We choose the ideal second-hand car for you and your budget: this time, a V8 sedan/two-door for under R500 000...
Budget: R300 000 – R500 000
Status: Petrolhead with a desire for a V8
Vehicle type: V8 sedan/two-door
Like many, this car lover has always dreamt of owning a vehicle with a V8 engine. Our buyer works for a successful company paying above-inflation increases every year, so is now ready for their dream to become reality.
The buyer is not concerned about the number of seats or space, as long as the car has presence. To give our buyer an alternative should they prefer to spend more, we’ve included the more expensive Mustang.
Our choice: Chrysler 300C SRT-8
0 to 100 km/h: 5,2 sec
Top speed: 280 km/h
Power: 347 kW
Torque: 631 N.m
CO2: 303 g/km
CAR fuel index: 15,60 L/100 km
The striking 300C is fantastic value second-hand and the best option for our buyer.
Back in 2007 when the 300C was launched, Chrysler’s engineers still used old-school engine architecture, with overhead valves operated by pushrods allied to modern fuel injection replacing huge carburettors such as the four-barrel Holley. This improved combustion efficiency but this brawny SRT-8 flagship is still thirsty.
The revised model arrived in 2013 sporting less bling and a black grille but retaining its unique looks and large, 20-inch, polished alloy wheels. This generation also added a modern touchscreen display, classier instrumentation and many other features.
Outputs leapt to 347 kW and 631 N.m, and both acceleration (0-100 km/h in 5,2 seconds) and top speed (280 km/h) were impressive at the time.
The five-speed auto ‘box has settings for normal, sport or manual, and paddle shifters are provided. Don’t expect to be excited by the V8 sound, however, as it is somewhat subdued. Some owners may have tinkered with the exhaust system for a more audible presence.
After researching problems online, it seems owners are happy but some mention rattles and the odd electrical glitch rectified by the dealers. Note that there is also a 3,0-litre V6 diesel available should the petrol expenses get too much for you.
Space: 5 seats, 416/1 168 L
Safety and aids: 7 airbags, ABS/EBD and EBA
Cost of 4 tyres: R15 800
Road test: January 2013
Option 2: BMW (F10) 550i Steptronic
0 to 100 km/h: 4,60 sec
Top speed: 250 km/h
Power: 330 kW
Torque: 650 N.m
CO2: 199 g/km
CAR fuel index: 12,50 L/100 km
Somewhat more sophisticated than the 300C – reflected in the higher pricing – with the 5 Series you have a choice of sedan or Gran Turismo but we recommend the former. Used pricing is nevertheless keen for this well-built German car owing to the 550i not being the most popular model in the range on the second-hand market, that accolade going to the four-cylinder versions. However, aside from the M5, this V8-powered 5 Series is the most satisfying to drive.
The engine is a potent 4,4-litre employing dual Garrett turbochargers. The 550i has 300 kW as opposed to the M5’s 412 kW (which uses the same engine and is also worth a look). Later, the 550i’s outputs were increased to 330 kW and 650 N.m. The layout is unusual in that the exhausts and turbos sit inside the "V", with the inlet manifolds on the outside.
Fuel consumption, as you’d expect from a modern, efficient BMW, is good for a V8 as long as you don’t overstrain your right foot. One thing to watch out for is high oil consumption (which is difficult to detect before ownership).
If you do decide to go down the M5 route, they command a price premium of R100 000 to R250 000 over the 550i. We’d stick with the latter, which offers enough performance at a substantial cost saving.
Space: 5 seats, 400/1 064 L
Safety and aids: 6 airbags, ABS with EBD
Cost of 4 tyres: R13 064
Road test: n/a (M5: April 2012)
Option 3: Ford Mustang Fastback 5,0 V8 AT
0 to 100 km/h: 5,31 sec
Top speed: 263 km/h
Power: 306 kW
Torque: 530 N.m
CO2: 289 g/km
CAR fuel index: 14,40 L/100 km
Many of us have dreamt of owning a Ford Mustang and, with the originals now sometimes more expensive than the new versions, it is slowly becoming an option to buy a second-hand modern GT.
Of course, the 2,3-litre four-cylinder is somewhat cheaper (examples are generally priced at around R500 000) but it does not possess quite the same character.
Available in Fastback and Convertible styles and launched in 2016, these models are still too new to be called bargains; you’ll have to spend upwards of R700 000 to get a good one. We anticipate prices to drop more steeply when the mildly facelifted version is brought to our shores.
Although power and torque outputs are considerably less than on the Chrysler and BMW, acceleration is 0,11 seconds slower to 100 km/h than the 300C (the 550i wallops them both). This is due to the SRT-8 weighing in at nearly 300 kg more than the Mustang GT. Fuel consumption is better than the SRT-8’s, too, but neither American can match the BMW for efficiency. They’re smaller inside, too, with the Ford boasting a boot capacity of just 256 litres.
Unlike the other cars, the Mustang will likely be in its warranty period spanning four years (and five years for the service plan).
Space: 2+2 seats, 256/672 L
Safety and aids: 6 airbags, ESC, ABS/EBD
Cost of 4 tyres: R21 608
Road test: February 2016