RAC Cars News


Super Smooth Cars For £5,000

By raccars Published

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The thing that really imparts a sense of luxury to a car is less a prestigious badge and a raft of modern gadgets and more a silky smooth ride. Look carefully and you can find a ride as smooth as George Clooney, from only £5,000.

Jaguar XJ

The 2003-2009 era Jaguar XJ was the first all aluminium effort from Jaguar but from the outside looks like many Jags that went before. Its familiar appearance worked both for and against it - reassuring to dedicated fans but disappointing for those looking for something bolder and more modern. However, the XJ was in fact a very competent car, pouring over Britain's potholes and poor surfaces like syrup. There are plenty of diesel 2.7 litre V6s around within the £5,000 mark while the 4.2 litre supercharged V8s command about another £1,000 or so..

Citroen C6

Citroen may be more famous these days for its funky little hatchbacks and MPVs but has also always been a great proponent of big saloons. Since the landmark DS of the Fifties, these have been characterised by their suave, Louis Jourdan smoothness. However, they also always suffer from massive depreciation, which makes them a great second hand buy. Tidy low mileage C6s from the 2005-2012 era can be found from £6,000, with Citroen's self-levelling suspension system and Gallic good looks. Go for higher spec models and the 2.7 litre diesel unit or the punchy 3.0 litre V6 if you can, as these will be the easiest to sell on later.

Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph

OK, so £5,000 won't get you very far, but you can in fact get into a Roller from £12,000. The Silver Seraph from 1980-1999 isn't one of the most prestigious offerings from the marque and later models are definitely a better and more reliable choice. From 1989, automatic ride control was fitted and in 1991 the old three speed GM automatic gearbox was updated with a four speed version, both making huge improvements. Choose carefully and enlist specialist help because these are expensive cars to own.

Mercedes-Benz S500

There are many different versions of the S500 on the market but the 2005-2013 model is a peach, sailing effortlessly over lumps and bumps in a surprisingly frugal manner. It's also rather swift for such a substantial car, with the 5.5 litre V8 getting to 60mph in just 5.4 seconds - still without ruffling any feathers. Prices start at about £10,000 and there are lots to choose from, but beware high mileages and get a proper inspection.

Lexus LS430

The 2000-2006 LS430 isn't a fashionable buy but that makes it rather a bargain. The previous LS400 had suffered from rather baggy suspension and woolly steering but the LS430 benefited from that learning experience and was a much better car. There's a healthy selection available from £5,000-£6,000 offering lots of space, reliability and a smooth ride. Lexus owners also enjoy an excellent dealer network and low servicing costs.

Range Rover

Don't be fooled by the Range Rover's rather butch appearance, it is of course a very sophisticated car and very pleasant to ride in. The 2002-2012 version came after BMW had resigned ownership of the brand but had been engineered by the German company - and you can tell. It's dignified and reliable and a marked improvement upon the previous, Rover engineered effort. Early models with around 80,000 miles on the clock can be found for about £8,000 and are very smart inside. All models age well but later versions are equipped with a better engine range, if you can afford to pay a bit more.

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