Last post on Dec 12, 2013 at 7:09 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
#16492 of 16985 bye BMW Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [graphicguy]
Aug 22, 2013 (5:02 am)
'ray....any particular reason why you're dumping your BMW? Where are you focusing your attention for its replacement? '
Several reasons, but many have been posted by others here.
BMW seems to be moving toward greater & greater volume -
at the expense of the enthusiast drivers, that helped build
I bought a 2013 VW GTI - DSG.
[ I know... ]
And I am very happy with it, so far, at just past 1,000 miles.
Enjoyed that straight 6 - a lot....
#16493 of 16985 Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [andres3]
Aug 22, 2013 (6:35 am)
Just this week I aided a co-worker in her automobile search. We compared a new Accord and a used 2012 TL. The 2012 TL (non-SHAWD) was just under $27K and around 20k miles.
In addition to the items you listed it also has the better warranty and is a luxury brand (in her eyes). The TL does seem like a bargain if you don't mind the styling (looks 'ok' to me).
Going -used- throws a bunch of variables into the mix and it is not really apples to apples.
Aug 22, 2013 (1:20 pm)
You wrote: "we all know that BMW wouldn't make a no frills sport sedan. . . "
Perhaps you should amend that by adding . . .that they would export to the US (and probably some other regions as well.) Although my last visit to Germany was in 2006, I have been there about 25 times and several times I have rented (from Avis or Hertz, etc) cars for part of my time in Europe -- primarily so that I can drive on the Autobahn.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes alike make and sell many "no frills" vehicles and versions of the cars we get here in the US that are way way down scale in features, functions, content and performance.
Many European taxis are base-r than basic German cars -- no carpet, plastic seats, no "glintzy" trim bits puny, puny powerplants -- and completely devoid of any kind of bling or high-end pretense.
It seems to me that there is room for these "high end" [German] manufacturers to bring all kinds of higher end and lower end products to the US. In fact it is probably quite easy to bring out less expensive versions of our market (i.e., premium) Audis, BMWs and Mercedes across the board (within reason, of course).
Moreover, it seems folks will, given the choice and a way to justify the cost, always take the Acura over the Honda, the Audi over the VW, the Lexus over the Toyota and the Infiniti over the Nissan (to name a few.)
And, unless the manufacturer is so stupid as to not differentiate between the Lexus and the Toyota, there will be a very noticeable difference between the pedestrian and the sublime versions.
I think gone are the days where the emperor truly had no clothes -- today there is a wide margin between the Chevy Impala and the Cadillac XTS -- and the price reflects the difference (and perhaps OVER reflects it, to be fair and balanced.)
The VW Quantum and the Audi 4000 (remember when?) were much more like fraternal twins then than any more recent models.
You may believe (and I typically agree) that the Infiniti isn't worth the uptick in price over a "similar" Nissan, but the Infiniti (or whatever you're on about) is different, more -- and most pros and amateurs alike would say "better."
There is an apropos phrase that mostly fits here: "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. . . ."
Now of course I could be wrong (but not uncertain) -- but if I am wrong, then by this time next year we'll ALL be buying and driving KIA Cadenza's -- 'cause lordy lordy there ain't nuttin' that even comes close to this puppy at any price.
I have been, more than once, unable to afford the "better car" (I'm driving a freakin' Acura TL for pity's sake -- after years of only having Audis -- I am living proof!) -- but I never stopped thinking the car I had to pass on (due to my financial circumstances) wasn't worth its asking price.
I'm already counting down the days until I will return to my favorite German car dealership (and, to be fair, I will also check out what Acura and Infiniti are offering up at the moment of truth). We all rationalize -- or at least most of us do; but it is unlikely that a fine high-zoot German sedan will seem similar to even the best Mazda 6. We tell ourselves that the Mazda is just as good (or close enough) as the German (or whatever premium car is your first love) offering to rationalize our choices.
I could live with an Acura TL -- if I have to -- for years, they are very good cars and good values (and they seem durable as all get out). But, if I am in a position to return to the REAL Premium brands (and you know who they are), I'll do so in a New York Minute.
Drive it like you live.
#16495 of 16985 Re: BMW 320i [markcincinnati]
Aug 23, 2013 (4:51 am)
Mark....I should fall into your camp, but I don't. I DO own an Audi, and I DON'T believe its price justifies the premium over a more "pedestrian" (as you feel) Acura or Infiniti.
Is the Audi a nice car? Absolutely. I've rented plenty of VWs when I travel. I can see there are more premium bits in the Audi than there are in the VW. I also see the things that are the same.
Personally, I'll never again take for granted what the Japanese Premium Brands excel in....that is reliability, longevity, brick like build quality. Those things do indeed matter....a lot.
Of course this little diatribe comes hot on the heels of picking up my allegedly repaired S4 this a.m at 7:30 a.m. There was a littany of things the dealer did. None of them fixed the problem (as I learned when I got half way home), and now they've introduced some squeaks and rattles into my console area (supposedly caused by removing and replacing the MMI). Quattro is still "binding", but not as much as before.
So, either live with it. Or, keep schlepping it to the dealer.
Aug 23, 2013 (7:00 am)
I do feel your pain -- my first (and only) new A8 spent more time (or it seemed that way) at the dealership than in my garage.
Generally speaking you did take my message as I meant it. My thoughts, however, regarding the status of the cars would be to call the VW the pedestrian vehicle -- the Acura and Infiniti are, to me at least, still in a "class" that is above the pedestrian Honda and Nissan.
I had an S6 a few years back and I loved it -- yet it too spent too much time in the dealership's repair bay.
But I have not had what I would call a totally confidence inspiring experience with my Acura. My issues with my Acura TL SH-AWD are -- if I am able to pull the emotion out of the equation -- dealer related.
As either an anecdote or a data point -- you decide -- I complained at the first oil change (about 8,000 miles) that there was a noise and sensation that I believed to be warped brake rotors. Every time I touched the brakes at highway speeds there was a "shudder" and vibration that felt like warped rotors or wheels that needed balancing.
The dealership decided to "turn the brakes" -- in fact they did this exercise two times (to no avail.)
I went to another Acura dealership -- one that has no connection with or to a Honda dealership and their diagnosis was that I had 3 warped wheels (they said they were "bent".)
Acura corporate said, "your fault -- or at least not OUR fault." But, the dealership (the second dealer, that is) appeared to go to bat for me and was able to get 3 new wheels at 50% of the SRP. This cure for the issue happened around 25,000 miles. Of course the "overall" safe/smart/prudent thing to do was to replace all four tires, too (at a cost of about $1,000 from the tire rack.) I also had the new wheels and tires road force balanced -- at a slight discount (at the dealership.) This cure cost about $2K, plus I had the displeasure of driving over 20,000 miles with what felt like warped brake discs.
Otherwise the car has been and my sense is, will remain, both reliable and durable -- but I just can't shake the [emotional, probably] sense that my Acura has (for wont of a better term) "too much Honda" in it.
I'd take the S4 any day. Now, I know or at least I think I know what you're thinking: The S4 could be nearly $20K more than the TL -- and typically would be at least $10K more (my TL had back up sensors and other Acura accessories on it for a total MSRP of a bit south of $48K.)
You've had either a bad S4 or an unsatisfying dealer experience -- or both.
Generally speaking I would think both of our experiences have been -- for the respective brands we're talking about -- way below our expectations. Everyone I know of says Hondas, er, Acuras are easily good to go for at least 150K -- with only routine mntce.
Audis, of recent vintage are, typically, also reliable and durable -- and return much more driving pleasure than competing Acuras.
But please note that my "short list" when the time comes, in about 11 months, will contain Audi, Acura, Infiniti and probably Volvo. I may even give another look-see at a BMW (probably not, though.)
I may fall victim to the most "bang for the buck" car -- which could turn out to be another Acura TL or TLX (or whatever they call it at the time). Right now it seems to me that something like a Q5 with the supercharged engine is a cross between an A4 allroad and an S4 -- for less money (when well equipped) than either of the other 2 Audis.
I hope someone from Audi reads these posts. Were I in that position (a paid forum reader of our rants and raves) I would certainly try to reach out to you "from the factory" and make your situation right -- if for no other reason than to turn you into a brand fan, instead of a brand foe.
I still say it is easier to pay too little and regret it than pay what seems to be a bit too much (at the time) and love it.
Good luck with your dealership.
#16497 of 16985 Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [nyccarguy]
Aug 23, 2013 (10:23 am)
Thanks! As much as my finances are thanking me a bit for having 3 months to prepare for this HUGE purchase (for my budget, was definitely stretching; but pre-owned S4's seem to be holding their value REALLY well, are popular fast sellers making them rare, and I didn't see the value in a lightly used one if it was going to cost nearly as much if not the same amount (given the usual 60K MSRP they are typically bought at).
If I'm going to spend a large amount of money, Audi or anyone else better believe I'm going to be picky what my money goes towards; so a custom order seemed like the only option to me. Thankfully, Audi still makes enough options stand-alone that you can get it just right! Acura groups too much junk together.
I will admit however, even with the Pro's of having 3 months longer with an old "cheap" car to shore up the finances, the con's are I'm anxious and can't wait to get my hands on the new S4! I can see why people without strong will power or color preference just have to have something right now, today! Turns out Escondido dealer only needed $1K down (SD Audi wanted $2,500 down), I emailed my offer to SD Audi, and about 22.5 hours later, without a response, I decided to extend same offer to Escondido Audi in person, and they jumped for it (after a couple of attempts to get me to go up).
I feel just a tad bit bad as the sale-person that helped me previously at SD Audi said they were with clients all day long and just didn't get to my e-mail until after 5. I had assumed and figured the sales manager was mulling/balking over my offer for too long. Probably in hind sight I should have called to make the offer and/or confirm she got the email. However, I'm sure she will learn not to ignore e-mails; it could be an offer to buy!
#16498 of 16985 Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [graphicguy]
Aug 23, 2013 (10:56 am)
S4 Fancier leather option: Hardest one to pony up for as it MSRP's at $1,250. However, I noticed all the details it comes with from the fine Nappa Leather all round, to the contrasting stitching (in the color you choose) on the center armrest, shifter, steering wheel, seats, and door armrests. I loved that level of attention and contrast. Most importantly though, at least in the S5, they cut the Alcantara seam about 1/2 to 1" too high on the upper seat section. If you lean your upper seat back at all, you can see the vinyl mesh material where it meets the lower seat cushion. In the S4, the Nappa leather was cut lower down, so even way leaned back, you couldn't' see the less desirable seat trim.
Audi Club North America members in good standing also get the same supplier 6% discount. That's a very good deal! It's well below Edmund's TMV of average transaction prices for the S4. However, I needed a GREAT deal in order to go new. With the "fancier" leather, I was over my stretched $50K threshold (before taxes), without it, I met my price target. So my offer was $850 below the 6% discount. Probably around 6.4%? I didn't do the math exactly. My A3 ownership also gives me $1,000 loyalty rebate back on the back end after taxes as well. In CA, sales tax is ridiculous so figuring 10% for tax, title, license, and fees is about right I'm told.
2014 S4 has Audi Drive Select standard, in exchange for raising the MSRP $500 bucks from 2013. The Sport Diff option went down $150 from 2013 probably because Drive Select is already on the car. I told them the price increase wasn't my fault, I'm sticking to my offer at $50,000.
#16499 of 16985 Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [graphicguy]
Aug 23, 2013 (11:13 am)
If the 335i new is the same price as the S4, I made the right decision in my book; hands down.
Maybe I accidentally clicked on a 328i when I equipped it for $45K (or maybe I was looking at Invoice price on 335i)?
I liked the power in the '09 335i sport package sedan (the drive, not really the interior), and if it wasn't for the brakes locking up, I might have liked it enough to buy it (and it had shameful All-Season tires). Carmax lowered the price on it to make up for the bad tire selection I see... tempting... ..
It had a heavy effort filled steering similar to the '11 S4 I test drove, which I liked on both. I have to admit, I preferred the higher effort steering in the older S4 to the '13 S4 I test drove (not a deal breaker though; just a preference). In 2013 they went electromechanical steering supposedly for efficiency. Since the gas mileage didn't change, I can only assume it made a .5 MPG impact or less and rounding variance didn't help them.
I have a thing for nice steering wheels. As much as I loved the old steering wheel in the Audi's, the new '13/'14 version is even nicer! I didn't think Audi could top the previous version, but they did!
#16500 of 16985 Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [graphicguy]
Aug 23, 2013 (11:19 am)
When I went to Hoehn Audi in Carlsbad about 2 weeks ago, they had no (I mean zero) new S4's and at least four (4) S5's!
They did bring out a used '11 S4 that they claimed was sold, but since it hadn't been paid for, it was technically not sold until tomorrow, and I could "steal" it, if I wished. It was the only used S4 they had.
#16501 of 16985 Re: Comparisons based on price equality. . .primarily [ivan_99]
Aug 23, 2013 (11:59 am)
The TL looks "OK" to me too, but there's a big gap from looks "ok" to looks "beautiful."
If looks and style don't matter to someone (or your tastes just differ), the TL is definitely a value bargain buy right now.
If Audi rejected my $50K offer (not including fees/taxes) after trying at like 5 dealers, I'd of probably offered Acura $40K out the door on a TL-SH AWD Tech (37,500 + taxes - 1,500 conquest rebate). About 2K below TMV, not sure if that would have flied?
As the most recent cross shopper of the TL-SH AWD vs. S4 here on this board and forum, I can say that I couldn't justify a full $15K delta, but close to it seemed rational to me. That is why I needed to get Audi to agree to an offer that kept the S4 within that $15K delta with the Acura (assuming TMV best deal on Acura).