Call me day old ciabatta because I go hard when it comes to great value, my Hemis. Here is a list of cars I want according to my buy range.
My Buy Range: [Below $4,000]
Whatever is clean and runs 87 octane. This is when I look at something fuel efficient, simple, and short wheelbase.
My Buy Range: [$4,000 to $9,000]
Nissan had the strongest products in the entire industry during the 2000s. Tons of innovation, risk taking, big performance, great value, quality, reliability, and content. Everything they did during this time has been mimicked by Hyundai Motor Group (the RWD cars especially) down to when Nissan was using the color orange as their signature (HMG is using copper).
The FX, as far as Im concerned, introduced the correct modern sport-coupe crossover, though we didnt know it until a decade later. From Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace, and Maserati Levante, this bodystyle is becoming a signature for premium street performance utilities and I bet the next generations of the X4, X6, GLC-C, and GLE-C will integrate a spoiler into their designs and make their bodyshape widely acceptable.
My Buy Range: [$9,000 to $14,000]
For me, this is the best used car in the market. Even people that don’t like wagons tend to make an exception for this one. You can get the 3.6 V6 which is GMs answer to the Nissan VQ but with Toyota/Honda level fuel economy. Great design, responsive, easy to care for, and a European GM product (all of the American cars built/designed for Europe are always grade A efforts).
Runs 87 octane with good power, strong reliability, better build quality than the current CTS, and another great but completely overlooked value.
My Buy Range: [$14,000 to $19,000]
Yes, I do currently own a 2012 WK2 and I would 100% buy another in this price range. With that in mind, I’ll keep what I have for now. Seriously, the pre-pre-facelift WK2 was an excellent vehicle. The 2014 refresh dropped the quality simply due to how huge the volume became and the struggles of FCA attempting to launch and backtrack brands and products. Ram, SRT, Dodge-identity, Dart and 200, more Jeeps, Alfa Romeo rebirth, Fiat floundering, Ferrari spin off, remembering Maserati, forgetting Chrysler, and pretending Lancia never existed...just too much.
But the WK2 development and launch were given full attention, and attention is what makes and breaks products.
[$19,000 to $25,000]
These tend to be the cars I recommend to other people. Most cars become great at this price range even if they were received poorly years prior. It’s all about age and condition. But my dream cars tend to start one step above this level so I end up passing ober/under this range when I look for personal cars.
My Buy Range: [$25,000 to $33,000]
Maserati is my favorite auto brand. It’s hard to explain to people that, until the Ghibli and 4-VI came around, Maserati produced fewer vehicles than Ferrari for a majority of the 2000s. With the cars being attainable exotics built in bodystyles with far higher expectations in quality than sportscars, Maserati is severely misunderstood. But I can’t defend them until I own them because we are on the internet.
Seriously, I’m dying to talk about Maserati since I’m more into them than I am even Kia.
My general rule for Maseratis is that every model year counts since they constantly tweak and fix the cars as they produce them. I really believe that the final years of the 4-V and definitely the GranSport are the easiest Maseratis to own. Even the F1 transmission is extremely reliable and longer lasting in the GranSport as long as you drive the car like a manual. I’m going for one of these two as my first Maserati.
My Buy Range: [$33,000 to $40,000]
Honestly, all of the supercharged 5.0 V8 cars are crazy values. Much like the Italian cars, you’ll need to deal with the soft-touch buttons becoming sticky/dissolved, rubbers and hoses drying out/cracking, leather/dash/headliner care, and plenty of other things that would warrant a recall in high volume cars but is simply called, “maintain dat shet,” in handcrafted products. You also need to do the [check-warm up-run hot-cool down-check] procedure that is true of any vehicles which give you freedom to extract nearly 100% of the powertrain potential.
All that said, I feel that after owning this 2012 Jaguar XF 5.0, I am ready to care for a vehicle that requires me to be more attentive. The XJ/XJL-SS and the RWD, less stressed 495-hp AJ-V8 in the F-Type Convertible would be a ton of fun and my style.
Jaguar tends to put too much engine into their cars which slows them down enormously as you add yet more power since it only makes it to the wheels as heat rather than propulsion. Fun though because highway pulls and top end are what GTs are about, anything beginning with 0 mph is begging for an L.
My Buy Range: [$40,000 to $49,000]
Arggh!!! Kia is soooo close to building the car I want! I’m still hoping for a RWD liftback or sport wagon between the Stinger and K900 materializing ine day. Until then, I am extremely into the new RJ. If you study the interior lines for their interplay and connections, material mix and uniformity, as well as the seamless transitioning across planes then you will start to understand why this car is a huge turn around.
Word is that these Super Sephias/Grand Amantis will be around $55,000 (365 hp and AWD standard). Nearly all new cars in the market between $50k and $60k offer at least $7,000 in incentives at some point. That means $48,000 brand new for this value-driven luxury cruiser.
This is where I stop for now because I always start ranting when it comes to the things I’m passionate for. Words, I don’t know many but I use every single one I have!