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German all wheel drive with enough rear seat room for 6 foot and growing teen

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

gdoke

Current cars looked at so far are Audi A6 Quattro and BMW x5. VW, and audi q5 rear seats seem too small.

Used is preferrable to keep cost reasonable. I'm pretty handy and can tackle a lot of repairs, have done fwd axles, o2 sensors, cam position sensors, brakes, and alternator replacement.

My wife really wants heated steering wheel since we are in western ny with 6 month winters, but we may get away with only 4 this season!

Im not a big fan of Japanese car's vague handling and driving experience.

Priorities: Powertrain performance / Rear seat room & comfort / Reliability & durability / Handling / Materials & workmanship

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan / SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 80000
Maximum age: 6 years

Maximum price: US $ 35000

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Response from mkaresh

12:09 pm December 30, 2014

Heated steering wheels have only become somewhat common in recent years, so you might not be able to find a larger European car with on in your price range.

If the A6 back seat is too small, it sounds like it's time to look at the A8, 7-Series, and S-Class.

Scratch that, just had a thought out of left field: BMW 5-Series GT. They've been a sales flop, but more-or-less combine the handling of a 5-Series with the rear seat room of a 7-Series and the practicality of an SUV. The first model year with the six-cylinder, 2011, is within your price range.

Returning to sedans, you might want to at least test drive an Infiniti M. They have tighter steering and handling than most Japanese cars, plus a roomier back seat than the midsize Germans. The 2006-2010 feels roomier up front than the current generation.

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BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
Infiniti M

Response from HHR

12:46 pm December 30, 2014

Reliability and German cars don't really go hand in hand. If you are dead set on German, I would recommend a 2012 Mercedes R350. The 2012 R350 came with the new 302 hp V6 engine which is just as powerful as the older R500 V8 model.
I would probably take the cash, find a decked out leftover 2014 Ford Flex and call it good. The Flex is based on a Volvo platform.

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Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Ford Flex

Response from mkaresh

5:37 pm December 30, 2014

I like the Flex, but if he finds all German cars vague then this Ford's dynamics aren't going to pass. Very soft with numb steering. Great ride, though.

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Response from gdoke

6:35 am January 15, 2015

Mkaresh, the Japanese cars handling I find to be vague not the Germans, but I followed your thinking. I recently drove a brand new Avalon rental, and while smooth and quiet, it had a lot of body roll even with gentle turning. Reminded me of an older Buick.

I never knew about the 5 series GT so despite the Aztec rear end look I'll check it out.

The A6 back seat isn't a deal breaker after sitting in one (I'm 6' 2") as long as I sit behind a smaller front seat person.

In this search the Jeep Cherokee has come up as well rated and may be available as new in my price range.

Thanks,

Greg

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Audi A6 / S6

Response from mkaresh

5:32 pm January 15, 2015

The Toyota Avalon is hardly representative of all Japanese cars--it's essentially their Buick.

The Infiniti M I suggested earlier handles much differently.

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Response from gdoke

5:01 pm January 17, 2015

Response from Member6018

12:46 am February 2, 2015

For $35k you can find a good deal on a 2011 - 2013 x5. I am 6ft 2in and fit well in both the front and back seat. You should be able to find one with low miles as well. we got a 2011 cpo diesel with 20k miles for $40k a year and a half ago. Awesome car so far. Much better than the 2003 x5 we had. decent gas mileage as well - upper 20s

in 2011 the x5s got new transmissions and other minor tweaks, that's why I said 2011 - 13. 2014 is a new model year which I would probably avoid.

A6 is an awesome car. I for some reason was more comfortable in the previous body style that ended in 2013, not the 2014 and newer. You can always find great deals on used a8s and 7 series sedans too. They depreciate like crazy. More so than the a6 or 5 series. X5 or A8 would be my choice.

Hope this helps!

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BMW X5
Audi A6 / S6
Audi A8 / S8

Response from gdoke

8:12 am February 9, 2015

Thanks Hoosier,

My wife likes the X5 best so far, I'm lobbying for a sedan but this will be her 5 month car while her convertible hides in the garage all winter so she will probably win.

The diesel looks like the best engine for this big vehicle in my book too. The only knock I have heard is a finicky emissions system that can generate some hefty repair bills - hopefully that stuff is all addressed in the CPO warranty period.

Regarding an earlier suggestion to try the Infinity M series, I test drove a 2012 M37X which was nice, no huge rear seat knee room though - about the same as the A6. This class of sedan seems to achieve the leg room in the back seat by sculpting out the front seat backs so you feel like you have to sit with your knees together to avoid hitting the outer edges of the seat backs.

The M37 seemed to have a lot of body roll in lane changes on the highway, the salesman wrote it off to the brand new tires that were put on it prior to the test drive.

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Infiniti M

Response from mkaresh

9:35 am February 9, 2015

It does sound like you need one of the truly large sedans if you get a sedan at all. It also explains why Infiniti is offering a long wheelbase version of the car for 2015. Someone my height has no need for such a car, but some people are well over 5-9. The M is offered in both sport and non-sport forms, and you could have driven the latter. But if there's not enough room, that won't matter.

The diesel is the way to go for decent fuel economy in the X5. But, as you note, there can be some additional reliability issues with the BMW diesels from a few years ago.

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