Next week marks a huge milestone in the life of my used Range Rover: 90 days without any major problems. Oh, sure, there have been minor problems, like the battery was dying, and the rear brake pads were worn, and a few exterior lights had gone out. But nothing that required the use of my CarMax warranty.
For those of you who haven't been following along, my CarMax warranty is a Range Rover owner godsend: a 6-year, 65,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection plan that has already paid out $1,000 more than it cost less than two years ago. CarMax offers such a warranty on every single vehicle in its inventory, regardless of whether that vehicle is made by fastidious Japanese, or hardworking Americans, or the British, who believe the appropriate way to train a new factory worker is with a few pints at the local pub.
Unfortunately, this (undoubtedly temporary) lull in Range Rover repairs has left me with little to write about in the CarMax warranty realm – so I've compiled a list of today's coolest unreliable cars you can buy today with a CarMax warranty. It's been nearly four months since I've done this list, and some highly exciting cars have showed up in the interim. And here's the best part: I spent yesterday afternoon calling CarMax dealers to get warranty quotes for these vehicles, just so that you can find out exactly what it'll cost to own one of today's most unreliable used cars without even the slightest hint of anxiety.
2006 Audi A8 - $24,000
There's nothing like driving around in a 10-year-old luxury sedan and just knowing that, at any moment, your air suspension could break and cost approximately one-and-a-half NA Miatas to replace. Fortunately, you won't have that problem with this particular 2006 Audi A8 if you spring for the CarMax warranty, which starts at $4,479 with no deductible for up to 5 years or 100,000 miles, or $5,899 if you want to extend it to 125,000 miles.
2011 BMW 1-Series M - $55,000
That's right, folks: CarMax has a 1-Series M. In fact, they have four of them. I selected this one because it has low miles, and good options, and a clean Carfax, and, well, it's orange, for God's sake. With only 21,000 miles on the odometer, the warranties aren't cheap: you can get 5 years or up to 125,000 miles of coverage with no deductible for $4,899, or 100,000 miles of total coverage for $3,299.
2010 BMW 760Li - $50,000
Just like the first owner, I have absolutely no idea what this car originally cost. But I think we can all agree it has lost an insane amount of value in the last four years, given that it's now worth just $50,000 despite V-12 power and only 45,000 miles on the odometer. Best of all, the warranty is cheap: $2,649 for 5 years or up to 100,000 miles of zero-deductible coverage, or $3,859 for up to 100,000 miles.
2007 Jaguar XKR - $35,000
When this XKR was new, it cost $86,000 plus options. It also featured supple leather upholstery, 420 horsepower of supercharged Britshness, and interior panels that sometimes come off when you're driving. Given that this example has only 48,000 miles, the warranty is pretty cheap: $3,949 with no deductible and up to 5 years or 100,000 miles, or $5,849 with no deductible and up to 125,000 miles.
2008 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG - $61,000
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Holy Grail of CarMax is currently in inventory: a six-year-old, out-of-warranty Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a twin-turbocharged V-12 and more than 700 lb-ft of torque. Currently listed at $61,000 at CarMax in Gilbert, Arizona, the S65 has 41,000 miles on the odometer — and you can get it with a 5-year warranty with up to 100,000 miles for $3,589, or 125,000 miles for $5,599.
2007 Porsche 911 Turbo - $71,000
Six-speed manual. 480 horsepower. All-wheel drive. And it's bright freaking red. Take a look at this 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo, which manages to still bring in $71,000 even after 7 years of careful ownership by a wealthy doctor who gave his wheels a nicer toothbrush than he gave his kids. Warranty cost: $3,459 for 5 years or up to 75,000 miles, and $4,379 to extend it up to 100,000 miles.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.