Last post on Jun 17, 2013 at 9:27 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
#1916 of 16249 Historic family oriented company: BMW
Apr 08, 2004 (5:36 am)
When one goes to Europe, one realizes that BMW is just as family and economically oriented as are the Japanese marques. The only real difference is that BMW leaned toward the performance and handling niche whereas the Japanese leaned toward the simplicity and reliability niche, historically speaking.
To put this in context, I was doing a project for MB-USA in the mid 1990s and the folks from Stuttgart liked what I did for the folks in Montvale, and shipped me over there for a while. Due to the fact that I was a contractor, their insurance regulations prohibited me from being assigned a car from the pool reserved for the MB-USA folks, so they rented me a small BMW. Said rental had four doors, a 1.6 or a 1.8 liter mill (I think it was the 1.6), crank windows, no A/C, cloth seats and a simple radio without a cassette. To make matters worse, I was driving north out of Austria early one morning (about 4:00 AM) and the 316i was laboring up a long hill south of Ulm, flat out at something like 80 mph when I saw a pair of headlights catching me, FAST. No sooner had I finished passing a string of even slower moving cars and moved over to my right, a Chrysler MiniVan passed me doing well over a buck twenty! So much for the "end-all-be-all" image of BMW.
#1917 of 16249 In Europe, it is different.
Apr 08, 2004 (6:18 am)
When I was in DŁesseldorf, Germany in 1998 on business, ALL of the taxi cabs were bare bones (and I mean bare bones) MB 190Es, complete with cloth seats and crank windows. They were painted in an awful green and orange color combo. The interior was very plain and mostly covered in cheap brown vinyl. Ugh! When I got home after the three week trip, my '92 Accord felt sooo luxurious in comparison.
Apr 08, 2004 (6:58 am)
"Gearing? Horses? Whatever it is, BMW does more with less than the others. What happens when BMW puts a 3.2L in a 3 series? Oh, then we're talking about 0-60 romps in the 4s and over 330 HP. Suddenly the 3.5 liter VQ doesn't seem all that impressive... "
No one can say the bimmer engineers aren't good at refining a sedan and engineering the heck out of it over time. But in its first try nissan bested the true class competitor (330i) and is redefining the expectations of this segment. It's truly a joy to own a G and hear people compare the car to much more powerful or expensive machines such as m3 and any 5 series as the car seems to find it self compared to so often. The m3 is over 50k and is not much bigger than a civic. While very beautiful and classic in design it's very pricey for the propeller on the hood and the extra oophm. Worth it - maybe if you can swing it. Maybe last year and not next year tho. Its another whole class the M3 sits in with a 911 carerra and the vette that we are comparing a 27k car to....very cool to me.
Now as for the VQ being tame - yes it's not pushing all the M hp/liter but thats a $17,000 motor with a 1% failure rate from such a long stroke working at 9k rpm. Nice but quirky and expensive. The VQ can easily perform 300hp without any major tweaks and could possibly get to 340 or so if tuner like the M guys tune the VQ. Maybe still not the same high hp/litre as m3, but much cheaper much more reliable and still more productive than 99% of the v6's sold in the us. I'll take it.
For 1k you can take the existing 260 in the sedan and turn it into 290 or so. Thats an 11% increase with minor work and dollars. This engine screams to do more and the short stroke and balanced v-6 are not as smooth as a straight 6 inherintly but find another v that even comes close...and costs so little to make.
Apr 08, 2004 (7:26 am)
I am very impressed with the VQ. The fact that it can propel a midsize sedan in the mid 5 range is very impressive. The BMW 3 is fast, but it is also the size of a Sentra.
#1920 of 16249 A quest...
Apr 08, 2004 (7:35 am)
My lease expires this year ('01 Audi A6 4.2), and I have started test drives. Thus far:
S4, M3, 330i ZHP, C32, TL (mt & auto), G35 coupe 6mt, M45, S60R, E500 (just out of curiosity).
I agree with recent posts regarding, "to each his own," and for me, I need a sedan (6 & 4 year olds); it needs to be relatively quick (low-mid 6s 0-60, 14s-15s 1/4); and while this may be snobbish(a word?), I don't want to see myself coming and going on every roadway (i.e some exclusivity).
My own observations:
S4/M3--awesome acceleration, ride too firm, Audi's gas mileage horrendous, Bimmer pricey;
C32--great ride & acceleration, pricey, weak interior;
S60R--not bad, do I want a Volvo?, auto is alot slower than mt (wife cannot drive mt, despite my best efforts);
G35 coupe--it's a coupe, great looking, quick, ride relatively good, interior a bogey, great bang for buck, need to try sedan, hoping '05 interior improved;
TL--great bang for buck, I wish speedo and tach were given equal real estate, otherwise great interior (one must admit lots of BMW cues, inside & out), fast enough (for me);
M45--included here because one can be had significantly below sticker, fast, comfy, exclusive, ride a little floaty, interior nice but redundant controls take too much real estate;
330i ZHP--I must admit, I really like its lines, ride, fast enough (BMW definitely low-balls its hp ratings--I believe my E36 M3 had 240hp, was lighter, and slower? c'mon! However, I live in MD, where we do receive snow/ice, and I hear those 18" rims bend frequently...
I'd love to hear more praise/gripes from owners.
And, despite what most of want to believe, price plays a huge factor. I promised my wife the car payment was going to be reduced...c'est la vie!
#1921 of 16249 #1908 of 1920 webby1 by kahunah
Apr 08, 2004 (8:01 am)
325I Auto...silver grey with black interior..premium package..no sport package available in Canada til June ( unless the dealer finds one somewhere )I do not want to wait that long since my lease expires May 1st.
First BMW so I hope it is a good one.
I am still pissed off at Acura for not willing to deal...they still do not believe that I dumped them !
#1922 of 16249 #1905 of 1921 webby1 by pg48477
Apr 08, 2004 (8:06 am)
Sorry...not 330 but 325...power does not mean that much to me as long as the power is adequate, enough torque and great handling.
Timeless design and tracks as driving on railroad tracks!
#1923 of 16249 please learn your 330s
Apr 08, 2004 (8:40 am)
I mean, a regular 330 is not running no 5.6. This is the performance package equipped version, and perhaps a juiced one that C&D got at that.
330 perf package costs way more than what you can get into a G35 for. If you "tuned" your VQ yourself spending the money you saved you'd end up ahead.
BMW doesn't have any voo-doo HP tricks that others lack. It's a question of money. The specific output of the 325 is very low, just look at a 98-00 Duratec 2.5 pumping 200hp... that was 6 years ago mind you.
I also notice that none of the TL lovers here are touching the Motor Trend comparison. About the torque steer, they basically wrote "sure you could live with it, but why would you want to"? (not an exact quote, i don't have the mag here in front of me)
To sum it up:
The G35 dominated since there was no BMW competition. But the CTS keeps creeping up in these comparisons, coming in second this time. It pulled a 6.6 with an auto, which will probably mean a 6.2 when the M6 hits lots this June as an '05. So I could drive a 5 series in size and comfort that goes 6.2 for as little as $32k or I could force my friends to cram into the back of a 3 series and either spend a little more money for equal performance (regular 330) or spend way more for slightly better performance (330 perf package). No thanks, I'm not into paying more for less just to have what everyone else thinks is "cool". I work hard for my money and the status symbol factor of BMW does nothing for me.
For me, a person who needs to use the back seat at times, but still wants a balanced sports sedan the G35/CTS are clearly the value leaders.
Apr 08, 2004 (8:43 am)
But in its first try nissan bested the true class competitor (330i) and is redefining the expectations of this segment.
First try? Nissan's had the I class for a long time and it was in the same market segment: entry level lux. The G comes a good 10 years into Nissan's first failed attempts.
It's truly a joy to own a G and hear people compare the car to much more powerful or expensive machines such as m3 and any 5 series as the car seems to find it self compared to so often.
Who would compare a G to an M3? There is no comparison. That's beyond silly. comparos to the 530 make sense. The 545? No way.
The m3 is over 50k
Starts at 45k.
and is not much bigger than a civic.
What? Regardless, I find the 330i to be too big - that's why I'm looking forward to the M2 in 2006/7.
Worth it - maybe if you can swing it. Maybe last year and not next year tho. Its another whole class the M3 sits in with a 911 carerra and the vette that we are comparing a 27k car to....very cool to me.
You're the only one doing that. Quite frankly the G's a fun car, but it's not in the same league as the M3, 911 or Vette - those are flat out performance cars. When you're running sub 5 second 60s then it'll be called a GT-R.
The VQ can easily perform 300hp without any major tweaks and could possibly get to 340 or so if tuner like the M guys tune the VQ.
Again, so, it's also much larger. We've seen over 350 out of the 3.2 on the M3 CSL.
For 1k you can take the existing 260 in the sedan and turn it into 290 or so.
Stock for stock. I don't care what mods are out there. Kids are on the road with Civics pushing over 400 hp. Doesn't change the fact it's still a Civic.
The G's a fine car but it's not Nissan's first foray into entry-level-lux and it's certainly not in the league of cars like the M3, 911 or Vette, STi, Evo. To believe it is, can only be described as foolishness.
Apr 08, 2004 (8:54 am)
Why would I buy a 330i base? It was a fun car but if BMW makes a better one, why wouldn't one go for it? I desperately wanted an M3 sedan to be frank. If BMW sold it, it'd be sitting in my garage at this moment. But if ifs and nuts were candy and nuts...
Regardless, this all began because someone babbled about the G35 and TL outgunning the 3 series. I don't see it that way. I see that they finally caught up with it - while posting high HP numbers. And still they aren't winning comparos straight up. It's only when adding price that they win some of the comparo....and to some buyers, price wasn't the determining issue when buying a car for fun. Afterall, it's a toy. If i'm tossing 33k on a car, 6k more is not that big of a deal in the scheme of things. If 6k means 10% more happiness, the trade off is a no brainer, in my opinion.
I think in the end I'm buying my sports sedan for a different reason: fun. Roominess, bang for the buck, modability don't enter my equation.