If you had $37,577 to spend, what cars would you buy?
The average MSRP for a car in the US has reached a new height, $37,577. As manufacturer's stuff more gadgetry and power underneath flashy sheet metal, I'm left wondering why anyone would spend that amount of money on a new car. Now, it should also be mentioned that this price takes into account all light vehicles, which encompasses everything from a Kia Rio to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
This got me thinking about the used car market. I picked up my car for $5,700 with 53,300 miles on it, four years ago. While I am by no means, ready to put nearly 38 grand down on a new set of wheels, this got me thinking about how many other cars you could buy for that amount of money. Instead of a Chevy Traverse LT, you could have a whole fleet of vehicles. So with a budget of $37,577, here is my list of vehicles that I would buy instead of buying one new car.
Car #1: 1991 Cadillac Allante ($7,900)
I have an unhealthy relationship with forgotten American cars. The Allante is no exception to his rule as this drop-top would be a perfect addition to this madman's garage. While the 4.5-liter V8 only made 200 horsepower, it made a nice 275 lb-ft of torque. The body was also outsourced to Pininfarina, and I personally love it. This particular example has only done 22,000 miles, which means that it's barely broken in. For just shy of eight grand, you could do a lot worse for a weekend boulevard cruiser.
Car #2: 2014 Kia Cadenza Premium ($13,905)
The Cadenza will be my runabout and commuter car for this fleet. The Cadenza is without a doubt, the car-iest car to ever car. It doesn't look like anything special, and that's exactly what I need in a commuter vehicle. I want something that is going to get me from point A to point B without worrying about it falling apart. The 3.3-liter V6 makes a respectable 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft. The inside is also comfortable, and this example has a little less than 35,000 miles on it, which means it still has Kia's incredible 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Not only that, but $13,905 gives me just about 15 grand to spend on the rest of the fleet.
Car #3 2004 Nissan Xterra SE ($5,997)
I figured I'd pick up an off-roader while I was making this list, and while I could've picked a Lexus LX470 with a bunch of miles on it, I figured I'd choose something a little quirkier than that. Thus, we arrive at the bug-eyed Nissan Xterra. The 3.3-liter V6 gives this brute ute plenty of power, and the four-wheel-drive will make sure I keep the shiny side up as I bound along the trails. For just shy of six grand, this example is a steal, and with only 80,000 miles on the clock, it'll be around for a while.
Car #4 2005 Infiniti G35 Base ($8,500)
Lastly, we arrive at my project car of the fleet. This 2005 G35 is pretty well sorted. Tastefully modified and 95,000 miles on the clock means that there's still life left in this beautiful sports coupe. Leather bucket seats, a upgraded center console screen and a giant subwoofer in the trunk, along with a cold air intake definitely helps to boost this car's street credit. Appearance wise, this G35 looks like it's ready to rack up a lot miles on and off the track, which makes this the perfect project car. The vented hood and the upgraded headlights help to complement the car's street racer look.
Add it all up and the total comes to $36,302. I'll leave the $1,200 on the table to run around the country and assemble this fleet, but it just goes to show how far you can stretch a budget. I picked up a weekend cruiser, a daily driver, an off-roader, and a street racer, all for less than the average new car MSRP. It goes without saying that there are plenty of great new cars you can buy for well under $37,577, but it's interesting to see just what else you can find when you buy used too!