An Audi TTS, perhaps? That’s almost £40,000. A Lexus RC? More than £35,000. Or a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe? Over £30,000.
But perhaps Volkswagen has the answer to your dreams of a desirable car. The Scirocco costs from £21,000 and even in the heated-up test version, the Scirocco GTS, it costs £28,500.
Not bad for a car which will gather second glances like there’s no tomorrow and return good performance (top speed 153mph and 0 to 60mph in 6.5 seconds) while giving sensible running costs (Group 36E insurance and 46mpg on a run).
Scirocco has been around for a while. The first model appeared in 1974 and caused a mini sensation.
It succeeds because it combines the sensible aspects of Volkswagens (reliability and ease of use) with the sort of flair you might expect in an Italian car.
The test version is the GTS actually dates back to 1982 but this version was introduced recently. It has a cool 220PS engine as standard, and is available in manual and DSG transmissions.
The GTS shares the Scirocco R-Line’s impressive exterior styling kit, adding GTS badging on the front grille and rear tailgate, plus black gloss door mirrors and tinted rear glass.
The interior builds on the R-Line trim with Vienna leather upholstery including GTS logo on the sports seats, and red stitching.
Other styling features inside include piano black dashboard trim, a GTS gearstick with golf ball effect, seatbelts with red GTS stripes and chrome sill protectors.
For me, the best features of Scirocco - and indeed any Volkswagen - is the build quality, both inside and out. Everything about car - from the gear changes and fit and finish to the satellite navigation and stereo - is good.
Scirocco adds a sporting edge, of course. The performance is OK but not perhaps as sharp or quick as you might expect of a sporting coupe. That said, it reaches 60mph in 6.5 seconds, which is fast enough for most people.
Scirocco is a sort of best-of-both-worlds car. It is the sort of car you could use as an every-day hatchback, with a useful boot and good driving manners. But it does look good and it has a sporty edge when pushed.
Scirocco is one of the most successful sports models ever created with more than one million sales and the UK is the second most popular market behind, would you believe, China.
It is well-equipped. Sadly, it doesn’t have cruise control, but it does have anti-lock brakes, stability control, lots of airbags, hill-hold function, a fantastic navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels, red brake callipers and long low lines to lust after.
Volkswagen Scirocco GTS 2.0 TSi
ENGINE: A 2.0 litre transverse-mounted turbocharged engine generating 220ps via front wheel drive
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 153mph and 0 to 60mph in 6.5 seconds
COSTS: town 37.2mpg; country 53.3mpg; combined 46.3mpg
INSURANCE: Group 36E
WARRANTY: Three years, 60,000 miles