Car Choice: You can get an awful lot of banger for your buck






Mark Harwood has a 2006 Mazda 6 MPS, which has even had its power boosted, but now he wants a change. Mark realises that depreciation and market conditions mean that it is not worth much more than £6,000. In total, he has £14,000 for a car which must be practical and, possibly, a prestige German model.

A car for the head

If ever there was a candidate for a Bangernomics wake-up call it is Mark, as losing at least half of what he paid for the Mazda over such a short period should make him think twice about what he buys next. Surely holding on to a car for a bit longer is the only way to get better value for money. Vehicles are all much cheaper now and at least Mark will get more for his money. There is no shortage of fast saloons and even compact estate cars to choose from. A high-performance hatch would be the answer, such as a Volkswagen Golf R32. This is a Golf GTI with a bit more performance and designed to be a sporty car first and foremost. However, it is also spacious, fun, safe and well equipped. Mark can buy a 2003 example which has 39,000 miles, heated seats and all the extras for £10,950 from a dealer. There are also diesel models with R32 bodykits that look fast, but are economical.



A car for the heart

Probably the best combination of sportiness, performance and practicality is the BMW M3. However, within Mark's budget the only models are likely to be the older coupés, whereas the latest four-door saloons are about £40,000. Audi offers the S4 and the estate version badged as the RS4. Under the bonnet is a large V8 engine which leaves you in no doubt that this is an immensely powerful car. According to the road testers it is slightly slower and less involving than BMW's M3, but otherwise it is a fast car that is easier and probably safer to drive. The S4's Quattro four-wheel-drive system gives the car a huge amount of grip. That level of performance (it gets to 60mph in 5.5 seconds) and handling should please Mark while the build quality is a revelation. The interior is a very solid and comfortable place to be. Spending £14,000 buys a 2004 30,000-mile S4 saloon.

Looking to buy?

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



Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

    £7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

    £27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate