2015 was just a few short years away which means the new models are out. It also means that cars which were new back then have now gone through the depreciation blender, and are even more affordable. We tried our best to pick cars that had either gone through major design overhauls for 2015, or models that have stayed largely the same since then:
If you thought the original price tag of the BMW M4 was heavy enough to sink an aircraft carrier, you might have been right. Now you can find one for about $15,000 cheaper, at less than $46,000. For that you can get behind the wheel of more than 400 horsepower out of a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six, and reach a top speed of 155 MPH with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed automatic. It should be enough to move the car as it sits at 3,600 pounds.
We recommend the manual transmission, not only because manual shifting offers the driver more control, but because the automatic appears to cost $3,000 more. Car and Driver also reported that shifting the DCT provides a harsher experience. Before you lash out, BMW did release a competition package for 2016, but it gave the car only about 20 more horsepower and suspension upgrades, where the regular M4 parts were already better than those of the base 4-Series.
A true sleeper is harder to find than a sports coupe. You’re looking for speed, convenience, but most of all you want anonymity. A car no one looks twice at, that isn’t noticeable. While cars like the CTS-V have gotten a lot of attention for having Corvette powertrains, all hope is not yet lost. Chevrolet released in 2014 the SS, which is a four door sedan with a C6 engine, the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 that produces more than 415 horsepower.
Now that a few years have passed, if you can find one they are well worth the price. The SS challenges sumo wrestlers at 4,000 pounds but you can get one with a manual transmission, and it’s rear wheel drive. There’s few four door cars around that offer this configuration, and even fewer that cost near $30,000.
Lots of people stared longingly at the F-150 of 2015 and there were many reasons why. It’s got an all aluminum body over a stronger chassis to save weight and tows more than any other truck in its class. Don’t let the 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost fool you into thinking this truck can’t outrun a Smart Car. Those 3.5 liters provide more than ample power almost rendering the V8 option as archaic.
The F-150 also moves like a sports truck, if there were such a thing. It’s definitely big, but it’s nimble and with big, meaty tires it grips the road reliably and with some degree of confidence. The traction control can get invasive, however it’s there to save your life so don’t be surprised or ungrateful if your F-150 suddenly stops before hitting a tree on the side of the road.
If you’re a driver that only uses a car to go to the grocery store and back, drives a couple towns over to see a friend, or to quickly pick up a pizza chances are you’re not exploring too deeply into the world of semi-trucks. The Honda Fit may be the best deal for you. It’s cheap, gets good gas mileage, has four doors and four seats and it’s too tiny even for a mouse to drive so it can fit into any parking space you stumble across.
The trade-off with the Honda Fit is of course speed. You could somehow fit a turbocharger and maybe squeeze out a couple extra horsepower, but at that point you might as well have bought a Civic Si. The Fit’s true personality and purpose more than make up for this horsepower deficit though, and especially if you’re not into that kind of thing you won’t even notice a snail cutting you off in traffic.
SUVs are too popular, and useful, to ignore. It’s very possible the very existence of SUVs means the demise of the station wagon, at the risk of assuming there are even any left. SUVs aren’t too expensive to begin with either, depending on which brand you go for. With depreciation rates such as they are, why not wait a couple years and get something as luxurious as an Acura at the price of a CR-V?
Acura’s MDX, the SH-AWD Sport Utility model is priced very effectively at just under $29,000. It makes the same amount of power as a Honda Pilot, or very nearly, has AWD and gets almost 30 MPG. If you fit a good set of snow tires or chains, the Acura is more than capable with its ride height to negotiate icy roads during a fierce blizzard.
Reliability isn’t super great, but that’s probably due to its few recalls over the last three years. Aside from luxurious amenities like heated mirrors, power trunk lid, keyless start and a back-up camera the MDX also comes with several safety features like blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning system and brake assist.
These cars were all great when they were released. The only difference between them then and now is, the cars are much more affordable. If you're shopping for used cars that aren't too old then 2015 is a good year.
Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.