Last week, my clearly upscale commentariat was given the challenge of finding the world’s best luxury cars on eBay, under a $50,000 budget. Thanks to their suggestions, startup founders, stock brokers, and dot-com thousandaires can now rejoice for here is the list of the best candidates for their next daily driver.
I’ve met Henrik Fisker. He has a handshake that you could define as “hearty”. He also had a car company that existed for five minutes before Hurricane Sandy literally blew all of his profits into the salty Atlantic. That’s why you can now buy this Fisker Karma EcoSport, a car that was new only a few short years ago and commanded a six figure price tag, for less than half of its original value. It has a turbocharged GM 4-cylinder engine as an electric generator and it has almost as much torque as a Bugatti Veyron, not to mention that is has freaking solar panels on the roof. This is the luxury car for the person that has a heart that bleeds for the environment and a wallet that doesn’t have to.
(Suggested by Dorkpool)
Much like the Chinese and the Japanese before them, Korean car manufacturer Hyundai wanted to break into the luxury car segment by making the Equus, a budget-friendly competitor to the S-Class by making an almost exact copy of an S-Class. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is what any good copyright lawyer would say, I’m sure. Plagiarism aside, the car is actually very well equipped and suffered less depreciation than its S-Class counterpart, despite having a lower initial price tag. Parts are reasonably affordable, and with the right wheel and tire combination, it can be quite a looker.
(Suggested by Joe Lamb)
Yes, this is a hand-built Italian car with an engine designed by Ferrari. No, it doesn’t have the dumb flappy paddle gearbox that had the finesse of a 100-year old grenade. This one has a ZF automatic and the good looks of a luxury car that can fit four supermodels in comfort, but only just.
(Suggested by jkm7680)
The W221 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is growing on me. I’m not really one for the Mazda 3-style looks, but the amenities for the money just cannot be beat. It’s fast, luxurious, can almost drive itself through low-speed traffic and won’t depreciate much further, so the time to buy is now. It’s more power and luxury than you need until you realize that you desperately need that level of power and luxury. It’s a car that says “relax, I got this.”
(Suggested by Audistein)
When manufacturers want to make a performance sedan, the yardstick with which they measure their car’s performance is the BMW M3. Lexus had billed their IS-F as an M3-killer, but it fell flat in most performance tests and subjective driving impressions. It wasn’t a great value when new, but now it’s a phenomenal performer that can be judged on its own merits. As a standalone luxury performance car, it’s pretty damn stellar and has looks that are good enough to be new. Hell, it looks a lot better than the pre-crashed aesthetics that adorn the misshapen faces of Lexus’ new lineup, so that’s reason enough to own this V8 masterpiece.
(Suggested by Sir HoonsAlot)
What’s this Chevrolet SS doing doing in a luxury car lineup? I’ll tell you - perspective. Luxury in a car is about having the most adaptability and experience while driving as you can, while alleviating stress and not adding to it. This car has a borderline comatose V8 engine that putts along at near-idle at highway speeds. It also has magnetic ride suspension, leather interior, and most of the amenities of a super-luxury car just a decade ago with a parts list so cheap it may as well be coin-operated. Sure, it’s a large amount to pay for a Chevy, but if you slapped a Cadillac badge on it, it would probably be at least twice as expensive.
(Suggested by smalleyxb122)
This Aston Martin Lagonda is the car that defined the ‘80s. It was prohibitively expensive to purchase new, obscenely complicated and costly to run, and looked like Miami Vice had a automotive lovechild with Tony Montana’s giant mound of cocaine. It’s all about excess and future-proofing when everyone thought they’d be living on their personal moon bases by the year 2000. It’s a car that parties. Unless you’re a cop. Wait, are you a cop, dude?!
(Suggested by BenLikesCars)
Instead of going for a smaller V8 or a larger V12 with forced induction, this Audi S8 employs the use of a naturally aspirated V10 from the S6, derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo and R8. That is a very, very good thing as you can have a car that revs to the moon and back fast than you can say “timing chain tensioner”. It’s also extremely spacious and understated enough that you won’t have to risk getting pulled over and financially profiled. Yes, that’s a thing.
(Suggested by g101010101)
There’s nothing more luxurious than suicide doors on a a ‘60s american luxobarge with a huge V8 engine that makes almost no power at all and enough that you could convert it into a working taco truck in an afternoon. This example is good as is, but I can’t imagine what it would be like with a modern all-wheel-drive EcoBoost or rear-wheel-drive Coyote drivetrain responsible for getting the beast down the road. Why aren’t people doing this?!
(Suggested by Jarod Rose)
Ladies and gentlemen, this Rolls Royce Silver Cloud is the car that is so sumptuous and opulent that it’s named after the place where you go after your body realizes that it’s not long for this world. It will be the most mechanically complex thing you will ever see, but if it works correctly, you’ll have wondered whether you’re actually driving (or being driven in) this car or if you never survived the accident and everything you’re imagining now is just a dying brain trying its best to make the process as painless as possible. It’s that good.
(Suggested by AJ Feldman (alecmets2011))
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.