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  1. #1
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Aug 16 2018
    AZ Member #
    424597
    My Garage
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Best Car for $30k-$40k

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    Hello all, this is always a fun discussion to have with fellow enthusiasts. I will be buying a car soon and plan to spend between $30k and $40k. I want to hear peoples opinions about what is the best in that range.

    A little about my previous cars and what I liked about them:
    My first car was a B7 A4, loved the interior, great little 2.0L, unbelievable in the snow. Ended up selling it when the turbo gave out.
    Moved into an E46 325xi Touring, loved the shape of the wagon, got some M3 styling on it and it looked amazing. Carved the mountains really well for a wagon. Sold after heading to college.
    Next, took over a lease on an 2015 Lexus RC350. Great highway/open road cruiser, absolutely ate up miles. Reliable as hell, super comfy interior, but lacked the tech and modern look of its competitors.
    After turning that in, took over another lease on a 2016 C450. Great car, fantastic interior, drives like a rocket when you want it to. Maintenance is a bit absurd (3 rims cracked in 9 months, a bit of vibration, regular maintenance is unnecessarily expensive for what the car is).

    Once that lease is up in the fall, I'll be looking to buy something used. I'd love to be between 30k and 40k (USD).
    Need something with:
    AWD
    300+ hp (don't mind going Stage 1 to get this)
    Comfy interior for longer drives
    Fairly up-to-date tech
    CPO preferred (been scarred by European cars before)
    Coupe, Sedan, or Wagon
    Under 40k miles preferred
    Leaning towards an Audi, but don't have a strict brand preference.

    Throw any thoughts you have my way. I'm excited to hear what people have in mind!
    2016 Mercedes C450 AMG (Daily)
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    E46 328xi Wagon (Gone)
    B7 A4 2.0T S-Line (Gone)

  2. #2
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    May 24 2016
    AZ Member #
    373764
    Location
    Racine, WI

    Wife’s 2018 A5 PP coup CPO was $42k with 2800 miles on it. Could probably find one similar with a few more miles on it in your range. All the tech you can ask for, would need a stage 1 to get to 300hp but doable.

    Super fun car to drive, decent mpg and good performance stock. A bit of tuning and it would be a good performer. Interior is great too.

    JW




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 21 2019
    AZ Member #
    466381
    Location
    Florida

    I'm currently in love with the genesis g80 sport 3.3t. I work for genesis and I'll really only see a sport every week or two, but they always impress me. Great looking car with a really cool interior, and the 3.3 is quick. We haven't really seen any major problems with the g80 either. Only real downfall with them is that they're pretty big cars and not nimble by any means. Doesn't get the best fuel mileage either. They are super comfortable though.

    Sent from my SM-P550 using Audizine mobile app

  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 08 2013
    AZ Member #
    110948
    Location
    Seattle

    Any preference on transmission type? Wanting a manual in today's market would severely limit your options.

    How about number of usable seats or doors? Or back seat space for 6' tall people?

    I'm bias to wagons and hatchbacks, so I'd probably suggest looking at the Allroad, BMW 328x wagon (gas, but the diesel has tons of torque making it feel much faster than it is), Ford Focus RS (smaller rear seat and trunk), or a TTS/TTRS.

  5. #5
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Aug 16 2018
    AZ Member #
    424597
    My Garage
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    Location
    Boston, MA

    It will be my daily driver and I commute in and around the city, so for traffic reasons, I would avoid a manual. I occasionally have passengers but as long as two medium sized people can fit in the back, size is not an issue. I'm not crazy about the Focus RS interior, but I am a big fan of wagons, it's just a matter of finding one that powerful enough that I don't miss my C450 too too much. The TTS may be just barely too small since I ski almost weekly over the winter. I could get my gear in my RC350, but it was a bit of a squeeze.
    2016 Mercedes C450 AMG (Daily)
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    E46 328xi Wagon (Gone)
    B7 A4 2.0T S-Line (Gone)

  6. #6
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 08 2013
    AZ Member #
    110948
    Location
    Seattle

    I'm also a big fan of wagons and skiing!

    The Allroad and the 328 wagon would be good candidates, and they're at the low end of your budget, but they may not have the power you would like. You can always modify them for a bit more power, but it still won't be the same. Another option might be a 2010-11 A6 Avant, with the supercharged v6; it's a bit bigger, older, but it has a more powerful engine than the two options above. It's also cheaper, so you could modify it for more power and put leftover money away into a maintenance/rainy-day account. Just a thought. It's too bad that the Jaguar XF S Sportbrake hasn't been out long enough for them to be in your price range, because that could be an interesting option.

    Also, if you're ever considering mounting skis on the roof via a rack or box, I'd stay away from the sportbacks (A5, A7) due to hatch clearance concerns.

    Hopefully Audi will bring back sporty wagons soon...

  7. #7
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Aug 16 2018
    AZ Member #
    424597
    My Garage
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaan View Post
    I'm also a big fan of wagons and skiing!

    The Allroad and the 328 wagon would be good candidates, and they're at the low end of your budget, but they may not have the power you would like. You can always modify them for a bit more power, but it still won't be the same. Another option might be a 2010-11 A6 Avant, with the supercharged v6; it's a bit bigger, older, but it has a more powerful engine than the two options above. It's also cheaper, so you could modify it for more power and put leftover money away into a maintenance/rainy-day account. Just a thought. It's too bad that the Jaguar XF S Sportbrake hasn't been out long enough for them to be in your price range, because that could be an interesting option.

    Also, if you're ever considering mounting skis on the roof via a rack or box, I'd stay away from the sportbacks (A5, A7) due to hatch clearance concerns.

    Hopefully Audi will bring back sporty wagons soon...

    Have you ever seen the SeaSucker ski racks? They work with hatches and in my opinion look very clean (https://www.seasucker.com/products/ski-rack) . I could also go the Jon Olsson route with a Thule and basically build it into the car .

    On another note, I think it'd be cool to start a thread for skiers to see how people set their Audis up and where they take them.
    2016 Mercedes C450 AMG (Daily)
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    E46 328xi Wagon (Gone)
    B7 A4 2.0T S-Line (Gone)

  8. #8
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 08 2013
    AZ Member #
    110948
    Location
    Seattle

    I've never seen the SeaSuckers before; they look interesting, but I'd be worried not having hard mounting points to the car and the additional stress on the rear glass of a sportback.

    I'm a fan of boxes on a wagon; they're aesthetically pleasing and are useful for more than just skis. There's a roofbox thread in the Avants section, but it's not specific to skiing. I also think it'd be cool to have a thread to discuss ski mounting options for any type of car.

  9. #9
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Aug 16 2018
    AZ Member #
    424597
    My Garage
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Another cool option, especially for wagons, is the company 56Nord. They make all-carbon boxes with front mounted hinges and they can do custom colors. I'm sure its not cheap but its by far the best box design I've seen out there.
    http://www.56nord.com
    2016 Mercedes C450 AMG (Daily)
    2015 Lexus RC350 (Gone)
    E46 328xi Wagon (Gone)
    B7 A4 2.0T S-Line (Gone)

  10. #10
    Registered Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 20 2019
    AZ Member #
    494424
    Location
    Derby, UK

    Quote Originally Posted by carterbourassa View Post
    Have you ever seen the SeaSucker ski racks? They work with hatches and in my opinion look very clean (https://www.seasucker.com/products/ski-rack) . I could also go the Jon Olsson route with a Thule and basically build it into the car .

    On another note, I think it'd be cool to start a thread for skiers to see how people set their Audis up and where they take them.
    carterbourasa - great idea! Would like to read about this as well :)

  11. #11
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    May 07 2019
    AZ Member #
    481036
    Location
    San Mateo

    Quote Originally Posted by jwarrenod View Post
    Wife’s 2018 A5 PP coup CPO was $42k with 2800 miles on it. Could probably find one similar with a few more miles on it in your range. All the tech you can ask for, would need a stage 1 to get to 300hp but doable.

    Super fun car to drive, decent mpg and good performance stock. A bit of tuning and it would be a good performer. Interior is great too.

    JW
    My sister in law has one and it's fun as hell to drive. Definitely a good value at that price/mileage.

  12. #12
    Established Member Two Rings helldiver14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 20 2017
    AZ Member #
    401469
    Location
    Ohio

    Im in the same boat actually. I'm looking at in no order Chevy SS with manual, Ford Raptor (Ecoboost), SQ5 and the Charger 392. 2016 Audi S6 and 2015 BMW 550i were in the running but between the bad turbos on the 4.0t and the valve issues in the N63 on the BMW I had to remove them from the list. I have driven an SQ5 and absolutely loved it and I think it would be a great practical daily and one that you dont see often. The raptor would be nice from the standpoint that I live in Northern Ohio and winters can be rough, plus having a truck would be useful. The Chargers I love in the looks department, but am not sure what I will think of it once I drive it since its so large. And the SS has a lot of praise from european enthusiasts, rare and from what I've read they are great handlers with some modding potential (LS3). Also the interior of the SS is nothing to sneeze at, not your typical GM thanks to Holden. If it wasn't for the girlfriend wanting a house I would be in a coupe preferably a GT350 or a S5.

    Also, maybe buy another cheap car (B7 Avant, VW CC, Tiguan, GLI) and drive it for a few years until the S5 sportbacks come down in price

  13. #13
    Established Member Two Rings helldiver14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 20 2017
    AZ Member #
    401469
    Location
    Ohio

    Quote Originally Posted by jpaan View Post
    I'm also a big fan of wagons and skiing!

    The Allroad and the 328 wagon would be good candidates, and they're at the low end of your budget, but they may not have the power you would like. You can always modify them for a bit more power, but it still won't be the same. Another option might be a 2010-11 A6 Avant, with the supercharged v6; it's a bit bigger, older, but it has a more powerful engine than the two options above. It's also cheaper, so you could modify it for more power and put leftover money away into a maintenance/rainy-day account. Just a thought. It's too bad that the Jaguar XF S Sportbrake hasn't been out long enough for them to be in your price range, because that could be an interesting option.

    Also, if you're ever considering mounting skis on the roof via a rack or box, I'd stay away from the sportbacks (A5, A7) due to hatch clearance concerns.

    Hopefully Audi will bring back sporty wagons soon...
    I was looking into Allroads awhile back and the only complaint is, its not based on the A6 platform anymore, its the A4 platform with an A4 interior. For the price of the allroad with the limited room you get, I didnt think it was worth it. They are beautiful cars when done right though.

  14. #14
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jul 13 2017
    AZ Member #
    402808
    Location
    Detroit

    any interest in the Tesla model S? used ones can be had within your 30-40k range.

    or a model 3...but then you would have to go with one that is rear wheel drive to stay under 40k.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Two Rings WanaB5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 14 2017
    AZ Member #
    401073
    Location
    Manchester, NH

    Definitely a CPO I would personally get an Allroad. Such a fun car, but I am a wagon guy haha! Just look out for some deals on some of the bigger dealer sites like autotrader, cargurus and autolist. There's a good amount out there, just be picky and patient



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