Here is $50,000. What would you buy?

Here is ,000.  What would you buy?

The premise is pretty simple: if someone handed you $50,000 and told you to use it to buy a new car, what would you get?

I chose $50,000 to kick off this series because that’s basically the average cost of a new car these days. Is it ridiculous? Of course ! Are there myriad reasons other than inflation for this, including supply shortages, automakers ditching cheaper cars, and the mathematical realities of calculating “average”? Of course ! Nonetheless, let’s roll with $50,000 for this week. It shouldn’t be hard to get a nice car for 50 gross, right? LAW?

There are a few rules for this little game.

  1. The car must be within $2,000 of the price in question. You can’t say “I would buy X for $30,000 and spend the rest on a boat”.
  2. The car must be new.
  3. Federal EV tax credits don’t count / give you $7,500 play money.

Go ahead and let us know what you would choose and why we are ridiculous for choosing what we chose. -James Riswick

Hyundai Ioniq 6SE AWD

Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is an excellent electric vehicle. It doesn’t quite have the utility of the Ioniq 5 (which I almost selected), but it makes up for that in terms of range and a sportier feel on the road. The SE with all-wheel drive is rated at 316 miles on a charge. I’d be tempted to go rear-wheel-drive for the 361 miles, but I’d rather have the better grip for Michigan winters, along with the extra 95 horsepower that comes with the extra engine. When I need to use a public charger (which will be more likely if I repeatedly take advantage of its 5-second 0-60 sprint), I’ll be grateful for the fast-charging capability of its 800-volt battery. With a price tag of $49,000, I have some budget left, so I add a few accessories: carpeted floor mats ($210), cargo bed ($120), alloy door sills ($180 ) and first aid kit ($30).

2023 Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback

Editor James Riswick: My family already has a handy electric car for commuting, errands, and local adventures, so no need to go with something like a Hyundai Ioniq 5 here. No, this one is almost entirely about me with just enough practicality that the kid can come too. Main criterion: I make myself a fucking manual. I was tempted by a sweet Eruption Green two-door Bronco Badlands for more far-flung adventures, but ultimately my love of grand touring coupes won out. So did the fact that the 2023 Mustang was apparently available in green. Yes, “was”. I recognize they’re not taking orders for ’23 Mustangs anymore so I’d be lucky enough to find my exact build somewhere but whatever I don’t like the look of the new ’24 and it’s not coming in green. Besides, this exercise isn’t real, folks. To keep it under $50,000, I had to skip the GT Performance package, but I think it’s a bit tacky in appearance and I would only want it for the other optional magnetic shocks. So I stuffed the build sheet up to $50,000 with the $2,700 GT Premium High package (various comfort/convenience niceties), a $995 B&O sound system, and an active exhaust. This thing isn’t quite a Bullitt, but it’s close. I would keep it forever.

Tesla Model 3 performance

Editor-in-chief Jeremy Korzeniewski: I mean, I just bought a Tesla Model 3, so this one was easy. There are several things I don’t like about the Tesla Model 3, the biggest downside being the large screen in the center of the dash with barely a physical control in sight. I hate it, seriously. I also consider Elon Musk’s constant need to be seen and heard in just about every aspect of life boring at best and offensive at worst. But none of that was enough to stop me from buying the car, as it is simply better than competitors that are offered at a similar price, and the right car for my family. The Performance model I chose for this exercise costs (currently) $50,990 (not to mention the $7,500 EV tax credit buyers might be entitled to), gets 315 miles per charge, and does 0-60 in 3.1 seconds, thanks to a powerful all-wheel-drive dual-motor drivetrain. I already have a four-wheel-drive big-block GMC Suburban in my driveway; the addition of an extremely efficient electric car with solid performance credentials and relatively very low running costs makes it a solid two-vehicle household. No, I don’t want any of the extra cost self-driving stuff. Yuck, and beta testing on public roads? *quiver* No thanks. In the end, however, the car at its base price is very, very good.

BMW 330e

Editor-in-Chief Greg Rasa: When we first drafted these picks, Zac and I picked the Civic Type R. I’m switching to a BMW 3 Series for variety – but I’d still rather have the Type R. Ten years ago, probably four or five of us would have chosen the BMW, and I once owned a 3 Series. But there are plenty of other great choices now. Even in the BMW realm, my top pick was the i4, but its starting MSRP is $52,000. As it happens, Autoblog Editors spent a lot of time in the 330e, as one was in our fleet as a long-term test car, where it performed well and even proved capable of exceed its electric-only range rating. And that’s right, after being denied the all-electric i4, I’d go with the 330e, the 3-series PHEV version. The rear-drive model starts at $44,900, and you can’t add much of options without breaking the budget, but a $650 paint color, the Premium Package (HUD, heated seats and steering wheel, lumbar adjustment) and all of the driver aids take the build total to $49,850. It’s a luxury PHEV with above-average performance and well-above-average fuel economy for the average price of new cars sold today. Also, BMW didn’t mess up its nose, so points for that.

Or, as Jeremy points out: if you skip options, you can get rear-wheel drive BMW M240i Coupe in purple metallic Thundernight!

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer: There really isn’t a better answer to that question than the Civic Type R. I recently got some seat time in the novella, and it’s as awesome as every review you’ve read or watched says it is. Spec-wise, Championship White is appealing as someone who loves old Hondas, but forget that, because Boost Blue is one of the best blues available today. Not only that, but it makes a wonderful combination with the red Honda badges and the red interior. I skipped the gray forged wheels because I prefer the black painted wheel design, but had to say yes to the carbon fiber rear wing to make sure the final count got close enough to 50,000 $ to qualify. In reality, anyone trying to buy a Type R would be hard-pressed to find a dealer willing to sell for less than $50,000, but perhaps some of that initial demand will subside when the Integra Type S comes online. . Speaking of the Integra Type S, the price is now $51,995. I’m definitely tempted to go for it, but since no one has ridden the production model yet, I’m going to stick with the Type R for now.

Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury RWD

Editor-in-Chief Greg Best: Fifty grand for a sporty, spacious and fun-to-drive Cadillac sounds like a bargain. I’d go with the CT5 Premium Luxury RWD model, which registers at $49,440, so I’m just slipping under the line (if I eliminated the $750 purchase allowance, I’d go a little more, but OK). The attraction here is the rear-drive chassis, interesting design, and twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 335 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. I went with Summit White paint, black badging, and 20-inch black wheels (included with the $3,995 Onyx package), which I think looks sleek and shows off the design language of the newest from Cadillac. It’s an athletic sedan at a reasonable price. It would complement the three row family hauler that also sits in my driveway and would be fun for a few years. I would probably try something different then, but I think it would be good for a season of life. I could have fun on my daily commute, but still put people and stuff in it. It’s kind of the reason you buy a sports sedan in the first place.

The reader responds with Twitter @therealautoblog


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