Posts Tagged ‘Hidden Gem’

The Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG is a Used Car Hidden Gem

AMG gets lots of press for souping up high-end Mercedes-Benz models, such as the autobahn-storming, 621-horsepower CL65. But the engineers at Affalterbach also have a long history of tinkering with cars from the lower rungs of the MB ladder. In fact, the mid-1990s C36 — a humble C-Class stuffed with a stroked 3.4-liter inline six — was the very first AMG car officially sold by Mercedes dealers.

It was a hit, and since then AMG has pushed the small car, big engine formula even further, eventually leading to today’s flamboyant C63, which sports a bonkers 469-hp turbo V8 under the hood.

But one of the very best Mercedes-AMG collaborations is a much subtler affair. Unless you know what you’re looking for, you’d never guess that the understated C55 AMG, which was produced for just two model years (2005-06), is anything more than an entry-level C-Class. That is, until it dusts you off the line.

The anonymity of the C55 AMG is one of its best traits. Not only does the bantam Benz shrug off the prying eyes of neighbors (as well as the local constabulary), it also has yet to attract the attention of most collectors. That means prices for a used C55 remain quite reasonable — cheap even, if you consider the levels of performance it offers.

And that makes the C55 AMG a used car hidden gem.

The Ford Fiesta ST is a Used Car Hidden Gem

Being equal-opportunity car enthusiasts, we at Klipnik love the idea of driving something that’s not only fun and relatively inexpensive, but also that doesn’t get as much time in the spotlight as its more popular peers. We’re here to give you the inside scoop on these unsung heroes, like the Ford Fiesta ST.

The Chevrolet SS is a Used Car Hidden Gem

The Chevrolet SS is a bit of an odd duck. It looks unassuming, but it boasts Corvette power. It’s a big sedan, but it handles well. It’s an American car, but it’s imported from Australia. Perhaps that makes it less of an odd duck and more of a platypus.

Like the platypus, the Chevy SS is a pretty rare sight. Despite plans to sell as many as 15,000 units a year, GM unloaded only a fifth of that number, or about 13,000 total over its four-year run (2014-2017).

That’s mixed blessing for used car buyers. On the plus side, the limited supply helps to keep depreciation at bay. On the minus side, a good used SS still commands a premium, with prices ranging from around $30,000 to as much as $50,000 or more, depending on the year, miles, and options.

But considering what that buys you — a modern Q-ship that’s equally capable of driving grandma to bingo as it is of breaking the tires loose on the 2-3 upshift — we think that makes the Chevrolet SS a used car hidden gem.

The XV10 Toyota Camry is a Used Car Hidden Gem

Paint fades, that new car smell wafts away, upholstery wears, and dings and dents are inevitable. Great used cars don’t avoid those indignities, they wear them as battle scars. They’re indomitable and intrepid; reliable and resilient; and cheap to keep on the road. A great used car has an aging nobility to it.

And the greatest used car of them all is the third generation Toyota Camry (1992-1996). Here’s how it got to be that.