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Used cars for the price of a new set a carbon brakes: Mitsubishi Triton, MG ZS, Suzuki Baleno and others you can buy for less than $20k

This 2016 Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4x2 can be yours for the price of the Audi RS Q8's optional carbon-ceramic brakes.

The Audi RS Q8 is a fantastic vehicle - fast, practical and stylish. 

It’s also expensive, starting at $208,377 (plus on-road costs), and that’s only the beginning, because there’s several options you can add to make it your own.

These include a Sensory Package that includes a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and massaging seats for an additional $9700.

But that’s small change compared to the RS Dynamic Package Plus, which adds carbon-ceramic brakes with red brake callipers, and increases the top speed to 305km/h for a whopping $19,500.

That’s a very large sum of money for a single option item, and in fairness to Audi, the company is hardly alone in offering five-figure options, but it got us curious about what else you could buy for that much money.

With new cars currently in high demand and low supply due to the on-going semiconductor shortage, we’ve decided to take a look at the used-car market.

There are some great pre-owned vehicles that can be had for less than it will cost you to buy the bigger brakes for your Audi.

We’ve scoured the CarsGuide and Autotrader classifieds to find some options for less than $19,500 and with less than 100,000km on the odometer.

Ute - 2016 Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4x2

If you need a workhorse on our budget, you’re in luck because there are plenty of cab-chassis 4x2 utes available for less than $20k. Our pick would be the Mitsubishi Triton GLX, with plenty available that meet our criteria that are only five years old.

If you want something newer, there are plenty of 2019 model Great Wall Steed cab-chassis available, and we even found a Great Wall Steed dual-cab for less than $15,000 if you need the extra passenger space.

SUV - 2020 MG ZS

I know we said we’d stick to used cars, but you can pick up an almost-new MG ZS small SUV within our $19,500 budget. We found an example of a ‘20 ZS Excite with less than 17,000km on the clock for only $18,800.

If you’re willing to sacrifice newness, there are plenty of other options we found, including the Holden Trax, Suzuki Ignis, Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Kuga.

Hatchback - 2021 Suzuki Baleno GL

Here’s another example of our ceramic-brake budget stretching all the way to an effectively brand-new car. While there were plenty of Kia Picantos and MG3s available for similar prices, if it were our money, it’s hard to go past a dealer demo Suzuki.

The Baleno may not be the best small car on the market, but like most Suzukis, it’s underrated, well-built and offers good value for money.

Convertible - 2013 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

If you want a touch of glamour, there are plenty of convertibles available within our criteria. While there are plenty of mid-decade Fiat 500 Lounges, older BMW 1 Series’ and even a few Saab 9-3s available, our pick would be the Volkswagen.

We found a 2013 model year example for just under $17k and with almost 100,000km underneath it, but given the build quality of this generation of Golf, it should be a relatively safe bet (although it may be costly to service).