Automotive

Used Car Recommendations: <20k , sedan, fun drive, relatively reliable, (ideally) luxury brand

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 7th, 2018 9:54 am
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 26, 2012
30 posts
10 upvotes
London

Used Car Recommendations: <20k , sedan, fun drive, relatively reliable, (ideally) luxury brand

Hi all,

Hope I'm positing this in the right area. My 2000 Honda Accord is finally hitting the dust (it had a good run), so I'm looking to upgrade.

In the next year I'll finally be finishing my residency, and while I'm not looking to break the bank, I'd like to buy a used car that reflects the the long road of training I've completed. I'm not planning on this being my top-level driver that I may buy down the road, but rather a nice transition car that I can drive happily for the next 5-8 years until it either breaks or I decide to upgrade. Ideally, I'm looking at a sedan in the 15-20k range, and something a bit more recent (i.e. 2012 and later). While I'm not necessarily set on a luxury brand, they seem to offer the type of styling I'm into. Obviously lower kilometers the better, but would be open to something with a bit more as long as they have reputation for being quite reliable (i.e. Lexus, etc.). As I've hinted at, something that won't have exorbitant maintenance costs would be a bonus, but I'm willing to pay a bit more for upkeep for the right car.

One of my biggest requirements is something that is fun to drive - something peppy with good acceleration and handling. I'm not into the racing or mod scene, and am not looking for an absolute beast of a performance car, but just something that won't feel sluggish after a month of owning it.

Based on my research, cars which seem to fit the bill include:
- Acura TL
- Infiniti G37x, Q50
- Lexus GS or ES
- Audi A6 (this one is borderline - I've seen a few used one with higher kilometers. I absolutely love the styling - though I've heard some horror stories with maintenance)

Anyone have any recommendations or thoughts? Thanks a lot!
22 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
24524 posts
9447 upvotes
Toronto
none of the above are fun to drive Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

maybe take a look at the 2013 535xdrive. If too big, then 335xdrive
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
11503 posts
4840 upvotes
Toronto
The best Lexus IS you can find for your budget
Deal Fanatic
Aug 4, 2005
7849 posts
367 upvotes
Brampton
Lexus GS. But I think you will need to increase your budget if you want the current gen model.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 22, 2004
1982 posts
395 upvotes
Richmond, BC
I know you're looking for sedans but check out a used GTI. A lot of car for not a lot of money.
Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
4008 posts
4242 upvotes
Toronto, ON
hraklis wrote:
Dec 5th, 2018 10:46 am
As I've hinted at, something that won't have exorbitant maintenance costs would be a bonus

Audi A6 (this one is borderline - I've seen a few used one with higher kilometers.
You can expect a whole lot more than exorbitant maintenance cost.. the local tow truck guy/company is going to be your new best friend
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
2469 posts
2493 upvotes
Vancouver
Ballin' on a budget. I don't think any used European car will be without exorbitant maintenance costs. So I'd rule all of those out.

And if you want a fun drive with good handling from a sedan it's gotta be RWD or at least longitudinal AWD. So that rules out the TL and ES.

So that leaves the Lexus IS and GS, and the Infinity G37/Q50.

I think the styling of the previous gen IS and GS are fantastic. But I sat in an IS and the interior was quite cramped. Never sat in a GS, but its obviously bigger.

I think the styling of the G37 is lousy. Q50 looks much better. The Q50 was also much more spacious than the IS. I'd want to get the 3.0TT, but I don't think you'll find one for less than $20k.
Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2009
761 posts
178 upvotes
Toronto
- Reliable
- Cheap
- Luxury/Fun

Pick 2 ...

In seriousness I would probably get something like this. All the cars you listed are quite big and while can feel luxurious, wont be as fun to drive as their smaller siblings
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
2469 posts
2493 upvotes
Vancouver
lol I wouldn't buy that particular one. Guy puts cheap rims and an exhaust on it, beats it around for a year then dumps it. But in general, I do agree that an IS is a good choice.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
11812 posts
6109 upvotes
Toronto
ATS?
DYI difficulty scale:
0-joke
10-no joke

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
3305 posts
2694 upvotes
The NORTH
Buick Regal Turbo
Member
Apr 2, 2013
396 posts
283 upvotes
St. Catharines
You might want to look at a 2016-2017 Mazda 3 GT like THIS ONE. Has the fun drive and luxury features (heated leather, sunroof, heads up display, nav, etc) but you'll save on gas, maintenance, and insurance.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
11812 posts
6109 upvotes
Toronto
kr0zet wrote:
Dec 6th, 2018 10:39 am
Buick Regal Turbo
That's actually an awesome car. First gens were made in Germany, not sure about any other. Beautiful inside too. Great suggestion.
DYI difficulty scale:
0-joke
10-no joke

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 26, 2012
30 posts
10 upvotes
London
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I suppose I was a bit ambitious with the requirements given my budget. As someone pointed out, it's hard to have all 3 of cheap/reliable/luxury. Ultimately, I'd like something within my budget that is fun/practical to drive; while a luxury car is nice, I'm definitely ok with an entry-level alternative with a reasonable styling that is still fun/peppy to drive. I'll look into some of the above suggestions (older Lexus IS, Mazda 3 GT, Buick Regal Turbo).

A family member might have an in with the local Volkswagen dealership - any thoughts? I've heard good things about the golf GTI. Any thoughts on that, as well as the other models (Passat, Jetta, etc.)?

Top