Hi Complete Car,
I am upgrading my car. My budget is around the €25k mark. First off, I'm no expert, but I do know I'm not much into speed and performance; I'm more into comfort and style and I prefer European cars over Asian ones (Honda and Lexus being possible exceptions). I'm a big person myself, over six-foot three so leg- and head room are important.
For the last few years I have had a BMW 5 Series and have always liked BMW so I'm leaning that way. Currently thinking about a BMW 6 Series: there are some '05s floating around that fit the bill.
Question: is the 6 any good? Should I stick to the 5 Series (although I'm not a fan of the recent models in terms of looks)?
I'd be interested to know if you think there are other makes and models I should be looking at. I have tried a few Alfas - 159, Brera and GT - but they didn't grab me, were generally too small and always have that 'rep' associated with them (rightly or wrongly).
I'm not keen on hunting for cars in the UK (the hassle), but is that actually a no-brainer I'd be stupid to ignore?
Should I be looking at a brand new car?
Thanks for your time, and a great car website; the best in my opinion,
Filed under choosing used car - Asked by Stephen Moriarty (Dublin) - Fri, 16 Jul 2010 11:48
If you have owned a BMW 5 Series before then you might want a change. The 6 Series is a good car, but like anything else in BMW land when it gets a little older repairs can start to become expensive when things go wrong. I personally wouldn't go near one unless it had a full set of BMW service history stamps and unless I could budget another few thousand for things that might go wrong.
This one here is in a main BMW dealer so will have all the right history and paperwork and is pretty nicely equipped too. It is a little over budget, but I would be shocked if they weren't flexible on a 3.0-litre petrol car these days! The mileage on that example is also very low for the year. These cars have great handling and are usually generously equipped too. Remember though that it will cost quite a bit to run, both in terms of road tax and petrol costs.
Now, for alternatives. You did mention Lexus and the GS 450h hybrid is a wicked car. It is very, very fast, superbly equipped and comfortable. It will be ultra reliable too. You could have this one here, a 2007 model, for €25,950 and it would be a superb car to own. It actually does pretty decent fuel economy too. I'd prefer this to the 6 Series myself.
Or, you could enter Porsche ownership and have the brilliant Boxster S like this example in Galway that has the better engine and comes from a good home. Again, ignore the sticker price, as it is a buyers' market right now. I think you should own a silly car once, so unless you have cots and prams to carry about, I'd be tempted by the Boxster. It isn't going to annoy anyone any more than the 6 Series is.
The UK can be a minefield, but we wouldn't ever rule it out and I myself have bought cars there. What I would say is that the more research you do (and use history checks like motorcheck.ie) the easier it is.
As regards buying new, well you are likely to only afford something pretty dull and I think that you would not be too pleased coming out of a 5 Series. You seem to like interesting stuff.
If it was me, out of that lot I'd probably have the Boxster, but if I needed more practicality, the Lexus.
Hope, this helps. Feel free to come back for more odd suggestions.Answered by: Complete Car Adviser