Ford Focus S or Mercedes-Benz S600? Which would you choose?

(c) 2014 Ford Motor Company

(c) 2014 Ford Motor Company

Cars. For some people they are only a mode of transportation while for others they are something special. The point of this is to show you that you don’t need to be a millionaire to drive truly amazing cars.

The 2014 Ford Focus S has a base price of $16,635 and that is the budget. I’ll probably push the budget by a few dollars with some of these choices but you’ll get the idea. For about the same as a base model economy sedan you can get something far from the base model.

 

Choice One: Luxury

2004 Mercedes-Benz S600

2004 Mercedes-Benz S600

This car may be 10 years old but you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. It doesn’t look outdated and except for the built in phone it doesn’t feel outdated either. When this car was new it retailed for almost $123,000. A decade later you don’t find yourself missing features. If a base model Focus has it now chances are this car had it 10 years ago as well as some very nice extras. For instance all of the seats have electric adjustments. That includes the back seats. Built in massagers are a nice compliment to the both heated and cooled seats. That trim you see is real walnut.

5.5L V6 producing 493 bhp

5.5L V6 producing 493 bhp

Luxury is great but do you know what is even better? When that luxury has almost 500 bhp. This S600 has a 5.5L V12 under the hood. While it might hurt when you fill up at the gas station you’re guaranteed to be smiling every time the stoplight turns green.

So what does a luxury car with a huge engine go for these days?

 $16,800

And yes. That is the buy it now price, not just the current bid. Ebay Link

That’s hardly your only option though. Let’s move on to…

Choice Two: Land Rover

Some might not understand why Land Rover is its own category. That’s probably because you are thinking of the Range Rover era of Land Rovers. Lest you forget Land Rovers don’t die. They simply stop using paved roads.

1972 Land Rover

1972 Land Rover

This car is older than I am and has plenty of years and miles left in it. You don’t have the creature comforts of the Mercedes but that isn’t why you buy a Land Rover. This is the vehicle you buy when you don’t plan on driving on paved roads. If you want to go places your buddy with his perfectly waxed Jeep would never dream of going you buy a Land Rover.

While the seller admits to having no idea what the real mileage is it shouldn’t really matter. Oh and the cost?

$15,000

Save the extra $1600 for a tent and beer. Ebay Link

 

Choice Three: Modest But Classy

The newest of the bunch, this Audi is nothing especially special. At four years old it is right at the sweet spot of being old enough that you are about to buy it at a really good price while being new enough to have most of the features you are looking for in a new car. Buying new isn’t always the smartest or most practical choice. This should be proof of that.

2010 Audi A4

2010 Audi A4

While it doesn’t have the same level of luxury as the S600 it only has 32k miles and will be a lot cheaper to maintain.

2010 Audi A4 Interior

2010 Audi A4 Interior

$15,988

Ebay Link

Choice Four: The Answer Is Always Miata

See title.

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

6 speed with Bose audio

6 speed with Bose audio

$15,980

Ebay Link.

 

So what does this all mean? What should you take away from this? Well for a lot of people you don’t need a new car. You can actually have more fun and spend the same (or sometimes less) on a nicer car. You will have to make sure you either have the money or are in good credit standing as some banks won’t look as fondly on a used car (especially one from 1972…) vs new car. Do your research and spend the money on a bumper to bumper inspection from a reputable mechanic before saying “I’ll take it.” Then spend the time enjoying driving. Cars are more than just about getting from point a to point b.

 

-Martin

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