Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - JohnX

I am looking for an older car with a larger engine ie above 4 litres either petrol and diesel which isnt too pricy, ie within a budget of upto £10000.

As demand for these cars are going down, I am hoping to get one without too much of a hit on the old budget.

Looked at MB but have heard of horror stories of work required on suspensions etc and do am just a bit wary.

A larger Audi with a 4.2 litre is another option, but as its diesel, with diesel now being on the receiving end of negative publicity its likely to be worth only the value of scrap metal in a few years time.

Im not too bothered about the body shape apart from not wanting a coupe.Just an oldy car with a big engine which is reasonably reliable,if there is such a car?

I have access to a great mechanic so if there are any one off issues, it shouldnt be too much of an issue but am not sure if I can deal with the headache of multiple issues, which is why I am not that keen on less reliable cars.

Something reasonably reliable not necessary flash, in fact I would prefer the opposite, something that is understated but has a big wolf under the bonnet for when it may be required!

In summary


Budget =About 10 k

Requirements-Large engine preferably large car

Short lists so far- Audi A8(too many electric gremlins and suspect reliability)

-BMW M5(bit too unsubtle)

-MB CL500

Something that has minimal added equipment would be fine ,no need of fancy gadgets or modcons.

Edited by JohnX on 22/06/2017 at 06:30

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - madf

Lexus : 430h

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - badbusdriver

Firstly, not sure what you are on about re Audi 4.2 diesel?. You can get an A4 A6 or A8 with a 4.2 petrol V8.

The obvious choice though, has already been mentioned, the big lexus LS. Something else I'd suggest you look at, which may have slipped under your radar, the jaguar xj. Not the current (imo rather odd looking) example, the first of the aluminium bodied ones, which ran from about 2004 till the current style came out. And I know you say you want an engine of more than 4.0, but don't discount the 3.0 jag xj. I remember reading when it came out that it was possibly the unsung hero of the range. The aluminium construction meant the car was lighter than most, if not all of its rivals, so the 3.0 had plenty of oomph, yet was still fairly efficient. And bear in mind, that jaguars build quality had come on in leaps and bounds since the bad old British Leyland days. In fact I think I remember reading that customer satisfaction had exceeded that of lexus, high praise indeed!

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - daveyjp
Another Lexus vote.
CL is a gorgeous, but rare beast and are generally packed full of tech, being in essence a 2 door S class. Nothing on them will ever be cheap to fix.
Most bang for bucks probably the XJ. Good time of year to find one too. Go to a Jaguar Owners Club motor show and see what is being offered for sale. Very pampered examples go for very little money.
Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - dadbif
Get a "proper" Rolls Royce or Bentley, preferably not the dreadful BMW based arnage. Glorious 6.75 V8, and you can get a good one within your. budget.
Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - RT
Get a "proper" Rolls Royce or Bentley, preferably not the dreadful BMW based arnage. Glorious 6.75 V8, and you can get a good one within your. budget.

The Arnage was the last "proper" Bentley although Vickers did buy in a BMW V8 for the first couple of years but few were sold - it was after VW had ownership that Cosworth were commissioned to rework the old L-series V8 which was then put in the Red Label version of the Arnage and sales started taking off again.

If you want a Rolls-Royce with the L-series you have to go back to the previous generation Silver Spur, a derivative of the 1980 Silver Spirit.

The Arnage is now cheap to buy, compared to it's original price, but it's servicing still costs as much!

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - daveyjp

A business contact has his father's 1990 Silver Spirit in a storage unit and it's immaculate.

He runs it very occasionally, but it's not reliable and with the annual low mileage brakes and suspension suffer from it standing too long.

He's been offered £8k for it which is about what has been spent on services since his father died a few years ago.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - SLO76
While I get the appeal this is a risky move and you have to remember that If you buy a prestige car that cost the guts of £50-£60k new the running costs will be in line with this figure and not your £10k budget. To buy something like this and expect to run it on a budget is a quick route to disaster.

Anything like this requires genuine specialist or main dealer servicing so don't touch anything without a fully stamped up service record from someone who really understands that particular model. Backstreet Joe's workshop or fast fit centres have no clue what they're doing with stuff like this and unless your preferred mechanic is a specialist or works for a main dealer of your preferred brand then it's likely he won't have the equipment or know how to maintain a highly complex motor like this. Don't overestimate a pals ability, a highly technical motor like this cannot be maintained properly by a small backstreet garage or on a friends driveway.

If you're not prepared to pay the high price to maintain it properly then the only sensible road to go down regarding an old luxo barge is to buy a cheap one you can afford to simply bin when anything major goes wrong. It would be a disaster if you had to write off £10k worth of motor due to poor maintenance.

On the cheap end the Jag XJ 3.0 is good bet. Aluminium body won't rot and the Ford V6 is pretty robust and relatively easy to service compared to most. My neighbour has had his 2003 example from new and still loves it even though it's now suffering the occasional minor electrical and trim gremlin but the running gear itself has been flawless.

Don't touch the diesels which will be a money pit on any older sub £10k premium model and keep clear of the post 06 £500 plus road tax band which annihilates resale values. The V8 engines in the Jag are nice but more complex and likely to go wrong while the V6 is perfectly adequate.


I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170303288...0

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170303289...8

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170530594...5

Big Lexus IS another worthy. Very thirsty and quite complex but lovely to smoke around in and reliability is excellent. I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170610631...3

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161201025...2

I'd forget the German brands here, especially the diesels which have a habit of going wrong spectacularly as they age. With notable exception given to the E39 5 series with a petrol 6cyl under the hood. These can be cheap luxury barges but the M5 will take costly specialist servicing to stay healthy and retain its value so again don't buy on a budget or it'll likely eat you out of house and home.



Edited by SLO76 on 22/06/2017 at 08:27

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - John F

Exactly what I was looking for over three years ago. Consider the 6 litre A8 SWB W12 (if you can find one, they are very rare). If you want a 'barge' rather than a sports car, choose the LWB W12. (They have higher final drive gearing so not as quick). They are the poor man's Flying Spur.

The quattro powertrain was designed for the Phaeton to trounce MB and is so robust that VW bolted turbos on for Bentleys to be thrashed by footballers.

I don't get the argument for 'specialist servicing' - it just needs oil/filter changes, brake pad renewal and MoT checks like any other car, although changing the plugs will be a week-end job in the distant future! Unless you hammer it, the ZF box needs no fluid change and there is no cambelt to replace.

The body is a superbly designed all-aluminium spaceframe (no hybrid steel stuff) which should last for ever. If you don't fancy such a big engine there are loads of smaller petrol engines available on old D3 A8s, just search £3000-£9000 petrol A8s and pick a bargain! They are mostly reliable, judging from the chat on the Audi forums. My old 2.8 A6 certainly was.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - nellyjak

LEXUS..!!...every time.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - pd

£10k should get you a nice LS460 with some history. About the only common fault I know of on them is the steering rack so check that.

The Jags are OK. The V6 is decent enough but the 3.0 lacks low down torque so doesn't waft as much as some. The 4.2 V8 is more than adequate. They are all quite heavy on fuel so I'd say just go for the V8 and the 4.2 Jaguar engine doesn't have the common issues the earlier 4.0 had.

They can corrode (check near the back window), the air suspension pumps wear (can be rebuilt) and the suspension bushes take a hammering.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - Cyd

How about an XJ-R or XJ Supersport.

Both V8 5.0 litre supercharged, 550PS. The former sports orientated and the latter comfort orientated.

I've driven the XJ-R on a track and was mighty impressed. Pace with grace. I really don't know if 10k will buy you one or not (they came out in 2010, so maybe).

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - badbusdriver

One thing worth bearing in mind is the road tax. Cars registered before 1/3/06 will cost a maximum of something like £300 per annum (can't remember exact amount), regardless of engine size or emissions. But after that date, it could cost well over £500 per annum!. Just sayin like!

Having said that, here are a couple of other slightly left field choices, both are less than 4.0, but both fast enough for most. The honda legend has a 290bhp 3.5V6, 4wd and looks extremely unassuming. The cadillac CTS 3.6 (a 2.8 version was also available), I don't remember exactly how much power it has, but I think it's around 250bhp. Not many of either to choose from, but I just thought of something else even rarer, the hyundai grandeur. Just had a look on autotrader, currently none available!. If you do find one, it's packing a 3.3 V6 with around 230-240bhp. Loaded to the gunnels with equipment, but probably the most unassuming of all the suggestions, partly as nobody will know what it is, and partly due to its totally anonymous styling!. I like them because of this (I also liked its predecessor, the hyundai XG30!).

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - JohnX

Thanks All, great responses to my question.

Badbusdriver- I meant the 4.2 diesel which is in the VW Touerag(have I spelt that right?).With the future of diesels being in doubt , I am hesitant to buy a potential scrapyard car.

SLO76, great links to the cars, thank you.What I didnt mention in my first post is that I have a LS430 now , which is as thirsty as they come, but that is to be expected and I am not complaining, but it is now getting a bit long in the tooth and so I am looking at moving on to something else before something major goes wrong.The 3 litre XJ looks like a good choice and reviews are positive ,if the 4.2 were as problem free that would have been a big plus.

Driving a 4.3 L, and then moving on to any other car which is less powered is like drinking water after wine and is not great.

pd, when I purchased the LS430 , I was told that the LS460 had some reliability issues not so much as an equivalent age BMW or MB,but more than other Lexus cars.Which is to be expected with a massive lump and complicated electronics that they have and part of the reason why I havent looked at the LS 460.

John F, the 6 litre A8 W12 sounds like an absolute beast and would be brilliant, but they are as rare as hens teeth and I could locate only a handful on autotrader, and most of them seemed to have gone through a fair amount of thrashing and wear,so it could potentially be a risky move.

Badbusdriver, the Honda Legend is a choice I was just aware of , but not considered ,but when you look the power/weight ratio, it may be equivalent to that of a 4.3 litre in a larger body Lexus.Has enough mod cons and a good choice.

Didnt realise that the road tax rules are almost double after 2016.More incentive to look for older cars then.

Never heard of the Hyundai Grandeur, is it similar to the Genesis?

Cyd, sadly the XJR seems to be out of my price range,but its power is breathtaking and a ?booster increases engine output from about 800 rpm onwards instead of from around 2000 k when a normal turbo would be expected to kick in.The chap who looks after my car service says the acceleration feels like it could literally pull your arm off.

RT-great choice ie a Bentley/Rolls.I would love to buy any car that has an engine that is in the Bentley, but sadly the price points are much higher.

The Phaeton was one I have looked at in the past, but I was put off by "the need to service the car only in VW showrooms as it looks like it can be serviced only in some locations.

Edited by JohnX on 23/06/2017 at 15:13

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - RT

The Phaeton was one I have looked at in the past, but I was put off by "the need to service the car only in VW showrooms as it looks like it can be serviced only in some locations.

That no longer applies - VW used to have certain selected premium dealers to sell Phaeton and Touareg with better after-sales than regular VWs, but importantly with a Master Technician trained in those two models - finally forced to accept that both models were Piech's vanity projects they quietly dropped the premium dealer programme, ended Phaeton sales and made Touareg available to any VW dealer.

My local VW dealer can service my Touareg but still have a Touareg master technician atr another branch if anything complex arises.

The better VW independents have VW trained technicians and may well have Phaeton/Touareg specialists on board - my local VW independent really seems to specialise in Audi S models so the others are well within their capability.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - RobJP

Conveniently, of course, this appeared on the homepage of the website today, as a 'future classic'.

classics.honestjohn.co.uk/news/comment/2017-06/fut.../

Or there could be the much-overlooked Jag S-type. In 4.2 R trim, they are available for quite reasonable money, even in good condition and with moderately low mileage.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - daveyjp

Never really liked the S type - a friend has had a couple of 2.5s - but my local Jag specialist has a rare 4.0 V8 on stock at the mo with 115,000 miles for just £1500.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - RobJP

Never really liked the S type - a friend has had a couple of 2.5s - but my local Jag specialist has a rare 4.0 V8 on stock at the mo with 115,000 miles for just £1500.

That'd be worth a punt. If it's a good'un, then it's aa absolute bargain. If it's trouble, then by getting rid you'd save yourself a fortune in fuel !

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - pd

I'm not aware of any reason why the Jaguar 4.2 should be less reliable than the 3.0. The early Jag V8s had some issues, mainly timing chain related, but the later 4.2 is a pretty solid engine.

The 3.0 isn't perfect, it is prone to running issues with air leaks and it has some stupid design features including things like having to remove the whole inlet manifold to change a plug.

I'd still consider the LS460 if I were you - fact is running the European stuff can come as one hell of a shock if you're used to the world of Lexus.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - madf

I'd still consider the LS460 if I were you - fact is running the European stuff can come as one hell of a shock if you're used to the world of Lexus.

When I see the rubbish a friend gets from VW dealers dealing with his 10 year old VW (Sharan?), I agree..

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - JohnX

Agree that most European brands seem to crumble and cause issues after about 10 years.

However I am partial to VW's.

I had a VW Passat diesel 1.9 TDI for 12 years and by the time I moved on to the next car, it had done 140000 miles.

And apart from having the clutch replaced once, there were no issues at all ,for the 12 years that I had it.

Edited by JohnX on 24/06/2017 at 10:46

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - brambobb

As a committed Hondaphile have you considered a Honda Legend? At 3.5 litre they are not quite the perfect fit but are apparently supremely comfortable and packed with technology. Someone who used to live near me had one and he absolutely loved it.

There seem to be a few available around your price range but perhaps you are looking for something more traditional....

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - JohnX

brambobb I have been looking and can see high mileage examples at lower prices.they look like they are packed full of electrical wizardry.

Would 125000 miles be too high for a Honda,I wonder as I havent heard of many high mileage Hondas even Accords.

I was looking around for a Honda Accord for a friend in Amarillo, Texas a few years back and unlike here,Hondas enjoy a position of high demand in the USA, especially in the second hand market

I remember as soon as the Ad was placed, and seen in the local newspaper and online you had to be quick to get to them before they were snapped up, especially for cars which were older than 10 years.

Not sure if the situation has changed now but dont think it has.

Edited by JohnX on 24/06/2017 at 19:52

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - brambobb

JohnX - If you go on the main Honda Forum in the UK (www.hondakarma.com) there are lots of owners on there with Accords and many of them seem to have done well over 100k miles. I also see quite a few around as taxis, which gives some indication of their longevity and reliability.

Looking on Autitrader there are one or two Legends close to the price you are looking to pay and with very modest mileages (always assuming that everything is as stated). I could be tempted myself but they are a bit too large to fit in my garage alongside my wife's car and they are also fairly thirsty, I believe.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - JohnX

brambobb ,that is an excellent forum and I have been mousing around hondakarma and there is a considerable amount of information,enough to steer me slightly towards the Honda Legend.

I prefer to spend as less as possible on the car for two reasons ie 1) on the assumption that I am going to get next to zero for the car when I move on to the next and 2)I prefer to spend the money on fuel and enjoy the fuel guzzlers.

As an example, my fuel costs in the Lexus average anywhere from £400 upwards a month depending on the distance but I have no regrets and much rather prefer to spend this on fuel than buy a posh looking poser car than moves like a mushy pea.

Plus the maintenance and repair costs that are to be expected in a massive older lump.

I would much rather buy a car than one that looks old and less wanted but has a stinker kickass engine under the bonnet.

Which is why the Honda Legend sounds like a reasonable option even though it is only a 3.5 L.

John F's car ie an Audi with a 6 litre W12 engine would be the ideal option though had it not been for reports that the electrical gizmos and suspensions tend to fail and cost a packet to replace.

Edited by JohnX on 28/06/2017 at 04:03

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - SLO76
Accords and Legends are fit for massive mileages, they're just a bit juicy for big mileage users to consider. The 2.2 diesel can suffer problems at six figure mileages but the petrol engines are pretty much vice free if a little greedy. This is less of a problem in the states where they're comparatively economical cars. I regard the Accord as one of the best used buys on the market currently from £500 to £8,000. Sadly later examples weren't imported due to poor sales and Honda have focussed on the Civic and CRV instead.
Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - John F

However I am partial to VW's.

So am I

I had a VW Passat diesel 1.9 TDI for 12 years and by the time I moved on to the next car, it had done 140000 miles.

And apart from having the clutch replaced once, there were no issues at all ,for the 12 years that I had it.

We had a '94 Passat 2.0GL auto petrol for 10yrs, 9,000m - 242,000m. No issues apart from whining tension pulley which I replaced before it seized and fried the cambelt.

The W12 is not a 'beast', it's a beautiful compact engine taking less room than the 4.2 V8 and to the best of my knowledge has no reliability issues (unlike more primitive 12 cylinder engines I know of, one of which had its oil starvation problem cured by the amazing technical innovation of shortening the dipstick!) . Piech's 'vanity project' was actually the pursuit of automotive engineering excellence - can't see much wrong with that.

www.volkspage.net/technik/ssp/ssp/SSP_267.PDF

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - pd

The Phateon is a great car but painful if any of the Phateon specific parts go wrong. They are generally only availbale from VW and cost an absolute fortune.

On the subject of Accords, I was smoking a 2006 2.4 auto last month for a couple of weeks. It has 220,000 on the clock. It drove like new and could have passed for 20k inside and out. Very well designed and built cars.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - John F

The Phateon is a great car but painful if any of the Phateon specific parts go wrong. They are generally only availbale from VW and cost an absolute fortune.

But its powertrain in the ubiquitous A8 makes it less of a gamble - and a much better car!

On the subject of Accords, I was smoking a 2006 2.4 auto last month .....

What is 'smoking' in automotive context? Googling urban slang reveals a meaning which you might not have intended to convey....!

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - Stumblebum

"Smoking" is an old motor trade term. back from smoking rear wheels: think Dukes of Hazards.

"Bidet" is another motor trade term. It means rear wash wipe.

I went to a motor trade seminar a few months ago. This is about all I can remember from it.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - pd

The Phateon is a great car but painful if any of the Phateon specific parts go wrong. They are generally only availbale from VW and cost an absolute fortune.

But its powertrain in the ubiquitous A8 makes it less of a gamble - and a much better car!

On the subject of Accords, I was smoking a 2006 2.4 auto last month .....

What is 'smoking' in automotive context? Googling urban slang reveals a meaning which you might not have intended to convey....!

Yep, smoking is trundling around in some old part exchange which maybe came in with a bit of fuel in the tank. In the old days you maybe got a bit of tax too!

Seriously though, I' mnot sure I'd consider the A8 connection a good thing. They are alarmingly fragile cars in places. Like everything VAG they look nice on paper but are fundamentally poorly engineered on the longevity front and their attitude is any owner should expect large bills every year as some sort of honour for owning one of their cars.

The reality is, once they get a few years old, most of the European stuff is frankly a pile of cack compared to the Japanese who seem to still vaguely test their cars for 30 or so miles before selling them. The list of VAG engineering disasters is so long from exploding oil pumps, oil consuming pistons rings to exploding gearboxes they really are not worth the grief unless leasing and running under warranrty IMO.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - veloceman

The Phateon is a great car but painful if any of the Phateon specific parts go wrong. They are generally only availbale from VW and cost an absolute fortune.

But its powertrain in the ubiquitous A8 makes it less of a gamble - and a much better car!

On the subject of Accords, I was smoking a 2006 2.4 auto last month .....

What is 'smoking' in automotive context? Googling urban slang reveals a meaning which you might not have intended to convey....!

Yep, smoking is trundling around in some old part exchange which maybe came in with a bit of fuel in the tank. In the old days you maybe got a bit of tax too!

Seriously though, I' mnot sure I'd consider the A8 connection a good thing. They are alarmingly fragile cars in places. Like everything VAG they look nice on paper but are fundamentally poorly engineered on the longevity front and their attitude is any owner should expect large bills every year as some sort of honour for owning one of their cars.

The reality is, once they get a few years old, most of the European stuff is frankly a pile of cack compared to the Japanese who seem to still vaguely test their cars for 30 or so miles before selling them. The list of VAG engineering disasters is so long from exploding oil pumps, oil consuming pistons rings to exploding gearboxes they really are not worth the grief unless leasing and running under warranrty IMO.

It makes you think. If the electric car does take off (assuming we can produce enough eecticity to charge them) all the common parts that currently fail at huge cost will now be obsolete Ingoring battery life, will we see a time when the reliability of European cars will be a more realistic option?

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - madf

"It makes you think. If the electric car does take off (assuming we can produce enough eecticity to charge them) all the common parts that currently fail at huge cost will now be obsolete Ingoring battery life, will we see a time when the reliability of European cars will be a more realistic option?"

Would I trust French electrics?

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - sandy56

Currently running a 7 year old Peugeot 407SW which has all the toys. It runs well and all the toys work! Not found any problems with this Peugeot.

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - badbusdriver

The Phateon is a great car but painful if any of the Phateon specific parts go wrong. They are generally only availbale from VW and cost an absolute fortune.

But its powertrain in the ubiquitous A8 makes it less of a gamble - and a much better car!

On the subject of Accords, I was smoking a 2006 2.4 auto last month .....

What is 'smoking' in automotive context? Googling urban slang reveals a meaning which you might not have intended to convey....!

Yep, smoking is trundling around in some old part exchange which maybe came in with a bit of fuel in the tank. In the old days you maybe got a bit of tax too!

Seriously though, I' mnot sure I'd consider the A8 connection a good thing. They are alarmingly fragile cars in places. Like everything VAG they look nice on paper but are fundamentally poorly engineered on the longevity front and their attitude is any owner should expect large bills every year as some sort of honour for owning one of their cars.

The reality is, once they get a few years old, most of the European stuff is frankly a pile of cack compared to the Japanese who seem to still vaguely test their cars for 30 or so miles before selling them. The list of VAG engineering disasters is so long from exploding oil pumps, oil consuming pistons rings to exploding gearboxes they really are not worth the grief unless leasing and running under warranrty IMO.

After reading comments on the phaeton, I found myself idly looking at the good/bad section of the honest John review. Amongst the bad were a couple of gems. You can't replace 1 shock absorber, it has to be all 4 corners, meaning a bill of £3k. Another, was mentioning instances where the phaeton's jack has collapsed under the weight of the car, which seems pretty alarming!.

Also, specific mention was made of the W12 engine and how compact a unit it is. This may well be true, but that doesn't benefit the phaeton in any way. A W12 lwb version is nearly 450kg heavier than the lwb A8 equipped with the same engine!

Suggestions for a big engined luxobarge? - John F

...I' mnot sure I'd consider the A8 connection a good thing. They are alarmingly fragile cars in places. ........ they look nice on paper but are fundamentally poorly engineered on the longevity front ......

First I've heard of this - can you be more specific? My nearly 12yr old A8 has a strong all-aluminium spaceframe body which will probably outlive me - and possibly you. It's only big bill was the replacement of an auxiliary radiator by a previous owner many years ago. Its W12 6HP26 quattro powertrain is robust and my research before I bought it revealed few problems in either Phaetons, Audis or Bentleys either here or in the USA. The air suspension bags can leak but they do not cost that much to replace. By the mid 2000s they had sorted the electrics out.

 

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