For Canadian consumers seeking luxury and speed in one roomy package, the ability to hit up mainstream Japanese manufacturer dealerships doesn’t necessarily strike you as obvious. Isn’t this German territory, or at least a place where premium Japanese brands contend?
The Honda Accord, a Good 12 winner, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima can likely offer you more features than you know what to do with. Moreoever, their high horsepower levels (Accord 271; Camry 268; Altima 270) produce quite a spark underfoot when pressed, preferrably without two booster seats in the rear and a trunk full of groceries. Is the Japanese trio a partnership of sport sedans? Not at all, but that’s not to say they won’t shock you with their dynamic capability.
From Germany come lesser-powered alternatives with less space for your people and smaller cargo areas for your stuff. But sport sedans? Oh yes. The 230-bhp BMW 328i with a six-speed manual will light your fire on the backroad commute. Audi’s recently renewed A4, in turbocharged form with 211 horsepower, is a better steed than ever before, and the Mercedes-Benz C300 with 228-bhp is a new dynamic force. In fact, BMW and Mercedes-Benz could provide you with 200 and 201 horsepower, respectively, and save you plenty of money in the process. But saving money in this climate? Who needs it? The Japanese trio below is loaded to the gunnels with equipment and flies high into a price spectrum you won’t believe.
Nissan ALtima 3.5SE: $39,938 or (est.) $44,520 with tax
BMW 328i: $39,900 or (est.) $45,087 with tax
Audi A4 2.0 TFSI: $41,200 or (est.) $46,556 with tax
Mercedes-Benz C300: $41,200 or (est.) $46,556 with tax
Toyota Camry XLE V6: $42,629 or $49,849 with tax
Honda Accord: $47,368 or $55,265 with tax
Imagine heading to the Audi, M-B, or BMW dealership to save money when Honda and Toyota wanted to charge too much. Let’s be honest, though. For the Germans to meet the equipment makeup of the three Japanese sedans, their MSRPs would skyrocket. The Accord, with every possible accessory, a back-up camera and the best wheels possible, would drive by looking like…. an Accord. Meanwhile, its occupants would be basking in amazing luxury. Meanwhile, the 3-Series on its tiny (and ugly) 16″ wheels looks impoverished and awkward, but does have a blue and white propeller.
Oh, and if you want to actually enjoy driving the car rather than being driven in the car, you know only the Germans will do the trick.