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Jaguar XJ LWB Sovereign
Engine: 2.7 TDVi
Price: £53,302

2008 Jaguar XJ LWB Sovereign

The traditionally-styled XJ has a statesmanlike air about it compared to its German rivals.

This big cat is serious value.

It’s fully loaded and in long wheelbase form simply cossets even the leggiest of passengers.

It’s particularly popular in the chauffeur market.

In diesel form it’s very driveable, but VIPs will find it lacks the urgency to escape the paparazzi.

Driven by Tim Rose.

Renault Twingo Extreme
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol
Price: £7,500

2008 Renault Twingo Extreme

Twingo is a nippy little thing.

At £7,500, it beats some of its closest rivals on price – it’s £400 less than the comparative Fiat 500.

For an entry-level model, it has a lot to offer aside from good performance – standard equipment includes remote central locking, and sports body styling.

Even better, it returns 50.4mpg and low emissions of 132g/km CO2.

Driven by Rachel Burgess.

Citroën C1 Rhythm
Engine: 1.4-litre diesel
Price: £9,125

2008 Citroen C1

Citroën introduced the oil-burning C1 to set it aside from the petrol-only Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107, but diesel engines don’t make sense in a car this small.

It offers slightly better economy for the extra £900, but this is offset by higher fuel costs and steeper depreciation.

It’s also noisier, heavier and less willing than the petrol.

Driven by Alex Grant.

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