It’s come around again (well the truth is it never really goes away!) but I want a new car. At the moment there are three cars in the stable. Two family cars and one sports car (weekend, limited use).
Most days I drive our 2006 Lexus IS250. It’s now nearly 10 years old, is in immaculate condition and has just passed through 100,000 miles (woohoo!). I’ve owned a lot of cars, and without a doubt Toyota/Lexus make the best cars in the world when it comes to build quality and reliability. Despite it’s age/mileage our IS250 doesn’t squeak or rattle, so far it has never let us down, and other than consumable parts like tyres and brakes, and regular servicing it’s not cost us anything by way of maintenance. It’s as quiet and as quick as the day we bought it.
So I should just keep it and get it to 200,000 miles right? Yep, that’s the sensible solution I’m pretty convinced it would make it to a double-century without any problems. But we’ve got a young family, and the only thing letting the IS250 down is rear leg room. Our children are still in car seats, but with ever-growing legs, I’m finding that I’m having to move the driving seat further and further forward just to get them in. Having covered 500 miles over the past weekend with the kids in the back, I’m 90% of the way there to taking some photos and advertising the car for sale.
Now, I should point out here that I’m always looking for a new car, it’s starts about 4weeks after the arrival of a new car. I’m obsessed with searching (well it is fun isn’t it?), looking at performance stats, reading reliability reviews, and seeing what the motoring press have to say. Oh, and then there’s youtube as well!
So it takes me a while to find the right car. I don’t buy new cars (what’s the point?) and generally look for something sub-50k miles which should last us a while if needs be (we’ve had the Lexus for 5 years now).
So here’s my current list of candidates:
- BMW 630i – I’m a fan of BMW’s having owned them in the past and the 6-series is starting to look like a bit of a bargain. Around £60k new (with a couple of options) in the UK, a low mileage 5 year old car is now down to c£20k. It’s got a lot going for it in terms of looks, build quality, and reliability but I’m still a bit worried about the 2+2 formation (and my ever growing children!), so will it last the test of time. I’ve thought about the newer 640d Gran Coupe, but that’s out of my price range at the moment.
- Mercedes CLS – this one isn’t high on the list as I’ve had bad experiences with Mercedes ownership in the past. Mainly due to the dealer service (one of the very few cars I’ve ever bought from new!), but it has put me off. That said, owners seem to love them, there’s loads of space in the front and the back, and with a choice of economical engines running costs should be pretty low. So who know’s.
- Jaguar XK – ok, so possibly even less practical that the 6-series, reliability isn’t the best (let’s not even mention fuel consumption!)…and yes I would really prefer an Aston Martin DB9 (but I can’t afford one!). But it’s a lot of car for the money. £15k should get me into a reasonable one.
- So the title say ‘top 3’ but there is a fourth option – keep the lexus, trade in the Lotus and buy something extra-special for the weekend.
I’m going to try to get out and about and test drive a few over the coming months. Winter tends to be a good time to buy cars in the UK as the prices fall slightly. But I’m interested in your thoughts, what do you think I should go for (feel free to suggest others) and why? Comments below.
(Oh and if you are wondering why I haven’t included a newer IS300H on the list, I just really don’t like them – sorry Lexus!).