ATBB: A4 or G35 or CTS for Commuting?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Welcome to a new TTAC feature: Ask the Best and Brightest (ATBB). On an irregular, yet-to-be-determined basis, we'll post an auto-related question from a reader. You answer it. Yes (Jonny), it's a bit like Question of the Day– only a lot less philosophical. Yes (Frank), it starts with an email to with the letters ATBB in the subject bar. Yes (y'all), we're asking you to share your hard-won automotive expertise for our financial gain. (As I told our writers back when I paid them $10 a pop, the pay sucks but the glory is infinite.) And yes, this is a stopgap measure while we wait– Camaro buyer-like– for the TTAC forums to magically appear. So… this whole deal with slowrideR's idea. And he wants your opinion. What's the best car for commuting: a 2004 Audi A4, a 2004 Infiniti G35 or a 2005 Cadillac CTS?

Robert Farago
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4 of 51 comments
  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Mar 13, 2008

    BMW 3 series.

  • Jd arms Jd arms on Mar 13, 2008

    I went through a very similar search within the last few months, shopping these three models - and the TL. I wanted a car with a reasonable degree of performance, luxury, and utility. The CTS looks cool, rides smooth, and has a classic American name. I have a friend who has one - his wife commutes in it (he has an old Integra) and they use it for frequent trips up to Tahoe. I have driven it, and it has plenty of power for everyday driving, and the suspension will do what you need. I looked long at Audi - A4, A6, and the A3. The interiors were really nice, and they drove well enough for my purposes - but all those Consumer Reports black spots and previous minor problems with both a VW and Mercedes dampened the glow. I really like the way they look though. Having owned an RSX-S, I knew what I was getting with the TL, and I thought the interior was second to the Audi, but I did not want FWD - that was one of the main reasons for selling my previous car, an I35. I settled for an '05 G35 with the premium package and navigation, but without the sport package. Someone upthread mentioned the improved interior and stronger engine in the '05-'06 Gs. Yes, the interior is improved, but it still is not as good as the Acura or the Audi (orange gauges?). However, for my needs/wants - decent handling, the occasional aggressive pass, 4 doors, semi-lux interior, RWD, reliability, this car best fit the bill. I also drove the '05 Coupe (tiny back seat and trunk) and the likee G37 (wipes drool) but no. I have a kid, and coupes are a pain with a kid - the RSX taught me that. I agree that the Mazda3 is a good call.

  • SlowrideR SlowrideR on Mar 13, 2008

    I prefer the A4 in looks, but given that I have favorable experience with the Nissan dealer who is also the Infiniti dealer, I think I'm leaning towards an 05 or newer G35 with a stick if I can find it. I won't be getting the same gas mileage as the Audi, but compared to my truck anything around 20mpg will look good.

  • Shiney Shiney on Mar 14, 2008

    For me and my commute, 40 minutes each way in a mix of open interstate and bumper to bumper traffic, the 3.6 Caddy CTS wins by a mile. I like the style, the seats and the reliability. If I had to deal with snow I might go for the G35x. I like Audis, have owned one, and several of my friends are full blown Audi enthusiasts, but even they complain about how unreliable they can be. My experience suggests that despite excellent materials and structural build quality, they have earned every one of those consumer reports black marks. Mine blew a transmission at 40K. It took almost a month to repair, and the dealer was arrogant and unhelpful to the point of being rude. My friends cars always seem to be in the shop with some minor hassle or another. As the owner of five German cars, its somewhat painful for me to admit that current GM and Ford products are noticeably more reliable than anything made by BMW, MB or VAG...