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Discussion Starter #1
Sold my bird to a fellow member. Selling my daily driver soon and need a replacement.

What i want: 2011+ BMW 535i with HUD, M Sport and the top level audio system. BMW seems to be the best combination of power, fuel economy, RWD and comfort.

Unfortunately that's over $40k, i have a kid and my wife wants to move to part time work instead of full time. My budget is in the $30k-ish range, but less is ok. Used is ok. Must still have warranty left.

Driven:
BMW 328i, 535i, 550i
Ford Taurus, Fusion, Explorer
Hyundai Genesis, Sonata
Kia Cadenza, Optima
VW CC, Passat 3.6 and 2.0t
Honda Accord
Nissan Altima

Current contenders are:
VW Passat 2.0t SEL Premium (40 mpg highway, but slow)
Kia Cadenza with the luxury pkg

Both have many of the same features, but the Kia has more. What the VW has, it does very well and sometimes better. Kia has things like back seat air vents, cooled driver seat and heated steering whell. VW has better quality, remote start and a 30GB media drive holding MP3 and WMA files.

For A-B, VW wins. The Kia looks and drives better though. The V6 Passat compares driving wise to the Kia, but takes premium fuel for the same 28 MPG highway.


Thoughts?

Other suggestions?


Thanks
 

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Have you driven a late model Infiniti G35/G37?

I had a friend recently shop for a luxury "sporty" sedan in the same price range and he ended up going with this over the 335/535.

What you want and your top choices are pretty divergent in their features. You should decide what you want in the car (perf or MPG) and then work from there.

For performance+luxury, my friend picked the 535.
Reasons:
- Fit and finish is better on the G37; Esp with the 335, you notice places where they cut corners (welds around the front strut towers, how they finish -- or didn't -- the paint on the interior panels.
- Two or three year off lease BMWs vehicles tended to show more wear; I don't know if it's the choice of materials but it was clearly evident in the little things like the rubberized coating wearing off on the buttons for the armrest, for example. We saw this on multiple BMWs so I suspect it's more of a design choice vs. a single anecdote.
- Nissan's VQ engine is great. It's a true workhorse engine that makes great power for its size.

The biggest downsides with the G37 is fuel economy (around the city it's low 20s). I think if you google it, the real world examples of the 535 won't be much better. There's no magic to getting 330HP out of a 3.7L V6... if you do that, fuel economy (even with the 8speed trans) will suffer. It's a great car though.

For me, I wouldn't buy a VW product again. Things are just not designed to be replaced. While I enjoy working on the tbird and will woork on my Honda commuter, I will just take the S4 my wife drives to the shop. It's just not worth the frustration and cursing at the stupid german design.

If you are going to prioritize fuel economy + handling over outright performance, I'm more inclined to look at the Mazda 3 wagon but that's pretty far under your target budget.

-g
 

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Find a used SHO. Big, comfy, 4 door, AWD, and still lots of fun.

Stay away from that VW junk. I constantly hear horror stories from my friend's father who has been a mechanic at a Subaru/VW dealership for many years.
 

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Get whatever works for you in terms of not only aesthetics but budget and practicality. We, as a forum, can vouchsafe our opinions and views yet the end verdict belongs to you. Sorry if I'm not being very helpful here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I prefer Maseratti.

For the other replies:

This spring we sold my wife's FX35. Loaded and powerful didn't make up for frequent electronic problems (seat, audio, door), rattles and 18 MPG of premium fuel mostly highway driving. My F250 almost gets that. We went to a Honda Odyssey and love it.

While the new Q line is interesting, i'm not ready to buy one. I've driven the G37, loved the engine, but felt more confortable in the M37.

In one post you compared the 535i with the G37 and then a Mazda 3, all different size classes. Though i've considered all, the larger sedan size is my choice.

RE Tbird - Sorry, the few pics i have are buried somewhere in a backup drive.

While the VW 3.6 is much like the Cadenza in performance, the premium fuel cost barely edges at least a new one out.
 
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