Last post on Dec 04, 2013 at 8:41 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
#12675 of 16982 Re: Can we please get back to talking about the cars? [billyperksii]
Dec 16, 2011 (2:10 pm)
I am guilty of being:
Often wrong. . .but. . .
My "take" on Acura is based soley on what I read (in the present tense) and what I have read (previously.)
I read, with a dubious eye, the Automobile magazine article wherein an Audi S4 was "tested against" an Acura TL SH-AWD. No way you say?
I recall my initial reaction as, "yea, sure the two cars finished neck-and-neck, pull the other one." Read the article for yourself -- just google it.
Sitting there on my couch reading the Automobile article as a person who was at the time driving his 29th Audi (that either my wife, my company or I had either leased or purchased) since 1977 and also knowing that I was soon due to turn in my 2009 Audi A4 2.0T quattro sport, I thought, "I'll test drive all the ELLPS cars that I can, and that includes the TL."
It didn't hurt any that Motor Week also had a favorable take on the 2012 TL 3.7 AWD as did most of the automobile magazines I subscribe to (Automobile, Car & Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track) and read (add to the list European Car and Popular Mechanics.)
My wife after 3 BMW's (and many Audi's) had leased an Infiniti FX35 AWD Premium last December; and, since we had spent some time at the Infiniti dealer here in Cincinnati, I had taken several G's and M's out for at least four test drives to see if they really were the "Japanese BMW's." For the most part, they are, I discovered.
So you see, I had read all the magazines, participated in the Audiworld and Edmunds forums for years and had started test driving cars in the ELLPS and LPS class. I was um, an "amateur expert" on the subject matter.
The confluence and influence of all the above events got me to test drive an Acura MDX, RDX, ZDX and TL SH-AWD [Advance], an Audi A4 2.0T [Prestige], S4 ('11) [Premium Plus], A5, A6 ('11 and '12) and A7, a BMW 3X, 5X, X3, X5 and X6, a Cadillac CTS/4 3.6 Performance Luxury, a Honda Crosstour, an Infiniti G37X and M37X, a Volvo S60 T6 and a VW Passat CC with the VR6 engine/AWD and a VW Toureg. I probably test drove some other cars like a Taurus SHO, a Genesis and a Jeep Grand w/a Hemi, but they were never really something I took seriously.
What got me off the "I GOTTA have another Audi" mind-set was the back to back to back to back test drives of a pair of Infinitis (the G and M), an '11 Audi S4, the Cadillac CTS and the '12 Acura TL.
As I recall the order of the tests, the only fact of significance was the fact that I reluctantly, more or less, tested the TL after I had tested the S4 and the CTS.
Other than the lack of interior grab handles for the front seat passengers (which I consider a very important feature for Cadillac to have overlooked), the Cadillac was, er, sublime -- an American Luxury Performance Sedan; the S4 was also very impressive and typifies the German Performance Luxury Sedan -- and the Acura TL SH-AWD Advance (which had the "benefit" of my low expectations) which, from the driver's seat, actually seemed "about as quiet as the Cadillac" and "about as HOT as the Audi S4." What?!? Blasphemy!
If you've taken back to back to back test drives --over the IDENTICAL route, playing the IDENTICAL CD on the sound system and pushing the cars into corners at IDENTICAL speeds -- you will understand how it is possible to see cars you might only have test driven for a lark in a whole new light.
Standouts in the entire bunch (w/o regard to price): the TL, S4, A7, BMW 335 w/x-drive, the M37X w/Technology Package, and the S60 T6. The CTS and the CC get a "quite nice" rating.
If money were no object, I'd probably go for the A7 Prestige or S4 w/sport differential (think of that as the German SH-AWD -- aka torque vectoring.) If money were REALLY no object, I'd probably wait for the upcoming Audi S8 and learn to smoke cigars and swill cognac or grappa.
Money being an object, I narrowed my choices down a bit, but was able to strongly consider an M37X (due to fantastic lease deals) and a '12 Audi A4 2.0T Prestige w/sport pkg. I also considered the Volvo but found them totally unwilling to budge off of sticker (or $1,000 off.) Just because the '12 TL SH-AWD Advance was the sleeper of the bunch (in terms of performance), priced right (at $47,000 as I wanted it) and had enjoyed the Automobile S4 vs TL comparison article, I kept it on my list.
Well cut off my legs and call me shorty -- the TL came in at 87% of MSRP, a low money factor and no-wait for it to be shipped from Europe (it is made here in Ohio) -- no other car even came close to the "value" the TL presented.
I, at the time, ONE time (so far), turned my back on Audi and took the plunge into a non-German car.
The Acura TL does NOT blow me away like the S4 or A7, for instance. Yet, like some wines, the TL does seem to be impressing me more as it "ages" (miles). I do not consider it to be an Audi S4 clone, even though the Automobile article is very complimentary of the TL's performance vs the Audi's. The TL is, as I have written elsewhere, "close to fine" (as if "fine" is a destination.)
I now am at a place where I will probably consider Acura again based on my current experience. Yet the recent press releases about the upcoming Acura line-up is a cause for concern. They seem to be saying, "we're giving up on being a tier-1 Premium Car Company." Time will tell.
If you have not test driven (i.e., a good long test drive) the TL Advance SH-AWD (and ONLY the Advance SH-AWD, not the lesser configurations, and certainly not the FWD version, period) and you are looking to purchase a new car from the ELLPS line-up, I do encourage you to take the long test drive -- even if the somewhat beaky styling puts you off -- of the TL Advance SH-AWD, back to back to back with the cars you are more seriously considering. What can it hurt?
The TL's styling may be too much for you to overcome and perhaps the price I got was a fluke or a once in a lifetime deal -- hence the TL will remain unattractive to YOU no matter how impressively it may perform. Perhaps too, you are a cash buyer and then the Volvo may merit more consideration (I was interested in the lowest lease price I could get and the Acura's discount and money factor were compelling.)
In any case, as I have said, what could it hurt to spend a day test-flogging, or, test-driving three or four very nice cars, including, just for the fun of it, the Acura TL Advance SH-AWD.
Drive it like you live.
Often wrong, but never uncertain,
Dec 17, 2011 (9:53 am)
im guilty of being honest and speaking the truth.
Above is an article about a man and his car- we all talk about current cars
belonging in the group, some very clear, others not so much- but its pretty
clear to me reading this blog and knowing the car he rides and talks of - this was one of the pioneers for this group- and to see what the brand has become over those 500k miles disheartens me. I remember once I got a license 16 years ago the car I wanted was a legend coupe 6 speed, with the souped up Type2? Engine.
I settled for a 89 maxima which in itself was a great car but not the
looker the Acura. My first new car was a 2000 Acura integra gs-r coupe-
redline was almost 9k Rpms and I took it to that level every day- loved the car and the service. After the 3 year lease it was time to get a 4 door, the
original TSX was on the short list and after long debate I bought a jetta gli-
200hp and at the time (2003) it had the vr6 and a 6 speed- it was a close call but price won out. After that day I have never stepped into another Acura dealership- the passion is lost- along with sales numbers. I'm still on acura's mailing list -the email lists exciting developments for the 2012 auto show- lets hope they finally deliver. sorry for long post.
http://links.mkt015.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MzgyMjY3OAS2&r=MjU1MzkxNzYzNjMS1&j=M- - TE4MjM3NDcyS0&mt=1&rt=0
Always right, always certain, always do homework
#12677 of 16982 Mark is a Legend. . .
Dec 17, 2011 (4:04 pm)
on several of these boards, particularly those associated with . . . wait for it, Audis.
He took a pretty significant sabbatical, but now appears to be back to his old ways. Why use 30 words when 300 will do? That said, the 300 will be carefully chosen and very well put together.
Welcome back, Mark.
Of course I'm pleased that he chose to bless the brand of car I picked last time with his attention. However, I'm at the bottom of the Acura food chain while he spends time much higher on the hog (if you'll pardon the very mixed metaphor). Many posts have been written to the effect that the TSX is something of Yugo in terms of its deserving to be discussed here. Oh well. . .
Funnily enough, I used to give him a lot of jazz about the substandard (at least perceived) reliability of Audis vs., well, just about anything else, but particularly Asian vehicles. That he and I share a brand at this point is well beyond surprising.
#12678 of 16982 Re: Mark is a Legend. . . [cdnpinhead]
Dec 18, 2011 (8:17 am)
Just goes to show you the ever changing fast world of ELLPS.
A few years ago I would never have dreamed about owning an Infiniti. After renting one for a week, I decided to buy one and forgo the 335.
SO I guess the more things change the more they stay the same!
#12679 of 16982 Re: real legend [sweendogy]
Dec 19, 2011 (7:02 am)
When Acrua came out they were the sport version of Honda, no doubt. Today that isn't true, even though they try and market the car that way.
I had (sheee no tell anyone) a Vigor GS when they came out, I only had it for 2 years. I had 1 Infiniti Q45 (second year of Infiniti) love it, too bad it too Infiniti so long to get back to their roots.
After my Vigor, I went to BMW, and haven't looked back.
#12680 of 16982 Re: real legend [flightnurse]
Dec 19, 2011 (7:28 am)
I wanted a Legend so badly when it first came out. And the 2nd gen Legend Coupe - still gorgeous even today.
When I was in college my girlfriend's dad had a Vigor. I thought it was very nice at the time too.
The TSX is very much like a modern day Vigor - only it performs better in every way.
It's not that Acura has lost it's way. The TSX, TL, RL were a very logical lineup for a near-luxury brand. Time has simply marched on and Acura hasn't kept up. They cannot use the Accord as a platform for their entire lineup any longer, and they cannot market any Civic-based car as an Acura.
A three-car lineup moved upmarket is what Acura needs to compete. Make the TL the entry-level sedan with a choice of engines (base car would be FWD 240 hp I-4 turbo from the RDX, top would be AWD with the 3.5L V-6). Next the RL should be a RWD and AWD 5/7 Series competitor (base engine the 3.5L V-6 and top engine a V-8). Finally, introduce a small RWD luxury-sports coupe/convertible (think M-B SLK or Lexus SC). Same engines as the Legend, but smaller and lighter.
#12681 of 16982 Re: real legend [fedlawman]
Dec 19, 2011 (7:38 am)
They need to work on their styling first. That's half the battle. I saw a new Acura TL coming and going with the beak/grimace fore and aft. It's ust cringeworthy. No one in that entire company had the nerve to tell them that it looks awful before it was released. Poor Honda.
#12682 of 16982 Re: real legend [fedlawman]
Dec 19, 2011 (7:57 am)
If Audi can its sell Golf-based A3, so could Acura sell Civic-based RSX, RIP. The problem is packaging and pricing. There has to be enough separation between the vehicles.
I think TL is a nice vehicle. Don't really care for its nose styling, but that can be fixed. Same with TSX. The problem is at the top - RL is on verge of being irrelevant. I have not seen one in months.
However, their main problem is the line - it's just too short. Their "all inclusive" approach is great for people looking for a good trade-up deal, but does not impress people with money looking to be awed. No coupe, no convertible, no buzz-creating (albeit not necessarily profitable) supercar, no exciting supersedan - that's a big problem for an aspiring luxury manufacturer. Too little choice - premium market likes choice. People with money like to be different from others. Even Lexus has long lines on different packages on their cars.
I think biggest problem for Acura is Honda'a accountants - they probably don't give them enough to develop a real luxury lineup. To understand why one has to look at Honda as a company, where automobiles are just a part of a much bigger structure, within which Acura is just a small line in corporate balance sheet.
#12683 of 16982 BMW 335 @ 3,000 miles
Dec 19, 2011 (8:28 am)
Noticed when filling the tank this AM,
I passed 3,000 miles over the weekend.
Enjoying every [s]mile.
Providing enjoyment [ at least ] commensurate with price paid.
Very happy customer.....
#12684 of 16982 Re: real legend [dino001]
Dec 19, 2011 (9:37 am)
"If Audi can its sell Golf-based A3, so could Acura sell Civic-based RSX, RIP."
I was actually thinking of the A3 as the perfect entry-level type car for Acura. However, the Civic is an economy car platform and will never have the refinement of the A3 - which, I believe, is really just a smaller previous-gen A4.
Acura's entry-level car needs to be built on the Accord platform - the Civic just cannot be a near-luxury car.