The Monaro - now replaced by the VXR8 - caused a stir when it first arrived in the mid-2000s. Firstly, it blew away the perception of Vauxhall, and secondly, who knew General Motors could produce such a beast? It has more kick than an angry kangaroo and enough bite to make a huntsman spider appear tame. It’s also a great-looking large coupé with a big 5.7-litre V8 engine. The ride is smooth and it’ll entertain you through the corners, but leave the traction control on to keep the rear end in check.
See Vauxhall Monaro for sale on PistonHeads
Fuel and insurance costs are high, but the Monaro depreciates slowly and service costs should be reasonable. We found a 2005 model that had covered 76,000 miles for £9490.
3 - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII (2003-2005)
The Evo VIII landed on our shores as a war raged in its native Japan: a ferocious battle between Mitsubishi and Subaru to be crowned the maker of the best rallybred four-door saloon in the world. The Evo VIII certainly has all the credentials. It explodes off the mark, with 262bhp coming from its 2.0-litre engine and power being sent to all four wheels, while beautifully balanced, nearperfect steering, limited body roll and extreme levels of grip make the Evo a handling champion. Insurance costs are steep, though, and tyres are likely to need replacing regularly.
See Mitsubishi Evo for sale on PistonHeads
Find one that’s been fully serviced and well looked after. We found an Evo VIII with 66,000 miles for sale at £8795.
4 - Jaguar XJ Super V8 (2003-2009)
If you’re after something more refined, something with a touch of class, something British, the Jaguar XJ 4.2 Super could be the car for you. Performance comes from a supercharged 4.2-litre V8 producing 400bhp, meaning it takes just 5.0sec to hit 60mph. As with all XJs, you’ll be wafted around in comfort in a luxurious interior, yet the lightweight aluminium body ensures the XJ remains one of the best-handling executive saloons.