Smokers, Daily, Used. Sadly there is no dictionary definition, I checked in the Oxford English. What it should say is ‘Car Traders’ daily transportation, big engine, comfy seats, long tax.’ The truth is that real car traders never get attached to their stock. Everything is always for sale, even the wife’s SLK if the offer is right. So when he, and in 99% of cases it is a he, goes to the auctions, drives to Sheffield to appraise a car, or visits the scrappy for a replacement door handle, he’ll need some transportation. Ideally it will have a good few months tax on the screen (not for much longer) which saves him the bother, be very comfy and it just might be a motor which could take a while to shift anyway, on account of its large engine. So exactly which motors fall into the Daily Smoker Category?
Car traders love their Lexi. For many years the LS400 in particular was the smoker of choice because it could be relied upon to be utterly reliable. It also had every single electric gizmo known to man or beast. In fact they were so good the LS400 Smokers got sold early. Instead they switched to the slightly harder to shift GS version. Just as reliable, almost as big as an LS and usefully anonymous in the auction car park.
A few years ago it would have been an XJ and probably still is, but that would be too obvious. Coming up hard on the rails is the now obsolete S-Type with its big V6 and V8 engines comfy specs and bounders badge. Jaaaaaaag is how it is pronounced and although the S may look like a bit of a pig on the outside, inside it is very trad Jag. There are some cloth interiors around, but obviously a smoker is more likely to be all leathered up.
BMW 5 Series
We couldn’t leave out the ultimate driving machine which also happens to be the ultimate smoking machine too. All big engined 5s perfectly fit the Smokers bill. No one will want a 535i with its thirsty V8 engine, but it is so hard to resist the assured driving experience, feeling of solidity and the fact that for similar money a 540i could be yours too. It has full SE specification and also firmer M-Sport suspension. No the 535i should be fine, ideally with leather of course.
German built executives are thick on the forecourts, but there is one wearing a Brit badge which is right up there with the best in terms of big engined respectability, space and gadget count. Here is a comfortable big car that is also good to drive and the silky V6 has to be taken seriously. In Elite specification it has leather and eight way adjustable front seats with driver memory. You might even get an MV6 for less as a sort of alternate reality BMW M5, but with a much more noticeable rear spoiler.
The French have pretty much given up on ever cracking the big, lazy, executive market, but the Pug 607 remains the best of a poor bunch in the last few years. Any motor trader though would be more than happy to have a HDi which is going to deliver a very un-smokerlike 42 to 47 mpg. However, the 3.0 V6 that will struggle to 27mpg will cost pennies to buy and be a very comfortable way to travel, with levels of refinement which can match a proper luxury car. Hugely underrated and few realise how huge it actually is.
If a Lexi LS is easy to sell, the jumbo sized Accord has an almost Legendary ability to stick to the forecourt. That means it makes the perfect car trade chariot which is even harder to spot on the road and is usefully invisible. However, a Legend cossets and spoils its occupants and makes it way lazily between appointments as you play with the electric sunroof. Masses of room in the rear and hard top believe that the mid ‘90s version was related to the dismal Rover 800 which dropped of the top 100 Smoker’s chart in 1993.
The company may be scrap, but the best car they made for a generation is still around in reassuringly large numbers. A sort of olde worlde BMW 3 series and Ford Mondeo rival, it was actually better than some small Jags and it looked a lot like a baby Bentley. So with a 2.5 V6 engine under the bonnet here is a slice of history which can smoke around in a subtle though never sporty way. The way of the true red white and blue smoker.
Usually found with a towbar at the rear and a TDi engine up front in the Avant package, but we would suggest that a saloon with the Quattro running gear that comes with SE spec as standard is the smoking way forward. Indeed this would be the Smoker of choice for the winter months. There would never be any danger of falling off the icy roads. Certainly comfy and no worries when it comes to interior quality the A6 is a great place to be.
We had to have a Merc, and the late ‘90s were not a good time for the marque, but as a big old comfortable barge it is a premium smoker. We reckon the bigger engined and higher specced models had the better quality compared to the Classics so an E430 V8 Elegance is going to be the model for the dedicated smoker. You would not necessarily want to go fast in an E but the four-eyed model drove better and was more refined than ever.
Any of the bigger Volvos are prime smoking candidates. The S80 was built for it, but sometimes you don’t need four doors for the full smoking effect, which is why the C70 is so good. Here is a smart looking smooth riding coupe, which has loads of kit and a temptingly low price. C70 was always surprisingly fine to drive and a high performance T5 confounded all the critics. But driven slowly and purposefully the C70 is always a smoking place to be.