What is the best entry level luxury sedan?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ballmode, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. hans007

    hans007 Lifer

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    I have an auto 6 speed 2010 a4 right now. and the transmission does sort of "hunt" in sport mode. its allright though. the 2011+ models have thee same 8 speed ZF unit the BMW has and is suppposedly a bit better (faster 0-60 and better mpg).

    also to the people who continually compared say a volvo s60-r or a quattro a4 with say the AWD equivalent of a RWD car (say a g37x, or a 328xi or whatever) and then say it costs more. well no shit but the reasons for getting AWD are completely different coming from RWD or FWD

    if you dont live in a snow state there is no reason to get AWD. at that point the only reason to not get AWD is because your car would be FWD otherwise.

    i mean generally for me its RWD then AWD then FWD in order of preference. so its not really a fair comparison. the OP doesn't seem to care at all given he listed the TSX / FWD A4 etc.

    i mean you buy an AWD s60 to not have to buy a FWD one or you live in a snow area. but you buy a 328xi ONLY because you live in a snow area, no one in southern california lets say has a 328xi.
     
  2. JCH13

    JCH13 Diamond Member

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    I haven't driven the new S60, unfortunately.

    The S80 T6 had the typical computer, oil o-ring, and transmission issues. However, they were fairly easily fixed by independent mechanics for a fraction (1/6-1/4) of dealer costs. The ABS computer issue is a great example: dealer wants $800+labor to replace it. An outfit in MA rebuilt it for around $100, another $100 for our family mechanic to remove and install, plus overnight shipping. So, for $200 we had a fix that lasted the next 100k miles until my Dad sold the car.

    At 150-180k miles it made two full round trips from Colorado to NH without a snag and routine mountain pass duty in Colorado. Started up great during every NH winter cold snap when temps were -20 to -30F. Never left anyone in my family stranded, ever. No real reason to complain about the car.
     
  3. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    The hunting isn't what bothers me. With the ECU flash it typically sticks in a gear a good while. It's that the lock up doesn't seem to happen particularly quickly or stay locked unless you're hard into the throttle. Letting off the gas to engine brake and then touching it again I can see and feel the engine rev but nothing goes to the wheels for a second or so until the transmission locks up again. And shifting it in tip mode is just a molasses mess, not at all rewarding.

    The A3 loaner I got with the DCT is worlds different. I'll have to see how that 8 speed auto unit is though. I might just be exceptionally sensitive to this particular model of 6 speed auto.
     
  4. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    The ABS thing is interesting. That was actually REALLY widespread (but kind of totally random) across all the P2's. And yep, I fixed plenty of them with their crazy expensive new ABS module.

    The engine and turbos weren't bad at all. The drain gaskets would have to be changed out at least once for the improved rubber versions, which is a total PITA...one of those things that seems like it couldn't possibly be that hard...then you do it...and everyone else in the shop laughs at you like you sat on a whoopy cushion that lasted the entire day.

    I'm most curious about transmission and throttle issues. They just never could get the throttles on those early cars right, and the trans, while obviously less failure-prone than in the XC90, still had a lot of problems. I saw the occasional NA I6 'survivor' where the trans lasted 150k+, but I can't recall ever noting it on a turbo model. What was a cheap fix for the trans? We wouldn't do solenoids or anything (not even sure if Volvo sold them)...when the trans fucked up, it was let us replace it or go elsewhere (not a policy made by me, of course).

    Something on-topic:

    Be careful with AWD models. What's true of most all of them is that it adds complexity/weight/opportunity for part failure. And the harder the car can launch, the more stress the driveline is under. Past that, there are two sides of the coin...with RWD based models, you often introduce a lot of extra vibration/harshness. FWD's are usually smoother, but are also usually capable of less power transfer. There are of course all kinds exceptions...but that's just some general observation. If you decide you really want AWD, choosing between a RWD/FWD platform is a pretty big thing. As much so as, well, choosing between FWD/RWD in general.
     
  5. Childs

    Childs Lifer

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    I would look at the ATS before I went to the BMW dealership to look at the 3 series. I used to think the CTS look was too angular, but mechanically the xTS line is interesting.
     
  6. JCH13

    JCH13 Diamond Member

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    Never noticed an issue with the throttle.

    A serious transmission flush helped a bit. Then there was a software reflash that changed the adaptive shifting software (four drivers using it caused the learning software to chase it's tail) and that helped a bit. Eventually we just drove it with the bump-shifter, no more 1-2 shifting chatter, even under WOT. Though driving it easy, i.e. around town and in stop-and-go, it never chattered, only under heavy on-ramp type acceleration without the bump-shifter.
     
  7. PricklyPete

    PricklyPete Lifer

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    The '09+ Audi's have a hugely improved ZF automatic. The '11+ have an even more improved 8spd transmission which is the identical unit sold in the new BMW. The transmission should not be the reason to pick a newer BMW over an Audi.
     
  8. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    I hadn't heard the C30 was going away. Love the looks but didn't want to spend the money for one when I was in the market last year. Although, it certainly makes an interesting alternative to a Mini.
     
  9. GTaudiophile

    GTaudiophile Lifer

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    BMW
    Volvo
    ATS

    My top three.

    Volvo also has the best stock audio out there IMO.
     
  10. rsutoratosu

    rsutoratosu Platinum Member

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    So having a tsx with 280hp is not fast enough ?

    Not that i have one but seems everyone it quoting not fast enough, not sporty.

    I dont like the new SHO, it looks huge, I had the original 1991 SHO :) engine out last the car.
     
  11. JCH13

    JCH13 Diamond Member

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    Agreed. Especially if you spring for the premium audio package (if available).
     
  12. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    The V6 is plenty fast but its still less sporty that other options mainly because its FWD.
     
  13. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    There is no V6 TSX as far as I'm aware. There is a V6 TL but that's still a front wheel drive car (if that's a negative to you).
     
  14. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    There has been for a couple of years. Auto only but it does exist.

    I would quickly shove money at Acura if there was a TSX wagon with a 6-speed but that doesn't exist....
     
  15. rsutoratosu

    rsutoratosu Platinum Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acura_TSX

    Are you serious or joking with me, it's been out since 2010. If your serious, yeah not every one know all the models out there, i had to look up some of the stuff here, i know 0 about volvos
     
  16. ballmode

    ballmode Lifer

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    so this basically turned into a crappy IS250, don't consider TSX, nobody really has experience with the ATS/Buick

    BMW is the best if you can afford it

    dark horse Volvo
     
  17. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    I really want to like the ATS but until I've driven one I can't blindly recommend it. It certainly looks promising from the specs.

    I like the TSX but it will feel much slower than your WRX. That makes it hard to recommend one. Did you state somewhere whether you wanted an MT or AT? If so I missed that.
     
  18. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    Sorry man, it wasn't showing up anywhere by default. How is that even good publicity on the thing when I can't even find the thing exists? It looks to be a custom order kind of thing and is damn near $40K. That's 335i territory (where basically nothing competes with a 335i).
     
    #43 Phanuel, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  19. ballmode

    ballmode Lifer

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    This car is for my wife :)
     
  20. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Am I suppose to infer AT from that? I mean, my wife drives an MT WRX ;):p
     
  21. PhoKingGuy

    PhoKingGuy Diamond Member

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    I've test driven an ATS (I have a 2011 335i for comparison)

    Handles relatively close, I'd say mine is sharper/has a lot better road feel, but its pretty impressive.

    Interior looks like shit though, shiny plastic dash is gross, also BMW iDrive>>>>>>>>>>> CUE by a long shot.
     
  22. Imported

    Imported Lifer

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    Drive them all. I loved driving the 328i. My GF hated it.
     
  23. hans007

    hans007 Lifer

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    I havent test driven it, but i've sat in it.

    some parts of hte interior are really well done, like the brushed aluminum with the embedded cadillac squares in polished aluminum was really nice. that said, the shiny plastic center stack is terrible. the capacitive buttons are HORRIBLE and i would imagine even worse while actually driving because you have to find them instead of say knobs. and cue is pretty much awful because of the same touch basedness (that and its kind of laggy).

    also the materials they make some parts with are cheap, like the little cubbies on the inside of the door i remember the plastics felt very cruze, and the chromeplastic trim also is horrible. GM hasn't figured out that shiny plastic , or plastic chrome looks terrible in a $45-50k car. the seats and leather were nice though.
     
  24. PhoKingGuy

    PhoKingGuy Diamond Member

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    After using VW's touchscreen Navi, Acura's touch screen Navi, MB COMAND and iDrive, i'd have to say the "wheel mouse" idea is amazing. Its so much easier to use while driving than having to glance at the screen.

    I can do most things by muscle memory.
     
  25. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    The Infinity G35 seems to be replacing the BMW among the frat boy crowd. They're decent enough, though I don't really like the interior.

    I've driven the BMW 323i a lot, which has the 2.5L I6. They're okay but they're stiff to drive. One thing I never liked was their hesitation in first with the automatic models. Seems like a car I'd only get in manual.

    I like Lexus a lot if you're looking for comfort over performance. I learned to drive on a Lexus ES300, which my mom still has. It's a fancy Camry but they're luxurious.

    Lincoln does have some nice luxury cars. I'm a big fan of the MKX. Lots of power, great handling for an SUV, but they're more expensive. My only complaint is the touch screen infotainment system. I really hate touch screens in cars. I've only driven the MKZ car once and I can't really remember the experience so I can't really attest to it.