Kids finally left home? Time for a vehicle upgrade!
So it’s finally happened, eh? Your kids are all out making their own mark on the world and living out of home.
You’ve got through the intense hangover from the party you threw on the night the last one left, and it’s now time to think about trading your car in for something a little (or lot) more on the fun side, and with bugger-all space in the second row - if the second row even exists at all.
5 superb empty-nester car options for people who like to have fun
The kids are away: it’s time to play! If you’re the kind of parents who like to enjoy themselves, it’s probably best to avoid going with a more traditional empty-nester type of car like a Toyota Camry. Granted they’re a great, sensible option for shopping runs and general errands (perfect for the other car in your garage, actually!), but they hardly get your heart beating.
Here are our 5 top car picks (in order of price) for parents whose kids have left home and are keen to let their hair down and party like it’s 1999.
Mazda MX-5 RF GT RS - Driveaway from $56,105*
The MX-5 is renowned by many to be a great track car, from the NA model that was released all the way back in 1989 to the current ND series. And even if you’re not pushing its limits around the Island, it’s an immensely fun car to drive. It’s so light and low to the ground, too, that it really does handle like a go-kart; ultra-responsive and a joy to take around corners.
Additionally, it includes all of the creature comforts that you’d ever need to take it on a nice long road trip including a rather advanced infotainment system with 7-inch display and sat nav as standard, driver assist tech galore and just shy of 130 litres’ worth of cargo space.
Okay, so now let’s take a look at the important engine specs:
Engine type: 2-litre inline 4cyl petrol
Transmission: 6-speed Skyactiv MT (auto unavailable in RF GT RS variant)
Power: 135kW at 7,000rpm
Torque: 205Nm at 4,000rpm
Kerb weight: 1,101kg
0-100: 6.5 seconds
It also has ventilated disc brakes all round and Brembo calipers for serious stopping power, as well as double wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension with Bilstein dampers to keep the ride feeling stiff while somehow simultaneously very comfortable.
All in all it’s a very impressive convertible that has plenty of squirt and offers a hell of a lot for its price tag. Check out our great Mazda deals here!
Ford Mustang GT Fastback - Driveaway from $73,958*
There are few other cars on the road that look as menacing as the latest-model Ford Mustang. More specifically, the Mustang GT Fastback. And sure, there are a couple of passenger seats in the back, but you might struggle to fit anyone in there - let alone comfortably. In a much more practical manner, it’s a 2-seater with some space for your golf clubs across the back seats.
Comfort-wise, you’re treated with a few niceties in the cockpit. Further to the 8-inch infotainment and 12-inch driver display, there’s auto headlights and wipers, reasonably comfortable seats that have heating and cooling capabilities and lots of driver assist features.
So how do the GT Fastback’s engine specs fare?
Engine type: 5-litre V8
Transmission: 10-speed automatic / 6-speed manual with Rev Matching
Power: 339kW at 7,000rpm
Torque: 556Nm at 4,600rpm
Kerb weight: Manual - 1,770kg / Auto - 1,784kg
0-100: 4.3 seconds
It also sports four wheel power disc brakes (Brembo alloy calipers in front) and has an active exhaust valve with which you can choose between 4 different modes: Quiet, Normal, Sport and Track.
If you’re into the throaty V8 sound in a car that’s got the horsepower to back it up but don’t want to crack the hundred grand mark, the ‘Stang is unquestionably the ride for you.
BMW M240i xDrive - Driveaway from $89,990*
Hopping into the driver’s seat of the M240i xDrive by BMW, it’s instantly clear that you’re operating a luxury vehicle. Sleek lines and black and grey take over. The 10.25-inch infotainment screen is really well-placed on the dash, offering navigation and all the driving assist features you could ever need like lane departure warning, front and rear collision warning and many more.
Interior space is quite substantial, especially considering it’s a performance coupe, and you can really feel the quality in materials used throughout. Its adaptive M suspension allows you to adjust and make the ride more plush or stiffer depending on surface and conditions, and the M Sport seats are really very accommodating and comfy once you get settled.
With all the luxury and interior features, let’s now check out what’s happening under the bonnet:
Engine type: Twin scroll turbocharged 3-litre inline 6cyl
Transmission: 8-speed Steptronic Sport
Power: 285kW at 5,800-6,500rpm
Torque: 500Nm at 1,900-5,000rpm
Kerb weight: 1,765kg
0-100: 4.3 seconds
For anyone out there who wants to put a foot into the luxury car market while also being able to put the boot in but doesn’t want to spend a fortune doing it, this is right on the money.
718 Porsche Boxster S - Driveaway from $160,632*
At almost double the price of the M240i xDrive, you’d expect a vehicle that provides a substantial amount more fun and performance. Which is exactly what you get behind the wheel of the 718 Boxster S. Looking at it is on the same plane as looking at a Monet or da Vinci; it’s an absolute work of art. And then you sit in the driver’s seat and are served with just as if not more total aesthetic heaven.
Let’s now see how this mid-engine compares to the other cars in this list:
Engine type: Turbocharged 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed 4cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission with two-plate clutch and dual-mass flywheel
Power: 294kW at 6,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,100-4,500rpm
Kerb weight: 1,355 (manual) / 1,385 (auto)
0-100: 4.6 seconds
Okay, now that we know it’s like the car version of Michaelangelo’s David and a beast under the bonnet to match, you might be wondering how comfortable it is to drive. Its lightweight spring strut suspension found in the front and rear provide a relatively stiff ride, while the fully-electric, heated sports seats hug you nice and tight.
Overall, the Boxster S is a true car enthusiast’s perfect drive ; it produces a crazy amount of power at the wheels, has a mid engine which offers incredible weight distribution which helps for insanely fast cornering, and with a stiffer suspension provides you a top feel of the road.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet - Driveaway from $214,296*
It’s crazy that you don’t realise just how much kids drain the bank account until they’re gone, isn’t it? Now you’ve got a decent pile of disposable income to spend, the C63 S Cabrio is screaming out for you to buy it.
With this vehicle, there’s no stuffing around. You’re getting a superior level of luxury without sacrificing one iota of top-tier performance. It’s a convertible. The Ride Control Sport Suspension makes it handle like it’s on rails. Dynamic Select driving modes lets you choose from an array of driving configurations. It’s got a full Napa leather interior softer than a newborn baby’s bum. Even as a two-door, four adults will fit comfortably inside. It’s stunning to look at, inside and out.
And now for a review of how it performs:
Engine type: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Transmission: 9-speed sports automatic
Power: 375kW at 5,500rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 2,000rpm
Kerb weight: 1,940kg
0-100: 4.1 seconds
It’s really just a next-level car. The only legitimate drawback is its fuel consumption, but if you’re thinking about buying a twin-turbo 4-litre V8 for a little over $200 grand, you probably don’t give a sh*t about fuel consumption anyway.
Get a new lease on life behind the wheel of your hot new ride sooner
If you don’t feel like waiting and wading through all the ins and outs of finding the car you want and negotiating to get a reasonable price, why not leave it all to us to deal with?
We are a team that possesses a very particular set of skills; skills we have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us a Godsend for people like you. And if you engage with us to find you a car we will look for it, we will find it, and we will kill it (‘kill it’ in a metaphorical sense in terms of working tirelessly to get you an amazing price).
We’ll tap into our gargantuan dealership network that spans the entirety of Australia to find the make and model you’re after, then tender out to the dealerships for them to submit their best price. It’s then up to you to determine which of the bids you’re happiest with and arrange payment. Heck, we’ll even organise to have your new set of wheels delivered straight to your home while we’re at it!