James Ruppert: Declining car sales? Not on the nearly new forecourt

Then there is the premium badge prize. This goes to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which is the PCP that 99% of user-choosers seem to be going for. That’s the new squat one, by the way, rather than the thinking buyer’s compact family MPV. A 2014 1.8 A200 CDI Sport is just below £8000 with 107,000 miles. That’s a reasonable price and you get xenons, Bluetooth and electric most things.

No SUV? There has to be one of those: they are everywhere. Roll forward the Nissan Qashqai. How about a 2010 1.5 dCi Tekna with 116,000 miles at £3500? That’s enough Qashqai.

More SUVs? Well, the Kia Sportage makes 10th spot in the year-todate best-seller list and October’s number 10 is none other than the Range Rover Evoque. I can only get enthusiastic about a ’Voque. With £10,000, you will get a 2012 2.2 TD4 Pure with 136,000 miles and two previous owners in a private sale so you had better buckle up with a warranty. Maybe that’s why some buyers should choose a new one.

What we almost bought this week

Saab 9000 2.0 CSE: The 9000 was the best of the Lancia Thema and Fiat Croma triumvirate. The Alfa 164 was also related but very different looking. We found a tasty 1998-reg 9000 with an Abbott Racing ECU upgrade to 220bhp, described as fast, comfortable and very reliable. It has done 155,000 miles but we’ll forgive it in light of its £750 asking price.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Porsche Cayenne, mileage 104,718: So we had the full dealership experience at Porsche Cambridge, which was nice. Being caught in an accident-related snarl-up meant I was an hour late, but they were super-professional and booked the Flying Pig in for the recall work.

There was free wi-fi and coffee and it was all done and dusted in an hour. They did have a list of extra things they’d love to have done: there were fault codes that would cost a lot of money to look into further and they think the front discs will need seeing to at the next serious service. Nothing we can’t live with.

Source: AutoCar.co.uk