Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Hi all,

With upto £8,500 to spend, what is the least depreciation car to run for 2-3 years? The criterias are 4 seats, not over 4-5 year-old (anything older and I would worry about electronics) & 50k to 100k on the clock, RWD or with RWD handling characteristics, good ride & handling and reasonably quiet on the motorway.

I thought about the current Subaru Legacy 3.0 saloon but I think it will be out of my budget even with high mileage.

Please no Mercedes (potential rust and electronics problems), BMW (potential electronics problem) or Audi (test driven the A4 & A6 FWD and quattro models and don't really like the ride & handling characteristics - feel floaty/heavy).

Joe Dowd has been looking for a RX-8 for me for 3 months now (231 model, 3 year-old, around 50k) and there was nothing on the market which was clean and tidy.

Hence I am looking for alternative options. Can you suggest anything please?

Many thanks in advance,
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - blue_haddock
I'd forget subaru legacy's - depreciation is not a strong point of these.

Once you have ruled out Merc, BMW and Audi there isn't much left to choose from that fulfills your criteria.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - nick
At 4-5 years old, Legacies will have done most of their depreciating.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - OldSock
Once you have ruled out Merc BMW and Audi there isn't much left to choose
from that fulfills your criteria.

Have to agree with that.

Although not RWD, the Skoda Fabia vRS has pretty low depreciation at this price point.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - blue_haddock
Although not RWD the Skoda Fabia vRS has pretty low depreciation at this price point.

But it's not the best handling car in the world and definately not RWD in the way it handles.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - gordonbennet
Well you don't want electrical problems and i don't blame you or rust.

Your happy with and have hinted at a 3 litre, but want steady depreciation.

My only suggestion is lexus, either is300 or gs300, reckon they fit the bill on all counts.

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Aprilia
Its quite a talll order - probably near impossible.

Did a quick look on Autotrader and came up with this from 'Autohouse 2000'

Subaru Legacy 2.5i 2005 Subaru Legacy
Key Points
21,734 miles, 2.5 litre Petrol engine, Automatic gearbox, Brilliant Silver, 4 doors.

Advertised at £8900

This gives you some idea of what you can get for your money (obviously a fair bit cheaper at auction).

Not the lowest depreciating car, but curve will be flattening at that age and they are reliable and good to drive.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - DrS
I guess I'm a little confused? You seem to want to be saving money by having a car with low depreciation, and yet quite happy to chuck it around like no tomorrow on additional fuel costs? You don't say how many miles you do, and yet at anything like average mileage, you will be spending something like 50% of your initial purchase price in excess fuel costs over the time you keep the car: That's before you've even thought of the higher insurance groupings for this kind of metal?
Why not get a 3 year old Renault Laguna Diesel?
As it happens, I could put you in touch with a nice one.......
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - adverse camber
I agree with DrS, I also dont see how an RX-8 falls into the category.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - nick1975
S Type Jag? Cheap too - so D not such an issue!!

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
S Type Jag? Cheap too - so D not such an issue!!

I would love the S-Type Jag if they can put a LSD in the rear diff!

As it is, I struggle to see the purpose of the S-Type 2.5, 2.7 or 3.0 as the XJD or XJ6 out-performs it in every way (performance and economy).

I have driven both S-Type 3.0 and XJ6 in 2004 and I always preferred the 2004 XJ6. As such, even though the XJ is outside my budget, I would rather wait for a year and I would not choose the inferior S-Type.

Also, wouldn't a Jag be too young for a 27 year-old?
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Mileage wise I cover around 10k business, 5k private miles. I am refunded 40p per miles (tax free). I am happy that I can go for a low depreciation:high running cost or high depr.: low cost option.

I have been running 2.0 petrol Mondeo Ghia X for the last 20k and even though servicing was reasonable, fuel consumption was 22 mpg in central London or driven hard and 32 mpg when on out of London business trips. As an IAM member, I try to drive smoothly and economically but make good progress. Bearing in mind I used to have a Nissan QX 3.0 auto and it did 32mpg on motorway and 18 mpg in town, that's not a big different in town and no different out of town; thus I am happy to have the RX-8.

Insurance on RX8 is about £200 pounds p.a. extra, I expect with higher power cars (those in excess of 200bhp), the fuel consumption on out of London trips will be similar to what I get anyway. I town I can stomach the consumption because my daily commute is from Canary Wharf to Westminster so not far by miles.

I just want to have a car which I enjoy driving which may cost a little more to run (but less than 40ppm) to complement the SMART Roadster I bought my girlfriend at the beginning of this year. I have to say that I always look forward to use the SMART when she don't mind using the Mondeo.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - nick1975
Too young for a Jag!!

But not a Mondeo Ghia X, Nissan QX 3.0 auto, Subaru Legacy 3.0 saloon it would seem!! ;-)

Joking aside ? do you pay the congestion charge on your commute? If you do then think very carefully about an RX-8 as it will be £25 a day from Dec, I think.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Too young for a Jag!!
But not a Mondeo Ghia X Nissan QX 3.0 auto Subaru Legacy 3.0 saloon it
would seem!! ;-)

The Jag will be too young for me, not too old. I would rather have something completely annoymous now (like a Legacy) or something totalling different like a SMART Roadster, RX-8, 350Z or even Monaro
Joking aside ? do you pay the congestion charge on your commute? If you do
then think very carefully about an RX-8 as it will be £25 a day from
Dec I think.

I was told Mazda, like to the 350Z, was a band F and not band G (before 2006), thus not needing £25 for CC.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - ukbeefy
I would be very wary of getting any type of higher polluting vehicle and assuming it won't end up with a higher congestion charge in the future....I suspect Ken will introduce a tighter and tighter set of bands such that anything much above a 1.6 diesel focus is paying £15 or more in the next year or two. My local council Lambeth has introduced new residential parking payments and the "old" price equates to a supermini and the price for even a modest mondeo type car is now 100% up on what you paid last year. I expect Ken will tighten the screw v quickly.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - ukbeefy
Also what about the tube? Canary Wharf to Westminster is all on the Jubilee line...20 mins tops and much less congestion for the rest of us to worry about (travelling by bus)....

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - perleman
Some sort of convertible now that winter is here? & sell again in summer? Any chance of a Saab 9-3 @ that price, that would sort of smooth depreciation out a bit wouldn't it, or how about a Volvo C70. Or a mini of some sort, they have fun handling. Finally, R32 Golfs are about 10k now I'd imagine the hold value well & are well regarded in the driving stakes too. An economical little runabout!
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - MichaelR
You want a great handling RWD car but you wont have a BMW. Hmmm.

Cutting off your nose to spite your face? Whilst BMW's are not a parragon of amazing reliability, the electronics are far from weak. You are more likely to run into issues with other things than the electronics.

Edited by MichaelR on 05/11/2007 at 23:28

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - DP
If low depreciation is the priority, forget everything else and buy the latest 6-speed Golf GT TDI PD you can find within budget. All bar the leggiest, scabbiest 2000/1 models are still fetching £6k+

Not an exciting car, but perky, economical, and beautifully finished inside.

04 Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi Dynamique
00 Mondeo 1.8TD LX
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Sorry but for those close to me who owned BMWs, they are not particularly cheap to run.

I don't see the point of 3-series (E46) because they are just approximately 65kg lighter than the equivalent engine and spec but much larger 5-series (E39); thus the 3-series does not out-perform 5-series by that much.

Sorting out the suspension on the 5-series cost a fair amount of money as a lot of people mentioned they are not quite up to the job for such a heavy car.

The 5-series and 7-series are considered too "old man" in the car park conversations I had.

M Coupe and Z4 have only 2 seats.

That leaves the 6-series which, however good they are, still have a long way in absolute depreciation terms.

Same analogy can be applied to the Mercedes and Audi car range.

Also, my girlfriend does not want a BMW, Audi or VW.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Unfortunately for what I do, I don't normally know where I would be at the end of day or even what time I would finish work.

The morning drive to work is not too bad, leaving house at 7 gets me in for 7.30. I leave about 15 min. walk from CW tube station so winter/windy days are quite uncomfortable. Also, sometimes I finishes at 7 but sometimes I finishes at 2 in the morning. As such I enjoy the relative comfort of my own car and not needing to waiting for a cab when tube has stopped working.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - MichaelR
Best you give up becuase you are very fussy and have a very strict critera. You want something not many cars have - RWD - but then you want to rule out all the volume producers of RWD cars. Very sensible. Not.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - jbif
Best you give up becuase you are very fussy and have a very strict critera.

I get the impression that Gazza is very impressionable and is setting himself up for failure by having unrealistic goals. He seems to be too easily swayed what other peole around him say or think.

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - perleman
You really need to try some of these cars out, as you'll be spending more time driving than than collating feedback from your co-workers etc. I can assure you that RWD doesn't make that much difference unless you're driving the car to quite extreme levels and is actually a bit of a menace in the wet.

Regarding depreciation, there are 4 ways to beat it:
1 - buy a car that depreciates slowly, such as the VW Eos
2 - buy a car that has already hit the bottom of the curve, such as a diesel Golf or older Boxster (fingers crossed)
3 - buy a car that has depreciated but not been used so you get the benefit of low price & newer car, i.e. pre-reg MG V8 4.6 (which I believe is also RWD)
4 - don't sell the car at all, thus avoiding the hit

I suggest you try a golf 2.8 V6 4motion, which has 204BHP, 4 wheel drive (which will let you drive round corners like an idiot same as RWD but won't let you do 'phat' drifts), and has a nice discreet but smart image & lovely interior. 8.5k will prob get you a 5 year old model with leather, xenons etc. It's certainly the car I'd look at at that budget.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - ijws15
Don't believe Perleman

The EOS value drops like a stone - we are in the process of trading one! VW are selling too many of them - the wait for a Corsa is almost as long - 10 weeks versus 12!

The least depreciating car we have owned as a family is my son's 1.0 Corsa. £5k four years ago at just over a year old, still probably worth around 2K if the adverts in the local press for older, higher milage cars are to be believed. Four seats but would not want to drive it far with four in!

Edited by ijws15 on 07/11/2007 at 12:22

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - perleman
I read in 911 & Porsche World that the Eos was 2nd on some European list for slowest depreciating car at the moment, they were supprised that a VW was on the list IIRC

List price vs. trader:

Model List Trader price range
1.6FSI £19,772 £17,195 - £21,490
3.2 V6 £29,527 £24,995 - £33,400

Doesn't look too shabby to me.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - OldSock
Doesn't look too shabby to me.

Doesn't look like £8500, either :-(
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - perleman
Read up the thread, my friend - I was merely citing Eos as an example of one of the 4 ways of beating depreciation, not reccomending it as a suitable car as that clearly doesn't exist!
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - OldSock
Sorry, pm, I meant that as a "sigh" at the end!

For depreciation-proof motoring for £8500 I'd recommend a Mercedes W124 320 coupé and sticking £7000 in a high-interest savings account :-)
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - movilogo
My only suggestion is lexus,

I second that, if you rule Merc & BMW out, can't imagine any other reliable RWD car!

But you might need to stretch your budget for that - if you prefer buying fairy newish..

On a side note, used Mazda RX8s are quite cheap. Though fuel cost might be an issue.

Edited by movilogo on 07/11/2007 at 13:35

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - nick
It's best to take all these depreciation tables with a large pinch of salt as they are based on the manufacturers' book price, who pays full price for a new car? Very few models command full list.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - pd
No idea about the Eos, but I'd agree that handling issues aside the most sensible car long term costs wise you could buy for that sort of money would be a Golf GT TDI 130 with about 50k on the clock. They are in very high demand and will probably remain so. Early Mk 4 examples still fetch £4500 all day long.

If it's a normal saloon type car you are after and are interested in relatively easy resale it has to be a diesel. On a sports car it is not as important.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - perleman
Then get it chipped to 170BHP
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - bignick2

any of their older model big saloons or estates say a 940/960.

Be plenty of money to spare from your budget and they have already depreciated about as far as they are going to. Relatively bulletproof reliability wise too with plenty of aftermarket parts and specialist repairers around too.

The T5 estate as used by motorway plod has all the performance you will ever need too.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - MichaelR
He wants RWD or RWD style handling.

A heavy front wheel drive Volvo offers none of these. And people with £8500 to spend dont want a J reg 940.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - bradgate
Lexus IS or GS?
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - pd
If you remove Mercedes or BMW from the list (which the OP has) then basically it leaves Lexus or Jaguar. If you don't want a Lexus or Jaguar then there will have to be compromise somewhere.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Lud
There must be some very nice Jaguars around for that sort of money and indeed less, if you know how to find them. Price may be a bit low for a company-guaranteed Lexus though?
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - ForumNeedsModerating
Although I understand your paramater of 'low depreciation' perhaps focusing on that is diverting you from your target car. The likely new cost of a car matching your physical/dynamic criteria, sounds like a £22-30K new list price job. The depreciation curves of cars tend to converge at year 4-5, so your £8.5K budget will probably buy a car likely to depreciate at a very similar rate to any other at that price & age. The biggest part of the depreciation graph is far away at 4-5 years - and at 6-8 years more so. The gap between high & low depreciators may well be lower than for that between the excellent/good/poor price for examples of the same model.

No particular suggestions - you do seem to have blanked a big proportion of likely cars on my putative list already. Do you think most non-German cars will be major problem free at that age? The RX-8 would seem risky to me - a Wankel engine may have open ended maintenance costs when older, and its trade-in value might reflect that when you sell.

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - perleman
You could get a nice X-type 3.0 sport, 4wd, leather and toys, and the Mondeo part supply will help with running costs. I think they have a bit of a 'younger' image than S-types & XJs etc. 231BHP too, same as the Mazda!
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Sorry to have stirred up an argument, I had no intention to do that.

I like Jaguar or Lexus - just I don't want a prestige car or pay for the badge. I park on street / public car parks during the day all over UK and Europe (though I have a car park as home and work) so I don't want to have my car keyed or vandalised.

I very much liked the Scorpio Cosworth, Omega 3.2, XJ8 Sport, 200SX, etc. of the late 90s. It is just that they are a little too old in their designs now.

I guess I am looking for something a little left-field and something that feel special or have a feel good factor. As such, if it is a coupe I would like it to be purpose-built coupe and not a converted saloon; if it is an executive car, I would have expected electrically-adjusted, heated (and possibly cool) seats, auto lights/wipers, touring suspension, etc. I don't want a "Sports Saloon" which does not give total comfort or drives like a proper sports car.

Maybe I am just getting old, having grew up in the cars of the 90s.

Edited by Gazza on 07/11/2007 at 20:36

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - pd
Your problem is wanting rear drive - everyone but those badges have pretty much abandoned it.

To be honest I also reckon a RX-8 is more likely to receive "attention" than most BMW's etc.

If you compromise on the rear drive issue (and to be honest no FWD has RWD "like" handling) then there is a much wider choice.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - nick1975
okay i'm game, so will ignore the increasing nonsense being spouted here (by the OP, no offence Gazza)...

have you thought about getting a sub 119g/km for your commute?

if you are doing this trip 12-15 times a month then this would become self funding

e.g. you can finance a C1/107/Aygo from £100ish pcm. 15 x £8 = £120

leaves you with £8.5k to spend on car 2, so go for the Scorpio Cosworth, Omega 3.2, XJ8 Sport, 200SX and bank £8k

Edited by nick1975 on 07/11/2007 at 21:02

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - Gazza
Actually got a SMART Roadster-Coupe for that. That is actually one of the best cars I have ever had, fantastic handling and really exciting in wet, a bit like an 70s/80s 911 but really adjustable on the throttle.

Thing is I often get into work before 7 and leave after 7 so no expense. If I need to go out to client, I expense the CC so I don't bear the cost.

What I really want on top of good handling is something which has the power for cross continental trips and really fast from 50km/h to 150 km/h in 3rd (overtaking) whereas I am not fuss about standing start.

The Mondeo 2.0 TDCI and 2.0 petrol just lack the acceleration from 50 to 150 that my old QX 3.0 or my friend's Scorpio Cosworth had during kick-down. The acceleration for the TDCI Mondeo was disrupted by small speed range per gear with the 6-speed box and for the petrol Mondeo, though consistent, is not fast.
leaves you with £8.5k to spend on car 2 so go for the Scorpio Cosworth
Omega 3.2 XJ8 Sport 200SX and bank £8k

Can you really get any of these for 500 pounds?
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - pd
Just noticed there is a 54-plate RX-8 231ps with 58k in the Lombard sale at Colchester next Tuesday. No idea if it's any good but might be getting your buyer to take a look.
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - MichaelR
As mentioned, if you dont want something like a Sports Saloon then really, give up. Mainstream manufacturers just do not really make RWD cars any more.

You are going to have to compromise somewhere, becuase you can't afford the sort of car you really want (stuff like a Porsche 911 et all, all of which handle well and are RWD).
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - barney100
Mecedes rust and electrical problems? If the car has a full service histroy -not forced to be MB.- any rust rust is fixed free of charge to quite a decent age. Electrical problems on the 2nd hand one I've had for three years have been confined to a bulb out indidcation which took me 2 minutes to fix and a sensor which needed changing. Main dealer came out with a computer,hooked it up and did the job on the spot for £34. It's just the fashion to bash MB I'm afraid and in my experience unjustified. Seems like BMW's turn next.......
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - DP
Mecedes rust and electrical problems? If the car has a full service histroy -not forced
to be MB.- any rust rust is fixed free of charge to quite a decent

Yes, I can vouch for that. A friend had the complete tailgate replaced FOC by Mercedes on his 1995 C200 estate in 2005 because of two rust bubbles under the window. Last two services had been done by an indie.

It worked because he went out and bought a new C-class the following year and didn't even bother driving anything else. It's a shame more manufacturers don't realise that it's not the problems people remember, but how they were dealt with. In this case, flawlessly.

04 Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi Dynamique
00 Mondeo 1.8TD LX
Least depreciating car - £8,500 - jbif
Please no Mercedes (potential rust and electronics problems), BMW (potential electronics problem)

When the OP made that sweeping generalisation, I formed the opoinion that he was beyond taking any rational advice.

Least depreciating car - £8,500 - A2B
I think this must be a wind up or perhaps just a bit of fun. It reminds me of those house buying shows where the punter is shown great properties but alwasy wants something different or better but but does not have the budget for it.

The chance of any these so called qualities of a car you seek every being noticeable taken advantage off is fairly low.

Many of the cars already mentioned are perfectly adequate.

The best thing for you to do is look on Parkers guide for a few hours and find this perfect magical car you seek.

Good Luck

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