BUYING USED: Three ‘four-door coupés’ for under R600 000 each

Know how much you can spend on a car but haven’t made up your mind which one to buy? This time, we recommend three so-called “four-door coupé” options

BMW 640i Gran Coupé

0-100 km/h: 5,40 seconds est
Top speed: 250 km/h
Power: 235 kW
Torque: 450 N.m
CO2: 179 g/km
Fuel consumption: 9,24 L/100 km (fuel index)

Rarely does a four-door model take home the trophy in a beauty contest but in the case of the now-defunct 6 Series range, that’s very much true. The already handsome two-door was eclipsed by the stunning Gran Coupé when it was introduced in June 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show. Thanks to the introduction of the 8 Series and typically steep depreciation, the Gran Coupé currently represents great value for money in this segment.

In our choice, the 640i, a 235 kW turbocharged straight-six provides smooth motivation via a slick eight-speed ZF transmission. The 3,0-litre six-pot N55 motor is known for being the most trouble-free powertrain of the BMW 6 Series bunch; however, it’s worth noting the engine was part of a recall in 2014. Screws holding the housing of the adjustment unit for the Vanos system could loosen over time or break, resulting in a loss of power. Most likely, all cars affected have been repaired but check the service history of any potential purchase for peace of mind.

Ideally, it would be best to find a 640i fitted with an M Sport kit, which bags you the sporty-looking M aerodynamic package as well as double-spoke 20-inch rims. While they may have cost more initially, BMWs receiving the Individual treatment may not reflect your taste, with vehicles often tailored to suit the specific palate of their original customer. Often, unique exterior colours were matched to duo-tone leather interiors.

Space: 4/5 seats, 344/896 L
Safety: 6 airbags, ABS with EBD and EBA, ESC
Cost of four tyres: R15 080
Road test: April 2013 (650i Gran Coupé)

Volkswagen Arteon 2,0 TDI DSG

0-100 km/h: 8,70 seconds est
Top speed: 220 km/h
Power: 130 kW
Torque: 350 N.m
CO2: 164 g/km
Fuel consumption: 6,70 L/100 km (fuel index)

While the badge affixed to the front of this classy German doesn’t hold the perceived prestige of the Three-pointed Star or the BMW propeller, the styling of the Arteon more than makes up for it. Now available new in South Africa only with a 2,0-litre TSI producing an athletic 206 kW of power and 350 N.m of torque, it is the discontinued diesel variant that offers excellent second-hand value.

Overtly stylised sheetmetal stretches over handsome alloy wheels, starting at the dominant chrome grille and ending with the hatchback that hides a copious 416 litres of luggage space.

The solid interior may not match the flair of the exterior but it’s screwed together beautifully and blessed with high levels of standard equipment.

The 2,0-litre TDI, offering 130 kW and the same 350 N.m of torque as the TSI, has more than enough power to motivate the Arteon. With a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5,6 L/100 km, it will cruise past filling stations as the TSI pulls in to refuel.

As a relatively new car, there aren’t any common faults or problems that plague the Arteon 2,0 TDI. Still, the peace of mind that comes with a maintenance plan is comforting and even a three-year-old Arteon will have the remainder of its five-year/100 000 km plan.

Try to nab one with the desirable R-Line package. Many are available through VW’s pre-owned MasterCars programme.

Space: 5 seats, 416/1 032 L
Safety: 6 airbags, ABS with EBD and EBA, ESC, hill start
Cost of four tyres: R18 440
Road test: September 2018 (2,0 TSI R-Line 4Motion DSG), October 2019 (2,0 TDI R-Line DSG)

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

0-100 km/h: 4,82 seconds
Top speed: 250 km/h (limited)
Power: 386 kW
Torque: 700 N.m
CO2: 231 g/km
Fuel consumption: 11,88 L/100 km (fuel index)

The original 2005 CLS may be the car that started the four-door coupé trend but the second and third generations of the CLS have failed to capture the hearts of style-conscious buyers to the same degree. Still, the second generation highlighted here remains a classy machine and, with a CLS63 badge on the back, a fast one, too.

The shapely AMG-fettled CLS added a menacing body kit, furthering its sinister styling. Underneath the bonnet was the most significant difference, with a wonderful hand-built twin-turbo 5,5-litre V8 separating this Affalterbach athlete from any common or garden CLS.

Of course, a car of this calibre packs plenty of luxury features, with electrically adjustable seats and voice control the tip of the iceberg. While R600 000 for a super four-door coupé may seem like a veritable bargain, however, it is important to remember any maintenance plan has likely long expired and you will have to budget for maintenance and servicing. For example, front brake discs will currently set you back R25 110.

Mercedes-Benz does offer what it calls ServiceDrive, which covers vehicles up to eight years old or 200 000 kilometres. While it may not be as extensive as a maintenance plan, it covers the cost of selected wear and tear parts: brake pads, windscreen wipers and other items. The extent of coverage and cost of the plan is model dependent, so check with a Benz dealer before purchasing your performance four-door coupé.

Space: 4 seats, 368 L
Safety: 9 airbags, ABS with EBD and EBA, ESC, hill start
Cost of four tyres: R16 212
Road test: January 2012

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