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better sports sedan than 3 series???(26 posts)

better sports sedan than 3 series???Money D
Nov 12, 2003 1:20 AM
So, its about time to retire the honda accord. This has been a dream, with five wonderful years and maybe two repairs. Fun to drive, but just not enough power. I've test driven a 323 which I loved, and actually had plenty of room for my 6'4 inches. Also test drove a Z3 with the big 3.0 V6, that was an amazing drive, but I could actually look over the windshield, toooo small. The driving will mostly be around town, with weekend adventures on the backroads of western washington.

I think I would go with the 328 with the automatic/steptronic transmission (the S.O. doesn't want a manual with the hills of Seattle) Anyone been in a similar situation recently and go with something else? Audi A4/S4? WRX? Acura type S? What tilted the scales?

And while I'm asking, can anyone comment on the ride of a 328 vs. 528? Used, they are not that much pricier, and the extra room would be nice if the ride was similar.

Thanks.
Turning Japaneesepitt83
Nov 12, 2003 6:18 AM
Consider the G35 Infiniti. Awesome mix of luxury and performance. Available in dec '03 as AWD, but you'd likely pay $$$ for that at first.

Also, If name plate doesn't matter, the generic Nissan Maxima is the same car re-badged. You can more pick and choose trim levels, but it's fundamentally the same as the G35.

I have a V6 Passat (same as the A4 w/ 2.8) and it's under powered. Nice amenitites, but slow off the stop line. I bought it because it's a wagon and the best wagon available with what I wanted.
No 3 series, because of the porcupines. But don't overlook Saab.Cory
Nov 12, 2003 9:56 AM
I don't think there IS a better sports sedan than the 3 series, but I probably wouldn't buy a BMW because of the porcupine problem (see below, if Doug doesn't cut it).
Another issue is that for much less than BMW/Lexus/S4 money, you can get nearly the same performance from more mundane cars. It's really hard to justify an Infiniti when the Maxima is sitting right there...
My pick, just off the top of my head, would be the S4 wagon (inconspicuous and really fast). But I've always had a soft spot for Saabs, too.
As for the porcupines: In the golden days in the Silicon Valley, when every a-hole bought a Beemer with his first paycheck and assumed it gave him title to the fast lane, there was a standing joke:
Q: What's the difference between a BMW and a porcupine?
A: A porcupine has the pr!ck on the OUTside.
I'm currently considering a 9-3 Arcsn69
Nov 12, 2003 10:28 AM
I've driven it and the 323 (I haven't driven the 330). I prefer the Saab, to tell ya' the truth. It's a great car that handles as well as you'd expect. I also think the interior is more comfortable than the 323--that's an individually subjective issue though based on a person's dimensions, likes, dislikes, etc...). And, like you alluded to, the Saab ins't cookie-cutter yuppie like the Beemer...and it's less $.

The S-4 wagon is the sheot, though. Way cool. I've also been considering an A4 3.0 Avant. Decisions, decisions....

Scott
check Saabnet.comgtx
Nov 12, 2003 11:02 AM
A friend of mine recently got the new 9-3. He likes it but thinks it's kind of gutless. He's also been having a terrible problem with interior creaks, and horroble dealer service on this issue--I think he's taken it back four or more times by now. He's pretty pissed off. For the money I'd still consider waiting til next year for the new Subaru Legacy, which is already out in Japan, looks great and is quite a hot rod. But at the end of the day I'd probably take the Bimmer cause its RWD, though I do hate the stigma attached to Bimmers (I grew up with a 1600 before they became total yuppie cars). Still waiting for Alfa Romeo to come back to the US...there may be a possible deal with GM.
Well, that's a bummer to hear.sn69
Nov 12, 2003 11:10 AM
For now I'm sticking with my Outback (72K miles, 30 mpg, still hangin' in there). I've also been considering an HDC V6 Outback--nice car. I've got a friend who has a Volvo sportwagon. That's another nice one, but it has too many "Volvo-driving soccer mom" connatations for me, the last Everclear album notwithstanding.

I HATE buying new cars. It's such a pain....
Well, that's a bummer to hear.gtx
Nov 12, 2003 11:17 AM
I posted this here before, but if you become an IMBA member you are elligible to get Subarus at cost after six months, which is right around the time this bad boy is coming out

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=29&article_id=7028
Wowsers.sn69
Nov 12, 2003 12:33 PM
That's a beast. I've got an expired IMBA membership (didn't have the opportunity to do much mountain biking in NOLA). Perhaps I need to re-up. Thanks for the link.

Scott
My youngerbrother bought a 3 seriesContinental
Nov 13, 2003 7:09 AM
He's a spendthrift compated to me. He took my older brother for a ride, who is more frugal than I am, if that's possible. My older brother opens the glove compartment, gets out the owners manual and searches through it. He turns to my younger brother and says "Where's the section that teaches you how to be an @sshole?"

Younger brother's wife had twins. Bye Bye BMW. Big waste of money in my opinion, and I wouldn't want the image problem either.
slow off the stop line?ColnagoFE
Nov 12, 2003 10:56 AM
What are you...Mario Andretti? Funny thing...the first car I bought with my own $ was a 1987 VW Fox sedan. The thing had no power, but I didn't know what I was missing anything so I drove it until it fell apart. Now driving a Subaru Legacy with considerably more power. Got used to it and now driving the Fox would be intolerably slow. When I drive my wife's Explorer I see how underpowered the Legacy is. Do we really need that kind of power though unless we are driving on a race track? All 3 of these cars can get up to 100mph...some just take a bit longer.
my theory on thatgtx
Nov 12, 2003 11:28 AM
Older cars offer a much more visceral driving experience. So for this reason a hopelessly slow MGB can "feel" fast and exciting to drive. Same for your old Fox (a freind of mine just got rid of his which was still going strong a 300K+ miles). A new v6 Honda Accord would probably blow the doors off a Ferrari 308, but the Ferrari is going to feel a lot faster. New cars isolate you so much from everything that they really have to be fast as hell to feel fast or be at all exciting. When I drive my parents new Acuras or Volvos I usually open the window. Otherwise I feel like I'm watching a movie in a sensory deprivation tank.
my theory on thatcritmass
Nov 12, 2003 3:03 PM
Not the 308 GTS or 308 GTBi Quattrovalvole and just barely faster than a 308 GTB. But then you're talking about cars that are 20 years older too. I share your sentiments about Alfa's but prefer older ones and the patience they teach, but then new ones probably still teach that. A mechanic once told me about Afla's being like Italian women, you never know when a plate is going to coming sailing across the kitchen at you, but then you make up and are in love again. Giulietta Spider Veloce's, 1600 Sprint GT's and GTV6's all teach patience but are great drives. Someone is going to inherit the Spider.
Stick with the Eurpopeanszman994
Nov 12, 2003 1:53 PM
I had an Acura CL 3.0 and it didn't compare to the Audi A4 or BMW 325 (I'm now driving the 325). The Japanese throw alot of HP in there but the drive just isn't the same. The A4 was nice but to me the BMW is a really great car to drive.
Agreedpitt83
Nov 12, 2003 4:46 PM
My wife's Y2K Maxima is a rocket. But my VW is tighter and corners better. I don't think that's a universal truth though. The Volvo (V70)did nothing extrodinary but everything well enough. Didn't corner well or have great power.

I'd just like a little more get up from a 2.8l engine. It only has 170hp and the Maxima 3.0l has 250. The Passat could do better. I liked the 1.8Turbo, but couldn't get that engine with power seats in VW or Audi A4 Avant. I want the power seats because I'm 6'4 and my wife is 5'3. Therefore, seat adjustment is crucial. The memory buttons are sweet!
Take a look at these...funknuggets
Nov 12, 2003 8:47 AM
Before you go and start yapping about your grandma and everything, take a look at the Lincoln LS. I know, I know that it isnt typically considered with the other cars you mentions. However, I sold my BMW 325, and bought a Passat, and Im going to agree its a bit "underpowered" and the turbo is a joke, but an astoundingly solid car that has performed flawlessly for me since 1999.

Now, about the LS. My friend is considering the car purchase and I went with him to look at these things and the LS is a freaking ROCKET. I could not believe it. I think it would be ample for your 6'4 height as my buddy is 6'1 and about 240. It seems well made and seems to oversteer a bit when braking into a corner, but when you are looking marginal luxury car, you are gonna get that with ride quality and soft suspension. For the bucks you are gonna save, heck, get a stiffer suspension. Im not shocked easily by cars, much less automatics, but this car, I guarantee in "real life" could stand toe to to with most any luxury sedan including the 3 OR 5 series or Passat, and it doesn't even have a turbo. Plus, it was off lease with 12K miles for $27K. Black, chromed with fat wheels... nice freaking car (I also like the silver).

The only other car, as far as bang for the buck goes would be the Maxima. Plenty of horses and a bit smaller car. New at about $28K is pretty fly. Nice car. Gonna get good long term performance with that one.

Chris
My father just got an A4ColnagoFE
Nov 12, 2003 10:50 AM
He loves it. Nice looking, plenty of room and the thing moves out too. He got the 220 horse V6...for another 10k or so you can have the 340 horse V8. Zoom. Take a look at the VW Passat too. Great car with a nice engine.
better than the 3 series? yep...No_sprint
Nov 12, 2003 1:17 PM
How about a 760Li? Yummy... Out of my league. I've got a great coupe though with more HP than the 745Li. It's American and I love it. Put me back less than $25K.
The new GTO might at least be worth a test drive...shawndoggy
Nov 12, 2003 3:05 PM
It's got the 345 HP corvette motor in a two door coupe, rear drive platform out of Australia, badged as a pontiac, and in your price range at the low 30s. It'll certainly blow the doors off of the Linclon LS recommended above.

When you've got to go auto, there's no substitute for cubic inches.

'Merican iron has terrible resale value, though, so you'd be looking at paying $33K for a car that's worth $23 in six months. Not nearly as bad with imports, if you are planning on turning the vehicle over soon. Personally, I drive 'em into the ground, so that's not such a big deal (though long term quality IS another reason to head import).

I drive a WRX. It's very well screwed together -- quieter at speed than my '93 Accord wagon was, but it's also very much an econobox with a big motor by today's standards. Besides the indash 6 cd changer, there's nothing fancy interior/comfort wise. No leather, no heated seats, shoot, the vanity mirrors aren't even lighted. I disclose this because when the Mrs. is involved in the purchase, that's the kinda crap they look for, not whether you can spin all four wheels off the line during the test drive. That said, a more fun-to-drive car for under 25K (new) I challenge you to find.
What your all missing............CARBON110
Nov 12, 2003 9:47 PM
I just ordered a 2004 Volvo V70 R. As fast as a 911 c4s, 0-60 in 5.4 sec. 6 spsd trans, comes with EVERYTHING and cost 42k. Volvo, unlike bMW,it is AWD and will out performe in ANY situation the SAAB and you will pay LESS for maintaining it then an Audi by far. Its a wagon and they have a sedan version which is also AWD. Yes Volvo R is a better car then a 328,9-3,S4, or 911..why? Look at the facts. Besdies you get a discount on your insurance just for having a Volvo. If its not your taste, go test drive one :)

So now available is a car that wont rip you off, thats safe,fast, has one of the most reliable and sophisticated suspension systems and is simply a good deal. Parts are not expensive, it comes with premium everything NOT at extra charge and possesses everything a sports sedan should...ooooo lalalala
Not missing muchFez
Nov 12, 2003 10:26 PM
Volvos are pretty nice cars, but I'll take a pass.

Volvos have 5 cylinders. Yes, with a turbo it can be quite fast, but more folks prefer the smoother and quieter power a six or a v8 can provide. Turbo lag and uneven power is pretty unappealing, especially when compared to what the competition has to offer.

Now I'll admit the R series packs a heck of a lot of power. But most Volvos out there have the nonturbo or the light pressure turbo 5 cylinder engines that are what you'd expect in a 1994, not a 2004 car.

Then there's the issue of how Volvos look, but that's a whole nuther subject.
Sounds good, but not for me either...No_sprint
Nov 13, 2003 9:21 AM
No Volvos for me.
You're missing $10,000pitt83
Nov 13, 2003 9:27 AM
I paid that much less for a GLX 4 motion V6 Passat wagon.
The LS1... I like it!No_sprint
Nov 13, 2003 9:25 AM
I did a little work on mine and am gettin' more than stock out of it. I dig it. Darn fast! SLP makes great stuff.

I'm looking at the LS6 manifold to put right on top... Z06 hunter baby!
I'd rather have a Hemigtx
Nov 13, 2003 11:12 AM
425 or 500HP, look for it in the 2006 Charger
Nice, and a long time to waitNo_sprint
Nov 13, 2003 11:38 AM
especially since I'll never buy a first edition new car, maybe not even the 2nd or 3rd year, depends on lots...
Nice, and a long time to waitgtx
Nov 13, 2003 1:21 PM
Engine will be in the Ram trucks this year, the new 300 and Magum should work out the platform kinks this year, tranny and rear end are existing/proven Mercedes units, so I don't think it would be too big of a risk to buy a first year Charger. I'm just hoping it's gonna be available as a two door.