Used sports sedan under 30k?

I have a problem with my '17 Impreza Sport wagon: it’s boring to drive. It’s a good little car, but slow as hell and lacks any character. I’m looking to upgrade and I could use some ideas.

What I’m looking for:

Sporty (under 5.5 sec 0-60; good handling/steering)
Relatively reliable
Under 30k (most like used)
Solid build quality

Bonuses - a top notch interior, comfortable enough ride for road trips, AWD, character, will last a while.

Looking forward to your suggestions in advance!

I don’t think you can find that in your price bracket.

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Really? I can think of several options in the last 5-10 years that meet these conditions, but I am curious to hear what the people on this forum can come up

2017 Audi A4 Quattro with the 2.0 turbo 4. 0-60 in 5.1 sec. Best interiors in the industry. Great handling, nice ride. Currently selling around $30K depending on miles, trim and location.

They can be pricy to service… keep that in mind.

I currently own a 2014 Audi A4 Quattro. My wife loves this car.


Good option. I know servicing these can be a hassle, but what has been your personal experience with reliability? Any major repairs since owning the car?

A 2017/2018 MB C43 AMG meets your specs. 0-60 is 4.6 sec according to Benz.

How about a used Kia Stinger?
The twin-turbo V-6 version does 0-60 in 4.7 seconds.

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I am always hesitant with modern MBs. From what I hear, reliability is highly questionable. Would be curious to hear from someone that has had one for a few years.

None at all. But we only drive it 3800 miles a year and it has just 40K on it now. Still has the factory brake pad, I beleive. We bought it used.

Not a bad look, however hard to find in the price range in the GT trim. Not sure about build quality as well, but that is probably from decades long Kia bias. Definitely seems to be on the cheaper side to maintain and repair compared to other “luxury” sport sedans.

And, even if you can find a used Benz that is reliable, its maintenance will be extremely costly.
If repairs are needed, prepare to get a second mortgage on your house.

There is an old joke that isn’t very far from the truth:
Q: How can I become a millionaire?
A: First, accumulate two million dollars, and then buy a used Benz. Soon, you will have one million dollars.


Rather than asking for recommendations just seach the many used vehicle web sites , find something that appeals to you then web search for magazine road tests to see it it meets your wants. Then pay a shop to inspect it and hope it doesn’t drain your bank account with repairs because even if it passes inspection it can still have problems

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Exactly my worry. I used to fix up old Benzs with my stepfather and they were built like tanks, but the ones coming out nowadays always seem like they are on the edge of failure.

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I think that the biggest problem with modern Benzes is that they have overly-complex electronic systems that are very prone to failure and that are incredibly expensive to diagnose and repair.

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You’ve got to pay to play. If you want a premium sport sedan, it’s going to cost more to buy, maintain, and repair. As far as reliability is concerned, I doubt that there is much data since these vehicles sold in limited quantities. The A4 2.0T isn’t likely in that category, but most of these cars are. The Audi S4 is more of a competitor for the C43 AMG.

The idea was to get input from people that have experience over several years with a pertinent vehicle. Variables such as reliability are impossible to determine through a road test that a magazine can perform.

What you recommend is the obvious default research path required to purchase a used vehicle. I think asking around for some more personal feedback is never a bad idea. Not very insightful or helpful on your part. Btw, it is ok to not respond to every post you see, especially if you have nothing to add.

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100% agree with the higher costs, but there is definitely a range that different premium sport sedans fall in. For example, there is a consensus that a premium Lexus is generally less to maintain and repair than a MB long term.

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This is an open forum and you will not always get the answers you want . I don’t respond to all threads and I gave the way I would seach for a vehicle .

As for advice this is a lousy time to be looking for vehicles new or used .


The Lexus IS350 AWD does 0-60 in 5.4 seconds, but doesn’t handle or brake as well as the rivals. That improves if you add the F-Sport option. That last one meets your price point in the 2015 model year.

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I have a friend who bought a Lexus ISF with nearly 80K miles on it. He’s had virtually no issues with the car over the 60K he’s put on the car. Plus a track day!

Very nice interior, very fast car. The previous owner did put stiffer, lower, springs on it but the car still rides very nicely. But it looks great!