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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • skarieskarie Posts: 78
    Infiniti Readies Direct Injection for M37 and G37

    The windblown puddle of mercury known as the Infiniti Essence concept car shown at this year's Geneva show tells volumes about where Nissan's luxury division is headed both stylistically and technically. The twin-turbo 3.7-liter direct injection V-6 in the Essence will debut, sans turbos, in the redesigned M sedan due in early 2010, making about 340–350 hp. The complex direct-injection technology, in which fuel is injected directly into the cylinder rather than in the intake ports as is more common, most likely will also make its way into the G37 coupe and sedan as mid-cycle upgrades before the cars are completely redesigned in about three years. Besides making more power, gasoline direct-injection technology is also needed to meet tightening emissions and fuel-economy regulations around the world

    link title
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    As an Audi fan -- maven really -- I have posted (favorably) about my now gone 2005 A6 3.2 many times. I am now driving an '09 A4 2.0T Prestige edition and it is a step up from the '05 A6. The torque of this 4 cylinder, coupled with the improvement in F/R balance and also the rear biased quattro system make this even more of a blast to drive than the outgoing A6.

    Now, however, comes the new A6 3.0T.

    The previous generation A6 3.2, a great car, was, in this league, more than a little bit of an under-achiever with respect to the "urge" it had to get going. I came to realize, however, that even with the 3.2, I was seldom in fear due to the more relaxed acceleration it offered compared to others in this league.

    Now, however, comes the new A6 3.0T.

    I thought the A6 4.2 was quick and fast (and thirsty) and with its even heavier front end, a bit of a porker on the twisties. It needed the sport package -- which at that time was really stiff, some said, too stiff.

    Now, however. . .

    What is the need for the V8 when the supercharged V6 feels and SOUNDS this good? Damn, and I was just to the point where my 2.0T A4 with its 258 pound feet of torque from sub-2,000 rpms was making me forget how much I like the sound of the 3.2 V6 at full cry in my A6.

    And, that torque (in the 2.0T) comes without any discernable lag and is, at idle, absolutely vibration free (hello, is this thing on).

    Now, however. . .

    Listen, I don't know if you have some predisposition AGAINST Audi, but, even if you do -- take one of the new A6 3.0T's out for a long test drive (and, boy wouldn't it be nice if it had at least ONE tire/wheel upgrade offered on your tester?)

    As usual you will notice the fit and finish, again at the top of the class. You will also notice the most "intuitive" controls of the class. You will notice the solid feel (handling, that is) both at speed and especially through the most challenging secondary roads you can find -- and, most of all, you will notice effortless and immediate torque without anything that could even make you, for a moment, think this was anything less than a V8.

    Audi, finally, has brought its "A" game to the LPS crowd.

    Oh, BTW, my 29th Audi (or so) lets me "testify," that Audi has "no" reliability issues. These things just keep getting better and better.

    This one, if you are looking in this class, ought to be a contender for "lead dog" status.

    And, if you want something a little less costly, a $49,650 fully loaded A4 2.0T prestige will almost make you not miss its sibling, A6.

    BTW, I also drove the Q5 -- it is also of very high merit.

    Drive it like you live. :shades:
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Good advice. I recently aquired an 06 CPO Jaguar S-Type VDP with Nav for about 40% of its original sticker. I really wanted it for what it is - a muscle car dressed up in a tuxedo.

    OldCEM :D
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Listen, I don't know if you have some predisposition AGAINST Audi, but, even if you do -- take one of the new A6 3.0T's out for a long test drive (and, boy wouldn't it be nice if it had at least ONE tire/wheel upgrade offered on your tester?)

    Hey Mark, good to hear from you. Just as the old 2.7T made the 4.2 V8 irrelevant in the C5 A6 (especially in 265hp S-line guise), the new 3.0T makes the 4.2 equally as pointless. It's a brilliant engine, in my opinion on equal footing with BMW's twin turbo. I also like that Audi no longer punishes you for opting for the V6. For example, you can now get a proper power tilt/telescope steering wheel on the 3.0T.

    What seems strange to me though is Audi's handling of the sport option on the A6 refresh. Pretty much every car in the Audi lineup now offers an S-line package, but they killed the A6 S-line for '09. The 19" sport package is only available on the 3.0T, but you wouldn't know it by using the car builder. It's buried under the "packages" menu under features & specs. It's like they are trying to hide it.

    The other negative about the '09 A6 is that they either couldn't or didn't want to upgrade to their latest MMI/NAV system, so it's stuck with the old one presumably until the C7 car debuts. If Infiniti could upgrade the M's NAV system and add a hard drive for the M's mild '08 refresh, why couldn't Audi do the same? It just seems odd that the Q5 has the best electronics in the company's lineup.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I would rather have the Q5's MMI than the current new A6's -- but I have test driven the Q5 and own an A4 and as you know the outgoing A6.

    To repeat, I would rather have the new MMI -- but the differences, besides the hard drive, are, to my way of thinking mostly cosmetic. Given a choice, I'd take the new one, but would not reject the A6 for lack of it.

    The Infiniti M did (and does) have a great navi and voice system -- as does Acura and I assume Lexus.

    The Germans seem to be fine with staying one to two iterations back.

    My old and now my new navi have been fine and the new one has a much improved map, albeit on an old fashioned DVD.

    Love the MMI's new graphics tho, but REALLY love the supercharged motivator.

    Woo Woo! :shades:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    To repeat, I would rather have the new MMI -- but the differences, besides the hard drive, are, to my way of thinking mostly cosmetic. Given a choice, I'd take the new one, but would not reject the A6 for lack of it.

    I agree, the A6 is still one of my favorite cars, and now it finally has the motor it deserves. It's just one of those "would be nice" things. The upside is I don't feel like my pre-refresh S6 is dated. The C7 S6 should really be something special.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    That's funny that you mention the Acura Vigor. That brings back memories. I owned a 1992 Acura Vigor GS for about a year and hated every minute of it. Torque steer and never ending reliability problems. That Acura is the reason that I switched to German cars and never looked back. So I suppose I should thank Acura for making that miserable piece of junk.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    "1 more thing, 50% value of all European cars disappear within 2 years."

    You should research that statement a little better. BMW has been at or near the top of the charts for resale value in its class for several years. A three year old BMW is still fun to drive. A 3 year old Lexus is just an aging Toyota.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Direct injection and twin turbo engines? Infiniti is only 3 years behind German engines.

    Well, behind BMW and Audi, at least. Even the US spec 2010 E-class wont have DI, because apparently M-B can't figure out how to get it to work on just 93 octane. Mercedes engines are decidedly less cutting edge than their rivals. Not too long ago they were still using 3-valves.
  • weno2weno2 Posts: 38
    I had a new 92 Vigor GS and had it for 12 years (t-boned in an accident), and had 190K when totaled. Bought it, instead of a BMW 3 Series. Vigor was reliable, but I DID which I would've bought the BMW. Now driving my 3rd Acura, 05 TSX (bought an Integra when first came out- 1986). That being said, I have no urge to buy a RL or TL.. Currently looking at either a 04 Mercedes S Class, BMW 535 i-Drive, Lexus L460, or a Mercedes E350.
  • I bought my 1992 Vigor GS the first weekend they were available back in 1991. I had that car for 16 years, over 165k miles until it too was lost in an accident. The Vigor is my favorite car that I have owned, at least partly for sentimental reasons (my first new car). It was really great for me. I believe I spent less on maintenance for the Vigor in its entire lifespan than I have in the 5 years I have owned my 1999 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro. It is not that the Audi has ever broken down, it is just that every bit of scheduled maintenance is so expensive.
  • bruinleebruinlee Posts: 3
    I just purchased '07 Acura RL with 15k miles on it for 31k. The car is immaculate condition and my other choice was BMW 530i. But the luxury items in the car made my wife to pick the RL over 530i. As I read the manual after I brought the car home, there are much more items that only the truly luxury car could offer :) . Very happy with the purchase and will enjoy this car for a while :blush:
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,449
    Sounds like you got a great deal. I have never understood why the RL does not sell better. My 02 RL was arguably the best car I have owned and I actually like the styling of the newer ones. Happy motoring.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    I'm driving your car's little brother (TSX) & have about 16K trouble-free miles on it so far. Bought it new a year ago with a manual trans & no nav, so I'm on the other end of the scale as far as bells & whistles are concerned; everything on the car works perfectly though, & I expect that to continue for a long time.

    Enjoy the RL -- sounds like you got an excellent deal.
  • jensadjensad Posts: 388
    I purchased an 08 RL with tech over one year ago. The vehicle has performed excellently compared to my trade-in rx330. Indeed I have all the power I need/want, luxury, excellent radio/cd players, and excellent service.

    The Lexus service was C +. Compared to my Lexus dealer down the road, Acura service has treated me very very well, i.e A +.

    I intend to drive my RL for at least to 150k as I did my 95 Accord. Oh, I almost forgot, the rx330 BEST milleage on freeway at 70 mph was 22.7 m/gal, while my RL at 75-80 mph after 20k miles, I average 28-30 m/gal.

    Also, I do not work for either company.

    Good luck to all and stay safe.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I have never understood why the RL does not sell better.

    Potential buyers went across the street to try the Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Mercedes, or even Audi, and never came back.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,449
    Lol !

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    "I have never understood why the RL does not sell better.

    Potential buyers went across the street to try the Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Mercedes, or even Audi, and never came back. "

    That is exactly what I did - was interested in the RL and went for a test drive. Want to bring wife to look at it before make the decision. Before we can get to that stage, I looked at the M45 and changed my mind and never looked back.

    The RL by itself is an OK package, but, when there are better options, the customer goes for it - especially in this luxury car market, the $5-10K cost difference is not substantial.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    IMO, the RL did not offer enough in terms of style, space, content and performance over the prior version TL. At least not enough for the pricing delta...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,449
    I would agree with that. The RL is simply priced too high. I think it would compete quite nicely in the $35 to $40 K range, but I guess that would infringe on the TL.

    Like a lot of others, my solution was to buy a slightly used LS 430.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • jensadjensad Posts: 388
    I agree with you as to the TL vs. RL in pricing. I sent emails to all the dealers in my area, and stated what I wanted i.e. RL, with tech.

    The TL seemd smaller and it reminded me of the Lexus gs450 that I test drove two months before. Felt boxed in there too. The TL was not as much but the difference in what I was looking for got me to buy the RL.

    Got back four similar offers, range from $ 42k to 44k plus tax. So I think if one pays retail price for the RL is is way over priced. I looked at a other vehicles at similar price and I told the Acura dealer what I would pay, i.e. 42000 and they bought it. Also got the extra stuff they make $$ on like wax, underseal ect. thrown in.

    I hope this helps. Good luck to all and stay safe.

  • carolinabobcarolinabob Posts: 576
    Last April I was offered a fully loaded RL for $11,000 off MSRP, but just couldn't see it. Nice car, but too small and way too expensive compared to other cars in same class. The new TL is much better. The "new" Acura front ends do not help though.
    Consumer Reports used to rank TL and RL at the top of their categories, but no longer. See April issue. TL may be good with a few bugs worked out and new front end, but RL needs a complete new design and mission statement.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I always like Acuras and test drove RL and TL before make decision on my new car. I ended up getting a grate deal on 535i. And I got to tell you, driving wise it is day and night, BMW feels like it's on rails while having comfortable ride. Also, I feel that material are better quality as well. I could not believe the difference between RL and 535. One thing I not fan of is iDrive, but I'm getting use to it.

    What a blast to drive.
  • mobiusf1mobiusf1 Posts: 15
    Midsize Luxury Sports Sedans:

    Great choice, the 535i is a fantastic car, definitely my favorite car in the segment. I picked up a 535xi last summer. After driving all the cars in the segment (except the Jag XF, but I'm not really a Jag fan) I easily picked the 535xi which I was fairly confident I was going to pick when I started.

    The M35x, although the 2nd best performer I drove (really enjoyed driving it), is still slightly behind the 535 in terms of performance, the build quality was also lacking on the inside, in addition to a lack of split folding rear seats (kinda important to me, gives a huge increase in practicality), and not so great gas mileage. Nice, but it needs a bit more personality and a sexier exterior design.

    A6 has a sleek and modern look, still has a nice interior (except for strange omission of auto steering wheel adjustment unless they changed that) and costs a bit less than the 535xi (only the A6 V6 version); but definitely exhibited more body roll in the corners than the 535xi and weaker overall performance with dull steering.

    The 535's engine is simply awesome, its a twin-turbo inline 6, with stronger performance than Audi's V8, and better fuel economy. And the cost advantage for the Audi only comes with the A6's V6 engine.

    The RL was a definite no-go; for about the same price as a Infiniti M35x, the M35x's performance is better, in addition to being more spacious. And compared to the 535xi it was quite a bit behind. At least it has a price advantage.

    MB E Class, forget about it, a joke, and it costs more than the 535, at least the Lexus has a price argument. Lexus GS350, sorry, no way. Its steering is numb compared to the 535xi, noticeably more body roll in the corners, and headroom seemed to be an issue. I don't really need to go into any more about it because for me if the performance is not there than the other stuff doesn't matter. For others though, this may not matter as much. Lexus and Mercedes Benz don't make cars that fit my idea of enjoyable driving. The 535 is a true sports sedan and I certainly can't say that about the GS350. The iDrive, while it could be a bit more intuitive, is not that bad, and is not a deal breaker by any stretch. In fact I don't mind it at all. And no, the cup holders were not even a consideration, haha.

    This is an honest opinion, no bias, if Lexus made a GS model like their own IS-F against the 535xi, then it would far more difficult.

    Although the 535 has sharp handling, excellent road feel, fantastic engine performance and efficiency, I must also mention that the ride quality is excellent.

    Here's how I would rate the top 3:
    1st. BMW 535i (xi) (what can I say? I'll sum it up with this; Edmunds Inside Line went as far as saying the "nearly perfect sedan", and I can 2nd that)

    2nd. Infiniti M35 (drives better than the A6 in my opinion with more communicative steering, but the engine is a bit unrefined and thus can be annoying loud, not Porsche loud, which is a good loud, and also doesn't do great on gas b/c of this, and isn't as sexy and its interior is not as nice as the A6. But the fact is the M35 performs better than the A6. Which car you like is better may depend on which brand you like and which aspects of a car are most important to you)

    3rd. Audi A6 3.0 TFSI (better looking than the M35 and has better interior build quality, and also has split folding rear seats, imp for some, me included. New engine is also more refined than the Infiniti. Handling is not quite as good as the M35 but hopefully Audi will add an S-line pk, and with it, cornering will improve.)

    4th. Acura RL; Decent job w/ the exterior redesign (still too much going on though) but it still lags behind the M35 in performance, for the same price (msrp at least)

    I could go into even more details but here it is summed up in 1 simple sentence. If you want to drive, get the BMW...and I love to drive.
  • addamsaddams Posts: 74
    I've heard that the noise inside can get loud in the M35. That's to bad for that car.
    Also something else, the BMW and M35 are RWD. That also sets them apart from the Audi and TL.
  • vavavavolvovavavavolvo Posts: 110
    If there is a chance you might be unfortunate enough to be T-boned in a side impact I would strongly re-think a list where you rate the new 5 series above the RL.
  • mobiusf1mobiusf1 Posts: 15
    I definitely understand that concern but I knew that coming in. Definitely see how that could change someone's opinion on what they're going to pick up. Don't know how the M35x does though. I still rate the 535i (xi) as the best car in the segment. Drive the 535 and the RL back to back and you'll see the difference. I see where you're coming from though and how that could effect someone's opinion.
  • mobiusf1mobiusf1 Posts: 15
    Yea, it can get loud, not a good loud like a Porsche or Ferrari loud, but an annoying loud. Still a great car though.

    On your other point; the M35 and 535i have AWD models as well, the M35x and the 535i xDrive.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Great choice, the 535i is a fantastic car, definitely my favorite car in the segment.

    Very good write up on the various current mid-sizers. I agree with almost all of your points, but I've never been a fan of the current 5. I really liked the old 540i Sport and the old M5, but the current 5 just leaves me cold.

    Curious, were the A6 models you tested equipped with the sport/S-line package? The standard suspension setup on the A6 has always been a bit dull, but it's much better with the sport suspension. Prior to '09, neither A6 engine choice was great. The 3.2 was underpowered, and the 4.2's weight over the nose dulled the responses and still wasn't amazingly quick.

    The S-line package is gone, but the 3.0T offers a 19" Sport package which makes it more competitive with the M35 and 5 series. You can also finally get a power tilt/telescope steering wheel if you opt for the Prestige version.

    The next generation 5 series will face stiff competition from the upcoming M37, which will have as much as 350hp, a much nicer interior, and hopefully improved NVAH. Audi's next gen A6 will move to their new modular platform, and will offer much better balance, and a sportier feel with Audi Drive Select.

    Lexus, Mercedes, and Acura seem to offer little threat at this point.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If there is a chance you might be unfortunate enough to be T-boned in a side impact I would strongly re-think a list where you rate the new 5 series above the RL.

    The current 5 did reasonably well in EuroNCAP's side impact test. It's not the best car in the segment for safety, but it's not what I would call an unsafe car.

    Also, the 5 can easily out handle and perhaps more importantly, out brake the RL. Honda brakes are almost universally bad. So the 5 is more likely to avoid accidents in the first place.
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