Choosing the perfect winter saloon can be full of peril - but choosing one with all-wheel drive will give you extra security through the colder months.
1 - Jaguar X-Type 3.0 (2001-2009)
Although firmly in the pocket-money price bracket today, the X-Type was well regarded when new. The flagship model, launched with a 3.0-litre V6 and four-wheel drive as standard, was well received, despite a cramped cabin and styling that was dated from the off.
The engine - based on Ford’s Duratec unit - produced 231bhp and gave impressive pace, but all models are distinctly discreet. There are no bucket seats, rubber band tyres or overt bodykits, even on Sport models. If this understatement appeals, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a serviceable example. Walk away from cars with engine or gearbox issues and be fussy.
Exceptional, low-mileage cars (of which there are many) creep beyond £6k, but £2000 should find you something that works with average miles and some service history.
2 - Subaru Legacy 3.0R Spec-B (2006-2010)
The 243bhp Legacy 3.0R is a true sleeper saloon. Inside or out, there’s little to suggest that this a 150mph car capable of 6.5sec 0-60mph sprints. Equipment levels are good and, running costs aside, they are easy to live with.
Prices are hard to gauge. Enthusiasts value them, but you might be able to dig out a bargain at a dealer struggling to sell something so specialist. You’ll find them for sale from around £3500, but bear in mind that repairs and servicing are expensive. Pay more for one with a traceable service history.
3 - Mazda 6 MPS (2005-2007)