Infinity G35 v BMW 330 i/xi v Audi A4 v ? Passat

I'm trying to decide among these cars. Any help will be appreciated. Below are my thoughts so far (after test driving all three at least twice). Any other cards I should consider?
All three I'm only considering only in manual transmission.
(1) I really like the power and tight suspension of the G35, but dislike it's fit and finish (looks cheap, buttons and knobs are a little tacky, and the headliner is the same cheap one as the one on my Grand Am rental). Also, the stereo isn't good either, I'm not impressed with the "Bose" system, and I'm not sure if I could easily replace it without the interior looking even worse, speakers fitting poorly or some other problem. When you turn it up (and I don't mean so that you can't hear people talk) it starts to sound bad (noticeable distortion) quickly.
(2) The Audi 3.0 Quatro seems like a nice compromise. I give up a significant bit of power and some of the tight suspension (even on the sports package), but the fit and finish is the best of the three, the stereo is really good, and I gain the all-wheel drive. It feels solid, it sounds good, it drives really well, and I'd feel really safe in it. I'm upset it doesn't have a real NAV system yet.
(3) So far I've only test driven the xi (see note below). I expected to be impressed and I was really disappointed (as compared to the Infinity). The BMI is also pricey, but maybe I'll decide it's worth it. I don't want to actually pay much over $35k (after dealing), but then the i will be cheaper than the xi anyway, if I decide to go with it. Still, it appears they're becoming hard to find (they've stopped making them and the next ones come out May-July). I'm still not sure why people say that the 330 ride (well, I'm actually still thinking of the xi ride, since I haven't driven an i yet) is better than the G35 because it seems softer. It definitely rocks more on turns and if you just jerk the car to the left and right quickly. The steering also isn't as tight as the G35. I wonder if people just like a softer ride than I do. It would be helpful to hear someone even just say, "Yeah, you seem to like a tighter ride than I do. I like the luxuary ride v. sports ride balance of the 330, but I realize I don't feel the road as much as in a G35." I like to feel the road because it gives me confidence I know just how the car is reacting to the road. I also like good feedback in the steering wheel. I also like a little more power than the 330 has.
One further complication--NAV: I also would really like a factory navagation system. Audi won't have one until May (I'd consider waiting, but my last car was totalled--not my fault--and I don't know of a good short-term solution to just renting a car each week. Anyone know of a good way to rent a car for 5 months?). I haven't seen BMW's NAV system yet, but I fear that will make it even harder to find a 330. Infinity already has a reasonably nice NAV system. (Note: I really liked the Acura TL's NAV system, but the ride is way too soft for my taste.)
My dream would be the G35 engine and feel with Audi fit and finish with the Acura NAV system.
I wondered if there might be a difference between the xi and i on handling. The Audi salesman I spoke with seemed very knowledgeable and was willing to discuss my understanding of the 330xi versus the G35 (and didn't even seem to mind we weren't talking about the Audi and that I might have written it off). He said he thought the xi might drive differently and suggested I drive an i. When I mentioned it to the BMW dealer over the phone, he told me point blank that I was wrong, that he knows the cars very well and they drive exactly the same. I'll have to drive one.
My last car was also a VW Passat V6. I loved it, but missed having more power. It was a nice combo of great road feel, excellent interior, and good power. I wish they made it with a tighter suspension (so it didn't rock so much on turns) and a more powerful engine (or even just turbo).
Thanks for your advice,
Rick
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If you loved the Passat V6 so much then why not get a W8?
Assume you're in the US so not sure how this applies and if you're even interested but the BMW and Audi will be worth significantly more at resale time.
Also not sure how good/reliable the BMW AWD system is. It's Audi's trademark but you hardly see any AWD BMWs (in the UK anyway).
HTH Dave

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The W8 is no longer sold in the US. I never got to drive one, so I'm not sure if it's performance, handling would be up to the others or not. At this point, I'm looking for an upgrade over the Passat.
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You mention power a lot; assuming you're in the US, do you have a personal autobahn that you can take these cars on and use their power? Audi 3.0 and the G35 underpowered? That's some funny ideas coming from a country with a 65mph speed limit and jail for those caught at over 100mph.
cp

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"cp" wrote

Well, there are quite a few race tracks around, if he's into this kind of thing.
Cheers,
Pete
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Pete wrote:

Indeed - there's one between every pair of stoplights. (Just kidding.)
-- Mike Smith
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:-) Real driving is 160mph on the Autobahn for an hour or two.
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Power is not the same as top end...
cp wrote:

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On 22 Jan 2005 13:17:14 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Apologies for top posting.
I did this last year and got the A4 1.8q very nicely loaded (almost fully).
The Infiniti has too much hp now. Burns gas too fast, is cheap, as you noted and a dubious sorta AWD. And the xi? Way way too much $ and BMW is not noted for its AWD.
Go for the A4 3.0 and be happy.

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