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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans



  • Hello all !
    New here...figured it would be an intelligent place...
    Wife looking to buy a used (2004) AWD Sedan. Each has about 68,000 miles on it.
    Prices are apparent differences, will deal with that later.

    Looking at:

    AUDI A4 1.8 Quattro
    Infinity G35x
    BMW 325xi
    Mercedes c-240

    Not looking for a 'race car'. Standard wife car; comfortable; good in snow. She likes these styles, so the Subarus are not a consideration.

    Looking for opinions on each.
    Maybe a quick summary that you may have on each.
    Seeing that it is an AUDI forum - please feel free to let me know why I should get her the AUDI rather than the others.

    I look forward to all your help.
    Please be as lively and opinionated as you'd like to be !

    Thank you !!!


    (Will post in the other forums also)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you have a nice list of cars there, actually.

    I've driven all of them at one point or another, last year I went to an Audi event at Summit Point and sampled the Bimmer, Benz, Audi, and a Lexus IS250 AWD.

    The Benz was a bit soft, this being a 2008 or so model. For their AWD cars the suspension tuning is softer, perhaps they expect snowy climates call for different priorities, but I was disappointed.

    The Lexus was softer than the Benz. Great interior, but boring compared to the others.

    The Audi was new and a V6 model, but I hear great things about the 2.0FSI, so I would really encourage you to sample one of those.

    The Bimmer and Audi went head to head, both were loads of fun. Tough call.

    The G35 I drove on a different day and was not the AWD 'x' model. Really liked it, good all-arounder. I'd recommend those 3 for you to sample.

    The Benz and Lexus only if you really want a softer, more comfy ride that wasn't as involving. If you're even searching in this thread, I sort of doubt that's the case.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    We recently went looking to replace our 03 A4 1.8T quattro. All the cars we looked at would be good choices, depending on your priorities. MB C300 4matic- really liked the looks, smallish trunk, definitely a contender. BMW 328xi- excellent handling, not sure we like the runflat tires, small trunk. G35x- handles like a big car, big HP means less mpg, many nice features. Audi A4: we loved our 03 but decided to get a new one at 74,000 miles. Now we have an 09 A4 which is the same model, same interior color, same exterior color, similar turbo engine, but more spacious, more power (but same mpg), even better handling. My wife loves the Audi, as she did the 03, and they are great snow cars. I even put Blizzaks on it for her.
  • I am looking at CR performance charts for the 112 sedans tested (this includes both RWD and AWD). To me the sportiest sedan would have best 0-60 acceleration, and best handling: Avoidance Maneuver Max Speed. These are top ten in both categories. Note that only two: G and Evo made both acceleration and handling top3/top10 lists:

    Acceleration 0-60

    Avoidance Maneuver Max Speed
  • Other interesting points.

    * The Infiniti G is highest performer overall - arguably Ultimate AWD Sports Sedan, based on CR testing anyway.

    * Infiniti G is RWD, but AWD version was not tested and I assume it would have similar performance.

    * EVO with its tiny 2L engine is behind of 8L Pontiac just a fraction of second.

    * EVO MR with Twin Clutch transmission was not tested.

    * Audi and BMW 3xx did not make both lists.

    * Lexus IS, Elantra and Rio handle surprisingly well, better then BMW.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder why it's not recommended? :confuse:

    What really stands out, to me, is that the Kia Rio sedan managed to make that list. It's probably the cheapest sedan in the world! :D
  • >> I wonder why it's not recommended?

    This numbers are just about driving fun and driving performance. Not recommended cars here either have reliability below average (audi, dodge, pontiac) or did not take (or did not pass) crash test (mitsubishi):

    >> What really stands out, to me, is that the Kia Rio sedan managed to make that list. It's probably the cheapest sedan in the world!

    It is in fact amazing that this ugly duck handles better then BMW, Mercedes C-class Sport and 100 other sedans:

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wouldn't conclude it "handles better", this is just one single test, and I'm sure a narrow, light car tends to have an advantage over a heavier, wider one.

    This is also largely a test of how intrusive (safe?) a stability control system is, which slows yours exit speed.

    Still, it would be fun to own one of those and challenge a Bimmer in a slalom. :D
  • >>This is also largely a test of how intrusive (safe?) a stability control system is, which slows yours exit speed. Still, it would be fun to own one of those and challenge a Bimmer in a slalom.

    It would be fun indeed. In this fun MT slalom test Lancer Evo 4-door sedan beats Corvette, Viper, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Benz:

  • Infiniti G is RWD, but AWD version was not tested and I assume it would have similar performance.

    Infiniti G now comes in AWD sport, the G37XS.

    Similar suspension to the RWD G37S.

    Having driven both, it was hard to decide which I liked better. Unobtrusive AWD system made both very sporty feeling.
  • trainerusatrainerusa Posts: 3
    What is a best lease deal for a new Legacy sedan '10 in MI, 4cyl or 6 cyl ?
    Please advise
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ask in this thread, which is the busiest for Legacy/Outback shoppers:
  • raj1raj1 Posts: 27
    a4 seemed lot of fun with car zooming forward from stop. bmw also good control and responded well. i guess more torque at lower speeds made the difference. i did do only city driving though - going to upto 50 with the audi. didn't find anything bad, but don't know about freeway limitations. apart from that, it was definitely roomier than the bmw, and also had more features for the money, better leather also. any comments... did not try the infinity - not interested in that much power, with low mileage as a consequence to boot. also heard audi awd is the best.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A while ago I drove an A4 V6 and liked it, the new model, too. They changed the AWD split to allow a rear bias, and I liked it better. More neutral handling, it seemed. The BMW 328xi just about matched it on the track at Summit Point, where I sampled them both.

    I had a slight preference for the Bimmer, but half the crowd preferred the Audi, so it was a close call.

    I have not sampled the 2.0T in an Audi yet.
  • The dilema has begun. Since I am writing in this forum, you know where I am leaning. I presently have a BMW 325xi. Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Thank you!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Have not driven the latest S60. The prior model was a little nose heavy, though I liked the Haldex version better than the FWD one.

    I've only sampled the RWD G37. Loved it.

    A4 - I drove a base model 2.0TFSI at a BMW event, and was disappointed. The Dynamic suspension on the V6 model I sampled earlier was much better. The small engine lags a bit, too, especially driving it back to back with a Bimmer and a Benz C300 4Matic. But what really disappointed me was the base suspension - lots of dive and squat, and too much body roll. It's just too soft for aggressive driving.

    So at least get the dynamic suspension, I'd say.

    I just drove a Legacy with my brother on Saturday, but it was not a GT. The 2.5i base model is on his short list. The new one is a lot bigger than the other cars here, but it still drives well. The extra room is welcome, IMHO.

    Do you like your Bimmer? Why not another one? Just curious.
  • Hi...I appreciate your response in such detail. I will be test driving th e s60 on saturday, but I am not even sure if they will have a 2012 on the lot, which is key based on your response above. Also, I will only consider the AWD version,which they don't have I may just have to wait.

    Prior to the Bimmer I owned a Subaru GT and it was a great car. But it lacked any class in the interior. My husband still own an Outback, he is headed to his 4th one, but the inside leather, is terrible.

    The reason not another Bimmer is easy. The paint is paper thin on these cars, and if you don't have the car hand washed all the time, swirl marks prevail. I had an 05, and to make a long story short, after 3 return visits down to them wetsanding the car, it still had the marks on it. ( It was delivered to me that way). So i ended up getting an 06 for next to nothing price wise.

    tx again...time for some test driving....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Subie is also one (or two) price classes down from the others, so no surprise.

    I'd definitely sample a G37x and an A4 Quattro w/Dynamic suspension back-to-back. Should be hard to choose!
  • bemerbemer Posts: 20
    "That said, you can buy a Castrol produced oil under the BMW label from your dealership that is in fact a 5W-30, but make no mistake, that is NOT the same oil as is in the Castrol Syntec 5W-30 bottle."

    Are you saying the BMW label sold by the dealer DOES NOT meet the necessary oil specifications required for latest BMW engines? - That would make no sense.....
  • I am now looking at new awd sports sedans. My husband has a 2011 335 x drive sedan and this is my gold standard. It is a fantastic driver's car with regard to handling, precision, power. The problem is that I dont want to spend 50k plus on my car.
    So far I drove a 328 x drive and I didnt love it. It felt different on the road with less power than the 335. It felt tinny and skittish and like it strained going up hill when I floored it.
    I drove the G37x and I like that they come loaded for less money with tons of hp and torque. I have read on forums that people dont like the way the transmission performs when going from deceleration to acceleration. It had a lot less road feel than the bmw as well.
    Anyone have this model and have anything to add?
    I was surprised at how much I liked the Ford Fusion V6 sport awd. Not a luxury car, but for the money it was very nice. I am concerned that it might not age well, since I like to keep my cars as long as possible. The leather is definitely a negative, very cheap.
    I am going to check the Audi A4 and the Mercedes Benz C300 awd.
    I would appreciate any help with this decision. I am looking to spend 40,000 or as close to that maximum as possible.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    My wife has had her 2011 G37X for a week.... No transmission issues.

    The newer six, seven and eight speed automatics take a little getting used to... Plus, the enthusiast brands have built a lot of downshifting into the programs under deceleration that is disconcerting.. We had an X3 that was terrible (6-speed auto). But, no issues with the Infiniti. Pretty smooth..

    If you think a 328 is slow, then I doubt you'll like the A4 20.T or the Mercedes.. I'm not sure why you felt the 328 was tinny or skittish... it's virtually the same car as your husband's 335, except for the turbo.

    I'll agree that the G37X doesn't have the road feel or handling of the BMW... But, it's a nice, easy drive.. and, as you noted... gobs of power..

    Just my $0.02


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Thanks for your 2 cents!
    If you drive a 335i it ruins you for the 328i. It is not only during acceleration that it feels different, the handling feels different at lower speeds as well.
    I was surprised at how much I hated the C300 4matic sport. Cushy yet bouncing in directions the car wasn't going. Nice turn radius but not a drivers car, unless you happen to be a limo driver.
    I was also surprised at how much I liked the A4 quattro. It is a softer ride and the acceleration is less than the 335xi but better than the 328xi. Its hard not to like the luxurious interior.
    I am now deciding between a preowned 2011 335xi with 11,000 miles on it and a new audi A4 quattro. Tough decision!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Another thing to keep in mind is that your husband's 335i might have the Sport Package with the uprated suspension while the 328i you drove might have the base suspension. I highly recommend you drive a 328i with the Sport Package; I suspect you'll notice a huge difference.
  • That is a good thought but he has the 2010 335 xdrive and he was told he couldnt get the sports suspension on that car or that is how he remembers it.
    I LOVE his car.
    The preowned 2011 335 xdrive that I am looking at does not feel exactly like his car either, maybe due to the engine change in 2011.
    The used one I saw also has a grey interior, not my favorite, a big obvious scratch on the wood above the glove, 11000 miles on it.
    It is pretty loaded, but for the 43,400 price tag I can get a new 2012 A4, loaded in the colors of my choice and pristine condition inside and out.
    I could go back to bmw to test a new 2011 328x drive with a sport susp before I decide.
    If I didnt care about the extra money, I would wait for the 2012 335 xdrive.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If I recall correctly, you are correct in that the 2010 335xi wasn't available with the true Sport Package, however, there were some wheel and tire options available which would markedly change how the car felt when being put through its paces.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you were willing to check out the Fusion, also consider the Subaru Legacy, which falls in the same price range. You can get a turbo or H6.
  • Reporting back. I have had my 2012 a4 quattro since late November. I am loving this car! It is light and agile. Plenty of acceleration for me, getting on a highway, short ramps, no prob!
    The luxury of this car is impressive. Fun to drive, great handling. Quattro is great on ice and snow.
  • I'm currently torn between the A4 Quattro and the G37x. The A4 felt much smoother as the auto tranny shifted between gears and despite having less horsepower the turbo engine had some great initial pickup. The G37x had more features for the money, but the ride just wasn't as nice despite having the extra horsepower at your disposal.

    Any thoughts between these two cars? What made you choose the Audi? Did you lease or buy? I've never leased before, but the reliability/repaid costs of the Audi beyond 4 years scares me.
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