Thoughts on Downgrading Mercedes-Benz C43

My situation:

Bought a 2017 C43 shortly after the car was released for $115k on a notated lease with a balloon of $57k this August. The car has been great but has depreciated substantially over the past 3 years as i happened to buy the car 4 months prior to the MY18 face lift :(. Current selling price is ~$65k. Warranty also expires in August. And I'm expecting do do around 55,000 to 60,000km by the end of the lease (at 46k now).

I'm stuck on whether i should refinance the car with a novate lease (and pay the balance down to 0) and keep it for another 4 years - but run the risk of out of warranty repairs + trouble in selling a high mileage AMG (would end up with around 120 - 130k on the clock) or if i should downgrade the car to a 2019 VW Golf R which is selling ~$35 - 40k - will have warranty till 2024 and I can run it to the ground and still be able to sell it for a decent price in 4 years time.

The reason for not getting an even cheaper car is, "spirited' driving is my way of dealing with stress after work. So I

Some thoughts would be appreciated.


  • What's your main motivation? Save money or enjoy driving experience? With that mileage, enjoy the C43. Get an extended warranty before it runs out for peace of mind.

    Also, obligatory: coughcough43isntarealamgcoughcough :)

    • Bit of both to be honest, I was foolish getting such an expensive car so early into my career - i was able to afford it becuase i was living with my parents. It's a great car to drive but being a coupè it's very impractical - i think i've used the back seats like 4 times in the last 3 years because it's such a pain to get in and out of the back. Didn't know about extended warranty will look into it, cheers.

      Now i'm looking at saving for a house deposit and even though ~20k isn't huge, it's still a decent chunk.

  • just off the top of my head, why not a Stinger?

  • Mate, not matter what the badge says on the back, a C43 ain’t an AMG. 6months prior to you buying that car, the same engine was called the 450

    • Yeah I know - in retrospect I would’ve bought an RS3

      But I was young stupid and making good money so MB it was

      • Heck, I picked up a low mileage 1.5 year old RS3 just under $50k. What a loss. Maybe consider a used S3 (if there's any good deals going on at this time)+tune for fun if you want and run it to the ground.

        • Dang was that a face lifted RS3 ? With the virtual cockpit ? If so you got a hella good deal

        • How is that even possible? 3 Year old RS3 are going for mid 60s.

          • @Burnertoasty: I got quoted 70k for a brand new one in 2018.

            • @mousie: Damn, prices have gone right up. It’s funny how people are fixated on the idea that all car depreciate.

              • @Burnertoasty: Timing is also everything, not too sure it'll be applicable this year though. When some international students graduate and don't plan on returning, they don't want to bother too much about selling their car for the absolute best price, as long as it's a reasonable offer and a smooth transaction. At least, that's what I gathered from my experience, he was more interested in shooting the crap about his future plans than the money.

      • retrospect dont buy a new car ever

        retrospect dont max out your spare cash on a depreciating asset

      • Out of curiosity. What do people deem as making good money these days? I am a lil bit out of touch with reality. My associates think they make good money - 90k + another 40k bonus.

  • C63 AMG or go home.

    • Running cost of C63 AMG is enormous.
      So if it's C63 it'll be stay home…

    • If you love depreciation… sure. I bought my 2010 C63 AMG new for ~$180K and sold it in 2015 for $55K. At the 3/4 year mark they were going for $80K - that's in excess of a 55% loss in 3 years. After losing that much money with little to no ability to claim that depreciation via my tax returns because of the luxury car tax threshold, I vowed never to buy a brand new high yield investment high-end luxury performance car ever again.

      • Ouch. I thought the 63s would retain value better given their cult status like M cars. I guess regardless, these “toys” aren’t cheap and the purchase price is just one part of the financial cost in the car ownership lifetime.

        • Very few cars retain value. This is especially the case with European luxury cars. It's a common misnomer that if you buy a luxury European car that it will suffer less depreciation than that of Asian manufactured cars. I'd argue that they probably suffer more depreciation since the repairs and parts for European cars are so expensive and people factor this into the cost of buying second hand.

          My subsequent purchase was a $70K 4WD and I've never looked back. Ironically, the $70K car had tonnes more safety and technological features and I don't have to worry as much about depreciation.

        • They may not keep their value in dollars, but there is an argument that they keep their emotional value.

          If I bought a new c63, I would not feel the need to sell it in 3 years, and it would still be a nice car to own even at 20 years.

          If you buy a 'good value' mid tier car that you only kind of like, you will always be chasing the next model.

          Basically what I am trying to say is I would buy the 5 year old c63. How are you ever going to spend $130,000 in maintenance? It's an argument by people with too much money and car salesman BS in their brain

  • Jees, $19,333 every year to not even own the car (or $372/week)

    That's nuts

    • Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity…

    • I wish that was it, it’s $1200 a fortnight (after the tax saving with novated lease)

      • Farrrrrrk

        Now that's pissing away money!

        • Yup $93,600 over 3 years (mind you about $20k of that was on petrol) but still - hurts to type that out.

          • +7 votes

            @paraneoplastic: wow, my "purchase budget" is $1500 a year i.e. a $9k car should last 6 years

            • @Nugs: Luxury!
              When I were a lad etc.
              But I think that is an excellent way to budget for a car, and I agree very strongly with your way of thinking.

              My friend used to own a Laser that was worth between $400 and $900 depending on long since he paid rego.

          • @paraneoplastic: I don't know wether to be angry at you, or be glad of the circumstance. Guess I'm jealous of your money, but not your brain :P

            Silver lining is that you've made this post, so perhaps you're coming around.

          • @paraneoplastic: You know with some negotiation, you could have bought a new C43 for mid 90ks? Leases really do sucker people in.

            Here's a demo for $99k, with 2000km on the dial. I'd bet my left nut if you offered them $93k for that right now, they'd bite your arm off.

          • @paraneoplastic: thats a lot on petrol, I pay for all the fuel in my house hold, and run a euro turbo 6 cylinder, a diesel turbo 4 cylinder, and do about 40,000km between us both and we still spend under 6 a year on fuel. how bad are the C43s on fuel? I was thinking about buying one as a family car.

            I have lived with a Mk7 Golf R over the last couple of years for variously extended periods of time, even with city driving, spirited driving etc it returns 10l/100km. Only issues I had with it were slight oil burning (all within VAG tolerances).

            The Golf 7.5 is already out of date, don't go out and buy one right before another new model comes out. I think you be nuts to trade a C43 for a Golf R. Theyre not on the same level, same class, same build quality. I haven't driven a Coupe, but the W205 (was an update model) has great build quality, nice transmission, cool infotainment system etc.
            I get Mercedes servicing is a rip but theyre are so many specialists out there who will charge half as much as Mercedes. It seems half of this is fueled out of being bored of a 3 year old car, and justifying the expense of swapping for some sort of financial benefit.

            If this was 3 years ago, I would say go right ahead, 50k on a Golf R is a great bargin for a practical, decently built, great handling, and bubbly fun car. It 'feels' faster than my turbo 6 from just the way its set up, and the adaptive dampers make it more comfortable too.

    • That's 1k to 4k on your comm check.

    • The nuts part is paying interest (usually high) on the 57k balloon payment for the 3 years.


      • Exactly right, when i realised the royal F up i'd made, it was too late - as if i sold the car prior to the lease ending i'd have to pay the interest regardless and then miss out on the tax saving :(

  • " "spirited' driving is my way of dealing with stress after work."
    Other people use those roads. No other way to relieve your stress?

  • Why a golf though if you want luxury? downgrade to a giulia veloce for 70k or something

  • Are you in the medical field?

  • Wow seriously burning money there, just wow. You lost more in deprecation what I paid for my WRX STI premium.

    There are plenty of cheap cars that are fun to drive. I have a cheap little Kia turbo hatch as a daily , honestly find more fun than my modded STI. More power does not mean more fun, think opposite.

    Think test drive some hot/warm hatches like including i30N, also maybe BRZ/86 buy used, I think you'll be surprised. Golf R and GTI hold their value ok compared to luxo cars but still loose money.