I'd like to buy a MINI or Audi A3 for a 14-mile commute - will a diesel be reliable for such short journeys?

Now that a nice lady has written off my Mercedes-Benz SLK I am looking to replace it with a diesel convertible. Due to the weather I haven't been able to test-drive yet, but I like the MINI and Audi A3. I commute 14 miles daily each way with local roads and one junction of M25. Would I be better with a petrol car due to the particulate filters? I like the idea of great economy.

Asked on 15 December 2010 by MK, Barnet

Answered by Honest John
14 miles each way will get the engine hot enough to regenerate the diesel particulate filter and with a regenerative alternator should recharge the battery. But these are some of the potential costs of an EU5 diesel between years three and six: Replacement diesel particulate filter: £500 - £1,000. Replacement dual mass flywheel: £1,000 - £1,500. Replacement EGR valve: £500 - £1,000. Replacement turbo: £1,500 -£2,000. Replacement timing belt and tensioner (where fitted): £500. All that adds up to considerably more than any saving on fuel even over 100,000 miles. The saving of 50mpg v/s 40mpg over 100,000 miles is about £2,500; the saving of 60mpg v/s 40mpg over 100,000 miles is about £6,000.

I'd be looking at a MINI (chain cam), an Audi A3 1.8TSI cabrio (chain cam) or BMW 1-Series cabrio (all chain cam).
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