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.


    • because he drives a benz…not a toyota.

  • BMW 330i MSport

    • If you own a 330i do yourself a favour and never test drive an m2 or 240i

      The 330i is a nice daily driver, but compared to the m2/240i it's much bigger, with a smaller 4 cyl vs the flagship 6 cyl engine.

      • Yes, 330 feels so pedestrian after the 240.

  • +3

    Hyundai i30N DCT. I had a similiar post on here a few months ago and ended up receiving my new car 2 weeks ago. Best decision ever!!

    Faster than a GTI Golf, I think it looks a lot more subtle and not in your face unless you flick it into N mode and you can snap, crackle and pop the exhaust all day long for the smile and giggle factor. Warranty, 5Yrs unlimited and Price under $60k for the DCT and under $54k for the manual.

    • The Golf is a lot easier to live with. Nicer interior, better handling, more refined.

      I test drove both then bought a GTI and put a JB4 piggyback ECU on it. It is now faster than an i30n.

  • Will the stinger be smaller and more nimble?

  • GR Yaris off the used market. Won't be long before you can't jag one for $45k (+whatever extras the vendor rushed to put on/include!)

    Edit - to add to this suggestion, you're basically picking everything but it anyway in your shortlist. Might as well have the one that will depreciate less and cost less to own and simply throw up less problems (oh and balance of 7 year warranty)

    • you sure about that? Used car prices only goes up now. just like stonks.

  • +16

    Tesla model 3

  • +2

    About 3 years ago I went out on a limb and purchased a Renault Megane GT , it is by far the best car I've owned , I should have waited for the RS version to get to Australia, but settled for the GT, take a look at the RS it's right within your budget.

  • +1

    Personally I'd go for the i30n with DCT. It's going to be one of the most reliable cars on your list and its warranty covers it for track usage if you're keen for that

  • sounds like you're after a hot hatch tbh. any of the new ones are pretty nice. i'd probably steer towards a golf r if you want something quick or maybe the i30n?

    • "I should've mentioned that I prefer the non hatch aesthetic"

  • Maybe consider an EV

    The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is releasing soon, may be worth your interest.

    'scuse me

  • Hyundai Getz

  • I was reasonably impressed with the i30N.

    If you can live with it, the GR Yaris is better though.

    Obviously VW/Audi have good offerings in this space, though then you've got to live with a VW. Up to you if this is something you're happy with.

    If you're willing to go older, consider an exige or cayman S, which I'd rate pretty highly as driver cars.

    • Not the biggest fan of hatch aesthetic as i have mentioned previously. Have considered lotus but as a daily it's probably too harsh for my delicate bottom.

      • Cayman S is a good option then!

        • They fall outside my price bracket to get one with decent km on them

          • @smako69: Fair enough. Of the ones you've listed M2 is a sweet car. There's also the fastback n if you want less hatch styling

        • A base cayman 2.7L is still a great buy. I got my current Grey 2011 Cayman 987.2 Base Manual with 40000kms for $56,000 in JAN2021. I also previously bourght another base Aqua Blue 987.2 Cayman Manual, that was a 2009 model with 19000kms and I got that for $55,000 about 3 years ago.

          Awesome cars. Great allrounders if you dont have kids.

  • +7

    Tesla Model 3 Standard Range

    • +3

      Also if you live in NSW, "The NSW Government will offer $3,000 rebates for the first 25,000 new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles purchased for less than $68,750 (price inclusive of GST)." On top of the recent price cut on the Model 3, it is quite a bargain at that price range.

      • +1

        On top of the $3k rebate, stamp duty is also waived, another $2.2k saving. An SR+ is under $60k D/A with these incentives.

  • +4

    You need to have a think about what you truly want from the car. If you want something refined the Mazda 3 nor the Hyundai should not be on your list, in terms of refinement they are going to fall beneath your current car. Do you want to put people in the back, do you need a big boot, have you looked at the price of insurance for yourself (Personally I was looking at a Volvo and BMW and the insurance on the Volvo was $1500 and the BMW $5000), do you want leather heated and cooled seats, or seats that massage you as you drive along, make a list of the attributes you want from a vehicle.

    That being said for each category I can suggest:

    - Lotus Evora (Toyota V6 and Drivetrain)
    - Lexus RCF
    - Audi S5
    - BMW M440i
    - Mercedes C43 AMG
    - BMW M2
    - BMW M240i

    -> Mercedes made rubbish from 2000 to 2015 approximately, as such I would look towards avoiding cars made during that period. The GL500 I sat in was in the midst of disintegrating.

    - Audi S3
    - Audi S4
    - Mercedes C43
    - Lexus RCF

    - Lexus ISF and GSF -> Both will either appreciate in value of hardly change due to how rare they both are
    - BMW M340i
    - BMW M3 (Maybe?)
    - Volvo S60 Polestar
    - Mercedes AMG CLA, C class, maybe E class
    - Audi S3/RS3, S4, S5, S6
    - Ford FPV
    - Ford Falcon XR6 or XR8 (Get the last models of each that were made as they will become collectors cars if they aren't already)
    - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution/ Subaru Impreza STI (Neither are very refined or great to live with on a daily basis)
    - Volvo S60 T8
    - Holden HSV (Again may become rather sought after if not already so).

    SUV (I can't express the joys of not having to worry about scraping the bottom of the car when going over a curb or ditch).
    - Audi RSQ3
    - Mercedes GLA45
    - Volvo XC60 by Polestar
    - Audi SQ5
    - BMW X3 M40i

    Hatch Back (They will never ride or be as quiet as the cars previously mentioned as hatchbacks tend to made to a price, they have less sound deadening, harsher rides and are smaller)
    - Audi S3/ RS3
    - Mercedes A45
    - Renault Sport Megane
    - Volkswagen Golf R
    - BMW M140i
    - Honda Civic Type R
    - Ford Focus RS

    -> I would shy away from cars that sat on rims like Ferris wheels, the ride on them is so harsh as there is no sidewall in the tyre to absorb the bumps in the road, the cost of replacing the tyres is also far more expensive, some ultra low profile tyres can cost almost a grand each. If you are buying the car second hand avoid ones that have been chipped or tuned, it is very common for owners to modify the eco on their cars to increase turbo pressure. This as you can imagine puts additional strain on components that were not designed to function under such constraints, as such these vehicles will have a shorter lifespan.

    I hope I've helped

    • Thanks for the detailed response,

      As I mentioned previously to another comment, I am looking at a wide wage of vehicles. The main goal is to have a vehicle that is more fun to drive than what I am currently driving and something I can use as a daily (coupes and sedans preferably). I like alot of the options you have listed below but most of them probably fall outside my price bracket. M340i would probably be the pick of the bunch for me if the price tag wasn't so harsh. Appreciate the recommendations and the tip though.

      • The main goal is to have a vehicle that is more fun to drive than what I am currently driving and something I can use as a daily

        tesla model 3 standard range.

  • +5

    OP, your thoughts on Tesla?


    • Tesla never really sparked an interest to me. It would be nice to not have to pay for petrol though.

      • +2

        Take one for a drive.

        It's inconceivable to me that people with your kind of budget would not be seriously be considering a Tesla.

        • When I went and drove one is was both nicer and even less engaging than I expected. Definitely recommend going and driving one, they've improved leaps and bounds since they started making the 3 in China.

      • +3

        It's faster than any other car, supercars included, definitely worth considering.

        • I've never understood the attraction to Tesla, from the appalling customer care and reliability ratings there really isn't any reason for a consumer to purchase their cars over the equivalent available vehicles.

        • +1

          A really fast 0-100 is a fun party trick a good handful of times, but if the car doesn't feel how you want it to feel you won't enjoy it. With the other cars he's listed (M2, i30n) I just don't see it ticking that box, but would definitely recommend OP test drive one for the sake of it anyway

          • +1

            @CheeseBeans: I’ve been doing that party trick most days for the past 6 months and it STILL brings a cheeky smile to my face EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

  • Like all these threads, money talks. I would personally get the i30n Facelift or the new gen M240i. We can suggest all you want, but I highly doubt anyone follows through with a purchase.

  • I'd get the i30 from what you've listed. Tesla 3 is tempting as well with the price reduction.

  • Get a newer c250. Picked up a 2016 “AMG-line” for mid-$40’s. They look great and if you want more punch from it then drive it in Sport or Sport+ mode..

  • Kia Stinger all the way. The only problem is that everyone wants to drag you.

  • i30n. If you're in Sydney, swing by after the lock down. I want to test drive it :p

    I want to see how it compares to my 2016 wrx sti.

  • +1

    you're on ozbargain, wait for the new toyobaru 86/brz. all the north american reviews are very positive. the maintenance costs will be low as will the price of any spare parts in the future. The new nissan z looks great but may be high maintenance. If you are comfortable with euro costs then wait for the M240, but it will likely be > 60K.

  • If you are looking for fun, maybe a V8 Mustang? Would not call it nimble though. Happy to go in straight lines. Kia Stinger would be the closest alternative

  • Few options:

    New cars:

    WRX STi (for that rally look and all weather grip, enjoy one of the last analogue cars while you can)
    Audi S3 (if you don't mind understeering pigs and want to go Euro)
    Abarth 595 Comp (if you want fun, plus you can pocket $20k+ in change - MY22 models have just landed and are as funky as ever)
    Focus ST (new one looks a bit bland, but do go well)
    GR Yaris (if you can sleep at night knowing you paid $50k for a tiny 3 cyl Toyota with an interior that looks 15 years old already)
    400Z (might be a stretch, but looks to be a great improvement over the 350 / 370 in the tech department)

    Used cars:

    Focus RS (because bonkers)
    GR Supra (not sure on value these days, could be out of reach)
    CLA45 AMG (for the pops and bangs and the look at me bro while I launch it)
    Lancer Evo X (Spartan, but it's an Evo and prices will only go up over time)
    2010 C63 AMG (but don't spend more than $30k as you'll need the other $30k to fix things that broke from the previous owners abuse)
    Mustang GT (it's a pony car and a massive improvement over previous stangs)

  • Sporty for that kinda cash I'd probably ignore your list go Tesla or 86.

  • I'd add Peugeot 508 to your list to consider. Gorgeous looking car.

  • +1

    If you can squeeze your budget, then a Tesla Model 3; no servicing or fuel costs, so much cheaper to operate!

  • I am in love with my new Kia Cerato, and would have 100% gone with the Stinger if I could have afforded it.

  • Mustang GT if I had $60k laying around.

  • used:
    911 996

    or.. GR Yaris heheh

  • +1

    GR yaris?

    Tesla impressed me….get a dual motor!

  • Edison Model 3

    • too much a/c current?

  • +2

    Just got a Tesla M3 LR with performance boost - the damn thing has instantaneous face melting, warp speed acceleration whenever you flex your right foot, everything else I've ever been in feels like a slug, and that includes a 430kw supercharged HSV GTS.

    Even the 60k (in NSW) SR+ goes hard though, highly recommended.

  • M2 is a sweet car, you can get a first-gen one close to 65K - they are pretty reliable - have seen one driven hard for close to 100K and nothing wrong with it. mind you no warranty and a little higher on the servicing cost side of things, but you'd be used to that from driving the MB.

    It sounds like having some fun while driving is high on the agenda, so Audi's and Teslas get boring pretty quick because is all so predictable.

    A brand new m240i will be close to 100K, but an F48 well looked after with options can be found for about 50K -

    looks like a prestige badge is important - the Lexus RCF could be a great option - they always are as second-hand cars - reliable and V8 soundtrack too… 60K might be hard to find, but a 2014 or 2015 might just scrape in.

    Fun problem to have.

  • I spose its a shame the Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn't have a bigger displacement without going with the quadriformaggio option

  • i30N Fastback with all the options. They have an auto/manual if you need.

  • GR Yaris Rallye edition if you can get one. 59.2k

    Or a used base spec.

    I managed to nab a Rallye after a few weeks of pulling strings. Just have to offload my base spec. I've absolutely loved it.

  • The only correct answer is to drive all the ones on your shortlist and see which one you like the most.

  • -1

    Looking for a similar car to you !
    Was going to get the new WRX but its so ugly, looking at used bmw's like you. I have always heard bad things about repair costs and reliability with euro cars, would this be true?

    Damn nice cars though those m2's. Why m2 over m3?

  • Mate the BMW drives much nicer than the Mazda 3. I test drove both Mazda 3 Astina and bmw 218i. And BMW was a much better car. Not that that is only an entry level BMW the m240i will be even better.
    In saying that the only thing I would co side is maybe jumping up a class to the 3 series. Haggle a demo 320i down to 60k or so.
    The only thing I would do next time is go for a 220 instead of a 218. It's nice to have a bit of speed without going over the top.

  • OP
    Coming from a MB w204 (250cdi 7spd) w205 (250d 9spd) and model 3 LR.

    Interior - w205 > model 3 > w204
    Exterior - each to their own, all arnt bad and do not look dated yet
    Drive - w205 for a drivers cockpit. Model 3 for pure speed and everything else is basic. Is that a WOW factor for me? Yes and No. For me, I tend to drive slower in the model 3 😂 why? Pickup speed is quicker than you could look at the speedo, you’ll need to get a central dash unit.

    A wise choice?
    Model 3 SR+
    Depreciation, fuel cars will go out of demand/supply in the next 5-10years, might as well buy smth relevant.

  • -2

    2nd hand Lexus IS350 F-sport or GS350 F-sport

    Miles ahead of any Mazda, Kia or Hyundai you will look at.

  • m240i by far.

  • Tesla model 3 because of the low servicing / maintenance / fuel costs

  • i wish i had 60k to spend on a car! good on you for being in a position to do so.

  • I would definitely consider the model 3.. my coworker has one and this thing is fun.. so many features in the car you would pay extra for in most cars.. especially if you get the dual motor one.. you can't beat the thing in 0-100 or you will at best struggle..

    I don't know about NSW but one big positive in Melbourne is that we have free Charging in certain areas/charging spots..

    Maintenance is next to none other then road tires.. and if you keep it at 20 lowest and 80-90 highest charge. It will last you a long time.. only downside is now the new introduction of an EV road tax which personally I think is fine but needs to be refined and brought down cost per km travelled.

    My 2 cents

  • Model 3. Or stick with your current car and spend the 60k on something else for excitement. Wouldn't like the idea of buying an ICE car now given that their resale value will drop as EVs become more available.

  • Buy a Camry for 2k. Invest 58k in Bitcoin. Simples.

    • If only I took this advice 10 years ago.

  • Toyota GR Yaris??

  • Get a 1960s convertible Ford Mustang - you’ll never lose money and a great car to drive

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