"High performance" hatchback/saloons. Worth the premium?

"High performance" hatchback/saloons. Worth the premium?

Author
Discussion

Nicks90

285 posts

19 months

Saturday 1st May
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[quote] However I also don't consider that just because I have a sports car, my 'daily driver' should be slow.[\quote]

But that's the point of the OP.
Is a Merc e43 really that much a lesser car than a Merc e63/65?
Yes, on a drag strip it is. But in the real world its still a 400bhp powerhouse that will leave very long 11's with the tc turned off. And what is the price differential for not having that halo model?

HazzaT

240 posts

10 months

Saturday 1st May
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I know it'd not happen for various reasons but I would like more manufacturers to have their performance model engines available with the non-sporty 'premium' trim levels. For example if you could get a Focus Vignale with the comfort suspension and seats and things like that but with the ST engine. A bit like the old Super V8 Jags vs the full whack 'R' ones

kambites

61,308 posts

186 months

Saturday 1st May
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Nicks90 said:
Is a Merc e43 really that much a lesser car than a Merc e63/65?
Yes, on a drag strip it is. But in the real world its still a 400bhp powerhouse that will leave very long 11's with the tc turned off. And what is the price differential for not having that halo model?
I don't know about the Mercs, but with BMW M-cars I've always felt that the thing you're paying for most with the M-car is the quality of the suspension rather than the performance. Admittedly you could probably buy a 330i and upgrade the suspension to be at least on a par with an M3 for far less than the cost of an M3.

cerb4.5lee

18,776 posts

145 months

Saturday 1st May
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kambites said:
Nicks90 said:
Is a Merc e43 really that much a lesser car than a Merc e63/65?
Yes, on a drag strip it is. But in the real world its still a 400bhp powerhouse that will leave very long 11's with the tc turned off. And what is the price differential for not having that halo model?
I don't know about the Mercs, but with BMW M-cars I've always felt that the thing you're paying for most with the M-car is the quality of the suspension rather than the performance. Admittedly you could probably buy a 330i and upgrade the suspension to be at least on a par with an M3 for far less than the cost of an M3.
That is definitely something that you do notice. My E90 330i was quite a decent handling car I thought, but you genuinely can feel the improvements chassis/ride/suspension wise with the E92 M3 for certain.

My current F82 M4 doesn't ride anywhere near as well as my E92 M3 did though(both on 19" wheels), and I find that a little bit disappointing. The E92 M3 was spot on in that regard for me.

Deep Thought

28,805 posts

162 months

Saturday 1st May
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HazzaT said:
I know it'd not happen for various reasons but I would like more manufacturers to have their performance model engines available with the non-sporty 'premium' trim levels. For example if you could get a Focus Vignale with the comfort suspension and seats and things like that but with the ST engine. A bit like the old Super V8 Jags vs the full whack 'R' ones
I'd a Volvo S40 T5 that had the same engine as was in the the Focus ST 2.5T engine. Went like stink, lots of toys and comfort and looked like an OAP car smile

ruggedscotty

3,368 posts

174 months

Saturday 1st May
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Deep Thought said:
HazzaT said:
I know it'd not happen for various reasons but I would like more manufacturers to have their performance model engines available with the non-sporty 'premium' trim levels. For example if you could get a Focus Vignale with the comfort suspension and seats and things like that but with the ST engine. A bit like the old Super V8 Jags vs the full whack 'R' ones
I'd a Volvo S40 T5 that had the same engine as was in the the Focus ST 2.5T engine. Went like stink, lots of toys and comfort and looked like an OAP car smile
that was the saab USP comfort and not quite main stream to be noticed but they could cover ground fast indeed.

Mr Happy

5,345 posts

185 months

Saturday 1st May
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stongle said:
205 Gti - not Halo, 205 GTI Mi16 Halo model.
Was never offered as a factory model, only aftermarket swap so the 205 GTI was the halo model. (Discounting the T16 of course)

You might be thinking of the 309 GTI-16, but that was LHD only and never made it to the UK

Jawls

73 posts

16 months

Saturday 1st May
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Surely this just depends on your family situation / how many cars you can run?

All very well saying you could get a Cayman or 911, but if you’ve got kids and can only have one car, then they just don’t work. The A45 will.

If you’ve got mega money, then just get the halo “practical” car AND the sportscar!

stongle

4,148 posts

127 months

Saturday 1st May
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Mr Happy said:
Was never offered as a factory model, only aftermarket swap so the 205 GTI was the halo model. (Discounting the T16 of course)

You might be thinking of the 309 GTI-16, but that was LHD only and never made it to the UK
Aha. Good point. 309 GTi then. The thing is, the standard GTI's aren't the Halo models (nor are the M140's, Rs etc etc). I have a 2019 Golf GTi PP, that's far from the Halo model, that being a Clubsport S. Even back when I was a teen, the Golf Rallye was always more desirable than a GTi, despite being LHD. Imprezza WRX Type RA may have been the best UK Impreza in 1999; but everyone knows the Halo was the 22B. Not trying to be a knob, but I think that "genuine" Halo models fall outside the OP.


white_goodman

Original Poster:

3,672 posts

156 months

Saturday 1st May
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stongle said:
Mr Happy said:
Was never offered as a factory model, only aftermarket swap so the 205 GTI was the halo model. (Discounting the T16 of course)

You might be thinking of the 309 GTI-16, but that was LHD only and never made it to the UK
Aha. Good point. 309 GTi then. The thing is, the standard GTI's aren't the Halo models (nor are the M140's, Rs etc etc). I have a 2019 Golf GTi PP, that's far from the Halo model, that being a Clubsport S. Even back when I was a teen, the Golf Rallye was always more desirable than a GTi, despite being LHD. Imprezza WRX Type RA may have been the best UK Impreza in 1999; but everyone knows the Halo was the 22B. Not trying to be a knob, but I think that "genuine" Halo models fall outside the OP.
I see what you mean and perhaps the use of the word "halo" was slightly misplaced but I think that you're overthinking it a little or coming at it from too much of a "car nerd" perspective. I grew up wanting an XR Ford, GTE Vauxhall, Peugeot GTi or Golf GTi, so when I passed my test, those were the manufacturers that I gravitated towards even though I couldn't afford/afford to insure those cars. I never really lusted after a Nissan Micra/Honda Jazz because there wasn't a hotter version to aspire to. There are different tiers at the performance end of the range for sure. The modern equivalents to those "hot" 80s/90s cars would be ST Ford, VXR Vauxhall, Peugeot GTi and Golf GTI but you do have RS Ford and Golf R above that but people still buy into the performance range at the price point they are comfortable with.

Strictly speaking, the only "halo" model that I've owned was the Corrado VR6. I had the 205 GTi 1.6 rather than the 1.9, the 325i rather than the M3, the WRX rather than the WRX STI and the Cooper rather than the Cooper S but that didn't make any of them less desirable.

There is a certain element of pride in owning a performance model, if anyone asked what I drove when I owned the above, I would have said the whole thing. Now I would say that I own a Golf rather than a Golf GT 1.4 TSI, even though it's very high spec and I quite like it. You would probably say you own a Golf GTI (and most people would know that's the "fast" one)?

I agree that the GTI Clubsport S is probably a more special and faster car in the right conditions than the R but in most people's opinion R>GTI and the Clubsport S has no rear seats, so only the "car nerds" are going to appreciate it really. In the same way, the "cool factor" of owning an M2/M4/911 GT3 isn't really going to be diminished by the existence of faster Competition/CS/GTS/GT3 RS versions.

AC43

8,882 posts

173 months

Sunday 2nd May
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white_goodman said:
Strictly speaking, the only "halo" model that I've owned was the Corrado VR6. I had the 205 GTi 1.6 rather than the 1.9, the 325i rather than the M3, the WRX rather than the WRX STI and the Cooper rather than the Cooper S but that didn't make any of them less desirable.
All great cars in my book. You could actually turn the Corrado argument on it's head - my mate had both the 16V and the VR6 and actually preferred the smaller-engined car for its handling. I preferred the 6 FWIW - I could never get enough of that engine.

I've always loved the big-engined 3 Series in its various guises and have lusted after various 323's, 325's, 328's and 330's. Back in the day I didn't haven't have the budget for an M3 but would have been more than happy with the second-from-top 328 Coupe.

Same, for the WRX - great car in that spec too.

I think there's often a lot to be said for the second-from-top car in any given range. Someone pointed out the E43 and that fact that it has "only" 400bhp. That's still a lot. I think various Audi S6's and 8's have been good examples of the years. Yes they're not RS's but they're still big-engined and fast in their own right.

Baldchap

4,176 posts

57 months

Sunday 2nd May
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white_goodman said:
samoht said:
Ultimately if you want a car that's fast and practical, you have to get a high performance derivative of a regular saloon/estate. Value doesn't come into it, since a base engine version won't be fast, and a true sports car won't be practical.
All relative though, a 340i/340d or 3.0 TDI A6, even an Audi S3 is still bloody quick though by any standards, do you need to get the M3/RS3/RS6?
If that's what you want and you can afford it, yes.

The moment 'need' comes into it we're in base engine, base spec, so don't pretend any car for a PHer will ever be anything but a heart over head purchase.

Edited by Baldchap on Sunday 2nd May 09:40

Mr Happy

5,345 posts

185 months

Sunday 2nd May
quotequote all
stongle said:
Mr Happy said:
Was never offered as a factory model, only aftermarket swap so the 205 GTI was the halo model. (Discounting the T16 of course)

You might be thinking of the 309 GTI-16, but that was LHD only and never made it to the UK
Aha. Good point. 309 GTi then. The thing is, the standard GTI's aren't the Halo models (nor are the M140's, Rs etc etc). I have a 2019 Golf GTi PP, that's far from the Halo model, that being a Clubsport S. Even back when I was a teen, the Golf Rallye was always more desirable than a GTi, despite being LHD. Imprezza WRX Type RA may have been the best UK Impreza in 1999; but everyone knows the Halo was the 22B. Not trying to be a knob, but I think that "genuine" Halo models fall outside the OP.
Define what you mean by halo model though, AIUI the halo model is the one that's at the top of the pile with all options ticked, the fully loaded, most kitted out, most powerful engine of the model range.

The 1.9 205 GTI in terms of model was the halo model (again, discounting the T16), then again there were special editions - the 205 GTI 1FM only had 25 examples made, so is that the halo model of the halo model?

whp1983

523 posts

104 months

Sunday 2nd May
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It’s interesting, I see both sides..

I had an E92 325 and swapped for an E92 M3.... I used it as a daily and as most of time was in traffic/commute I didn’t see point (especially with higher service costs etc) only when it was set free was it worth the premium with the noise and performance etc.

I then had S3 before RS3 came out and when RS3 was released after an extended test drive I couldn’t see the point of the premium (lovely noise mind)

Now I have a 520d touring...... and a race car- much better compromise!

SWoll

11,124 posts

223 months

Sunday 2nd May
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Baldchap said:
If that's what you want and you can afford it, yes.

The moment 'need' comes into it we're in base engine, base spec, so don't pretend any car for a PHer will ever be anything but a heart over head purchase.

Edited by Baldchap on Sunday 2nd May 09:40
This.

Mr Tidy

13,845 posts

92 months

Sunday 2nd May
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Not really a hatch, but definitely not a saloon!

After 5+ years of BMW Z4 3.0Si Coupe ownership I bought a Z4M Coupe 18 months ago - and wow what a difference!

Ms cost about twice as much to buy and to run, but as good as my 3.0Sis were the M feels at least twice as special every time I drive it.

Assuming budget allows I'd go for the Halo model every time!

Rbha027

24 posts

13 months

Sunday 2nd May
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As has been mentioned before, it all comes down to personal requirements/choice. The level of compromise will vary for person to person, so what they're willing to buy will as well.

When I was looking for a new daily, I looked at E/C 63s, but ultimately the maintenance costs/ worries about parking on the street etc etc. didn't stack up. Tried a few of the smaller engined versions, but couldn't get myself to gel with them. An E280 or C300 would work perfectly fine for 95% of the driving I do in the daily, but they just didn't do it for me.
Ended up with an E550 - still arguably more car than needed, and not the cheapest thing to run, but one test drive and I was sold. Haven't regretted it since.

However, if I didn't have another proper go fast car, I have no doubt I would have an AMG of some description. Yes, I wouldn't use the extra potential 95% of the time, but that 5% when I could would be enough to justify the spend. For someone else it might not be. Would be boring if everyone did the same thing!

MitchT

13,561 posts

174 months

Sunday 2nd May
quotequote all
I've always been a fan of BMW M cars but the prices have got silly now. I'd have bought an E36/E46/E92 M3 when they were new. I'd have taken an F32 440i over an M4 on account of it being almost as fast and sounding a lot nicer. Finally, the latest M3/M4 are so expensive I'd be more inclined to buy a second hand 320i as a daily driver and a Ferrari 360 for weekends, for the same money.

white_goodman

Original Poster:

3,672 posts

156 months

Tuesday 4th May
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
white_goodman said:
samoht said:
Ultimately if you want a car that's fast and practical, you have to get a high performance derivative of a regular saloon/estate. Value doesn't come into it, since a base engine version won't be fast, and a true sports car won't be practical.
All relative though, a 340i/340d or 3.0 TDI A6, even an Audi S3 is still bloody quick though by any standards, do you need to get the M3/RS3/RS6?
If that's what you want and you can afford it, yes.

The moment 'need' comes into it we're in base engine, base spec, so don't pretend any car for a PHer will ever be anything but a heart over head purchase.

Edited by Baldchap on Sunday 2nd May 09:40
Fair enough. The thing that I'm wondering though is that are the inevitable compromises of the high performance version of those kind of cars worth the compromise? Take an Audi A4 Avant. On the face of it, it's a practical, comfortable family car with the added security of quattro four wheel drive traction. I'll pick the B8 generation, as there is a clearer distinction between the top line models. The B8 RS4 (last one to have the 4.2 NA V8) has long been a car that I've lusted after. Some prefer the B7 but I prefer the B8 because I think it looks better, is more modern inside and is usefully bigger, so more practical, whereas the B7 Avant is pretty tiny, so not a massive boot and a bit cramped in the back. Inevitably the RS4 will be faster, sound better, look better and drive better when you're on it but then you have the compromise of significantly higher running costs, a relatively torque-lite power delivery, 20mpg on a good day, less comfortable ride and potentially a magnet for thieves/vandals. In terms of desirability it's absolutely there but is it actually a better practical, comfortable family car than the S4 (supercharged V6?) or 3.0 TDI, which in themselves aren't slow and won't cost you a fortune to drive anywhere and blend in a bit more. The RS4 is for sure a more "special" car but is it a "better" car?

Same engine in an R8 seems much less of a compromise because the way that you're going to use that car is vastly different. In an ideal world, perhaps you would have an S4/3.0 TDI A4 Avant as the family car and perhaps an R8 or something with a similar focus as a "special"/"fun" car to use a bit more sparingly but perhaps if you can't afford/justify that, the RS4 is an acceptable compromise? Perhaps if you were wealthy enough and didn't care about running costs, you would have both, I don't know.

ruggedscotty

3,368 posts

174 months

Tuesday 4th May
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fell that the performance of an RS6 these days or even an S6 may be too much for the roads. Cars are getting a lot faster and power is way above what the exotica used to have in the 80s and 90s.

The cost difference between an RS6 and an A6 Tdi is significant but what is the difference in actual performance real world like ? And is that why they now really go to town on the interior and wheels to make a substantial statement between the models, when the reality is that the high performance is starting to get unusuable on the road ?

The RS7 is an amazing machine and it fair covers ground, hooligan mode off and pressing on it is deceptively fast, a great ground coverer, No tail out shenaigans but reality would you want to be tail out and drifting on a public road.