So I have a conundrum. My partner and myself have recently come into the position that he is able to afford the 'car of his dreams' and we are looking to make a move very soon.
Requirements: Automatic (besides for color that is about it)
My partner has pretty much driven nothing but Toyotas his entire life except for a Mitsubishi which burned him badly and a few company cars (Liberty and Altima) which he could have cared 2 $hits about. He Toyotas because he has had such good luck with them.
He could care less about 0-60, slalom times, braking distances, etc. Basically the typical Toyota driver. From our 8 years together I gather that as long as the car performs like a Camry he will be happy as a clam. His "benchmarks" for performance are his '02 Celica being sporty and his company '07 Altima 2.5 being fast. When he has driven my cars ('03 Golf, '06 Jetta, '10 Mazda 3) he always comments that they drive much better than his car, however strangely he is still very content with driving mediocre Toyotas. Don't ask.
To make a long story short he only likes the 3 and A5 because they look good and will project a good image for him.
What we are looking at:
BMW 3 Series:
He has been looking for used 3 series coupes in the $25-30k range which we are finding some nice examples in the '08-'09 range with anywhere from 20-60k miles. I will not let him go older than '08 if he goes used. Most are lease returns and are generally in pretty good condition and have been pretty decently optioned up. Unfortunately Certified Pre-Owned are VERY hard to find in this price range.
I keep steering him away from the 335 as #1 he will NEVER use the performance of the twin turbo and #2 I would rather have him in the more reliable 328.
Would probably be lesser optioned than the used example but would be under warranty have have maintenance included.
Used examples in our area have not come down to his price range so if he went this route he would have to go new lease special. The only bad with Audi is maintenance is not included like with the BMW.
This will be a dealer serviced car and driven 13-15k annually. His Scion tC will fetch about 2500-4000 from equity at trade in and he is looking to stay in the $450-550 monthly range.
What I am shooting for:
I am pushing hard for the lease specials due to the warranty and maintenance included on the BMW. After my Volkswagen experiences ('03 and '06) I am terrified to have him buy a 60k miles BMW and have to listen to the subsequent bitching about an unreliable car (especially after 18 years of Toyotas). On the other hand my Volkswagens fell apart spectacularly under warranty so it could be the same no matter which way we go.
So what would TCL do?