SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - chesterfieldhouse

l've had the Seat now for near on 12 years. Been a fantasic vehicle & the PD diesal engine is still going strong, coming up to 300K. However, the rest of the car is starting to show its age & come next spring it will be time for a change.

l know these things are subjective, though l would be glad of peoples opinions & recommendations as to a replacement. It will have to be used, SUV (wife would prefer the style & higher stance, though no off road ability needed) & with enough room in the boot for a couple of dogs. Mileage covered is now only around 8 - 10K per annum l have a budget of between 6 - 8K (perhaps a little more for the right vehicle)

Personally, l would like an X5 3 litre diesal, though would not pay £520 road tax after a 55 plate & l know running costs are high. l'm also aware of the swirl flaps issue & the debate over changing gear box oil. The other alternative l like is the Honda CR-V 2.2, though again l have heard of problems with gear change/flywheels etc.

Lastly, can l make a case for an estate?

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76
One of the last cars I'd recommend on a limited budget (for a big SUV) would be a BMW X5 diesel. These are complex cars which cost the guts of £50k new and they'll have running costs and parts prices in line with that new price and not the used supermini budget you're talking about. You either need to put more money into this or you need to reign in your ideas if you want reliable cost effective motoring.

The CRV is a good option but yes the diesels are prone to clutch issues plus it's not uncommon to encounter turbo failure, injector problems or timing chain issues on cars that have been neglected or serviced using the wrong oil. The 2.0 petrol is however nearly indestructible if it's seen regular oil changes.The auto is smooth and it has plenty of room inside but as with most SUV's in this class it has a slightly bouncy ride. Not the worst by any means but try one before you buy.

I'd favour the petrol over diesel at this money and mileage again unless you really need the extra overtaking or towing urge. The 2.2 CDTi has no DPF but the later 2.2 DTEC has one if you must have derv. The Mk IV 1.6 DTEC is available from around £11k and with 2wd it will do a genuine 55-60mpg day to day and pulls surprisingly well plus it's less likely to suffer DPF issues as this engine was designed with this technology in mind while it was an afterthought on the 2.2.

A petrol driven estate such as a Toyota Avensis or an SUV like the Mazda 5 would be worth consideration too. Don't touch the Mazda with the 1.6 diesel though!

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - Manatee

Is the Renault 1.5DCI any good SLO76? The OP would get a 5 years newer Dacia Duster for is budget than a similar priced CRV.

A pal of mine ran one for 3 years and was pleased with it, although I note he now has a new Forester - but probably at twice the price.

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76

Is the Renault 1.5DCI any good SLO76? The OP would get a 5 years newer Dacia Duster for is budget than a similar priced CRV.

A pal of mine ran one for 3 years and was pleased with it, although I note he now has a new Forester - but probably at twice the price.

One of Renault's better efforts. Regular oil changes and change the timing belt and water pump at 5yrs or 70k and they're pretty robust things. It's a good budget offering but early Indian built cars suffer from corrosion and I can't see someone thinking of a BM X5 wanting one.
SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - Manatee

I can't see someone thinking of a BM X5 wanting one.

It crossed my mind. But haven't we all contemplated the £10,000 Bentley and then gone and bought something sensible?

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76
"It crossed my mind. But haven't we all contemplated the £10,000 Bentley and then gone and bought something sensible?"

It's often tempting when you see the luxury £6k or so can buy but it's a risky game, not for amateurs or the risk averse.

Edited by SLO76 on 12/09/2017 at 23:07

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - RobJP

As SLO says, really. Buying a £50k new price car at 13+ years old (to get under the £500+ car tax bracket) is asking for trouble and big bills.

In addition, when they were new they did, at best, 30mpg. The tyres are ruinously expensive (think £250+ a corner unless you go for cheap chinese ditchfinders), servicing isn't cheap, insurance will probably be four or five times what you are currently paying, and it'll probably need constant repairs. Electronics aren't a particularly strong point, and they are Euro 3 or Euro 4 on emissions - which means they'll be getting banned from cities in the next 2-3 years, which means the value of them will plummet even further.

You might as well take your £6-8k outside and set fire to it.

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - chesterfieldhouse

Thank you for the response so far.

As you have commented, l like the idea of a big expensive lazy 3 litre diesel, though l accept it is risky & really asking for bill bills; not least for those big fat tyres.

I like driving diesels hence, does the auto CRV have the same clutch problems as the manual?

Again, any alternatives to the Honda; in terms of an SUV?

Or (l know l'm coming back to BMW's here) how does the 5 series tourer stack up? Same issues?

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76
"I like driving diesels hence, does the auto CRV have the same clutch problems as the manual?"

No, the auto is pretty robust and is a conventional torque converter box. The only worry is whether it's been over-exerted by towing something too heavy for it. It eliminates the slightly balky gearchange the manual is often known for and also removes any fear of DMF failure. Economy suffers however and it's only the later DPF equipped DTEC engine that has an auto option which means you'll almost certainly run into DPF issues with your low usage.

Buy the best you can afford upfront and look for a full Honda service history including any scheduled gearbox oil changes. The petrol is less of a worry and can live with a bit of neglect, it also puts less pressure on the gearbox and torque converter.

There's good demand for nice examples and the auto does add value here. It's a lazy big car and suits it.

Edited by SLO76 on 13/09/2017 at 11:28

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - RobJP

One thing to remember (especially regarding cars like the 5 series, X5, etc)

The cost of repairing and maintaining a car is relative to the price of the car when new, NOT the price you paid for it.

So buy a £5k car that cost £50k brand new, and the maintenance and repair bills will be those of a £50k car, not a £5k car.

So the only real question is this : can you afford to run and repair a car like a 530d, which cost the thick end of £40k when new, and will now now heavily worn out ?

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76

One thing to remember (especially regarding cars like the 5 series, X5, etc)

The cost of repairing and maintaining a car is relative to the price of the car when new, NOT the price you paid for it.

So buy a £5k car that cost £50k brand new, and the maintenance and repair bills will be those of a £50k car, not a £5k car.

So the only real question is this : can you afford to run and repair a car like a 530d, which cost the thick end of £40k when new, and will now now heavily worn out ?

Agree totally. These are costly and complex cars that despite the prestige image and price tag are actually less reliable than mainstream brands over the longterm. I wouldn't recommend a BMW diesel at this sort of money.
SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - chesterfieldhouse

In terms of the X5 etc, l get the message your saying.

Any (diesel) alternatives, apart from the Mazda; for an SUV?

Freelander 2 maybe?

Just that petrol SUV's will not be that ecomomical to run.

Or maybe as a contributor stated, look at a Dacia.

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76
Some alternative examples...

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The RAV4 is also a good car too but the diesel and auto together are only available with the 2.2 which isn't Toyota's finest effort. The petrol is robust but space isn't that great in the boot.

Would a large hatchback be an option? It would certainly widen the selection.

I'd advise against anything with an automated manual transmission such as VW's DSG, Ford's Powershift or Toyota's MMT. They're unreliable, complex and costly to repair when they inevitably do go haywire.





Edited by SLO76 on 13/09/2017 at 12:30

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - chesterfieldhouse

SLO76 - thank you for that.

Large hatch would not lend itself to the dog(s) situation.

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - chesterfieldhouse

So a manual Rav 4 diesel is a consideration?

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76

So a manual Rav 4 diesel is a consideration?

The 2.0 D4D is usually fine if it has a full service record again with someone who really knows them. Not a fast fit chain or dodgy backstreet Joe.
SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76

SLO76 - thank you for that.

Large hatch would not lend itself to the dog(s) situation.

I've used them over the years for excitable Alsatian and Lab/Lurcher cross best pal and they've been fine. Mondeo and Mazda 6 have massive boots. An estate is the best option certainly as the SUV's are a bit high for older dogs to clamber into. We've currently got a CRV though the intention is to replace with a large petrol estate next year. Mazda 6 or Avensis. The Mazda 5 is a particularly useful big family wagon and there's loads of boot space with the rearmost two seats folded.

Edited by SLO76 on 13/09/2017 at 13:33

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - chesterfieldhouse

OK gotcha, l'll have a look at those.

l know what you mean, the dogs are getting older (coming up to 6 & 7) so the height SUV issue is a consideration.

l must admit l would like an estate, as good ones will be just llike driving a saloon.

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - pd

An automatic 2.0 petrol CR-V will come as a bit of a shock on the fuel consumption front after a 1.9D PD Alhambra.

The official figure is 34mpg but in practice in mixed dirving this can easily end up in the mid-20s or below.

The 2012 on model has a newer engine and is a fair bit better.

SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - SLO76
"The 2012 on model has a newer engine and is a fair bit better."

It's an updated version of the same engine but low resistance tyres, better aerodynamics, different gearing and the option of 2wd dramatically improve economy. Sadly the auto is only available with 4wd however, diesel or petrol.
SEAT Alhambra 1.9 2001 - Time to Change - Avant

Looking at the (justified) pro-Honda thoughts above, and the advantages of an estate for the dogs, I suggest you put a Honda Accord Tourer on the shortlist. There should be plenty, petrol or diesel, within budget.

Also remember that if a diesel engine goes wrong, the extra expense of repairing it wipes out any fuel saving you might have made. With your mileage and budget, it would be a petrol Accord Tourer for me, or a petrol Mazda 6 estate.

 

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