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Help me decide on a new vehicle - Page 2

post #16 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl

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.

She got the S4.

The reason the S4 is more fun is because it has a 340 bhp 4.2 liter V8 under the bonnet, not really comparable to the A4's 200 bhp 2.0 liter Turbo...

Also it has better suspension, but if I wanted the "˜S4' look, I would have bought an A4 2.0T with the S-Line package (which looks exactly like the S4, sans chrome mirrors and S4 wheels) with Quattro and chipped it, which would make it faster than the 3.2, while still costing easily $13-15k less than the S4. Now the RS4 on the other hand...

I should have gotten Quattro...oh, well next car...

Jon.
post #17 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionology
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.

The G35 is easily the most powerful car on the list. The manual comes up just shy of 300hp. Without looking them up, I'd guess the others are somewhere between 225 and 260.
post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
The reason the S4 is more fun is because it has a 340 bhp 4.2 liter V8 under the bonnet, not really comparable to the A4's 200 bhp 2.0 liter Turbo...

Also it has better suspension, but if I wanted the "˜S4' look, I would have bought an A4 2.0T with the S-Line package (which looks exactly like the S4, sans chrome mirrors and S4 wheels) with Quattro and chipped it, which would make it faster than the 3.2, while still costing easily $13-15k less than the S4. Now the RS4 on the other hand...

Jon.

No doubt. But I'm not complaining about her having an S4 that I can borrow

The RS4 is a disappointment. I was seriously considering it (for me, not her) until I saw how heavy the US version is.
post #19 of 87
No love for the Honda Accord? Buy an Accord and spend the money saved on clothes and shoes.
post #20 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
No doubt. But I'm not complaining about her having an S4 that I can borrow

The RS4 is a disappointment. I was seriously considering it (for me, not her) until I saw how heavy the US version is.

Yeah...they really should have put the non-S4 Recaro seats in the US version and had you sign a waiver understanding that they are not legally responsible and that the car doesn't have side driver and passenger seat airbags and they should have used the same RS4 steering wheel (taken from Lamborghini) that they use in Europe.

Still, even at 4000 lbs, it's a fast car (I wonder how much the E92 V8-powered M3 will weigh?)

Jon.
post #21 of 87
2000-2002 BMW M5. Game, Set, Match. Also worth looking at is the 2004-2006 Volvo S60 T5 or R and the Cadillac CTS or CTS-V. Though these options (the R and the V) are closer to the upper 30s, with the V more likely to be low 40s... at least for an 06.
post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aureus
2000-2002 BMW M5. Game, Set, Match.

If they can find one with low miles, a good / new clutch, comes with extended warranty and can afford the gas (400 bhp, 5.0 liter V8), then go for it. It has Nav, but no iDrive, looks way better than any of BMW's new offerings and has a nicer interior, with better driver-control placement.

Jon.
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
If they can find one with low miles, a good / new clutch, comes with extended warranty and can afford the gas (400 bhp, 5.0 liter V8), then go for it. It has Nav, but no iDrive, looks way better than any of BMW's new offerings and has a nicer interior, with better driver-control placement.

Jon.

I had a chance to drive this car on a track and it has to be the most balanced car BMW produced at that time (2-3 yrs ago). It doesn't feel as fast and as agile as an M3, but boy, I felt like a grown up playboy when I was driving it (I was only 23-24 at the time).

As for the original question, if you don't have to go for AWD because of VA weather, go for RWD. There's no question in my mind a RWD car is more fun to drive. Within the low-mid 30s range, I'd go for a 330i sedan with Sport Package.

On the other hand, if you want something a bit more refined and extremely pleasant to own, I vote for a Lexus IS 350. IMO, this is the best looking car of the bunch.
post #24 of 87
Thread Starter 
I realized after saying that about the Audi that I haven't even looked at one in what has to be 10 years. I checked out the A4/A6 and am VERY impressed. They are now under consideration thanks to you guys...
post #25 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.
Had. As in, the VWs and Audis from ca. 1998 until ~2004 - that is to say, the J Mays/Freeman Thomas ones - were the undisputed industry leaders in interior quality. I'd go so far as to say that VAG's stuff in that time was a bit like Jaguar's motorcars back in the day: peerless design, everything you could touch was lush and gorgeous, high-tech engines...and anything you couldn't directly see, touch, or feel was absolute rot. Stuff like coilpacks, window motors, and so on. Es lebe der Fürst der Dunkelheit! Now they're not bad interior quality-wise, but not where they were. (And design-wise they're several rungs down from their peak.) Lexus and Acura use better materials. And the sweet spot in the interior price-quality curve right now has to be the superb Mazda3, which is easily comparable to (and quite possibly better than) all o the "entry level" luxo-barges (A4/3er/C/G35) except maybe the Volvo V40/50, which is one of the few cars today that has a truly original interior design. Which brings me to my recommendation: Acura TSX. Yes, it's just the European Accord with better badging, but I think it's the only four-door sold in America today with the slightest hint of "pour le sport." I don't think it's much smaller inside than the TL, but it has a much sweeter engine, incomparably superior transaxle (I assume you'll be going for the 6-speed manual), and a more fun chassis. Either that, or perhaps the Mazda5, which is actually pretty interesting for a dumb, cheap - really cheap: probably under 22 out the door with everything including nav - box with disgusting taillights. And, praise be, it is available in a civilized configuration: three pedals on the floor and an H pattern for your right wrist to play with.
post #26 of 87
I think you should have gotten a vintage Lancia.
post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
Had. As in, the VWs and Audis from ca. 1998 until ~2004 - that is to say, the J Mays/Freeman Thomas ones - were the undisputed industry leaders in interior quality. I'd go so far as to say that VAG's stuff in that time was a bit like Jaguar's motorcars back in the day: peerless design, everything you could touch was lush and gorgeous, high-tech engines...and anything you couldn't directly see, touch, or feel was absolute rot. Stuff like coilpacks, window motors, and so on.

Now they're not bad interior quality-wise, but not where they were. (And design-wise they're several rungs down.) Lexus and Acura use better materials. And the sweet spot in the interior price-quality curve right now has to be the superb Mazda3, which is easily comparable to (and quite possibly better than) all o the "entry level" luxo-barges (A4/3er/C/G35) except maybe the Volvo V40/50.
.

You mean like the IS and its fake metal trim? I like the car, a lot, but it uses fake metal trim. And the tactile feel of the materials is not as good as those found in the A4.

Jon.
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
You mean like the IS and its fake metal trim? I like the car, a lot, but it uses fake metal trim. And the tactile feel of the materials is not as good as those found in the A4.

Jon.

As SG said, a few years ago you would get no argument.. but today, the Japanese auto makers have really stepped it up. It's tough to count them out without actually sitting in one and using it.

I'd definitely test drive the TSX, as suggested. The Honda Accord might be worth driving as well, but there's something I can't explain that puts me off suggesting it myself. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the weekend of test driving.
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
The Honda Accord might be worth driving as well, but there's something I can't explain that puts me off suggesting it myself. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the weekend of test driving.

To continue in the Ken W. Purdy vein I started above, if the TSX has at least the barest hint of pour le sport, the Accord is 100% USDA Grade A turgid jelly-bodied porker.
post #30 of 87
Thread Starter 
the new Lexus ES350 has entered the fray. Not expecting it to have the fun factor of the 3 series, A4, etc. but it I like the looks and it is loaded up for the money. Plus I think Lexus is making some amazing vehicles and their reliability/residual value/cost to own is all excellent.
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