Best German Modern Classic Cars 2022

Don’t be put off by potentially large repair bills, because if you’re patient, do your homework, and choose wisely, one of these modern classics from Germany could turn out to be a great buy.

There is also a wide variety to suit all tastes, from the practical Audi A2 to the elegant Mercedes SLK.

It might seem like yesterday that cars like the BMW E46 3 Series were plentiful, but popularity among track day enthusiasts has led to a lot of crashes or partings, so with the numbers dwindling, they could now be a great investment.

Whatever your budget, we’ve proven you can drive a well-built, stylish and refined German classic car at a great price.

Alpine B5

  • Price range : £28,000 to £50,000
  • Our choice : B5 Touring
  • Engine: 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged gasoline V8, 533 hp
  • Years produced: 2011-2016

Few cars offer speed and stealth like this executive express. This B5 is based on the F10 generation BMW 5 Series, combining the performance of the M5 with the subtlety and comfort of a 520d.

Under the hood is a modified version of the 550i’s 4.4-litre V8, which delivered 533bhp in a 2012 facelift, while the suspension provides crisp handling and a smooth ride. Like all Alpinas, the only giveaways to its potential are multi-spoke alloys, a subtle body kit and a bespoke interior.

Audi A2

  • Price range : £1,000-£4,000
  • Our choice : A2 1.6 FSI SE
  • Engine: 1.6 liter 4cyl petrol, 110hp
  • Years produced: 1999-2005

From the original Quattro to the all-electric e-tron, Audi has a long history of innovation. Yet one of its most underrated efforts is the brilliant A2, which combines the dimensions and running costs of a small car with the space and quality of an executive sedan. It was a sales flop as a new car, but the smartly packaged machine now makes a quirky, cool, and profitable family run.

The all-aluminum construction is light and strong, while the aerodynamic shape and frugal motors mean the A2 costs peanuts to run. The three-cylinder 1.4 TDI diesel engine isn’t very refined and the ride is firm, but otherwise the nimble Audi is calm and capable of driving.

Audi TT

  • Price scale: £1,250 to £20,000
  • Our choice : TT 1.8T 225 quattro
  • Engine: 1.8 liter 4-cylinder turbo petrol, 222 hp
  • Years produced: 1998-2006

When it comes to getting the look for less, few cars can match the original TT. When new, the Coupe and Convertible were among the most sought-after models, but now you can pick up a usable example for just £1,250.

This first generation car drives as well as it looks, despite its humble VW Golf Mk4 underpinnings. There’s grippy handling and punchy turbocharged engines, while most had quattro all-wheel drive as standard. Huge popularity when new means there’s plenty to choose from, so you can afford to be picky.

BMW 330i Club Sport

  • Price scale: £7,000 to £9,000
  • Our choice : 330i Clubsport Manual
  • Engine: 3.0 liter 6-cylinder petrol, 231 hp
  • Years produced: 2002-2005

Could the 330i Clubsport be one of BMW’s best-kept secrets? This limited-run special sits between the standard car and the much more expensive M3 version.

Based on the sleek E46-generation 3 Series Coupé, it features a 231bhp 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, sports suspension and a slightly lower curb weight . On the outside, there’s a discreet body kit and unique alloy wheels, while inside, a shorter gear lever allows for quicker gear changes.

It’s not quite as fast as its M3 sibling, but its rear-drive handling is hugely entertaining and it has rarity on its side. You’ll pay around £7,000 for a good one, which is around half the price of a similar era M3 in the same condition.

BMW M2 Competition

  • Price scale: £35,000 to £68,000
  • Our choice : M2 competition manual
  • Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbo petrol, 404 hp
  • Years produced: 2018-2022

With an all-new M2 on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to pick up an example of the current car. With its bulging wheel arches and chunky stance, the M2 looks like a mini muscle car, while there’s a slightly detuned but still powerful 404bhp version of the M3’s 3.0-litre turbo straight-six. under its hood.

Its compact dimensions, rear-wheel-drive handling and heavy weight make it one of the brand’s most attractive cars since the original E30 M3. There’s even a six-speed manual option available.

Mercedes SL

  • Price range : £4,250-£55,000
  • Our choice : SL500
  • Engine: 5.0 liter V8 petrol, 302 hp
  • Years produced: 2001-2011

With summer fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to buy an SL. With its folding metal hardtop, the two-seat Mercedes flagship delivers open-air thrills at the touch of a button.

Yet the roof can be raised in seconds for coupe-like comfort and refinement. The handsome German machine also looks the part, while its interior exudes premium appeal and is packed with gadgets.

The wild AMG 55 and 65 versions deliver supercar performance, but the smooth, effortless V6-powered 350 and 500 models are better suited to the SL’s laid-back, sun-seeking character.

Porsche 944

  • Price scale: £8,000-£38,000
  • Our choice : 944 S2
  • Engine: 3.0 liter 4 cylinder, 211 hp
  • Years produced: 1982-1991

If you thought the exorbitant prices of old 911s meant owning a classic Porsche was out of reach, think again. When new, the 944 always lived in the shadow of its legendary rear-engined sibling, but today it’s an affordable and thrilling modern classic.

With its front engine and rear-wheel drive, the 944 feels beautifully balanced on the road, while its four-cylinder engine is smooth and muscular. Unlike the 911, it costs the Earth nothing to run, and there are plenty of examples to choose from, although we’d recommend the latest S2 in the range with its vigorous 3.0-litre engine, sharper looks and improved performance. refinement.

Porsche Cayman

  • Price range : £19,500-£80,000
  • Our choice : Cayman GTS
  • Engine: 3.4-litre flat-6, 335 hp
  • Years produced: 2012-2016

For many fans, the 981 is the last Grand Cayman – stages aside – and it’s also a great choice as an up-and-coming classic. At the heart of its appeal is the naturally aspirated flat-six engine that was ditched in favor of a turbocharged flat-four in the current 718 model.

The newer car is quicker, but lacks the dizzying engine note and creamy power of its predecessor, although the perfectly balanced mid-engine layout offers the same sublime driving dynamics.

Specialist servicing will keep running costs down, while rare, race-inspired GT4 prices aside, you can pick up a Cayman for significantly less than a new entry-level Nissan Qashqai.

smart roadster

  • Price scale: £2,000 to £12,500
  • Our choice : Roadster
  • Engine: 0.7 liter 3-cylinder turbo petrol, 79 hp
  • Years produced: 2003-2006

In many ways, the Smart Roadster was ahead of its time. With its reduced dimensions, 79hp 0.7-litre turbocharged engine and focus on low-speed thrills, the tiny two-seater is perfect for today’s congested roads and high fuel prices.

Despite its modest performance, the well-balanced mid-engine Roadster is actually a riot to drive, and with its rolled-back fabric roof and hard-working roaring engine, the Smart will leave you smiling from ear to ear. other on the winding secondary roads. Yes, the automated manual transmission is clunky and storage space is limited, but running costs are minimal and you can pick up a valuable example for as little as £2500.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk5 Edition 50

  • Price scale: £6,000 to £12,500
  • Our choice : Golf GTI Edition 30
  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, 227 hp
  • Years produced: 2006-2009

No hot hatch celebrated as many anniversaries as the Golf GTI, but one of the iconic model’s best shots was its 30th. For this big anniversary, VW has given the Mk5 model some festive upgrades.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine’s output was increased from 197 hp to 227 hp, and it also received an 18-inch “Hockenheim” smart alloy package. It’s not much on paper, but it makes for an even faster and more engaging car, but just as easygoing and versatile.

However, we are not the only ones who value the 30 edition highly, and prices for the special edition are already rising, so now is the time to buy.

Modern classics on Auto Express…

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