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Acura TL vs Infiniti G35 vs BMW 330xi

sidpaulsidpaul Posts: 17
edited March 2014 in Acura
hi all,
Have close to 35k in my kitty. Im either looking at the 06 Acura TL or the 4door Infiniti G35 or the 06 BMW 330xi.
which one would be the best choice?
main features im looking for
1.comfort and low road noise
2.great performing engine and handling

I'm from NY btw


  • Are you considering the G35x? That would probably be your best pick for the features you listed.

    The TL would be a fine choice, too.

    But, the BMW will thrill all your driving senses!! It wins handling hands down. But, it won't be the quietest because it is built for real driving and thus transmits road feel to you. I haven't driven the xi, but have driven both the 325i and 330i - hard. As Tony the Tiger would say, they're GREAT! The 3-Series doesn't have the most raw horsepower, but that doesn't really matter, because as a complete package it really is the Ultimate Driving Machine! :shades:

    Having said that - the BMW is in its first year of production and may have bugs to work out. The G35 has three years under its belt and TL has one and they are both known for good reliability. Personally, I'm getting the BMW, but I'm waiting for 2008.

  • Another car to consider, if you're looking for AWD handling, is the Audi A4 Quattro.

    I had the opportunity to do a comparo drive of the 330i Sport, the G35 Sport and the A4 Quattro. For handling the 330 won by a mile. The A4 was second. And the G35 was third. I was surprised how sloppy the G35 was in hard driving.

    There's been a lot of discussion about the winter handling of the 3-Series on the "BMW 3-Series 2006+" forum. The general consensus from those with experience seems to be that, as long as you drive for the conditions, the regular 330i should do fine with a good set of winter tires.

    more .02
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Won't let the NY thing count against ya. But if you're over say, 5'10" and 180 lbs, you may find the 3 series and the G35 smallish.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,062

    $35k will get you a G35 or TL with (almost?) all the toys. I don't think $35k is enough to cover the base msrp of the BMW, though.

    I have an '05 TL, great car. I chose it over the G35 for the following reasons, all imho of course:

    -Smoother, quieter ride
    -Superior external and interior style
    -Superior internal materials and layout
    -FWD (I know, I know. It's not a true driver's car/sports sedan without RWD blah, blah, blah. It still handles great for my driving) over the added cost/weight/complexity of AWD. I live in Boston, ski northern New England so performance in snow is a concern. I've always driven FWD and it's gotten me where I'm going.

    The bright side is, A4 included, all are great cars! You really have to drive 'em all and decide which one fulfills your needs/wants/desires and bank account best! Whichever you choose is the best! Let us know what you buy and why.

    Good Luck.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • I test drove the TL and 3 series. The TL has a refined interior, comfortable, high quality material, good handling/torque off the line. Exterior is another story . . . basically OK but to me does not look like a 30k+ sedan.

    Handling and performance of the BMW gets the edge however, the interior is disappointing. Their standard upholstery is vinyl. Vinyl in a 31-35K vehicle? If you are to take 15 minute trip when outside temperature is 90F . . . by the time you get out of the vehicle, your t-shirt, pants are soaking wet. What were they thinking? The leather is not much better. Looks like its from an elephant . . . very coarse and rough. The stitching is very crude. My god, the sound system stinks. Steering wheel looks cheap. Very basic console and dash.

    If comfort is at the top of your list . . . BMW is not the answer. Personally i am still undecided but I am certain that 3 series is not for me. BMW cut corners on the interior and to me thats unacceptable for a car in this price range.
  • We took a very good look at the TL, G and A4 (BMW was too high in price for the comparable options)
    A4- awd but 4cy to be fair keeping below $35K....nice interior but not fantastic exterior. Main problem was the engine noise. Reliability a question also.
    TL- very close 2nd, but did not like the int/ext paint combos and looked a little too much like an Accord. Great radio and would have the navi for under 35K
    G35x- unique exterior (parked next to a TL today and it just solidified our impression). Great AWD. We actually like the interior very much.
    One other thing which slanted us was watching the crash test videos (I think on Edmunds). The TL is so front heavy it goes way up in air on front collision whereas the G stayed fairly stable.
  • What happens in 2008?
  • kki000kki000 Posts: 17
    I test drove the 05 tl, 06 330i, 05 g35x, 06 is250awd.
    Best handling- bmw 330i, point and drive, just felt right. I havent driven a 330xi, but im assuming that model will be heavier, more expensive and will be less peppy due to the awd. Interior was nice, but a bit cold, wife didnt like it. When added with options that the acura and infiniti both come with, price was way way over, like 9 grand or in terms of straight lease price about 300 over the price of either [non-permissible content removed] cars. I really dont understand why most ppl and publications mention the bmw as being in the same class as these others, its really not. Its an awesome car but in a completely different price bracket, imho.

    Best interior, goes to the acura. I thought the lexus would, but the acura has the best navi, best bluetooth and overall better interior, imho. Felt torque steer, great pickup though.

    is250 was nice, but was underpowered and had zero rear legroom. Also very expensive.

    Audi, by the time you add the 3.2l engine and even any basic options, yer right there with the bimmer. Why bother.

    The infiniti i wound up with doesn't win any category i guess, but it was the best choice for me.

    1)It was the cheapest of the lot lease wise, cheaper than the acura even which dumdfounded me since that car lists for so much less than the g35x with no awd.
    2) awd, big plus. It really came down to the tl and g35x and i just couldnt pay more for a car with no awd. I take alot of ski trips so this was pretty important.

    In an ideal world i guess, if i didnt have to deal with snow and crap, id buy a 330i. The all wheel variant i feel would negate too much of the advantage that car has performance wise over the others.

    For the money, the g35x is really amazing. It handles as well or better than the tl, and fully loaded with navi and premium package, it still msrps for less than the base 330xi. When you compare the deals you can get on the nissan vs the bmw with any kind of option package, the rift becomes closer to 10 grand. For some the price would be worth it, and i was fully willing to pay for it, but the g35x was too good to pass up.
  • I have more money saved up and BMW has had time to work out the bugs in the new model. I'm gonna do European Delivery, so I wanna have a nice vacation, too. :D
  • jeffryjeffry Posts: 36
    All these are GREAT cars. I've driven all recently, tho I didn't wring the G35 out as it belonged to an elderly friend (sporty 85 y.o. dude w/ a new girlfriend-go pops!). I really, really wanted to like the 330i, I love the look. Even went back for a second very long drive over a variety of conditions. It is just too jiggly-you feel every little imperfection. Ugh! Fun to drive if you can play boy-racer regularly. I hit far more bumps on our deteriorating CA roads than great curves, tho it is fun as hell to drive (even the std suspension-all I tried). Then drove the 530i, std suspension. Now that would do it, driving wise. As others have said the sound system stinks, & the interior of both cars just looks & feels cheap!! And then, $54K for the 530 A? But w/ euro delivery & my $1K BMW club membersip refund, price is ok...

    The TL is a lot of car for the money, love that it comes loaded. The RL felt heavy/ponderous; leaned over in corners but, w/ the AWD help, it charged thru like a tiger. It just didn't inspire confidence doing so. The TL gets the nod. The G's interior falls a bit short. In this price range, for those needing AWD, its the choice.

    I loved driving the is350; its a beast power wise; quiet & sphistocated feeling, but not the glued to the road feel of the BMW. The is350 was still to harsh for me; all No. CA dealers have only the 18" wheels & sport; the 17" might have better fit the bill. But then there is the back seat, fine, even comfortable once in, for any one agile & under 50. Awesome 300w +/- sound system. Loved the A/C seats!! (gotta have em)

    I've mostly considered the M35 & will take delivery soon if the dealer can come up w/ promised unit. The smooth & very quiet GS 300 was compelling but just not much fun to drive or room. (both have my cooled seats!!) The M35 however, has great (almost BMW) handling, phenominal sound (did I say awesome!!-the premium Bose in the Tech. Pkg). The non sport ride is something, I think, I can live with, tho not as compliant as a 5 series. It is noisy at acceleration, you can really hear the engine whenever accelerating ('sporty', I guess they call it)...quiet at cruise. w/ 0-60 ~6.3, I can live w/o the V8, though the V6 only gets 18-25 mpg. The GS 300: 22-30mgp (as does the 280hp Avalon, that plump goose, regular gas too!! Forget it! s--- I'm not that old).

    The GS300 msrp $50K can be bought for $45 as can a loaded M35 msrp $48,500. A tough decision, I'll keep you posted.
  • bifbif Posts: 7
    CR loves the Acura TL. They gave the TL a 90 (highest rating in the category) and gave the infiniti g35 a 71 (still recomended).
  • Great post, Jeff. I'm an '04 TL driver and absolutely love that car. I know it's FWD, but it handles great, has good accelleration and a fantastic interior. Still, of the cars you mentioned, if the M35 came with a 6MT, that'd be the car I want. As a family-man, I need a mid-sized car, so the IS & 3-series would not be an option, and the 5-series is just too much to consider, after I load it up with the goodies I'd want.

    As an aside, the M35 has a great nav system - much bettter than the G35 (though Inifinity might upgrade the G in a year or so) and the only one that can compete with my TL - and has voice recognition software that works great. Only catch with the nav is you should make sure you can program it while driving. Otherwise, that lessens the usefulness significantly.
  • This is an excellent post... I agree. I, too was in the same dilemma 6 months ago b/w the TL, G35, and 330. For me, all three were excellent cars in different areas. What I did was take a long hard look at each car and decide what features I wanted more.

    TL-pros-Great interior, good exterior styling, best gas mileage, bluetooth, DVD audio, best navigation system , roomy, all under 33,000, good safety features
    cons-front wheel drive, torque steer, no folding back seat, no auto headlights, no rear camera, rumors about rattles

    330-pros-best handling, rwd, good exterior styling, brand name
    cons- expensive, poor reliability, small rear seat, not as many features, cheap interior

    G35-best performance, most horsepower, good handling, great value, good reliability, rwd or awd,

    cons-cheap interior, ugly exterior, not as many features, not as safe as the TL

    To me, after this analysis the 330 was definitely ruled out.. It was between the TL and G35. I found that the TL has more features that I could use and generally is a more practical car.. as for the better performance for G35.. I figure would not as important for me... since its not like would ever would race... So as you can see from my screen name... I went with the TL... absolutely love it.... have no regrets since...
  • podrespodres Posts: 58
    Good summary, except for the part about the GL having an ugly exterior. I am leaning towards the TL myself, but I find the exterior of the G35 to be very attractive. Totally subjective, of course, but probably a more mainstream view of that car.

    I also would have used the phrase "great value" to describe the TL, not the G35. The TL has som many neat toys that come with the base car that it defines "value".
  • I would add much more to your "TL cons" list and would subtract a few things from your "330 & G35 cons" list.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. :(
  • mead1mead1 Posts: 8
    kki000-Your experience was similar to mine. I was leaning toward the TL, with the MSRP being about $2,500 less than a G35 with similar features. But after pricing the lease payments with several dealers, the G35 (fully-loaded!) payment was almost $100/month less than the TL (the money factor and residual being much more favorable for the G35). The gap was closed to $50/month if I wanted to do a 42-month lease on the TL as opposed to a 36-month lease, but that was still significant enough for me to go with the G35 (plus a 42 month lease was a stretch for me, as I'm one of those that gets the itch for a new car after about 2 years). If the payments were equal it would have been a tough call--both cars drive great and have their pros and cons--but if you're in the market to lease as opposed to purchase, the numbers currently run decidedly in favor of the G35.
  • I tend to see a lot of TL's in the used section at my local Infiniti dealership. That could be construed several ways. Anyway, your point is interesting about the G35 holding its value better. This fact should also encourage ownership since one can command a higher price when it is time to sell.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    It's not the value, it's the money factor thats killing Acura leases. How they sell so many of TL's I will never know. If they would only have good lease programs, 10,000 TL's a month would not be a problem.
  • I too would like to put in my 2 cents. I had a chance to drive the Acura TL, G35X, 330xi Audi Quatro recently. I agree pretty much with all of the earlier comments. The winners overall are the G35 and 330 with the 330 having much better handling and the G35 a bit more power (and better value). The critical difference comes when you consider the all-wheel drive models. The G35X only comes in an automatic! At least for me that is a total deal breaker.
  • I tend to see a lot of TL's in the used section at my local Infiniti dealership

    Sept 05 sales
    G35 sedan 3479 units while TL 6228 units
    Oct '05 sales
    G35 sedan 2885 units while TL 6279 units (TL's sales actually went up but the G35 went down by 600 units) :surprise:

    Maybe they decided to sell acura instead :P $$$..profit
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,062
    "How they sell so many of TL's I will never know."

    Just a theory: Great car (style, performance, economy, quality,luxury...) and great value.

    BTW, IMHO if anybody thinks any of these cars are ugly, I don't agree. All are nice designs. With the TL being the 9, the G and BMW 8s. As is (too?) oft quoted, "Beauty is in the eye..." I mean, there is probably somebody out there who looked at the Aztek and thought, "Nice." Maybe.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • miata007miata007 Posts: 129
    I just can't stand those tail lights for the 3series.

  • Hmmm...
    Sept 05 sales
    G35 sedan 3479 units while TL 6228 units
    Oct '05 sales
    G35 sedan 2885 units while TL 6279 units (TL's sales actually went up but the G35 went down by 600 units)

    Maybe they decided to sell acura instead $$$..profit

    Family cars tend to out sell sports cars. Your figures confirm that...
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,062
    Yeah, the new 3 tail lights seriously make me think Infiniti G20. But overall, I think the new 3 is the best of the Bangled.

    Realty_pro, sports cars have two doors, two seats (and some would say ragtops). Sport sedans like the G, TL and 3...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • Family cars tend to out sell sports cars. Your figures confirm that..

    That's a silly comment to make, considering that the 2 cars are CLEARLY in the same class. :mad: A lot is made of the fact that the TL is FWD, and rightfully so, it does diminish the sportiness of the car (although it also increases its everyday value). IMO, too little is made of the fact that I'm sure the majority of so-called G35-owning "sports-enthusiasts" are drivign the car with automatic transmissions! That takes more "sport" out of the "sportscar" than FWD ever could!
  • Don't get mad at me. Read the new edition of Road & Track. When looking @ either the BMW 3 series or the Infiniti G35 in the magazine, it will have a side note to consider the other vehicle and other RWD sport sedans when in the market. When you read the summary of the TL, it will suggest looking at the Nissan Maxima and other FWD cars.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,062
    Not mad, my friend. Just pointing out that anybody can define/compare anything as they see fit. One could further classify sport sedans by RWD vs. FWD (as it appears Rod and Truck has done per your post). Or German vs. Japaneese, 4 cyl. vs. 6 cyl. etc... But the three fine cars here can all be clearly defined as sports sedans. Which is the best? Only you can decide...

    Went to the New England International Auto Show yesterday. Enjoyable as usual. I won a cool insulated gym bag from Hyundai, a neat water bottle from Suzuki and grabbed a mess of fancy key chains from Scion (Merry Xmas, family!). How come all the inexpensive brands give away the toys?

    Checking out these three sportsters confirmed my thoughts on G vs. TL in that the TL is the looker both inside and out. I like the new 3 (to me it really looks like the previous gen with a few cut lines added), but while the 325xi on the floor had all the requisite wood and leather, somehow the interior was cold with a very blunt appearance to the dash. That's Teutonic I guess. I prefer the organic flow of the TL. The new IS interior is very, very nice (as are all Lexus interiors) and, while the backseat is small, I set the driver's seat for my 5'10" frame and was able to sit with acceptable room in the rear seat behind. I wouldn't want to be there for an extended road trip, though.

    My TL is only 10 months old, but I want a new car! The auto show does that to me every year. Luckily my wallet insists the TL will be around for a while. :) or is it :(

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • Hey laurasdada, what is the name of that special wax that you mentioned a few months ago? Thanks...
  • My TL is only 10 months old, but I want a new car! The auto show does that to me every year. Luckily my wallet insists the TL will be around for a while. or is it

    Hehehe. Funny how that works, isn't it. :P I love my TSX, but I'm lookin', too.
This discussion has been closed.