Help! Which Car to Buy?

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
Hello my fellow MR peers. I was wondering if you could assist with something.

Im finishing college in two months. As a grad gift, my parents will be chipping in 25k to buy a good car for me. Im looking to spend a maximum of 45 overall.

So this is where it gets sticky.

I originally wanted to get a 2012 c350 but the problem is, it does not come in 4matic which the father won't agree with so most likely he'll stop me from getting that car.

While the c300 comes with 4matic, im not really interested in getting a c class with such meh power. Then i switched over to a 328xi because they received some pretty good reviews. But then i found out that the xi doesn't come in seda form, and only coupe. Which at the same time im not a fan of and also would raise the price a couple thousand.

Not really looking at infiniti. Not a fan of the styling. And probably not an audi because one of the family members already has one.

Should i suck it up and buy a c300 with 4 matic? It'll top out at 43k and could get most options. If i go with the 328xi coupe, i would only be able to get the needed options and i would be hardpressed to find it for 45k ish.

thoughts? probably down to only mb or bmw though.
 

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
First world problems :rolleyes:

By a cheap car and use the rest as a downpayment on a house.
Well if you think about it, many of the what to buy threads we have on MR are "first world problems."

I mean, even spending hundreds more to buy a mac than a pc is also not a wise investment when one can use that to buy necessicities. if our budget permits, i dont see why its bad that im asking a car question. its not as if im being snarky or show offy. :confused:

----------

Why not an Acura TL?
While fantasic cars, another family member already possesses a TL. I mulled on a idea of a IS but the styling of the car is a bit too curvy for me.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,515
St. Louis, MO
Well if you think about it, many of the what to buy threads we have on MR are "first world problems."

I mean, even spending hundreds more to buy a mac than a pc is also not a wise investment when one can use that to buy necessicities. if our budget permits, i dont see why its bad that im asking a car question. its not as if im being snarky or show offy. :confused:
The difference is, if I choose to spend $1000 for a Mac versus $600 for a PC, that $400 difference in the grand scheme of things isn't significant. It's not going to make or break a downpayment on a house or anything like that.

The difference between a a $15,000 car and a $45,000 car is huge, and that $30,000 could be better spent on an investment such as a house, and put you one step ahead of your fellow college graduates who will be graduating with student loan debt and living in their parents' basement for the first couple of years after college.
 

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
I hate for this convo to take a negative turn. :/

Could anyone just help me with the question at hand? Thats not to say that I dont appreciate your replies/comments!
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
849
I'm guess you require AWD/4WD?

I actually would strongly consider the C300 4MATIC (If you're looking for sedans). If you do get this model, the Premium Package 1 is basically a requirement, as you'll be getting a lot of features that frankly should have been included already. (iPod/MP3 media interface, Split-folding rear seats, 14-way power driver seat including 4-way power lumbar support, Power steering column, Driver's seat memory system and a few others). That adds about 2,500 to the base price.

I will also recommend the GLK350. Mercedes recently announced a new version of the GLK so if you can wait long enough, you can get the new model (The new model looks much better, has a whole new interior, a new V6 engine, and according to Mercedes: "Over 1,000 enhancements"). It's about 35,880 base, with 2,000 going towards the 4WD system. This is the model my family has and we absolutely love it. You'll also want (probably NEED) to get the Premium 1 package on this car as well.
 

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
I'm guess you require AWD/4WD?

I actually would strongly consider the C300 4MATIC (If you're looking for sedans). If you do get this model, the Premium Package 1 is basically a requirement, as you'll be getting a lot of features that frankly should have been included already. (iPod/MP3 media interface, Split-folding rear seats, 14-way power driver seat including 4-way power lumbar support, Power steering column, Driver's seat memory system and a few others). That adds about 2,500 to the base price.

I will also recommend the GLK350. Mercedes recently announced a new version of the GLK so if you can wait long enough, you can get the new model (The new model looks much better, has a whole new interior, a new V6 engine, and according to Mercedes: "Over 1,000 enhancements"). It's about 35,880 base, with 2,000 going towards the 4WD system. This is the model my family has and we absolutely love it. You'll also want (probably NEED) to get the Premium 1 package on this car as well.
Well the GLK might be a tad bit too big for me. Im turning 22 so Im looking to drive the car for a good 6-7 years. The GLK styling isn't really fitting for my age.

But the c class was my originally plan but I wanted the c350 for the larger engine. But the pops was very insistant that I get a AWD car. Better safe then sorry. But the issue is, the c350 doesn't come in 4 wheel drive. It leaves me torn on whether sacrificing engine is the right decision for 4 wheel drive (and a cheaper price when compared to the 328).
 

sk1wbw

Suspended
May 28, 2011
3,483
1,006
Williamsburg, Virginia
Hello my fellow MR peers. I was wondering if you could assist with something.

Im finishing college in two months. As a grad gift, my parents will be chipping in 25k to buy a good car for me. Im looking to spend a maximum of 45 overall.

So this is where it gets sticky.

I originally wanted to get a 2012 c350 but the problem is, it does not come in 4matic which the father won't agree with so most likely he'll stop me from getting that car.

While the c300 comes with 4matic, im not really interested in getting a c class with such meh power. Then i switched over to a 328xi because they received some pretty good reviews. But then i found out that the xi doesn't come in seda form, and only coupe. Which at the same time im not a fan of and also would raise the price a couple thousand.

Not really looking at infiniti. Not a fan of the styling. And probably not an audi because one of the family members already has one.

Should i suck it up and buy a c300 with 4 matic? It'll top out at 43k and could get most options. If i go with the 328xi coupe, i would only be able to get the needed options and i would be hardpressed to find it for 45k ish.

thoughts? probably down to only mb or bmw though.
No Infiniti??? Dude, that M56 is SWEET. I'd be driving that if I had the money.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
849
Well the GLK might be a tad bit too big for me. Im turning 22 so Im looking to drive the car for a good 6-7 years. The GLK styling isn't really fitting for my age.

But the c class was my originally plan but I wanted the c350 for the larger engine. But the pops was very insistant that I get a AWD car. Better safe then sorry. But the issue is, the c350 doesn't come in 4 wheel drive. It leaves me torn on whether sacrificing engine is the right decision for 4 wheel drive (and a cheaper price when compared to the 328).
Do you live in a steep rocky area? RWD can usually manage almost all paved areas these days, and I don't think you'd go off-roading in a sedan either.
 

Repo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
597
0
I've had bad experience with "dealership only" repairs, and with Mercedes and BMW, you'll be stuck with a dealership.

Food for thought.

If you can, make sure you have a very trusted mechanic.
 

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
Do you live in a steep rocky area? RWD can usually manage almost all paved areas these days, and I don't think you'd go off-roading in a sedan either.
Well I live in Maryland. Snow fall was a bit less this year but we had some narly ones that my RWD and FWD cars struggled on.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,776
1,349
Georgia
Since you want Mercedes or BMW. How about getting a pristine classic model? You will have a unique vehicle that gets noticed not some generic car that looks like every other model, it will appreciate over time not take a nose dive in value when driven off the lot and every year thereafter, and they just look great.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
849
Well I live in Maryland. Snow fall was a bit less this year but we had some narly ones that my RWD and FWD cars struggled on.
If you have a lot of snowfall, then I would go with the 4MATIC. The performance drop is not a huge deal, and besides, you don't buy a mainstream C class for it's performance, that's what the C63 AMG is for :D
 

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
I thought about it. I also told the parents I would be happy with a 2010 model. Unfortunately they had TERRIBLE experiences with used cars so they pretty much killed that idea.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
You said your parents will be paying 25k for the car, but your budget maxes out at 45k. How are you going to fund the remaining 20k?

I don't know about the system in the US but at least here in Finland buying a used car is a much better choice. There is nothing wrong with new cars but the value will go down substantially during the first couple of years. This means you can get a 2010 or 2011 model that is almost brand new for much less than a new car.

If I was you, I would just get a decent used car and use the remaining money for something else. There is a good chance that you need to switch the car in a few years. Think about moving overseas for instance, or relationship. You will lose way too much money if you have to sell the car in lets say 3 years.

And in reply to your latest post, check out car shops that sell used cars. At least here some brand stores (like BMW) sell used ones that come with warranty.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
849
You said your parents will be paying 25k for the car, but your budget maxes out at 45k. How are you going to fund the remaining 20k?

I don't know about the system in the US but at least here in Finland buying a used car is a much better choice. There is nothing wrong with new cars but the value will go down substantially during the first couple of years. This means you can get a 2010 or 2011 model that is almost brand new for much less than a new car.

If I was you, I would just get a decent used car and use the remaining money for something else. There is a good chance that you need to switch the car in a few years. Think about moving overseas for instance, or relationship. You will lose way too much money if you have to sell the car in lets say 3 years.
Silly you, everyone knows us Americans require brand new 8 seater SUVs with more features than a space shuttle! :p

Used cars are a good buy, but that doesn't mean new cars aren't good either.
 

rrl

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2009
511
56
The AWD Audio S4 Sedan is $47,300; you could get it for $45,000. That would be my first choice in that price range. I have that dual clutch gearbox in my current car; it's sweet.
 

coupdetat

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2008
449
0
Why not buy a slightly used luxury car? You can get a beautiful 3 or 5 series with around 30,000 miles for WELL under your budget, which leaves you money to travel the world, buy a condo, throw at hookers, etc. (I'd recommend traveling the world after college.. seriously!) The depreciation on luxury cars is absolutely massive because most people who buy them are clueless.

If I were you, I'd spend $20k on a Porsche Boxster, save $5k for maintenance/insurance, and spend $5k on a nice long vacation. Then save the remainder for other life needs. You don't need AWD in Maryland. I've lived in Philadelphia and currently live in Connecticut, and seriously.. as long as you have a stickshift and a decent set of snow tires, RWD is no big deal. The only exception is if you're a doctor or something and don't work a normal 9-5 schedule where the roads will be cleared in time.

Besides, young kids look stupid in luxury cars. Go to New Jersey and you'll see what I mean--literally every 20-something spent their life savings on a 3-series.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
Used cars are a good buy, but that doesn't mean new cars aren't good either.
A new car can be a good buy, but IMO not for a 22-year-old. 45k is a lot money for a college student as I would assume the OP does not have a secure job with good salary. When you make $100k a year, then buying a 45k car is not a problem.
 

ipodlover77

macrumors 65816
Jan 17, 2009
1,211
232
The 2013 328 awd sedan should be available later this year if you can wait abit.
THIS. I kept googling "2012 328xi sedan" but i got no results. I was wondering why a sedan AWD wasn't released. Link?

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The AWD Audio S4 Sedan is $47,300; you could get it for $45,000. That would be my first choice in that price range. I have that dual clutch gearbox in my current car; it's sweet.
Serious? Where? If I could find a s4 at 45. That would be my option 100%.'


(should mention. im looking for a car too :p except im looking at a genesis too. GOTTA THINK SMART)
 
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quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,321
1,123
The 3 series is new for this year. xDrive will be available at a later date. BMW always releases the RWD version first with AWD coming later.

Frankly, what do you want in the car? I ask because Mercedes and BMW have different philosophies. Mercedes is about luxury and highway cruising. They aren't tuned to handle and sport driving. Not to say they don't handle, but it isn't their goal. BMW focuses on the driver experience. It will be more fun to drive, giving the driver great feedback around the corners, etc.

If you do decide to wait for the xDrive model, I also advise checking out the new Cadillac ATS with the 2.0T which will be released later this year.
 
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theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
28
The 3 series is new for this year. xDrive will be available at a later date. BMW always releases the RWD version first with AWD coming later.

Frankly, what do you want in the car? I ask because Mercedes and BMW have different philosophies. Mercedes is about luxury and highway cruising. They aren't tuned to handle and sport driving. Not to say they don't handle, but it isn't their goal. BMW focuses on the driver experience. It will be more fun to drive, giving the driver great feedback around the corners, etc.

If you do decide to wait for the xDrive model, I also advise checking out the new Cadillac ATS with the 2.0T which will be released later this year.
I originally wanted the C for the smooth drive reputation but then all the reviews said that the bimmer has a superior driving experience. I guess a test drive would be the best bet but what really threw me off from the c300 was the subpar 0-60 speed. I think it was 6.7 or 6.9. I realize that when your dealing with the 328 and the c300, speed is the last thing on your mind but still. An almost 7 second 0-60 speed when the 328 does 5.8-5.9 is disappointing to say the least. Im def not going to be racing or anything but the quickness is appreciated.

With that being said, the car that possesses comparable 0-60, four wheel drive, and overall cheaper would be the a4. but again, thats out the question because someone in the family already has an audi.

Theres always the g37 as a last resort.
 

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