A four-and-a-half-star car for less than half price is the deal with this BMW M235i that we’ve alighted on. The 2015 coupé has done 52,000 miles, it has a full service history and it’s painted in must-have Estoril Blue.
Annoyingly, the dealer levies a £250 admin fee. Not impressed: seems like a way of sneaking in a bit extra under the cover of a lower screen price. Still, back to the car.
It has a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six that produces 322bhp and 332lb ft of torque. It’s a smooth-revving motor and comes alive with a delicious howl at around 6000rpm. Mercifully, there’s very little turbo lag. Economy, even under hard driving, is around 30mpg.
Our find has the six-speed manual gearbox, which can yield 0-62mph in 5.0sec. It’s much rarer than the otherwise excellent ZF eight-speed automatic, which shifts gears in a blink and which snips 0.2sec off the sprint time. That might be a dealbreaker for some, but the manual is the one to choose for its more authentic experience. In any case, it feels much quicker than the official figure suggests.
A coupé it may be, but the M235i is practical. It’s a full four-seater with a massive boot that’s easily capable of swallowing a few suitcases.
It’s not short of equipment, either. Sporty 18in alloy wheels, leather seats, dual-zone air conditioning, automatic headlights and a DAB radio are all standard. The only thing that you might miss is the limited-slip differential, which was an option on later models.
Our reviewer reckoned the M235i has future classic stamped all over it. Seven years on, we won’t disagree. Especially not for £17,190.
Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT, £10,200: It still looks so fresh that it’s hard to believe the Mk3 Scirocco is based on the Mk5 Golf. Still, its cabin and a drive around the block will confirm that it’s no spring chicken. That’s why we’ve been cautious and opted for a reasonably priced 60,000-miler.