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AWD Car to Lease for Recent College Graduate, Fun to drive, and Excellent on the Highway

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

alex_r

The price point above is a monthly payment for a lease, I'd like to find something with a low down payment up front.

I really like the Mercedes CLA AWD but I feel it might be too pricey for me considering it options up pretty quickly. The Audi A3 may be a good alternative.

I probably should consider being more practical but I do make good money and can afford to purchase something a bit higher end.

I like the Subaru WRX and I currently lease an Impreza, I'm steering away from them however due to their shabby interiors and loud highway ride.

Overall, I want something that is quiet and comfy on the highway, good in the snow, has a sunroof, good stereo, and great handling.

Tall order!

Priorities: Price or payments / Ride smoothness / Powertrain performance / Reliability & durability / Exterior styling

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe / Sedan / Hatch

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 450

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Response from mpaisis

7:06 pm May 18, 2014

The Audi A3 or A4 are very good and they have the best AWD system. Also you can get a basic A5 coupe AWD and really have fun. Audis have the best interior and the most quality materials. Another one which is perfect for everyday is the new BMW M235 which is blast to drive. No AWD just yet but you can get the 228 or 428 in AWD. Of course if you must have an AWD I will also recommend the Infiniti Q50 sedan AWD or Q60 coupe AWD. Either of these cars will make you smile in every mile and also are very durable and reliable. Enjoy!

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Audi A3 / S3 / RS3
BMW 2-Series
Infiniti Q50

Response from mkaresh

2:05 pm May 19, 2014

I imagine the big question is which of those suggestions can be leased for $450 / month.

You might be able to find a deal on a leftover 2013 Infiniti G37. Or even on the new Q50, as I think they've been having trouble selling them.

Same for the Cadillac ATS, which is the best-handling car in that segment.

The A3 is a fine car, but since it's so new there probably aren't great deals on it.

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Infiniti G
Infiniti Q50
Cadillac ATS

Response from timhood

10:55 am May 20, 2014

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest you consider a lower-priced car. You're newly graduated, and you'd like to show your success with your car--I get that. When I landed my first big deal with my business, I celebrated by going out and getting a nice car to show myself and everyone else I'd made it.

The problem is, cars are expensive. You've heard it: they lose money right off the lot. Maintenance, especially on higher-priced cars is expensive. Parts are more expensive. And so on.

At this point in your life, I'd recommend keeping your car budget low and saving the rest of that money. If you develop excellent saving habits now, you'll never regret it. Plus, learning to put off satisfying your wants will help you control your spending for the rest of your life. In a few years, that money you saved may very well be money you're glad to have. Maybe it's emergency fund money if you unexpectedly lose a job and it takes a little longer to find a comparable job. Maybe it's money to buy a house. Or start funding your retirement.

If you really, really must have a nice car, find a nice used car maybe three years old. Everyone will believe you've made it just as much as with a new car, but you'll save a ton in up-front costs. At least that will help defray some of the overall ownership costs. An A4 or A5 would fit, as you can take advantage of some good depreciation and the styles haven't changed where anyone would notice it's not new.

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