Opponauts, unite! Your input is requested. I probably should be asking Tom for input on this. I know I had discussed it with him briefly several months back but that was more for when I was interested in one. I'm looking for some general input on compact executive cars (to use the technical term).

Anyway, here's the story: my mom is looking for a new car. She currently drives a 2007 VW Passat 4motion 3.6L V6, it's pretty much got all of the bells and whistles and I'm pretty sure it's the highest trim available. She loves it but it's time for a change for her and something with less miles. Also, probably [lightly] used.

She's looking at upgrading to the next segment which brings us to Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Cadillac (if I am to be so bold). She's already driven a Mercedes, presumably a C class, as well as a 328ix both of which, she was pretty indifferent about. She said that she liked the way the Mercedes handled (this probably means "like a tank") over the BMW but both weren't really doing it.

There are a number of things that I know she wants/would like: must be a sedan, not looking for anything really big, AWD (she, like all Boomers, has an irrational fear of RWD), can be had used with low miles (probably 2012+), budget: $30k-$35k (I think), decent fuel economy.

The nice to haves are: LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, comes in blue, interior color other than black.

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Things to consider: Dealer proximity: The VW dealership was around a 45 minute drive from my parent's house, the Audi dealer isn't too far from the VW dealer, the BMW dealer is even further (across town, Minneapolis), the Cadillac dealership (although their inventory currently sucks) is about a 5-10 minute drive. Fuel economy: someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that Cadillac gets the best fuel economy of the group?

Personally, I think that Cadillac checks all of the right boxes although it still has the stigma of the old people brand which my mom isn't really thrilled about. I'm not really trying to convince her of buying a Cadillac but on paper, it's doing the best job. What does everyone else think?