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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I finally had a chance to take the '17 Sport out for a drive from my dealer today. It was a bare stock Magnetic except for a moonroof. Here's the window sticker.

Wow, what a nice vehicle. There's been a lot said on here all ready, so I'll try not to rehash too much. The engine is absolutely powerful, no question. The transmission is... not bad. What people haven't talked about much, and what I really wanted to test in my ride was the handling/active suspension. Holy ****, the ride quality is great. I purposely drove over some of our nasty winter beaten WI roads, and the ride was nice and smooth. But, when diving into corners or braking hard, there was very little body roll or front end dive that you get with other "luxury" (boat) cars. The adaptive suspension is tuned really well, hitting that sweet spot of fun to drive but not punishing otherwise. The steering wheel is really comfortable and has a nice firm feel, albeit a little disconnected from the road. The brake pedal is nice and firm with a very linear feel. When going full throttle on a sweeper on ramp, the AWD kicked in hard (according to the dash display) and there was zero tire squeal or understeer. It's very composed, confidence inspiring, and a blast to drive.

The interior was a notch below luxury quality of Lexacubeemaudi. But, that doesn't bother me too much, a similar spec'ed vehicle from Lincoln is nearly 50% more in price for just some fancy leather trim and a badge. No thanks. I also checked out a loaded standard Fusion to get a feel for the technology that's offered on the higher trimmed models. Sync3 and Android Auto are easy to use and make it really hard to choose something without it.

I like the magnetic color, I might just have to order one in that color.

That said, I haven't pulled the trigger yet. Before committing I'll probably check out some slightly used luxury branded cars: Lexus IS 350, Volvo S60 T6 if I can find one, Infinity Q50, BMW 335i, etc. Anyone have any thoughts regarding what I should try out? I need a 2 kid back seat, comfortable daily driver, with some fun for Dad in there somewhere. ~40miles a day round trip commute.
 

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Thanks for the chassis review. The adaptive suspension is what intrigued me most about this car. Putting a big engine in an established model is easy, but adaptive suspension at this price level is impressive. This car is looking like a killer value and very practical too.
 

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Lexus not as much fun to drive, great car and on paper should be great, but it's missing something behind the wheel. Typical of Toyota.

BMW much smaller back seat.

Can't speak for Volvo or infiniti, didn't drive one, but I had reservations about infiniti reliability, not sure if it was justified though.
 

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Lexus not as much fun to drive, great car and on paper should be great, but it's missing something behind the wheel. Typical of Toyota.
The IS350 F-sport I drove last year was definitely not a typical Toyota. It was quite fun to drive. However, the suspension may actually have been too sporty for a daily driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The IS350 F-sport I drove last year was definitely not a typical Toyota. It was quite fun to drive. However, the suspension may actually have been too sporty for a daily driver.
That's actually the spot I'm in. We used to be VW household before the diesel scandal soured me, and I had a GTI before I had to deal with car seats. Fun car, but the very sporty suspension was annoying for 99% of the driving I actually do. I'm over the sporty-over-function class at this point in my life. (ex WRX, GTI, Focus ST/RS.) I've never driven a 3 series but I suppose I probably should sneak in a test drive while I'm out looking. Of course it's quite possible to go way too far in the other direction as well. I was hoping the adaptive suspension on the Sport really fits the bill of comfy DD without the horrible lumbering rolling chassis feel you get with a typical midsize sedan or crossover, and based on my admittedly short ride it sure seemed to scratch that itch.
 

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I've driven an AWD BMW 3 for the past 12 years. After two days with my new Sport, I find the suspension a bit "floaty" (which will be fine for highway driving) in the Normal mode, but it does stiffen up just enough in Sport mode. It does feel like a bigger, heavier car -- but then it IS a bigger, heavier car. Handling isn't as precise as the Bimmer, but is very good. No buyer's remorse here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
So I took the day off and test drove a few things. Going to post some notes here in case someone is cross shopping similarly to me.

'14 Lexus IS 350 - I've never been so unimpressed by what's supposed to be a luxury sport sedan in my life.
'13 Infiniti G37 - Already felt outdated. 7 speed auto trans worked well, better than the Ford. The engine is similar HP wise, but the torque is way down (269lb-ft.) Oh, did I miss the raw grunt of the Ford. I'm not a fan of reving the **** out of your engine to get any performance. Really good value however - the model I drove was $22,900.
'16 Infiniti Q50 - The interior was much better than the G, but has the same engine as the G above and so the same "meh" is there. Infiniti's base MSRP looks good, but to get any real options you need expensive package on expensive package and end up spending serious cash. I wanted to like the Infinitis for some reason, but they feel like what they are - dressed up Nissans.
'13 BWM 335i xDrive (AWD) - Here's where things got interesting for me. I really liked this car, perhaps since it was a 6MT, and it reminded me of my VWs. The price is basically a wash for the ~40k mile specimen I drove vs a brand new Fusion Sport. One note - the seats here beat the snot out of the Fords. 4 way lumbar plus thigh and bolster adjustments.

I'll try out an S60 next week, and maybe get the wife involved with driving, too.
 

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Fusion Sport vs. BMW 335i Xdrive

Grog: I have been cross-shopping the 2013 BMW 335i Xdrive against the Sport, too. A loaded Sport is $40,000 while I've been seeing 2013 Bimmers for $28,000 to $35,000 (the latter with BMW's extra CPO 2-year warranty). The Sport has a greater, more modern array of driver aids, and Sync 3 probably is superior to the BMW nav and infotainment system from 3 years ago. Of course, we're talking about a 3 or 3 1/2 year old car with 30,000 to 40,000 miles vwrsus a new, state-of-the-art Sport. The Bimmer has the distinction of being the only AWD high performance turbo six with manual transmission available, which appeals to old school guys like me--I think, but maybe I'm ready for a modern automatic. It's a tough decision, but I have not driven the Sport yet.
 

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Grog - enjoy testing the S60.... If you're talking about the T6, those are 300 HP and 326 lbs-ft of Torque.

Volvo's performance arm, Polestar (Think AMG / M but for Volvo) offer a software tune for around $1,800 that bring those numbers up to 325 HP and 354 lbs-ft of Torque ( and you keep your warranty).

I was cross-shopping that with the Fusion Sport, got impatient at the end of May, and ended up going for a CPO 2013 S60 T6 R-Design (which comes from Volvo pre-loaded with the tune and a sportier look than the standard T6), 18K miles, just under $29K, with almost every option included. I can't begin to tell you how incredibly fun and fast that car is, I haven't test driven a Fusion Sport (still might do it just to get a feel) but I'm extremely happy with the purchase, and find the car a lot more fun and a lot more agile than my previous 2014 V8 Charger RT!

It won't outrun an S4 or a 335 (but its close) and its also not nearly as common on the road (which I find to be a plus ;) )
 

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Does Volvo have really small backseats? Is that just me? I've been cross-shopping used BMWs and G37s with the Fusion Sport and Golf R. Need to drive some things to compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've driven an AWD BMW 3 for the past 12 years. After two days with my new Sport, I find the suspension a bit "floaty" (which will be fine for highway driving) in the Normal mode, but it does stiffen up just enough in Sport mode. It does feel like a bigger, heavier car -- but then it IS a bigger, heavier car. Handling isn't as precise as the Bimmer, but is very good. No buyer's remorse here.
What was your motivation for switching away from BMW 3 series?
 

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Does Volvo have really small backseats? Is that just me? I've been cross-shopping used BMWs and G37s with the Fusion Sport and Golf R. Need to drive some things to compare.
Yes the Volvo's backseats are quite small in comparison to the Fusion. But I do have a toddler seat and it's fine, for my 2 years olds leg room and she is quite tall. I imagine my infant seat would fit ok as well. But I also had a 2016 Fusion before and do notice the difference now in the Volvo, what is significanlty different is trunk space, the Fusion trunk is waaaay bigger than the volvo. The Volvo is a noticeably shorter car. Can't comment on the BMW and the Infiniti though.
 

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I can speak to the BMW 3 series, I had a 13' it was a troublesome car and I was frankly pretty disappointed with the handling and ride quality. If you do decide on a BMW I would advise buying one under warranty and get an extended one if possible! Hope that helps.
 

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I can speak to the BMW 3 series, I had a 13' it was a troublesome car and I was frankly pretty disappointed with the handling and ride quality. If you do decide on a BMW I would advise buying one under warranty and get an extended one if possible! Hope that helps.
This was exactly my issue. I've driven German cars most of the past four decades and loved them all. My '01 330xi was still a great driver at 143k miles, but had become outrageously expensive to maintain. I had replaced the entire cooling system, alternator, fuel pump, CV joints, rear springs (twice), and a host of other components. Left me stranded a couple times. Enough is enough. Seems to be par for the course. If you do buy a European car, move on by 80k.
 

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This was exactly my issue. I've driven German cars most of the past four decades and loved them all. My '01 330xi was still a great driver at 143k miles, but had become outrageously expensive to maintain. I had replaced the entire cooling system, alternator, fuel pump, CV joints, rear springs (twice), and a host of other components. Left me stranded a couple times. Enough is enough. Seems to be par for the course. If you do buy a European car, move on by 80k.
This was also our experience with a 1996 BMW 328i that my wife had. We bought it used in 1999 from a high end business with 15,200 miles on it. During the next 5 1/2 years, we managed to sink over $8,000 in it for things outside of normal maintenance. And it also left her stranded once. In 2005, we got her a new Acura TL (automatic) and it has been fantastic.
 

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I'm kinda surprised a used S4 isn't on the radar for this comparison? I don't like how hard the seats are in the BMW (get a sore butt after a few hours and this will be my road trip car-easily 12h per day for a few days). The BMW engine, auto or manual, is one of the all time greats. But if you're not going with a manual, the AT sucks-slow shifts both up and down, paddles or not. The Ford definitely is better than that although the S4 is even better. I was interested to hear about the R spec Volvo, I owned one of the first 740 Turbos in north America and still have fond memories of cruising at 90 mph with 6 people and our luggage in the station wagon thru the mountains. The Polestar version seems really good except the reviewers keep saying that the steering response is slow and heavy?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm in "f-you VW AG" mode right now due to the diesel scandal (I currently drive a TDI), so no Audi. I'm sure I'd like the car, but I don't want to reward shitty corporate behavior with another purchase. Time for something else.

I have to drive 100miles + to find a S60 T6 R, so I don't think I'll be able to add it to my personal comparison list. I suppose I could demo a T5, but at least in my head that starts a snowball of now considering all sorts of ~2.0L I4 stuff.
 

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I'm kinda surprised a used S4 isn't on the radar for this comparison? I don't like how hard the seats are in the BMW (get a sore butt after a few hours and this will be my road trip car-easily 12h per day for a few days). The BMW engine, auto or manual, is one of the all time greats. But if you're not going with a manual, the AT sucks-slow shifts both up and down, paddles or not. The Ford definitely is better than that although the S4 is even better. I was interested to hear about the R spec Volvo, I owned one of the first 740 Turbos in north America and still have fond memories of cruising at 90 mph with 6 people and our luggage in the station wagon thru the mountains. The Polestar version seems really good except the reviewers keep saying that the steering response is slow and heavy?
Don't confuse the S60 T6 (300 HP) with the more powerful S60 T6 R-Design (Tuned by Polestar) (325 HP) or with the even more powerful S60 Polestar (345 HP).... :D


As fun and agile as my T6 R-Design is, passengers have told me the suspension is quite harsh (I've not noticed), but its been a common topic on the Volvo forums. Forum members have stated the Polestar proper is not as harsh.

The R-Designs are rare cars however, I was told that only 1,000 make it to the US each year. The Polestar proper is even more rare, I think that's like under 500 a year.
 
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