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Old 04-04-2023, 04:06 PM   #1
FC
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Commuter car down the road

This is likely a couple of years out, but I'd appreciate thoughts on a car for commuting, which consists of 50 miles round trip of which 90% is highway driving. Of this ~1.5 hours of driving per day, half is spent on medium to bad traffic. Figure 12-15k miles per year of use. Not a "forever" car, just a nice car to put miles on for 4-6 years.

I am purposely avoiding cars in the M3/C63/Alfa QV range. Beyond the over-the-top unnecessary performance, NVH, and operating costs, I'd ideally keep this car to around $60k or less. But I would want a car with some speed, decent handling and a nice interior with decent cabin space.

My thoughts are:

New/CPO M340i
New/CPO (>2019) C43 AMG
CPO (>2019) E53 AMG
i4 M50

Others I may be missing?
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Old 04-04-2023, 04:50 PM   #2
Nick M3
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I mean, if you're looking for a commuter from that list, the i4 seems awfully compelling.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:04 PM   #3
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I mean, if you're looking for a commuter from that list, the i4 seems awfully compelling.
Feel free to add to that list!

I'd still need to drive them all.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:04 PM   #4
John V
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Seems like a perfect application for an i4 if you can somehow find a way to never look at the front end. Or an ID.4?

Though I don't really understand spending that much money on a car that will only be used for a freeway slog with a bunch of traffic. Why not something dirt cheap and fully depreciated?
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:10 PM   #5
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Seems like a perfect application for an i4 if you can somehow find a way to never look at the front end. Or an ID.4?

Though I don't really understand spending that much money on a car that will only be used for a freeway slog with a bunch of traffic. Why not something dirt cheap and fully depreciated?
I don't want dirt cheap. I'm looking for an upgrade to the GTI.

I don't need new. The MB's above would be up to 6 years old in a couple of years when I'd be looking for a car. But I do want something nice if I'm going to spend time on it every day.

And yes, the i4 seems like a good fit, which is why it was always penciled in as the choice. But it would be around $80k new, and that's a lot.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:13 PM   #6
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There is a 330e plug in hybrid. Don't know If it does anything better than an i4 other than put gas in for long drives
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:19 PM   #7
John V
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC View Post
I don't want dirt cheap. I'm looking for an upgrade to the GTI.

I don't need new. The MB's above would be up to 6 years old in a couple of years when I'd be looking for a car. But I do want something nice if I'm going to spend time on it every day.

And yes, the i4 seems like a good fit, which is why it was always penciled in as the choice. But it would be around $80k new, and that's a lot.
Why not just keep the GTI? It seems perfect for that use case, except that you still have to put gas in it. From a freeway slog standpoint, what's the point of having something expensive?
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John V View Post
Why not just keep the GTI? It seems perfect for that use case, except that you still have to put gas in it. From a freeway slog standpoint, what's the point of having something expensive?
I'm going to guess that it's the surprisingly high road noise level.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Why not just keep the GTI? It seems perfect for that use case, except that you still have to put gas in it. From a freeway slog standpoint, what's the point of having something expensive?
The GTI is great. And keeping it is an option. But the plan would be to leave that at home for combined use by my wife and the boys. Our oldest gets his license in less than a year. The LR4 will also be around.

Nothing wrong with the GTI, but I am the highest ranking person that is in the office everyday, and I find myself somewhat frequently giving a ride to people (particularly, on occasion, key customers) and it's a bit tight in the GTI. There is also the unfortunate perception in the US of a hatchback, especially a GTI that gives off boy racer vibes. I've gotten a few comments I did not get with the M3.

Our boys are also growing and I could use more room, hence considering an E53. But these are all minor points. Continuing to commute in the GTI beyond 4 years is an option.

The E53 reviews are excellent. https://www.caranddriver.com/mercedes-amg/e53-2019
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:45 PM   #10
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You're considering some really nice cars .. very tough choice ... would you consider an Audi A5 ? It is a fun comfortable car to drive with a nice engine and very good looks.
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