There's always been something reassuringly plutocratic about a Mercedes luxury saloon, hasn't there? These older E-Classes are now becoming available for less than £10,000, and great buys they make too, thanks to their comfortable rides and spacious interiors. Granted, they aren't quite as well-built as the best any more, and the 2.1-litre diesel is rather noisy, so you're best off going for an E350 CDI, but if you can, you'll have one of the smartest and most satisfying luxury cars around.
6. BMW 7 Series
For our £10k limit, you’re looking at a very good example of the fourth-generation 7 Series – a car that, like most of its previous generations, is almost synonymous with luxury limo-motoring and driving pleasure. At the time, its styling was so modern as to be quite controversial; but in this 730d version, the most popular option, you get an enticing blend of performance and economy, not to mention all the latest tech and plenty of goodies.
We found 2011 730d SE, 83,000 miles, £9995
5. Audi A6
Cars like the Audi A6 need to fulfill many a requirement. They must be quick, refined, good to drive and well equipped, and have plenty of space and all the latest tech. They must be motorway cruisers, back-street heroes and family holdalls. On top of that, they must be relatively cheap to run, which means they must be reasonably efficient. The A6 combines all of those talents in a suave package that, if you can find one of the post-2011 models, looks like a bit of a bargain.
We found 2011 2.0 TDI SE, 96,000 miles, £8720
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