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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The AWD hit has been addressed in the M35x with a lower final drive ratio. The numbers you stated are probably reasonable for the "x" and trounce the GS300 and the Audi A6 3.2 -- "if I were in charge" I would have not allowed either of these two cars to come to market with over 7.0 second ET's to 60.

    I'm not in charge.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The A6 3.2 does better than the previous 3.0 doesnt it? I know it definitely spanks the A6 2.8. I dont think the 3.2 was really meant as a repacement for the 2.7T.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    Whatever the case, compared to the M35x, the 3.2 feels sluggish off the line.
    Even when you're up to speed, it's OK, but still noticeably slower than the M35x.

    I, like Mark, cannot believe that they CHOSE to put the 3.2 out there with a 0-60 time over 7 seconds...and depending on whose doing the testing, WAY over 7.

    I guess Audi figured if someone wanted more speed they would pony up the extra bucks for the 4.2, and the 3.2 would be just fine for the target demographic. I'm also guessing that Audi just didn't factor the M35(x), the upgraded 530(x)i, the upgraded E, or the new GS into the equation for the 3.2.

    What did they factor in? Audi brand loyalty?
    Mark....oh, wait, forget it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Its just that the base engine for the A6 has always been slow. The acceleration of the 2.8 was abysmal, and Audi let that run for a few years with no engine options at all. Going from three engine options to two is a little strange, particularly since the S-line 2.7T had significantly more power than the 3.2. The 280hp VR6 may fill the void, but it means it will cost significnatly more than the M35x.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    "The 280hp VR6 may fill the void, but it means it will cost significnatly more than the M35x."

    The Audi dealer I dealt with had said that the VR6 probably wouldn't be the upgraded six cylinder engine for the A6 because of it's east-west alignment in the Passat vs. Audi's north-south engine placement. He had said that something along the lines of a 3.6 liter V6 was in the works/on the way, and that it would be the new model's replacement for the 2.7T.

    I don't know if this is the case, as I am starting to learn that many car salesmen know very little about the cars they are selling, especially the new models.

    Whether it is to be the VR6 or a new 3.6 liter engine, I would say that your conclusion is right will have to be significantly more expensive than the M35x, as the current 3.2 is already priced a bit higher.

    I thought the idea of debuting what you're expecting to be your greatest answer to the 5 Series yet is to SURPASS it (and presumably it's competition) right out of the gate. It looks like they are going to have to play catch up, and quite frankly, 3rd fiddle to both the M35x and Lexus GS AWD. Performance wise, they really missed the mark with the 3.2, IMO.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Residual values from

    36 months (15,000 per year)

    2006 E350: 59%
    2006 M35: 59%
    2006 GS300: 54%
    2005 RL: 48%
    2005 A6 3.2: 47%
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Residual value is not the strong suit of the A6. The previous 4.2 in particular really tanked.
  • senneca01senneca01 Posts: 34
    It looks like got some serious backlash about their $50k Japanese car comparo. I think that it is well deserved. Check it out, some pretty funny stuff if you ask me...

    Were we really that far off in our comparison of the latest sport sedans from Japan?

    Well yeah, DUH! A five year-old kid could have done a better job... :P
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well they aren't the only one to put the M45 at the back of the pack. Automobile just did the same thing, with the GS430 being second to the A6 4.2.

    Lesson here: Drive them yourself.

    Honestly in any comparo I can see the M45 and GS430 swaping places back and forth, but the RL over either is ridiculous imo.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Automobile is probably my least favorite of the US auto rags. They've picked some outright garbage several times as "Automobiles of the year" in their history. They've even mentioned this fact themselves, and sort of implied "our bad". Notable entries are the '92 Seville, '93 Concorde\Intrepid\Vision, and '94 Dodge\Plymouth Neon. Some real idiots must've been in charge of the place during those years. They are definitely still 4th rate though.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I think all of them are guilty of picking some junkers at one time or another. Motor Trend is just as guilty. I like Automobile's writing and their stories more than anything else. Their comparos, especially when they do instrumented testing are very suspect. Look at the 0-60 times for this latest comparo for example. They don't show any scores or anything, just what place the cars wind up in. This last comparo really doesn't say much about anything to me, just a brief paragraph about each car and what they like/dislike.

    I still like them though based on their stories and writing, not their comparos. To me its always interesting to get a different perspective. They definitely have that.

    Have you noticed how MT has changed in their style and quality of writing? They have several editors that contribute from CAR magazine just like Automobile does. CAR is imo the best automotive publication you can buy concerning new car reviews. Their comparos are awesome.

  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371

    What was the exact order of the rankings in this comparo?


    Automobile rarely gives out test numbers or times, making their write-ups no more useful than a well informed poster's reviews on forums. They do concentrate a lot on car designs, more than other mags, and they have a clear bent for Euro designs, especially VW.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Suffice it to say the Audi A6 won and the Japanese did OK -- I can't remember the details. I have read now 4 of these comparos and this is the first one that the top finisher was NOT Japanese. So Audi is 1 out of 4.

    This does not mean I discard the Automobile review -- and I do like the writing of the magazine. The magazines that have a point system are, to me, somewhat more useful even if I totally disagree with the results, at least I understand in a semi-objective way how the scores were arrived at.

    The Automobile piece was more than a puff piece, however. But I didn't get the sense of what the objective reasons were. And, to a certain extent that is OK -- most of us do not buy the statistically superior car or TV or blender or bottle of wine. We buy what "WE" like -- and what we like is heavily influenced by lots of factors, ONE of these MAY be the test reports. I am surprised how many folks buy a car only to find out by reading a newspaper review of their car, 4 months later, about some issue that according to the article "everybody knows about." My office manager/administrative assistant was certain she was going to get a two year old Saturn. I showed her an ad in the newspaper about the lease on a brand new one and it hit her that she will pay less for a new Saturn (and have some piece of mind about unexpected expenses) on a 24 month lease than she would pay in car payments to buy a used Saturn and have "some" repair and/or maintenance risks with the 2 year old that she won't have with the new one (and the new one is $179 per month!)

    I ask her why Saturn? Not to move her thinking to a BMW or Infiniti or Jaguar or Chrysler -- but to get her to explore the universe of cars that she might be able to afford.

    She knew nothing, for instance about any Subarus, Mazda's or the Ford Focus -- all of which could be contenders for her hard earned montly payment.

    She has decided now on the Saturn and is even asking questions like: how far would you go from home to buy from a dealer if the price was significantly better?

    Now she is thinking.

    It seems most folks don't fully vet the situation -- test drives and analyses are too much work -- if you do them correctly. And take it from my wife and me, test drives are lots of work (but, they are usually fun, if you'll just take the time).
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    I must agree with you Lexusguy about automobile ragazine. The pic's are good and occasionally Jamie Kittman has a timely, interesting article but they are mainly shameful advertisement whores.

    This recent issue passed my unscientific 'Back Cover Test'. Whoever wins a major comparison usually bought the back cover. It certainly held true for the A6 sedan test as Audi indeed bought the comparison....I mean back cover. :)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Your point is duly noted, but I do think the articles are more than shills for the manufacturers. On the other hand, I found the article long on concepts and short on even the pretense of objectivity.

    But, the writing is entertaining.

    So I guess I will close with this Emotorcon: :confuse:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think to a certain extent brands like Buick, Saturn, etc depend on people NOT doing the work. If somebody actually drove to a Honda dealership, would they still even consider GM's "new" crappy minivans? Its not really working anymore, and the fact that even GMAC cant keep GM out of the red this year is proving that peddling mediocrity with glove boxes full of incentives just wont work these days. Competition in all segments is absolutely viscious, and there just isnt room for underperformers.

    One thing that I'm much more interested in than the fall of GM though is what Honda will do in the next few years. Honda's "slow and steady" approach is really starting to bite them. While Nissan has a few weak spots like the Quest, for the most part their portfolio is extremely strong, and they are successfully establishing the brand as a sort of polar opposite to Toyota. I'm very interested to see what Honda will come up with in order to survive.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    Did anyone have a chance to check out Road & Track's review of the 2005 A6 3.2?

    It gave the Audi overall high marks, with a few critiques, the harshest of which was for the new front grille.

    The thing that I found curious was the notably faster 0-60mph times they reported. According to R&T, they hit 60 in 7 seconds flat. I think that's faster than even Audi was putting out there (I think they say 7.1?)

    In any case, from my personal driving experience in the 3.2 (3 tests) I found it to be noticeably slower than the M35x and the 225hp 530i.

    But my question is; do you think that Audi gave R&T (and a few others) a car with a shorter ratio to boost it's acceleration?

    The 0-60 times are all over the place depending on who you reference....Edmunds reported 7.9sec to 60....any thoughts? Is Audi doctoring a few demos or does each mag have a different method?
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Edmunds always has the slowest times. I think that is because they don't brake torque (I'm not sure about this though). For example, the GS430 got 6.4s 0-60 and the RL got 7.6s, which are much slower than what the mags have gotten, although the M45 somehow managed to pull a 5.7s.
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    Road and Track does not correct for temperature and altitude like C&D and MT. So if it was a cool morning in the LA basin at 15 feet above sea level, then the Audi will perform at its peak. Road and Track just reports exactly what they measured and what temp and altitude it was at. If you look back for the temp and altitude that might explain the fast acceleration times.

    As for some of the others, Edmunds and especially CR don't seem to perform hard launches.
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    For example, the GS430 got 6.4s 0-60 and the RL got 7.6s, which are much slower than what the mags have gotten, although the M45 somehow managed to pull a 5.7s.

    These results are mostly explained by the differences in 0-60 times and 5-60 rolling start times in something like the C&D review. The M gets 5.6 in the rolling start versus 5.5 in the 0-60 for a 0.1 difference while the GS deteriorates by 0.4 and the RL by 0.5. This basically confirms that edmunds is not doing a hard launch and thus getting times more consistent with C&D's rolling 5-60 test.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I would suggest that Honda is doing quite well at the moment. Their lineup is impressive and getting stronger all the time...

    Civic is consistently in top 10 in sales, and is arguably better than Corolla, Sentra, and any domestic. Mazda3 gives them a run for the money. The new Si concept bodes well for future iterations. The RSX is based on the Civic, and styling enhancements to this model will help Acura. Sales are down, so a boost is needed for the RSX. But overall, Civic handily outsells its nearest competitors, without relying on fleet sales.

    Accord is also right behind Camry in sales. Remember that Honda doesn't sell to rental car or commercial fleets. Toyota sells thousands of Camrys to Hertz, Budget, Avis, etc. The TL and TSX are also selling relatively well and are still early in their life cycles. The Accord is arguably the #1 selling car to regular folks like us.

    CR-V/Pilot/Odyssey are all doing well. They spawn the MDX and upcoming RDX for Acura. With styling updates, both should do pretty well in yrs to come.

    The S2000 and NSX provide niche/halo benefits to both brands. But admittedly, both need to be freshened since they're on the stale side now.

    The Element is of questionable success, but this model can still ride the wave of the xB and upcoming Scion-fighters from Nissan. There's a lot to work with there, especially since the Element has not yet appealed to its target market (ie: youth).

    RL sales are up 190% over the previous model, but the prior RL was a dog. If they can get close to annual projections, the RL nameplate has a chance to rise from the ashes. A larger flagship (with a V8?) is still possible in the next 2-4 yrs to sit above the RL. But overall the RL is an excellent car that is in a niche of its own.

    The Ridgeline opens another door that will take 2-4 years to fully exploit, but modest success today will allow new opportunities in the light truck arena.

    Honda also sells engines to GM, and they have opened several new factories in the past 5 yrs. Their reliability, engine technology, styling, engineering, and attention to "basics" are right there at the top. They have yet to really appeal to the European or Chinese markets, and have much opportunity there. More and more East Indians are buying Honda (and Toyota) today.

    To "survive" (your words), I would suggest that Honda needs another sporty car to fill the small void left by the Prelude, keep pushing styling and power enhancements to the Accord, update the Civic, and consider a true flagship on the Acura end. In other words, keep executing the basics on top of what they have. As the last remaining independent brand without overt alliances, I suggest that Honda is doing quite well right now.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    But, what does any of this have to do with the subject at hand?

    No one (with any sense) questions Honda's ability to produce useful & durable vehicles for the masses. My kid (a documented cheapskate) drives one, as does his significant other. My hope is that he aspires to something better.

    The topic here is "Luxury Performance Sedans." I'll be interested in hearing from anyone who doesn't think Honda is having their [non-permissible content removed] handed to them in this segment these days, primarily by Nissan. Toyota too, for that matter.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Thats just the thing, Honda isnt doing all that well. They lost their #2 spot in terms of size to Nissan quite awhile ago, and sales of both Civic and Accord continue to slide. The Civic is due for replacement so I guess thats ok, but the Accord never really caught on since its '03 redesign. Honda also depends WAY too much on the success of these two models to keep the lights on. I'm not saying Honda is going to go out of business or get bought out. They didnt get to where they are by being stupid, which is what I really was implying with my post. I'm very interested to see the steps that Honda takes to try and steal some of Nissan's thunder. If Accord keeps falling and Altima keeps rising, eventually the #2 Japanese sedan will be a Nissan.

    As for Acura, if they get the RDX right, that could really be a hit for them. The TSX could be stellar, but it needs a lot more power. The MDX is due for a redesign. The NSX should've been redesigned or killed about 8 years ago. Acura needs to do something with that car, before it becomes the next Lotus Esprit.
  • mg808mg808 Posts: 22
    Nissan/Infiniti has stolen some of the thunder from Honda/Acura over the last few years. In addition, Toyota has done the same. The real question is how will Honda/Acura react. As mentioned, if the RDX is a hit like the TL/MDX, then Acura gets a huge boost. The RL is a great car but lost its "flagship" class appeal when its being compared to the GS/E Class/5 Series mid-size vs. the LS/S Class/7 Series. Acura needs a true flagship and I would suggest using one of their small-block V10's from their BAR HONDA Formula 1 effort. That way, the V8 question is out the window and Acura sets a new standard. How cool would it be if the Acura Legend reappears as the "reborn" flagship sporting a long wheelbase, 3.5L V10 with 450+ HP, SH-AWD, FULL LOADED for $70,000. They would need to build 50,000+ annually to keep up with demand. That supercar would smoke the competition, like the first generation Acura Legend. I hope the Acura Marketing Reps read these boards...we need the Legend back....and forget the V8, get the V10.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Lexusguy---where are you getting your facts regarding Honda sales doing so poorly?

    The Honda Division posted its second best March and fifth best month ever with sales of 109,949 cars and light trucks, an increase of 7.4 percent over year-ago results. This month marks only the second time in Honda Division history that the 100,000 sales barrier has been broken in March. Accord sales of 33,075 rose 2.4 percent, helping the division post sales of 59,198 passenger cars, up slightly from the previous March on a unit basis. Driven by record sales of the all-new Odyssey and Pilot, the Honda Division reported its second best March of light truck sales, up 22.9 percent to 50,751 units. The Civic Hybrid marked its third best month with sales of 2,896 units, while the Accord Hybrid posted sales of 1,862 units, its largest sales month since its December 2004 introduction. The all-new 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck also had a strong showing in its first full month on the market with sales of 3,875 units.

    The Acura Division posted best ever March sales of 18,599 and its 17th consecutive record-setting month of sales. Acura posted a new March record with sales rising 3.6 percent to 18,599 cars and light trucks, including a record month for Acura cars of 13,586 units. The new RL luxury performance sedan generated sales of 1,376 units with an increase of 193.8 percent over last year's results. The TSX sports sedan marked its fourth consecutive month of record sales with 3,107, an increase of 35.6 percent. Acura year-to-date sales of 48,414 have risen 7.7 percent versus a year ago.

    I'm not suggesting that Honda is hitting homeruns, but rumors of it getting it's derrier kicked are way exaggerated IMO.

    We did digress. Back to the topic of luxury performance sedans....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    They put the A6 4.2 over as the top car followed by the GS430 and then the E500. After that it is less clear since they didn't actually number them 1, 2 etc.

    I like their writing style and their attention to design like you stated, but their test numbers are suspect. Without the article in front of me they showed the E500 being like a whole second quicker to 60mph than the A6 or the GS430. Somewhat hard to believe even with a 7-speed transmission. Then again in the Road and Track comparo the S500 had the next to weakest engine but was faster than even the much more powerful 745i and A8, because of low weight and that 7-speed gearbox.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As much as I like the Acura Legend back in the day it hardly smoked the competition. I remember a comparo in C&D back in 1986 in which the equally new Mercedes 300E beat the Legend quite easily.

    Acura will never do a V8 so they'll more than likely remain an entry level luxury player. Automobile called the RL an entry level luxury type car, not on par with the GS, E, 5-Series and the rest of the mid-luxury class.

  • mikarmikar Posts: 6
    Driving by the local Cadillac dealership and noticed a CTS-V on the lot so I swung in to check it out. A salesman came out and offered a test drive. He couldn't come with me (darn!) so I was on my own in a 400hp 6 speed rocket.

    Fired up the engine and there was a wonderful rumble that gave me goose bumps but there it was - a foot-operated parking brake! To make matters worse, the brake release handle was inches from the hood release and the two looked very similar. The whole set-up screamed "designed by bean counters". The first hill start I attempted (you guessed it), I popped the hood.

    The car was face-bending fast in any gear and quite well balanced but compromises in design and engineering were way too evident. To me, this car encapsulates one of the primary issues with the domestics in general and GM in particular. They seem to have lost touch with their market. They're trying to compete with products that were designed by engineers and are offering products that have been compromised in the interests of corporate expediency. They hope (I assume) that no-one will notice. Well guys, the marketplace has become far more sophisticated and it notices. After the test drive, my 530 felt like a finely crafted scalpel compared to the kitchen knife Caddy.

    What a pity.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The M45 is top dog in the May 05' issue of Car & Driver. They compared 8 sports-luxury sedans around $55K.
  • gandhim3gandhim3 Posts: 191
    May be this report on Autoweek will change your mind about Honda current situation.
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