Bangernomics best buys: Renault Espace Mk4

Bangernomics best buys: Renault Espace Mk4

2008 Mercedes-Benz R320 CDi Sport 94,000 miles, £4490: For those who don’t want a V-Class with tinted windows, the R-Class is like a giant estate with a posh badge. This is a two-owner car with history and recent bills so a viable alt-Espace.

Idol fancy

Mazda RX-8, 2003-2010: Enthusiasts are inevitably attracted to the oddest of coupés, but sometimes it’s best to run the other way. A funky four-seater with a smoothly powerful engine at a temptingly low price: what’s not to love? 

 

Well, before we get stuck into that, let’s look at the upsides of the RX-8. Actually looking at it is a very uplifting thing to do, and inside that cool shape it’s very cosseting. Mainly, though, it’s a Mazda sports car, which means it handles very sweetly. 

There were two flavours, the 189 belting out 190bhp and the 230 doing 228bhp, coming in just one well-equipped trim (although there were special editions). Importantly, the 2008 facelift tidied up the front and rear. It also brought extra equipment and deleted the less powerful engine. 

 

Despite being well built, the rotary engine is a harbinger of oil leaks and expensive doom. If you get past the ‘is it in good condition?’ and ‘does it have a service history?’ enquiries, book a compression test at a specialist. Otherwise, beware worn suspension, oil leaks and an ex-owner who wouldn’t pay the bills. But this is certainly a car worth saving for posterity.