What car would you buy with a budget of $100,000? That’s the question we asked our editors and their answers are quite interesting.
We asked our editors to consider any car that gets the closest to $100,000 without going over and would accommodate them year long. The car would have to be a daily driver. And, of course, the answers clearly say a lot about each writers’ priorities and outlook on life. Some have bigger priorities on family, while others just want the perfect driver’s car. Do any of these answers surprise you?
Dan Ilika, Road Test Editor: Range Rover Sport HSE
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices – even imaginary ones. With this in mind, my pick would be the Range Rover Sport HSE with the 3.0-liter diesel engine under the hood.
Dare I say no other vehicle offers the diesel-powered Range’s combination of midsize sedan fuel economy, interior versatility, and passenger comfort. Throw in its tremendous off-road chops – especially with the $1,700 extra duty package – and it doesn’t get much better.
The base price comes in at $71,950, but it’s easy to end up with a six-figure spec sheet. Exterior options like 22-inch wheels, panoramic roof, and “premium metallic” grey paint only add $5,950 to the price, while another $20,000 or so brings with it all kinds of interior goodies like a 23-speaker stereo and rear seat entertainment package.
Throw in a $995 destination charge, and the invoice price sits at $100,097 – a hair over the imaginary budget, so I’m going to imagine it doesn’t matter.
Jodi Lai, Managing Editor: Jaguar F-Type S AWD
I don’t see myself having kids and I don’t need a lot of space, so I’m going to be selfish with my pick. I want a driver’s car that’s not too excessive — I don’t need massive horsepower; I just want something that sounds great, looks sexy and handles well.
My first choice was a fully kitted out Porsche 718 Cayman S in Miami Blue, which can easily hit the $100,000 cap because Porsche loves charging you out the wazoo for optional extras. But since this imaginary car would be my only car, I thought having AWD would be better in the winter, but the Cayman isn’t available with AWD, and I’m not interested in a 911.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S Review
Luckily, the Jaguar F-Type S AWD is here to save the day. Unfortunately, if you pick all-wheel drive, you can’t have a manual transmission, but that’s a sacrifice I can begrudgingly make. The Jag sounds and looks sexy enough to make up for the lack of a manual. Or I can just move to California and buy my Cayman after all, which can come with a manual, even with a six-figure price tag. It also drives better than the Jag and has that practical front trunk!
Jonathan Yarkony, Editorial Director: Volvo V60 Polestar
Although I would love to park a Porsche in the garage, practical considerations dictate that I have at least four seats to shuttle the kids around, and I’m a sucker for a sexy hatch, so this Polestar is the fastest, baddest, bluest longroof we North Americans can currently get that still sits within our price range. Although I would desperately love to stick with a manual transmission, the small selection of fast wagons means that we aren’t really spoiled for choice in this segment. The Golf R was a very strong consideration as well, but the V60 in Polestar trim has just enough extra visual appeal and hooligan horsepower that I can overlook its tight rear seat. Granted, this is way under the $100K limit, but that just leaves more money to put into the kids’ college funds!
Stephen Elmer, News Editor: Porsche Cayenne GTS
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked what car I would buy with a large amount of money, I might have $100,000 to actually buy something. So let’s look at the issue.
If this $100,000 vehicle has to be my daily driver and primary vehicle, I need a few things: space for cargo, towing capability and, if at all possible, some fun handling and maybe a touch of speed. That lands me square in the luxury SUV segment, and I would certainly go German just for the driving dynamics. That would no doubt lead me to a Porsche dealership.
A Cayenne GTS retails for $97,200, already putting me close to my mark. Add on the optional hitch and a fire extinguisher (because you just never know), and the GTS will leave the door for $99,990 including destination costs.
Thanks to a new twin-turbo V6, 440 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque are available in this Cayenne, enough to speed this SUV up to 60 mph in just five seconds. And the GTS is all about taking corners fast, no doubt one of the best handling SUVs available anywhere. Plus, with the capability to tow up to 7,716 pounds, I could easily live with the beauty every day.
Craig Cole, Associate Editor: Audi A8
Given a hundred grand to spend on a new vehicle, I mean, exactly $100,000, I think I’d go with an Audi A8 L 4.0 TFSI. It’d provide me with tremendous comfort, luxury, and speed, all coupled with enough subtlety to slip away from sticky situations completely undetected. A massive back seat would keep friends and family happy, its large trunk is perfect for hauling ample cargo and quattro all-wheel drive ensures this German land barge would never get mired like a Panzerkampfwagen V on the Eastern front. I’ll take mine in Oolong Gray metallic with the Valcona leather interior ($5,900 extra) and the Driver Assistance package ($2,250) making for a grand total of $99,650. The remaining $350 would get spent on a bottle of Dom Pérignon to smash against the grille upon taking delivery.
Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor: Porsche Cayman GT4
Here’s the best part about having no kids, living fairly close to work, and far enough from friends who all have their own rides everywhere: I can get a car that’s just for me. I’d probably pick up a tricked out Cayman GT4 — it’s the perfect driver’s car, and while it’s no 911, there’s a balance to the Cayman that just can’t be touched by anything else out there.
From the ultra bolstered seat, to the big fixed wing, and the slick shifting manual transmission, this is the ultimate car that makes no compromises when it comes to delivering an engaging drive in any situation. And I’m still young and flexible enough to handle the low slung car and stiff ride. Plus, with something like this, I’d be able to take it to the track for lapping days without any fears.
While the base GT4 comes in at $84,600, I opted to coat it in the eye-catching Carmine Red paint finish, and similarly accented interior, while adding the expanded leather seating and stitching, adjustable sport seats, 2-way climate control, navigation system, heated seats, and a leather dashboard. If you’re going to spend $100,000 on something, it might as well be like nothing else on the road, am I right? Total cost: $99,935. Fits well within the budget!
Jason Siu, News Editor: Tesla Model S 90D
Given exactly $100,000 cash and having to choose just one car that will serve all my needs, my option would be the Tesla Model S 90D. Of course, the P90D would be much more exciting to own and drive, considering how much faster it is, but that creeps over the budget significantly. Instead, the Tesla Model S 90D offers 294-mile range and a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.2 seconds, which is plenty to cover my needs. It is also outfitted with Autopilot, which will only improve over time.
Tesla has also built a reputation for upgrading existing models without the need of purchasing an all-new one and, best of all, I’ll actually get some of this magically gifted $100,000 cash back thanks to incentives and tax credits.