Undersized and over priced?

* Premium special-edition superminis * are they worth the money? * Pay up to 12,000 more than standard...

01 July 2011

Would you pay 43,000 for a supermini? Aston Martin hopes you will, while Fiat and Mini have equally grandiose expectations for their special edition small cars. The question is, are they worth the money?

Aston Martin Cygnet & Colette: 43,000
The Aston Martin Cygnet & Colette (pictured) is a 43,000 version of the Cygnet supermini that was launched in May, but with the standard car priced at 30,995, what does the extra 12,000 buy?

Cygnet & Colette buyers get to enjoy stainless steel engraved door handle badges, quilted Alcantara sun visors, quilted leather door and seat inserts, and hand-trimmed quilted leather occasional cushions for the rear seats. Oh, and a unique Cygnet & Colette key ring.

Just 14 will be built.

Mini Inspired by Goodwood: 41,000
Then theres the Mini Inspired by Goodwood, made in conjunction with Rolls-Royce. At 41,000 its not that much cheaper than the Aston Cygnet & Colette, but it does come with a quite a kit list.

The spec includes Cashmere-lined roof lining and sun visors, deep-pile lambswool floor mats, and the Walnut Burr wooden trim on the dashboard, while the door handles are made at the Rolls-Royce factory at Goodwood.??

The car comes in Rolls-Royce Diamond Black paint only, has 17-inch alloys, Xenon adaptive headlights, parking sensors, air-con, sat-nav and a premium entertainment system. Just 1000 Inspired by Goodwoods will be available.

Fiat 500byGucci: 15,765
Finally, theres the Fiat 500byGucci. At 15,765, its by far the cheapest of the three, and comes with a far more down-to-earth spec. Available in either black or white pearl metallic paint, in comes with goodies such as exclusive 16-inch diamond black alloys, black leather upholstery and climate control as standard.

What's the problem?
The trouble with special editions is that theyre unlikely to hold their value substantially better than the standard model. When its time to trade-in, a buyer is unlikely to stump up significantly more for a walnut dashboard or special floor mats.

The Fiat looks the best value of all, because its only a few thousand pounds more than the standard car. However, we predict that itll hold on to the same percentage of its original price as some of the cheaper 500s, so youll stand to lose more in the long run.

The same applies when buying a used special addition. Dont let the salesman tell you that it's worth paying over the odds for a particular colour, or particular options you wont see that money back when you sell the car on.