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Help me decide on a new vehicle

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by bigbadbuff, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Aureus

    Aureus Senior member

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    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.
     
  2. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    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.
     
  3. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    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.
     
  4. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    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...
     
  5. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I think you should have gotten a vintage Lancia.[​IMG]
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. briancl

    briancl Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    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.
     
  10. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    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 sat in the 325i, IS250 and the A4 (obviously), and trust me; the A4 has the nicest interior. The IS is very well put together, there is no denying that, but the metal trim was fake and that's really off-putting in a car at that price point.

    Jon.
     
  12. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    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.

    That's the one car you can never go wrong with, unless you appreciate fun more than other things. I drove the SC430 once and thought that it was the most well made convertible I ever sat in (and I've driven BMW, Porsche, Jag, Merc and Audi convertibles).
     
  13. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    That's the one car you can never go wrong with, unless you appreciate fun more than other things. I drove the SC430 once and thought that it was the most well made convertible I ever sat in (and I've driven BMW, Porsche, Jag, Merc and Audi convertibles).

    In total quality, which includes electrical and mechanics, Lexus is simply the top. Audi has a nicer interior, better paint, uses better body shell (virgin, galvanized steel {shut up RJMan!}) material, and is more sport-oriented.

    The reason why the 3-Series is so highly praised is because it is the most sports-oriented car in its class, and truly drives better than anything else. At the same time, if you really want a car that you can have a bit of fun with once in a while, and don't ever want to be bothered with any kind of unanticipated issues, and could care less about the styling (except for the IS, and maybe the GS the rest of the cars are bland), and pretty competitive pricing (relatively), than Lexus is most definitely the car for you.

    Jon.
     
  14. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    Test drove the Lexus ES350 and Infiniti G35 this weekend- unfortunately both are coming off the list.

    The ES350 is GREAT if you want a point a to point b car- it was extremely smooth and refined... but had zero fun rating, and driving it I realized I care about that more than I originally thought. Lots of bells and whistles... ventilated seats are quite sweet [​IMG]

    G35 drove and handled pretty well, but my wife HATES the throaty sound of the engine/exhaust, so it's out. I liked it a lot overall, but there were more small things that bugged me than most of the other cars.

    Checked out the Lexus IS250/350... might as well not even have a backseat, so it's out.

    Checked out the Lexus RX330... more spacious on the inside than we thought, and aside from the BMW the most comfortable... hard to beat that interior. My wife thinks it looks like a station wagon that wants to be an SUV, and that's hard to argue. Plus it is the cliche soccer mom vehicle... but I love it anyway, which stuns me.

    Checked out the Acura MDX... my wife and I both like the exterior better than the RX, but it doesn't hold a candle to the RX on the inside. It will come down to seeing which one drives better as to which makes the final list.

    Checked out the new 3 series... wow. That is a sexy, sexy car. It doesn't have anywhere near as many creature comforts as others comparably priced, but I felt like driving becomes FUN AS HELL when sitting behind that wheel. Rear seat room has increased and I'd call it comfortable- but definitely eeking into that category. Very interested in test driving this coming weekend, hope the 325 is not a complete wimp. Wife thinks the dash looks like it hasn't been updated in 10 years, but she agrees it is very nice overall.

    Checked out the Acura TL... not as nice in person, off the list.

    Lastly, checked out the new Tahoe/Yukon. Best looking SUV on the road IMO... inside it still looks like a 25k vehicle. Wife disagrees strongly, but when I see a 49k sticker, I expect a LOT better than what GM came up with. Don't get me wrong, it's worlds better than the train wreck of quality and style that it was. Front seats were comfortable, rear seats ok.

    So for now at least we're down to:

    BMW 325/330
    Acura MDX
    Lexus RX330
    07 Chevy Tahoe

    perhaps the strangest list ever assembled, and almost completely devoid of similarity [​IMG]
     
  15. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Senior member

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    For the first time ever I have to agree with SGladwell. The TSX isn't on your list, and it's a rung below in terms of the level of car you're looking at, but the price is several rungs below the price you're looking at. In my opinion, the TSX is the best valued car being sold today. In general I think Acura, at least with their sedans, provides the highest value of any of the luxury manufacturers.
     
  16. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    Go for the Bimmer. It'll put a smile on your face everytime you drive it. Mine certainly did. If you don't mind a used car, look for a 2 y/o 330i with Performance Package. It can be had now for low-mid 30s. It has the space of a regular 3-series sedan, but the fun factor is through the roof.
     
  17. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    50K for a Chevy[​IMG]

    I pretty much abhor SUV's, so from that list, I would probably go with the 3 series.
     
  18. briancl

    briancl Senior member

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    So for now at least we're down to:

    BMW 325/330
    Acura MDX
    Lexus RX330
    07 Chevy Tahoe

    perhaps the strangest list ever assembled, and almost completely devoid of similarity [​IMG]


    Based on your requirements, personal reviews, and overall worthiness, I think the decision is really quite easy. Honestly, besides the Bimmer, can you look at that list and think that any of those cars will be fun.
     
  19. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    Id go with the RX330. I drive an RX 300 here and there and I truly love it. I would go for the new version if I could (even better to go with the hybrid too). Good luck with your choice
     
  20. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Did you look at the A4 or the C-Class (which is much improved over previous generations)?

    Jon.
     

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