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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Ten Most Outrageous Car MSRP's

When we asked if you could beat a $38K Accord in terms of ridiculous MSRP's, we didn't think it would be so easy. For one, you actually topped a $37,580 Accord with a $39,122 Accord Coupe. Then you were able to take the base model, entry-level cars and load them up with so many extra options that these once reasonable vehicles skyrocketed into foreign exotic territory. We have to thank our readers for the great ideas, as well as BMW and Porsche in particular for asking outrageous prices for their supposedly "cheap" models. Below are the ten worst domestic offenders.

All of these are built using the "build your own" feature of the various automaker websites and reflect an estimated MSRP. We can't imagine anyone would pay this much for any of these cars as one way to get the price up is to ignore value packages. Honorable mention goes to all of our friends from Canada, who have to pay too much for any and every car.

10. 2008 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LTZ – $97,011
Some people like their trucks and are willing to pay top dollar for them. Many of those people will pay $54,190 for a Silverado 3500HD LTZ, which is a lot of truck for the money. It's therefore impressive that one reader was able to add more than $42,000 in options. Duramax Diesel V8? Sure. Allison 6-Speed transmission? You'd have to. Power tilting sunroof? How could you live without it? Headrest DVD players? Would it be a truck without them?

9. Lincoln Town Car – $56,020
On one hand, the Lincoln Town Car is the last of the V8 Lincoln sedans for a while and, though lacking in refinements, is a classic American luxury car. On the other hand, they've been giving these things away and asking for all that money on top of it is the height of ridiculous.

8. Smart Fortwo Cabriolet – $28,928
While we like the idea of the Smart Fortwo Passion Cabriolet, it's a bit too much of a fashion accessory for the average Jalopnik writer. Additionally, the $18,500 base price for the supposedly loaded Passion seems a bit beyond our range and for that price we'd expect to be able to choose our interior and body panel colors... but that's a $10,000 premium. Nearly $30K for a car that seats two, doesn't go very fast and gets only moderate mileage is hard to fathom given the last 10 cars Murilee bought added up to about that.

7. Honda Accord Coupe – $39,122
As mentioned, we built a 2008 Honda Accord for about $38,000 and were impressed. Our clever commenters were able to push the Honda Accord Coupe up to $39,122. While the new Accord is certainly a capable automobile, for that price you could have a decently well equipped G37 coupe.

6. Volvo C30 – $46,792
There's nothing wrong with the Volvo C30, though we tend to prefer the cheaper and sportier European hatches like the GTI. At $46,792, it's more than twice the base price and $20K more than the well-equipped Version 2.0. Just to compare, you could have two VW GTI's for that price.

5. Mercedes C300 – $57,944
The Mercedes C300 may be strong on looks, but it's still the cheapest option from Mercedes at $32,425. Throw in some options and you're spending as much for a C-Class as you would for an E-Class wagon. Nothing like spending all that cash for a sedan with a V6 that produces less than 230 horsepower. The Germans know value.

4. BMW 135i – $52,550
There's a lot to like about the BMW 135i, including the 300 hp inline-six. Though it doesn't have a back seat big enough to carry anyone larger than a four-year-old comfortably, it's a decent performance deal. Then you start adding on options and you end up about $4,000 more than a Z4 M Coupe and very close to M3 territory.

3. Non-S Mini Cooper – $55,535
If you thought the $50,000 BMW 135i was a steep price, imagine something slower and smaller without the Bimmer badging. We tried this a few times and you have to be clever to pul it off. If you don't accept any special packages and get everything individually you can jack the price up. Make sure to add lots of roof racks and attachable storage, as well as the JCW body kits. Just make sure you don't accidentally choose a Cooper S, because that'll make the $55K you spent on a 120-horsepower hatchback almost worthwhile.

2. Porsche Boxster – $118,295
Just, wow. It's not only nearly three times the base price of a standard non RS Porsche Boxster, it's also the same price as a Posrche 911 GT3. The base Boxster has 245 horsepower, trots to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 160 mph. By comparison, the 911 GT3 not only looks better, it has 415 horsepower, it'll trot to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and has a top speed of 193 mph.

1. Porsche Cayenne – $163,573
It's almost a toss-up as to what you think is the most outrageous price for a Porsche. We say almost, because $164K for a V6 Porsche SUV that's basically a VW Toureg is nearly criminal. That's not only only almost four times the base price of the $43,400 of the base Cayenne, it's nearly two Cayennes more expensive than the Cayenne Turbo. That includes the reasonable, $2,990 for the air suspension, and unreasonable, like the $690 trailer hitch ball. Our favorite may be the $1,880 to make the air vents match the exterior color. At that price, the Boxster is a bargain.

Congrats to GrandmaSideways for finding this horrific price and props for all the work it took to carefully select and unselect the right options to get the price up. Email us at Matt at Jalopnik with your address so we can get the prize to you. Thanks to everyone else who submitted, as well.

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