2011-up ~250hp daily driver for <$15K?

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How about the Mercedes E-350? The 2011 had 268 hp in a 3.5 V6. Has the 7 speed transmission so gas mileage isn't too bad. In 2012-2016, they went to the M276 engine which had 302hp and does 28mpg on the highway. The 2016 year had apple car play/android auto, otherwise you only get bluetooth in earlier years. Of course all the standard stuff like over half are AWD, heated seats, Sirius, dual 3 position memory driver/passenger power seats.

Here's a 2011 E-350 4matic for 10k, bixenons, pano roof, parktronic, power trunk closer, keyless go.


Another 2012 E-350 4matic for 12.8k, bixenons, parktronic, real leather, driver assistance package so auto cruise control, folding rear seat, heated/cooled seats, massage seats, power trunk closer, keyless go. This one is pretty well loaded, never really see them like this. My 2011 is missing the heated/cooled seats, assistance package, real leather and folding rear seat.


I personally like the 2014-2016 body style refresh, you get LED headlamps and the refresh came with new standard stuff like automatic collision avoidance although it also comes with auto start/stop. The 2016 models are more like 20-25k though.
 
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Not a sedan but you might want to consider the 2009~2012 RAV4 3.5l V-6 all wheel drive. High 20's on the highway and high teens in town. It does not lack in the acceleration department.
 

Shaman

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The flat 6 Legacy maybe gets into that price range? The Outback also had a flat 6 available but they will be more money. The Cadillac ATS also gets that cheap, and I think in 2015 the 2.0 became pretty reliable. My favorite is the 128i, but I'd be happy in that without a radio at all.

The LTG engine in the ATS is the same as in the Malibu and Regal. They are known to drop pistons. Some believe it to be not enough ring gap from factory. The LE2 in the 2016-17 Cruze, and the LFV in the Malibu had similar piston spitting issues. The infotainment is also known to crap out on the ATS to the tune or +$1k. The LHU in the earlier Regals have timing chain issues.

I’ve shopped the E90, but I want a spare tire.

I've somewhat looked at the H6 in the Subaru. I don't know much about the drivetrain, and I'm not sure I need an AWD for 363 days out of the year.

Man I swear, I really do wonder how many people on BITOG ever buy a car with their huge list of demands and immediate disqualifications.

While you might not get 250hp, there are a lot of good solid choices in the 2011+ <$15k ballpark.
Is price range, year range, power range, ~30 highway MPG, and bluetooth a "huge list of demands"?

I could have added dark interior, looks I like, which wheels are powered, LSD, engine configuration, transmission, and a whole lot more.
 
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10,559
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For $15K, you could also get a 2013 Dodge Charger AWD V6 with under 75,000 miles. That would get you AWD and close to 300hp.
How about for 15k you could get a 2014 Mercedes E-350 AWD V6 with 302 hp and under 64k miles? Not too many options on this one aside from the dynamic LEDs which do the active curve illumination.

 
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I own a 2016 Toyota Avalon. 300 hp, really gets up and goes and I’m averaging 29.5 mpg since I’ve owned it. Paid $15,000 even for it with 50,200 miles. Loaded, no accidents. Very reliable car...to the point where I don’t really even bother checking the oil in between oil changes. It just doesn’t use any (haven’t had a car like that in a long time).
 
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Honda put the 2.4 Liter 185 HP 4 cylinder, and the 3.5 Liter 278 HP 6 cylinder with a 6 speed auto trany in the sedan model, and the same engines with a manual trany in the coupe, in the 2017 Accord. The years before 2017 may be available with the 6, but since Honda improves there engines as the years go by, the earlier models may have a few less HP. You can research that yourself.
 
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Man I swear, I really do wonder how many people on BITOG ever buy a car with their huge list of demands and immediate disqualifications.

While you might not get 250hp, there are a lot of good solid choices in the 2011+ <$15k ballpark.
Definitely agree as some of the comments over something as simple as an oil change seem as detailed as a surgical procedure than can save/improve life. It's OIL, buy whatever brand/grade is recommended by the manufacturer and be done with it already.
 
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How about for 15k you could get a 2014 Mercedes E-350 AWD V6 with 302 hp and under 64k miles? Not too many options on this one aside from the dynamic LEDs which do the active curve illumination.


It's a good deal, but not sure I would want to deal with finding a Euro specialist to have it serviced. A good friend of mine had an E350 (RWD) and it had just enough problems to keep his Euro specialist busy a couple of times a year. He eventually traded it for a CPO Lincoln MKZ AWD and hasn't looked back at all.

And why can't dealers take better pictures of their cars for their websites? That E350 either has severely misaligned hood and trunk, or they took the pictures with the hood and trunk ajar. Just based on the pictures alone, I would be reluctant to even go look at it. Same with new cars. If a dealer is going to take the time to take a few exterior pictures, at least grab a couple of the interior and post them as well.
 
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It's a good deal, but not sure I would want to deal with finding a Euro specialist to have it serviced. A good friend of mine had an E350 (RWD) and it had just enough problems to keep his Euro specialist busy a couple of times a year. He eventually traded it for a CPO Lincoln MKZ AWD and hasn't looked back at all.

And why can't dealers take better pictures of their cars for their websites? That E350 either has severely misaligned hood and trunk, or they took the pictures with the hood and trunk ajar. Just based on the pictures alone, I would be reluctant to even go look at it. Same with new cars. If a dealer is going to take the time to take a few exterior pictures, at least grab a couple of the interior and post them as well.
Don't need a specialist, not made of magic and pixie dust. I have an ASE mechanic work on mine. Does everything from axle boots to intake manifold to motor mounts and axle seals. You can get the EPC/WIS on ebay for under $10. That's the parts lookup and dealer repair manual. Pretty much any ASE mechanic can do 98% of the work needed on the car. There's just a few things like firmware updates and various parts changes like a conductor plate in the transmission or the ignition system or keys where you have to take it to the dealer.

There are probably better examples out there but they're not 15k, probably have to pay a few extra thousand for one that may have a few more options and maybe in better condition. I've had one E-350 for 6 years and the other for 4, nothing too crazy with them. The depreciation is massive and you basically get a car that stickered for twice as much as a Toyota or Dodge for about the same money. Everyone thinks repairs are crazy, but they're not. I see people going on about axles that cost $1k or alternators on Fords going for $300. Guess my $180 alternator on the Mercedes was a bargain and just getting an axle boot kit for $40 from the dealer is much cheaper than dropping 1k on a new axle.
 
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mi
A 2012+ Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300 with the V6 Pentastar and 8 speed transmission gets great highway fuel economy, makes 292-300HP, and is available with an amazing AWD system if you want it. The 8.4” Uconnect is also great and so easy to use.

Inb4 “they’re not reliable!” Mine was fine, my brothers is still fine, and I’d buy another in a heart beat.
300 is a nice car and very reliable
 
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How are spark plugs on the engine in the FWD variant? 290 hp, FFV, and 36 MPG sounds great, but I've never owned a Mopar.

Is the FFV virtual, or do they actually use a sensor?
It’s a longitudinal RWD platform with an AWD option. This doesn’t look like a horrible job, I’d give it 2.2 out of 5 stars.

 

Shaman

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It’s a longitudinal RWD platform with an AWD option. This doesn’t look like a horrible job, I’d give it 2.2 out of 5 stars.


It's the same engine in the 200 if I am looking at this correctly? The FWD option is about $2K cheaper in my locale, and higher MPG.
 
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830
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It's the same engine in the 200 if I am looking at this correctly?
yes but it’s sideways. i wouldn’t be considering the 200 though, why compromise when you can get a full feature sedan

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here’s a pretty hilarious article with the late FCA ceo’s thoughts on it

 
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