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Best used car for 80 mile commute?

I need a used car for my 80 mile commute. The trip involves rural roads - which get quite icy and snowy in the winter - and a busy city centre. Until now, I've normally bought cars at about three years old, and ran them for another seven or eight years, with little more than regular servicing and replacement of wearing parts. Reading your column, it looks suspiciously like modern cars won’t stand that kind of mileage. What do you recommend I buy for £15,000?

I'm not bothered about having an SUV, a largish hatchback or estate would be fine.
I need reasonable mpg and comfort, with just a bit of performance.

I'm discounting Audis as unreliable, but am considering either a Skoda Octavia or Superb possibly in 4 wheel drive. Heaven forbid, I may actually be forced into a car purely on the grounds of reliability and mpg, in which case the Honda Civic tourer looks strong. Alternatively an SUV such as the Qashqai, CRV or CX5 is a possibility maybe even a Mini countryman might be worth considering.

I will run the car on either all weather tyres or specialist winter tyres, so is four wheel drive worth it, are the Skoda's reliable, and what would you go for in my admittedly tricky situation.

Thank you for taking the time to read through, and for any advice. I do enjoy the column very much, its just a shame that bad legislation has led to so many bad cars.
Thanks again
Darren

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I'd be looking at a Honda Civic 1.8 iVTEC or, if you're prepared to take the risk of a diesel in exchange for 60mpg, a 1.6iDTEC. Michelin Cross Climate tyres improve the cars immensely in all weathers, but you need to make sure they are available for the wheel size on the car you buy.
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