First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i in General Discussion; Hey guys, I realize 2 of the cars in the discussion arent really related to this forum... But I figured ...
  1. #1
    Dannny51 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i

    Hey guys, I realize 2 of the cars in the discussion arent really related to this forum... But I figured Id ask here anyways since this is the only car forum I really know.

    Its going to be my first car/ daily driver, spending 5k-7k and Looking for a Sporty Luxury Sedan. Ive narrowed it down to Infiniti G35, Cadillac CTS and BMW 323/325i, Year of the car would most likely be between 2003-2005.

    I personally prefer the Exterior looks of the Caddy greatly, while interior looks go to BMW. As for Performance, the G35 seems to take that. Now I seem to have a basic idea on most of these things through basic research, but my real focus is RELIABILITY and Cost of ownership. I really don't want a headache car, but I realize there will be some little maintenance bumps here and there. How reliable are your 2003-2006 CTS' ?

    Does anyone here have experience with any of these cars? (Other then the CTS )

    Let me know what you think

    Thanks

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    First car? I'm assuming you're ~16-18 years old?

    None of these cars were particularly inexpensive when new, and that's the number that maintenance costs will reflect. Not the used car lot price.

    How many thousands of dollars in maintenance can you afford per year?

    Can you perform maintenance and repairs yourself?

    Out of the 3 you've listed, I would recommend the infinity.

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    Dannny51 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    First car? I'm assuming you're ~16-18 years old?

    None of these cars were particularly inexpensive when new, and that's the number that maintenance costs will reflect. Not the used car lot price.

    How many thousands of dollars in maintenance can you afford per year?

    Can you perform maintenance and repairs yourself?

    Out of the 3 you've listed, I would recommend the infinity.
    Yep !

    Well I can afford quite a bit for yearly maintenance, but Id obviously prefer not to ! I was hoping to spend 1-2k a year, what are common problems that I might face with a CTS that would push me beyond regular maintenance (Oil changes and such)

    I don't have experience working on cars, but I am quite a DIY person, I would most likely be doing some stuff myself, Especially electronic problems.

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    Bob Ross is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i

    I'd think that the BMW would be the most expensive to maintain, due to German parts and over-engineering.

  6. #5
    ryannel2003's Avatar
    ryannel2003 is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    I'd think that the BMW would be the most expensive to maintain, due to German parts and over-engineering.
    The BMW isn't so bad. I owned a '00 323i and generally it wasn't so bad to maintain versus my Cadillac's.

    As for the OP, neither of these cars will be cheap to maintain. However if you must choose one I would actually pick the BMW and here's why.

    -The BMW uses a very solid 2.5L Inline 6. There isn't too much horsepower but as long as you keep vital engine components maintained (cooling system including water pump, belts, radiator, coolant tank, thermostat) then the engine will go 200k+ miles very easy.
    -You have a choice of a GM 5L40E Automatic of a ZF auto unit. If I were buying again I would actually find a 5 or 6 speed manual but if you require an automatic find one with the GM unit. They are cheaper to repair when a problem arises and typically have less issues. Watch out for no reverse problem on early 323/328 models.
    -Here's what is extremely important for you to look out for: the '99 and '00 had subframe issues with 323 and 328 models. Basically the torque from the engines can rip out the weak subframe on those models and the repairs outweigh the value of the car. This is more common with 5 speed models. A 2001+ 325i is a safe bet and typically don't suffer from these issues.
    -Problem areas include: window regulators, control arms and bushings, worn shocks/struts, subframe bushings, cooling system issues.

    The early CTS' had the 3.2 V6 which was based on the Catera's 3.0 V6 and it isn't a particularly good engine. The 3.6 V6 used in later models has timing chain issues and I generally don't recommend the first gen CTS as they feel cheap and are much larger than the E46. The G35 is a nice car but again I have read reports on that engine having timing chain issues as well along with cooling system issues. The BMW has the strongest powertrain and is letdown by a few poor engineering choices than can be avoided if you stick with an '01+ 325i. Get the cleanest, best maintained example you can find. I spent $2500 on mine in one year but I replaced damn near everything and I only sold it because it was too small and not comfortable enough for me as a DD. I got 30MPG on the highway and 22-24 in town. The handling was insanely awesome and it had a decent amount of power for what it was.

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    orconn's Avatar
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    Re: First Car / Daily Driver Infiniti G35 vs. Cadillac CTS vs BMW 325i

    ^^^ From reading what Ryan has written it seems to me if you have only $1000 to $2000. a year to spend on maintenance you would be better off looking for something a little cheaper to maintain.

    My son has a 2007 BMW 325 which he has owned from new. In the year since his extended warranty has run out he has spent over $3800. on suspension and other maintenance. And that wasn't at a dealer either, but at an independent German car shop. His car was purchased new and serviced at the BMW agency under warranty and service contract and had several other items needing repair prior to the warranty running out. His car appears to be like new (I just rode in it the other day), but given the expenses the car has already had (and it only has 74,000 miles on it) it would seem that more items in the susupension and drive train will cost a bundle. His car is not a manual but is an automatic and most of the mileage has been interstate.

    To be honest I wouldn't expect the other cars you are considering to be much less expensive to maintain. Remember these cars cost north of $40,000 new and were essentially "yuppy" entre level "executive class automobiles. The vast majority of them were driven by young professional who had never had a car requiring the level of maintenance that these cars require.

    Since the cars you will be looking at will be, more than likely, third or fourth hand used cars I would look for a car that requires less expensive maintenance and repairs. Someone here recently mentioned "if you can't afford to buy the car new, you can't afford to maintain it used." Good advice!

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