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Used Car of the Year Awards contenders: luxury cars
You’ll have to wait until 30 September for the winner of the 2021 What Car? Used Car of the Year to be announced, but you can get a preview of the top contenders here...
Less than £20,000
Look no further than the Jaguar XF if you desire to have a luxury car that handles as adroitly as a car half its size. Equipment levels are generous across all trims, plus this second generation XF is decently practical, too.
The Volvo S90 comes with lots of standard equipment, even in Momentum form, plus it also gets safety tech such as lane-keep assistance that was an option on a contemporary E-Class. You can even get a newer 2018 example of the S90 for our money.
Stick with the SE version of the Mercedes E-Class and you'll be treated to a more cosseting ride than you'll find in the Volvo S90, and a decent list of equipment. You won't have quite as big an infotainment screen as you get in the Volvo, but you do at least get a rotary controller to operate it which makes things easier on the move.
Less than £30,000
BMW 5 Series
The latest 5 Series is so good that we named it our Car of the Year in 2017, so being able to buy a year-old example of this once £40,000 car for less than £30,000 is good news. And despite being an older design than the A6 on this list, it still has a great infotainment system and a beautifully finished interior.
The latest generation Audi A6 has gained mild-hybrid technology which makes it a little bit more efficient than the pre-facelift 5 Series we've chosen. The A6 is also a touch more practical than a 5 Series due to more rear leg room and a standard split-folding rear seat.
You will have to plump for a 2017 XJ for this money, but it's still an awful lot of car for relatively little outlay compared to when it was new. Most will also come with a powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel, so it'll be both quick and decently economical.
Less than £40,000
The current A8 has managed to topple the mighty S-Class in the 2020 Car of the Year awards for ride comfort and high-speed refinement, making it a very tempting proposition as a used buy for similar money. The only fly in the ointment is that the twin-screen touchscreen infotainment system isn't as easy to use as the rotary controller in the S-Class.
BMW 7 Series
Be in no doubt, the large 7 Series is a great car to drive. You get a strong range of engines, too, with the sensible 3.0-litre diesel being more than you'll ever need in terms of performance and respectable economy for a big car.
The onset of an all-new S-Class has had a knock-on effect on used S-Class prices, making a two-year-old example nearly half price. Not bad for what many would still consider is the best car in the world.
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