Luxury Performance Sedans



  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Personally I am a fan of blown engines, have been for decades, and since the performance difference between the 535i and the 550i is so small and the price difference is so large, I'd go 535i all the way. Then there is the fuel economy issue...

    FWIW, configured apples to apples with the options I would order, there is an $8,800 difference in price.

    Hmmm, better fuel economy, almost identical acceleration (better at altitude and on hot humid days), less weight to throw around and significant savings. What's not to like?

    Best Regards,
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    NO -- I did not spend any rear seat time.

    I was questioning the sales rep about how one would go about integrating a phone into the system that allowed you to check your voice mail. On*Star, lacking a keypad (and costing an arm and half a leg to use for calling), does not.

    The fact that the STS has bluetooth and the CTS does not (when a Mazda does) is difficult for me to square in this class.

    Audi (and BMW) make the integration of the phone, CD, nav, radio and voice command so easy -- and we all know that the Japanese cars can be even better at this.

    Many things to like about the new CTS (for the money especially), but, for my wife and me this bluetooth (or lack of) issue is a "do don't" -- without some way to use a phone hand and eyes free, well, thanks for playing.

    The GMC Acadia sales rep says there is a workaround, the Cadillac rep doesn't know anything about it.

    The back seat is tiny eh? Well, I thought the same of the BMW 5 series and find my A6's rear seats and room to be fine. The rear seat issue, for me, would not deter my acquisition -- BT on the other hand, well -- that's a different issue.

    I looked at the new (not really new) 2008 A6 3.2. The new wheels look nice. It is hard to tell, otherwise, that much has changed, even though I can find subtle differences.

    What is not so subtle is the new MSRP -- an essentially base A6 now crosses $50K. My 2005, all optioned, A6 was $53K, the 2008 would be perhaps $58K for essentially the same car (with a backup camera, that mine does not have.)

    The 5 series could be a contender, as could the new A4 -- the Cadillac seems like GM's best effort ever though and already the MSRP -$2000 is the asking price. Seems, BT notwithstanding, a heck of a deal.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZMember Posts: 5,186
    There's no doubt in my mind (let's see, how does that go -- often wrong but never uncertain?) that GM in general & Cadillac in particular are dragging their collective feet on bluetooth only because they have to prop up OnStar.

    While it makes absolutely no difference to me, it's clear that many who drive cars in this category consider this a deal breaker. OnStar is an expensive (for both the user & the provider) partial solution to a question that can be answered much more effectively & efficiently elsewhere and that many of us never even ask.

    I wonder what the over/under is on when OnStar goes bust?
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Yes, VERY often wrong, but NEVER uncertain these days! :surprise:

    I got the brochure on the new CTS. Woo woo!

    Beautiful piece, expensive piece and for the uninitiated, the prose makes it sound like the CTS is just short of the second coming. But the reality is so different. The CTS breaks no or, if any, VERY little new ground beyond its styling evolution. Much time and trouble was spent crafting the wording in the brochure: "More than a car, it's a Cadillac."

    The brochure makes much ado about the adaptive forward lighting (the lights turn with the steering wheel!), likewise about AWD and ambient interior lighting for pity's sake. The brochure like the car itself is beautiful, the interior especially is literally the best ever I can recall in an American car and as I look at the Bentley coupe that is parked next to the new CTS, I see that same "expensive" look in the CTS's interior as oozes from the Bentley's (and both were black with black interiors, too.)

    Impressive effort -- actually, for my taste, the new CTS (at least the interior) is more of the LPS genre than is the more expensive STS. The 304HP, AWD and the level of "available" equipment are right up there, mostly, with the Infiniti M's and the Audi A6's -- and the CTS interior darn near should shame BMW's 5 series interiors (although even they are no longer entirely stoic and confining what with their mostly black on black on black "inner sanctum" look.) And, my wife is quick to point out that if one equips a 5 series in an attempt to deck the 5 series out like a $48,000 CTS, that the price will shoot way past $60,000 -- perhaps way way past depending on what you think is "equivalent content."

    So, the CTS comes to market as a fantastic vehicle, able to stand nose to nose with the Audi's, BMW's and Infiniti's (and Acura and Lexus while we're at it) that could be purchased in the latter half of 2004 and 2005. And perhaps that is "good enough." There is little doubt the CTS what with its already MSRP minus $2,000 selling prices is the undeniable "value" winna and champeen. The mostly adoring press, too, is surely a good sign too.

    Yet, but, wait! Cadillac should, in some way other than "It's a bargain," LEAD -- in ONE way, ANY way -- even if its claims of "acts like a 5 series, priced like a 3 series" prove to offer the requisite verisimilitude, it needs to be more than a state of the art (2004) piece. It is, perhaps, now "even" in many ways with its (pricier) German and Japanese rivals insofar as content and "HP" are concerned (and compared to the Audi A6 3.2 which can easily be $58,000 and still have 255HP, the CTS is arguably somewhat more than even) but with all the chest pounding going on, it is, upon scrutiny, "barely even" and that parity is most accurate when the CTS is stacked up against MY 2005 versions of the cars it claims to emulate.

    Now, at age 56, I have another perspective -- this CTS is, despite it's "been there done that" features, a remarkable step forward. I'd even go so far as to say it is several steps forward when price is factored in. The Germans and the Japanese in many areas had (past tense) commanding leads over the CTS and a less commanding lead over the STS, but make no mistake the Americans were and ARE still playing catch up. What is most redeeming is the apparent gap closing Cadillac has accomplished (and we must keep this in perspective, "for the money.") I looked at a "one option" [sunroof and leather] Audi A6 3.2 [255HP] and it had a sticker NORTH of $50,000 -- an "all options" Cadillac CTS 3.6DI [304HP] was $48,000. With the exception of Bluetooth and rear backup camera (that the Audi did NOT have for THAT PRICE), the content of the Cadillac was higher and the apparent interior fit and finish was on-par with the Audis. So, Cadillac has managed to produce, as a 2008 MY, a car that has more motivation and "about the same" content as a car that began production in July 2004.

    Maybe this is the way "the species" evolve -- and maybe as I wind down my lease on Audi #28, getting a 2008 version of my Audi for perhaps $10,000 less is sufficient after all.

    At first I thought the Germans and Japanese had something to be concerned with -- now, I'm thinking that the only way this will prove true is if Cadillac (to name one) takes the STS to the next level and, indeed, takes its entire lineup to the next level. Lead in ONE way, ANY way, not just in value is what I think; and, I remain, VERY often wrong, but NEVER uncertain! :confuse:
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    Infiniti also offers the V8 with AWD, something you can't get from ... BMW

    My impression is the 535Xi is more of a competitior to the forthcoming M-45x than the current M-35x. The fact that BMW uses 6 cylinders rather than 8 should not be an issue if the performance is competitive.

    I recently bought a 535Xi. I looked at the M-35x but had two concerns. One was the lack of a higher gear, or gears, in the transmission to cut down engine revs on the highway. The other was the engine in the M-35x is a generation behind what Infiniti is now putting in the G-35x.

    I would have compared the M-45x to the 535Xi, but when I made my purchase decision in late May, the M-45x was still a rumor.

    At some point in the future, when the M-45x becomes available, I would be interested in seeing a driving / performance comparison between it and the 535Xi.

  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Member Posts: 1,926
    ... The fact that BMW uses 6 cylinders rather than 8 should not be an issue if the performance is competitive. ...

    Easy now. It has been argued here for a couple of years (not necessarily by you) that the Acura RL is not competitive because there's no V8. This treads fairly closely to that argument.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    Good point. To clarify, my comment was intended to apply to the 535Xi in comparison to the M-45x, assuming the engine in the M-45x is the same as in the current M-45.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I've read the argument you refer to. Read the reviews, for instance, of the new STS with the high zoot DI V6.

    The conclusion? Who needs a V8 with a V6 THAT good.

    Ditto, I say, for the BMW with the 300HP turbo i6.

    I wouldn't think the lack of a V8 is the reason for the Acura's lackluster sales. If "magically" an Acura RL V8 would be brought out otherwise identical to the current 6 cylinder version, I seriously doubt there would be anything more than a temporary bump in sales.

    A V8 ALONE is not the street cred needed -- at least not anymore methinks.

    Sure, having the REPUTATION that goes with offering your cars with V8's or V10's or V12's doesn't hurt.

    But, MOST of the Audi A6's (90%) sold are V6's, the 535 + the lesser non blown 6 account for virtually all the sales of the BMW 5's too -- there are reasons, beyond offering a V8 that Acura can't give 'em away.

    My assumption is it is the product, the marketing, the sales organization, the price or the terms. And, while it could be argued that the product is lacking the option of a V8, I just don't buy that as the dominant reason for the Acura's lackluster sales.

    They've really cut the prices around here on the RL, and it is a very nice car.

    No one asked me, but if you did, I would say it is because the Acura RL is able to be mistaken for an Accord, er, make that EASILY mistaken.

    No V8 would fix that.

    So, it is the product that is at "fault." In this case, not the propulsion, but the style.

    Back in the day, when it was easy to call GM cars, Oldsmobuicks there were issues of differentiation too.

    Now, the issue of the M V6 being a last gen engine when compared to the G's, that, too, IMHO is a valid concern, not tied to the sheer number of cylinders.

    I have driven the BMW with the "35" engine -- WOW; who needs a V8 (and almost $10,000 more in cost)?
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Member Posts: 1,926
    Right, the lack of a V8 offering is the least of the RL's woes. But it was a factor that was brought up a lot when it came to model prestige. And speaking of mistaking the RL for an Accord, look at the dash of the new Accord and compare it to the RL. :surprise: It's clear that Honda doesn't really want to sell RLs.

    And I think the term you really want is Chevoldsmobuiac (shev-olds-mo-BYU'-ee-ack). :P
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Not for long...Buick is doomed. The new GM term will be GMC-VY-AC for trucks, economy cars and cheap ELLPS's.

    I agree the Accord-like RL is NOT going to make it until the style is drastically scaled to the target market.

  • gohorns1gohorns1 Member Posts: 53
    I agree with the above. But a further note on the engine. It's not whether the car has a 6 or 8 but the performance. The engine in the RL is not bad, but it does not compare well to its competitors. Thus, if Acura is not going to provide a better 6, they may need to add an 8 to the line up. For example, the 535 has a 6, but one would be hard pressed to say it does not perform. I was looking for a LPS for a year or two. The 530 did not impress me so I was considering the M45. My wife did not like the styling and I would have liked a higher gear. Therefore we waited and we're glad we did. The 535 provided the performance and styling we wanted. Interestingly, my dad has a RL so I have had a chance to compare the two. He loves his car. It provides the performance and value he was looking for. Had it magically appeared in my driveway a year or two ago, I would not have been unhappy. But, I am much happier that the 535 is now in my driveway (though it wasn't magic!)
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    You mean BMW made you pay for it ;) The 535 is a fantastic driver's car that retains the magic of the BMW straight six...

    It is the 1st car to come along to make me even think about giving up my '03 e39SP! Still hanging on to mine for now, though.

    Gotta love those comfort seats with the SP Pkg too...
  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    OK, so I'm getting down to the wire. I just got some prices on the BMW 535xi optioned up with all the goodies: Sport Package (on the xi the sp includes comfort seats,shadow line trim and sport steering wheel-no change in suspension which is fine with me),auto trans, logic 7, hud,cold weather, Prem Package, Ipod, Nav. The dealer's first shot out of the box was about 2800 over invoice which converts to a very good lease price for either 24 or 36 mos. As you may remember, I am ending my Lexus LS 430 lease, a car which I wound up getting by "default" because I just couldn't find anything else out there in my price range that "rang my bell".
    So after 3 flawless, comfortable and numbing years, I am again looking for the "gusto". I like the 5 series but it's not a "gotta have it" car for me. Sometimes when I get a car that I lust after, the honeymoon soon ends and the blemishes become apparent. With my last BMW 330i, I liked it and then the more I drove it the more I loved it. So maybe that will happen again with the 5 series. The 550i which leases at about 250 per month more (8K difference in price!) is a real looker because I really like the sport trim available (body moldings) but I worry that the sport suspension and the wider tires will make the ride too jarring on the lousy NY streets. Shipo,do you know if you can you get the body moldings on a 535?

    I don't want another LS especially since the new model is so similar in feel and costs substantially more than the one I have. The BMW 7 is in contention, but again I don't know if I can justify the price difference to the 5 and I really don't need the room, it's just that I've gotten used to a big car ride. Maybe I should try the 6? I love the looks and it is kind of a rare car- don't see too many around. It's expensive but to me it's kind of close in look and style to the Bentley GT, the car that I would drive if I won the lottery and if I could also have a Prius for my conscience. The Jag XJ8 can be had for a very good price these days. I love the look but it kind of drove like an Avalon or Buick to me. Maybe I'm missing something. I also don't think that the interior is anything special-not like the Jags I remember. But I do love that style and again it's not so common- except in SO. CAl where I saw a lot of them last week. Oh, and by the way, in Beverly Hills, it's all S Class all the time and very few LS460s.

    So the bottom line, doc, is that I need a car I can love for 15,000 miles a year in the congested NE where my average stint behind the wheel is about 2-2.5 hours per day. Yes, I want comfort, reliability, style and something special. I want to get excited every time I go into my garage just to sneak a peak at my ride and every time I fire up the engine.

    You guys understand; If you didn't you wouldn't be here at Edmunds. I admit it, I am a Car-aholic! Within 6 mos of my 3 year leases, I find myself wandering by car dealerships "just looking". Then about one year in, I actually go in and start taking test drives... It's horrible-but fun:)

    I want it all!
    Let the fun begin.
    Comments? (Be nice)
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    650i for you, IMO. I would suggest the convertible for added style.

  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    I'm curious on the 650 vert as to the viability with the top up. Since I live in the NE, I would estimate that at least 70% of the time I would not be dropping the top. Is it dark inside without a moonroof? Hard to see out of the back window to back up? It's is a striking car.
  • alexanderkalexanderk Member Posts: 9
    For a second I had thought that it was my own message topspin. I went through exact same thoughts just little over a month ago. Finished lease on Lexus LS430, looked into BMW 550, 535, 750 and even 650. MB S550 and CLS 550, lEXUS LS 460 and end up getting this Jaguar XJ8 on 24 month lease. Very happy with it. And I am also in L.A. so I understand your "local" trends.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    I have never been in a vert but for me, I'g get the M6 as my lottery car.

  • ny2njny2nj Member Posts: 5
    You guys understand; If you didn't you wouldn't be here at Edmunds. I admit it, I am a Car-aholic! Within 6 mos of my 3 year leases, I find myself wandering by car dealerships "just looking". Then about one year in, I actually go in and start taking test drives... It's horrible-but fun:)
    It's good to know I'm not alone ;) .
  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    Wow! Scary coincidence. I even had the CLS in my mix too but I wasn't comfortable getting in and out and I felt a bit closed in.
    Anyway, I would love to hear your comparo on the XJ8 to the LS. Did you get the L or regular wheelbase? Vanden Plas? How much was the lease? I was a bit concerned that the seats weren't as comfortable as the Germans. I find the LS seats to be just OK, not great.
    Any review on the Jag and your viewpoint that lead you to go with it over the others that "we" were considering would be appreciated. (my wife thinks it's a bit stuffy, but I don't agree. I see it as stately and elegant and it stands out in the sea of MB's and BMW's)
  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    Maybe we can get "sponsors". You know,guys you can call when you feel like your getting weak and may be ready to walk into a dealer :)
    Or maybe the FDA will approve a drug for it. If "restless leg syndrome" is a disease, than what do we have, Car Fixation Dis-Order? "Doc, I think it all started when I first saw my dad sneak into the garage to sit in his car.....I was only 2 but it had a traumatic effect on me! :)
  • jobiejobie Member Posts: 47
    I drove the 550i and 535xi - I went with 535xi optioned out almost identical to yours...mine is plat gray, natural brown interior with antracite headliner; 18" wheels too - great combo. I admit the 550i SP looks great, but somewhat too flashy for me (and I'd be afraid of scraping those 19" wheels). xi for the northeast won't hurt (I'm in upstate NY), even thought RWD with snows would suffice.(I'm in upstate NY). It's only been a few weeks for me, but I can't wait to drive this thing every chance I get - of course I drove an LR3 for 2.5 years after 6 years of BMW's...I certainly have the SUV bug out of my system.
    I'm not a Jag guy, but I've always heard the xj8 was a great driver and value, especially these days, and I like what they did with the '08. Good luck.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    What are the lease numbers for such a 5x?

    I'm at that "itch stage" and although I have yet to drive the new CTS, I am still "drawn" to the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 (and I have driven the Bimmer with the 300HP engine and it is soooo sweeet.)

    Jus' wandering, or wondering, if you get my drift. :surprise:
  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    For the 535xi loaded up, I was quoted just below 900 per month with tax in payment, 0 down and 15K per year. They have a very good rate now and an extra incentive if you are a current BMW driver.
  • alexanderkalexanderk Member Posts: 9
    You are right, it is a scary coincidence. And what you thought about CLS , I did too.

    So why Jag? I did love my LS 430 ( also 2004 ) with Sport and camera and was spoiled by it's almost perfection. I also own LX470 2005, so was ready for another Lexus LS460 not less. When I was faced by the fact that every one Lexus dealer expects me to pay an additional $400.00 on car with same MSRP and on same terms. I gave up on Lexus and looked at all of other models of MB, BMW and even Audi that you did. I need a sizable 4 door sedan since I have to drive with two kids in the back. Still the only coupe that I was ready to go for was BMW 650. It was July and lease numbers were bad. So in addition of not liking most what I looked at their leases were outrages. Idea to look at Jaguar came from nowhere. I stopped at Hornburg on Sunset and to look at this XJ8, since it did fall into that category of big luxury car. Suddenly I realized : why look more?
    It has right size, luxury enough, v8, drives excellent. I decided to give their internet dept. a shot. Since we all know that Jaguars are not that popular they gave close to $12000 off MSRP. So numbers suddenly became right. In my mind on Jaguar I did not want to spend much more than $900 a month on 3 year lease. So I went with just XJ , not VP.
    I got a short body, long would cost another $100 a month.
    Yes it less loaded that what I am used to, but to be honest that convenient keyless entry and rearview camera is the only options that I am still missing. I got it on 24 month term with $875/month ( tax incl )and total DO $2000. For me it is also takes around 6 month and I am ready for a new car so 2 years is better than 3. Maybe by than I will get a sport coupe.
    Try to take a closer look at that car, it is not that outdated like some might think. After all it as in the same league as all other cars that both of us considered, but for much less money. Good luck and let me know what else I can tell you that might help your decision.
  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    Well the similarities continue. I also cannot justify the new lease price on the LS 460 vs mine (I was at about 945 tax included) and they want 1200 or so for the new one. I did drive the jag again today and I liked it even more this time. I too don't need the long wheel base but I would never get a car without Nav, bluetooth and upgraded radio. Did you get the nav and better stereo? How does it compare the Lexus Mark Levinson (great system) and Lexus Nav? After my test drive, I got back in the my Lexus and it seemed to drive like a much bigger car than the Jag. I liked that the Jag felt smaller and a bit sportier.
    One concern I have is the seat comfort for long drives or short drives that take a long time (whether it's the LIE or the 405, I think you know what I mean). I didn't find the seats overly comfortable in the Lexus as I prefer a firmer more orthopedic type seat like the German cars have. I thought the acceleration was very good and I liked the engine growl. If I go for it, I'm going to see if I can get a 24 mos lease like you. Do you have an 08 or 07?
    By the way, I also took the BMW 550i with sport package out for a long drive today (the dealer knows me and just throws me the keys so it's a fun way to test a car). The car was very fast, handled great but it's definitely a sports car in a sedan body. I've become a bit used to the more "relaxed" luxury ride so I'm not sure how I'd adjust back to the sporty ride. But make no mistake, it's a great car with tons of performance, a lot of tech stuff like heads up display, I-pod, Nav with traffic updates, HD radio (which was amazing) etc. So I think it's between that and the Jag. If money were no issue I'd either go for the MB S Class or Bentley GT (I see more than a few of the GTs tooling around Beverly Hills every time I'm out there) or maybe the new CL but I'm not willing to get into the 90-160K range for a car at this point.
    Funny on the CLS. What a great looking and driving car but I swear, my back hurt every time I got in or out and I felt like my head was going to hit the door frame. It's a great looking car though.
  • alexanderkalexanderk Member Posts: 9
    I had Mark Levinson , bluetooth, navigation and camera, chrome 18inch wheels in my LS and paid only $850 incl tax with DO $1500. It was a very good deal via Wells Fargo. So same as you I did not see that much of a difference in new LS, to pay $1200+ on a car with msrp only $67000+ ( short WB, basically not that loaded base model). Agree with you that if money would be an issue I would go with S550, that by the way is not that much more, I was quoted around $1300+.
    Back to Jaguar. Mine is 2007, they were just expecting to get 2008. I was OK with that since 08 would change much. By look I can tell a year of every single car quite close except Jaguars. Navigation Yes. Bluetooth Yes. And I like it more than Lexus. The whole phone book from your phone is accessible via a touch screen, so you can scroll and use it to call while driving. And there is no few second delay that I had in LS at the beginning of each call. Front seats are more comfortable than LS, they grip your body better, even leather is not that soft and perforated. Spacious in the front, but did take some time to get used to it. It is just different. Leg space in the rear in my short WB is smaller, but my kids are in car seats so I can leave with it. Overall length of the car is same or slightly longer that LS430, but you were right, it feels and drives as a smaller sedan. Mine doesn't have an upgraded stereo, one disc could be disappointing but I use mostly IPOD via radio.
    I will tell you more about my decision process: In mid $800 I could get BMW 535, even the whole world loves this car I really don't care about it. You are right that Bmw 550 with sport, is a great drive but too stiff and $1100 is too much for what still looks like 525, plus it is too small. Bmw 750 is a great car I almost decided to spend $1200+ on it. I guess I am too practical. But at different stages of my life I have different ideas how much I want to spend on my car. When I had compared it with with my 3 year old LS and did not find enough advantages to pay the difference. Forgot to mention that looked into MB E550, another powerful sedan. Again even the most loaded one was that it was small, quite cheep looking interior and the fact that you can see more E classes on the streets of LA than Honda Civics.
    I hope it helps, but still be careful, I want you to make a right decision for you. It definitely a different type of car that you and me used to but on short term lease it should be a good experience. Almost forgot. Jaguar has first complimentary service at 12500 mls, the way that I drive under 12000 mls per year, I might not need a second service. On Lexus, other than first, service every 5000mls was getting annoying, plus I had to replace all beaks and tires, they don't last till the end of 3 year leas on Lexuses.

    Good luck again.
  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    It's interesting on the service that Lexus suggests 5K where you pay but on BMW where they pay,it's around 10K miles between service. I think that Lexus is generating a lot of coin for service. Most of today's cars can go much longer between oil changes and it would be surprising to me if Lexus cars were not as advanced in this way as the others.
    I agree with you on the E Class which I also looked at. Too bad they don't make it like a smaller S Class with it's very nice interior but the E interior just misses and I can't get over that it's the most common taxi cab every time I go to Europe. I think that the only great Benzes are the SL, S, CLS, and CL. The CLK vert is nice too. The next level down is a real drop. Oh, and the GL looks nice if you want an SUV, but I'm over that for now. Regarding the 5 series, again, I agree that the 550i is very expensive. And now that the 535 is just about as quick for about 8K less, it doesn't make so much sense. I asked if you could get the aero kit for the 535 that's on the SP550 and was told that it's about a 3K add on at port and can't be residualized on the lease so will run around 100 per month on a 36 month lease-ouch! Still it would have the look and similar performance to the 550i, better gas mileage, all wheel drive if you want,and for a good bit less. I would say that the only thing in the 5 that was a tad disappointing was the interior. In a car that listed for almost 70K (550i), it was a bit stark. So you can get a stripped 525 for around 45K? or a 550i for 70K and the interior is the same. I think BMW should take a look at that. The 6 on the other hand, has a nicer interior.
    It's curious to me that you got Nav on you XJ but not upgraded stereo. I guess they don't bundle those together like Lexus. Was the Ipod interface from Jag or after market add-on? Does it work through the stereo as far as tuning etc? Wow, you can use the phone book in blue tooth while driving? That's a big plus. It drives me crazy in the Lexus. Can you program the Nav while driving too? (I use a short cut that I read on an Edmunds board that allows you to bypass the Lexus Nav cut off so you can program it while driving but not for the phone).
  • alexanderkalexanderk Member Posts: 9
    I got this Ipod interface from Apple store. It works through the radio and car charger. Again it is not perfect but works.
    If you like MB CLK convertible, back in June, 550 with a MRSP in low $70 were leased for under 900 a month.
    Another nice car was just leased by my brother. It is Lexus GS350. Car has it all and not expensive. Sure it would be a little step down from big luxury sedans but again it is hard to tell where is that line of separation. I probably would consider this GS back when I was on the market if I would know better. Since you mentioned a BMW 535, I thought of that alternative. It would be no sport package that actually looks so M5. HP will be similar and quality of interior is unbelievably better.
  • mojo1078mojo1078 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks so much for your imput on the CTS. You're absolutely correct, I test drove it and was not impress at all. I have decided not to get the BMW, its an awsome car however its not in my price range. I visited a lexus dealer and was very impress with ES350 2007. Any advice?

  • mojo1078mojo1078 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for your advice. Due to alot of negative reviews on the AUDI, I have decided not to consider it, instead I am looking at the lexus ES350 2007.

  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    An ES350... Hmmmm. The main difference between the CTS, the three and five series BMWs and other competitors like the C-Class, the Infiniti G and Lexus IS is that the Lexus ES is Front Wheel Drive and quite "unsporty" by comparison.

    If a cushy FWD ride is what you're looking for, then the ES is possibly the perfect ride (although I would look at the Acura TL as well).

    Best Regards,
  • mojo1078mojo1078 Member Posts: 5
    I agree, if you're looking for luxury, style and a great resale value the bimmer 5 series is it. My only problem is the price, its well over my range. I am considering the Lexus ES350 2007. I was very impress with this car and the price is not all bad. Any advice?

  • kgarykgary Member Posts: 180
    If you like the ES, take a look at the loaded Camry and Avalon and save a couple of bucks.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    At the risk of being piled up on, I'll ask, WHAT negative reviews?
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I wouldn't think the lack of a V8 is the reason for the Acura's lackluster sales. If "magically" an Acura RL V8 would be brought out otherwise identical to the current 6 cylinder version, I seriously doubt there would be anything more than a temporary bump in sales.

    I agree, the RL's problem is the RL, not the engine. In a field of fantastic cars, it's merely an also ran. Even the S80 is better. I also agree with what others have said, the BMW 3.0TT is a far different beast than Acura's 3.5. The BMW engine produces in reality around 330hp, while the RL's 3.5 after the new SAE spec is down to 290hp. More importantly though, the 3.0TT produces V8 levels of torque barely above idle, while the RL's engine has to rev to 5000rpm in order to produce just 256ft.lbs. That simply isn't enough for a 4020lb. car, which is why the RL is so slow. A V8 would make it faster, but that would also make it even more nose heavy. The car in its current iteration is simply unfixable. They've got to start over from scratch.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    I agree...the RL reminds me of an Asian oldsmobile. Perhaps they should bring back the Legend.

  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    I have a 2006 A6 4.2, and it's an awesome car. Audi's V8 is such a sweet engine. It's got amazing purr to it that makes me actually want to turn the radio off and hear the engine as I run thru the gears. I've been in a lot of high end BMW's and 400 plus HP AMG Mercedes', and none of them are as satisfying as sitting behind the wheel of a V8 Audi. At least not for me. There's more to it than whose car is fastest from 0-60.

    The 3.2 A6 is nice, but it's a bit underpowered @ 255hp. It's a totally different driving experience between the V6 and the V8 A6.

    When comparing 60k cars, the 4.2 A6 is probably the best bang for the buck out there. You can easily spend 5-7k more more on a comparably equipped AWD BMW or MB.

    But everybody seems to want lease deals, and the A6 isn't the car to buy beacuse of a low lease payment. From the sales figures I see, Audi really doesn't seem to worry about how many A6's they're selling in the US market. It's not the best "deal" out there, but certainly near the top of best cars in that category.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Perhaps they should bring back the Legend.

    The Legend never really went away. When the Legend became the RL in '96, it was still the Honda Legend in Japan. The problem was what they did to the car. The original Legend was low and sleek, and it had great steering for a FWD car. Sales were great. In '96, they decided to go after the LS400, by turning the RL into a boring luxo-cruiser with loads of body roll, ultra-light, ultra-numb steering, and styling that copied the LS.

    Unfortunately the LS was already a copy of the S-class, so the RL was a slow, boring, weak V6 powered FWD copy of a copy. Sales absolutely tanked, and never recovered. It took Acura nine years to come up with a replacement for their colossal failure, and that replacement turned out to be a colossal failure. Acura just doesn't seem to understand the mid-lux category.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Good information, I did not know that. It amazes me of the corporate decisions at some car companies.

  • lynnminnylynnminny Member Posts: 49
    Need some opionions from others about tires. Looking at the 2008 535xi. Am getting the sport pkg, so the car will have 18" tires. I do not want to have to buy winter and summer tires so am trying to find a very good all season tire that will work for both. Am in a snowy area so need something that handles well in the winter.

    The BMW salesman has suggested a Kumho all-season tire or a Michelin all-season tire. Of course, he got this info. from a tire guy that his dealership uses and he did not know which Michelin tire the guy was talking about.

    I have heard from other auto blogs that the Nokian WR is a superb all season tire and does very well in the snow.

    Any opinions??

    One other thing--- I love the front end of the 550, but need the all-wheel drive. For $4500 the dealer will install that sport grille on the 535xi that is on the 550. Seems a bit pricey to me!

    I cannot wait to get rid of my 2005 Acura RL--- it is so boring and has had a lot of glitches that require us taking it back to the dealer on a regular basis. Very disappointing car. It is our 3rd Acura and the quality is not the same as our previous Acuras.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 200,946
    The 535xi should come with all-season tires, even if you get the sport package..

    Only the RWD models come with summer tires..

    (I'm pretty sure.. but, you should check)

    Edmunds Price Checker
    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • lynnminnylynnminny Member Posts: 49
    The salesman told me that it comes with high-performance tires that would not work here during the winter even with the all-wheel drive.

    So-- guess I'm not sure at this point:)
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I do not want to have to buy winter and summer tires so am trying to find a very good all season tire that will work for both. Am in a snowy area so need something that handles well in the winter.

    I highly recommend the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position. Tire Rack rated them #2 behind Pilot Sport A\S in the dry, and #1 in the wet, and they are a lot more affordable than the Michelins. I've been using them on my LS lately, they are fantastic. Very quiet, and brilliant in the rain.
  • warthogwarthog Member Posts: 216
    The BMWUSA website has the sport package coming with summer tires, with the appropriate caveat that they are not suitable for ice and snow.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    When I ordered my 535Xi this past May, the sport package by itself still comes with the standard 17" wheels and all season tires you get without the sport package.

    If you do order the sport package, then you can also order optional 18" wheels which come with run flat summer performance tires.

    If you go with the 18" wheels and tires, then based on my own experience, I do not recommend using the summer performance tires in winter driving conditions, notwithstanding AWD.

  • topspin628topspin628 Member Posts: 373
    So continuing my decision process, I took another look at the S550 (another poster earlier suggested that this would be the perfect car for me). It's beautiful and has a great presence.
    The interior quality is first rate and the car feels very substantial. As for the drive, it was very smooth and quiet but it's a car that I'd rather be driven in than drive. It felt a bit heavy to me and wasn't fun to drive. It's one serious machine and I think they did a great job but it's not for me. I prefer the way the Jag XJ handled and drove.
    It felt a bit sportier and was much lighter. The MB was like driving a limo. I also took a long spin in the LS 460. They did a great job on the body and I think everything is a half notch up from my LS 430 but they are still quite similar. Interesting that the salesman kept stressing that the "entire car is different" and that "nothing's the same as the last model." I got the idea that this was drilled into him as part of the speech. Maybe too many people feel that they are similar to the last model and therefore balk at paying 30% more (at least that's what the lease deal works out as). I mean, the last model is the epitome of smooth and quiet. How much smoother and quieter can it be? They aren't going for road feel. I would say that the brakes felt more responsive, the car felt a bit quicker, the ML stereo was a bit more powerful and the seats were more comfortable. And I like the new body style. But it's still evolution not revolution. They really over sold it when the marketing dept said that this intro would be as important as the first introduction of the LS400. They would be better off under-promising and over-delivering.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    If you are leasing a BMW, you should know that you must put ONLY BMW authorized rubber on the car. Now, of course, this does NOT mean you cannot use the tire you want.

    What it means is that if you use a tire that is not on the approved list, you will be charged for the replacement of the tires to comply with "the list."

    This strikes me as darn near absurd -- but there is some logic to this.

    Digression: my wife's 2005 X3 WITH the sport package came with H rated, 50 series, all season tires (Mich MXV's in some flavor.)

    The tires were OK but they were not at all what one would consider Ultra High Performance all seasons.

    When the OE tires crapped out at 30K miles, we replaced them with "jen u wine" UHP All Seasons in the same size.

    The handling was better, the look was better and the all season quality was fine for us here in SW Ohio.

    Woa, dealer says, "when you turn in the car, you will have to buy NEW tires of the size and BRAND and model on "the list." Tread life remaining on the tires YOU bought? Yep?!? Tough nuggies (or is that noogies, Todd?) -- Bridgestones are NOT on the list, bzzzzzz you lose.

    In the days (like now) of mass customization, specifying the tires you want from "the list" should NOT be an issue. God knows, we would have never chosen the Mich tires that came with this thing.

    Be careful. Here is what you must do if you lease:

    1. Buy the car
    2. Buy the tires at the time you buy the car
    3. Save the OE tires
    4. Put your tires on the car the day you get it
    5. When the tires you put on die, put the OE tires on
    6. Live with it until you turn the car in


    Pay for an extra set of tires at lease turn in time.

  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Digression: my wife's 2005 X3 WITH the sport package came with H rated, 50 series, all season tires (Mich MXV's in some flavor.)

    Why is it that so many new luxury cars come with those crappy Michelins? Some kind of pact? I don't understand why they would purposely worsen the ride, handling and grip of their cars with such lousy rubber.
  • james27james27 Member Posts: 433
    I had some Nokian snows on my Audi and felt that they road and handled very good. I would have no qualms installing their all-season tire as it has a snow rating for areas that require it as well.
  • jobiejobie Member Posts: 47
    I have the 535xi SP with 18" wheel does come with high-performance run-flats - 245's on the front and 275's on the rear...definitely not for winter. I'm planning to get a winter tire/wheel package from Tirerack.
Sign In or Register to comment.