Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 2 August

2006 Audi S8 driving - front

A clean 2007 Audi S8 heads up this week’s collection of classified ads

A family saloon with a Lambo-derived V10, this Audi S8 deserves a very careful once-over

The Audi S8 of 2006-2010 may not be the first choice of BMW M5 or Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG fanciers, but don’t underestimate its deeply interesting 5.2-litre V10 or the value of its quattro system when conditions are less than ideal. 

Audi S8, £10,995: And what a talking point that lump is. It’s closely related to the V10 in the Lamborghini Gallardo and, while it’s less powerful, with 444bhp to the Gallardo’s 552bhp, it’s just as torquey, although at half the revs (3000rpm). 

Other S8 talking points include the car’s aluminium body (reasonably dent resistant but difficult to repair if it gets a bad knock) and suspension. However, things to keep under wraps are a heroic thirst of around 20mpg, a firm ride and high servicing costs – cylinder 10’s spark plug in particular is expensively difficult to access. 

Our interest in this Audi flagship was prompted by a 2007/07 S8 with 93,000 miles that we found, advertised for £10,995. It’s finished in black and has been serviced every 10,000 miles, although we’d want to scrutinise every invoice to establish exactly what was done. It’s had two previous keepers, the last one its custodian for the past six years. 

The car is for sale at a dealer with a 12-month MOT. We’re a risk-averse bunch so we’d check the engine for leaks from the cam covers and oil pump, and that the six-speed Tiptronic ’box performs smoothly. 

Turning to the suspension and brakes, any noises from the front end would have us running for the hills – it could mean replacement of whole suspension arms is needed. Worn brake discs are super-expensive to replace and we’d want to be sure there are no issues with the electronic parking brake.

Toyota FJ Cruiser, £13,995: The size of a Land Cruiser but with two doors plus a couple of miniature suicide ones, and powered by a 4.0 V6 with 239bhp, the FJ is an uncompromising beast with a spacious cabin that’s full of details. This ’02 car has done 114,000 miles. 

Peugeot 309 GTI, £4850: Some say the 309 GTi’s stiffer body gave it the edge over the 205. With the numbers of both falling like a lift, it no longer matters. This 1991 309 has 150,000 miles but, says the seller, it runs sweetly. Seats and door cards have just been restored, too. 

Citroën XM estate, £8995: Not pretty in its day but by Jove this one-owner XM estate, with 26,000 miles and a full history, looks the business now. It’s had its suspension spheres and LHM fluid replaced and has no rust, dents, scratches or tears. The velour seats are fully electric.

Ford Model T, £18,000: For sale at a Ford dealer, this old Model T is fresh from a restoration at a motor museum. It’s authentic in every detail but has a few mod cons including a push-button start for those times when turning the crank handle seems like too much effort. 

Auction watch

Nissan Bluebird Turbo Executive: Never mind that this Bluebird made £4000 at auction, has done just 86,000 miles, is over 30 years old (it was registered in 1988) and has one owner in the logbook; more remarkable is that it survived the 2009 scrappage scheme. You’d have thought such an unloved repmobile would have been ripe for the crusher but no, some free spirit had the sense to save it. Its 1.8 turbo engine makes 135bhp and is good for 0-62mph in 8.6sec, and being in Executive spec it has leather, air-con and a radio – in 1988, all sought-after options on more expensive cars. 

Future classic

Saab 9-5 2.0 TID Vector SE, £3600: For a time it looked like the prices of Saab’s big saloon were stabilising, but it was an illusion and now they’re entering the basement. This £3600 SE is a 2010 car with 112,000 miles on the clock and a recent full brake and cambelt service. At the other end of the spectrum, prices peak at around £10,000 for a 2011 TiD with 46,000 miles. However, we’d prefer to put our money in one of the rarer petrols, such as the 2010 2.8 T Aero XWD with 98,000 miles we saw for £7650 (new price £37,795). 

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find me the best Q-car for under £5000.

2004 Audi S4 Cabriolet, £4995

2002 Jaguar S-Type V8 R, £4995

Mark Pearson: We’d nearly given up on the dear old S-Type when this humdinger came along, with an Eaton-supercharged 4.2-litre V8 making near enough 400bhp and 0-60mph in 5.3sec. Rock and roll! It’s the perfect Q-car, unlike your, what is it, an Audi A4 convertible? 

Max Adams: Have you seen the grille on the S-Type? Subtle it is not! Unlike my gloriously understated Audi that also packs a 4.2-litre V8 with 344bhp on tap. 

MP: Only 344bhp? Why so low? Has it got a fault? I’m surprised it can push that heavyweight drop-top along at all. Mine can carry five fast and in discreet luxury. Wood and leather, old boy… 

MA: Wood and leather won’t make a car fast; if anything, your luxo-barge will weigh more than my stealthy convertible. 

MP: So it should, it’s built to impress. Luckily, the S-Type R has got more than enough shove to make life fun – you can hang the tail out and everything. I can’t imagine that Audi’s much fun. 

MA: Your argument hinges on sliding the tail out? That’s not the fastest way round a corner, so I reckon that in the real world my stout, open-topped Audi will easily deploy all of its power on corner exit and be halfway down the road before your traction control light stops flickering. 

MP: I’m sorry, what were you saying? I’m afraid I nodded off…

Verdict: An Audi is the definition of understatement. I’ll take it.

Read more

Used car buying guide: Lamborghini Gallardo​

Audi S8 2015-2017 review​

Used car buying guide: Jaguar S-Type R

Source: Autocar

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