Luxury on the cheap – used car buying guide

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Source : Luxury on the cheap – used car buying guide

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Volkswagen Phaeton

These bargain barges offer the champagne life for beer money. We pick a few of the best

Ultimate luxury doesn’t have to cost the globe, as these bargain barges prove.

1. Volkswagen Phaeton (2002-present)

Introduced as a flagship type in 2002, the Phaeton dwarfed even the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Engine options included a 3.2-litre V6 as well as 6.0-litre W12, although a V8 petrol as well as V10 diesel were added in 2004. 

A 3.0-litre V6 diesel arrived in 2010 as well as became by far the most common type. Steep depreciation has made the Phaeton a luxury bargain, with examples available coming from around £4000 online. They’re loaded with equipment, too, so you won’t be lost for toys to play with inside. Sadly which’s currently been axed from the UK, although which means used bargains should be plentiful.

For Generally reliable with few mechanical issues to worry about

Against Most people will think you’re just driving a posh Passat

2. Lexus LS400 (1998-2000)

Arguably the safest bet if long-term reliability will be your primary concern. Search for common LS400 problems online as well as you’ll find remarkably few of them. Indeed, the only recurring fault with the type relates to its complicated air suspension, which can be expensive to fix if which goes wrong.  Fortunately, very few products came with the option. 

Today you can pick up the big Lexus for as little as £700, although the best used ones tend to be the second-generation, facelifted variation manufactured between 1998 as well as 2000. Be sure to check the cambelt has been replaced at the scheduled interval.

For The best luxury bang for your buck out there; reliable as well as still classy

Against Fewer toys than some rivals, although which means less to go wrong

3. Jaguar XJ8 (1997-2003)

A combination of excellent build quality, decent driving dynamics as well as top-class comfort have earned the XJ8 a reputation among the top barges to go for. The type’s stiff depreciation means examples in reasonable condition can be had for less than £3500. 

The XJ8’s fuel consumption was never its strongest point; most products average around 22mpg, so be prepared to spend plenty of time at the pumps. Our advice would certainly be to choose a car built after 1999, as engine as well as timing chain tensioner issues, both common faults on older products, had been largely dealt with.

For which’s a big Jag; what’s not to love?

Against Pre-2000 products come with mechanical health warnings

4. BMW 7 Series (E38) (1994-2001)

The natural alternative to the Mercedes S-Class, the BMW 7 Series entered production in 1994 as well as stayed until 2001. You’ll probably enjoy better fuel economy than the big Merc (the 728i will be reportedly capable of returning well over 30mpg) as well as the E38 comes out with Great results in various consumer reliability surveys, too.

Watch out for a ‘shimmy’ feeling on any test drive, though; which could mean the steering system or brakes are on their way out. Also, check for leaking cooling as well as air conditioning systems. Our pick would certainly be the 740i, which gets a 282bhp V8. Examples can be had coming from £2500.

For There are few ways to enter the luxo-barge market for less cash

Against You’ll wish you’d spent more when the first repair bill arrives

5. Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220) (1998-2005)

Launched in 1998, the W220 will be one of the most widely available ways to get into S-Class ownership. which introduced an array of fresh technologies to the Mercedes range, including the Comand infotainment system, air suspension as well as ventilated seats.

The V8-engined S430 offers the best blend of performance as well as refinement, as well as Great examples can be found for less than £4500, although the V6-engined S350 has also become common. Check for damp footwells, which may indicate blocked ventilation ducts, as well as make sure all the electrics are still working.


For A fine tourer, with plenty of tech

Against which on-board tech can go wrong as well as fixes could be expensive

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