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
#3234 of 10348 My take on this car segment
Aug 02, 2005 (9:46 am)
I've recently been shopping for a new car in the luxury performance sedan segment and thought I would share my thoughts here, as I've learned quite a bit reading the Edmunds forums myself.
I've done quite a bit of research online during the shopping period and took several test drives before coming to a decision. I was planning to spend anywhere from $35k - $50k and definitely want navigation as a feature.
1. Acura TL -- This was the first car I drove. I was really impressed with it for the money. Nice fit and finish, styling was conservative and appropriate. Excellent value for the money. Down side -- there are a lot of them on the road and supposedly they're doing a mini-overhaul of the car with the 2007 model. During the test drive I really tried to elicit the dreaded 'torque steer', but was unable to really tell a difference (I had a previous car with FWD that I definitely could notice it on hard accelerations from a stop). Navigation system and touch screen very very good. Again, many features for the price.
2. Acura RL -- drove the same day as the TL. Nice interior, very nice ride. Not thrilled with the navigation system and its interface using the large central knob compared to the TL touch screen that I'd just used. Overall, I thought that the TL was a way better value for the difference in price between the two.
3. Lexus GS 300 -- I really, really wanted to like this car. On paper and from what I read, I thought I would really like this car, as it seemed to be a little less sporty and more refined with a quiet, smooth ride. During the test drive, I was completely unimpressed with the acceleration in this car. It really felt slow compared to the TL. Thought the navigation system was inferior to Acuras. Interior and fit and finish were very, very nice. Salesman was very, very rude. Would not answer questions or explain details of nav system while I was driving on a highway because he thought I couldn't pay attention to the road and talk at the same time. Another big factor here is that rumors are that the engines are going to change in the next 1-2 years, making the 300 and 430 inferior. Yuck. I may end up with one of these when they get the 350 and larger engine, but right now it feels underpowered. Sigh. Oh well.
4. BMW 330i -- During the test drive the first thing I noticed was how radically different the steering felt from all other cars I'd tested (even making turns at 5mph in the parking lot). Steering was very stiff in a smooth way, which I liked. Car had a strange 'shake' to it going only 45mph on a smooth road. Interior ergonomics were horrible. I can't believe how bad the cupholders are considering how often they're used (at least in my cars). Seems like a trivial issue, but really is almost a dealbreaker in itself. The salesman explained 'these cars are made for German buyers and concerns, not built for American tastes.' Well, I'm an American, and want a decent cupholder. I'm pretty technologically savvy and played with iDrive for a few minutes. It was a non-nav car that I drove, but I found iDrive to be awful compared to other systems in every other car. I thought the bad reviews its received in the past were probably unjustified prior to actually trying the thing out for myself, but after trying it I have to agree with the reviewers who dislike it. Yuck. Overall, very, very, very unimpressed with the BMW.
4. Infiniti M35 -- Mmmmm, mmmm. Originally, I was not a big fan of the Infiniti interior as I originally sat in a beige interior model and prefer touchscreen nav system to a central 'controller' (like the Acura RL). The light tan/beige interior was way too light and the demo tester already had scuffmarks on the steering wheel. Seems very technologically advanced when playing with all the toys inside from the sound system to the nav system, etc. Once driving, I was even more impressed. I thought the M35 base was a great compromise between great handling and smooth ride. Engine noise was noticable in a good way. Felt very powerful when I drove it. Once I saw a car with black interior I started to like the interior much more. Also is a plus that it is a first year model so major styling changes won't happen for a while. Additionally, I've only ever seen 1 of the 2006 models on the road ever since it was redesigned. Overall, very, very impressed.
I wasn't really interested in Audi (new front grill styling I find unacceptably obnoxious), MB (E series styling doesn't appeal to me and seems that there are owners with many problems), or American brands.
So I had narrowed it down to the TL and the M35. I know they're not usually directly compared to one another, but liked these the best and personally thought they were comparable. $15k price difference between the two (as I would have equipped them both) was a small issue of consideration.
In the end, I decided on the M35 and it will arrive tomorrow for me to pick up. I'm very excited and think I've made the right decision. Just about every M35/45 owner I've heard on the forums seems to feel the same way.
Thanks for everyone who has posted on the forums to help in the purchase decision.
#3235 of 10348 Re: So stipulated. . . [markcincinnati]
Aug 02, 2005 (9:51 am)
We should hear more from non-german owners on the passion for the styling of their cars true...but it would also be interesting to hear from a female. I don't recall reading any posts in here from one.
#3236 of 10348 Infiniti M sets new sales mark
Aug 02, 2005 (9:54 am)
Infiniti M set a new sales record in July with 2,755 units sold - up from the 2,480 (+11.1%) units sold during the previous record month of June.
#3237 of 10348 Re: So stipulated. . . [jjacura]
Aug 02, 2005 (10:28 am)
Now how would you know that? Do males press down harder on the keys?
#3238 of 10348 Re: Infiniti M sets new sales mark [drtravel]
Aug 02, 2005 (10:32 am)
Who's got the list to post this month?
#3239 of 10348 Re: Infiniti M sets new sales mark [markcincinnati]
Aug 02, 2005 (10:40 am)
I know that you guys were all eagerly waiting for this. Probably kept yourselves up at night.
July 2005 Sales:
E = 5,506
5 = 4,381
GS = 3,374
M = 2,755
RL = 1,741
Will update as they come in.
#3240 of 10348 Re: Infiniti M sets new sales mark [jrock65]
Aug 02, 2005 (10:57 am)
RL's doing better. Chances of M catching GS is much greater than GS catching E or 5. Oh well, so much for Lexus supremacy!
#3241 of 10348 Re: My take on this car segment [emergency_md]
Aug 02, 2005 (11:09 am)
"The salesman explained 'these cars are made for German buyers and concerns, not built for American tastes"
Which I am very happy with. If I wanted an car to American taste I'd get a Ford.
#3242 of 10348 Re: My take on this car segment [kdshapiro]
Aug 02, 2005 (11:30 am)
Actually, I think that's one of the most lame things I've ever heard of a salesman saying. His job is to sell BMW's to Americans so he'd better figure out a way to do that more effectively.
#3243 of 10348 Bless You, Bangle! Part The Second
Aug 02, 2005 (11:57 am)
Okay. All you 4381 great lovers of fine sculpture and purchasers of the beautiful and unique creation known as the E60 this past July which pulverized the GS, M and RL in sales; whose cockpit can control and customize hundreds of functions by the click or turn of a beautiful silvery knob: In unison at the count of three:
Bless you, Bangle!