Buy Them Before Us: Pre-Owned Picks For May 21 Car News

Is there any sense in buying “orphan engines”, cars that weren’t generally liked when they were new and on which the market has since turned its back?

We combed through the classifieds and found five, starting with this one, the 2014-18 Ford Ecosport. It’s a compact SUV with, oddly enough, a spare tire attached to the tailgate that makes it look like it’s about to roll back. At launch, critics were largely united in condemning the Ecosport’s sluggish performance, poor handling, choppy and unstable driving, weak brakes and small trunk, accessed through that unnecessarily heavy door, which opens the wrong lane for right-hand drive roads.

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So far, too bad, except that Ecosport has some saving grace. Its elevated driving position offers a good view, the controls are well placed and most trim levels are well equipped. There is plenty of storage, the rear cabin is spacious, and the rear seats fold up and lift up. Spare wheel aside, it’s not bad either. Either way, from 2015 Ford made it optional. It also improved the rear suspension, increased low-end torque, and improved handling and levels of refinement. So it’s clear that a post-2015 car is the way to go, so our find is a 2016 registration that has driven 67,000 miles, although the price reflects that. It has titanium trim as well as partial leather seats, smart alloy rims, privacy windows, air conditioning and power windows all around.

It’s an improvement over the previous models, but if you can only expand to an original and with a spare part mounted in the rear, we have just the thing: a 1.5 TDCi Titanium X with 101,000 miles for £ 4,995, described by the dealer as a ‘credit to its former owner’.

Fiat 500L 1.4 Pop Star, £ 2,995: This characterless Punto-based minivan struggled at launch, but it’s practical and flexible, with sliding rear seats and a front passenger boom that can be folded down. This 2014-reg example with 40,000 miles seems like good value for money.

Kia Optima 1.7 CRDi, £ 4,999: We praised this generation of Optima for its price, performance and equipment while criticizing it for poor refinement, low-end interior and poor handling. But at £ 4,999 for a 2012-reg with 73,000 miles, it should delight a private buyer.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-21 05:01:25