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Old 28th July 2013, 21:01   #2956
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
...drive to the Mount Washington peak..

.. I will pay for the guy behind me...
That was a real nice gesture @Amitoj like "pay it forward".

I have had several chances to ride to mount washington. IMHO I feel that the cars get abused on the ride. Every time I see a car which has bumper sticker with "This Car climbed Mount Washinton" I feel pity for that car.

Sorry I you have it on your ride.
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Old 29th July 2013, 01:43   #2957
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Default First Impressions - Infiniti Q50

I am very excited about the new Q50 and thought it can be a potential upgrade to my '05 G35 Sedan.

Yesterday, i had a chance to spend some time with Q50. I only spent time exploring interior and exterior. Didn't have time to do a test drive. As such i wanted to test drive a fully loaded model - the one with lane change assist, blind spot, all around monitor and other technologies which they didn't have in stock. The dealer got 10 pieces and sold 8 within 10 days. They only had hybrid and a 3.7 Premium S on display and they are awaiting a software update so these two are also booked but on hold. They are getting more on Aug 5th.

Here is my first impression of Q50.

- Looks:

Q50 is a good departure from G35/G37. It have evolved a lot while maintain similar profile. I loved it just as much as i love G35. The DRL looks good on the front and the grille is very noticeable albeit not too big like Lexus. Lots of creases on the bonnet and side. It makes it look muscular and feels just right. They have 3.7 and Hybrid badges on fenders.

I saw the 3.7 Premium and S models. Both looks very good. Finally, they have managed to fill the wheel wells and now it sits lower and better. My G35 looks has a big gap in wheels even after having 18 inchers so this is a welcome change.

Look wise, its great IMHO. I don't dig too much chrome so that will have to be replaced either at factory level or through Plasti-Dip.

- Interior

The best part of the Q50 is the new, improved interior. Looks delicious once you are in. They have option of Leatherette and Leather. Leather is an additional option. A few pointers about interior that i immediately noticed.

Manual adjustment for reach and rake. It used to be powered in all versions before. This time it comes in top of the line model or with a package. This is a big disappointment.

Q50 has dual screen in the middle stack. The upper screen is Nav and lower screen is various controls like temperature, audio and other stuff. The screen was quite responsive. No false touch.

The fit and finish is very good. Loved the new trim they introduced in doors and console. It can be replaced with wood which looks ok. Not a fan of those. I saw two interior - One is dual tone black and beige which looks good but having owned beige i wouldn't want it again especially the floor and door sills. The black interior is better.

The start-stop button is conveniently placed and so are other controls. Comes with Bose sound system as usual but i hope the system has been fixed. Bose system in Infiniti is very famous for malfunctioning after some years. Mine went out couple of months back. My friends '06 also malfunctioned couple of years back. Its an expensive replacement.

There is a drive mode selector on the console. It had options like standard, sport, eco and ice. Didn't test it so don't know if it is any effective.

As far as comfort is concerned, the space, size of seats is very good. If the old seats are anything to go by, the seats will be very comfortable on long journeys.

The console storage is small now. Again a disappointment. Coming to the back, the legroom is marginally more than G35. The seats doesn't recline - again another disappointment though the default recline is quite comfortable. Still having a recliner would have been quite good.

The cargo space seems a little less from visual POV. It does have a pass through which is convenient and has 60:40 split seats.

First impressions has been pretty positive. I saw a 3.7 Premium listed for $42k while Hybrid was $55k. Even though both didn't have the technology package which costs $3200 which i would definitely buy just for the new technologies it introduces and is cool. A fully loaded 3.7 will easily reach $50k. A Q50 S will be $52k. Not bad considering it adds to many new improvements to the interior, features and technologies.

Can't wait for a detailed test drive. Thank you for reading.

A few pics lifted of infinitiq50.org.
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Last edited by chevelle : 29th July 2013 at 01:48.
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Old 29th July 2013, 08:06   #2958
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

@Chevelle: Its a nice update, but the value proposition of it has sort of gone down now. At 50k, people will be buying German instead (better lease deals and financing from the German makes as well). I think Infiniti has really messed up the pricing of this car, :(. Also, the regular gas model isnt really anything much when the Hybrid can be had for a little bit more. Its worth it to get the hybrid instead. In order to get the tech package on the non hybrid, you are forced into getting the deluxe touring package (which includes the direct adaptive steering).. and that tacks on another $3000. Navigation is another $2000. The Hybrid comes standard with the direct adaptive steering.

Last edited by CaliAtenza : 29th July 2013 at 08:08.
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Old 29th July 2013, 22:09   #2959
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by chevelle View Post

First impressions has been pretty positive. I saw a 3.7 Premium listed for $42k while Hybrid was $55k. Even though both didn't have the technology package which costs $3200 which i would definitely buy just for the new technologies it introduces and is cool. A fully loaded 3.7 will easily reach $50k. A Q50 S will be $52k. Not bad considering it adds to many new improvements to the interior, features and technologies.

Can't wait for a detailed test drive. Thank you for reading.

A few pics lifted of infinitiq50.org.
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Originally Posted by CaliAtenza View Post
@Chevelle: Its a nice update, but the value proposition of it has sort of gone down now. At 50k, people will be buying German instead
Going by what the parent Nissan brand has just done, am sure Infiniti will be offering the most discounts and deals on new cars. The single biggest reason being the Yen. Also, traditionally you get better deals on Infiniti than the Germans. Like 350$ lease for a 50k MSRP car for 12k miles a year. For that price you are looking at a barebones 3 series. So while the launch price certainly looks ambitions, I fully expect more incentives on offer for the Infiniti cars sooner or later.
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Old 29th July 2013, 22:18   #2960
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
Speaking of toll, there is another toll trap in Canada, somewhere along the Eastward 401-407 highway exchange approaching Mississauga. No toll booths, no toll info (amounts, distances), just a quick warning that your toll will be assessed remotely by traffic cameras. I was surprised to receive a hefty toll bill in my mail a few days later, for a stupid 2 mile 10 minute detour I took on this stretch just to have my kids take a bathroom break..must be the costliest piss I'd taken to date
Its Highway 407 Express Toll Route - a private highway with sky high toll. You can get on it from may points. It runs parallel to 401 for most part.

To add insult to injury, they add a camera charge and another membership charge for these accidental detours. A $3-4 bill suddenly becomes a $15 bill.
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Old 29th July 2013, 22:40   #2961
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by CaliAtenza View Post
@Chevelle: Its a nice update, but the value proposition of it has sort of gone down now. At 50k, people will be buying German instead (better lease deals and financing from the German makes as well). I think Infiniti has really messed up the pricing of this car, :(. Also, the regular gas model isnt really anything much when the Hybrid can be had for a little bit more. Its worth it to get the hybrid instead. In order to get the tech package on the non hybrid, you are forced into getting the deluxe touring package (which includes the direct adaptive steering).. and that tacks on another $3000. Navigation is another $2000. The Hybrid comes standard with the direct adaptive steering.
Well, the Infi still starts at $37k. That is same as a 328i base model. The $50k is fully loaded version. I was told i can add technology package individually for $3200. If i take a base model and just add technology, i will still be around $41k. And the one i saw in showroom was a 3.7 Premium which had everything but the Technology package and it was around $45k. And lease options on Q50 will go down as soon as honeymoon period will be over. Also, this will see some discount once Nov-Dec will come.

I configured a fully loaded 328i on BMW's website and it came out to $57k. I guess 335i will be couple of grand more. $7K plus tax is still a lot for some. Same thing for C300. It easily approaches $60k when you load it up. Compare to that Q50 seems like a bargain considering the performance and reliability.

I also see that, standard features are a lot better in Q50 than others. As Germans are notorious for providing less equipped version and charge a lot on options.

I don't know how the sales have been for G and 3 series all this time but i am sure G/Q50 will have better sales than atleast C-Class, IS and A4.

I do think Hybrid is a very good option. Its good Infi is promoting their Hybrid by pricing it almost at par with the regular top end version. This makes sense only for those who are going for top of line version in both. Otherwise, its hard to justify if for example if i am just buying a Q50 3.7 Premium, the difference is $10k+. That would take some time to recover the investment in Hybrid and not easily justifiable.

I don't know if i mentioned this but they are also asking $3000 mark up. It included $1500 in paint protection and some package and rest in terms of money. Its pretty absurd that anybody would pay this markup but since they already sold the first 10, i guess many would have bite it.
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Old 29th July 2013, 22:56   #2962
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Well, the Infi still starts at $37k. That is same as a 328i base model. The $50k is fully loaded version. I was told i can add technology package individually for $3200. If i take a base model and just add technology, i will still be around $41k. And the one i saw in showroom was a 3.7 Premium which had everything but the Technology package and it was around $45k. And lease options on Q50 will go down as soon as honeymoon period will be over. Also, this will see some discount once Nov-Dec will come.

I configured a fully loaded 328i on BMW's website and it came out to $57k. I guess 335i will be couple of grand more. $7K plus tax is still a lot for some. Same thing for C300. It easily approaches $60k when you load it up. Compare to that Q50 seems like a bargain considering the performance and reliability.

I also see that, standard features are a lot better in Q50 than others. As Germans are notorious for providing less equipped version and charge a lot on options.

I don't know how the sales have been for G and 3 series all this time but i am sure G/Q50 will have better sales than atleast C-Class, IS and A4.

I do think Hybrid is a very good option. Its good Infi is promoting their Hybrid by pricing it almost at par with the regular top end version. This makes sense only for those who are going for top of line version in both. Otherwise, its hard to justify if for example if i am just buying a Q50 3.7 Premium, the difference is $10k+. That would take some time to recover the investment in Hybrid and not easily justifiable.

I don't know if i mentioned this but they are also asking $3000 mark up. It included $1500 in paint protection and some package and rest in terms of money. Its pretty absurd that anybody would pay this markup but since they already sold the first 10, i guess many would have bite it.
Chevelle are you sure you can add the technology package individually? On the non hybrid? Check up on that because the new whiz bang safety features in the tech package need the direct adaptive steering to work, which not coincidently, is in the deluxe touring package. The base model of the Q, doesnt make much sense. You cannot get anything with it other than a moonroof, as far as i know. I dont know why your dealer is telling you otherwise. Its also good to check up on InfinitiQ50.org, they know pretty much everything. Or try here: https://www.infinitiusa.com/all-new-q50/build/

The real stuff starts at 40k or so with the Premium model. The thing is, the G is going to live on, at least for another year. I dont think Infiniti will succumb to the incentives for the Q that much, im afraid. They will have the G for that still. The Q is definetly a nice car though, i will say that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Going by what the parent Nissan brand has just done, am sure Infiniti will be offering the most discounts and deals on new cars. The single biggest reason being the Yen. Also, traditionally you get better deals on Infiniti than the Germans. Like 350$ lease for a 50k MSRP car for 12k miles a year. For that price you are looking at a barebones 3 series. So while the launch price certainly looks ambitions, I fully expect more incentives on offer for the Infiniti cars sooner or later.
Unfortunately, that might not be so true with this model. The G37 will live on for at least another year, so Infiniti can clear stock and keep a lower priced model in the showroom to drive customers in. There are still a ton of G's out there sitting on lots.

Last edited by Technocrat : 30th July 2013 at 00:43. Reason: back to back posts Merged, please use multi quote option. Thanks
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Old 29th July 2013, 23:49   #2963
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I configured a fully loaded 328i on BMW's website and it came out to $57k. I guess 335i will be couple of grand more. $7K plus tax is still a lot for some. Same thing for C300. It easily approaches $60k when you load it up. Compare to that Q50 seems like a bargain considering the performance and reliability.

I also see that, standard features are a lot better in Q50 than others. As Germans are notorious for providing less equipped version and charge a lot on options.

I don't know how the sales have been for G and 3 series all this time but i am sure G/Q50 will have better sales than atleast C-Class, IS and A4.
I agree on the standard features part -a standard Infiniti (or that matter Acura) usually has tons more in equipment than any of the german trio. I think the Infiniti will still undercut the Germans in similary equipped levels by 3-4 thousand dollars MSRP. If the incentives roll in, then it will certainly become more attractive.

I think Infiniti should offer the hybrid as a low cost (or no) option. Price both cars exactly the same. The Lincoln MKZ u can get the v6 or the hybrid at the same price. Something of that sort would be a killer. IF that happens, then am pretty sure the Q50 will have a lot more sales. Till then, people will still pay for the german brands.

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Originally Posted by CaliAtenza View Post
Unfortunately, that might not be so true with this model. The G37 will live on for at least another year, so Infiniti can clear stock and keep a lower priced model in the showroom to drive customers in. There are still a ton of G's out there sitting on lots.
I will wait for the honeymoon period for the Q to be over before I agree to that. I'm betting that the incentives will be on offer in October/November at least.
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Old 29th July 2013, 23:57   #2964
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Chevelle are you sure you can add the technology package individually? On the non hybrid? Check up on that because the new whiz bang safety features in the tech package need the direct adaptive steering to work, which not coincidently, is in the deluxe touring package. The base model of the Q, doesnt make much sense. You cannot get anything with it other than a moonroof, as far as i know. I dont know why your dealer is telling you otherwise. Its also good to check up on InfinitiQ50.org, they know pretty much everything. Or try here: https://www.infinitiusa.com/all-new-q50/build/

The real stuff starts at 40k or so with the Premium model. The thing is, the G is going to live on, at least for another year. I dont think Infiniti will succumb to the incentives for the Q that much, im afraid. They will have the G for that still. The Q is definetly a nice car though, i will say that.
Ya, i saw on their website that for Technology package, all other packages have to be included which increases by $8900. So it will be around $45k for sure if i add it to base model. Add premium and it reaches $50k easily. But now a days, prices of all cars have gone up, so this is expected. Looking at what dealer has stocked so far, it looks like 3.7 Premium with and without Nav will be very popular. I will ask them again after Aug 5 for better answer to adding just the Deluxe touring and Technology package. That would help me save a cool $3500 in the process.

Again, as i said, a person spending $40k won't mind spending $5k more on various packages. But ask the same person to spend $15k more on BMW with similar package and they will think twice before spending. That is what Q50 aims at and i am sure it will be successful.

Incentives for Q50 will be offered, not for 3-4 months, but for sure during holiday season. Even though they have G37, i think they mentioned it will have a bigger price cut to justify selling it along with Q50. I think G37 will target 320i, c250, is250 and at that point, it will be appealing too.

Also i noticed, Infiniti also now offer 4 yrs/60k warranty just like BMW and Mercedes. I don't know if it includes everything but that's a good start and will certainly help hold value after lease expires. Was it the same with G37? I thought it was 3 yrs or so.

As such, i am not the one to buy a new car in first year and i would never ever buy a car at MSRP.

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Unfortunately, that might not be so true with this model. The G37 will live on for at least another year, so Infiniti can clear stock and keep a lower priced model in the showroom to drive customers in. There are still a ton of G's out there sitting on lots.
I don't think Infiniti can survive if they stick to MSRP for Q50 and give G37 at lower price. It just can't work that way. Then most of them will end up buying G37 more as it has similar engine and various features. The only thing would be, if G37 has $5000 off MSRP, Q50 will have $2500 off say after 8 months. Its just an example, but that's how it will be. Nov-Dec will be true pointers for this when they push to do more sales.

Who buys at MSRP now a days? unless one is an early adopter and must have the new one in garage as soon as its launched. Same thing has been happening for C7. People are going crazy and paying MSRP and then some more for first 9 months of C7 Production. Total Craziness.

Last edited by chevelle : 30th July 2013 at 00:00.
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Old 30th July 2013, 00:11   #2965
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Who buys at MSRP now a days? ..
Golden rule of thumb for Germans is Invoice ( i.e. Wholesale price that the dealer is sold a car from the manufacturer )

Your car = Invoice + $500 (Dealer profit) for Germans,luxury brand

For any other brand = Invoice + $300

If you can give me the above quote, I am talking. Else i am not interested. For a car that has been in the lot for a long time, You might as well haggle for Invoice.

Last edited by Fraz33r : 30th July 2013 at 00:12. Reason: Typo
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Old 30th July 2013, 00:32   #2966
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On the 5th day itself my postman delivered to me a bill for ~$25 from the NJ road authority (toll was about $1 or something, administrative charges were the remaining $23-some). The bill carried a nice photograph of my car at the booth too. I appealed back in writing saying I still had 9 days to pay my toll, inserted some change in the envelope, and sent it off. Apparently they accepted my appeal because I never heard back from them. Crooks.
You can call up the toll administration guys and get your admin charges reversed , just pay the actual toll and some delay charges. I has a similar experience when I was charged by Florida Plate pass guys, they put some $25 as administrative fee for a $3 toll
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Old 30th July 2013, 00:41   #2967
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I have had several chances to ride to mount washington. IMHO I feel that the cars get abused on the ride. Every time I see a car which has bumper sticker with "This Car climbed Mount Washinton" I feel pity for that car.

Sorry I you have it on your ride.
LOL No i dont have it on my car. I do have the LTD sticker on my car and it seems bumper stickers are not that popular among loyal car fans!!

But the climb is not that torturous that a car will take a beating, unless one drives like a total noob (like using brakes all the way down!) There are many tougher climbs in India. This was the third time i did the climb.

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Amit, happy horsing! Post some pics when you can. I have a bunch of recent pictures to post from an annual summer car meet in my town (really neat vehicles from the past kept like Gold), but am too lazy to post them. I just might after you do

Speaking of toll, there is another toll trap in Canada, somewhere along the Eastward 401-407 highway exchange approaching Mississauga. No toll booths, no toll info (amounts, distances), just a quick warning that your toll will be assessed remotely by traffic cameras. I was surprised to receive a hefty toll bill in my mail a few days later, for a stupid 2 mile 10 minute detour I took on this stretch just to have my kids take a bathroom break..must be the costliest piss I'd taken to date
I have some pics. Will post them once i get home.

You know what? I have taken that toll road a few times when i went to Canada. I did not get any bill in my mail and it has been almost 6 months now.

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Golden rule of thumb for Germans is Invoice ( i.e. Wholesale price that the dealer is sold a car from the manufacturer )

Your car = Invoice + $500 (Dealer profit) for Germans,luxury brand

For any other brand = Invoice + $300
Many dealers actually inflate the invoice too. They dont include some mass rebates that they get from the manufacturers. So, you can actually haggle for a few 100 dollars below the invoice as well!
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Old 30th July 2013, 03:00   #2968
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Golden rule of thumb for Germans is Invoice ( i.e. Wholesale price that the dealer is sold a car from the manufacturer )

Your car = Invoice + $500 (Dealer profit) for Germans,luxury brand

For any other brand = Invoice + $300

If you can give me the above quote, I am talking. Else i am not interested. For a car that has been in the lot for a long time, You might as well haggle for Invoice.
Lots of variables go towards Invoice. As Amitoj mentioned, Invoice can be used as a pointer, even after that they make lots of profit. Honestly, i don't mind them making some profit, but over inflating or paying at MSRP or MSRP+ Markup is a strict no. Too bad some people just have money and no brains to think about this. But then, for them, haggling and spending 3 hrs with salesman can mean a profit/loss of several thousand dollars in their business so who am i to complain.

Even Tesla does it at MSRP. The good thing is, there is a rebate of ~$7k which make me happy and i think that as a discount. But if it was to sell at MSRP only, i won't be happy paying full price for that. Its a niche segment but its something to think about.

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Going by what the parent Nissan brand has just done,
Nissan se yaad aya! What the hell did they do to the price of 370z. It is now starting at just $30k making it absolute VFM. At $27k, the FR-S/BRZ sure now seems overpriced for what it offers because with discounts, 370z will certainly be less than $30k and will make a very good proposition. I have been seeing a lot of these in Sacramento and Bay Area recently. Looks like all of 370z sale happens here only.

It means 2 things, either FR-S/BRZ/GC and others have put pressure on Nissan or a new 370z is coming. If not these two, Yen going down is responsible.

Last edited by chevelle : 30th July 2013 at 03:06.
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Old 30th July 2013, 03:13   #2969
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Nissan se yaad aya! What the hell did they do to the price of 370z. It is now starting at just $30k making it absolute VFM. At $27k, the FR-S/BRZ sure now seems overpriced for what it offers because with discounts, 370z will certainly be less than $30k and will make a very good proposition. I have been seeing a lot of these in Sacramento and Bay Area recently. Looks like all of 370z sale happens here only.

It means 2 things, either FR-S/BRZ/GC and others have put pressure on Nissan or a new 370z is coming. If not these two, Yen going down is responsible.
Well - the main thing is the yen. Nissan's profits are piling - they manufacture a lot more in Japan than let's say a Toyota or a Honda. So they really are fighting the price game. Ford has been up in arms against the Japanese governments Yen fixing policies because they are unable to compete on pure car terms. Anyway, I think that the 370Z is a little long in the tooth. It needs a replacement - something lighter - with a more efficient engine and something like a dual clutch (hope they don't put a CVT). I won't be surprised if Nissan thrown in a high power hybrid into the 370 replacement. Anyway, they definitely need to make it a lot more lighter and efficient if they consider their competition to be the FR-S and BR-Z.
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Old 30th July 2013, 04:10   #2970
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Anyway, I think that the 370Z is a little long in the tooth. It needs a replacement - something lighter - with a more efficient engine and something like a dual clutch (hope they don't put a CVT). I won't be surprised if Nissan thrown in a high power hybrid into the 370 replacement. Anyway, they definitely need to make it a lot more lighter and efficient if they consider their competition to be the FR-S and BR-Z.
It will be in its 5th year in 2014, so i think a replacement may be due next year. I don't think it will lose as much weight as FR-S or BRZ. It will be heavier and will be compensated by the powerful engine. They already have a good 7-speed auto in 370z, don't think they will put in a CVT in that. I think its the same as the one in G37/Q50. A hybrid would be a very lucrative option provided they price it right.

They may as well introduce a new version of 240z just below the 370z so that it can take on Focus RS, FR-S, BRZ, GTi and others. $5K less and it will make perfect sense. But i don't see it happening with 370Z. I have driven it a lot and its pretty awesome sports car just that at $36k OTD, it was hard to justify, at $32k OTD, not so much.

Another option is to make it a little lighter and offer 2 engines - a 2L-2.4L unit good for 240hp and a 3.7L good for 328 hp. That will help take the fight to the Japanese twins and others.
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