These two flagships can now be purchased for a fraction of their original prices.
We love the idea of purchasing a used luxury car that has depreciated by an unbelievable amount. A little while ago, we took a look at a one year old, certified pre-owned Mercedes S65 AMG, which lost around $65,000 of value in just one year. In fact, an older S65 would be an even cheaper proposition, but buying a used car like this can be tricky because of expensive maintenance. We wanted to go back to the drawing board to find a highly depreciated used car with almost zero downsides. Amazingly, we actually found two.
The two cars that we are referring to come from the sister companies Hyundai and Kia. Hyundai was the first of the two to jump into the luxury market with the Genesis and Equus sedans. Both of these cars have carried over into the new Genesis brand as the G80 and G90 sedans. The Genesis represented Hyundai's attempt to steal customers from midsize models like the Lexus GS and BMW 5 Series, while the Equus took Hyundai's ambitions to the next level by taking a swing at the Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS. On paper, it seemed like the Equus had all of the tools necessary to take on the competition, with impressive technology and an engine befitting of a luxury car.
In the US, the Equus was only sold with two versions of Hyundai's Tao GDI V8. The original Equus came with a 4.6-liter version of this engine rated at 385 hp with a six-speed automatic. The displacement was later upped to 5.0 liters with 429 hp and a smoother eight-speed automatic. The BH-L (VI) platform that underpinned the Genesis and Equus was later used in 2012, when Kia launched its first attempt at a luxury flagship. The car was called the K9, but came to North America badged as the K900, and to Europe as the Quoris. Kia made a bold prediction that people would buy its first luxury flagship, and priced it at $60,000.
Compared to the six-figure German limos, the K900 was actually incredibly good value. Unfortunately, buyers in the US put a huge premium on badge superiority and simply laughed at the idea of a $60,000 Kia. We think that this is their loss, because we tested the K900 and we couldn't believe what good value it was. Kia even decided to offer the K900 with a 311-hp V6 to bring the price down to around $50,000. Even when they were new, the Kia K900 and Hyundai Equus represented an enormous bargain. These were cars that came basically fully loaded with features that could only be found on German cars at twice the price. Now as used cars the two are even better value.
We did some digging, and we were shocked to find that both the Kia K900 and Hyundai Equus can now be purchased used for less than $25,000. We aren't even talking about the lesser V6 K900 or 4.6-liter Equus. For less than $25,000, you can get the 5.0-liter V8 with 429 hp. One of the biggest problems that we've mentioned with buying a used luxury car is the expensive maintenance. These cars are often loaded with expensive bells and whistles that can break the bank when they fail. Luckily, all Hyundai and Kia models are sold with a 10 year/100,000-mile warranty. That means that all of the cars that we found for less than $25,000 still have a warranty.
The cars that we found don't even have particularly high mileage. Some had less than 30,000 miles on the odometer. If you are the type of person that values a brand name more than the substance of the product, then these cars definitely aren't for you. Your neighbors definitely won't be as impressed by your Hyundai or Kia as they would be with a used Mercedes or BMW. But we can promise you that they are a much safer bet and and your passengers will be highly impressed when you give them a ride in one of these comfortable cruisers.