As most of you know, I love Range Rovers. Unfortunately they’re big, unreliable thirsty things with a tendency to drain savings accounts almost as fast as they drain oil wells, and so I seem to have settled into a pattern of Range Rover –sensible car-Range Rover-sensible car etc.
At the moment, I’m on the sensible car phase but, unfortunately, it turns out that my sensible car may not have been all that sensible. It’s a 2003 Mercedes E200 Kompressor and I genuinely do like it, however its electrical flakiness, the ever-present spectre of the pump for the braking system which will reach the end of its life and demand replacement when you least expect it, plus the fact that it returned from the garage at the end of last year with an MOT but with two pages of (mostly expensive) advisories, means it has to go.
Now, the cheapest and most reliable car I’ve ever owned in recent times was a Ford Focus – it was a bit small for occasional large loudspeaker transport jobs, though, so a Mondeo seems a reasonable move. I have no problem with this – I like the Mondeo; it’s a nice car. However, I couldn’t help noticing on a certain evil auction website that early VW Phaetons are very cheap indeed now. Now, I’ve always adored the Phaeton and I have spotted not one, but three, 2005-ish 3.0 V6 TDi models with 150,000 or so on the clock for around £2700-£3000. On checking the MOT history of these, two of them had NO advisories for their last five MOTs and the third just had one three years ago which was basically the side repeat indicator not being orange enough. I feel I could probably cope with this – frankly the bigger task will be getting over my hatred of the filthy, stinking fuel of satan.
However, it’s a German car and, whilst experience suggests it will be reliable (Mrs B’s old Golf racked up over 100,000 miles with her at the wheel and didn’t miss a beat – well, except when the VW main dealer f**cked it up, but that’s another story…) I do know that when something goes wrong, it will probably require a re-mortgage to fix.
So what say, you, petrolhead meatmen? Are you stroking your beards thoughtfully, raising a quizzical eyebrow and thinking “This is a wise car-buying strategy”, or rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically and thinking “Jesus, no – for f**k’s sake buy a Mondeo”?