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Something for the weekend: perfect motoring couples

By raccars Published

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Instead of compromising your motoring élan, why not find the perfect two car combination?

Most car purchases involve a compromise of some kind, between performance and usability, between luxury and budget, or between style and practicality. If, for example, you still want to enjoy thrilling driving dynamics but have a family to consider, it can be very difficult to find one car which meets all of your requirements.

One way around this is to go for two cars instead - you can have something practical for the school run and something a little racier for the weekend. And you don't have to spend a fortune to do so. Admittedly you'll be paying two lots of tax and insurance, but you will be getting the best of two motoring worlds.

Great motoring pairs

£5,000

With a budget of £5,000 you could get both a 2000-2007 era Ford Mondeo estate and a 2002-2005 MG-TF. The Mondeo has successfully shaken off its earlier rather dull image but, particularly in estate format, is still rather staid and sensible, great for everyday practicality. It's roomy, economical and surprisingly good to drive.

Meanwhile you can cast off the shackles of respectability with the MG-TF roadster. A low profile alternative to the Mazda MX-5, it's an entertaining and good looking two seater, available at a bargain price. Beware head gasket problems, niggles with the electrics and check the condition of the fabric roof before handing over any cash.

£10,000

A budget of £10,000 can go a long way - start with a 2005-2008 era Nissan Murano as your daily driver and then pep things up a bit with a 1999-2006 Audi TT. The Murano has never really received the attention it deserves as a really spacious, agile and well equipped SUV with surprisingly good road manners. It's also rather smart looking.

Pair it with the rather special Audi TT and you have the complete motoring package. The TT was an immediate hit for Audi thanks to its sleek, athletic looks and sparkling performance. Most come with four wheel drive to keep you firmly attached to the road even while experimenting with the TT's neat handling.

£15,000

At this budget you can go for a couple of fairly obvious choices: the 2003-2011 BMW 5 Series and the 2005-2015 Mazda MX-5 - obvious because who wouldn't want either of them? The 5 Series is a class-leading premium executive model, offering a silky smooth ride in a large, comfortable package and backed up with BMW's amazing build quality.

The MX-5 is a very different beast but equally impressive. It's the world's best-selling open top two seater because it's incredibly good fun to drive, beautifully designed and very affordable. It's the ideal weekend antidote to the stately 5 Series.

£20,000

Spread your budget about half and half and aim for a 2006-2015 Ford S-Max and a Volkswagen Scirocco, from 2008 onwards. The S-Max is famous among MPVs for showing that you can carry large families and plenty of luggage in a fair amount of style and without the driving dynamics of a van or bus. Rarely have form and function come together so elegantly.

The Scirocco offers VW Group build quality in a funky looking package with loads of driving entertainment. It's unusually practical for a coupe and capable of turning quite a few heads.

£30,000

There's a great choice of premium vehicles at this price point which are more than capable of fulfilling the majority of motoring ambitions. Think a 2007-2015 Jaguar XF and a 2009 onwards model BMW Z4. The rapid XF saloon is a forward-thinking, luxurious saloon with plenty of gadgets to take some of the misery out of the daily commute.

At the weekend you can cut loose with BMW's dashing two seat roadster, the antidote to any boring work week.

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