Last post on Jan 07, 2012 at 5:27 PM
You are in the Acura TL
What is this discussion about?
Acura TL, Sedan
#8778 of 9045 Re: But... [taxesquire]
Feb 15, 2007 (8:32 am)
"...but when you say Infiniti is "a mess," what do you mean? I believe they get (and DESERVE) a lot of credit for turning their struggling car company around and creating true competition for BMW."
First, let me say that I have a 1995 Nissan Maxima SE 5-speed (relocated to our second home) that I won't sell because I think it is a great car. That car won Car of the Year awards from several magazines and consistently won comparison tests among the sport/sporty sedans of its day. It was a car that enthusiasts appreciated, way more so than any concurrent offerings by Honda and Toyota and more so, thanks to manual transmission and sport suspension than even the 1995 Acura TL/Vigor.
But look at the Maxima now. Who the heck buys it? Someone that cuts a better deal than they could get on a Camry or Avalon? It has completely fallen off the enthusaists radar screen. A CVT transmission? Come on. It's competition for Buick, but not Acura, and certainly not BMW. Instead, the former Civic competitive Altima is taking the place of the former Maxima? With it's low scale interior? If that's not a mess, please don't show me your definition. I'd likely puke.
Probably the best offering that Infiniti has is the G35 sedan and coupe. Yet when I was shopping in 2004, I actually preferred the performance of the FWD TL 6-speed, with it's smoother engine, crisper gearbox and better (Brembo) brakes to the RWD G35. As for the interior style and ergonomics, the 2004 G35 didn't have any. I understand that the redesign is improved on both performance and interior quality, but it shouldn't have taken them that long. My 1995 Maxima had a better looking interior than the 2004 G35.
True competition for BMW? Not by my metrics. The G35 is closest. But it is very rough around the edges, compared to the 335i. And the M35/M45 are not remotely close to the 530i / 550i sport package 6-speeds in terms of crisp driving dynamics. Not to mention, they are slushbox handicapped. And suffer from some interior design bi-polarisms as well. Infiniti thinks that increasing horsepower makes up for other design deficiencies. Perhaps for some, but not me.
Lexus may not make cars that cater to my personal preferences, but I credit them for doing what they do, well. Same for Acura, mostly. But Infiniti (and Nissan) seem to always be playing catch up, at least in the last 5+ years. I sincerely think the 1995 Nissan Maxima SE was perhaps the best car produced by either company, vis a vis its competition at that time. I guess that's why I've kept mine all those years.
#8779 of 9045 Re: But... [habitat1]
Feb 15, 2007 (10:32 am)
Actually, no I believe that I'm very much in agreement with you. I just didn't expound very much on points outside of the TL/RL relationship (in my view at least). And I certainly don't disparage Acura by referring to it as Honda, rather that was kind of a "badge" comparison/reference I theoize that the voices in other shopper's heads may be echoing when considering $50k+ cars ("rebadged Honda vs. "True" BMW or MB). My wife loves her Lexus RX300. But those who feel they must deride other's choice of autos might snidely remark that it is just a gussied up Toyota Camry Wagon. Ok, fine with me. It's built by Toyota, wife loves it so I care not what other's think or what badge they choose to market it under. Face it, if the wife wanted and Aston Martin DB9 I'd be working six jobs to get her one (yeah, I'm not too bright). And some pinhead would remark that the AM is just a fancy Jag XK....
Anywho, yes I do believe that if Honda decided to build a competitive RWD/AWD four door luxury performance sedan, they most certainly could. Witness the NSX and your/the beloved S2000. Honda/Acura decided to and did build world class versions of the sports car genre. Why they don't yet go full bore with an Acura flagship, beyond me too. Not that overall Honda has not had some minor success in the roughly 40 years they've been peddling their wares here. They've done ok doing it their way, no?
Lexus joined the fray with the LS400 that was (at least) a class above the then Legend in '89. The LS instantly established a beachhead that Honda/Acura has never truly tried to breach, i.e. the LS has always been a RWD/V8. So, I don't believe that the RL, although the Acura flagship, should be compared to the LS. I'd guess not many cross-shop those two. The RL/BMW 5/MB E comparison is more apropros and I briefly touched on that in my prior post on why it could be considered less than a resounding success.
And agreed, when approaching $40k and I want all-around refined performance, the TL-S is worth comparing but ultimately will not provide the 9-10/10ths performance demanded by the 1% here. It will offer a TL dialed up to "11," but it is still the uber-uber Accord. I just couldn't bring myself to spend more than I did on the TL, if I was better to myself I probably would have 3'd or E'd or A'd, depending upon my mood. And, I in no way feel that I "settled" with the TL. Honda/Acura I believe does FWD performance (cue "that's an oxymoron!!!" comment from Blueguy...) as well or better than anyone and for my needs/wants and desires is an excellent choice.
BTW, I grew up driving a stick. Learned on a Saab 99 4-speed, first car I bought a VW Scirocco 5-speed (I think 5-speed, so many miles ago). First new car 5-speed Mitsu Mirage Turbo followed by stick Acura Integra (still possibly the best screwed together car I've ever owned. Just solid and tight. And fun). Got my wife out of a Monte Carlo into a Nissan Sentra SE-R back in '92, taught her to drive a stick as I had a company car and wanted a fun weekend car and came full circle to a row-it-yourself Saab 900 in the mid 90s as were were expecting child numero uno. Lost company car, became a commuter and wife, being a commuter too lost love of the third pedal, hence slush-o-rama. But, my next car, I may try to regain my lost youth (as I do as soon as I strap on my skis!!! Next week, two feet of new snow!!! Yeehaa!)with a ??? 6 speed? Never say never...
So, in summary, I think we're on the same page. You have just not given in to the dark side of the force as I have, young Skywalker.
#8780 of 9045 Re: But... [laurasdada]
Feb 15, 2007 (12:32 pm)
"(yeah, I'm not too bright)."
because you have to work 6 jobs to buy a car, or that you married a high-maintenance gal?
#8781 of 9045 Re: But... [bodble2]
Feb 15, 2007 (12:42 pm)
Not bright enough to know the difference...
Luckily for me, to her, the paid-off RX is the pinnacle in autos! She said she's good car-wise for another 4-5 years. If I'm bright enough, I'll just keep my mouth shut and not point out all the improved and shinier new cars! So that I can get one!!! Jag XK anybody? Oh, yeah. No stick, but from what I've read a fabulous box o' slush! Ok, make mine a 911.
#8782 of 9045 Re: But... [laurasdada]
Feb 15, 2007 (4:57 pm)
"You have just not given in to the dark side of the force as I have, young Skywalker."
Oh, if only the "young" part was true. I turn 50 in two months and my youngest daughter keeps joking that the 6-pack I had in pictures form my old softball days has turned into a keg. I've worked it down to a mere case, but it's looking tough for getting it back before the birthday cake arrives.
I think you are right about the rest, however, and appreciate being on the same page with you.
#8783 of 9045 Re: But... [habitat1]
Feb 15, 2007 (7:53 pm)
50 is the new 39.6, my friend. Oh FOR the HUMANITY1! (non-sequitir, and now the mind comes off its leash briefly...). I'm a stone's throw behind you, candles-wise. Maturity-wise? Dude, it's 1976, let's hop in Dad's Saab 99 and freewheel up to New Haven for the Doobie Brothers concert! Freebird! Does anybody remember laughter?
Ok. I'm a bit of a freewheeler when it comes to cars. Even slowly overcoming my prejudice against the domestics having driven a couple of innocuously forgettable (company car) sedans in the '90s. But their (relative) reliability allowed me to take a chance on the '99 300M which I thoroughly enjoyed. I fear (yes, the Reaper too) that my days as a travelling salesman in the boring yet serviceable domestic family appliance-mobiles may have dulled my sporting-driving tilt. I will also admit that I am a fool for a pretty face (gee, I'm a guy. Is there any more surprising revelation than that?). The style of the aforementioned 300M allowed me to live with the somewhat amusing Chrysler "build quality." Note that the M never failed me, nothing ever fell off, nor leaked. But the panel gaps, come on! And, as I may have mentioned, I find the TL to ooze style both within and without.
I think I've made up for my more sedate driving style by skiing like I'm being chased by the wife's lawyers! Forget man and machine on the Nurbugring, man and wood/fiberglass/steel sticks strapped to his feet that are encased in hard, rigid plastic bashing down VW-sized bumps in Vermont! And loving it! And oftentimes I'm actually upright on my skis! Now how'd that happen??? Actually, I think the best compliment I've had in years was when my then 9 year old daughter rolled her eyes and called me a show-off while skiing together! Life's been good to me so far!
And I've maintained a six pack most of my life. It has always been well preserved and encased in the "beer ball" I've kept hidden under the skin in my stomach!
Sorry for the (Nash) rambling. Just something I do every so often. Thanks for listening and be sure to watch "Rules of Engagement" Monday Nights 9:30 on CBS. We'll be right back...
#8784 of 9045 Re: Question for TL owners [habitat1]
Feb 15, 2007 (8:40 pm)
you kinda got what i said, but hen you missed my point.
My point is that honda doesn't need RWD sales wide for the TL The RL is a whole different story.
For the RL to be competitive in today's market, i propose
RWD and AWD option
3.7l v8 until we get v8s or my proposed W engine(2 2.4l i4s good for (170hp+170hp) 340hp )
A luxo (for the contempt) and Sport (for others) model think c350 models.
#8785 of 9045 Re: But... [laurasdada]
Feb 16, 2007 (1:50 am)
Have you forgotten to take your medication again?!
BTW, is it Nash rambling, or Nash rambler, or Nash rampling, or Charlotte Rambling? Who can forget her in The Night Porter.
#8786 of 9045 Re: Question for TL owners [autoboy16]
Feb 16, 2007 (5:30 am)
"My point is that honda doesn't need RWD sales wide for the TL"
I would have agreed in 2004, when the $32,000 TL 6-speed I bought was 3 rungs up in interior quality and amenities, and less expensive than a comparably equiped G35 6-speed sedan. And when the 235hp 330i ZHP was around $45k fully loaded and was a tight fit for my family. And the IS350 didn't exist.
But now, at least for me, I'd have to pay $38k +/- for a TL-S 6-speed manual that is really no better than my 2004 TL 6-speed. The 2004 6-speed had the "upgraded" suspension and Brembo brakes that are now being marketed as a TL-S "feature". The interior is the same, amenities are essentially the same and the extra 28 horsepower on a FWD set-up is practically useless. In the meantime, the 335i is 35% more powerful than the 330i (nearly matches the M3 in acceleration), has a larger interior and is not significantly more expensive than the former 2004 330i ZHP. Even the G35 sedan, while still not my cup of tea, has improved significantly in power (the useable RWD type) and interior quality while keeping price constant.
I guess I'm in the minority thinking that Acura can actually design, build and sell quality cars on their own platforms that AREN'T just gussied up Hondas? If The TL went to RWD, Honda could step up the FWD Accord EX to offer the extra TL gizmos and do-dads in a heartbeat, and probably not lose more than a handful of sales in the process. But then Acura would have a distinctive and seriously competitive RWD TL to take on the 3 series, G35 and IS. Frankly, the TL-S is as much of an embarassment as the goofy "A-spec" package of the past. Acura has taken a step backwards relative to enthusiasts at a time when BMW, Infiniti and even Lexus have taken 1 or 2 forward steps.
So I agree, Acura doesn't need RWD to sell gussied up Accords to brand conscious slushbox happy buyers who think "sporty" means listening to ESPN radio on XM. And I'll continue to put most of my miles on my 911 while estolling the virtues of my former $32k Honda S2000. I just think it's gross underachievement for Acura to leave all that potential on the drawing boards.
#8787 of 9045 Re: But... [bodble2]
Feb 16, 2007 (6:47 am)
Not the meds, amigo. The lingering affects of driving an Olds 88, Mercury Sable and Dodge Intrepid for 8 years of my life... That would get to anyone...
Mmmmmm. A young Charlotte Rampling. And donuts...