What car should I buy?

I want: 4 door, AWD, 6 speed manual (needed for engine braking on ice — no paddle shifters!), 270 horsepower, and heated leather seats. Any suggestions?

Jim

Sounds like a recipe for success on our end: Combine ample power, rowing your own gears and all-wheel drive to get that power to the ground in any weather. There are three new cars that fit your criteria. All are $40,000-plus:

BMW 335xi sedan (MSRP: $40,800)

Audi S4 (MSRP: $48,610)

BWM 535xi (MSRP: $51,600)

For your criteria, the BMWs are favorable because they include all-season tires as standard equipment while the Audi S4 has summer-only tires. We haven’t tested the larger 535xi, but the 335 is continually one of our favorite midsize luxury cars; it’s cheaper than the Audi S4 and also has better fuel economy ratings. The S4 has more of a performance edge, though, which is reflected in the choice of standard summer-only tires. If winter driving is a must, which it sounds like it is if you’re concerned about driving on ice, then the BMWs would be a better choice so you don’t have to buy a separate set of tires to get around during the winter months.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on January 2, 2008 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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