If you’ve been saving for a car that you’ve long wished to own, and have kept those savings safe in these difficult times, your wish may be about to be fulfilled. Owing to COVID-19, you might see the prices of some very desirable cars plummet to under Rs 20 lakh in the weeks to come, across the country.
Due to the pandemic, it is fair to guesstimate that holding on to luxury cars may not be a priority for many at this point of time.
At around Rs 20 lakh, some of the cars I’d have my sights on in the luxury sedan segment are low mileage, sparingly used Mercedes-Benz models, like the current-generation C-class (W205) pre-facelift, or even the previous generation E-class (W212) facelift, either diesel or petrol-powered models. If you find a nice example, the C-class in particular can be an extremely good bargain, as it is still in production and will remain so for a few years; this would help retain the car’s resale value better in the short term. If you would like a BMW, try and find yourself the previous generation 5 Series 530d (F10) facelift with the M Sport body kit. If you ask me, it is quite a looker, and the 3.0-litre, straight-six, turbo-diesel engine is known for its strong performance.
If sedans aren’t your choice, and if you are looking for a car that could drive you through an apocalypse, check out the current-generation Toyota Fortuner with the powerful 177hp, 2.8-litre engine, or the current-generation Ford Endeavour with the now discontinued 197hp, 3.2litre, five-cylinder unit. I’d recommend you look for the 6-speed automatic transmission variants for both these SUVs, as they are much easier to drive around town and they should also hold their resale value better. Well maintained examples of both, the Fortuner and the Endeavour, should be available for around Rs 20 lakh soon.
The kind of cars I would look at, though, are two-door coupés and convertibles. As these are not primary cars for most, expect some interesting models like the Mercedes-Benz SL500 roadsters (R230) or E 350 coupes (C207) (based on the W212 generation of E-class) that exchanged hands at around Rs 20 lakh before the lockdown to sell for even lesser. Other great bargains that you may be able to get for around Rs 20 lakh are the recently replaced previous generation BMW Z4 S35i (E89), Mini convertibles, or Audi A3 cabriolets. All these cars traded for prices much higher in the preowned car market before COVID-19 times.
I’m sure a lot more cars will join the list soon. For now, all we can wish for is the pandemic to end, so we can head out and drive the cars we already have or are to about to buy.