Great value cars are, well, great - but if you’ve moved on from sensible transportation, and have quite a lot more cash to splash, we’ve compiled a list of must-have garage fillers.
The price of entry starts at $100k, but we’ve kept it under $500k – enough that a lottery windfall could see one (or two) in your garage, without needing to take out the $70 million hyper-mega-multijackpot.
The cars on this list aren’t just single-focus in their appeal. Some offer breathtaking performance, some provide highly crafted luxury, and some lead the way with clever high-end technology.
BMW 7 Series - from $217,500
Externally, you may not pick the 7 Series as an unmissable luxury buy, but it is certainly imposing. But just wait until you swing open a door and take a look inside.
The interior of BMW’s latest 7 Series really impresses, sleek, modern, and high-tech, just the way a proper high-end limo should be.
Australia gets a higher specification of 7 than the rest of the world, so if you think quilted Nappa leather and deep-pile wool carpet sound like items borrowed from the Rolls-Royce catalog, you’d be right, and they’re standard for Aus.
It’s the concept-like touches though: gesture control, display key, available laserlight headlamps and the 750Li’s LED-lit laser etched sunroof - those are the things that really set the 7 apart from the rest of the limo class.
Audi RS 6 Performance Avant - from 245,400
There’s nothing as sensible as a station wagon – conjuring up memories of old fashioned family road trips, beach holidays, and weekend country drives.
In the age of the SUV, however, the wagon has been almost forgotten. Thank the gods, then, that Audi still makes the station wagon (or Avant in Audi-speak) a star with the RS 6 Performance.
Packing a twin turbocharged V8 engine with a staggering 445kW of power and 700Nm of torque, this is no ordinary Labrador express.
Add in massive 21-inch alloy wheels, a serious body-kit, widened front and rear guards, carbon brakes, and the RS 6 Avant is the perfect way to combine a family hauler with a weekend track weapon.
Nissan GT-R - from $172,000
It may be getting on in years, but the Nissan GT-R is still a technological tour-de-force, with supercar rivaling performance for a fraction of the price.
The grip from Nissan’s ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system is otherworldly and it needs to be, with the GT-R’s monstrous VR38DETT twin turbo V6 turning an insane 419kw and 632Nm for the 2017 model year.
Of course, all that technology means nothing without the right interface to match, and the GT-R delivers that via a Gran Turismo-like array of digitised readouts that allow you to monitor every crucial performance parameter.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe - from $318,610
Harking back to the halcyon days of grand touring, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe offers sumptuous seating for four, with svelte (if enormous) coupe coachwork.
There’s nothing more glorious than a beachside cruise on a warm sunny day - windows down, creamy V8 or V12 burble in the ears, surrounded by top quality leather, wood, and metal finishes - all while cocooned in a safety-net of advanced technology.
Of course if open-air enjoyment is more your thing, there’s also an S-Class convertible set to join the range later this year.
Right now though, the ultimate symbol of opulence has to be an S-Class coupe equipped with Swarovski-bejewelled headlamps - because fashion, darlings!.
Jaguar F-Type - from $119,080
Agile, impossibly low, and irresistibly gorgeous from almost any angle, Jaguar’s return to its sports car roots is an absolute triumph.
Of course, the F-Type range isn’t exactly practical, with a tiny boot that makes you choose between carrying a spare tyre, or luggage, but hit the right stretch of road and that simply won’t matter to you.
The F-Type's sweet six and eight-cylinder engines are among the best-sounding in the business, and the seductive styling catches as much attention as any supercar can. As for the flagship F-Type SVRm, it's simply phenominal.
The hardest part will be picking between the coupe and the roadster - of course choosing between the sharp-shifting eight-speed auto or involving manual, or whether rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive won’t be easy decisions either.
Range Rover SVAutobiography LWB - from $372,400
Speaking of the F-Type, this upright SUV from Jaguar’s sister company, Land Rover, couldn’t be any more different if it tried.
Think of it as your own personal drawing room on wheels - you’ll need a driver too, as the best way to enjoy this high-end hauler is from the gargantuan rear seats.
Electrically adjustable everything, reclining rear seats, real-wood tray tables, 1700W Meridian audio, leather, wood and machined metal as for as the eye can see - not a single detail has been missed in this six-star mobile luxury apartment.
BMW i8 - from $299,000
When BMW first displayed the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, its highly futuristic form seemed too far fetched to become a production reality.
But the space-age shape, with butterfly doors and floating rear haunches made it through – so did BMW’s green-focused powertrain, which forms the basis of the i sub-brand’s focus.
Thanks to a 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine with an output that rivals much larger engines, coupled to a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the i8 not only looks fast, but it performs more like a supercar than an eco warrior.
Porsche 718 Boxster S - from $148,390
When news emerged that the Boxster range would make the move from naturally aspirated six-cylinder engines to turbocharged fours, motoring enthusiasts everywhere broke into a cold sweat.
Of course, they needn’t have worried, with Porsche delivering a sweet handling package that lost none of the charm of earlier models.
In fact, with more power and torque than before, the 718 Boxster S ups the ante on what was already a brilliantly engaging drive.
Not only that, but being a Porsche means there’s also plenty of scope to customise your Boxster any way you choose, handling, interior, styling – the world is your oyster with this one.
Ferrari 488 GTB - from $469,888
Of course it would be impossible to have a lottery-win list and leave off a Ferrari, wouldn’t it?
Coming in at the high end of the scale, Ferrari’s 488 GTB combines sublime mid-engine handling with Ferrari’s new generation rocket-like turbocharged V8 engine.
You’ll need to be patient, placing your order now will result in a fairly long wait to take delivery, but the face-crushing acceleration and velcro-like handling will be well and truly worth it.
Mercedes-AMG G 63 - from $233,910
Nothing is quite as intimidating as the sheerly brutal G 63 from the warped minds of Mercedes’ in-house AMG performance arm.
The same basic chassis underpins the workhorses of elite military units around the world. However, thanks to some tricky tuning, the G 63 and its glorious twin-turbo 5.5 litre V8 doesn’t really have to much in common with those cars besides its tough-as-nails reputation, and go-anywhere off-road ability.
Of course there is the even more imposing 6x6 dual-cab ute version, or V12 powered G 65, but since neither of those have been granted an Australian visa, you’ll have to make do with the ‘proper gangsta’ G 63 instead, blaring its antisocial soundtrack from a set of quad side-pipes as a raised middle finger to polite society.
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