Luxobargery throws up some wonderful oddities. A Hyundai Grandeur promises a lot but only really delivers a posher Elantra. However, a 2011 one with just over 40,000 miles, a petrol V6 and such trimmings as an electric rear window blind is £5500. It is either cheap compared with a Lexus or still far too pricey. At least, it isn’t diesel.
We seem to have stayed on the Far Eastern side of the globe. There is a reason for this and maybe a pattern is emerging, although the long-in-the-tooth Vauxhall Senator would qualify. There are plenty of long-lost models from manufacturers that don’t bother with this end of the market, most notably the Nissan Maxima. Great name, another ordinary offering, though, and nowhere near as impressive as a Century.
However, a tidy 2002 2.0-litre example, which was all I could find (no V6), was £1450 with a full service history.
I think I’m losing my way here because I’ve even started to consider the long-forgotten Hyundai XG350 but, like the Maxima V6, it only seems to be a thing in the US.
The thing is it is possible to buy a pukka Century. It will be an import, of course, but it will have a V12 engine and curtains. We found a 2003 car at a dealer and it looks pretty much like the latest one. Apparently, it cost £85,000 back in the day and is now a very reasonable £12,000. The even more breeze-block-shaped model from 1993 is fresh off the boat and £8995. Sadly, I don’t have a space in my life large enough for one of these, but for a hand-built icon that isn’t a Land Rover Defender, look no further.
What we almost bought this week:
ABARTH 124 SPIDER: Early examples of the Abarth 124 are beginning to look like rather splendid value (they’re starting to dip below £20k) – and with a gutsy 1.4-litre turbo engine, they offer more power than their Mazda MX-5 stablemates. Find one with low miles and head out in the sunshine in something a little different from the norm.
Tales from Ruppert’s garage:
Porsche Cayenne - Mileage 97,930:
The Flying Pig has been consistently brilliant. Well, great at gulping fuel, but you can’t fault it. That start-up yelp has gone and we did a few journeys that just lapped up the miles with four on board.
You might remember that the Pig had a smelly dog issue and Autocar readers were not slow in offering brilliant suggestions. One involved an expensive cleaner that I haven’t bought.
White vinegar was another. Instead, we found a date-expired Chinese red condiment, tried it, and then splashed out on some proper white vinegar. It hasn’t absorbed the whiff. We still plan to vacuum the carpets.