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Help Me Choose!

patpat Posts: 10,421
edited December 2013 in General
Let's use this discussion as a general place for folks to look for help in narrowing down their purchase options for a sedan.

Check out the information in the linked articles in the Additional Resources box on the left sidebar of this page. Tell us your criteria as specifically as you can.

You'll find lots of helpful folks here who can give you useful suggestions.

Tell us your price range, are you thinking used or new, what features are must-haves, what other thoughts are on your mind, and let us give you a hand!

And don't forget to stop by our Comparisons - Sedans vs. Sedans folder. A discussion may already be underway comparing specific vehicles of interest to you - or if you have a specific comparison in mind that hasn't yet been mentioned, feel free to start a new discussion there.

Sedans Message Board


  • I'm buying a "new" car by the end of the year and my first choice is a Nissan Maxima. I've read that they are very reliable and hold their value well. My budget is probably going to allow for a 98-99 and I was wondering if it's worth buying a car that's almost 3-4 years old. Any suggestions or comments would help a lot.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Buy a 2001/ 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue. It's one of the best sedans on the market with great handling and one of the best V6 engines around, a 3.5L DOHC producing 215HP. The deals should be great this year as it's the last on for Intrigue and the warrany on them has been extended to 5 years. The car is recommended by most magazines (including Consumer Reports), but is unfortunately over looked by most consumers. It is the sleeper of all sleepers on the market in my opinion.
  • peteri1peteri1 Posts: 21
    Am looking at 1 of 4 choices to replace my 99GS400. I've read everything here and on other forums and have seen much conflicting info:
    4 options:
    Lexus LS430 with custom/luxury package
    Infiniti Q45 with premium pckg
    Audi A-6 4.2 loaded
    Audi A-8 not stripped, but not loaded

    Chicago winters--had Blizzaks on the GS--worked fine. My 95Q was pig in snow, but I'm sure 2002Q is a world away from that. I've heard Audi has some QC problems, but I like their maintenance being included. I'm a happy Lexus driver. The Q appears to offer the most for the $$. Will lease and in this economy, I would think I could command an attractive package. Can I go wrong with any of the 4? Am I missing something?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Generally a 3-4 year old car range is a good one because they are basically sound. If possible get one that is still under warrenty. But if not, make sure that a trusted Maxima mechanic goes over it thoroughly. Their V-6 is one of the best rated for over 10 years.

    Personally I am amazed at the great strides in American Quality recently, so the Olds may not be a bad idea other.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Maxima and Intrigue are both excellent choices for midsize sedans.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    If I had that kind of budget, I would go for the A6 4.2 - - best combination of sport and luxury amongst the 4 choices.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    Actually, I was about to agree with the A6, but I just looked at the specs here on Edmunds. Both the A6 and A8 are 4000 lbs, and considering the A8 gets a bump in HP over the A6, I don't think performance difference is an issue. So, considering that and the fact that the A6 would possibly be to small for you based on the rest of your list, I say go for the A8. I think you'll find the AWD to be the best addition to a car you could ever have hoped for.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I'd pass Intrigue only for one reason: crash test results are terrible...
  • paulo3paulo3 Posts: 113
    I would recommend the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry as my choices for a sedan. The new Nissan Altima looks impressive but I would wait until the reliability of the 2002 is proven.

    The new BMW 525 is another nice car and is rated highly by many auto publications.
  • The only way to figure out what car you like is a test drive. And theres no reason to not test drive every car on the market :)

    But dont just test drive one car and say "oh, i like it" cause if you dont test drive the best cars and all the cars in your price range even (or out, helps as well), then you dont have any reference :P
  • peteri1peteri1 Posts: 21
    LS, A8 and the Q feel larger than the A6. To get an A8 similarly equipped to the Q or A6, the sticker would balloon to $73,000. The LS would come in at $63,000, the Q at $59400 and the A6 at about $56,500. Also, the A8 interior, although classy, looks dated compared to the others. It looks like for 2002, the A6 has dropped its ambitions, atmospheres options.

    The Audi's best color combination (in my opinion)is limited to the S6 Avant Wagon. After re-reviewing all the specs, I'd rank them A6, Q45, A8 and LS430. However, I consider them all great. Whoever deals will get the nod.
  • jdbtensaijdbtensai Posts: 122
    i'm thinking of getting an audi s4 in the near future. anybody have one? what did you compare it with? anybody think of getting one and not get one? why? what did you get?
  • stgreenstgreen Posts: 74
    I looked at S4 and 330xi. i liked s4 interior and exterior better, but ride was harsh as a daily commuter (17" summer tires and wheels) and sport suspension as well. also, as a lease, i was going to have to purchase 4 snow tires (actually 5 - one for the trunk), because i live in new england...

    but, i really liked driving the s4. if it was for around town with little commute day in day out, i would have opted for s4..
    hope it helps.
    ps- i may ultimately get out of bmw lease early due to car having VERY little space and go for loaded passat GLX - what some call an audi A5...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    So why not go for the S6 Avant? I think that is a great car. Are you just not ready for that switch to a wagon? ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • peteri1peteri1 Posts: 21
    My wife's got a Trooper and two of three kids are gone and the one left has his own wheels, old, but running. My mid-life crisis mentality won't let me get a wagon. A four door is a business need, which I don't mind--wouldn't get a coupe anyway.

    I can't understand why no one's buying the new Q. It's got the most equipment for the dollar, although Motorwerks in Barrington, Illinois claims to be selling their Premium-equipped Qs at sticker. Their Lexus mindset isn't putting many Qs on the road. There is always 3-4 Premium Qs on the lot.

    I hope to have a couple brands competing. When I got my GS400, I ended up travelling 40 miles for the best deal and never established a relationship with the dealer. The local Audi dealer is building a huge new showroom. They'll have to sell a lot of steel (or aluminum) to pay for it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    This topic is way too broad. People are in at all different price points and vehicle types.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    Well, considering yours is only the 17th message in the last 2 weeks, I'd have to say that breaking the topic up would be downright silly. I wouldn't worry about the diversity until it starts getting out of hand. Its more than manageable now as far as I can see.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    Well, obviously, you gotta get what you'll be happy with. You can't fight your urges, I certainly know that.

    Personally, the sheer power and performance of the S6 would make me overlook the fact that its a wagon. My conscience would keep me awake at night if I chose a slower sedan just because its a sedan. But that's me. If it bothers you then stay clear. You have to be happy in your choice.

    good luck.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I'm thinking of trading up to a new car next spring. Although that's quite some time away, I'm considering my options now in preparation for my decision. I have a Camry LE V6 that I'm reasonably happy with, but I would like better handling and more attractive (and less common) styling. I'd also like a few more "luxury type" features than I have now. I haven't had any problems with my Camry so far, but I'm drawn to the Passat, which has everything that I'm looking for. My only concern with the Passat is reliability, which the Camry has without a doubt.

    I recently test drove the Passat GLX and the Camry SE V6 and while I liked them both, I liked the ride of the Passat better. I also drove the Camry XLE but it felt heavy and sluggish, with even softer handling than my LE. The SE (having a sport suspension) had better handling than my car but a rougher ride than I'm used to. The Passat's handling and ride was between the two. Better handling than my Camry LE and a smoother ride than the 2002 Camry SE. However, the Camry SE comes with a certain assurance of better reliability. Pricewise, the Passat is more expensive, but it seems to have better lease terms. The Passat may also be a slightly safer car, I don't think the 2002 Camry test results are in yet.

    I have plenty of time, which is good, because this is a hard choice if I decide to trade my current car. My husband thinks I'd be crazy to trade in my reliable Camry for a Passat. However, I really like the Passat better, even than the newly redesigned Camry. Whatever car I'm driving, I would like it to be reliable (of course).

    How does one choose between two excellent automobiles? I have posted on the Passat forum as well as the Camry forum, but I would like to see what comments this topic generates, given the title.


  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    Silvercrown,trading in your Camry anytime soon will be a bad idea,financially. This might be a little too practical,but how about keeping the Camry for a while longer and be good about saving/investing what would be new car payments? Then,in say 18 0r 24 months,buying your dream car,a BMW525i? If necessary,get it stripped. I LOVE my new Passat. And as much interest as you seem to have in cars,I would really suggest you consider a 5-spd. manual. It really adds a lot of fun to a daily drive. You've really got to master it to understand what I'm saying,and it IS easy.
    I considered a BMW 525i,but the Passat actually has a bigger back seat. The ride has a pleasing softness. And I was a little worried about my first stickshirt car being an expensive one,in case I hated shifting and needed to trade it in.
    But you've been talking of a fairly loaded Passat.
    If you got the Beemer with vinyl and no sunroof,It would be more affordable than you might think.
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