Q Car Advice - paul45
Hello Everyone

I'm new to the back room but I've been reading posts for a couple of months now. Thought I would cut my BR teeth by asking a question I couldn't see info for - namely advice on buying a Q Car. Ten years ago a Volvo T5 or dare I say it a Rover 620ti would have fit the bill, namely reasonably swift, understated (in comparison to an Impreza or an Evo), and not a body kitted version of an existing model (like a Mondeo S200 type). I'm looking to spend about £20k so I realise that I'm looking at something a couple of years old, other requirements are mondeo size and with a good reputation for reliability. Present thinking is Audi A4 in previous S4 guise (like the idea of 4 wheel drive) but any suggestions would be most welcome.

Over to the fountains of knowledge.

Q Car Advice - mmm-five
How about...

Merc C43 AMG (£10k+)
Merc E55 AMG (£15k+)

BMW e34 M5 3.8 (£8k+)

Jaguar XJR (£7k+)

Volvo S60 T5 (£12k+)

Alpina B3 (£12k+)
Alpina B6 (£12k+)
Alpina B10 (£14k+)
Q Car Advice - SprinterJK
BMW 5 Series either 535i or 540i. You can get a 2000 model of either for around 20k, and they look just like the smaller engined models. Take off the badge on the back and nobody will ever know.
Q Car Advice - TrevP
Or the ultimate Q-car:- Skoda Octavia VRS and keep £5K in your back pocket.
Q Car Advice - Thommo
Have driven the Skoda and it is awesome. Plus cheap at the moment, lots of discounts on offer, not sure why for such a cracking car.
Q Car Advice - matt35 {P}

A)Have a test drive in a Jag X Type, 2.5 or 3.0 ( 4 wheel drive- Mondeo size - swift? - mine has cruised at 120 at Millbrook.

B) £20K will get you a very good one from a main dealer as I think the factory is on short time and the dealers are under pressure to move the stock.

C)Tesco car parks are not full of them.

(D) Stand by for comments on your name on this website (Joking).

Q Car Advice - Steve G
156 GTA

Seen one for sale at £19995
Q Car Advice - DavidHM
Whuhuhuh? 156 GTA for £20k? How and where? Are you sure it's not some joker with a 2.5?

If you want the ultimate Q car, albeit with no reputation for reliability, try either a Pug 406 3.0 or a Renault Laguna 3.0. Don't buy them of course because you'd do far better to use half your money to buy a two year old and take the rest to the bookies'.

Agree with Trev that a vRS is one hell of a Q car but it does have the body kit and is either recognisable to those in the know as such, or to those who don't know, won't think it's a Skoda. My twisted mind can't help thinking of a 6-month old Vectra 3.2 Elite for about £12k if you look hard enough (try Trade Sales).

If a Rover 620 Ti is reliable enough for you, they'll all be fine.
Q Car Advice - paul45
Let me see whether I can sum up so far.

BMW 5 series - fits the bill, probably do the job, but a wee bit too common.
Pug and Guna 3.0 - quick, discrete but based on personal experience of both these cars in smaller engine sizes - frequent and expensive trips to the dealership.
Jag XKR - too big to fit in my garage unfortunately
Jag X type - read and heard good and bad stuff about this - as you say Matt35 only way to find out is book a test drive.
Mercs - probably kidding myself if I think £20k is going to get me anything other than Captain Kirk's cast offs
Alfa 156 - reliability too much of a gamble
Skoda - too much body kit - unfortunately because as a few of you say underrated vehicle.
Volvo S60 - not sure I'm quite old enough yet.

Rover 620 - mentioned only as a starter for 10, although Rover/MG 75 all look a bit too body kitted again in swift guise - anybody prove me wrong ?

No-one has yet mentioned any Jap tackle - any views?

Q Car Advice - Nsar
Accord Type R
Q Car Advice - paul45
Thanks Nsar - however did I hear right that the previous Type R relies upon window driven fresh air for A/C or has the spec changed ?
Q Car Advice - joe
Mitsubishi galant. Is it called the VR4? I saw one yesterday, and I reckon it would fit your bill.
Q Car Advice - paul45

SWMBO threatened me with unmentionables if I bought one of those a couple of weeks ago - so my opinion doesn't count on that one.
Q Car Advice - Stargazer {P}
If they are imported, then try a Subaru Liberty/Legacy B4 bi turbo...AWD, very understated and very very fast.
Q Car Advice - tunacat
What's SWMBO got against the Mitsubishi Galant in particular? Or is it the VR4's bodykit that's upsetting for her?
Q Car Advice - paul45
Nothing against the Galant as a marque however SWMBO doesn't like the body kit for starters as well as the wedge shaped front end, IMO I think it makes it look more aggressive, however IMO doesn't count.

Went for a head clearing stroll at lunchtime and saw a decent looking SAAB 9-5 (previous model) what do BR's think about this as a Q car ? Which model would it have to be ? Or is it basically a reskinned vectra ?

IanL excuse the ignorance - is Subura liberty / legacy anything like a forester ? Sounds like it might do the trick though.
Q Car Advice - Phoenicks
I'd go ballsy and Lancia Thema 8.32. Now THATS a Q Car!

£8k for an ok one which is ok and then with the other £12k try and find a Lotus Carlton!
Q Car Advice - Stargazer {P}

The Subaru Legacy (in the UK, Liberty in Oz) is a standard saloon or estate, quite unobtrusive but permanent AWD as standard, great handling and very powerful in B4 guise.

Standard engine is a flat four 2.0 or 2.5l or even 3.0 flat six in the Outback version, but the B4 biturbo uses the 2.0l and develops
more power than the 3.0l

The car itself is very comfortable, but high insurance group. You dont see all that many on the roads except near a dealer where you tend to find a lot of them. Dealers are not that common though.

After having a 2.5l Outback for 3 years I would very highly recommend it.

Ian L.
Q Car Advice - Nsar
I had a 9-5 2.0 lpt for 3 years and 85,000 trouble free miles and I can honestly say that they are not re-badged Vectras in terms of build and ergonomics. That version isn't really a Q car other than it has quiet road presence being a bit asthmatic and the cornering's a bit sofa-like, but the Aero versions are a different matter. For real Q appeal the estate is effectively as quick as the saloon but with added surprise if you want to shake someone's pre-conceptions - not that I would ever etc etc. It also is one of the safest cars around NCAP wise.
Your wife would approve!
Q Car Advice - Burnout2
A/C was optional, but most of 'em have it. Great car, certainly more refined than the Civic R on the motorway, and rides surprisingly comfortably too. Fantastic engine, with more top-end drama than the Civic.

I wouldn't call it a `Q`-car though - not unless the huge rear spoiler has been replaced with the more subtle (and tasteful) low alternative. I've seen this done on a number of them, and it turns the R into a car that's almost as invisible at any other Accord.
Q Car Advice - paul45
looks like its down to the following shortlist

1. Subura legacy / outback
2. Saab 9-5 Aero - like the appeal of the estate
3. Accord type R (minus rear spoiler) with A/C
4. X type 2.5 or 3.0

One test drive per weekend - I'll post back in a few weeks and update.

Thanks to all the fountains for their gallons of knowledge, some cars I would never have thought of without your advice.
Q Car Advice - paul45
After a 3 month hunt and plenty of test drives finally the happy owner of a 3.0 jaguar x type SE auto. Puts a smile on my face every time I look at it and a huge laugh whenever I bury my right foot !! Which incidentally I have found myself doing a lot less - not all to do with fuel consumption (although it's thirstier than the Primera), but more to do with the fact that I could go faster than 90% of the cars that overtake me if I wanted. Maybe I've finally gotten old.....

Matt - thanks for suggesting X type in the first place - now I know why you like them so much.

Most importantly of all SWMBO loves it - and the mini sized jaguar key ring supplied by a very good dealer in Oxford !
Q Car Advice - Stargazer {P}

Thanks for the update, enjoy the car!

Q Car Advice - carayzee
I had a look at THE ultimate Q-car this weekend that family friend is selling. Maserati quattroporte evo 3.2. 335bhp
2000 W-reg 50k miles, very anonymous looks, which I like.
I decided against it (my bottle went!) but he's selling it for £15k before the 50k service (engine out job) or £15k plus service cost (£3-£4k at a main dealer, £2k independant).
Re your other choices, the Accord had A/C as a £1000 option, and they're quite stealthy without the rear wing, but they're nearer £10k than £20k these days, so a pretty good buy.
The S4 is a cracking car, with huge tuning potential if you're that way inclined, but if the turbo's fail, they have to be replaced as a pair, and thats an engine out job, so I would want a REAL warranty specifically covering that.
The S3 is worth a look, I saw a 6 month old one in Autotrader with 5k miles for £20k, which I thought was cheap. Then I looked into the price of the new A3 3.2 Quattro and it's "only" £23665, so I put an order in for one yesterday :-) and after going through brokers4cars via this site, I got a further £1015 off that list price, without ever having to set foot in a bl00dy Audi showroom. Sorted!
Q Car Advice - dodo
Well I'm more than happy with my dirty blue BMW 3 series estate. It does 40+ mpg and will/can pass most things. Its a 330 diesel and has I think about 204 bhp. Mind you I have fond memories of a Nissan Primera EGT some years ago. A cracking car that looked like a mini cab!
Q Car Advice - lordwoody
I'd definitely recommend the Saab. I'm on my 4th Saab and am a great fan. I've got a base model 9-5 ( to preserve my bank balance and my liscence) and am very pleased with it and I'm sure the Aero, especially the estate, would be a great choice. I like the fact that they're pretty understated, aren't too common and yet most people appreciate them as quality cars.
Q Car Advice - lordwoody
Whoops, just noticed you've now bought a car!
Q Car Advice - Hugo {P}
I know you've got a new car now but I was tempted.

Audi A 6 TDi 140BHP 6 spd box

Salvage - v light RNS damage drive fine


Don't know how expensive it would be to fix the damage, but I know of a couple of really good bodyshops that could probably straighten out the Titanic for next to nothing.

Even if the repair cost close to another £800 - what a site in the drive eh?


"Forever indebted to experience of others"
Q Car Advice - stackman
I used to drive a Mondeo Ghia X Estate with the V6 engine. That was a great understated wagon which would see off all the GTi boys and cruise all day a well over the ton transporting three kids and all our luggage.

To increase the 'Q' factor I replaced the 24V badges with TD ones.

Q Car Advice - NARU
Well I'm more than happy with my dirty blue BMW 3
series estate. It does 40+ mpg and will/can pass most things.
Its a 330 diesel and has I think about 204 bhp.
Mind you I have fond memories of a Nissan Primera EGT
some years ago. A cracking car that looked like a mini

You should try the same car with a tuning box - that really is a Q car - especially in estate guise.
Q Car Advice - Paul531
Volvo 960 24V 204 BHP RWD according to HJ himself - see car by car breakdown -

The Ultimate Q Car says HJ
Paul {Forest of Bowland}


Value my car