The secondhand sedans our motoring experts think you should buy

13 January 2017 - 02:00 By Thomas Falkiner

In the market for a pre-owned sedan? To help you make a wise buy, our motoring experts have put together this handy car guide

The interior space and finishes in the Audi A6 2.0 TFSI are exemplary.
The interior space and finishes in the Audi A6 2.0 TFSI are exemplary.
Image: Supplied


• The best motoring journalists in the Times Media Group carefully assessed all the vehicles in each segment before selecting an outright winner, a runner up and left field choice.

• Their combined knowledge ensured their decisions are based on superb market experience, backed up with information from essential almanacs such as TransUnion dealer books and parts pricing reports.

• They only looked at vehicles less than five years old, which means many will have some form of warranty still in place. Within that five-year period, each winner is based on a 2013 model.




Winner: Audi A6 (2.0 TFSI) (pictured above)

One of the least popular models in the segment makes this one a particularly good pre-owned offering. The front-wheel drive variant makes for a bargain buy as you get a decently specified model that is relatively lighter and in turn thriftier than its quattro sibling. Interior space and finishes are exemplary, while boot space is generous.

Runner-up: BMW 5 Series

With a new BMW 5 Series on the way, there will be bargains to be had with the outgoing 5 Series, which is one of the reasons why it is a strong contender and is the runner-up.

Left field: Lexus ES 250

Lexus might not want to be regarded as left field, but the ES 250 brings a vast amount of standard equipment to the pre-owned market at an even more affordable price.


Winner: Volkswagen Jetta Vi 1.4 Tsi Trendline

Essentially a Golf VI with a bigger boot, the Jetta remains a good package for those looking for a quality compact sedan that is well packaged and reasonably equipped. Comfortable and good to drive, it might not have the residual values of its Golf sibling but that makes it an appealing pre-owned choice.

Boot space has always been the model’s strong point. If you are looking for a comfortable, compact, pre-owned family sedan then look no further than this

Runner-up: Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GLS

If you are looking for something a little cheaper then the Hyundai Elantra is your sedan.

Left field: Suzuki Kizashi 2.4 SDLX

The Suzuki Kizashi is quite unique — if you can find one.


Winner: BMW 3 Series (320i auto)

Arguably still the benchmark of the segment, at least as far as driving dynamics go, the 3 Series remains a default choice. The 2.0l turbo engine offers good performance and frugality, while the eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth.

Residual values are fairly good since the model has just been facelifted, so a pre-owned 2013 model should still command a good price. Granted, the capital outlay will be relatively high, but flogging one should not be hard. Also try and find one with a balance of the Motorplan still in place.

Runner-up: Audi A4 2.0 TFSI

Audi’s A4 is a strong runner-up with great engines and a superb interior.

Left field: Volkswagen Passat CC (2.0 TSI)

Left field, you could opt for the Volkswagen Passat CC (VW just calls it the CC for Comfort Coupe) that offers individuality, four doors and loads of boot space.


Winner: Audi A8 (3.0 TDI)

Thanks to the aluminium space frame construction and thrifty yet powerful turbodiesel engines, the A8 feels considerably lighter than its rivals from the era. The cabin, like much the rest of the stable’s models, is a cut above and has a host of standard equipment to boot.

With little in the way of demand in this segment, you can easily find a 2013 model at an appealing price. Residual values are not the model’s strong point, but there is no denying you are getting a great deal of car at the price.

Runner-up: BMW 7 Series (730d)

A secondhand BMW 7 Series is also a good buy, with the new owner dealing with the massive depreciation and forking out for all those options.

Left field: Porsche Panamera

Our left-field choice is not technically a sedan, but in this market the Porsche Panamera is a four-door executive with great driving dynamics and, of course, a Porsche badge.

This article is adapted from one originally published on IgnitionLIVE; the full buyer's guide features cars from 16 segments. Read it now.



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