Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Alexc20

Hello everybody, I'm Alex, I want to buy a car and I come to you for advice.

I'am stuck between choosing a car from these two:

Vectra 2008, 1.8 petrol(100000 miles) 1000 pounds

Corsa 2008 1.3 cdti (50000 miles) 1800 pounds

I know they are pretty different but I like them both. The Vectra is a bit more used but it's more practical due to it's size and the Corsa is a bit cheaper to insure and better for driving around the city (I live in Leeds).

Any advice? Thank you.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Stumblebum

At this age, I would also consider number of owners, service history, how much MOT is left etc. You also need to have some money left over to replace any consumables etc. Assume new tyres, brakes in the next few months.

Given the hills in Leeds, I'd also want to know that the clutch is ok.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
Wouldn't touch either of them. The Fiat Diesel engine in the Corsa is notoriously fragile and the 1.8 VVT unit in the Vectra is known for VVT pulley failure which can throw the timing belt. It starts with a notable rattle on start up so you need to hear it starting from cold.

I recently had this on a mint 41,000 mile Astra 1.8 VVT I sold and it cost me £577 to replace both pulleys, the timing belt, tensioner and water pump and that was at a discounted rate Joe Public would struggle to match. This generation of Vectra is rapidly disappearing from our roads thanks to this issue and a catalogue of costly problems on the Fiat engines 1.9 diesel version.

Look instead at a 1.6 Mazda 3, 6 1.8/2.0, Astra 1.6, Focus 1.6/1.8, Toyota Corolla, Avensis all with petrol engines only at this money. Diesels are complex and will almost certainly go catastrophically wrong at this price level.
Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - pd

Out of those two I'd take the Vectra if it doesn't rattle at cold start (most do!) as explained above:

(a) It is cheaper so less money down the drain if/when it packs up.

(b) It hasn't (if memory servers me) got the 6-speed M32 gearbox the Corsa has which is a timebomb.

(c) Hasn't got the 1.3 diesel which can be a right pain if/when it plays up.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Alexc20

ok, thank for the answers, but got another competitor in the race. Found a Passat S 2.0 TDI, 140 bhp, DSG gear box, 2007 for 1800 pounds. I have heard nice things about the gear box and the Passat is a well known reliable car. Should I go for it?

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
Noooooooo!!!!
Stop, halt right where you are. Do not buy a Passat 2.0 TDi VAG of this vintage never mind one with the notoriously troublesome DSG box. This wasn't a good engine and these are murder for problems with the daft electronic parking brake.

You really need to stop and think.

Forget any complex turbo diesels or automated manual gearboxes like VW's DSG. These are hugely complex and prone to expensive problems. You need to stick to a simple petrol engined manual or traditional torque converter auto.

Keep it simple!

£2k will get you a nice petrol Toyota Corolla/Avensis, Honda Accord, Mazda 3/6, Ford Focus or Astra. scale your ambitions down a bit.

Edited by SLO76 on 06/04/2017 at 11:26

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - pd

There is no such thing as a cheap DSG equipped car. I'm guessing it has serious miles at that price so if you do you need to check very, very carefully it works correctly because if there is anything wrong with it you will be calling a scrap yard, not a garage.

I wouldn't say the Passat is a particularly reliable car. Well known, yes, but has a lot of common problems.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Alexc20

Ok, so from where I'm standing now I should go for the Vectra. Thing is I do not have the time to look for a lot of cars and these ones are all from the same guy (someone I know) so I am going to have to choose from one of them. He is going to show me a Seat Leon today wich I think has the same DSG gear box.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - pd

If you do go for the Vectra then take the advice here and listen to it when it hasn't been started for a while (a few hours).

Pop the bonnet and then start it up - listen for a rattle lasting 2-5 seconds after start from the top of the engine which will probably then quickly go away. If there is a rattle there then I'd probably leave it.

Check the oil looks clean as well. The engines in these do not take to lack of sevicing.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Alexc20

Because it's only 1000 I guess I could service it and change the timing belt kit just to make sure it's fine. I listened to the engine and it sounds fine, smooth and pretty silent. The clutch has also recently been changed.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76

Because it's only 1000 I guess I could service it and change the timing belt kit just to make sure it's fine. I listened to the engine and it sounds fine, smooth and pretty silent. The clutch has also recently been changed.

Changing the belt won't stop the VVT pulleys going wrong which can then throw the belt. If you must have this then get it as cheap as possible then run it til it dies. I'd do Oil and filter if it's not been done in a while but it's not a car to buy with a longterm view. It will go wrong. As mentioned above, you need to hear it start from dead cold. Tell him you want to do this then when you turn up to look at it first thing you do is pop the bonnet and stick your hand on top of the engine, if there's any heat there then he's ignored your wishes because it's rattling on startup or has trouble turning over.

Edited by SLO76 on 06/04/2017 at 12:20

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
If you give me your post code I'll shortlist a few cars you should look at near you. If this dealer is offering you stuff like this then he doesn't know what he's doing. The Vectra is the least likely to go wrong of this list of very poor options but that doesn't mean it's a wise choice. Take a day or two to go looking instead of panic buying a heap of junk and I'd give your friends advice a miss he's going to lead you into a costly mistake.

Edited by SLO76 on 06/04/2017 at 11:58

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Alexc20

I live in LS11

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
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Plenty of options in your area, this is just a few that caught my eye. Without laying eyes on them I can't directly recommend any of them but I'd certainly be viewing some of these instead of buying anything you've currently shortlisted.









Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
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Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Alexc20

As I said, most of them are pretty far from me and I need the time to go and check them out. They are nice cars but I still think that for 1000 pound the Vectra would do it's job. I aslo have the option to go to private sellers but no guarantees there. i'm kind of in the same place as I started...

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Engineer Andy
Noooooooo!!!! Stop, halt right where you are. Do not buy a Passat 2.0 TDi VAG of this vintage never mind one with the notoriously troublesome DSG box. This wasn't a good engine and these are murder for problems with the daft electronic parking brake. You really need to stop and think. Forget any complex turbo diesels or automated manual gearboxes like VW's DSG. These are hugely complex and prone to expensive problems. You need to stick to a simple petrol engined manual or traditional torque converter auto. Keep it simple! £2k will get you a nice petrol Toyota Corolla/Avensis, Honda Accord, Mazda 3/6, Ford Focus or Astra. scale your ambitions down a bit.

We seem to have had a LOT of younger and/or (how shall I put it nicely) naive drivers on the forum of late, all thinking that they can buy either flashy or (often) complex diesel older cars for peanuts and they'll run and run without a hitch.

After all the time said people have spent posting back and forth, not taking sage advice from yourself and other experienced BRs, asking whether some flashy German barge or complex diesel (quite often for urban use well under 20,000 mile pa) is good (because they believe the sales hype), don't you get fed up?

I'm sorely getting tempted (if I can be bothered any more - many a time now I am ending up doing a 'Picard facepalm' - you are very patient with your multiple replies of wisdom) to either copy and paste a standard response (similar to yours) or just tell them to read the other similar threads and car reviews on this website, especially the 'good and bad' sections. Doing so will not waste theirs and our time trying (often in vain over several days) to convince them that a (for example) 10yo Beemer or VW diesel DSG is not the way to go if yo do 5000 miles a year in town and can only afford £500 quid a year on running costs excluding fuel.

I bet dealers just love these mugs!

Edited by Engineer Andy on 06/04/2017 at 18:18

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
"We seem to have had a LOT of younger and/or (how shall I put it nicely) naive drivers on the forum of late, all thinking that they can buy either flashy or (often) complex diesel older cars for peanuts and they'll run and run without a hitch.

After all the time said people have spent posting back and forth, not taking sage advice from yourself and other experienced BRs, asking whether some flashy German barge or complex diesel (quite often for urban use well under 20,000 mile pa) is good (because they believe the sales hype), don't you get fed up?

I'm sorely getting tempted (if I can be bothered any more - many a time now I am ending up doing a 'Picard facepalm' - you are very patient with your multiple replies of wisdom) to either copy and paste a standard response (similar to yours) or just tell them to read the other similar threads and car reviews on this website, especially the 'good and bad' sections. Doing so will not waste theirs and our time trying (often in vain over several days) to convince them that a (for example) 10yo Beemer or VW diesel DSG is not the way to go if yo do 5000 miles a year in town and can only afford £500 quid a year on running costs excluding fuel.

I bet dealers just love these mugs!"

I've all too often seen the tearful aftermath of the unwise purchases you're talking about Andy. Young families left without transport and an ill advised finance agreement with years left to pay on a car that's fit only for the scrapyard. The only time anyone should be risking anything complex or with a history of known faults at this money would be if they're flush enough to be able to bin it if anything major goes wrong.

I hate to see people waste their money but some you just can't help and a lesson in how not to do it is sadly the only road to wisdom.
Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Slow Eddie

Thing is, SLO, as far as I can see you sometimes get warmly thanked for your advice, but as often as not the response seems to be vague puzzlement! For what it's worth, can I just say that it's your contributions here that have drawn me back to reading the forum, after some years away from it.

Being no longer young, though as enduringly naive as anybody else, I'm now able to set my sights on buying nearly-new rather than banger, but I've totally taken to heart the watchwords of Japanese and petrol/hybrid. When I'm ready to buy, maybe I'll come back here for more specific advice...

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
Much appreciated Eddie, glad there's someone reading my ramblings with interest. I'm oft accused of boring people to death with motoring related chat at home and down the pub so this forum was a big find for me and long suffering friends and family.
Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - pd

The reality is no one wants "a reliable car". Reliability does not sell. No one wants advice on buying a reliable car.

What 99.9% buyers want is someone to tell them they car they *want* for a whole host of other reasons is the best possible buy and the one they should go for, Do not just think this is "young" buyers either - it applies to everyone.

If decent, boring and reliable sold Nissan would have conquered the market with the Almera. They didn't - it was a massive flop so much so they left the segment.

VAG cars are terrible - loads of fundamental design faults they never admit to and put right. The result: largest manufacturer in Europe, huge profits and very good residuals.

Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - SLO76
"What 99.9% buyers want is someone to tell them they car they *want* for a whole host of other reasons is the best possible buy and the one they should go for, Do not just think this is "young" buyers either - it applies to everyone."

True. I tried in vain to talk (50yr old) future brother in law out of buying a diesel BMW 1 series with daft wheels and M Sport (bricks instead of springs) suspension kit a couple of years back with zero success. After a month of faults and fights with the dealer they agreed to swap it and he finally asked my opinion on what would suit for his needs. The low mileage Isuzu engined 1.7 Astra GTC he accepted has never caughed once.
Vectra 2008 Vs Corsa 2008 - Engineer Andy

The reality is no one wants "a reliable car". Reliability does not sell. No one wants advice on buying a reliable car.

What 99.9% buyers want is someone to tell them they car they *want* for a whole host of other reasons is the best possible buy and the one they should go for, Do not just think this is "young" buyers either - it applies to everyone.

If decent, boring and reliable sold Nissan would have conquered the market with the Almera. They didn't - it was a massive flop so much so they left the segment.

VAG cars are terrible - loads of fundamental design faults they never admit to and put right. The result: largest manufacturer in Europe, huge profits and very good residuals.

The problem is that too many people, including many designers and execs in the motor, think that reliable cars and ones that are stylish, good handling/reasonably quick (but comfortable), decently equipped at a reasonable price are mutually exclusive.

I don't believe that is the case, as (I know I'm biased as I own one) Mazda generally (not with their diesels - they have some way to go there) have demonstrated in the last decade. Other Far Eastern makes are more hit and miss on that score, often delivering on all but them except the decent driving experience (partly as many cater to [whether they do so deliberately or not] retired people who may not want anything more than a solid A to B car). For the petrol-engined cars, I think Mazdas are a good compromise, not perfect, but good, especially for those people like me who have high expectations for reliability (especially over the long term).

In my view, too many European manufacturers spend too high a percentage of their development budgets on the look of their cars (including marketing) - it may be that many people (as you've said) get suckered into buying them as a result, but events such as dieselgate and major ongoing reliability and after-sales issues (which are being more widely reported in the media as a result of dieselgate) is starting, albeit slowly, to change people's minds.

Yes - I have 'minimum standards' for the looks (inside and out) of cars when I'm looking to buy, but all that does is make me delay my buying decision if nothing I like is available, rather than push me into something great looking but (in my opinion) poorly engineered and/or with poor after-sales support. This is a case in point at present - I was looking for a new car to replace my 11yo Mazda3, but wasn't sure what to get, so initially delayed buying - no problem as (with a little TLC/£££ every now and then) my car will hopefully keep going for a while. Glad I did, as I decided to jack in my career after getting fed up, so money's a bit tight for the next while while I decide what to do.

All too often, people don't do their homework when looking to purchase a car, which still amazes me, considering, other than buying a home, its the next largest purchase (including ongoing costs) people are ever likely to make. Seeing how many people choose heart solely over head, I'm not really surprised how we as a nation get ourselves into so much trouble financially these days - we spend and worry about the consequences later on when the proverbial hits the fan.

The problem is that its good for some people to learn a painful lesson by failing, but all too often others think (when they read about such things) that they are too smart enough for that sort of thing to happen to them. I just get fed up repeating the same advice (as SLO76 patiently does a lot) again and again, only for the next person to ask exactly the same questions again (wanting validation for their daft choice rather than actual advice) without bothering to look up similar advice from before and reviews.

Sorry for the rant - it is a Friday.

Edited by Engineer Andy on 07/04/2017 at 12:59

 

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