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High mileage heroes

By raccars Published

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Mileage has to be one of the key factors determining both the financial value and probable reliability of any used car. In theory, the lower the mileage, the better the buy. However, there are some models that brush off six figure mileage as just a warm up period. On which models should high mileage be less of a concern?

Ford Mondeo 2000-2005

The Mondeo of this period is a great all rounder - comfortable, spacious and reliable. Mileage of 150,000 and more shouldn't be a problem on a well maintained model, which you should be able to find for around £1,000. Beware of rattles at the top end of 1.8 litre petrol models, and diesels can be subject to failure of the dual mass flywheel.

Mazda MX-5 1998-2003

This generation of the funky little MX-5 does without the pop up headlights of the earlier model but is a better drive. The MX-5 has as much substance as it does style, reliable even at 100,000 miles plus. Check the sills and rear arches for rust but £1,500 should get you something decent.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1985-1995

This generation of E-Class, known as the W124, is famous for being able to travel around the world many times over. It's pretty bulletproof even with very high mileage, but is a bit thirsty. Estates are particularly popular and you're looking again at about £1,500.

Skoda Octavia 2004-2008

For £2,000 the Octavia proves Skoda's new reputation for build quality and reliability. All the engines in the range are good but the 1.9 Tdi PD diesel model is a favourite with taxi drivers, for its cockroach-like ability to survive anything thrown at it. Avoid ex-taxis if you can and a full service history is important. A £2,000 budget should offer you plenty of choice.

Toyota Avensis 2006-2009

Its rather dull exterior hides a well finished and comfortable cabin, pleasant drive and the security that it will start first time, every time. £2,200 will get you plenty of car for the money if your priority is reliability over glamour.

Volkswagen Golf 2004-2009

Its hard to disparage any of the Golfs, but £3,000 will get you a relatively high mileage model from this era. Not that that is a problem - the legendary build quality has been no small contributor to the Golf's reputation as the world's favourite car. No particular advisories spring to mind but aim for a full service history and a cam belt change for high mileage examples.

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