Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#1 of 10348 Luxury Performance Sedans
Apr 05, 2004 (8:19 pm)
With the upcoming new Acura RL, Audi A6, Infiniti M, Lexus GS, as well as mainstays MB E and BMW 5, this segment seems poised to heat up. We could use this board to talk about these and other cars in this segment.
*Moderator: I could only add this discussion to the M45, RL, and 5 Series boards. If you could add it to the MB E, Audi A6, and Lexus GS boards, that would be great.
#4 of 10348 by pat
Apr 06, 2004 (8:49 am)
Apr 07, 2004 (7:17 am)
The new M45 concept is one sweet looking car!!
Apr 07, 2004 (10:28 pm)
Just like the upper segment, the middle segment is indeed poised to heat up. Upcoming info and my opinion of each player in the segment.
Audi A6 - Not the styling knockout I had hoped for. Interior seems to be cluttered and not on the same level with the A8 design wise. New direct injection 3.2L V6 is nice, but the 4.2L V8 version seems to have lost the fender flares that make the current car so good looking. I'll have to wait until Oct to see the car in person to see if the new Audi Auto Union inspired grille really works on the smaller A6 body. I do like it on the A8L 6.0. Not sure if it will meet Audi's sales targets here. Future engines are rumored to include a version of the Lamborghini Gallardo's V10 and of course a S6/RS6 is inevitable. Reliability improvements needed.
BMW 5-Series - It has been said many time and many ways...the styling of this car is either a love/hate thing. Surprise(!) I happen to like it. What I don't like is the interior; they went backwards (imo). The traditional cockpit feel and design has given way to a furniture or club room look. Me no like. Of particular note is how the door grab handles line up with the dash when the doors are closed, a very clumsy design detail. The car seems to still be the dynamic leader, but the design details kept it from being a Car and Driver 10Best for 2004, a big deal imo as they loved the previous car. A pair of new inline sixes are due for 2005-06' I suspect as 184 and 225hp won't cut it in this segment after all these new more powerful competitors arrive this fall. The 545i already has what is considered the best V8 in the luxury car segment so no changes needed there.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class - the sales leader in this country and just about every other country around the world. Why? Variety. New diesel model (E320 CDI) for 2005. Eventually the E320 will become the E350 sporting the new 268hp V6 from the new SLK350. A new 4.6L 340-355hp V8 is also due to replace the 302hp E500 model sometime in 2005, probably as a 2006 model. This is the least controversial of the three German cars in this segment and I think this is an advantage, there is nothing unusual to explain or get used to here, just timeless classic styling inside and out. Reliability improvements needed! My personal favorite of this class in case you didn't know.
Acura RL - the current model is about as dead as car can be in this segment. Anyway at least on paper the new car seems to have all the 6-cylinder cars in this segment covered: 300hp and a new type of awd system, sounds juicy. Just going by the pics released today, the car looks like a giant Accord, even more so than the new TL. As per all the Japanese cars reliability is the strong point design is the weak point. Can't wait to see the first road test! No V8 or rwd from Acura so forget it folks.
Lexus GS - not even close to the LF-S concept shown right before its release. Typical Lexus quality and features are strong points. The styling however is nothing more than previous GS warmed over and made even more ungainly. Really interested in getting the details on the new V6 in the GS300. It is not based on any other Toyota V6 design and it only displaces 3.0 liters which tells me it will be closer to a Honda Vtec V6 in revving/power delivery characteristics, not your typical Camry/ES V6. I suspect before long the V8 GS430 will get a new more powerful V8 too. I still don't think this car will ever catch the E-Class or 5-Series.
Infiniti M35/45 - a hot new entry, as the current car is in the 99Cents bin with the current RL, despite class-leading V8 power. The new car is a total about face in looks inside and especially out. If it doesn't fall victim to Infiniti's patchy marketing and is priced right this car should bring some upper-middle buyers into the Infiniti showroom. Being based on the FM platform expect BMW 5-Series level or better handling.
Jaguar S-Type - a car that has aged a lot considering it was just introduced for 2000. The 2003 facelift was a revelation and for 2005 there is nothing really "new" except for a few cosmetic changes. The next S-Type is still a few years off it seems. A stylish car that doesn't seem to be that competitive with this segment.
I can't wait to see a comparo with all these cars!