Fancy a used Volkswagen Golf for under £11,000? These are the top bargain buys we've spotted for sale
26 October 2018

They don’t get much more middle of the road than this mid-spec Golf, but look beyond the overly familiar styling and there’s real value here, especially in pre-facelift Mk7 guise at a touch over three years old.

New, the example we have in mind – a one-owner 2015/15-reg car with 41,000 miles – would have cost around £20,750 after a discount. So that’s £10,000 saved for a start. And whereas the facelifted version looks a little sharper, the older one is no different to the untrained eye.

Match spec is indecently good: alloy wheels, active cruise control, air conditioning, four electric windows, front and rear parking sensors, a centre armrest and a leather-covered steering wheel. All in addition tothe Golf’s standard-fit digital radio, emergency brake assist, electronic parking brake and engine stop/start.

The 1.4 TSI petrol engine produces 123bhp; not a lot, but in a car weighing less than 1200kg, it’ll do. More impressive, it develops 148lb ft from as little as 1400rpm. It’s like a little diesel motor, only quieter, smoother and sweeter. It’s almost as economical too: certainly in the early 50s without much effort.

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Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

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There’s nothing stopping you buying the diesel version, of course. Like for like, it’s about £750 cheaper. However, the petrol looks like being better future-proofed.

Being the Match rather than the base S, our chosen example has multi-link rear suspension for an even better ride and sharper handling. The Mk7 may have shed weight but the doors still thud shut, the paint is thick and the interior is rock solid. Pound to a penny, our car will look and feel as good as the day it left the showroom.

TVR Chimaera, £7500:

It takes a brave soul to get into bed with a Chimaera, but this 1998-reg 4.0-litre with 49,000 miles looks like it could be worth a fling. The private seller claims it’s in good overall condition with no signs of outrigger trouble. It has “fantastic” service history and – here’s confidence – “the engine and gearbox are near perfect”.

Cadillac Seville STS V8, £5995:

No straining to see around cars ahead of you in this old Caddy. It’s a right-hooker; an example of the car maker’s short-lived flirtation with the UK. There’s a juicy 4.6-litre V8 producing 300bhp – good enough for 0-60mph in 6.5sec. It has done only 16,000 miles, has a full service history and is in “pristine condition”.

Dacia Sandero, £4000:

So, four years on, how are those Sandero values holding up? We spotted a 2014 1.2 Ambiance with 61,000 miles up for a stiff £4000. The new price was £6595 and its trade worth is around £2600, so it has lost only £1000 a year. Assuming it stands the dealer at two-six, he’s on a nice margin.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo, £9999:

If it hadn’t been for its full Porsche service history and just three previous owners, the first a Porsche garage where it was a demonstrator, we’d probably have turned the page. Now we’re here, this 2004 Cayenne Turbo with 97,000 miles on the clock looks the business in black with privacy glass and matching leather.

Auction watch: 

MG B: With autumn upon us, it’s time to buy a soft-top; something like an MG B. A few shuffled through the auctions recently, ranging in price from £3180 for a Tango-orange 1980 GT with rubber bumpers to £16,122 for a 1972 V8 roadster with the proper chrome jobbies.

Best value looked to be a 1972 GT with wire wheels for £6572. ‘Looked’ because you can never tell with these old girls. Oil leaks, body filler (take a magnet when you’re shopping), a noisy diff, worn kingpins, sagging doors and bodged repairs lie in wait. Still, it should keep you busy during those long autumn evenings.

Get it while you can: 

Jaguar XJR 575 Price new £93,780. Price now £89,950:

The mighty XJR 575, all 567bhp short-wheelbase hooligan of it, is no more; killed off by its maker’s failure to get it through the new WLTP emissions test. The 575 was the ultimate XJ, with towering performance but a superb ride too. A Mercedes S-Class and an Audi A8 are more sophisticated but neither has the 575’s charm. Run-out examples are rare but one Jag dealer is showing a 2018/68 car for £3890 off the new list price. Given they’re knocking up to £16k off new diesel XJs, £15k off this beauty should be the minimum.

Clash of the classifieds: 

Brief: For the image-conscious family driver, find me a sexy people-carrier for £20,000, please.

Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI SE Estate £20,000:

Forget the rest, buy the best. If you desire to move seven people in supreme comfort and refinement in a car capable of 144mph (and 50mpg), then this immaculate Merc with a low mileage is the one for you. You’d be a fool to overlook its wonderfully competent chassis, and if you’re looking for sexy, there’s 369lb ft of torque, a three-pointed star on the grille and a low-slung driving position, as well as a centre of gravity that will make the drivers of MPVs and SUVs weep. Mark Pearson 

Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 150 Zetec £18,460:

Sexiness is a feeling so it’s no good quoting stats, Mark. People-carriers were dull to drive and boxy in shape before Ford threw out those dreadful conventions with the S-Max. It’s much sleeker than the Galaxy upon which it is based and the brilliant chassis boffins from the Blue Oval have made it handle more like a hot hatch and less like a boat. This year-old, 11,000-mile S-Max is much cheaper than that Merc, also promises 50mpg and will be as sweet to drive. MAX ADAMS


Sexy – an estate? But while the black S-Max is a rakish thing, the Merc makes me tingle all over. JOHN EVANS

Read more

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26 October 2018
This is my first time I visit here. I found so many exciting stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my $1 domain registration website and you have given me an idea.

26 October 2018

Always loved the big Cadillacs when they were properly imported in RHD, a slice of Americana (but with the associated thirst that is unsuitable for UK fuel prices) though that one is a bit pricey. Low miles isn't always a good thing, for a approx 20 year old car a lot of the rubber seals and hoses etc. will have perished through underuse. Alright as a project or a collectors car, but would be hesistant to push it into daily service.

Though if you really needed a Cadillac in your life, you could always go the Europe specific BLS which was a rebadged Saab, parts (other than Caddy specific bodywork) should be easier to obtain. Even though there are no Saab or Cadillac dealers left, and Vauxhall dealers are mostly useless, most mechanics should be able to work on the GM derived components and Fiat diesel engines.

26 October 2018

Though that Dacia, for a couple of grand more (or, in finance terms, a few quid more a month) you could get into a brand new example.

The Merc "a three-pointed star on the grille" - that's my issue, why is it no longer on the bonnet like classy Mercs of old? :(

"sleeker", "the black S-Max is a rakish thing" - am I looking at the same car? The Smax just looks like a blob, a cross between a Creme Egg van and a Transit Tourneo.

26 October 2018

Before buying any of these cars, check out Honest John's website for the models to avoid due to known, costly issues, especially VW timing chains and Ford Eco boost turbo cooling pipes. Good luck!


26 October 2018
centenary wrote:

Before buying any of these cars, check out Honest John's website for the models to avoid due to known, costly issues, especially VW timing chains and Ford Eco boost turbo cooling pipes. Good luck!


Spot on advice, always respond to questions and offer  constantly up dated info on the website.

27 October 2018

I'll bet you $500 that Golf weighs more than 1,200 kg.  VAG is full of  crap.

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