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
#4648 of 10348 My theory, by A. Elk. . .
Nov 02, 2005 (8:23 am)
. . .sorry, couldn't resist the Monty Python reference.
I looked, initially in earnest, at the Cadillac STS AWD (my earnest-ness wilted away completely when I saw $63,000+ MSRP.) I believe I quipped that I had not checked in the glove box, but that "if there was $13,000 or so" in there, well that was how the price was justified.
Since at least 75% of these cars are leased (in the US at least), it would seem almost irrelevant what the MSRP is in this day of manipulated residuals, money factors and all the ways car companies and their finance arms subvent leases.
My Audi A6 tit for tat (as much as possible) was presumably commanding +$200 a month more than a comparably priced BMW 5 and over $100 a month more than for a comparably equipped BMW 5. A comparably equipped and couple grand less Infiniti M35X was about $200 less than the Audi A6.
I plunked down a deposit on an M35X and it was placed on order with a four month lead time +/- two to three weeks. When my Audi dealer found out about my order and simultaneously when my wife broke ranks and bought a new BMW X3 (which was priced slightly above the A4 3.2 she had been eyeing), someone, somewhere either at the dealer or higher level approached me with the exact car I wanted (including colors and options) and that $200 price delta had magically vanished.
The Audi A6 3.2 with almost every option box ticked off was about $53,300; the BMW similarly equipped was $57,000 (and that was PRE the 530xi which is what I would have wanted anyway) and the Infiniti was south of $51,000.
My who cares about money choice was Audi, Infiniti, BMW in that order. Since I do care about money, the order (at that moment in time -- April or May 2005) became Infiniti, BMW and Audi.
Once Audi priced the car competitively (actually a few bucks less than the Infiniti and I factored in the "free maintenance" on the Audi as a bonus), my preference reverted back to the car I wanted since price no longer was a barrier.
Perhaps we all, to some extent, rate things thusly: price independent and price dependent.
Heck, if an Audi S8 could be had with no money down for 36 to 39 months (lease) for less than $700 per month, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Not gonna happen, I bet.
Now, having driven EXTENSIVELY my A6 3.2 and having tested and retested the 530xi (only in automatic, unfortunately) and the M35X, I would say the differences between these three cars is REAL but is subtle.
Probably the BMW is the best performer; perhaps the Infinti has the best "feature and option set" (thinking of the Journey and Technology packages on top of the base M35X) maybe the Audi really is the pick of the litter as Automobile magazine (virtually alone) bestowed upon it.
I would be happy with any one of these three -- they are far far more alike than they are materially different. Now in terms of "curb appeal" well that is entirely subjective -- even though I would argue the Audi has the best interior (and I would not be alone in making this argument), when all is said and done, even that is entirely subjective.
I like the glossy wood look of the Germans, but the matte finish in the Infiniti certainly didn't make the glossy wood of the German [fraternal] twins worth hundreds more per month.
I love the debate we all have here -- and I hope we each and all continue to rally behind "the best car of the lot of 'em." We can't win any argument about best and "prove it." We can accurately say the BMW outsells the M and that either Audi or Acura dutifully brings up the rear in terms of sales each and every month.
These facts do not necessarily suggest anything other than quantity sold. But I would assume the one with the most sales is certainly "the most popular."
My Audi dealer told me that a customer came in and was just about ready to plunk down his money until he found out that the radio station preference cannot be tied to the key fob in use. Now, for me, that transcends anything I could comprehend as rational. But, it was reason enough to kill the deal (or at least it made an excuse of merit in the customer's mind.)
The software in these cars could be made to do so much more -- gee I wish my car knew it was daylight savings time -- it took me the better part of 30 seconds to change the clock while I sat in my driveway. Yet, perhaps I will demand such a feature as the price of entry next time.
The manual (instead of power) steering column (that I have had on three prior Audis) on my A6 3.2 doesn't bother me too much, but it seems odd that all the other guys had it on their "comparable" cars. Yet in the three cars that I had that had it, once I had adjusted it to my tastes and matched it with my ignition key, well, I never used it again. Perhaps the cool lane change feature that my wife's 2005 BMW lacks makes up for it.
What we're talking about here, I think for the good, is almost always subjective.
Of course, some of us actually can prove that our LPS cars ARE superior, while the rest of you folks have to be relegated to the lesser LPS cars.
Of course this is false -- these are all really good cars (some just a little moreso.)
#4649 of 10348 Re: Regarding M Sales [sdiver68]
Nov 02, 2005 (8:43 am)
Knowing how to analyze sales figures is fine, but has nothing to do with the discussion. I work in finance too and I have yet to see a financial statement where "Units purchased due to badge" is an item. What I mean is, you're still speculating and I have no way to back up that speculation. The only fact we have is that less M's get sold than 5's or E's. So saying that people are only buying 5's for brand recognition is just speculation, that's never been proven and I know it's wrong in my case. You also don't know what percentage of buyers wouldn't have bought an LPS before the M. All that I'm saying is that without the facts we're all just stating opinions which may or may not be accurate. To say that X buyer was "stolen" from BMW or MB by Infiniti with the M is more than either of us knows for sure. AND we're more likely to make those types of assumption if we also happen to like a certain car. Meaning that bias comes into play with what we "think" is happening when looking at sales figures.
#4650 of 10348 Perhaps Passat should be included
Nov 02, 2005 (8:50 am)
There's no way the old Passat could make it into this class, but I think the new one at least deserves "honorable mention." It takes more than leather seats to be a real luxury sedan, so Avalon and 300 dont qualify. The interior of a loaded Passat 3.6 though is on par with the best in this class, its faster than the A6 3.2, and it is a sedan...
#4651 of 10348 Re: Perhaps Passat should be included [lexusguy]
Nov 02, 2005 (9:08 am)
VW has come a "long way baby". My first "Brand New" car was a '66 Bug. $1,636.00
#4652 of 10348 Re: Perhaps Passat should be included [lexusguy]
Nov 02, 2005 (9:35 am)
It takes more than leather seats to be a real luxury sedan, so Avalon and 300 dont qualify.
I don't understand. What could those two possibly be missing that the Passat has?? Have you looked at either of them in person?
#4653 of 10348 Re: Perhaps Passat should be included [lexusguy]
Nov 02, 2005 (11:05 am)
The Passat 3.6 as a LPS?
Now we are going down that slippery slope again? If a Passat 3.6 is a LPS why not a Avalon?
The Passat 3.6 is faster than a A6 3.2, but so what? So is a Avalon!
The Passat 3.6 will only be a worthy car until it is equiped with a new Haldex AWD system. IMO FWD torque steer is a big negative!
#4654 of 10348 Re: Perhaps Passat should be included [tayl0rd]
Nov 02, 2005 (11:15 am)
"I don't understand. What could those two possibly be missing that the Passat has?? Have you looked at either of them in person?"
First, a luxury sedan cant have "wood" or "aluminum" trim that is wood colored or gray plastic. The Passat has real burled walnut or brushed aluminum trim, and quite a bit of it. The Toyota and Chrylser have the fake stuff. Second, just look at the Passat options list.
By the way, I just read C&D's review in the Dec. issue. The FWD 3.6 they tested would make short work of any 6 powered car in this class, and could run with the V8s and not be embarrased.
#4655 of 10348 Re: Regarding M Sales [rich545]
Nov 02, 2005 (11:40 am)
Regarding analysis of sales figures and purchase rationale, the only aspect that I can speak with authority on is the one I personally made! I was looking for a 4WD sedan. My initial bias had been toward the Audi A6. I was prepared to consider the BMW 530ix, Lexus GS300 and MB E350. The M35x was a late add-on. It made it onto my "short" list the first time I test drove it and beat out the Audi A6 in the final analysis, i.e., in terms of price, feature content and "overall value" to my way of thinking. For me, the Infiniti M clearly stole "the show"!
I expect that a lot of folks who have purchased/leased the Audi A6, et. al, may say the same thing about their choice.
Presuming that we are looking for a clear trend, I think we have to wait and look at the cumulative M/A6/5/RL/E sales histories after a year or two to assess with any degree of confidence. Until then speculation rules!
-- Bill Zide
#4656 of 10348 Re: Perhaps Passat should be included [lexusguy]
Nov 02, 2005 (11:40 am)
So the key to the LPS definiton is burled walnut wood?
Hmmm, makes me appreciate that burled walnut chair in the corner of my office a bit more, I really should be using it more!
#4657 of 10348 Re: Perhaps Passat should be included [lexusguy]
Nov 02, 2005 (11:52 am)
If the BMW 5-series can get through with leather-ette standard, I'm sure the Avalon and 300 can be forgiven for not having wood.