Nothing loses money faster than a new car that drives off the dealer’s forecourt, instantly changes from new to used, and loses thousands. That’s great news if you’re in the market for a bargain without grabbing an old banger. Premium brands, such as BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Lexus, are all imported prestige vehicles that take a bit of a hit at the beginning, but still deserve the attention of the gearbox, especially if the original owner has looked closely at the options list.
Unfortunately true exotics are harder to find, dream of a cheap Ferrari and you’re looking at much older machines. There is one cruel twist in the new versus the old, a recent chip shortage and the ongoing global pandemic has meant that some used cars have risen sharply in value to the point where a new purchase makes more sense. As always, be prepared to search, and you will surely find huge savings in exchange for a little used car†
10 Maserati Ghibli 2018
As luxury sedans go, the Maserati Ghibli is a steal compared to its major rivals, starting from $76,000, gearboxes can grab a four-door, four-seater with a 345-hp turbocharged V6, clad in a sleek Italian designer body.
However, with a few thousand careful miles on the odometer, a 2018 copy can be purchased for $46,600 from a Maserati dealer-certified program, which represents a huge savings. Maserati still struggles with a largely unjustified bad reputation for construction and reliability, with buyers seeing a huge 61% drop in value at the worst.
9 Jaguar F-Type 2018
Another premium brand that you are almost guaranteed to lose your shirt to from new. Jaguar dealers are happy to lighten gear heads over $71,000 depending on specs, with options that easily push the F-type into a six-figure area that quickly evaporates the moment you roll off the forecourt.
Seeking the grace, pace and style of Jaguar on a budget is easier than you might think. Fully loaded 2018 pre-facelift cars may not have the latest look, but owners tend to add all the goodies you could wish for, making low mileage, used example a bargain. We came across a 2018 master dealer example for a shade under $44,000 with just 15k on the clock, and yes it’s the more desirable 5-litre V8 option and not the lesser V6 option.
8 2020 BMW 740i
Once the top model in the BMW range, the 7 Series gearboxes offer a combination of luxury and performance that few brands come close to, yet the prices used are surprisingly affordable. Searching through the ads we came across a 2020 BMW 740i with only 23,000 miles under the wheels and with the rest of the factory warranty for a not unreasonable $58,000
While it’s near the bottom of the 7-series spec list, the 740i certainly isn’t lacking in performance or luxury equipment. Under the hood, gearboxes get a 3-litre six-cylinder pumping out 320 hpwhich allowed the occupants in the finest leather-clad cabin to be driven to sixty in 5.5 seconds.
7 2018 Lincoln Navigator L
Need more space without sacrificing comfort? Lincoln’s 8 Seater Navigator may be just the ticket for you. Late 2018 examples are reasonably priced, as this “L”-specified example proves with an asking price of $63,000, compared to long-wheelbase cars from dealers that start at $91,000.
It is not subtle, with an imposing grille, hood line and profile that refer to the spacious interior. Packed with leather, wood and high-tech in-car entertainment to keep even the most nervous of long-haul passengers entertained. Large SUVs normally suffer from excess weight and size, this is where the Navigator surprises. Fitted with a Ford 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 borrowed from the F-150 delivers sixty in 5-5 seconds.
6 Audi A4 Premium Plus 2019
Another feat of brutal German engineering and construction efficiency that is suffering at the mercy of the used car market, the A4 is easy to find for less than half its original list price. Navigating Audi’s less than user-friendly model naming protocol yields some gems, “Premium Plus” specifications with a 2-litre 40 TFSi engine produces 190 horsepower.
Color is the ticket here to bag the best bargains, with silver and black cars the more attractive, attracting fractionally higher sticker prices, the differences just mean a less popular paint job is even cheaper.
5 2019 Ford Mustang Premium EcoBoost
Cheap fresh off the fore, Ford’s Mustang can’t be a write-off bargain, can it? Ford’s massive purchasing power and economies of scale match the Mustang’s original mission to provide affordable performance for everyone, with the result that there are literally tens of thousands in the used car market around $18,000.
The only negative in our opinion is what awaits the gearboxes under the hood, EcoBoost 2.3-litre turbocharged engines that represent the rumbling V8 soundtrack most associated with a Mustang. However, smaller engines equal less weight, giving buyers more bang for their buck, 310 horsepower certainly enough for most potential owners. If not, there are plenty of aftermarket performance parts readily available.
4 2018 Lexus LC500
Oddly enough, US gearboxes haven’t taken the LC500 to heart, 2018/19 sales figures that are barely four figures make the Lexus one of the more exclusive purchases of used cars on the road, normally bringing the resale value closer to the sale of would keep new cars. Despite Lexus’ best efforts, the LC500 is hampered by weight, even if the 5-liter V8 puts out 471 horsepower.
Think luxury GT, and you’re closer to the comfort zone of the LC500, perhaps this is why so few are sold and why low mileage used ones are easy to find around $60,000, a 35% savings over compared to new list prices.
3 2019 Infiniti QX80
Badge engineering or premium upmarketing, call it what you like, the Infiniti QX80 sits uncomfortably in a densely populated niche of premium SUVs that probably explains why the values used, despite the immense size and equipment level, are surprisingly low. A late 2019 QX80 loaded with driver assistance and other options is available for $35,000.
Cheaper deals can be had by just using two-wheel drive, and let’s face it, how many large SUVs have ever strayed from the tarmac? Under the hood you’ll find a torquey 5.6-litre V8 that puts out 400 horsepower, giving the QX80 a surprising speed bump, hitting 60 mph in under 6 seconds.
2 Chevrolet Camaro LT Convertible 2018
Trading in performance for exciting open-top cars is something we’d do in a heartbeat in sunny California, especially given the low-mile used ones at around half the MSRP sticker prices.
The trade-off is a smaller, less aurally pleasing 2-litre turbocharged inline four delivering 275 horsepowerenough to propel the four occupants to 60 in 5.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 157 mph, provided you can take her pounding.
1 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera
Even major prestigious sports car brands are covered by the feared depreciation, nose around specialist third-party sports car dealers and Porsche 911s can be picked up with a generous 30+% savings over a new purchase.
Entering the confusing world of Porsche 911 models is tricky at best, most now come with turbochargers, even if the decal on the back says no turbo. The Carrera with a 3-litre flat-six complete with turbocharger producing 370 horsepower results in a sprint to sixty in 3.5 seconds.
These are the highest paid drivers in Formula 1 right now
About the author