Mercedes-AMG: how to get your hands on a used Merc

With their bonkers engines, thunderous soundtracks and demented handling characteristics, AMG’s models have traditionally provided a little light relief in the rather serious world of performance cars. And while recent models from Mercedes’ fast car arm have exhibited a slightly less loony take on life, with downsized turbo engines and ultra-sophisticated chassis tech, these cars still stand for ultimate performance.

Forget forking out £88,000 on the latest E63, however. If you’re looking for a bargain at every budget level, you needn’t search for long. Here are our picks of the classified ads.

 

2010 Mercedes-AMG SL63 – £36,000

Give the SL roadster’s brilliant M156 V8 even more power and you get the super-athletic SL63, which beautifully combines performance, grand touring ability and handling prowess. This car cost £100,000-plus when new, but sharp depreciation means early examples are now available from just over £30,000, while £36k will get you a lower-mileage 2010 model. The official 0-62mph time of 4.6sec is helped by the clever MCT auto’s launch-control function. Beware, though; the transmission is known for its occasional reliability issues, as are the SL63’s electronics. Make sure you buy a healthy one.

 

2003 Mercedes-AMG CLK55 – £7000

Unlike many of its menacing-looking coupé stablemates, discretion was the W209 CLK55’s middle name. Subtle badging and the huge twin exhausts were the only hints as to the muscular 362bhp 5.4-litre V8 under the bonnet. With a five-second 0-62mph time that baited supercars of the period, it looked set for success – but it cost more than a Porsche 911 and couldn’t beat the sharper, more rewarding E46-generation BMW M3. That’s not an issue these days, of course, and you can get a tidy one for less than £7000. Just beware of wheelarch rust, and check the five-speed auto shifts smoothly.

 

2008 Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate – £20,000

The quintessential family AMG, the…

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