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Cars Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 14 February

08:35  14 february  2020
08:35  14 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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Four years ago you’d have been lucky to grab a Focus RS Mk2 for less than £19,000, but now prices start at around £13,500. Not only that but there’s also a whiff of the fire sale about them, with many being advertised at £1500-£3000 less than the market average.

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

  Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 6 December If you're searching for a classic prancing horse at a (relatively) knock-down price, the Ferrari F355 Berlinetta F1 could be for youIt’s hard to say why the remaining three failed to sell but the pair that did had been refurbished and were finished in bright colours. Both were also manuals and had low mileage.

An unmodified car with a reasonable mileage and a good history – virtues that will stand it in good stead as they become rarer – is what you want. We found a 2010- reg with 77,000 miles and full Ford service history for £15,500. It’s being sold by a Ford dealer, so we ’ll assume they know a good one from a

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It 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.

“Too many tired, ratty, leggy and modified cars, plus just keeping one on the road is getting more expensive,” is his theory. It could equally well apply to the RS. The upside is that if you’ve always hankered after one, now might be a good time to strike.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

An unmodified car with a reasonable mileage and a good history – virtues that will stand it in good stead as they become rarer – is what you want. We found a 2010- reg with 77,000 miles and full Ford service history for £15,500. It’s being sold by a Ford dealer, so we’ll assume they know a good one from a duffer.

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

  Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 13 December For just £4750 you could be riding high and spraying dirt in a mighty Toyota LandcruiserSo it’s worth a look, along with the other five or so 4x4s that experts say you should also check out. The thing is they know an old ’cruiser can be trouble, but to misty-eyed enthusiasts, the model can do no wrong.

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We’d be keen to check it’s been fed a diet of Castrol Longtec or Edge 0W-40 and that when we remove the dipstick, we can’t hear the hiss of escaping air, indicating excessive crankcase pressure caused by a split diaphragm in the combined oil filter and breather (but it’s easily repaired).

The gearbox should change smoothly and tyres should be of the premium variety with no excessive wear on the inner shoulders. Finally, we’d trace the ECU wiring to check it’s not being frayed by excessive engine movement.

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

Volvo S60 T6 R-Design 4WD auto, £7990: Same age and power as the Focus RS above, this is a comfy express rather than a hot saloon like the previous-gen S60 R. Our find is a 2011-reg with a heroic 140,000 miles but with just the one previous owner and a full service history.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Citroën Xsara 2.0 VTS 3dr, £3480: Citroën has moved on from blandlooking fare like this Xsara VTS, but under the bonnet is a 165bhp 2.0-litre good for 0-62mph in 7.7sec. This 70,000-miler is in great nick, with just one owner and full history. It’s got future classic written all over it.

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 car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Skoda Fabia 1.4 TSI vRS auto, £4495: “One police owner” trumpets the ad for this warm hatch. It doesn’t say much for the kind of life it’s led except that it does have a full Skoda history, is in “excellent condition” and, being an auto, won’t have been redlined often. Beware high oil consumption.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Mercedes-Benz A200 Turbo auto 5dr, £5000: Merc’s answer to the Golf GTI has a 190bhp turbo motor and sports suspension to make it the most polished A-Class of its time. This one-owner, 2008-reg example has done 75,000 miles and has a full Mercedes service history and a panoramic roof.

Auction watch

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe: The old W124 E-Class of 1984-96 is respected for its looks and build quality, but it’s the coupé and cabriolet versions folk lust after. Of the two, the cabrio is easily the more desirable, but the perfectly proportioned coupé is no ugly sister. A late 1995-reg example with 162,000 miles on the clock went under the hammer recently, making £1020. Rust can take hold around the wheel arches and those looks can blind you to problems below, but this one appeared to be sound. The coupé is better value than the cabrio and the best are only going one way.

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Future classic

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Volkswagen Up GTI, £11,950: From a future classic perspective, it’s hard to imagine tomorrow’s old tyre kickers getting excited about today’s city cars. Unless, of course, they hankered after an Up GTI. It may lack the zest of its Golf equivalent but it’s fun enough and that badge counts for a lot. Add rarity and you’ve a pint-size future classic. Today, prices start around £11,000. Our find is a private-sale 2018/67-reg three-door with 9000 miles for £11,950. Given that it only cost £13,750 new and approved used ones are about £12,500, we’d offer £11,000 and shake on £11,250.

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find me a BL special for £3000 to go to the Festival of the Unexceptional in.

a yellow car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Autocar

Morris Marina GT, £1800

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

Austin Maestro 1.3 Special, £2000

Max Adams: I think we can all agree that the Morris Marina is excellent fodder for the Festival of the Unexceptional. To its credit, the Marina was a very important ‘new’ car for the Morris brand since it desperately needed to take on the mighty Ford Cortina. Sure, it was a rushed effort, but it forms yet another chapter in the rich tapestry that was British Leyland.

Mark Pearson: Yes, that’s a nice way of saying it was utter rubbish, isn’t it? Well, if you want driving precision and top build quality instead, take a look at my light and airy Maestro. Admittedly a Rover Group product by this stage but, you know, same difference. This 1989 peach has done just 35,000 miles from new and is immaculate. It’s white – the best colour for Maestros – and, above all, it’s not a Marina. Game over, I’d say.

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

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MA: What’s the point of a Maestro unless it has the ‘talking dash’?

MP: Yes, that wasn’t quite as successful as we hoped it would be. Never mind, Maestro still has zero-offset steering, keen styling and in its time could take the Golf to the cleaners. No car was more desirable.

MA: I’m going to quote the ghastly phrase ‘fake news’ since you’re stretching the truth a bit there.

MP: So my Maestro trumps your Marina? John?

Verdict: That Maestro is truly unexceptional.

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Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 7 February .
Tastefully conservative looks and a toasty interior are two reasons to plumb for a second-hand Volvo S60 R. A £5750 asking price is anotherAn 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.

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