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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > C&D(sedan): 328 vs G37 vs A4 vs TL



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      05-27-2009, 03:24 PM   #67
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All great cars but it's no shock that the BMW always comes out on top in this segment.
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      05-29-2009, 08:07 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
If anyone actually read the entire article, the cars came equipped as they did as they were the only versions of the cars C & D could get from the manufacturers. In particular the only A4 available was loaded and had the auto box. The only 328 they could get did not have the ZPP and was marked down for not having leather seats.

Thanks, Mike.
Yes, I knew that. So did C&D, and that's the POINT I was trying to make.

The car company gives the car they want tested.
BMW is smart in that they will give their best performer in the price range asked for.
Audi goes for the technology equipped versions along with the style.
It sort of tells you what the biggest difference is between Audi and BMW.

Yes, why mark "down" the BMW for not having leather?
And, then mark down the Audi for giving nearly everything under the options kitchen sink?
Rate the performance, then rate the options and price separately is my point.

I know for a fact that a sport pkg A4 2.0T quattro with manual can be had for a couple grand UNDER $40k And would actually have given a MUCH different showing of it's new capabilities, probably equaling the 328i if not beating it. Audi failed to understand this and C&D add to that failure.

Nearly all car reviews will have a sport pkg 3 for review, whereas, almost never will you find a sport pkg A4. In 06-07 there was a review of AWD 325i, G35, Subaru Spec-B, and A4 with manuals. The A4 won.
The numbers were quite impressive.
I have that exact same config on my 06 A4, and it's very capable fun to drive "sport" sedan.

You know, I didn't even test drive the new G37 sedan.
Hmm...my 135i will be here in about a month, maybe I'll go do some test drives while I's waitin
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      05-29-2009, 08:16 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
One observation here: Why is it that Acura gets marked down for essentially selling a tarted-up Accord as a sports sedan, but it is OK for Audi to sell a tarted-up VW?

The A4 is basically a 4-CYL FWD car. Audi builds a great AWD system (as does Acura, btw). But, that is not substitute of the balance of RWD.

Personally, I pretty much agree with the ranking. G37 and E9x are pretty close, IMO. I'd give the edge to the G37 on value (ok, big edge) and the edge to the E9x on overall refinement.

I like the looks and overall performance of the A4, but it isn't nearly as fun to drive as the Infiniti and Bimmer. Also, we had one a few years back and it didn't even make it to 40,000 miles before having major issues.

The Acura is pretty nice inside and has a sweet drivetrain. But, the size is ridiculous given that it doens't have that much more usable interior. The real deal breaker for that vehicle though is the EPS. You have to drive that to see how laughably bad it is.
The Audi is NOT a "tarted" up VW. BTW, VW now has better cars when they switched to using Audi chassis. If anything, some VW's are lower priced Audi's if you're looking for FWD. The GTI is an excellent fun car to drive, better in performance than the A3 really, due to a better suspension spec. If someone wants a FWD Audi, then get a VW.

The BEST Audi's are Quattro Audi's, just like the best handling BMW's are the RWD not the X drive versions. Audi sells many more quattros in the US than FWD's. I think the FWD A4 exists purely for those customers who want a near luxury brand with no desire for best performance.
The new A4 has been redesigned to address the issues of starting with a FWD design. Now, it seems that the FWD version is a quattro chassis without the quattro drivetrain, whereas before the FWD chassis limited the quattro's potential.

If BMW would improve how their X 3 series performs and gave it the attention they give the RWD versions, I'd seriously consider one of those.
But, the X versions LESSEN the performance of the 3, whereas the quattro improves the performance of their FWD's.
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      05-29-2009, 08:46 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by BK View Post
^^ All very good points. Also, I want to add that I never understood the "Acura MT is the greatest" or "BMW MT is so rubbery" opinions you see posted here from time to time -- even see that DenverJayhawk has that opinion about the Acura, and he's obviously a man of good taste and judgment, since he drives a 330i.

I disagree. I guess I need to spend more time with the Acura MT to appreciate it, but I test drove the 2006 TL with a 6MT and it didn't feel like anything special. FWIW, neither did the 6MT on the G35 or VW Jetta GLI or GTI or Mazdaspeed 6 or other cars I drove. None of them were "bad" but none were particularly memorable -- well, I should add that the MT on the Mazda 3 I tested was notably more rubbery than the MT on the other cars.

OTOH, when you drive a Mazda Miata, you immediately notice that the transmission feels great. I suspect the same could be said for the S2000, but I've never driven one.

The Acura TL 6MT was better than average, just like the BMW 6MT is better than average. I wouldn't say the Acura MT felt any better than the BMW.
The Acura MT, in the previous gen, was an excellent manual in performance and feel. I'm speaking strictly on how the manual functions, not the whole car. In the previous gen it was FWD only and the power was too much for the FWD setup. It is a great touring car, but it's not very sporty in terms of sport sedan.

The manual feels very much like the S2K, except the S2K has shorter throws. Acura manuals have excellent clutch feel, nicely lightly weight with progressive engagement, very linear. The shifter has well defined gates that just let you "snick" right into gear. It's so nice in action that it almost feels like something is guiding it or sucking it right into the gate.
You always get a positive feeling that you've got the gear nothing vague.

BMW manuals are always nice and proper. You rarely, if every, will miss a shift. But, gear engagement always feels soft, with vague gates.
It goes into gear nicely, very smooth, but you just don't get that exacting feeling. And, the clutch is sometimes odd in engagement point.
BMW and Audi have a lot of "dead space" before the clutch actually engages, lots of wasted travel. It's' much better in the new 3 series in regards to the clutch. The friction point has better feel and the pedal travel is straighter now without that odd "arc" that the E46 had.

For me, that's the only way to describe it. I actually prefer the manual action in my A4 compared to my E46 325i. Even my new 135i doesn't feel as exact as the A4, but just slightly. BMW manuals have always been smooth and correct in gear engagement, just the feel is more soft and more "vague". A bit more "gate" or a bit of "notch" would help it's feel, because it's actually gear selection execution is always right on.
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      05-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
The Acura MT, in the previous gen, was an excellent manual in performance and feel. I'm speaking strictly on how the manual functions, not the whole car. In the previous gen it was FWD only and the power was too much for the FWD setup. It is a great touring car, but it's not very sporty in terms of sport sedan.

The manual feels very much like the S2K, except the S2K has shorter throws. Acura manuals have excellent clutch feel, nicely lightly weight with progressive engagement, very linear. The shifter has well defined gates that just let you "snick" right into gear. It's so nice in action that it almost feels like something is guiding it or sucking it right into the gate.
You always get a positive feeling that you've got the gear nothing vague.

BMW manuals are always nice and proper. You rarely, if every, will miss a shift. But, gear engagement always feels soft, with vague gates.
It goes into gear nicely, very smooth, but you just don't get that exacting feeling. And, the clutch is sometimes odd in engagement point.
BMW and Audi have a lot of "dead space" before the clutch actually engages, lots of wasted travel. It's' much better in the new 3 series in regards to the clutch. The friction point has better feel and the pedal travel is straighter now without that odd "arc" that the E46 had.

For me, that's the only way to describe it. I actually prefer the manual action in my A4 compared to my E46 325i. Even my new 135i doesn't feel as exact as the A4, but just slightly. BMW manuals have always been smooth and correct in gear engagement, just the feel is more soft and more "vague". A bit more "gate" or a bit of "notch" would help it's feel, because it's actually gear selection execution is always right on.
I disagree. The MT in my 328 shifts very positively and certainly clicks into gear. I don't find it at all vague. Maybe the tranny in your E46 was a different model. Also, the engagement of the clutch is fine.

Thanks, Mike.
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      05-29-2009, 09:16 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverJayhawk View Post
BK - I haven't driven a TL with a manual 6 (yet). But of the Hondas I have driven with a manual (integra, S2k, tsx, late model Prelude), they all had really, really nice shifting action. I'm not saying the Bimmer is bad at all. Infact, it's quite nice all things considered and probably better than 90% of the manuals out there. But in my opinion, it's not even close when matching it up to say, an S2000. If you get a chance, take a spin in an S before Honda kills it this year. All you need to do is flick your wrist to shift gears.
I had a TL 6MT and i think that it was just as good as the TSX's and the Integra's. The thing about the TL's 6MT was that it never really went well with the OEM transmission fluid, replace it with some GM synchromesh and the feel was remarkably improved, bolt like changes and it actually felt like something made by Honda. I think BK failed to see the difference because of the fluid in the new TL test car.
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      05-29-2009, 11:31 PM   #73
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BMW's 6MT rocks....I've driven Honda/Acura....I don't think they're any better...
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      05-29-2009, 11:37 PM   #74
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The TL front looks horrible
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      05-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #75
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The TL front looks horrible
^I have to agree
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      06-01-2009, 04:54 PM   #76
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Quote:
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I disagree. The MT in my 328 shifts very positively and certainly clicks into gear. I don't find it at all vague. Maybe the tranny in your E46 was a different model. Also, the engagement of the clutch is fine.

Thanks, Mike.
Then let me clarify.
ALL manual BMW's that I've driven including my E46 have had this same vague feel, including the M3, which was a tad better.

Mazda's Miata, Acura RSX, TSX, and TL, Civic Si, 370Z, the older IS300, all had very nice operating manual with great feel.

That soft little "click" like you just turned on a light is what I call "soft" and vague. BMW's manuals are universally noted for being soft, smooth yes, soft and not that involving in terms of feel is often cited in many reviews.

It is what it is. Sure, some may like that feeling, obviously, as BMW continues to make it that way even though they could change it.
I drove a couple of older 2003-04 Boxters that also had that softish feel to their shifts. Maybe it's a German thing?
Although, I will say that Audi finally got some feel into their manuals with the B7 A4 in 2005.5 (06 model year). Before that, they felt even softer than BMW's. Now, they are better.
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      06-01-2009, 05:23 PM   #77
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The Audi is NOT a "tarted" up VW. BTW, VW now has better cars when they switched to using Audi chassis. If anything, some VW's are lower priced Audi's if you're looking for FWD. The GTI is an excellent fun car to drive, better in performance than the A3 really, due to a better suspension spec. If someone wants a FWD Audi, then get a VW..

I'm sorry, but the Audi's are, indeed, tarted up VWs to the exact same extent that Acuras are tarted up Hondas. Same basic technology and, in fact, same basic engine.

The A3, for example, is very closely related to a VW Rabbit.

Quote:
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The BEST Audi's are Quattro Audi's, just like the best handling BMW's are the RWD not the X drive versions. Audi sells many more quattros in the US than FWD's. I think the FWD A4 exists purely for those customers who want a near luxury brand with no desire for best performance.
The new A4 has been redesigned to address the issues of starting with a FWD design. Now, it seems that the FWD version is a quattro chassis without the quattro drivetrain, whereas before the FWD chassis limited the quattro's potential...

I agree that the AWD Audis handle better than a FWD Audi. And, that is also true of the Acura line (the models with SH-AWD handle better than the FWD). But, that's the point. Rather than spend the money to develop RWD platforms, Acura and Audi rely on adding AWD to existing FWD platforms.



Quote:
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If BMW would improve how their X 3 series performs and gave it the attention they give the RWD versions, I'd seriously consider one of those.
But, the X versions LESSEN the performance of the 3, whereas the quattro improves the performance of their FWD's.
I'm not going to debate the merits of the BMW AWD vs. Audi AWD systems - because I frankly don't care. Like most who live in North America, I have little need for AWD. What I want is a finely balanced RWD car. That includes BMW and Infiniti, and to some extent Lexus, and specifically excludes Acura and Audi.

I'd also have to point out that this discussion is about the E90 vs. A4, not about the X3 vs. Audi SUVs. Entirely different set of issues apply to that comparison.
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