What Sedan to Buy?

I’m looking to purchase a sedan in the coming weeks. I’ve narrowed it down to the vehicles below. I need some help making a final decision so please offer up your input. Thank you. Here’s the parameters:

  • Must be under $20,000
  • Must be a 4 door sedan
  • Automatic preferred but manual okay
  • Must be under 40,000 miles
  • Black interior(cloth or leather) preferred

Here’s what I am considering:

’16-'17 Accord Sport or EX

I like the styling and they are super, super reliable and easy to repair. I don’t like the lack of power and FWD.

’15-'16 Mercedes Benz C Class

Love the styling and interior. Decent power. Concerned about reliability and repair bills.

’14-'16 BMW 3-Series

Love the styling and interior. Decent power. Can get the AWD model for similar price to RWD. Concerned about reliability and repair bills.

’14-'16 Audi A4 2.0T Premium Quattro

Love the styling and interior. Decent power. Concerned about reliability, repair bills and electronics issues.

’15-'16 Infinity Q50 Premium

I like the styling. Plenty of power with the V6 motor. The interior kind of sucks. Reliable/proven Nissan motor.

’16-'17 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

I like the exterior styling. Reliability is a slight concern but repairs shouldn’t be as expensive as its European counterparts. A little underpowered, to get the V-spec you have to add about $20k and they are rare. Interior is so-so. Don’t know if I should get the 4-cyl turbo or the 3.6L V6?

I’d love to hear what you guys think? Or what you would personally choose if you were in my shoes. I’m also open to other suggestions as well. Thank you for your time and help.

Get the Accord with a V6. PLENTY fast.


I’d go with a used Toyota Corolla or Camry. Can’t go wrong with a low-mileage used one, especially if it’s “certified pre-owned” and comes with a warranty from the manufacturer.

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Just bought a '14 Audi A4 2.0T. Quattro S-Line. My wife loves the car. Best interior of any car on your list. I do most all my own work so the cost of repair is not a problem. The Audi service waiting room is very, very nice with free coffee, drinks, TV, Wifi. All paid for by the service department.

The Infinity Q50 seems only to have interior issues on CarComplaints.com. Japanese built luxury and performance with a 7 speed automatic. I’d say it is a good choice if you can live with the interior.

The Honda will be reliable and inexpensive to service. Dull, however. Hard to go wrong with a Honda.

No Benz, no BMW. Both are problems ready to eat your bank account.


Definitely a good option. They are a bit harder to find though. Thanks for the reply.

Thank you for the reply. The Corolla is too small though and for whatever reason I don’t like the Camry. I’ve never been a huge fan? :man_shrugging: I kind of like the new sport version with the faux air vents on the back but the new one is out of the price range.

Good to hear that your wife likes her A4! I really do like these a lot but I’d be paying someone to fix it :frowning:

This is my exact thought on the Accord. Proven reliability but boring.

I was kind of leaning toward the Q50 because I like the exterior styling, it shares the same motor as the 350z and is RWD but the interior issues and the fact that they really don’t hold their value is shying me away.

Every car I’ve ever had since I was 16 had small 4 cylinder motors and were FWD. I kinda want to try something different.

Of those you list, only the Accord gets my vote. I value intelligent design, reliability, longevity, and overall quality at a reasonable price. Therefore, Accord.

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Mercedes is a money pit. Not just from repairs but the resale value plummets every year.


ANY luxury car, except maybe Lexus and Acura will turn into a major money pit. Not just from repairs, but from scheduled maintenance, depreciation, etc. Hence, my recommendation of a Corolla/Camry. Let’s face it: if you have to ask about repair costs and reliability, then you CAN’T afford a Mercedes/BMW/Audi/Land Rover/VW/etc.

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Of those listed the Honda Accord is by far the best choice. The Audi, Mercedes, and BMW will present you with horrendous maintenance and repair costs. The Cadillac has a less than sterling record as well.

The Infiniti is an upgraded Nissan, and most have been reasonable in upkeep, but more expensive than a Nissan.

As others mentioned, a Toyota Camry is the most reliable you can buy in the non-luxury sedan segment.


If you’re planning on staying under $20,000, I’m not sure that any luxury car is a good idea. Having said that, I’ll point out that the Acura TLX would probably be a good choice to consider as well.


Great points. I’m kinda leaning toward the V6 option.

Point taken. Perhaps I will give the Camry another shot. Beginning to eliminate the Euro luxury cars.

Cool, going to check out the TLX. I’m talking about purchase cost of $20k alone. Not accounting for maintenance costs etc., etc. Just to get the car out the door. I’ve found multiple examples of every car mentioned on this list for under $20k. The A4 seems to be the most plentiful of the euros from a local inventory standpoint in this price range though.

I have a 2017 Accord EX-L and I am very happy with it. I like it even more than the Accord EX V6 I sold to buy the 2017. The new one has the 4-cyl, and while it isn’t as peppy as the V6, it still has decent power for a naturally aspirated engine. While the V6 has more power, it also has a timing belt. If you keep it until it has 105,000 miles or until it turns 7, you will have to replace the timing belt. That’s about $1000 now andincludes a new water pump, new coolant, and a new serpentine belt; all things you should do with the timing belt You might also check out the Mazda6 and see if it has more of the handling you want.

Consumer Reports rates the '16 model as “worse than average” in overall reliability, and one of the key factors in that rating is its “worse than average” engine. However, the engine is apparently better than the in-car electronics, which rate “MUCH worse than average” in reliability.

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I goofed. I meant '14 - '15 Q50. I was looking at so many cars the model years started blurring together. The 2016 model I believe went from a NA 3.7L to a turbo 3.0. I don’t know if this newer motor has issues or not but the 3.7 motor is used widespread across Nissan and Infiniti’s entire platform and some version of it has been around since the early 90’s. They generally are pretty reliable motors. I have heard a lot of negativity about the ICE gremlins in the cars electronics though. Thanks for your reply.

You are asking about a sedan so I assume you are not the only person in the household.
When it comes time to choose a vehicle there is only one person whose opinion matters . That would be my wife .

But since you asked for opinions here is mine. We have a Volvo purchased new and there is no way we would have any used European luxury vehicle .

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:grinning: lol, well if that’s the case then it looks like I’m getting the Honda. That’s the one she wants me to get lol.