By on January 7, 2009

First of all, hats off to RF for both returning to car reviewing and getting it so right with his Lexus IS-F review . It’s really a world class car and one I would happily own. Even with the 8-speed paddle shifter, which, oddly, works real well on the freeway and allows the 0-60 mph in 4.2 second car to get over 20 mpg at 80 mph. That’s tall gearing for you. Long story short — LS-F equals awesome. But what about the cars it competes with. Some of you know how I feel about the Audi RS4. In a word, hot sex. I’ve been lucky enough to drive tons of killer metal and that hopped up Audi still holds a special place in my heart even if it only gets 11 mpg. But, ignoring Robert’s plea, we just can’t forget about the new BMW M3. By all accounts it’s the best car in the world. And if it isn’t, it’s in the top 5. But even with it’s 414 hp V8, the Mercedes C63 AMG eats the little Bimmer’s heart. 450 horse and 443 torques mean that the Merc can outrun just about anything. Except the Cadillac CTS-V (I said “just about”). With a totally ludicrous supercharged heart pumping out 556 hp and a rubber-roasting 551 lb-ft of twist, no car with 4-doors competes speed wise. And certainly not any under the $100,000 ceiling. But you know what? The 416 hp IS-F comes close. As does the 420 hp RS4. Oy vey. For the sake of consistency, I’ll go with the new RS4 which hasn’t been released yet. Nya-nya. You?

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87 Comments on “Question Of The Day: Which Uber-Sedan Would You Buy?...”


  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Volvo V70R.

    What, I can’t pick that? OK, then give me the keys to the C63 AMG. If I’m going to die, it’s going to be driving that.

  • avatar

    I’m holding out for something in the 3,000 to 3,200-pound range, even if some engine size must be sacrificed to get there.

    Of the cars listed, I’ve only driven the BMW. No doubt it comes alive on the track. Around town I’ve driven many cars that were more engaging. I haven’t a clue whey the steering’s so light. In other words, it doesn’t work for me.

    Lack of a stick rules out the Lexus and Mercedes for me.

    Maybe the Cadillac, though it’s crazy heavy.

    So the door’s wide open for the new Audi RS4, if it steers better than the new A4 on which it is based.

  • avatar
    Jason

    Audi RS6 Avant. Wicked fast, looks pretty evil, has the cool Euro-wagon thing going on…pretty much the ultimate vehicle in my eyes.

  • avatar
    SpeedJebus

    VW Phaeton.

    Something about being different appeals to me.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    Jason : Audi RS6.

    2nd!!!!

    571HP + quattro so that you can use more of that powah more of the time. (Oh, and I’m not picky – I’d happily take either the sedan or the Avant ;-)

  • avatar
    Cicero

    S65 AMG, black, Hugo Boss suit on my back, Patek Philippe on my wrist, an icy blonde on my arm.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    The engine in the C63 looks like it overwhelms the rear end every time you get on it (based on the Top Gear test) and I still don’t trust Audis to get me to work every morning, so I’ll go with the M3 sedan. Then again, if it was really my money, I would probably end up with the 335i given its frugal highway manners and superlative performance with a little tweaking. Some ridiculous AMG CLS or S-class might be a lot of fun though …

  • avatar

    Pontiac G8 GXP.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    CLS AMG.

    The best drive I’ve ever had in an off-the-floor 4 door. It really does handle and is just damn fast.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    Having never driven any of these cars I can only speak with absolute conviction based on my preconceived bias.

    I really like the RS4, most likely due to Jonny’s glowing review of it, but something about that nose heavy huge front overhang design puts me off. The RS6 avant may well be the ultimate car but this is uber-sedan we’re talking about. The IS-F is such a ridiculous posermobile I am ashamed for even mentioning it, even if for derision. Every Mercedes sucks. The Cadillac CTS-V is pretty sweet but also too heavy and big. This leaves the one, the only, the all time best car that has ever or will ever be made, the M3!

  • avatar
    thefronge

    M5

    8,200RPM V10 what?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    RobD

    Jesus! How could I forget?

    I pick the G8 GXP.

  • avatar
    jjdaddyo

    I have room for an Audi RS8 Avant in my garage.
    What?

  • avatar

    LSA CTS-V.

    Used that is after someone pre-babied one for a year or two. When I get tired of my G8 GT I’m going to go hunting for a real clean one with the Recaro seat option.

  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    Panamer….er….I’ll take the V. I’d like to try out that magnetic suspension.

  • avatar
    lysine

    How uber does it need to be to be uber?

    I bought an Evo X because I wanted an uber sedan for the not uber sedan price.

    If power is the issue, the UK folk have the FQ-400 version and that’s pretty uber.

    I’d love the RS4 over anything else, but its reliability is in question. I know someone who just got an RS4 and it’s broken down twice and it still has paper plates.

    So if I had to choose from the list above I would probably pick the M3.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m not picking the G8 GXP out of anger that GM killed the G8 ST yesterday.

    So Jaguar XJR for me.

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    Jonny you answered the question when you chose the pic (though I did dutifully read the post)…

    I’ve driven a lot of great cars, and for plopping my money down (well OK the $70K I wish I had) on a weapons-grade daily-driver monster-sedan, the RS4 is quite simply near perfect at everything. Now if only I could get an Avant

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    If financial reality isn’t intruding, and we’re talking new cars…. Maserati Quattroporte. The smaller platforms tend to appeal to me more as coupes or wagons than sedans. I love how light and manageable the A8 feels for its size, and I assume the QP is a similar (though more exotic) experience. But I’m also fairly easy to please. I’d definitely rock an S8 as my uber-sedan with no complaints.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    Oooh, I like this. But I’m in a sweetie shop so I can’t just have one.

    Moderns – M3, its good to be king.

    Daily – RS6 Avant, I would want to get it attended to by the chip shop though.

    Left Field – 335d, also chipped. 600+ lb/ft with 30 MPG anyone? I read somewhere it had to be detuned so it didn’t upset M3 drivers too much. That would be nice but sooty.

    I would consider the CTS after its Nurburgring hammering and because here in Blighty it would be different. It would also be nice to upset Royalty (M3 drivers) every now and again. LHD would annoy though.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Screw all of you Euro snobs!!

    Toyota Century. V12. RWD.

    2nd choice would be a Bentley Arnage T so I can pretend to be Clive Owen in Children of Men.

  • avatar
    Saracen

    In 2008, I drove an M3 6-speed sedan, M3 DCT Coupe, an RS4, and the C63..

    For me, it’s an M3 6-speed sedan in a heartbeat.

    Yes, the C63 will leave the other two in the dust on the straights, but turn the wheel and it leaves much to be desired. The RS4 keeps a slightly slower pace than the M3 in the twisties, but the interior feels dated (maybe because I’m used to my ’05 A4).

    I really can’t use enough superlatives to describe how well the M3 drives. It’s the least powerful of the trio, but the engine is so smooth, and so flexible and sounds so good you’ll never care, and probably won’t notice.

    The M3 is a fantastic dancing partner, and thoughts of it will be dancing in your head long after you’ve been driving it.

    I intend to acquire mine soon.

  • avatar
    pete

    M5.

    M3.

    335i.

  • avatar

    Put me on the RS6 Avant bandwagon too!

    Practicality be damned though, that M3 is a wonderful car.

    So who’s gonna get their hands on the smoking new Caddy CTS-V?

  • avatar
    ARacer

    Subaru Legacy GT Spec B. Smaller and lighter than all the rest, enough power to entertain, fine handling, reliable. And if for some reason you need to make it faster that you will ever drive it, Cobb Tuning will turn it in to a poseur smacking monster for a nominal fee.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Make the sedan a wagon, and we’ll make it the E63 wagon.

  • avatar
    arapaima

    I’d have to say RS4, I like the idea of “driving war”.

    Aside from that maybe a phaeton.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I like my 05 Sti.

    Insurance not too bad.
    Parts a bit pricy, easily upgradeable if I feel like it.
    More than enough power for day to day use.

    Crappy gas mileage, but around $30k cheapper than my next choice (cts-v).

  • avatar
    Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

    Aston Martin Rapide

    Lamborghini Estoque

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    Bentley Arnage Final Series. Totally unique. Fantastic performance. And the only remaining Bently (that I know of) with no Volkswagen underpinnings.

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/bentley-arnage-final-series/

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    LS600hL.

    Goes like hell when you need it to, is supremely comfortable and well-detailed, can get pretty amazing mileage if you soft-foot it, isn’t at all tacky.

    Though the nomination of the Century, above, is a good one.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The new S4 – lighter, faster and looks great.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Oooooh…. Century… very sneaky.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    If I wanted bulletproof reliability, I’d pick the IS-F. If I wanted pure fun, I’d pick the CTS-V. I imagine the M-B and BMW are pretty reliable, but you can’t beat the Lexus. As for the Audi, their reputation for unreliability is legendary.

    Also, with the Caddy and the Lexus, you don’t have to put up with the COMAND and iDrive systems.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Everyman’s uber-sedan: G8 GXP w/ manual transmission or Caddy CTS-V w/ manual
    Dream uber-sedan: Aston Martin Rapide (if it ever comes out)

  • avatar

    I’m with Michael Karesh. Something <3200 lbs, with a stick and a clutch.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Mazdaspeed 3? Or do you want either AWD or RWD? That may be a bit harder to drum up in the states.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I’m with Karesh & Holzman. Light and small is where it’s at along with RWD and good firm seats. I have lots of narrow twisty roads in my area and porky 2 ton bloat mobiles don’t cut it. I don’t even care what it looks like – just give me the performance I want.

  • avatar
    bumpy

    Yeah, Toyota Century with the 800hp twin-turbo setup Top Secret did with that V12 swapped into a Supra. If it has to be factory, the Autech R33 GT-R sedan.

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    Maserati Quattroporte

  • avatar

    The last three uber-sedans I bought were

    2005 Phaeton
    2006 Phaeton
    2009 S5

    Not really a sedan, that last one.

    Let me see the Panamera in the metal.

  • avatar
    alexnunez

    I’ll fight Jonny for the keys to the RS4.

  • avatar
    eh_political

    I will take two, both brand new (or sub 10k) vehicles from 1990. An LS 400, and an Infiniti Q45. With all the ink spilled about the new Hyundai, it would be interesting to spend some time with vehicles that must have given other automakers a heart attack.

  • avatar
    CoffeeJones

    I’m all about hiding sunshine under a basket, even if it’s really bright sunshine.

    RS4, because I’d like to make a big loud understatement

  • avatar

    I bought the E550 but if I had the money, I would have purchased the Mercedes E63. Plenty of power, more than adequate handling, great ride, and plenty of room. The M3 is a great vehicle but I prefer a plusher ride for everyday driving and more room for sharing the experience.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    2009 Mercedes S600. Black on Saddle. Would love to have a car with a V12. Very Decadent

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    FPV Falcon F6 – these things are INSANE.

    “Powered by a 4.0 litre turbo-charged DOHC 24 valve in-line six, the F6 produces a maximum power of 310kW (415hp) at 5,500rpm and maximum torque of 565Nm (416ft/lbs!!) across the range from 1,950 to 5,200rpm.”

    Trival tuner upgrades to exhaust and turbo pressure to get way beyond those numbers. The Australian Supra TT.

    (no_slushbox click the link! 6spd manual available and of course preferred).

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Jack: I need to come to Ohio…

  • avatar
    Seth L

    Aston Martin Lagonda.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    RS6 Avant.

    I hate to say it because the last Audi I drove (a 5) was an understeering truffle hunter, but sometimes you have stuff to haul when you are hauling.

  • avatar
    billc83

    CTS-V.

  • avatar

    Quattroporte.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Seth: Oooh… also good

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Phaeton. W12 please.

  • avatar
    JG

    You folks who want a 3200 lb 4-door with an MT should be snapping up an E36 M3/4 from the waning supply.

    If you’re insane or power hungry, the Chev LS1 and T56 drop in without too much fuss, even the ABS survives. Or you can put a hair dryer on the stock mill.

  • avatar
    Cyril Sneer

    E39 M5 over any of the new cars.

    Also, despite only 240 bhp, my E36 M3 sedan hits all the right buttons for me, and sticks to 3200 lbs…

  • avatar
    jkross22

    PeteMoran:

    Any influence with Mulally to get that F6 over to NA? That thing looks KILLER! A real shame the whole ‘world platform’ thing got us the Mercury Mystique (although the Merkur’s were cool. Too bad I was 12 when they got here).

    I’m sure with the sales success of the G8 GT, we can expect to see the F6 here in, oh let’s see, never.

    A real shame there’s a bigger auto appliance market than there is for those who actually like driving.

  • avatar
    Whuffo2

    I think I’d make a more intelligent choice: purchase an “appliance” automobile for the functions that require a sedan, and purchase a sports car for the days that I don’t need a sedan.

    This way, I could have a Z06 for my hot foot days and something like a Camry for those “responsible” days.

    The total price tag would be much less and I’d have both a faster and a more useful car.

  • avatar

    Ditto on the E39 M5. I have a soft spot for the Jag XJR, but I know better.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    I haven’t driven any of these uber-animals and short of opening a part-time meth-lab, there’s no way I can afford them, so WTF do I know?!?

    Aside from that, the current RS4’s subdued style does it for me – maybe because there’s one in my ‘hood. “We covet most what we see every day,” according to Dr. H. Lecter.

  • avatar
    jckirlan11

    Pontiac GXP or CTS-V. Wow, Detroit 2.8 making a comeback.

  • avatar
    roamer

    I already requested the RS6 Avant for our Christmas poll, so how about an RS8 with the v12 TDI engine from the new R8.

    Because the S8 is too tame.

  • avatar
    Lee

    E63 AMG please.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    RS4 because I’ve driven it. But I think I’d really like the CTS-V. Yep.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I do not see myself happy with over 300hp, to much to handle. Nothing too big either. The 5-series’ size is my limit, I think. I like nimble, I like steady, I like stable, I like tractability. I think an E39 525i might be uber for me. Lightweight, nimble, comfy and tactile. Not my favorite interior, but it gets the job done. I like the new S4, but I’m not sure I’m ready for all that weight. Then again it might be tracable enough that I dont feel too scared.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    If we’re going backwards in time, I’ll have an E30 M3 please.

  • avatar

    Money no object, Bugati Veyron! When will it come out? Maybe never but artist renderings of the sedan version are pretty damn gorgeous!

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    Audi A8L W12.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Maserati Quatroporte. Mine looks cooler than yours.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    So many cars, so little time.

    I’ve always been enamored with the quintessential Q-Ship, the E39 M5 and it’s spiritual successor the RS4 we all know and love as well as it’s facsimile, the G8 GXP. The IS-F tickles me just the right way, as does the almighty Audi RS6 (with it’s $450/ea brake rotors). I love the snarling, foaming-at-the-mouth CLS63 and the impossibly fast S65. Even the quaint-by-comparison ’02 Audi S8 (Yes, the one from ‘Ronin’).

    Just park them all in a circle and play spin the bottle. I’ll be happy with any of them.

  • avatar
    RayH

    Cost be damned, I would pick a CTS-V even over cars costing 100k more.

    With my current budget, 2000-2002 BMW 540 with 6 manual. I have fondness for this car because it was the first 4-door I drove that gave me unending shit grin.

  • avatar
    Samir

    Aw – no love for the Infiniti M45?

    Anyway, if it has 4 doors it’s not a sports car so it might as well be a Camry. I like Whuffo2’s answer.

  • avatar
    V6

    i still drool whenever i see a late 90’s Audi S8 or Jag XJR

    they must be pretty cheap now too

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Police Package Crown Vic!!! Ah just kidding. I’d be interested in two: the upcoming RS4 (if you think the last one was good, see what it can do with the new front-mid platform and an RS version of the QuattroSport rear dif.) The real reason why BMW killed the M3 CSL – they knew the RS4 was going to shut it down.

    Or, the upcoming 500hp Jag XFR, just to be different. I’d wait for the next gen RS6, the guys at Quattro GmbH say once the A6 makes it on to the new platform, they can really get serious with it.

  • avatar
    davey49

    You’re all missing out
    Datsun 510!

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    @Seth L,

    Very good. So imposing especially in person. So few people actually rememeber them.

    They’re still not terribly expensive. To buy, anyway.

  • avatar
    Lee

    @ V6 – Hell, early ’00 Audis are cheap.

  • avatar

    http://images.google.com/images?q=quattroporte

  • avatar
    Scorched Earth

    CTS-V FTW.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    My crank gets turned with an LS600hL, S8 or XJR, though I’ll settle for a Phaeton or Q45.

    Obligatory trophy wife, bespoke suit, and Japanese stick-on air freshener for irony’s sake.

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    Davekaybsc had it right. The Crown Vic cop car I had ride in in NC was supurb and the ride home was very pleasant. No – not cuffed in the back seat!

    I currently can’t make up my mind between the S class (always wanted one) or the Cayenne Turbo S (I live one a dirt road). ;)

    Maybe I’ll just wait for the Panamera…

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    After coming back to this after a good night’s sleep, as much as I love the RS4, I’m feeling nostaglic for the original uber-sedan

    1971 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3

    OR

    1990-94 Audi V8 Quattro (dad had one, and dadgum if it was good enuff for him….never forget 80mph on 6 inches of snow in a blizzard on the expressway, a roostertail of snow hoonage!)

  • avatar
    danms6

    Without having driven any the choices, I can’t offer a valid opinion.

    However I’m still in love with the MS6 (semi-uber-sedan) in my garage so I guess that puts me in RS4 territory.

  • avatar
    Sabastian

    Maserati Quattroporte if money is no object…

    If it is, however…
    I’d probably spend days in an Audi showroom staring at an S5 and test drive it about 7 times. Then I’d go do the same with a C63 AMG. Then I’d buy an M3.

  • avatar
    durangodoug

    Oh man, nobody wants the M5? Driving to the grocery store would be so much fun with a V10.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Pete Moran got my choice – the Ford AU FPV F6 Typhoon. 4.0L 24v I6, Garrett GT35 blower, 6 speeds, 300+kW, fantastic styling. I’ll go with that.

    Or a CTS-V.

  • avatar

    Driven many of the discussed cars

    Call me insane

    I like the RX-8

    About as much power as I can use on my 3 mile commute to work, tons of fun for track and autocross, dirt cheap (new ones with incentives can be had for ~$21,000 after negotiation to near invoice + current rebate is $4000 cash), and functional.


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