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Cblais19
Cblais19 New Reader
8/18/17 4:29 p.m.

The 2017 Mazda 6 has lovely lines, finally tackled the NVH issue, and has an interior a step above the class (excepting maybe the new Camry and soon to be Accord). Acceleration should be about the same as your TSX if it is the 4cyl, handling should be similar if not better, and it gets fantastic fuel economy into the bargain. Plus you can get some significant details on them because Mazda can't shift them. On the used side, the '16 gets the nicer interior but doesn't get the NVH improvements.

1kris06
1kris06 HalfDork
8/18/17 9:59 p.m.

I seriously considered a used 14 tlx we have at work, then I decided I wasn't ready to buy an automatic yet. It has good getup and go. Current gen accord sports are nice places to spend time as well.

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
8/22/17 8:14 a.m.

The 4-banger version of this can be had for under $40k. Just sayin.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 8:37 a.m.

Not a big Lexus / Infiniti fan, but I'll go look and see. Thanks!

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
8/22/17 9:28 a.m.

Maybe the RWD chassis will sway you compared to the other popular options in this thread? Honestly, I don't know I've never driven one. I'd definitely check out the Q50 if I was shopping in this range though. Although they've done some weird stuff in the past, generally I find their styling to be much more tolerable than the Lexus maw.

Side rant - I really wish Ford would build a clean looking mid-size sport sedan out of the Mustang platform (for the US). Maybe learn from GM's mistake by actually keeping it mid-size and I don't know, actually marketing the thing? I believe there might even be a currently unused nameplate with nostalgic cache that would make perfect sense...

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
8/22/17 10:42 a.m.

Audi A3 E Tron.

JG literally just put up his thoughts on it (Well the Golf version). It's been on my casual interest list for a while but he makes it sound good.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 11:39 a.m.
The0retical wrote: Audi A3 E Tron. JG literally just put up his thoughts on it (Well the Golf version). It's been on my casual interest list for a while but he makes it sound good.

Yeah, I'm looking at A3s and I read JG's editorial in the last magazine. I have a couple concerns / issues with electrics and hybrids:

1) Longevity: I'm worried about the 10-15 year outlook on the batteries.

2) Driving profile: Our usage pattern fits an electric / plug-in hybrid car, but it really doesn't play to the efficiencies. DW's car only gets about 5,000 miles a year on it, and not a lot of that is sitting in traffic. We literally put something like 220 gallons of gas a year through this car, and that usage is only going to drop in about 7-8 years when she retires. So yes, we might be helping the environment, but not by much, and there is going to be no chance of return on that investment.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
8/22/17 11:45 a.m.

This should be on sale around the end of the year, maybe worth waiting for.

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
8/22/17 11:46 a.m.

In reply to Duke:

A buddy of mine has an A3 without the ETron that I've driven. I actually really liked the car and it starts at 31ish. 10 grand more nets you the S3 version of the car.

CyberEric
CyberEric Reader
8/22/17 11:59 a.m.

I'm voting for the Mazda 6. Checks every box.

I drove a base level "Sport" as a rental car for two weeks in Hawaii earlier this year. The car was utterly fantastic. Great handling, great looking, good enough power, nice interior even on the base model. The auto trans was sublime too, the best I've ever driven. I found myself looking back at it as I walked away in a way I don't for a lot of modern cars. It's gorgeous. Plus the MPGs are amazing, but I know that's not a big seller for you.

Another bonus, I could fit in it really well. If you're taller, that's a nice benefit. The only things I didn't like were the large A-pillars, but that's a problem with all new cars. The engine could use more power, but it felt lively enough for me. A lot of the newer cars with more power feel... boring to me. Something about the delivery or something.

As for the Germans: I just spoke to a guy that works at BMW dealership and he said all of the techs are complaining about the new turbo'd cars. Said the hose leaks are terrible and that they are just rolling computers. I'd stay far away if I were you.

RevRico
RevRico SuperDork
8/22/17 12:11 p.m.
Duke wrote:
Stefan wrote: Before Bobzilla waltzes in, I'll also throw Kia and Hyundai into the mix.

I'm not against those. DW might be. I put them as outliers with promise as well.

I was going to suggest one of these as well. Had the same requirements and annual mileage when I was looking for a replacement for my mom's jeep.

CPO Hyundai with the balance of the 10 years (from registration, not model year) 100k warranty set us back not even half your budget. It may not be a speed queen or track toy, but it makes a good appliance so far, and has some basic creature comforts like Bluetooth and heated seats.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 12:15 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric:

The Mazda6 is the leading contender in the lower end of our price spectrum, along with the 4 cylinder / FWD version of the TLX. But frankly the 6 is a better bargain of those two. My only worry is that it's down about 15 hp from her 2004 TSX and about 25 from the TLX. Torque is a little better than her current car and weight is about the same, though.

Critics seem to love the 4-cylinder TLX's 8-speed DCT-with-a-TC transmission.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 12:21 p.m.

What's the deal with current Subarus? I plan to look at both a mid-spec Legacy (a bit boring, but ticks the AWD box) and a WRX Premium (looks good, has moved upscale a bit).

Two things concern me: long-term outlook for headgaskets, and driveability / lifespan for the CVT. To date I have hated every CVT I've driven, but I've heard that these are better driving, at least. I'm still worried about long-term reliability of the format.

I've heard the FAs are a better engine than their predecessor, but I still don't know if that means they are a great engine.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 12:40 p.m.

The best prices in the premium segment of our range seem to be on these:

Looks like these can be found in the mid-$30s for the T5/AWD Dynamic model, and the upper $30s for the 3" longer Inscription version.

the_machina
the_machina New Reader
8/22/17 12:43 p.m.

Aaron King posted the Kia Stinger up a bit, which could be a great option. A bit bigger and more luxe would be a Genesis G80. Might be too big, but I loved how it drove when I tried one out.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/22/17 12:44 p.m.

I'm really looking forward to driving that transmission. Let us know what you think.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 1:00 p.m.

In reply to the_machina:

The Stinger is pretty damn good looking, but I suspect it's a lot bigger than the brief calls for, and too expensive with the fun engine.

Vigo wrote: I'm really looking forward to driving that transmission. Let us know what you think.

I assume you mean the Acura 8-speed DSC? I will be sure to post a review. The plain old 5-speed autobox in the old TSX is great as normal TC autos go. Unfortunately if you want AWD in that car you need to step up to the V6 and it comes with a 9-speed non-DSC auto.

CyberEric
CyberEric Reader
8/22/17 1:21 p.m.

Gotcha. Yeah, the 6 isn't going to win any power competitions. It's pretty light tho for it's size, so it doesn't FEEL slow to me.

If I were shopping in the category, I'd definitely drive the TLX. I have two hangups with it though. 1. It's looks. Even the re-design it's not great. 2. I haven't heard good things about Honda's auto transmissions and their reliability. A Honda tech told me they change the trans fluid every time they change the oil to keep their auto transmissions going. Admittedly, that was on older models, so maybe they've fixed that going forward, but the truth is we don't know. It may not be a deal breaker, but it's something that would be on my mind.

Edit: I forgot, you already have a Honda/Acura auto trans, so maybe it's not a concern for you.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 1:29 p.m.

I think most of the Honda ATX problems came in the Oughties when they were mated to the powerful V6 and dragging a heavier vehicle like the full size Accord, the various bigger Acuras, or the Oddy. While I think changing the trans fluid at very oil change is a bit silly, I did change this one at about 35,000 miles, and it is coming due again.

CyberEric
CyberEric Reader
8/22/17 1:40 p.m.

In reply to Duke:

I gotcha, that makes sense.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
8/22/17 1:52 p.m.

My father recently bought a 2016 Mazda 6 manual trans. It's a very satisfying car all around--- with great styling, a very nice interior, and you get a ton of car for the $$. (I think he only paid $23K for his new! ) It steers very nicely, and the gearbox almost feels like it was lifted out of a Miata. (which is a very good thing)

It's not fast.....but it is smooth. It may be the engine's smoothness that makes it feel slower than it is. It's a very pleasant car to drive, but it's not thrilling. It feels just a little more sporty than a 4cyl Accord with a manual, but still has a very compliant ride. Overall its a very nice machine, but not overly sporting.

the_machina
the_machina New Reader
8/22/17 2:55 p.m.
Duke wrote: In reply to the_machina: The Stinger is pretty damn good looking, but I suspect it's a lot bigger than the brief calls for, and too expensive with the fun engine.

Looks to be about the same size as a Mazda 6, or a ford fusion.

Compared to your 2004 TSX, it's 7 inches longer, 4 inches wider, but has a 255 hp turbo four. So it's a liftback, rwd, ford fusion.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/17 3:38 p.m.

In reply to the_machina:

OK, cool. I thought it was slotting into a tier above that. Thanks.

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
8/22/17 4:43 p.m.

The Stinger looks promising but that name is so darned stupid. STINGER?

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/22/17 5:19 p.m.
I assume you mean the Acura 8-speed DSC?

Yeah. Forgot to refresh and responded to the last post i saw. 3 post in between.. whoops.

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