Not quite Geneva: Autocar’s second-hand international motor show

Motor shows are brilliant, aren’t they? Where else can you see the very latest metal, get all excited and then realise that you can’t afford any of it? 

Never mind that you now have sore feet, aching calves and indigestion from that burger, the main take away from the Geneva motor show is going to be that you can’t… Either the latest thing is going to cost a fortune or be filed under ‘interesting concept that will never get made’. There is an alternative: a people’s motor show that includes old models that have depreciated and other oddities. Step this way. 

A is for Aston Martin and news that it will make a mid-engined supercar is, I suppose, par for the big-brand course. It hasn’t done that before, apart from the prototype DBR1. We would be inclined to buy a Virage: relatively affordable and head turning, and not DB derivative. Hand-built almost 30 years ago and in need of a rebuild now, 1992 examples can start at £59,990. 

Here’s the thing: Seat’s new electric hatchback can’t be bought until, well, at least next year. So you could get all excited about it but delay the gratification. Instead with £10,000 to spend, get a 2014 Leon 2.0 TDI FR, which will do comfortably more than 70mpg. There will be 35,000 miles on the clock, but it delivers everything a buyer would need, including an FR bodykit. 

Hanging around the supercar stands is going to be depressing. There is a new Pagani, Koenigsegg Agera RS successor and Lamborghini Huracán Evo. So how could we deal with that, or the fact that there isn’t the relaunched TVR to drool over? Answer: buy the best Sagaris you can find. It still looks incredible. Buy a 2006 with a full three-year engine warranty from a specialist and it is going to be at least £70,000. 

The Smart Forease+ has been a long time coming and an even more funky electric open-top could be the answer to an awful lot of environmentalists’ dreams. Well, one who wants a speedster-style Smart at least. However, rather than join any sort of waiting list or harbour reservations about the roof, there is an alternative. A third-generation Smart Fortwo Cabrio 55kW Electric from 2014 with 16,000 miles at £10,000 has to be a possibility. 

So all is not lost in Geneva, especially when you find a great value old-shape Ssangyong Korando. A 2017 2.0SE for £10k. 

Now that’s how you win at a major international motor show. 

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