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      06-28-2012, 08:56 AM   #133
adelphi_sky
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If I told you that I would happily cross-shop a well equipped 328xi with a similarly equipped A6 2.0T for my wife if the prices were similar, would that make it ok to compare them? I do know that the A6 is meant to be a 5 series competitor, but if Audi is willing to be so aggressive with the pricing, why should I be all dogmatic about it and refuse to compare the two just because they are meant to be in different classes?

The fact is that the F30 has grown both in size and in character, while Audi has been making a steady march towards the sporty end of the spectrum. Given two German AWD sports sedans with electric steering, turbo-4, similar interior volume and even similar price, I think many people would cross-shop the two.
Here's the deal. I watched an interesting story on YouTube by CNBC called BMW: A Driving Obssession. The story was aired back in July of last year. Late, I know. But there was an interesting piece in the story that mentioned Audi's intent to surpass BMW as the #1 luxury sport sedan manufacturer by 2015. That is what you are witnessing. Audi is taking a gamble and probably smaller profit margins by keeping Audis a bit cheaper than BMWs to "catch up" to BMW and pass them as #1. After watching the segment, one can argue that BMW can justify the hefty price. There is a LOT of attention to detail put in these cars from start to finish. I think the story mentioned that half of BMW designers have PhDs. Which is probably why BMW is still #1. MB is #2, and Audi is a close 3rd in the market segment.

I do agree that the 3-series is pushing beyond its sweet spot as the perfect sport sedan. Which is why BMW probably came out with the 1-series, which is smaller and cheaper (perhaps to compete with the A4?) and has the same engines as the 3-series. I think most of the 3-series customers here will start to look at the 1-series to get back to that 3-series feel that we had for the past 20 or so years.

Personally, I think BMW's configurations can be a lot simpler, and it was mentioned in the story that BMW sometimes over-engineers things. But what I did learn is that they do listen to their customers. It's up to us to change what BMW does if we tell them.
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      06-28-2012, 09:03 AM   #134
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Okay that 2.0T on a 4000lb car is a joke. I thought you were talking apples and apples with the 6cyl models. I would be embarrassed to drive that 2.0.
Correction, the A6 weighs 3600lbs not 4000lbs. Depends on your priorities but I would not be embarrassed to drive a car that costs 50k. When a 3 series starts nudging 55k for me its common sense to step back and examine the options. Unfortunately I only find the 3 series attractive with the MSport face. In this economy one has to get good value for money. I cant remember "Joy" ever being accepted as a car payment.
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      06-28-2012, 09:04 AM   #135
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Personally, I think BMW's configurations can be a lot simpler, and it was mentioned in the story that BMW sometimes over-engineers things. But what I did learn is that they do listen to their customers. It's up to us to change what BMW does if we tell them.
Agreed, we're keeping our 1er longer than expected because we don't like the way the F30 drives or it's size. But there really aren't many strong options either.

The ATS is a similarly weird car to configure and comes with GM's love of polished wheels only, which like BMW and RFT's, would be immediately replaced. The new A3 will continue on with Haldex, meaning it's a fwd car until slip is detected, which means I'll continue to ignore it. The A4 is a boat, the S4 is a heavier boat with an awesome motor. The IS is, well, the IS, hopefully they get the next one right. The S60 is big, nose heavy and Volvo's hazy future scares me off. The G37 is ancient, large and feels cheaply made with a rather terrible motor.

So in the end, unless they decide to hurry up with a 1er sedan or actually just give us here in the US the five door 1er, we'll likely buy an F30 or F31 at some point in the next year or two. I'm hoping they at least give us a little more juice in the 335i and make one or two more interior colors available on M Sport.

One caveat, if BMW USA actually allows us to have a 335i F31, I will eat every word I just said and buy one as soon as they open orders.
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      06-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #136
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Looks like its the same mindset for their vehicles
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      06-28-2012, 10:02 AM   #137
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Okay that 2.0T on a 4000lb car is a joke. I thought you were talking apples and apples with the 6cyl models. I would be embarrassed to drive that 2.0.
Correction, the A6 weighs 3600lbs not 4000lbs. Depends on your priorities but I would not be embarrassed to drive a car that costs 50k. When a 3 series starts nudging 55k for me its common sense to step back and examine the options. Unfortunately I only find the 3 series attractive with the MSport face. In this economy one has to get good value for money. I cant remember "Joy" ever being accepted as a car payment.
I tend to agree. I have a psychological barrier to car price at about $55,000. It's hard for me to imagine spending more, even if my income supports it.

I've bought CPO in the past to afford the car I wanted, and that has been a good experience overall. This time around, though, I'm jonesing for an F32 335 xDrive coupe, so I'm three or four years out from having CPO access to one of those (at the age I target). Not sure my E60 will hold up another four years.

I don't know what I am going to do.
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      06-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #138
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I tend to agree. I have a psychological barrier to car price at about $55,000. It's hard for me to imagine spending more, even if my income supports it.

I've bought CPO in the past to afford the car I wanted, and that has been a good experience overall. This time around, though, I'm jonesing for an F32 335 xDrive coupe, so I'm three or four years out from having CPO access to one of those (at the age I target). Not sure my E60 will hold up another four years.

I don't know what I am going to do.
Yeah you are a bit out from an F32 new or CPO. And who knows, they may delay the xDrives a little longer. Can you get away with RWD in Denver? When I lived out there a long time ago I had a FWD Accord and got around okay.
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      06-28-2012, 11:10 AM   #139
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It's a result of the lackluster choices we've been given here in the US. The 335d was a dud, not as fast as an F30 328i and no more efficient, plus auto only and the increased upfront and maintenance costs. It's cool, but sort of pointless.
I think you have things sorely confused. According to every test published so far, the F30 328i is actually a little slower than the 335d, and (in the real world) is less efficient by several miles-per-gallon. And in terms of price, the F30 328i costs the same as a similarly optioned 335d did. I configured a 328i with similar options as my car, and it came out to roughly the same price.

In any case, the F30 has six years newer technology to work with that allow it to almost match the performance and economy of the old diesel. The point is that, given the same advances in technology (such as the 8 speed transmission), an f30 335d would blow everything away both in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. It would certainly make for a much more attractive package than this horribly overpriced hybrid.
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      06-28-2012, 12:00 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by WJGreer View Post
I tend to agree. I have a psychological barrier to car price at about $55,000. It's hard for me to imagine spending more, even if my income supports it.

I've bought CPO in the past to afford the car I wanted, and that has been a good experience overall. This time around, though, I'm jonesing for an F32 335 xDrive coupe, so I'm three or four years out from having CPO access to one of those (at the age I target). Not sure my E60 will hold up another four years.

I don't know what I am going to do.
Yeah you are a bit out from an F32 new or CPO. And who knows, they may delay the xDrives a little longer. Can you get away with RWD in Denver? When I lived out there a long time ago I had a FWD Accord and got around okay.
I can; in fact my E60 is a RWD 545. I have snow tires and it's fine. I do live in a hilly, relatively snowy area and I tel myself that I'll go back to AWD for my next car to make that experience a little easier.
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      06-28-2012, 12:51 PM   #141
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I think you have things sorely confused. According to every test published so far, the F30 328i is actually a little slower than the 335d, and (in the real world) is less efficient by several miles-per-gallon. And in terms of price, the F30 328i costs the same as a similarly optioned 335d did. I configured a 328i with similar options as my car, and it came out to roughly the same price.

In any case, the F30 has six years newer technology to work with that allow it to almost match the performance and economy of the old diesel. The point is that, given the same advances in technology (such as the 8 speed transmission), an f30 335d would blow everything away both in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. It would certainly make for a much more attractive package than this horribly overpriced hybrid.
My point remains that the top end diesel model is the wrong choice, if we're only going to have one. It costs more than a 335i, isn't massively more efficient, and slots between the two available petrol engines in terms of performance. If we only get one diesel, give us an efficient one, not a moderately fast one. I'd guess 100x more people would buy a 325d over a 335d, but BMW seems to want to conclude we don't like diesels. Instead, we just don't like the one they offered us, and neither do EU buyers, the 335d sold miniscule numbers compared to the 330d, 320d and old 325d, plus they were also available with a manual.
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      06-28-2012, 12:58 PM   #142
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I think BMW will make a 2 series Gran Coupe in the near future as Merc already presented a concept based on A class ( ~ CLA or something) and Audi presented a prototype of an A3 sedan...

That would be a really nice and sporty car
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      06-28-2012, 01:07 PM   #143
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The 335d was too expensive and had 286hp vs the new updated 330d with 245hp...

After some years both engines were updated again 35d version for two times (1st version with 300/ 306 hp and after that with 313hp) and 30d engine upgraded to 258hp...

In this moment the best diesel alternative is 320d (184hp)... For 5 series the 525d (218hp) is better due to a higher weight
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      06-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #144
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Correction, the A6 weighs 3600lbs not 4000lbs. Depends on your priorities but I would not be embarrassed to drive a car that costs 50k. When a 3 series starts nudging 55k for me its common sense to step back and examine the options. Unfortunately I only find the 3 series attractive with the MSport face. In this economy one has to get good value for money. I cant remember "Joy" ever being accepted as a car payment.
Oh okay, I thought you were comparing the 335 to the 2.0t as long as you are talking about the 328 and the 2.0T then that's fine but for 55k that 328 is loaded. And are you willing to drive a FWD car...yikes. At that point I would look at Toyota too.
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      06-28-2012, 01:42 PM   #145
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Here's the deal. I watched an interesting story on YouTube by CNBC called BMW: A Driving Obssession. The story was aired back in July of last year. Late, I know. But there was an interesting piece in the story that mentioned Audi's intent to surpass BMW as the #1 luxury sport sedan manufacturer by 2015. That is what you are witnessing. Audi is taking a gamble and probably smaller profit margins by keeping Audis a bit cheaper than BMWs to "catch up" to BMW and pass them as #1. After watching the segment, one can argue that BMW can justify the hefty price. There is a LOT of attention to detail put in these cars from start to finish. I think the story mentioned that half of BMW designers have PhDs. Which is probably why BMW is still #1. MB is #2, and Audi is a close 3rd in the market segment.

I do agree that the 3-series is pushing beyond its sweet spot as the perfect sport sedan. Which is why BMW probably came out with the 1-series, which is smaller and cheaper (perhaps to compete with the A4?) and has the same engines as the 3-series. I think most of the 3-series customers here will start to look at the 1-series to get back to that 3-series feel that we had for the past 20 or so years.

Personally, I think BMW's configurations can be a lot simpler, and it was mentioned in the story that BMW sometimes over-engineers things. But what I did learn is that they do listen to their customers. It's up to us to change what BMW does if we tell them.
All very good points. We are car enthusiasts. in principle, this should mean not that we are even more badge-whore-y than the general public, but that we know enough to see through the brand name and marketing to recognize a good product when most others can't.

So when an underdog company is trying to catch up with the leaders by offering competitive products at lower prices than the already established competition, I would like to think that it's us the enthusiasts that can see this opportunity and jump on it. I see Hyundai as very much a case study of this in the non-premium segment. And in the premium segment, it seems Audi is increasingly becoming that. Their products are very significantly improved from previous generations, to a point where some of them can be considered class leaders, and yet the pricing is still a bit below BMW and MB, due to the relative lack of prestige. I would be very compelled to look at Audi the next time we are shopping for my wife's car.
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      06-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #146
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All very good points. We are car enthusiasts. in principle, this should mean not that we are even more badge-whore-y than the general public, but that we know enough to see through the brand name and marketing to recognize a good product when most others can't.

So when an underdog company is trying to catch up with the leaders by offering competitive products at lower prices than the already established competition, I would like to think that it's us the enthusiasts that can see this opportunity and jump on it. I see Hyundai as very much a case study of this in the non-premium segment. And in the premium segment, it seems Audi is increasingly becoming that. Their products are very significantly improved from previous generations, to a point where some of them can be considered class leaders, and yet the pricing is still a bit below BMW and MB, due to the relative lack of prestige. I would be very compelled to look at Audi the next time we are shopping for my wife's car.
Agreed on all counts. Additionally, Audi, as part of VW, is going to have certain economy of scale production advantages over BMW. So will Infiniti, to a lesser extent. This enables them to compete aggressively on price if they choose to.

For the same reasons, there's a certain degree of parts bin sharing happening across VW-Audi/Nissan-Infiniti that doesn't happen with BMW. As a buyer of the premium brand, that bothers you or it doesn't. I do not believe that Audis nor Infinitis are badge-engineered versions of VWs and Nissans. At least not in 2012. But their products and pricing strategies are a little different than BMW because of the sort of companies they are.

For me, Audi design, performance, and prestige are all close enough to BMW to make no matter. But, when I drive or ride in an Audi, I don't get the sense of it being carved from stone as I do with a BMW.
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      06-28-2012, 02:18 PM   #147
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Oh okay, I thought you were comparing the 335 to the 2.0t as long as you are talking about the 328 and the 2.0T then that's fine but for 55k that 328 is loaded. And are you willing to drive a FWD car...yikes. At that point I would look at Toyota too.
The 2.0T is getting Quattro and the 8spd ZF in 12.
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      06-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #148
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All very good points. We are car enthusiasts. in principle, this should mean not that we are even more badge-whore-y than the general public, but that we know enough to see through the brand name and marketing to recognize a good product when most others can't.

So when an underdog company is trying to catch up with the leaders by offering competitive products at lower prices than the already established competition, I would like to think that it's us the enthusiasts that can see this opportunity and jump on it. I see Hyundai as very much a case study of this in the non-premium segment. And in the premium segment, it seems Audi is increasingly becoming that. Their products are very significantly improved from previous generations, to a point where some of them can be considered class leaders, and yet the pricing is still a bit below BMW and MB, due to the relative lack of prestige. I would be very compelled to look at Audi the next time we are shopping for my wife's car.
Excellent point about Hyundai. I drove a rental Elantra a few years ago on a business trip and was shocked at how solid it felt compared to the Camry I got the previous week. More recently I received a Genesis as a loaner from my BMW dealer and honestly it looked and drove as nicely as a Lexus and my old 2006 Acura TL. Hyundai is the new Toyota and Kia is the new Honda. Looks like Honda lost their sporting genes around the turn of the century.
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      06-28-2012, 09:02 PM   #149
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All very good points. We are car enthusiasts. in principle, this should mean not that we are even more badge-whore-y than the general public, but that we know enough to see through the brand name and marketing to recognize a good product when most others can't.

So when an underdog company is trying to catch up with the leaders by offering competitive products at lower prices than the already established competition, I would like to think that it's us the enthusiasts that can see this opportunity and jump on it. I see Hyundai as very much a case study of this in the non-premium segment. And in the premium segment, it seems Audi is increasingly becoming that. Their products are very significantly improved from previous generations, to a point where some of them can be considered class leaders, and yet the pricing is still a bit below BMW and MB, due to the relative lack of prestige. I would be very compelled to look at Audi the next time we are shopping for my wife's car.
Excellent point about Hyundai. I drove a rental Elantra a few years ago on a business trip and was shocked at how solid it felt compared to the Camry I got the previous week. More recently I received a Genesis as a loaner from my BMW dealer and honestly it looked and drove as nicely as a Lexus and my old 2006 Acura TL. Hyundai is the new Toyota and Kia is the new Honda. Looks like Honda lost their sporting genes around the turn of the century.
Certainly they assumed that the competition would continue to be about reliability. Hyundai made the competition about design, and checked the reliability box with a monster warranty. In retrospect, brilliant.
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      06-28-2012, 09:33 PM   #150
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M Sport Seats

What are M Sport Seats? How are they different from the Sport Seats? More side bolstering?
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      06-29-2012, 12:00 AM   #151
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What are M Sport Seats? How are they different from the Sport Seats? More side bolstering?
I'm pretty sure they're the exact same as the Sport seats, just different color stitching and the little red/purple/blue accent.

And to those of you saying you're going to move to Audi, go test drive their new cars. I spent a few hours behind the wheel of the 2013 S4 which is significantly improved even over the 2011, but their lease rates are shockingly bad. They were expecting me to pay twice as much a month (with identical lease terms, same down payment, etc.) for a $55,000 S4 as I would for a $55,000 335i.

I guess that's why Audi sells 11,000 cars a month while BMW sells 22,000 in the US.
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      06-29-2012, 06:45 AM   #152
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The great equalizer in the pricing wars = BMW leasing..... Audi may have better MSRP, but monthly won't be any lower, b/c BMW financial is crazy on the lease rates and the incentives.

I do hear what u guys are saying about shopping the A6 if the 3er is creeping up way to high on the price scale. That is a valid point.
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      06-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #153
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The great equalizer in the pricing wars = BMW leasing..... Audi may have better MSRP, but monthly won't be any lower, b/c BMW financial is crazy on the lease rates and the incentives.

I do hear what u guys are saying about shopping the A6 if the 3er is creeping up way to high on the price scale. That is a valid point.
Here is the interesting thing I found in my research yesterday though, Audi offers 1.9% financing up to 60months and 2.4 up to 72. I cant remember BMW ever doing that except for CPOs. They also do 1500 conquest cash for folks moving over from BMW. Decision not made by any means, but doing the due diligence it looks better to buy vs lease with Audi which is fine with me.
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      06-29-2012, 09:43 AM   #154
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Here is the interesting thing I found in my research yesterday though, Audi offers 1.9% financing up to 60months and 2.4 up to 72. I cant remember BMW ever doing that except for CPOs. They also do 1500 conquest cash for folks moving over from BMW. Decision not made by any means, but doing the due diligence it looks better to buy vs lease with Audi which is fine with me.
And that's part of Audi's takeover strategy. BMW has to answer. Look for great BMW deals towards the end of the year with the new 2013s. The competition is great for the consumer.
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