“Later that week, I spotted an ad for a car I had lusted over for years, the Alfa Romeo SZ, and it was £5k cheaper than the Golf, so in a fit of insanity I bought it.
“Eleven years later, the Alfa is now worth considerably more than I paid and every time I look at it I still can’t believe it’s mine. For an easy life, buy new. To realise your dreams, buy used.”
3 - Subaru Legacy 3.0 Spec B (2007)
Nigel Johns says: “I bought my automatic version in 2009 for £13,500. The original retail price was over £30k. The car has been totally reliable and the performance is outstanding. It brings a smile to my face each time I drive it.
“This car seems to have been very much overlooked by British car buyers, although it is very popular elsewhere in the world.
“The fuel economy isn’t great if the performance is used but, taken steadily, it can return more than 31mpg on 99-octane petrol.”
4 - Porsche 911 (2008)
Nick Tiley from Cambridge faced a decision when the time came to move on from his much-loved five-cylinder Ford Focus ST. “You might think that the obvious choice was a Volkswagen Golf R.
But the cash outlay on a new one also covered a 2008 ‘997’ Carrera Gen 2 with reasonable mileage. I’m sure that over three or four years, my cost of ownership will work out significantly lower than the Golf and the smiles per mile will be higher. It’s a very special car.”
5 - Jaguar XFR (2010)
“I have recently bought a 2010 Jaguar XFR,” says Martin Willoughby from Cardiff. “Five litres, 503bhp - what a beast! It has one previous owner, 45k miles, a full Jaguar service history and all paperwork and receipts. When new, it cost more than £65k, including extras. The original owner has taken a £43k hit.”
Martin rates his car as “awesome” and says “everything works as it should”. It’s rapid but “on a recent cruise up to north Wales, it returned just under 30mpg”.
6 - Mercedes-Benz CLK 200k (2008)
Mercedes-Benz enthusiast Gerard Reilly budgeted for a three-year-old Volkswagen Golf diesel but instead fulfilled his dream of putting a three-pointed star on his drive.
“I managed to locate a 2008 CLK 200K with one owner and only 43,000 miles on the clock from a main dealer in the south-east of Ireland,” he says.
“The car is Tanzanite blue with tan leather and the previous owner ticked a good number of boxes on the options list, including an electric sunroof, heated seats, lumbar support, electric memory seats and an electric steering column.
“I paid €16,000 [£11,500] for it, around one-third of its cost new. I think that I have got an SL or CL specification in a more modest CLK. The car drives superbly and has been much admired.”
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