The Car Thread ... !

D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,535
10,150
Vilano Beach, FL
Welcome. :cool:

There are a few car related threads on MR, but I noticed there’s always a good amount of [car related] side discussions. Combine that with that seems like a pretty decent number of car enthusiasts here on MR, and it seemed like an ongoing, “open topic” car thread would be fun. Of course there will be some overlap with existing car related threads, but I’d still encourage folks to post pictures, discuss your current ride (even with those existing threads) ... and while it’s a “car” thread, truck owners are also welcome :D

Figured these are some great topics for discussion:

  • New & Future models
  • Classics
  • Recent Purchase
  • Maintenance (help, tips, Q&A)
  • Tuning/Modifications/Builds
  • Care (wax/polish)
  • Shows/Cruises
  • Racing/Driving events (HPDE, AutoX, drag)
  • Media (photos, video, audio clips)
 
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AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,907
8,970
Austin, TX
I should have been more patient on my TSX. Good thread!

2015 Acura TLX

The first-generation TSX sedan was everything a luxury Honda—so, an Acura—should be. Its rev-happy four-cylinder and willing chassis zinged our hearts, as did the contemporary, V-6–powered third-generation TL. Both cars’ appeal waned for the 2009 model year, when Acura’s bid for increased mainstream appeal resulted in softer and stranger-looking replacements; today, sales pressure from the RLX above and the ILX below have killed them off entirely. The 2015 TLX is tasked with replacing both.

Finding the TSX and TL Within
The move makes some sense. While the TSX roughly matched the size of the entry-luxury standard bearer, the BMW 3-series, the TL was a tweener. For the TLX, Acura carried over the TL’s 109.3-inch wheelbase but chopped the overhangs by 3.7 inches total and made the car a full inch narrower. The result is a wonderfully right-size package that feels as roomy as the current F30 3-series and the new Mercedes-Benz C-class. Acura claims the body shell is all-new and that its materials mix includes 47 percent high-strength steel. Stiffness is up relative to the TL’s, but weight is kept to near-TSX levels and the new car abandons Acura’s techno-iron-chicken look for a more tailored and handsome appearance.

The TLX’s base 2.4-liter is the same sweet four-pot found in the Honda Accord—right down to the block, direct fuel-injection system, and i-VTEC valve timing and intake cam-phasing tech—but with its own dual-stage intake manifold and higher 11.6:1 compression ratio. It also requires premium fuel. The alterations extract 17 additional ponies for 206 horsepower at 6800 rpm; torque is unchanged from the Honda at 182 lb-ft, although its 4500-rpm peak occurs 600 revs higher. The TLX’s output tops the old TSX’s port-injected four-cylinder by 5 horsepower and 10 lb-ft.


The four is hitched exclusively to a new, in-house-designed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Unusually and in what Acura calls a first, a torque converter is fitted in place of the flywheel to deliver off-the-line torque multiplication, enable smoother takeoffs from a stop, and damp vibrations. It works. The off-the-line jerkiness present in nearly every transmission of this type—even the Volkswagen Group’s version suffers a little—is nowhere to be found. Once underway, the converter quickly locks up for proper, ultraquick-shifting dual-clutch feel. The four-cylinder car gets Acura’s agility-enhancing Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) four-wheel steering as standard, as does the front-drive V-6 model.

The 3.5-liter V-6 also traces its roots to other current Honda and Acura products, but it incorporates a beefier starter to support the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) model’s standard engine stop-start feature. It also has Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management, which drops three cylinders during low-load driving to save fuel, as well as a new block casting to facilitate the only transmission choice, a ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic. Acura totally reworks the ZF unit, specifying a new case compatible with SH-AWD, unique ratios, and its own shift logic. As a bonus, V-6 models get cool push-button transmission controls in place of the dual-clutch’s traditional shift lever; they wouldn’t look out of place in a Ferrari. Output from the V-6 is strong—albeit not quite BMW 335i–strong—at 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, 10 and 13 more than the old TSX’s optional six.


Acura’s VTEC Just Kicked In
Slide behind the TLX’s meaty three-spoke steering wheel, and a clean gauge cluster with sharp white-on-black dial faces stares back at you. A red starter button sits off to the right of the wheel. The aesthetic is pure Honda in the best way possible, an impression carried further by the clean dashboard design, low cowl, and wide, comfortable seats. The dual central display arrangement is bizarre, just as it is in a rash of recent Honda/Acura products. The lower touch screen handles audio and some climate-control functions, while the upper, non–touch screen (controlled by a knob and hard buttons located under the lower display) manages the same stuff, plus navigation. The graphics and resolutions of the displays don’t quite match; one screen would do the job just fine.

But this all plays second fiddle to the driving. Cycle the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) button on the center console to its Sport or Sport+ settings, and the car’s inner first-gen TSX comes out—it positively begs to be ridden hard and put away wet. The electric power steering weights up, P-AWS works harder to swing the front-drive TLX’s tail through corners, and the throttle response is much spicier. In SH-AWD models, which lack P-AWS for obvious reasons, Acura’s magical torque-vectoring rear differential shuffles power to the outside rear wheel more aggressively to quell understeer.

Sport+ ups the ante with a unique and track-worthy shift logic; regardless of transmission, gears are held until redline, upshifts are cracked off with surprising firmness, and the transmission’s brain telepathically delivers perfectly rev-matched downshifts. The dual-clutch’s shifts are quicker, but the nine-speed reminds us of the excellent eight-cog ZF 8HP that sees duty in many of this car’s competitors, so it’s no slouch. (In manual mode, both ’boxes automatically upshift at redline.) When the IDS is toggled to Normal or Econ, the transmissions shift smoothly but diligently, quickly shuffling through the lower gears to maximize fuel economy. Throttle response is more subdued; the steering takes on a friendly, lighter disposition; and P-AWS and SH-AWD favor stability over agility. Econ mode further dials back the throttle and reins in the climate control to save fuel.

Even in the more workaday IDS settings, the TLX retains its composure when driven hard, never keeling over onto its outside front tire in tight corners. The steering lacks ultimate tactility but is amiably linear, and the brake pedal’s stroke is firm and easily modulated after an initial half-inch of fluff. The sweet-sounding four-cylinder is the most chuckable TLX, while the front-drive V-6 model feels a bit more nose-heavy and prone to torque steer. The V-6–only SH-AWD model hammers through bendy roads on a wave of torque and brute torque-vectored force.


The Choice Is Yours—But Mostly Acura’s
In typical Honda/Acura style, the TLX is offered with a small, curated batch of option groups masquerading as trim levels. A Tech package is offered on the 2.4L and front-drive 3.5L cars (it’s standard on the SH-AWD), while a more comprehensive Advanced package is available on V-6 versions. (For a full breakdown of what these packages include, see our pricing analysis.) Every model comes with a pile of standard equipment that includes heated front seats, full-LED headlamps and taillights, paddle shifters, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a sunroof.

In replacing the TSX and the TL, Acura has crafted a better car using the finest attributes of both. If you can live without rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, or the fanciest badges, the TLX makes a very compelling case. Its case is made stronger yet when you consider its high level of sport and luxury features plus the fact that BMW will charge you $60K to get much of it in a 3-series.

Overall, the TLX is a satisfying and overdue return to the engineering and dynamic greatness long associated with Honda’s luxury brand. The three available configurations have their own distinct personalities and offer value at their respective price points, but if forced to choose, we’d hit the sheets with the V-6 SH-AWD model, wed the excellent 2.4L TLX, and (regrettably) kill the front-drive V-6 iteration. If Acura isn’t fully back, it’s damn close with this car.


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D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,535
10,150
Vilano Beach, FL
Anybody ever track down (or occasionally search for) cars you’ve sold? I guess it’s more common with people who are really into their vehicles, and particularly if it’s a really unique car (either the make/model, and/or if it’s customized).

Just interesting to see where it’s been, if it has changed and whatnot.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,907
8,970
Austin, TX
Nice! Test driving one this week I hope. My TSX lease is up in a few months.
Everything I have heard is that although the V6 will be more prominent and real world faster, the DCT from the I4 makes the car.

Honestly, until the V6 can get SH-AWD, I would hold off on the TLX V6.

----------

Anybody ever track down (or occasionally search for) cars you’ve sold? I guess it’s more common with people who are really into their vehicles, and particularly if it’s a really unique car (either the make/model, and/or if it’s customized).

Just interesting to see where it’s been, if it has changed and whatnot.
Good riddance to that Chevy Cobalt. For real. Now my A4...
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,876
1,532
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
No, I make the lighting for the TLX. Trust me, all the quality controls you here about, total made-up crap. It's just a basic PCB with LEDs and rushed out to make Honda's orders.
 

Tsuchiya

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2008
2,310
370
I wish I had the time and money to sink into my love of cars.

It's probably for the best though, considering what I inexplicably want at the moment is this:



5.0 litre v10 TDI with monstrous amounts of torque and god-awful MPG.

Reasonably cheap and they come well equipped. It just seems ridiculously unnecessary. Also that face with its dopey look of self assurance is kind of charming :D

Allegedly quite expensive to maintain/repair though because the entire engine needs to be removed for some fairly routine things.
 
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AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,907
8,970
Austin, TX
No, I make the lighting for the TLX. Trust me, all the quality controls you here about, total made-up crap. It's just a basic PCB with LEDs and rushed out to make Honda's orders.
Thanks for the heads up. I have HDDs on my TSX. I don't love the jewel eye look, personally.

I'm in love with one of these at the moment.

 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,535
10,150
Vilano Beach, FL
I'm in love with one of these at the moment.

Image
I like the new design quite a bit, I also like the reorganization of even = 2 door, odd = 4-door (migrating the 2-door coupe out of the 3-series, and into it’s own model line, etc.).

At one point I was seriously considering a Z4 35i/35is. Love the TT inline 6, so easily tuned, I think the car looks fantastic with the roof up, with the 7-speed DCT the wife could drive it. No longer on the list but an excellent execution of a roadster (I actually prefer it to the Boxster).
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,374
1,297
Thanks for the heads up. I have HDDs on my TSX. I don't love the jewel eye look, personally.

I'm in love with one of these at the moment.

Image
I can't wait until the ATS-V which will debut at the LAIAS.. The regular ATS already out drives the F30. Though it doesn't look like the F80 M3 went softer like the F30 did from initial drives.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,907
8,970
Austin, TX
I can't wait until the ATS-V which will debut at the LAIAS.. The regular ATS already out drives the F30. Though it doesn't look like the F80 M3 went softer like the F30 did from initial drives.
I don't love the look of the ATS. It looks okay, but I worry it will look ridiculous in a few years. Some of the previous Cadillac models look silly.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,374
1,297
I don't love the look of the ATS. It looks okay, but I worry it will look ridiculous in a few years. Some of the previous Cadillac models look silly.
I think the 3rd gen of A&S will mature better. I agree that the 1st and 2nd gens of the theme have aged horribly. The 2nd gen CTS-V still looks good( in all forms), the regular version's front end doesn't look that great to me anymore.

Though they ruined the 2015 ATS and CTS with the new grilles.





The original grilles were much much better.

But I do love my dads 2014 ATS. It drives great, love the looks, and I love the interior.





And a picture of the ATS with my dads old 2007 E90 335i.



And it is going to be a busy auto show season for GM. LA has the ATS-V, NAIAS will have the CTS-V, 6th gen Camaro, and next gen Volt, NY will have the LTS which will be Cadillac's S Class competitor.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,535
10,150
Vilano Beach, FL
^^^ RIP Cadillac wreath :(
Yeah, that’s the end of a legendary badge.

The V series ATS sounds terrific, the CTS-V is pretty outstanding in all flavors, but per another thread, my “guilty pleasure” is the CTS-V Wagon, just because the idea of a Supercharged V8 ~550HP _wagon_ just makes me smile :)

[edit]

Adding a wagon pic :D

 
Last edited:

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2013
3,927
1,222
California
Cadillac is in trouble



Until recently, sales at General Motors' (NYSE: GM ) Cadillac brand were on a tear. U.S. sales of Cadillacs rose 21.9% in 2013, thanks to new models like the XTS and ATS sedans.

But so far, 2014 has been a very different story. Through May, Cadillac sales are down 2.3% from year-ago levels. And its those same two models that seem to be the culprits: ATS and XTS sales are both sharply lower so far this year.

What's the deal? Is the long-awaited Cadillac revival turning out to be a dud?

Cadillac says they aren't worried, but...
When you look at the monthly sales charts, it's clear to see where Cadillac's troubles lie: Sales of the big XTS sedan are down 21% through May, and the much-acclaimed compact ATS is down 20%.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,374
1,297
Cadillac is in trouble
Several factors in play.

1) GM screwed Cadillac's revival for the past ten years playing the value card. " Size of the 5 series for the price of the 3 series". It didn't attract the image driven crowd that Cadillac is trying to attract. They attracted the value crowd which isn't a good thing. In an image driven market, that's not a crowd you want to attract. So they finally fix it by developing the ATS and moving the CTS upmarket. So now the value crowd is in an uproar saying the CTS and ATS are overpriced.

I am not saying Cadillac can demand BMW and Mercedes like prices right now, but they do need to be priced appropriately for the segment the car competes in.

2) Marketing sucks. Marketing helps build image and Cadillac's ads have sucked and failed to sell what owning Cadillac will get you. They have had a few bright spots, but mostly gets a D from me.

3) Dealers suck. Dealers are selling the deal, not the car. Catering to the older crowd Cadillac is typically associated with. Still putting vinyl tops on the roofs of cars and displaying them out front. They haven't been very good at getting the younger crowd which is what Cadillac is trying to get. Back in July of 2013 when my dad and I went to drive the ATS, the salesman was harping on the deal we could get on the car. Wasn't selling the car itself, but the deal. And despite not having any cars in the area configured the way my dad wanted it and him wanting to wait for a 2014, the salesman kept on harping on the deal he could get on the 2013. It pissed me off.
 

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2013
3,927
1,222
California
3) Dealers suck. Dealers are selling the deal, not the car. Catering to the older crowd Cadillac is typically associated with. Still putting vinyl tops on the roofs of cars and displaying them out front. They haven't been very good at getting the younger crowd which is what Cadillac is trying to get. Back in July of 2013 when my dad and I went to drive the ATS, the salesman was harping on the deal we could get on the car. Wasn't selling the car itself, but the deal. And despite not having any cars in the area configured the way my dad wanted it and him wanting to wait for a 2014, the salesman kept on harping on the deal he could get on the 2013. It pissed me off.
Bingo. According to a few fellow forum members over at m3forum (read not necessarily rich, but we all do pretty well), they all reported negatively with the Cadillac dealer experience when shopping for a new car.
 

Suture

macrumors 6502a
Feb 22, 2007
964
182
I've always had a thing for the CTS-V. Before my most recent purchase I was strongly considering a one or two year old preowned own. I prefer the wagon, but hell, I'd take the sedan, too.
 

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2013
3,927
1,222
California
I've always had a thing for the CTS-V. Before my most recent purchase I was strongly considering a one or two year old preowned own. I prefer the wagon, but hell, I'd take the sedan, too.
The CTS-V, especially in Wagon trim, is awesome. That being said, I'm pretty sure Cadillac has only sold like 35 of them. :D
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,907
8,970
Austin, TX
Several factors in play.

1) GM screwed Cadillac's revival for the past ten years playing the value card. " Size of the 5 series for the price of the 3 series". It didn't attract the image driven crowd that Cadillac is trying to attract. They attracted the value crowd which isn't a good thing. In an image driven market, that's not a crowd you want to attract. So they finally fix it by developing the ATS and moving the CTS upmarket. So now the value crowd is in an uproar saying the CTS and ATS are overpriced.

I am not saying Cadillac can demand BMW and Mercedes like prices right now, but they do need to be priced appropriately for the segment the car competes in.

2) Marketing sucks. Marketing helps build image and Cadillac's ads have sucked and failed to sell what owning Cadillac will get you. They have had a few bright spots, but mostly gets a D from me.

3) Dealers suck. Dealers are selling the deal, not the car. Catering to the older crowd Cadillac is typically associated with. Still putting vinyl tops on the roofs of cars and displaying them out front. They haven't been very good at getting the younger crowd which is what Cadillac is trying to get. Back in July of 2013 when my dad and I went to drive the ATS, the salesman was harping on the deal we could get on the car. Wasn't selling the car itself, but the deal. And despite not having any cars in the area configured the way my dad wanted it and him wanting to wait for a 2014, the salesman kept on harping on the deal he could get on the 2013. It pissed me off.
Cadillac isn't alone. Infiniti is in some deep crap. The Q50 is a big mistake. That's Infiniti's ATS/CTS fighter and their cheapest model. Infiniti may be the worst, honestly.

Up until about a week ago, I would have told you Acura was in trouble, but they seem to have a winner in the TLX which is great when added to their line of luxury crossovers. The list of "bad" Acura models are down to two. The ILX is up for MMC next year (jewel headlights, obviously) and the RLX (not sure what Acura can do about that. It's a flagship, it's just up against some tough company). If Acura plays their cards right, maybe a CLX coupe pops up, but I can't be certain.

That leaves Lexus, which seems to be the overall smartest of the non-German luxury brands. They have some great models and some bad ones. ES - bad. IS - pretty good. They have a hell of a halo car and the RC looks fantastic.

The German brands just seem to know how to play their cards. Audi makes FWD cars but still makes them gorgeous, so potential buyers don't care. BMW makes the ultimate drive machine and gives buyers ways to cut corners to make themselves affordable, but the roundel sells itself. Mercedes is just so out of reach to where the CLA is just so expensive despite it's bare bones base price. That being said, their AMGs are just special.

We'll see what all the makers do going forward, especially with the Tesla gigafactory thing going on. The Model III will be important because Tesla will have to cut some corners, but they can't cut too much to the point of killing appear. Should be interesting.
 

Suture

macrumors 6502a
Feb 22, 2007
964
182
TLX seems like a great value. I hope it does well. I like Acura, but it seems like their mission to move upmarket keeps going astray.

I'm happy enough with my car right now. I think in a few years I may relegate it to autocross/track duty and pickup something like an S5 convertible for a daily driver. Then again, there's still a part of me that's wants a big V8 still.
 
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