Could you suggest an economical, reliable 4-door car which offers a bit of fun?

I have been running a Ford Focus 53-reg 1.8 Zetec diesel for the last seven years. The car has been very reliable except for water in the passenger foot well, about three times in all, and I have just had the clutch master cylinder replaced. As I no longer do much motorway driving, I would like to change my car but am unsure what to buy. My main criteria are that it has to have four doors with enough room in the back for two children, economical, reliable and safe plus a bit of fun, as I do more country lanes now. I was thinking something about a year old or a very good "new car" deal. I have a budget of about £10,000 -£12,000. I only do around 6,000 miles pa now so was wondering if diesel is still the better option for me?

Asked on 27 October 2010 by LK, Sonning Common

Answered by Honest John
For 6,000 miles a year you don't want a diesel with a diesel particulate filter. It will cost you more in grief and repairs than any saving in fuel. The latest SEAT Ibiza 1.2TSI 105 is very good. Look for discounted prices at The latest Suzuki Swift 1.2 is good too. And I'm a huge fan of the Mazda 2 1.3TS2: ( and Always check with to see what kinds of discounts they can offer, that make 'list prices' irrelevant.
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