The typical compact German sedan isn’t nearly as accessible as it was in years gone by, with the prime example being the starting price of R857 956 of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon.
It therefore makes perfect sense for buyers to browse around the pre-owned market for much more affordable options.
According to the latest AutoTrader data covering the first quarter of 2022 (uniquely allowing us to draw insights right down to variant level), there are a number of interesting sub-R300,000 alternatives.
At this price point, the vehicle’s standard maintenance plan could have lapsed, though that shouldn’t necessarily deter buyers from searching for a meticulously maintained example.
The BMW 320d is the most searched for sedan variant below the price threshold, bearing an average list price of about R230,000.
Compared with figures from the first quarter of 2021, this represents a year-on-year increase of 7.6%. The average mileage comes in at less than 150,000 km, with the average registration year being 2013.
While this oil-burning 3 Series variant leads the list (with the petrol-powered 320i slotting in at number five and the more powerful 330i tenth), it’s the Mercedes-Benz C-Class that dominates in terms of sheer placements inside the top 10.
With an average list price of just short of R250,000 (interestingly about R30,000 lower than in Q1 of 2021), the high-performance Mercedes-AMG C63, for example, is the second most searched for variant.
The C63 is followed by four other C-Class derivatives in the C200 (third), C220 (sixth) C250 (seventh) and C180 (eighth).
Although a traditional 3 Series and C-Class rival, the Audi A4 saloon, fascinatingly doesn’t feature, Ingolstadt’s S3 sedan does.
It comes in as the fourth most searched for variant overall, featuring the lowest average mileage at 86,000 km. The all-wheel-drive S3 has an average list price of R224,000 and an average registration year of 2014.
The largest model to feature on our list, meanwhile, is the BMW 520d.
The medium-sized sedan’s average list price comes in at about R225,000, which is only marginally higher than in the same reporting period last year.
“While sedans have gone out of fashion to some degree over the past few years, this data shows South Africans are still searching for saloon bargains on the used car market, with German variants sitting right at the top of their lists,” said AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.
Click on the link below to see how many times the C-Class features on the list of top 10 most searched for German cars for under R300 000.