Last post on Dec 13, 2013 at 8:04 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#11189 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [slance66]
May 24, 2010 (7:10 am)
A BMW won't be as inexpensive to run as a Honda, but they are nowhere near as expensive to maintain as the urban legends some like to parrot. Since 1983 I've always had one or more BMWs in the garage; I currently own a 1995 3 Series as well as a 2004 X3(and a 1975 2002- but that's a hobby car). The 3er has 121K miles on it and the X3 has 92K miles on the clock. Maintenance and repair costs for both are averaging 5 cents per mile(in the case of the X3, that number is calculated over the 42K miles after the free maintenance plan expired). Non-scheduled repairs on the 3er have consisted of a brake light switch, a thermostat, and the serpentine belt idler pullies. The X3 has required a passenger seat SRS sensor(replaced under warranty).
Of the cars you mentioned, I'd take an E39 530i- with the Sport Package, of course. It's a fantastic car; many enthusiasts(myself included) think that it is superior to its E60 successor.
As for non BMWs, I'd also take a look at the Mazdaspeed 6.
I find the Lexus models to be terribly unsafe;
if I drove one I'd almost certainly die of boredom...
#11190 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [plekto]
May 24, 2010 (7:20 am)
Yeah G37 looks nice, but is beyond my "no car payments" price point, since it's a new model. I drove a G35x, and liked it except that what I'd like even more is a detuned model with 230-240HP and better mileage. The 4 door Z description is right on. Where is the balance? I agree on the wood in the Inifiniti and Acura, the metal looks too "techno" and cold, and agree on the suspension and tires. Anything less than an aspect ratio of 55 is way too hard to handle our broken New England pavement without punishing your kidneys.
I don't need Nav...I would opt for it in a Japanese car, as I expect it to be trouble free. I can't get a manual, as my wife can't drive them. So Auto it is, but I like the idea of de-electifying a MB. I really like the 2008+ C class, looks better and the prior version was awfully small in the back. Prices are still high though. Haven't checked the 03-05, but will look at specs. I had the same thought with BMW...a 525xi with no i-drive. I'd rather a nice cupholder than that knob. At least MBs have cupholders.
#11191 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [roadburner]
May 24, 2010 (7:42 am)
roadburner, if I had an indi BMW mechanic nearby, I'd probably put an E39 530i near the top of my list. I've seen several of them for sale, at good prices. Snow tires and wheels would be a definite expense however, for any RWD car. Even then I'd worry about my steep driveway, but a 5 series should have good weight distribution. Are there any known big expenses with those (I assume timing belt...what mileage?).
#11192 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [slance66]
May 24, 2010 (8:35 am)
The base G37 starts at almost exactly $30K new(cars direct has one for $30,200 after $1K in incentives!) So used run 4-8K less. The Journey with premium and maple wood accents(2010 only ) is $34,115(advertised street price). So 25K for a 1-2 year old example is possible to find. Yes, it surprised me as well - it seems like a steal at that price.
This is a nice color combo - though it's not the Journey with wood trim and all of that. edit - these two are different shades of blue...
Typical private party price. It's a stunning color in person and looks like a very expensive car. Doubly so since it's the new model. I know how women want to be seen in the new model if possible Maybe it's not required, but it's certainly a feather in their cap if it's new bling vs old bling.
My brain also did a double-take at these prices. If you can wait until September when the 2011 models come out, a 2010 with that nice wood trim will be available in the 25K range.
edit - they have 0% and 2.9% financing now, so this fall, expect great incentives on a 2010. I can't find one, but the light interior and wood trim makes it feel much more luxury inside.
#11193 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [slance66]
May 24, 2010 (9:36 am)
No US spec BMW engine has used a timing belt since late 1991. The cooling system is the only major issue. Most owners practice preventative maintenance and replace the water pump, thermostat, and radiator at 100K miles. My indie shop charged me $1000 to do the work on my wife's 528i back in 2005(it's an easy afternoon DIY job but it was the middle of winter and my wife needed the car pronto). I bought a set of winter tires/wheels and changed them out myself in November and March; the car had no trouble in any sort of winter weather. There's a great E39 group non Yahoo as well as several websites dedicated to the E39. It is just a fantastic car. As a matter of fact, I'm considering picking up a low-mileage E39 M5 for a daily driver/track toy.
#11194 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [plekto]
May 24, 2010 (11:19 am)
Some nice possibilities, especially at that price. Hopefully the new auto tames it a bit, but it shocks me that they don't make a version with better mileage at 250HP. They would sell loads of them (just like teh 328 outsells the 335 by a lot). The interior is much more M like. MPG is terrible, so I'd honestly probably just get an M35x instead, since it is plenty fast enough for me, and there are lots of used ones.
Need to drive a 2003 530i too..and probably a few others.
#11195 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [slance66]
May 24, 2010 (3:49 pm)
Well, funny you should mention that...
The G25 is coming out this fall. Same car, smaller ~220hp engine. The base model should be in the $27-28K range(msrp at $29-30K would be my guess, invoice closer to $27K). Finding a program/dealer car a few months old for $25K should be possible. That is, if you can wait 5-6 months.
And, yes, the automatic tames it quite a bit. It drives more like a 5 series or E class than a Z. (that said, yes, it will make scenery go by very, very fast.)
There are pictures online but Nissan is keeping very mum about the car. My guess is that they want the competition to get theirs out first and under-cut them. I'd suspect that they are worried about the IS250 and the new Regal, though the Regal is out now, so we might expect a major announcement sometime soon.
It's sold as the Skyline 250GT(same exact car as the G25, essentially) and is currently on sale in Japan.
The combined fuel economy for the car (testing comes from Singapore, of all places) lists it as roughly 24-25mpg combined, with a highway figure of close to 35mpg. One site in Japan lists it as getting 38mpg in a test, but that was on a track under controlled conditions.
And it should weigh about 3250lbs - about 300lbs lighter than the G37. This will make it a great car among people who like mountain roads, since the only complaint with the G37/Z370 is its weight is a bit more than you'd like for serious mountain roads.
G37 5.6 seconds.
G25 7.0 seconds. (that's about a second faster than the IS250 and Regal)
It's not stupidly fast, but it certainly isn't a slouch, either. Getting that type of performance out of a tiny engine like that is amazing, really.
If they pull it off, it'll be the equivalent of a hat-trick. Low cost, sport/luxury, and economy car mpg. All while NOT being slow.
#11196 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [plekto]
May 24, 2010 (4:54 pm)
Interesting...looks like they dropped a beefed up version of the 2.5L four from the Altima in? Or is this a smaller displacement V6?. I really like the small 6 in the IS250 and the efficient 6 in the 328. I can't see paying premium prices for anything with a 4, although I've considered it with the Audi/VW 2.0T. I wonder where the weight drop comes from? 7 sec 0-60 is not bad at all.
Fortunately, I do have time...no hurry really.
Just read a few reports. No turbo, 2.5L V6, specs around the 220 mentioned. Of course some writers asked "why move downmarket". Do these writers live in the real world? Not long ago, 220 was pretty powerful...300 was reserved for rarified company. This is a brilliant move.
#11197 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [slance66]
May 24, 2010 (9:12 pm)
Yeah, 220HP is plenty, as it comes close to the 15lbs/HP make-or-break sweet spot. (14.7 actually) For reference, that is 3000lbs and 200HP plus at least 200lb-ft of torque.(basically a 6 cylinder engine, preferably as small and quick to rev as possible)
The IS300 was very close to this magic ratio. BMW has tried to maintain this as well, though the recent 3 series' are too fat and suffers greatly in handling compared to the E36, which is still the best choice - it's the last "classic" BMW worth getting. But, at 10 year old, now, it's a dicey proposition due to maintainance.
That's why the 1 series is so popular - lighter and quicker on its feet for a fairly reasonable price. It eeks just under the 3000lb limit/ proper ratio. Very fun to drive as a result.
The problem with the Regal and IS250 is that they are in the 3500-3600lb range and lose their edge. Not *quite* fast enough, not *quite* agile enough. Sure, the bigger versions (IS350 and Regal GS when it comes out) are stomping, wild beasts, but they lose that small sport sedan feel,. And they cost a lot more money.
#11198 of 16986 Re: Help for the weary [plekto]
May 25, 2010 (9:54 am)
I'd be surprised if they could cut 300 lbs compared to the G37. I mean, we're talking same platform. Changing just the engine wouldn't save that much. Unless they are going to use lightened body panels, which would add cost, I don't see it happening.