Car Choice: How to find top German quality at a knockdown price

Michael Older bought a BMW recently and was not happy with it, but the dealer gave a full refund. Now Michael is in the market for a sporty diesel estate car with a bit of class, and can spend £25,000. He wants to look at other German cars such as Audi and Mercedes. Most of all, he is looking for the best deals.

A car for the head

Michael should consider an older car to save the most amount of money. As I never tire of pointing out, depreciation is the biggest motoring expense. Now, if there is one marque that has been completely rehabilitated over the past decade, it is Skoda. Volkswagen has revamped the entire range so that it now offers traditional VW qualities of reliability and quality but at a knockdown price. The ideal Skoda model for Michael would be the Octavia estate, which is also available in a performance version, the vRS. It is the one of the fastest Skodas ever, but with the diesel engine returning almost 50mpg, this should give Michael a lot to smile about. Indeed, it handles sportily, as it should do, because it is closely related to the VW GTI. Inside it is well finished, comfortable and supremely practical, with lots of rear legroom and a very spacious boot. Not only that, but we can save Michael some money through a broker, £4,109 in fact, so that he pays £15,033 and also saves £10,000 cash which he does not have to waste on depreciation.

A car for the heart

I know that Michael likes the Audi A6. This model is due for an upgrade soon, which means that current models have been on special offer. What Michael will get with an Audi A6 is a large and very luxurious car. In fact, once the seats are folded this might as well be a van, which means that there is a massive 1,660 litres of stowage space. That is one reason for buying an Audi; the next is that you get very high build quality. To top it all, its diesel engines are among the strongest and most efficient. A 2.7 TDI will manage 40mpg overall, yet it still has a maximum speed of 140mph and accelerates to 60mph in just over eight seconds. A broker offered a saving of £8,805 on an Audi A6 Avant 2.7 TDI SE so that Michael could buy it for £19,883.

Looking to buy?

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or email James Ruppert at, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested and your budget.