Marrried guidance

Eight years ago I contacted you on behalf of my wife. She wanted a small, new, 5-door hatchback with aircon for under £10k. Your reply consisted of two words, fortunately these were "Toyota Yaris". We bought a 1.3 GLS and in the course of that time and 58,000 miles, NOTHING has gone wrong. The battery had to be replaced 3 months ago but that is just age. Despite such service it is time for a replacement. The same criteria, with the addition that a little more "oomph" would be nice and up to two years old would be considered. I know you like the Hyundai i20 but, while not ruling it out, I find the interior rather plasticky. Your suggestions, along with a rough valuation of the Yaris, would be appreciated.

Asked on 14 August 2010 by JT, Wareham

Answered by Honest John
A 2002 Yaris 1.3 GLS trade books at £2,425 with 74k miles, which may be true but looks a bit optimistic to me. Today I saw a very pretty current shape 07 Yaris 1.3 T3 5-door with 23k miles sell for £5,000 at auction. Used prices have just took a knock in anticipation of 22nd June Budget. The new shape Yaris has had a few gearbox problems, especially the low CO2 (119g/km) 1.33 6-speed. I think the special oil used was a bit too low friction to lubricate it properly. Current contenders for your attention are the characterful Mazda 2 1.3TS2 (specifically that model) which is economical, a good cruiser and fun to drive. I wouldn't call an i20 "fun", but the 1.2 Kappa is very safe and offers 50mpg economy. The Suzuki Swift is good too, but gets replaced by a new Swift in the autumn. And if you're tempted by VAG, the SEAT Ibiza is a lot nicer looking than the rather bland new Polo. Best to go for the new 1.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo engine rather than the old 1.2 litre 3-cylinder.
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