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Best vehicle for $40,000



  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    yup ... totally forgot.

    But since you've revived it in my subscriptions list ... ;)

    i say the 335i is the choice in this category.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    Cars are now a commodity. You are better off leasing instead of buying. If you stay away from the packages that add cost (as you point out), it pays to give it back before the warranty expires so 1) You have a new car 2) You do not add repair costs 3) You get to choose best configuration for where you are in life.

    I was a religious "but to own" until repair costs became more expensive than major surgery.

    The edge on the options are going towards the Japanese because they give you more techno in the base price than the Euro's. American cars bleed residual and you pay for it whether you buy or lease.

    To each his own.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Cars are now a commodity. You are better off leasing instead of buying.

    Unless you drive a good number of miles each year (I average 25,000 miles a year - on a lease, that would kill me in overages). My family tends to keep cars for long periods of time also. This means, for example with our 2000 Odyssey van, it was paid off in early 2004, so we continued driving the car, without a car payment. Driving a paid for car is wonderful, and you can do it as long as you like. I currently drive a 1996 Accord that was paid off in 1999. 7 years without a car payment can save people some serious cash if you put aside the same amount you were paying on the car. At say, $400 a month, you've got approx $20k saved after 4 years of having your car paid off. That's enough to pay cash for some cars, or make a HUGE down payment on one.

    For you, leasing may be best, but for me, I'll never lease as long as I keep putting big miles on my cars (I have 169k miles on my old Accord, and it has never left me stranded, so I'm keeping it until it threatens to do so!)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I think the lease vs buy comparison comes down to "it depends".

    I'd *love* to lease, the idea of not having to deal with trade-in, small payments, etc, very much appeals to me.

    In some cases, a lease may save money, but most of the time i've compared numbers, it seems to end up costing more. Now, if i pay an extra $1000, and add a lot of convienence, this may be a good trade-off.

    One of the exceptions seems to be BMW leases with their high residuals and low interest rates. However, even in that case, buying worked out better for me. With the mileage i've put on over the past six years, i would have paid more for two leases and i have a car that i don't have to worry so much about banging up.

    Of course, i've paid for repairs here and there, and it's more of a headache, and i don't have a crisp new car, so i understand, and might lease the next one.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    i say the 335i is the choice in this category.

    Unfortunately, when I build a 335i online with the options I want, it's more like $46,000 :cry:
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    Mileage is definitely the key factor lease vs. buy. Since I keep it between 12-15K, It's good for me.

    For you, you need miles. So, it makes no sense for you to lease unless you lease one car and own one for the excess mileage. Yes, the Hondas and Toyotas are reliable but I like to drive a more engaging ride. In 2 years, I will decide on another.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    mine is still under $40k. ;b

    and, with Euro-delivery, I found out its under $36k! :0

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Personally, I want things that should come included in the price of my luxury sports sedan.
    I like things like heated seats, metallic paint, bluetooth, leather.

    Those things in the 3 series add up very quickly, and before you know it, your $34K BMW is $46K
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    that's fine. And I understand. (by the way, bluetooth is standard on the 335i.)

    But, my personal preference is typically function over form. If I'm presented with 2 cars at the same price, one has moonroof, power memory seats, leather, heated seats, bluetooth, and runs 0-60 in 6 secs, for instance, while the other has faux-leather, moonroof, power memory seats, and runs 0-60 in under 5 secs ... I'm choosing the latter. The faux-leather from the germans is actually quite nice. Looking at the standard equipment on the 335i, the only thing I'd miss is the heated seats.

    ok ... so i just went through and equipped a 335i with metallic paint, comfort access, and the cold weather pack. The MSRP is still just $41,370. under Euro-delivery, it would still be well under $40k, and I'd have everything I could want in the car, personally. Real leather may be welcome, but paying over $2k for it is not worth it to me.

    Of course, its all personal preference. Some people prefer to spend their money on non-performance options. Heck, if such buyers didn't exist, Lexus may have never been successful.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I won't argue that the BMW handles better than most of the other cars in the segment, but I still refuse to consider the BMW 335 a vehicle under $40K

    I have a hard time basing my decision only on what car gets me to 60 mph faster... and we're not comparing a 5.2 second with a 9.2 second run.
    Your example is a 1 second difference.
    You at the track that often?
    I spend more time enjoying the luxuries of my luxury sports sedan than I do the 0-60 excelleration. (not that I don't enjoy that too) :)

    The bottom line is that when you compare the vehicles in the segment, most include what I want "out of the box" while BMW continues to "nickel and dime" us to death.
    And for what, their remarkable reliability?
    What good is the one second advantage when it's sitting in the shop... free maintenance or not.

    And by the way, the Bluetooth 'option' is not standard here in the states, it's $750-

    I just built a BMW 335i with the options I want in my car.
    It came to a grand total of $53,265

    I then built an Infiniti G35 Sport with the exact same options.
    It came to a grand total of $41,200

    I made sure not to add anything on the BMW that the Inifiniti didn't offer... wanted to be fair.

    The question is, is the BMW worth an extra $12,065?

    In my case, absolutely not!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I spend more time enjoying the luxuries of my luxury sports sedan than I do the 0-60 excelleration. "

    To coin a phrase, you can't even spell acceleration.


    Some people place a value on performance. Lot of buick drivers out there will think you're nuts for getting a g35. So it goes.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,678
    My vote goes with qbrozen.

    I'd take the exhilarating on ramp excitement over a power passenger seat any day.

    I just can't imaging having my brother fly in...and me pick him up at the airport and then say “look at what this baby can do!” and then reveal the awesome power side mirrors.

    Of course this illustration is a little ridiculous... ;)

    I suppose there are reasons why cars like the ES350 sell so well.

    My ideal 335 is also under 40K.

    I'm not sure...but I think this original thread also had a stipulation that the vehicle achieve 30mpg (highway); which I'm pretty sure the 335 won't be able to do (previous 330i's would achieve higher than their EPA rating in rag tests)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    I just built a BMW 335i with the options I want in my car.
    It came to a grand total of $53,265

    Wow. You and rocky should shop together. Both of you like to load up with every option possible. Actually, you must have left something small off because EVERY option comes to $53,865.

    According to bmw's website (, the long list of standard features includes the following:

    8-way power front seats with 2-way manual headrests and driver memory with 2 pre-sets for exterior mirror and seat positions

    Leatherette upholstery

    3-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® phone3 controls

    Front seatback storage nets

    Burl Walnut Wood trim

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Sorry for the typo...

    The bottom line is that I also like that excitement when hurling myself from an exit ramp or being lucky enough to be first in line a a red light.
    I like having that power as well, but also enjoy the luxuries the car can also offer.

    The G and the 335 both land within the 5 second range.
    We're talking about less than a second difference.

    When looking at everything... power, handling, luxuries, reliability... the BMW falls short when compared to other cars which actually fall into the $40,000 price range, which the 335 (loaded with toys) does not come close to doing.

    In my example above, I only added in the options necessary for bringing it to the same level as the G.
    Leather seats, heated seats, navigation, etc.
    The things I would personally like in my next car.

    I wasn't trying to bring in argument.
    The fact is that I'm about 2 months away from my next car purchase, and I'm trying to stay within the $40k range.
    That made this particular thread of interest to me.

    The BMW 335i is a very compelling car and it does come in under $40k.
    I just wish it offered some luxuries to take along for the ride, without breaking the bank.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    I don't think of this as an argument. So don't sweat it.

    You are bringing up a very valid point, and one that many shoppers face. All we (all of us) are doing is showing the 2 sides of the coin. There are those who want more features, and those who want more performance. There are those, of course, who want both, but they'd have to be willing to spend more than we are.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "In my example above, I only added in the options necessary for bringing it to the same level as the G.
    Leather seats, heated seats, navigation, etc.
    The things I would personally like in my next car. "

    I tried configuring such a car on the BMW site, and it came to $44,250. Do an ED and you're under 40K.

    I think you've already decided that you don't want the BMW and are trying to "prove" your decision is correct.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,678
    True, if you like the options the BMW can get up there.

    My wife also like options...our mini van was just shy of 40K (MSRP that is); still hurts if I think about it enough (the alternative sport sedans that could have been...)
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I think you've already decided that you don't want the BMW and are trying to "prove" your decision is correct.

    Actually not true at all.
    My friend has a 328 and I love it, and I absolutely love the new 335xi, although the reliability reports from other owners do have me a little worried.
    My friend buys his used with over 70K miles and his current one now has 350k and runs very well... so I have seen both sides of the reliability coin.

    I originally wanted the Lexus IS.
    I test drove the 250 AWD wanting something good in the snow and was disappointed in the power.
    I can't do the 350, as it's RWD only and I know my needs, that won't do for me.

    I love the 3 series xi but the cost, when I build it with the options I want, gets way out of control.
    I'll admit that I'm adding a lot of options, but I spend a lot of time in my car and love the toys. :blush:

    I then found the G35x.
    The 07, with the options I want, is just over $40k
    Hopefully, I can get them under MRSP, and under $40,000, loaded with the toys, bells and whistles I wish to have.

    I built the 3 series with the same options and got it over $50K.
    I wasn't trying to throw in the kitchen sink just to make a point and my example was accurate, for my needs and wants... nobody else.

    If I only wanted an engine, steering wheel and tires...
    I'd go for the Ariel Atom.

    -Peace :D
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    After you buy your G35, will you still frequent these forums (forae?). Cause you'll discover things about the car that all your research didn't uncover, or that you never thought would be an issue. The remorse sets in. You think "wow - for 10-15% more I could have just bought the ____ ".

    Don't overanalyze this thing. I think you'll be happy with the G35, but also think you would also never regret buying the BMW, even if it is more money.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    I never could afford a BMW but always was interested in experiencing the so-called "ultimate driving machine".

    Now I know. I knew it was different after the test drive, but the car really becomes an extension of the driver. You can talk and read all you want but the true experience tells all.

  • Choice A Lexus IS 350 $29.9K - $40K+ (306hp) V6
    Choice B BMW 335i $32.4K - $40K+ (300hp)Trb Chg inl 6
    Choice C Infiniti G35 Sedan opt pkgs $31.4K - 35K+ (306hp)V6
    Choice D Mercedes C 350 $29.6K - $40K+ (268hp)V6

    *All models are base on Yr 2007 specs
    *All models suggested above are RWD
    *Pricings of each vehicles definitely depending on the options you want.
    *Each of the models suggested also has lower models available for lower pricing, options, AWD.
    for details

    also check JD Power for diff types of ratings.

    Hope this helps!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    Choice A Lexus IS 350 $29.9K - $40K+ (306hp) V6
    Choice B BMW 335i $32.4K - $40K+ (300hp)Trb Chg inl 6
    Choice C Infiniti G35 Sedan opt pkgs $31.4K - 35K+ (306hp)V6
    Choice D Mercedes C 350 $29.6K - $40K+ (268hp)V6

    There is no such thing as a $29.9k IS350. There isn't even such a thing as a $29.9k IS250.

    Likewise, there is no such thing as a $32.4k 335i.

    And, thirdly, there is no such thing as a $29.6k C350.

    You got the Infiniti just about right.

    I believe, at least on the Benz, you are stating C350, but giving C280 pricing. I'd imagine you are doing something similar with BMW. But, regardless, they all fall under $40k, so it doesn't change your point. I just wanted to clarify for those who frantically looking for a $29k IS350.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • You are right, we can TRY to order one from the manufacturer with nothing on it but who's going to do that and whym right? :P

    I drive an 2006 Lexus IS 350 RWD w/ Navi & ML Stero Lux Pkg for $40K.

    Very nice car. Definitely different from the other Euro competitors especially the driving feel but I care more about the whole package than just the ultimate driving experience. (Oops, the heated/cooling ventilated seats are standard, I find them very useful in extreme cold/hot weathers. Place I live can go to low 30s and 100s in summer.

    I tried to build a similar vehicle with all the features and options that I have in a BMW and MB...It's impossible to attain $40K. More like high 40s.

    Infinite will be an alternative. The new 2007 G35 Sedan seems pretty competitive. ;) They have improve a lot this year.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Q is absolutely correct.

    These are absolute base MSRP prices, no dest. costs included...

    Lexus IS250 - $30,255.00
    Lexus IS350 - $35,705.00
    BMW 335i Sedan - $38,700
    BMW 335i Coupe - $40,600
    MB C350 Sport - $38,775
    MB C350 Luxury - $39,375
    Infiniti G35 - $31,450
    Infiniti G35x - $33,950

    I loved the IS350, but need AWD, and the IS250 is very weak in the power dept.
    I'm considering the G, and looked at the 3 series as well.

    The G, fully loaded, is right around $40,000.
    The very equally equipped 328xi is $47,665

    I'm leaning toward the 07 G35x
  • jml7jml7 Posts: 5
    I would go with the Volvo S80 sedan. Plenty of room, and one of the longest lists of safety features in existence. Feel free to point out its faults, as this is just my own opinion.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I checked out the new S80 when it came out. It's the nicest Buick I've ever driven.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    My best would be the 335 at this point. The G car is getting interesting. The Merc needs further development. The TL needs something more visceral as does the I.

    Let's see what the CTS can bring in the fall.

  • socalkidsocalkid Posts: 8
    Does anyone take the new Pontiac G8 seriously? I was wondering if this is a car I should consider or will it be too unrefined (the hood scoops scare me!)?

    Please give me some feedback.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    I would say the resale value is suspect vs. your 2 German considerations, 335, C350.

    THe write-ups say it is a decent performer since it is from Holden division. Just a Bonneville replacement to me, FWIW.

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    It's a porker (almost 4000 lbs?), but at least it's RWD...
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