We pick five of our favourite British-built cars that you can buy on the used market for £20,000
8 March 2016

Being patriotic can easily extend to your driveway - these great British icons deserve to be driven.

1. Aston Martin DB7 (1994–2004)

An Aston Martin is a must-have for the fantasy lottery-winning garage of many people. To see why, you need only sample the sense of occasion and touch of class that a DB7 brings.

The car's 3.2-litre straight six produces 335bhp, enables 0-60mph in 5.6sec and delivers a soundtrack to match. Grip levels are excellent, yet this is at heart a grand tourer with a silky smooth ride.

Leather and wood set the cabin ambience and the front seats offer excellent comfort and support. However, the driving position is poor and space in the rear is tight.

DB7 prices have been on the rise for a while now, but we found a 1998 model with less than 80,000 miles on the clock for just under £20k.

2. TVR Cerbera 4.2 (1996–2003)

The drama with a Cerbera starts from the moment you set eyes on this elongated, low-slung sports car, which remains one of the best-looking around.

If this is your first Cerbera encounter, the intrigue continues as you figure out how to get in. There’s a little door release button under the mirror. And once inside, you’ll be taken by its distinctive design, low-slung seating position and letterbox view forwards.

The 4.2-litre V8 kicks out 360bhp and, aided by a kerb weight of just 1100kg, will rocket the car from zero to 60mph in just 4.2sec and on to 180mph.

We turned up a 20-year-old example that had covered just 25,000 miles and was on sale for less than £17,000.

3. Bentley Arnage 4.4 (1999–2010)

Slipping into the Arnage is like entering your favourite luxury suite at the Savoy. Milled aluminium, hand-crafted wood veneers and toe-curling lambswool carpets will have you relaxed and isolated from the outside world faster than you can say caviar and Chivas Regal.

It’s not all pipe and slippers, though. The Arnage, remember, is still a Bentley and it has a stonking 4.4-litre V8 ready to surge you and your pampered guests to 60mph in 6.2sec. It’ll have a go at the twisty stiff as well en route to the weekend country residence.

Grab the Coutts card and get yourself a pre-millennium model with 69,000 miles covered for the price of a Harrods shopping trip: £15,000.

4. Jaguar XFR (2007–2015)

Should there be a remake of the 1980s TV show Minder, Terry McCann would be driving an XFR and exercising more than 500bhp under his right foot to get out of those tight situations. The XFR is a truly cracking car and the stereotypically plucky Brit.

It came from nowhere, on a limited budget, and proceeded to conquer the super-saloon sector, slugging both the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG right between the eyes to take class honours.

It handles sharply without ever having an overly firm ride. It looks great and its interior is eye-catching, with its rising gear selector and rotating air vents. A 2010 car with less than 70k miles can be found on forecourts from £17,250.

5. Range Rover Sport 4.2 (2005–2013)

A mud-plugger is an essential resident on the in-out driveway of the British gentleman. In 2005, the Sport brought the Range Rover moniker to a new and more populous audience for the first time.

It’s a car that’s ready to take you on the seasonal shoots (clay pigeon, obviously) or to drop the kids at school in a fancy London suburb. It inherited its big brother’s luxurious cabin, road presence and all-terrain prowess, while improving on-road handling manners, even if the ‘Sport’ badge remains slightly misleading.

The supercharged 4.2-litre V8 suits the sporting pretentions and, with 385bhp on tap, gets the high-riding beast to 60mph in a little over 7.0sec.

A 2007 HSE with 69,000 miles covered is typically just £11k.

Matthew Griffiths

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Comments
9

8 March 2016

Fact is, if any of these old timers were any good, then there would be no market for new cars. Sure there is a place for them: they look good on the driveway, and would be fun to drive at the weekends when they are working. But, if you need a reliable, efficient, comfortable, everyday usable motor - as most people do - then these classics are all non starters. I wish articles like these would look beyond the purchase price of old cars and introduce a degree of realism. What happens if you need to replace a windscreen on a 20 year old TVR - and how much would it cost for a 25-year old to insure a blown Bentley, for example.

jer

8 March 2016

The others you'd need to know or be a mechanic. But there is something in being different so why not? otherwise everyone will soon own a Golf or Ford Quashqua and those old Citoren DSs would have been scrapped.

jer

8 March 2016

The others you'd need to know or be a mechanic. But there is something in being different so why not? otherwise everyone will soon own a Golf or Ford Quashqua and those old Citoren DSs would have been scrapped.

MrJ

8 March 2016

Tasty selection here. Depending on my mood, I could take the Bentley or the Range Rover.

Not for the daily drive mind, but fine for weekends or special occasions.

Mind you, any recentish car with less than 70k on the clock has plenty of life left.

8 March 2016

.... I'd like to see you run these Cash Cows for the price of running a Quashqai!

8 March 2016

Delightful but they are also highly irresponsible purchases if you have any environmental decency in your bones. Perhaps a collectors item for the future and driven once a month would be acceptable but as a daily commute or even an weekender - thats simply showing off and being selfish

what's life without imagination

29 March 2016

Going to the toilet and emitting gasses which are toxic to the environment is also delightful but I guess irresponsible. How dare people eat vegetables and show off and be selfish. Lets all walk (without shoes - cause that kills the earth) and eat dust.

Bet you ate an animal for breakfast, lunch or dinner today btw.

TS7

30 March 2016

There are plenty of 'angry save the planet tofu worshipping angry lgbt' websites to choose from.

5wheels wrote:

Delightful but they are also highly irresponsible purchases if you have any environmental decency in your bones. Perhaps a collectors item for the future and driven once a month would be acceptable but as a daily commute or even an weekender - thats simply showing off and being selfish

8 March 2016

There are fewer greater environmental hazards than buying a new car, particularly a diesel one. Far better to keep something running.

Nobody said you have to run one every day. Maybe you are short of imagination.

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