Last post on May 09, 2013 at 9:32 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
#6621 of 16087 Re: WEll... [plekto]
Nov 21, 2006 (4:54 pm)
I am trying to figure out - in addition to your flippant post to the host - if there is anything accurate in your post.
Audi A4 3.0
Nope - too small. Engine has to be taken OUT to do most work on it, it's wedged in so tight. Spotty electrical and accessory reliability(it's a re-badged Passat)
Um, the 3.0 is probably not "entry" level, nor can it be got for $30000, nor is it a rebadged Passat (different platform, engine, suspension, do I need go on?)
-BMW 330i or 328xi (300hp??)
Meh - BMWs cost a fortune to keep running and while nice, it's somehow "everyone else has one". The 3 is really only good in the "M" trim. I also don't like how bloated and heavy it's gotten. The last generation design was much better, IMO.
3 series and some 5 series have average reliablity in many years according to CR. The 3 is only good in M trim.
Did you really say that, despite the fact that the 3 series has won awards and plaudits from mags, blogs, racers, this forum for oh, say 20 years?
Very nice car. Second choice.
Not wrong as it is a subjective view supported by, well, nothing.
Good, too - pretty subjective, though, as for isntance, the Caddy goes from a kick in the pants screamer to a bland box when you add the automatic transmission. It's like a modern recreation of a 70s Chevy Nova. Small, fast, and loads of grunt in a straight line - like a mini muscle car.
The TL gets a no from me. It's the opposite. High-strung thing that loves to be revved hard(like most Hondas) It jsut didn't feel "luxury" to me. And it's pretty small.
The TL has 258 HP and lots of torque and is not a typical high revved Honda. Hmm, you are about 0 for 6 and I am getting tired.
adding to the list I noticed MB was missed:
-Mercedez C230 ? Super expensive ?
A base model with nothing on it(and notihng to break, either) is $28K. But it's mega-bling and refinement - but not fast.
-Volvo S60 ?
Best luxury for the money, hands down. Good with the manual, okay with the automatic. Not a screamer, though.
I'll add one:
2006 Saab 9-5 with manual transmission. Loads of fun to drive and infinately more reliable than the Mercedes or BMWs.
I also recommend the RX-8. Most fun for the money - but no bling at all. Sorry.
Other than that, it's tough unless you are willing to look at 2-3 year old cars. Then $25K buys you almost anything on the planet(within reason of course heh). A previous generation M3, for instance, would be a car you'd want to keep for a decade or more.
#6622 of 16087 Re: Price versus quantity/quality-Top 10 Luxury Permance Sedans [flash11]
Nov 21, 2006 (5:26 pm)
A lot of these cars are not "entry" level luxury performance sedans. The A4 3.0 and the 335 (and the C350), while in the smallest size of sedan for their companies are themselves not entry level cars. Their engines (6 cylinder) are a step up from the entry level and their cost is rarely below $40,000.
The A4 2.0T, C230 and the 328 are "entry level" sports sedans. And while all three have fabulous German engineering and style and Teutonic road feel and handling, they do not have powerful 6 cylinder engines that have low 0-60 times (the 328 does have a nice but not super powerful 6 cylinder). Of course, few folks ever go 0-60 except on a race track, so their 45-60 and 55-75 times are probably more important and those 3 all have great torque in that range.
But if you demand race track times, that leaves only 2 Japanese cars as entry level luxury performance sedans that can be purchased with a 6 cylinder that are 0-60 screamers that can be had for less than $34,000. (The IS 350 is around $40k.)
So, it is TL vs. G35 and that makes it easy - buy the one you prefer driving. In the meantime, a few facts follow: They are completely different driving cars in that the G is rear wheel drive and thus handles better in dry conditions. The TL is about as fast, and has better reliability, more usable tech toys, much better gas mileage and lower emissions.
I would posit a couple of personal comments having test driven almost all of them; the German cars are more agile and have better road feel. The TL and the ISs have more supple rides. The exterior on the G35 is better than the somewhat staid TL but the G35 interior looks like it is made for Liberace.
They are all wonderful, fast, sexy cars despite the sniffing of a couple of posters (one of whom seem to prefer Fords, like the Mazda3).
#6623 of 16087 Re: WEll... [kdshapiro]
Nov 21, 2006 (7:19 pm)
According to Consumer Reports, the Saab 9-5 is more reliable than the e46 BMW's. However, the e90 3 series has way fewer black dots. The 335 is too new for anyone to draw any conclusions.
However, the 9-5 isn't considered the entry level vehicle. The Epsilon based 9-3 is. It's not considered reliable at all by CR even though its platform cousins, the Pontiac G6 and the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx are.
Nov 21, 2006 (8:28 pm)
The Saab, or any Saab for that matter, just can't match the buttoned down feel of the Audi or BMW IMO. Their are just to many cheap plasticy parts, and, well, it just isn't glued down like German car
#6625 of 16087 Re: Price versus quantity/quality-Top 10 Luxury Permance Sedans [edwardsf]
Nov 21, 2006 (8:33 pm)
I agree with most of your comments on G35 vs. TL. In fact, for those reasons (and a few more) the TL was the car for me. Gotta disagree with your comments (and neither of us is wrong, of course) in that I find the TL to be a very handsome, aggressive and somewhat understated design from almost any angle. The G, while not unnattracive (like the overdone, overwrought, overbaked CTS!) to me appears just a bit too tall and narrow on the exterior with a rear view only a mother could love. I'd give the TL a 9, the G a 7.
Viva la difference!
#6626 of 16087 Re: WEll... [plekto]
Nov 21, 2006 (8:43 pm)
There is no more 330i post MY 2006. It's now called the 335i. (with 300 hp)
I don't know what you mean about the 3 only being good in the M trim. IMHO, until the M3 gets redesigned the 335i is an awesome value compared to the M3. Insofar as maintenance is concerned BMW offers a 4yr- 50k mile maintenance free plan.
Acura has made a serious attempt in providing luxury with its TL. How didn't it feel "luxury" to you? If you mean by the ride- then sure- it's got a stiff ride, but so does most of the cars in this class. For the most part, people admire the "luxury" in the TL.
MB has some serious QC issues with its vehicles these days.
Volvo S60 - the best luxury for the money? A completely stripped 208hp S60 MSRP's at $31,580 including destination. Add in some "luxury" and your well on your way in being out of your price range.
RX-8? Isn't this a 2-door?
#6627 of 16087 Re: WEll... [ggesq]
Nov 21, 2006 (8:51 pm)
"RX-8? Isn't this a 2-door?"
And a smallish one at that. I think there are two more seats, but I wouldn't want to sit back there.
Nov 21, 2006 (11:28 pm)
The rear doors are suicide doors but it's a 4 door nonetheless. Cost-wise it's the cheapest of the bunch. If you just want a car like that - fast, decent handling - get a Scooby Legacy 2.5 or Mazdaspeed6. They're compact/midsize sedans, well under 30k and fast, good handling.
#6629 of 16087 Re: Price versus quantity/quality-Top 10 Luxury Permance Sedans [laurasdada]
Nov 21, 2006 (11:32 pm)
I think they are both great looking cars. And yes, the TL is more understated. I am thinking of three cars myself: TL, A4 2.0T, and a Suburu Legacy GT wagon. Note that the G is not there. I don't like its interior and find it cramped (I am 6-3). I think the Legacy is the most nimble and fun to drive of the three but don't like its gas mileage. The A4, TL and 328 are really quite remarkable in that they are performance sedans with 30+ mpg on the highway. The TL is an amazing package in that it also has very user friendly tech AND reliablity.
#6630 of 16087 Drove a 2007 G35S today
Nov 22, 2006 (4:21 pm)
Stopped by a dealer and drove the G35S today. Hmmm. Interior materials are big step up. The car feels more solid, refined and really planted (if not heavy). some thoughts:
Slight hesitation on acceleration.
Engine is really quiet.
No real NVH from the redesigned 3.5 and chassis.
At speed the 5 speed auto is okay but the car feels incorrectly geared.
Auto paddle response was okay but still too slow for my tastes.
They didn't have a 6 speed manual on the lot.
Acceleration was decent but not mindblowing. The car felt a bit more muscular than my weak-kneed 2006 330i.
Steering felt heavy at all speeds - okay but a tad too muted during spirited moves.
Interior was quite cramped - what happened to the wide-open interior of the last gen? This is more cockpit-like but in an overly snug way. I'm five-seven and 145 lbs and the G35 felt way too tight.
Seats blow majorly. They're soft, poorly bolstered (even with controls used to tighten bolsters), feel flimsy and are not comfortable for even short drives.
LCD display is worthless during the day. At full brightness it was still hard to read (20/20 vision).
Soft ride and compliant on all road surfaces but tons of road roar.
Overall - I liked the look the exterior. Better interior materials. More upscale. But the car has lost its edgier character, feeling more sedate, buttoned-down and even more muted and removed than the e90.
If I could change my list from the other day the G35S with automatic would be on the side of "wouldn't consider."
Could a manual change the character that much? Maybe. I will have to try the manual version eventually but it's hard to believe that the tranny could make a car feel so wrong. Then again, an automatic e90/e46 3 series feels like absolute, unresponsive garbage to me too.
BTW, while at my BMW dealer last night I looked over the 3 series coupe with my girlfriend. We agreed, it's one boring, lame looking car. I didn't want to drive the 335i as they didn't have a manual on the lot and I would probably want to trade my woefully underpowered 330i for it immediately.
Right now if price were an issue - 30k or under: