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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Maybe if Mark Cincy buys one we will see some owner representation in this forum. And if that happens we can expect a full 2 pages for his first post. :-) Happy Easter.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yes, that would be quite a day if Mark got Japanese.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    M35 39 months 12K per year $499 -- $1,000 down (lease).

    STS AWD all possible options $56K -- don't know if there are any lease terms that would get your attention.

    BWW's -- 3's X's and 5's -- all with low low low lease numbers (but with 10,000 miles per year, so I find them suspect.)

    Audis -- A6's beginning with a $5 -- but at 11,000? miles per year, 36 months, also suspect.

    Prices, all prices apparently starting to soften.

    Ya know what? The "M" still looks like it has to remain in my top three: #1 M, #2 Audi or #2 possibly the new 3 from BMW and #3 the new A or S 4 or an A6 3.2.

    Yep #1 is still the M -- and my wife is putting as much F.U.D. (fear uncertainty and doubt) as her years of lawyering permits.

    The customers at the Infiniti store are the best disincentive to go that direction. Moreover, the great reviews but the apparent few number of new owners is a red flag.

    The Audi and BMW crowd has driving passion in their favor -- the Acura, Infiniti and Lexus crowd seems so interested in reliability it is starting to wear me down.

    Are there passionate DRIVERS in this latter group? How many of us have been to the factory in Japan? I know, personally, dozens of people who have taken the time and money to make the pilgramige to Germany to see their Audis, BMW's, Mercedes, Porsches and even VW's being made (and some who have taken the option for European delivery).

    Sometimes, just sometimes, I get the sense that the Japanese versions of the BMW 5 or Audi 6 are "clones" -- is this sense justified? How many within the sound of my typing have been to the factory? How many have been to the driving schools sponsored by the factory?

    The European passion for cars is there of that I am certain -- I don't know if such passion is there in Japan.

    As I am typing this the commercial for the new GS AWD (on snow) is being broadcast (wifi is great) -- and it has all the bases covered. I have just never know anyone who is passionate about the "driving" of one of these cars.

    Can someone talk about one of these cars without invoking the reliability argument? For the sake of "discussion" assume the #1 reason to buy is the joy of driving, not just the joy of ownership (not that that is of no consequence).

    Ply me with tales of this joy not merely the cost of ownership, frequency of repair etc.
  • bw45sportbw45sport Posts: 151

    You've driven the car many times yourself. Do you really need others to convince you of the pleasures of driving this car?

    Tomorrow will mark the second week since delivery of my M45 Sport. I find myself unfortunately putting off more pressing tasks to take the time to go out and just drive the car. The speed, handling, and relative ease with which this car does things makes it a joy to have in my hands.

    Even if the driving wasn't joyful I'd likely be in the car to immerse myself in the wonderful surround system. Switch from FM to a CD or satellite and you marvel at the sound. Then have the audacity to plug in a DVD-audio and you won't want to leave.

    Other manufacturers have some of the features included in this car but I doubt you'll find others that work as flawlessly. Voice recognition? Nearly flawless...except for the fact that it has trouble with Omaha, my home city. Bluetooth? Worked perfectly first time. User interfaces? You'd likely be able to use them without ever opening the manual.

    While these are not really driving features you'll certainly find yourself enjoying them whether using the car for the fun of driving or for the mundane tasks of heading to the office of picking up groceries.

    I sense that you feel you will be shorted by turning away from German manufacturers to a Japanese brand. Your test drives, however, should have convinced you that you will find joy in driving this car. I too was a German only driver and I haven't had one sad moment since making the switch to a G35 Coupe two years ago and now an M45 Sport.

    Pardon the reference to reliability, but I'll gladly turn my back on Benz and BMW until they resolve their problems. Audi, on the other hand, appears to have quality issues under control, but I personally don't believe the A6 to be the car the M45 is. I know that I certainly will not pay more to drive one.

    Teutonic withdrawal may seem difficult at first but I promise that you'll get over it. Others may rightfully disagree, but Infiniti need not take a back seat to anyone when it comes to the new M. It's that good!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Well said and appreciated!
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I wonder if that is any more difficult than giving up alcohol, tobacco, or dependency on pain killers. I suspect NOT. Especially if one goes to a superior product and there is still a Bavarian product in the household to ease the pain. Black Listed you say? What's the worst that can happen?
  • pasgenerpasgener Posts: 33
    I am a new M35x owner, and I test-drove the 530, new A6 3.2, RL, Chrysler 300 hemi (just for fun), new GS300 and STS. I love the M35x, and to answer your question I am pretty passionate about it. I think its a terrific car, and does everything well: great value, nice looks, terrifically luxurious interior (I opted for the rosewood trim), fantastic power train, terrific grip and handling, quiet interior (not quite as tomb-quiet as a Lexus, but fine for my taste), terrific audio system (I have the Bose 5.1 14-speaker system), supremely comfortable seat, tremendous headroom, and gadgets galore.

    Everything about it just works the way it is supposed to without glitches: bluetooth, voice commands, Nav, ventilated heated and cooled seats, active cruise, lane-departure warning, reverse camera, DVD-A, DVD-video, active headlights, etc, etc.

    Beyond that are thoughtful touches like dual front and side sun-visors, the fact that you can customize each keyless entry system for specific seat, wheel, and mirror settings (don't need to press the memory button, it just does it automatically), MP3 and WMA CD support (with audio tag info, folders, and filenames), and power rear sunshade. While some might consider the push-button start a gimmick, it is a huge advantage. I never have to fiddle for my keys or cell phone: walk to car, enter, start, drive off, and car automatically handshakes with cell phone.

    Is the car a BMW or Audi clone? I don't think so -- it's a Japanese take on mid-size luxury. If you compare the M35, GS, and RL, they are more similar to each other than to the Audi/BMW. They have far more gadgetry than the German cars (for me a big attraction, but not for alll): for example bluetooth, push-button start, reverse cameras, active cruise, rear-seat DVD screen, etc. None are options on the German cars.

    No Japanese passion for cars? Of course there is -- it's just different! Where else do you get wacky (by North American standards) small cars with couches in the back, or cars that come standard with TV tuners and screens or complex hybrids, etc?

    No Japanese sponsored driving schools? Both Nissan and Infiniti sponsor week-end winter driving schools in my area.

    No Japanese factory tours? Nissan certainly offers them to show off their robotics and tight assembly tolerances, but Japan is substantially further away than Europe, and I have better things to do with my vacation! Japanese vehicle delivery is not an option because of right-hand drive.

    Passionate drivers? I think I am one. AWD drive was a great plus for me living in a snowy climate. Just having returned from a 2000km road-trip, I can say that the M drives beautifully. Terrific grip and throttle response with smooth shifts and confident brakes. The tranny has yaw and pitch sensors, so that it downshifts in tight curves and holds in 3rd or 4th so that the engine is in the "sweet-spot" for acceleration out of the corner. The manumatic is fast, and holds gears to the redline (none of the nannying shifting or not shifting of previous iterations), and the throttle blipping on downshifts is intoxicating. Grip is phenomenal with very little lean. Ride quality is excellent. This V6 approaches the smoothness of an inline-6 in smoothness, and has a terrific yowl as the RPM's climb. I test-drove an M45 and it has ridiculous pull -- but I wanted AWD.

    Quibbles? No coin storage spot. No parking card storage spot. Many Nav button commands are deactivated while in motion (but you can use voice commands to bypass this). The rear DVD screen blocks much of the rear-view mirror when down (a hack to allow the rear-camera to display while driving would be of great benefit in this situation!) Steering feel light.

    Does that answer your questions? Get the M -- you won't look back!
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    "The customers at the Infiniti store are the best disincentive to go that direction."

    So....what is stopping you from buying this car, exactly?

    "The Audi and BMW crowd has driving passion in their favor -- the Acura, Infiniti and Lexus crowd seems so interested in reliability it is starting to wear me down."

    Now that the Japanese (or at least Infiniti) has caught up in the "passion" department, I think you may see more and more "passionate" drivers crossing over from Audi and BMW, as soon as they can bring themselves to give up the prestige/snob factor that is inherent in owning a German automobile.

    The classic 'reliability vs. passion/performance' (japanese vs. german) argument is getting old in a hurry what with the G35 and M, and hopefully more to come.
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    The folding rear seat compromises body rigidity. Lower body rigidity affects both NVH (luxury) and handling (performance). The effect on handling is definitely the most prominent reason. For a performance sedan, they usually don't consider the reduction in handling to be worth the folding rear seat feature. They expect you will get a more versatile family sedan if you want the folding rear seat.

    Enjoy, cybersol
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    I don't think he meant "customers".. I think he meant "sales".

    Infiniti of Cincinnati has a reputation of being hard to bargain with...


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I have an appointment to drive the M35 and M45 Sport on Wednesday morning. Looking forward to it-especially the front seat leg-room. Real curious to see if M45 Sport steering is as good as my BMW's.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The reason the Japanese dont seem to have the same attention to driving as to quality is the after affects of selling bland, fuel efficient, reliable cars for almost 40 years in North America. Its not that Japanese performance cars dont exist, its that Japan decided we didnt want any. The best example of this is the Lancer Evo. Theirs is on version 9, where as number 8 was our first one.

    The WRX has also been around for a long time, and there are much more "race ready" versions than even our STi. (the 320hp WR1 for example, or the old legendary 22b). We've also never gotten the Legacy B4 Blitzen, which in 2002 had a 2.0L turbo 4 with "280"hp.

    The Nissan Skyline has been around since the '60s, but we got our first one in '03, and we still wont have a GT-R until '07 at the earliest. Nissan's super hot Stagea Autech RS260 wagon with 280hp (and remember all of these "280" numbers are probably a lot higher in reality) never made it to NA.

    Honda to this day denies us any of its "Type R" products. The 2000 Accord Euro R has 20 horses on our TSX, probably more now, and of course the Integra R is always more powerful and tighter tuned than any Acura "Type-S" will be. Honda's S series of coupes and convertibles has been around since the '63 Honda S500. It was of course quite awhile until we got one.

    The '67 Toyota 2000GT was good enough to make it into a James Bond movie (its also probably the only Toyota that has appreciated in value). More recent sporty Toyota's were the 200hp Celica TRD Sports M, the MR2 VM180 TRD, (there was also a very TVR looking Zagato version of this car).

    Japan is still a little apprehensive about sending us their sportiest cars (Honda is probably the worst at this) but thanks mostly to Subaru's gutsy move with the original WRX, they are learning that we WILL buy if they actually let us have them.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    I think he means the lack of customers at the Infiniti joint. To notice that no one else is buying a particular product can be somewhat of a put off.
  • cohenfivecohenfive Posts: 85
    i have owned 2 e39 540 6 speeds and now drive an e39 m5. if for some reason (other than my wife not liking the m5) i was to buy another car right now it would likely be an m45 sport. i test drove the car (well it was an m35) right after the intro and was very impressed. i wish there were more choices to take or leave certain of the gadgets but in general i was very impressed with the way the car handled and accelerated. the interior was also very well done in my opinion, at least from my brief visit to the dealer. i wonder if they ever thought about putting a stick into the mix as an option...
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    Based on one of mark's previous posts, I think he means the lack of enthusiasm on the part of both the Infiniti salespeople and customers at the dealership.

    He had contrasted this to the excitement and buzz he notices when he visits a BMW dealership.

    Hey PatHost, can we give markcincinatti his own forum? His cult-like following demands it. lol.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The WRX is fuel efficent?
  • bsc1bsc1 Posts: 32
    Hi- Thanks for the nice words about the M35x- I decided yesterday that this will be my new car. I also drove the A6,RL,GS300, and found this to be the tops. I'm just going to wait another month or two to maybe get a little better deal. Did you buy or lease?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    No, I meant that the Japanese built their reputations on quality and efficiency here with the Camry and Accord in the '70s, when detroit was still churning out whales. The WRX is one of the first examples of a Japanese car sold in NA where reliability and efficiency is NOT job 1.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    What did you think about the A6 (3.2 I assume)?

    I was really torn between the M35x and the A6, but the lack of acceleration in the A6 and Audi's history of poor reliability really took it out of consideration, especially when compared to the M.
    (The RL and GS are smallish and I don't care for their exterior styling.)

    What did it for you?
  • pasgenerpasgener Posts: 33
    I bought -- after having leased cars for a number of years I decided to stop "renting"! Before you ask, I paid (shudder) MSRP, but in all fairness I was able to walk-away from existing G35 lease with no penalty.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    These observations are skewed heavily toward M products only and the tone would steer me away rather than welcome me if I were an Audi owner for 30 years.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    Which observations?
  • g35coupe1g35coupe1 Posts: 25
    "I bought -- after having leased cars for a number of years I decided to stop "renting"! Before you ask, I paid (shudder) MSRP, but in all fairness I was able to walk-away from existing G35 lease with no penalty."

    Pasgener, I am thinking of getting the M and that would entail me getting out of my G35 coupe lease... I havent got an early term quote yet however. Did you get one? was it zero and you could walk away or did the dealer "help" you out of it for buying and new M? I have a pristine 2003 6MT with low miles so I am wondering(hoping) I can just walk away and into an M.

    I must say I think the G35 coupe has held its value as well as anything I have ever owned, doesnt count my Harley's, those appreciated :) I am very impressed with Infiniti and their pipeline of products over the last few years..especially the M.

    Any details you can offer up how you got out of your lease, I would greatly appreciate it..

    Thanks Doug.
  • pasgenerpasgener Posts: 33
    g35coupe1 -

    No, the dealer "helped" me by buying out the lease, and then selling the car themselves.

    If your coupe has low mileage and is in good condition, then I'm sure that you have some theoretical "equity" in it, as the street price will be substantially greater than your lease buyout.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    JJ..."These observations are skewed heavily toward M products only and the tone would steer me away rather than welcome me if I were an Audi owner for 30 years."

    Richcream...Which Observations?

    JJ....Your post #1384
  • g35coupe1g35coupe1 Posts: 25
    Thanks, your info much appreciated
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    MotorWeek had the M35x on tonight. They concluded that it was a better buy than the M45. Other than that not much to the review because Motorweek hardly every says anything bad about any car. Sort of like having Mr. Rogers do the test drive. The car looked impressive though. I like the non-sport models look.

  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Merc1, I agree, Motorweek praises virtually every car they "test." So it's worthless. Have you also noticed that their resident mechanic, on his weekly segment, is usually pushing some product or other? Stealth commercials! Compare the car guys on NPR.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah the all-knowing Pat Goss. He is quite knowledgeable though.

    I think out of all the automotive TV shows, Auto, Motor und Sport was the best. I say was become something with the German Soccer league has stopped production.

    This show used to show the cars that MW, MT and Car and Driver TV shows were months even years behind in testing. It was especially good for those of us who like European cars. The best drivers and stories and comparos you could even want to see on TV!

    Motorweek is an old show and it shows. Lots of dead weight and probably one or two comparos a year and the most lame commentary on TV, but oh well it the first automotive TV show I'd ever seen way back in high school so I keep watching. Wierd huh?

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think the most damning thing I've heard from MW is that stopping distances were "a tad longish". Even the review of the new GS that Lexus posted on their own website is more useful than a MW "review". My favorite Car focused TV show was the British 5th gear. Now THESE guys were not remotely afraid to tear apart a car if they didnt like it. While all of the American mags were gushing over the C6, 5th gear was the only one to bash the 19th century leaf spring suspension.
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