The Nissan 350Z was seen by many as a return to form for the Nissan ‘Z-car’ series, after the previous 300ZX had grown quite large and cumbersome in its later years.
Powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6, the 350Z makes a wonderful sound. With 280hp on tap, it’s no slouch in a straight line either, and it handles well enough to hold its own against almost any other sports car when the roads get twisty.
The low-tide mark of the 350Z market is under £4,000, though good examples are found at over £7,000. Alternatively, the bottom of the market for its successor – the 370Z – just scrapes in below our £10,000 mark, but expect a high-miler for your money.
Ford Mondeo ST220
Unlike the Mercedes C32 AMG, the Ford Mondeo ST220 is certainly not a sleeper.
While the 230hp 3.0-litre V6 that powered the Mondeo through the front wheels is not the most powerful in this list, it is attached to a car that’s exceedingly outward with its performance intentions. And fortunately, it goes as quickly it looks like it should, making it a fun – if not understated – choice.
Prices for the ST220 can be as low as £1,000, but the best examples go for over £4,000.
The G37 was billed as a rival to the BMW 3 Series, and the G37 was the upper echelon of the line-up. You could choose from saloon, coupé or convertible body styles.
Powered by the same 3.7-litre V6 engine that can also be found in the Nissan 370Z, the G37 is something of a sleeper, without being so performance-biased that you can’t use it on a day-to-day basis.
The G37 is relatively rare, but good examples can be found from £8,000. It may look like something of a bargain compared to prices of similar cars from the big German brands, but you will have to spend time explaining to your mates that Infiniti is a real car company (although it won’t be around in the UK for much longer).
OK, we’ll include one people carrier. But we’re going to make it a bizarre one…
The Renault Avantime is certainly a unique car in the not-so-grand pantheon of people carriers. For starters, you don’t really see many two-door people carriers around (probably for very good reason).
Built by Renault affiliate Matra, the glass-roofed vehicle offered a 3.0-litre V6 with 210hp, which gives it a surprising amount of pace and – if you really want to push it – not a bad engine sound either.
Being an extremely rare and unusual car, market value is quite variable. However, at the time of writing, £3,000 looks to be the lower end of the market for the Avantime. Good examples look to be over £5,000 at the very least.