Sub £1,000 - The BMW 5 series E39
Credit - Wikipedia
For a small budget, the 5 series is a great choice. BMW's of this era had great handling feel, and there are plenty of 525is in budget, with 200 horsepower from a premium and silky smooth straight six engine. Although the looks are controversial, in my opinion it looks sporty and agile compared to the W210 Mercedes of the time.
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The interior is stylish and although there is an absence of modern technology and safety systems we've come to expect from today's cars, it is solid and well made.
Sub £2,000 - Jaguar XJR
Credit - AutoData24
This was a Jaguar that came before the (pig-ugly) S-Type and the (basically a ford) X-Type, yet carries all the modern styling traits of those cars. Examples at this price level are high mileage and will probably be made around the year 2000, but the stateliness of an XJ wafting past surely outweighs the detractors. Plus, under the long hood is a powerful V8 engine that will speed you to 60 in 6.9 seconds, meaning it could hold a modern hot hatch, towards a top speed of 150mph. They had almost 300bhp when new, and should you find an XJ in good condition, it is a steal.
Credit - Classic Cars For Sale UK
The interior is plush and modern, with swathes of wood and leather, and noticeably, the deletion of the Jaguar Badge on the steering wheel in favour of an imprint.
Sub £5,000 - Range Rover Sport
Credit - Carbuyer
Beginning to creep in at the 5K price point are original Range Rover Sports. If your insurance rating isn't good you might struggle to justify buying one, and these don't exactly sip fuel. It is also true that it does not live up to it's Sport name. It is heavy and no faster than a standard Range Rover. However, it does definitely qualify as a luxury car, with image and the badge to match. I have for a long time felt it a shame and a missed opportunity that the full fat Range Rover does not come with seven seats, and so surely that makes this the better family car.
Unfortunately, for £5,000 you are unlikely to get a well specced car and if you can afford to, it would be better to spend an extra grand to get one in a desirable colour.
The interior is a lot more modern compared to the above cars, due to the fact that you are buying into the late 2000s era. The infotainment screens were not quite up to the job of juggling many functions like today's screens though, hence the dual screen set up with the lower screen being used for calling.
Sub £10,000 - Mercedes C-Class W204
Credit - Honest John
A last generation Mercedes C-Class is in range, and although this may seem a little unadventurous considering earlier cars on the list, this would still be a good choice for a multitude of reasons;
1. Cars within this price range have below 50,000 miles,
2. Coupes or Estates are available,
3. A certain amount of respect is acheived by a modern 3 pointed star.
The most sensible option is by far a diesel, which may only have 200 horsepower but will be reliable, economical and still have enough power for overtaking on a narrow road.
Credit - US News Cars
In certain specs the interior can seem bland, lacking the wow factor of Mercedes, BMW and JLR's latest dual screen setups, but overall this is a solid choice. However, a potential buyer might want to consider the fact that newer 3 Series and 5 Series BMWs are available on a similar budget.
Sub £15,000 - Bentley Continental GT 6.0 Flying Spur
Credit - The Car Connection
What can you note about a car with a name almost as long as it's bonnet? WELL... it's absurdly fast, cheap as chips, has a grille larger than your neighbour's house and should be bought immediately. That's if you can afford the petrol for the massive 6.0 litre W12 with 552 bhp and 650Nm of torque.
Credit - Autocar
What more can be said? It is a modern Bentley for £15,000!
Sub £20,000 - Mercedes S-Class
Credit - Lifestyle Asia
The cars you will be buying into at this price are going to be around the 100,000 miles mark, and contrary to the car above, this description is not about listing performance statistics. The thing is, a Mercedes Benz S Class is an aspirational vehicle, and we should be thanking our lucky stars that prices have been brought down by the taxi image and also the sheer popularity of the vehicle. Along with the Rolls Royce Phantom and the Range Rover, this is one of the three pillars of modern luxury automobiles.
Credit - Carlist
The S-Class has a wow factor to it's interior that rivals struggle to beat. The dual screen setup was pioneered by them a few years ago and only now have Beemur and Audi caught back up. This is undeniably the best purchase at this price point.
Sub £40,000 - Aston Martin Rapide
Credit - Autocar
Similarly to the Bentley, this is another example of a luxury brand creating a 6.0 V12 flagship 4-door and seeing prices plummet because not many people can afford to run one. 470bhp, 600Nm, 0-60mph in 5.1 sec and a top speed of 188mph. Not only that, but the car is wrapped up in a beautiful coupe style body, looking like a stretched DB9 rather than a large saloon. In a good way, of course. Aston Martin, for many years has benefitted from brand association with James Bond, and that contributes to the effortless cool.
Credit - Aston Martin
Once again, the interior is dated but cool. A word of advice, make sure to buy a car with a light interior, as it packs the extra wow factor. The flip up satnav is cool as well.
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