Where Your Author Eliminates a Couple of Coupes

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

In an introductory post last week, I detailed a couple of cars I was considering as a replacement to my decade-old Infiniti M. The comments (some filled with unusual anger) prodded me to add another car to the list.

A week later, I can tell you that two of those former options are absolutely out of the question.

The first coupe cancellation was the E350. On Friday, I went to check out a 2017 E400 at a nearby dealer. It was too new and out of my price range, but I wanted to have a look and see if the model was worth pursuing further. After a few minutes of unattended poking around an unlocked car, I had my answer: No.

Doors felt nice and heavy, solid. But upon entering the coupe, the lack of headroom was very apparent for even my six-foot self. Hard leather (or maybe it was synthetic) resided underneath me. Climate control buttons made cheap click-clack sounds when pressed. In the back, the dashboard-type material around the covered cup holder was cracked at two corners. Entirely put off by this quality in a 2017 Mercedes-Benz, I left.

The next day I sampled the Mazda MX-5 (an RF one) which was raised unanimously as the best answer for all questions. I found it loud and buzzy, with accurate steering and a jerky transmission. While the interior was fine from a price point perspective, sloppy seals here and there were required to accommodate the RF’s metal roof. Over my left shoulder, the exposed hinges of the roof were arranged like a metal origami display. At 70 miles an hour, the wind and road noise in the closed cabin was shockingly high. I expected more, and it delivered less. The MX-5 was not for me.

Running out of Saturday afternoon hours, I was on my way to drive a local GS350 when I had another thought — a thought of Infiniti. It dawned on me that I’d driven the high-zoot Red Sport 400 Q60 (too expensive), as well as the economy level 2.0t (bad), but never the standard 3.0t in the middle of the range.

A half hour later, I was looking at the white one shown here. I wouldn’t buy this particular one — it had some bad paint match because of an accident history, and was equipped with unnecessary all-wheel drive. It also lacked the Premium Plus package for navigation (a must have). It was engaging enough to drive, had the sort of quiet isolation I desire, and felt well-made. In person, the looks impressed, as did the power coming from the smooth twin-turbo 3.0-liter. Used market Q60 options will be unfortunately limited by a rear-drive requirement, the navigation which should be standard, and the light colored interior. But the miles and price are right in line.

As of now, just one coupe and one sedan remain as options. The next task will be the test drive of a local GS350. It’s another white, all-wheel drive example (Ohio drivers have a type). Maybe I won’t hate it.

[Images: sellers]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Cpthaddock Cpthaddock on Mar 09, 2019

    OK - since search didn't turn up references and it's all a bit TL;DR this morning I'll be the one to do it. Many of your target vehicles appear to strike directly at the heart of pre-owned Model S territory. Purchased from the big T directly, these strike me as some of the biggest bargains out there considering models with less than 50k on then carry a new 4yr /50k warranty plus the balance of the 8 yr unlimited mile powertrain warranty. Some can be had in the $30k range which could leave you enough spare cash for a used Miata as a toy as well. Get into the $40k region and you can get into an 85D with 4.2 second 0-60 and "emissions testing mode".

  • PandaBear PandaBear on May 13, 2019

    I think you should just stick with a GS based on what you describe.

  • Slavuta Why America needs school buses altogether? When I was in school, I rode on a regular city bus
  • Jeff Buy whatever works for you if you own an EV and are happy with it good, if you buy a hybrid or plug in hybrid and it works for you good, if neither and you like your ICE the way it is that is also good. I believe over time EVs will get better and have a larger segment of the market.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Is New Jersey better than Old Jersey?
  • Tassos Jong-iL Looking forward to buying 2 of these with all of those Rubles we have been earning lately.
  • Dartdude I have a 17 Ram 1500, love the dial and took to it right a way. don't have a lever blocking the dash panel or taking up space on the console.