Britain's best cheap used cars; Mitsubishi Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen buying guide; Ford Fiesta ST road test; Alpina B6 Biturbo driven; next-gen Land Rover Freelander

This week James Ruppert, the founding father of Bangernomics, takes you on a tour of his buying philosophy, lays out his top buying tips and then recommends his favourite bulletproof bargains in our massive cheap cars special.

Fans of Ruppert will know his status as the finest used car expert, and throughout a 17-page special he shares his knowledge, wisdom and irreverent sense of humour as he names his favourite bargains for every type of car buyer.

With prices for James’s recommendations starting from just a few hundred pounds and only rising as far as £2500, there really is a car for every budget.

Highlights include a Mercedes 190E saloon that starts at £395 and starts every time, a pauper’s performance car section that recommends must-have second (or third) fun cars from Ford, Seat, Honda, Hyundai and, erm, Volvo, again available from £395, and a range of more sensible buys taking in every type of car for every type of use, where prices top out at just £1595.

Don’t despair if you’ve got a larger budget, either: there’s a buying guide to the seminal Mitsubishi Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen edition (from £10,000) and a £75,000 comparison of a new Nissan GT-R against a used Audi R8 V10.

As ever, there’s no shortage of new car drives. We have first drive reviews of the new Alpina B6 Biturbo, Mercedes E-class cabrio, Maserati Quattroporte V6 and the new entry-level BMW Z4. The startlingly good Ford Fiesta ST is also put through the full eight-page road test.

Updates from life with our fleet include a farewell to the Chevrolet Volt, plus a trip to BTCC team West Surrey Racing in our BMW M135i and updates on our Volvo V40, Audi A6 Allroad and Mazda CX-5.

Our news leads off with two Land Rover exclusives, outlining plans for the next-generation Land Rover Freelander to move in to an expanded Discovery family (with a name change) and the latest on plans for the launch of a new, radically different Land Rover Defender.

Plans for how the Peugeot 308 can help lift Peugeot out of its economic crisis are also revealed, alongside sister brand Citroën’s push to build more stripped-out budget models. There’s also technical insight into the new McLaren P1.

Autocar magazine is available through all good newsagents, and available to download from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store.

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