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buying advice

Got a pay rise and looking for a new car? Here's what our expert would recommend...

If you’re looking to splash a little cash on an upgrade, we have some thoughts.

LET’S SAY YOU’RE in the fortunate position to have received a nice pay rise and you’re looking to upgrade your wheels to something that looks a little more flash.

This week we’re looking at a few possible suggestions that might not cost a great deal to upgrade to, depending on what you’re trading in.

A sporty number: Mazda MX-5

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The current generation of MX-5 has been around for a couple of years now, and it is one of the best of the four generations to date. You can choose between a soft top version and the RF model, which gets a retractable roof section, to provide some open-air motoring while retaining the security of a hardtop roof.

Our money would go on the more original soft top MX-5 as it’s the more enjoyable model to drive with the roof down.

An upmarket coupe: Mercedes C-Class

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Let’s say you want to make an impression when you roll into the company car park. For some people, the combination of a premium brand and a coupe silhouette is the best mix.

There’s a fair amount of choice there too, including the Audi A5 Coupe and BMW 4 Series. We’re pinning our colours to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe mast, as having driven all of the competition we believe it offers the most complete package. Not only is it a stylish car on the outside, but its interior is also well finished, and dynamically it drives well on Irish roads.

A stylish SUV: Volkswagen Tiguan

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When it comes to modern SUVs, there isn’t exactly a shortage of models to choose from. But if you appreciate things like design, build quality and new tech, the Volkswagen Tiguan in a Highline or R-Line specification ticks a lot of the right boxes in our opinion.

The regular Tiguan only comes in five-seat form, but a longer seven-seat model is also on sale, called the Tiguan Allspace. Things on our must-have list include the larger touchscreen infotainment display, digital dashboard and the automatic transmission.

More: I’m looking to buy a Skoda. Should I go with the Octavia or upgrade to the Superb?>

More: How to buy a luxury SUV for less – and 4 models to see first>

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