Hello everyone. You may remember me from about a month ago when I posted that I am about to start a new job and of course, as a 22-year-old male, a new car is on the top of my priority list of nice things to buy myself now that I can afford it. I was considering the following mix of luxury and luxury-sport cars: Lexus ES 350, Lexus IS 350, BMW Z4, BMW 330i, Mercedes C350, Acura TL, and Infiniti G35. I'm happy to report my findings as a result of my test drives. The BMW Z4 was pretty sporty and definitely got some looks as I was test driving it. However, the construction of the interior was mostly cheap plastic and poorly-fitting trim pieces. I even found a couple of loose screws rolling around underneith the seat. Where they came from, I have no idea, and I don't intend on buying one to find out. The performance on the 3.0i was sub-par to say the least. Mashing the pedal to the floor with the manual trans didn't produce the kind of power I was expecting was a small, luxury German sports roadster. Generally it surprisingly reeked of cheapness. It was a nice car, just not $45,000 nice. Next up was the BMW 330i. Its performance was also alright, but the interior looks like it hasn't been updated in 20 years. Pass. The Mercedes C350 was decent. However, I never really seriously considered it after I found out that Consumer Reports rated Mercedes dead last among the 28 biggest car companies in terms of 5 year overall reliability. I'd literally be better off buying a Kia. What's the point of a $45,000 car if it's in the shop 3 months out of the year? I know Mercedes has supposedly been making improvements to its reliability, but my confidence is pretty low in them right now regardless. The Acura TL was a nice vehicle. The interior was very well thought out. The fit and finish was the interior and exterior was nice and it seemed like a well-polished car, except for one thing: FWD. What's the point of having a 270hp engine if you can't use half of that power without extremely violent torque-steer through moderate cornering? Even on straight road, accelerating from a dead stop by mashing the pedal into the floor caused the steering wheel to buck wildly. Supposedly the TL is going to be redesigned during the 2008 or 2009 model year and will come with RWD standard with optional AWD. That would make the TL an excellent contender. But until then, I'm going to have to pass on this otherwise great car. A real disappointment. The Lexus IS 350 had a very attractive interior to me. I was expecting to get whiplash from it's 3.5 liter 306hp V6 and 6-speed transmission. But, for some reason, the performance just wasn't what I was expecting. The handling was very anonymous. It wasn't stiff and responsive, nor was it spongy and luxurious. It felt like I was steering a Camry. Because of the numb steering, I didn't feel confident whipping around a corner at 40mph to make use of the RWD and 300+ horses. Additionally, I'm not a fan of the exterior styling. It looks too bunched up, like they planned on making it a coupe and added 2 extra doors at the last second. Even with these complaints, it was still a good car, it's just not for me. I can understand why people buy them, though. Up to this point I mainly listed near-luxury sport sedans. However, the next car on my list doesn't pretend to be something it's not. The Lexus ES 350 is a luxury sedan in every way. FWD, with 272hp and 6-speed automatic, it is definitely not designed to be sporty. The handling and steering were very spongy and numb, and significant body roll discouraged me from trying to see what it would be like to whip it around a corner at high speeds. The suspension was extremely soft. What the car doesn't have in sportiness it makes up for in Luxury. Air conditioned seats, keyless starting, and touch screen nav system are just the tip of the iceberg of the luxury features offered. There is virtually no wind noise, and no road noise thanks to the soft suspension. It has what I would consider to be the perfect interior. Modern and luxurious but not overdone. And mashing the pedal to the floor provides a surprising rush of speed and power with minimal torque steer for highway merging or red-light racing. It was faster than the 3.0i Z4. Very impressive vehicle. Finally, we have the Infiniti G35. This car was introduced in 2002 as a 2003 model. The interior design definitely looks old and tired by today's standards, especially compared to the Lexus. However, for the 2007 model year, Infiniti is releasing an all-new G35. RWD standard with AWD as an option, the 2007 G35 will sport a 300+hp V6 (a 20+hp increase over the current G35). Based on pictures , I think the interior refinement will be very impressive and definitely challenges the Lexus in terms of fit and finish of the interior. Furthermore, the performance specs seem very impressive, and I haven't read a single negative review yet about the steering or handling. I think it might be the car for me. The only problem is that I'll have to wait until November of this year to get one! So what I need you people to do is talk trash about the ES 350 and talk up Infiniti. The problem is that I definitely like the ES 350 and I will be pretty happy with it. I just think I will be happier if I wait for the Infiniti. On the other hand, I could test drive it and hate it. What I'm affraid of is that I won't be able to force myself to wait for the Infiniti and I will splurge on the ES. I will be able to afford a car by mid-July, so it would be an agonizing 4-month wait to replace my hooptie with a Infiniti if I decided to wait. I don't know if I have the will power! Well anyway, tell me what you think of the new G35 and the ES 350. OK Thanks, bye!