Help buying a bike, new to road!

Hoping for some help buying my first road(ish) bike!

I was a bike cycler in my late teens, early twenties, riding trials and XC/trail stuff. Work and life got in the way but now getting back into cycling mainly due to starting a new contract where I'm now commuting via bike to their office 8km each way.

For the past year I've been riding my wife's 17" Specialized Rockhopper (26r) with slicks. It does the job but I'm being attracted to world of drop bars and bigger wheels, epecially when I can't keep up with someone who looks like they're putting in half the effort!

The ride is mainly on concrete bike paths and a bit on the road with a few pot holes and bumpy bits!

I also own a 2008 Specialized Epic Expert (26r) which I take out on the South Downs, Swinley Forest and also done a couple of trips to Morzine (uplift) on it. Again starting to realise its getting on a bit and bigger wheels and travel is probably needed. So looking at getting a big travel bike in the summer. 

What I'm looking at is potentially getting a Gravel/Adventure bike or a CX bike which would be far better suited to my commute but also capable of weekend bike paths with the family and maybe the odd foray on the Downs. Then have my bike travel bike for anything else.

I'm just really confused what to get, so many different choices and options! I've never really ridden a road bike so anything is going to feel quicker, lighter and easier than what I currently have!

I'm currently look at -

Cheap second hand roadie - forget the bike paths/downs just for commuting
2016 Specialized Diverge Carbon Comp - bike shop has one on sale for £1750 also seen a 2nd hand one
2013 Specialized Crux Elite Disc -  Seen a new one for £800
2018 Specialized Diverge E5 - either entry level or the one with future shock
Secondhand CX/gravel bike around - £500-1000

My question is for the older models, how much difference is there in the compentents? Say a 2013 Shimano 105 is that better/worse than 2018 Claris/Sora/Tiagra

How capable are the CX/gravel bikes offroad? How capable are the CX bikes on road?!

Any opinions/other options would be greatly appreciated!

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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