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We were poor growing up, so I have always been quite frugal. Now in my 60s though, I am looking for a mid-sized SUV. My wife is encouraging me to splurge, but I wonder if there’s better value with a used vehicle. I have been looking at a used 2017 Porsche Macan (with the four-cylinder) for around $60,000. – Dennis

To get a luxury SUV for a relative steal, it might pay to go back a few years.

“If you are open to buying a used vehicle, the best value and selection is probably three- to four-year-old luxury vehicles,” said Andrew Tai, CEO of new-vehicle marketplace Unhaggle.com (Note: Unhaggle operates the Build and Price tool at globedrive.com.)

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That’s when most leases expire and, for luxury cars, that means an average depreciation of about 57 per cent, Tai said.

If you’re only going back a year or two, you’ll still save some money – and likely get more options for your buck.

But new cars come with a full warranty and, if you’re financing, often better interest rates. And they might come with safety tech that wasn’t around a year or two before. So compare what you’re actually getting.

Sure, the sticker price on a new base Macan is $55,350 MSRP before taxes, but good luck finding one for that. “Rarely will you ever find a base-model Porsche with minimal or no added options,” Tai said.

Although the four-cylinder Macan is no slouch on the road, if you want to opt for a little more power, one alternative is its corporate cousin, the Audi SQ5.

2017 Porsche Macan

2017 Porsche Macan.

/Handout

  • First generation: 2015 to present
  • Average asking price for base: $60,755 (Canadian Black Book)
  • Original starting MSRP: $55,350
  • Engine: 250-hp, 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Transmission/drive: Seven-speed automatic/all-wheel
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 11.6 city, 9.3 highway; premium gas

The 2017 base Macan was the cheapest Porsche you could get, but that doesn’t mean it drove like a Lada.

“For those who are wondering – because if you’re considering a Porsche, you’re wondering – it does indeed stand up on the track,” a Globe Drive review said.

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Porsche introduced the base Macan in 2017. It got a four-banger instead of the V-6 engines in the 340-hp Macan S ($70,100 used, on average), new-for-2017, 360-hp Macan GTS ($74,250 used) and the 440-hp Macan Turbo ($85,725 used).

The bad? The 2017 base was still pricier than roomier base versions of Audi’s Q5 ($43,800 new, $35,700 used), BMW’s X3 ($45,950 new, $39,879 used) or Mercedes GLC ($45,150 new, $44,362 used).

And as you added options from Porsche’s nearly endless list, it could potentially double in price.

The good? Pretty much everything that happens once you start the engine, reviewers said.

“Quite simply, no other compact luxury SUV is more engaging and fun to drive as the 2017 Porsche Macan,” review site Edmunds said.

Consumer Reports gave the 2017 Macan five out of five for reliability. There were two recalls, including a fuel filter that could potentially leak gasoline and cause a fire.

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2016 Audi SQ5

2016 Audi SQ5.

  • First generation: 2014-2017
  • Average asking price for base: $48,336 (Canadian Black Book)
  • Original starting MSRP: $58,500
  • Engine: 354-hp 3.0-litre supercharged V-6
  • Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automatic/all-wheel
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 14.1 city, 9.9 highway; premium gas

Relatively speaking, the Audi SQ5 is a wolf in Q5 clothing.

“If you’re looking for maximum performance from a compact luxury SUV, the 2016 Audi SQ5 likely delivers the spicier driving experience you’re seeking,” Edmunds said, calling it “arguably the best all-around choice in this high-performance niche.”

From the outside, the differences are subtle – the grille and front air dam are a little more aggressive – but the SQ5 got a souped-up version of the Q5’s 3.0-litre V-6 that put out 82 extra horsepower.

There were two trims: Progressiv and Technik. Both needed the navigation package for navi, backup camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Edmunds liked the well-made interior’s “sporty flourishes,” the speedy acceleration (5.3 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, Audi said; the base Macan boasts 6.7), strong brakes and top-notch handling.

The gripes? Just like the Q5, there was no USB connectivity (Audi used its own proprietary connecting cable) and it didn’t have active accident avoidance tech.

Consumer Reports gave the 2016 Q5 four out of five for reliability. There were no recalls.

Send your used car questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com with the subject: “Buying used.”

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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