Which Car Should I Buy? - Budget $60,000

Hey community,

I am currently driving a 2011 Mercedes C250 coupe and I am looking forward to upgrading my vehicle to something more exciting.

I have always wanted a smaller more nimble vehicle. I have listed below the vehicles that I am currently considering. As you are aware car prices right now are at an all time high, I am just speculating as of now but would pounce at a good opportunity if it were to arrive. Please let me know which one of these options you would recommend me to get or if there was something out there that I have missed and you thought I might be interested in. My budget is south of 60k but would prefer to spend less.

Mazda 3 GT (new?) (seems like a nice daily, may not be as exciting but)
BMW M240i (F22, F22 LCI) (probably a better daily than the m2)
BMW M2 (any version) (dream car honestly)
Hyundai i30n (new?) (only hatch I enjoy the look of)
Kia Stinger GT (new?) (seems like good value)

Edit: Seems like the model 3 is a fan favourite. I'll have to give these cars a test drive after lockdown ends and see how I feel about each one before destroying my savings. Will also be considering the m340i, m2 competition. Will be buying during end of financial year 2022.


  • +111

    Toyota Camry

    • +1

      Why are y’all negging him, he’s right!

    • +19

      Nothing against the camry, but I prefer to drive something more exciting.

      • +4

        Get new Hyundai IONIQ 5.

      • +1

        Where in NSW can you get excited whilst driving?

    • +4

      May as well considering a Mazda 3 GT is in the mix…

      At least a Camry comes in V6

      • +2

        Toyota don't offer the Camry in a V6 anymore.

        • -5

          Well duh, but doesn't mean to say it's not an option

          • +3

            @spackbace: With a $60K budget he'd be looking for a new one not a second hand one.

            • -6

              @prdreilly: Unless he wanted a V6, then he could buy a 1yo one, which can go for as much as $55k

              Who are you to talk for the OP?

              • +9

                @spackbace: He already said he doesn't want a Camry. Who are you to talk for the OP??

        • D'oh, I wanted to pickup a Camry SL with the V6 in a few years time!

    • Toyota needs to upgrade their logo to look premium. Will looks better on expensive cars

      • So that's Lexus right?
        Also have Scion which is now discontinued.

        • Correct re Lexus (Scion was meant to be a "youthful" brand), however it may also make sense to have their logo on desirable cars for the halo effect.

          eg. The Supra (particularly the older ones) probably earned Toyota more from boosting its image than actual sales.

  • +11

    The only ones in your list I would even consider would be the Kia or possibly the Hyundai.

    Personally, I would go for one of the following (in preference order):
    - Audi S3 (RS3 if you can find one at that price)
    - Golf R
    - Kia Stinger GT

    • +3

      RS3 is definitely a banger of a car. Not the biggest fan of golfs or the regular s3.

      • +3

        m140i? rwd + 3.0 straight six

        • +1

          great car and much better value than the m240i. I should've mentioned that I prefer the non hatch aesthetic, the i30n was an exemption.

      • +2

        GR Yaris

    • +3

      I would go the stinger. I would have already bought one myself to replace my audi if i didnt really need a car at the moment due to lockdown, and waiting to see what the EV6 costs.

    • S3 + a tune is a serious weapon. Though I guess it should only be considered outside warranty period.

  • +9

    something more exciting

    Mazda 3


    The i30n is the best on that list IMO

    • Only thing holding me back is that it's a really expensive 4pot lol

      • all hot hatches are around that price

      • Suggest you try and test drive the car if you haven't already. The Yaris GR is similar in that vein that it's a very expensive 3 pot. Both are really good cars.

      • It's the best value hot hatch, and it looks and sounds phenomenal.

  • Used cars are already through the roof so you might as well buy new.

    • Just speculating as of now friend, happy to wait. Just want some recommendations or guidance to which direction i should be steering into.

  • +4

    M2 will be about as exciting as it gets, with a price tag to match.

    • Definitely a dream car of mine. Was hoping to be able to purchase it at a fairer price. The b58 on the m240i for a daily is also very tempting.

      • If you're mainly after good driving dynamics as opposed to all the latest tech bells and whistles, you could pick up an M235i for a lot less money - the N55 in that still makes plenty of power and is (mostly) reliable.

        • I wouldn't mind a m235i, just curious how well the engine holds up against the b58 which is toyota approved lol (also have 2 friends already with the m235i).

          • @smako69: I had both the 240 and the 235 as company cars, and the sweet engine in the 240 is so much better.

            • +1

              @johnwinds: I am jealous haha, I want that sweet b58 too :)

              • @smako69: I know it's a first world problem and I shouldn't complain, but I have a 330 now and it's such a potato in comparison.

      • -1

        If it's a dream car, then go for it. There's no logic in buying something with your head, you buy cars with your heart.
        Otherwise, Toyota Camry as per the first post seems the most logical choice.

  • +6

    Stinger, like a boss

  • +2

    You haven't mentioned any of the practical aspects of what you need to account for. Your present car is probably close to the first four on your list in terms of size inside - are you single, engaged, married, children coming soon, etc? The Stinger seems an outlier of your list, as it is a GT car, so quite a different size category in terms of dimensions, not to mention the driving experience compared with your first four candidates.

    I recently took delivery of a 2018 BMW M140i, but it has literally been the golden goose; I've been searching since April, have tested numerous offerings, even drove to Canberra in early May to test drive a dealer car. I found the bargain of the century in terms of the car itself and price, and it is a fantastic drive - but it's what I'd been looking for.

    The M140i is a small car. If the size works for you, for the price, if you can find a good example, with kms < 30000 for around $50K you'd be doing okay. Would definitely recommend checking out the M140i if you don't need something big; it's a compact five door, but bang for buck I can't see anything better out there. Mind you, I'm biased further by the fact I found one with <10000kms, registered until May 2022, still has two years of BMW servicing included, and was under $50K.

    • +2

      I considered putting in the practical aspects, but in my current situation anything goes. I only added the stinger in because it represented good value and also looks quite nice.

      Sounds like you found yourself an amazing deal. I am happy for you and hope that I can get something similar to that for my situation.

      • Stinger is the only one on the list with 7 yrs warranty, if that means anything to you. The Mazda/Hyundai are only 5 years, and the Beemers 3/4 years.

  • +3

    New Nissan z?

    • Definitely considering that one! Waiting to see how the reviews go.

  • +50

    Tesla Model 3. Goes like a stabbed rat. Enjoyed the power so much i'm waiting on a Model Y.

    • +3

      +1 this

    • +6

      It's actually starting to make a lot of economic sense to drive a Tesla too. Not only the fuel savings, but Tesla's have very little regular maintenance and servicing costs. Plus make use of those govt subsidies.

      • +1

        Absolutely this

    • As a Model 3 LR owner I’d also give a big tick to the cult of Musk mobile.

      Caveats being if you can’t charge at home or need to travel 500+ kms most days, then maybe it’s not for you.

      I do really like the Stinger, but Kia are inexplicably giving it the arse soon anyway.

      • What would it be like if you can't charge at home but travel maybe 50km a day? What's charging outside at a station like?

  • +1

    Smaller more nimble vehicle, but still need storage. If buying new. I would have to go with the I30N. Coworker just picked his up a couple of days ago. Really cool car. And there is some supply if you are flexible on colour.

    We have a deposit on a new Z. But we will only be going ahead with it if its $65,000 drive away.

    The new 86 looks good. Much better engine, I just hope they can program out the fake engine noise. Good middle ground car if you need something with more storage compared to a MX5 (check out SavageGeeses new video on it).

    For reference: I currently have a 987.2 Cayman, 370Z, NA and NC3 MX5 in the driveway.

    • That's a bloody long driveway.

      • Life of a car enthusiast. We sacrificed a significant amount of bedroom space for a bigger garage in the new development we live in.

    • i30n still a bit pricey for a 4banger. I think the 400z would be an excellent choice, knowing aus it would be north of 65k for the premium model for sure.

      • The new GR86 and BRZ look great if you can drive a manual.

        The Nissan is simply called Z. If it were to have a number in front of it, 300z is more appropriate than 400z.

    • Fantastic car collection.

      Please tell me they are all manual!

      My realistic dream car is a manual 982 Cayman S.

      • Thanks! All manual besides the missus 370Z. The 987.2 Cayman is a great car. I also want a newer generation Boxster. Both the 981 Boxster and Alfa 4C were supposed to hit the $55,000 price bracket this year, but COVID shot them up in value. Cant justify it now.

        I also still want to add a Clio III 200 RS (was going to buy one, but got the NC3 instead) and a S2000 to the mix (too expensive unless I find the deal of a lifetime).

        My dream car would be a 718 Boxster GTS 4.0L. I am hoping I can justify one in 5 years time before they stop making them.

        I am very concerned that enthusiast cars that are 10+ years old wont go back down in price post covid. Now could be the time to secure your analog and nostalgic drivers cars and keep them. The problem I have is garage space and money, I dont like storing them outside.

        • +1

          I was suppose to buy my mates ND MX5 GT with low kms for $25k last year, but then Covid hit so I said better keep the money in the bank just in case.

          Hopefully 2nd hand cars will become more affordable in future. I'm sure they will. Part of the reason why is the lack of new cars.

          I'm planning on getting the BR86 manual… will most likely be my last new ICE car that I buy. Other than the MX5, it's probably the last time you can buy a new a light weight N/A ICE RWD manual sports car.

          Boxster GTS 4.0L is a stunning car.. hopefully they will fix the tall gearing in the manual… such a shame you can't rev out the car in second without losing your licence in Australia.

          Clio III 200 RS is also a great car. I was considering the 182 CUP back then, ended up with a GTI. Part of me still wishes I went for the 182 CUP shoddy build quality and all.

          • +1

            @JimB: Yeah, I have owned two ND MX5s. Both 2015 2.0L GT Manuals in Reflex Blue. Purchased the first one for $27,000 (20,000kms) in 2017. Then purchased another in June 2020 for $23000 with 60,000kms (very lucky buy considering the covid market).

            Both excellent cars. Its just a shame that the passenger legroom on the ND is atrocious compared to the NC.

            • @Commander Shepard: Seems like you're a flipper!

              • @JimB: Yes and no. I generally buy a car for a great price, then try to break even after putting some kms on it 6-18months later. I just have a bucket list of cars that I have always wanted. I put automatic notifications on. And if one pops up for a great price, I just go for it. Its a fun little hobby. But covid has made it a lot harder to find good deals.

                Its helped me discover what kinda car suits me the most. I personally think the NC MX5 and a Porsche Cayman/Boxster are the perfect two cars to own. With the Subaru BRZ being the worst car I have ever owned.

                • @Commander Shepard: Quite suprised the BRZ is your worst car.

                  What didn't you like about it? Torque dip?

                  I'm looking at the new GR86/BRZ when it's released. Larger engine has by all reports made it much more drivable.

                  • +1

                    @JimB: The engine overall was horrible. I like slow cars and the slow car fast methodology. I love my NA and NC MX5s that are in my garage. But I have driven 4 cylinder shit boxes from the 90s that are far more satisfying to drive then the engine in the BRZ/86. I also think the gearbox wasn't as satisfying as a MX5. It also sounded trash and if the roads are shit (which they often are throughout the hills), you kinda skip around on the bumps due to the harsher suspension.

                    Its great that Toyota/Subaru made it, as we need more cheaper sports cars. But after waiting years for it to arrive at dealers. Then once I finally got one, I was bitterly disappointed.

                    The new car should be amazing in comparison. Its the engine it should've always gotten and its also now damped better. You just need to delete the fake engine noise.

                    • @Commander Shepard: Yeah, I drove one when it first came out.

                      It was pretty gutless.

                      Lets hope the new one is much better.

  • +1

    Golf R 7 or 8 or s3.

    Can do low 11's with some mods. Better build quality than those you have listed.

    • Not the 8. Nasty infotainment / interface.

  • +2

    Renault Megane R.S.

  • M2 for sure.

  • Ford XR5 Turbo! :)

    • Focus RS

      • Currents are only 4Cyl. Older 5's are 5 tweaked Volvo hearts!
        I'd go with a 5 still… Just personal.

        RS nice though.

        • The RS absolutely sh*ts all over older STs and XR5 Turbos in every performance metric.
          It's a beast of a car. Unbelievable grip with the AWD and gets off the line quicker than most big V8s.

          • +1

            @Gnostikos: blah blah… think you are missing my point in the reasoning I've said the XR5…
            All good!

            • +1

              @mickyb80: The XR5 is about 50 years old. I have a few (much) older cars, but OP is looking for a new car. Also, the RS is a beast, the most fun I've had well over the limit on a twisty road.

  • Hyundai Ionic. 5

    • That's min 72k

      • prob be 5k less then Y or something similar

        • I expect the model y to be 5-10k more than the model 3, which means base model is around 65-70k before onroads and around 80k for the long range model.

          The i5 is 72k for rwd and 76k for awd top spec models, with cheaper ones coming later.

  • +1


  • Hyundai i20N

  • -1

    Audi S3. Cost of maintaining a RS3 is not worth the premium.

    With an off the shelf engine and dsg tune it will be as quick as a stock RS3.

    • +5

      no way, the 5 pot alone is worth it

  • +1

    New WRX and WRX STI just around the corner :)

    • +4

      But then you have to look at that ass…

      • Not from the driver's seat.

        • +1

          Unfortunately you've gotta wash the car some day and risk looking at it.

    • 20% more displacement for +3hp … such a letdown for the wrx. Hoping the sti is close to 400hp

  • +1

    CLA35 AMG. Don't worry about budget.

  • -2

    This post is not Ozb type, no one is looking for a bargain and nothing cheap stuff being discussed.
    The cars are good though!

  • +1

    Kia stinger. Take one for a test drive, you'll be hooked. Feels very European without the price tag for anything similar in performance.

  • +1

    I have the Kia and would advise you request a test drive. Great value for your money and a 7 year warranty

  • +1

    Type R

  • +1

    Porsche Panamera or Porsche 911 996 (if you don't mind tiny back seats (which you might) and fried egg headlights (which many people mind))

  • you want something smaller than a c250 coupe. i think you're looking for mx5 or new GR86

  • +2

    Highly recommend a v8 Mustang - comparison to your Kia Stinger, and SO MUCH FUN to drive!!

    • -1

      V8 'Stang GT owner here.

      Drove my friend's Stinger GT and while it's a higher-quality vehicle overall and more practical, it's definitely nowhere near as fun.
      Lame exhaust note, a lot less-bang-for-your-buck for the price (less HP, torque, slower 0-100) and just didn't give me that stupid fun dopamine hit you get from the 'Stang.
      Also, the Stinger is a pretty ugly thing from every angle except maybe the rear. 'Stang wins the in the looks department by a mile.

      For the money, nothing gives you as much performance-per-dollar as a V8 Mustang GT.

  • +2

    Why not make it a poll option too?