By on February 20, 2018

It is impossible to ignore the present pattern in the Buy/Drive/Burn series. We’ve had three entries in the series so far, two of which have been coupe-focused. In today’s fourth edition, we talk coupes again and sort out some questions of arson from B&B commenter Dal20402. He suggested today’s modern, rear-drive sports coupe lineup in the QOTD post where we introduced the rules for this series.

The coupe category spans three continents, each with its own idea of what a rear-drive coupe should be. Which one will burn?

Today’s coupes are all 2018 models, and share a few things in common: sporting ideals, rear-drive, automatic transmissions (live with it), and a price tag between $40,000 and $45,000.

Infiniti Q60 3.0t

2017 INFINITI Q60 3.0t Infiniti’s only coupe offering at present, the Q60 was the old G37’s replacement. The much-revised coupe you see here debuted in 2016. For $44,300 you get a LUXE trim Q60, which includes a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 300 horsepower. This mid-range trim does not offer the Dynamic Digital Suspension (you must step up to Sport for that). The Q60 needs that suspension. Your backside sits on leatherette.

Ford Mustang GT

Image: 2018 Ford Mustang

As one might expect, the Mustang offers the biggest bang-for-buck of our trio, with the GT’s 5.0-liter V8 producing a grandiose 460 horsepower. The GT Premium comes with leather, and in automatic guise starts at $41,590. It’s less luxurious, more low-brow, and more fun than the other two. Staying on budget, you’ve got room for a couple of options like navigation or a Performance Package.

BMW 430i

Image: 2018 BMW 430i CoupeThe BMW we can afford today has half the number of cylinders of the Mustang (but much better fuel economy), and features a 2.0-liter inline-four engine producing 248 horsepower. The 430i with an automatic transmission asks $43,500 at your local BMW dealer, leaving room for a color that is not white or black for $550 extra. I might go with Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic to cover up the leatherette interior.

Three coupes with different missions in life, asking the same sort of money. Dal wants to know which goes home to your garage, and which becomes a burned out shell?

[Images: Lexus, Infiniti, Ford, BMW]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

108 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: The B&B Burns a $45,000 Rear-drive Coupe...”


  • avatar
    IBx1

    Buy the Infiniti because it looks nice,
    Drive the dumpy derpy droopy-eyed Mustang because stick,
    Burn the BMW because it has a service life of 36k miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Not to be nasty, but…you have a Fiat Abarth and you’re slagging the BMW on reliability? I’ve never read about interior trim panels coming adrift or check engine lights in a BMW road test.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      All are automatics, including the Mustang.

      • 0 avatar

        Seriously, I even put it in italics.

        • 0 avatar
          IBx1

          Then burn them all.

          • 0 avatar
            IBx1

            Also, Fordson, I get that Fiat doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but these cars are solidly built with predictable and preventable failure points. Turbo failure is the biggest issue, caused by boost leaks, caused by weak charge pipe clamps and a weak wastegate actuator, which I’ve proactively replaced with aftermarket pieces at just 22,000 miles. If anything goes wrong with trim pieces or whatever, the car tops out at $30k so what can you expect? I’ve swapped engines for fun before so I can fix a wayward piece of plastic. Little naggles and quirks are worth it for the driving experience.

            Compare that to a BMW, which drives like novocaine, looks like a root canal, and costs more than an out-of-network dentist when you need serious service like an oil change or brake pads done. Never mind how bleedingly expensive it is when something does break, all for the experience of driving a car with Camry dynamics that says BMW on the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            I’m thinking that a new 4-series has a “service life,” however that may be described, of way over 36,000 miles, and I’m thinking that it probably has a superior driving experience to that of a Fiat Abarth.

            You keep proactively replacing those known points of failure – don’t let me keep you.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          Then I am sure they will all make fine braziers.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      you buy Infinity and I will control its steering using my iPhone. Good night

    • 0 avatar
      Aron9000

      Buy the Mustang, this isn’t even close IMO. 460hp V8, 7000rpm redline, plus Ford actually put a real chassis to pair with the engine, dynamcis/handling are credible in the base package without the sport setup.

      Drive the Infiniti. I’m thinking you can get the Red Sport Q60 for a shade over that $45,000 price, Infiniti dealers do wheel and deal so I’ve heard. That’s a 400hp twin turbo V6 wrapped in a very sexy looking car IMO.

      Burn the BMW, mainly because this company has become complacent and still hasn’t fixed their long term reliability/cost of ownership problem. I see no reason to put up with a boring interior and inferior build quality(lots of cheap plastic parts like water pump, vacume lines, radiator under the hood) if the car no longer gives you the superior handling dynamics and the smooth straight six motor. The iffy build quality was something you lived with in the past because the car drove so great, now days the competition has gotten better.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Mustang is the first choice, if it’s a stick. If it’s an automatic, I’m not interested.

    Infiniti is the second choice. Stick preferred (is one even available anymore?), automatic taken very begrudgingly.

    Under no conditions will I consider the BMW. Overpriced, under-engined, no longer sporting, and under no conditions do I want to be identified as one of THOSE people. BMW is one of the few brands that will drive me to that illogical emotion.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Geeze. Say it with me: ALL ARE AUTOMATICS.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “…under no conditions do I want to be identified as one of THOSE people.”

      Might I interest you in a nice R90S? Or perhaps its modern day, sort of doppelganger- a R9T Racer?

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        BMW motorcycle? Any day!!!! Especially a classic airhead. And I’d love to have either my old K75C or R90/6 back.

        BMW cars? Up to and including an E36 (which was the last I owned). Unfortunately, pretty much everything since then has become synonymous with gross showing off, leasing because your finances have no business trying to buy something that expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Which I refuse to accept.

      Sorry, I’ll willingly go with an automatic on because of advancing age and it’s my last gasp to keep my driver’s license.

      AUTOMATICS SUCK!!!!!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buy the Mustang (I don’t like the new droopy face but it is the only V8)

    Drive the BMW (solely for if the snob appeal of the badge is ever needed)

    Burn the Q60 (I do t hate it or anything, but it’s the odd car out this time.)

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Buy the ‘stang since it will be cheap to own compared to the others.

    Drive the Q60 because it is likely a decent daily driver.

    Burn the Bimmer since they lost the plot years ago. Use the insurance money to buy a Beemer.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I could write a longer justification but for the toy car class it really is as simple as 8>6>4.

  • avatar

    Sorry, the 2.0 liter in the BMW plus the joy-stick numb steering is a Burn. A blown four is for a FWD hot hatch, not an alleged sports coupe, a luxury car, or SUV. Once you drive the rear wheels with it it becomes suspect……
    Q60 is a Drive, probably very nice overall.
    Mustang is a Buy. I had a late model ecotec mustang and If you read some euro web pages, they compare the mustang to the M4, and it comes out OK. Snob appeal aside, I was amazed how well the current Mustang drives, and while mine would be v8, the power the eco tech puts out is good once it spools up, and I’m ignoring the NVH issues all those blown fours have. The chassis, seats and ergonomics of the Mustang banish the old thoughts of a V8 mounted in a shopping cart with a bad wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      So how is a RWD BMW sport coupe with a FI inline 4 a total pretender to that class of car, but a RWD Mustang sport coupe with a FI inline 4 is pretty darn good, by gosh – ?

      “A blown four is for a FWD hot hatch, not an alleged sports coupe, a luxury car, or SUV. Once you drive the rear wheels with it it becomes suspect…”

      “Oh, and by the way, I had an Ecoboost Mustang…”

      And since all of the turbo fours make peak torque at around 1,800 rpm, there is no spooling up involved…lol.

      Great comic relief on this entry. You really smoked ’em out, Corey.

      • 0 avatar

        The mustang was a rental. The chassis and handling shone despite the ecotech. I have had BMW In my driveway or the family for over 20 years so yes I can opine that rhe current cars with a blown 4 are BURN. Were I to go mustang it would have an eight. A small 4 just isnt right for a luxury car. Sorry. Call me when youve rebuilt an e46 and can tell the nvh differences between a na 6 and a shaker 4

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Buy the Mustang. Duh.

    Drive choice is harder. Normally, I’d choose the BMW since its more likely to be the “driver’s car”. But, Imma have to go to Infiniti and beyond. Twin turbo 6 beats a 4 any day.

    So, burn the BMW by default.

  • avatar
    RSF

    Buy the Mustang- so much fun to hear it run!
    Drive the Infiniti- Classy and Comfortable for the daily drive.
    Burn the BMW- 4 cylinders, really? Once it’s out of warranty it’s done. No value on this one.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Buy Lexus, drive Mustang GT, burn Bimmer

  • avatar
    ernest

    Buy the Mustang (no brainer). I want the manual- I wouldn’t be buying the rental car version.

    Drive the Infiniti. OK, it could handle better, but it makes all the right noises, and is a pretty nice ride all things being equal.

    Burn the BMW. For the price, there aren’t enough spark plugs.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I’m going to cheat and modify the question…
    Drive/Race/Burn

    Drive the Infiniti. It’s a DD type car. Well appointed, decent power, attractive.

    Race the Mustang. It’s not as refined as the Infiniti and that’s okay when you want to bomb around a track. The extra power and ridiculous amounts of aftermarket support don’t hurt either.

    Burn the BMW. Okay, probably not even that. I’m so apathetic to a 250HP car that costs north of $40k that I can’t even bother to pour the gasoline and light the match.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Buy: Infiniti. Beautiful inside and out and reasonably fast. Won’t explode the day it hits 60,001 miles.

    Drive: Mustang. I’m sure it’s a hooligan blast but I am too shallow to be the guy who owns a Mustang. Sorry.

    Burn: BMW. Who wants the 4cyl turbo BMW? Not me.

    (Yeah yeah, 4cyl turbo 2002 is different)

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      What about electronic steering?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The Infiniti is not the only car that has this.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          It’s almost faster to make a list of cars that still have hydraulic steering than it is to make a list of cars with electric steering.

          Everyone is going to electric steering for the 0.00000000000000000001 extra mpg of fuel economy toward the EPA test.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            Electronic steering has been used in the S2000 since forever. It’s all in the tuning.

            If a manufacturer determines most of it’s customers don’t give two hoots about steering feel then they’re not going to give one hoot about it.

            I wonder how many Infiniti customers care one way or the other.

          • 0 avatar

            Infiniti’s (optional) electric adaptive steering isn’t great. No feedback even in the dynamic mode, and tries to guess what you want rather than being consistent.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’m fairly certain that the Mustang and 4-series also have electric power steering.

        EPAS replaces the hydraulic pistons and pump with an electric motor but still has a “direct” connection through the steering rack.

        What you are complaining about is Infiniti’s “steer-by-wire” system called “Direct Adaptive Steering”. That is *optional* on the Q60 3.0t Luxe. The standard steering system is normal EPAS as described above.

        • 0 avatar

          Unfortunately, I think in order to get the digital suspension you must also get the adaptive steer by wire.

          EDIT: On the Sport trim, you get the 3.0t, the digital suspension as standard, and the steer-by-wire is optional. Steering is also just optional on the RS400 model.

          Those two are the ones to have.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    “… I am too shallow to be the guy who owns a Mustang.”

    That made be laugh. Usually it’s the BMW drivers who are considered not only shallow but a$$holes.

    So what’s wrong with the Stang? Don’t you like trailer park pu$$y?

    edit: meant as a reply to S2K Chris

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If the Bimmer had a 6 pot I’d go with that. It doesn’t so it’s getting burnt.

    I’d drive the Infiniti just to confirm that the JATCO 7AT still sucks, and also to visually drink its sensuous curves. Lend me one in that underwear glazing purple please.

    I’d buy the Mustang because as a red blooded American the naturally aspirated V8 is our greatest national treasure, and a much needed foil to the _EURO6_COMPLIANT_PROPULSION_UNIT sucking the soul out of so many “driver’s cars”.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    None of these would be my first choice but if I’m commenting I should play the game…

    Buy the Mustang. Man you gotta love the stick in these. Nothing like a Mustang with a manual!
    There, just gave JohnTaurus a heart attack ;-)
    Anyhoo, Still buy the Mustang, with 460 HP do you really need a stick?
    Drive the Infiniti, at least it has 6 cylinders.
    Burn the BMW. Poser pretensions without much to back it up except the roundel on the front.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I would immediately burn Infinity (without even driving it) because I don’t drive cars where steering is not connected to wheels.
    I would by BMW and it would be fun to drive Mustang GT sometimes

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Tough choice for me. I love the way the Infiniti looks, particularly in that natty metallic black color – saw one the other night while I was up in Boulder with the GF and, damn, was that thing suave-looking. It looked so good that the GF, who could care less about cars, said it was hot looking.

    But I love the Mustang, and I don’t care what y’all think about the new front end. It’s still mad sexy.

    Therefore:

    DRIVE the Mustang. In Orange Fury. With the painted wheels. And the painted roof. And the performance package. And the Recaros. If you’re going with this, go all the way. Just avoid Cars and Coffee.

    Buy the Infiniti.

    This leaves the BMW for burning, but I’d add one step: first, remove that punk-a** engine, and launch it from a trebuchet into a fetid pond. Then, burn like the pagans of old.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      you don’t mind that failed electronics can lead to loss of steering?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        This is the part where you supply the long, bloody list of folks who’ve died horribly after their steer-by-wire system failed.

        Fact is, this tech’s been around since the early ’70s. Ever heard of a plane called “Airbus,” or “F-16”?

        (I get you’re dead set against this type of system, but steer-by-wire is an option at this price point on the Infiniti.)

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          You should watch show called Air Disasters. Countless Airbusses fell from the skies because of incompatibility of electronic and human thinking.

          Still, Fly by wire is great because it allows for computer adjusting all the little winglets. In the end, airplane must be smooth and you don’t want to feel bumps. But in car, you want to feel what front tires do

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Countless Airbuses.”

            Right.

            The worst Airbus has a fatal accident rate of 1.34 for every million flights.

            http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/rate_mod.htm

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          “Countless” – no. 32 fatal airbus crashes

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            …spread over 120 million flights.

            You in a troll-y mood today?

            (By the way, the deadliest “air crash incident” all time was none other than 9/11. Since all the planes used were Boeings, be sure to blame them for that.)

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            And exactly half of those are the A300 and A310, which don’t have fly-by-wire.

            There have been literally a couple of A320/A330 crashes where the fly-by-wire might have contributed to the problem. It’s never been the main cause of a crash.

            Airbus makes excellent and very safe airplanes. (As does Boeing.)

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        There is a mechanical fail safe should the steer by wire experience an issue.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree on the Q60’s looks. As long as it’s not a bland color it looks great. The extra cost red is attention-grabbing in a police sort of way, so though I like it (don’t normally like red), I wouldn’t get that one.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Burn the Rustang. Drive the BMW for that beautiful color. Buy a Challenger, 392 with shaker hood.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I know it’s not within the rules of this game, but my $45,000 coupe would be a 392 Challenger for sure. Large enough to be useful, tons of power, nearly 2x that of the 4 series here.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Buy the Mustang. I’d wager that the 10-speed auto is pretty good given that it was co-developed between Ford and GM so they could stick it in their trucks. If it can stand up to the 6.2 V8 in a Denali it will do just fine in your Mustang. Plus, I live in a neighborhood where a Mustang would be given lots of thumbs up.

    Drive the Infiniti, thank god its a V6 at least.

    BMW – burn it to da ground. A disposable car for badge whore$.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Buy: Mustang it’s the best value. Where else can you get a track pack and Recaros? though the angry face takes some getting used to.
    Drive: BMW with the 4 cylinder it’s the closest to a modern 2002.
    Burn: Infiniti too much styling and technology for my taste.

  • avatar
    Parousia

    Buy the Mustang for the reasons the B&B have given. Friendzone the Infiniti (I like you… just not in that way). And burn the BWM and salt the earth with its ashes. Overpriced, underpowered and uncompetitive in every area other than snob appeal. Years later, no one will say, “Gee, I’m glad I paid $45,000 for a 2.0 T. Glad I hang on to that gem!” Get your NA V8 while you can.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Buy: Mustang GT or Gt350, any Shelby variant. V8 + rear drive = long term happiness

    Drive: eco Mustang as MPG and we love the environment.

    Burn: BMW and infinite. I am not convinced of Nissan quality anymore nor do i care for the BMW.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Buy: Q60 3.0t- I’ve always loved this line of cars, the styling to me was pure and the performance was commensurate with the claims. The styling is getting a little wild, but it still speaks to me.

    Drive: 430i, just to see if it turns me into an arrogant Florida driver the way my rifles turn me into a mass murderer

    Burn: Mustang GT, in front of Ford Performance headquarters, lit aflame by the sparks thrown from a Demon’s rear wheels after burning out straight through the rubber.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Buy the Mustang – has the best bang for the buck ratio, most horsepower, and is the least expensive to maintain.
    Drive the Infiniti – Middle of the road horsepower, reliable, DSS probably isnt needed for just slogging through traffic.
    Burn the BMW – slow, underpowered, overpriced, there really isnt much to like about this car. $44k for a 240hp 4 cylinder “sport coupe”? No thanks.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Buy the Infiniti
    Drive the Mustang
    Burn the BMW

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I had a 430 for a rental and it was unbearable…road noise was deafening and the engine/drivetrain was only mediocre…I think the 4-series is everything that is wrong with BMW….created by a businessman, for a businessman.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    Buy the Mustang since that is literally what I did. Now approaching the 2 year anniversary in my 2016 Ecoboost Premium (with a stick!).

    Drive the BMW I guess. Except make mine a stick.

    Nothing really stands out about the Q60 to commend it, so burn it.

    But really, if these are all automatics, they can all burn for all I care.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Buy the Mustang GT, drive the Q60, burn the 430i.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Buy the Mustang and swap in a manual.

    Drive the Infiniti if hail is expected.

    Burn the Bimmer.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well I will be in the minority and follow the rules, Buy the mustang , but I am not really thrilled with it but I figure the v8 would get me plenty of tickets and in metro NY there is not really anywhere great to drive it. So I would drive the iNfinity as it is the best looking car IMO and would be the least costly to drive and no one would be raving their engines at stop lights for a race and burn the BMW because well just because I am not a bummer driver and one has to be given to the flames according to the rules.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Burn the Mustang. As Clarkson said, it’s under-engineered and fussy on non-flat roads.

    Drive the Infiniti. It’s got a lot going on for it, from design to a good engine.

    Buy the BMW. Well, it’s kind of the real thing, and that four pot is not a six but it’s apparently good. Besides, it still comes with a six if so you wish.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “Burn the Mustang. As Clarkson said, it’s under-engineered and fussy on non-flat roads.”

      I’m curious, have you driven the current IRS version to make that old Clarkson claim? Unless Clarkson was talking about the current gen that is.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        https://www.driving.co.uk/car-reviews/the-clarkson-review-ford-mustang/

        I’ve only driven the v6, gtem. In San Diego, where it was a hoot to bomb up and down the I-5.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Drive the Mustang – fun, fast, good-lookimg, everybody likes Mustangs
    Buy the Infiniti – Japanese reliability, fast enough
    Burn the BMW – will always be thought of as the car of choice for D-bags

  • avatar
    EX35

    What’s the NVH like for the Mustang? Would someone used to near-luxury (such as Infiniti G, 3-seies, ATS, etc.) feel annoyed by it?

    • 0 avatar

      This is a good and valid question.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        As I get older, I’ve come to appreciate and notice a car’s NVH. That doesn’t mean it has to be quiet from engine noise or numb steering, but I appreciate and look for sophistication in how the chassis handles road conditions. That means very little road noise (while decent engine sound a plus) tight steering that transmits as little vibration as possible at ultra high speed, and a suspension that’s controlled but not overly harsh.

  • avatar

    V8 noises.

    Light the rest on fire.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    So all three are automatics….I say burn them all. But two of the three are available with a stick, just saying. Those I wouldn’t burn.

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    Buy the Mustang
    Drive the Mustang
    Burn the other(s)

    The infiniti is nice, but I would (did) pick the Mustang over the Nissan.

  • avatar
    ChevyIIfan

    Buy the Lexus because it looks good, is fun to drive, will hold its value forever, and will be reasosnable on maintenance.

    Drive the ‘Stang because it is fun to drive and you don’t have to pay for the scorched tires and brakes you will inevitably put behind it.

    Burn the Bimmer cause, yeah.

  • avatar
    rentonben

    When I grew up BMW was it, and the Mustang was something you saw in a Vanilla Ice video.

    Kudos to Ford for constantly building a better and better product over the last 20 years to make a product so good that it rises up over it’s old horrid stereotype.

    Lease the Q (Nissan is desperate to move the metal)
    Drive the Mustang
    Burn the BMW thing

  • avatar
    AK

    I read the post and I read the replies.

    Give me the mustang with a stick and zero options. The author of this post can have the $5k that’s been saved. Everyone’s happy.

    Alternative stupid answer- wait 36 months and grab a Q60 used for $25k. Add downpipes and exhaust for 400+hp.

    Never even test drive the BMW.

  • avatar
    amancuso

    Buy BMW
    Drive Infiniti
    Burn Mustang.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Buy: Mustang (despite the fact I don’t like Fords)
    Drive: Mustang (less pretentious than either of the other two)
    Burn: The other two.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Vulpine: The largest engine I ever owned with the 350c.i.d. Rocket 350 in my 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. After...
  • Rocket: No sympathy here. Who’s next?
  • amwhalbi: I was in Europe for river cruises in both 2018 and 2019, which included some day bus trips to smaller...
  • dwford: Cadillac’s old sales model: make ugly, half baked models and put insane MSRPs on them, then discount...
  • ajla: I had to get my pads/rotors replaced under warranty. From what I can tell I got the same pads as original. I...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber