If you’re in the market for a new vehicle these days, you’re facing a brutal double-whammy: the price of new vehicles and the price of fuel are both through the roof, and seemingly only increasing.
And that means the market for pre-owned is growing.
Requirement: You want to experience opulent luxury in an automobile but without the exorbitant pricetag. You have R200 000 to spare, which is not a lot of money considering that most of the cars in this segment are well over the million rand mark in the showrooms.
This well-specced Japanese-American luxury sedan isn’t the most popular choice but with a powerful V8 engine, sufficient airbags, parking assist and loads of more toys, it’s pretty hard to fault. Its leading claim to fame, however, has to be the 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system powered by a 450 Watt amp, which turns this Lexus into a high-end mobile nightclub.
The 7 Series moniker has been closely associated with movie titles such as James Bond, The Transporter and Taxi, and for good reason. It merges luxury with performance thanks to its hefty V8 powertrain and cushy self-levelling air suspension. Time has not been kind to its design, but with features such as an electronically controlled bootlid, heated front seats and a voice-controlled infotainment system, it’s still far more modern than some new cars available today.
The A8 is much more of a subtle answer to the luxury saloon question as it adopts a modest exterior design that would have audiences trying to spot the differences between it and the smaller A6. Therefore, it’s perfect if you’re looking for that executive experience without attracting too much attention. The 4,2-litre unit also provides you with a respectable 257 kW of power, sent to all four wheels (all you need to do is anticipate the understeer).
The S-Class is undoubtedly the front-runner for this segment as it’s always ahead of its competitors in every generation. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for its rate of depreciation. As a result, finding a well-specced S-Class for a good deal is easier than you might think. With this you get a thrifty but effective turbodiesel V6 powerplant which feels at home on the open road.
If it’s uncompromising performance that you’re looking for, then this supercharged 4,0-litre V8 XJR might be a winner. Possibly more of a performance car than a luxury sedan, the XJR is the fastest on this list with a 0-100 km/h time of just 5,3 seconds and a top speed of 282 km/h (provided the electronic limiter has been removed). But, it must be said, in terms of long-term engineering, this may also be the biggest gamble on the list.