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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    The problem is that they are HUGE generalizations. Also, you are talking Japanese as almost exclusivly Honda and Toyota. What about Subaru, Mazda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, and Suzuki? So far the only makes that seem to keep with that Japanese Culture are Toyota and Honda.

    And many American and European makes are now capable of having higher quality than more than 70% of Japanese cars. Doesn't help your generalization that much, does it?

    So where do the generalizations stop? They should stop with brands, and not nations.
  • kd6aw1kd6aw1 Posts: 116
    Have found out that with some of the more powerful cars like the G35 or Corvette the difference in performance from a practical standpoint isn't really an issue because these cars are faster than we can ever dream of driving without either killing ourselves or getting tickets all the time. I have an automatic G35 and love it. Being that it is an automatic I can enjoy my coffee, shave, talk on my cel phone and hug my wife while driving in rush hour traffic. If I feel the urge which I don't very often I can shift the manumatic and pretend it is a stick. When I get my Ferrari it will have the paddle shifting because I don't ever want another clutch! Just my opinion!

    Paul

    El Cajon, California
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    How does your theory explain English cars? A country steeped in tradition producing poor quality cars with little inovation? Look what a traditionalist country managed to do to the Acura Legend when they produced it as a Stirling. LOL

    ====================================

    Quote wishnhigh1: "What about Subaru, Mazda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, and Suzuki? So far the only makes that seem to keep with that Japanese Culture are Toyota and Honda."

    ====================================

    Those cars in general reflect the perfectionist attitude of 1pierce's post. With virtually no exception, the overall quality of Japanese brand cars, especially fit and finish, considerably excels the American brands. From what I have read, this is due to the attitude of Japanese management in not accepting mediocre craftsmanship. Not the abilities of the assembly line workers. You may have a point though, that some of the Japanese brands show as high a level of innovation as the American and German brands. After all, which country has used the Wankle rotary, and Miller cycle engines? And who introduced us to the VTEC engines etc?

    American management leans strongly to the bottom line and CEO bonuses, with refinement and polish falling by the wayside as a casuality of the heavy handed management style.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "Being that it is an automatic I can enjoy my coffee, shave, talk on my cel phone and hug my wife while driving in rush hour traffic."

    Truly critical things to do while one's driving.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    He did mention "in rush hour traffic." Like there's anything else to do in bumper-to-bumper. Not like rush hour demands anything of the driver. I've read books while in traffic. Let out clutch, apply gas, push in clutch, glide, repeat. Snooze.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    Edmunds has a new feature called "True Cost To Own". It is listed when one researches out the various vehicles on the new car heading. It is one of the 13 subjects when you click on a particular vehicle. It is very useful when comparing one vehicle to another. "True Cost To Own" takes the purchase price and adds things like depreciation, insurance, license fees, etc. and gives you a figure for 5-yr ownership. They even tailor it to your particular zip code. I tried it on a few vehicles and it is very useful.
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    I have not had a chance to look at it in person, but does the 38K Passat W8 fit into the entry -level performance luxury sedan category? Any other upcoming (next year or so) vehicles fit into this category?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    But it's not really a performance sedan. Drive one and then take on a Bimmer or G35. Night and day. VWs are nice inside and good for cruising but their handling's akin to riding a pig in a hurry.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,029
    I beg to differ.

    While I admit that I am biased (obviously, since I bought one!) I believe that the W8 is really a performance sedan.

    I test drove the G35, and several BMWs (and a few others) before making my final choice. I suppose the term ‘performance sedan’ could be defined in any number of ways. For me, the W8 offers everything I want – and nothing I don’t.

    (Isn’t that a recent Nissan ‘tag line’?)

    Take straight line acceleration, for instance. VW literature quotes 0 – 60 in 6.5 sec. To me, this is pretty quick for a 4 door sedan. My fearless (?) prediction of future test acceleration numbers is: 0 – 60 in 6.5 sec., as VW claims. And a quarter mile in about 15.0 at 94 / 95. I base this on a number of things. For instance, in the May 2000 Car and Driver comparison that included the Lincoln LS8 Sport and the Audi A6 2.7TT, the Audi tested had virtually identical curb weight as the W8, identical final drive, wheel / tire size and Tiptronic. The HP / TQ for this Audi were 250 / 258. And their test results were: 0 – 60 in 6.6 sec. and the quarter mile in 15.1 at 94. Thus, my W8 with 270 / 273 ought to do slightly better. We’ll see. . . (BTW: in the same test, the Lincoln LS8 Sport they tested turned in acceleration numbers of: 0 – 60 in 7.5 and the quarter mile in 15.7 at 90. This was my previous car. So, it seems reasonable that my W8 feels quicker – setting aside the notorious un-reliability of everyone’s ‘butt dyno’!)

    Does it pull the same lateral G as the G35 or a BMW 3 series w/Sport Package. Almost certainly no. But with more aggressive rubber, I expect that it will provide enough grip for entertainment value at any sane public road speed.

    Just my opinions.

    Cheers,
    - Ray
    Off shortly to put on a few more ‘break-in’ miles at lunch . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    I recently went through the list of entry level cars...I was in test drive heaven!

    325i - very nice car, best shifter/clutch of all, but not enough power for me. Great motor though as fas as smoothness. the interior is average, nothing better. With leather and wood it helps but you either dig it or you don't.

    330i - same as above but better power, although I find the power to be linear. You can really move in this car but the sensation of thrust is lacking. I like that sunroof and leather are std. Better value overall than 325i plus std. 17" wheels (although with all-seasons). Pricy.

    IS300- Nice manual tranny and smooth motor. That's about it. hate the interior, feels claustrophobic and chintzy.

    X-Type - I liked the 3.0L Sport, but did not like the grey stained maple. Didn't look like a jag. Very nearly purchased a 3.0L British Racing Green with Ivory Leather and beautiful walnut but with options this car is riciulously overpriced, makes the BMW look like a bargain hunter. Too bad, nice motor and very good manual tranny and ride. Brakes were strong. One thing about the motor was it just didn't feel or go like 0-60 6.5 as advertised. Nicest interior overall.

    A4 3.0 - Porky, ponderous even with sport package. Did not feel swift and easily the worst tranny available in this segment. Nice interior, leather was only average. you could barely tell the difference between the leather and leatherette, which is a good thing if you are cheap, but bad if you opt for leather. By the way, the leather in the BMW was much better.

    S4 (2001)- Nice but not as fast as I thought it would be (I did drive a 99 Mustang GT). It rockets off the line but it isn't that impressive afterwards. Nicer seats and support but interior is too gloomy. 250bhp and 258 lb ft. motor is not an audible delight, the 2002 A4 3.0 sounds amazing compared to the S4. I think the backpressure has gobbled up the exhaust note. An exhaust would be perfect here. They were giving them away (9000$ off MSRP - and people were definitely buying!) but it just looked dated now beside the new ones.

    G35 - went and looked at one in showroom and was not impressed and without a manual tranny, I wasn't interested one bit. I still managed to drive one and was impressed with the torque, it definitely had thrust that the others lacked (except the S4). Nice seats and neat touches for rear passengers. I really liked the dynamics of the car but the tranny left me cold. The fit and finish was poor, maybe it was an early model...no dicker sticker which made it cost as much as the A4 3.0 and BMW 330i was close.

    Lincoln LS V6 - very good handling and crisp 5 speed. Engine was thrashy at high revs which is particularly bad because it needs to be revved to really move. Torque is lacking here. But I liked the car overall, especially with the Sport susp.

    Acura TL-S, another auto tranny but an incredible motor, definitely my favourite V6 of all of them as far as sound is concerned. Interior average and handling so-so. Excellent price.

    Volvo S60 T5 - I chose this car for its thrust (come to think of it 3bhp less and 15 lb.ft less than the S4 is quite close to the S4, and it is lighter) FWD torque steer is evident only beyond 8/10ths, but it is there, no question about it. Best seats, best stereo, average steering feel falls behind the Jaguar and BMW. Brakes while strong are grabby but it takes getting used to. Amazing power and style. Seems decent off the line but after 100km/h it easily pulls the hardest. Price was also a consideration as it was cheaper than BMW, Audi, Jaguar.

    Didn't drive the CTS but I am sure it is excellent.

    In conclusion these are all excellent cars and even though we all nitpick this and that on all of them, I would be fine with any of them in my driveway. Honestly.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I had the grave misfortune to drive a CTS, and it's not in the same league as the Bimmer, Audi, Infiniti or even the lesser Acura/Lexus/Jag.

    The CTS i drove was a 5 speed sport model with a sticker of 38k (gasp!). The tranny was rough, very rough, almost Mustang bad. The interior felt cheap with lots of hard plastic and very little in the way of substantial or soft-touch materials. The throttle response was weak and required excessive modulation of a rather awkward gas pedal. The car's a rolling bed of 1998 technology, no automatic brake distribution for one thing. The salesmen kept insisting 4 channel ABS is impressive...to each his own. Handling? Nothing at all like the claims car mags are making. It was a slow reacting boat...turn the wheels, feel the car undulate and then slowly shift directions. Not impressive in the least. In fact when the salesguy asked me what I thought after the drive I told him the CTS wasn't even a real competitor to the germans or japanese. He snorted and reminded me, "This is a caddy, not a sports car." Yeah, well that Caddy can sit on the lot with the other heaps they have.
  • jagboyxkrjagboyxkr Posts: 53
    Congradulations on your new S60 T5! It is a great looking car, and I hope you are very happy with it. I saw a really nice one in front of me this morning. Have fun with it!
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    Hey blueguy, what wrond with the Mustang tranny! I know it is not a FWD type gearbox but when you have 300 lb.ft. of torque twisting that car, you need a strong tranny. In all honesty, the clutch, while incredibly easy to modulate was hevay, but with a purpose. never missed a gear either, which can't be said about the A4 6-speed...

    jagboyxkr, I know you have an X-Type and I was right in there to the end with this car. Bottom line was 10000CDN difference. The way they package the options is ridiculous. i needed the split fold seats, but they were bundled in a $2000 package. Xenons? Twice asmuch as any other car, $1600.00. Sunroof? another 1600.00. It was unbeleivable but the lease rate was very low (1.9%) which helped make up the difference.

    I don't care what anybody says about the X-Type, because most have never driven them, it is IMO, a better overall car than the Audi. In Canada, AWD is recommended...this car gets slaughtered because of its high price. This car should have been priced equal to the leader of the class, but to price it more than the best car in the segment is suicide in this hot market.

    The T5 is broken in nicely, I have over 2000 miles on it now and it is everything I expected. What i didn't expect was the sheer power this thing has after 100km'h. I think it would beat my Mustang at that speed in a rolling start, no question. i would even say an S4...
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Hey, I've never driven an 18 wheeler, so maybe the Mustang's tranny isn't like one, but that's how I imagine a big rig's tranny to feel. :)
  • cybersolcybersol Posts: 91
    Thanks for the comparison post, it was very informative. Congratulations on your S60 T5.
  • phatratpakphatratpak Posts: 12
    I didn't want a manual tranny because I like to eat a sandwich or be on the phone, roll up/down windows and sunroof at any time while I drive. I test-drove a used '98A4quattro 2.8, new 325ci,325xi. I loved those bimmers and audi was a great car but the bottom line sticker is what made me go with the Acura. with the steptronic this car is an absolute joy, I went from a 1993dodge P.O.S. I'm only at 150miles so far but no complaints and extremely satisified with my decision...
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    What does a manual have to do with eating, drinking, talking, windowing (? LOL), sunroofing (?)? I have a manual (actually never owned an automatic) and I have no problems carrying on several tasks at once. It's just like walking and talking.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    it sounds like he got the right car for him.
  • phatratpakphatratpak Posts: 12
    I guess you guys have become very experienced with manuals, I feel they are fun, and someday when i'm rich and famous (lol) I hope to have a manual porsche or something like that. But for now the sequential shifter gives me enough performance
  • eawegeaweg Posts: 50
    So that stones aren't casted at one another, I would like to remind everyone that this is my opinion which is why we have these forums.

    Cmnott, I respect your opinion about the jag and the audi 3.0...although I strongly disagree. I guess as a 3.0 owner I would. I personally found the jag x-type to be the worst car I have ever test driven. First, it was $3000 more than the Audi. Second, well it is a ford and felt like a ford. The handling in no way compared to the 3.0. The interior might "look" a little better but certainly did not "feel" any better. AS for performance, I am a little dissapointed with th 3.0 and I think they could have used a 250-260 hp engine to solve the problems. However, it is still a fun engine...especially at highway speeds. I honetsly felt that the Mondeo (excuse me, x-type) was going to fall apart on my test drive.

    Now I know Audi has had its problems but not even close to comparison with the negative headlines for the x-type!

    Oh well...to each their own! Enjoy your T5!!!
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    I came to a different conclusion about the Jaguar X-TYPE 3.0 and the Audi A4 3.0 Quattro. I was considering both vehicles, and it was very close, but the Jaguar won for me.

    ACCELERATION:
    In acceleration times, the Jaguar is clearly faster than the Audi. Car&Driver states of the X-TYPE, "Subjectively, the X-TYPE didn't feel quite as quick as a BMW 330i. But a few instrumented acceleration runs revealed that the measured 0-to-60-mph time of 6.3 seconds was only 0.2 seconds slower than the small BMW. We would rate the smoothness of the X-TYPE's V-6 to be similarly close to that of the Bavarian in-line six."

    Road&Track says of the X-TYPE's performance, "In acceleration, the 3.0 X-TYPE is among the quickest. Accompanied by a nice-but-distant exhaust note, the Jag goes from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, undercutting the boy-racer Lexus IS 300's and Audi A4's 7.1, the Mercedes C320's 6.8 sec. and matching the BMW 330i's time."

    -Jaguar X-TYPE 3.0 acceleration times: 6.3 - 6.5 sec*.
    -Audi A4 3.0 Quattro acceleration time: 7.1 sec*.

    * = manual transmission.

    HANDLING:
    Of how the cars handle, R&T says of the X-TYPE, "Whether the chassis is redolent of Jaguar tradition or not, no one complained that it didn't work. It feels like a modern, well-balanced sports sedan with excellent highway ride and good balance in the corners. Every time we got into a long stretch of fast, curving mountain road, whoever was in the Jag inevitably got on the walkietalkies we all carry and said, 'This thing is really good in the curves!' It's a confidence-inspiring car, with good grip, linear steering, and precise turn-in. The engine is not bad either. Our test car's optional 3.0-liter 4-cam V-6 (there's a less expensive 2.5 version as well) put out a respectable 231 bhp, keeping it in this fast company with no particular effort."

    They also say of its suspension, "Jaguar engineers told us they wanted the suspension to be 'connected but relaxed,'and that seems to wrap it up nicely. The ride is about as smooth as you'll find in this class, even with the Sport suspension. Given its soft ride, the X-TYPE delivers surprisingly good handling."

    Of the Audi's handling, they say, "Dynamically, the all-wheel-drive car is not as crisp as it looks. It handles well enough and has a superb highway ride, but it accomplishes these goals in a rather soft and rubbery style of suspension tuning and steering...In short, the Audi is missing that firm, rally-car edge and sense of steering precision that makes the BMW, for instance, so delightful to drive. It's a car that can keep up with the other sports sedans, but doesn't feel very sporty doing it, despite our car's having the optional sport suspension for $750...We noticed in some of the whoop-de-dos and curves of our desert highway that the Audi produced 'considerable excitement,' as one driver put it, and was simply more floaty and loose than the others. And again, 'This is where you pay for that great highway ride,' one driver noted. The 3.0-liter 220-bhp dohc aluminum V-6 is smooth and reasonably peppy, though well back from the front of this pack."

    STEERING:
    Motor Trend says of the X-TYPE's ZF Servotronic II variable-ratio speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system, "The car's best system may be its speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion power steering. In fact, it matches the previously unrivaled precision served up by BMW 3 Series. Car placement feels laser-guided precise, with excellent feedback and road feel. With complete confidence and comfort, we drove at most times with just our fingertips - even at 120 mph on the track. The only all-wheel-drive car we've ever driven offering similar levels of steering communication is the Nissan Skyline GT-R, a pretty racy piece."

    The Audi's steering was criticized again by Car & Driver and Road & Track for being, "rubbery" in feeling, and C&D said that the "steering wheel vibrates at peak engine revs."

    Car&Driver also says that the steering system of the X-TYPE "is nothing short of terrific." They call it "enthusiast goods".

    Forbes even takes note of the steering system in the X, "Jaguar engineers boast it's the best steering system they've ever had on any model. We agree."

    ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE:
    Audi is known for its Quattro AWD system, which has been develped for over 22 years now. Quattro IV its newest version, and is used on the A4. It divides power 50/50 to the front and rear wheels unless slip is detected, and is known to be one of the best systems available. Torque steer is said to be very minor, and it is said to work well with even the turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder versions of the A4, although it is noted by some to feel heavy without the larger V6. Audi also used Quattro to prove that AWD in certain racing conditions could be better than other setups, and later was banned from using AWD cars in certain races because of its advantages.

    Jaguar uses a new AWD system they designed called Traction 4, which divides torque 40% to the front wheels, and 60% to the rear unless slip is detected. This, along with specially designed roller bearings fitted between the tops of the front strut towers and the body, along with its advanced steering mechanism, give the performance and feel of a RWD car. Unlike most AWD systems, Car&Driver said that Traction 4 produces no torque steer to interphere with the purity of the steering.

    Forbes stated of the X-TYPE's AWD, "The X-TYPE gets a seemless, virtually transparent new 40/60 viscous coupling all-wheel-drive system with optional dynamic stability control that rivals Audi's vaunted Quattro for wet- and dry- weather grip."

    Road&Track said that, "...The Jag is better balanced. It will understeer during turn-in, take something of a set, and then pull you through. It's a safe and secure feeling that signals what's about to happen and gives you plenty of time to adjust"

    BRAKING:
    The X-TYPE features the same vented front and solid rear discs as found on the larger S-TYPE.

    Road & Track said, "In braking tests, the X-TYPE had impressive and easily repeatable stopping distances from 60 mph (118 ft.) and 80 mph (208 ft.)" In another one of their articles, they say, "The braking distances turned by the X-TYPE are exceptional, comparable to those of top sports cars."

    Car & Driver also said, "A few laps at the Castle Combe racetrack allowed us to explore the outer reaches of the X-TYPE's handling, where it proved completely benign, thanks to the all-wheel-drive. Even at the limit, understeer never grinds the front tires excessively, but the only way to get the tail out was to flick the steering wheel while simultaneously lifting the throttle. The four-wheel disc brakes proved linear and powerful under repeated heavy track use."

    By comparison, a BMW M-Roadster stops from 60 mph in the same 118 feet as the Jag. The Porsche 911 GT2 stops from 60 just two feet shorter than the Jag, at 116 feet. An SLK32 AMG does
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    it in 127 feet.

    -Jaguar X-TYPE 3.0 braking distance from 60 mph: 118 ft.
    -Audi A4 3.0 Quattro braking distance from 60 mph: 137 ft.

    ITERIOR:
    Here is where the statements become subjective, and anything I say here other than what is quoted from others is just my opinion.

    Both the Audi and the Jaguar offer excellent interiors. The Jaguar goes for the warm-looking British cabin that its family members also display, utilizing massive amounts of wood and Conolly leather with bits of chrome; the Audi has a German, functional design that is still inviting with clean lines and details. I really like the interiors of both cars. The Jaguar has the best leather and wood, but a few things like the plastic of the Audi's air vents seems more resilient, etc.

    Road&Track said that, "Despite the lower-than-XJ price, the X-TYPE sports the traditional Jaguar upscale cabin...The simple round gauges have an easy-on-the-eyes green backing on the instrument faces, there's birds-eye maple trim scattered around the cockpit, and the seats are tasteful and comfortable...The Jag's interior is a rich assemblage of shapes and textures, done up with nice details like the silver-rimmed green-faced gauges." They say it "may be an 'entry level' model, but you wouldn't know it judging by all that leather, wood, and the easy to use nav system."

    Motor Trend says the X-TYPE "has great styling inside and out", and says specifically that the interior is "soothing, luxurious, and reasonably sound from an ergonomic standpoint. The main instruments are nicely detailed and easily readable through the steering wheel. HVAC and audio-system controls are housed in a centrally mounted horseshoe-shaped binnacle, which allows lots of genuine maple veneer to span the entire dash...It's pure Jag inside and out."

    Car&Driver says "As you'd expect, the interior is lined in sumptuous Connolly leather and bird's-eye maple wood trim on the dashboard and doors. Luxury amenities abound, as well as the expected front, side, and head airbags...The level of finish is very nice with neat stitiching, close fits, and excellent materials throughout."
    _____________________________

    eaweg-

    My opinion is that the Audi and the Jaguar are both great cars, but that the Jaguar offers more. It is more expensive than the A4, but it is more expensive for a reason. It is known to outhandle the A4 and outperform it in acceleration and braking, and it has the most rigid chassis in its class, 30% more than the previous class leader. AWD is also standard, as well as Connolly leather and wood. You must have had a bad test car if yours felt like it was going to fall apart, because everything I have read and experienced with the X-TYPE says that it is very solid with high-quality materials throughout. Like you said, to each their own.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    you can lease an X-type for next to nothing...high incentives.
  • eawegeaweg Posts: 50
    Thanks for the response...I too have read all of the magazines...I love automobile literature! At the sametime I have come to realize how much biased opinion there is (and maybe payoffs? ;) )
    Anyhow, I would agree with you that so far all of the statistics that have come back point to the Jag leading in numbers...well so does BMW and the G35. I was really interested in the x-type whenit came out. It does look quite beautiful. Howerver, I test drove not only one but two. Same opinion. Both felt like fast wheelbarrows. I think you would agree that what it comes down to is personal preferance...I just didn't 'feel' right with the x-type. The BMW I tested I liked quite a bit and it was a tough decision. I have to be honest and say that it was the 'Quattro' that won me over as well as the excellent lease deal. My lease on the Audi was much better than that on the x-type as well. I think that you would also agree that not everyone is going to get a 'perfect car' off the lot (even though we all should). Every car is going to have its minor (and unfortunately some major) problems. Fortunately for me (and hopefully you) I have had none. What concerned me was the article I read from autoweek...

    "Quality problems bedevil Jaguar's X-Type; two drivetrain issues cited"

    ...Jaguar Cars Ltd. is at risk of alienating its newest group of owners, many of whom complain their new X-Type sedans have an array of irritating quality snafus. While none of the problems directly affect safety or operation, they are of sufficient annoyance that some first-time Jaguar buyers say they're ready to bolt the franchise...

    ...There are two separate drivetrain problems. During deceleration from about 70 mph, a high-pitched whine will come from the all-wheel-drive differential unit. That problem is so widespread that Jaguar has issued a technical service bulletin to its U.S. dealers.

    The fix: adding mass to the differential-mounting bracket.

    But the cold weather noise is another matter. It occurs anywhere from 20 mph to 70 mph. For some owners it goes away quickly; others have the tuning-fork sound ringing for minutes at a time.

    This problem has been the most bothersome to owners because Jaguar Cars has not officially acknowledged it exists.

    Some owners say they have had several prop-shafts replaced under warranty - one American owner says he is on his sixth.

    Steven Miller, a 41-year-old attorney from Long Beach, N.Y., suffers from both drivetrain problems. While he says he loves his X-Type, Miller is frustrated by his dealer's inability to repair the problems, despite three visits to the service bay. "I made a tape recording of the noise," Miller said. "The attempted fix was to put some sort of additive into the all-wheel-drive system. This quieted the noise for several days, then it came back." ...

    This is what turned me away...before this article came out I had heard about this...I hope it doesn't happen to you guys! Thanks for the friendly chat!
  • eawegeaweg Posts: 50
    Thanks for the response...I too have read all of the magazines...I love automobile literature! At the same time I have come to realize how much biased opinion there is (and maybe payoffs? ;) )
    Anyhow, I would agree with you that so far all of the statistics that have come back point to the Jag leading in numbers...well so does BMW and the G35. I was really interested in the x-type when it came out. It does look quite beautiful. However, I test drove not only one but two. Same opinion. Both felt like fast wheelbarrows. I think you would agree that what it comes down to is personal preferance...I just didn't 'feel' right with the x-type. The BMW I tested I liked quite a bit and it was a tough decision. I have to be honest and say that it was the 'Quattro' that won me over as well as the excellent lease deal. My lease on the Audi was much better than that on the x-type as well. I think that you would also agree that not everyone is going to get a 'perfect car' off the lot (even though we all should). Every car is going to have its minor (and unfortunately some major) problems. Fortunately for me (and hopefully you) I have had none. What concerned me was the article I read from autoweek...

    "Quality problems bedevil Jaguar's X-Type; two drivetrain issues cited"

    ...Jaguar Cars Ltd. is at risk of alienating its newest group of owners, many of whom complain their new X-Type sedans have an array of irritating quality snafus. While none of the problems directly affect safety or operation, they are of sufficient annoyance that some first-time Jaguar buyers say they're ready to bolt the franchise...

    ...There are two separate drivetrain problems. During deceleration from about 70 mph, a high-pitched whine will come from the all-wheel-drive differential unit. That problem is so widespread that Jaguar has issued a technical service bulletin to its U.S. dealers.

    The fix: adding mass to the differential-mounting bracket.

    But the cold weather noise is another matter. It occurs anywhere from 20 mph to 70 mph. For some owners it goes away quickly; others have the tuning-fork sound ringing for minutes at a time.

    This problem has been the most bothersome to owners because Jaguar Cars has not officially acknowledged it exists.

    Some owners say they have had several prop-shafts replaced under warranty - one American owner says he is on his sixth.

    Steven Miller, a 41-year-old attorney from Long Beach, N.Y., suffers from both drivetrain problems. While he says he loves his X-Type, Miller is frustrated by his dealer's inability to repair the problems, despite three visits to the service bay. "I made a tape recording of the noise," Miller said. "The attempted fix was to put some sort of additive into the all-wheel-drive system. This quieted the noise for several days, then it came back." ...

    This is what turned me away...before this article came out I had heard about this...I hope it doesn't happen to you guys! Thanks for the friendly chat!
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    Congrats on your A4!

    Look, no question you were quite gracious about my comments about the A4. I was so disappointed with the new styling because I always wanted the previous A4. So to see how it looks, personally, I hate it. maybe it is just me, but I just couldn't come to grips with it.

    I found the A4 felt slow reacting whereas the jag had better reflexes. but also felt smaller. i think it is unfair and untrue to say the "Ford" thing, I think that has been addressed, whether people choose to beleive it or not. The 6 speed was poor, there is no other word for it, but i really did enjoy the automatic (as far as one can).

    the jaguar had a much, much better transmission but I was not particularly enamored with the clutch. the steering, IMO, was better than almost all. I just couldn't justify the price difference when a certain car is TRYING to make an impression in a hot segment.

    Like i said before, there are no losers in this segment, but I think it is safe to say none of us would go for the winner of the comparo, eaweg and jagxboytype!
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    I totally agree that it is all personal preference, and I really believe that most all of the cars in this segment, especially the A4, S60, and X-TYPE, are some of the best. I don't think there is "a best" car here since everyone has different needs and preferences. They all have their own ups and downs, but I think the benefits of each of these cars certainly outweighs most of their negatives as well.

    On the X-TYPE article:
    I read that Autoweek article too, and it scared me a bit before I went to check out the X-TYPE and made me check the competition before going with the car in the end. Jaguar seems to have solved most all of those problems in the current X-TYPEs though, and the ones being produced now don't have any of those problems. I also found two articles in my local newspaper that were on early X-TYPE problems. The initial article was much like the Autoweek one, and the second one came out a pretty long time after the first one; it was a follow-up on how those initially unhappy customers were doing after Jaguar North America finally contacted them and worked on their cars. They had factory technicians go out and examine the cars and all of that - they even bought back a car and gave the owner a much better new one. Jaguar was a bit late in contacting them (and I agree that it took too long), but they did get most all of their X-TYPEs fixed and the customers ended up being very pleased with their cars in the end.

    Yes, some of the very early production X-TYPEs lived up to their old Jaguar reputation for being problematic as the article shows, but the newer ones are much better both in quality and reliability. Jaguar did many things and worked hard to correct the faults of the early cars, and they even had the Whitley Engineering Center, who designed the driveshafts for the X-TYPE, go through five or six different new designs until they finally got it perfect.

    I can personally say from experience that the X-TYPE is not in any way a problem car, at least the ones being produced now, especially as my own car has had no problems at all. It initially had the drippy windshield whiper jets, but the dealership simply tightened a valve on the underside of the hood before giving me the car, and nothing has gone wrong since I've had it. I really love even just being around the cars as it has been so good.

    Again, it is all personal preference. When I sat in the Jag for the first time, it just felt right. I hadn't even adjusted the seat and it just felt so perfect. Every time I sit in it, everything is perfect. The whole car is that way for me, and I bet your Audi is the same for you.

    And if anyone is paying off the media it's BMW and Infiniti, and it appears that Infiniti is paying the most. I don't think Jag even has the funds to do that:-) (Although, global sales were just up 62% in April, and they've had record-setting sales for the past four consecutive years now.)

    And, it is very nice to speak to someone civilized on this board. Take care of your car!
    ____________________________

    Blueguydotcom-

    I actually own my car, we paid the dealer in full when we got it. The only incentive for the X-TYPE is a pretty good lease price (I just checked yesterday), but even that has been complained about and called false advertising by many as it is only for the 2.5 litre model with no options (not even paint is included in the advertized price for the lease!). It's also ending in a few months, and then prices will be even higher. I'd like to see how people complain about it being very expensive when the 2003 prices come out, as they are even higher than this year. Oh well, it is a Jaguar after all, and a great car on its own. Option packaging has been reorganized for 2003, however, so getting things like sunroofs is easier.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Is the Jag even selling? I see far more Bimmers, Lexuses, G35s and CTSes than Jag X-types. And i live in car crazy so-cal.
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    The X-TYPE is Jaguar's fastest selling car right now, it accounts for over half of all Jaguar's sales, and it has boosted Jaguar's global sales by 62% since January 2002; and that number was recorded from April. In February of 2002, Jaguar's U.S. sales alone were up 105% compared to Feb. 2001, largely because of the X-TYPE. X-TYPE's sales have been taking off after a slower start since the events of 9-11.

    Recorded in May, 16,171 X-TYPEs have been sold since January 1, 2002 in the U.S. Of that number, 2,961 were sold in May. Jaguar is very happy with its sales. Also, the X-TYPE is supposed to be lower volume than many of its competators as it is a Jaguar. Never the less, this compares well with 16,395 Audi A4s and 16,339 Volvo S60s sold so far this year. The Infiniti G35 has only sold 8,731 units so far, and 11,237 Cadillac CTS's have been sold in 2002 as well.
  • eawegeaweg Posts: 50
    Thanks to you both for your great chats...I agree with jagboy that it's nice to see people talk about things without acting like "my dad can beat up your dad"...my only knowledge from automobiles is that I have a passion for them. Mechanically I am okay...just enough to get by.

    It's funny, after I got my Audi the Volvo dealer that's 5 miles form my house had a great deal one week later. Yes I was miffed for about 24 hours but like the both of you I think my personality fits my choice.

    You are absolutely right about there not being a loser in this segment. For those who get the G35, more power to you...so you can beat me in a straight line...if racing was what I wanted I would have gotten a used S4 and modded it to about 340hp...but I really couldn't see myself doing that for at least the next 4 years of my life. For some reason I have a sneaking suspicion that something negative is going to come out about the G35...I just can't pinpoint it thought. The '02+ 3 series are just plain ugly with the new facelifts.

    Cmnott, as for the 6 speed, yeah it was pretty "odd" the first couple of months. I can honestly say though that it has brolen in and that it is worlds better than when I first got it. To think that the 5spd manual in the 96 Saab 900se that I had before it was actually better!!

    Oh well, nice chatting again!
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    To jagboyxtype:

    You said, "The Infiniti G35 has only sold 8,731 units so far."

    I think it's important to point out the G35 has only been on the market since March 11. In the month of April, Infiniti sold over 3200 G35's.

    I just want to make sure no one is misled by your post.
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    My point was that the X-TYPE is selling and that there is a larger amount of them on the road right now than there are G35's or CTS's. Blueguydotcom had asked about its sales numbers and had compared how he had seen few X-TYPEs on the road but many more "Bimmers, Lexuses, G35s and CTSes". I just threw in the other cars' numbers to demonstrate that although he may have seen more of some of the other cars, in actuality, there are more X-TYPEs that what he has seen.

    Also, Infiniti sold 3,298 G35's in May 2002. Since its introduction in March, it has sold 8,731 units as recorded in May. Assuming that around 3,298 units would have been sold in January and February had the car been introduced earlier and had a start in sales numbers for January 1 like the others, it would have sold about 15,327 units (3,298 + 3,298 + 8,731 = 15327).
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    The latest sales figures are out. The G35 and Lincoln LS both sold about 3,050 units. Cadillac CTS sold 3,475. IS300 only 2,300.

    BMW sold 9,630 3 Series.
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    That total for the 3-Series is for all of its variants though, where many of these manufacturers have other models competing for convertible and coupe etc. sales volumes. The 3-Series sedan, which competes against the cars you mentioned sold 6,498 units, about the same number as the Lexus ES 300, which sold 6,477 units in May.
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    Apparently in 'Racetrack Fantasy Land', torque steer is a problem for some.
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    I'm just saying that here in sedan vs. sedan form, that is how many 3's were sold. The other variants are countered with other models in the other marques' lineups.

    -The SportCross takes on the 3-Wagons. So do the A4 Avant, V70, C-Class wagons, and the soon to appear X-TYPE Touring.

    -The S4 takes on the M3. There is also a C32 AMG. Later, the X-TYPE R will also join that crowd.

    -The A4 Cabriolet takes sales from the 3-Convertibles.

    -An A4 coupe is on the way, as is the G35 coupe to take one the coupe 3-Series. There are still IS300 coupe rumors, too. To a lesser extent, the C-Class coupe takes on the compact 3-Series in Europe.

    And to top that off, the new Saab 9-3 is a sedan now with a normal trunk.

    By your thinking: "You could almost include the Z3 roadster in the mix, as it shares engines, transmissions, and platform parts", I guess we should include the Camry in the ES300's sales volume since they share those same parts too. How about all of those Jettas, Passats, Beetles, and Golfs that come with that 1.8T engine in the A4? Maybe those should be included too.
  • richard52richard52 Posts: 41
    What is your source when you quote sales figures for the cars in this discussion group? No one has mentioned the AcuraTL. I might assume the TL is a sales leader in this class. Am I rite?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    AutoSite appears to be one of the better sources for new car sales in USA. Pretty easy to navigate.
  • ickes_mobileickes_mobile Posts: 675
    Honda will reportedly import the JDM/Euro Accord here as the Acura TSX. The TSX would replace the now deceased Integra sedan in the line-up. The JDM/Euro car is expected to debut at the September Paris Auto Show in September and be on sale in NA in 2003 as a 2004 model.
    For more info and some early spy pics from various sources see:

    ickes_mobile "Acura TSX" Jul 30, 2002 12:31pm
  • Okay, my head is spinning. I've spent the past month driving several models, reading reviews, hearing opinions, and , truth is, these cars under consideration all look great. Right now, I'm leaning toward BMW 325i, but the G35 impressed me greatly. Also like the Passat wagon (should I bow to the need for storage space) and the idea of saving several $K can't be ignored. Wife has a 2 year old Acura 3.2CL..wonderfully reliable and comfortable, but the BMW, Infiniti, Audi A4, et al have strong pull in the area of "life is short, go for it". I guess I 'd say I'm looking for a blend of reliability and driving fun. I'd appreciate input from owners of any of the above, recent years' models. Thanks.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    xxoneputtxx... Only you will know what meets your needs within your budget. Do a ton of research. But then spend a lot of time test driving your primary choices. Don't let 'em give you the standard dog and pony test drive. That won't tell you anything. You really need to drive each car some distance on a variety of roads at a variety of speeds.
  • aszasz Posts: 2
    I am looking at purchasing the G as a family sedan. My 3 kids will easily fit in the rear seat. Is this too much of a sports car? I really like the G's lines. Thanks!
  • I can only speak for the choice between the 325 and the A4. Is you're into the hood badge and sound of the exhaust, then the Beemer is your car. If you want a quite similar ride, the equipment of a 330 at the price of a 325, then go for the A4 3.0.

    I drove several '02 325xi's and A4 3.0 Quattro's, and both had their +/-'s. The 325, though, lacks even the most fundamental standard options (no power seats on a $30k+ car!?!?) and has a way to go on the interior design (cheesy exposed cup holders that look like they belong in a Pontiac). Not to mention the 325 has 30% less power to spin those 4 wheels.

    The sad thing is that virtually all luxury sports sedan reviews compare a $40k+ loaded 330 with a $33k A4, and the 325 is declared the de facto winner as it rides on the tails of the 330. The whole "3-series" nomenclature is nonsense.

    Take an A4 3.0 out for a test drive...
  • I beleive the handling of the BMW is slightly better because of it's small size. I would like to see how it would handle if it were a midsize car (like the Infiniti G35 or Acura TL).

    The amount of 'points' that are giving to the BMW for it's handling should be removed for it's size. This is a sedan! It is not a sports car. When talking about sedans, sufficient room in the car should be seen as an important factor.

    I'm sure they could make the BMW even smaller and get even better handling and performance from it. If they did that, it would be hard to justify it even being in this category.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    rp - you are correct the 330i is a sedan, just like the G35, just like the Acura, just like the Audi and all of the cars that were compared in the latest Edmunds round-up. None of them are sports cars. Edmunds calls them Entry Level Luxury Sport Sedans. The fact is the 530i also gets very high marks in the performance department, except the 530i is a true Luxury Sport Sedan, again not a sports car.

    Now the 530i outclasses all of the above in terms of amenities, but it would be interesting to see from a strict performance viewpoint, how it compares to the above or even compares to the 330i.

    Although in the scheme of things size has little to do with performance - as another poster pointed out there are cars the same size as the 330i that are nowhere near it in terms of overall performance. Note the salient word is overall.

    Also the fact that it is a compact has nothing to do with it's interior room. The G does not have marginally much more room and if you read Edmunds round-up, it does state there is sufficient room in the car for 4 adults in the 330i. Unless you regularly transport 5 people and the two people in the back seat absolutely have to have the reclining seats, in my opinion the amount of extra space in the G doesn't make that much of a difference. It might to you, but then you get to vote with your dollars. If I regularly transported 5 people however, none of the cars in the Edmunds round-up would be on my list.

    It seems clear to me based on the reviews I've read over the last couple of years, when only talking about the sport of driving in this segment, the 330i is the benchmark.
  • Some Acuras are experiencing very serious problems with their automatic transmissions shifting from 5th to 2nd at high speeds for no aparent reason. This causes the cars to lose control and swerve off the road.


    http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20020914/1036070.asp


    "Mike Spencer, a spokesman for Acura, Honda's sport-luxury division, confirmed that there has been a 'higher than normal incidence' of problems with two Honda-built automatic transmissions. Although many involve high-performance models such as the 260-horsepower Acura Type-S, others afflict 200-horsepower V-6 Honda Accords and 240-horsepower Odyssey minivans not usually associated with racing and speeding abuses."


    "The two transmissions are the five-speed used in V-6-equipped Acuras since the 2000 model year and in Honda Odysseys since the 2002 model year; and the four-speed automatic used in V-6 Honda Accords since 2000 and in 2000 and 2001 Odysseys."

  • I am having the hardest time choosing a replacement for my 3 year old (leased) Saab 9-3SE. I've narrowed it down to the BMW 325i, Mercedes C240, and VW Passat GLX. They all excel, but in different ways. I've driven all 3 several times and still cannot decide. Here are my thoughts, and I'd appreciate comments from others:

    325i pros
    fun to drive and handles well
    like the sound of the inline 6-cyl. engine
    holds its value well
    nice safety features
    good reliability record

    325i cons
    many on the road
    styling not that exciting any more

    Mercedes C240 pros
    styling (in my opinion)
    solid as a vault
    nice ride and handling
    safety features

    C240 Cons
    slightly underpowered
    quality concerns (at least from early models)

    Passat GLX pros
    great looks
    cheaper than BMW or Mercedes
    decent power and handling
    safety

    Passat GLX cons
    dealer service (from what I've heard)
    seats not the best (in my opinion)
    soft ride (i.e. not a "sports sedan")
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Add the following cons to the Mercedes and VW:

    - in my area there are many on the road, diminishing the value.

    Seriously - I think you have to focus on what's important to you. Is fun to drive, hold's value and good safety features important? Or is styling important and the fact there are many on the road an important criteria because you want a unique vehicle.

    Just as a suggestion, if you phrased the question differently rather than giving your opinion about the importantance of certain car attributes you might get some very meaningful responses.

    For me important questions might be:

    1. Has anybody had any reliability issues with any of these cars? How did the dealers respond?
    2. What do others think about the seating in the vehicles?
    3. How much did people pay?

    Good luck with your decision.
  • kdshapiro - thanks for your post.

    I'm finding that it's very hard to judge reliability from the internet message boards. I've read horror stories on the internet for all three cars. People with problems are more likely to post a message than those without problems. Consumer Reports recommends all three cars. I personnally know one person with a C240 and one with a C320 wagon. Both love their cars, but haven't had them too long.

    I made a mistake with my current car and am determined not to do it again. I want to get something I don't mind paying for, want to keep for many years, and want to keep shiny. The problem is all three of these are great cars.
  • These are three pretty different cars, so it really comes down to what you value. The Passat is a real bargain with the nicest and largest interior as well as elegant exterior styling. I looked hard at a GLX and W8 when I was shopping. The handling is pretty wallowing, and the power is just adequate (I'm a leadfoot ).

    The 325i is fun and rewarding to drive, really nice handling and ergonomics. Its pretty small and the price goes up fast as you add options, and its also underpowered for my taste.

    I've never driven the C240. The C320 I drove was nice, but not terribly sporty and I was disappointed in the quality of some of the interior pieces (they need to see where VW gets their switches).

    All three a very good cars, I could be happy with any of them based on my needs.
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