Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - shaps

Hi , can anyone please give me some advice.

Looking to spend up to £3000( less if possible) on a mid size estate or a big hatchback .

I do around 17k a year with a mix of motorway long runs and town driving.

I have been looking at Octavias - Honda Civics - Volvo V50 , Reliabilty and MPG are more
important than gizmos or speeds but heard some horror stories with newer diesels .


Current car is a ford Fusion diesel that was bought at 85k and now just reached 150k
but cost me a new clutch and Flyweek ( £700 ) - A couple of Leaking Injectors ( £300 )
- Shock Absorbers ( £150 ) in 3 years .

Any help would much appreciated as my cars clutch is slipping slightly
in the high gears so need a replacement asap .

Thanks in advance

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - barney100

I had good use out of Volvos, have a V70 now, and high mileage isn't a problem. There seem to be lots about for moderate prices. You will be looking for decent MOT life left but with all used cars you need some luck.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - gordonbennet

Avensis, pre 09 model now well out of fashion so going cheap, IIRC the 2.2 Diesel is the one that has admittedly rare head problems but a decent petrol version is pretty economical too.

HJ's review section above would be worth a read for the low down.

Honda Accord a good car too, couple of known problems which can be fixed by the likes of BBA Reman far cheaper than dealer parts if they crop up.

Another thread that could have been answered in one line, Kia Magentis/Hyundai Sonata...why on earth did they not offer estate versions.

Edited by gordonbennet on 26/09/2016 at 21:39

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Ian D
For that money a pre DPF diesel of around the 2006 to 2007 timescale could fit the bill, VW/Audi/Skoda 1.9 PD diesels have a long life if serviced regularly with the correct oil, but expect electrical gremlins, Octavia/Golf/A4 but avoid engine code BXE as it had major problems, otherwise Japanese petrol estates may be cost effective, or Kia Ceed estates maybe, for £3k you have to be very careful but with care and a bit of knowledge there are good ones out there, happy hunting...
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - gordonbennet

Good call IanD, Kia Ceed Diesel, no DPF and no DMF up to about 2010, not sure which engine size though so make enquiries if of interest.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
At this price you're best avoiding diesel, there's just too much to go wrong. I'd be looking at a Civic 1.8 petrol, it's got plenty of space, pace and will break 40mpg easy enough. Plus there's no timing belt to worry about either. Just be sure to avoid anything that hasn't got a full service history with evidence of fresh oil and filter EVERY year and it'll do 250k without much fuss.

The 2.2 diesel was never fitted with a DPF until the current model came out in 2011 and it's powerful, will exceed 50mpg and also has no expensive timing belt change to worry about but turbo failure is fairly common as are clutch problems. It doesn't seem up to the torque of the turbo diesel. Full history is a must and mileage will be high at this price.

The Volvo V50 is basically a Ford Focus chassis underneath which is fine as long as you avoid the notoriously unreliable PSA 1.6 diesels they also share. The petrol units are all pretty bulletproof of serviced correctly but the 1.6 is slow compared to the Civic.

Octavia is a good hard wearing old machine too but most of the later 1.9 diesels had a DPF fitted to an engine that was never designed to take it and it suffers regular problems as a result. Otherwise it's a very long lived unit and so is the 1.6 petrol. They all require a timing belt every four years which isn't cheap.

Good luck and enjoy the hunt.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Cyd

Have you considered a Saab 9-3 Wagon? I love my 9-3 saloon and since the demise of Saab values have reduced and so you can get an awful lot more car for your money than you might ordinarily.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - shaps

Thanks for eveyones advice .

Went to view a Civic today that looked great and drove okay
but I do not think it will be big enough for what I need as the boot needs to cope with
a couple of guitar cases and small amp atleast.

I think it has to be an estate style for me needs .

Looking at a Volvo V50 and a Ford Focus estate tommorow , both are of similar age
and mileage but the Volvo is about £500 more ( is it worth paying ;the extra ) .

Speed and looks are really secondary to MPG as I will be using it for lugging musical gearup and down the country to various venues .

I could up my budget but years of buying cars for a few grand and running for a couple of years is hard to give up .

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - gordonbennet

Take note of the above posters warning about the 1.6 Diesel of Doom that finds its way into lots of car, incl Volvo V50 and Focus, do your research well.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76

Take note of the above posters warning about the 1.6 Diesel of Doom that finds its way into lots of car, incl Volvo V50 and Focus, do your research well.

Wise words. Don't touch anything with the 1.6 PSA diesel. This includes both the Focus and V50. The larger PSA 2.0 diesel is ok and Ford's own 1.8 dci isn't the worst but both do suffer the usual expensive woes that most modern diesels are blighted with as they get older. Again, at this budget stick to petrol, it'll cost less in the long run. But If you must have a diesel then buy an older pre DPF equipped car like the last of the line 04/05 3BG VW Passat 1.9 Estate, which you'll get the best of the best within your budget. These were one of the best VW's ever made and will run to 500k with ease and will be an easy sell later on. If you must have a younger diesel then beg borrow or steal a lot more money and buy a Golf, Passat, Octavia, Avensis or an Astra with the 1.7 Isuzu unit, avoid the Fiat 1.3, 1.9 or 2.0. World's your oyster if you stick to petrol however. Most are pretty robust so buy based on condition, history and mileage. Walk from anything that doesn't have a full history and above all keep it simple.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - RichardW

The 2011 on 8V version (DV6C) of the 1.6 PSA / FORD / everyone else engine is much better (in the turbo regard anyway). I doubt 3k will buy anything half decent with it in though.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hi, back again! (Sorry for gate crashing) Yes, I'm still looking for a diesel motor for under 3K. I've shortlisted the Kia, as I was suggested to, but for the money, they are very short on the ground (Well, unless they've done 150k+ and being a Kia, and not knowing the engine that makes me uncomfortable)

I also like the Audi A4 (Saloon and estate) but reading that the 1.9 TDI'd motors, suffer from electrical problems, scare me a bit.

On the 1.9 diesel front, what about the Skoda Fabia Mk2 estate? Are they any good.

I'll want is, loads of toys, supreme engineering, power, cool looks, all for 3k - not asking for much, eh?

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
If you must have diesel then the best two engines to go for are the 1.9 TDI VAG without a DPF filter. These will do 500k but require a timing belt and water pump every 4 years which will sting you £250-£400 depending on model and who's quoting. Or the Isuzu 1.7 in the Astra.

The Fabia is robust but small and a little basic, the Octavia is more plush and very robust (gearbox issues aren't unheard of though) even the hatchback has a huge boot, but watch for abused workhorses and ex taxis.

To me the best big diesel workhorse you could buy at this money would be a 3BG Passat from 2000-2005. You'd get the best of the best for the budget and prices on tidy estates are firming up as people know that it's a far better made car than the generation that followed along with being much more comfortable.

Forget gadgets and go for simplicity. It's less to go wrong.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint
If you must have diesel then the best two engines to go for are the 1.9 TDI VAG without a DPF filter. These will do 500k but require a timing belt and water pump every 4 years which will sting you £250-£400 depending on model and who's quoting. Or the Isuzu 1.7 in the Astra. The Fabia is robust but small and a little basic, the Octavia is more plush and very robust (gearbox issues aren't unheard of though) even the hatchback has a huge boot, but watch for abused workhorses and ex taxis. To me the best big diesel workhorse you could buy at this money would be a 3BG Passat from 2000-2005. You'd get the best of the best for the budget and prices on tidy estates are firming up as people know that it's a far better made car than the generation that followed along with being much more comfortable. Forget gadgets and go for simplicity. It's less to go wrong.

Thanks for the brilliant reply. Er, which one is the 3BG Passat? And how's the fuel consumption? I do about 50/50 town/motorway driving and the Passats are a heavy old car! I only really need an estate for my newborn baby boy and all his assorted stuff!

Edited by ValiantSaint on 01/10/2016 at 21:27

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
They face lifted car from late 2000 to 2005. Strong hard wearing car all round and a very comfortable distance car which will hit 50mpg driven reasonably. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160829723...6
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Only issue is that I don't think they have isofix rear seats. Might be wrong but not sure.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

No ISOFIX? Blast, that's a must (Just spent £200 on an ISOFIX base!) So that leaves me down to the Kia Cee'd SW (MK1) the Audi A4 Avant (B6) and the Skoda Fabia estate (Mk2) I also like the saloon A4 and the VW Jetta (All VAG cars running the 1.9 oil burner, of course)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
From that wee shortlist i'd favour the Jetta or a Golf estate. But I'd avoid anything with a DPF and forget the DSG auto box which does go expensively wrong. Had a friend who was presented with a £6k bill to replace one on his Audi TT!

But ultimately at this price it's more down to condition, history and mileage. I wouldn't walk by a tidy Cee'd for a ratty Golf estate. I had a co worker who had the wee Kia for years and never had any real trouble but the front crossmember rots on them so get yourself under it and it's worth slapping some under seal on a good one if you do buy. Plus they didn't have a DPF fitted til mid 2010 if memory serves right so one less thing to worry about also it is a chain driven engine so no belt change to do every 4 years as on the VW/Audi.

You'll also get a newer Cee'd with less miles for the money.

Edited by SLO76 on 02/10/2016 at 08:27

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks again. The Kia's getting a lot on nods. I like the Jetta. Nice looking car, but I can't figure out when the DPFs were fitted to them.......some are listed on Auto Trader as having one, and other aren't.......

Edited by ValiantSaint on 02/10/2016 at 15:48

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Not too sure when they started fitting them. Get reg no of any prospective purchase and call your local VW dealer service dept and ask. Early VAG DPF's are probably the worst for problems so I'd walk from any car with one fitted and remember that it's illegal and an MOT fail to have it removed. I'd rather have an older car without it. Though VW's from that era can rust badly, particularly the Mk V Golf.

Edited by SLO76 on 02/10/2016 at 18:24

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Well, after a lot of thought, I'm going for the Kia. Just how many miles is too many for that engine? And how do you rustproof the crossmember without removing it from the car? Thanks ;)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Serviced, maintained and driven properly there's no reason why it shouldn't run to 200k but it is more important at this pricerange to consider condition, history and mileage than any particular make. We can point out the weaknesses on any model but I wouldn't walk past a tidy Astra estate with history to but a tatty Cee'd.

As for under sealing it, I've never done it myself so you'd need to research it or get your garage to slap it on while on the ramps.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks again, Slo76. I'm booked in to have a look at the following A4 (I know it's not a Kia, but it looks a tidy Audi!) tomorrow. Whatya think?

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161004841...1

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Looks fresh in the photos but i suspect the tailgate's been painted as it's missing its badges which is one way to spot cheap paintwork. It doesn't cost much to replace them after painting so what standard is it up to and why was it done? It's possible the whole car's been painted but without seeing it in the metal I can't tell. Audi's don't really rust so if it has then it's seen some heavy action.

It's possible it was a minor parking knock or vandalism but if it's not been done properly it'll flake and possibly rust in no time making the car unsightly and will slash resale value.

Advert also mentions a timing belt change at 75k but these require one along with a water pump every 5yrs or 75k, though the same engine needs it done every 4yrs according to VW so it might well be due or overdue so price it in (£250-£350) to your equations.

Spend time looking for overspray, runs and poor finish on the paintwork. Those missing badges would draw my eye to it. There's no reason for anyone debadging it, I'm pretty sure you'll find it's seen a lot of paint. Ask if it's an insurance writeoff and before buying I'd HPI it too.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Wow, this buying 2nd hand car lark, is hard work. I'm still lost as what to do - been looking at the B6 A4 Audi saloons today (I do love an Audi) sub 100k 1.9 Tdi (130 BHP SEs mostly) FSH on most, under 2k.

Would it be worth buying one of them, and spend 1k on 'preventive maintenance'? (Brakes, tyres, suspension, bodywork etc) rather than buying the Kia? (Can't you tell Korean motors leave me a bit cold?)

I love the Audis, but know I'll end up with a Kia! (Whatever I buy, it'll no doubt be a lemon!)

Thanks ;)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Ian D
If you find a good one you shouldn't need to spend £1000 on preventative maintenance!. Do an HPO check and check the MOT history online even before you drive to look at it, as to find a good one you will be driving a few miles! Check FSH and check cam belt/waterpumip kit done, receipt required not just a tick in the service book, check discs and brake pads looking through he alloys, check tyres, cheap budget tyres often means skipped maintenance, etc etc. There are good ones out there but they take hunting down!
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
It's wise to go shopping with your eyes open but don't lose faith, good cars are out there at this price range.

However you've got to remember that a diesel Audi estate was a complex and expensive car new and any you're looking at below £3,500 will have a six figure mileage behind it and is likely to need at least a timing belt and water pump - few people fit them before selling or trading in.

Personally I'd be sticking to something with less to go wrong at this money. That's why I mentioned an 1800 Civic earlier. There's less room in the back of an A4 saloon or a Jetta than a Civic so if either of these work for you so will a Civic.

Petrol Ford Focus and Astra are good options at this price too with estates that cost little or no extra used. Even the wee Kia despite rust issues is a good option.

Forget badge snobbery when you're on a budget and buy the least complex car in the best honest condition with a full service history rather than worrying about the image. premium badge cars add complexity and higher parts prices neither of which you want when running a motor on a budget.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Here's a good option for you. Chain driven engine so no timing belt to worry about and petrol so no DPF, turbocharger, high pressure injection system or (fairly sure) no DMF to cause problems.

It'll do high 30's to the gallon with a fairly light right foot and should never let you down. Even has a full dealer history apparently too.

The money saved on the lower price will cover the extra fuel costs not to mention the savings you'll make from future repairs and maintenance. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160601450...4
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Another chain driven petrol Jap with a good reputation. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160802641...1
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SteVee

two excellent choices - the toyota is even near by for me.
I'm impressed at your ability to find these cars, they're both bang on target (IMO)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Advert for the big Toyota doesn't mention service history but main dealers have a tendency not to because the listing will most likely have been done by a member of the admin team who'll not know if it does or not.

Quick call to a member of the sales staff should tell you if it's been serviced as it should. They're hardy big cars (though it's not unusual for them to burn a bit of oil) with loads of room and will touch 40mpg again if you're not too heavy on the go go pedal. Check oil regularly (should be doing it anyway) and top up if required.

Big plus about it coming from a new car dealer is that it's most likely to have been a trade in and not an auction buy as with most small used dealers.

Dealer I worked for in the 90's bought a lot of sub £5k stock from auction and you'd be horrified at the state most of it was in. Cheap paint job (which was flaking in 12mths) to tidy it up and a quick service if needed then on the forecourt.

They bought newer ex fleet stuff too but any repairs were sent to our own insurance approved body shop to be done properly if it was over £5k. The best stock we had came in as part exchanges against new Mitsubishi's and Proton's which is what this possibly is.

Punters with the money to buy new or nearly new replacements usually kept their cars well maintained. Last thing you want is something that's been run on a shoestring or a repossession.



Happy hunting.

Edited by SLO76 on 06/10/2016 at 15:05

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Found this too but despite what the seller says it doesn't have a full service history, it's 11yrs old so should have at least 10 stamps not 5 and unlike the petrol the diesels need a timing belt and water pump at 6yrs or 60k whichever comes first so could be well overdue. You need a receipt to prove it's been done not just a tick in a box.

I'm fairly certain at this age it won't have a DPF either but can't be sure so a bit of research would be required. Quick call to a Toyota dealer with the reg no should clear this up. I wouldn't buy anything with one fitted.

I'd want to know how it ended up in the hands of a home/small trader too. Any mainstream dealer that took this as part ex would more often than not retail it themselves unless it had issues or it might be company policy to offload cars over a certain age. Either way, it's come from an auction most likely so you've got to ask why.

Certainly worth a look though. Big comfy 50mpg bus. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161001832...9

Edited by SLO76 on 06/10/2016 at 16:03

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Some great suggestions there. SLO76. Many thanks. I'll get looking through them, right away.

On the Jetta front, I've found this just up the road (Not sure on the chincy alloys, though)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160912769...1

Any good? Bit weary of buying cars from backstreet dealer, mind you. They're not very well qualified, are they? (My Uncle was one, and he sold some right sheds!)

Cheers

VS

EDIT: Just re-reading the comments about the Passat (3BG?) you suggested - what spec would you go for, if you were to buy one of those? And what to look for on them (They're another of my favs - my FIL had one from new in 2005 - lovely car......bit thirsty, though!)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160929825...1

Any good?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 06/10/2016 at 22:25

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Advert reads well with good history and a recent timing belt change but big wheels and heavily tinted rear windows screams Ned/Chav to me.

Not that they all abuse their cars, many keep them mint but I've seen enough of them being rallied round the local retail park at night to put me off even if I did like the look...

The Passat I'd look for would be a well looked after 1.9 TDI Estate. Spec isn't important, only condition, history and mileage. The 130bhp version is very strong but even the 115bhp has plenty of pull. Petrol cars are next to worthless and a bit thirsty but durable and tempting due to low prices. Leather seats and a nice set of alloys might look good but reliability is more important so forget toys and buy the best lowest mileage car possible.



Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
The Passat in that ad looks fresh enough, isn't killed with miles (they'll do 500k if looked after) but no mention of when the timing belt was changed, it's due every 4yrs and why would anyone do it shortly before selling? One of the weaknesses of used VAG stuff is the almost guaranteed need to do a timing belt on purchase.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks, I'll steer clear of the Jetta!

Edited by ValiantSaint on 06/10/2016 at 23:40

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Sorry double post - cheaper than a Jetta (And a little older!) but still worth a look? (I love the B6/B7 Audis)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160916783...1

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Sorry, triple post! (How come I can't edit a post after leaving the forum?)

Bit of an update, I've been sent through the finance termination paperwork, and can give the car back ASAP, which has made things a little more urgent (for a 1k fee, mind you - it's about the same as what I would have paid over the next six months, so not a complete write-off)

Oh, and this was the saloon A4 I was looking at (Don't know why the link didn't work....)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160916783...1

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I prefer buying privately. Avoids the dodgy small time dealer (there are honest ones) and get to meet the owner in person. Plus I know I wouldn't sell a guff car from my door in case it came back to punch me in the face. But there's no legal comeback in a private sale. Car looks tidy and only 2 owners in 13 years bodes well but no mention of t/belt. Plus more room to negotiate when there's no profit motive.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Cheers, SLO76. Any questions I should ask them when I ring? I've found this Avant nearby, as well (Looks nice, but a bit pricey?) higher mileage than the saloon, as well......

www.dynamic-motors.co.uk/used-cars/audi-a4-avant-1...0

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Looks fresh too and the estates do command and are genuinely worth more money. Very well made old cars, they hold off rust brilliantly so any signs of serious rust is likely to be from poorly repaired crash damage.

The 1.9 diesel will do 500k with annual (or more if high mileage) servicing and a t/belt and water pump every 4 years. Don't scrimp on it or it'll bite you.

First question I always ask is. How long have you owned it? Or I'll ask to see the V5 if it's with a dealer to find out. If they've had it a long time it's been a good car to them. Then ask what they've replaced it with. If it's another the same or similar you know they loved it.

Also ask if the water pump was changed with the belt change. If not it's well past its likely lifespan and will need stripped down again to get at.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint
Looks fresh too and the estates do command and are genuinely worth more money. Very well made old cars, they hold off rust brilliantly so any signs of serious rust is likely to be from poorly repaired crash damage. The 1.9 diesel will do 500k with annual (or more if high mileage) servicing and a t/belt and water pump every 4 years. Don't scrimp on it or it'll bite you. First question I always ask is. How long have you owned it? Or I'll ask to see the V5 if it's with a dealer to find out. If they've had it a long time it's been a good car to them. Then ask what they've replaced it with. If it's another the same or similar you know they loved it. Also ask if the water pump was changed with the belt change. If not it's well past its likely lifespan and will need stripped down again to get at.

I do love the A4 estates! Good shout on the first question. I did indeed ask that very thing to the owner of the A4 saloon (£1895) last night, when I rang him - he got very cagey! And no paperwork for the (supposed) cambelt change (which he'd done himself!)

I'm still waiting on a reply about the A4 Avant from the dealer. On my travels I've found this Jetta (Which is quite local to me)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160609475...s

I've emailed the dealer about the service history, and got this reply:

The vehicle has service history up until 115K Miles where it had a new fly wheel and clutch dating 30/09/2015. It has a stamp before that at 62k dating 08/10/2010. all 5 services before this were carried out by volkswagen main dealers. It doesn’t state if the cam belt and water pump has been done.

I sent an e-mail back saying that if I were to give the full asking price (cash), would they change the cambelt and water pump. If not I'd offer them 2k! The new clutch and flywheel is very promising, though :)

EDIT: Thanks Big John - I think we posted at the same time!

Edited by ValiantSaint on 08/10/2016 at 11:34

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John

Cheers, SLO76. Any questions I should ask them when I ring? I've found this Avant nearby, as well (Looks nice, but a bit pricey?) higher mileage than the saloon, as well......

www.dynamic-motors.co.uk/used-cars/audi-a4-avant-1...0

Looks tidy but on a 2004 check carefully for rust. Some are great at this age - some aren't!

In particular check where rear wheel arches meet sills, under sills, where front wheel arches meet sills, where front wings fasten to bumper and also where rear number plate lights are attached to bodywork (saloon or estate)

At 116k engine should be just run in, check climate control works and watch out for suspension knocks from the front

[EDIT]

IMPORTANT - check it's dry under passenger side footwell, if wet walk away!The Audi a4 / Skoda Superb/ VW Passat of this age did suffer from water leaks from the pollen filter seal and blocked plenum drains. If wet this causes major electrical problems as a control module gets a bath!

Edited by Big John on 08/10/2016 at 11:39

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Right, I've got a little bit of an update about the Jetta. The dealer will replace the cambelt and water pump if I pay the full asking price.

I'm still a little worried about it though, due to the spotty service history (The dealer mentioned that it might have been sorn'd for a year - something to worry about?)

It's got a year's ticket and it'll have a new cambelt and water pump, and it's had a new DMF and clutch within the last year. Worth a punt?

I think I'd get my mate to put new suspension and brakes on it for peace of mind, which means it would owe me around £2600. Decent buy?

EDIT: Just been reading about PD camshaft wear! EEK! It's a shame I don't know a mechanic, or someone local to the car who could have a look, as it gives me the fear, buying 2nd hand!

Edited by ValiantSaint on 08/10/2016 at 13:45

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John

Check whether Jetta has a DPF or not as they were creeping in at about that age. Early DPF implementations on 2.0 pd engines were not great as the cam operated pd injectors not really designed for additional diesel injection cycles for active DPF regenerations. This is one of the major reasons the VAG group moved towards common rail diesel injection. At this age you are probably OK but worth checking.

If it was fitted with a DPF and then had it removed & remapped then walk away. Even though the MOT only has a visual test for this it's only a matter of time.....

One good thing about the Jetta - it has a huge fuel tank

Still check for rust in the usual spots as previously mentioned but also double check the front wings. Some VW cars of this age prone to bad rust around the front wheelarches/wings as additional foam soundproffing was used behind the wings that traps moisture and this will eventually rot through

Edited by Big John on 08/10/2016 at 16:44

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I wouldn't buy a turbo diesel without a full history plus I'd be concerned if it has been off the road for a year. Has it been in a smash and been lying in bits in a yard? Plus regards the big money spent on a DMF. Why sell it after forking out a fortune on it? A clutch and DMF would've cost at least £1000. Has it been done on the cheap to flog it? Point mentioned above regards the DPF also very relevant if it has one it's an early one and these were a pain in the ass new so I'd avoid anything this age with one fitted at all costs. Not seen it in the metal but I get a bad vibe from the car. Daft alloys, darked out windows, patchy history, question over lying for a year and possibility of DPF nightmares. Take time and go for a well cared car which has been owned for a long time and has spot on history. It's far cheaper than fixing it later.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Fishermans Bend

Alloys look Audi to me, not daft. Can't see any darked out windows. That Audi estate looks nice. Go estate over sedan any day of the year.

Edited by Fishermans Bend on 08/10/2016 at 20:26

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

I think that I'm confusing SLO76 with a previous Jetta that I posted earlier, with dodgy alloys on it. Very sorry. It's this one:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160609475...e

I did go and test drive the car today, but it left me with more questions than answers.

The Jetta was overall pretty clean - it has developed a dent in the top of the boot, since the photos were taken (The dealer has offered to repair it FOC)

The service warning light was on as well - I had a look at the service book and there has been no recorded service since 62,500 miles. All that was in the book for the clutch and flywheel was a signature in the 115,000 section.

In the dealer's defence, they have offered to do the cambelt, water pump and dent. Also putting one year's MOT on the car and giving it a service (On the last MOT is had an advisory for pitted front rotors - the dealer offered to change them, as well)

The car itself drove well. My Wife's first word were 'It sounds like a tractor'! Which it did to be fair. There was a noticeable vibration coming through the clutch and brake pedals - is this because it's a diesel? (My BIL moans about the same thing in his TDI MK5 Golf) 4th gear seemed a bit 'flat'

I did notice a little puff of black smoke when it was shuffled back into their car lot. Normal for a PD on startup?

If this isn't the one to go for it leaves me with the A4 Avant:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160928821...1

I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew! Thanks again :)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Yup, I was thinking of the earlier Ned mobile. This looks better but I wouldn't buy it with no history over the last 50k... Might not have seen spanners in years. Turbocharged cars don't take kindly to neglect.

As for sounding like a tractor, well they all sound like that. It's a pretty noisy old thing but a good one will run and run. Wee puff of black smoke on start up isn't a worry on a diesel. It should leave a smoke screen behind it on the road however.

You would miss a lot of possible expensive issues by buying a more simple petrol engined car like a Civic, Accord or Avensis though. I really wouldn't recommend an old turbo diesel car to anyone shopping on a tight budget particularly one with little or no service history.

If you're borrowing to buy it then it's even more important that you get something that'll last the length of the loan. I get the appeal of what you're looking at but I wouldn't buy any of them unless you can afford to bin it if it goes catastrophically wrong. The idea of having an outstanding loan on a car that's lying kaput on your drive is a nightmare.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint
Yup, I was thinking of the earlier Ned mobile. This looks better but I wouldn't buy it with no history over the last 50k... Might not have seen spanners in years. Turbocharged cars don't take kindly to neglect. As for sounding like a tractor, well they all sound like that. It's a pretty noisy old thing but a good one will run and run. Wee puff of black smoke on start up isn't a worry on a diesel. It should leave a smoke screen behind it on the road however. You would miss a lot of possible expensive issues by buying a more simple petrol engined car like a Civic, Accord or Avensis though. I really wouldn't recommend an old turbo diesel car to anyone shopping on a tight budget particularly one with little or no service history. If you're borrowing to buy it then it's even more important that you get something that'll last the length of the loan. I get the appeal of what you're looking at but I wouldn't buy any of them unless you can afford to bin it if it goes catastrophically wrong. The idea of having an outstanding loan on a car that's lying kaput on your drive is a nightmare.

Right, duly noted. It's a shame that it's not got a full history, as it drove well. I'm not getting a loan out. I've saved £3.5k for a car.

What do you think to the A4 Avant? I'd rather go diesel, if possble - the high fuel prices are killing me at the moment in a 1.2! (And the Jetta was getting 55 mpg around town! My Hyundai doesn't even do that on a run!)

Thanks a million - you've all be awesome ;)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Found another one! Why is the MPG on the Sport Avant, poorer than the SE? (Even though it's the same engine.....)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161007853...1

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
The estate is a much better option than the saloon. Much more useful plus they're a lot easier to sell on afterwards. There's always someone looking for an old workhorse. Doubt there'd be any difference economy wise between the two on the road so I wouldn't worry about it. Go view both estates and the private sale saloon and buy the car in the best condition with the best history.

Edited by SLO76 on 09/10/2016 at 09:06

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John
(And the Jetta was getting 55 mpg around town! My Hyundai doesn't even do that on a run!)

55mpg around town - you won't get that!!

I had a Superb I 1.9pd (very similar engine/gearbox to the Audi A4 1.9) that usually did about 50mpg overall but around town this dropped to about 40mpg

Whatever you choose at this age - condition/service history is the most important thing!

At this price/age it only takes a few repairs to eclipse the original purchase price/potential economy savings!.

Thoughroughly check bodywork (look beyond the polish!) and examine brakes-(check discs/back plates/brake pipes etc) , suspension (knocks, rubber dust caps), drive shafts (noise of full lock, examine cv boots), engine/turbo (should pull well from 1500rpm - any warning lights?)/gearbox/clutch, tyres (check for uneven wear/sawtoohing), exhaust, headlights (are they going opaque? -usually expensive to replace units) - etc......

Look out for clocking - diesels were usually bought 12 years ago to do high mileages!

Edited by Big John on 09/10/2016 at 11:45

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks again everyone. I phoned up about the blue A4 Avant. The cambelt was changed this year, but there's no evidence of the clutch/flywheel ever being changed (and it's done 117k......) What a shame - my favorite car, in my favorite colour.......

The other Avant looks like its got a massive scratch down the side of it........

I give up. maybe I'm just too fussy!

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76

Thanks again everyone. I phoned up about the blue A4 Avant. The cambelt was changed this year, but there's no evidence of the clutch/flywheel ever being changed (and it's done 117k......) What a shame - my favorite car, in my favorite colour.......

The other Avant looks like its got a massive scratch down the side of it........

I give up. maybe I'm just too fussy!

I've a friend with a Passat with the same running gear that's done 175k and still on the original clutch and DMF. They can fail early or last the life of the car, all depends on driving style. I wouldn't let the fact they've not been replaced put me off. But as I've said from the start I would be either spending a lot more money on something newer or going for a cheaper to buy and ultimately cheaper to run petrol hatch. An old turbo diesel could become a very deep money pit very quickly. But no harm in viewing them. If i was a bit closer I'd join you for a look.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John

If the clutch/flywheel are currently in good condition don't worry

My 2003 Superb 1.9 I (same oily bits as A4 Avant) had 170k miles on original clutch/flywheel (infact now has over 180k miles with new owner). It also has it's original exhaust and battery!!

From the photos the dark blue Avant body looks good (needs close up checking) and it doesn't seem to have "saggy" front suspension as seen on knackered Passats and Audi's of this age

Edited by Big John on 09/10/2016 at 12:59

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - corax
You would miss a lot of possible expensive issues by buying a more simple petrol engined car like a Civic, Accord or Avensis though.

I would take SLO76's advice on this one. Avensis is not exciting but the petrol versions just go on and on without needing repairs - they are very well engineered. They tend to be owned by diligent owners who service them regularly. 1.8 is chain cam, and should not burn oil after 2005. You could pick up a really good one very cheaply, and it will cost you very little to run for years. It's not the most powerful engine, but it's adequate and will do at least 40mpg on a run. I prefer the older versions compared to the 2006 facelift because the suspension is slightly firmer but the handling was better.

It's a genuine worry free car.

Same goes for petrol Civic and Accord regarding reliability.

Old VAG diesels can be expensive money pits if you don't know the history, and tend to be bought by people who like the image but who think that they either don't need much maintenance, or they won't be bothered to carry it out. They tend to suffer electrical niggles and water leaks too.

Those PD diesels should really have the inlet manifold and EGR taken off and perodically cleaned, as messy as it is, but no one bothers and results in smelly, smoky exhausts. They are good engines but they need the proper maintenance by someone who knows what they are doing.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John

Are you going to be doing 17k for the foreseable future? This needs planning

I'm with SLO76 £3-4k is a difficult budget amount. You could end up with a cracking long lasting car/previous pride and joy or simply buy someones problem. At this age many people get rid because of an issue! You could easily end up with a car that only really lasts a year

I have been doing a similarish mileage (15k / year) for over 23 years now and try to aim for effectively £100 / month capital costs

My previous car was a 2003 Skoda Superb(1.9) bought 18 months old for £8200 and run for 10 years by me(20-170kmiles) with regular (not LONG life) servicing . Sold last year for £800 - still going strong but body showing some rust (easy to keep on top of)

My latest car is a 2014 Skoda Superb 1.4tsi bought 14months old for just over £10k. Aiming to keep for a while and servicing now back to 10k miles (not long life)

Don't get over hung up with economy as it may not be your greatest cost. Keep an eye on the cost and type of tyres - this can be significant. I always aim for taller profile tyres (205/55 r16 on last two cars) which last over 30k miles and don't cost much (A firend has a VRS which only does 12k miles on a set and cost nearly £200 corner - that would be over £1k/year for you!)

The other way is to buy a well serviced/ good condition car that is fully depreciated (sub £1k) and throw away after a year or so - repeat as required. Every now and again you'll buy a bad one, throw away and try again! EG I have a 15 year old Octavia owned from new , well looked after, great condition but actually worthless so not worth selling. A friend of mine has just bought a really cheap 04 Renault Meganne diesel for less than £300 - came with a full service history- he has put 1000's of miles on it with no issues at all!

There must be loads of cars like this lurking out there

Edited by Big John on 09/10/2016 at 13:36

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I'm a fan of bangernomics. Until we had a baby just under two years ago I stuck usually to sub £2k cars having suffered an £11k loss on a nearly new BMW that turned into a boomerang car, it was always going back to the dealer.

We've had a 53 Honda Civic bought for £2,200 ran fault free for more than 3 years and sold for £1,600.

A 02 Astra 1.6 SXi bought for £1,000, spent £100 on a front wheel bearing and sold a year later for £1,100.

A 99 Mazda MX5 bought for £1475, spent £350 on a brake calliper and two window regulators then sold after 2 summers of B road fun for £1,600.

An 03 Mitsubishi Carisma 1.9 DID bought for £700, spent £350 on repairs over a year then sold to an annoying friend for £1,000. Liked this old bus and planned on keeping it but was pestered to sell it to him.

W plate Peugeot 306 1.4LX bought for £500, spent £250 on a clutch and sold for £750 after a year.

V plate Toyota Avensis bought for £1250 and sold for £850 after three years use and only one £50 repair.

Currently we have a 64 plate Honda CRV and a 62 plate Polo 1.2 TDI but I've still got my bangernomics itch under control with an old 05 Mazda 3 I got for free with 11mths Mot.

Oh and an X plate Ford Cougar V6, bought for £300, spent £150 on repairs and sold for £825 this weekend. Rare old bus but too greedy to use for work.



The secret to running a car on a shoestring is in three words... keep it simple.

Edited by SLO76 on 09/10/2016 at 13:59

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Wow, you lot really do go the extra mile - many thanks. I couldn't afford to run a bigger engine petrol car. I'd be bankrupted within the year! (I'm putting £50 a week in a 1.2!)

How can I tell if the clutch and flywheel are in good condition? Also the dealer has offered to knock a little off the price due to these not being changed.

It was orginally owned by Cosworth, then for ten years by the last owner. I've got the name of the garage that looked after it by the previous owner. Just got to give them a ring in the morning and see what's been due to it.......

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
How many mpg are you getting from your current car and what is it again?

I had a 96 Fiesta 1.2 16v Zetec for a while as a runabout and it was worse on fuel than the 08 Mazda 6 2.0 petrol it was sharing the drive with at the time.

The difference in consumption between petrol and diesel isn't as much as you might expect on some cars and you open yourself up to so much more in the way of expensive liabilities with the much more complex diesel.

A 1.8 petrol Civic is really only 6-7mpg worse than the 2.2 diesel but costs less to buy, maintain and is much more reliable for example.

As far as checking the clutch is concerned you're Looking to make sure the biting point isn't too far up the pedal, feel for judder as drive is taken up, listen for any noises that come and go when the clutch pedal is pushed and if the DMF is breaking up you'll hear it rattling away. Unfortunately there's no way to know if it's due to go, they simply fail.

Edited by SLO76 on 10/10/2016 at 01:14

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John

I couldn't afford to run a bigger engine petrol car. I'd be bankrupted within the year! (I'm putting £50 a week in a 1.2!)

I'm averaging about 46mpg with my 2014 Superb 1.4tsi which on the same journey is 4mpg worse than the previous 1.9 diesel superb I. I'm spending about £120 month in petrol (approx 15k miles year)

When I bought my car the petrol was £4k + cheaper (negotiated one hell of a discount on the petrol as the car had been with the dealer for 8 of the cars 14 month life thus far) and I calculated on my mileage it would take me about 10 years fuel savings to make back the extra capital required for the diesel. Hopefully I might be retired by then!

Edited by Big John on 10/10/2016 at 14:45

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hiya. Well, it's seems I may have bought a car! I had a chat with my Father-In-Law, who knows a local few car dealers, and he got chatting to one of them who pointed him towards an Audi A4 Avant, just up the road. Well, after having a drive, I've bought it. It's a Quattro, so I'm sure the MPG won't be too great, and it has done 132K, but is has got FSH (stamped book) and the cambelt and water pump was done last year. Also four new tyres, and tinted windows and parking sensors (Which I really wanted)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160910763...1

The only downside is a little bit of paintwork that needs patchy up on the NS rear wheelarch.

Many, many thanks to all of you for all your help. You've been amazing. Let's hope I haven't bought a lemon!

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Best of luck, hope all goes well.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John

Looks good,

I had a Passat with this colour a few years ago - easy to keep clean - doesn't show dirt much.

Keep an eye on the body work - clear any caked on mud - could be worth waxoyling (or similar) behind the front/rear wheelarches (rub into wheelarch rim) and where the sills meet them front/rear and where the rear number plate lights fasten. Half hour job that may hold the car for years!

1.9 great engine (especially 130bhp) and 4wd a bonus - especially in the winter

PS At 132k miles - it's just run in for a 1.9pd

PPS Did you check passenger footwell to make sure it is dry?

Happy motoring..

Edited by Big John on 11/10/2016 at 22:41

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Sorry to drag an old thread up, but the Audi's been a nightmare.

After dropping £600 into the car to fix the rear washer line, temp sensor, thermostat, undertray, boot latch, wiper motor, and headlight and various other things, the turbo coughed it's guts up on Sunday, leaving me getting a ride home in a recovery truck and a £700 bill.

Now, I love the car, but I'm scared that if I keep it any longer, it'll sting me again for another huge wad of cash. The garage I got the turbo fixed at, have warned me that the exhaust has taken a hammering due to the large amount of oil it's swallowed, so that's another concern. Oh, and air con pulley is singing like a good 'un.

I'm hoping the awful MPG I have been getting will be better, and the constant smell of oil will disappear now the turbo's been fixed but............

I really want to give it back to my father-in-law, but I just don't know what to get next. I'll never have another diesel, but the bigger petrol engined estates cost a packet to run. I'm only getting 35 mpg around town and 42 on a run in the Audi!

Is the 1.4 Astra estate any good? Are there any other petrol smaller-engined estates that are any good? (Or any hatchbacks)

Many thanks

Edited by ValiantSaint on 03/02/2017 at 19:22

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Avant

You're right not to have another diesel: the fuel saving is so often, as in your case, swallowed up by expensive repairs.

At this budget level don't be swayed by a premium badge. As has been said already, condition matters more than make or model; but if you want to be pushed in a particular direction, go either for a model where there are lots to choose from (e.g. Focus or Astra) or go Japanese or Korean.

There aren't many small estates from the Far East, but there are the Kia Ceed and Toyota Verso to consider; would a Nissan Note or Honda Jazz have enough room for you?

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hi, Avant. Sadly, the Note is too small. I've test-driven an 08 reg diesel Fabia estate, and loved it, but the petrol version are either too slow, or too expensive! The next car must have good MPG - I'm sinking £73 every two weeks into the Audi - and barely getting 500 miles out of it!

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170110117...2

Are the Clio's any good? I'm scared of French cars!

This one's a bit different!

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170202190...3

I drove my Father-In-Law's DSG'd Golf whilst the Audi was being repaired - loved it! Aren't the DSG boxes a bit brittle, though?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 03/02/2017 at 20:00

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Clio's are ok if looked after properly but not in the same class as the Japanese for reliability plus you'll have to fine with the symphony of rattles you'll get from the interior trim.

The 1.2 16v is pretty robust but has a nasty habit of snapping its timing belt if it's isn't done on time (5yrs or 72k) which will be well overdue on this if it hasn't already been done (you need written proof of this not just their word) so price the belt change including tensioner and water pump into any offer.

I'd only buy one with a full history of annual oil changes and not the "part service history" referred to in the ad. Might hardly have seen spanners.

Edited by SLO76 on 03/02/2017 at 20:07

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Don't mean to sound harsh and it doesn't really help your situation but I'm going to say I told you so in my origional reply. "At this price you're best avoiding diesel, there's just too much to go wrong."

Get shot of the thing, as with most older diesels they're a liability and the extra few mpg don't come close to covering the extra costs. A good petrol Civic, Corolla, Auris, Focus or Astra (excluding the 1.8 VVT) would be more sensible choices at your budget.

I'd get the Audi on Gumtree and flog it (there's always someone who'll buy a cheap old diesel) or if it's too bad and you don't want any hassle take it to the nearest auction. Then get on and buy a private sale petrol engined hatch or small estate that has a full service record and has been owned longterm by its current or previous owner.

This way you get to meet the owner and see how it's been kept rather than listening to the same old dealer crap. No comeback if it goes wrong but you'll save at least £800-£1,000 to offset the risk if you buy right.

Edited by SLO76 on 03/02/2017 at 19:53

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks again. The Audi can go back to my Father-In-Law, as I still owe him for it! I'll only be out of pocket by £600 for parts (He paid for the turbo, as he felt bad)

So, I'll need something with a very frugal engine, and a large boot, that will never go wrong - all for peanuts! LOLZ :)

EDIT: www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170119146...2

I know, I know, it's a diesel!

Edited by ValiantSaint on 03/02/2017 at 20:37

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
The Cee'd is a good wee car but again it's a ten year old diesel with 100,000 miles up. There's 101 things that could and most likely will go wrong with it not to mention their biggest weakness which is rot. There's another recent thread on here regarding a poster who bought a 2005 Kia Sportage that's riddled with rot underneath.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Ah, that's the Kia out the window, then! I've just seen a 1.2 petrol (turbo'd) Octavia on Auto Trader for £3695. What are they like?

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Oops, another double post (Can't edit a post after signing out - odd)

A mechanic friend of mine does indeed swear by the Avensis estate (He's got one that he paid £150 and has done 226,000 miles)

I noticed that someone posted one up before. From the stats, the Avensis looks to be cheaper on tax, bigger on fuel and have a better boot then the Audi. Do they have the DMF/DPF problems of the other diesels? Is the 2.0 diesel engine in the Toyota better than the 2.2?

Are they expensive if they go wrong? Thanks again :)

EDIT: www.f9motors.co.uk/used-cars/toyota-avensis-2-0-d-...4

Edited by ValiantSaint on 03/02/2017 at 23:27

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76

Ah, that's the Kia out the window, then! I've just seen a 1.2 petrol (turbo'd) Octavia on Auto Trader for £3695. What are they like?

Fine cars but if it's the silver one I found it's about five different colours from the pictures in the advert plus despite being a pleasant thing all round there's no way a small capacity turbocharged engine will last as long as a larger normally aspirated Jap like the 1800 Civic. Boot is pretty much the same size give or take a few mm... Auto Trader #DrivenByMe www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170127172...0
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks again. So you're discounting the Avensis? Are the Civics really that good on petrol, if they're an 1800? I do a lot of town driving, surely the 1.8 would be awful on petrol?

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Look up HJ's real mpg listings. The Civic 1.8 averages 40.6mpg, better than a 1.25 Fiesta of the same vintage which does 39.2mpg. Engine size isn't the be all and end all with regards to economy.

The Avensis 1.8 VVT is a good car, I used to own one, but it's a heavy car and lacks performance compared to the Civic. It's a more relaxed drive and excellent on fuel for such a big car at 40.2mpg, one of very few cars to beat the manufacturers claims.

A diesel Cee'd averages 48.6mpg which would save you a £100-£200 a year yet leave you open to a number of expensive liabilities which the Civic doesn't suffer from.

Edited by SLO76 on 04/02/2017 at 00:56

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Cheers, SLO. Would you shy away from the two litre diesel avensis, as well? Would the petrol civic be able to cope with a lot of stop start town driving?

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Fishermans Bend

www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/avensis-2003/...d

www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/honda/civic-2006/

www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/focus-2008/

www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/vauxhall/astra-h-est.../

Edited by Fishermans Bend on 04/02/2017 at 10:09

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I'd stick with the petrol, again there's just less to go wrong and you'll get more for your money plus the diesel is only 7-8mpg better anyway which isn't enough to offset extra repair and maintenance costs.

The petrol Civic should be fine in stop start traffic plus as there's no timing belt to worry about you've one less expense and worry.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks everyone. What's the petrol Focus like on fuel? (1.6) Are they any good? I like the Astra estate - with the 1.4 engine. Bad choice? I'm done with diesel!

EDIT: I like the Civic - just not the 1.8 engine! It's scares me! Is the 1.4 VTEC a good choice, instead?

EDIT EDIT: Just found this:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170203195...1

Are the 1.4 engines any good in the i30? Chain driven? Many thanks ;)

Edited by ValiantSaint on 04/02/2017 at 19:36

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Fishermans Bend

Civic 1.8 engines won't bite. What on earth are you scared of? You've had a very knowledgeable backroomer recommend them.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Ha! I know, I sound a bit mad, but my job is a lot of stop start driving in town. my old i20 was getting around 41 mpg combined and that was a 1.2! Hence why I'm worried a 1800cc engine would be very thirsty. Also why I went for a diesel, as I thought I'd get better economy, with a bigger car to boot......

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Nowt to fear from with the 1800 Civic, it's the best engine in the range. Far more powerful than the 1.4 especially the older pre VTEC cars yet offers very similar fuel economy because it's carrying the same car around but has to work less to do so.

The Focus is a fantastic car to drive, nicer than the Civic in every dynamic regard except for the engine range. The 1.6 Yamaha designed unit is the best alrounder in my opinion but it's around 5mpg worse on fuel than the Civic and 40bhp down so it's nowhere near as efficient.

The Astra H is a good value used buy. A bit cheap and pluaticky inside but pretty robust in 1.4 and 1.6 petrol form. The 1.6 is the better option especially in the heavier estate and there's not that much difference day to day economy wise. Avoid the Fiat 1.3 & 1.9 diesels and the 1.8 VVT petrol. You'll get a much lower mileage, newer car for your money here but it'll be worthless when you sell.

The Kia Cee'd and Hyundai i30 1.4/1.6 petrols are fine mechanically but rot is a problem on early cars now with crossmembers and subframes rotting out already.

Spend s bit of time going though HJ's real mpg listings, it'll show you that engine size isn't directly linked to economy in fact sometimes the smaller engine is worse. There are many other factors involved. www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/

Edited by SLO76 on 04/02/2017 at 22:44

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

You're a star, SLO. Putting up with a muppet like me! Are any of there Civics worth looking at? What's the cut off point for mileage for the 1.8?

www.autotrader.co.uk/car-search?sort=distance&...l

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Service history, condition and longterm previous/current ownership all mean more than mileage. Loads of them on Autotrader and Gumtree with 130k upwards and still fit. These will do 200k with frequent oil changes but £3-£3.5k should be enough to get a good 06-07 car with 70-90k with history preferably from a private seller or a larger dealer who's taken it in as a part ex. I'd generally dodge wee backstreet dealers who source their stock largely at auction, there's plenty of tarted up garbage out there so it's nice to bypass the fly guys and go direct to the last owner.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - bazza

As well as the Civic, you could also look at a 1.4 or 1.6 Auris, as an all round decent workhorse car. We have its predecessor, an 03 Corolla in the family and it is completely bombproof, the best - built car we have ever owned. Ours is a 1.4 and averages 40 mpg, running around.

We also have a 2010 1.6 Zetec Focus petrol, which as SLO says is a great drivers car. erformance is fine and it averages 40mpg, although in the city it's 35 to 40 mpg. On a run, expect about 44mpg.

My own car is a 1.9 PD Octavia, 2008. The Focus is a much nicer car all round, but of course the PD unit is excellent on fuel, about 53mpg average, Performance is good but very noisy and unrefined. Handling is safe enough but it's no sports car. I'll be selling soon as I've started to have the typical VW problems as it ages. I'll probably go for a 1.8 Civic, as SLO suggests.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Auris? I never though of one of those. I do like the Focus. Always liked Fords. What should I look for on the 1.6 petrol? (It's always nice to hear from owners, past and present) What sort of mileage can the 1.6 handle?

Thanks ;)

Edited by ValiantSaint on 05/02/2017 at 23:24

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
With regular oil changes (at least once a year, using the correct oil) they can easily hit 150k but while the MK III as mentioned above can break 40mpg with care, the earlier MK II will be worse, closer to 35mpg and it's this model you'll be looking at.

Personally I think it drives better than the later car largely thanks to hydrolic power steering instead of the electric system used in the later car which robs a bit of feel but it is a little thirstier.

The 1.8 petrol is pretty long lived too and has a bit more poke but you'll struggle to better 30mpg by much and it's still down on power compared to the Civic.

I've sold plenty of Focus's over the years and haven't had a moments bother but I buy only well maintained cars with history and tend to avoid diesels. They really are great little cars but there are several engines to avoid.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

How about this for a spanner in the works?

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161216065...1

My 'Brother from another mother' has just put this forward. How's the B Class for costs and reliablity etc? Thanks :)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Fishermans Bend

If you like the thought of more big bills, go for it. Seriously, SLO will no doubt be along shortly.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
"My 'Brother from another mother' has just put this forward. How's the B Class for costs and reliablity etc? Thanks :)"

What on Earth did you do to him to make him do that? He must hate you...

Terrible terrible cars... don't even think about it!
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Right, I'll leave it then! The Focus/Civic is still a goer though, right? Do they have the Honest John Forum seal of approval? What's the Focus estate like? Thanks :)

EDIT: www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170120149...1

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170124162...1

Any good?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 08/02/2017 at 20:41

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
The Focus estate is a great wee car just the same as the hatch but many of them are used and abused as work hacks so avoid any tatty cars with patchy service history and no diesels as before.

The two Civics above look tidy enough but no mention of service history on the first car and the tailgate has likely seen paint on the other one (Civic badge is missing) but not a big worry as long as it's only been a minor bump and it's been properly painted. It has a decent service history and a good Mot history that backs up the mileage. Worthy of a look.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Well, the two dealers who are selling those Civics aren't too bothered about selling them! I've tried to get hold of both of them, but with no luck.

I have however, found two motors near me, that might fall into the 'SLO criteria' bracket.......

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161205035...1

Looks a little 'boy racer' but pretty tidy......

And two Kias:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161015881...1

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170119146...1

What'dya think? I'm in the mood for taking a ride out over the weekend to view these motors. Might as well get the SLO seal of approval first! Cheers :)



Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I quite like the Cee'd but although the diesels of this vintage don't have a DPF they're still more likely to go wrong than the petrol variant and you'd get a lower mileage for your money if you steered away from diesel. They also rot badly underneath do get under it with a torch or better yet ask the dealer to let you see it up on the ramps if they're so equipped. Crossmembers and subframes are prone to serious rot so be thorough even if the body itself looks ok. If you need work done here it will be very costly.

One plus point is that they're all chain driven engines apart from the 2.0 diesel but at this mileage look at the water pump for signs of leaking and instruct the dealer that you want to hear it start from cold. When you turn up first thing you do is open the bonnet and put your hand on the engine. If there's any heat then they've started it most likely because it has problems turning over (may just have a low battery to be fair) or it has a rattling timing chain which quietens when it heats up. Chain driven engines need fresh oil EVERY year so walk from any that haven't proof of this.


The Civic has clearly been owned by a Dukes of Hazard fan club member and should be avoided at all costs. Try calling the other two again and remember, good things come to those who wait. A petrol Civic is the best option here but a rot free petrol Cee'd isn't a bad car either. Diesel yet again just has too much to go wrong.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks, SLO. I'll leave the Kias alone, methinks - shame, as I really like the look of them, and the kit you get is very good for the price point.

I thought you'd laugh at the Civic. Not a fan of the white lettering on the tyres? ;)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
"I thought you'd laugh at the Civic. Not a fan of the white lettering on the tyres? ;)"

I'm gonna get the Tipp-ex out tomorrow and do the gaffers car... sure she'll love it.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I don't normally recommend diesels at this price but here's two of the more robust options. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170207206...1

This one will no doubt be due a timing belt and water pump so budget around £250-£300 to do it if there's no proof of it having been done. It's due at 100k or 10yrs whichever comes first. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160624521...0

Another couple of worthies if you can fit your gear in. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170125164...9

Auto Trader #DrivenByMe
www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161116980...9

Edited by SLO76 on 09/02/2017 at 23:25

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - sandy56

Buy some bus tickets?

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Big John
I don't normally recommend diesels at this price but here's two of the more robust options. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170207206...1 This one will no doubt be due a timing belt and water pump so budget around £250-£300 to do it if there's no proof of it having been done. It's due at 100k or 10yrs whichever comes first. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20160624521...0 Another couple of worthies if you can fit your gear in. Auto Trader #DrivenByMe www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170125164...9 Auto Trader #DrivenByMe www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161116980...9

The first one has a lower mileage example of the 100bhp 1.9pd. Great engine that pulls much better than you'd think for a 100bhp.

I loved it in my Superb I, even in this huge car pulled amazingly well and always averaged over 50mpg - the only problem the engine had in this car over 13 years and 190k miles was an alternator at 127k

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Wow, that's some great work, SLO. Thanks for looking. I have a real soft spot for the little Fabia, but after the Audi, I wonder if it would feel a little 'low rent'!

And I agree that the 1.9 PD lump is a great engine, but after the aggro I've had with the Audi (running the same engine) I'm a bit worried about another diesel (Just found out today that's my rocker cover's cracked, and that after spending £800 in a week on the car!)

I do also like the Astra estate - my friend has the 1.9 150 BHP estate in the same colour. Really nice. I remember you said that the 1.7 is the better motor......

Which one would you pick?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 10/02/2017 at 19:50

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I'd pick the car that's been maintained with the greatest care though if all things were equal I'd probably take the 1.7 Isuzu engined Astra or another with the solid 1.6 petrol. The 1.9 diesel in some Astra H models is a Fiat engine, goes like stink but causes plenty of financial pain so keep well clear.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

So you think the Astras are a good buy? I like the outside of them, but the interior.........it looks like something out of the Mk1 Astra! What's the fit and finish like in them? Don't most of them get abused? Would the 1.7 CDTi engine need a cambelt change at some point? Do they have a DMF and a DPF? Thanks :)

EDIT: I the 1.4 a little underpowered in the Astra body? It looks a nice car.......

Edited by ValiantSaint on 10/02/2017 at 20:46

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Astras are great used buys (with some exceptions) and this particular 1.7 diesel doesn't have a DPF but it will have a DMF but they're not as bad for failing as Ford and as I mentioned when I initially suggested it, it's due a timing belt if it hasn't already been done which would be unlikely because who would just before flogging it? Interior is a bit drab and many are abused hacks which should be apparent when you view.

The Fabia is a good car and a well maintained 1.9 PD can easily do 300k plus so it's a car I'd be happy with too. But spartan inside but simple robust and great on fuel. Less likely to be a work hack, often owned by families or elderly folks who look after them.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hi - back again! I've just been informed that my Wife doesn't like the older Fabia, but prefers the Mk2, instead........Even though I love 'em! :(

So.......I've found this petrol version (And with SLO's words of wisdom about diesel at lower price points ringing in my ears, it might be a good thing!)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161212055...1

Is the 1.4 engine any good? Cheers :)

EDIT: Found this one too (Seems a bit cheap?) Is the 1.6 diesel any better than the older 1.9?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 12/02/2017 at 15:37

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Biggest weak point on the Fabia is the range of petrol engines sadly. The 3cyl 1.2 is utterly gutless and the 1.4 16v requires a costly timing belt change every 4yrs and is known for a number of other problems. Read the HJ review on the VW Polo with the same engine for plenty of woe but I have to say I've never had any bother with any Polo, Ibiza or Golf I've flogged with it fitted.

I wouldn't touch the 1.6 diesel especially at this money. They're well known for DPF problems and while it's basically a sound engine it's not as robust as the older 1.9. Don't buy a DPF equipped turbo diesel on such a limited budget.

Edited by SLO76 on 12/02/2017 at 19:28

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Right, that's those two out of the window! I'll arrange to look at the little 1.9 Fabby and take the flack later from the missus!

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Don't get me wrong. The diesels have that ridiculously short timing belt interval too but this one has recently been done and it has that strong pre DPF engine that has a great reputation for long life if maintained correctly.

I'd still be in a petrol Jap myself but would certainly cast an eye over the Skoda. If it's been well looked after there's no reason why it couldn't be a reliable workhorse.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hi everyone. I've just ran up about the 1.9 Skoda Fabia estate. The dealer said that the car was owned by an elderly gentleman who had to give his licence back. He also said that it had been unused for 18 months! That's not good is it? The dealer said it's a lovely car, in good nick.................as he would! I like the Fabbys, but I'm so scared of diesels now.......

I'm getting desperate, as the Audi's smoking like mad!

Should I pop and have a look at the Civic, as well? (As the dealerships are only six miles apart!)

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20161116980...1

I'd really like a 1.6 Focus, but most of them are a shocking state for the money!

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170104099...1

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170201187...1

Thanks everyone :)

EDIT: Am I missing a trick? Should I just buy a cheaper car and offset repairs with the rest of the 3k? Or even two cheaper cars, so my Wife could have a runabout?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 14/02/2017 at 17:03

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hello everyone. Just to let you know, I've put a deposit on the Fabia estate today. It drove really well. There's a few little problems being rectified on it before I pick it up, but I was very impressed. Thanks to SLO for spotting it! Managed to get a few hundred off the price, as well :)

A quick question; the clutch makes a small audible noise change when depressed is this anything to worry about? (Gear change is decent though, and car stalls in third gear when starting off up a slight incline)

Many thanks

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
Are you talking about the pedal itself? Otherwise could be a slight noise from the thrust bearing but since Skoda's lack the same level of sound deadening other VAG products have it's probably nothing to worry about. As long as it wasn't a rattling DMF breaking up but that should be pretty noticeable and isn't common on these.

Well bought, hope you have many years of cost effective motoring from it. Keep it tidy and regularly serviced and it'll be an easy sell when you want to flog it. A very practical and robust small workhorse.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Thanks SLO. There's a lot of vibration from the pedal box itself, but my Audi's the same. My Brother-In-Law also has the same problem with his 1.9 TDI PD powered Golf.

The noise change seems to be 'in the air' when the clutch pedal is released. It's not that noticeable, though. What does a rattling DMF sound like?

The garage are giving it the once over before I get it, so at least that's a positive.

Is it worth getting a warranty for it? (After being burned with the Audi....)

:)

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
"There's a lot of vibration from the pedal box itself, but my Audi's the same. My Brother-In-Law also has the same problem with his 1.9 TDI PD powered Golf."

They all do that.. welcome to diesel old school. I sold a Passat with the same engine and 170k recently that's rattling away happily with its new owner.

The DMF would make a very obvious rattling noise all the time if it had broken up, I doubt you'd miss it so it's likely just to be a bit of noise from the thrust bearing. Don't think I'd be too concerned but then I haven't heard it.

As for warranty I doubt anything you'd get for a ten year old car would cover much but there's little need when you're covered by the sales of goods act. Just don't expect not to have some running repairs on an older motor like this, an exhaust or any number of items could fail but at least you're legally covered for a few months if the a*** falls out it. Personally I'd save the money for any minor repairs and take my chances.

Though it's wise to have someone with a bit of mechanical know how cast an eye over it if you're unsure. If I was local to you I'd do it.

Edited by SLO76 on 17/02/2017 at 19:58

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hi everyone. I've just brought my 07 reg 1.9 Tdi Fabia estate home and it drives great except one thing - the gearbox sounds like it's about to explode when I change from 1st to 2nd gear. All other gear changes are fine. I can feel crunching/grinding in the gearstick, as well. I'm so gutted. After spending 2k in parts in the last few months on the Audi I'm at my wits end. Many thanks

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
You don't have much luck... Did you not test drive it? Take it straight back to them and demand a refund if as it sounds there's either a gearbox fault or more likely a failing DMF. It could also just be a weak synchromesh on one gear and gentle foot flat on the clutch changes may avoid any balking. I had that on a Ford Mondeo recently but it could be driven quietly with care. However, I'd try for a refund so be firm but polite, quote the Consumer Rights Act if needs be and make it clear you'll involve the trading standards if they don't fulfill their obligations. If you paid £100 or more of it on a credit card you may be able to claim the full lot back via the card provider. Above all don't buy another car without either finding or paying someone who knows what they're doing to come with you when you view. We can point you to the worlds most robust car but the particular one you look at might be a badly looked after car or clicked or any number of issues we can't tell from a picture or an advert.

Edited by SLO76 on 25/02/2017 at 20:47

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint

Hi SLO. I drove the car for twenty minutes on the test drive, no problems. Got it back from the dealer and it was crunching every time I went from 1st to 2nd - it was a lot longer drive, though. I'm gutted. I bet the dealer will cause me hell. The way things are going I'll have no money left to buy a bloomin' car with!

EDIT: It's such a shame, as the car's mint apart from this problem. Drives great and I was getting 64 to the gallon on the way back home :)

Edited by ValiantSaint on 26/02/2017 at 00:08

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
It's possible changing the gearbox oil will cure it but it's not unheard of for these to suffer from weak synchros. I'd call them and report the fault today and ask them what they plan on doing. I'd suggest to them a gearbox oil change may fix it and that you expect them to pay for it, which wouldn't be dear anyway. If this doesn't cure or vastly improve the issue then you must reject the car within 30 days, sooner I'd say due to the age and value. If they refuse to do anything it's worth quickly getting that oil change done elsewhere to see if that'll do the trick before fighting for a refund.
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - corax

SLO, you have the patience of a (valiant) saint!

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - ValiantSaint
Ha! I agree, I am a tad trying, at times. Very sorry for coming across a bit ungrateful for everyones help. My Son's been in hospital within the last week, and I was a little short of compassion.......Just to let you know that the problem has sorted itself after a quick gearbox oil change and linkage reset. I'm loving the car (51 MPG on average!) and I just wanted to pop back on to say thank you to SLO for all the help (You're a legend) I owe you a pint or two! :)
Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - Avant

Very glad to hear that. The forum is here for people in your position to ask questions, so you're very welcome. Particular thanks as always to SLO76.

Recommendations on Estate for £3000 . - SLO76
I'm delighted to hear it's all worked out well and hope it continues for many years to come without fuss.

I'll quaff a beer or two for you at the weekend...
 

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