $210

    Ventilated Front Seats $200

    Intuitive Park Assist $500


    Mark Levinson and Navi/rear camera+ are $4K extra
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    GS300 AWD base MSRP is $45,500 including destination.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It does make the RL an attractive used car buy however, as ALL cars are fully loaded instead of the usual 10% or so.
  • I guess the destination cost would be petty close to $650.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Sorry, Merc1, I was away for a few days. This has to do with comments about how the young folks are automatic for VWs. This isn't showing up in any market stats.


    Toyota is eating VW's lunch (and other car companies that build crappy, unreliable cars). Toyota's market share continues to grow while VW is getting their head handed to them.


    There's nothing 'automatic' about VW getting the younger generation.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    This had to do with your complaints about autoweek comparing the RL to the S430.


    I think that times continue to change and dated, unreliable cars from MB, Audi and BMW continue to lose share to high value, reliable cars from Acura.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Who the heck cares about a 1/10th of a second here or there. This isn't the 1950 drag race circuit.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Sorry, Merc1, I was away for a few days. This has to do with comments about how the young folks are automatic for VWs. This isn't showing up in any market stats."


    Really? I guess Toyota's own research and reasons for creating the Scion brand was all wrong: to find younger buyers. Why would they create a "youth" division to attract younger buyers from not only VW, but Mazda and Nissan too, if they didn't feel they're buyers were too old and looking for "trendier" cars?


    Even Toyota's precious reliability couldn't save lame cars like the Echo, or the Celica and MR2. Care to research the average Toyota buyers age vs Mazda or VW? You won't be able to spin the results.


    I don't think you'll ever understand or accept that reliability isn't the end-all of a car purchase for everyone. There are other factors that your posts miss by a country mile.


  • The criticisms of the Acura RL are not all justified. However, I think the rhetoric in this forum has caught up with the reality that RL has significant weaknesses (and will not sell at close to MSRP).


    I think this would be true even if the new M and GS were not hitting the market but they will accentuate the issues which the RL faces. It will be interesting to see if Acura tweaks the car for the 2006 model in terms of brakes, rear seat and/or pricing to address some of the concerns noted in this forum.
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    It's great to see a number of different perspectives in this forum. Personally, when it comes to what is a relative "bargain" or not, I price all the cars with the exact options I need then compare. With the internet, this is easy. For example, I'm not interested in Nav or "dynamic cruise control", among others. I'm interested in the following cars:


    Audi A6 3.2 (Premium, Convenience,cold, voice, sunshade, sirius) 47,820


    BMW 530 (cold, stereo, premium, auto,sunshade, satellite) 53,690


    Acura RL (Loaded) 49,470


    M35 (journey, satellite) 43,610


    GS300 (premium) 45,335


    I'm not thrilled that the Lexus and the Infiniti does not separate the Nav from the stereo, but that's the breaks.


    I drove the BMW, RL and Audi over the last two weeks and I'm obviously waiting to drive the others. At this time I would pick 1. Audi A6 2. RL 3. BMW. This is actually independent of price, but as the Audi is the cheapest, I'm happy! The problem is that I'm moving, and there is no Audi dealership in the area. Given my initial problems with my last Audi purchase, I may have to put the Audi aside. I'm most anxious to drive the M35; I liked the G35, but I found it too small and the interior pathetic. A great driving car for the price, however.


    The above does not mention dealer incentives, although these may be hard to come by with the new models. Perhaps if the Acura was discounted....?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It may very well be. I hear you can already knock off 2 or 3 grand from the RL's $49K MSRP.
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