They are great cars, they can take punishment and are cheap to fix. That should be enough, but a 1.6 TDCi will return more than 60mpg, and feedback from owners seems to confirm that as pretty accurate.
A Sport example from 2010 with a factory sat-nav, 12 months’ MOT and just over 100,000 miles was a reasonable-enough £2500 at a dealer. I would say that it’s perfect, and it has to be the sensible choice here.
If size is an issue then I still adore the now-departed Volvo C30. What a lovely piece of industrial design it is.
I spied a beige-coloured one without any R Design flim-flam, just the matt black detailing, and it looked superb. I know styling isn’t in the brief, but these look like icons waiting to happen. Anyway a 1.6 D in SEtrim and from as far back as 2007 is £2750. Compared with lots of others this example had a pretty reasonable 77,000 miles; later 2009s and 2010s tended to be into six figures. Oh yes, that diesel engine should comfortably do 50mpg overall. Anyway, the C30: that’s the stylish one.
Shall we go mad? I bumped into a left-hand-drive Alfa Romeo 159 Sport wagon Turismo JTDM. It’s a 2007 example and has 120,000 miles under its wheels. This is probably the last thing anyone would need, even at £2500. Well used, a couple of previous owners and the next MOT the best part of a year away. It would be a fairly cool old bus to tear up and down the motorway in, at least until something interesting happened.
All of this proves that a seemingly tight buying brief can throw up some interesting options. We’ll come back to the resale value issue another time.
What we almost bought this week:
CITROEN SAXO VTR - Low-mileage, unmodified Citroën Saxo VTRs are rarer than hens’ teeth, and prices for any that come up for sale tend to be steep. We saw one at £2250 but it had a full service history and a recent cambelt change. One day the Saxo VTR might be as revered as the performance-orientated version of its Peugeot 106 sibling is.
Tales from Ruppert’s garage:
PORSCHE CAYENNE, Mileage: 98,125: We’ve been cleaning the Cayenne. Well, I use the royal ‘we’ but it was actually the females at the Bangernomics Compound who’d had enough of the damp dog smell and decided to act.
It involved a carpet cleaner, one of those that you plug in and add water so it sucks up all the dirt. And blimey, was there a lot of dirt. The water turned the colour of mud in seconds. After four or five refills with carpet cleaner it was still coming up mud.