One of my favorite things to do, as well as one of yours I’m sure, as a car enthusiast is to browse the interwebs for really interesting used cars for sale which are cheaper than brand new normal cars. I like to use the Camry rule for pricing. The Toyota Camry is really all the car anyone will ever actually need, but it’s far more interesting to find out what you can also afford in the secondhand market for the same money as a Camry.
The current starting price of a Camry is around $22,000 and with options and trim levels, can get well into the $30,000s. While the Camry is a fine transportation device, it’s about as exciting as watching C-SPAN, so if you can get something far more interesting for the same money, why not?
Well, to be honest, there are a couple reasons why not. Firstly, reliability. Buying a used sports car or something similar, will most likely have more mechanical problems than the care-free Camry. But that’s the trade off you must be willing to make. Even the most beautiful and exotic things aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t make them not worth it. You wouldn’t not date Candice Swanepoel because she farts in bed, right? Secondly, cost of ownership. Sports cars are generally far more expensive to run, fuel, insure and fix. So in the long run, the cool used sports car, which was the same price as the Camry to start, will end up costing far more than the Camry. But these are minor quibbles in life. I loathe the term YOLO, but in this instance it seems fitting. Life’s too short to drive a Camry.
So while scouring the underbelly of the interwebs today, I stumbled upon a rather good find for the same price as a decently equipped, brand-spankin new Toyota Camry SE 2.5l.
A 2008 E60 BMW M5 6MT – $28,995
The E60 M5 is a fan favorite amongst BMW enthusiasts and it isn’t hard to see why. Well maybe from the outside it is, but one look underneath the skin and the E60 M5 will charm you like few other cars. With a 5.0 liter screaming V10 under the hood, the M5 produces a rather healthy 507 hp and can rev to a stratospheric 8,250 RPM. The E60 was available with either a 6-Speed manual or a 7-Speed SMG gearbox, but this particular model is fitted with the proper gearbox, the manual.
This M5 is outfitted in Space Gray Metallic over Silverstone II Extended Merino Leather interior, and is one of the better examples of the E60 M5 I’ve seen. It seems to be in superb shape, with only a bit of noticeable wheel rash on one wheel which seems to be the only issue. It has 82,241 miles on it which, considering the fact that it’s seven years old, works out to around 11,700 miles a year, or under the industry standard. So it hasn’t been used too much.
Now of course, as an older German car, things will go wrong with it and when they do will cost around as much as the average American house to repair. But it will be worth it, because instead of the milquetoast Camry, you’d have a V10 German sedan with 507 hp and a 6-Speed manual. Plus it has the same seating as a Camry and around the same trunk space, so it isn’t any less practical. But it’s infinitely more luxurious, better looking, way, way faster and far more fun to drive. Plus that V10 sound, oh that sound.
Obviously the Camry is the smarter choice. However, no one lies on their deathbed glad they bought a Camry instead of an M5. So the M5 would be my choice and I’d die broke and happy. #YOLO.