Last post on Jun 18, 2013 at 7:02 AM
You are in the Sedans
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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
#13104 of 16251 Re: "My" 2012 BMW 328i [graphicguy]
Feb 14, 2012 (8:51 am)
I agree that $47K is expensive for a 4cyl sedan. Heck, a 528xi w/ a 4cyl can be optioned well into the $60K range (yikes). I don't know if there is a stigma about driving a 4cyl car like there used to be back in the '80s & '90s. The "serial leasse will no doubt take the F30 out on a test drive and feel it has the same amount (or more, I haven't driven one yet) of "pickup.". The salesman mentions it's a 4cyl turbo that gets 30 something MPG on the highway. The customer hasn't driven a 4 cyl car since their early 1990's Toyota Tercel says: "wow, 4 cyl engines sure have changed."
You got a fantastic deal on a smokin 335i w x drive coupe. So you are right, it is possible.
BMW is a performance luxury brand. In the American market, performance (for the masses) is equated by 0-60 mph times. They don't want a 320i NA 4cyl in their stable that does the sprint in 7.5 - 8.5 sec.
#13105 of 16251 Re: 3-series 4-cyl [dino001]
Feb 14, 2012 (9:28 am)
OK, but what is the overall cost of living and average income? I mean, if we're talking US dollars here, is it just a matter of the US dollar being worth far less there? I'm not an economics guy by any stretch of the imagination (nor am I a world traveler), mind you, but I'm pretty sure something just simply costing more there means it is more expensive in relation to the average joe. Know what I mean?
I know this is going back a ways, but I know base Benzes, for example, served taxi duty. I would guess that's because they are relatively cheap, no? Does that still hold true today? Are they still used for that purpose?
#13106 of 16251 Re: 3-series 4-cyl [qbrozen]
Feb 14, 2012 (10:17 am)
Yes, there was a loss of value of the dollar in recent years, which opened the gap further than before to those insane levels, but it has always been there, even during strong dollar times. America has always been a land of cheap cars and energy. The payoff was lack of sophistication, generally relatively fewer choices, lower expectations of quality, especially fit/finish. An American buys a car (used or new) with an expectation of a trade in next three-five years, European expects to to keep it "for life", even if they ultimately do not. That sets a tone, pretty dramatically. They spend much higher portion of their income and then their operating costs are also higher to their income, which sets expectations very high. You'd have to watch some Top Gear comments every time they get an American-made vehicle for a test.
Ford Focus is sold there as "family" vehicle. It is sold with 1.4 and 1.6 engines. Ford Mondeo/(Contour/Fusion) is considered an "middle level executive" - also sold with 1.6-1.8 engine. In many countries there is a big tax and insurance penalty when you go over 2 litters. Denmark has new car registration fees at levels comparable to value of the car. I'm not kidding - people have been known to take loans to pay off registration tax. And the list goes on. Even Germans, most affluent of all Europe drive mostly VW, Fords and Opels in configurations that would make Americans laugh.
Taxi Benz is nothing like Benz you see here, the only thing in common is the shell and the star on the hood. It used to be attractive for taxi because of durability of their base NA diesel engine vs. price relation to other brands. Regardless if you buy a Ford or Benz, you will spend much higher share of income, but Benz (used to) offer million mile durability, tons of spare parts available from knock off manufacturers.
#13107 of 16251 Re: 3-series 4-cyl [qbrozen]
Feb 14, 2012 (10:33 am)
but I'm pretty sure something just simply costing more there means it is more expensive in relation to the average joe.
Don't want to sound condiscending, but Americans are really cute sometimes. Let me tell you what an average median income Joe Brit/Hans Deutch/Jose Span/Jaques the French get from life: They live in a 800 sf apartment in a multi-apartment house, commute to work with bus/trane and on weekends they drive a five-to-eight years old Ford Focus/Renault Megane/Opel Astra with 90-110 hp engine, most likely diesel. Dr. Hans or Dept. Manager Jaques have vastly better life - they live in 1500 sf house and commute in three-year-old Ford Mondeo/Peugeot 405 with 140 hp engine, also diesel. Regional Manager Julio just moved into 2000 sf house and bought a new BMW 520d (4-cylinder diesel) with cloth seats but a keyless entry, which he showed to every neighbor.
Well, exact facts may differ slightly, but that's a general tone. When you understand those differences, the perspective changes dramatically.
#13108 of 16251 Re: 3-series 4-cyl [dino001]
Feb 14, 2012 (12:03 pm)
Obviously, I had a typo in that statement. It should have been:
I'm not an economics guy by any stretch of the imagination (nor am I a world traveler), mind you, but I'm pretty sure something just simply costing more there doesn't means it is more expensive in relation to the average joe.
Just keep in mind, regardless of whether you find it cute or not, it doesn't mean what I said is incorrect. Everything is relative. Yes, if everything you say is true, then the cars apparently cost a larger portion of their income (although I have NO IDEA why). But since everything appears to be that way from what you are saying, then it is relatively on par with all living expenses, if you get my meaning.
Its the same thing from state to state here. Gas, food, taxes, real estate all vary WIDELY across the country. I could live as a king in Texas for pauper wages in NJ.
Hell, I'm middle management and I sure can't afford a new bimmer.
#13109 of 16251 Re: "My" 2012 BMW 328i [graphicguy]
Feb 14, 2012 (12:08 pm)
Regarding switching to a 4 cyl in a 40+ car, MB is doing it too and Audi had done it also, BMW just happens to be the last one to have a 4 cyl turbo in their line up. BTW, the new 5 series is selling very well, higher then BMW predictions.
#13110 of 16251 Re: "My" 2012 BMW 328i [graphicguy]
Feb 14, 2012 (12:12 pm)
Audi's A5 starts off at 38K and and top off at 50K with a 4 cyl turbo... MB will do the same with the E class soon enough. Not too sure why you and others think BMW is going backwards, but its typical American thinking, small is bad, bigger is better...
#13111 of 16251 Re: 3-series 4-cyl [dino001]
Feb 14, 2012 (12:32 pm)
Dino you are so right, when I was in Germany to pick up my 330i, I stopped off at a BMW dealer, they had 3 new cars on their lot the rest were used BMW's. Also not too sure how many 316i bmw would sell, since people are complaining now about how horrible it is to have a BMW with a 4 cyl.
#13112 of 16251 Re: 3-series 4-cyl [qbrozen]
Feb 14, 2012 (12:56 pm)
I knew what you meant to say and that was cute to me (assuming that is something is true in US, it must be universal), but let's not dwell on that. I meant to be funny, but I probably wasn't. The fact stays that United States is a world with BY FAR cheapest cars and energy, not just in terms of currency prices, but in terms of actual income percentage. It is also true about other items, such as certain electronics (iphone/ipad costs in Europe about twice what it does here, even more in China).
The reasons for that to be the case are plenty, from general output (i.e. US is still in fact either highest of almost highest GNP/capita), combined with scale (even small price break could bring marginally more sales, which can fuel more price breaks). However, the biggest difference lies in market fragmentation (combined Europe is about US size, but each country has its own very separate ways and they don't interact in terms of retail) and more redistributive economy, i.e. higher taxation on all levels, from capital, to income, to consumption (e.g. Euro sales tax, called VAT is from 17 to 25%, Euro income taxes are progressive reaching 50% and beyond on top bracket, Euro social security taxes paid by employers as surcharge go into 30-50% territory, all depends on the country). There is also large amount of social engineering going on there as well, where "undesirable behavior" (such as owning large-displacement engine vehicle) is directly punished by the government through additional taxes and scrutiny. They also excert a direct pressure on manufacturers to make or not make certain products as well, a concept introduced to US just only recently. All this combines into really punitive taxes and high prices of "unnecessary good", which cars, especially luxury ones are perceived as.
It gets even worse in poorer countries, almost inversely proportional to their wealth. Explanation for that may be in volume: even if MB or BMW lowered the price, they would not sell more product, so prices remain high to pay for higher distribution cost of smaller markets and the circle closes.
#13113 of 16251 Re: "My" 2012 BMW 328i [flightnurse]
Feb 14, 2012 (1:04 pm)
To me it is not really the size of the engine, but its configuration. There are big advantages of straight six in terms of balance, smoothness, power delivery. Sure, you can make a screamer 4-cyl sewing machine producing same power as a larger I6, but the experience is not the same. Long term durability is also an open question. Europeans are already going through that now with their modern diesel engines - in quest of clean quite and high power turbo diesel, all advantages of old diesel (resiliency, low maintenance, million mile durability) are all but gone. Pour wrong fuel to your tank and you need new injectors. Put wrong oil and watch your car die... Sure, they are all nice, clean and quiet when new, but they last just about the same as gasoline engines, but still cost 30% more.