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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all,

This summer, I've been itching to change my Hondata'ed '05 TSX to something else. So here are the cars I've tested in the order that I tested them.


2012 Jetta GLI
It seems like a downgrade compare to TSX because it is quite a bit smaller, and much more plasticky throughout the interior. Drives pretty nice. Suspension is just right. However, driving it is like driving the Civic SI. Not my cup of tea. DSG is awesome.


2013 Passat CC
I love it. Drive nicer than the GLI and I really like the DSG trans. Stylish interior, but not so much for the exterior. The touchscreen system with bluetooth and optional navi is the best system I've used. Things just work, intuitively. However, it failed the gf test. "Old guy trying to be sporty". Still FWD, so it's not going to be night and day difference in terms of driving dynamics. The much needed low-end torque is there and the car just goes. Step on the gas and DSG down shifts quickly and I feel much more connected with the engine's power compare to TSX's DBW pared with 5-speed AT. Sunroof only tilts but doesn't open, and it's hard to get in the rear seats without bumping your head. Rimless windows are cool and sexy.


2012 C250 AWD V6
So I walked into a MB dealership because of the constant radio ad about their promotions. Tried the C250, but they do not really carry the RWD. So C250 is a V6 instead of I4 Turbo, and it's just... slow. Other than that, the interior is very tight and tiny. The steering wheel feels good, with flat bottom, but what's weird about it is that the turn signal bar is actually on the bottom left. If you just flip the bar on the left, congratulation, you've activated cruise control. What were they thinking?


2012 328i RWD
First impression, great driving position! And it was wonderful to drive. Step on it and the power is right there. Carve the corner like butter. Exists corner effortlessly. The auto start-stop is a crazy invention. Yes, it might make sense on a hybrid, but on this car it's just too weird. Every time you stop at a light, when you release the brake, the engine restarts and the vibrations shakes the whole cabin. Annoying as hell. Yes you can turn it off, but I think it's on by default like how VSA is on by default. However, the AT is still not as great as the DSG. When you just drive it normally, this is how you'd feel from 0 to 50km/h. "shift-shift-shift-shift-shift-shift". I'm not sure how this is better than CVT. The iDrive is stupid. The graphics seems cool at first, but when you start using it, the cool animations are not smooth and doesn't feel snappy. The animations are too long and it just slows you down from where you want to go. I much prefered the VW's system with the touch screen.


2012 320i RWD
So after crunching the numbers, the 328 seems quite pricey. so I decided to try the 320i and see how it goes. Well, not as sweet to drive compare to the 328i for sure. The engine has the power, but you have to step on the gas quite a bit more and the engine seems reluctent to rpm up. Larger turbo lag I guess? However, the car is just as balanced as the 328i.


2012 A3 TDI
Piece of crap. The interior is all black and blend. TDI is torquey but the trans doesn't want to upshift or something. It's like the transmission is pulling the car back, then when you step on the gas it just pushes you. Unsmooth, Uninspiring. This car doesn't deserve to be called an Audi.


2012 A4 Quattro
After the bad experience with the A3, the sales immedately suggested me to test the A4. Same as the sitaution as the C-class, the FWD w/ CVT is availble on paper only. Back-to-back, the A4 is much better and drives similar to the 320i with more instant low-end torque. Interior is pretty nice, but I don't find it much better than the 3-series like before. The weird flip plastic that covers 2 SD card slots is just ugly. The red/blue rim on the AC knob looks very Korean. Hard plastic are found much more than I expected in an Audi. The demo car has quite a few heavily scratched places on the plasics. The A4 feels the heaviest of all the cars I've test above. It's not going to be as fun throwing it to the corner as TSX. However, it's planted. Pretty roomy at the back, good trunk size. I'm not sure I really need the full-time AWD though. It'd be nice if it's a RWD and shred a few pounds.
 

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Wow seems like you test drove a lot!!

I read through your "review" and honestly still can't tell which car is good for you. Whatever car that you like when you first see it and gives you a great driving impression, then that's the car to go to since you will be in it every day (almost).

Have you considered the BRZ/FRS? If you are out of that scene and want to get into more luxury then I understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow seems like you test drove a lot!!

I read through your "review" and honestly still can't tell which car is good for you. Whatever car that you like when you first see it and gives you a great driving impression, then that's the car to go to since you will be in it every day (almost).

Have you considered the BRZ/FRS? If you are out of that scene and want to get into more luxury then I understand.
I can't squeeze my mother, or mother-in-law in the back seat in a coupe. :)
 

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^ Hmm understood. I myself can't get a coupe also because of my daughter.

But seriously, whatever car makes you feel good is THE car. That way, you won't drive out of the lot regretting some things. Don't ever let someone else decide what car you should get. They're not the one spending tens of thousands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^ Hmm understood. I myself can't get a coupe also because of my daughter.

But seriously, whatever car makes you feel good is THE car. That way, you won't drive out of the lot regretting some things. Don't ever let someone else decide what car you should get. They're not the one spending tens of thousands.
I'm considering leasing the next car. Many friends of mine were like... "what? '05? that's still new with plenty of life left!" But I'm just bored of it. I still find the 1G TSX looks very nice, and drives pretty well if I'm the only one in the car with AC off. The mods I added have really enhanced the driving dynamics. However, I still have no bluetooth, no low-end torque still, the suspension feels pretty rough as I age, and the depressed lumbar support urges me to change the car every time I sit on it. :)

Most dissatisfying experience of the 5AT TSX: 2nd gear exiting the corner and wait for it to rpm up... wait.. wait.. wait........ power finally (but oops, 70km/h already).
 

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I think coming from the car that you have, the luxury components that comes in these 2012 car will probably blow you away. In this day and age, rear view camera, bluetooth, muli point seat adjustment, auto leveling hid lights, keyless entry, and push start are almost standard.

If you want to go even further, definitely opt for navi. Some people will say they never need it because they know the streets. Well I said the same thing but I am so glad I opted for a nav because whenever I go to new places, I never miss a turn and waste gas and time back tracking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you considered looking at a CPO 09-10 Lexus IS350? I drove one and loved it.
What's CPO?

The IS (so is the G) have not been updated for so many years... that's why I have not test driven them because I still remember the things I don't like about them.

IS250 / IS350
From what I remember, for the IS, the rear leg room is quite tight. Outward visibility is quite bad because of the narrow windows. Also I didn't like the lifeless steering feel, not very connected. The IS250 feels slightly slower than the TSX, but I have not tested the 350. The IS look dated after so many yrs of minor face-lifts.

G25 / G37
The AT for both are not very responsive. Interior is dated, exterior is dated, chassis is dated, both engines are quite dated as well. The cockpit is too narrow, not very comfortable. G37 high rpm are just rough. G25 is smoother, but it drinks almost as much gas as the G37.
 

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Isnt that the pontiac g8
basically...its a version under the Holden name in australia. its a pretty sick looking version too.
 

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What's CPO?

The IS (so is the G) have not been updated for so many years... that's why I have not test driven them because I still remember the things I don't like about them.

IS250 / IS350
From what I remember, for the IS, the rear leg room is quite tight. Outward visibility is quite bad because of the narrow windows. Also I didn't like the lifeless steering feel, not very connected. The IS250 feels slightly slower than the TSX, but I have not tested the 350. The IS look dated after so many yrs of minor face-lifts.

G25 / G37
The AT for both are not very responsive. Interior is dated, exterior is dated, chassis is dated, both engines are quite dated as well. The cockpit is too narrow, not very comfortable. G37 high rpm are just rough. G25 is smoother, but it drinks almost as much gas as the G37.
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The IS has more leg room in the 08+ models because they revised the back of the seats to give the passengers more room. I also believe the steering feel was changed. I havent driven an 06-07 IS, so I can't comment on that. I drove an '11 IS350, but not much was changed between 09 and 11 other than the minor facelift and some new tech features. The IS250 is slow and not fun to drive. The IS350 is completely different. If you have driven an 08ish 328i and 335i, that's about the same difference. The IS350 I drove had the Fsport exhaust option too, so it had a great sound to it. It is likely that a full redesign is coming for the IS line in 2014 and it will probably be revealed later this year if I had to guess. From what I've heard so far they are planning on reusing the same engines, but I think it's hard to say what they 3rd generation IS will actually be like.

Another good option you could consider is the Hyundai Sonata turbo or even the Genesis sedan.
 

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Most dissatisfying experience of the 5AT TSX: 2nd gear exiting the corner and wait for it to rpm up... wait.. wait.. wait........ power finally (but oops, 70km/h already).
I've learned if I know I'm gonna be punching it, to shift it into manual shift ahead of time. Works great taking on/offramps.

My roommate has owned two 135i's. His first was modded out like crazy and stupid fast. Like strapped onto a rocket fast. His second isn't modded and is quick, but much more manageable. Ride is smooth, handling is great, mpg is about 22 around town. Since the 135 is a two-door, the 335 is probably a good fit for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You have the absolute worst cars for maintenance costs. Stay away from German cars, they depreciate like rocks and cost an arm and leg to keep on the road.
That's why I'm leaning towards leasing then owning...
 
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