As much as I love cars I am not sure that I would ever chose to buy one from new; maybe it’s the fact that I am careful with money, or maybe it’s the fact that I cannot foresee me ever deciding to lay £50k+ in cash out in one go (finance sits a little uneasily with me). But pretty much I can’t see the point in buying something which will lose at least 20% of it’s value the moment you drive off the forecourt.
There are plenty of obvious perks to buying new I’ll admit, mainly the peace of mind that comes with the manufacturer’s warranty, the knowledge that you’re the first person to use the car and maybe most interestingly, the person who gets to make sure that the new purchase is specified in the exact way they would want it. As a sufferer of chronic boredom I decided to spend this afternoon speccing some of my favorite models to see how they compare price wise (clearly all are luxo-SUV’s!). The results were quite interesting.
I tried to the best of my ability to spec the cars relatively realistically and to a similar level; most come with leather as standard but I’ve added memory to the front seats and heat to both rows. Navigation, xenon lights, bluetooth, panoramic sunroof and an electronic opening boot are also must-haves for most buyers, and I have added colours and wheels which look good (usually very expensive). I’ve neglected to add leather wrapped dashboards, adaptive cruise control or any kind of fancy suspensions, and as much as internet connectivity and ventilated seats appeal, I couldn’t justify their price.
Audi Q7 3.0TDI S-Line: £53,755 OTR
For a relatively old model the Q7 is not cheap, but it offers 7 seats as standard and is still a good looking beast. I added massive tinted wheels and the black pack to give it an even more menacing appearance, with total options adding £7k to the base price. I don’t think it offers bad value but after sitting in one the other week I was not convinced it is that practical despite it’s size.
BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport: £56,895 OTR
For a car which has already been replaced, the X5 is a pretty expensive vehicle. Opting for the M Sport over the SE spec model makes a lot of difference, but with the SE you are restricted to tiny wheel sizes and not the 21″ rims you see above. It’s still a great car though, and all £6k of it’s options are competitive and worth the money. I did skip the power boot on the X5 though…it seemed excessive considering it is a split tailgate, and this is a 5 seat model, the extra rear seats cost nearly £2k extra.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport SDV6 SE: £56,550 OTR
Another car which has already been replaced, I was surprised to find that even this base Sport starts north of 50 large. Admittedly a large proportion of this car’s options are the £5k appearance package, which adds the more aggressive front and side skirting seen above. I’m not sure if anyone would pay book prices for the outgoing Sport, but it still looks great even if it is heavy compared to rivals.
Land Rover Range Rover TDV6 Vogue: £78,790 OTR
It could be argued that the big daddy Range Rover is somewhat of a bargain considering it’s prestige and newness. The base Vogue is pretty well specced, but getting 20″ wheels took a good chunk of the nearly £7k of options on my car. Grey paint is understated but does help disguise the chrome strip along the bottom of the doors, which I don’t like even with the ‘tint’ package I added on. I’d probably go for a ex demo of the previous generation which looks much better. The 4X4 TDV8 version is also a good deal more expensive in this generation.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque SD4 Prestige: £45,105 OTR
I specced up this Evoque out of curiousity to see how much it would cost compared to much larger models. The top spec prestige model actually has bags of kit, and only£5k of options were added to get the £45k price. It looks bad-ass with the black wheels and petrol-y paint, but in the flesh I still fear it would be a little petite. I would personally not buy an Evoque, but for anyone set on a smaller SUV it offers a competitive and highly desirable package.
Land Rover Discovery SDV6 XS: £51,355
The Discovery is another model which shocked me regarding price. When it was first launched I can remember base versions retailing for around £27k; half the price of this example! Now entry level versions cost £38k, with £45k needed for this mid spec XS model! Admittedly the black package and other £6k worth of options give the car an almost after market appearance, but I still think it looks great even if the basic design is nearly 10 years old. If you must have a Land Rover this is the one to get, especially as it comes with a warranty.
Mercedes ML350 BluTEC: £55,570 OTR
I have to admit that the current ML is growing on me. Maybe it’s the fact I intend to buy the previous generation car but it’s now only the rear 3/4 angle I really dislike. £8k sounds like a lot of options but I guess that suggests that the ML is relatively good value in the first place, especially seeing as the ‘250’ version can be had for around £2k less, and remember this is a car that only launched last year. Fancy wheels and gizmos like cooled cupholders are the main contributors to the ML’s high option tally, but if you are careful I’m sure it’s easy to get a ML250 for well under £50k without feeling hard done by inside.
Mercedes GL350 BluTEC: £63,685 OTR
The GL comes with that much extra equipment that it needs little more than half the additional equipment at only £4.5k of options. This is helped by the fact that the massive wheels are standard, and to be honest the extra £8k over the ML is probably worth it to those who value space and those extra seats. I would be very tempted to forgo several options and get the larger car if I was in the market for any of these vehicles-the GL surprised me.
Lexus RX450h F Sport: £53,485 OTR
Although the standard RX can be had for around £45k, I was disappointed that the desirable F Sport version came in at well over £50k without any options, but on further investigation I discovered that there was virtually nothing that needed to be added to the basline price apart from the £1k panoramic sunroof. The F Sport package adds slightly more aggressive styling, but to be honest I’d probably save myself £3k and go for a mid spec car as I’m sure that the desirable options would be there.
Porsche Cayenne Diesel: £58,819 OTR
On the face of it, £48k for the Cayenne doesn’t appear bad value at all, but you have to add nearly £2k of options before you can start speccing the car up! A total of £13K of options brings the total up by alot, though some will argue that the Porsche DNA is worth more than that. I actually like the Cayenne, and I’m sure that missing out on a few of the options could make it a more palatable purchase.
Luxury cars are notorious for heaping on loads of options, but these days even city cars can be specced up with climate control and leather. I’m pretty sure I’d never go mad on this level, but if somebody let me go mad with the company cheque book who knows
PS Sorry that the pictures are pretty small, but these are the actual cars I specced!