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Which used, upscale and reliable Asian (or Swedish) sedan should I get?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Advice Giver

As much as I love it, I have decided to sell/trade my 2012 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring. When I bought it, I had just taken custody of my newborn nephew and 4-year niece. I needed something larger and safer than my Mazda3 and I got a great deal on the CX-9 (almost $8k off sticker), so it was the right vehicle for me at the time. I expected the situation to be long-term and was prepared to make it permanent if necessary, so I got something I would be happy with for a long time. I'll spare you the details, but their mother (my baby sister) finally got her life together and regained custody of the kids. So now I'm a single guy driving a 3-row SUV that averages about 17-18mpg and barely fits in my garage.

I want to replace it with a 'premium' sedan and I have a preference for Japanese models, although the Azera is South Korean and the Volvo is Swedish. Actually, the Maxima is manufactured in TN, but the other Asians are made in their brand's country of origin.

So I have my list narrowed down to five finalists and I'd like some input on which one I should choose. I've done extensive research and some of these (TSX, M35, S60) are cars that I have liked since they were new. So I'm not really looking for any other recommendations....TRUST ME, I've considered everything comparable already.

My five finalists are-

2010-2013 Acura TSX V6 (TSX with 4-cyl is great with 6MT, but I need an AT and it really sucks the life out of the 2.4L)

2009-2010 Infiniti M35 (M45 fuel economy and maintenance/repair costs make it impractical, also not interested in AWD M35x due to fuel economy and use of 5AT transmission instead of 7AT in the RWD)

2012-2013 Volvo S60 (it's worth buying just for the driver's seat (throne), long-term reliablity and maintenance/repair costs are my only concerns)

2013-2014 Hyundai Azera (love the design, very comfortable, lack of a premium 'brand name' doesn't bother me at all)

2013-2014 Nissan Maxima (I love almost everything about it, but the CVT is probably a deal breaker)

So which one seems like the best choice? (You can choose more than one if you'd like, it will still help to narrow the list). =)


Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan

Car Needs: Errands about town / Daily commuter / Long trips / Client-facing

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 70000
Maximum age: 6 years

Maximum price: US $ 28000

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Response from mkaresh

4:09 pm August 11, 2014

Sorry for the delayed response, I've had my hands full lately.

I think the reason no one else has responded is there's a lot here, but very little about your needs / wants / priorities.

As is, aside from the real reliability concerns with the Volvo (it's too soon to tell how the latest ones will hold up) and Maxima (the CVT could be a weak spot, you can check the repair reports for the model), choosing among them is likely a matter of which one you like the most.


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Response from jasonmreece

9:38 pm August 11, 2014

Thanks for your reply. I always obsess over big decisions like this, but in my defense I actually do have OCD. =) I usually spend countless hours on research and struggle with my decision so long that it takes all the fun out of it! I think the main reason that I solicit input from others is because I'm afraid that I might have missed or overlooked something.

Anyway, I think the Acura TSX V6 has been my top pick all along. But if anyone else thought one of the other four was a better choice, I wanted to hear their reasons. I LOVE the Volvo S60 (and rent them all the time when I travel for work), but the long-term concerns are a deal-breaker. It's so cliche, but they really don't make them like they used to. Back in their day, I would have bought a 700 or 900-series (RWD, built like tanks only stronger). But starting the 850 in '93, their track record for reliability (and/or durability) has been inconsistent at best.

The vast majority of TSX V6s that I've found have been 2010 models. Newer ones (esp. 2012-2013) are almost non-existent. The reason they made so many in 2010 was because the 2009 TL was so hideous that even loyal Honda/Acura owners were lost to other brands. Unitl they could get the facelifted TL out in 2011, they needed a V6 sedan that they could sell! (IMO, the 2011-2014 TL is still one of least attracttive cars in its class). While I'm open to buyiing a 2010 with lower mileage (esp. if CPO), I still would prefer the newest and lowest mileage example within my budget.

To that end, I think that I've found the EXACT car that I want- a 2013 Acura TSX V6 in Vortex Blue Pearl with Ebony Leather, 5800 miles on the clock and it's an Acura CPO. The dealer is located 400 miles away, but I'd be willing to drive a rental or fly one-way to buy it if we can strike a deal and everythign checks out. The car was actually an Acura Corporate Fleet car, which is the only thing that I'm uncertain about. I've found a local independent Honda/Acura repair shop to inspect it and they're going to pick it up tomorrow and give it a thorough inspection. The dealer has it priced at $30,990 but I'm trying to get them $29,000 (they're at $29,990 so far). The MSRP when new was $40,045, so $29k would be 72.5% of the original price plus the added value of the CPO Warranty. All the price guides show the Dealer Retail value at $32k or more.

As long as the inspection doesn't turn up any issues, I'm going for it if I can get them down to at least $29,500! =)


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Response from mkaresh

1:56 pm August 13, 2014

"Corporate fleet" can include the cars provided to media for reviews, but I'd be surprised if they had a 2013 Acura TSX V6 in the press fleet. I can't find any reviews of such a car.

Have you drive a TSX V6? Because of the extra weight in the nose it doesn't feel as agile as the regular TSX. But this might not be an issue for you. Most of the cars in your list are much larger, and even less agile.

I tried to convince my mother to look at the TSX wagon. She really wanted an E-Class, though, and that's what she bought.


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