The V6 engine configuration is widely used by manufacturers in cars of all persuasions. From people movers to performance cars, the V6 engine has found a home in all manner of different vehicles.
And thanks to the relatively common use of the configuration, there are plenty of fabulous V6-powered cars on the used market, even if you restrict yourself to a budget.
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But let’s assume you’re not looking for a people carrier. These are some of the best used V6-powered cars available in the UK today for less than £10,000.
Volkswagen Golf Mk 5 R32
The Volkswagen Group 3.2-litre V6 is a superb engine that has found a home in numerous cars in the family, especially in the VW and Audi brands.
One such example is the Volkswagen Golf R32. Debuting in the Mk 4 Golf and then returning in the vastly superior Mk 5 generation, the R32 was a great alternative to the GTI, favouring capacity over turbocharging to deliver 250hp to all four wheels.
The bottom end of the market is just below £5,000, though good, unmolested examples are scarcely available for less than £8,000.
Audi offered a mechanically-identical version of the A3 hatchback, but it’s almost indistinguishable from a regular A3. If you really don’t want people to know you’ve got a quick hatch, it may be a better bet. Otherwise, the Golf is a better car.
Alfa Romeo Brera
The world of motoring rarely weighs in unanimously on any matter, and the Alfa Romeo Brera was more divisive than most.
From some angles, the Brera (along with its soft-top sister, the Spider) was one of the best-looking cars on the market when it arrived in 2005. From other angles, particularly in profile, it looked awkward with a short wheelbase and long overhangs.
The engine range consisted of three petrol units and a pair of diesels. Of those, the pick simply has to be the soulful 3.2-litre V6, which came with all-wheel drive rather than the standard front-wheel drive.
The V6 Brera starts at upwards of £5,000, though we’d suggest staying above £6,500 for a little peace of mind as Alfas of this era can be temperamental. Look out for the limited-edition Brera S version, which was comprehensively reworked by the British experts at Prodrive.
Audi TT 3.2 quattro
The first-generation Audi TT looks fairly understated today, but back when it was released, it was lauded for being the spitting image of the fairly radical concept car that inspired it.
The most exciting TT was the 3.2-litre V6 quattro version, using the same engine, gearbox and all-wheel-drive system from the Volkswagen Golf R32. Here as with there, the engine delivered 250hp, and if you value looks over practicality, you may want to choose the Audi over the VW hatchback.
The bottom end of the market is hovering around the £2,500 mark, while the good, less used examples start somewhere closer to £5,000.
The engine did carry over into the second-generation TT, but eventually fell foul of emissions laws and was replaced by a more efficient, but flat-sounding, four-cylinder turbo engine.
Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG
The C32 AMG is a car that can definitely be described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, with an understated look paired to a supercharged 3.2-litre V6 delivering 350hp.
It’s a rare car, and the few UK-spec examples we could find on the market were cheap at a shade under £3,000, but also very well used and likely quite rusted, like so many Mercedes of the era.
However, for roughly £8,000, you can start finding some Japanese imports of the C32, which are much less susceptible to rust. And, even at that price, this could be a great left-field choice if you want a compact performance saloon.
Continued on next page: Japanese and French rarities plus a couple of cult favourites