13/09/2006 00:00 | By by Richard Aucock

Top 10 used-cars under £10,000!



Our "Top 10 under £X" features last year proved very popular, and, after much demand from our users, over the next few months we're going to do the same for the used market. Ten thousand pounds doesn’t stretch far when buying a new car, even though many models have never offered better value. But, if you switch your attentions to the used market, the world is your oyster. We’ve picked ten intriguing choices from each major sector, all costing under £10,000, which certainly should wet your appetite! . Please note that links with each car to available used-cars are those local to central London – For your area, click on the links, then enter your postcode at the top of screen and click ‘Find It now’

Luxury: Audi A8

Luxury: Audi A8

Luxury: Audi A8

The big Audi’s discreet lines ooze class, but also conceal a wealth of technology. It is constructed entirely from aluminium – a world first – so is lighter than its contemporaries, to the benefit of performance and economy. Even the 193bhp 2.8-litre V6 engine is sufficient, though performance fans will be seeking out the rare 360bhp S8. Watch for body damage as repairing it is prohibitively expensive, which also pushes up insurance ratings. But prices start at under £5,000 for 1994 models – A3 money, in other words – and tidy ones are reliable enough never to cost you dearly.

Click here to find some A8s under £10k

Hot hatch: Honda Civic Type-R

Hot hatch: Honda Civic Type-R

Hot hatch: Honda Civic Type-R

Less than £8,500 will get you into one of the most hardcore hot hatches there is. 200bhp from the screaming 2.0-litre engine is delivered with the most incredible wail, kept on the boil by one of the world’s finest six-speed gearboxes. It can be a torque-steering handful on bumpy roads and steering feel isn’t amazing, but for sheer excitement, little beats it. In addition, it’s also utterly reliable and Honda VTEC engines just don’t break down or fail. So it is a completely sensible buy as well as a manic thriller.

Click here to find some Civic Type-Rs under £10k

Executive: BMW 5-Series

Executive: BMW 5-Series

Executive: BMW 5-Series

Perhaps an obvious choice, but the BMW is just so damn good, we would be foolish not to pick it out. What’s more, the launch of the new model means prices of the old-shape variant have become almost bargain basement. You’ll easily get a 1997-98 523i for £4,000 and, while it my have covered a few miles, few cars are better suited to soak them up. Creamy six-cylinder engines are wonderful, ride and handling will amaze and the interior, while dated, still feels special. Look on and dream no more – they’re finally in reach!

Click here to find some 5-series’ under £10k

4x4: Mercedes M-Class

4x4: Mercedes M-Class

4x4: Mercedes M-Class

With a new M-Class just around the corner, now is the time to snap up all the good old-shape variants. Prices have finally fallen to under £10k for ML 320 variants; the fuss over the new model will draw people’s attention to this, with the result that values may even start to creep back up. The big Mercedes 4x4 doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but it’s still a Benz so still has more integrity than a Land Rover Discovery. The six-cylinder engine is tough and the three-pointed star will impress. A Mercedes SUV? Prove that you’ve made it, on a budget.

Click here to find some M-class’under £10k

Sports car: Lotus Elise

Sports car: Lotus Elise

Sports car: Lotus Elise

Lotus prices commonly fall slowly, reach a level and then stick there. £9,000 seems to be the mark for early 1997 Elise, which have perhaps done more miles than connoisseurs prefer but are still awesome driving machines. The 1.8-litre Rover engine is unexceptional and suffers head gasket problems – get it checked – but the rest of the car is as close to a lightweight road racer as you’ll get for the money, Caterham and Westfield excepted. But the Elise is almost practical for daily (if noisy) daily use too, while it’s so simple, it cannot fail to be reliable. You’ll even get 40mpg with a little persuasion.

Click here to find some Elises under £10k

Family car: Skoda Superb

Family car: Skoda Superb

Family car: Skoda Superb

It may seem unlikely, but look more closely and the big Skoda does make family sense. There is more space in the rear than any Focus – or many Mercedes, for that matter – and the boot is humungous. It’s easier to punt than larger MPVs and exceedingly well equipped. The popular TDI engines will also average 45mpg with ease. As it is essentially a lengthened Passat, the interior feels special and refinement is excellent, as is comfort. All this, with prices starting at £8,000 – and that’s for a two-year-old car, still with plenty of warranty left. Make the kids feel like royalty!

Click here to find some Superbs under £10k

Sports saloon: Subaru Impreza WRX

Sports saloon: Subaru Impreza WRX

Sports saloon: Subaru Impreza WRX

The BMW 3-Series is the obvious choice here but, if you can put up with its bug-eyed looks, the Subaru provides far more thrills. From £8,000 secures a 2001 model that, while not pretty, is stupendous on twisty roads. Rally-bred four-wheel-drive and a 225bhp turbocharged engine provide all the entertainment most will ever need, while that rally heritage also means it’s reliable and always up for a thrashing. The faster you go, the better it gets; make no mistake, this is a sports saloon of the highest order – and a real bargain for the money.

Click here to find some Imprezas under £10k

Supermini: Toyota Yaris

Supermini: Toyota Yaris

Supermini: Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris has a well-proven record as being among the most reliable superminis you can buy. Smooth, economical engines never go wrong, the trim may sometimes rattle but never breaks, electrical faults just do not exist – it’s one solid little car. Very economical too and, while there’s not the space of a newer Ford Fiesta or Honda Jazz, the sliding rear seat makes best use of what it has. Base models are very meagrely equipped though, so aim for a GS at the very least, which start from around £2,500.

Click here to find some Yaris’ under £10k

City Car: smart

City Car: smart

City Car: smart

The smart really is very smart indeed, particularly when you can get one for £2k. It may be an early left-hooker but it’s small enough for this not to be an issue, while the semi-auto gearshift means no right-hand confusion. The ride is ill-composed for a city car and you will feel precarious at high speeds, but in every other respect it’s a brilliant solution. In what other car can you park nose-in to the kerb? Or slot under the eaves of multi-storey car parks? A pocket-sized work of genius, for pocket-change prices and running costs.

Click here to find some Smarts under £10k

Convertible: Saab 9-3

Convertible: Saab 9-3

Convertible: Saab 9-3

If you want a four-seat convertible, you will probably want a Saab Convertible. It is still one of the most elegant and desired convertibles, with an image that’s discreet but shows you know your stuff. The actual driving experience is pretty uneventful, particularly on the old-shape 1998 models you’ll get for under £10k, so instead sit back and go with the smooth turbocharged flow. It’s as snug in the winter as it is in summer and, even though Michael Winner drives one, people will still nod warmly when they see you.

Click here to find some 9-3 convertibles under £10k

0Comments

Latest Cars videos

10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

More on msn Cars