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      09-11-2020, 09:35 PM   #1
ignorant_jeeves
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Please help me narrow down my vehicle choices

Hi everyone:

I'm beginning a long and detailed process of a car search (for me, that's like 6 months to a year) and wanted some help and input from any interested folks on this forum.

Background:
Current Car - 2005 MB C320. So going on 16 years; bought used. Intend to keep the next vehicle for around 10 years also.

Criteria sought:
Fun to drive with as good an engine as possible, but donít necessarily need something crazy.
Needs to be a daily driver. Donít have a long commute (60 minutes total daily). I listen to podcasts or music almost constantly while in the vehicle since itís mostly just me in this car.

SUV v. Car:
I have mostly owned cars. My wife drives a minivan and thatís our people mover with the two kids. I donít expect to be in my new vehicle much with strollers in the trunk, etc. We use our van for that stuff.

However, I will be taking golf clubs for me and my kids (so 2-3 sets in total) on a regular basis. One thing that annoys me about my current C320 trunk is having to maneuver clubs and shoes and angle them every which way to get things to fit.

BMW Interest:
BMW has always been a little bit of a dream brand for me. The looks, designs, the driving dynamics reputation, etc. Iíve never had the chance to own one before or even ride around much in one, but now am fortunate enough to be able to get a new one without too much trouble.

But I guess general consensus is that recent year BMW models have that ďnumbĒ feeling. How much do you long-term Bimmer loyalists find this to be true? Is it a real bother for you? Have you or would you consider switching to other brands in the future due to this? I guess most would consider my 16 year old C-class to be a relatively stiff ride and tight feel (my wife drove my car after a long while the other day and was convinced the steering was somehow broken - of course, sheís coming from the minivan). I enjoy that kind of driving feel. Would I find the M-series or true-M vehicles too stiff or harsh? Too soft?

BMW Vehicles considering:
M340i
New M3? Donít know much about it of course and wonder if itíll be more than I need
X3 M40i - recurring concerns about seat comfort, especially with ventilation?
X3M - the reviews seem to say the ride is terrible?

Likes:
BMW X3 vehicles get HUD, wireless apple carplay, excellent advanced safety, a well-reputed infotainment system, and ventilated seats.
The 3-series sedans get everything but the ventilated seats, but I have heard these are mediocre on BMW anyways (though I would love it as I live in Florida).

Given the above criteria and thoughts, what would you guys recommend? I am going to go test drive, but want to be selective about which ones to pick and in what order, if possible.

Any other brands you would consider?
I am also looking at AMG C-class, AMG GLA, and AMG GLC. Also Genesis G70 and Audi RS5. All those vehicles also have all the features I would want aside from wireless Carplay. But I have also heard some people dislike wireless Carplay since itís via bluetooth.

Also looking at electrics - Tesla Model Y Performance, Polestar 2, Mustang Mach E GT. Tesla has its own array of issues (build quality, lack of carplay, lack of ventilated seats, etc). Not much out there about Polestar 2 and Mach E yet. 1st generation technology from a new brand makes me a bit nervous.

Anyways, I know thatís a long post and Iím probably over-analyzing. But as annoying as it is to nitpick so many options, each with different limitations, itís a fun process in some sense.

Any thoughts, suggestions, experience, ideas would be greatly appreciated. Especially on wireless Carplay v. wired, ventilated seats, trunk space (especially for those of you that transport golf clubs regularly), and cross-shopping experiences.

Thanks in advance!

...oh also, PCDelivery for BMW sounds amazing...
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      09-11-2020, 11:09 PM   #2
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PC Delivery is amazing. Based on the things you listed that you are looking for I absolutely recommend the M340i. The first things you mention are fun to drive and the best engine possible. The M340i fits that bill better than any other competitor in its class. Most deficiencies that people perceived in the F3x generation have been rectified with the G2x. The B58 inline six is a phenomenal motor. Part of that is simply that it is an inline six motor. Inline sixes are inherently balanced and, therefore, smooth running. The ZF8 transmission is also amazing. Many manufacturers use it, but BMW seems to have really perfected their tuning/programming of it. Take your golf clubs and try them in the trunk.

I probably should also give a plug to the M Sport 330i. It has a great four banger and would probably have all the power you’ll need. Even if you are set on an M340i you should drive a 330i just to appreciate it for what it is.

The ///M3 will be more than you need. And it comes with BMW’s new oversized, atrocious grill.

BMW makes the best handling SUVs out there, but the fact is they’re still SUVs and have a truck-ish drive.

For many years I have said a primary difference between BMW owners and Mercedes owners is that BMW owners tend to be the kind of people who prefer to do things for themselves, whereas Mercedes owners tend to be the kind of people who prefer to have things done for them.

More than most any other brand, BMW owners tend to be more connected to their cars. It’s one of the reasons the BMW Car Club of America is the largest single marquee car club in the world. You should go ahead and join now so you’ll qualify for the $500/3 Series BMW CCA rebate when you purchase your car. If you join for one year you’ll have to wait an entire year to qualify. If you join for three years you’ll qualify for the rebate in only six months. Shameless plug, be sure to use my member number, 388003, as your referral and we’ll both be entered to win a one day ///M Driving School.

If you can’t tell I’m a little bit of a fanboy. The fact that BMW offers Performance Center Delivery is a pretty clear indicator of how they feel about driving and about their cars.

Best wishes on your decision.
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      09-11-2020, 11:43 PM   #3
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Stinger GT sounds like it might fit the bill, lots of room, stout engine, great cruiser and all the tech you can shake a stick at, and a warranty thats like double what others offer.
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      09-12-2020, 02:07 AM   #4
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Tesla Model Y Performance

Drive one and pickup a used x3 b58 for when u need range.
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      09-12-2020, 02:33 AM   #5
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Model Y performance sounds like a solid choice for you.

Could you give us a list of things you value most in this car ? Sounds like you are placing tech, safety, cargo room above performance.

Also even though the tesla doesn't have vented seats.. you can set it to cool down from your phone or maintain climate control whole you run in the store. The ac runs off the battery and doesn't need to be belt driven off an engine.
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      09-12-2020, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignorant_jeeves View Post
Hi everyone:

I'm beginning a long and detailed process of a car search (for me, that's like 6 months to a year) and wanted some help and input from any interested folks on this forum.

Background:
Current Car - 2005 MB C320. So going on 16 years; bought used. Intend to keep the next vehicle for around 10 years also.

Criteria sought:
Fun to drive with as good an engine as possible, but don’t necessarily need something crazy.
Needs to be a daily driver. Don’t have a long commute (60 minutes total daily). I listen to podcasts or music almost constantly while in the vehicle since it’s mostly just me in this car.

SUV v. Car:
I have mostly owned cars. My wife drives a minivan and that’s our people mover with the two kids. I don’t expect to be in my new vehicle much with strollers in the trunk, etc. We use our van for that stuff.

However, I will be taking golf clubs for me and my kids (so 2-3 sets in total) on a regular basis. One thing that annoys me about my current C320 trunk is having to maneuver clubs and shoes and angle them every which way to get things to fit.

BMW Interest:
BMW has always been a little bit of a dream brand for me. The looks, designs, the driving dynamics reputation, etc. I’ve never had the chance to own one before or even ride around much in one, but now am fortunate enough to be able to get a new one without too much trouble.

But I guess general consensus is that recent year BMW models have that “numb” feeling. How much do you long-term Bimmer loyalists find this to be true? Is it a real bother for you? Have you or would you consider switching to other brands in the future due to this? I guess most would consider my 16 year old C-class to be a relatively stiff ride and tight feel (my wife drove my car after a long while the other day and was convinced the steering was somehow broken - of course, she’s coming from the minivan). I enjoy that kind of driving feel. Would I find the M-series or true-M vehicles too stiff or harsh? Too soft?

BMW Vehicles considering:
M340i
New M3? Don’t know much about it of course and wonder if it’ll be more than I need
X3 M40i - recurring concerns about seat comfort, especially with ventilation?
X3M - the reviews seem to say the ride is terrible?

Likes:
BMW X3 vehicles get HUD, wireless apple carplay, excellent advanced safety, a well-reputed infotainment system, and ventilated seats.
The 3-series sedans get everything but the ventilated seats, but I have heard these are mediocre on BMW anyways (though I would love it as I live in Florida).

Given the above criteria and thoughts, what would you guys recommend? I am going to go test drive, but want to be selective about which ones to pick and in what order, if possible.

Any other brands you would consider?
I am also looking at AMG C-class, AMG GLA, and AMG GLC. Also Genesis G70 and Audi RS5. All those vehicles also have all the features I would want aside from wireless Carplay. But I have also heard some people dislike wireless Carplay since it’s via bluetooth.

Also looking at electrics - Tesla Model Y Performance, Polestar 2, Mustang Mach E GT. Tesla has its own array of issues (build quality, lack of carplay, lack of ventilated seats, etc). Not much out there about Polestar 2 and Mach E yet. 1st generation technology from a new brand makes me a bit nervous.

Anyways, I know that’s a long post and I’m probably over-analyzing. But as annoying as it is to nitpick so many options, each with different limitations, it’s a fun process in some sense.

Any thoughts, suggestions, experience, ideas would be greatly appreciated. Especially on wireless Carplay v. wired, ventilated seats, trunk space (especially for those of you that transport golf clubs regularly), and cross-shopping experiences.

Thanks in advance!

...oh also, PCDelivery for BMW sounds amazing...
A couple of months back was looking at X3 M40 too but found it a little bit "small". Also looking at Model Y, fun car. Went with X5 for a little bit more cargo space, power adjust the steering wheel, and the power is adequate. center monitor is bigger, dashboard tach and speedo digital. I know just small things but it was the one that drove me to pick X5 over the X3. Model Y, for the price of it and the not so polish finishes, panel gaps, paint issues etc. For the price point IMHO, Model Y is not a well finished car yet @ the time I was buying a car.
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      09-12-2020, 11:44 AM   #7
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My thoughts on your options:

X3M40/X3M - With the minivan the only practicality you need are access for golf clubs, which I would imagine the sedans could easily handle, if not bring them to the test drive and see whether they fit in and out of the vehicle. X3M in my opinion is too stiff of a vehicle, however you may like that as you said. Ventilated seats in BMW's are pretty weak so even if optioned it may not provide many benefits and the ventilated seats in the 40i are very hard/uncomfortable. Decent handling, good engine, numb steering, but not as fun as a sedan, and the interior is outdated and feels too cheap in my opinion.

M340/M3 - Great cars, however the M3 hasn't been released so can't speak about that. Coming from a 15 year old C320, I would imagine that you don't need a full M as an M340 should be more than enough power and still have good handling and be practical enough, and new M3 is gonna be hideous so that would rule it out for me. Personally I find the steering while not a deal-breaker, very disappointing and the handling while great, is not class-leading or much better than other competitors to make it the "go-to choice," like it use to be in the old days of the E36/46/90. Still a great car, but the competition has caught up and is worthy of a look.

AMG C-Class (43/63) - Great cars, both the V6 and V8 are very nice. The ride is stiff but of course again you'll have to be the judge of that. The V8 in the C63 is pure bliss and something no other competitor but Cadillac will offer in this class of car, and will likely be the last V8 C-Class so it could hold its value more in the future. The V6 in the 43 is a pretty reliable engine too and feels very aggressive and wants you to drive like a hooligan which is pretty fun. The new C-class also handles very well, and has a better exhaust than both the M340/M3 in both V6 and V8 form, and just has a bit more drama, in a good way though. Steering while not brimming with feel, is more natural in the corners with an overall less synthetic feel than BMW's. The interior is also much nicer in materials and just makes the cabin feel more expensive of a car in my opinion. This would be a nice upgrade from your old C-Class, I'd recommend test driving both 43 and 63, while even the 63 probably has more power than you need, its hard not to like a V8 (which will soon be hard to find).

AMG GLA - Not a fan of the GLA, one of the worst MB's in my opinion, however I have not driven the new generation which looks to have improved upon the old, either way, I'd stick to a RWD bias car like the C/GLC over the FWD based GLA, especially if looking at AMG.

AMG GLC (43/63) - Copy and paste everything from the C43/63 and add air suspension for a better ride and of course greater practicality and new technology (MBUX). My wife has the GLC 300 and she really enjoys it for daily driving. She test drove the 43 (and I've driven the 63) but didn't need that much power since we also have a Z4 M for fun. Again though, I think the C-Class should be practical enough for your needs.

Genesis G70/Kia Stinger - I know you didn't mention Stinger but its worth a look. You get a mix of SUV practicality with the hatchback so golf clubs should be super easy, and you get a bigger backseat than the G70 as well as more "unique" styling. Both cars handle well with the edge going to the G70 since its smaller, and are getting a nice mid-cycle refresh with an upgraded 3.5TT V6. These could be the best cars for long-term ownership as Hyundai reliability has been very good over the years, and the value is very good as well as the warranty. Only downside is really the dealerships are not as nice as the Germans. Kia/Hyundai also have much better ventilated seats (which I believe are actually AC cooled, not ventilated) than the Germans.

RS5 - Overall not bad, but very expensive and not a fan of the transverse FWD based platform Audi uses. Easily the most comfortable car here but not the most fun, and the RS cars are hard to find with good deals.

Model Y - Get a Model 3, better build quality (although still not great) in the 3 vs Y, and better looks (again still not great though) and more than practical enough. They drive well and have good range but its a very different experience than a gas car so only you can really decide if its the right move. 10-year ownership costs/reliability is also a question mark.

Mach E GT - Not coming out for a while, but a very nice car from the looks, but not much is known on how it drives, handles, and reliability since its not out yet.

Polestar 2 - Has all the great Volvo qualities, but I'm betting it will also handle like one (aka not fun) and also incredibly expensive. Same with the Mach E and Tesla, 10-year ownership/reliability is a question mark, and the car is not out yet to test drive. Range will also likely be very low for the Polestar.

Overall, I'd suggest test driving (and make sure to bring the golf clubs to test out practicality), the M340i, M3 (if its out), C43 and C63, as well as maybe a Kia Stinger or Genesis G70. I don't think you should go the SUV route unless the golf club situation doesn't work out.

Edit: Add to the list (if your budget allows it) a Macan S/GTS. The best driving SUV in the segment if you are forced to go into SUV territory. Feels like a hot hatch on stilts, and can easily fit golf clubs in the back, and the interior is a very nice place to spend time in.

Good luck
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      09-12-2020, 01:13 PM   #8
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Don't get fooled by random people who have never owned or even driven an X3M. It's a beast of a car for a very reasonable price. Remember that you will get 10-14% off MSRP with BMW but not with MB/Volvo/Tesla. Basically, you can get a fully loaded X3M Competition with the newest tech for 75k. I live in South Florida and the ventilated seats are just fine.
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      09-12-2020, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexFL View Post
Don't get fooled by random people who have never owned or even driven an X3M. It's a beast of a car for a very reasonable price. Remember that you will get 10-14% off MSRP with BMW but not with MB/Volvo/Tesla. Basically, you can get a fully loaded X3M Competition with the newest tech for 75k. I live in South Florida and the ventilated seats are just fine.
I loved everything about the X3M Comp but I could not get over the stiff suspension (and I'm not adverse to a stiff ride but I felt like that was a deal breaker to an otherwise amazing vehicle). Maybe the roads are more tolerable in FL vs up here in Toronto though.
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      09-12-2020, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
I loved everything about the X3M Comp but I could not get over the stiff suspension (and I'm not adverse to a stiff ride but I felt like that was a deal breaker to an otherwise amazing vehicle). Maybe the roads are more tolerable in FL vs up here in Toronto though.
Thatís too bad. There is a relatively easy fix for the stiff suspension. Many X3M owners, including me, have it installed.

https://shop.mss.company/shop/mss-ur...m-bmw-x3m-suv/
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      09-12-2020, 05:07 PM   #11
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consider the 530e. If you live in Florida and take your kids golfing the car will get very hot while you are playing. With my 530e in similarly hot Arizona, I take my phone out and use the bmw connected app to turn on the AC after the 17th hole. All my friends are getting into hot cars and I am getting into a comfortable car by the time I get to the car.

The 530e runs the AC off the hybrid battery so it doesn't start the car or unlock the car. I have had some weird looks by others getting into their cars alongside mine that sounds like it is running, but of course it isn't.

It will be a tight fit for the golf clubs but I think you can do it. I only wish that BMW would import the 545e as well.
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      09-12-2020, 07:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
consider the 530e. If you live in Florida and take your kids golfing the car will get very hot while you are playing. With my 530e in similarly hot Arizona, I take my phone out and use the bmw connected app to turn on the AC after the 17th hole. All my friends are getting into hot cars and I am getting into a comfortable car by the time I get to the car.

The 530e runs the AC off the hybrid battery so it doesn't start the car or unlock the car. I have had some weird looks by others getting into their cars alongside mine that sounds like it is running, but of course it isn't.

It will be a tight fit for the golf clubs but I think you can do it. I only wish that BMW would import the 545e as well.
My only comment there would be the size of the boot is a reasonable bit smaller in the 530e than a normal 5 series. Heres a video plus a bit of cringy eyecandy. There is also an X3 30e and X5 45e which might be alternatives but they are getting big and won't handle as nicely as a normal car.



Back to OP - I honestly think a 440i GC or S5 sportback could be a really good option for you, still car handling but you get a bit of extra practicality compared to a normal sedan.
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      09-12-2020, 07:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMachuca3d View Post
Stinger GT sounds like it might fit the bill, lots of room, stout engine, great cruiser and all the tech you can shake a stick at, and a warranty thats like double what others offer.
I had this on my list and do agree that it would meet a lot of me needs, but any worries on longevity? I've heard the 1st gen sales have been dismal and the stinger may be discontinued in the near future?
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      09-12-2020, 08:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
Model Y performance sounds like a solid choice for you.

Could you give us a list of things you value most in this car ? Sounds like you are placing tech, safety, cargo room above performance.

Also even though the tesla doesn't have vented seats.. you can set it to cool down from your phone or maintain climate control whole you run in the store. The ac runs off the battery and doesn't need to be belt driven off an engine.
I agree that Model Y meets a lot of the requirements. Great question on needs. I think your list is pretty good actually!

Definitely want it to meet my tech needs with connectivity of some sort. Safety in the sense of things like adaptive cruise, emergency braking, etc. Both of those are important. The cargo practicality would be nice, but not as important.

Performance is not as much a factor, but I definitely don't want to ignore it entirely! My current c320 (v6 3.2L, but old) would be the slowest I would want. I don't speed unnecessarily, but like to have a quick pickup, take turns hard, find a good road and take a drive, etc. I don't plan on taking this to a track or racing or anything like that. But I specifically am not looking at Lexus because of their driving performance, which I don't typically enjoy. Same with most Volvo vehicle as well.
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      09-12-2020, 08:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignorant_jeeves View Post
Hi everyone:

I'm beginning a long and detailed process of a car search (for me, that's like 6 months to a year) and wanted some help and input from any interested folks on this forum.

Background:
Current Car - 2005 MB C320. So going on 16 years; bought used. Intend to keep the next vehicle for around 10 years also.

Criteria sought:
Fun to drive with as good an engine as possible, but donít necessarily need something crazy.
Needs to be a daily driver. Donít have a long commute (60 minutes total daily). I listen to podcasts or music almost constantly while in the vehicle since itís mostly just me in this car.

SUV v. Car:
I have mostly owned cars. My wife drives a minivan and thatís our people mover with the two kids. I donít expect to be in my new vehicle much with strollers in the trunk, etc. We use our van for that stuff.

However, I will be taking golf clubs for me and my kids (so 2-3 sets in total) on a regular basis. One thing that annoys me about my current C320 trunk is having to maneuver clubs and shoes and angle them every which way to get things to fit.

BMW Interest:
BMW has always been a little bit of a dream brand for me. The looks, designs, the driving dynamics reputation, etc. Iíve never had the chance to own one before or even ride around much in one, but now am fortunate enough to be able to get a new one without too much trouble.

But I guess general consensus is that recent year BMW models have that ďnumbĒ feeling. How much do you long-term Bimmer loyalists find this to be true? Is it a real bother for you? Have you or would you consider switching to other brands in the future due to this? I guess most would consider my 16 year old C-class to be a relatively stiff ride and tight feel (my wife drove my car after a long while the other day and was convinced the steering was somehow broken - of course, sheís coming from the minivan). I enjoy that kind of driving feel. Would I find the M-series or true-M vehicles too stiff or harsh? Too soft?

BMW Vehicles considering:
M340i
New M3? Donít know much about it of course and wonder if itíll be more than I need
X3 M40i - recurring concerns about seat comfort, especially with ventilation?
X3M - the reviews seem to say the ride is terrible?

Likes:
BMW X3 vehicles get HUD, wireless apple carplay, excellent advanced safety, a well-reputed infotainment system, and ventilated seats.
The 3-series sedans get everything but the ventilated seats, but I have heard these are mediocre on BMW anyways (though I would love it as I live in Florida).

Given the above criteria and thoughts, what would you guys recommend? I am going to go test drive, but want to be selective about which ones to pick and in what order, if possible.

Any other brands you would consider?
I am also looking at AMG C-class, AMG GLA, and AMG GLC. Also Genesis G70 and Audi RS5. All those vehicles also have all the features I would want aside from wireless Carplay. But I have also heard some people dislike wireless Carplay since itís via bluetooth.

Also looking at electrics - Tesla Model Y Performance, Polestar 2, Mustang Mach E GT. Tesla has its own array of issues (build quality, lack of carplay, lack of ventilated seats, etc). Not much out there about Polestar 2 and Mach E yet. 1st generation technology from a new brand makes me a bit nervous.

Anyways, I know thatís a long post and Iím probably over-analyzing. But as annoying as it is to nitpick so many options, each with different limitations, itís a fun process in some sense.

Any thoughts, suggestions, experience, ideas would be greatly appreciated. Especially on wireless Carplay v. wired, ventilated seats, trunk space (especially for those of you that transport golf clubs regularly), and cross-shopping experiences.

Thanks in advance!

...oh also, PCDelivery for BMW sounds amazing...
ignorant_jeeves Based on your familiarity, the C-Class or X3. The X3 is not numb, not one bit. Recent model C-Class has CarPlay. The base X3 xDrive30i is peppy and gets good fuel economy. The M40i is fast and in my view a balanced ride vs handling comfort. The C43 is fast, but AMG universally gets poor comments for suspension harshness.

GLC is uninspiring in my view. My wife agreed when shopping for her X3.

No way on the A-, CLA- or GLA- from Mercedes. Tiny, tinny and mistakes for the brand. These things have cheap, chintzy interiors.

Look at the M-B GLB. Good size, nice exterior appearance in my view. But again, cheap interior, almost chintzy. I have not driven one, so can't comment on noise, vibration or harshness.
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      09-12-2020, 08:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jstein55 View Post
My thoughts on your options:

X3M40/X3M - With the minivan the only practicality you need are access for golf clubs, which I would imagine the sedans could easily handle, if not bring them to the test drive and see whether they fit in and out of the vehicle. X3M in my opinion is too stiff of a vehicle, however you may like that as you said. Ventilated seats in BMW's are pretty weak so even if optioned it may not provide many benefits and the ventilated seats in the 40i are very hard/uncomfortable. Decent handling, good engine, numb steering, but not as fun as a sedan, and the interior is outdated and feels too cheap in my opinion.

M340/M3 - Great cars, however the M3 hasn't been released so can't speak about that. Coming from a 15 year old C320, I would imagine that you don't need a full M as an M340 should be more than enough power and still have good handling and be practical enough, and new M3 is gonna be hideous so that would rule it out for me. Personally I find the steering while not a deal-breaker, very disappointing and the handling while great, is not class-leading or much better than other competitors to make it the "go-to choice," like it use to be in the old days of the E36/46/90. Still a great car, but the competition has caught up and is worthy of a look.

AMG C-Class (43/63) - Great cars, both the V6 and V8 are very nice. The ride is stiff but of course again you'll have to be the judge of that. The V8 in the C63 is pure bliss and something no other competitor but Cadillac will offer in this class of car, and will likely be the last V8 C-Class so it could hold its value more in the future. The V6 in the 43 is a pretty reliable engine too and feels very aggressive and wants you to drive like a hooligan which is pretty fun. The new C-class also handles very well, and has a better exhaust than both the M340/M3 in both V6 and V8 form, and just has a bit more drama, in a good way though. Steering while not brimming with feel, is more natural in the corners with an overall less synthetic feel than BMW's. The interior is also much nicer in materials and just makes the cabin feel more expensive of a car in my opinion. This would be a nice upgrade from your old C-Class, I'd recommend test driving both 43 and 63, while even the 63 probably has more power than you need, its hard not to like a V8 (which will soon be hard to find).

AMG GLA - Not a fan of the GLA, one of the worst MB's in my opinion, however I have not driven the new generation which looks to have improved upon the old, either way, I'd stick to a RWD bias car like the C/GLC over the FWD based GLA, especially if looking at AMG.

AMG GLC (43/63) - Copy and paste everything from the C43/63 and add air suspension for a better ride and of course greater practicality and new technology (MBUX). My wife has the GLC 300 and she really enjoys it for daily driving. She test drove the 43 (and I've driven the 63) but didn't need that much power since we also have a Z4 M for fun. Again though, I think the C-Class should be practical enough for your needs.

Genesis G70/Kia Stinger - I know you didn't mention Stinger but its worth a look. You get a mix of SUV practicality with the hatchback so golf clubs should be super easy, and you get a bigger backseat than the G70 as well as more "unique" styling. Both cars handle well with the edge going to the G70 since its smaller, and are getting a nice mid-cycle refresh with an upgraded 3.5TT V6. These could be the best cars for long-term ownership as Hyundai reliability has been very good over the years, and the value is very good as well as the warranty. Only downside is really the dealerships are not as nice as the Germans. Kia/Hyundai also have much better ventilated seats (which I believe are actually AC cooled, not ventilated) than the Germans.

RS5 - Overall not bad, but very expensive and not a fan of the transverse FWD based platform Audi uses. Easily the most comfortable car here but not the most fun, and the RS cars are hard to find with good deals.

Model Y - Get a Model 3, better build quality (although still not great) in the 3 vs Y, and better looks (again still not great though) and more than practical enough. They drive well and have good range but its a very different experience than a gas car so only you can really decide if its the right move. 10-year ownership costs/reliability is also a question mark.

Mach E GT - Not coming out for a while, but a very nice car from the looks, but not much is known on how it drives, handles, and reliability since its not out yet.

Polestar 2 - Has all the great Volvo qualities, but I'm betting it will also handle like one (aka not fun) and also incredibly expensive. Same with the Mach E and Tesla, 10-year ownership/reliability is a question mark, and the car is not out yet to test drive. Range will also likely be very low for the Polestar.

Overall, I'd suggest test driving (and make sure to bring the golf clubs to test out practicality), the M340i, M3 (if its out), C43 and C63, as well as maybe a Kia Stinger or Genesis G70. I don't think you should go the SUV route unless the golf club situation doesn't work out.

Edit: Add to the list (if your budget allows it) a Macan S/GTS. The best driving SUV in the segment if you are forced to go into SUV territory. Feels like a hot hatch on stilts, and can easily fit golf clubs in the back, and the interior is a very nice place to spend time in.

Good luck
Thanks for all the details! Maybe I should add that Macan to my list. That last comment would be almost perfect - a hot hatch. I owned a GTI in the past and loved it. A more luxury version with slightly more interior perks a bit better engine (bit more than golf R) would be almost perfect. AMG A-class hatch from Europe for example? (I don't know exactly - never been in one personally, but I imagine).

The details on that C63 and the V8 are definitely ones I hadn't thought about though. I think that and the M340i will be too contenders for me. Maybe along with the Model Y. And I'll look more into Macan S too.
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      09-12-2020, 08:22 PM   #17
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I had this on my list and do agree that it would meet a lot of me needs, but any worries on longevity? I've heard the 1st gen sales have been dismal and the stinger may be discontinued in the near future?
Nah, they're dropping the 2.0L petrol & diesel in Europe though due to lack of sales. Diesels due to regulations etc. are on their way out anyway and they were never going to beat a BMW diesel engine. The big 3.3 is still doing well and the Stinger is due for an LCI, so that model at least isn't going anywhere.

Although I wouldn't dismiss the M340i at any turn, in my shoes I'd book a test drive for both the M340i / Stinger and see what appeals. Whilst I've criticised both as a direct comparison they're holistically very different cars IMO.

One is built to be a grand "sport" tourer, the other an M-lite and it shows. Ultimately they're both great cars and you can't go wrong with either..

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      09-12-2020, 08:53 PM   #18
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The whole "numb" thing about BMWs now is indeed very true, whether or not it's a deal-breaker is up to you. It's not like Audi or Mercedes are much better in this area.

To me it sounds like an M340, C43, or S4/S5 Sportback are good options for you. The forthcoming 4-series Gran Coupe or M3 are options too. You don't need an SUV in the household. An M2 would be very fun to drive and is the only BMW whose steering meets my expectations, but it's not as luxurious or practical as the 3-series. Now in regards to the C43 specifically, I just drove one halfway across California and while it has its merits (namely power and exhaust note), the thing does not feel planted during high speed turns and the steering is somewhat loose and disconnected. It is more of a heavy German muscle car than a nimble sports car.

The Alfa Giulia is a fun lively sedan to drive but it comes with its shortcomings, which is especially true since you intend to keep your new car for many years. The refreshed Genesis G70 seems like a solid choice but nobody knows what its reliability record will be like. Tesla Model 3 is another good option since you have the minivan for long drives, but personally I do not find it to be a luxurious or well-built vehicle plus it's incredibly common.
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      09-12-2020, 09:03 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the details! Maybe I should add that Macan to my list. That last comment would be almost perfect - a hot hatch. I owned a GTI in the past and loved it. A more luxury version with slightly more interior perks a bit better engine (bit more than golf R) would be almost perfect. AMG A-class hatch from Europe for example? (I don't know exactly - never been in one personally, but I imagine).

The details on that C63 and the V8 are definitely ones I hadn't thought about though. I think that and the M340i will be too contenders for me. Maybe along with the Model Y. And I'll look more into Macan S too.
I'm a big fan of the Macan S, in fact I find it to be more fun to drive than the other German "sport" sedans. The steering is tighter, chassis is communicative/responsive, and suspension has the perfect ride/handling balance. The only demerit is the fact Porsche won't produce a sedan the size of the Macan and price of a 5-series, but otherwise it's excellent driving vehicle by modern standards.
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      09-13-2020, 07:25 AM   #20
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I like the idea of the Mach E. You didn't say how many miles your 60 minute commute is, but if you are going to get a daily, electric seems the way to go.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission. "Yeah, but NO ONE puts an automatic trans shift knob on a manual transmission."
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      09-13-2020, 02:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignorant_jeeves View Post
Thanks for all the details! Maybe I should add that Macan to my list. That last comment would be almost perfect - a hot hatch. I owned a GTI in the past and loved it. A more luxury version with slightly more interior perks a bit better engine (bit more than golf R) would be almost perfect. AMG A-class hatch from Europe for example? (I don't know exactly - never been in one personally, but I imagine).

The details on that C63 and the V8 are definitely ones I hadn't thought about though. I think that and the M340i will be too contenders for me. Maybe along with the Model Y. And I'll look more into Macan S too.
My friend Iím with m340i just few days and it hands down the best car I had for everything. It blows away my GTI and my ex 328if30 in every aspects. U cant go wrong with m340i. Engine and transmission is so precise that u can drive the way you want. Throttle response is instant and torque comes in low rpms thanks to b58 engine. I was looking for a daily sporty car and It was better than m2c in some aspects for example. If you dont track often It hands down the best option!!
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      09-14-2020, 07:45 AM   #22
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If you like the GLA, check out the x2 m35i. Small, quick, suv like.
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