Greatest Price Difference Between a Base vehicle Model and the Top of the Range Model

We look at the price difference for a single make and model of car. For example, the price difference between a BMW 118d to a BMW 135i

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It used to be the case that the price difference between an entry level and the top of the range model was around 50 percent. These days, some manufacturers have expanded their range so much and added so many 'special editions', the price difference can be massive.

Typical Price Difference for Mainstream Vehicles

First we look at two mainstream vehicles to see what the typical price difference is for a mass market vehicle. The percentage figure is derived by comparing the price of the top model as a percentage of the base model.

Example: £33.1k / £18.1k * 100 = 176%

Base Model Price Top Model Price Difference Percentage
Vauxhall Insignia £18.8k Insignia VXR £33.1k £14.3k 176%
Ford Focus £17.87k Focus RS £27.57k £9.7k 154%
 

Ford Focus RSAt 154% and 176%, the price differential is surprisingly large for these mainstream models. This is due to the fact that, like a number of other manufacturers, both Ford and Vauxhall have added a sports version across their range, the RS and the VXR.

We now take a look which models have the largest price gap between the base model and the most expensive model.

Criteria for Inclusion

  • Both the base and the top model should share the same body/chassis
  • Prices are in UK pounds (rounded up) with no additional options fitted
  • Special 'marketing' editions that have never sold in any significant numbers are not included. eg. Tata Nano DG490 at almost 10 times more than the base model
Base Model Price Top Model Price Difference Percentage
Mercedes SL300 £62k SL65 AMG Black £250k £188k 403%
Mitsubishi Lancer £13k Evo X FQ400 £52k £39k 400%
Renault Clio £8k Clio V6 £26k £18k 325%
Caterham 7 Classic Kit £13k CSR* £42.9k £29.1k 323%
Mercedes S Class £52k S65 AMG £153k £101k 294%
Audi A6 £28k RS6 £76k £48k 271%
Audi Q7 £40k V12 TDI £98k £58k 245%
Porsche 997 C2 £64k 997 Sport Classic £140k £76k 218%
 

Mercedes SL Tops the List Thanks to AMG Supercar

Mercedes SL65 AMG Black SeriesMercedes comes out top of our list, thanks to their AMG sports car division. Their SL range starts with an underpowered, yet expensive £62k coupe with a meagre 230 bhp on tap and ends with a true supercar, the SL65 AMG Black Series.

This monster of a car could not be further away from the SL300, boasting a 6 litre V12 biturbo engine, the 'Black' produces 661 bhp and is priced at a cool quarter of a million pounds!

* the Caterham Levante at £102k is excluded from this list, as this is a special vehicle, which is no longer available from Caterham

 
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