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2013 Lexus GS350 (Toyota/Toyota)
2013 Lexus GS350 (Toyota/Toyota)

Best of the Lot

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, what's a rich guy to do? Add to ...

I have a 2009 BMW 335i xDrive but am looking to get a larger car because it's getting difficult to transport the kids in this smaller car. We have a minivan so we don't need another one, or an SUV. The cars that I'm looking at are the BMW 528i xDrive, the Infiniti M37x and the 2013 Lexus GS350. Which of these do you recommend? I am most interested in the new BMW because of the fuel economy and all reviews seem terrific. Are there other cars in this range that you would consider? – Jeff in Toronto

More related to this story

Vaughan: Cato, is this all we do? Have we become justifiers for the affluent to purchase an expensive automobile from a list where you could flip a coin and get a perfectly good one? Besides, rich people never take anyone's advice anyway. I like it better when some starving wage slave, who needs something reliable to drive to work and perhaps impress a girlfriend, asks us for guidance. Remember Simon? Locked in a cube farm, pathetic income, dead-end career, yet aspiring for something to give him hope? That's what I want to work on.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free …

Cato: Emma Lazarus? You're cherry-picking a famous quote from one of her sonnets, the very words mounted on a bronze plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty? Hope you didn't bite your tongue while shoving it so firmly in the corner of your cheek! Or maybe I do …

Look, as we saw last week at the Masters golf tournament, the super-rich have their troubles, too. Down there at Augusta National, the club's members have had to deal with the problem of Virginia Rometty, the new female CEO of IBM. IBM is one of three corporate sponsors of this golf tournament and the last four IBM CEOs were all invited to join the exclusively male club. But it appears Rometty has not been asked to join. So you see, even IBM CEOs face obvious discrimination. Take pity on the One Per Centers!

Vaughan: The old sportswriter in you is never far from something to do with a golf club or playing field or a ball and bat. And the cars?

Cato: As you say, there's not a bad one among them. But there are differences. The Bimmer is for the brand-conscious buyer who cares about two things: the image that comes with driving a BMW and the driving experience itself, which here is the most, shall we say, “involved” of the three.

I think the Infiniti is without question the most intriguing design and the performance is delightful, though not as hard-edged as with the Bavarian car. And the all-new GS, which just went on sale, is very pretty, and is also sold as a nicely done hybrid – like the M37 and BMW, by the way – and, based on 20 years of Lexus history, will deliver absolutely bullet-proof performance.

BMW 5 series

Vaughan: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe – I'll take the BMW 528 xDrive. Solid as a rock, just enough power without overdoing it. Nice, tight interior. Superb handling. Loaded with safety stuff. Costs too much. Yawn.

Cato: Glad you mentioned price, though Jeff may not care much about it. The Bimmer Jeff is looking at has the downsized 2.0-litre four-banger, not the 535's meaty, 3.0-litre six-cylinder, the turbocharged one at 330 hp. The 5 with the four lists for $56,900, versus $64,900 for the 535i xDrive. The engine here in the Bavarian car is no match for the 330-hp G37x ($54,900) and the 306-hp GS 350 ($54,900).

Jeff didn't mention the Audi A6, which seems odd, but let me just say that the 3.0 starter model lists for $58,800.

2012 Infiniti M

Vaughan: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe – this time I'll take the Infiniti M37x. This is, of course, the Japanese BMW. More stylish, great interior, sporty as can be, and as you point out, Cato, less money than the Bimmer. Another flawless choice. Sigh.

Cato: A little compassion, please. The Mitt Romneys of the world struggle with very tough decisions – such as whether or not to tie their dogs to the roof of their cars as they ponder the perfection of Michigan's trees and head to their palatial cottages.

Look, Vaughan, the Infiniti is gorgeous and just sporty enough for Jeff, who I'll remind you also owns a minivan.

2013 Lexus GS 350

Vaughan: E, m, m, m – I'm too bored to type it out again. This time, I'll take the Lexus GS350. How can you argue with Lexus? It went from zero to become the top luxury brand in the U.S., finally driving back the Germans, although the story has changed recently. Yes, Jeffy, you can buy a GS with a clear conscience. You need no cover story from us to justify your purchase, which I presume will be all cash. Yawn.

HOW THEY COMPARE



2012 BMW 528i xDrive

2012 Infiniti M37x

2013 Lexus GS 350

Wheelbase (mm)

2,968

2,900

2,850

Length (mm)

4,905

4,945

4,845

Width (mm)

1,860

1,845

1,840

Track, front (mm)

1,464

1,515

1,470

Engine

2.0-litre four-cyliner, turbocharged

3.7-litre V-6

3.5-litre V-6

Output (horsepower/torque)

241/258 lb-ft

330/270 lb-ft

306/277 lb-ft

Drive system

All-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

Transmission

Eight-speed automatic

Seven-speed automatic

Six-speed automatic

Curb weight (kg)

1,815

1,843

1,765

Fuel economy (litres/100 km)

8.8 city/5.9 highway

12.0 city/8.3 highway

11.1 city/7.6 highway

Base price (MSRP)

$56,900

$54,900

$54,900

Source: car manufacturers

Jeremy Cato and Michael Vaughan are co-hosts of Car/Business, which appears Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on Business News Network and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on CTV.

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