There are plenty of excellent new cars on the South Africa market that retail for R200 000 or less. From the Hyundai Atos to the base-spec Volkswagen Polo Vivo, buyers are spoilt for choice with a number of competent options. But what if you're prepared to go used? Here, CAR magazine's editorial members have a little fun by choosing which second-hand vehicle they'd buy for R200 000.

Terence Steenkamp – 2000 BMW M5 (E39)

Has BMW ever built a better sedan than the wonderful E39 5 Series? Nope... I’m always on the lookout for a well-loved 528i (the best one of the lot) at a journo-friendly price but couldn’t resist choosing a superb 2000-vintage, pre-facelift M5 for this list. Sporting a 4,9-litre naturally aspirated V8 generating an entirely satisfactory 294 kW, coupled with a slick six-speed Getrag manual gearbox, the E39 M5 effortlessly blends driving enjoyment, fantastic V8 sound and family-car practicality. It really is the perfect Q-car for R200k. I found one in great condition, boasting a crucial full service history and a doting owner for the past 18 years. The stealthy black-on-black colour combination is on point, too.
Browse used BMW models here...

Ian McLaren – 2011 Volkswagen Touareg 3,0 V6 TDi

With a modest spirit for adventure and an enthusiastic young family in tow, I would opt for a high-riding SUV. While my head says Toyota Prado, my heart fondly remembers Arno Carstens’ song, Another Universe, playing behind the brilliant television commercial for the original Volkswagen Touareg. Sharing a platform with its more glamorous Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne cousins of the time, the Touareg still ticked plenty of boxes in terms of luxury and equipment, while the 2007 facelift introduced updates to the brilliant 3,0 V6 TDI engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Remaining (even in its current third generation) relatively underrated among a sea of popular pavement hoppers, the Touareg offers a compelling blend of rugged charm and open-road competence. Of course, I'd add a subtle Dakar Rally sticker onto my car’s tailgate in celebration of this model’s three consecutive victories in the toughest motor race in the world.
Browse used Volkswagen models here...

Gareth Dean – 2012 Renault Laguna Coupé 3,5 V6

I’ve had something of a soft spot for this largely unloved oddity, perhaps owing to the rakish styling and a mildly detuned version of that cracking 3,5-litre Nissan-sourced V6 engine, but more likely because it’s just so different to the ubiquitous German offerings in this price bracket. It's far from the sportiest offering in its genre, but there’s still huge appeal to the effortless manner in which this car glides along the road and the fact that spec-wise you’re not left wanting for much. It also helps that a tidy example comes in around R50 000 to R60 000 beneath my budget as the combination of French engineering – including an earlier version of Renault’s all-wheel steering system – and a six-cylinder engine with a healthy appetite for unleaded makes this a daring choice. Failing that, there’s money in the pot for some long-term Übering in the event that anything mechanically catastrophic occurs.
Browse used Renault models here...

Ryan Bubear – 2016 Ford Fiesta ST

While I’d certainly be tempted to blow the R200k on a vast collection of classic Mini models in various stages of decay, my better judgement would likely see me opt for Ford’s fantastic little Fiesta ST (the even more accomplished ST200 from 2018 is unfortunately just beyond the budget). Sure, my wife wouldn’t appreciate the firm low-speed ride and my daughter might find access to the rear bench tricky thanks to the lack of rear portals, but I’d be in my element behind the wheel (selfish, much?), making full use of the 134 kW offered by the turbocharged 1,6-litre four-pot. With three doors, a six-speed manual gearbox and plenty of undiluted thrills on offer, the Fiesta ST represents a sadly since-abandoned approach to the humble hot hatch.
Browse used Ford models here...

Peter Palm – 2016 Jeep Patriot 2,4 4x4 AT

While there are many cars I wouldn’t mind owning, including the likes of BMWs and various Italian offerings, for my impending retirement I'm leaning towards an all-rounder SUV 4x4. My favourite styling is old-school and the Jeep Patriot fits the bill. It reminds me of the older Cherokee with the sturdy straight-six engine. The newer Patriot has a low roofline but great ground clearance and lots of interior space. While I would like the 2,0-litre diesel, these are rare so I have opted for a 2016 2,4 with just 85 000 km at a price tag of R179 500. Although the engine is somewhat boring, it comes from Hyundai so hopefully will never break down. Fuel consumption will not be the best but I’m planning to not be in a hurry when I have more time on my hands.
Browse used Jeep models here...

Wilhelm Lutjeharms - 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser Single Cab

Refurbished, painted in a pretty red colour and ready for its next 400 000 km of road trips. Durable, reliable and bulletproof and able to tackle any road imaginable, classic (modern classic, in this case?) 4x4s have started to grow on me this last year or two. The remainder of my budget (I'd have around R40k left) would allow me to buy a second-hand scrambler to load on the back and tackle the vast network of trails offered by the Western Cape. Maintenance would be minimal on this bakkie and it could also be converted for camping trips.
Browse used Toyota models here...

Nikesh Kooverjee – 2009 Honda Accord 2,4 i-VTEC Executive Tourer

As my youthful days come to an end (I turn 29 at the end of this year), I find my money would be best spent on something spacious, comfortable and dependable. So, the idea of a Honda Accord Tourer is highly appealing. Finding the best variation (a 148 kW 2,4-litre i-VTEC with a six-speed manual gearbox) would be a challenge not many were sold. Still, it's a derivative that offers decent performance with impressive standard features and enough space to take my dog to the park. You might also be surprised to learn I'd likely keep it dead standard. My back can’t deal with a lowered suspension anymore and a loud exhaust would simply annoy my eardrums. However, I would likely slap on a set of Volk TE37 alloys.
Browse used Honda models here...

Marius Boonzaier – 1999 Porsche Boxster 2.5 (986)

An amalgamation of “boxer” and “roadster”, the Boxster moniker was first seen on a production Porsche in 1996. Inspired by the revered 550 Spyder, I think the 986-generation's design has aged quite well. As good as it looks from the outside, I'd rather be seated behind the steering wheel. A turn of the key ignites an atmospheric 2,5-litre six-cylinder boxer engine, endowed with 150 kW and 245 N.m of torque, which is sent to the rear axle via a five-speed manual ’box. Mid-engined, weight is distributed equally between the axles. It’s a fun-to-drive sportscar and retracting the canvas top only adds to the experience. I’ve always had a liking for the analogue. And that's exactly what the Boxster is.
Browse used Porsche models here...

Jarryd Neves - 1997 Jaguar XJR

Possibly one of the most exquisite creations to slink its way out of Coventry, the X300 series XJR is a quick and stylish bargain. The example I found was finished in Bright turquoise metallic, with the vivid hue contrasting with the restrained menace this car emanates. Inside, the sumptuous cream leather upholstery presents nicely, with very few signs of abuse. Of course, with an XJR, it’s the engine that plays the leading role. The 4,0-litre straight-six is assisted by a supercharger to produce 243 kW, enough power to push the big Jag down the road quite swiftly. Interestingly, the XJR was the first Jaguar to adopt supercharging. With the remainder of my R200 000 (I'd be left with around R50k), I should have enough cash for any big maintenance bills that might come my way. At this price, there isn’t much that can rival this iron fist in a velvet glove.
Browse used Jaguar models here...

What would you buy for R200 000? Let us know in the comments below!