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best used sports sedan?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by riverflyer, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
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    John
    I have two two seaters in my garage and a truck and am missing the nice, tight sports sedan. I had a sc'ed e39 540 that I maybe should not have sold. I was thinking of e39 M5, but thought I would ask here for other options to consider. Under 50k would be cool, unless its something special. There is a Dinan S3 I am looking at which would really suit the bill, but might break the bank too.
    Don't really know much about Mercedes or Infiinti, so any suggestions appreciated.
     
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  3. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
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    John
    Whoa, 22 views and not one has an opinion on sport sedans? Come on guys, help me out here.
     
  4. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
    1,087
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    Jason
    I've said it in the other italians area a while back, but I absolutely love the CTS-V for the money - if you can deal with a stick in your sedan, it's a treat to drive for very low money. If you need an auto, a great option, while a little 'soft' is the SRT-8 300C - both have a unique appearance (love it or hate it) and both have plenty of performance with good if not the best amenities. I still think the CTS-V's nav system is one of the best, just for ease and intuitive use. Either one is a pretty impressive bang for the buck, with decent luxury and pretty impressive performance. HTH

    [edit] I know you mentioned used, but having driven the e39 M5 and the CTS-V, the performance and fit/finish are on decent par, and personally, even though I'm a huge bimmer fan, I'd go CTS-V nearly new with full warranty for the same price as used M5 just b/c I like the torque a bit more, the handling is superb as are the brakes, and I don't think there's much of a sacrifice in interior luxury 'feel'
     
  5. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,491
    MO
    Depends on part with how much you want to spend (under 50k) and what you are looking for. Do you want it to be rubber scorching fast? Do you want it to be very comfortable?
     
  6. Dale_K

    Dale_K Karting

    May 6, 2005
    73
    Arkansas
    For the pure driving experience and fun it's very hard to beat an EVO. You won't get any points for exclusivity but it is an astonishing car. The harder you drive it, the better it communicates. It is also a pretty big car, genuinely usable rear seat, big trunk.
     
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  8. rammsteinmatt

    rammsteinmatt Formula Junior

    Jul 26, 2005
    371
    Glendora, CA
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    Matthew Shinavar

    i own an evo. hands down the best performance you could buy for up to ~55k, easily modifiable to 400bhp and keep it very streetable.

    however the members seem to be older than 20 here, so this car might convey the wrong image, the interior is made by rubbermaid, and by no means is the ride luxurious - as the sport suspension is pretty stiff but it'll turn 0.96g so im not complaining

    i would definately buy the evo again because its performance is only beat by exotics, Z06's, and current ///M3's for only 30k, but i doubt that people here on FERRARIchat would drive a japanese sedan, and be proud of it.

    turbo lag...thats enevitable, but when the little 2.0L engine hits 20lbs/1.4bar boost, you will know why this is the fastest car for the money. it really redefines sport sedan (at least for me because i cannot afford a new ///M5) basically if you are comming from a normal car, this will make everything else seem like a snail

    it seems the original poster is looking more for a performance luxury sedanm rather than a 4 door race car. if someone's interested and is in eastern LA county (san gabriel valley) i would be more than happy to take you out and show a little of its capability, im also down at CC 1-2 times a month just PM me
     
  9. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Jason
    Having driven EVOs and SRT-8's and CTS-V's, for track performance, yeah, I'd probably go EVO, you would save nearly 1000lbs in ballast, but for street driving, as a sport sedan, I don't think it would qualify to the same extent either of the Detroit offerings would; they offer a fairly compliant ride, good noise insulation, luxury amenities, and 400+ HP with GOBS of torque which really helps for around town driving as compared to the EVO. Don't get me wrong, love the mitsu and the STi but much more of a "drive it like you stole it" style is required to enjoy the 'sportiness' of the them rather than having a nice, heavy, torquey beast which easily fits 5 people, a load of groceries, luggage, and golf bags. Personal opinion only, drive all 3 and that would help, although the SRT-8 might be a little harder to locate for a test drive...

     
  10. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
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    John
    Jason, thanks for that feedback, the CAddy is one I had not considered but will check it out.

    Auraraptor, Since I live in the land of two lane twisties, good handling is more important than comfort. I want flat cornering or the ability to mod, and yes fast is good.

    And yes, I enjoyed the Evo at the track but am looking for a bit more luxury along with the good handling. I wish BMW made a lightweight version of the M5, as I do like less bulk but thats what the 360 is for!

    Anybody have any feedback on Mercedes?
     
  11. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Jason
    I know I sound like a broken record, but I was AMAZED at the handling of the CTS-V; particularly for the size. Good rubber, good brakes, well done suspension and sway bars - the only time it got squirrely was heavy braking from the 130-150mph range. In contrast to the Benz offerings, I am personally no fan whatsoever of MB's latest cars - I've seen way too many blown engines (15k svc intervals are NOT a good idea) in the 420, 430, and 500 series to have any confidence. The float of the rods alone is spooky, and the tolerances are abyssmal. I also think it's way overpriced for the car you get - sloppy twisties even in sport mode, way over computerized systems that tend to fail, tons of warranty issues on every single post 2000 Benz I've dealt with, and the age old 'everyone has one' issue make them very low in my book of value. Plus, to get the perf. of the american offerings or BMW for that matter, you have to spend significantly more - even the E55 makes the Caddy or Chrysler a bargain by comparison, and I just don't find them that impressive except in a straight line.

    [edit - I really ought to think before I hit 'submit'] I should also note that my business partner, with whom I shared driving duties back from Nashville to SoFla in the CTS-V we bought, has owned everything from M3's to 740's, Benzes, Porsches etc (his previous car to the CTS-V was an M-3 Vert SMG, prior to that was an 02 996 Cab, and before that had various Euro models of the 7 and 5 series) and he has had nothing but outstanding praise for the Caddy as well for both a daily driver, and a fun sport sedan (I'd say Canyon carver, but now that it's in the UK, I don't know how many canyons there are, just lots of great twistie roads). We had many discussions about the emergence of Caddy as a Euro-esque marque, and I'd say it's a decent testament that, upon entering the British market, Caddy partnered up with almost exclusively Ferrari and Maserati dealers. They're doing a pretty good job trying to up-scale the marque and make it a European-esque performance brand.
     
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  13. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
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    John
    Jason, you seem to have tried a lot of different brands, are you in the business? I appreciate the specific feedback and knowledge.
     
  14. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Jason
    I am, though since I'm not a sponsor and haven't gotten around to membership I try to avoid that topic here and generally would prefer to provide feedback rather than cars. Just doesn't seem kosher to me. I'll be happy to help with any feedback, market valuations, etc that I can though.
     
  15. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
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    John
    So whats your take on the M5 then(e39)? I know the platform well and always appreciated its enormous capabilities, even if it is a bit dated.

    Another car I am interested in is the Audi RS6 but have no seat time yet.
     
  16. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    I have a 2000 e39 M5 that I have used as a daily driver since new which now has 98,xxx miles. I've had no problems other than routine oil changes, four sets of tires, two sets of brakes and a few BMW preventative services. I plan to drive it for 200,xxx miles or until BMW makes a new M5 with a real stick-shift manual rather than the sissy SMG that is in the new V-10 M5..
     
  17. Sheldon

    Sheldon Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2005
    1,423
    Calgary, Alberta
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    Sheldon
    I say E39 M5. Great performance and very moddable. I have a video of a 800Hp one on my laptop that sounded incredible and it goes like stink.
     
  18. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,491
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    Becareful with your vanos gear...
     
  19. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Jason
    I love the M5 e39, have since it was released. Until I drove the CTS-V, I was determined to find myself a nice e39 used when it was time to step up from my impractical Porsche into a more practical sport sedan. However, the CTS-V changed my mind, as the performance is certainly comparable if not a hair better, and it can be had nearly new for essentially the same price as a very used M5. I think the M5 might be a little more high-revving, but you feel the power via torque of the CTS-V more in day to day driving without feeling at all like you are abusing the car (put it this way, it still pulls like a locomotive in 6th at 1500rpms). The M5 is probably a tad more sedate in terms of noise intrusion, both from engine/exhaust and general road noise (at least the used ones), and the interior fit/finish/materials is just a touch above the Caddy, but nothing I couldn't live with.

    One point I think bears mentioning, despite my Detroit Iron Diatribe, is that the CTS-V is, at this point, a relative unknown as far as longevity and propensity to rattle. We have, to date, no problems at all with our '05, but we've only thrown 4k miles or so on it. The Bimmer has (as noted above) an unparallelled reliability history, so even though price point to price point you might save 70k miles, we know the Bimmer will handle it, whereas the Caddy still leaves the Jury out.

    As mentioned, I do prefer the Caddy's on board computer system (the only car I've seen to date with all 4 wheels reporting on the tire pressure monitor at once) and navigation controls, they're a little more intuitive. Sound system is also very good, certainly up to German spec par.

    One nice thing is that BMW parts are so ludicrously cheap that keeping up with a used car other than engine/tranny parts would be very inexpensive and I don't know enough about Caddy parts to be able to comment on the other side of the coin. I think the handling and power delivery, while a little different between the 2, are comparable - the Caddy is a little more torquey for easy use around town and stoplight gran prix such as we have here in FL, the Bimmer revs a little happier and feels a little racier up top.

    I do like the Bimmer's shift linkage better than the Caddy, it was the one universally agreed upon failing point as it is a little sloppy and not particularly easy to swap out for an aftermarket unit, but all in all, I think if I had to put the 2 side by side, new with warranty, the visual appeal of the M5 is a little more to my taste, but the tradeoff for warranty in real world conditions puts me over the top on the side of the American.
     
  20. asianbond

    asianbond Formula 3
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    Chris
    Nothing on the market matches the driving feel of a e39 540 or M5, NOTHING.

    You may find faster, lighter, but nothing will deliver the torquey great road feel of the BMWs. Even the MB E55 feels heavy and disconnected compare to a BMW. I would recommend the Audi S4 2.7 Twin Turbo, smooth extremely quick straight line speed, a little floaty in handling though.

    The CTS is an interesting consideration, but I still prefer the BMW.
     
  21. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Jason
    Chris's post reminded me that you did mention the RS6 before as well...unfortunately, I've had very little seat time, and most of that was as a passenger, but many of the enthusiasts I know who have owned or currently own still speak of it as if it were the bees knees. Audi reliability, still great, although again I would suggest (especially given the failures of even mildly modified S4's) that the jury may still be out on the 'tiptronic' transmission used in the RS6, though most feedback that I've heard is that it's a significant improvement over the Porsche unit - maybe just software, not familiar enough with the technology at this point.
     
  22. Scuderia_Ferrari

    Scuderia_Ferrari Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2004
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    Jamie
    No brainer. Get the M5.
     
  23. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    Hugh G. Rection
    Franklyn an M5 with stick is coming late in 2006 or 2007....just for the North American market! ;)
     
  24. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    I would recommend a E39 M5 also...but have you considered the Merc C32? Kinda small, but drove well when I took one out for a test drive.

    I personally like my E39 540 M-Sport, but is a bit down on power compared to the Ferrari....If you get the last year 2003 540 sport, it comes with 18" double spoke wheels (staggered) and the M-tech bumpers which are similar to the M-5 bumpers. Really looks much nicer than the earlier 540's.

    As you already know, there is a ton of aftermarket stuff for the E39's.
     
  25. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    Franklin E. Parker
    The 540 is nice, but the M5 has 400hp whereas the 540 has 282hp I believe. Plus, the M5 has much better braking and handling. Go with the M5...
     
  26. RussianM3_dude

    RussianM3_dude F1 Rookie
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    Mar 15, 2004
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    Nikolai Petroff
    BMW E46 330i ZHP. Voted the ultimate E46 (bar the ///M3 of course). Great handling, not too "showy" thus great for everyday use.
     
  27. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    I'm with Frank (as he knows) - E39 M5. Unbeatable car, esp. for the value. Chassis makes it seems 500lbs lighter. Honestly, a truly brilliant and competent car, and for the price they can be had at now (find one with a CPO), it's tough to beat.

    If you want more on problems - let me know. I had a lemon (every problem imaginable for the M5) and I still love them.

    --Dan
     
  28. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
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    Sunny
    No question, stick with the E39 M5. Its the best at what it does for the last decade. You won't be as happy with the E46 330 ZHP given the highway crusing abilities of the V8, especially if you decide to go f/i with this 5'er like you did your last. If you're thinking outside the E39, what is it you're really after?

    Sunny
     

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