Back in 2009, the guys at MotorTrend called the Porsche Panamera a big, fast, and comfortable; a genuine four passenger Gran Turismo capable of loafing across continents in giant 130 mph bounds, leaving you relaxed and refreshed at the end of the day at the wheel. But that what you would expect from a $90,000 German Luxury sedan with a 4.8 liter direct injected V8 pushing out 400 horsepower into a 7-speed PDK dual clutch flappy paddle thing. Zero to 60 in 5ish seconds…and all the way to 177 miles-per-hour top speed is impressive until you see the REALLY impressive statistic…$70k in 10 years. Now that’s what I call unintended accelerated depreciation. Find this 2010 Porsche Panamera S offered for $21,980 via CarGurus.com. Tip from Jeff.
It might not seem believable, but driving a cheap used BMW M3 is not actually that expensive. Trust me, I’ve owned a few over the years and I still have both of my kidneys and all of my livers. The most expensive part of M3 ownership is depreciation and if you avoid that…then you’ll find that the regular 3-series bits (door handles, light bulbs, coolant caps) are cheap and the ///M specific stuff (hefty limited slip diffs, 8000+rpm V8s) are over-engineered. Yes, wear items are expensive (brakes, tires, bumper lips, con rod bushings), but not Ferrari expensive and you can do most of the maintenance yourself with a basic set of tools and a set of plastic ramps. But don’t believe me, buy one yourself and then report back here in a few months. Find this 2008 BMW M3 offered for $24,000 CAD ($18,320 USD) in Hinton, Alberta, Canada via Kijiji.net. Tip from Erik202.
When it rains, it pours…right? And around this website, when I post something strange, people always find a stranger example of the same car. The other day we featured a 2002 Suzuki Vitara — complete with a manual gearbox and GM/Suzuki’s shared body-on-frame truck chassis…but then, a tipper sent in the GM version — a Chevy Tracker with a manual gearbox, all-wheel-drive AND the ZR2 package too boot. But frankly, the most curious thing about the entire vehicle is how shockingly well preserved it appears to be. Like it drove through a worm hole from 2001 and right into my heart. Find this 2001 Chevrolet Tracker ZR2 offered for $8,600 in San Mateo, CA via craigslist. Tip from Matt.
The fifth generation S197 Mustang was launched in 2005 with well executed retrostyle platform that was the baseline for future Mustang style. Later restyles (mid-cycle restyle in 2011 and generation change in 2015) added additional toughness and horsepower and width and girth to the Mustang…but I think the S197 is the cleanest looking of the post 2005 Mustangs (and I’m not even going to touch the subject of the horrible Mach-E abomination). The design was clean and simple in the V6 models, but got some fancy wings and junk in the V8 GT trim, unless you got the limited Bullitt edition from 2008 or 2009. The Bullitt package was an appearance and power package available only on GT models in dark highland green (or black) and added some serious Steve McQueen cool to the S197. Find this 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt offered for $12,500 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
It is easy to look at the Suzuki Vitara Tracker (1994-2004) and dismiss it as yet another Rav4/CRV competitor in the compact SUV class. It certainly looks like a car based crossover with transverse front-wheel-drive and maybe an option for a part time all-wheel-drive system…but GM and Suzuki were not messing around with the Tracker. It was built on an actual body-on-frame light truck chassis and features a longitudinally mounted engine, standard rear wheel drive with an option for four-wheel-drive. Find this 2002 Suzuki Vitara offered for $4999 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
I don’t know about you guys, but I subscribe to the Jeremy Clarkson school of thought about convertibles which can be summed up by his quote; “You may think, as you cruise about in your convertible, that you look good. But unless you are Angelina Jolie, or Pierce Brosnan, which you are not, I can assure you that actually you look like a tool.” But I’ve never owned a convertible, so maybe I’d look like Angelina Jolie…but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that this is a rare example of a rear drive Lexus convertible that is way better looking than an SC430 and offered for peanuts. Find this 2012 Lexus IS250 Convertible offered for $11,950 in Hoquiam, WA via craigslist.
At first glance this car appears to have the silhouette of something that’ll is just as boring as any bland Camry/Accord/Malibu/Taurus from the early 2000s…but it isn’t. It is way more interesting because first up it is an Oldsmobile. Wait, Oldsmobile was still in business in 2001…yes, Olds didn’t close the old factory doors until 2004. Anyway, the 2nd generation Aurora has one of the most unique V6s ever put into a GM vehicle and only used in the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Aurora. The LX5 was technically a shortened version of the Cadillac Northstar V8 and has been given the nickname ShortStar or Short North and was listed in Ward’s 10 Best Engines for most of all four years of production (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002). It is one of those cars that won’t get noticed by 99.9% of the population, but you can watch their eyes glaze over as you explain by the LX5 was the best V6 GM ever built and why your car isn’t just another boring box. Find this 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora 3.5 offered for $3,900 in Hayward, CA via craigslist.
If you think we feature too many BMWs on the pages of Daily Turismo, rest assure it isn’t because we are closet BWM fanboys…no, it is because we are fully open about our BMW fanboyishness. It is simple, while other major luxury OEMs decided that the American market in the early 2000s only wanted slushbox equipped luxury sedans (Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Acura, Cadillac, etc), the guys over at BMW decided that perhaps some people wanted manual gearboxes, and wagons. Of course they will still only be offered in lame shades of white/black/grey, but at least getting a wagon with a stick is an option in BMW. Ultimately, BMW didn’t sell many of these (1 of 429 according to the seller) so you can’t buy a NEW BMW with a manual in a wagon body today (meh, don’t blame me, I don’t buy any new cars…oh…wait…maybe you can blame me…) but you can find used ones for sale, occasionally. Find this 2007 BMW 328iT Wagon offered for $13,500 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
When Dodge released the SRT-4 version of their Neon econobox, the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) group did so with an extended middle finger to the automotive establishment. BMW could take their rear-wheel-drive balance and shove it — Subaru could put their all-wheel-drive grip where the sun don’t shine — and Audi put their refinement up their nose if it could reach that high. The SRT-4 Neon was a front-drive line walking burnout machine with a frontier wagon interior and all the class of Dale Watson singing “I Lie When I Drink” and all the subtlety of Johnny Cash signing “Cocaine Blues.” I have to admit that as a used car junky I salivated at the idea of the SRT-4s hitting their depreciation curve and you can get this 1 of 1175 ACR edition examples (the ACR added wider wheels/tires, lowered ride height, thicker rear sway bar, adjustable shocks, and other stuff) for next to nothing. It is indeed a big upgrade in speed/performance/fun versus the basic Neon we posted the other day. Find this 2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4 ACR offered for $6000 in Las Vegas, NV via craigslist.
I always imagined that Steve Saleen was some kind of a magician with the way he could build and sell cars. Not that his recipe for success was magic (take a basic car, add some scoops, more horsepower, racy name, boom). No, his spellcasting was reserved for what he could convince buyers to pay for his pimped out Ford/Saleen machines. Let’s take the Saleen S331 Sport Truck for instance: It starts with a 2007 $19k Ford F150, add a supercharger, those scoops, some head rests, big brake kit and $55k MSRP…yikes! With mark ups like that it’s no surprise the Chinese government is currently embroiled in some kinda kerfuffle with Saleen involving a failed business venture in Shanghai — but that is a story for another time and we’ve got a good deal on a well depreciated F150 Saleen thing. Find this 2007 Saleen S331 Sport Truck offered for $16,500 in Rochelle Park, NJ via craigslist.