Used Car Advice: a special 2-door please!

Regular readers will be aware of our series Used Car Advice. Thus far we’ve helped Helga and Gerry find something for 4k, we’ve helped Clare trade in a Lanos, and again we helped Clare trade in her Lanos, and again…we also helped Aoife and Dermot on a budget, and we helped man-about-town Joe find a convertible.

This month we are helping Katie and her boyfriend find a big 2 litre! Katie sent us the following message:

Hi there,

We are looking for something not older than 2006/2007 and not more than 10k Leather interior not black Preferable 2 door Merc clk, Volvoc30, Bmw 3series. Not more than 2.5l

Armed with this information our team trawled the options to see what would be the best fit for Katie and her boyfriend.

Preferably 2 Door

2-Door vehicles are great. Most of us do not have the luxury of seeking a two-door vehicle in the market because they are not particularly family-friendly vehicles and can be quite expensive to run if you’re not careful – but if you can manage in your life with a 2-door then go for it we say! Many car enthusiasts think two-doors look great, especially the coupé variants, which are sleeker than their saloon equivalents, and they tend to look sporty too.

Not more than 2.5 litres

We have to say, honestly, we don’t get this type of request often. Economy, frugality and MPG figures are the order of the day in Cartell – especially when we get requests for buyer advice. Still, again, as above, if you can afford a 2.5 litre car then go for it! It’s refreshing to see this type of buyer in the market every now and again.

Leather Interior

Well, you are speaking to the converted. A lot us here in the office, though not everyone, agree that the interior of a car is a hugely important factor in their car purchase. It’s where you spend your time driving, after all. Still, not all buyers think this way – some people think the interior needs to be nothing more than functional, and other aspects of the vehicle (like the aspiration of the engine and the colour) are more important.

BMW 3 Series Coupé (2006)

The first car that came to mind was the BMW E90 2-door Coupé. First presented to market in 2005 these cars still look super on the road. As with all BMWs there are a host of different engine sizes and specifications to choose from. As a general rule we think it’s better to get the largest engine you can afford when buying a used 3 series coupé. Not older than 2006/2007 we spotted this 325i Coupé with red leather interior. It is currently advertised at €11,950 so we know a bit of haggling would be required. Still, on the upside, Katie would probably be very happy with a motor like this – it’s gorgeous – and would be the envy of many Irish drivers!

Not only does it look great but you may find a bargain – BMW have only just replaced this model with the new 4 Series (2013) which means prices for the older E90 may tumble a bit in the market.

Mercedes-Benz CLK (2006)

This model may appeal to Katie a bit more than her boyfriend – we have a hunch this car really appeals to women! The CLK is a fine looking motor, especially in lighter colours like silver, and Katie will have no problem finding a comfortable leather interior too. We found this CLK on the market for €10,950 with cream leather interior.

The great thing about the CLK is that it ages very well. Mercedes-Benz stopped making this model in 2009 but it still looks good on the road – not at all dated – and it combines well with the newer models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.  It also confers a “status” on the owner which few marques can still achieve. If this is the impact you want then a reasonably priced CLK is a great buy.

Audi TT (2006)

We spotted an Audi TT on the market for €11,900. Again, a bit of haggling required, but it could be worthwhile. The Audi TT is a very unique type of vehicle. Ok, the Peugeot RCZ, recently launched has a similar type of style but how many cars have you seen on the road that look like the TT. While this particular model is the older version,  Mark I, not quite as sexy as Mark II which followed, it’s still an attractive looking vehicle. It also comes with a 1.7 litre engine, which will cut down considerably on the comparable fuel bill for the BMW 3 Series Coupé 325i – with it’s 2.5 litre engine.


There is nothing wrong with any of these model-type options: they will all stand out on the road and provide a thrilling driving experience. For us, it really depends on personal taste, and all things considered we love the BMW 3 Series Coupé – it has a presence which the others can’t quite match and it’s the kind of car other drivers will check out every where you drive. Why not go for the Ultimate Driving Machine!

Warning: All used cars require careful consideration before purchase. Get a check to find out the history of the vehicle. This blog is a general guide only and is not recommending the purchase of any particular vehicle – just giving some general advice!

If you would like to feature on this page – and get a Free Car History Check in the process – then send us an email for your chance to appear!

Update 12/02/2013

On Tuesday we had this nice email from Katie!

Hi Cartell Team,

Thanks for the advice! We didn’t think you were going to go to that much detail but very glad you did.

We are both quite taken with the BMW you picked as it did tick all the right boxes for us, (although we had never even considered the TT before).

Only thing left for us to do is to test drive them all.