The feeling you get when driving a luxury car is quite something. As you waft along in quiet comfort, it does change how one drives and how one experiences driving in general. Luxury is a luxury, therefore its expensive. But what if you want luxury vehicle, but only have, say, £5000 to spend? You want a prestige brand obviously, and something that looks expensive. With a private plate added and a fresh valet, these cars are spot on for your requirements. Pop that champagne, even if it is from Asda.
Lexus GS300 – First up is a Lexus. That in itself should be enough, but if it isn’t, we found one with 100k, 2 owners and every extra, including colour reversing cameras, Mark Levinson audio and full service history, for £5k. Immaculate, too.
VW Phaeton – Subject of a recent review, the Phaeton is incredible value for money. Bullet-proof and double-glazed, £5k gets you something special rather unique here. The badge may put some off, but just try one.
Mercedes-Benz E Class – A 2008 E Class has the badge, the looks and the luxury you want. You could argue its starting to look aged, but then you could argue it looks better than anything else here. Either way, its a wonderful car all-round.
Jaguar XJ – You will either love or hate the styling, but its distinctively a Jaguar. The last before the new XJ arrived, these are well-built and supremely comfortable. Not the most modern car here, but I’ve owned a Jaguar and everyone associates the brand with luxury and expense. I did feel a little (a lot) older than I actually am, though.
Mercedes-Benz CLS – Again subject to a separate review, the CLS looks amazing for the cash. With a private plate and a decent wax, these cars still look a million bucks. Only those classified-geeks like myself will ever know what you paid. And I will tipping my hat to you, sir.
Volvo S80 – A Volvo? Yes. In the last 10 years Volvo has worked hard on its image, and now its definitely seen as a prestige marquee. And this, the S80, shows why. The interior is modern and fresh, the outside discreet with a feeling of premium throughout. One for those who want to travel incognito, but still in luxury surroundings. A 2008 is yours for our £5k asking fee.
Audi A8 – Its big, its fast and it’s certainly welcome in this luxury shoot-out. Your money here gets you a LWB 2007 3.0TDi Quattro in immaculate condition with decent history. Like most here, its leather and wood all the way on the inside, with a premium feel to the exterior. A huge amount of metal for the money.
Where is my £5000 heading, then? For me, it’s the CLS for its looks and the Phaeton for luxury and build. Tough call – although the anonymity of the Phaeton appeals more. Either way I’ll take it in gloss black and with big wheels, please.