Edit: Thanks to several readers for pointing out several details that prove this Cayenne is a Turbo, but not a Turbo S. Only 450 horsepower, then!
It’s been a few weeks since my last 10K Friday entry, and I wanted to get something together for the impending snow New England is once again expecting. To remind us of the terms of the comparison, I’m looking for themed cars around $10,000 (give or take, we’ll see later). I try to generally find the newest cars possible, figuring that for many these will be a daily driver. In this case, I was looking for performance all-wheel drive cars that offered year round practicality with a touch of sport. So lining up the best I could find from Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche gives us an interesting amount of diversity for your hard-earned dollars. Today we have two sedans, a hatchback, a wagon and a S.U.V. to contemplated; which is the winner?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Volkswagen R32 on eBay
Engine: 3.2 liter narrow-angle VR6
Transmission: 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic
Mileage: 112,000 mi
Price: $10,995 Buy It Now
2 wheel drive
Tornado Red Exterior
Black Leather Interior
All Wheel Drive
Cold Weather Package
Folding Split Rear Seats
2008 Volkswagen R32, rare in Tornado Red on black leather interior. Production #262 out of total of 5000. Practically every factory option on this R32 including factory navigation. In good overall condition inside and outside but definitely not perfect. Lowered on FK coilovers and sits on BBS LM replica wheels. Everything works, no warnings, no check engine lights. Zero rust Southern car with clean Texas title.
We welcome out-of-state buyers. We highly recommend pre-purchase inspections for all out of state buyers, please contact us for a list of reputable centers around DFW to schedule the PPI.
Aftermarket exhaust (catalytic converters had NOT been removed)
Please Note: This vehicle is in good overall physical and mechanical condition but not perfect due to previous modifications, and therefore had been priced to sell AS IS.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach us at any time at: (214) 509-8446
Price includes all dealer/listing fees. Texas residents are subject to local tax, title and licensing fees.
I’ll start out with the negatives of the R32 from my perspective; they’re quite heavy, the Haldex viscous coupling all-wheel drive isn’t really as good as the dedicated all-wheel drive platforms from the others, I don’t think the Mk.5 Golf was particularly attractive, you could only get a 2-door and it only came in dual-clutch DSG form to the U.S.. However, get past those things and there’s a lot to like with the second R32; it’s quite quick, it can carry an amazing load and yet is still fairly compact, giving city dwellers a reasonable car. Out of the cars here, it’s probably the most fun in the twisties, ties the Audi for the best exhaust note, and can function as a family car in a pinch. This particular example has some arguably negative modifications; honestly, I could do without the cheap BBS replica wheels, crashy FK coil-over suspension and louder exhaust. But at the price of this car, you could unload those items for stock pieces relatively easily and come away with a fairly cheap R32 – much cheaper than most hit the market.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi S4 on eBay
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 131,719 mi
Price: $9,000 Buy It Now
Car is in good condition, no rust, small dent the size of a credit card on the drivers door.
Original owner was my brother in-law. He purchased it new and sold it to me in 2013.
Engine was rebuilt in 2012. Have the paperwork to support it. Car runs great.
Like the R32, the B6 S4 has some negatives. First, I don’t think it’s the best looking S4 made, and also like the R32 it’s quite heavy. Further, the B6 and B7 4.2 V8s have quickly become known as problematic; the shortened V8’s chain drive being located at the firewall, necessitating removal to replace wearing guides. However, there are some positives; that means, if you find one that’s in good shape, they’re fairly cheap for the package you get – about half the going rate of equivalent E46 M3s. This one has a bunch of desirables; the 6-speed manual transmission is probably chief amongst those, but the 340 horsepower kicking out of the motor isn’t too shabby and the color combination is classic black over black. The X-factor is what was entailed in the engine rebuild in 2012; if it’s the guides and this car has a clean bill of health, at $9,000 it’s a pretty stunning deal.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW 330xi on eBay
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 91,000 mi
Price: $9,495 Buy It Now
Excellent condition, looks great, runs like new, needs nothing, completely optioned out for this year. The only reason i am selling this car is because i have purchased a new BMW. There are about 4 or 5 sap marks on the hood that are barely noticeable unless looking for. May or may not buff out, haven’t bothered to try. Buyer is responsible for pick up.
NAVIGATION / DVD system
Upgraded Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System (HK Sound)
Heated Seats (Cold Weather Package)
Ice cold A/C works great
Power Seats, Windows, Locks, Sunroof (Premium Package)
17 inch alloy wheels (exclusive for bmw 330, Premium Wheels)
3 door universal garage door opener
E46 Facelift : Upgraded led angel eye halo projector xenon headlights ($550 value)
35% tinted windows (not too dark)
recently all fluids changed from engine to rear end as well as other preventitive maintenance
Okay, I bet I’m sounding like a broken record here, but…I don’t think the E46 sedan is the best looking 3-series sedan. It’s a bit droopy, the rear clip doesn’t look quite right to me, and it seems to always be presented in rather uninspired colors. I suppose it’s funny that I think the E46 M3 is so great, but the 330 sedan looks so forgettable to me. Nevertheless, it’s a nice driving package with the classic inline-6 under the hood, in this case mated to a 5-speed manual. Believe it or not, finding manual xis to fit this comparison is more challenging than it probably should be; a fair amount are either too expensive or automatic. In any event, the condition of this car looks good and the headlight upgrade is innocuous enough. It would be nice to known what some of the preventative maintenance was, but overall this car is presented fairly well at a little under $10,000.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic Estate on eBay
Model: E500 4Matic Estate
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 120,746 mi
Price: $9,900 Buy It Now
2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 5.0L Wagon 4 Matic
2004 Mercedes E 500 Wagon 4MATIC (AWD) a very RARE 5.0 LT V8 Engine silver/Charcoal very well maintained and CLEAN CARFAX. It is a luxury station wagon with German engineering and numerous safety features.The back seats folds flat and you will have spacious cargo room.This is very clean wagon and well kept and very clean interior.With V8 engine very powerfull and peppy in its class.Four brand new tires ,books and both keys.For more inquiries please text or call AL at 214-850-3120.
Not to further sound like a broken record, I actually think that the W211 was a serious improvement in looks over the W210. You weren’t expecting that, were you? Even more incredulous, I think the W211 is better looking than the cars that replaced it, the W212 with either face. This isn’t the first time that one of these E500s has popped up here, either – it may be the third, actually – but that’s a testament to the value you get from this basically top of the range, one generation old E-class estate. The 300 horsepower V8 may not be as potent as the S4, but it’s pokier than the BMW and you get acres of carrying space in the rear. Mileage is fairly reasonable and the condition looks good overall, though the photos of the interior are lacking in detail. My only complaint is the window tint, which looks far too dark and pronounced. At $9,900, it’s the newest and cheapest luxury wagon you can buy.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S on eBay
Model: Cayenne Turbo S
Engine: 4.5 liter twin-turbocharged V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 89,000 mi
Price: $12,995 Buy It Now
Fully loaded Turbo model in great condition, priced to sell at Connecticut’s highest volume pre-owned auto dealer! This 2004 Porsche Cayenne features a powerful Twin-turbocharged 4.5L V8 Engine, Automatic Transmission, All Wheel Drive, GPS Navigation System, Heated Leather Seats, Power Moonroof, Dual Zone Climate Control, Power Windows/Locks/Mirrors, Dual Memory Seats, CD Player, Cruise Control, Alloy Wheels, Remote Keyless Entry, and more. Another unbeatable value at A Better Way Wholesale Autos — call or visit us today!
Yes, it’s a Cayenne. Yes, it’s ugly. Yes, it’s over my self-imposed budget. And like the E500, it’s not the first time one’s appeared here. But bear with me for a moment, because this isn’t just any Cayenne. This isn’t even just any Cayenne Turbo. This is a full-blood Cayenne Turbo S, with 521 horsepower. That makes it – by far – the most powerful of this group (by almost 200 horsepower). It’s also the fastest, at 5.0 seconds to 60 m.p.h.. It’s also the only one that can really tow a load. Additionally, it’s the only with with a low-range gearbox – with proper tires, it really can function as an off-roader. And amazingly, it’s also the one with the lowest mileage of the group. So factor those things in, and I think the $2,000 premium justifies it’s inclusion into this group. Now, that said, would I want this super S.U.V.? I don’t think so; fears of massive implosion would keep me from ever being really happy behind the wheel. But it terms of sheer lunacy for your money, the Cayenne Turbo S is pretty hard to beat.
So who’s the winner? To me, my vote in this group goes to the S4 this round. It’s the cheapest, the second quickest, can carry a family of 4 (as long as they’re not too tall) plus luggage (as long as it’s not too much), has the legendary quattro drivetrain mated to the classic 6-speed manual with a sonorous V8 under the hood. I would question if those chain guides were replaced with the engine build; but even factoring repair down the road into the equation, it is still one heck of a performance package on a budget. Which would you choose?