BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - arkee

Hi All,

My alfa 147 is starting to pack itself (damn thing is eating up the suspension components for lunch), so am starting to look at buying another motorway horse to lug me around.

I really miss the feel of driving an FR car, so the only default seems to be a BMW 320D as they seem to be under £3k for an 06' plate.

Problem is I have never owned a BMW before and know sod all about their reliability. Anybody have any other suggestions? On a real tight budget :O

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - RobJP

Buying ANY 'premium' or 'luxury' brand on a tight budget is a recipe for disaster and more bills.

If you spend all your money on a car, and it then needs another £1k to fix something in a couplde of months, you'll be left with no way of getting about - or getting a short-term loan and all the finance costs involved there.

Far better to be realistic and get something like a Mondeo for £2-2.5k. You'll get a newer, hopefully less worn-out car, and will therefore probably need to spend less on keeping it on the road.

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - arkee

let's say i got 3k now but I should have 1k to shell out for the rest of the years maintenance... I guess I would just have to stick to FF cars.. a Civic maybe?

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - RobJP

Civics are generally reliable - especially in petrol, manual versions.

Lots of manufacturers have had problems with emission control equipment on diesels - EGR valve failures, DPFs get blocked up over time and need expensive replacement. As such, what should be in a considerable part of your thinking is what annual mileage you do, and what sort of mileage (town and short trips, plenty of motorway runs, etc).

But if you're buying cheap, then buying reliable and avoiding problems should really be the first things on the list. So Toyota or Honda, petrol and manual, that gives you the best chances of avoiding problems, and you also tend to get a newer car with lower mileage for your budget.

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - corax

Lexus IS 250 petrol is very good and a far superior drive to the diesel. Very reliable and well engineered but thirsty.

Diesels were prone to failure and the gear ratios are all wrong.

BMW's are heavy on their suspension components too. Rear springs break and track control arm and rear trailing arm bushes wear.

If I was on a tight budget I would not buy a cheap BMW, you will need a good bit left in the kitty for components that will fail as they get older, suspension and electrical.

Edited by corax on 28/03/2017 at 14:35

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - SLO76
Both the 320D and the Lexus 2.2 diesel are known for engine problems and are best avoided even if you had three times this budget.

At under £3k I'd advise sticking with petrol and avoiding premium brands. Honda Civic is a good call especially with the economical and strong 1800 VTEC petrol. The diesels suffer from a number of common maladies which will almost certainly wipe out any fuel saving over your ownership. Though it certainly is a quicker engine point to point with bags of low speed pull.

The Mazda 3 is another good bet. Great reliability, great to drive and the 2.0 Sport is no dearer used than a run of the mill 1.6. Avoid the diesels like the plague though. The 1.6 PSA diesel is a nightmare.

The Ford Focus is another great car at this money. £3k will get you a tidy facelifted Mk II and stick to the petrol engines and you're getting Japanese reliability with Fords excellent chassis dynamics. Same counts for the Mazda 3 which shares the same basic design. The 1.6 petrol is of Yamaha design and is sweet revving and reliable but needs a timing belt at 8yrs or 100k and the 1.8 is a Mazda L Series which is chain driven and pretty bulletproof.

These ordinary looking motors might not excite you to look at but drive them and you'll find they're all great fun to hustle down a twisty B road, particularly the Ford and Mazda.

Leave the premium rwd diesel cars until your budget can buy you a good one.

Edited by SLO76 on 28/03/2017 at 15:01

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - madf

Younger son has a BMW 3 series..I do NO diy on it.

New front brakes plus pads at independent? £900.

If you are on a budget a BMW is madness.

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - phil_z70

"New front brakes plus pads at independent? £900."

What a total rip off

I can get everything to do the front brakes for mine (SE) model including both calipers for approx £310 after returning the old ones, pagid brand too from a popular parts company

A couple of steady hours and they would be sorted, if I paid a garage put them on instead maybe a extra £100 tops

I would not recommend buying or trying to run a BMW on a tight budget, I have one and it is a great motor

Some costs, Auto box service £450, replacing both thermostats £100 just for the parts, 4 glow plugs & controller approx £100, I do a lot of my own work which saves a fortune on labour

Worst job I have done on it was the fuel tank breather pipe, the part was £50 !! and it took all day to do, centre console out, exhaust off, propshaft off, handbrake assembly off, fuel tank off, you get the idea

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - arkee

Thanks a lot guys for pushing me away from buying a BMW, by the sounds of it it would have drained whatever money I have left in the bank. I'm just thinking that maybe I need to move house so I don't have to do a daily 100 mile commute. I guess it all balances out in the end.

I think I might stick to a Civic or a Fiesta... but I am still in a dilemma regarding Petrol vs Diesel :D

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - SLO76

Thanks a lot guys for pushing me away from buying a BMW, by the sounds of it it would have drained whatever money I have left in the bank. I'm just thinking that maybe I need to move house so I don't have to do a daily 100 mile commute. I guess it all balances out in the end.

I think I might stick to a Civic or a Fiesta... but I am still in a dilemma regarding Petrol vs Diesel :D

Diesel is much more likely to go wrong simply because of the added complexity and the majority of what would fit your budget would be high mileage and in excess of 10yrs old. If you must go Diesel due to that huge commute then avoid anything with a DPF and keep it as simple as possible. Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDi, Skoda Fabia/Octavia 1.9 TDi, Polo 1.4/1.9 TDi, Ford Fiesta Mk V 1.4 TDCi, Astra 1.7 (Isuzu unit) even an older pre 2006 Civic 1.7 diesel (again Isuzu) would be worth looking at but you're better buying an older car which has been properly maintained than a neglected newer model. Better yet, move closer to your work.
BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - RobJP

New front brakes plus pads at independent? £900.

I fail to understand how it can be that expensive.

The price - if you've got the 'MSport brake pack' - for replacing front pads and discs is about £700-800 at a BMW dealer.

If he's paying more than that at an independent he's an idiot.

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - RaineMan

New front brakes plus pads at independent? £900.

I fail to understand how it can be that expensive.

The price - if you've got the 'MSport brake pack' - for replacing front pads and discs is about £700-800 at a BMW dealer.

If he's paying more than that at an independent he's an idiot.

I would like to see the itemised bill. A couple of years ago I heard of an inflated bill but it turned out in included a brake pipe and track rod ends!

BMW 320D? Lexus IS220? - RWD commuter car for under £3000 - pd

Lexus IS is a good choice but go petrol, not diesel. If you can't afford the fuel of the petrol buy something else.

The IS diesel isn't all that nice to drive IMO and the 2.2 has a reputation for eating headgaskets.

A nice IS250 with some toys is far better. At the end of the day it is a petrol Toyota which is what a lot of people are suggesting.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car