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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • rbirns1rbirns1 Posts: 276
    It's all about branding. You're right, they don't make economy class Rolexes. Auto makers should not be diluting the quality of their brands by cheapening them. Want a cheaper Audi? Buy a Volkswagen.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,850
    I'd love to get my '06 A3 back for a day and show you all just how many itty bitty little cost cuts Audi made to the current A3/S3 model generation. I still think, however, that Audi is doing well because they do the least amount of "cost cutting," of any brand.

    Check out Infinity's cardboard loose in the track feeling moon roof cover. Now check out your S4 moon roof sliding cover. Night and day. Check out the lack of aluminum sills on the rear doors of the Infinity. Check out the trunk. Check out the way the finish is where the roof rails would go.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '17 VW Golf Alltrack SE 4-Motion 1.8T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,192
    rbirns1 said:

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

    Not sure I buy that if there's no real luxury there. I drove a Mercedes A-class in Europe a few years ago. If they decided to bring that car here, would that automatically make it EELPS? Not in my book - no luxury (and not much performance) at all.


  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    rbirns1 said:



    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.

    Is it really??? Have you owned one? I would put the Genesis sedan against the 5 series and E class, same size, just as quite is not quieter, ride is supple, standard equipment is greater then both of the Germans, just because it's built in Korea doesn't mean it's not a luxury car. In fact no one answer my question, when it comes to price, and which price we going to use to determine if the car is a luxury car. You think car maker determines this.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,117
    Well, I may end up in another BMW yet. I posted this over in CCBA as well...
    I was prowling my BMW dealer's used car lot today and found an Estoril Blue 2013 F30 335i M Sport. At first I thought it was the xDrive automatic that they have had a bit of trouble unloading, but it turns out that this is a one owner local car that was just traded- and-incredibly-it's RWD and has a manual transmission. It also has most every available option, including M Sport brakes as well as the M Performance aerodynamics. Don't know the price, mileage, or CPO status, but the car may be worth considering. It's nowhere near as quick as I'd prefer, but that can be fixed easily enough. I had whittled my choices down to a 2013 Boss 302, a new Mustang GT Premium with the Performance Package, and the new WRX STI. Now this shows up to possibly muddy the waters.

    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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,590
    never say never.

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

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    edited October 2015

    rbirns1 said:



    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.

    Is it really??? Have you owned one? I would put the Genesis sedan against the 5 series and E class, same size, just as quite is not quieter, ride is supple, standard equipment is greater then both of the Germans, just because it's built in Korea doesn't mean it's not a luxury car. In fact no one answer my question, when it comes to price, and which price we going to use to determine if the car is a luxury car. You think car maker determines this.
    I think there are certainly many examples of products that are -- for whatever reasons -- equal to or even better than other products but the two products are in different classes. Let me give a non-auto example: Tissot makes/markets watches. These time pieces are often feature laden, attractive and cost a fraction of other Swiss made time pieces. Breitling makes/market watches. These time pieces are often feature laden, attractive and cost many multiples of "similar" Tissot time pieces.

    It is possible to pick up a "higher end" Tissot with about every modern watch feature and function (complications) known to humans -- and the thing will cost hundreds of dollars (and is often discounted on top of that).

    It is virtually impossible to pick up a "lower end" Breitling that has only a date a sweep second hand function for under $2,000. Far as I know they both will tell time equally well and both will last for decades, lifetimes even.

    Tissots, even ones studded with diamonds, are not considered high-end watches. A watch super-store such as Tourneau sells Rolex, Movado, Tag and also sells Bulova, Seiko and Tissot -- if a Tourneau outlet is near you, check out the brands, perhaps you'll see what I'm referring to. The Rolex is to BMW as Seiko or Tissot is to the Genesis. The market perceives what it perceives. And in the instance of BMW vs Genesis like Rolex and Seiko, "Perception is Reality."

    Dimensions, decibels at 70MPH, number of speakers in the sound system, suppleness of ride or even country of origin doesn't change -- or hasn't thus far changed -- the reality that the Genesis is not currently considered an LPS vehicle; indeed, it is also not, yet, considered an ELLPS vehicle.

    It, the Genesis, is a "cheap car that's really nice"[sic].

    Similarly, the Toyota Avalon isn't a Lexus -- probably for the same perception reason. My feelings of consternation regarding the A3 vs the rest of the Audi lineup (or, similarly, the entry level Mercedes vs the other Merc's) still stands. Likewise: My belief that Tissot makes timepieces that equal Breitling's products, insofar as their ability to keep time, also stands -- but I don't for a minute think that Tissot or Seiko, etc, are high-end Premium watches.

    Genesis' cars, no matter how feature laden, no matter how statistically similar, etc, are not in the same class as BMW's. The market's perception, not mine, not yours -- currently indicating BMW is LPS and Genesis is not -- is reality.

    Maybe there will be a reversal of fortune for both of these successful companies -- thus far, there is scant evidence of that. Perhaps, however, Genesis will -- eventually -- come to be perceived as a Premium Car.

    Time(pieces) will tell.

  • rbirns1rbirns1 Posts: 276
    At the end of the day, that Genesis owner still has to tell his friends he drives a Hyundai.  
  • henrynhenryn Houston, TXPosts: 2,575
    rbirns1 said:

    At the end of the day, that Genesis owner still has to tell his friends he drives a Hyundai.  

    Yes, he does. And his friends who know which end is up, will know that he is a very savvy car buyer. Those who are status conscious, those who have to own a Rolex and drive a BMW just for the status, will look down their noses at him.
    2018 Ford F150 XLT Crew Cab, 2016 Chrysler Town & Country Touring
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,660
    ....and he doesn't have to worry about anything on the drive train for awhile!
    Warranty

    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis comes with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownPosts: 1,039
    rbirns1 said:
    It's all about branding. You're right, they don't make economy class Rolexes. Auto makers should not be diluting the quality of their brands by cheapening them. Want a cheaper Audi? Buy a Volkswagen.
    Rolex does make a cheaper watch - it's branded as a Tudor.  Instead of a Rolex movement, it has a movement made by ETA, which makes movements for a lot of watchmakers including Tag, Movado, and Tissot.  Rolex didn't want to "sully" the Rolex name but still wanted a piece of the medium price watch market.
    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2017 Honda Civic EX-T
  • flightnurseflightnurse Valley of HellPosts: 2,178
    rbirns1 said:

    At the end of the day, that Genesis owner still has to tell his friends he drives a Hyundai.  

    Interesting comment, having one in the family people are hard pressed to believe that Hyundai built the car. For people like yourself, the badge on the hood makes the car.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,117


    Interesting comment, having one in the family people are hard pressed to believe that Hyundai built the car. For people like yourself, the badge on the hood makes the car.

    Your ARE what you drive wear...

    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

  • breldbreld Posts: 4,408
    My wife got her S3 this past August and absolutely loves it. For her, it was about getting something with much of the "character" of the GTI she traded it in, but in a package that was more refined and mature. The S3 may feel rougher than an S4 (more on that below), but I would say it's much more refined than, say, a WRX. No doubt you're paying for that premium, but once you really load up a GTI, WRX or certainly a Golf R, the premium for the Audi gets much more palatable (at least it was for us).

    Now, I was impressed enough with her S3 that I returned to the Audi dealership and bought my S4 a few weeks later. And, after a few months of driving my S4 and having ample seat time in her S3....I'd agree, for the most part, with @markcincinnati regarding the difference in luxury between the two.

    In fact, and I posted this on the CCBA forum too, this S4 may be my favorite car I've owned. The balance between the sporty dynamic and luxury is impressive. To me, it feels like it falls in between two of my previous cars - an e90 335i and an f10 535i, offering most of the comfort of the 5 and most of the sport of the 3. Sort of a Goldilocks "just right" choice.

    I had debated between the great DSG and the manual, but in the end, I figured if Audi was still gonna offer the manual, I was gonna stick with they dying breed. And it is a great manual trannie - very "easy" to drive in traffic and for me, really adds to the overall experience. Not that there aren't times in my long work commute that I would prefer a nice auto, but I'll take advantage of it now while it's still being offered - doubt it will be for much longer.

    2018 Audi Q7 - 2018 Audi A5 - 2017 Miata RF

  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,860
    Guess I prefer to drive what I like now...and can afford! Before I retired the first time, had to drive econoboxes due to finances and family situation...raising our kids. Now the situation is different and no longer need to drive those kind of vehicles and tried going the CUV route back in December of 2013 and bought a mid-line Hyundai Tucson. Very nice vehicle to be sure and enjoyed it for awhile but it just was a bit too big for me so just over a year later, swapped it out for something smaller. Wanted an A3 like the wife had bought the week earlier but didn't have the $ for one so got a very similar driving vehicle in my VW Golf. Perfect size and fun to drive plus I feel like I've got a 3/4 A3 so all is good.
    Luckily, I don't worry or care about what others think about what I drive or where I live. Sure I would've liked to have bought a nicer vehicle like the A3 but didn't want to live beyond our means like so many folks do and I drive too many miles to lease. But, since I never looked into leasing and the payoff once it's up, maybe I could've gone the A3 route. Maybe next time...who knows!!

    The Sandman :) B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • For most of us here, I assume, we really don't care what other folks think, within reason of course. If you like the Audi, BMW or Mercedes BRAND, you like the brand, other's opinions are of tertiary importance.

    The cars we like are liked by us, because WE like them, not because we might have to explain to our buddies that we're driving a Genesis made by Hyundai -- or a whatever made by whomever.

    My thesis was simply, don't change the brand. The downmarket Rolex is NOT called a Rolex -- I simply don't think an A3, TODAY, or the CLA, TODAY, should be Audi branded or Mercedes branded. Maybe these models will rapidly rise so as to fit in the family.

    At this point, if I can get my hands on a new S4 in a year or two -- and it has not been pushed down in some way -- I really don't mind the A3/S3 being what I think, TODAY, should be a member of the VW family.

    Evenutually, however, if the A3 foreshadows a decline, well, I may have to reconsider.

    I looked at some "high end" KIA's today. They are feature rich and very attractive,. They seem high value -- a nice, no very nice, cheap car. But, and it is probably me, I cannot see myself driving a car with KIA on the steering wheel -- I just keep seeing Killed In Action. Of course when I see a Toyota with TRD on it, I see "turd," and I just can't imagine "what were they thinking?"

    I guess the phrase, to each his/her own, leaps to mind, too.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,192
    edited October 2015

    For most of us here, I assume, we really don't care what other folks think, within reason of course. If you like the Audi, BMW or Mercedes BRAND, you like the brand, other's opinions are of tertiary importance.

    Of course when I see a Toyota with TRD on it, I see "turd," and I just can't imagine "what were they thinking?"

    I guess the phrase, to each his/her own, leaps to mind, too.

    Funny, that's also what I see with TRD. I wouldn't pick that! (not that I want a pickup anyway).

    In regards to my original Mazda 3 comment, I'm just kind of a value buyer and to me Mazda is what Honda used to be - sporty and high value. To me a fully loaded $30K or so Mazda 3 (what I categorize as "a cheap car that feels nice") would provide the driving dynamics and still luxury interior and features that would be more pleasing (to me) than a much more stripped A3 at a similar price that is "a nice car that feels cheap".

    I've owned an Audi in the past and to me the A3 is just a bit too downmarket for the brand. At the time I bought my A4 with a 6 cylinder, sport package, manual tranny, in 1998, the A4 was the "value choice" as compared to the BMW 3-series of the day. Having gotten that out of my system, next car I get doesn't need to have that badge any more. I'm milking the miles out of my Acura TL but in the next couple of years it will be time to choose again.
  • breldbreld Posts: 4,408
    Even though I traded in my Mazda3 for the S4, I will whole-heartedly agree on your comments on the 3 being a "cheap car that feels nice." Mine was the Grand Touring model with the appearance package, and at $26k, it was (and is) an excellent car. Great driving dynamics, adequate power, and a better infotainment system than my Audi.

    To be fair though, the overall interior quality is inferior, in some measure, to the A3/S3. The Mazda is certainly on par, if not superior, to its peers, but you are indeed getting something for the extra cost of even the entry-level Audi.

    2018 Audi Q7 - 2018 Audi A5 - 2017 Miata RF

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,590
    I came real close on the Mazda 3. Just did not quite work out. But I did think you could have rebadged it as an entry level Audi, with little or no changes, and people would have fawned all over it.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,117
    Agreed, the current Mazda 3 lifted the bar for its segment considerably- especially with respect to the interior.

    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

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,366
    I've said it before and I'll say it again- in today's market the term "luxury car" is meaningless. Back in the day if a car had power windows/ locks and air conditioning it was considered a luxury car but now almost every car has those things as well as many other entertainment and comfort features.

    There is still a difference between "prestige" cars and those whose badge carries no particular cachet. Therein lies the difference between a BMW 1-Series, or an Audi A3 and a Hyundai Genesis, however lavishly equipped.
    Since prestige is based on brand image it may not seem like a valid distinction but "perception is reality". Every single one of you knows the difference.

    Perhaps the name of this topic should be "Entry Level Prestige Performance Cars".

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,790
    well, I don't know about the term itself, but I feel there is definitely a big difference between a true luxury car and a mundane car loaded with options. No matter how many gadgets you throw on a Civic, it is still a Civic, and it won't compare to a 3-series in the end.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 113,475
    qbrozen said:

    well, I don't know about the term itself, but I feel there is definitely a big difference between a true luxury car and a mundane car loaded with options. No matter how many gadgets you throw on a Civic, it is still a Civic, and it won't compare to a 3-series in the end.

    Not to throw gas on the fire - but, why?

    The new 2016 Civic will be available with a 174HP 1.5L turbo ... not too far off from the 180HP available in the 320i.

    Given that BMW is moving away from the 'sport sedan' feeling they are famous for, what really is the difference between the two?

    Drive wheels - Civic is FWD; BMW is RWD

    Anything else?

    I've always wanted to own a luxury (or "prestige") make, but I'm finding it harder and harder to justify the $5-10-15K premium when the driving experience is really pretty much the same.

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    2016 VW Jetta 1.4T SE / 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,790
    I've tried to convince myself a "lesser" car is good enough. It just isn't. I did that when I leased an '06 Accord EXL V6. Figured "hey, it has everything in it." It only took a few months before the road noise, quality of materials, seat comfort, etc, got on my nerves.

    There is a reason why some cars cost more, and it isn't just because of the drive wheels or the badge. Do you think it costs MB the same money to build a turbo CLA as it will cost Honda to build a turbo Civic? I seriously doubt it.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited October 2015
    I don't think "luxury" is about gadgets but about the quality of materials....and yes...the badge on the grille does matter, as does the MSRP to some extent. I know this doesn't speak too well of human perceptions vs. reality, but remember that experiment where the people dressed in white lab coats seemed more "believable" to participants than the people dressed in ordinary street clothes, even though both were saying the same thing?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,590
    edited October 2015
    Well, if mainstream brands can't go "up", can Luxo brands go down? Thinking of the MB CLA and upcoming BMW (1 series?). The FWD models trying to cover the bottom end. Did the descend into Acura territory? Has the civic touring elevated to that?

    I just think the entry level arena has gotten very murky. Mucho overlap.

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,790

    I don't think "luxury" is about gadgets but about the quality of materials....and yes...the badge on the grille does matter, as does the MSRP to some extent. I know this doesn't speak too well of human perceptions vs. reality, but remember that experiment where the people dressed in white lab coats seemed more "believable" to participants than the people dressed in ordinary street clothes, even though both were saying the same thing?

    We are in agreement. The badge does add some cost, but there is some justification behind it, such as materials, build tolerances, engineering.

    Stick - can they? Sure. They haven't just yet, as far as I know. Most manufacturers build to a pricepoint. They wanted a $30k MB, so they built one they could sell for $30k.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,850
    stickguy said:

    I came real close on the Mazda 3. Just did not quite work out. But I did think you could have rebadged it as an entry level Audi, with little or no changes, and people would have fawned all over it.

    What kind of HP does the Mazda 3 offer in top trim (no Speed 3 is available last I checked? Although described as adequate, I have a feeling even the 1.8T from VW/Audi would leave it in the dust?

    I think your typical Audi driver would know immediately upon pressing the accelerator that something was amiss if you rebadged a Mazda 3 as an Audi.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '17 VW Golf Alltrack SE 4-Motion 1.8T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,850
    stickguy said:

    I came real close on the Mazda 3. Just did not quite work out. But I did think you could have rebadged it as an entry level Audi, with little or no changes, and people would have fawned all over it.

    What kind of HP does the Mazda 3 offer in top trim (no Speed 3 is available last I checked? Although described as adequate, I have a feeling even the 1.8T from VW/Audi would leave it in the dust?

    I think your typical Audi driver would know immediately upon pressing the accelerator that something was amiss if you rebadged a Mazda 3 as an Audi.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '17 VW Golf Alltrack SE 4-Motion 1.8T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,850
    Michaell said:

    qbrozen said:

    well, I don't know about the term itself, but I feel there is definitely a big difference between a true luxury car and a mundane car loaded with options. No matter how many gadgets you throw on a Civic, it is still a Civic, and it won't compare to a 3-series in the end.

    Not to throw gas on the fire - but, why?

    The new 2016 Civic will be available with a 174HP 1.5L turbo ... not too far off from the 180HP available in the 320i.

    Given that BMW is moving away from the 'sport sedan' feeling they are famous for, what really is the difference between the two?

    Drive wheels - Civic is FWD; BMW is RWD

    Anything else?

    I've always wanted to own a luxury (or "prestige") make, but I'm finding it harder and harder to justify the $5-10-15K premium when the driving experience is really pretty much the same.
    Honda is good on safety, but if I was forced to have a head on collision between the 320i and the Civic, I'd choose the 320i for my bones and body. How about you? Be honest.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '17 VW Golf Alltrack SE 4-Motion 1.8T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
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