Would you recommend I buy a Lexus IS 250, a Mazda 6 or a Mercedes-Benz CLK?

I am in the process of handing back a company car (Ford Focus ST-2) and am now in the market to purchase my own car. I have a few choices: Mazda 6 MPS - 2006-2007, Lexus IS 250 - 2005-2006 or a Mercedes-Benz CLK (any petrol variant). I am looking to spend about £10,000, but at a push £11,000. Which would you advise that I go for?

I am thinking the Lexus myself, purely for reliability, plus I have had a 12-month warranty quoted at just over £20 a month from Warranty Direct which seems to be very reasonable. Secondly, I have seen a CLK on Autotrader, it's a 2005 55-plate 240 Avantgarde Tiptronic with 26,000 miles priced at £9,450. However, this is on the advert "Cat C Repaired, VIC Checked". I'm not too sure what this means - would you leave well alone?

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The Lexus would be our choice as it's reliable and comfortable to drive, plus your warranty quote looks a good deal. A Cat C is basically when the car is written off by an insurance company because it is beyond economical repair (i.e it wouldn't be worth repairing it). These can legally be repaired and sold on as long as they are declared as Cat C. It usually tends to be on slightly older cars which have been written off, not necessarily from crash damage, but because of a terminal engine or gearbox fault. There's nothing wrong with these cars, but we'd suggest steering clear of them as they're notoriously difficult to sell on.
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Very well built. Top quality interior. Lexus dealers are best in the business. Impressive refinement. All engines chain cam. IS250 probably the most reliable car you can buy.
A very enjoyable drive, with excellent handling and some fine engines. Large luggage bay. Brilliant 'Karakuri' rear seat folding of hatch and estate.
Much better second attempt at CLK. Goes well, handles well and is comfortable. Attractive looks.

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