From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOWWhy buy a new car when £5,000 will bag you a used car bargain? Using Auto Trader, our brief was to find two cars per category, ranging from humble superminis to luxury saloons. We’ve only been window shopping, so inclusion does not represent an endorsement.

Small car: Skoda Citigo (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

Right now, the Volkswagen Up and the two cars based on it are probably the best small cars on the planet. But don’t worry if you can’t stretch to a new one, because they’re also brilliant secondhand buys. This one-owner Citigo looks terrific in Sport trim and has covered a mere 26,609 miles.

Family hatchback: Kia Cee’d (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

Go easy on the right pedal and you might see economy figures in the low 70s in this 2012 Kia Cee’d EcoDynamics. It’s hardly the last word in excitement, but air conditioning, a six-speed gearbox, cruise control and steering wheel controls should make this an excellent commuter vehicle. Just check the rear tyres, because the last MOT listed them as an advisory.

Crossover: Nissan Qashqai (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Nissan Qashqai is Britain’s most popular crossover, which means there are hundreds to choose from on the used car market. This 2008 example appeals because it’s a one-owner car with 47,876 miles on the clock and not a single MOT advisory to its name. The Visia trim is a bit spartan, but if practicality is your thing, it’s hard to ignore this one.

Estate car: Dacia Logan MCV (£4,895)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Dacia Logan MCV is Britain’s cheapest new estate car and offers a massive 573 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded up. New, you’ll pay £7,295 for the entry-level version, but why buy new when this ‘plush’ Logan MCV Laureate is available for £4,895? Just one owner and 42,000 miles on the clock.

Coupe: Audi TT (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It’s possible to spend much less on a first generation Audi TT, but we believe it’s worth spending a little extra to secure a good example of what is a guaranteed future classic. This 2004 example is powered by the 3.2-litre V6 engine and is being sold by somebody who has clearly looked after it.

Sports car: Fiat Barchetta (£4,950)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It’s hard to look beyond the Mazda MX-5 in the affordable junior roadster segment, but the Fiat Barchetta remains a hidden gem. It might be front-wheel drive – it’s based on the Punto – but the Barchetta is terrific fun to drive. All cars were left-hookers.


Premium car: Volvo S80 (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It’s all too easy to opt for something German in the premium car segment and Auto Trader is littered with £5,000 examples of varying degrees of quality. But we’re turned on by this low mileage Volvo S80, not least because it’s powered by the sublime 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine. In the real world it will feel almost as quick as the heavier V8 version, while the high level of standard spec will help to while away the hours on a long motorway drive.

Luxury car: Audi A8 (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The DVLA lists this 2005 Audi A8 as ‘beige’, but we suspect the new owner might prefer it to be classed as ‘gold’. Whatever, £5,000 seems a stupidly low price for this huge chunk of Ingolstadt, which is barely run-in at 59,000 miles. Probably a good idea to avoid looking at the fuel economy figures…

MPV: SsangYong Rodius (£4,991)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

Look, stop smirking at the back. We accept that the SsangYong Rodius isn’t going to win any awards for its beauty, but it’s hard to find a more practical and spacious seven-seater at this price. Besides, as Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid demonstrated on Top Gear, the Rodius does a passable impression of a boat. SsangYacht, anyone?

SUV: Suzuki Jimny (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Suzuki Jimny continues to fly the flag for the old-school SUV and is available to buy new from £12,999. They tend to be owned by loyal and enthusiastic people, as appears to be the case with this 2006 example. The condition and mileage suggest that it hasn’t seen much in the way of off-road action.

Convertible: Renault Wind (£4,995)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

If you want to stand out from the crowd you could do a lot worse than breaking out the Renault Wind. It’s based on the Renault Twingo and features a solid roof that folds away in just 12 seconds. Sadly, it was a slow-seller and was quickly pulled from sale. You could say that it was gone with the Wind…

Saloon: Mazda6 MPS (£5,000)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

It might not look it, but the Mazda6 MPS is one of the greatest sleepers of the past decade. Beneath that unassuming body lies the beating heart of a 2.3-litre turbocharged engine producing 260hp, enough to propel this four-wheel drive saloon to 150mph. Nobody will ever know, until the point at which you zoom-zoom past a sports car in a blaze of anonymity.

Classic: Mercedes-Benz 500 SE (£4,900)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

A 30-year-old Mercedes-Benz for £4,900 might not seem like excellent value for money in light of some of the aforementioned examples, but this 500 SE oozes presence and charisma. The seller claims it has full service history, which should confirm the relatively low mileage.

Hot hatch: Suzuki Swift Sport (£4,989)From the classifieds: best £5,000 cars for sale NOW

The Suzuki Swift Sport remains our favourite junior hot hatch of recent years and we especially like the first generation model. The current (and outgoing) version might be the better all-rounder, but the original feels more old-school and is all the better for it. This 2011 car has covered just 37,000 miles.


Ecotricity axes £6 flat-rate charge for motorway EV charging

Ecotricity axes £6 flat-rate charge for motorway EV charging

A company that owns around 300 electric car chargers at motorway service stations across the UK has axed plans introduced last year to hit EV drivers with a flat £6 rate for charging their car. In an email sent to customers, Ecotricity says it has monitored the use of its ‘electric highway’ over the last year since introducing fees, and decided a more flexible system is needed.

From next month, drivers of plug-in vehicles will be able to charge at motorway services for a £3 connection fee, followed by 17p per unit of electricity used. This means, the company says, the cost of charging for most makes and models will typically be lower than before.

“The energy will be charged at 17p per unit, which is pretty much the rate that people pay at home and the cost of providing the service will be via a £3 connection fee for all sessions,” said Ecotricity, in an email.

“In our modelling, this will typically lower the cost of charging for all makes and models as well as charge more proportionally for energy taken.”

More Ecotricity on Motoring Research: 

The firm has also increased the maximum length of charging sessions to 45 minutes, meaning drivers will be able to get increased range if their car’s battery capacity allows it.

Last year, an Ecotricity spokesman told Motoring Research he hoped the charges would prevent plug-in hybrids ‘clogging up’ its network. Max Boon said: “The vast majority of complaints we receive are about PHEVs clogging up chargers. We want to encourage electric car use and if we can do that by discouraging plug-in hybrids from using our network, that’s a good thing.”

The company attracted criticism after announcing it would charge £5 for 20-minute charges (previously they’d been free), before increasing it to £6 for 30 minutes within 24 hours after an online backlash from EV drivers.

Drivers who use Ecotricity as their home energy provider won’t be charged the £3 connection fee.

Read Ecotricity’s statement in full

Almost a year ago we introduced ‘charging for charging’ on the Electric Highway, after being free to use for five years.

At the time we had limited options for the basis of that charging and opted for the £6 for 30 minutes, as the best ‘one size fits all’ that we could offer.

We said at the time that we would monitor use of the Highway, use that data and customer feedback – and produce a more sophisticated approach to charging, as soon as we could.

We’ve done that now.

The new model that we’ve developed will give more flexibility and typically lower charging costs across all makes and models.

The main issue we’ve been wrestling with is the fixed time period charging and the different amounts of energy that various models can use in that time – coupled with the need to reflect in the pricing model the costs of installing and running the infrastructure, not just the cost of energy.

To better balance these issues we are separating the cost of energy from the cost of providing the service.

The energy will be charged at 17p per unit, which is pretty much the rate that people pay at home and the cost of providing the service will be via a £3 connection fee for all sessions.

In our modelling this will typically lower the cost of charging for all makes and models as well as charge more proportionally for energy taken.

We’ve also increased the maximum length of charging sessions to 45 mins to offer greater flexibility to those customers who need a bit longer to charge up.

For Ecotricity customers there will be no connection fee, to reflect that our customers’ energy bills help us build this network.

Our new approach will operate from the 26th June.

New Ford CEO will say what he'll do then do what he says

Ford's Jim HackettCommunications. They were mentioned several times during surprise new Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s first press call. Early reports this morning partly blamed an ‘inept communications strategy’ for former CEO Mark Fields’ early departure. Hackett wants to straighten out Ford and it seems communications is one of the areas he has in his targets. 

Fields, reckon commentators, didn’t clearly say what he was going to do, then procrastinated while doing it. Stuff didn’t get done. Enter Hackett to fix the doing and the saying. Work out what needs to be done, communicate this, then do it. Leadership 101. A return to Ford of the clarity of thinking most recently seen in the Mulally days. 

Ford on Motoring Research:

Ford people were inspired under Alan, said Ford chairman Bill Ford. Everyone was focused and could see where the business was going. They felt like they were directly playing a part in its turnaround. It seems that under Fields, this spirit was lost. Communications became one-way, top-down. People were not empowered. Decisions slowed. Ford became bloated again.

The share price reflected this. Investors and analysts presumably saw a traditional company doing traditional things, lacking the vibrancy of upstarts such as Tesla, and valued it accordingly: the share price declined 40 percent under Fields’ leadership. “This is a time of unprecedented change,” said Bill Ford during the call. The last thing you need is a slow-moving giant, unable to decide what to do, never mind do it. “The fitness of the business is always an objective,” said Hackett, pointedly. An oblique reference to how it got fat and lazy under Fields? 

There’s Hackett’s task. Energise Ford again. Get Ford people communicating and working together. Get Ford communicating the exciting things it’s doing to outsiders. Again: work out what it’s going to do, then say what it’s going to do, then do what it says.

The to-do list is formidable. Hackett needs to convince Wall St Ford’s on top of the transition from building cars to building mobility solutions, is working on a way to stay relevant in a future world of car sharing, will get on top of building electric cars and autonomous cars in volume, can fix glaring holes in its model range, address recent quality issues, assure people its future in Europe is secure – all without focusing solely on short-term measures to boost the share price. Improvements there will come, said Hackett, if you get your house in order. 

He’s certainly confident. “My biggest challenge is to help everyone see the future and see their opportunity within it.” He said Ford has just as much of a right “to win there” as anyone, and the firm doesn’t have to cede that to anyone. Before then notably namechecking Tesla…

If Hackett succeeds, we may just have a business leadership case study developing before our eyes. Is Hackett Alan Mulally Mk2? Ford will certainly be hoping so – and it sounds like it won’t be long before we start to see if he is. 

Official: Ford CEO Mark Fields replaced by Jim Hackett

Mark Fields FordFord has announced that CEO Mark Fields is to leave the company and be replaced by Jim Hackett, head of company subsidiary Ford Smart Mobility.

Fields’ departure follows a loss in confidence of his leadership from the Ford board, led by executive chairman Bill Ford. Ford’s share price has declined 40 percent under Fields’ leadership since taking over from Alan Mulally in 2014.

Ford’s biggest hits on Motoring Research: 

“We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future,” said executive chairman Bill Ford. “Jim Hackett is the right CEO to lead Ford during this transformative period for the auto industry and the broader mobility space. He’s a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centred leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business.”

Other senior Ford executives are to assume more senior roles. Ford Europe president Jim Farley has been appointed executive vice president and president, Global Markets, while Joe Hinrichs becomes executive vice president and president, Global Operations. Marcy Klevorn is to become executive vice president and president: Mobility, when the job shake-up takes place on June 1.

Ford recently announced 1,400 job cuts as part of an efficiency drive. The firm is still on track to report pre-tax profits of $9 billion this year, despite a sales decline of 25 percent so far. 

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Mouhammed Choukeir, chief investment officer at Kleinwort Hambros, said: “Fields has only been in the post for three years, so this is in some ways a surprise.”

He did, however, acknowledge that there may be nerves in the Ford boardroom due to the decline in the company’s share price under Fields’ leadership. 

Ford added: “We are fortunate to have three dynamic and talented leaders in Jim Farley, Joe Hinrichs and Marcy Klevorn taking on greater responsibility. Each has a track record of driving innovation, cost efficiency and delivering results around the world. They will work closely with Jim Hackett to lead Ford’s day-to-day operations, build our brand and capitalise on emerging opportunities.”

Mercedes-Benz awarded Porsche prize for its diesel engine

Mercedes-Benz awarded Porsche prize for its diesel engine

The Vienna University of Technology has awarded its Professor Ferdinand Porsche Prize 2017 to Mercedes-Benz for the low nitrogen oxide emissions and “exemplary efficiency” of its OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine.

The powertrain, which has been developed under the leadership of Bernhard Heil, is designed to meet future emissions legislation (RDE – Real Driving Emissions). It uses technology such as a newly-developed stepped-bowl combustion process along with exhaust treatment tech configured directly on the engine.

More diesel car news on Motoring Research: 

Judges praised the engine which already has a good reputation for its real-world performance. Engineers from German car magazine Auto, Motor und Sport reported that they “were surprised by the four-cylinder’s extraordinarily low nitrogen oxide emissions,” while road testers from ADAC said: “The exhaust gas treatment works extremely well, regardless of whether the vehicle’s on the test station or driving in real traffic.”

The all-aluminium 2.0-litre engine has made its debut in the E220d and is set to be introduced across the Mercedes-Benz range of cars and vans. As a modular unit, it can be fitted to front-, rear, and four-wheel-drive vehicles in longitudinal and transverse layouts.

With a €50,000 prize fund provided by Ferdinand Porsche’s daughter, Louise Piech, the highly-coveted award has been handed out since 1977. Mercedes-Benz engineers have been handed the prize before: for the development of ABS, the airbag, ESP and the first large-scale series production of Li-On battery technology in a hybrid vehicle.

World’s best-selling cars of 2017 (so far)

World’s best-selling cars of 2017 (so far)

Global passenger cars and light commercial sales recorded an increase of almost 5% during the first quarter of 2017, according to figures released by JATO Dynamics. Vehicle registrations totalled 21.24 million across the 52 markets covered by JATO.

More best-selling car news on Motoring Research: 

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, these are the cars to avoid. We’ll run through the top 20 in reverse order.

20. Hyundai Tucson

Volume: 127,587

The really-rather-good Hyundai Tucson is the 20th most popular car in the world. Coincidentally, from a volume perspective, Hyundai is the world’s sixth largest carmaker, with just under a million registrations in Q1.

19. Suzuki Swift

Volume: 128,025

We’re about to say goodbye to the current Suzuki Swift, but don’t worry, because the replacement is very good. In the meantime, the outgoing model continues to sell in big numbers, making the Swift more popular than the Fiesta.

18. Volkswagen Lavida

Volume: 130,032

Ricky Martin loves the Volkswagen Lavida so much he wrote a song about it. Probably.

17. Toyota Camry

17. Toyota Camry

Volume: 131,807

The 2018 Camry was unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, as Toyota tries to convince the world that the saloon car has a future. Truth is, while motorists clamber for crossovers, the Camry remains incredibly popular in North America.

16. Chevrolet Silverado

Volume: 142,705

Big truck, big numbers and yet Chevrolet must look at the all-conquering Ford F-Series with a sense of ‘Desperado’. Registrations are down 0.4%, while sales of the Ford, as we’ll see later, continue to grow.

15. Ram pickup

Volume: 145,326

There’s better news for Ram, with registrations up 3.8%. Its range includes the Ram 1500: America’s only half-ton pickup available with a diesel engine. In May 2017, FCA said it would be recalling 1.2 million Ram pickups to fix faulty software that can disable airbags and seatbelt tensioners.

14. Volkswagen Polo

Volume: 148,331

Volkswagen Polo registrations are down 3.4%, which is hardly surprising given the fact that a new model is on the way. Based on these figures, the Polo is the world’s most popular supermini.

13. Ford Kuga

13. Ford Kuga

Volume: 153,835

The Ford Kuga, or Ford Escape as it is known in North America, has taken full advantage of the surge in popularity of SUVs and crossovers. Ford offers a posh Vignale edition, claiming that SUV stands for ‘Sophisticated Utility Vehicle’. Right.

12. Hyundai Elantra

Volume: 159,112

The Hyundai Elantra, otherwise known as the Avante or i35, is the 12th most popular car in the world. We’re struggling to find something interesting to say.

11. Ford Focus

Volume: 166,290

Focus registrations are down 13.5%, a factor contributing to Ford’s 2.1% drop in overall registrations. The all-new Fiesta should help to reverse this trend, not least because the range includes a new Active model: the first Fiesta crossover. We expect the Focus to follow suit.

10. Honda HR-V

Volume: 167,051

Into the top 10, where we find, perhaps predictably, a crossover/SUV. The Honda HR-V, otherwise known as the XR-V and Vezel, managed to shift 167,051 units in Q1, an increase of 3.6%.

9. Toyota RAV4

9. Toyota RAV4

Volume: 170,362

The Toyota RAV4 is another crossover on the march, with registrations up 10% in Q1. Exciting it is not, but folk seem to love the RAV4.

8. Volkswagen Tiguan

Volume: 172,623

The same can be said of the Volkswagen Tiguan, with registrations up a massive 47.9%. The launch of the all-new version is a contributing factor here. Enjoy your time in the limelight, Tiguan, because we expect the Skoda Karoq to grab a slice of your pie.

7. Wuling Hong Guang

Volume: 175,945

GM’s Wuling brand introduced the Hong Guang S1 MPV in 2015. Two years later, Wuling unveiled its first SUV: the Hong Guang S3. Last year, around 640,000 Hong Guang models were sold in China, making it the nation’s best-selling nameplate.

6. Honda CR-V

Volume: 177,473

Honda CR-V registrations are up 15.1%, making it the world’s most popular compact SUV. The CR-V pioneered the concept of the compact SUV when the first model arrived in Japan back in 1995.

5. Honda Civic

5. Honda Civic

Volume: 178,605

And so to the top five, where we find the Honda Civic. Registrations are up 31.7%, which bodes well for the new model about to hit the showrooms.

4. Volkswagen Golf

Volume: 209,764

The Volkswagen Golf is one of four models to break the 200,000 barrier, but registrations are down 7.6%. The Mk7 facelift should help to reverse this trend.

3. Nissan X-Trail

Volume: 212,244

The Nissan X-Trail has to play second fiddle to the Qashqai in the UK, but globally it trounces its smaller sibling. Registrations are up 23.4%, as the X-Trail breaks into the top three and closes in on second position.

2. Toyota Corolla

Volume: 214,618

More than 44 million Toyota Corollas have rolled off the production line since 1966, making it by far and away the world’s most popular car. And yet, it has to make do with second position in 2017.

1. Ford F-Series

1. Ford F-Series

Volume: 243,978

And that’s because the Ford F-Series remains at the top of the tree. Registrations are up 10%, which begs the question: where on earth are the North Americans putting these things? They’re not exactly small.

Premier League footballers' star cars on Auto Trader

Premier League footballer’s star cars on Auto Trader

You don’t have to be a Premier League star to drive a Premier League car. As the 2016/17 season draws to a close this weekend, many footballers will be dreaming of their next new car – and some have already started making the switch. Great news for us, who get to buy their old Premier League star cars!

More used cars on Motoring Research: 

Many ex-footballer’s cars are sold through Auto Trader and, as the Premier League season reaches its climax, the new and used car marketplace is showing off 10 footballer’s cars you can buy right now. Read on…

Danny Ings: Lamborghini Huracan

Danny Ings: Lamborghini Huracan

Danny Ings has been plagued by injuries since he joined Liverpool from Burnley. This Lamborghini Huracan was registered in 2014, a year before he arrived in Merseyside for an initial £6.5m. We’re not sure if he arrived at Anfield in the Nardo Grey Huracan, but you’ll need a Premier League wage to be able to afford the £167,990 price tag.

Buy Danny Ings’ Lamborghini

Theo Walcott: Audi RS5

Theo Walcott: Audi RS5

“This is a proper Premier League footballer’s car,” says the advert for this Audi RS5, although we’d have to disagree. No, this is far too restrained and subtle to pass as a proper footballer’s car. It was formerly owned by Arsenal and England star, Theo Walcott, who splashed out on all the toys. Yours for £27,995, which is about a quarter of what Theo earns in a week.

Buy Theo Walcott’s Audi

Michael Carrick: Range Rover

Michael Carrick: Range Rover

Tough, measured and gritty: three words that could be used to describe Michael Carrick and the Range Rover. The Manchester United and England midfielder paid more than £110,000 for this Autobiography, which is on sale for a reasonable £18,995. The gold Range Rover diesel passed an MOT in February with just one advisory.

Buy Michael Carrick’s Range Rover

Gareth Barry: Mercedes-AMG GT S

Gareth Barry: Mercedes-AMG GT S

Gareth Barry made his debut for Aston Villa back in 1998 and has since played for Manchester City and Everton, as well as winning 53 England caps. New, you’ll pay just under £100,000 for a Mercedes-AMG GT, but Barry’s 2016 car is up for £92,995. The car has travelled 9,846 miles, which is around the same amount of ground the midfielder covers while playing for Everton.

Buy Gareth Barry’s Mercedes-AMG GT

Angel Rangel: Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Angel Rangel: Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Spanish footballer Angel Rangel joined Swansea City in 2007 and has since made 324 appearances for the club. Last year, he splashed out on this Mercedes-Benz G-Glass, but has clearly had enough. Let’s face it, it’ll be hard to blend in South Wales when driving a Persil white G-Glass.

Buy Angel Rangel’s G-Class

Steven Fletcher: Porsche Cayenne

Steven Fletcher: Porsche Cayenne

Dig out your copy of ‘Classic Footballers’ Cars Vol.1’ and you’ll find the Onyx Porsche Cayenne in chapter one. It was formerly owned by Steven Fletcher, who upset Sunderland fans in 2015 when he posed alongside his new Lamborghini Aventador while the club battled relegation. Fletcher now plays for Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship.

Buy Steven Fletcher’s Porsche Cayenne

Jake Livermore: Mercedes-AMG GT S

Jake Livermore: Mercedes-AMG GT S

Jake Livermore has enjoyed a terrific season with West Bromwich Albion, which earned him a recall to the England squad. The 27-year-old has had enough of his Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S, which is on sale for £87,995. With 6,531 miles on the clock, it has covered fewer miles than Gareth Barry’s old Merc.

Buy Jake Livermore’s Mercedes-AMG

Darron Gibson: Kahn Jeep Wrangler

Darron Gibson: Kahn Jeep Wrangler

This Kahn Jeep Wrangler was formerly owned by Sunderland and Republic of Ireland midfielder, Darron Gibson. The 2011 car is actually rather tasteful, with red leather seats, 20-inch alloys and rather neat dials. The vendor is selling the Wrangler to fund a business start-up. The price: £19,999.

Buy Darron Gibson’s Wrangler

Glen Johnson: Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG

Glen Johnson: Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG

“No great entertainer,” is how Evo magazine summed up the Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG when it reviewed the car in 2004. The same couldn’t be said of Glen Johnson, who enjoyed some great spells at a host of clubs, winning 54 England caps along the way. The MOT history for this CLS55 AMG doesn’t make for particularly good reading; you might want to check for water in the boot…

Buy Glen Johnson’s CLS55 AMG

George Boateng: Porsche Cayenne

George Boateng: Porsche Cayenne

It’s a while since 41-year-old George Boateng played in the Premier League, but this is a quintessential footballers’ car. If you’re not a footballist, you’re unlikely to find the Techart Magnum conversion attractive, but the 4.8-litre turbocharged engine is said to offer “shattering performance”. You might want to find an MOT-friendly set of number plates, mind.

Buy George Boateng’s Cayenne