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BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Volvo, Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Maserati, Maybach, Car Comparisons, Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
Apr 04, 2011 (6:36 pm)
I've been looking at a bunch of cars and I need some help. Maybe even a shrink. I live non-metro (ie. West of I495) New England and have the itch to buy a Euro sedan. I need some room to stretch on a trip to Maine or Western New York and AWD to handle winter. My present fleet has the bases covered (a late model pickup for snow days; a Porsche Cayenne for putzing around town) but I'd like to get a snazzier set of wheels for long trips and maybe nights on the town. Here are some of the cars I've been looking at. I'd welcome your feedback.
1) S550: too much baggage, trying too hard
2) E Class: a little boring, a little steriotypical
3) A8: bland exterior styling
4) A6: good pricing, last year for V8
5) Porsche Pamamera: good pricing, a little small for a trip to Buffalo
6) LR4 : the Section 179 makes it a very good deal for a biz owner
7) 7 Series: not that pricey if you order with 'minimal options" , OK handling with short wheel base and ARS , but long term reliability?
8) Lexus: Yawn
9) Jag: no AWD means I don't get home at night
8) 5 Series: OK but can get pricey if you check the boxes like "leather" (imagine a car for this MSRP with leather as an extra cost option!)
#22145 of 22203 Re: I need help [blckislandguy]
Apr 05, 2011 (1:13 am)
1, 2, 7, 8 BMW and Mercedes are great but ooze "new money"/trying to impress all the wrong people.
Audi makes one good car. And it's hideously expensive. Not good for trips, really.
The Panamera is missing something. You want to love it. But it's missing something that you can't quite put your finger on. It lacks that "awesome" factor that say, an Aston Martin has.
Lexus is prozac on 4 wheels. It's what you drive when you can't drive anything else because of your failing reflexes. Well, that or a Buick. There's a reason that it's called the "Japanese Buick".
- The Cadillac CTS is designed in Germany, so it's kind of a nice spot as it's "American" but drives like a 5 series, or darn close to it. The CTS wagon is also a nice option.
- Infiniti's upper end sedan is quite nice - the only thing out of Japan that I'd recommend in fact in this segment. The EX is basically a wagon version of the G. It's very nice and one of the few crossovers that I can stomach. Infiniti is neck and neck with Toyota in reliability, which is rare for most premium brands. And the red they offer for it has to be seen to be believed as it's just the right shade to look classy. If you're sick of tan, white, and beige, it's a nice alternative. There's also the G37 sedan.
All you really need is the Journey AWD of the G or EX plus nav - forget the rest of the options. $40K and it looks and drives fantastic. The same applies to the CTS - get the Luxury AWD version with nav and that's it.
If all of that is too small, the M56x is better than the S class IMO. It's a real sleeper, though - most people simply don't know how good it is. And it's tons cheaper as year-end discounts are quite a bit steeper than Mercedes ever offers. You have Mercedes fit and finish, Japanese reliability, and the road feel of a big Jaguar or similar. It impressed me a lot and made me wish I was a LOT richer so I could afford one (test drove a CPO one and was amazed it's on nobody's radar)
http://www.examiner.com/auto-review-in-national/first-drive-car-review-2011-infi- - niti-m56x-no-one-s-second-fiddle
Not Edmunds, (heh) but a great review. The best part is that the AWD is rear wheel biased, so it gets out of your way when the roads are good.
EDIT - note - as much as I went on about the M, I still would personally get the CTS as it's plenty fast and is much sportier when you want it to be.
#22146 of 22203 Re: I need help [plekto]
Apr 05, 2011 (4:05 am)
Interesting you would choose the CTS. I agree the Infinity would be an excellent choice for BIG. My personal choice would be the G but would be tempted for the bigger brother as well.
I wouldn't do the Caddy just because of the bailout. Not until all accounts are settled do I ever even think about a GM. The history still bristles the back of my neck and it's going on 2 years since Government Motors was born.
Anyway, good luck BIG. I would also choose the A8 (CPO to save cash) because it is understated but capable just because the fit and finish is top class and the interior is a nice place to be on long rides.
#22147 of 22203 Re: I need help [circlew]
Apr 05, 2011 (5:11 am)
I thought this was "luxury" lounge.
CTS does not even make the list.
You all have your opinions but I have owned at least 1/2 the above and presently have 2009 A8L. Best car (even over the S550) I have ever owned.
Would buy another in a year but they have lowered the height and being 6'4" my head brushes the roof. Looks like S600 for me.
Now back to the CTS...........you want something in the same class but roomy and all the other BS..........ES350. Owned 2 - LS430's and 1 - 460. The ES surprised me when I bought the SC-430 in for service.
Again, just MHO.
#22148 of 22203 Re: I need help [dssxxxx]
Apr 05, 2011 (8:11 am)
The ES350 is FWD, though, and so it is just a fancy Buick. It's nice and all, but "nice" is a word I never hope to have to use to describe anything that I own.
I think the upper-end CTS with the direct injection engine squeaks into the same league as the E class and the 5 series. It's not real "luxury", but neither are they, really. There is some overlap.
It's just that most everything large and luxury just puts me to sleep or is stupidly expensive. The M is an exception.
#22149 of 22203 Re: I need help [plekto]
Apr 05, 2011 (8:31 am)
If I were to get a new "M", I'd only lease it, not buy it. The resale on Infinitis are poor (I've taken a beating on each I've owned), and one tires of Infinitis quickly. Keep in mind that in these times of rising oil prices, Infinitis burn a lot of gasoline.
#22150 of 22203 Re: I need help [carnaught]
Apr 05, 2011 (8:39 am)
The poor economy and resale (in comparison with their equals) are concerns with Infinity.
But the A8 also is marginally worse in resale vs. Merc and Bimmer.
The thing is, I keep liking that understated presentation with the A8. But the A-7 might be worth the wait...
#22151 of 22203 Re: I need help [circlew]
Apr 05, 2011 (3:08 pm)
Cool. An Audi 5 Series
Of course, if money is an issue, just get a CPO one. You can get a new S550 4Matic (as an example) for $85K and a CPO one 3 years old with less than 30K on it for $55K. Mercedes has one of the best CPO programs as well, so it's really a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.
I also hear word that Porsche will have a coupe version of the Panamera. The bits and pieces that have been leaked and the mock-ups and drawings that people have come across suggest that it will be a very beautiful car. They'll probably resurrect the 928 name as well.
(I just got everyone reading this a bit excited - heh)
I guess it would be like making a 4 door Mustang. Certain cars just look wrong with 4 doors.
#22152 of 22203 Re: I need help [blckislandguy]
Apr 05, 2011 (5:43 pm)
I have a 2006 M35x and am replacing it with a BMW 535ix GT this month (pick it up in Munich the end of this month). I found the M noisy on a long trip even after I spent nearly $1k on a shop to install Dynamat all over the interior. The 2011 models supposedly have active noise cancellation, and that may help. I didn't look at them since the old one just had enough headroom, and the new ones are lower. The newer ones have more gears in the tranny, so may also rev lower at cruise, but mine ran over 3000rpm at 70mph, which may be fine on a short trip, but got really old on a long one.
#22153 of 22203 Re: I need help [circlew]
Apr 07, 2011 (7:19 pm)
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. You are right. The Audi lineup doesn't appeal much to the new money crowd which is fine with me.
The A7 is now on the ground and looks gorgeous. Idon't think that the gold chain crowd will ever want to drive one. Now if Audi can get their residuals up, a biz lease on an A7 would be just the thing: a little style, AWD to get home with in January, a hatch back to throw my gymn bag into in the AM, etc. All without teeing off the troops.