AM Online

Costly but classy

Late 1990s Mercedes C-class and BMW 3-series saloons are highly regarded stepping stones to quality car ownership. A 98S C180 Classic sells for about £10,000. The 3-series has a more youthful appeal than the Merc: a 99V 318i SE with 25,000 miles is £13,000 at an independent. Top choices are the smooth six-cylinder models: a new shape 53,000-mile 98S 328i is £14,500 privately; a 98R C240 Elegance is circa £15,000.

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