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Help me decide on a new vehicle

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
My wife and I are trying to narrow the list in the coming weeks, with the intent to purchase sometime in the summer. Setting the limit at low 30s, which will allow us to look at everything below in the 'used but still new' market. My biggest wants are:

Seats 4 very comfortably
Good engine/transmission and handling
High 'fun' factor
Record of good reliability
Quality components used (ie feeling like spending x dollars on the vehicle was worth it)

Vehicles we are currently considering (all are '06 models)

BMW 325 sedan
Infiniti G35 sedan
Acura TL
Lexus RX330
Acura MDX
Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon

I have been doing plenty of research online and plan to start test driving this weekend, anyone here familiar with these please share your comments. Thanks...
post #2 of 87
I'd suggest going to test drive the 325, G35, and TL, and also swinging by the Audi dealership and taking an A4 for a spin. I'd say they all have what it takes to meet your requirements, so whatever feels best to you is your winner.

From what you've said already, I think you can eliminate the larger vehicles. Also, keep in mind that summertime is transition time for the new model year. You may not be able to find an 06 optioned to your liking at the end of the summer, but you should be able to find some good deals, especially through leasing. Also, for what its worth, if you have a few months before you want to drive away your new car, I'd suggest building a car. You can still get great deals (just be firm with your dealership, they are willing to work with you), plus, you get a car that is customized for you.
post #3 of 87
Quite a broad range there, from cars to giants like Yukons.

A Yukon gets about 10-14 mpg

I'd also look at an A6 Audi, as they're a bit more roomy

The BMW is nice, but probably too tight in back for you.
post #4 of 87
BMW or Audi. In that order. Note, however, that if you really want to fit adults in the back, the entry level jobbies aren't going to cut it...you'd need to go up to the 5 series or A6, respectively. They're still in your pricerange, if you'll consider slightly older models.
post #5 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
I'd suggest going to test drive the 325, G35, and TL, and also swinging by the Audi dealership and taking an A4 for a spin. I'd say they all have what it takes to meet your requirements, so whatever feels best to you is your winner. From what you've said already, I think you can eliminate the larger vehicles. Also, keep in mind that summertime is transition time for the new model year. You may not be able to find an 06 optioned to your liking at the end of the summer, but you should be able to find some good deals, especially through leasing. Also, for what its worth, if you have a few months before you want to drive away your new car, I'd suggest building a car. You can still get great deals (just be firm with your dealership, they are willing to work with you), plus, you get a car that is customized for you.
Ditto on the Audi. Go test-drive a 6-speed / Auto A4 2.0T with Quattro. Also, check out the Lexus IS250. Jon.
post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
A Yukon gets about 10-14 mpg
OMG an RS4 at full gallop gets better MPG! Jon.
post #7 of 87
Thread Starter 
Yukons get a city/hwy average of 18ish from the research I've done.

Can't consider Audi- can't get past the interiors, I think they are just terrible. No offense to anyone.

The new style 3 series has more rear seat room than they've ever had... it might still be too small but I'll see soon enough.

Thanks guys
post #8 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbadbuff
Yukons get a city/hwy average of 18ish from the research I've done. Can't consider Audi- can't get past the interiors, I think they are just terrible. No offense to anyone. The new style 3 series has more rear seat room than they've ever had... it might still be too small but I'll see soon enough. Thanks guys
You’re kidding right? I mean in all honesty Audi has the nicest (per price) interior quality of any car company; it’s acknowledged industry wide. The quality of BMW’s interiors has declined steadily; the interior quality of the E46 was a lot better than that of the E90. The interior of the E90 has the feel of ‘BMW by Rubbermaid’ to it that I can’t get past, especially in a car that costs $30K for a bare, no frills base model, that and the layout is not very user friendly, thing seem to be designed with ‘the look’ in mind, and not the comfort and access of the driver / passengers. As much fun as the 325i may be to drive, I personally think that its drawbacks outweigh its positives (and yes, if we were having this discussion in 2001, a 325i would be my first choice, hands down, but today the car landscape is quite a bit different). Jon.
post #9 of 87
Agree with Jon. The A6 has a nicer interior than some cars at almost twice the price.
post #10 of 87
The Bim 3 will not seat four "very comfortably" unless two have no legs. The Tahoe is overkill. The rest I don't know or have no opinion.
post #11 of 87
Yeah Audi has been known for their interiors...That is probably the one area the BMW 3 is lacking in. The TL I think visually looks stale but it has good HP and is the roomiest of the cars in your list for a steal. Also they come pretty much fully loaded standard and have some of the highest reliability ratings. The G35 is also roomier than the BMW, IS, and Audi, but this is the last year before the model redesign and the car gets horrible gas mileage in comparison, I know several people who average in the teens. I know very little about the SUVs you listed but I have heard that the MDX is a very good SUV.
post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbadbuff
High 'fun' factor

Each seat in every one of those autos has a different fun factor depending upon who is driving at any given moment.

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post #13 of 87
Saab 9-5 anyone? Be a little different and daring, I know its made by GM now, but hey, styling is nice and great fuel economy.
post #14 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Canvas
Each seat in every one of those autos has a different fun factor depending upon who is driving at any given moment.
Not true, it all really depends on what your definition of ‘fun’ is. Jon.
post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
You're kidding right? I mean in all honesty Audi has the nicest (per price) interior quality of any car company; it's acknowledged industry wide. The quality of BMW's interiors has declined steadily; the interior quality of the E46 was a lot better than that of the E90. The interior of the E90 has the feel of "˜BMW by Rubbermaid' to it that I can't get past, especially in a car that costs $30K for a bare, no frills base model, that and the layout is not very user friendly, thing seem to be designed with "˜the look' in mind, and not the comfort and access of the driver / passengers.

As much fun as the 325i may be to drive, I personally think that its drawbacks outweigh its positives (and yes, if we were having this discussion in 2001, a 325i would be my first choice, hands down, but today the car landscape is quite a bit different).

Jon.

I agree with you on all accounts.

I've spent the last month helping my girlfriend buy a new car. We test drove the 325, A3 3.2, A4 (2.0 and 3.2), and S4. Other cars were considered, but they never made it into the test drive phase. Her impressions (she doesn't know much, really, and is very unbiased, I think):

A3
- Not big enough
- Very fun
- Cool styling (interior/exterior), but maybe not the highest quality (her impression)

A4
- Still a lot of fun
- Enough space
- Slightly less cool styling, but felt it was better made and designed than A4. More sleek and slightly more elagant, but still cool.

S4
- Most fun to drive. She had a blast while driving it.
- Looked the best
- Styling right there with the A4 in terms of quality and lay out, except she said it felt a bit more fun and younger. Best of both worlds.

325
- Boring to drive
- Lots of little gadgety things that she felt were neat, but maybe not useful to her
- Interior was "nice", but she said it felt a bit conservative.. exterior styling nothing special.

She got the S4.
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