Help choosing the right car please - Suz1980

Hi, Im looking for some help choosing a new car. I currently drive 61 plate Honda Civic 1.4 Type S. I actually really like my car. It feels good to drive, looks sporty without verging on being a boy racer type and I love the modern style dashboard and interior. Downsides are the 1.4 is just lacking any oomph especially going up hills and it's a 3dr. It's just myself and my 9 year old daughter but I like the big boot and space for picking up friends or going away for a weekend in comfort. I mainly drive around town so a 1.6-1.8 petrol would be ideal and it must be a 5dr.

I have my Civic to trade in plus around £5-5.5k loan or £165 max monthly payment. I've been looking at the newer model Civic but the models are only 2 years newer for my budget. I went to my local Civic dealer and told the salesman my max monthly budget of £165. To my dismay he tried to push a new Civic (the one being replaced in March) for £230 a month on pcp, telling me what a good deal it was and how I would save £3000 of the list price. I just lost interest after that as he wasn't listening to me. My previous cars have been a VW polo, golf and freelander. I find the golf as bland looking now.

Are the cheaper brand of cars more reliable now such as Peugeot 308, Citroen cactus, Hyundai i30 and Astra? I could get a newer car with my money with those types, but would they cost me more over the 3 years in running costs?

Sorry I'm rambling now if you have managed to finish my post any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Sue.

Edited by Avant on 27/02/2017 at 14:55

Help choosing the right car please - daveyjp

You won't go far wrong with a Focus.

Wide range of engines, trim levels and plenty to choose from.

Help choosing the right car please - skidpan

We had a Focus for 5 trouble free years and a Kia Ceed for 5 trouble free years. Both were diesels nad had good performance and decent economy.

We have test driven the Civic twice and found it to be uncomfortable and noisy. Not a car we liked at all. Would expect the 1.4 petrol to be a real slug.

Currently have a Seat Leon 1.4 TSi which we have had for almost 4 trouble free years. The turbo petrol has excellent performance and brilliant mpg, its averaged 45 while we have had it. Your budget should get you into one that 3 years old. Also look at the 1.2 TSi. Don't be put off by the fact its engine is smaller than that in your Civic. With the turbo it will be way quicker and even though the 1.4 TSi would be my choice the 1.2 TSi is a bit cheaper and may suit your needs perfectly.

Help choosing the right car please - SLO76
Currently at the best high street bank rate of 2.9% APR you can borrow £7,500 over 4yrs @ £165 per mth with total repayments of just under £8,000. Borrowing has never been cheaper if you have a good credit score.

I recently took out a Sainsbury's credit card with a £5,500 credit limit and 29mths interest free on purchases! How could borrowing to buy a car get any cheaper?

Don't even think about dealer finance. You will be able to buy a much better and newer car with a little shopping around which means a very nice and totally reliable Civic 1.8 VTEC will easily be within reach.

To be fair you'll be spoiled for choice within your budget. The current Mazda 3 with the 2.0 skyactive petrol is another cracking car all round.

As is the Kia Cee'd which has an excellent 7yr 100,000 mile warranty if you buy one with a full Kia service history and intend on keeping it going. Most of the petrol engines are a bit lacking in urge though.

I'd probably avoid the Focus though. As good as it is to drive and as reliable as the older Yamaha designed 1600 petrol is, the later 1.0 Ecoboost is developing a name for being trouble and the PSA 1.6 diesel can and often does go spectacularly wrong.

I'd buy Japanese but get you finances in place before you visit the dealer. Let them quote you a juicy finance deal while you're negotiating over trade in prices to let them believe there's a fat finance commission coming then once you have a price in writing you're happy with tell them you'll take it then inform them you'll arrange your own funds.

Edited by SLO76 on 27/02/2017 at 13:26

Help choosing the right car please - Suz1980
Thank you for your replies, it's much appreciated.

I really like my cars and enjoy a look on auto trader searching for fancy ones I can't afford.

The Leon looks ok. I find it the same as the Golf they are just not moving enough with the times for me. I appreciate most people prefer their classic style and find them reliable but to me they are outdated. i will need to look at the focus a bit more, it's just never a car I've thought of tbh.

My ideal car would be the Honda 1.8 sport but unless I can get my hands on an extra £3k it's not going to happen.

Yes I would definitely get a loan, and maybe try to sell the Honda privately to get the most of my money. The Honda dealership offered £4.4k to trade in. I'm not sure if that would have been negotiable or not.

Help choosing the right car please - Suz1980
I will have a look at the Ceed and and Mazda too thanks. Are Kia quite a reputable car now? Are they in the same league as Hyundai?
Help choosing the right car please - Avant

From what you've said, a 1.8 petrol Civic sounds like the ideal. Honda dealers will tend to be expensive, so don't give up: look at Cars for Sale on this website (click on the link at the top of the page) or on Autotrader.

To my eyes at least, the SEAT Leon looks better than the Civic, and the 1.4 TSI can never be accused of a lack of oomph. Skidpan's suggestion is worth pursuing.

Kias and Hyundais are made by the same Korean company, so very much 'in the same league'. Good reliable cars with long warranties, but not very exciting to drive.

Help choosing the right car please - pd

Slightly off topic but I have just spent the last week with a Mazda 3 2.0 petrol.

It was OK, but I'm not sure I'd rate it as cracking.

It handled well enough but the ride was quite poor and often crashy on UK roads. I wasn't overly impressed with the high speed stability either.

The 2.0 petrol was OK but had an annoying flat spot at about 1200rpm and was no where near as econmical as the fuel computer suggested (it said 45mpg but it was doing high 30s).

My main issue with it - and I appreciate you can aim the same critisism at a lot of cars - is that although the fancy styling makes a good looking car the vision out of it is terrible. There is no over the shoulder view for joining dual carriageways at all, rear vision is apalling and the A posts manage to hide whole lorries at roundbaouts which means you always, always have to second check everything.

On the plus points it was well equipped, had a proper handbrake, the infotainment system was quite easy to use and was quite good fun on the right road. It also looked good.

Help choosing the right car please - Avant

Interesting point about the flat spot, PD: Mazda make a lot of their decision not to turbocharge this engine, yet it seems to have a similar problem at low revs as some turbos.

Help choosing the right car please - skidpan

We tried the 3 2.0 SE when the wife was swapping 18 months ago. After the diesel Ceed and especially the 1.2 Micra she was running at the time we expected great things but other than the very good looks it was a slug and quite noisy with it, the almost 8 year old Micra felt like a sports car in comparison. The power that the 2.0 NA engine was supposed to have was totally missing.

She decided on a 1.2 Supercharged Note. Not the looker that the 3 was but better in virtually every other respect especially visibility, space, economy etc etc.

Help choosing the right car please - SLO76
Can't say I noticed any flat spots on the 2.0 I drive recently but there's no denying it doesn't have the midrange shove of a turbocharged engine. However it is also likely to avoid all the reliability issues turbocharged cars can suffer from as they age. Mazda's normally aspirated petrols have a great reputation for longevity.

I like the handling and ride balance, not to firm but still fun with more feel from the steering than you get with most electronic systems these days. The excellent gearchange adds to an all round pleasant driving experience in my opinion and I've bought sold and owned loads of older 3's 6's and MX5's with older generations of Mazda's petrol engines without one single failure or problem to date. Safe to say I'm a fan. But the styling is I admit a bit bland and visibility is flawed but not as bad as the Civic which can be difficult to see out the rear. A problem with many modern designs sadly.
Help choosing the right car please - SLO76
From what you're saying your budget is around £11,000 which is plenty to get a nice late model 1.8 TI or similar. There's little goes wrong with them and it'll be much quicker than your 1.4 but still be capable of over 40mpg easy enough.

The best cars are at Honda dealers, yes they cost a bit more but you'll generally get more for your trade in which as it happens is worth between £4-£4.5k trade and get a better car with an approved warranty and full dealer history. You might get a few hundred quid more selling privately but then you'll have the hassle of selling it. 99% of the people who come to view won't be insured to drive it despite what they tell you and you'll be without a car until you pick up your new one or vice versa be stuck with two cars and two running insurance policies. It really isn't worth the bother. You could approach other local dealers to see if they'll buy it, many operate a we buy any car style stock buying system and if you get the same or maybe say £100 more then you should be able to negotiate at least £300 off the new car but it is all a bit of a hassle.

All deals are negotiable so don't accept the first trade in offer, always walk away then phone up later (even if you desperately want the car) and offer them a deal at £200-£300 less than they wanted to change. You'll at least get some of the difference if not all of it and it saves monkeying around trying to sell privately.

Personally I'd have a 1.8 SE or EX rather than the harder riding TI or Sport models but it's down to personal choice, I doubt you'll go wrong either way.

Help choosing the right car please - pd

I think the flat spot on the Mazda is exactly where the revs are in top on most of the combined cycle - in other words it has a particular map to get good CO2 and MPG figueres on the test.

The EU combined is 55mpg which you wouldn't get out of it if you pushed it off a cliff.

For a modern car I thought it demanded quite a lot to drive smoothly in low speed traffic. It isn't alone in this btw.


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