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Tips on Buying Cars/Pre-owned Luxury car buying dilemma

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Hey Geoffrey,

I am in the market for a pre-owned, luxury vehicle - BMW, Audi or Merc (these are the top 3 in my country).
I am looking for an "entry-level" SUV (or sedan).
The car will be self-driven and I don't care for rear seat comfort, as it is just the wife and me.

I am an easy cruiser; not a fast rider, albeit I love to push it occasionally.

My priorities:

1. Looks

2. Feature-rich: I am a "features/equipment" guy ALL THE WAY! I love a car that's LOADED with features.

3. Ride comfort: I love a car that rides "nice and smooth" even on the most patchy and uneven roads!

4. Ground Clearance: The roads here are not the best; a lot of uneven roads and patches.

All that said, and with my budget, I am looking at the BMW X1, BMW 3-series, Audi Q3, Mercedes C-class and the Merecedes GLA.

Even though I WILL be going to test drive them all, some of the things that I've heard -

. The GLA looks THE BEST; however it is very compact and claustrophobic. The performance isn't great. Visibility-wise, the A-pillar is not the best and is a hindrance to many; can't see properly when turning at low speeds.

. The X1 is not a great car.
BMW's have a hard suspension; it is only good on straight roads.

. The Q3 has the best comfort, suspension and ground clearance. It is THE ONLY one to have a 4-wheel drive.

Lastly, I've been told that the Q3 is the most fun to drive, the GLA is the best looking, and that the BMW is the best when it comes to straight line fun only.

Please give me your professional opinion. I need to decide soon.

Thanks :-)

Answer
There are so many things to consider when buying a vehicle.  All of the vehicles, in the segment you are looking, have excellent amenities and are fun to drive but what you should be looking at first, is quality, track record and predictable experience.
There are many sources that can give you information about a company’s product quality.  BMW isn't doing as well as other companies in that area, Mercedes Benz isn't either. Those two companies have dropped to double digits in their scoring position, especially Mercedes Benz.  On the other hand, Audi has moved to the top five in almost every report and the Q3 was ranked number one by consumer reports owner survey score.  Lexus NX and Buick Encore also received high scores in the report.  
My advice to you is to investigate quality reports published by sources that are not associated with the manufacturer.  Consumer reports and JD Powers are a couple of good sources.  After you have determined the best quality choices, it is a matter of comparing the cost/benefit ratio (price versus equipment) of each model.  

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Geoffrey veit

Expertise

I can answer most any question about buying a car, truck or motorcycle

Experience

I was a Sales Manager in the Automobile Industry for 25 years. I worked for Ford, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen, plus, I was a used car manager for 8 of those years I have also been a sales manager for Harley Davidson for 8 years and metric bikes for 2 years.

Organizations
Florida Writers Association, National writers association, Mensa

Publications
I have had published writing in the Automotive News, Aller Welt magazine (Mercedes Benz), Mensa, Ford times and a few others I have written a number of books including "The Informed Buyer" This book offers advice on how to get a great deal and avoid the hastles of buying or leasing a car, truck or motorcycle. It is available on Amazon-Kindle or Barnes and Noble-Nook for $3.99

Education/Credentials
I have attended hundreds of work shops and seminars within those industries. My formal education is an associates in Business.

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