Sure, you could buy that Fiesta or Golf. Most people would. After all, you want to be sensible with your money, and find a cheap but reliable daily driver. But why not find a balance between sensible and interesting? It can be done, as many have proven. In fact, in just the last few days, I have found three cars that would tick these boxes admirably.
This is a Volvo V70. One you can currently purchase, in fact.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that wagons are cool. Well, perhaps it is not universally acknowledged, but it should be. As a case in point, take the second-generation Volvo V70. It more or less started out life as an S60, not a bad car in its own right, but rather forgettable. Turn it into an estate, however, and it suddenly becomes desirable (which is pretty much true of any Volvo, actually). Whilst retaining Volvo’s characteristic civility and restraint, the estate becomes eminently practical, more comfortable, and better to look at, not to mention that it will trick your neighbours into thinking you are refined and sensible.
When I was younger, I remember thinking the W210-series Mercedes was a distinctly unattractive car. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now in my mid-30s, or maybe they have just aged well, but as of late I find myself looking at them and entertaining thoughts of what it might be like to have one parked in the drive.
The problem, of course, is that it seems near impossible to find one on a bangernomics budget that has not rotted to pieces. For whatever reason, Mercedes’ of the 1990s and early-2000s, while having largely reliable running gear – there are lots of examples with well over 200,000 miles – seem prone to rust to death. You can search eBay for months on end and find nothing but examples that look something like this.
Honest John certainly thinks so. In the past few weeks, they’ve featured both a 75 and a ZT, noting that these are modern classics worth buying. And that is even more true as good examples can easily be picked up for under £1000 at the moment. ‘If ever there was a car that has become the epitome of an up-and-coming classic,’ they wrote yesterday, ‘the Rover 75 is it.’