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New car--help me decide

After driving the same cars for more than 11 years, we’re finally in the market for a new car and we’ve decided to get a little fancy. We are looking at mercedes. lexus, bmw, and auddi, and probably previously owned more basic models. Ideally, we would like to get a 2008 or 2007 with low mileage (approx 20K miles). Which would you recommend?

We LOVE our Lexus ES-350. Great car. Extremely quiet…excellent ride…Very responsive…excellent handling.

I’ve never owned any of the other cars so I can’t comment.

Of the luxury models, I would only recommend Lexus. The others you mention will be a drain on your bank account.

Hyundai builds NEW cars that are well equipped (luxurious) for the same money as a used model of the ones you mention. Have a look at their product line. I don’t know what you drive now, but most upscale cars have higher maintenance costs, and many are very unreliable.

In order of reliability and repair costs, the order is probably Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi (from best to worst).

In the comparisons I’ve seen, BMW doesn’t seem to include as many features for the same price as the others, unlike a number of years ago.

The German cars have more of a sporty feel, whereas Lexus has a softer ride (except for the IS).

Any of the rear-wheel drive cars from that list will not be terribly good in the snow, so snow tires would probably be needed on those if you live up north.

In an emergency, the Lexus could easily be serviced by a Toyota dealer and the Audi could probably be serviced by a Volkswagen dealer.

BMW and Audi seem to appeal to a slightly younger crowd, versus Mercedes and Lexus, if that matters.

Lexus is more likely to offer service features such as picking up the car from you, or at least that’s true for the dealers around me.

Insurance costs will probably be higher in general. You might want to see if any of these are significantly better than the others.

Infiniti is worth a look too, if you like their styling. (I definitely do.)

If I had to put it in one sentence, with Lexus you’re paying for reliability, with BMW you’re paying for the handling and driving feel, with Audi you’re paying for a luxurious interior, and with Mercedes you’re paying for advanced gadgets.

I would definitely look at the V6 Hundai Genesis, read great things about it. I too am very happy with my ES300, the 2007-8 ES350 should be equally good.

I’ve spent time with a Mercedes. I was underwhelmed.
My son has had two BMWs. He tired of the high cost of ownership.
I never knew anyonw with an Audi.

I know a few people with Lexuses (or Lexii as we like to say). After years of owning them they plan to keep them forever. They’re totally “sold”.

But there are other choices. I’d suggest getting a Consumer Reports Used Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore. That’ll give you far more information than fits here.

Happy hunting.

The Acura TL is a very nice car. Our 2000 model is comfortable and still quite sporty. If you are only looking for used ones then you won’t get a model with the Batman-like styling which does turn some people off.

You might want to get the Consumer Reports used car buying guide, lots of good info.

Stick to Lexus or BMW. See what satisfies you the most.

The IS250,IS350 are equivalents to the BMW 3-series. The Lexus ES-350 is a cushy comfy Toyota Camry rebadge that BMW has no equivalent to.

Audi and MB tend to be more trouble prone.

I enjoyed the Azera I test drove a couple years ago. The Genesis is too new to tell, but the Azera has been around for a few years already.
Also, the sedan and coupe versions of the Genesis are night and day in terms of seating. Auto show back in March proved this when I sat in both. Coupe’s seats where more of a racing seat that didn’t feel all that great to even sit in. The sedan’s seats felt pretty comfortable.

How much do you want to spend? If a little over $30,000 is OK, then look at a 2007 Jaguar XJ8. Reliable and fun.