If you’ve ever wanted to own an old AMG, here are the least expensive options.
Have you ever wanted to experience exhilarating AMG performance on the cheap? Boasting hand-crafted engines from Affalterbach in Germany, these are cars that are built with care – and arguably more care than new entry level AMG’s such as the A35, which will set you back around $67,200 AUD.
For this list, we have looked at AMG cars you can find in Australia for under $20,000 AUD, and we will be ranking them from most to least expensive. Although some can be mechanical nightmares, most featured on this list are impaccably bulletproof, however – either way, they will drain your wallet at the petrol station.
NOTE: ALL PRICES ARE IN AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (AUD). This is an evaluation of the Australian market. Prices are calculated at the time of writing.
10. C55 AMG (W203) – $20,000
Featuring a bulletproof 5.4L engine that pumps out 270kW (362hp) and 510Nm, the C55 AMG is serious about speed. Released in 2004 and succeeding the previous AMG’s blown V6, their latest sports sedan brought the V8 rumble back, a sound sorely missed by C-class enthusiasts. Additionally, AMG reworked the suspension, ensuring that the C55 could now take real-world corners well, turning the W203 into more of an enthusiasts car than its predecessors.
If you’re lucky, you could find a high mileage C55 in Australia for under $20,000. Don’t let mileage scare you though, the C55 may just be one of the most reliable choices on this list.
09. SLK32 AMG (R170) – $20,000
Rarer than the C55 above, the SLK32 features a hand-built 3.2L V6, which force fed with a violent supercharger produces a hefty 260kW (349hp) and 460Nm. With a shorter wheelbase and coming in at around 100kg lighter than the average C-class AMG of its era, the SLK32 may seem a touch sportier than other AMG cars, but it’s not quite as well fine tuned as cars such as the C55.
Although not quite as light, it’s the size of an MX-5 but considerably quicker in the straights – a future classic, and it can be yours for under $20,000.
08. CLK55 AMG (C209) – $20,000
In our opinion, one of the best value-for-money cars on this list – the CLK55. The predecessor to the E-class coupe, the stylish luxury two door has aged quite well. Featuring the same 270kW (362hp) / 510Nm 5.4L V8 as the C55, the CLK tips the scales at over 1700kg, making it over 150kg heavier than the C55. Although this doesn’t have a noticable effect on straight line performance, the CLK55 suffers in the handling department when pitched up against the C-class. It makes up for the weight however with it’s coupe styling and E-class luxury. Perfect for a nice cruise along the coast.
Available in both coupe and soft-top, a CLK55 can be had for under $20,000, which we think is quite a lot of car for the money.
07. ML63 AMG (W164) – $19,000
The only AMG on this list with the infamous M156 6.2L V8. With a mindblowing 375kW (503hp) of power and 630Nm of torque, the ML63 shoots up to 100km/h faster than any other car here, despite it’s 2.3 tonne weight. Although the 63 AMG may seem like a no brainer, don’t let it’s attractive looks and performance fool you. We’ve written this before, but early iterations of the 6.2L engine were troubled by problems, defects, flaws, initial bad reception and even a class-action law suit, making it the least reliable AMG engine ever mass produced.
Anyhow, if you’re mechanically minded or just want power for the money, a high-mileaged ML63 could be in your books for just $19,000. We’ve even seen examples for around $15,000, but we’d very much question it’s condition at that price.
06. E55 AMG (W210) – $15,000
An executive saloon from before the turn of the millenium, the E55 is unlike any other luxury high-performance saloon. Similar to the C55, the E-class features an older iteration of the bulletproof 5.4L V8 engine mated to a bulletproof gearbox, and pumps out 260kW (349hp) and 530Nm, which for the late 90’s was nothing to mock.
The W210 E55 is becoming rarer now, but you’ll find them for sale around $15,000. Pick one up before it gains classic status.
05. C32 AMG (W203) – $14,000
AMG’s blown 6 was Daimler’s first attempt at high-performance supercharging. Featuring the same 260kW (349hp) / 460Nm 3.2L V6 Kompressor as the SLK32, the C32 was AMG’s first true competitor to BMW’s M division, aiming down the sights at the E46 M3. With a violent 17.7psi of boost, the C32 can narrowly outrun the M3 and even the succeeding V8 powered C55 in the straights, however loses substantial ground to both in the corners.
With an engine that packs a punch, you can find yourself a C32 for around $14,000.
04. C36 AMG (W202) – $14,000
A balanced saloon with an sweet engine, the C36 features a slick 3.6L straight-six which pumps out a healthy 206kW (276hp) and 385Nm. Although quite a forgotten generation of Mercedes – especially in Australia, the C36 AMG marks a iconic turning point for AMG, as it was the first car produced by the engine builder after the merge with Daimler-Benz.
Pick yourself up a future classic with an intreguing history for just $14,000 before prices start rising – provided you can find one for sale. We’ve seen examples for sale for around $10,000 before, but you’ll have to be very lucky to find one at that price.
03. E36 AMG (W210) – $13,500
The rarest car on this list by a considerable margin, the E36 AMG was sold in the tens in Australia – 49 examples to be precise. A luxury saloon that had an incredibly short production span, AMG only built 400 examples before it was quickly succeeded by the V8 powered E55. With the same 206kW (276hp) / 385Nm 3.6L straight six as the C36, the E36 is a unique car for a serious Mercedes collector.
If you manage to find one for sale, expect to pay around $13,500. We’ve seen examples in the past for under $10,000, but again, you’ll have to be extremely lucky to find one for that price.
02. CLK55 AMG (C208) – $13,000
There’s already been a CLK55 AMG on this list, however if you can’t afford the newer one, you could purchase the older generation for almost half the price. Featuring an older iteration of the 5.4L V8 (the same found in the W210 E55), the motor produces 255kW (349hp) and 530Nm. Featuring E-class technology such as HID lights and powered seat/steering wheel adjusters, the older CLK55 is no short of luxuries.
Range topping technology and performance for the late 90’s, with the reliability to match – and it can be yours for around $13,000. We’ve seen high-mileage examples go for as low as $7,000.
01. ML55 AMG (W163) – $6,000
Here it is. The cheapest AMG model you can buy in Australia. Powered by the same 5.4L V8 found in the older CLK55 and E55, and tuned to the 255kW (349hp) guise, the ML55 is no slouch. Upon release, it was dubbed the fastest SUV in the world by Car and Driver magazine, reaching a considerable 227km/h. For those questioning it’s usability, the ML55 also has a low range gearbox, thus it can do some light off-roading as well.
All that can be had for just $6,000 – and we’ve seen examples for as low as $4,000.
That’s all for this list!
What AMG car would you buy for under $20,000? Let us know.