Narrowing down car purchase choice, a quick Sedan

So, for a rundown, i’m trying to narrow down the best choice for a quick sedan that’s the most reasonably priced (6k to 10k), considering quickness, AWD, and reliability.

Must haves on it are that it’s an automatic V6 sedan for ease of use, gas mileage, and passengers (also considering boosted options like turbo or supercharged). Also looking for quick acceleration with 0-60 in low 5 second range or lower.
I live in the US rust belt, so we get decent snow and am debating if AWD should be a top consideration or not. But for now, i’m making it a priority on the choice list unless someone can convince me otherwise.

So i’ve narrowed down my options and what i’ve found (in order of preference) to the 2009-2011 Audi S4/A6’s, 2009-2011 Infiniti G37x’s, and the Lexus IS 350.

For the Audi’s, the S4/A6 are both automatic v6 sedans (and boosted), have AWD, and the A6 has a 5.4 0-60 and S4 has 5.0 (but respond great to tunes). I’ve found a couple S4’s online for 7500 to 8500, and A6’s starting from 6k and up, which is great for the price, but i know Audi’s are known for reliability issues and expensive repairs. I don’t know how common these issues or big repairs are, but looking for insight if anyone has any.

The Infiniti G37x’s are the next choice with automatic v6 sedans, has AWD, and a low 5 second 0-60. I’m able to find more cars like this available, starting around 6500 and going up. Infiniti’s from what i hear are more reliable than Audi’s, but it takes a lot more money to mod them to get them up to the same speed and performance as Audi’s. The G37x’s also aren’t completely free of problems from what i hear, but it does sound like they’re a lot less expensive than Audi’s.

Last option is the 2006-2008 Lexus IS 350. It’s an automatic v6 sedan with a high 4 second or really low 5 second 0-60 that you can get decent options online starting at 7500 going up to 9000. However, it doesn’t have AWD which puts it at the bottom of the list. I do know that Lexus’s are known for their reliability and holding value. However, i can’t decide if the reliability outweighs that fact that AWD is missing.

So given all this, what’s everyone’s preferences and thoughts on this?

How’s the mechanic support for these cars where you live? My brother’s a devoted customer of his local German specialist and they’ve happily given their opinion and advice when he’s asked about what to get for his next car. The Audi could still be more expensive to maintain but a factor is how well it was maintained by previous owners.

The Infiniti is probably going to be more reliable and cheaper to own, but still fun since it’s more or less a 4dr cousin to the Nissan 370Z.

You could have AWD on the Lexus but only on the 250 which is 2 sec slower to 60 (at least when tested new) a set of winter tires would be a good idea no matter which one you buy.

There’s some foreign car specialists here and there. There’s a shop that i go to right now that looks like they work on Audi’s, plus Saabs as well, but they aren’t really specialists. They go off of who they have on staff and what they know. And i’m not really that close with them to ask advice on foreign cars.

Infiniti would definitely be the all around choice, but it’s just getting the performance up to something close to what the Audi’s offer that gets me. It would cost a lot of money just to do that, whereas the Audi’s are pretty much there or just need a $1000 tune and be thousands of dollar better compared to any other car.

As far as Lexus, there’s no way i’d go with the 250. It’d either be 350 or bust. But i think i’d be willing to give up Lexus IS’s for AWD.

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Another post by someone who wants a 5 second 0 to 60 . A great handleing 7 or 8 second sedan will be missed because of this ridiculous requirement that will be used so seldom it should not matter. This person also wants a V6 for better fuel mileage .

Can reliability go in the same sentence as a 6 to 10 thousand price range ?


It might be possible, but… probably not if he wants to do frequent full-throttle acceleration runs with a car that is 12-15 years old.

Let me lay some engineering facts of life upon you…

Turbocharged cars react well to “tunes” because the tunes increase boost and therefore horsepower. Normally aspirated cars do not respond particularly well to tunes. You get about 10% with advanced ignition and valve timing forcing you to use premium fuel.

Supercharged cars can react well to tunes if you change the drive pulleys to spin them faster.

You are searching for cars in the sub $9000 range. Cars in that range are pretty worn and will require lots of repairs. AWD adds more expense to those repairs. European cars in that range will be very expensive to repair (the Audi A6 is cheap for a reason!) more so than the Japanese brands. Cars purchased FROM the rust belt will have rust. Lots of rust which will cause you additional expense in repairs. If possible, buy a rust free car from the southeast. Airfare is cheap.

Any car will be even more expensive if you increase the horsepower as it will break expensive things even faster. Double the expense if you are trying to modify the car AND repair things at the same time.

Not trying to chase you off, just giving you the whole truth about the situation you are stepping into.

I would spend the money on a set of winter wheels and tires for a RWD car (the IS350) and learn to drive in the snow before buying an $8000 AWD.


My guess these people have watched “The Transporter” and movies of that nature, too many times.


Time to get a Camry XSE V6:
301-HP 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V-6 Tested (

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You probably aren’t getting into an S4 or A6 with your budget at this time. And if you found one in the $6k-$10k price bracket, it’s not going to be the best example of the breed. Figure in about $2k a year on average for repairs beyond that regular maintenance (which will also be higher-than-you-might-expect). You might be able to find a higher mileage G37x in your price range.

edit I accidently posted a link to the ES 350, not the IS 350. The IS 350 is still not a 4 -second 0-60 car. All but one of the major magazines were getting mid 5 second 0-60 runs, Lexus’s office number is 5.6 seconds. Nevertheless it should be a reliable car. If you can find one for your budget.

If you’re looking for high performance sedan, particularly a European high performance sedan, given the current market, you should probably bump up your budget to at least $15k.


A friend owns several cars, domestic and foreign. He says to budget $1000 per year more for maintenance and repairs for an Audi as for a normal domestic car. He does not exaggerate.

All that German “quality” costs a lot to maintain.


That Audi A6 V6 can be VERY expensive if the timing chain takes a powder… the engine must come out to replace it… thousands and thousands of dollars!

Why? Seriously, you’re rarely if ever going to be able to take advantage of that kind of performance in anything like normal driving.

Dunno. My 2009 Corolla is worth about that and I find it to be quite reliable. Of course, it’s also not what the OP is looking for. :wink:

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Getting a car that has 0-60 times like that will mean that the car is really too powerful for driving in the snow. Buy an $8000 FWD car and a $2000 AWD rust bucket for snow days.

There is no such thing as a “quick sedan that’s reasonably priced” with AWD, reliability, and fuel economy. A car with the features you seek, at the price point you want to pay is about as common as an honest politician, or a company which genuinely cares about its employees.

I would suggest to take that $6k to $10k and buy a used Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, etc. These cars offer excellent reliability, good performance, and good fuel economy, and can be had (in decent condition/low miles) for the price you want to pay.