Car Shopping: BMW, Infiniti, Volvo, Audi, Lexus

Choices! What Car Would You Choose?

Car dealerships are busy places. Sometimes we had to work to find a parking space!

Car shopping is fun if you approach it the right way. I mean, we need a new car since my son Max totaled our old one, right? My husband Mike chose the last few cars we’ve driven. Now it’s my turn to choose. And that’s pretty exciting to me.

I know I want a convertible. I know I want a car with some muscle under the hood. I know I want a four seater (even if it’s a faux 4-seater!). I know I want an automatic transmission. Beyond that? I’m open to the possibilities. Sky’s the limit. Well, actually, we have a budget so the budget’s the limit. But I have choices and I’m testing them all. And I’m having fun doing it.

The following opinions are mine and mine alone. Mike has been really great about climbing into the back seat of whatever I’m test driving and zipping his lips tight shut. The salesman and I chatter as I zoom down the highways and side roads of northern NJ.

Here’s what I think, in no particular car order, about the vehicles I drove this past weekend.

Infiniti G37 Convertible: This is one hot car. Full disclosure: This was my second time driving the G37 and it didn’t disappoint. It has a beefy vroom emanating from its twin exhaust pipes. It’s really aerodynamic (think swoopy). The dashboard is gorgeous. The on-board computer and screen are large, well lit and easy to read. It has a cool graphics-assisted parking thingy (cameras in front and back of car’s exterior) so I don’t even have to turn my head to parallel park. All I have to do is pretend I’m playing a videogame: I watch the on-board screen and line up the lines. Air-cooled seats! Who knew?! A Bose stereo system with speakers embedded in the headrests puts me over the top on this vehicle. Ooohhhh. I would definitely receive speeding tickets as well as admiring glances if I drive this car.

Fast and gorgeous.

Do I love it?

Yes.

BMW 335i Convertible: This is a good-looking car in a little car way. I climbed inside and was immediately disappointed, though. Based on the design, I could hardly see out the front windshield, never mind see out the back. It’s even more closed in than my daughter Tory’s VW Bug Sunny. The dashboard is nothing special either; it would be right at home in my Honda Pilot. I’d never driven a BMW before and I can truly say that I haven’t missed a thing. Not. One. Thing.  The ‘check engine’ light was on in the test car I drove. Grrr. You know how I feel about check engine lights! This car has a big price tag and I don’t think I’d get enough in return to warrant paying it.

I wasn't impressed.

Do I love it?

No.

Volvo C70 Convertible: The Volvo surprised me. I hadn’t driven one in many years so I was really pleased with the way it handled, hugging the turns. Years earlier I’d driven a Volvo and swore I was driving a brick with four wheels! Generally, the Volvo is a very comfortable car to drive. The dashboard is no nonsense and the instrumentation is easy to figure out. It’s a solid car, but not really sexy, if you know what I mean. Yes, it’s a convertible, but it doesn’t have anything else going for it. And it comes in so few colors.

Altogether a nice car.

Do I love it?

No.

Audi A5 Convertible: This car is the only one I drove with the ‘rag top’ look of a traditional convertible. In fact, parts of the roof are solid and the center section, well padded and soundproofed, is the ‘rag’ part. This means the trunk space is more than 2 cubic feet large too; it actually has useable trunk space with the roof up or down! I climbed in and snuggled into the driver’s seat. Mmmmm. It has all-wheel drive, which you really notice when you’re hugging a turn, accelerating out of one, or, I’d guess, driving in bad weather conditions. Simply put, the car drives like a dream.  It’s turbocharged so it takes off fast and stays fast, until I eased back on the gas pedal. It, like the Infiniti, has air-cooled seats too! This car seems to be a perfect mix of luxury and speed.

Really, really nice vehicle.

Do I love it?

Yes.

Lexus IS 350 Convertible: A week ago I test drove the Lexus. The best thing about the car was our salesperson. He was a charmer. The car? Not so much.

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2 Comments

Filed under Audi A5, BMW 335i, Car Shopping, Infiniti G Series Convertible, Transportation, Volvo C70

2 responses to “Car Shopping: BMW, Infiniti, Volvo, Audi, Lexus

  1. Sherman & Peabody

    We tried everything that you have tried. Even the Sebring. I absolutely adore my BMW 335! The drive from STL to Dallas was the real test – and it made it so much fun. I loved the Lexus convertible – but…the deal breaker was it doesn’t come with Sirius radio!! It did have a cassette player. Even we are more advanced than that!!!!!

    • Gulp! I forgot that you folks had purchased the BMW! Suffice to say that I agree you need more than a cassette player and that i need complete visibility from my rear view. It was great to see you guys when you flew thru NJ!

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