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Old 1st March 2014, 13:32   #1
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Default Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

Dear friends, it has been 4 years since i got my Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente manual and it has served me well. Servicing too has not been an issue for me and the entire family love the car. I am personally emotionally attached to this car as it is an absolute joy to drive it everyday and returns excellent fuel efficiency figures. Now comes the tough part of replacing this car!

Children have grown up and are into their early teens and want a slightly larger car. I would like to upgrade to a car that would serve me well for the next 4 to 5 years just as much as my Laura did. I have been looking at different categories of sedans over the past month and test driven a few too.

Models tested were :-

1.Audi A4 177
2.BMW 320D
3.BMW 520D
4.Skoda Superb
5.Mercedes E250 CDI
6.Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel

1.AUDI A4 177

The Audi A4 is a supremely comfortable vehicle and in the Premium plus package has almost all that you would need in an entry luxury sedan. Spacewise we found it slightly wanting in the back as the kids would love some more legroom. Engine is refined and quick and though it uses a CVT automatic transfer there seems to be a realistic gear change effect throughout the shifts! Suspension is on the softer side but i don't mind it at all. Other than lack of rear space and low ground clearance i have absolutely no negatives about this car. Features wise I would love paddle shifts and adaptive headlamps and this car does not have them.

2.BMW 320d

When i drove the 320d sedan i was blown away by the sheer power but i was also a little surprised with the amount of engine noise filtering through. space was ok but not great. Driving comfort was amazing. Night lights were not as bright as i expected and was not too happy with the lack of paddle shift. The other major disconcerting factor was lack of spare wheel, RFT may be good but still prefer a good ole spare in the trunk!

3.BMW 520d

The first impression you get when you get inside the face lifted 520d is one of sheer luxury. The LED instrument panels and the finish inside and adaptive LED headlights blow you away. I was so happy that the car had paddle shifts as well! The absence of the spare wheel again raised its ugly head! Driving experience was good and the engine though its the same as in the 3 felt silent and refined. Ride was a little hard and my wife felt the E class was definitely much more comfortable. The salesman also added that The Bi LED headlamps don't work in all the four. Only the outer two work he said. I was very surprised disappointed. He says only the Corona rings light up on all 4.

4. Skoda Superb

Having driven the above cars I surely did not expect the superb to be powerful and it was not. What really put me off however was the same drab multimedia interface. Mind you the quality of sound coming out was superb, but the visual attraction was not there. Ride was good and comfortable. Lack of power and slightly dated interiors put me off.

5.Mercedes E 250 CDI

I must say that the Mercedes test drive experience was probably the most exciting that I have ever had till date. The car was simply amazing and i absolutely loved driving it. Engine is powerful and refined. I felt it handled slightly better than the 5 series inside the city. The comfort felt by all was outstanding. Wife and my elder daughter simply loved it. The only drawback i could find was lack of a reversing camera for such an expensive car! Navigation is missed but we all have google maps on our phone anyway! Was happy to find a full sized spare alloy wheel in the trunk as well.

6.Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel

Driving a Jaguar is an experience to relish and remember for a long time. It truly is a special vehicle inside out. Though i felt insides were slightly dated they perform their jobs admirably. Rear seat headroom is a little low and wifey wasn't too happy with it. I felt the vehicle lacked outright acceleration when i floored the pedal. It took a second for the power to come. Other than absolutely loved it.

Now i am in that sweet but difficult predicament of deciding on which car to go for. Presently none of them are offering any discounts either. The BMW 3 series GT is out this month and I would like to have a look at it since it is supposed to have a space saver spare tyre.

Friends i would love your comments and shall highly appreciate your recommendations on which car I should go for. I will be primarily using it almost 3 to 4 days a week in the city and with occasional drives on the highway every month. During highway runs we will be fully loaded with 4 pax and luggage.
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Old 1st March 2014, 15:01   #2
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

Well, honestly I dont think of the a4 and the 3 series as a significant upgrade.

That leaves us with the 5 series and the E-class.
And amongst them choose the E if you want slightly more comfort, or the 5 series if you want slightly more enthusiastic handling.

Why no A6, or any of the SUVs BTW?
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Old 1st March 2014, 15:41   #3
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

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Originally Posted by HyperRetard View Post
Well, honestly I dont think of the a4 and the 3 series as a significant upgrade.

That leaves us with the 5 series and the E-class.
And amongst them choose the E if you want slightly more comfort, or the 5 series if you want slightly more enthusiastic handling.

Why no A6, or any of the SUVs BTW?
Two reasons for not liking A6. CVT and very less rear legroom. Prefer a sedan for now.
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Old 1st March 2014, 15:58   #4
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

The current facelift E class is hard to ignore honestly & has got tremendous presence too.

Space wise you will never complain (as it is more spacious than the 5'er & XF).

Also if BMW is the brand you prefer to go than the F30 320d is almost at par on space compared to F10 5'er so go in for the 320d if you choose to go for the BMW roundel.

Coming back to E Class the power is very addictive thanks to the 500 nm torque, im sure Merc would be offering good deals too (comparing the the LCI F10 5 series which is not VFM)

So in a nutshell if not the 320d then go in for the Merc E 250 CDI

Last edited by karan561 : 1st March 2014 at 16:02.
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Old 1st March 2014, 16:11   #5
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

For your use, restrict it to either the 5 or the E. Forget the others. Also the A6 has air suspension, the only one out of these which has it and the ride is great.

The facelift 5 makes a good case for itself, feels great, and looks great. Space is a bit less than the E. BTW in the case of the LEDs all 4 work, your BMW salesman probably didn't know. You also get BSI with this which means peace of mind for 5 years. As for run flats I don't think they are a big deal, if you are worried get a space saver.

As for the E, the facelift looks great, and with the 7 speed the 250 is no slouch. Comfort is a bit better than the 5, so is interior space.

All depends on personal choice I guess.
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Old 1st March 2014, 16:40   #6
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

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Originally Posted by slackyboy View Post
Two reasons for not liking A6. CVT and very less rear legroom. Prefer a sedan for now.

I get it that you are not into SUVs but still do have a look at the Q5.
You'll probably love it.
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Old 1st March 2014, 16:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperRetard View Post
I get it that you are not into SUVs but still do have a look at the Q5.
You'll probably love it.
Its not that i don't like SUVs. I have owned and driven two safaris and plan to get a XUV500 shortly. Its just that IMHO i feel sedans are relatively more comfortable and also relaxing to drive. There is a fabulous sense of road feel in a sedan which i feel the SUVs can't match. Anyway its individual preference again i guess. I did look at the Q5 and found it lacking in space. I found the ML250 and the X3 quite spacious and well appointed. Maybe next time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
For your use, restrict it to either the 5 or the E. Forget the others. Also the A6 has air suspension, the only one out of these which has it and the ride is great.

The facelift 5 makes a good case for itself, feels great, and looks great. Space is a bit less than the E. BTW in the case of the LEDs all 4 work, your BMW salesman probably didn't know. You also get BSI with this which means peace of mind for 5 years. As for run flats I don't think they are a big deal, if you are worried get a space saver.

As for the E, the facelift looks great, and with the 7 speed the 250 is no slouch. Comfort is a bit better than the 5, so is interior space.

All depends on personal choice I guess.
You are spot on. The BMW adaptive headlights work in a unique manner. Maybe that got the salesman confused . I did sit in the backseat of the A6. I truly did not find it comfortable. the space was not unto the mark of the XF, E250 or the JAG even. Somehow it failed to impress me, so never went for that TD to test the air suspension. Thanks on the inputs on RFT. The space saver would eat into my luggage space and cause great consternation among the three ladies of the house . So guess its the E250 then. But i would like to check out the 3 series GT and then take the call.

Last edited by GTO : 4th March 2014 at 13:37. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 1st March 2014, 17:09   #8
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

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Originally Posted by slackyboy View Post
You are spot on. The BMW adaptive headlights work in a unique manner. Maybe that got the salesman confused . I did sit in the backseat of the A6. I truly did not find it comfortable. the space was not unto the mark of the XF, E250 or the JAG even. Somehow it failed to impress me, so never went for that TD to test the air suspension. Thanks on the inputs on RFT. The space saver would eat into my luggage space and cause great consternation among the three ladies of the house . So guess its the E250 then. But i would like to check out the 3 series GT and then take the call.
Don't discard the A6 without even a TD. Do take it for a TD, you may be surprised. The 3GT may be a good option to wait for, but I don't think it is too loaded in terms of features. Also after spending as much as a 5 you still get the 3 badge, that bothers some. The space saver, to be honest is not needed unless you are going for a really long drive and don't know the road.
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Old 1st March 2014, 17:19   #9
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

My dear Akshay guess you want to confuse me more by adding the A6! Sure will take the TD as suggested with family. . But seriously, do you think the CVT is a good alternative to the BMW and Merc? I also feel the fuel economy in the A6 may be comparatively on the low side. The other thing is i have always felt that Mercs and BMW were slightly ahead to Audi, again my perspective.
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Old 1st March 2014, 17:25   #10
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

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Originally Posted by slackyboy View Post
My dear Akshay guess you want to confuse me more by adding the A6! Sure will take the TD as suggested with family. . But seriously, do you think the CVT is a good alternative to the BMW and Merc? I also feel the fuel economy in the A6 may be comparatively on the low side. The other thing is i have always felt that Mercs and BMW were slightly ahead to Audi, again my perspective.
Well you've mentioned in the first post about the A4s CVT, which you were fine with. So I assume the A6 will be fine with you too. On the contrary the A6 will probably give you the best FE. Well if you are asking for my personal opinion, then I don't see the point of a bigger car with a small engine, I would suggest the 530d to you. But back on topic, the Audi has a great interior, and I really like the suspension. Only a TD will tell right?
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Old 1st March 2014, 17:32   #11
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

Will TD the A6 and get back to you. Yes, The CVT in the A4 did feel alright. But after driving the 5 and E250 i did feel that they were quicker compared to the CVT. But in real world driving conditions they really do not matter as long as they work well and are problem free. Will drive the A6 asap and also the 3GT. will keep updating. Thanks again.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 01:23   #12
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

The 3er A4 etc really wont be an upgrade coming from an L&K Laura. The Jag while special, is dated and space isn't impressive. Of the lot, it really doesn't get better than the new E-Class Mercedes unless you are a sucker for that little extra pleasure the BMW gives you at the wheel.

Like others have said, do please check out the A6. The days when Audi might have been behind Mercedes and BMW are a good 40 years ago. Really isn't the case anymore. The A6 is really comfy, the CVT very efficient and overall it is just easy to love the car under everyday conditions.

So according to me you ought to quit looking around anymore and just have the E-Class and A6 fight it out to come to a decision

Last edited by IshaanIan : 2nd March 2014 at 01:24.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 04:14   #13
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I will say:

1) BMW 520d
2) Jag 2.2 F
3) Volvo S40.

This is my order of preference. If your looking at a fun to drive car then it is the BMW.

Travel in style then the Jaguar.

Volvo I will say is neutral here but does perform decently.

Anurag.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 06:21   #14
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Default re: Which Luxury Sedan to replace my Laura 1.9 PD?

As Karan and Akshay said, its best to go in for the E.

Its got the best overall package, its fun to drive and really comfortable as well. Mercedes After Sales Service is pretty good too. You can opt for the 4th year optional warranty to be on the safer side. You can also check out my ownership thread to get some more information about the facelifted E.

One of my friends, owning all three, the E, the A6 and the 5 bought the XF 2.2L recently. He was really disappointed with the car and its frankly not worth its price tag. There is poor comfort in the car and the drive is nothing great either. The interior quality was much inferior than its competitors too.
So, I would personally suggest you to stay away from the XF atleast unless its the 3.0litre.

For FE, our E gives 9-10 in packed traffic, I haven't had the chance to take it to the highway yet.
I got lucky with our E being the Launch Edition and hence it has the rear camera, navigation, panaromic sunroof, etc.

If you can wait for a few months, the E350 Petrol and the E350 CDI are going to be launched soon. They should be having a few additional features that are missing in the standard E250 CDI currently.

So, my personal preference would be the E>5>A6>XF.

Last edited by cityvic : 2nd March 2014 at 06:27.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 11:08   #15
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Originally Posted by cityvic View Post
As Karan and Akshay said, its best to go in for the E.

Its got the best overall package, its fun to drive and really comfortable as well. Mercedes After Sales Service is pretty good too. You can opt for the 4th year optional warranty to be on the safer side. You can also check out my ownership thread to get some more information about the facelifted E.

One of my friends, owning all three, the E, the A6 and the 5 bought the XF 2.2L recently. He was really disappointed with the car and its frankly not worth its price tag. There is poor comfort in the car and the drive is nothing great either. The interior quality was much inferior than its competitors too.
So, I would personally suggest you to stay away from the XF atleast unless its the 3.0litre.

For FE, our E gives 9-10 in packed traffic, I haven't had the chance to take it to the highway yet.
I got lucky with our E being the Launch Edition and hence it has the rear camera, navigation, panaromic sunroof, etc.

If you can wait for a few months, the E350 Petrol and the E350 CDI are going to be launched soon. They should be having a few additional features that are missing in the standard E250 CDI currently.

So, my personal preference would be the E>5>A6>XF.
Yeah, That does put things in perspective. The Jag is out then. You are lucky to have the Launch edition . I can wait for a couple of months and then decide not an issue. Menwhile will surely try the A6 again as suggested by all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
I will say:

1) BMW 520d
2) Jag 2.2 F
3) Volvo S40.

This is my order of preference. If your looking at a fun to drive car then it is the BMW.

Travel in style then the Jaguar.

Volvo I will say is neutral here but does perform decently.

Anurag.
Dear Anurag somehow the lack of a spare wheel keeps playing in my mind. Else it will be the 520d or even the 525d without a doubt!

Not too keen on the Jag and Volvo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
The 3er A4 etc really wont be an upgrade coming from an L&K Laura. The Jag while special, is dated and space isn't impressive. Of the lot, it really doesn't get better than the new E-Class Mercedes unless you are a sucker for that little extra pleasure the BMW gives you at the wheel.

Like others have said, do please check out the A6. The days when Audi might have been behind Mercedes and BMW are a good 40 years ago. Really isn't the case anymore. The A6 is really comfy, the CVT very efficient and overall it is just easy to love the car under everyday conditions.

So according to me you ought to quit looking around anymore and just have the E-Class and A6 fight it out to come to a decision
I will do just that! Thanks so much for your valuable input!

Last edited by Samurai : 2nd March 2014 at 21:47. Reason: back-to-back posts
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