The Not Contenders

Well that’s awkward. I’m a little behind on posting my car search process (I’ve been doing it for about 3 weeks now) and seeing as I just bought a car, this doesn’t matter that much anymore. But I’ll still explain how I came to my conclusion.

Before I narrowed it down to final candidates, let’s talk about what I decided not to pursue and why (in no particular order). This list only includes vehicles that offer all wheel drive as front wheel drive vehicles had already been eliminated.

  • Lincoln MKZ: too much like a Ford Fusion, not sporty, not a fan of the interior design, reminds me too much of a grandpa car
  • Cadillac CTS: I hate the way they look on the outside and I don’t like the touch controls or interface on the inside. It’s a shame because they have solid performance and handling and can be had well-equipped on the used market.
  • Ford Fusion: I really liked the design when it debuted 6 years ago but I don’t like it now, the interior looks cheap, and handling isn’t very sporty even with a powerful engine. 
  • Infinity Q50: I drooled over this car when I was buying my TL but I’ve come to learn that it has a lot of compromises. The engine is powerful (there’s even a 400 hp model) but the interior touch controls are horrible, infotainment is snail slow, and steering and handling are weird. I just can’t imagine buying something with that many annoyances.
  • Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class: they are all good looking, tech-laden, high-performing, and great-handling but they are expensive and historically unreliable. These cars can easily cost $20k more than a similarly equipped vehicle from another manufacturer, the parts are expensive, and I’ve heard too many horror stories about post-warranty reliability to buy a used one. I’m not willing to pay the premium for a brand new one just for handling. 
  • Volvo S60: it was close to being on my list but fell off because it doesn’t perform quite as well as some others and still commands German-level prices. This is exactly the same thing that happened with the previous generation S60 when I bought my TL.
  • Anything Chrysler or Dodge: they offer some truly crazy vehicles with 400, 500, 600 and more horsepower but I can’t get over the looks. I don’t like the way that any of them look inside or out. 
  • Toyota Camry: Comes with all wheel drive for 2020 but its not very good. I generally dislike the interior look of every Toyota product, and the Camry is no exception. I like the exterior of some Toyotas but I don’t like the Camry. So that’s a strong “no”.
  • Subaru Impreza WRX: This had the potential to be a great contender – sedan, all wheel drive, powerful turbo engine. It even made it onto The Matrix but fell out due to a lack of multiple cameras, rain sensing wipers, heated steering wheel, heads up display, ventilated seats, and, of all things a power passenger seat. That’s right a brand new Impreza WRX has a power driver’s seat but a manual passenger seat. No way. 
  • Acura TLX: The TLX is the successor to my TL and my previous TSX. It’s a fine car and I’ve had the opportunity to drive a few as loaners. As much as the 2018 facelift did to enhance the exterior styling, I’m not a huge fan of the interior and the performance / handling are no better than my TL. I’d actually prefer an Accord if it came in all wheel drive. I’ve had a great experience with my two Acuras, but it’s time to try something different. 

What about those small crossovers that were so promising? Well yikes, apparently small crossover means small engine with adequate but not awesome power and nothing near what my TL can put out. I can compromise a little on performance but I’m not stepping down 100+ hp for it. Luxury crossovers were mostly out already and middling performance knocked out the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Chevy Equinox. The Toyota Rav-4 looks good but the interior is terrible (my opinion) and I recently watched a head-to-head that put it last. If I could handle the loss of performance I’d get the class-leading CR-V.

So those are the vehicles that I decided not to add into The Matrix for final consideration. Tune in later to find out what made it and why I pulled the trigger on the Genesis G70.

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