Author Topic: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans  (Read 5470 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:05:18 am »


Autos.ca compares compact German luxury sedans, and one American interloper.

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Offline sailor723

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 06:49:33 am »
Nice job on the comparo test. I think you may be onto something with your comments re BMW designing for the Chinese market. From the sounds of things I'm glad we bought our '11 328 when we did.

What do you think would be a more even comparison (other than price) for the loaded ATS model you had?  M3? 335? C350 or C63? S4 from Audi?

Of course the unanswered question is..."How would the G37 or the IS350 have faired in this mix? 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 06:53:53 am by sailor723 »
So, why can't the Germans make electronics work in cars?

Offline Snowman

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 07:07:13 am »

Offline hemusbull

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 07:57:58 am »
One of the best comparison ever for the most desirable cars! Extraordinary efforts from the joint team. Technically it reminds me German AutoBild magazine...Plus this article is definetly better as an automotive journalistics!

Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 08:02:36 am »
Nice job on the comparo test. I think you may be onto something with your comments re BMW designing for the Chinese market. From the sounds of things I'm glad we bought our '11 328 when we did.

What do you think would be a more even comparison (other than price) for the loaded ATS model you had?  M3? 335? C350 or C63? S4 from Audi?

Of course the unanswered question is..."How would the G37 or the IS350 have faired in this mix? 

The ATS we had needs to go head to head with the 335i RWD and C 350 RWD, or, we could get the ATS we had, add the AWD and have it compete with the 335i xDrive, C 350 4MATIC and Audi S4.  It would have a price advantage on all of them.

We are thinking of doing something along these lines in the future, but would love for the new G and new IS to arrive first.

Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 08:02:45 am »
One of the best comparison ever for the most desirable cars! Extraordinary efforts from the joint team. Technically it reminds me German AutoBild magazine...Plus this article is definetly better as an automotive journalistics!

Thanks :)

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 08:10:26 am »
A quick build of the C300 reveals that adding Sirius, HIDs and heated seats to the base gets to $42K before delivery etc. Even adding leather is still only at $44k
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Offline sailor723

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 08:12:16 am »
I also like the point you made about how any of these four cars would be a pleasure to own and drive. Sometimes in these comparison tests with numerical rankings that point gets lost.

Looking forward to a future comparison with the Lexus and Infiniti thrown into the mix!...( and more of these type of articles/tests in general.)  How about a luxury CUV comparo?

Offline redman

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 08:21:59 am »
Great and honest comparison test that many are looking for.

I still can't understand why BMW would dump an inherently balanced I-6 for a rough 4cyl turbo. This was the engine, the one trump card that Bimmer held over all other competitors. To throw away there venerable I-6 which was tantamount to a Swiss watch and use a turbo 4 is nothing more than asinine. It does not surprise me that the new 3 series came in last.  :banghead:
I don't buy the difference is fuel economy between the T4 and I6 being the deciding factor. Anyone will to dump over 50K on a small lux vehicle should not be concerned with a 11% fuel economy penalty.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 08:30:09 am by redman »
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Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 08:22:06 am »
I also like the point you made about how any of these four cars would be a pleasure to own and drive. Sometimes in these comparison tests with numerical rankings that point gets lost.

Looking forward to a future comparison with the Lexus and Infiniti thrown into the mix!...( and more of these type of articles/tests in general.)  How about a luxury CUV comparo?

working on it ;)

Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 08:22:59 am »
BTW - we ranked the ATS along with the other three for shites and giggles anyway.  It would have come 2nd

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 08:28:12 am »
Great and honest comparison test that many are looking for.

I still can't understand why BMW would dump an inherently balanced I-6 for a rough 4cyl turbo. This was the engine, the one trump card that Bimmer held over all other competitors. To throw away there venerable I-6 which was tantamount to a Swiss watch and use a turbo 4 is nothing more than asinine. It does not surprise me that the new 3 series came in last.  :banghead:
I am confident that the turbo 4 will be refined pretty quickly.  BMW's 4 in the 2002 40 years ago was smooth so it is not that they can't do it.   Getting rid of the stop start would be a good thing as well.

Offline redman

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 08:43:23 am »
Great and honest comparison test that many are looking for.

I still can't understand why BMW would dump an inherently balanced I-6 for a rough 4cyl turbo. This was the engine, the one trump card that Bimmer held over all other competitors. To throw away there venerable I-6 which was tantamount to a Swiss watch and use a turbo 4 is nothing more than asinine. It does not surprise me that the new 3 series came in last.  :banghead:
I am confident that the turbo 4 will be refined pretty quickly.  BMW's 4 in the 2002 40 years ago was smooth so it is not that they can't do it.   Getting rid of the stop start would be a good thing as well.

In 1986 I was fortunate enough to take part in a paper rally on the Portuguese island São Miguel. I co-piloted a 1972 BMW 2002 orange in colour. You are correct the engine was decent for the car at the time which was much lighter than today's car and handled beautifully, but it does not compare to their I6 with no lag low end torque and a wide power band. The I6 is simply the best engine ever in a small car bar none. To bad BMW has forgotten that.

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 08:56:34 am »
They have not forgotten at all. The six is still available in several cars.   Blame the governments for panicking about running out of oil and the overstrict emission standards imposed to solve a problem that only exists in a few large cities. ( and for all that the NA governments still allow the public to buy P/U trucks with huge engines that only have to meet less strict emissions and economy standards)  /rant   ;)

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2012, 09:09:41 am »
Another good comparo!

I was surprised when after reading the build up on page 1 and clicking page 2 to find Third Place: BMW.

"The C 300 had to make do with halogen lights (as opposed to HIDs), flat white paint, no satellite radio, a seven-speed automatic and no reverse parking sensors or camera." - All other things being equal I'd take the cash instead of this list of features.

Too bad the ATS wasn't in red; it would've completed your metaphor although black is second best.

I can see why in the ATS portion so much was devoted to the BMW comparison, but...you had a separate article to do that. For this comparo I would've like to see much more on how the ATS compared to the A4, especially when it ranked 2nd overall!

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2012, 09:23:25 am »
It's too bad you didn't have access to a track for testing.  You would have found the A4 understeers way more than the competition because it's built like a backwards Porsche 911.

Offline whaddaiknow

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 09:52:49 am »
Another good comparo!

I was surprised when after reading the build up on page 1 and clicking page 2 to find Third Place: BMW.

"The C 300 had to make do with halogen lights (as opposed to HIDs), flat white paint, no satellite radio, a seven-speed automatic and no reverse parking sensors or camera." - All other things being equal I'd take the cash instead of this list of features.

Too bad the ATS wasn't in red; it would've completed your metaphor although black is second best.

I can see why in the ATS portion so much was devoted to the BMW comparison, but...you had a separate article to do that. For this comparo I would've like to see much more on how the ATS compared to the A4, especially when it ranked 2nd overall!

Mike, thanks for an excellent balanced review. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Still, I had to cringe a bit when I read for the second time (after the ATS review) "it rang in at a very competitive $54,245 before destination charge". That's over $60k on the road which is serious cash to pay for a newcomer to the compact luixury field. If I count my own beans, that's a lot of risk to take and a lot of faith to put into a bailout company.

Based on this review, C300 would be my personal choice. I like Audi (had one some 16 years ago and loved it). It may have ranked best overall but for me this killed it:

"...The suspension is not the smoothest and was rated roughest of group. This doesn’t mean it is unlivable, but even in comfort mode the suspension is firmer than the other two; those looking for a buttery ride look elsewhere..."

The biggest surprise was BMW finishing last.

Mercedes seems to have hit a sweet spot by deleting the options I personally don't care about and allowing me to save some serious cash. I may give it serious consideration.

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2012, 10:01:04 am »
We came down to the 328 vs the C300 last year and my wife picked the BMW. If we were doing it again today it sounds like MB might well get the nod.

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2012, 10:11:48 am »
BTW - we ranked the ATS along with the other three for shites and giggles anyway.  It would have come 2nd

What was the difference between the two? Why the preference?
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Offline Mike

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Re: Comparison Test: German Compact Luxury Sedans
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2012, 10:16:41 am »
BTW - we ranked the ATS along with the other three for shites and giggles anyway.  It would have come 2nd

What was the difference between the two? Why the preference?

A4 was very, very close dynamically to the ATS (minus the straight line power) but offered more else where.  Nicer looking interior, easier to use controls, more adjust-ability in driver control (comfort, normal and dynamic could each be individually selected for suspension, transmission, throttle response and steering), better fuel economy, better exterior styling, a useable back seat, larger trunk and a slightly cheaper price.