James Ruppert: Diesel is still king for the long commute


Obviously there’s the Audi A6, which you can get with a similar 2.0 TDI, but why not consider a V6 TDI? Stretch to £24,000 and you can get a 2014 3.0 TDI Black, which won’t necessarily be black. It will have around 25,000 miles, which again leaves lots of room to add more. Official economy is 39mpg, so it may be more of a challenge to hit 35mpg, but it will be fun trying.

BMW remains the ultimate driving machine and with £20k you’ll get a 2016 530d M Sport Touring with 30,000 miles. Official economy is 43mpg, so I’d like to think that fits the bill. I worry it may not be quiet enough, though, so I’m also thinking Jaguar. I do worry about the reliability, but being a Jag, an XF D V6 3.0 from 2018 with 15,000 miles is around £28,000. There’s that reassuring warranty, too, of course.

That’s only scratched the diesel surface. With £20,000, which is only a loaded hatchback these days, there are some amazing bargey estates you should buy before the only option is a battery SUV. Long live diesel.

What we almost bought this week

Austin Maestro 1.3 LUnmarked, full history and only 46,000 miles, this 1989 F-reg Maestro, priced £3495, is a rare ’80s survivor. As yesteryear’s stars move out of reach, orphans like this are finding fresh followers, especially if they’re in top nick. Elsewhere we found a 1988 Maestro 2.0 EFI described as being in superb condition and with 106,000 miles for £3200.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Porsche Cayenne, mileage – 104,320: We have booked the Porsche with a proper dealer for the recall work. It did take a couple of goes, though. I phoned and the service department was busy. The receptionist had my number and promised a call back. It didn’t come. Sorry to go on about that, but that was rule number one in the old main dealer days. Never mind, I phoned back and booked. I almost booked the MOT there, too, but didn’t fancy the chance of being stranded more than an hour away from home. There could have been a Taycan loan car, though. Maybe next time.

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