Last post on May 01, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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
#9413 of 10338 Re: August Sales Figures [cdnpinhead]
Sep 05, 2007 (7:14 am)
Yes, VERY often wrong, but NEVER uncertain these days!
I got the brochure on the new CTS. Woo woo!
Beautiful piece, expensive piece and for the uninitiated, the prose makes it sound like the CTS is just short of the second coming. But the reality is so different. The CTS breaks no or, if any, VERY little new ground beyond its styling evolution. Much time and trouble was spent crafting the wording in the brochure: "More than a car, it's a Cadillac."
The brochure makes much ado about the adaptive forward lighting (the lights turn with the steering wheel!), likewise about AWD and ambient interior lighting for pity's sake. The brochure like the car itself is beautiful, the interior especially is literally the best ever I can recall in an American car and as I look at the Bentley coupe that is parked next to the new CTS, I see that same "expensive" look in the CTS's interior as oozes from the Bentley's (and both were black with black interiors, too.)
Impressive effort -- actually, for my taste, the new CTS (at least the interior) is more of the LPS genre than is the more expensive STS. The 304HP, AWD and the level of "available" equipment are right up there, mostly, with the Infiniti M's and the Audi A6's -- and the CTS interior darn near should shame BMW's 5 series interiors (although even they are no longer entirely stoic and confining what with their mostly black on black on black "inner sanctum" look.) And, my wife is quick to point out that if one equips a 5 series in an attempt to deck the 5 series out like a $48,000 CTS, that the price will shoot way past $60,000 -- perhaps way way past depending on what you think is "equivalent content."
So, the CTS comes to market as a fantastic vehicle, able to stand nose to nose with the Audi's, BMW's and Infiniti's (and Acura and Lexus while we're at it) that could be purchased in the latter half of 2004 and 2005. And perhaps that is "good enough." There is little doubt the CTS what with its already MSRP minus $2,000 selling prices is the undeniable "value" winna and champeen. The mostly adoring press, too, is surely a good sign too.
Yet, but, wait! Cadillac should, in some way other than "It's a bargain," LEAD -- in ONE way, ANY way -- even if its claims of "acts like a 5 series, priced like a 3 series" prove to offer the requisite verisimilitude, it needs to be more than a state of the art (2004) piece. It is, perhaps, now "even" in many ways with its (pricier) German and Japanese rivals insofar as content and "HP" are concerned (and compared to the Audi A6 3.2 which can easily be $58,000 and still have 255HP, the CTS is arguably somewhat more than even) but with all the chest pounding going on, it is, upon scrutiny, "barely even" and that parity is most accurate when the CTS is stacked up against MY 2005 versions of the cars it claims to emulate.
Now, at age 56, I have another perspective -- this CTS is, despite it's "been there done that" features, a remarkable step forward. I'd even go so far as to say it is several steps forward when price is factored in. The Germans and the Japanese in many areas had (past tense) commanding leads over the CTS and a less commanding lead over the STS, but make no mistake the Americans were and ARE still playing catch up. What is most redeeming is the apparent gap closing Cadillac has accomplished (and we must keep this in perspective, "for the money.") I looked at a "one option" [sunroof and leather] Audi A6 3.2 [255HP] and it had a sticker NORTH of $50,000 -- an "all options" Cadillac CTS 3.6DI [304HP] was $48,000. With the exception of Bluetooth and rear backup camera (that the Audi did NOT have for THAT PRICE), the content of the Cadillac was higher and the apparent interior fit and finish was on-par with the Audis. So, Cadillac has managed to produce, as a 2008 MY, a car that has more motivation and "about the same" content as a car that began production in July 2004.
Maybe this is the way "the species" evolve -- and maybe as I wind down my lease on Audi #28, getting a 2008 version of my Audi for perhaps $10,000 less is sufficient after all.
At first I thought the Germans and Japanese had something to be concerned with -- now, I'm thinking that the only way this will prove true is if Cadillac (to name one) takes the STS to the next level and, indeed, takes its entire lineup to the next level. Lead in ONE way, ANY way, not just in value is what I think; and, I remain, VERY often wrong, but NEVER uncertain!
#9414 of 10338 Re: what to do [lexusguy]
Sep 05, 2007 (7:48 am)
Infiniti also offers the V8 with AWD, something you can't get from ... BMW
My impression is the 535Xi is more of a competitior to the forthcoming M-45x than the current M-35x. The fact that BMW uses 6 cylinders rather than 8 should not be an issue if the performance is competitive.
I recently bought a 535Xi. I looked at the M-35x but had two concerns. One was the lack of a higher gear, or gears, in the transmission to cut down engine revs on the highway. The other was the engine in the M-35x is a generation behind what Infiniti is now putting in the G-35x.
I would have compared the M-45x to the 535Xi, but when I made my purchase decision in late May, the M-45x was still a rumor.
At some point in the future, when the M-45x becomes available, I would be interested in seeing a driving / performance comparison between it and the 535Xi.
#9415 of 10338 Re: what to do [bruceomega]
Sep 05, 2007 (8:46 am)
... The fact that BMW uses 6 cylinders rather than 8 should not be an issue if the performance is competitive. ...
Easy now. It has been argued here for a couple of years (not necessarily by you) that the Acura RL is not competitive because there's no V8. This treads fairly closely to that argument.
#9416 of 10338 Re: what to do [tayl0rd]
Sep 05, 2007 (8:59 am)
Good point. To clarify, my comment was intended to apply to the 535Xi in comparison to the M-45x, assuming the engine in the M-45x is the same as in the current M-45.
Sep 05, 2007 (11:51 am)
I've read the argument you refer to. Read the reviews, for instance, of the new STS with the high zoot DI V6.
The conclusion? Who needs a V8 with a V6 THAT good.
Ditto, I say, for the BMW with the 300HP turbo i6.
I wouldn't think the lack of a V8 is the reason for the Acura's lackluster sales. If "magically" an Acura RL V8 would be brought out otherwise identical to the current 6 cylinder version, I seriously doubt there would be anything more than a temporary bump in sales.
A V8 ALONE is not the street cred needed -- at least not anymore methinks.
Sure, having the REPUTATION that goes with offering your cars with V8's or V10's or V12's doesn't hurt.
But, MOST of the Audi A6's (90%) sold are V6's, the 535 + the lesser non blown 6 account for virtually all the sales of the BMW 5's too -- there are reasons, beyond offering a V8 that Acura can't give 'em away.
My assumption is it is the product, the marketing, the sales organization, the price or the terms. And, while it could be argued that the product is lacking the option of a V8, I just don't buy that as the dominant reason for the Acura's lackluster sales.
They've really cut the prices around here on the RL, and it is a very nice car.
No one asked me, but if you did, I would say it is because the Acura RL is able to be mistaken for an Accord, er, make that EASILY mistaken.
No V8 would fix that.
So, it is the product that is at "fault." In this case, not the propulsion, but the style.
Back in the day, when it was easy to call GM cars, Oldsmobuicks there were issues of differentiation too.
Now, the issue of the M V6 being a last gen engine when compared to the G's, that, too, IMHO is a valid concern, not tied to the sheer number of cylinders.
I have driven the BMW with the "35" engine -- WOW; who needs a V8 (and almost $10,000 more in cost)?
#9418 of 10338 Re: what to do [markcincinnati]
Sep 05, 2007 (12:04 pm)
Right, the lack of a V8 offering is the least of the RL's woes. But it was a factor that was brought up a lot when it came to model prestige. And speaking of mistaking the RL for an Accord, look at the dash of the new Accord and compare it to the RL. It's clear that Honda doesn't really want to sell RLs.
And I think the term you really want is Chevoldsmobuiac (shev-olds-mo-BYU'-ee-ack).
#9419 of 10338 Re: what to do [tayl0rd]
Sep 05, 2007 (1:19 pm)
Not for long...Buick is doomed. The new GM term will be GMC-VY-AC for trucks, economy cars and cheap ELLPS's.
I agree the Accord-like RL is NOT going to make it until the style is drastically scaled to the target market.
#9420 of 10338 Re: what to do [markcincinnati]
Sep 05, 2007 (6:49 pm)
I agree with the above. But a further note on the engine. It's not whether the car has a 6 or 8 but the performance. The engine in the RL is not bad, but it does not compare well to its competitors. Thus, if Acura is not going to provide a better 6, they may need to add an 8 to the line up. For example, the 535 has a 6, but one would be hard pressed to say it does not perform. I was looking for a LPS for a year or two. The 530 did not impress me so I was considering the M45. My wife did not like the styling and I would have liked a higher gear. Therefore we waited and we're glad we did. The 535 provided the performance and styling we wanted. Interestingly, my dad has a RL so I have had a chance to compare the two. He loves his car. It provides the performance and value he was looking for. Had it magically appeared in my driveway a year or two ago, I would not have been unhappy. But, I am much happier that the 535 is now in my driveway (though it wasn't magic!)
#9421 of 10338 Re: what to do [gohorns1]
Sep 06, 2007 (4:15 pm)
You mean BMW made you pay for it The 535 is a fantastic driver's car that retains the magic of the BMW straight six...
It is the 1st car to come along to make me even think about giving up my '03 e39SP! Still hanging on to mine for now, though.
Gotta love those comfort seats with the SP Pkg too...
#9422 of 10338 But I want it all!
Sep 06, 2007 (7:59 pm)
OK, so I'm getting down to the wire. I just got some prices on the BMW 535xi optioned up with all the goodies: Sport Package (on the xi the sp includes comfort seats,shadow line trim and sport steering wheel-no change in suspension which is fine with me),auto trans, logic 7, hud,cold weather, Prem Package, Ipod, Nav. The dealer's first shot out of the box was about 2800 over invoice which converts to a very good lease price for either 24 or 36 mos. As you may remember, I am ending my Lexus LS 430 lease, a car which I wound up getting by "default" because I just couldn't find anything else out there in my price range that "rang my bell".
So after 3 flawless, comfortable and numbing years, I am again looking for the "gusto". I like the 5 series but it's not a "gotta have it" car for me. Sometimes when I get a car that I lust after, the honeymoon soon ends and the blemishes become apparent. With my last BMW 330i, I liked it and then the more I drove it the more I loved it. So maybe that will happen again with the 5 series. The 550i which leases at about 250 per month more (8K difference in price!) is a real looker because I really like the sport trim available (body moldings) but I worry that the sport suspension and the wider tires will make the ride too jarring on the lousy NY streets. Shipo,do you know if you can you get the body moldings on a 535?
I don't want another LS especially since the new model is so similar in feel and costs substantially more than the one I have. The BMW 7 is in contention, but again I don't know if I can justify the price difference to the 5 and I really don't need the room, it's just that I've gotten used to a big car ride. Maybe I should try the 6? I love the looks and it is kind of a rare car- don't see too many around. It's expensive but to me it's kind of close in look and style to the Bentley GT, the car that I would drive if I won the lottery and if I could also have a Prius for my conscience. The Jag XJ8 can be had for a very good price these days. I love the look but it kind of drove like an Avalon or Buick to me. Maybe I'm missing something. I also don't think that the interior is anything special-not like the Jags I remember. But I do love that style and again it's not so common- except in SO. CAl where I saw a lot of them last week. Oh, and by the way, in Beverly Hills, it's all S Class all the time and very few LS460s.
So the bottom line, doc, is that I need a car I can love for 15,000 miles a year in the congested NE where my average stint behind the wheel is about 2-2.5 hours per day. Yes, I want comfort, reliability, style and something special. I want to get excited every time I go into my garage just to sneak a peak at my ride and every time I fire up the engine.
You guys understand; If you didn't you wouldn't be here at Edmunds. I admit it, I am a Car-aholic! Within 6 mos of my 3 year leases, I find myself wandering by car dealerships "just looking". Then about one year in, I actually go in and start taking test drives... It's horrible-but fun:)
I want it all!
Let the fun begin.
Comments? (Be nice)