Does it look the part? This is an important question for used car buyers who want a hot hatchback but can’t quite take the insurance premium hit. Fancy alloy wheels, flash paint and some nice extras they can stretch to, though.
We’re talking to the younger drivers, of course, but they still have to bear in mind that if their tepid hatch looks as if it means business, it’s probably going to affect how much they pay for cover, along with their driving record, where they live and what they do for a living. Anyway, let’s have a look around and see what might be on offer.
Well, this looks nice: it’s a 75,000-mile 2009 Ford Ka 1.2 Style+. This snazzy three-door has some added bits and pieces but is apparently still cheap to insure and will do around 55mpg. The details are a Zetec S front splitter, black alloys, black badges, tinted windows and a rear spoiler. Not only that, but more than £400 has also been spent replacing its suspension, which all makes the £1999 asking price sound like a bit of a bargain.
For just a few quid more, a Seat Leon offers more space and more practicality – and it’s even better if it has a full styling kit. The 1.6 petrol will pull it along smartly enough and just about return 37mpg. So a 2007 Reference example with 95,000 miles and a rather attractive Sport styling kit and nice alloys at just over £2000 is tempting. And it really does look like a proper Cupra-clone hatchback, minus the real performance, but quite honestly I’m attracted by its relative cheapness and I can’t see any drawbacks.
A Citroën C2 Loeb is a tiny limited-edition car that makes the most of its 121bhp. That might cause some insurance issues, but it could be a reward for a young driver with a few years of good behaviour. It’s a great-looking car with cool alloy great-looking car with cool alloys and a bodykit that of course celebrates Sébastien. This 2007 example with 92,000 miles costs £1400, and it’s certainly worth a go.