picking a new DD.

Discussion in 'Detailing Bliss Lounge' started by supercharged, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    Hello everyone! Some of you guys have noticed, I haven't been much online within the last 2 months...I got in a pretty bad car accident (50 MPH, I flipped a GMC truck with my Infiniti), I'm kinda OK, still sore. It could have been worse, thank God it wasn't.
    Anyway, my Infiniti lived a long life and died at 143k mi, front end is completely gone, and it's not worth repairing. I am now looking for a new DD.
    Budget is $10-15k. Must be 4 door, under 100k miles (may consider up to 110k depending on a price). prefer 6-cylinder, as it will be carrying 4 adults +1 car seat (my son).
    I test drove a few different ones, just to see what's out there. I am not considering a Toyota Camry or another work horse in that range, as these days those cars are way overpriced and are boring to drive. I kinda want RWD. Also, must be reliable, as I drive 15-17k mi a year.
    Anyway, I test drove the following:
    -Infiniti G35/G35x - both were fast and exciting, very nice ride, and is pretty roomy inside, compared to E46 BMW. Defenetely on my list.
    -infiniti M45 (2003-2004 classic body style). I remember when these "muscle cars with brain" first came out and always wanted one...So far I found one with very low mi (57k) in excellent condition for a good price. I drove it and loved it, firm ride, very powerful, has voice activated controls (no navi) and heated and cooled seats which is very nice feature as I sweat like a horse during summer. Number one on my list, I want this even more then G35. I do wonder how is reliability on these cars? Any known major problems/something to look out for?
    -Lexus LS 430 - very sot ride, kinda like watery mashed potatoes...I did not like it.
    -Lexus GS 300 - firmer ride, and comfortable. Defenetely better then LS430, but I feel I'm not getting much of a car for my money, kinda expensive.
    -Lexus RX300 - camry on high heels...didn't like it at all.
    -Infiniti Q45 (1999) - nice and comfortable ride, very powerful, but feels outdated, I need something more modern.
    -Audi Allroad - always wanted to test one of these babies out. I really like the styling, and the options, ride is nice, but not very impressive. I did like it's air suspension, very nice feature, but it takes an eternity to lift up a car...also with MPG figures 14/19 and known that it is LEAST reliable Audi car, I'm putting this on a back list.
    -Nissan Murano - nice ride, very stable to SUV of its size, however not very impressive. Also CVT transimission scares me, if it breaks, there is no fix for it, and new tranny is $5k.
    -Infiniti FX35 - drove it and loved it. It is very close to BMW X5 ride, very nice. But it is kinda expensive @ $20k for a daily driver.
    -Mercedes C230 - nice firm ride, but I wished for a more comfortable ride
    -Mercedes E320 - I was VERY IMPRESSED with it, it gives you amazing ride, which I absolutely loved. It is firm and supportive, but not as hard as on my wife's E46 325Ci with a sport package. Ride quality is closer to my X5. I really liked it, but wonder about reliability/dependability of a car, as well as cost of maintenaince (air suspension).
    -Mercedes S500 - I was very impressed. Very soft ride, that is very supportive. And it gives you a lot of space inside. What I am scared off is car is equipped with TOO MANY SENSORS, just taking it or a spin resulted ABS light to come on, as well as brake assist. Kinda scares me. Also, my cousin had one of these and air suspension blew up on him, which cost him $3k. There is NOTHING compares to this ride, but do I really need this for a daily driver?
    I am planning to drive VW GTI ( I know, it's small) as well as Passat, Nissan Pathinder/Frontier on Monday.
    Is there anything I'm missing? What would you get within my budget/needs as your daily driver?
  2. Chaseme

    Chaseme DB Forum Supporter

    Coming from a truck you would love a Jetta TDI (diesel).
  3. GDAL

    GDAL Super Moderator

    Glad you are doing ok.

    You have some pretty nice cars on that list. My top three would be the following (no particular order):

    G35- I don't know about these ... sorry!
    M45- I do know that they are notorious for a gas gauge malfunction that requires the whole cluster to be replaced. Infiniti was changing them under warranty, but I don't know if that still applies.
    LS430 (try to find one with the sport package or the ultra package)- These are bulletproof and not too difficult to work on.

    Have you considered an IS300, a late E39 530i with the M package. TL Type-S?
  4. WashingJosh

    WashingJosh Jedi Nuba

    What kind of MPG do you need?
  5. rfinkle2

    rfinkle2 DB Forum Supporter

    I thought I read he had a truck as well, but wrote that he flipped the truck with his Infiniti.

    Glad to hear you are OK OP, and best of luck with your new DD.
  6. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    I looked at TDI's are nice, but if you can find a 2003-2004 G35 with the brembo brakes (they are still out there low mileage) get that!
  7. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    I would stay away from early Infiniti's for a few reasons. Interior parts wear like crazy and the paint can be suspect. I haven't done one early Infiniti G35 with readings over 70 on the roof. Lexus makes a very nice car. Although the styling can be a bit mundane, the build quality, especially on the earlier ones was excellent. LOve an IS300! I've been a VW guy most of my life. They have quirks like every car but they are so enjoyable to drive. I would look at a Jetta / Passat TDi as well.
  8. slanguage

    slanguage OD On Detailing

    im going to go out on a limb and suggest a Hyundai. Call me crazy, but the Sonatas are nice. I have an 05 Tucson with 130k on the odo and only problems are normal wear and tear.

    Its out of warranty, but whatever. I drive the hell out of it. everyday.
  9. Kaban

    Kaban Welcome to Detailing

    If you liked the GS300... definitely go test drive a GS430 01-05... it's a night and day difference. You'll like it much more. Very reliable car.
  10. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    I want to give it a test drive, but am afraid they are small inside...

    Thanks for bringing this up. M45, yes, out of the three I drove 1 had that problem (your sales person told me about it). The one I want to buy does not, as I drove it a couple of times with almost empty, and another time with more then half a tank...maybe because milage is low...Do you happen to know if this was a factory recall, or if they would only fix it when it breaks?
    As far as LS430, these cars are EXTREMELY RARE in Sacramento area, I'd have to look in bay area or LA if I really want one...I would however give one with a sport package a try, but then again it is air suspension, and as far as I know, you have to replace a few things in suspension once in 100k mi...and it is a ew grand...
    IS 300- not really...they are small inside and drink a lot of gas. 16/21 was their figures, with I-6 (220 horses), while M45 gets 16/22 with V-8 (340 hourses)
    I kinda do like E39 530 with M package, but then again ride on it is kinda stiff...I am worrying about maintenaince, and that transmission is going to go out once I hit 150k mi or so...
    Infiniti is solid in tearms of engine and tranny...As far as TL-S, there is no way I'd buy one years 1999-2003 as their tranny breaks around 90-100k miles...
    Newer ones are kinda expensive, I wanted a bit firmer ride and RWD. I don't know yet...

    Between city and highway (mixed) 18-21 MPG...so pretty much all on that list...

    Yes, I did...Thanks.

    I haven't found one yet...I seen it on 2-door coupe by not on a 4-door sedan.

    I have noticed that in 2 G35's I looked at, interior paint, especially on a steering wheel is coming off...Thank you for bringing it up...If I was to go with a Lexus, I think GS would be my choice, but I will admit I haven't driven IS yet...Will have to get it on my list...

    Roger, thank you. I will test drive at least one to see how I like the ride...
  11. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    Is300 is always a classic, or a early GS looks nice too.........

    never knew that about the early g35s
  12. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    I actually will...just to see how it compares to GS300, maybe I'll like it more...
  13. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    The only issue I seen on GS is its inner brake lights (located on a truck lid) tends to fade out after a while....
  14. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    jetta is small........ my wife has one as a commuter car. but its not bad.
  15. co78

    co78 DB Forum Supporter

    If Jetta is too small, there is the passat.
  16. Kaban

    Kaban Welcome to Detailing

    Surprisingly, they get better MPGs than the 300s too. My brother averages 27-32 (60% highway, 40% city) driving normal, not spirited. The GS300 is like a lazy cow compared to the V8 models.
  17. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    I would consider jetta sports wagen.
  18. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    adding to my test drive list.
  19. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    I do tend to like SPIRITED DRIVING, and that does affects MPG. I will test drive gs430 though.
  20. rfinkle2

    rfinkle2 DB Forum Supporter

    I am always afraid of anything VW with a substantial amount of miles on them. If you are used to Japanese reliability, I think you would be taking a step down reliability wise with a VW.

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