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Try, Buy, Dream - March 2024

This month's cars out there to try, buy, or just dream about.

Mark Nichol

Words by: Mark Nichol

Published on 28 February 2024 | 0 min read

Trying a car has never been easier - lots of car brands now offer subscription services that allow you to run one on a monthly basis, with no down payment or exit fee so you can swap in and out of different models with minimal notice. Or you can lock in for longer, on a leasing deal, which still means you just pay a monthly amount and hand the car back at the end of the deal.
Then there’s the Buy choice, whether it’s paying for the car with cash or signing up to a fixed term finance deal with the option to buy the car at the end. These are cars that make good long-term sense. And finally, our fave section, for dreamers everywhere. The new luxe stuff, the wish list option or the “treat yourself” splurge, depending on how big that bonus is. Enjoy this month’s offerings.


Renault Megane E-Tech

You might be old enough to remember Renault’s ‘shake it’ TV adverts for the Megane back in the early 2000s. They took the car’s extraordinary (and highly divisive) back end and leaned into it, so to speak. Chances are that Renault couldn’t get away with those adverts today – probably for best – but even if they could, there’s no need. The latest, electric-only Megane doesn’t need any TV gimmicks because it’s just plain excellent. Lovely and quiet to drive, masses of space inside, good battery range, and a minimalist interior that’s high quality and easy to fathom. It’s one of the best electric cars on sale… regular back end aside. If you fancy trying out an EV to see whether it’ll work for you, Renault’s subscription service will get you into a Megane E-Tech for as little as three months for a set fee. Having lived with a Renault Megane recently, we don’t think you’ll want to give it back.


BMW X2/iX2

Brand new for 2024 and available with either petrol or electric power (the ‘i’ means it’s the electric one), the latest SUV-type-thing from BMW is a proper head-turner… whether you’re turning your head to say “wow” or “ugh”. Whatever you make of how it looks – the result of trying to blend elements of a 4x4 (high and chunky) with elements of a sports car (sloping rear end) – at its core the X2 is a brilliant, do-everything car. Plenty of space, a driving position that’s high enough to feel ‘safe’ but low enough to feel sporty and connected to the road, and interior design that effortlessly blends twin-screen modernity with plush leather luxury. It handles a smartphone with more skill than a Gen Z teenager too. Its AirConsole feature lets you play games using your handset as a controller, and you can use the BMW App to see live footage of your car, inside and out. “Hey guys, check this screengrab of me smashing my Tetris high score at Wetherby Services. #ix2life lol.” Snapchat gold.


Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin doesn’t like to refer to the Vantage as its “entry-level” car for the same reason Michelin Starred restaurants don’t have a daily Happy Hour. So, here’s the lowest cost thing on the A La Carte menu at Aston Martin. A mere £165,000, not including accoutrements. It’s an update of the 2018 Vantage but you’d think it was all-new. Completely reengineered and redesigned from top to bottom for 2024, it’s MUCH more powerful, a lot louder, and the interior has had a total refurb. It’s priced to compete with top-end Porsche 911s like the Turbo S, but it looks and feels so much more exotic than that; Porsche 911s are everywhere, right? It’s designed specifically to be driven hard – Aston says it’s “ravished in racing royalty”, whatever that means – but let’s face it, you’ll get a Vantage because it’s an Aston Martin and it looks sensational. Thankfully it has a comfort mode, so you’ll not be shaken, just stirred. Sorry. Couldn’t help that.