Eight ten-year-old cars that are a steal today
These cars are now barely worth a tenth of their original price – time to make a purchase?
Price new in 2007: £9,995
Price now: From £700
It is no secret that the first-generation Ka was one of Ford’s masterpieces, and yet somehow this warmed-through SportKa continues to slip under the radar. Perhaps that’s because its 1.6-litre engine produced a modest 94bhp and that it took 9.7 seconds to get from 0-60mph. Whatever the reason, these days the SportKa is exceptional value at well under a tenth of its original price, for which you get a body kit, 16-inch alloys, uprated suspension, a close-ratio gearbox and snazzy blue seats.
Unlike some of the other cars here our self-imposed budget will also buy you a SportKa with just 80,000 miles or so on the clock. Unless we get there first.
Prince new in 2007: £18,022
Price now: From £1,400
The Hyundai Coupé is not going to be remembered as one of the all-time greats. However, being able to pick up a 10-year-old example for less than £1,500 makes it great value for money.
We’d give the underwhelming 1.6-litre petrol engine a miss in favour of the 2.0-litre with its 141bhp and 9.3 second 0-60mph time (or the rare V6 if you can find one). Do so and you’ll have a handsome and dependable car that handles much better than you’d ever believe. Being a Hyundai it’s also packed with equipment such as air-conditioning, heated leather seats and cruise control.
Mazda RX-8 1.3 231
Price new in 2007: £21,500
Price now: From £1,000
The rotary-engined RX-8 is not a car for those who want bulletproof reliability and tiny running costs. However, find a good one and maintain it accordingly – that means spend a lot of cash – and it will reward with its rear-wheel-drive handling, practical layout (for a coupé) and the unique sound you get from a 1.3-litre engine screaming its way to 228bhp at 8,500rpm.
On the downside high CO2 emission put a year’s tax at more than £500, it can drink oil at almost the same rate as petrol and it’s not unheard of for the engines to expire without warning. A risk then, but at this money one that’s arguably worth taking.
Jaguar X-Type 2.2 diesel Sport
Price new in 2007: £27,500
Price now: From £1,500
If you remember the Jaguar X-Type as a poor relation of the Ford Mondeo upon which it was based then bear with us. For while it is fair to say the X-Type didn’t ever realise Jaguar’s ambition of providing a serious rival to the BMW 3 Series, later versions with the 2.2-litre diesel engine are much better than many give them credit for.
By this point in the car’s life, Jaguar had conquered early problems relating to quality. Additionally, opting for the Ford-sourced diesel rather than a V6 means you can stick with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive to keep running costs low. Find a Sport model and it’ll look pretty smart too.
Price new in 2007: £107,085
Price now: From £8,500
Giant caveat alert: just because what was once a £100,000 car can now be purchased for a tenth of its original price doesn’t mean running costs will have followed the same trajectory. Ergo, while paying less than £10,000 for a V12-engined flagship coupé from Mercedes might sound too good to be true, remember you’ll still need to pay £535 in road tax each year, are unlikely to average much more than 20mpg and will face enormous bills if anything goes wrong.
Even so, 510bhp, a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds and such luxuries as the CL offers still make it seem mighty tempting. Just think, for less than the price of a new MG3 you can have a V12 GT with keyless go, double glazing, night vision assist and electric memory seats.
Peugeot 407 Coupé V6 diesel
Price new in 2007: £23,825
Price now: From £1,600
Big engines in even bigger French cars are a recipe for catastrophic depreciation, hence why the 407 Coupé doesn’t so much scrape into our list as barge its way towards the top step of the podium.
This car is very much from the refined GT end of the coupé spectrum so don’t expect a pants-on-fire driving experience. Our advice is to ignore the lacklustre petrol ’six and go for the twin-turbo diesel instead. This unit was used by Jaguar in the XJ with the same active engine mounts to ensure it’s as smooth as it is swift.
Saab 9-3 2.8T V6 250 Aero Convertible
Price new in 2007: £28,675
Price now: From £2,500
There are a few obvious reasons why you probably shouldn’t buy a 10-year-old V6 Saab convertible, not least of which is an annual tax bill a fifth of the car’s value. And yet with prices as low as they are how can one not be tempted by what was at the time of its release the fastest accelerating soft-top Saab there had ever been?
This convertible could crack 0-62mph in 7 seconds and run all the way up to 152mph thanks to its GM-sourced motor. Find a coupé and it’ll do the same feat in just 6.3 seconds. OK, it’s not a car you’re going to hammer around the Goodwood circuit in, but the solid build quality means it should take mega miles in its stride.
Volkswagen Touareg 5.0 V10 TDI
Price new in 2007: £54,867
Price now: From £5,500
One can only imagine what they were drinking at the management meeting where it was decided that the Touareg needed a V10. With 303bhp and a whopping 553lb ft of torque this diesel delivers the kind of mid-range performance that will leave hot hatches for dust, a point made all the more enjoyable by the VW’s understated styling.
Be warned though that the size of the smile on your face will be matched by that of the crater in your bank balance, with high maintenance costs and anything more than 23mpg something of a pipe dream. Do we even need to say that a full service history is a must?
Words by Chris Knapman.