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I'll be back! Tenacious cars which seem to go on forever

By raccars Published

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous line as 'The Terminator' is appropriate for these similarly tenacious cars. These used cars seem to go on forever - they just won't die!

Mercedes-Benz W123

Running from 1976-1984, this is the archetypal bomb proof large Mercedes, available in saloon, estate and coupe formats. UK sales focused upon four cylinder 200/230 petrol units which were not very fast, but would join cockroaches as the only things to survive a nuclear holocaust. These days, the estates and coupes are particularly desirable and their value will be determined by condition. Good ones start at £2,000 and go up t £20,000 for an excellent example. It makes a very good classic, which also works as a daily driver.

Volvo 200 Series

These were ubiquitous at the school gates from 1974-1993, when they started being usurped by the 'Chelsea tractor.' This is Volvo at its best - safe, robust and reliable. The 200 Series is vast and hugely practical and even now you'll find very little rust. Expect to pay from £3,000 for a well cared for example.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The mighty seven seater 4x4 is Toyota's longest running vehicle. The 1997-2002 Amazon model makes a great used buy - high mileage doesn't trouble it, nor does enthusiastic off roading, as the rough and tough Land Cruiser Amazon goes on forever. It's basic but comfortable and powered by very competent 4.2 litre diesel or 4.2 litre petrol engines. The Amazon offered a cheaper alternative to the Range Rover P38 back in the day but has held its value far better than its rival. You'll need £5,000 to find a decent model.

Nissan Micra Mk 2

The second generation Micra was available from 1992 to1997, to very little fanfare. Its inoffensive bubble shape excited no-one but time has proven its 1.0 litre and 1.2 litre petrol engines fantastically reliable, and the boring grey plastic cabin capable of shrugging off even the worst abuses from infant passengers. The biggest problem you're likely to face is rust around the door sills and floor but as long as the oil has been changed regularly, the 16v engine will go on far longer than you will. £500 will get you something trusty but basic, but £1,000 will buy something rather plusher. Mileages tend to be low.

Suzuki Jimny

Released in 1998, the early model Jimny struggled to find its niche in the market. If you can find one, they make a good buy, with a modest but sturdy 1.3 litre engine and cat like agility. By 2002, the British public had realised what a little gem the diminutive Jimny was and they became a popular alternative to the traditional large off roaders. That cute exterior hides true grit, tenacious grip and huge determination, and you'll find many modified versions sporting serious mud plugging kit, such as snorkels. The Jimny has also thumbed its nose at depreciation and still commands £1,000 for a 15 year old model. If you can stretch to £1,500, you'll get a wider choice of models, in better condition.

Skoda Octavia

The Octavia has been supplanting Mercedes as the taxi driver's favourite since 1996 internationally and 1998 in the UK, thanks to its ability to outlive Methuselah. Both first and second generation models make a very sensible used purchase - good looking, solid, refined, comfortable and great value for money. The smart VW sourced engine range offers an excellent compromise between performance and economy and even older models still look fresh today. A third generation was released in 2013 but, quite frankly, any year and any model will do, as all are excellent.

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