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What the CarExpert team would buy for $100k

Research, buy & sell with confidence

We've already played this game with a smaller budget, but now it's time to lift the ceiling and let the CarExpert team loose with $100k.

We’ve all played this game before, right?

Having picked our

favourite new cars for less than $60,000, we’ve raised the ceiling to $100,000 to open the door for some more luxurious, more exotic metal.

From pumped-up hyper hatches to large SUVs, here’s how the CarExpert team would spend (a bit more of) its hard-earned cash.

Recent price rises mean the Audi S4 and BMW M340i are out of reach, but the smaller RS3 hatchback still matches our budget – and it ticks close to all the boxes for me.

It’s a good size for someone who lives in Melbourne’s inner suburbs, for starters, but still has usable back seats and a decent boot.

While we’re talking Melbourne, the fact it’s all-wheel drive means you can use all of its turbocharged performance on miserable, rainy winter mornings. And it has plenty of performance.

With a turbocharged five-cylinder under the bonnet, this pocket rocket hit 100km/h in 3.8 seconds on an unprepared surface in our testing. Unlike older Audi RS products, it’ll go around corners as well.

It’s a talented all-rounder. I’ll have mine in Python Yellow.

If I had $100,000 to spend on a brand-new car I’d want it to do it all, which is why I can’t go past the Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport.

I’ve opted to go for a fully-optioned model that includes the $7100 Luxury Package, as well as Malaku Grey matte paint for $2000. For those playing along at home I also chose the Sevilla Red Nappa leather upholstery.

The GV70 3.5T AWD Sport is one of the best combinations of luxury and performance currently on the Australian new car market for less than $100,000 before on-roads.

Its 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine produces a hefty 279kW of power and 520Nm of torque. This is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a rear-biased all-wheel drive system.

The GV70 also stands out on the road thanks in part to its double-stacked headlights and tail lights, intricate 21-inch alloy wheels, and stonking dual round exhaust outlets.

I’ve only seen a few Genesis GV70s on the road and I’d love to see more!

This is going to be a little left of field from the rest of the pack but I’d purchase a Ford Everest Platinum in Shadow Black. 

The kitted-up Ford Everest was inspired by a long list of childhood road trips across New South Wales. 

When I was growing up we would always pack everything but the kitchen sink into the back of our family Hyundai iLoad Crew Van and drive to places all around NSW. 

An ultimate goal one day is the complete the full lap around Australia, the only parts I have left to do are from Adelaide to Perth and Perth to Darwin. 

With the remaining $23k I’d have to kit it out ready for an Aussie road trip with a GVW upgrade, an awning, a dual batter and solar system for a fridge, a slide kitchen, long-range fuel tank, snorkel, roof rack, all-terrain tyres, and a tow kit.

$100k? Now we’re talking! The options really open up here, and there’s a raft of cars I’d happily park in my garage.

Considering how much I love

my own Hyundai Genesis, though, it seems only logical to upgrade to a brand new Genesis G80 – even if I didn’t find it to be the last word in driver engagement when I reviewed it.

While the budget will only stretch to the base turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, it still pumps out 224kW and 422Nm and does the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 6.0 seconds.

I can also still add the Luxury Package and slide in under the $100,000 cap before on-roads, while enjoying features no rival can offer at this price point like Remote Smart Parking Assist, soft-close doors, and ventilated front and rear seats. Oh, and a Forest Blue interior. Or do I want Havana Brown?

I could get a more powerful twin-turbo V6 in the Genesis G70 and GV70. The former is more fun but a little older and tight inside, while the latter is an SUV and I’m more of a sedan man. 

Other runners-up include a Mazda CX-90 to haul around the children I don’t yet have, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 Epiq, and a BMW M240i xDrive – the latter in Thundernight Metallic, of course.

I’m sadly torn between two of my favourite cars in the world right now, both of which are under $100,000.

Namely, the Ford Mustang Darkhorse in Vapor Blue Metallic (which I’ve actually ordered) – and an entirely different choice and segment in the Honda Civic Type R in Championship White with trademark red upholstery. 

The Dark Horse will replace my 2018 Mustang Bullitt, which I sold reluctantly last year to a collector in Tasmania who has agreed to give me first right of refusal if he ever decides to sell it. The handling was transformed by Herrod Performance before its tyres ever touched a public road. The colour, the sound and its heritage were intoxicating. 

While the Dark Horse doesn’t have the allure of the Bullitt, it is the most powerful factory GT Mustang ever built and likely to be the best naturally aspirated V8 pony car ever.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is simply the best hot hatch I’ve ever driven, at least on track, though I did get an all-too-brief drive on road and loved it even more. I’m a huge fan of the new styling, while I believe the handling, ride and driver feedback is simply peerless in the category.

Had I not already put money down on the Ford, I likely would have switched allegiance to the Type R. In the end, I hope to get both.    

Easy – the Ford Ranger Raptor.

There’s no better car on sale that’ll achieve the following four things:

While the $100,000 cap will see others immediately look at the Audi RS3, I just feel that it would always feel under-utilised in daily life.

So, for me I’d get the less powerful but still potent Audi S3 Sportback ($71,800) with a few choice options but still keep me well within that $100,000 budget.

I’d go for an Audi exclusive individual paint ($3800), perhaps something like Goodwood Green, and then deck it out with all the luxury options.

The Premium plus package ($3590) adds electric front seats with memory, a head-up display and a panoramic sunroof; and I’d also add the carbon atlas trim inlays ($1100), electric tailgate ($850), and aluminium roof rails ($750).

I’m not sure if Audi Australia would let me do an Audi exclusive interior specification on an S3, but wouldn’t a tan Nappa leather-lined cabin go swimmingly with all this? A boy can dream.

And, I have nearly $20,000 change before on-road costs to buy myself other presents or go on a holiday.

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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