A Vauxhall for how

much?

VXR8 GTS front action

VAUXHALL are not always sensible. Occasionally they can be absolutely bonkers.

For example they have just significantly updated the VXR8, formerly known as the Monaro, with its mighty 6.2-litre V8 knocking out 425bhp.

But this is no rough and ready bruiser - it handles very well, is superbly made and is pretty civilized for such a tyre shredding device.

These updates, say Vauxhall, justify the eye watering jump in price from around £35,000 to £50,000. Even at this price it still undercuts BMW's M5 by about £10,000 and the Mercedes E63 AMG by another £10,000.

Perhaps it lacks the final dynamic polish of the German cars, but the difference is not worth £20,000. So what to do? Well the answer is obviously to buy used.

The Vauxhall VXR8 is an iron hand in an iron glove.  It's an absolute hoot to drive and very well built and has great accommodation. Vauxhall dealers are everywhere and their low labour rates plus the car's simplicity mean that the VXR is comparatively cheap to run.

Best of all though, it's cheap to buy - especially when you look at the competition.

A lightly used and well cared for three-year-old Vauxhall VXR8, with less than 40,000 on the clock, can be yours for around £17,500.

The BMW M5 is an icon for a reason. It goes and stops in a way no other performance saloon can get close to. This version boasts a 5.0-litre V10 engine and a seven-speed gearbox. It has got much more badge kudos than the Vauxhall and will hold its value considerably better.

Pay no more than £35,000 for a well looked after three-year-old BMW M5 with around 40,000 miles on the clock.

If you like tyre smoke then the Mercedes AMG E63 AMG is the ultimate car. It's not as sharp as the M5 but is Lamborghini fast and luxuriously appointed. It loses an eye watering amount of money very quickly as well.

A three-year-old car that cost £75,000 can be yours for not far off half that. A genuine AMG supercar for the same price as a well specified new C-Class.

A lightly used and well maintained three-year-old E63 AMG Mercedes saloon can be yours for around £35,000.

The M5 loses least - around £25,000 - the AMG Mercedes drops £35,000, each losing around half their value over the three years. But, compared to new - the VXR8 is shedding two-thirds of its new price.

And, as that new price is so much lower, neither of the German cars can touch it for value. The fact that it's such a great car is the icing on the cake for the canny buyer.

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