I don't really want to hijack cifani's thread, but I don't think this question is worthy of a new thread, and I'm not in the mood to join a car site just to ask one question and never return.
So, we only have one car that my dad drives to work every day from 7AM to 8-9PM. Because of this, and my tendency to participate in way too many extracurriculars, presents the need for a new car. We're looking at a 4-6 year old semi-luxury car for me to drive until I get to college, then my dad gets to use it when I'm gone and my sister gets stuck with the minivan. We'd go with something like an Accord, but something about a car with a nicer interior, fancier features, and seemingly more safety features--quicker handling at the very least in the event that it is needed, extra power (not really a safety feature, but a quicker trigger can help prevent an accident, at least in the terrible scenarios I make up in my head...), AWD because I live by Chicago and snow can fall from September to April here. (I'll admit it. I'm freakin spoiled in this case. I have a hunch that it's because I'm the only boy in my family, even extended family that I'm aware of. So family name thing. And my dad secretly has wanted one of these cars since they came out and if we bought them new my mom would kill him.) And then there's just the warm feeling that we have something more interesting than an Accord.
So far, we've narrowed it down to the following: a 2006 Acura RL for roughly $17,000, a 2005 Audi A6 for roughly $16,000, a 2006 Infiniti M35/M45 for roughly $18,500. The thing about the Acura is that we know someone who repairs Hondas and Acuras, so parts and repairs would be relatively cheap. I'm aware of the sketchiness of Audis--my best friend has a 1998ish A4 Avant that's in the shop pretty often, but I've also encountered people who've never had to take their Audi to the shop other than for maintenance. And the Infiniti seems to be pretty solid all around.
Has anybody happened to have tried/owned any (or all three?) that can provide input? Are we being impractical? Thanks