Merry Christmas readers and if you’re thinking that lockdowns will continue in 2021, you could be right. But there is an upside for petrolheads to all this hysteria of course. Those who no longer need to commute every day can a buy a car that’s fun, not frugal, or practical with five doors a hybrid powertrain and iPad charging points.
What to buy? That’s the question Bargain Cars have been asking and the BMW 3 Series has come out on top.
The one-time king of the fast lane and darling of the company car park, the BMW 3-Series E36, has been named the top affordable car of the 1990s by readers of Car Mechanics Bargain Cars, the new motoring magazine celebrating the UK’s most desirable, interesting or best-value cars.
The bargain Beemer was voted into the top slot by followers of Bargain Cars on Facebook and Instagram, narrowly pipping the Mazda MX-5 into top spot. The MX-5’s arch-rival, the MGF, took third spot ahead of the luxurious Jaguar XJ saloon.
Other Nineties icons in the list included the Ford Mondeo, BMW 5-Series E39 and Alfa Romeo 156, along with the boy racers’ favourite – the Citroen Saxo.
But more unusual cars also got a look in, with the quirky Fiat Bravo and Brava twins putting in an appearance in the final top 10, proving that enthusiasm for Nineties cars of all shapes and sizes is out there and being celebrated by enthusiasts. If you can find an Alfa Spider with a working electric roof then that makes a budget buy with the 2-litre engine, although it isn’t that fast.
Another benefit of choosing a 25 year old classic car is that the insurance is cheaper, especially if you only rack up under 6000 miles a year. Lots of brokers like Adrian Flux, Carole Nash, Lancaster, Hagerty and more will quote you happy.
Bargain Cars editor Peter Simpson said: “Bargain Cars is about iconic models that represent the best value they ever will and it’s cars of the 1990s that offer the most in terms of future classic appeal and investment potential, yet they’re still capable of being maintained at home and being used daily. There’s a huge groundswell of enthusiasm for cars of this era and the diversity of the top models voted for by our readers and followers shows that the passion is very real for all types of Nineties classic.”
The complete top 10 was:
- BMW E36
- Mazda MX-5
- Jaguar XJ
- Ford Mondeo
- BMW E39
- Alfa Romeo 156
- Citroen Saxo
- Peugeot 306
- Fiat Bravo/Brava
Bargain Cars is a new monthly publication from Kelsey Media, publishers of Britain’s oldest hands-on car magazine – Car Mechanics. In association with CM, Bargain Cars focuses on the buying and owning experience of high quality used cars and modern classics, from 1990 onwards.
The launch issue of Bargain Cars is on sale in newsagents now and also online at https://shop.kelsey.co.uk , It includes a host of features including how to enjoy a Jaguar XF for just £5k, why the Mercedes R129 SL is one to keep forever, how to buy a classic Mk1 Freelander, a road test on the legendary BMW 5-Series ‘E39’, a round-up of the best £3k estates and why the Mk2 Mazda MX-5 is as cheap as it’s ever going to be.