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what car should I buy?

What sedan should I replace my current Mercedes with?

The Audi S6 offers power under the hood and Mercedes's E43 has affordability on its side. But an American option might offer the best of both worlds

I currently drive a 2015 Mercedes C400, but my lease is up at the end of this year. I'm looking for a sedan with a little more power and room and not an AMG C43. I very much like the Mercedes-AMG E43 and the Audi S6, but the BMW 5 Series is not for me. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S is out of the question as it is a rocket sled and just too much money. What do you suggest? – Bill

Richardson: Well, there you go. There's a brand-new BMW 5 Series that's just been released – so new I haven't driven it yet – but if Bill doesn't want a Bimmer for whatever reason, that narrows the choices.

Lightstone: Bill definitely knows what he likes and what he doesn't, and that's really helpful when searching for a new car. I would lean more toward the Audi S6 over the Merc-AMG E43: Quattro performance, more power, nicer interior.

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Richardson: There you go again. Mention horsepower and nothing else matters to you, Miranda.

Audi S6.

Lightstone: Well, if it's power he's after – and he did say he wanted more of it! – then the S6 has the Merc beat. And I think Bill will forgive the Audi for its trunk being just 10 litres smaller once he gets behind the wheel.

Richardson: Of course it has it beat. You didn't notice that the S6 is $91,200 for its most basic version, compared with $80,400 for the E43? That's almost a quarter of the price again.

Lightstone: Really, in that price range what's $11,000? And for the increase in power and performance, well worth the increase in dollars.

Richardson: Easy to say when it's not your money. Bill's already said the 603 hp E63 S is just too much, and that's at least the same again over the cost of the S6, so the question really is, where do you draw the line? And is there an alternative?

Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC.

Lightstone: Yes, there is, and it's less expensive than all of them. That should please a cheapskate like you, Mark.

Richardson: Are you thinking of the Cadillac? America's answer to the Germans?

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Lightstone: I certainly am. The 3.0-litre V-6-powered Cadillac CT6 Premium Luxury model has less power than the S6 [404 hp, compared with 450], but offers AWD like the Audi and looks much more handsome than the Merc, in my oh-so humble opinion. And it costs around $75,000.

Richardson: It really is an excellent deal and an excellent drive. If you want to seriously boost the power, the CTS-V makes an astonishing 640 hp that blows the Audi into the weeds for $93,000. It's a rocket sled without the E63's price. I can't believe I'm saying that about Cadillac.

Lightstone: Well, after driving it myself, and being considerably younger than you, I have to admit that Cadillac has changed its stereotype with the CT6, and for the better. You no longer have to be long in the tooth and grey in the beard to rock a Caddy.

Richardson: Or maybe you're just not as young and winsome as you think?

Lightstone: Age and beauty aside, Bill has three top choices in the S6, E43 and CT6. If it's a good amount of power, performance and luxury he's after for not a lot of coin, the American's got the Germans beat, I think.

Richardson: Yes – with the two German cars, you get what you pay for and the S6 is better all around than the E43. But the Cadillac can run with them both, and you can't beat the savings.

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What car should you buy? Write to Miranda and Mark at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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