A truly forgotten car. The IS300 Sport Cross was a direct competitor to the BMW 3 Series Estate and Audi A4 Touring and both in desirability and ability it has the measure of either. Massively well equipped, very fast and built with the precision of a Swiss watch the Sport Cross proves you can have real exclusivity for Clio money.
UsedCarExpert.co.uk Cars For Sale: We found a 2002, 02 plate car with 76,000 miles on the clock and a full service history for £4,490.
A car that never quite set the market alight in the manner it might have, had it been styled slightly less like a Chesterfield sofa and more like a mid range exec. Later S-types are pretty reliable and at this budget you should be able to afford one. Avoid the diesel cars. They are next to impossible to get for this money and will have very high miles. A lot of highly luxurious metal for the money.
UsedCarExpert.co.uk Cars For Sale: A 60,000 mile, grey S-Type with a full service history can be had for £4,600 – you might look a little staid but you will do so in some comfort. Beware of a sudden desire for elasticated trousers…
Skoda Octavia vRS
If you want a family hatchback that is fast, extremely reliable, cheap to run and usefully anonymous then look no further. The vRS Octavia shares its chassis and running gear with the mighty Golf GTI and in many ways slightly shades it’s more glamorous brother. Passenger and luggage space is huge and refinement outstanding in this class. The police swear by them and praise comes no higher.
UsedCarExpert.co.uk Cars For Sale: An 83,000 mile manual vRS in silver with a full service history can be picked up for £5,000.
The Legacy is a perennial recommendation for us. It’s a) cheap b) tough and c) a joy to drive. It’s amazing just what a bargain this car can be. Plus you get the added security of four wheel drive and peerless reliability. A no brainer. Don’t worry about the cost of the petrol – the low purchase price more than offsets this!
UsedCarExpert.co.uk Cars For Sale: We found a 2004, 54 plate car with 55,000 miles on the clock and a full service history for £4,495.