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Best of 2021

Ten of the best used cars for £20k: a Top Gear guide

Prices may be bonkers, but £20k still buys you a whole lot of used motor. Here are TG’s most interesting (and bravest) picks

Audi RS6 C6 Top Gear
  1. Hyundai i30N

    i30N Top Gear

    Yeah, we couldn’t believe that pre-facelift Hyundai i30Ns had dropped below the £20k mark either. This is a properly modern hot hatch with serious character, a fiery 2.0-litre turbo and 247bhp on an achievable budget. What’s not to like? Plenty have already been modified, so watch out for impossibly loud exhausts. 

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  2. Mercedes C63 AMG W204

    W204 C63 Top Gear

    Pour one out for AMG’s old 6.2-litre V8. What an engine. On this budget you can pick up a W204 C63 in either coupe, saloon or estate form. Buy the estate. If you want even larger repair bills though, you can also get a W212 E63 or a W221 S63 for a similar price…

  3. Bentley Arnage

    Arnage Top Gear

    Did someone say large repair bills? A Bentley on a budget will cost you, but think of the joy you’ll get knowing you only spent £20,000 to look like a member of the British aristocracy. Red Label and Green Label Arnages can be picked up for less than the top end of this budget, or you could even go for an older Turbo R if you’re feeling really brave. 

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  4. C6 Audi RS6 Avant

    C6 RS6 Top Gear

    How many cylinders do you want for your twenty grand? If 10 is your minimum, you can pick up a C6-gen Audi RS6 Avant. It might even have less than 100,000 miles on the clock. How very practical.

  5. TVR Cerbera

    Cerbera Top Gear

    With a bit of luck and a fair bit of haggling, you might just be able to pick up a Speed Six or even a Speed Eight TVR Cerbera for twenty big ones. Just make sure that it’s already had an engine rebuild. Who’d have thought TVR’s own engines would be unreliable?

  6. Mitsubishi Evo X

    Evo X Top Gear

    Perhaps not the most revered of the Mitsubishi Evos, but the tenth (and last) generation isn’t bad value these days. You might even be able to skip the FQ-300 and FQ-330 on this budget to grab an FQ-360. Forget about bonkers FQ-400s or the special edition FQ-440, though. 

  7. Jaguar XFR

    XFR Top Gear

    Yes it’s another loud, thirsty performance saloon, but this is Top Gear – what else did you think we were going to recommend? Perfect pre-facelift XFRs – complete with a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 – can be had for a fair bit less than £20,000 these days.

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  8. Chevrolet Corvette C6

    C6 Corvette Top Gear

    Want to really push the boat out? C6 Corvettes come in just under budget. Or if you fancy a classic, why not have a look at a 1970s C3. Pop-up headlights were just the greatest, weren’t they?

  9. Caterham Seven

    Seven Top Gear

    Caterhams really do hold their value, but with a £20,000 budget you’ll have your pick of many different Seven special editions. Surely it should be a requirement that everyone own a Caterham at some point in their life?

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  10. Ford Fiesta ST

    Fiesta ST Top Gear

    Just a couple of months ago, Ford announced that the newly facelifted Fiesta ST would start from £22,630. If you’re prepared to dip into the used market, though, you can pick up a pre-facelift, top-spec ST-3 with super low miles for less than twenty grand. Now that seems like sensible consumer advice…

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