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Cars Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 7 February

09:41  07 february  2020
09:41  07 february  2020 Source:   autocar.co.uk

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  Buy them before we do: Second-hand picks for 29 November Honda's CR-Z has plenty of head-turning ability with a nifty look. Cover the usual bases if you want a good oneOf course, this would be forgiven were the CR-Z an economy champ but the fact is that in Autocar’s hands it returned no more than 43mpg. But never mind. What the CR-Z lacks in outright pace and economy it makes up for with engaging handling characterised by strong grip and minimal body roll. Just don’t imagine you can let the whole family experience it: it’s a four-seat coupé but the rear cabin is a real squeeze.

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The understated performance saloon and estate are intriguing concepts and we’ve assembled a few here, starting with the S60 R. It was launched in 2003, powered by a 296bhp five-cylinder 2.5-litre engine driving all four wheels using a Haldex coupling. Most have a Geartronic automatic gearbox that restricts the engine’s torque output in first and second gears. The later six-speed manual is the one to have – if you can find one.

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 6 December

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An unyielding ride and an outright shortfall in performance blunted the S60 R’s appeal when new. However, performance enthusiasts regard the model more fondly today, delighting in its rarity, charismatic engine note and comfortable, feature-rich cabin.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Inevitably, there are a few things to look out for. The four-wheel drive system can become two-wheel drive without you realising. (If you can rotate the propshaft without the rear wheels turning, it’s disconnected.) The electronically controlled dampers can fail, too, but much worse is the possibility of the cylinder liners being cracked, although tuned cars are most prone.

Scrutinise all workshop receipts to establish who did what and when. The R is a special beast that requires regular, expert attention. Even simple things like the spark plugs have to be just so.

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 13 December

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There are a handful of S60 Rs for sale, ranging from around £2500 to £7000, with safe bets somewhere around £5000. Our find is a 2003-reg auto with one previous owner and full Volvo service history. Immaculate and fully loaded, it has done only 83,000 miles. It’s a rust-free, right-hand-drive import.

a red car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Lexus IS F, £17,985: This plain-looking BMW M3 chaser is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 producing 417bhp and 372lb ft of torque. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a clever eight-speed auto and 0-62mph takes 4.8sec. Our find is a 2010-reg with 69,000 miles and full Lexus history.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Skoda Superb 3.6 Elegance DSG 4x4 estate, £6495: Powered by a detuned version of the VW Passat R36’s V6 engine (256bhp here, for 0-62mph in 6.5sec), this Superb is essentially the same car under the skin but with more space. It’s also better value. This one is a 2010-reg with 60,000 miles.

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 20 December

  Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 20 December Citroen C6 is a shapely thing with a perky V6, but be sure to check for safety before you buySo with their advice ringing in our ears, we’ve ignored the 90,000-mile 2006-reg 2.7 HDi V6 Exclusive we found offered at £2750, passed quickly by the gaggle of similar motors huddled around £3500 and instead stopped for a closer look at this £5995 example.

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a blue car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Volkswagen Passat 3.6 R36 DSG 4Motion estate, £10,995: And you thought the Passat was as exciting as an office water dispenser. In fact, this R36 version is good for 0-62mph in 5.8sec thanks to its 296bhp V6 engine and four-wheel drive. Our example is a 2008-reg estate with 84,000 miles.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Vauxhall Vectra 3.2i V6 24v GSi auto 5dr, £1189: Vauxhall has form with quick repmobiles. Remember the Cavalier 2.5 V6? This later Vectra 3.2i V6 has 210bhp for 0-62mph in 7.0sec. It’s a front-driver but the chassis is well sorted and it steers well. Just over £1k buys a 2003 car with 113k miles.

Auction watch

a car parked on a beach © Provided by Autocar

Porsche 944 Turbo: Everyone likes a Porsche Turbo. Cayennes are cheapest, with prices starting at around £5000, but you can pick up 924 Turbos from £8000. Then there’s the 996-generation 911 Turbo, prices for which start at around £23,000. In between is the 944 Turbo, priced from £10,000, although at this money you need to be very cautious. For £5000 more, you could be in a one-owner 1987-reg 944 Turbo with 95,000 miles, a car we saw advertised (but with no mention of service history). Alternatively, how about an immaculate 82,000-mile 1991-reg example with full Porsche and specialist service history that went under the hammer recently for £21,400?

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 3 January

  Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 3 January Hot hatches rule the roost in this week's picks, exemplified by the racy, 200bhp Renault Clio RSThe racier Cup version has 15% stiffer dampers than its predecessor and much stiffer springs than the standard 200. It’s 36kg lighter, too, and has a quicker steering rack. We found a 2010-reg with 62,000 miles and full service history for £4000.

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Future classic

a car parked in front of a building © Provided by Autocar

Nissan 370Z Nismo, £18,500: We may not regard modern-day Zeds in the same light as the Datsun 240Z and 260Z but, then again, a generation raised on Need for Speed may think differently. Indeed, in 2008, Nissan and PlayStation launched the GT Academy to find two gamers to race a real 350Z. Since then, the model has been superseded by the 370Z. The Nismo version, launched in 2013 and powered by a 339bhp 3.7-litre V6, is our pick for a gamer’s classic. New, it costs £40,370, but we found a 2016-reg car with 46,000 miles for less than half that.

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find me a soul-stirring Alfa for £5000.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Alfa Romeo Brera 3.2 V6, £5000

a car parked on the side of a building © Provided by Autocar

Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6, £4000

Mark Pearson: Some time back, just before the Black Death, I bought my first car, an Alfasud, and I liked it so much that I went on to buy the Sprint version next. Other Alfas followed, as did inevitable bankruptcy, but nothing can replace the thrill those old cars brought. This awesome GTV captures that Alfa magic entirely: it’s great to drive, wonderful to look at and deliciously quirky, and this beautifully kept 1999-reg 3.0 V6 is in perfect nick, with a full history and a low mileage. What you got, Max?

Max Adams: That was a wonderful trip down memory lane, but it doesn’t change the fact that my newer Brera (2006 and also with a stout V6) is by far the better choice. It has had fewer owners for starters and an extensive engine overhaul by a well-regarded Alfa specialist, plus it has four-wheel drive so it won’t obliterate its front tyres like your GTV will.

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 10 January

  Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 10 January The ideal sports car in a GT body, it's the Porsche Panamera GTSOur find is a 2012/12-reg with just 46,000 miles, and ‘one lady owner’. (Surely, that’s sexist. I mean, are we saying ladies don’t know how to give a car a proper workout?) Anyway, it sounds like a good ’un, especially since it has full Porsche service history and is stacked to the roof with options. It’s £32,950 compared with an original new price of £91,000, so not a bad saving.

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So we were pleased by the private seller taking the trouble to not only supply clear photos of its engine but also of rust breaking out on the rear wing, the dimpled but rust-free floor (it’s galvanised, apparently), and sundry seams and mounting points. They say the car is “absolutely reliable and in

MP: I think you’ll find you’ve picked the one Alfa nobody likes, other than the Arna.

MA: I think you’ll find the Brera is an Alfa through and through, unlike that ghastly rebadged Nissan. I can’t believe you’d compare my beautiful choice to that!

MP: I’m afraid only one of these two was called a mini-Ferrari, and only one is a future classic…

Verdict: A tough choice but the GTV wins by a nose – a very pretty nose.

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Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 14 February .
At a shade under 80,000 miles, this Mk2 Ford Focus RS looks a bargain for £15,500. Just be sure to check for hidden wear on the inside of the tyresIt so happens that a colleague has been considering selling his Mk2 Focus ST that he bought 12 months ago. Not a chance. Prices have nosedived and his plan to come out with his shirt on is in tatters.

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