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Best Car for The Money Under $45,000

Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Comparisons, New Cars - No comments

Its time again for the best cars for the money for under $45k. Tough year, lets get to it:

1. BMW 328i M-Sport ($44k)

2014-bmw-328i-sedan-sportThe 2015 BMW 3 series has been the benchmark of the entry level luxury segment for nearly 30 years, with some of best driving thrills at under $40 thousand. Some of the highlights that Bavarian automaker brings you: Best-in-class handling, braking, confidence inspiring cornering and overall the best value you are going to find in this segment. The Bimmer is one of the most luxurious cars with a polished interior, a smooth revving 4 banger that feels more powerful than some of the rival 6 cylinder engines offered from Mercedes and Cadillac. BMW has been known to underrate the engines horsepower output; the 240 rated HP feels a lot more like 270, putting the BMW right up against the Mercedes C250 and Audi A4, both of which feel overall inferior to the BMW.

2014-lexus-is-350-f-sport-interiorDue to the recent redesign of the BMW in 2012, the 2016 model is bound to include some mid-cycle refresh cues such as new engines and the introduction of the GT model, including sister model 4 series GT and the unbeatable m3, which has already been rated as the class leader in the sport sedan segment that has recently doubled in size with all of the newcomer competitors such as the Lexus RC-F, the Cadillac ATS-V and other veterans like the Mercedes and Audi offering new hot-rods like the CLA AMG and the s3 respectively.

Runner up: Lexus IS 250 F Sport ($43K)

2014-lexus-is-300h-the-hybrid-that-got-under-chris-evans-skin-69841-7Lexus? Really? Lexus has introduced the F-Sport line taking the entry level by storm and stirring up buzz for the old snoozer brand. A few years ago, the idea of best in class interior fit and finish, seats, amenities and technology would make sense, but some aspects of the IS250 are better than the BMW, just as high end torque, passing speed, braking and transmission with the excellent ZF 8 speed transmission. The Lexus as an overall car places second to the BMW due to its missing power that really leaves you hankering for more. The Lexus IS 250 (v6 204 HP) really feels sluggish on low-end power and torque, yet the more powerful IS 350 still feels just a bit shy on HP (v6 306 HP). If the 350 had 330HP, it would be by far the best car in the segment, with incredible handling and by far the most fun car in the segment, and even challenges some cars like the BMW m3 and C63 AMG.

The IS 250 is by far the most fun car in the class, the interior is gorgeous and far more spacious than the predecessor, and the excellent seating provides excellent lateral support, giving drivers confidence to push the car. The car encourages aggressive handling, but even in Sport+ mode (unique to the F sport model) the car suffers under steer that limits the ability to handle like the BMW 3, but isn’t quite as bad as the Audi A3/A4. Lexus is up and coming but hasn’t quite defeated the mighty BMW 3 series… just yet. Watch out though, the RC might just take the cake.

 

Yosef Adelman on Google+

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