Advice on car for work, lots of driving

vtb

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106
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somewhere, PA
In the next few months, I may be accepting a different position, which would require a significant amount of driving each week. I would like to get your suggestions for a good vehicle for lots of miles, highway and some city. Top price is $32K. Would be more comfortable at $25K. Nothing older than 2008. Fuel economy is a bit of a concern, but I also want a little bit of sport and style. Has to be a sedan, no compact suggestions. Not interested in the Korean offerings (Hyundai/Kia). Top preference American, then German, then Japanese. Thanks. Could be a stick, but wife wants auto so she can also drive it (maybe).
 
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Originally Posted By: vtb
I know the Fusion is a solid car, but it just doesn't excite me. Rational brain vs. Emotional brain
What about Cadillac CTS? Would that be more exciting, while sticking with American makes? You should be able to find a slightly used one within your budget.
 
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Upstate NY
Mazda6 is a platform cousin of the Fusion. I like my manual transmission Cruze Eco. It has a few flaws, but nothing stopping me from recommending it. I'm getting over 40 mpg doing mostly rural 2-lane driving. It's pretty fun to drive it quickly as long as I'm willing to trade off fuel economy. The trunk is spacious, the driving position is good, and it's an EPA midsize car. The wifey knows how to drive stickshift even if she prefers an auto, so it's not a big issue for us.
 

vtb

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106
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somewhere, PA
CTS is definitely a possibility. I'd like 09 or newer because of the redesign. And I like that it's RWD. Only concern is DI engine longevity.
 

vtb

Thread starter
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106
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somewhere, PA
Preference would be something larger, more "prestigious". I may have to take clients to lunch, and occasionally show up at events with the CxO's of the company.
 
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14,505
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Top of Virginia
For what you need, check out a 2007-2008 Acura TL Type-S. It's the last model year of the 3rd generation TL, which is my favorite. The Type-S comes either with a 6MT transaxle or 5AT with paddle shifters, as well as the RL's 3.5L engine of 286 hp and Brembo brakes. Navigation is standard. Standard features also include leather, moonroof, all that kind of stuff. Only options were the aforementioned transaxle choice and the choice of summer or all-season tires. Meaning, any 07-08 Type-S you find will pretty much all have the same equipment. The 07-08 "base" TL is also a fantastic car, and comes with a 3.2L V-6 instead of the 3.5L V-6. My mother in law had an '04 and now has a '10. Both have been dead reliable and extremely fun to drive.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: vtb
Preference would be something larger, more "prestigious". I may have to take clients to lunch, and occasionally show up at events with the CxO's of the company.
BMW or Mercedes then.
 

vtb

Thread starter
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106
Location
somewhere, PA
I like the BMW 335i, but worry about costly maintenance. Fuel pump, specifically. As well as pricey consumables. An Acura TL is possible, but would have to be prior to the hideous nose jobs they received in 09. Third gen all the way. Something on Panther platform? I'm not a cop or a grandfather. (am I blaspheming in the house of BITOG right now?)
 
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Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: vtb
An Acura TL is possible, but would have to be prior to the hideous nose jobs they received in 09. Third gen all the way.
I know you said that 2008 was as far back as you'd go, but the 2007 and 2008 TL are pretty much the same vehicle. It was kind of a "3.5 generation" model in '07. They moved the fog lamps from the main headlamp assemblies down to the bumper, and the car received proper high beam lamps (prior to that, it was just a movable shield in the projector). I understand that the standard TL also received ride quality improvements in either 2007 or 2008. My mother in law's 2004 TL was an extremely fun car to drive. Her car had the automatic and it was pretty dadgum quick, but also reasonbly comfortable. She never had to do any repairs to the car, and with 90k miles or so on it, she traded it for a 2010 because she liked the new ones. Hers had the white diamond paint and looked pretty sharp. I don't fancy the 2009+ models myself, and they don't drive as "tight" as the previous generation car. They're not "loose" as in rattly, but you can tell they're larger and wider cars. The 3rd generation was like a slot car in comparison. I miss her '04. If I knew she was trading it before she did it, I probably would have sold whatever I had at the time to buy it.
 
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40,827
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: vtb
I like the BMW 335i, but worry about costly maintenance. Fuel pump, specifically. As well as pricey consumables.
Not only maintenance, but these cars statistically are not as reliable. If this is supposed to be your work horse on which you can always rely on, I'd look elsewhere. On top of that, you'll lose a ton of value by putting a lot of miles on a BMW. This is true for all cars, but I think the hit is even bigger when it comes to hi mileage BMW.
 

JOD

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I realize you're asking for car advice, not life advice, but here's my real-life experience: In my old job I had a big car allowance, a gas card, and a big geographic territory to cover. Lots of my co-workers throughout the country bought fat rides, on which their car allowance easily the payment. After 2 or 3 years, they had a 2 or 3 yr old car with 100-150K on it, worth a lot less than they owed. They then rolled that into another loan...and so on... It's the classic example of how to be really upside down in a car. I bought something boring, older, and reliable--for cash, so I never had this issue, and pocketed the car allowance for any repairs. It worked out well for me. I understand wanting something cool to drive, after all you'll be in the car a lot. I also understand needing something that looks fairly respectable since you'll have clients in it--but don't overthink that one. There's nothing wrong with a rep being thrifty. I know a lot of CxO's who drive beaters, after all. So, the more decked-out version of a specific model would probably be more-than-adequate. Given all you've said, I think a 2010 Fusion Limited, leather interior and all, 4cylinder engine makes a lot of sense (since gas is a concern). It's a bullet-proof car, presentable enough, and drives pretty well. Both the purchase price and the operating costs will be worlds cheaper than a euro sedan. It's also FWD, and while that may be more boring to drive, you're in PA and it's going to be better in the snow.
 
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40,827
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: vtb
How's your 02 530i? You like it, or have issues with it?
It's had (and still has) its fair share of issues. It was 4 years old and had 30K miles on the odo when I bought it. I dumped about $4K into it in various repairs and maintenance items during the first year of ownership alone. Others had somewhat better luck though. Electrical issues, cooling system issues, oil leaks galore. I don't drive it much these days (I work from home), so I'm still holding onto it. If you don't drive it, it breaks less. smile No point in me buying a new car just so that it can sit in the garage majority of the time. It looks better than a CTS (subjectively), but I doubt it's any more fun. And I would expect the CTS to be more reliable in general.
 
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