Audi A4, BMW 328i, MB C300, or Infiniti G37

My 2000 VW Jetta just died and is not worth repairing. I am looking to step up into the entry luxury level cars. I am considering the Audi A4 2.0T, BMW 328i, Mercedes C300, and Infiniti G37. I am concerned about the reliability reputation of at least the first three cars. I suspect the Audi gets the best gas mileage; but maybe in this class of car I should not be concerned with MPG. I believe all would satisfy the fun to drive requirement. Any comments or recommendations?

You’re on the right track. All good cars, you should test drive them to see which you like. The G37 is the most car for the money, best reliability, but probably lower mpgs. The 328i might be close to the A4 on mpgs, probably better on reliability (edit - Consumer Reports history says WAY better) than the A4. I’d be in a 328i right now if it had enough headroom. The C300’s ok, but not as sporty as the other 3. Personal preferences will have a lot to do with this.

My comment would be that they are all expensive to fix. If you can afford them, you decide which is the best for you.

If you can afford these cars, what difference does it make?? Somebody else gets to maintain and repair them… So test-drive them all and choose the one you like best…

I would go with the Infiniti; fun, peace of mind, good handling, nice styling, and relatively competent dealers. The Audi (a VW with expensive parts)and Mercedes will be real money pits after 3-4 years.

Forget about gas mileage at this level; depreciation, insurance and upkeep will nullify any marginal differences in mileage.

First question - Buying new? How long would you like to own it?

For the first four years, the cost of maintenance and repair is not a factor, so if you are buying new and keeping only 4-5 years, get the one that you enjoy driving the most.

If you are buying a 3-year-old car off a lease, and keeping it for a decade, are you handy at doing your own work or will you pay someone else for maintenance and repairs?

If you are paying someone else, I suggest the Infiniti, and would suggest that you look at Lexus, or better yet, Acura.

If you don’t mind buying a service manual and parts off the internet and doing your own work, then the BMW is probably the best choice.

When I was shopping for my third BMW, I looked at the GS Lexus and the G37 Infiniti. Both seemed to be excellent vehicles, but not a lot of personality. Just a little too smooth and too quiet for my taste.

I’d pony up the extra cash for the 335i; it offers M3-like performance for $15k less than the actual M3. At this class of car, if you’re worried about fuel economy, then maybe a TDI Jetta would be more appropriate.