SA­LOONS

Top Gear (UK) - - NEW OR USED? -

Sa­loons can some­times be seen as a bit bor­ing. Stuff that crops up on the com­pany car scheme, usu­ally in 2.0-litre diesel for­mat, and the only real way of feel­ing dif­fer­ent is play­ing with the – lim­ited – spec. And with niches get­ting ever nichier, it feels staid to go for a hum­drum sa­loon. There are op­tions, though...

New BMW 320d // £33,610–£38,710

Fru­gal, de­cent to drive, in­of­fen­sively stylish, easy to sell on

Not a par­tic­u­larly cre­ative choice, the new one isn’t the pret­ti­est, spec-sen­si­tive

For years, a BMW 320d has been the go-to choice for an all-rounder. A de­cent-to-drive, well-built, cov­ers-most­bases small sa­loon, and the new­est it­er­a­tion is as ra­tio­nal and bril­liant as it al­ways was. A lot of mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ists rec­om­mend them, and there’s a rea­son for that. It’ll deal with ev­ery­thing, never em­bar­rass you, and be com­pe­tent in most ar­eas. There’s also al­ways a mar­ket, even with all the diesel malarkey. But with a 320d Sport look­ing like it’ll be weigh­ing in at around £35,000 on-the-road di­rect from BMW (with­out any op­tions), there’s a lit­tle su­per-sa­loon nig­gle that might make your mind wan­der.

Pre-loved BMW M5 (F10) // £29,000–£50,000

It’s an M5! With a twin-turbo V8! 550+bhp! Shell points ga­lore!

You’ll need oil shares to run it, and you’ll prob­a­bly get nicked for speed­ing. Still...

For­get a plain sa­loon, how about some­thing a bit more… su­per? Like a 552bhp/502lb ft 4.4-litre F10 BMW M5? We know, it sounds daft, but bear with us here. Be­cause you can pick up an F10 with mod­est mileage for around £30k. We found sev­eral, in­clud­ing a one-owner ex­am­ple with 27k on the clock and de­cent op­tions for a smidge un­der £31k. That leaves you a lit­tle bit for pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance, in­surance and, um, fuel. With the dealer fig­ures set out as they have them on their own web­site, that’s a £4,641.30 de­posit, and £538.87 monthly pay­ment. If you start do­ing the maths late at night, it’s tempt­ing.

HAR­RIS SAYS says Ev­ery­one

“F10s go bang. find I need to out for my­self”

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