Buy/Drive/Burn: Near Premium Midsize Sedans From 2011

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio are near-premium sedans from the midsize segment. This set was a suggestion from commenter CoastieLenn on our B/D/B entry from last week. The year is 2011 – does Acura, Audi, or Volvo get the Buy nod?

Acura TSX

The TSX has been with us since the 2009 model year and goes into 2011 with a revised grille that features horizontal slats. Manual and automatic transmissions are available, and so are sedan and wagon body styles. Engines powering TSX are either a 2.4-liter inline-four or a 3.5-liter V6. Today we’ll select the sedan with V6 and Tech Package. The familiar Honda 3.5 is good for 280 horses, sent through the front wheels via the five-speed automatic. TSX asks $38,250.

Audi A4

The A4 entered its fourth generation for the 2008 model year and continues this year relatively unchanged. Like the TSX, the A4 is available in sedan or wagon shapes, and all examples this year share the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. Base models are front-drive and use a CVT, while more upscale trims employ a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, or even a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Today’s selection is the 2.0T Premium Plus sedan, the most expensive sedan trim. $36,300 ensures Quattro delivers 211 horses to all four wheels via the six-speed automatic.

Volvo S60

The midsize S60 is new for 2011 after Volvo skipped a midsize offering in the 2010 model year. Volvo offers its 60 model in a V wagon variant as well, though wagons have not been big sellers for Volvo as of late. In its debut year in North America, the S60 is available in just one trim: The fully-loaded T6. All examples are powered by a turbocharged inline-six of 3.0 liters, connected to a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard and helps to tame the considerable 300 horses underfoot. Yours for $37,700.

Three expensive sedans with near-premium badges on the front. Which one’s worth over $35,000 to you?

[Images: Acura, Audi, Volvo]

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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2 of 48 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 13, 2021

    Near premium deserves a near answe

  • Jimmyy Jimmyy on Nov 16, 2021

    Acura is the only choice here. And, I know of a 2012 TSX with 200,000 miles. I drove it for a few miles ... you would never know it has so many miles. They owner keeps it clean. It might last forever.

  • GregLocock Not interested at all. Apparently I've got Apple car play but I've never used it in 3 years. The built in nav is ok.
  • Corey Lewis Probably worth about what they're asking, given its condition. The color combo isn't a desirable one, they look sharper in non-beige shades. Like two-tone green, maroon, navy, or gray. The end of the time when MB built its cars properly. No shame in turning up in a clean W126, they'll always command respect.
  • Lou_BC Another way to look at this is the upgrading of hardware and software. ...............The average length of car ownership is 10 - 12 years ....................The average lifetime ownership of a cell phone is 2.5 years. ................................................................... My phone will remain up to date, my vehicle won't. Especially if you buy a new "end of run" model.
  • TheEndlessEnigma "...we could be seeing a foundational shift in how Americans and car buyers see Stellantis products." yeah, I view Stellantis products as being off the cross-shop list. Stellantis is doing an excellent job of killing the Chrysler and Dodge brands and turning Jeep into something it isn't.
  • 2manyvettes 495 hp in a base C8 is more than enough. 800+ hp in a ZR1 is not worth the extra $60k (plus dealer markups). Unless the buyer is going for bragging rights. I remember when the C7 Grand Sport came out, and a reviewer got his hands on one and put it on the track at Lime Rock. His conclusion? Save yourself $15k and skip the Z06 and get a Grand Sport.