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Old 4th January 2013, 08:38   #1651
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Thanks, aah78.

I don't think i'll go for aftermarket suspension setups... I care more about steering feel than handling, but yes I understand your comments apply equally for steering feel. Just saying.
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Old 4th January 2013, 11:10   #1652
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I care more about steering feel than handling
Still scratching my head on that one!!

Don't see the relevance of one without the other. No offense meant.
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Old 4th January 2013, 11:44   #1653
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Still scratching my head on that one!!

Don't see the relevance of one without the other. No offense meant.
What I meant is, all these cars have great handling (good enough for me) but I have a thing for steering feel more than other factors.

Good steering !== good handling.

Case in point: Audi A4 has excellent handling. My Figo had a better steering than it. I'll take the Figo any day . That's just me. Since aah78 made some great recommendations based on handling, I was just clarifying.

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Old 4th January 2013, 11:52   #1654
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Thanks. Do you know if it has good steering feel? If it blows away all the other cars but lacks only in steering feel, it is not for me. After all, Audi already does that, doesn't it?
Definitely, but if steering feel is your main criteria you should go for something much simpler. Get yourself a nice little Mazda MX5 (or Miata as they're called in the US). That gets you steering feel as close as you can get to a Lotus!.

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Old 4th January 2013, 11:58   #1655
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Definitely, but if steering feel is your main criteria you should go for something much simpler. Get yourself a nice little Mazda MX5 (or Miata as they're called in the US). That gets you steering feel as close as you can get to a Lotus!.

Jeroen
Thanks. Actually I drive a Mazda3 right now . Yes the feel is awesome. Wish the Miata had back seats and more power.
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Old 4th January 2013, 12:18   #1656
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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But for the kind of steering feel you're looking for you'll definitely be much happier with a MX-5, a S2000 or an Elise, or one of the older M3s.

I can vouch that the s2000 lacks steering feedback (compared to Evo/M3/Lotus), eventhough the steering is nicely weighted. (much like a 3 series)

Wonder why the FR-S/ BRZ never comes up in this thread. Saw a couple at the local Scion dealer, @ MSRP. At 25k new, I think that is max performance for the money (new)

Took a test drive, Felt much underpowered than the s2k, otherwise I was thinking to swap the s2k for the FRS. Will wait for the TRD or STI version.

Much nicer steering feel and interiors than the s2k, and has enough space in the rear like an Maruti 800.
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Old 4th January 2013, 20:35   #1657
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Toying with the idea of trading in for a sport sedan, I did a few test drives.
To base a purchase on a single, particular and niche parameter sounds a bit extreme to me, but then since you are actually looking for such a thing, it probably means there really is a market for people like you out there

Some vehicles I have driven in the past, whose prominent personality feature is 'great handling': (I do not know how to differentiate between great handling and great steering feel, but I assume a good steering feel is a sub-set of the overall handling aspect of the vehicle)

Caddy CTS-V: I've (test) driven it a couple of years ago and she is unforgettable.
Mazda MX5 (evolution of the Miata): Skateboard with seats, but not a sedan.
Mazda RX-8: Yesss. Not a sedan but one of the best driving cars out there.
Suzuki Kizashi: This car probably died even before it was released, but I felt it railed like a $100K sportster. Too small to be classified as a 'sedan' sedan.
Subaru WRX Sti: Simply awesome. Right angled turns at 45mph? Again, too small to be classified as a 'sedan' sedan.

Other than the above:
Honda CRX Si: Owned the 1991 year model and it still is among the best cars I've driven. Of course, the car is extinct now.
Any M series BMW: Duh.
Any MazdaSpeed Mazda's: Are we seeing too many Mazda's in the list of good handling vehicles? Not by coincidence I think.


All that being said, if you are toying with the idea of a used BMW go for it if you have the wallet depth to satisfy her frequent and expensive tantrums. A German sport sedan should be leased or owned not beyond its warranted years, per my opinion.

Happy hunting! Keep us posted on what you end up buying.

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 4th January 2013 at 20:56.
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Old 5th January 2013, 00:00   #1658
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Oh and one more thing: Thinking about it, my regular commute is very short (2 miles). The long drives are in the weekends. So this means a LOT of short-distance drives, meaning the engine is cold most of the time.

Is this a bad idea for turbos?

Is that enough of a factor to consider a non-turbo car (328i/550i/G37) instead?
No sure if I read you mentioned a budget. Agree BMW has amazing steering feel and handling. How bout considering a M3 or M5?
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Old 5th January 2013, 00:21   #1659
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
To base a purchase on a single, particular and niche parameter sounds a bit extreme to me, but then since you are actually looking for such a thing, it probably means there really is a market for people like you out there

Some vehicles I have driven in the past, whose prominent personality feature is 'great handling': (I do not know how to differentiate between great handling and great steering feel, but I assume a good steering feel is a sub-set of the overall handling aspect of the vehicle)

Caddy CTS-V: I've (test) driven it a couple of years ago and she is unforgettable.
Mazda MX5 (evolution of the Miata): Skateboard with seats, but not a sedan.
Mazda RX-8: Yesss. Not a sedan but one of the best driving cars out there.
Suzuki Kizashi: This car probably died even before it was released, but I felt it railed like a $100K sportster. Too small to be classified as a 'sedan' sedan.
Subaru WRX Sti: Simply awesome. Right angled turns at 45mph? Again, too small to be classified as a 'sedan' sedan.

Other than the above:
Honda CRX Si: Owned the 1991 year model and it still is among the best cars I've driven. Of course, the car is extinct now.
Any M series BMW: Duh.
Any MazdaSpeed Mazda's: Are we seeing too many Mazda's in the list of good handling vehicles? Not by coincidence I think.


All that being said, if you are toying with the idea of a used BMW go for it if you have the wallet depth to satisfy her frequent and expensive tantrums. A German sport sedan should be leased or owned not beyond its warranted years, per my opinion.

Happy hunting! Keep us posted on what you end up buying.
Thanks, NinadJoshi. It would be a stretch to say I care ONLY about steering feel (did I say so? Oops) but rather that is the clinching factor among all these sedans. My requirements are: quick, good handling, sedans with good steering feel. All the cars met the first three criteria.
To me steering feel and handling are very distinct, let me try to articulate what I mean by steering feel (it is a subjective thing): it should feel centered, "connected" to the road, I should feel like that I am directly controlling the front wheels.

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No sure if I read you mentioned a budget. Agree BMW has amazing steering feel and handling. How bout considering a M3 or M5?
All the cars I test drove are between 20k to 25k. I am tending towards 20k-ish budget.

Yesterday a 550i came up at 22k (2007, 50k miles). Wondering if it is worth checking out? Is it too much of a "big car" that it isn't as sporty/fun as the 3-series?

Last edited by rajushank84 : 5th January 2013 at 00:23.
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Old 5th January 2013, 00:32   #1660
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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All the cars I test drove are between 20k to 25k. I am tending towards 20k-ish budget.

Yesterday a 550i came up at 22k (2007, 50k miles). Wondering if it is worth checking out? Is it too much of a "big car" that it isn't as sporty/fun as the 3-series?
For a 20K budget, I would stick to getting a 3 series with lower miles compared to a 5.
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Old 5th January 2013, 09:48   #1661
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post

All the cars I test drove are between 20k to 25k. I am tending towards 20k-ish budget.

Yesterday a 550i came up at 22k (2007, 50k miles). Wondering if it is worth checking out? Is it too much of a "big car" that it isn't as sporty/fun as the 3-series?
Very tempting price for a 550i. Its quick, it turns good and has the steering feel that you are looking for. Its a great mile muncher too. And if you can negotiate on the price, it will be even better.

I would suggest you test drive this and then 335i back to back. You will know the difference. Both are real good in terms of what you are looking for. But a long test drive will solve many of your questions.
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Old 5th January 2013, 14:47   #1662
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Update: found a black 335i, 2008 model black with 44k miles on it. It has the sports package and premium package (no nav though).
Took a test drive, liked it. Carfax looked clean.

Dealer quoted 24k for the car and 11k for my Mazda as tradein. After a lot of negotiation and back-and-forth with his boss, sealed it at 22k for the 335i and 13k for the Mazda tradein.

Bumper to bumper warranty set me off by 3k (ouch!) but I went for it.

Grinning from ear to ear

Thanks, everyone!

Last edited by rajushank84 : 5th January 2013 at 14:51.
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Old 5th January 2013, 21:48   #1663
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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Update: found a black 335i, 2008 model black with 44k miles on it. It has the sports package and premium package (no nav though).
Took a test drive, liked it. Carfax looked clean.

Dealer quoted 24k for the car and 11k for my Mazda as tradein. After a lot of negotiation and back-and-forth with his boss, sealed it at 22k for the 335i and 13k for the Mazda tradein.

Bumper to bumper warranty set me off by 3k (ouch!) but I went for it.

Grinning from ear to ear

Thanks, everyone!
Congrats on the car! . Did you get a manual / auto?

Where in the US are you based?

Does this warranty cover the car upto 6 yrs / 100k miles (2 yrs / 56k miles in your case)? If so, then its not worth it.
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Old 5th January 2013, 23:13   #1664
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Update: found a black 335i, 2008 model black with 44k miles on it. It has the sports package and premium package (no nav though).
Took a test drive, liked it. Carfax looked clean.

Dealer quoted 24k for the car and 11k for my Mazda as tradein. After a lot of negotiation and back-and-forth with his boss, sealed it at 22k for the 335i and 13k for the Mazda tradein.

Bumper to bumper warranty set me off by 3k (ouch!) but I went for it.

Grinning from ear to ear

Thanks, everyone!
Congrats on a great buy. Do throw some light on the warranty you got. Is it from BMW or third party?

Wish you many miles of fun.
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Old 5th January 2013, 23:38   #1665
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Congrats on the car! . Did you get a manual / auto?

Where in the US are you based?

Does this warranty cover the car upto 6 yrs / 100k miles (2 yrs / 56k miles in your case)? If so, then its not worth it.
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Congrats on a great buy. Do throw some light on the warranty you got. Is it from BMW or third party?

Wish you many miles of fun.
Thanks!! It is 3 year / 36k miles from now. It is from BMW. I got it since two of my friends who own BMWs faced expensive repairs (one for fuel pump, the other for power window issues) but were saved because of the bumper to bumper warranty and didn't have to pay a cent.

It is an automatic with paddle shifters for sports mode.
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