Is the new model that much better than the previous generation?
With each new model variant we are told, as a consumer, it its better in every way than the last, well, of course itís going to be as the manufacture needs to sell the new car and convince you that your life will be more fulfilled and improved with the new generation car.
Take for example the VW Golf now in its 8th model version and supposedly superior to the last. Now I fully appreciate that technology and innovation have rampaged on at a fast forward pace since the launch of the iconic Mk1 (type 17) in 1974, but what the car offers to us as individuals, i.e. mobility, hasnít much changed. We still need to get from A to B.
With technology comes improved safety features which of course is a good thing but it also brings other features that can we could live without. As an example park sensors and reverse cameras have reduced our skill in parking, I remember being able to master the art of parking using just the mirrors and judgement that I had learnt. In car navigation is another topic but thatís for another time. Itís proven that the more safety features we have the less feeling of vulnerability which could also mean reduced concentration and reliance on the car to keep us safe. Having owned, raced, built and sold Caterham Sevens I can confirm that on road I felt safer driving simply because I had nothing to distract me from the task of actually driving and the nimbleness and acceleration were allies in the pursuit of getting to my destination. For those who donít know what a Caterham Seven is then go find out because you will see what I mean.
All our modern comforts and features add weight which in turn means the engine and aerodynamics have to cope with that gain. A Mk1 Golf comes in at approximately 800kg, the latest is around 1600kg, yet they both are designed to deliver us from A to B. Also the good old Ford Fiesta launched in 1976 weighed in at about 720kg vs the latest generation car which tips the scales at 1550kg, the comparisons could go on and on.
With all this in mind I have been thinking of buying a new ďdaily driverĒ recently and have been considering a good condition early 90ís E30 BMW (Produced from 1982 to 1994) over a newer car, checking classified prices, a good low mileage E30 has a similar asking price to a 2014 BMW 330d. Ok, a 20 year old E30 525i Sport wonít be nearly as well equipped as my, now sold, 2014 F31 335d, which was a brilliant companion, but it should be better at holding onto its purchased value. Itís not what the car costs to buy but itís simply a division of sale price minus purchase price, plus running cost. The E30 will not depreciate as much as a newer 330d but might cost a bit more to fuel and servicing. So weighing up the pros and cons and now with a smaller commute I might just choose the old generation, fat free option and enjoy the uninterrupted drive. For your perfect used car head to DesperateSeller.co.uk.