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      03-01-2013, 04:32 AM   #1
CKau
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Is the F30 a luxury car? What is a luxury car?

Thought to throw a philosophical question out there on something that's been bugging me.

What defines a luxury car and is the F30 a luxury car?

Growing up, I'd admire MB cars because they were amongst the first to bring out ABS en masse as standard, then the airbag. I think of the S class coming out with technology such as radar distance cruise control, rain sensing wipers and seeing these technologies trickle down through the rest of the industry years later.

So I thought luxury cars had features as standard that the plebs don't have even as an option.

I used to think that luxury cars should have attributes such as a quiet and comfortable ride superior to other cars (e.g. through the use of expensive setup such as double wishbones). I thought luxury build quality was superior and components last longer. I thought interior materials were more expensive than other car makers.

Given all the build issues I'm seeing with the F30 I think the build quality isn't what I'm expecting (even though I don't own the car yet, I feel bad for all the owners with issues).

I find that Mazda 6's and Commodores now have rear cameras and self parking as standard, where this is still an option on the F30. Mid range to top range japanese & korean cars have seat heating as standard - which is an option on BMW's. Ditto with xenons.

The interior of the F30 doesn't seem to have any more leather than a Passat, Mazda, camry, any korean makes - or any other car for that matter.

Even the ride quality is being criticised, and owners complain about squeaks which go against my notion of a quiet ride.

So why is the F30 a luxury car, or are we just buying the badge? The only thing I feel we're buying are the excellent drive train and weight distribution. That's it.

Thoughts?

I've kept this to the Australian forum rather than open it up because of the pricing we have here. not sure my observations hold true in other car markets.
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      03-01-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
David328M-Sport
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I've asked myself the same question many times. What is a 'prestige' car and what is a 'luxury' car? What defines the difference, if any. Not dictionary difference, real car difference.

Perhaps in the 90's when the E36 was THE 3 Series, it was considered prestige, compared to a 5 or 7 Series, which were certainly luxury vehicles.

Today, the line is very blurred, however, I don't consider my car a luxury car, rather a sports sedan. I leave the luxury stuff to the 7 Series.
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      03-01-2013, 06:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David328M-Sport View Post

Today, the line is very blurred, however, I don't consider my car a luxury car, rather a sports sedan.
I think this sums it up nicely for me too. No other car will give me what I'm looking for right now as much as the BMW 328i.
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      03-01-2013, 06:23 AM   #4
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Me too have pondered this for awhile now. Coming from a variation of cars in my teens I've always felt that Merc and Beemers were definitely prestige cars.

Now like David said I consider do consider my f30 a sports sedan. And the only version I think is true prestige is the 6 and 7 series. Even the 5 is a larger sports sedan, i would say 70% there but not really.

I personal opinion here but Lexus yes I said the "L" word and MB have definitely stepped it up on the requirements of being luxury mobiles, even the Audi's are improving alot in this area.

I have prompted this exact same question to my mates who have sat in my car and the majority gives me a comment that sway more towards the sporty side.

For me a luxury component must have the following:

-no cheap feel upon entering the vehicle, quality interior no cheap buttons plz
-a silent ride
-comfortable suspensions
-great tech and of course safety

I have owned a honda accord euro before and for the price you'd pay for one of these 37ish K if i remember correctly you definitely get most bang for buck. I still recommend alot of my friend to get them. Of course it has terrible 0-100 score.

Just had a look at pricing for a 6'er GoSH close to 200k. I can never justify forking out that sort of money. I'd like to see if BMW will be able to bridge this GAP whenever the new 5er is due.

I'd like to know what other cars ppl have considered too . Cheers
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      03-01-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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I think its all quite relative to what you've come from to what you have now.
For example, my biggest step up in cars, was from a subaru to a landrover. For me at the time the LR was a step up medium luxury level and prestige, a place where i put Lexus and Audi as well.(my old man always had 7's so i knew what full lux was)

Then i went from a LR to an Audi, and got a cheaper value car and to be honest cabin wise a step down in luxury. However the prestige factor was greater in the Audi yet 20k less. Clients started saying things to me "business must be good" or "we paying you to much" kind of thing.

For me Prestige is very much about price and perception, and luxury is very much about quality of materials and drive comfort

I think you have to put the f30 problems in perspective. You are on a forum for BMW enthusiasts, if there a problems with something you will here about it here first and in numbers, however it does not mean its the norm (often far from it).

Australia wide, i would say the f30 would be seen as a luxury vehicle

I have waffled on and not sure what ive said above is relevant or if it makes sense.
So yes its tough to answer haha

I looked at, C Class estate, a Q5, Volvo and Land Rover (traded my10 a4 avant). For me nothing came close to the F31 in terms of luxury and quality.
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      03-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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Luxury is a perception, thats it. my friends Honda Accord has more features, is larger and quieter than my car, but people will still perceive mine as the more luxurious one.

It means different things to different people, to some, it means the sacrifice of animals, to others, its just associated with badge, drive and dynamics etc etc.

to me, a luxury car is not associated with badge, but how unnecessarily, over the top levels of comfort it offers (7,S, LS, Rolls etc), the 3er definitely doesn't fit in that category. When I was young, my grandfather had a car that had a fridge in it, and boy did that make an impression (this was like 20 years ago).
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      03-01-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks very much for elaborating and contributing your points. I think the whole MB A250 launch is giving me cold feet about the pickup on Monday and whether I really made the right decision.

Jin & Mackie, you've raised some interesting points.

First off, I don't think I can change the title of the thread, but it should read "Prestige". I know the term, but should have realised it was more appropriate in the F30 context. So appreciate the correction as I do see and value the difference in terminology.

So given the term "prestige", I'd make the following points that I've learned from your guys & add my own commentary

1. It is a bit about the badge. I love the Audi vs LR example.

Another case in point - when I rang up to check my insurance quote the lady said "Wow, a BMW!" midway through the call only when she retrieved my online quote.

Perhaps I lack enough knowledge of the BMW history to know "factually" why a BMW is a big deal. I only knew "socially" from my parents & people around me growing up that these were bloody expensive vehicles & the price positions a certain expectation.

2. We are buying a sporting drive for the toy count & interior

Given the interiors & toys we either have as standard (wood / brushed aluminium trims, real leather, leather arm rests, standard parking sensors, memory seats) versus the performance and size of the F30, it is the best all rounder out there.

I'd say as little as 1 year ago, only the euro based hatches had auto dim mirrors, rain sensing wipers. Now all the korean and jap cars are catching up in the toy department.

Yes the F30 has what these hatches my two mid range Golfs have had, but at the same time it also does 0-100 in 6.1 seconds, 80-120 in a blistering 3.9 seconds, pulls 0.89g in skidpans, and very fine balance through corners that also allows controllable drifting.

(Incidentally I did cross shop the 328i against the Golf R).

3. Interior quality of materials
It's the quality and small touches of the little things such as standard wood or aluminium trim, memory seats (which i value highly), puddle lights, the iDrive which allows very high levels of vehicle customisation, programmable buttons which respond to touch (I personally haven't tried this feature yet), those self tensioning seatbelts that deliver the extra wow factor.


It's enlightening to read your thoughts about the 5 series and I'd agree that whilst it's a prestige car, it's not a luxurious car. When you compared it to the 6 and 7 it all made sense.

4. Drivetrain
The inline sixes and the current drivetrains across the F30 series i can honestly say are all close to the most efficient and powerful on the market today and offer great value for their respective price points.

I couldn't say that about the E90 (e.g. the 10.2 second 320i??).

The stock N20 engine is the best 2 litre turbo for the time being in terms of efficiency vs output.


5. what's next?

My perception is that BMW really shook up pricing & features 2-3 years ago after the dollar became stronger and we're seeing benefits now. It's mad that for mid $60k's we're getting a car like the 328i compared to its predecessors.

However, I feel that with the A class and upcoming CLA vehicles, MB are about to shake things up again.

Pity about the timing, but I need to change my car now. If I could wait, I'd say the prestige market will deliver even better value after the next C class comes onto the market.
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      03-01-2013, 05:44 PM   #8
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Wait until you get your car too, and see how things go. Looks like you're suffering pre-delivery anxiety by amount of posting and worrying going on. Just chill and enjoy the ride when it turns up.
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      03-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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ive only got a 320i f31, well in 3 days i will.
Can the tune be done on it as well, or only the 328i
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      03-01-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackie777 View Post
ive only got a 320i f31, well in 3 days i will.
Can the tune be done on it as well, or only the 328i
320 and 328i

http://burgertuning.com/N20_BMW_performance_Tuner.html

http://afepower.com/shop/details_new...0L&&brandID=90

The Burger unit (BMS) is Stage 1 at this time with Stage 2 extra boost plug in (you will need Stage 1 for it) coming shortly.
Even Stage 1 boost is adjustable using the special USB cable at top of the page.

http://www.burgertuning.com/JB3_upgrades.html
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Last edited by David328M-Sport; 03-01-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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      03-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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dam posted it in the wrong thread sorry, thx for answering though

Back on track, dont be fooled by the A class, sure its a great little hatch but its still 56-57k
and from reports a very firm ride, and small (its a hatch ))

Interesting that value in cars is getting better, i wonder if the perceived prestige will fall away as more and more 3's and c's hit the road. Or has that started already
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      03-01-2013, 11:22 PM   #12
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I think it is what a car should be.

I think that many features in “luxury cars” have trickled out into entry level brands (xenon, standard leather, keyless etc)

i think its just a QUALITY car, with features that a car should have/have available. I think a luxury car nowadays should be defined as a 7 series or 6 series
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      03-02-2013, 01:13 AM   #13
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[quote=
Originally Posted by David328M-Sport

Today, the line is very blurred, however, I don't consider my car a luxury car, rather a sports sedan.[/QUOTE]

Can I perhaps add to this slightly.. the 3er is a premium sports sedan, where as say a Xr6T would be a sports sedan (in my mind at least)
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      03-02-2013, 02:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suff View Post
Can I perhaps add to this slightly.. the 3er is a premium sports sedan,
Yes, agreed, a premium or prestige sports sedan.
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      03-02-2013, 05:06 AM   #15
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I'll look at test driving the merc E class 2013/14 when it's out.. to get a gauge of how they are doing to improve the luxury factor.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...ss-review.html
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      03-02-2013, 07:25 AM   #16
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I test drove the a250 last week and didn't like it. Firm ride and gear shifts didn't feel right in any mode. Didn't like interior also. Def not worth $66 drive away. Interested in the CLA Amg though...
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      03-02-2013, 07:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NK80 View Post
I test drove the a250 last week and didn't like it. Firm ride and gear shifts didn't feel right in any mode. Didn't like interior also. Def not worth $66 drive away. Interested in the CLA Amg though...
M235i or M2 interests me more

MB just (in recent times at least) doesn't seem to have the blend right.
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      03-02-2013, 08:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NK80 View Post
I test drove the a250 Firm ride
Run Flats & suspension. At least BMW has over 7 years experience and 'fixed' the hard E90 setup with the F30. In the case of standard suspension, perhaps too well.
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      03-03-2013, 07:24 PM   #19
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the ATO would like to argue a luxury car is anything with a purchase price greater than $57k

Maybe we should argue to them that threshold needs to be raised to ~$200k ala 6series/7series territory
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      03-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Stuart@BMRAutowerkes View Post
the ATO would like to argue a luxury car is anything with a purchase price greater than $57k

Maybe we should argue to them that threshold needs to be raised to ~$200k ala 6series/7series territory
you've got my vote.
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      03-03-2013, 10:17 PM   #21
David328M-Sport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart@BMRAutowerkes View Post
the ATO would like to argue a luxury car is anything with a purchase price greater than $57k

Maybe we should argue to them that threshold needs to be raised to ~$200k ala 6series/7series territory
Actually, 2 tiers there.
Tier 1: A car, which consumes greater than 7L/100km. Luxury car (tax) from $57k
Tier 2: A car, which consumes under 7L/100km. LCT from $75k
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      03-04-2013, 02:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabaitu View Post
you've got my vote.
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