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New daily driver, sedan, fun to drive...reasonably reliable...

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I'm in the early research phase for my next car purchase. Likely a ways off...sometime later this year or early next year. I'm a hardcore car guy, I currently have a 2012 Chevy Cruze Eco with a manual trans which I bought last fall when I thought my commute was going to be 50 miles each way. As it sits now it's about 20 miles each way. My weekend car is a 2004 Corvette Z06. My wife has a 2013 GMC Terrain...so now you know the state of my current garage. The Cruze just isn't cutting it and won't for much longer. While it's reliable and gets respectable gas mileage. It's certainly not any fun to drive. I want a car that drives well, by well I mean moderately sporty or even very sporty (if that's possible). I want something a bit bigger than my cruze and a vehicle that will be quiet inside for trucking around VP's and Execs and fun to drive. I'm 6ft 6 so many cases, those sitting behind me are a bit cramped. Although I rarely have four adults in the car, one or two in addition to me is the norm. Reliability and maintenace are of moderate importance, I don't want to just flush money down the drain because I can, but I am willing to spend a reasonable sum on maintenance as long as I'm not breaking major parts everytime I turn around. I would prefer a manual trans but that's getting harder and hard to do today. I want to go slightly used or CPO, cars I'm considering right now... Cars I'm considering: 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport 2012+ Audi S4 2012+ Audi A6 (3.0 supercharged) 2012+ F30 BMW 328i (although a friend has one and its surprisingly noisy inside) 2011+ BMW 535i 2013+ Lexus GS

Other thoughts and suggestions? I really love Audi's products but their questionable reliability from years past does bug me a bit, although that really has no bearing on their current crop of vehicles. I'm willing to spend 35-38k.

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Family transporter / Errands about town / Long trips / Fun toy

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 30000
Maximum age: 2 years

Maximum price: US $ 38000

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Response from mkaresh

12:30 pm May 1, 2014

I doubt there's enough space inside the S4.

The roomiest car available with a manual transmission is likely the BMW 535i. It appears that 2011s are in your price range, with 2012s a stretch.

Two other possibilities: Acura TL SH-AWD and Infiniti G37.

Acura lightened the steering in the TL SH-AWD with the 2012 freshening, so earlier ones are actually more engaging. Noise level is higher than in the BMW, but reliability also tends to be higher. For many people, the #1 turn-off is the styling.

The Infiniti isn't as refined as the latest 3-Series, but the flipside of this is it has a more direct feel. Fuel economy isn't a strength. Infiniti also offers the larger M, but not with a manual transmission.


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BMW 5-Series
Acura TL
Infiniti G

Response from willied

8:23 pm May 1, 2014

I'm going to suggest either the Ford Fusion or Mazda 6. Both great to look at and relatively fun to drive. And you'd be able to easily get fully loaded ones for less than your budget. Both can be had with manuals.


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Ford Fusion
Mazda Mazda6

Response from Member4327

6:44 pm May 4, 2014

Mazda is a great car but I'm not sure I don't believe it has enough power. I was thinking the Fusion only had the manual with the bottom two engines? I'll look at that site tonight and see.
I'd prefer to go used and let someone else take initial depreciation hit. I do like both of those cars though...a lot on paper. Problem is driving them has left a lot to be desired. I'll get some extensive time in the 6 becaus some family that bought one on my recommendation is in town. But from my test drive I remember it being down on power and fairly noisy.


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Response from mkaresh

11:02 am May 5, 2014

For the performance you're seeking, neither the Fusion nor the Mazda6 will do.


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Response from nasowas

12:37 am May 7, 2014

For the refinement and quiet you are looking at neither the Fusion nore the Mazda 6 will do.

I think you will be better served with a Lexus, BMW or Audi. Where else do you get luxury with a manual transmission?


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Response from mkaresh

9:43 am May 7, 2014

Actually, the Fusion is quiet and refined. But they don't offer the strongest engine with a manual, and acceleration with teh 1.6T is only okay. No quick cars with a manual from Lexus, and none with an adult-friendly back seat from Audi. Brings us back to the above options: BMW 5 (or current 3), Infiniti G37, Acura TL. Possibly also the previous generation Cadillac CTS, though its back seat cushion isn't sized for adult comfort.


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Cadillac CTS
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