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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I leased 2 vehicles at my current BMW dealership.
    The second time in, the salesperson gave me the keys to any BMW vehicle I wanted to test drive and never came with me.
    I went out with 5 different BMW's for as long as I liked.
    It's a bit better when they know they have a "live one."
  • akhi2006akhi2006 Posts: 14
    proe, your are wrong. It doesn't matter what you make. People making more than 200K are more demanding. When we purchase groceries if the supermarket is not clean or the staff is not friendly we never enter that store again and you are talking about dealerships ( Big Purchase ) here.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,090
    well... maybe its cutting off my nose to spite my face, but I refuse to give my business to a dealership I am unhappy with. In my case, that includes all Toyota dealerships in reasonable driving distance, so I've written off Toyota for life. Can I blame the manufacturer? No. But it still means I won't buy one of their cars.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    that we can cavalierly categorize what people want and don't want by their income ... let's skip the generalizations and stereotypes about people and stick to the cars. Thanks.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Understood - my point was mainly that bad dealerships do not make for bad cars. But I hear you.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    There's already a discussion about the merits (or total lack thereof) of the new IQS report in the HELM thread. The problem with the new study is that it focuses on design issues as well as defects, so BMW is being hurt because of iDrive, not necessarily because their cars are having problems.

    Both BMW and MB scored poorly in the latest Powers survey and as expected their owners are challenging the new techniques employed and not really paying attention to what the results revealed. Of course if their cars had rated much better (like Porsche) they would be praising Powers on how appropriate their new survey was - that's what I meant when I said let the spin begin.

    Both suffered from defects - both mechanical and design related. If something is poorly designed but works properly, isn't that an issue the manufacturer might want to know about?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .regardless of manufacturer, regardless of the city in which you live, regardless of your income is the thing.

    One of the folks, now retired, I worked with would only buy Cadillacs. He bought a new one every 24 months period.

    He hated his dealership experience, to hear him tell it the dealer was full of crooks and boobs.

    If I felt that way, I probably couldn't stick with the dealership -- which may or may not bleed over into the brand.

    My experience with the BMW dealership, noted earlier, is real and true but I posted it because I felt, like our host, apparently, that ONE dealer (reported here) does not exactly represent the BRAND universally.

    I have dealt with, at most, 10 dealerships. Most of them are, these days, pretty savvy and subtle when it comes to customer relations. Since I have only bought from 2 dealerships over the past two decades, I sure am NOT a great representative sample.

    My wife and I have shopped at a bunch of dealers -- even the old crusty dealer facility in a small town outside of Wierton WVA was "pleasant" and apparently aware of the times, even though his dealership appeared to be right out of the 60's (the 1860's!!!)

    Heck, maybe (and I am saying this for effect) I keep going back to the same dealership and the same sales guy 'cause its better to keep close to the devil you know rather than the devil you don't know.

    I am kidding, but there could be some truth to the phrase, people do business with people they like and in the absence of that trait, people often do business with people they know and then when all those they like and know are no more, they do business with strangers.

    The first time I met the Infiniti salesperson, I assumed he was not there to help me get what "I" wanted -- I hope this is the case, but, OF COURSE, I was wrong. Even though I ended up cancelling the order, I would not hesitate to buy from him and indeed have been back several times to take prospects to him and he is always gracious and gregarious to both his prospect and to me.

    I'll tell you a sort of secret. My Audi sales guy has to be NORTH of 70 years old. I am 55.

    I keep hoping he holds out until he is at least 85 cause I'd like to have his gig when I'm, oh, about 67.

    There are some youngsters at the dealership and they are good folks too (in their late 20's, mostly with graduate school degrees and several of them speak at least two languages fluently.) I just can't wait for them to age, however. :surprise:

    When I grew up it was insurance and car salespeople who were the scourge of the earth -- from where I sit, many of them have pretty sweet gigs anymore. And, they are no longer thought of poorly, rather many seem to be pillars of the community.

    Sign me up when I get older, in fact (uh selling cars, not insurance, to be clear.) :shades:
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Of course Audi has arrived. Get you stats right before being rude. First of all, the Audi A6 is the top selling premium luxury vehicle in the world yet alone Europe. The A8 is always competing for either 1st or 2nd spot in top European sales in its class. The 8 and 12 cylinder A8s outsell their respective 8 and 12 cylinder competitors from BMW and MB combined in Europe. Audi sells half the models of its Tier 1 competitors and yet it will average around 900,000 vehicles this year. Last time I checked MB and BMW sell tons of their "lower" priced cars as well such as the 1-Series or the A-Class just as much Audi sells A3s and A4s. That is an irrelevent and mute point. Majority of BMW sales are the 3-Series anyway. So, don't try to "lower" Audi by the last ignorant comment. Whether you heard the saying or not is not my problem. Sales numbers are not everything and I am quite sure the Germans are not stupid. That is quite arrognant as if Americans had any real taste in automobiles to begin with.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    One of the better researched concepts in psychology ... if you viscerally desire something or already have chosen it, for example, you'll fight to fend off contradictory ideas, opinions, even facts.

    I don't own an Audi, but find them aesthetically exciting (exterior and interior) and very enjoyable to drive. There are obviously people who would say the say thing about other cars, whether they have bought them or not (I've never had the money to own every car I'd love to drive).

    Skimming this forum and forums devoted to specific brands, there seems to be as much or more heat generated with regard to Audi than any other brand. If cognitive dissonance is contributing to the heat, I wonder if it might be because Audi is unique in evoking in so many of us a sense of the possibility of the "perfect" LPS, but, of course, falls short of fulfilling the fantasy. That exact situation is known to bring out, on one hand, highly protective-defensive feelings, and, on the other hand, very hateful feelings.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    One of the better researched concepts in psychology ... if you viscerally desire something or already have chosen it, for example, you'll fight to fend off contradictory ideas, opinions, even facts.

    Terry in RWTIV calls it the Rule of 21s..

    You ask 21 people the same question, until you get the answer you want to hear... :D


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  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    kyfdx ... That got me smiling too. Great translation of jargon into something to which we can all relate. Reminds me of that from The Big Chill: "Have you ever gone a week without a good rationalization?" ... Charlie
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    there seems to be as much or more heat generated with regard to Audi than any other brand

    Hmmm....I would have thought that MB and Lexus were the two biggies involved with such cognitive dissonance.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Point well taken ... my impression (nothing more substantial than that) is MB and Lexus give the sense of aiming for only "refined perfection" (keeping us perfectly insulated from the fact that we're in a small moving machine, not a luxury hotel suite), while Audi, somehow, appears to striving for that elusive combined (or balanced) "perfection" which is both "wow, what a great drive/ride" and "I'm in a the moving lap of luxury."
  • erfanerfan Posts: 12
    Hi guys,

    You all look pretty knowledgeable about these cars and so I have a question. I want to buy a sedan in the upto 50k range. These are some of the things I absolutely want: 1. Reliability for atleast the next 5 years, do not want to see the dealership for ANYthing except routine maintenance 2. It should not be a smog producer, even if it is 8 cylinder 3. Should be able to drive in Northeast Ohio in January, AWD would be preferable 4. smooth ride,insulated cabin, no unneccessay road noise 5. Don't care much for fancy gadgetry 6. Best value for money.

    The one that keeps popping up in my mind, talk of cognitive dissonance, is the Acura RL. Lets see what the next 21 people tell me, then I'll go buy the RL.

  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I just talked to 21 people:

    4 said BMW 530xi
    4 said Lexus GS 300 AWD
    4 said Audi A6 quattro
    4 said Acura RL
    5 said Infiniti M35x

    I guess the M wins....Okay, I really just guessed on the first twenty people and then threw my 2 cents in the mix.

    Really, though, if you like the RL, you should buy it assuming they have fixed the initial electrical hiccups. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. The only concern I have is the 5 year plan thing. That might knock out the Audi and BMW. Of course, any car can have problems out of warranty just as any can be perfect for many years. The odds are just better with some of them, though.

    Things to consider:
    1) Reliability: GS300, M35x, and maybe RL (hiccups again)
    2) AWD: All of the above have it, the implementations vary.
    3) Fancy gadgetry: The RL is the only one that comes fully loaded all the time; the others will let you pick and choose. Personally, I feel the Infiniti probably has the most when it is fully loaded.
    4) Smog producer: Well, the Infiniti gets the worst mileage.
    5) Best value: Most might say the M35x, but there are probably great deals (i.e. discounts) on the RL.
  • erfanerfan Posts: 12
    That was a fast response, thankyou. I am told that the German cars lag behind when it comes to reliability, whether within the 3 year lease period or longer. Their tags also are said to quickly add up when you throw in any extras which can be had for much less on the Japanese models. Infiniti is not said to be very quiet or low emission, though it seems to really drive well. The 5 year thing I am not too sure about. I can also lease for 3 or 4 years as long as I am allowed 15k miles a year.

    I am really trying to decide about a car and then just shop for it online. I am not too keen on test driving any of them, if I can avoid it.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I am really trying to decide about a car and then just shop for it online. I am not too keen on test driving any of them, if I can avoid it.

    Wow, that's probably the most surprising statement I have ever read on any of these boards - and that's going some!

    These cars do not all drive the same; you are potentially setting yourself up for a real disappointment if you don't drive any car you are considering before buying it. For one example, just because some folks think the M35x is a little too loud doesn't mean you would have the same reaction. Some of these models ride harsher than others; whether any one of them is the right combination of control vs. softness for you is something you can only determine by driving. What if you bought the RL and found the seat couldn't be adjusted to feel comfortable for you?

    Please tell us that you were just kidding! :confuse:
  • erfanerfan Posts: 12
    Here's my dilemma. I can't find much wrong with a new car. I am usually happy with it for a good few months before I start noticing the faults. I test drove a new Mustang GT a few times, bought it and the sold it for several grand less 5 months later. Bought an Accord V6 EX online, w/o a test drive, found nothing wrong with it until I started to feel the road noise was too much, the ride was not the smoothest and hitting the brakes at anything above 60mph made the car jitter. I did not notice any of these problems for several months. Drove a VW Touareg for 24 hours and loved it. People in these forums degrade the T'reg up and down. How would I be able to tell what these "luxury cars" have wrong with them by driving them for 20 minutes.

    To tell you the truth, I was just kidding when I said I won't test drive the car I want. But knowing myself and my cognitive dissonance, I would not find anything wrong with the car I have made up my mind to buy. You may advise me not to hit the dealership with my mind already set on something. My response would be that there's no way I can test drive so many different cars and tell the difference.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If those items are ranked in order of importance, I would probably suggest the GS300 AWD. It is less likely to give you trouble than any other car in the segment. If you don't care much for fancy gadgetry, why do you want the RL? It's the one that forces to buy all those fancy gadgets that are optional on the other cars. Why pay for them if you dont want them? Without much if any options, the GS may come in less than the RL.

    The data that is currently available shows that the RL is fairly riddled with electrical problems. Read Car and Driver's long term test of their RL, they were back to the dealer eight times to fix often the same electrical problem. If reliability means more to you than anything else, the Acura is probably not your best bet.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I agree with "erfan". The test driving itself is both fun and a critical variable in the final-decision equation. For example, living in the San Francisco area and never driving in anything worse than rain, I ended up liking the way the lighter weight and better balanced (front/rear) M35 felt, compared to the M35x. I wouldn't have known that from anything I had read. However, I do understand the relief of not dealing with the uncomfortable feelings many of us have when confronted with salespeople doing their job.

    I started out feeling the way you do and completely reversed my position. At this level of car, if you don't feel some sense of excited anticipation walking to the car and some sense of visceral pleasure driving it -- whether it's high speed road-gripping turns or whether it's that you like sitting in it -- why bother?

    How to predict that you will feel that way when you drive the car everyday is another matter. I have come to think that it partly depends on you past experience with yourself. How good do you think you are at predicting what you'll like and won't like? If your sense of yourself is that you've been able to do that, in different decision-making situations, without any direct sampling, then maybe you're the rare one who can predict their own satisfaction with a car ust by reading about them.
  • Volvo S60R will probably out slalom everyone of those cars listed and arguebly has a nicer interior - the special trim in the R model is often mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Aston Marton - the leather is beautiful. And the car is available with either a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic. When the V70R wagon was released in '04 it could out slalom the same model year Corvette.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    If you don't want to see the dealer except for routine maintenance, and you want a plush isolated ride, with AWD... then, I'd have to go with the RL or the GS300...

    Really, there are a lot of other cars that I would prefer, but given your stated preferences, I think those would be the best ones..

    I think the RL has a lot more power, though, if that is important to you..

    The big advantage? Both models are selling way below MSRP, right now...


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  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I'm being rude? You made the comment that Americans look stupid to the rest of the world for their car buying habits. Read the last sentence in your last post. Think that might be kind of rude as well? What I said was that if Germans did say what you said they did it makes them SOUND stupid. I'm quite sure that like any country (including America) there are brilliant Germans, stupid Germans and every level of intelligence in between. You also didn't say Audi had "arrived" you said the people that drive them had somehow "arrived" more so than drivers of MB and BMW which makes no sense whatsoever.I get it, you love Audi so it makes you feel better to bash its competing brands. If you feel comfortable generalizing the people that drive MB, Audi and BMW well, I would say that's arrogance and ignorance. As far as the A8 and A6 selling in Europe, all I can tell you is what I actually saw in Spain (the most recent country in Europe I visited). I saw no A8's, no A6's, some A4's and a whole lot of A3's. Many more A3's in fact than 1-Series BMW's by a huge margin. I wasn't saying that this somehow "lowered" Audi. The A3 is a good car. We were all just trying to figure out why overall sales figures for Audi was a lot closer to MB and BMW in Europe, but not here. If you can't contribute anything other than "it's because American's have no real taste in automobiles" I would suggest you refrain from commenting at all. Oh, and if you're thinking I'm somehow anti-Audi take a look a my profile. My wife owns the A6 Avant, and I actually convinced her to test drive it in the first place (she had 3 MB before it). I also almost traded in my 545i for the A6 as well at the time.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,860
    Ae you a two Audi car family? Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think the RL has a lot more power, though, if that is important to you..

    Not really. While it still has 290hp in 2006 SAE spec, the problem is torque is only 256ft.lbs, and in the usual Honda way, you dont see any of that until the engine is above 4,000 revs. From what I remember, the RL is not much if any faster than the GS300.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724

    GS300 AWD... 245hp, 230 ft/lbs torque.. 3759 lbs..

    RL.. 290hp, 256 ft/lbs torque... 4012 lbs..

    From Car and Driver..

    GS300 AWD.. 0-60 6.8 seconds..

    RL.. 0-60 6.3 seconds..

    That's all I'm saying...


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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You have to take brake-torquing into account on those numbers, though. Hard launching the RL is going to make up for a lot of its lack of torque at low revs. In the real world, the differences between the two are going to be much smaller. Edmunds own test results have the RL at 7.4 vs. 7.7 for the GS. Thats just not enough of a difference that the average person will notice.

    Combine that with the GS's longer warranty and vastly superior 1st year reliability, and I think the GS makes a lot more sense.
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    Luxury vehicle???? Maybe BMW HAS figured it out! When a manufacturer can sell it's entry level vehicle (3 series) at such a ridiculous price that buyers perceive it as "luxury", then they've done what they set out to do and "scammed" us again! I'll take a bit more room with my "luxury", thank you!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Perhaps a contrarian view:

    Get an MB (or Audi) product.

    Get it with both AWD and a diesel powerplant.

    As the warranty period nears term, if you actually plan to keep the car beyond the warranty (in miles or years) CPO the car.

    The MB diesels are quick, quiet, clean, efficient and generally reliable -- and the cars they inhabit are built like safes. Audi diesels, too, have excellent durability and reliability going for them and their cars are well made.

    The issue may be the price, but the lease may surprise you and the street price or TCO may (I said MAY) not be as bad as you have heard.

    Otherwise the discounted Acura RL or Lexus GS/AWD version certainly have the reputations for reliability that you have placed at number 1.

    Try, at least, the MB diesel just for kicks.


    Now, the above comments assume you can wait for the promised TDI (USA certified) AWD versions which have been announced or pre-announced as "coming soon."

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    No. A one Cayenne S, one A6 Avant family!
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