25 Best Bargains

Via Insty, I stumbled across this list:

If you can afford the running costs or get a great warranty, these cars will be nicer than anything new at the same price. Here are some great used luxury cars to buy.

Go ahead and look at what’s on offer.  Then come back for the challenge, which is:

Pick your top 3 (assuming that all the cars are well-maintained inside, and that they’ll run for at least 40,000 miles before something breaks).

Unlike my normal practice, I’m going to pick my own top 3 up front.

#1:  Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

…because Aston Martin, and that exquisite V12, better than anything outside a Ferrari or Bentley.

#2:  Jaguar XK

…and NOT the XKR, which is horribly vulgar.  Honestly, the “ordinary” supercharged 4.2-liter V8 should be enough for anyone.

#3:  Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Of all the twenty-five cars on the list, it’s the one that gets a visceral reaction from me.  I want to drive it on a crappy dirt road in Colorado, guns in the back and elk/bear hunting on the brain…

Your top 3 in Comments.


  1. Of that list, yeah, that Waggoneer.
    Having said that, there is no new vehicle sold in the US now that is worth anything close to what they are selling for, even if cash was no problem. I bought my first and probably last brand new ride in the fall of 1990 and still own it and drive it all the time. The ride? A 1991 Chevy S10. The cost? $8,888.00 cash. Of all the millions of things I have purchased in my life that S10 has been the best. 178k miles and no major issues so far and will start and go right now, and it’ll haul plywood.

  2. The right way to buy most of these is to pay cash and then assume a hefty car-payment sized set-aside for maintenance. I don’t read fairy tales anymore – 40k miles on most of these with no major costs is a fairy tale. You better know an ace indy repair shop too.
    In no particular order –
    VW Phaeton – anonymous version of a Bentley
    Cadillac CTS-V – station wagon version would be even better, gotta be able to haul stuff
    Audi A8L – back seat passengers need legroom, too

    Bonus – for a truck, a 1950’s flat fender PowerWagon, for low speed cruising, or when you need to pull a house off its foundation. And you could probably fix most things on it with a hammer and a screwdriver.

  3. From the provided list I’d also go for the Wagoneer first. I have always loved those rigs, and I’m sufficiently disenchanted with British car quality (for the eras of cars I liked otherwise) that I wouldn’t want the ones I could afford. My own list might tend towards a later 4WD Ramcharger, but the ideal of getting one with a retro-fit Cummins (4BT) would not qualify as ‘budget’…

    There are others; Mopar A-Bodies (Duster, Dart/Demon) can still be found at a reasonable price, though its harder now; bargain price is relative to other Mopars of the same era. And I have a soft spot for the Mercedes station wagons, especially the turbodiesel models; a former co-worker had three gas engined models and one TD, and they were just nice, solid, and had good cargo space.

  4. I’d go with a post 2011 Cadillac CTS-V for a sedan, Mercedes E63 W211 Wagon, and a Porsche 928 with an LS376 515bhp swap.

  5. “The E-Class is one of Mercedes’ most legendary and popular cars. Because Merc made so many, used examples depreciate fast. E-Class Wagon can be yours right now for just $9000.”
    Would I trade my Outback for an M-B wagon? Not if I had to give up my real AWD, but it would be more impressive in the driveway than my beloved Subie. It would also bring back fond memories of bombing around the Autobahns in a huge E-Class (2L, manual) many years ago.
    Also, having owned a Jeep Cherokee of the era of the Wagoneer in that picture, I can tell you that I would, under no circumstances, own one. Crap mileage, overheating, and bad electrics are just a few of the pleasures of Jeeps of that era.

  6. a)
    and first on my list:
    From about ten-years ago, the concept truck built by Jeep, their FC (Forward Cab)!
    Portal axles,
    Twelve-foot bed (metrical equivalent == 28,657 hectares),
    Rock-crawling capabilities of a horny mountain-goat.
    We could use a few of these around the farm. Yesterday.

    and also first on my list:
    Superformance 1963 Corvette Grand Sport!
    Mine have a tiny aluminum 286ci with a modest 400hp, RPM limited to around 10-grand (metrificol equivalent == doesn’t exist).
    6-speed stick.
    Some of mine are T-top, others are convertibles.
    All have side-pipes with a few baffles to enhance the grumbling.

    Two Mondays ago, the dog and I drove the 400-miles from Eugene Oregon to Boise Idaho… and back.
    Along scenic Hwy 126 accompanied by the magnificent MacKenzie River to Bend Oregon through hundreds of twisties… then across the splendid isolation of eastern Oregon… then through the Malhaur River canyon… then into Idaho and their required 80mph freeways.

    All the way, I was in one of my Grand Sports.
    I felt it; I acknowledged the appreciative waves of happy by-standers. Just sharing this universe together enlightened our mutual infinite spiritual beingnesses.

    Legacy Power Wagon crewcab!
    Mine have the legendary mechanical 12-valve Cummins 359ci pushing a modest torque of around 950 through an Aisin 6-speed.

    Tatra 8×8 (American NavStar import with Cummins Allison) sporting a full-time live-aboard motorhome!
    Towing a matching trailer carrying an aluminum landing craft! Because explore!
    [I’ll be in my bunk.]

  7. Always look at the teeth before you buy a horse… unless it is a gift and then you never look a gift horse in the mouth.

    With the exception of some of the Lexus which are just more expensive Toyotas for people too dumb to buy a Toyota. Change the oil, replace tires and get a good tuneup every five or ten years and these cars might last longer than you.

    Having owned a Mercedes years ago under warranty with free loaners, that was a great ride, and then later buying a 300D for my daughter when she turned 16, it really was an old lady low mileage car about 12 years old and it only cost about $500 for repairs every month or so, I traded it in for a Toyota after about a year. A man I used to work for bragged to me about the incredible deal he got on a Range Rover and it only took about six months for him to get rid of it for a loss after spending a lot of money to keep it running.

    Now that I we are old we have a 2000 4-Runner bought new that has 107K miles, looks great and runs great and my 2008 F-150 bought new and well maintained approaching 120K. I did enjoy having a number of fun cars when I had more money than sense at one time but now I am one happy camper with my vehicles mostly made of steel with full frames and they start and run every time.

    Having said that, I am not a jerk and I do admire the nice wheels others purchase and enjoy and I wish them well.

  8. Hhhmn, now, difficult. Jaguar for sure and that Aston is very nice. I’m a Mercedes Lady and had an E230 Avant Guarde for a while, Japanese import. Lovely, but spendy if it goes wrong. So maybe old school Rolls Royce silver shadow, or the cabriolet in azure blue with cream leather interior. What? It’s my fantasy.

  9. The Lexus LS400. My late father-in-law had one and it was an impressive vehicle, especially given the timeframe.

    The Lexus LS460. Something like the great-grandson of the above, I believe.

    Where is a pickup truck so I can have #3?

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