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This budget gives you access to Dusters that are just a couple of years old, so this has the potential to be one of the most sensible financial decisions you can make. With seating for five and a compelling, chunky aura to both the way it looks and drives, it combines SUV space with hatchback size but is still more desirable than many a crossover.

In departments where you might think it is lacking, such as creature comforts, it’s actually very well equipped. For instance, £14,000 will net you a 21-plate car with part-leather upholstery, sat-nav, parking sensors, and Bluetooth. Even slashing the budget by £10,000 gets you a last-gen car with around 70,000 miles and all of the above kit, bar sat-nav.

There are some things to look out for. If you’re taking one for a test drive, make sure it changes gear smoothly, else the transmission oil may need replacing. Some models fitted with the 1.5-litre diesel engine have also had clogging issues with the diesel particulate filter (DPF), which, if not rectified by a motorway blast, has to be taken to a garage.

Dacia Duster review

Maserati Quattroporte (2004-2013)

Styling by Pininfarina, beautifully judged driving dynamics, and a V8 soundtrack that tells its own story. That’s all you really need to know about this Maserati.

Well, not all. Manufactured between 2004 and 2013 and facelifted in 2008, it was the last in a generation of four-door saloons from Modena before they became slightly prosaic, and is as much an ‘Autocar’ car as any.

From its 4.2-litre V8 erupts a cacophony of snarling 395bhp grunt, and there’s the potential to dispatch 0-62mph in 5.2sec. Later on, capacity was upped to 4.7 litres, with power boosted to 425bhp, and again to 444bhp in the GTS version.

Pricing is just as attention-grabbing as hearing one on the public road, because even later cars can be bought for less than £15,000. If, however, you want a clean, well-specified first-gen car with less than 50,000 miles, there are so many out there for you. 

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