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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,752
    Mark, I like your A7 review..thanks. My problem with it is that it is verrry low to the ground making egress especially interesting for some.
  • henrynhenryn Houston, TXPosts: 2,575

    Miscellaneous Topics


    He also bought a super-nice Ford four door pickup truck (with what darn near looks like a car interior, only nicer) -- and plans to keep it until the wheels turn square. Perhaps Ford trucks are really hard to kill or wound.

    Well ... yes and no. I just purchased a new "Ford four door pickup truck (with what darn near looks like a car interior, only nicer)". I opted for the new for this year twin-turbo 2.7L engine, which is entirely unproven. (As to longevity, I mean.) If I had planned to keep the truck "until the wheels turn square", most likely would have opted for the old school V8 engine. With this particular engine (the twin turbo), if I were to decide to keep it past end of warranty, I will most likely spring for the extended factory warranty BEFORE the base warranty expires.

    Just something about the first year for a brand new engine, especially a "twin turbo" design ...
    2018 Ford F150 XLT Crew Cab, 2016 Chrysler Town & Country Touring
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,910

    Miscellaneous Topics

    Is there a spreadsheet (that I don't have to create myself) available (on line) that allows the user to plug in numbers -- and make some assumptions regarding repair and mntce costs -- to come up with the "cost of ownership" for buying and holding (at least 5 years) vs leasing (for at least 3 years)? I'd appreciate a URL if anyone here knows of one.

    I mentioned this before -- and it did have to do with a GM car in the spirit of full disclosure -- but my neighbor with 80K on his somewhat late model "paid for" Pontiac Bonneville was, according to him, making maintenance and repair payments that were not too far below his financing payments. He went ahead and got a new big-boy Dee-Lux CUV (Chevy) using the logic that if he was going to make payments on a crappy, unreliable, old car, why not make the same payments and be driving a new car with a warranty.

    He also bought a super-nice Ford four door pickup truck (with what darn near looks like a car interior, only nicer) -- and plans to keep it until the wheels turn square. Perhaps Ford trucks are really hard to kill or wound.

    Took my S4 in for the 35K service interval + a tire rotation last Thursday night; got an A7 with 5K miles on it; car was apparently a base model with 19" wheels, winter package (F/R heated seats, steering wheel) and LED headlights. For all intents and purposes, the window sticker I found in the glove box bottom lined at $69K. The option packages did not include the upgraded sound system, but, oddly Nav and voice command and BT communications and WiFi hotspot were all included. It also had premium paint (a kind of crystal black). Perhaps Premium+ doesn't merit a separate line item (which I thought odd, since there was an A6 Prestige on the showroom floor).

    The A7 was sublime -- library quiet, supple, smooth -- the thing oozed from point A to point B. As Col Potter once said, "there aren't enough O's in smooth to describe it." Of course he was talking about some very old scotch whisky as I recall.

    The upgraded wheels and tires (with all-season designation) were probably on the car for styling purposes since the car lacked the sport suspension option. But I hoped the A7 would be a true Luxury Performance Sedan -- especially for nearly $70K.

    In a straight line and at triple digit speeds, the car was, to repeat, sublime. However, I really could not find much of that German Taught feel I assumed would be present. Oh hell, the thing seemed very close to mushy, with ample body roll and, despite quick turn-in, a huge tendency toward understeer at any slightly above posted limits upon entering a curve or twisty section of highway.

    I had been, previously, loaned an A6 with all of the sport option boxes checked off and it seemed much much better than the A7.

    The thing sure was purty however -- but not nearly $10K more beautiful than a comparable A6 -- and driving it although not exactly a chore, was, hmm, rather a disappointment.

    I was able to pull into the dealer in the A7 and five minutes later drive out in my S4 -- the main straight line difference was that the S4 is not quite as quiet as the A7, but everything else about the S4 -- from the sound system to the sound of the engine at full cry -- was superior.

    Now, then, however, would I have the need to drive myself and 3 passengers on a 100 mile trip to Columbus, Louisville or Indianapolis, well the extra rear seat leg room of the A7 would be appreciated.

    I guess the S cars have the power to spoil (me at least). I simply would not pay the extra $13K for a relatively stripped A7 -- and if they were both $57K, the S4 would still be my first choice. Makes me wonder how much better, even, the B9 S4 will be over the A7's.

    Drive it like you live.

    I just got my 35K mile service at 34K miles (did it early). I did it early mainly due to the fact I skipped/missed my 30K mile oil change. Don't listen to Audi if you plan on keeping the car a long time; best advice is change the oil every 5K miles no matter how good the oil is. If you plan on not keeping it much past the 50K warranty, then Audi's advice to do 10K maintenance intervals is sound. Otherwise, the best advice I've received is that it is not a good idea to skimp.

    What did your 35K S4 service include?

    I told them to include the engine air filter whether it said to do it or not. They also did my cabin air filter, the motor oil, and I asked for a front brake service including new fluid as my pads were starting to scratch metal on metal on 1/2" ring just a week before my scheduled service (took two weeks to get into this shop from when I called; they are too good and popular and busy as a result!). Rotors when correctly priced even the large fronts were only $125 each, but still a hard pill to swallow twice now for me (due to track-use). This time, (unlike the first which was totally my fault for ignoring the sensor lights), I didn't get all the dummy light sensors warning me my pads were low; might need to ask Audi why the brake pad sensors didn't warn me and to pony up for the rotors as a result :smile: Also need to ask my shop again what the diagnosis/theory is for the failure of the sensors to warn me I was scoring my rotors with metal on metal contact. Perhaps the pads were unevenly worn from overheating during 100+ degree track days; causing the lack of warning. Need to follow up with them. My front pads are not really meant to be track abused more than probably 1 weekend (they were put through 2 as well as 19,000 miles).

    CR came out with 2014/15 results of the most reliable Car brands, and Audi as real-world observance between you and I seems to agree with, is at the top of the chart along with a couple others for good reason. Impeccably built, quality controlled, and constructed is what comes to mind as the right words.

    I was charged 2.1 hours for 35K service which included the oil/filter, air filter, cabin pollen filter, brake fluid flush, & inspection.
    Charged 1.5 hours to replace the front rotors and pads.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    andres3 said:



    I just got my 35K mile service at 34K miles (did it early). I did it early mainly due to the fact I skipped/missed my 30K mile oil change. Don't listen to Audi if you plan on keeping the car a long time; best advice is change the oil every 5K miles no matter how good the oil is. If you plan on not keeping it much past the 50K warranty, then Audi's advice to do 10K maintenance intervals is sound. Otherwise, the best advice I've received is that it is not a good idea to skimp.

    So why not follow manufacture recommended service? What do you know that others don't?
  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    Mark in regards to the A7, I think it's one of Audi's better designed cars, I would love to have one myself. But not too sure what packages I would want on it, sport package would high on the list.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    It's a bit like apples and oranges, but I have over 20 UOAs on my MS3 and they indicate that M1 5W-30 is good for at least 10k miles in that application, and note that DI turbos are supposed to be particularly hard on oil. And M1 0W-40 is fine for 10k miles in the M54 in my son's X3.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited October 2015
    Both my wife and I have the Audi Advantage Pre-paid program; however, we have an oil and filter (and check up overall) performed EVERY 5,000 miles, meaning we pay for every other interval and the odd intervals are paid for as part of the Audi Advantage.

    The cost of these additional services is minimal and, if you plan on keeping the car beyond 50,000 miles is very inexpensive "insurance."

    Of course you can elect to keep the 10K interval and for all I know things will be fine -- we have decided at this time we want to be MORE THAN FINE and figured doubling up on the oil and filter changes is worth doing.

    We are, too, planning on buying the service packs at 45K which will provide no charge services at 55K and 65K. We will, however, keep up the every other interval (meaning double) practice.

    Mine (the S4) can be CPO's prior to 50K miles which will extend the warranty to 100K miles -- my wife's, since we own it, cannot be CPO'd, but we're going to run the risk of something bad happening and go "naked" after 50K on the SQ5. The plan, currently, is to trade the SQ5 around 90K, since a BIG HIT in depreciation happens when you drive the car off the lot and again at close to 100K.

    We may or may not lease the replacement for the SQ5 and I may or may not buy my next one -- however, at this point, I do plan to buy my S4 off lease.

    Plans are nothing. . . .

    Planning is everything . . . .

    Drive it like you live.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    Have you had a UOA performed at 5,000 miles? If not, how do you know that changing the oil at that mileage provides "insurance"?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,593
    OMG -- Fact-based analysis. What's the world coming to?
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,910

    andres3 said:



    I just got my 35K mile service at 34K miles (did it early). I did it early mainly due to the fact I skipped/missed my 30K mile oil change. Don't listen to Audi if you plan on keeping the car a long time; best advice is change the oil every 5K miles no matter how good the oil is. If you plan on not keeping it much past the 50K warranty, then Audi's advice to do 10K maintenance intervals is sound. Otherwise, the best advice I've received is that it is not a good idea to skimp.

    So why not follow manufacture recommended service? What do you know that others don't?
    I know what not one but two highly trusted mechanic's/shop manager's said.

    I also know that manufacturer's have a built-in incentive to make cars last as long as the warranty, but no longer. Planned obsolescence forces you to buy more new cars more frequently. This strategy works great except some manufacturer's have the decency to have the experience of their customer's more in mind rather than just the short-term bottom line. Also, a lot of luxury companies still offer either free maintenance, or try to sell discounted packaged pre-paid maintenance. It's a lot cheaper and easier to sell if you can say 50K miles of maintenance, and only have 5 service visits. They only need to make it last the term of the warranty, or the lease. An owner might have other desires and concerns.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,927
    didn't the BMW service intervals jump right when they started paying for the service? I'm sure it was pure coincidence!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,910

    Have you had a UOA performed at 5,000 miles? If not, how do you know that changing the oil at that mileage provides "insurance"?

    I guess you can't know for sure, but what line in the sand results from a UOA would you use? Some people might draw their line in the sand more stringently, and of course, driving conditions and habits can change any individual's results, even with the same car and oil.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    stickguy said:

    didn't the BMW service intervals jump right when they started paying for the service? I'm sure it was pure coincidence!

    BMW uses synthetic oil, and the study's shows that synthetic oil last longer so why change the oil when not necessary.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,927
    Well, still hard to imagine that 14-15K is good, but could be.

    my point was, the intervals were much shorter (5k?), until BMW starting covering it, at which time the interval jumped to 10K+. For the same engines. So either they were ripping people off (or letting their dealers do it!), and stopped when it was on their dime, or they significantly cut the confidence cushion!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 5,498
    edited October 2015
    stickguy said:

    Well, still hard to imagine that 14-15K is good, but could be.

    my point was, the intervals were much shorter (5k?), until BMW starting covering it, at which time the interval jumped to 10K+. For the same engines. So either they were ripping people off (or letting their dealers do it!), and stopped when it was on their dime, or they significantly cut the confidence cushion!

    They have the "condition based" service, which is capped at 1 year. They lowered the mileage cap to 12k, I think. Condition based service is calculated by the computer based on driving severity. The only thing it doesn't take into account is environment. They don't have oil sensors (I don't think anybody does), so if it gets dusty or contaminated, you wouldn't know it.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    Dino I think the computer can take into account max temp.. My service intervals are less during summer months
  • Here's my statement: I change the oil, at the dealer, every 5,000 miles. For all I know it is a waste of money, not any real "insurance" whatsoever. The 10K intervals are based on several factors, one being that these cars do have large oil capacities. My wife's Infiniti suggested oil change intervals of 3,750 with non syn oil. We changed the oil on that one every 7,500 and used full syn oil.

    Maybe this is snake oil, so to speak.

    I have no insider info that says 5K changes are necessary. Logic only leads me to the conclusion that 5K intervals cannot hurt and MAY help with engine lifespan.

    I really like my S4. There is, at this point, no known US availability date for the B9 S4. I figure I need to keep my current car probably another 2 years. I have every incentive, therefore, to HOLD onto this S4 -- and god knows repairs to German cars are breathtakingly expensive.

    So, I figure it this way, "what the heck, twice as many oil changes have no material downside."

    If you follow the mfgr's representations pertaining to mntce, you are certainly OK within the OEM warranty period.

    Said it before: Drive it like YOU live.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    andres3 said:


    I guess you can't know for sure, but what line in the sand results from a UOA would you use? Some people might draw their line in the sand more stringently, and of course, driving conditions and habits can change any individual's results, even with the same car and oil.

    If the TBN is over 1.5 and wear metals(aluminum, copper, iron, lead) are tracking within about 25% of universal averages(adjusted for mileage) I would think that your oil is probably being changed too early. Aside from the break in period and the variable valve timing actuator TSB the UOAs from my MS3 have been remarkably consistent- even when the car has seen the track.
    As for long-term reliability, the MS3 is currently at 156k and the X3 is knocking on 180k.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,910

    andres3 said:


    I guess you can't know for sure, but what line in the sand results from a UOA would you use? Some people might draw their line in the sand more stringently, and of course, driving conditions and habits can change any individual's results, even with the same car and oil.

    If the TBN is over 1.5 and wear metals(aluminum, copper, iron, lead) are tracking within about 25% of universal averages(adjusted for mileage) I would think that your oil is probably being changed too early. Aside from the break in period and the variable valve timing actuator TSB the UOAs from my MS3 have been remarkably consistent- even when the car has seen the track.
    As for long-term reliability, the MS3 is currently at 156k and the X3 is knocking on 180k.
    Any issues with needed sludge and carbon deposits/build-up cleaned? Injector, induction, and other cleanings? I know my A3 seemed much more lively after one of these services, but it was no Jiffy Lube job, it was a serious induction system cleaning.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    I run a bottle of Techron through the MS3 every 3k miles; no other "cleanings." In-gear acceleration times have remained consistent since 40k miles so I don't see a need for any other treatments.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • roadburner - We have become true believers in using only Top-Tier gasolines -- and now that Costco participates in that designation (and we have two Costco fuel locations fairly close to home), even the prices for TTG aren't shocking anymore.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,193
    Yes; I've use Top Tier fuel in everything save the Jeep for years.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited October 2015
    Inculcation

    As I look at the posts here, I notice there are some of us who have thousands of posts, some have dozens. I could be wrong, but I also assume there are people (and I have been one from time to time) who lurk, but don't post. Moreover, I also assume there are folks who may research (and dream about) their next vehicle using the manufacturer's web sites. The problem with doing that is that those sites are entirely marketing oriented -- there is nothing that could provoke "other brand (and maybe even other model) thinking."

    This is one of the key benefits of participating in an Edmund's Forum -- you may be provoked.

    One of the most popular classes of cars is the class that is discussed in this very forum, ELLPS -- but even within our ranks we differ on what is or is not EL (entry level). I often argue that EL pertains most to the basic chassis (grossly, the "size"). This means a BMW 3 series, no matter how modest or how out there (in any way you wish to construe this) is an ELLPS car (meaning I would include an M3 unless or until some more granular classification is heartily adopted by folks who flock to Edmunds.)

    I found it difficult -- but I acknowledge other's POVs -- to consider two Acura's, for instance, built on separate wheelbases/chassis to be candidates for ELLPS classification. Likewise, I have difficulty considering, again as an example, both the A3 and A4 offerings from Audi to be considered in the same class. Again, my rationale is more size (length and width, i.e.) derived than MSRP or HP or torque, derived. Also, I think a certain Premium-ness is required to be in this club.

    Recently, there have been "trial" balloons loosed suggesting that the A3 family, now that there is an S3 available, merits inclusion in the ELLPS category. Folks [some] suggest that the acceleration numbers put forth by the S3, since they are a few tenths of a second less than that of an S4, render the S4 a good candidate to be passed over when one is shopping in the over $45,000 category. After all, a balls-to-the-wall S3 can be had for something in the $51,000 neighborhood and a maxed out S4 can command $10,000 more. Why bother paying more is the either stated or implied thought.

    Having two late model Audis gives both my wife and me multiple chances to "legitimately" test-drive almost every car in the Audi lineup, since they are all in the loaner fleet. I may have mentioned my wife got to be the very first user of a 2016 A8L for 24-hours while her SQ5 was in for new shoes and an all-wheel alignment and oil+filter change. Last week, my turn came in the form of an A7 (which, I must say, I was underwhelmed with).

    Couple these multiple legitimate test drives with the hobby test drives we repeat Audi customers are afforded, and you might be able to grant that the missus and I are very well qualified [amateur] Audi experts.

    With this as a backdrop, I must tell you about yet another S3 experience we've had and the conclusions that can be drawn vis a vis the S4.

    Being quicker to 60mph . . . see next post.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited October 2015
    Being quicker to 60mph

    There is a lot to like about the S3. There is a whole lot to like about the S3 if you've not driven an S4. The pricing of the S3 does seem, if you go to a dealer that has both S3's and S4's on the showroom floor, difficult to justify -- again if you've driven (or own, especially) a B8 S4 post 2012, for instance.

    I found the S3 to be a bit quicker than the S4 (both cars are equally fast) -- or it felt that way, perhaps -- at the slow speeds. But the S4 with the DSG in "S" mode, does seem to be able to get things done in a more sorted, I would say "better" fashion; the S4 is noticably smoother and, yes, does things with a feeling that it does have more urge, than the S3. This may be a function of the extra gear, I dunno.

    The S3 seemed to dart -- perhaps it seems to "flinch" when the wheel is turned. That reaction certainly is indicative of some level of responsiveness, but I did find the S4, even when set to dynamic mode, to be responsive without flinching.

    The S3 felt light -- and that is a good thing. But when you close (er, slam) the doors on the S3 (vs the S4), the sound is slightly tinny, evoking some sense that I can only say reminds me of my 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD Advance: flimsy. Please note -- I am not saying the S3 is flimsy. It does "sound" decidedly less solid than the S4 when the doors are slammed however.

    For short trips, the S3 was a blast to drive -- but on the frost-heaved Interstate highways we have here in SW Ohio, any speed less than 80 was choppy, harsh almost. In contrast the S4 at 70 over the same surface just feels solid and "firm."

    The S4 at any speed under 100 (I couldn't get the real estate to get the S3 over 100 on our crowded Interstates here in Cincinnati) is quieter, one could almost call the S4 luxurious, smooth, supple, etc. The S4 feels like a premium car from just about any perspective I can think of -- while the S3 seems like every surface that you can touch is a bit thinner, hinting at being brittle, in fact. The S3 is made of good stuff, but the stuff feels a bit more economy class, than premium class, however,

    The thing is, I do like the S3, but it almost seems like it should have been brought out first (in its present iteration) under the VW logo, rather than under the four-rings.

    I took a second drive in a balls-to-the-wall equipped version of an S3 and found a drive around the interstate surrounding Cincinnati (I-275) to be almost punishing -- especially at any speeds under 80. The S3 is a modern day buck-board when equipped with the largest wheels/tires (in summer config) and with the Audi-Drive-Select set to Dynamic.

    Yes it is a very high-end go-kart. And, to me, a very high-priced one at that.

    My 2014 S4 has its faults -- and it was $57K+, nearly $7K more than the S3, that is -- but the S3 needs to go to finishing school to shed some of its harsher edges. Hell, it can even keep some of the "boy-racer" characteristics, since I am of the opinion that I don't want the S3 to be a substitute for an S4, anymore than I want the S4 to be a substitute for an S6.

    The S3 may be -- in fact the statistics seem to say that it is -- quicker than an S4 (not faster, quicker), but I am not looking for Audi to produce a WRX or WRX STI (not that there is anything wrong with those Subaru models). I am looking for Audi to produce and market Premium and even perhaps Super-Premium Luxury Performance cars.

    In some respects the S3 doesn't represent that ideal as much as the marketing materials proclaim.

    If you have an S3 and love it -- I congratulate you and do understand how you could be justified in feeling that way.

    This long-time Audi maven, however, thinks the S3 should be sent, IMMEDIATELY, to finishing school or that the price should be cut about 15%. Being quicker than an S4 just isn't enough.

    DILYL
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,192
    edited October 2015
    When I sat in the A3 sedan, it felt kind of like a "nice car that was cheap" if that makes any sense. (referring to quality as opposed to price). My 1998 A4 was about the same size as the current A3 sedan but the older A4 was a much nicer car inside.

    Alternatively, when I sit in something like a current Mazda 3 that is loaded, it feels like a "cheap car that's really nice".

    I actually think I prefer the latter. So I get what you are saying about the S3 vs. S4. It's not just about speed, it's also about quality and refinement.

    People who want speed, alone, can get a Mustang or a Subaru WRX and forget the refinement. Supposedly you go to Audi for some luxury and refinement as well. So yes, the A3/S3 seems a bit like a cheapening of the brand, just like the new baby Mercedes. Moving downscale to try and get a different audience, but in the long term do these types of vehicles damage their brands, and are they really luxury (even entry level) any more?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,752
    edited October 2015
    "...S4 has its faults -- and it was $57K+, nearly $7K more than the S3..."

    The flip side argument about refinement and cheaper feeling S3 is that $7K ain't chicken-feed, so the delta in cost has to come from somewhere, no?
  • rbirns1rbirns1 Posts: 276
    It should be simple. Entry level luxury is the lowest priced models of luxury makes.
  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    rbirns1 said:

    It should be simple. Entry level luxury is the lowest priced models of luxury makes.

    Priced as MSRP or payments? Just saw an ad here in Phoenix for a 2015 Hyundai Geneses sedan for $299/m or BMW 320i for $259/m
  • rbirns1rbirns1 Posts: 276

    rbirns1 said:

    It should be simple. Entry level luxury is the lowest priced models of luxury makes.

    Priced as MSRP or payments? Just saw an ad here in Phoenix for a 2015 Hyundai Geneses sedan for $299/m or BMW 320i for $259/m
    Genesis, nice as it may be, is really stretching the definition since Hyundai is not a luxury make. 3-series is clearly entry-level luxury.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited October 2015
    carnaught said:

    "...S4 has its faults -- and it was $57K+, nearly $7K more than the S3..."

    The flip side argument about refinement and cheaper feeling S3 is that $7K ain't chicken-feed, so the delta in cost has to come from somewhere, no?

    Point taken, but my sense is that the S3 was, much more of an economy class vehicle -- hence my remark that this freshman effort might have been better if it had come out from the VW side of the house. Even a sub-$50K S4 has a substantially more solid feel; and the look at the interior one enjoys and can touch and feel from behind the wheel is, well, Premium.

    I like the phrase: "cheap car that's really nice" -- unfortunately, I can't say I thought the feel of the S3 was in keeping with the rest of the Audi lineup we get here in the US.

    I read an article about the ways mfgrs approach cutting costs -- one of the mentioned ways was that a car company can elect to make the surfaces you see, but don't touch often, much thinner or with a lower grade of whatever material the surface is made of; also the "glove box" can be made of a cardboard like material and so forth.

    The S3 seemed much more like every "trick" in the book to drive cost down was used, much moreso than the other Audis and BMWs we have had since 1977. My 2014 S4, by contrast simply feels more substantial.

    Now, then, I have not seen the upcoming B9 A4/S4 family coming in 2016; and, it is possible, certainly, that it may have adopted the wring cost out "attitude" the A3 family seems to have embraced. If so, more's the pity.

    Also, the new "el cheapo" economy Mercedes (below the C class) seems, too, like a cheapening of the brand.

    For these companies, I would suggest they look at a similar (failed) attempt to bring out "lower cost" representations of the brand by BMW.

    I think I, too, would rather have "a cheap car that's really nice".

    Perhaps Mercedes can't bring out a non-Mercedes brand, "economy car," but Audi, I think, should have brought out the A3 as a nicer VW than a not-as-nice Audi.

    In our market, Toyota got it and came out with the Lexus brand, Honda the Acura brand and Nissan the Infiniti brand. For years, too, GM saw the market approach that seemed to work was to "always have another brand to aspire to" starting with Chevy and topping out at Cadillac. I understand the Buick Regal GS is a very competent, "nice", car -- but I also believe GM doesn't have, in the Regal, a Cadillac ATS clone.

    When the accountants (so it was said) started to rule the day, we started seeing badge engineering -- and while platform sharing does make some sense, taken to extremes, it can also sound the death knell for a previously great brand. Does anyone here really care that Ford dropped Mercury a few short years ago? There was, really, nothing special about them compared to their virtual twin Ford models. There was a time, however, that Mercury was different, some would say special, more special than a Ford.

    Lincoln is probably still on the endangered species list for similar reasons. At least Cadillac, to name one, has differentiated itself from Chevy and Buick. Had it not, we could very well have started carving Cadillac's tombstone.

    Mercedes and Audi, for example, may have started on a slippery slope as my attorney friends like to say.

    Does Rolex make any "economy class" time pieces?
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