Buying a large and expensive vehicle is a funny old thing, isn't it? Someone spends a fairly hefty sum of money on a car that is an engineering masterclass, only for a substantial chunk of it to be lost in depreciation. Ouch.
However, their loss is very much our gain. With the majority of the market making the transition to smaller and more wallet-friendly cars, that leaves a number of the more extravagant vehicles without a home. And we can't have that now, can we?
Sure, the running costs are going to be higher than your average run-of-the-mill hatchback. But bragging rights at the local pub and being able to tell your grand children about the heroic car you owned is far more important. It's all about priorities.
So, we've been scrolling through the Evans Halshaw used car classifieds to find our favourite budget luxury cars. Here's what we found.
Mercedes CLS (From £4,000)
We're starting this list correctly, because you can now pick up the equivalent of a land yacht for less than an all-inclusive holiday!
Mercedes released the CLS in 2005 as a cross-breed between a traditional coupé and an executive saloon. The result was a unique and stylish exterior appearance that was combined with the practicality of four-doors. The inside of the CLS is textbook Mercedes-Benz; oceans of plush leather, quality soft-touch materials on every panel and soul-soothing levels of refinement.
The cheapest CLS' on the market typically boast the 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine, which we actually believe suits this large coupé the best since it provides plenty of poke without compromising fuel economy (37.2mpg combined). Spend a bit more and you'll get behind the wheel of a silky-smooth V6 petrol engine that gets the CLS from a standstill to 62mph in just seven seconds.
With prices starting from as little as £4,000, it almost seems criminal not to consider this huge chunk of Stuttgart goodness.Search Used Mercedes CLS
Jaguar XJ (From £10,000)
Used by Her Majesty's Secret Service to help catch baddies such as Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz, the modern iteration of the flagship Jaguar is yours from as little as £10,000.
Jaguar took a new direction when they redesigned the XJ in 2009. Instead of retro-styling, Jaguar opted for a fresh approach that enhanced the XJ's exterior appearance, cabin ambiance and elegance.
Although some did not favour the XJ's interior design over German rivals, it has aged remarkably well, still looking incredible to this day. The simple layout is to thank for this, with high quality materials used everywhere you look. If you find one with the tan coloured seats and door cards, then you must invest immediately.
The cheapest XJs typically have the 3.0-litre V6 diesel under the bonnet, which will propel this luxury saloon to 62mph in just six seconds! With 40.4mpg on a combined cycle and reasonable road tax of £260, this version of the XJ is surprisingly modest to run.Search Used Jaguar XJ
BMW 6 Series (From £6,000)
Automotive barges not your kind of flavour? No worries, because you can pick up the excellent BMW 6 Series coupé from just £6,000. This stylish grand tourer is the perfect vehicle for those wanting to cross continents in refinement and luxury.
BMW introduced the 6 Series in 2004 to fill the gap between their executive saloons and luxury SUVs. Fun fact; BMW used the 6 Series to launch their super lightweight inline-six petrol engine, which only weighed in at a bantamweight 130kg.
The appearance of the 6 Series wasn't to everyone's taste when it was released. However, we would argue it has aged rather well. That air of sophistication and simplistic, yet striking, design has done the 6 Series a world of good. Inside is much the same story, with a timeless design taking centre stage alongside a raft of quality components. That's before we get onto the driving position, which is excellent, by the way.Search Used BMW 6 Series
Range Rover (From £6,000)
We've covered lavish coupés and a large executive saloon. It would seem rude then not to get at least one opulent SUV in the list, right? That's where the Range Rover comes in, a heavyweight truck that is laden with leather, sophistication and off-roading technology.
We're primarily focusing on the third generation Range Rover for the purpose of this article, because that's when it (literally) joined the 21st century in terms of design and engineering. Land Rover were keen to update the Range Rover so it looked great outside the local country club (slightly stereotypical), without compromising the off-road ability previous generations were commended for.
Inside there is sea of leather and soft touch materials, all surrounded by a solid body shell that insulates the passengers from just about every vibration and sound from the outside world. The lower budget gets you a 3.0-litre turbo diesel, although the 4.4-litre V8 does pop up from time to time for a bargain price. Just be prepared for regular trips to the fuel station with the V8, because it does like a drink.Search Used Range Rover
Chrysler 300c (From £4,000)
How about this for a wildcard? An inexpensive slice of American luxury, with the underpinnings of an older Mercedes E-Class? Consider ourselves intrigued.
Released in 2005, the 300c was Chrysler's attempt at crossing the waters and making an impact on the European market, something that hasn't really been achieved by rival manufacturers.
They went toe-to-toe with ze Germans by providing a generous amount of equipment, high levels of refinement and by undercutting them by several thousand pounds. The result of this was... well, not great. But that's beside the point. The point being is that they now represent corking value for money, purely because customers tend to opt for the likes of Audi and BMW.
The exterior appearance of the 300c is unmistakably American, with the sheer size of the executive saloon taking centre stage. Inside isn't quite on par with German rivals, but it certainly feels robust. The cheaper cars typically boast a 3.0-litre diesel, which returns a reasonable 34.9mpg combined. If you're willing to spend a bit more, you can even find a 300c with the 340bhp 5.7-litre Hemi V8.Search Used Cars
So there you have it, five inexpensive luxury motors for considerably less than some of Britain's cheapest new cars!
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