Performance Car $75-$150K: Gold Star Value Awards 2014

Punchy performance doesn't have to punch a hole in your bank balance

1. Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG
BENZ’S weapon-fast compact sedan might price itself out of contention against the likes of the $60K Audi S3 and $50K Subaru WRX STi, but at $87K it’s something of a bargain in the next price bracket up, where it has more than the speed and talent to hold its own.

Against the Cayman, there’s only a whisker in it aside from depreciation, where the Porsche’s $20K-higher purchase price hurts its chances.

The $100K Volvo S60 Polestar is a more likely cross-shopping candidate, but the small German soundly beats the medium-sized Swede.

2. Porsche Cayman
THE Cayman’s biggest threat comes from an in-haus rival, the Boxster. Predictably, their key stats are similar, but the tin lid version's 67 percent three-year retained value trumps the drop-top’s 62 percent.

3. Volvo S60 Polestar
THE S60 Polestar’s Gold Star Awards performance is at least as impressive as its surprise V8 Supercar race form. It couldn’t match Audi’s S4 (5th) at comparo time, but pips it for value here.

Perform. $75-150k Purchase Price Comb. Fuel (L/100km) Fuel RON (min. rec.) 3-year fuel cost Redbook resale (%) 3-year deprec. AAMI insurance prem. Service interval (months) Warranty (years)
Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG $86,900 7.0 98 $4495 65 $30,415 $1856.40 12 3
Porsche Cayman $106,600 7.7 98 $4945 67 $35,178 $1847.08 12 3
Volvo S60 Polestar $99,550 9.9 98 $6358 52 $47,784 $1824.12 12 3

Notable classmates: Audi S4, BMW Z4 sDrive35i / Number of cars crunched: 8

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