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
#5364 of 16985 Re: sport sedans.. [davids5]
May 07, 2006 (6:39 am)
"To me sporty driving isn't 0-60 spurts or 1/4 mile drag races"
I tend to agree with you for the most part, but I don't think you can generalize "Americans" as a whole. Historically, Europeans have placed a higher value on handling than straight-line speed, but things have changed today. American cars today handle as well as they accelerate, and todays European cars have placed an emphasis on 0-60 and 1/4 mile performance - why do you think that is?
The roads here are different, as are the laws (because our society is different). As a result, driving is different here. So, while I agree overall that European cars tend to perform better than American cars, let me play devil's advocate here and consider some current American cars -
Although they're not my cup of tea personally, I could go to a dealer tomorrow and purchase a 2006 Corvette or Cadillac STS for less than $40,000. Are they as good as the European "equivalent?" Not likely, but they are outstanding cars in their segment and cost 1/2 to 1/3 the price of a "comparable" European car.
The Corvette may not have the elegance and refinement of a Porsche 911, but on a twisty road or racetrack, they're pretty comparable. Both are rewarding to drive and own in their own way - a personal choice.
The Cadillac vs. Mercedes is a similar comparison. I've been driving an S-Class Mercedes for 2 years now (company car) and, while it is a very substantial car and suprememly comfortable, it's not at all rewarding to drive from a performance perspective. It floats over the road with light, overboosted steering, and rolls hard in corners. I haven't driven the Cadillac, but I can't imagine it's significantly worse than the M-B.
So, while I personlly prefer and own European cars (I have an E30 BMW M3 and a Volvo V70), I can understand why someone might enjoy the performance and personality of American cars for what they offer the driver - especially on our poorly maintained, poorly designed American roads.
#5365 of 16985 Re: IMHO the best luxury/sport sedan [fedlawman]
May 07, 2006 (8:11 am)
From your posts I can see you are a descriminating enthusiast who wants a sports car experience wrapped in a luxury sedan body.
In my opinion, the car you are looking for doesn't exist.
Almost, but not quite. I realize that nothing I buy in sedan or coupe format is going to match the driving experience I now enjoy with a real sports car. But I'm also not looking for the "luxury" side to be at the expense of the "sport" side.
I have driven a friend's previous generation BMW M3 sedan and it would fit my bill. And it "only" has 240 horsepower, 60+ short of the IS350, but the true overall performance (given what I'm looking for) is miles above the Lexus. He is considering selling it and even though I've never bought a used car, he has been so meticulous about its care and maintenance, I'm very tempted.
#5366 of 16985 Re: sport sedans.. [davids5]
May 07, 2006 (9:29 am)
This is somewhat off-topic discussing European vehicle superiority, but nearly every manufacturer you mentioned has a horrible reliability record. MB, VW and Audi are notorious. 20 years ago American cars had horrible reliability ratings. Most don't think that is the case now. Buick and Cadillac surpass Infiniti and Acura in quality according to JDP. European cars (and maybe Chinese cars) are now the ones known for lacking reliability. What good is the great driving ability of the car if it's always in the shop?
Back to the topic, I love the exterior styling of the CTS. If you want an exterior that doesn't offend (or provoke any emotion), the Infiniti G35 sedan is for you. The exterior of the new 3 series doesn't do it for me, but it provokes emotion.
Unless one wants to spend a significant amount of moolah aftermarketing the interior of the CTS (or even the G35), the current kings of the segment seem to be the IS350 and the 3 series.
IMHO, value wise the CTS, G35 and the TL are the leaders of the cars in this segment as they are midsize vehicles compared to the compacts that are the A4, the 3 series, the C class and the Lexus IS. They are on the lower end of the price scale, too as the CTS and G35 both dip into the high 20's.
(Anyone know why the Saab 9-3 and the Jaguar X-type aren't subjects for this forum?)
May 07, 2006 (10:05 am)
Do they even make the 9-3 and X type anymore? lol
As for your question about shop time v. driving, I'll take absolute fun for a day and nothing for a week over decent fun all the time. So my 03 330i may be in the shop more than my friends 03 G35 but my 03 330i is more fun than his car - even he admits it. My 06 330i isn't as involving as my 03 so maybe my view will change.
But given the lackluster competition, it's tough to see how I could opt for milquetoast (IS350, A4) over fun.
Maybe the 07 G35 - much better interior, better engine, supposedly bettersuspension - will be the competition the 3 series has lacked for over 20 years.
Then again, my eyes are already on 08 for a 335i sedan with that turbo...yummy.
May 07, 2006 (6:01 pm)
with ya on the milk-toast A4 comment. It's one of the most fun cars I've driven. To each his own, but the time I spent in a 330 with sport, and manual wasn't all that and a bag of chips. The A4 on the other hand was more complete IMO. I realize that's not neccisarily the popular opinion around here, but I would take the A4 over the bimmer.
#5369 of 16985 Re: IMHO the best luxury/sport sedan [redsoxgirl]
May 07, 2006 (6:45 pm)
"I have driven a friend's previous generation BMW M3 sedan and it would fit my bill."
Believe it or not, in the first draft of my last post I wrote that you should consider an E36 M3 (and the Subaru STI and Mitsubishi EVO). I edited my post down to size and removed that remark.
The E36 is the first 3-series that moved upmarket and became "luxurious," but by modern standards, it's still lightweight and nimble.
They're not the best built car BMW ever produced (a result of BMW cost-cutting attempts), but they do possess a good blend of sports car dynamics and everyday comfort.
Good luck with whatever you decide...
#5370 of 16985 Re: can't get [dhamilton]
May 07, 2006 (7:26 pm)
dhamilton, any time you wanna visit a track or even a really curvy road, I'm game. The A4's nose-heavy and Audi's AWD system binds too much for my liking. Yes a chipped 2.0 is a blast as far as engines go but the chassis' not up to snuff for driving hard.
#5371 of 16985 Re: can't get [blueguydotcom]
May 08, 2006 (3:19 pm)
I am going to have to agree with dhamilton here. I owned an a4 1.8T before and have driven my brother's 06 325I numerous times. A4 is way superior in many facets. The 3 series (excluding the M3) in particular and BMW in general is vastly overated. I think the media and hence the BMW owners ovesensationalize their experience with BMW and therefore this so-called "driving experience" is almost spoken into existence. Don't get me wrong I think BMW is one of the best luxury/sports manafacturers but they are not head and shoulders better than Audi and other respectables manufacturers that they aspire to compete with. As a matter fact most polls of Europeans perceptions of BMW/AUDI would actually put Audi head and shoulders over BMW.
#5372 of 16985 Re: can't get [primetime79]
May 08, 2006 (3:37 pm)
my brother's 06 325I numerous times. A4 is way superior in many facets. The 3 series (excluding the M3) in particular and BMW in general is vastly overated. I think the media and hence the BMW owners ovesensationalize their experience with BMW and therefore this so-called "driving experience" is almost spoken into existence. Don't get me wrong I think BMW is one of the best luxury/sports manafacturers but they are not head and shoulders better than Audi and other respectables manufacturers that they aspire to compete with. As a matter fact most polls of Europeans perceptions of BMW/AUDI would actually put Audi head and shoulders over BMW.
All that writing and you never actually mentioned how the A4 1.8T is better to drive...what's better, the front nose bias? the FWD or binding AWD? the heaviness of the A4? the lack of power? The understeer? The sloppy VW/Audi manual? The numb steering?
#5373 of 16985 Re: can't get [blueguydotcom]
May 08, 2006 (6:44 pm)
I'll let you both know what I think about this, in a few months. I currently drive an A4 (98) quattro, with 6 cyl., and will soon take delivery of the 325i rwd. The A4 has been superb! It has sufficient speed, perhaps could use some more though, it handles very nicely on curves -- and also at 85 with unanticipated quick lane changes (for safety reasons). The interior is simply amazing (unless you are stuck in the back). I suspect, and hope, that the 325 will handle a bit sharper, and be a bit quicker (it better, it has 8 years on the Audi, and much fatter tires). It will be interesting to see where I end up on this debate. Perhaps if the stars are aligned, I'll end up thinking both are some of the best cars out there....