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The sport sedan choice- A4/3/C

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
The Boxster's days are numbered. Time to get something with four seats. This car will be primarily my wife's car, but we are just keeping one car for now - so it'll be shared. My tastes are for smaller cars, no crossovers or SUVs, reasonably sporty but some lux.

The ultimate car ever built, IMO, was the E30 BMW - everything since then has been a disappointment.

So, in the running right now are:
1. Mercedes C300 Sport AWD - current favorite. Balanced, reasonably sporty when in sport mode, interior is nice.
2. BMW 328xi - better steering feel, ride isn't as lux, interior is a bit cheap and exterior is a bit ugly.
3. Audi A4 S-line - haven't driven this one yet. best looking outside.

I am sure a bunch of BMW fans will jump on for the BMW based on its inherent sportiness - but that isn't as high a priority for my wife. We ruled out the Infiniti G (too big and just really terrible feel) and the IS (Lexus manages to make a RWD sport car drive just like a Camry).
post #2 of 78
Mercedes C300. It's a very good car. A friend bought one last fall and he loves it.
post #3 of 78
I like the 3-series for it's sportiness and manual gearbox, however if that isn't a priority for your wife then I would take it off the list. I like the look of the C-class but the interior not as nice as the A4. Having said that I prefer the exterior styling of the C-class to the A4. Have you thought about asking your wife which she likes?
post #4 of 78
instead of the a4, the a5 sportback is a better looker.
post #5 of 78
Why are you considering an XI? The BMW wins on driving dynamics, so you must first decide what is important to you, handling or aesthetics. Note, I don't care for the E90's styling either but I could never choose anything else in that class over the 3er because driving dynamics is of utmost importance to me. I think from your synopsis it is clear that you don't know what you're looking for in a car. Lexus is too soft, BMW not luxurious, Merc, well no better than the other two in any aspect. So that leaves you with Audi, whose singular outstanding facet is its styling which we all know is subjective. Ps. As the guys above said, this is a matter to be decided between you and the wife. Women and comprise aren't not congruous.
post #6 of 78
I have an E92 (e.g. coupe) BMW 3-Series in 328xi trim and I love it. I think the driving dynamics are just fine, and I owned an E36 M3 immediately prior. Obviously it's cushier and not as responsive, but it's a wonderful car and I've especially loved it here on the east coast with the recent snow. It's been better than a lot of SUVs on the roads. It's also been very reliable - I've had no major troubles aside from a tweaky oil sensor that was the subject of a recall and one suspension issue that was repaired rather generously under warranty, when I think it really was the (missed) result of an accident I was in (some kid pulled out blindly and crunched me). Aren't the S4 and Merc both pricier? I haven't driven the others so take my comments with that caveat.
post #7 of 78
It's A4 not S4.....The XI is practical for people who deal with snow, the OP sig says San Fran. Also, I would assume the XI drives great even though I've never driven one. I know what BMW strengths are, I have owned 3 of these cars since 2003, 1 E36 and 2 E46's....and my next car may very well be the E92 M3 until I can afford a 997 GT3.
post #8 of 78
Thread Starter 
We want all wheel drive because we hate San Francisco. There is a decent possibility of moving back to New York (or LA or, maybe, Tokyo - but that is another issue).
post #9 of 78
Thread Starter 
As for asking my wife, we keep flipping back and forth ourselves, so just figure I'd cast a wider net for opinions.
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
We want all wheel drive because we hate San Francisco. There is a decent possibility of moving back to New York (or LA or, maybe, Tokyo - but that is another issue).
The MB AWD system is great in snow, but Audi is, too.
post #11 of 78
Consider the 135. It is closer in size and character to the E30. You don't need AWD in SF or LA. If you move to NY, get a set of winter tires.
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by poorsod View Post
Consider the 135. It is closer in size and character to the E30. You don't need AWD in SF or LA. If you move to NY, get a set of winter tires.

This is a good suggestion. I drive my MX-5 all year around up here in Ontario with a great set of snows. But I also have a Mazdaspeed6 which has AWD that my wife drives. I'll take it if she's not using it and the snow is really bad, so it is nice to have the AWD option.

My Mazdaspeed6's lease is due in a year and the leading contender to replace it is a 135i or 335i. However the new S4 is much cheaper than the outgoing V8 powered model so it's on the list too.
post #13 of 78
Thread Starter 
My wife insists on no coupes. If they would bring the 1-series 5 door, we would be done shopping. Looked at the A3 as an alternate, but it just isn't nice enough to justify the premium over the GTI...
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4phage View Post
instead of the a4, the a5 sportback is a better looker.

cosigned. If you don't need the extra two-doors, the A5 is the waaaayyy to go. Srsly, I am dying to buy one.
post #15 of 78
3-series. Best all around. Looks good. Better resale value.
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