Was in the market for a 6 speed manual, AWD car, that had good MPG and was fun to drive for around 40k. Living in NYC, we get occassional snowstorms and the AWD has become a necessity for me. Lexus IS...
Was in the market for a 6 speed manual, AWD car, that had good MPG and was fun to drive for around 40k. Living in NYC, we get occassional snowstorms and the AWD has become a necessity for me. Lexus IS250 AWD was auto only and boring to drive, so was the G37x. Acura TSX wasnt even available in AWD, so I cannot comment on that. The C300 4Matic was good to drive, great interior fit and finish, but being auto only I couldnt stand the auto gearbox.
So it was down to the Audi A4 and the BMW 328xi.
The 328 is great to drive, very responsive and a nice smooth 6 cylinder engine. All that you expect from BMW, but thats exactly the problem, BMW has been too conservative with the 3 series. It has become boring and so passe. And plus it only comes with runflats and no jack/spare tire, no usable back seat. Interior in the 3 series was dull and simply uninspiring. I didnt drive it in snow so I couldnt comment on Xdrive but Audi's Quattro has been around longer and is race proven so I wasnt expecting much from Xdrive.
The A4, after sitting in the 328, is just a totally different animal. The interior is great, the cockpit controls are confusing at first, but eventually grows on you. The fuel efficiency is just top of its class, and the turbo kicks in around 3k rpms. The car is simply fun to drive. The steering is light but adequate, the clutch and dead pedals are perfect for my big feet (I am 6ft 3) and the sport seats are a must. Quattro keeps you planted on the road and this A4 has a rear wheel drive bias of 40/60 power split so it still feels like a RWD car. The backseat is PRACTICAL, people can actually fit in the back, and it comes standard with split folding rear seats, a compact spare tire and a jack. The trunk space trumps the 3 series. The DRL eyebrow LEDs gets all the attention and the exterior audi styling, especially the single front grille is just beautiful, no body kit necessary although most people will probably mod the car after purchase anyway.
The A4 was a no-brainer for me and dollar for dollar, u get so much more car than others in the same class.