Finally bought my new car

For those of you that know me pretty well you know that I have been looking for a new car for almost a year now. Well I finally bought one! I picked up a 2009 Mercedes C300 4Matic and so far I love it. My only complaint so far is that I forgot to order the Premium 2 package that includes Xenon headlights so I am going to get them aftermarket. I drove a lot of cars and I will give a brief review of what I drove and my opinions on them staring with my priorities in a car.

Before I do that though I want to make some overall comments about my experience.

  • I was very impressed with the overall class of sales person that I met with. I especially want to call out Lancaster Toyota in Madison, I can honestly say I made good friends with a husband and wife sales team there (Nathan and Abby). If you ever want to look at a Toyota in the Madison area, go and find these two.
  • Dealerships have lots of great deals and are willing to negotiate. If you have the means, now is a great time to buy
  • There is only one car with every bell and whistle, a big motor and all wheel drive in this whole group, the G35x. If it was a little more refined / luxurious ride wise it would be the hands down winner. I think they could make the Sport model a bit more sporty and then have the base a little softer. They would cater to a much wider audience then.
  • All the manufacturers need to offer AWD in all their models
  • Every option, should be available in a particular class. For example, I should be able to get the Infiniti sport seat in a non-sport car
  • Lexus has the best service experience of any manufacturer without question

Priorities:

  1. Prefer a smaller 4 door sedan
  2. Quiet, Quiet, Quiet
  3. All Wheel Drive
  4. Ride performs well when driven hard but isn’t harsh (tough to do)
  5. Convenience features (push button start, proximity door lock, auto tilt that moves when you get out of the car)
  6. Total cost of ownership
  7. Service experience

Ranked order of cars (top three, others unranked)

  • MB C300; quiet, good handling, well appointed, almost all the convenience features with low maintenance costs every 10k
  • Honda Accord; You just can’t beat this value, it wasn’t as good as many of these cars but it was a GREAT value
  • Infiniti G35x; has every feature in the book and a very low TCO but the ride is way too harsh and loud, plus the seat hurt my back (I think this was an anomaly)
  • MB E340; louder than the C300 and way more expensive
  • MB C350; very nice but rear wheel drive
  • BMW 335xi; Crotch rocket with four wheels, best seat anywhere, interior designed by a squirrel on a lot of drugs; with a better interior I would have probably bought this car
  • BMW 535xi; Car couldn’t figure out whether it was a luxury car or sports car and excelled a neither. Interior had same problem as 3 series
  • Nissan Maxima; All the features, rides like a brick
  • Nissan Murano; nice car, wrong body style
  • Lexus RX; nice car, seats are very unsupportive
  • Lexus IS 350 / 250 AWD; The AWD is slow and both cars front head room is terrible, overall the new streamlined Lexus sedans I really don’t like, they need to add some headroom so you don’t feel like the top of the front windshield is an inch from your head
  • Lexus GS 350 AWD; great car, all the features, if there was more headroom this would be in the top 3, also way more expensive than the other cars I liked
  • Toyota Camry; very nice car, quiet, powerful, decent features, seat was very poor for me, built for a very big person.
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid; very nice, too truckish
  • Hyundai Genesis; AMAZING car, right up there with the very best. Price is way too high for a brand I don’t trust
  • Hyundai Azera; little too loud and it pales in comparison to the Genesis, nice price
  • Acura TL; Sporty, rides very rough and loud, also not as much technology as I expected
  • Audi A4; second best German car here, a little too loud, too expensive for its class
  • Audi A6; louder that the A4 and the 4.2 should have more punch than it does
  • Cadillac CTS; The brute force approach, loud, rough and brutish. Very few things that will beat it in a straight line