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
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!
#11 of 10348 Junior Executive Stars
Apr 08, 2004 (2:14 pm)
These are the rides for the new VP's or Directors or junior partners, etc. Whatever.
Thanks to Merc1 for the nice overview I just added one model the Cadillac STS and my impressions.
Audi A6 - The new face/grille is interesting. It will probably look better in person. IMHO the interior style leader bar none. Sheding some Lb's,upgraded power and suspension will help.
Wagons are nice but the MB E-500 sedan and wagon are something else. RS6 should be kept nad RS8 needs to come down in price. Hope reliability improves.
BMW 5-Series - No BMW hate here. Nice cars but you pay dearly. The 530i power specs seem low in comparison to others in segment, but thats what the 545i is for. The increase in size for the wagons is welcome.
Cadillac STS - The just announced base engine is too small 3.6L V6 - 255hp/252trq. I am sure the Northsar V8 either 275hp or 325hp DTS will be nice. Hope the handling is in line with the CTS, reports are that it will be a good handler. Nice sized just above E-Class and 5 series. If build quality is =/> the recent Deville than it should be nice. Before you dog BQ I have a 99 Deville that has never spent one day in the shop except for oil changes, bet you coudln't say that for the other luxury makes.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class - Nice styling on the new E-Class. Like Merc1 says every concievable model, plus the AMG models. The E-500 is awesome, the wagon, the AMG wow. Junior Exec about to get the boards big nod type car. Overall super nice, but need a liitle more sport in the models outside the AMG's.
Acura RL - Upgrade is needed and welcome. Honda can put together a winner whenever it decides to. I am sure the RL with the new new V6 300hp engine & AWD system and other Hi-Tech gear will be sweet. Like merc1 says "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 - Nice but not my style. If the driving dynamics are tuned to the sporty side these could be super nice cars. I don't mind the looks but it is the numbing driver experience that fails it for me.
Infiniti M35/45 - The New York Autoshow concept looks hot. If upgraded interior & handling mathes already top notch engine, then wow. The threat of the AWD GT-R added to the lineup will be something. Infiniti needs to market this car as the Grand tourer as capable as the German makes.
Jaguar S-Type - IMHO a great looking car, particularly with sport package of lowered stance and larger wheels. The S-Type R is sweet, the perfect grand tourer for me. I flat like the Jaguar aesthetic though. Needs an upgrade to more sport tuned handling (Broken record) and I think this car could be tops. It's generally priced right though.
Apr 09, 2004 (1:07 pm)
Never thought I'd say this, but from pictures, I like the design of the M interior over those of the 2006 GS, 2005 RL, 2005 A6, 5 series, and E-class. They finally got the interior right this time.
The quality of the interior seems promising as well, although we'd have to see the production car in person.
#13 of 10348 Additions
Apr 09, 2004 (6:59 pm)
On my list for a replacement for my 2002 530i next year are the above cars as well as the Cad CTS-V and the BMW E90 (3-series). The competition is strong!
So far, I guess my favorites in the $40K range is the E90, at $50K is the CTS-V and at $60K the 545i.
It is too bad that the upcoming M45 and GS do not come with a manual. Otherwise I'd be more interested in them.
#14 of 10348 go for the CTS-V
Apr 09, 2004 (9:45 pm)
dude, its no question really, go for the caddy. When was the last time you saw a 3-serries with a 400-hp v-8? Besides, bmw's are very nice, despite their horrible pricing for their vehicles. Besides, i think the cadillac looks better over the 3-serries. The CTS-V is unique, unlike every bmw 3-series you see on every street you turn on.
#15 of 10348 Acura RL vs. BMW 5-series
Apr 10, 2004 (4:16 am)
I have had 2 90's Acura Legends and then two 5-series in the last 5 years. Depending on the handling dynamics of the new RL, it might be competition for the 5-series. Especially if pricing starts in the mid 40s.
#16 of 10348 Re: Luxury Performance Sedans [jrock65 #1]
Apr 10, 2004 (6:08 am)
i dont think the Audi A6 should be in this category. It may be luxurious, but its also too much of a gutless boat.
The A4 S4 i think, is a good M3 equivalent...
Apr 10, 2004 (11:37 am)
I agree that Infiniti seemed to give the interior a lot of thought and tried to come up with something new. Whereas every else of the new batch (A6/GS/RL/STS) seems to be satisfied with rehashed stuff.
#18 of 10348 2005 Acura RL
Apr 11, 2004 (5:42 am)
Why is Acura trying to look retro? The 05 RL looks exactly like the 1998-2002 Accords. Lack of V8 is disappointing. People want the low rpm torque in luxury cars more than the high rpm horsepower. 300 Hp is certainly enough but that Hp should have been backed up by 340 ft-lb of torque at no higher than 4000rpm.