By on February 21, 2019

Some heavy thoughts are weighing on my mind lately; some might even call them urges. And those urges are telling me to sell a blue Datsun sedan and get something else. Should I give in?

The M35x pictured above has occupied the lone space in the garage since early November of 2013. I bought it off of eBay with a little over 52,000 miles on the clock. Today it has 66,000 miles, showing just how slowly they accumulate on vehicles I own. Since 2013, it’s required oil changes and an expensive brake service, which was $686.00. Other than gulping premium fuel like it’s something to do, it’s been trouble-free. It’s ten years old, and is quite depreciated. I don’t need the all-wheel drive anymore, as that’s what the Outback is for. As well, the M does not fit into the overall Cars Plan, as outlined in the Outback article from 2017.

For a while, I had my sights set solely on one of these:

A Lexus GS350, from 2014 or 2015. The year requirement is two-fold here: In 2014 the transmission was upgraded to an eight-speed, and 2015 was the last year before the spindle grille marred the GS’ visage. It will be reliable, and suits me in a large sedan sort of way. I had a second-gen GS430 before the Infiniti, and enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s the safe option.

But lately, a slightly riskier option (or is it?) popped into mind. It fulfills the requirements of V6 or V8 and rear-drive, just like the GS. But it has the added and considerable bonus of being a stylish hardtop coupe.

It’s the Mercedes-Benz E350, from 2014 or 2015. There are similar reasons for this two-year range for the E350: The model was extensively updated for 2014, and 2015 was the last year before the 3.5 V6 was replaced by the 3.0-liter twin-turbo E400 model. The E400, though mostly the same as the prior model save for the engine, is out of my price range.

Both cars fit what I want, and I like both. They’re both the same age, and would have roughly the same miles (20-40k) for the same sort of money, which I can afford. Given I don’t need the extra doors of a sedan, does it pay to coupe? Or, is the E350 too much of an unknown on the reliability front, when the Lexus has none of those concerns? From research, the E-Class of this era is reliable — but I still wonder. Though it bears mentioning that a coupe will always be more exciting to me than a sedan.

What’s the right replacement for the departing M?

[Images: Corey Lewis/TTAC, sellers]

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147 Comments on “Where Your Author Steps Away From Infiniti...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Hasn’t the Infiniti dealer been a PITA too?

    (I sometimes linger over Infiniti’s CPO website just because of how hard their products seem to be hit with the depreciation stick.)

    If your going with MB I’d rather see you pull a Demuro and buy one with a double platinum gold plated diamond encrusted forever warranty so you don’t go bankrupt.

    Does the ES 350 come with white patent leather shoes and a matching belt?

  • avatar
    Chris Tonn

    M
    I
    A
    T
    A

    • 0 avatar

      u ruin everything!

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Ermahgerd, what he said.

      • 0 avatar

        The only one I’d want would be a Grand Touring RF, with automatic.

        IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT

        • 0 avatar
          Chris Tonn

          coreydl has been deleted because nobody even JOKES about buying a Miata automatic

          • 0 avatar

            I know myself well enough to know that I’m not interested in a manual transmission car of any sort.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Not even curious to learn? Driving feels totally different IMO, much more engaging. But different strokes and all that.

            For how few miles you put on your M35X, I’d go E-class coupe. Gorgeous hardtop design!

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            “Uhm, Security? please escort this gentleman out…”

            If you’ve decided on a Miata, you’ve already decided you’re buying a toy rather than a DD. So in that case, why would you get an automatic?

          • 0 avatar

            I know how, and I’ve done it before though not in any recent instance.

            Just doesn’t interest me.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            TTAC automatic transmission drivers unite.
            The last (functional) MT car I owned was my Firebird. In hindsight I probably would have preferred the auto version.

            The last MT car I drove and actually enjoyed was a ’07 Civic Si. But even then I expect I’d be happier with an Accord V6 auto.

            I even found something equipped with a Merc-o-Matic when I got a classic car.

            All that said, I’ve never driven any Miata so maybe it would be a life-changing experience.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            ajla I think the higher torque the application, the less rewarding/necessary an automatic becomes, and/or just varies with the car’s intended purpose and overall feel. Do I want a stick shift in my minivan or my wife’s Camry? No. Did I specifically seek one out for both of my Rangers? Absolutely, an old compact truck MUST have a manual transmission in my mind. Old Audi? Wouldn’t have bought it without one, really let that laser smooth 30 valve 2.8l V6 sing, and Audi makes a great feeling shifter. Miata? if it’s an auto I think you should be publicly shamed (unless you’re missing a limb or something). A V6 Pentastar Charger would be really slick.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            ¯ _(ツ)_/¯

            I know some people on here *REALLY* love manual transmissions and I do sincerely wish they were widely available for them, but I guess I just never caught that bug.
            They aren’t on my current shopping list, but if I was getting an old Ranger it’d be a V6/auto; if I was buying a Miata an RF automatic is probably what I’d end up with. Or, I’d be super shameless and get an auto 128 Spider.

            The only things I think I’d ever get with a manual in the future are:
            -Classic Triumphs
            -C6 Z06
            -Viper
            -Motorcycle

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’m more interested in a manual when available because of the likely-hood that they’ll all be gone soon.

            As an example: If I was to go test drive a new Jetta GLI when they come out I’d seek out the manual version just to keep my Luddite skills polished just a little longer.

            I don’t pine for them where they don’t exist other than I think it’s a little sad you can’t even get a 1/2 ton truck with one anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The auto Miata REALLY bugs me lol. For a low torque car like that whose raison-de-etre is driver engagement (since it’s not winning any races), why the auto? Bleh! In older economy cars it really was a world of difference where the stick shift would lop off like 2 seconds from the 0-60 on-ramp time.

          • 0 avatar

            https://www.jeffdeals.com/vehicle-details/2019-mazda-miata-rf-grand-touring-beavercreek-oh-id-25823858

            Liking this one, which is CPO with 300 miles on it. 2019 so it has 30+ more HP.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Automatic Miata is the ultimate “bruh moment” as the kids call it these days.

          • 0 avatar

            LOL

            Don’t care! I’m going to go drive one this weekend and see what’s what.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            If you’re willing to drive an automatic Miata, you might as well go all-in on a Eunos Cosmo:
            https://www.facebook.com/duncanimports/posts/1196172683891095

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            Have to agree with Chris, here.
            IF I were to buy a Miata (and I never would because I wouldn’t fit in one) I would get a manual. Some cars just need a manual.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’d go with the pillarless MB coupe, it’s really a unique design.Rock solid build quality and super comfortable seats (for me MB still makes the most comfortable seats) The 3.5 V6 DI is fairly bulletproof, I had 100k on my ML with no requirement aside from routine maint. Make sure the trans fluid on th 7spd has been changed at least once .Or buy one with less than 50k miles.I never researched the 8cyl because it so thirsty and the v6 fits the character of the E/M class so well.Me thinks there could be a chain tensioner issue.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      The ATF change on these 7G-tronic automatics is no joke. You have to drop the pan, and reassemble with new stretch-to-yield bolts, and of course using a factory scanner or thermal gun to get things to the right temp when checking the level. Not rocket science, but I’d insist on having the dealer or specialist doing it if I wasn’t doing it DIY.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Depending on where you live, Mercedes-Benz dealers can display zero interest in addressing issues that surface in sub-40K mile 2014 E350s once they’ve reached four years of age and you’ve failed to express interest in buying another one. My friend was pretty surprised. I tried to explain to her that the car was never meant to be in its first owner’s hands at this age and they’re too busy sorting out issues on stuff they just delivered anyway. If you need a German badge in your life, leasing new is the only way.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          My BIL’s divorced mother moved from Central Texas to Nashville not that long a go. A friend of her’s helped her find a car before she left. She showed up with a used C-Class MB with Sport package.

          My BIL was LIVID. (For reference he owns Toyotas and Kias. His boat is the only thing he expects to be unreliable.)

  • avatar

    Without the CTS6 and ATS how is Cadillac going to compete with Infiniti. I wish infinti were an American make.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I’d choose the coupe, since you already have something immensely practical in your stable. I agree the Lexus is probably the safer bet, but again, you do have something else to drive should the Benz need repair.

    But, I really think you ought to pick up a beater Honda with 3 pedals and learn to master them.
    Heheh :)

    Good luck with whichever you choose.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Lex > modern Benz.

    Would you like some pricing data?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      OTOH is personalized plate is a meme… ;-)

      • 0 avatar

        Memes are fun and make me laugh.

        Sure, show me some prices on these things!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          MY15 Lex GS 350 RWD base

          2/20/19 $25,000 17,564 4.6 6G/A SilverLeaseSoutheastNashville
          2/20/19 $24,500 19,193- – 6G/A GrayRegularSouthwestDallas
          2/20/19 $22,500 18,662 4.0 6G/A RedLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/20/19 $23,800 29,209 4.4 6G/A WhiteLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/20/19 $21,500 32,510 4.4 6G/A GrayLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/20/19 $19,500 35,824 4.0 6G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/20/19 $22,600 48,219 4.5 6G/A BlackRegularSoutheastCentral Florida
          2/19/19 $20,000 45,552 4.2 6G/A SilverLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $21,800 30,299 4.4 6G/A WhiteLeaseWest CoastSan Francisco Bay
          2/19/19 $19,000 *26,417 2.5 6G/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          2/19/19 $18,000 42,5721.9 6G/A SilverLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          2/19/19 $21,000 29,033 2.9 6G/A WhiteLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          2/19/19 $21,000 19,421 2.1 6G/A SilverLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          2/19/19 $19,700 37,262 2.3 6G/A SilverLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          2/19/19 $18,000 *23,508 3.5 6G/A BlackLeaseWest CoastSan Francisco Bay
          2/19/19 $22,800 27,652 4.7 6G/A BlueLeaseSouthwestTexas Hobby
          2/19/19 $21,300 37,134 3.4 6G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $20,200 36,496 3.6 6G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $15,800 68,2101.6 6G/A WhiteLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $20,000 44,879 4.1 6G/A SilverLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $20,000 79,233 4.1 6G/A SilverLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $20,500 34,400 4.2 6G/A GrayLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $21,000 26,452 3.7 6G/A GrayLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $20,200 29,967 3.5 6G/A WhiteLeaseSoutheastOrlando
          2/19/19 $20,000 29,193 2.8 6G/A SilverLeaseSoutheastOrlando

          MY15 Mercedes E400 Coupe RWD

          2/12/19 $24,500 *40,326 4.05 G/A SilverLeaseSoutheastAtlanta
          2/8/19 $22,000 29,921 4.46 GT/A RedLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          1/23/19 $20,000 33,266 3.36 GT/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          1/17/19 $18,750 47,834 3.56 GT/A WhiteLeaseWest CoastRiverside
          1/10/19 $22,500 32,613 3.96 GT/A WhiteRe GularWest CoastRiverside
          12/24/18 $22,500 19,152 3.36 GT/A BlackLeaseWest CoastSan Francisco Bay
          12/19/18 $21,200 30,5142.66 GT/A WhiteLeaseSoutheastCentral Florida

          The Benz on average pulls 20,6 with 32K otc, while the Lex on avg is 21,7 with 34K otc.

          Personally I’m going to go out to left field and suggest neither instead I would investigate either a classic Mercedes convertible (something like the R107 or perhaps R129) or the Lex SC430 hard top. Get something completely different, ya know?

  • avatar
    ajla

    Between those two, I say the Lexus.

    Outside those two, Genesis or Equus.

  • avatar
    aajax

    That big door on an E coupe can get old. But maybe ok since you don’t drive much.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Some other ideas in the same age and price range (according to Autotrader)
    Camaro SS
    BMW 435i
    BMW 135i
    Dodge Challenger R/T
    Hyundai Genesis R-Spec

    For as little as you drive you should get something sporty and fun – V-8 or turbo 6.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, I don’t like the Camaro, and never have. And I like the 4 Series, but would not generally buy a used BMW as I feel like that’s a bad plan.

      The 1 is too small, and the Challenger is not a luxury car (though it is plenty boaty). I have never liked the Genesis Coupe, as I think it looks very odd.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Well, if it was my decision, and I were you, I would go test drive a 2015 Hemi Charger R/T. No, its not a luxury car, and while the interior is nice and comfortable it is certainly not up to Lexus standards. That said, the UConnect infotainment will be infinitely more usable than your other choices.

        But it is RWD, and it is smokin’ fast, and once you step on the pedal and leave the other luxury cars in the dust, you wont regret the decision.

        If you are really feeling saucy, fork out the extra $5k and get a used Charger SRT 6.4L. Just be ready to set aside a budget for tires.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I don’t know Corey, I feel like the looks of those Benz coupes probably aren’t backed up by being fun to drive. In fairness my experience is dated, having “borrowed” quite a bit of drive time in both an E320 and a CLK430 over a decade ago, and I’ve never driven a GS. Neither benz was the least bit exciting to drive.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I say go for the Benz. I myself am looking at a 435i or 440i Coupe sometime in the next year.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Buick Regal TourX on a lease since you drive so few miles.

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

    My gut tells me to trust Lexus over Benz for long-term ownership and dealer experience, without reservation.

    Plus, the GS is rather striking in person; an office mate has a “be-spindled” 2016 clone of the pictured car and not even the horrid grille takes away much from the overall design. I’ve also never liked the Benz’s cluttered rear quarter window treatment.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I too have a hankering for a rear-drive car. The more I think about it though, I realize that what I really want is a FUN car. My 2015 Mazda6 with manual is sooooo practical and efficient so as to be boring-ish.

    For a coupe, I can’t help but lust for a Mustang GT. For a sedan, a Charger RT, maybe even the SRT. Even a 300C SRT seems attractive.

    True, none of these are prestige cars, but they are FUN, highly powered, high-value cars, and that is what I would be willing to afford.

  • avatar
    RSF

    Of all the cars I drive (about 500-600 monthly), the Lexus GS seems to have the most comfortable seats of any car. It’s also available with several different interior color combos. As little driving as you do, this car will really be strong when you sell it. The Benz is nice, but it will still fall like a rock because of age.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    R Henry Why not a used G37/q60 coupe 6MT? Bulletproof drivetrain with a really good ride /handling balance , standard limited slip (albeit a bit unpredictable viscous type), and enough torque to offset your daily driver characteristics.and they’re built a bit better than a domestic muscle car .

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    I personally don’t care what someone I don’t know drives.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    You don’t want to hear this, but neither the Lexus nor the Benz is enough nicer than your Infiniti to justify the expense. Keep the Infiniti, and if you have the urge to spend some money on a vehicle, buy a $5000 second-hand motorcycle.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    “Though it bears mentioning that a coupe will always be more exciting to me than a sedan.”

    Sounds like you already know the answer.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Lexus

    Or…

    SS Sedan with Holden Conversion. :)

  • avatar
    nsk

    The E coupe is a great car. My wife had an early-production 2010 E350 coupe with pretty much all the options (though I minus-oned the wheels from 18″ to 17″ because she parks by feel), and it gave us nearly zero issues. The one problem was that it ripped apart its retractable sunroof screen, which was not uncommon and fixed by the dealer without question under warranty.

    The car does everything competently, the interior is nice, and it always felt pleasant to drive. The rear seat has enough space for a smaller adult, and even a infant carrier provided that you first latch the carrier into the car, then place the baby in the carrier through the rolled-down rear window.

    I’d get another one for my wife if she wanted. Not my personal first choice because I’m not into being cosseted, but a great car that served us well. We even taught her mother and sisters how to drive using that car; they bumped into lots of things but, the non-metallic white paint made it easy and inexpensive for a cheap body shop to touch up the bumpers to make the car presentable for Craigslist resale.

    I sold it to a plumber who said he was searching for an Econoline E350 but found the Mercedes, and decided to treat himself. The guy was so fat he barely fit in the thing.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    I always go with the coupe, as I like looking back at the car as I walk away from it, and the less door handles marring the sides of the car the better.

    You said you have already had three Audis, so maybe you do not want another, but I prefer the styling of the A5/S5 to that of the Benz.

    My V6 A5 has been reliable, though like you I put little mileage on it, only 4,000 or so a year.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    No question, get the Lexus.

    The stereotypes about Mercedes and expensive dealer visits are true, I can assure you. And not coincidentally their resale is garbage because everyone knows they are money pits.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    These choices are what a 60-ish guy in Los Angeles would buy his daughter-age side piece because he can buy his golfing buddy’s small business completed leases for cheap. Good enough for the other lady, but not better than what the wife gets.

    The whole pile of these things are about as exciting as a cheap white wine and half a xanax brunch.

    I remember when this site was interesting.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Knowing nothing about any of the things, Ghibli.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Go with the Lexus, maybe even look for the rare GS460. If you’ve had a GS430 you know how bullet-proof they are. Don’t touch the ‘Benz, they’re taking lots of people’s money, doesn’t mean they have to take yours.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The Lexus gets my nod simply to not have to look at the Mercedes’ Nokia 3310 center console every day. Lexus’ touchpad is ridiculous but at least it all looks good.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I found the car for you, diesel to boot!

    englishforum.ch/items-sale/290151-2013-mercedes-viano-4×4-
    glarus.html

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    Skip the Merc. If you HATE tall people(more than 5′ 8”) go right ahead its a champ of a car. But after sitting in the back seat SLOUCHED for 4 hours on business trip (i’m 5′ 11″/200lbs) … no thanks, it was awkward and not comfy.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    I salute you, Corey, on your laser-like focus. From what I can tell, you’ve pretty much narrowed it down to something with some doors +/-, four black round things underneath and an automatic transmission.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    E60 M5. Its a midsize sedan. Really comfy. Still looks totally modern to the casual observer. As I see mentioned in the comments you’ve owned 3 Audis, so you know what kind of maintenance rabbit-hole you’re going down with such a contraption. It has a V10 with mechanical personality of two-and-a-half Integra GS-R fours bolted together. It easily outpaces every car you’re considering in your article.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Since you’ve only drive the Datsun 14k miles in 5 years, why do you care about its fuel consumption?

    Per tankinbeans comment above, I’d avoid these choices and go with something more fun like a Ghibli or a Guilia.

    It’s nice to have options!

  • avatar
    EAF

    I would keep the M35X, at 66k it has many more reliable miles ahead of it, and replace the Subaru with a Miata RF.

  • avatar
    ma93108

    Funny I am in the exact conundrum researching, test driving etc. the 2013 + Lexus GS and the 2014 mercedes E350 coupe. The thing is the m35 and m37 are more comfortable, faster and more fun to drive than either of them. Plus the electronics in the GS are positively horrible to use! The merc coupe is possibly the best looking of the 3 but the most boring to drive. If you want luxury and sportiness the best car for 25K is a 2015 Hyundai Genesis, definitely test drive one if you haven’t yet.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Corey – I see a “31” on your Ohio plate – we’ll probably be shopping at the same Mazda dealers. You a little bit before me. If you decide to go the Mazda route (and for the love of God, save the manuals! This and the still missed S2000 were the greatest sticks ever installed in a car and traffic isn’t LA/Atlanta/Washington, DC bad in Cincinnati not to drive a stick), please post about the experience and if dealers are willing to budge. I found King’s Mazda to be willing to work with the easiest.

  • avatar
    Acd

    I get it, sometimes you have a perfectly good car but you just want something else. The first year I had my Acura TL I loved it but then I spent the next four years looking for its replacement because the thing just bored me to death, not because there was anything physically or mechanically wrong with it.

    My two cents is to go with the car that you have a stronger emotional attachment to. If you find a Benz with the right combination of mileage, condition, price and color combination then go for it. If you find the “perfect” Lexus first then go for that, but don’t just buy something to buy it.

  • avatar
    lostgaijin

    We actually bought a 2016 E350 last weekend for my wife. The driving feel is very smooth and the doors have that ker-think like a bank vault. The interior is much nicer than the BMW choices we looked at (the BMW leatherette does not feel comfortable at all). We bought the 4 door so space is quite ample. Driving feel is very smooth compared to a Lexus but may be too sedate for some (see Prozac comments above). The seats are more comfortable in the E than the 2015 Lexus GS that we also test drove. I myself have a Lexus and have owned BMW and Mercedes in the past. Definitely the dealer service experience is worlds better with Lexus. I am in DC and here BMW service frequently recommends buying a new car rather than fixing problems. So think through what hedonics matter to you.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Damn, Corey, I missed this one yesterday.

    I’m assuming a price of about $25,000 here, and I sense a hankerin’ for semi practical fun, so I make two suggestions:

    -Infiniti G37 with the retractable hardtop convertible
    -Audi A3 Cabriolet

    The latter SORELY tempted me when I bought my A3 sedan.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Corey,
    I just finished a car search and know first-hand the angst of finding the balance between wants and desires vs. budget and reality. Here was my criteria – which I know differs from your but I hope it helps…
    All cars…
    • MUST have 30k miles or less (2018 should have less than 20k miles)
    • Would prefer the cars not be prior rentals
    • Trying to stay under $30k final (out-the-door) price.

    Specific models…
    • Buick Lacrosse – 2017 or newer. Premium or Avenir trim. V-6 only.
    • Buick Regal Tour X 2018 or newer. Essence trim only.
    • Regal Sportback 2018 or newer. Essence trim or above (prefer GS) only.
    • Kia Cadenza 2017 or newer. Limited or Technology trim only.
    • Cadillac XTS 2018 or newer Premium Luxury trim or better preferred. NOT Black – I didn’t want to feel like someone’s limo driver ;-)
    • Cadillac CTS 2016 or newer. V-6 only.
    Ended up with…
    A NEW 2017 Buick Lacrosse. Found a Lot Queen. It was the Premium trim and had every option available except AWD. Sticker was 48K, got for 28. I know you are looking for RWD. There are AWD Lacrosses out there but they’re usually parked right next to the unicorns. Here’s why it was a good fit for me…
    • Reliability – Anything with a German moniker just makes me all jittery with impending repair costs. Lexus, while more reliable still costs at least half and arm and leg to service
    • Getting a model that had fallen out of favor allowed me to get something a lot newer with a lot more options at a lower price
    • Styling – Always a subjective topic. I think the Lacrosse looks great. I dismissed any Lexus within my MY search due to the spindle-gone-wild grill styling like you stated above.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a lot of options! I’m glad I don’t have that many. I should drive a GS and not dismiss it, as the last one I had was so nice to drive. If I can drive all three of these things I should have a much better feel.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The GS will probably remind you of your Infiniti quite a bit – a solid driver, but not exciting. Great build quality, though.

        I’d suggest an IS350, but those are rather dear.

        • 0 avatar

          The styling on the IS really puts me off! It’s also a bit smaller than I’d like.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Not being snarky Corey but…

          If you really prefer to “cruise” – why GS?

          That’s a little bit like buying a BMW 7-series M to be chauffeured in…

          • 0 avatar

            It’s a large sedan that makes the most sense to me from the money and reliability aspects, and I like the looks.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Dan – the GS is actually more of a cruiser than a sport sedan. It wasn’t my thing, but it’s a damn nice car. Around here, ’15 models are selling in the mid-20s. It’d be tough to go wrong with one.

            I’d suggest a M37, but it’s probably too much like the one Corey has.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I assume this is going to be a 3.5 V6 GS?

            (Personally I can’t get excited about a GS or an LS without a V8.)

            The Toyota 3.5 V6 is a reliable tough engine but has little joy. It is the modern equivalent of the Olds 307.

          • 0 avatar

            After driving the Q70 version, I can tell you they lost a lot of quality in the transition from M35 to M37.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Well my other idea didn’t seem to start no engines so I’ll give one more, it’s kind of a build your own option, but the final product is unique and unbeatable

    HSV Grange

    https://goo.gl/images/6jg4Ea

    https://goo.gl/images/Gj92Uq

    And

    https://goo.gl/images/Jy28wp

    This is definitely more of an estate sedan than any of the other options you listed.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I wish you luck in your quest. I also only want a RWD or RWD biased AWD car, I’ll be interested to see what you end up with.

    Since your mileage is so low, it seems like, reliability wise, it would be hard to go wrong with anything fairly modern.

    We have an old infiniti that shares your platform, but with a V8. It has needed very little in the way of repairs to get to its current 180K miles, if I had to deal with the dealer for every little thing, I am sure it would have been a less pleasant experience. We also have a couple-year-old E400 sedan that just passed 30K miles. So far, the Mercedes has only needed both batteries replaced and two sets of rear tires – but it has gobs of torque and drives like a Buick (if you are into that).

    I’ve been looking for a replacement for the Infiniti for quite a while (years), I have also had my eye on the Lexus GS (preferably -F) as a possible replacement. The problem for me is that neither the GS or the Mercedes are very interesting to drive, they both look great. The GS electronics aren’t awesome, but neither is the Mercedes. The biggest issue is that I prefer to drive my old Infiniti over the new Mercedes or the regular GS350. The Mercedes is probably better in every way, but it is not at all engaging or interesting. The Lexus is definitely better, but also not particularly interesting. What is really surprising to me is how loud the engine is in the E400, it is ever-present and sounds like a dump truck – and this is coming from an Infiniti owner! The GS350 is also not quiet, but the powertrain is much more fun than the Mercedes, despite it being down on power.

    If you like it, the BMW 440i is a great bigger-than-small car to zip around in. It feels worlds better (to me) than the 5 series and the E class, but it is just a little too small for me. If I wasn’t carrying kids and tents and coolers everywhere, I would probably get one.

    It is shocking to me how few appealing newish cars there are. Honestly, I’ve been tempted by the F-Pace S or the Alfa Stelvio, but they are too expensive to get shredded by the kids, and probably not reliable enough for me to drive for as long as I typically do.

    • 0 avatar

      I was thinking that as well about my mileage. Even if the car needs something besides an oil change every 10,000 miles, that means I’ll have one additional service at some point.

      Why does Mercedes use two batteries?

      Comfort is important to me, and I’ve always felt the M is a bit down in that area, with a jiggly ride quality. It’s also loud because of the engine.

      I really just don’t like BMW these days, and I don’t trust them to be reliable from everything I’ve heard. They have silly issues and things like programmed batteries and no oil drain plug.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        BMW isn’t the only one with “programed batteries”. Ford is doing it now too, at least on some vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        cbrworm

        On the current Mercedes models, my understanding is that the second battery is primarily for support of the Eco-Start function. I believe it keeps most accessories running when the engine is stopped momentarily.

        On our previous Mercedes, the second battery was at least partially dedicated to the braking system (SBC) as a backup in case something catastrophic happened to the trunk battery and/or primary electrical system.

        I understand some others in the interim have had a battery in the dashboard for similar functions.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Find a Chevrolet SS…. 6MT if possible!!!

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      I own one and love it, but they go for almost $10K above the other cars here and while fairly nice inside, it’s not a luxury car either.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Trust me I’ve tried the Holden route, and I have the exact same configuration you mentioned in my driveway.

      I don’t think I understand what makes a luxury car though, the Holden is exceptionally well made and will outlast everything except maybe the Lexus but without the snooze fest that entails.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Also after spending a lot of time behind the Manual and Auto, he would be much better suited behind the Auto, the Manual is fantastic but the 6L80 feels very premium after spending time behind the TR6060 which has a racing clutch feel.

  • avatar

    Update:

    Just poked around an E400 coupe at a dealer which is very close to where I live. It was a 2017 so out of my price range anyway, but I wanted to see. It was unlocked so I checked out the interior.

    http://www.columbiahyundai.com/VehicleDetails/used-2017-Mercedes_Benz-E_Class-E_400_4MATIC_Coupe-Cincinnati-OH/3238944073

    The headroom in there is much less than I’d expect from the exterior dimensions of the car (I’m 6′ tall). And the interior materials were not up to what I’d expect from a car which cost so much when new. It didn’t feel nicer in there than my Infiniti. The leather was hard, and the climate buttons made a click-clack plastic noise when used. The soft touch material around the rear center console was split in two places around the cup holder. Very unimpressive.

  • avatar

    Ooh 5.0.

    Lol, it looks so similar to what I have now I am realizing.

  • avatar

    I have had the GS350 for seven years, and I am very pleased with it. The often criticized infotainment system is not bad once you get used to it. The GS350 does not have the touch pad,BTW. I keep lusting after the LC500, but I cannot justify trading my GS and close to $60K (a good otd deal on a preowned LC) just to putter around town.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    That Merc has all the wrong styling clues, what with the huge star on the grille overseeing all the fancy F1 aerodynamics that are irrelevant at its expected average speed of 40 mph, the headlights that are pulled tight like the botox treatment its expected owner (she is usually accompanied by white dog driving on her lap) underwent, and it is all nicely pulled together with that ugly arch on the rear fender.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Those choices are both OK, but I think they would both leave me wanting more excitement in the long run. I would suggest something with more power, with V8 rumble, more suited to the Midwest climate where I think you hail from, possibly more prestigious in that same Midwest, possibly more fun to drive on those crumbling roads, and most likely cheaper to buy and own in the long run, according to Edmunds.

    I present to you, the Dodge Ram 1500.
    https://cargur.us/rz1r_

  • avatar
    amancuso

    I’d skip both those boring offerings and go straight for a BMW 640i or 650i coupe.


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