I drove this car first on Saturday. The salesman wasn’t much fun. This car was at an Audi dealership, and I think he was more interested in selling RS8s to rich dudes than used Infinitis to young women. He didn’t know anything about the car and wasn’t that interested in it. But he also didn’t care if I drove it hard, so the drive had that going for it…
First, the interior: this car is fancy! It took me forever to figure out the tilt steering, because it’s a little toggle switch that moves a whole chunk of the dashboard up and down. I really don’t think I care about gizmos and gadgets and leather seats and stuff like that. I want AC, power windows, power locks and an aux input for the stereo. Anything beyond that seems superfluous. The back seat was decent size. The car would be fine for four adults around town. The interior is also really quiet, which I’m sure some people like, but I want to hear the engine.
The first thing I noticed when I drove the car was that it was really easy to shift. The throws were nice and short and I didn’t have that “am I in 3rd or 5th?” feeling. The clutch engagement was such that it was easy to shift the car smoothly. I really liked this, but I’m not sure if more difficult to drive manuals equal better performance if you really know what you’re doing.
The steering and suspension are tight, but they still have a little more of a smooth, “luxury” feel. Like the car is sporty but not willing to sacrifice all your comfort for exact precision in handling. I could tell the car was bigger and heavier than the M3 for sure. It was still pretty fast, though! The engine seemed torque-y and had good power even at lower RPMs.
This is a nice car, for sure. But I’m not sure I’m cut out for this level of refinement. You’d think I would be, being as high maintenance as I am, but I love driving the Charger because the suspension so firm you can feel every crack in the road and because there’s so much exhaust and wind noise at speed that you can barely hold a conversation at freeway speeds. My highest priority is feeling connected to the car.
Up Next: 2013 Scion FR-S, 2004 BMW 330Ci, 2011 Mustang GT
Ann Morey isn’t an automotive journalist, but she’s probably doing a better job of it than most of us. She’s a mid career marketing manager who only recently learned how to drive a manual transmission. She’s got a classic Charger in the garage and a boring Accord in need of replacement, so she’s out to test drive every mid-20-thousands dollar sports car out there. Her test drives run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.