A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
I'm not talking about the kind of exotica most of us would buy in the event of a lottery win but the kind of motor a salesman just loves to sell. That easy sale that generates cash for your wallet but almost certainly won't generate any post sale hassle for seller or buyer alike. The sort of car you can sell with absolute confidence and know that the buyer will have nothing to complain about and is likely to praise you for your efforts and return to you when they want to buy another.

It's worth knowing the dealers opinion on the best cars to sell as they are in general the best cars to buy.

My list of recent used sales favourites are as follows and in no particular order and in assumption of having been well maintained.

Honda Civic petrol
Honda Jazz (excluding Mk I CVT & Mk II i-shift)
Honda Accord petrol
Mazda 2 petrol
Mazda 3 petrol
Mazda 6 petrol
Ford Focus Mk II 1.6/1.8/2.0 petrol
Toyota Yaris 1.33 petrol
Toyota Auris 1.33/1.6 petrol
Toyota Corolla 1.4/1.6 petrol
Suzuki Swift petrol

I've to date never sold one example of any of the above that has caused any real trouble beyond ordinary wear and tear items for their next owner. Probably cursed myself but the reality of buying a used car on a budget is that Japanese normally asperated petrol engines are by far the least likely to go wrong in the longterm and make the best used buys.

Sadly too many have delusions of grandeur and seek to buy prestige and complex turbocharged performance cars on a basic budget. We often see them on here seeking people to back up their ideas in the pretence that they're after genuine advice then we all too often see the results in the technical and legal threads.

Keep it simple folks!



Edited by SLO76 on 23/10/2017 at 12:19

A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet

I'll second these well sorted Japanese cars in particular, but with reservations about the Mazdas due to rust issues.

What is interesting is that you haven't included Avensis, is it the electric parking brake or just not common enough in the used market or are you wary of the engines?

Also why no Korean cars...whilst in the tyre bay getting some new tyres on my lorry i had a poke nose around a 61 plate Kia Ceed that was in for brake discs and pads, i get on well with the lads there (always make the teas) and can wander freely about within reason, i was rather surprised at how much subframe rust there was and the lad was having trouble with the rear calipers too, can't remember exactly but at least one of the caliper bolts went through the subframe and was, as bad as the usual VW, siezed solid in the strut making the job a right pigs ear.

Obviously first owners don't help themselves by neglecting their cars so much (and both Hondas and Toyotas can rust their subframes/suspensions just as badly if neglected) but are the Korean cars not standing the test of time quite as well as the ones you list?

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
"What is interesting is that you haven't included Avensis, is it the electric parking brake or just not common enough in the used market or are you wary of the engines?"

The big Toyota is worthy of an honourable mention as I've never had any bother with any of the Mk I's and Mk II's I've sold, however it's fairly common for the 1.8 VVT to burn a bit of oil, some excessively so apparently though I've never personally encountered it other than on a Celica VVT I flogged once with heavy miles up and the Mk III has that idiotic electronic parking brake that goes wrong on every make and model with such a studied device fitted, again I've not had personal experience of this failing but plenty of others have. The late model diesels being fitted with BMW's N47 motor are a worry and the 2.2 D4-D is known for problems too so all things Avensis are not always rosy.

"Also why no Korean cars..."

Fair point, I should've included the Kia Picanto, Mk II/III Rio and Hyundai i10/i20/i30 in that list but with the proviso that front crossmember and subframe rot is notably worse than on Japanese and European rivals. Get a solid example and they're usually very robust but I find cars with heavy miles suffer the worst from this even though they've given no mechanical trouble. They tend to be a harder sell later on than an equivalent Ford, Honda or Mazda so owners often take the huff when they come to part ex for something else and you offer them peanuts.

Edited by SLO76 on 23/10/2017 at 13:22

A salesman's favourite cars. - Steveieb

Conversely what are a salesmans worst fears when he is asked to take one in as a trade in or is faced with selling one already on the forecourt ?

Anything French,? anything Italian ? in particular Alfa Romeo ?

A salesman's favourite cars. - pd

Conversely what are a salesmans worst fears when he is asked to take one in as a trade in or is faced with selling one already on the forecourt ?

Anything French,? anything Italian ? in particular Alfa Romeo ?

I get 10x more grief from the German stuff than the French. I find PSA stuff generally very good. They have the usual modern cars things on some such as rattling flywheels etc. but are usually decent enough apart from some odd models. Renaults were a disaster 10 years ago but the more recent stuff, thus far, is proving to be OK - not brilliant but OK.

The manufacturer which gives me by far and way the most grief is VAG. I could literally write a book on the number of crap features and stupid design faults on them they simply refuse to fix or alter. They're nice cars to drive and OK when new(ish) but once they get beyond 5 years old (or sometimes less) they are a flipin' nightmare. BMW are not a lot better but I don't, on the whole, find Mercedes too bad as long as they have been looked after.

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
"Conversely what are a salesmans worst fears when he is asked to take one in as a trade in or is faced with selling one already on the forecourt ?

Anything French,? anything Italian ? in particular Alfa Romeo ?"

Renault and Alfa are the worst from past experience, the bigger and more complex the worse and buyers will only buy them if they're stupidly cheap. Shame really as Renault was doing well in the 90's with the origional Clio/Megan's and Laguna all decently reliable. BMW feature too and like Renault and Alfa later cars have too much gadgetry and less focus on simple robust mechanicals. BM's are too complex and usually poorly maintained by owners who hugely underestimate the cost involved in maintaining a prestige model plus they're often driven hard.

Fiats can be ok, particularly smaller petrol models like the 1.1/1.2 Panda and 500 which are generally as good as any mainstream car these days. Again the higher the spec the more likely it'll cause grief as the Italians like the French can't do electronics to save themselves.

Include in that list anything that's been driven and messed around with by the boy/girl racer fraternity. Our eyes always roll at the sight of one entering the yard as you know you'll never be able to deal with them and they're massively overinflated valuation expectations. Modified cars are almost always ruined, they should be avoided like the plague and will be valued as such by dealers much to the annoyance of the owner who spent thousands making it worse than it was new.

Despite the reputation for problems modern VAG products seem to have I've never really had much bother. Minor electrical issues, sticking rear brakes and broken door locks are very common and that daft 4yr timing belt interval is a costly factor in any i take in as they're almost always well overdue and I won't retail a car that is in that position, even with a trade-in I'll inform the buyer and offer to arrange doing it for a price. I tend to avoid 06 onward Passats largely because of that daft electronic parking brake however and hear many other dealers moaning about them.

Edited by SLO76 on 23/10/2017 at 13:51

A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet

SLO your note about all makes and models with electric parking brake going wrong has just reafirmed my view, i was in danger of flagging :-)

I've been keeping an eye on Outbacks, SWMBO's 52 plate H6 is still going strong and shows no sign of failing yet but its obvious that the first major engine or transmission failure that can't be fixed with used parts or failly quickly if stripping required is going to write the thing off so i've been keeping an eye on the usual sources and am quite prepared to cut its life short if the right vehicle comes up, ideally another H6 but will have to be regd before Mar 06 or £500+ VED applies so no.

The 2.5 is the obvious choice then for newer cars, though will have to go newer than my usual eg 08 onwards in order to lessen the chances of head gasket problems which the earlier 2.5 has.

I note the series 4 Outback 2009/2010 on is now coming down in price, theres one on Gumtree in Essex (though car in Kent? hmm) for £6k on an 11 plate, private sale, i'd like to look the MOT history up but the seller has blanked most of the number plate out, but on the series 4 Subaru decided to saddle with a blasted EPB...why on earth did they do that, Outbacks arn't mainstream cars and fitting toys that mainstream buyers desire will never make them mainstream choices.

I'd almost decided that a Scooby EPB was likely to as reliable as any, and i would maintain the pointless thing religiously in order to help it last, but not sure if i can bring meself to risk one now after your pertinent post, pretty obvious there's a 4 figure bill lurking should EPB go badly wrong on one of those, so it looks like we'll be limiting outselves to 09 at the latest which means series 3, 03 to 09, probably just as well as the newer model also sports a CVT box instead of the near enough bombproof TC auto found in earlier Scoobs.

A salesman's favourite cars. - pd

I can live with the parking brake on Passats, they're not a big issue to fix these days. What I can't live with is the fact that any 2.0 diesel model is not unlikely to lunch it's engine and/or turbo because VAG can't design an oil pump. I wouldn't buy a petrol either as it is a lottery as to whether it will have been chopped in because it is using 2 litres of oil every 500 miles.

Only Passat from that era I woluld be OK with is a 1.9 diesel but you need to check the engine code on them as some are bad and also check carefully they turbo and clutch are not on their way out.

EPBs are here to stay and becoming the norm. You will not be able to avoid them in time. Theyr'e crap to use but most don't give any trouble and if they do can be fixed reasonably easily.

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
"EPBs are here to stay and becoming the norm. You will not be able to avoid them in time. Theyr'e crap to use but most don't give any trouble and if they do can be fixed reasonably easily."

Some new developments don't stick if they prove to be more trouble than they're worth in the longterm and I believe the EPB will be one such item. It's an answer to a question nobody ever asked. The automated manual gearbox is fast vanishing too after a decade or so of problems and costly failures Ford, Volvo, Toyota and Honda have or are about to bin them and few manufacturers favour them over a modern lightweight torque converter or CVT set up.

But I agree that the longer they exist the more experienced workshops will become in repairing and maintains them and thus issues will be less costly to deal with. It's still additional and unnecessary tech that lists adds complexity for no good reason.



Edited by SLO76 on 23/10/2017 at 14:23

A salesman's favourite cars. - pd

They're certainly pointless I quite agree.

They'll stay thought. The manual car will be dead in 10 years time anyway for most sectors. Manufacturers are being forced to move to hybrids or electric and they do not work with a manual gearbox. A parking brake will simply become something which engages when you take the key out and releases when you put it in as an additional safety hold item - it won't be used in day to day driving.

A clutch, manual gearbox and cable operated hand brake you use on hills will be dead soon and we won't be going back ot them.

Whether that is a good or bad thing and should be mourned is a different debate but they'll be gone soon as they simply won't work with the technology manufacturers are moving towards.

A salesman's favourite cars. - bolt

A clutch, manual gearbox

CVT will dissapear as well shortly on hybrids in favour of electric motors doing all the work, I read the 2018 Accord will use engine and 2 motors without the need for CVT which apparently works well

A salesman's favourite cars. - pd

A clutch, manual gearbox

CVT will dissapear as well shortly on hybrids in favour of electric motors doing all the work, I read the 2018 Accord will use engine and 2 motors without the need for CVT which apparently works well

It depends what type of hybrid it is. If it is the Toyota type where the engine directly drives the wheels in some way then some sort of gearbox will still be required.

If it is a "range extender" type where by there is an internal combustion engine but all that does is run a generator to power the electric motors and all the drive is from the electric motor(s) then as you say no gearbox will be needed.

A salesman's favourite cars. - bolt

It depends what type of hybrid it is. If it is the Toyota type where the engine directly drives the wheels in some way then some sort of gearbox will still be required.

I misread the article so appologies,

www.greencarreports.com/news/1108160_explaining-ho...o

A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet

I can't see Toyota varying their current Hybrid drivetrain from what it now is for some time to come, its proving itself too well.

A salesman's favourite cars. - bolt

I can't see Toyota varying their current Hybrid drivetrain from what it now is for some time to come, its proving itself too well.

I expect they will do to make it more efficient, in a smaller unit, which most appear to be trying to do, ie, smaller is less weight equals better fuel economy, while everyone else plays catchup- apart from those copying toyota/licencing their system

A salesman's favourite cars. - corax
so it looks like we'll be limiting outselves to 09 at the latest which means series 3, 03 to 09, probably just as well as the newer model also sports a CVT box instead of the near enough bombproof TC auto found in earlier Scoobs.

Subaru's CVT looks like it's a well engineered unit and works well by all accounts.

The new shape Outback is getting good reviews even from the press, but the late shape Forester has been withdrawn from the UK market.

Not sure what I'll replace my Forester with if it gets written off or becomes uneconomical to repair (no sign yet). I need the space for my gardening business so an MPV like a Ford Galaxy could make sense, but petrol versions are like hens teeth and I wonder about the service history of vehicles designed for hard family use. I don't want a separate van as a working vehicle.

I have to admit that the raised ground clearance and toughness of my car had been really useful in the often narrow and potholed lanes that I drive down to visit homes, making it easy to get past a vehicle. Sometimes there can be deep ruts along the side that I would have to be very careful about in a standard type car. Have thought about a Land Cruiser as they would be good as a working vehicle with enough space in the back with the rear seats slung out, but I wonder if they are just a bit too big. There seems to be a fair amount of them about at reasonable prices. An Outback is also on my radar, but spares could be harder - the Forester uses a lot of stuff based on the Impreza. I've had no problem sourcing bits.

SLO, any suggestions on salesmens favourite MPV's? Toyota Verso and nowt else I expect!

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
"SLO, any suggestions on salesmens favourite MPV's? Toyota Verso and nowt else I expect!"

For a big petrol MPV it's hard to beat the Galaxy. It does use a Mazda L series motor after all, even the 2.0 Ecoboost is effectively the same motor with a turbo bolted on. But yup big fan of the Verso or Mazda 5 if you don't need something the size of a house.

Edited by SLO76 on 23/10/2017 at 19:37

A salesman's favourite cars. - carl233

In my experience the Focus MK2 can be very rust prone, more than the MK1 from my observations. So many 2006-2007 examples around with rust on the arches and sills it cannot all be down to accident damage. Ford even added a plastic strip on revised models to protect the poorly finished sills from rusting so quickly. Also a very boring and bland car to look at compared to the original.

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76

In my experience the Focus MK2 can be very rust prone, more than the MK1 from my observations. So many 2006-2007 examples around with rust on the arches and sills it cannot all be down to accident damage. Ford even added a plastic strip on revised models to protect the poorly finished sills from rusting so quickly. Also a very boring and bland car to look at compared to the original.

Early Mk II's are now over 12yrs old and yes they do rust but in general they're much better than the first gen in this regard and the Japanese designed petrol motors are pretty much vice free if looked after. I rate the Mk II Focus, particularly the facelifted cars as one of the best budget buys on the market. They don't rot underneath in quite the same way as South Korea's finest but weak points are arches and door bottoms on cars that haven't been well looked after body wise.
A salesman's favourite cars. - carl233

Still not convinced by the MK2 Focus, I personally think the MK1 is a better car. Also the handbrake on the passenger side as Ford could not be bothered to change the tooling from the LHD cars is another drawback. The non facelift MK2 vehicles are pretty much all rusting now on the sills even low mile examples. Quite easy to find a low mile MK1 with sills that are rot free.

Edited by carl233 on 23/10/2017 at 21:20

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76

Still not convinced by the MK2 Focus, I personally think the MK1 is a better car. Also the handbrake on the passenger side as Ford could not be bothered to change the tooling from the LHD cars is another drawback. The non facelift MK2 vehicles are pretty much all rusting now on the sills even low mile examples. Quite easy to find a low mile MK1 with sills that are rot free.

I live in the West coast of Scotland and this is a region that really tests corrosion protection to the max and i rarely find a Mk II with any structural rot, it's just not in the same league as the worst and there's plenty of tidy early cars still running around my area. I find they're cheap to fix, rarely sting at Mot's and will run to huge mileages with regular servicing. Add the fact that it's the nicest small family hatch to drive by some margin and you can see why I like them. Not once have I had one returned and they have been a regular in my stock over the years. I do still love the Mk I though which was a much more distinctive car and more nimble handling thanks to its lighter weight but there's almost none left up here now.
A salesman's favourite cars. - argybargy

In my experience the Focus MK2 can be very rust prone, more than the MK1 from my observations. So many 2006-2007 examples around with rust on the arches and sills it cannot all be down to accident damage. Ford even added a plastic strip on revised models to protect the poorly finished sills from rusting so quickly. Also a very boring and bland car to look at compared to the original.

Despite a liberal smattering of minor damage during my seven years of ownership, my Focus MK 2 only ever exhibited one small area of rust, being on the front edge of a rear wheel arch which had been damaged before I got my hands on it. I had it properly repaired at a body shop and never saw rust again, so I'm surprised to hear you say that.

As for bland and boring, I think most mass produced cars of mid-Noughties vintage tended to be much of a muchness, and only recently have designers begun to show a bit more daring and flair.

A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet
Have thought about a Land Cruiser as they would be good as a working vehicle with enough space in the back with the rear seats slung out, but I wonder if they are just a bit too big. There seems to be a fair amount of them about at reasonable prices. An Outback is also on my radar, but spares could be harder - the Forester uses a lot of stuff based on the Impreza. I've had no problem sourcing bits.

The footprint of 90/120 series LC's is surprisingly small, i can put my 120 series anywhere helped by the tight turning circle, however general running around with a 3 litre Diesel coupled to a TC auto sees only just over 25mpg with a max of 30 on a run, but its surprisingly rapid and irons out Northamptonshire's third world highly overtused roads well so i'm happy enough with the overall deal.

If you don't mind a twin cab pick up i'd recommend a mk 6 Hilux 2006 on to anyone, Invincible spec not necessary the next one down HL3 will have everything you want bar sat nav, the fitted satnav was really nothing to write home about, the autobox if you want one is silkysmooth and very robust, though they appear long they are, like 90/120 series LC's, quite narrow and again the turning circle is good.

A salesman's favourite cars. - corax
The footprint of 90/120 series LC's is surprisingly small, i can put my 120 series anywhere helped by the tight turning circle, however general running around with a 3 litre Diesel coupled to a TC auto sees only just over 25mpg with a max of 30 on a run,

I don't think the Forester is much better than that. One thing to watch out for is the dreaded tax L band, as they seem to be either side of that threshold depending on model. Handy to know that they have good steering lock.

Pick up's aren't really suitable as I like all the tools under the roof, locked up and dry, I rarely carry passengers so have the seats folded most of the time for a long load space to accomodate them.

Are the injector seals the main thing to watch on LC's?

A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet
The footprint of 90/120 series LC's is surprisingly small, i can put my 120 series anywhere helped by the tight turning circle, however general running around with a 3 litre Diesel coupled to a TC auto sees only just over 25mpg with a max of 30 on a run,

I don't think the Forester is much better than that. One thing to watch out for is the dreaded tax L band, as they seem to be either side of that threshold depending on model. Handy to know that they have good steering lock.

Pick up's aren't really suitable as I like all the tools under the roof, locked up and dry, I rarely carry passengers so have the seats folded most of the time for a long load space to accomodate them.

Are the injector seals the main thing to watch on LC's?

I had a good and secure lockable hardtop on the pick up.

Indeed VED, pickups are at commercial rate, cheap, for LC its got to be regd before March 06 or £500+ and i will not pay that.

Yes 3.0 D4D's, many had copper injector seals up until about 2008, can leak causing blow by into the crankcase which eventually carbons the oil pick up starving the engine of oil, obviousy cars with poor service regimes suffer worse, its rare but don't ignore the risk.

However its not all gloom, many were changed to alumium injector seals by the dealers and many have been done outside the dealer network, its a reasonable DIY project too.

Also on 120 series, the sump drain plug is directly below the oil pick up, so if you leave it to drain overnight you can have a good look at the pick up filter to see if carbon is building up, no carbon no problem, i check every oil change, plus on 120 series there is a mini sump below the main sump, and roughly 18 x 10mm bolts will see that tiny sump removed after only removing the sump guard (6 bolts) and there is the pick up easy to remove and clean or replace if needed.

Only neglected cars should prove a problem, for all i know my seals are still copper, but i'm not going to fetch the injectors out unless there is a leak.

I put mine into the Diesel workshops a few weeks ago to have its injector codes and readings checked and if necessary was quite prepared to have a new recon set of injectors fitted in order for a long trouble free life, rather £800 today than a £8,000 engine next year, but it came back with a clean bill fo health after full diagnosis.

The main things to watch on LC's IMOr any ladder chassis vehicle is underbody rust, caused mostly by neglectful owners, and check the MOT's carefully, you do not want a vehicle that spent any length of time in Scotland cos salt.

Chassis is easy to check, its thick and only in extreme cases will it weaken rear end will suffer first, check inner sills underneath not well protected from new and suffer from dirt abrasion at each end near the wheels, check engine and fuel tank undercovers, sump guard on 120 is thin and weak, if you offroad swap it for a real one made by Asfir or ARB.

Rear axle on 120 is improved, 90 series rotted badly, both live axles, 90 series the top shocker mounts can fill with crud rot right through and break off.

Fortunately due to the height of the vehicles if you get a good one they are easy to clean, espcially if you have a 90' attachment for pressure washer, so in depth rusproofing is eay and worth it.

90 series front lower ball joints are mounted against spring pressure, silly design, if they wear badly enough (on cars offroaded for example) they can Morris 1000 style rip out, on 120 series the joints were fitted normally so this problem cannot happen.

the other problem on 90 series is gearbox oil cooler in bottom of rad, these rads can fail with age causing coolant to enter the gearbox, ruination, so be suspect of any 90 series with a new rad, might have prentative or did it fail and is being sold quick before gearbox failure, 120 series this doesn't seem to be a problem

however on 120 series there is no gearbox dipstick...Mr Toyoda WHY? its not a soft roader its meant to operate in the field...so you can't keep an easy eye on the gearbox oil level/condition, i changed all the transmission oils on mine during the summer, easy enough but time consuming and you need some sort of pressure bottle to get the oil into thegearbox filler plug which is very hidden half way up the box (good videos on youtube how to), no chance of gravity feed, the other oils were easy peasy to change, as is engine oil and most other servicing is straightforward.

Cambelt is a doddle, around an hour first time DIY, kit less than £100, you don't even need to remove the auxilliary belt though i changed mine whilst there, another doddle, nothging to undo.

Toyota 3.0D4D cambelt is a lesson to other makers in how to do things, only drives the camshaft(s) and nothing else, water pump driven gently off auxilliary belt as all cars should be, 6 bolts sees the cover off, 2 bolts sees the tensioner off, 1 allen bolt the idler bearing off, real old school timing marks, no locking devices or timing kits required, no need to remove the crank pulley cos crank doesn't drive the cambelt.

Edited by gordonbennet on 24/10/2017 at 11:48

A salesman's favourite cars. - corax
Indeed VED, pickups are at commercial rate, cheap, for LC its got to be regd before March 06 or £500+ and i will not pay that.

Yes 3.0 D4D's, many had copper injector seals up until about 2008, can leak causing blow by into the crankcase which eventually carbons the oil pick up starving the engine of oil, obviousy cars with poor service regimes suffer worse, its rare but don't ignore the risk.

However its not all gloom, many were changed to alumium injector seals by the dealers and many have been done outside the dealer network, its a reasonable DIY project too.

Also on 120 series, the sump drain plug is directly below the oil pick up, so if you leave it to drain overnight you can have a good look at the pick up filter to see if carbon is building up, no carbon no problem, i check every oil change, plus on 120 series there is a mini sump below the main sump, and roughly 18 x 10mm bolts will see that tiny sump removed after only removing the sump guard (6 bolts) and there is the pick up easy to remove and clean or replace if needed.

Only neglected cars should prove a problem, for all i know my seals are still copper, but i'm not going to fetch the injectors out unless there is a leak.

I put mine into the Diesel workshops a few weeks ago to have its injector codes and readings checked and if necessary was quite prepared to have a new recon set of injectors fitted in order for a long trouble free life, rather £800 today than a £8,000 engine next year, but it came back with a clean bill fo health after full diagnosis.

The main things to watch on LC's IMOr any ladder chassis vehicle is underbody rust, caused mostly by neglectful owners, and check the MOT's carefully, you do not want a vehicle that spent any length of time in Scotland cos salt.

Chassis is easy to check, its thick and only in extreme cases will it weaken rear end will suffer first, check inner sills underneath not well protected from new and suffer from dirt abrasion at each end near the wheels, check engine and fuel tank undercovers, sump guard on 120 is thin and weak, if you offroad swap it for a real one made by Asfir or ARB.

Rear axle on 120 is improved, 90 series rotted badly, both live axles, 90 series the top shocker mounts can fill with crud rot right through and break off.

Fortunately due to the height of the vehicles if you get a good one they are easy to clean, espcially if you have a 90' attachment for pressure washer, so in depth rusproofing is eay and worth it.

90 series front lower ball joints are mounted against spring pressure, silly design, if they wear badly enough (on cars offroaded for example) they can Morris 1000 style rip out, on 120 series the joints were fitted normally so this problem cannot happen.

the other problem on 90 series is gearbox oil cooler in bottom of rad, these rads can fail with age causing coolant to enter the gearbox, ruination, so be suspect of any 90 series with a new rad, might have prentative or did it fail and is being sold quick before gearbox failure, 120 series this doesn't seem to be a problem

however on 120 series there is no gearbox dipstick...Mr Toyoda WHY? its not a soft roader its meant to operate in the field...so you can't keep an easy eye on the gearbox oil level/condition, i changed all the transmission oils on mine during the summer, easy enough but time consuming and you need some sort of pressure bottle to get the oil into thegearbox filler plug which is very hidden half way up the box (good videos on youtube how to), no chance of gravity feed, the other oils were easy peasy to change, as is engine oil and most other servicing is straightforward.

Cambelt is a doddle, around an hour first time DIY, kit less than £100, you don't even need to remove the auxilliary belt though i changed mine whilst there, another doddle, nothging to undo.

Toyota 3.0D4D cambelt is a lesson to other makers in how to do things, only drives the camshaft(s) and nothing else, water pump driven gently off auxilliary belt as all cars should be, 6 bolts sees the cover off, 2 bolts sees the tensioner off, 1 allen bolt the idler bearing off, real old school timing marks, no locking devices or timing kits required, no need to remove the crank pulley cos crank doesn't drive the cambelt.

GB - thanks very much for your 'buying guide in a nutshell'. I'll keep that in my favourites.

A salesman's favourite cars. - Engineer Andy

I'd be interested to see why Lexuses (or is that Lexi?) aren't on the list - unlike with (especially older) German 'premium brand' cars, most Lexuses seem to be owned for long periods from new and generally well looked after - I've only ever seen a few 'shockers', such as modded (complete with huge exhaust) mk1 ISes, and even they don't look that beaten up.

I wonder if there's an age/mileage for each brand of car that means they rapidly go downhill (e.g. because they are expensive to repair and someone buying it when its [say] 12yo for £2-3k cannot afford 'proper maintenance). Besides the local guy with the 1995/6 Toyota Carina still going nicely, I've often come across early 90s LS400s looking near pristine tootling around. Yes, I'm sure parts are very expensive (and getting harder to come by), but cars like that were considered bomb-proof in terms of reliability, even apparently impressing Mercedes engineers as to the level of over-engineering compared to theirs at the time.

A salesman's favourite cars. - madf

I'd be interested to see why Lexuses (or is that Lexi?) aren't on the list - unlike with (especially older) German 'premium brand' cars, most Lexuses seem to be owned for long periods from new and generally well looked after - I've only ever seen a few 'shockers', such as modded (complete with huge exhaust) mk1 ISes, and even they don't look that beaten up.

I wonder if there's an age/mileage for each brand of car that means they rapidly go downhill (e.g. because they are expensive to repair and someone buying it when its [say] 12yo for £2-3k cannot afford 'proper maintenance). Besides the local guy with the 1995/6 Toyota Carina still going nicely, I've often come across early 90s LS400s looking near pristine tootling around. Yes, I'm sure parts are very expensive (and getting harder to come by), but cars like that were considered bomb-proof in terms of reliability, even apparently impressing Mercedes engineers as to the level of over-engineering compared to theirs at the time.

Mark1 Lexus 400s cost £1000s to run in fuel and insurance so a very limited market - and LS400s are BIG cars...

Where older Lexuses are concerned, many parts are dealer only and VERY expensive... and if the hybrid invertor fails, £1000sss (US supplied much cheaper). Expensive pitfalls for ignorant buyers and dealers if they go wrong.. and older ones do rust..

I went through a detailed anaysis looking to buy an LS400 and decided I could not afford to look after one - which many owners found when petrol prices rose ..

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76

I'd be interested to see why Lexuses (or is that Lexi?) aren't on the list - unlike with (especially older) German 'premium brand' cars, most Lexuses seem to be owned for long periods from new and generally well looked after - I've only ever seen a few 'shockers', such as modded (complete with huge exhaust) mk1 ISes, and even they don't look that beaten up.

I wonder if there's an age/mileage for each brand of car that means they rapidly go downhill (e.g. because they are expensive to repair and someone buying it when its [say] 12yo for £2-3k cannot afford 'proper maintenance). Besides the local guy with the 1995/6 Toyota Carina still going nicely, I've often come across early 90s LS400s looking near pristine tootling around. Yes, I'm sure parts are very expensive (and getting harder to come by), but cars like that were considered bomb-proof in terms of reliability, even apparently impressing Mercedes engineers as to the level of over-engineering compared to theirs at the time.

Some real gems among them, I rate the IS250 in particular but while they're reliable they are costly for parts and will barely touch 30mpg day to day. The LS400/430 is a big hunk of metal and built from granite but it's a complex and greedy beast that most garages wouldn't have a clue what to do with If it as much as caughed. I should've noted my list was focused on the cheaper used cars I've typically sold over the years.
A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet

GB - thanks very much for your 'buying guide in a nutshell'. I'll keep that in my favourites.

Corax

You're very welcome, just ask if there's anything you want to know, f i can i'll help.

This link might be interesting, its pic heavy of a chap in eastern europe, possibly Latvia who's taken the body off a 120 in order to rustproof it thoroughly, you can see how bad they can get where salt is heavily used, i'm not a member of the forum concerned but am a member of the other LC forum under another name.

www.landcruiserclub.net/community/threads/rust-rus.../

Edited by gordonbennet on 24/10/2017 at 18:54

A salesman's favourite cars. - corax
This link might be interesting, its pic heavy of a chap in eastern europe, possibly Latvia who's taken the body off a 120 in order to rustproof it thoroughly, you can see how bad they can get where salt is heavily used, i'm not a member of the forum concerned but am a member of the other LC forum under another name.

www.landcruiserclub.net/community/threads/rust-rus.../

Oh my Gawd, that guy is seriously determined. I've been reading a few posts on that forum about 120 series rot, and I didn't realise how little rustproofing they have from the factory considering how expensive they are new, it's a bit disappointing really. Some guys on there reckon that the Colorado has better steel, and less rot for their age. I wonder if the 120 series were built at the same time as the Kobe steel scandal. I've looked at some underneath photos from people and it's eye widening that's for sure.

Maybe a subtle hint from you to stay away, and stick to an Outback for a future replacement. It's a shame that Toyota didn't continue with the Avensis Verso. That looked to me like a good solid MPV of just the right size, but the ones available are rare and getting old now.

A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet
Maybe a subtle hint from you to stay away, and stick to an Outback for a future replacement. It's a shame that Toyota didn't continue with the Avensis Verso. That looked to me like a good solid MPV of just the right size, but the ones available are rare and getting old now.

I would agree that the 90 is a more corrosion resistant vehicle, except for the rear axle, the 80 series chassis was thicker steel anyway as was the 70, though the bodies being olde designs weren't so good as the later models, i've looked at 100 series Amazons and they have too many issues for me, a bit too clever for its own good.

90 has normal brakes too with a standard servo, 120 gets similar system to the 100 Amazon, its a combined ABS pump and master cylinder all in one, with a reputed replacment cost of some £4000 should it fail, now it can be dismantled and individual componets repaired but if you went into the dealer they would probably bung a new one on at that cost.

The 120 isn't a bad vehicle as such, i think it was possibly bought be a different type of buyer to previous LC buyers in the UK, previous models were more er industrial, maybe not as pretty as the 120 which became acceptable as a school run 4x4 and comfortable and driveable as LR's Discoveries/Sports, so saw more main road use than maybe earlier examples which might well have spent more time in muck which wasn't laden with salt...i have no figures i'm only going by the types of people i've know and seen who bought this model and the previous more workmanlike models.

The top spec LC5 and Invincible get air rear suspension, which isn't cheap and if you neglect it will bite you, it also gets electronically adjustable shocks all round and has an all singing all dancing traction system, which (i have one) is very effective and won;t be cheap to fix...but refinements like this are why IMHO the 120 especially in high spec form sold to a different new buyer than previous LC's and partly why the rust problem is as it is, same buyers who would buy RR's and neglect them equally.

The LC isn't alone in having rust issues if neglected of course, all ladder chassis vehicles are, and yes all the makers could have zinc plated the chassis before painting them in something rather more weatherproof than the stucff they appear to have been dipped in.

Toyota went to town on the 90 (Colorado) body, and seem to have done a similar job on the 120 bodyshell. Both models have a weak point (you can see the places on those pics, and it should be remembered that example has seen serious salt, i think its been a boat launcher to be that bad) in the outside of the inner sills just inside each wheelarch, these get serious abrasion and the paint is literally sand blasted off and can perforate, but no one excpet us dying few bothers to look under their vehicles any more nor think to wash the salty muck off and so it sits there doing its worse.

I agree about the original Avensis Verso, superb car lovely drive, quiet comfortable.

I also agree if you want a vehicle that is as corrosion resistant as near enough anything you could buy, then an Outback takes some beating, its only really the rear subframe that rusts on those, or get yourself another Forester when the time comes.

A salesman's favourite cars. - Dogfuzz

There's not much profit on any of SLO76's list. Surely salivating salesmen prefer the harder sale with the £biggest bonus?

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76

There's not much profit on any of SLO76's list. Surely salivating salesmen prefer the harder sale with the £biggest bonus?

Don't confuse a high price tag with a big margin. Used cars are where the profit is and often it's the run of the mill stock that generates the biggest buck, particularly small autos which have less demand and thus command lower trade prices but typically sell for the same retail if you're prepared to wait for the right punter. Plus finance rates are higher on cars over 2-3yrs old, generating more commission per £. When selling for a main dealer I'd typically make more from a £4,000 used car than I would on a £15,000 new Mitsubishi.
A salesman's favourite cars. - Steveieb
There is even a bumper , rear window sticker you can get for your French car which says

"Built in France, fell apart in Britain"
A salesman's favourite cars. - sandy56

The most reliable car I have ever had a was a Peugeot 407, the worst was an Audi, then a BMW.

A salesman's favourite cars. - madf

The car with most faults? A Rover 800.

The car with most expensive faults ? An Audi A4.(Aircon condenser, catalyst, timing belt tensioner, two front struts, all in two years)

The cheapest to manitain over a decade? Toyota Yaris D4D 2003. Most expensive repair - a new rear coil spring £35 and fitted in 25 minutes.

A salesman's favourite cars. - Steveieb
Simply ask any recovery driver their honest opinion and it may crystallise your thoughts about the cars from the two nations I mentioned above.
When I had my Renault Espace I got to know the recovery drivers within a forty Mile radius of my house. Brittania Rescue breathed a sigh of relief when I bought an Accord.
When the Main Dealer texted my partner to ask why they hadn't seen her recently she replied "French electrics rubbish - scrapped the car" This was after Earth problems on the rear lights costing over £400 to fix and a main ECU failure .
This did the trick , she hasn't heard from them since.
A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
"The car with most faults? A Rover 800."

One of those cars you could be lucky or unlucky with. I flogged loads of em in the 90's, they were an easy sale parked next to a boggo basic Cavalier at the same age and money and aside from some shonkey electronics they were ok. Nice big barge to drive but the 2.0 was murder for oil leaks.

One saved my brother in laws life when he ran out of talent on a twisty road one night and landed in a field via a large tree. Battered and bruised but he lived where the much smaller motors of the same vintage he could've bought would likely have ended him.

Didn't make him any less ugly though...

Edited by SLO76 on 24/10/2017 at 16:03

A salesman's favourite cars. - Steveieb

Sent a Rover 800 to our office in one of the Carribean Islands, a KV6 egine and it failed within a few months.

Give Rover their due they sent a replacement engine free of charge and we arranged to fit it.

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
The KV6 was a deeply flawed rush job to cover the loss of Honda's excellent 2.7 which was being replaced by the 3.2 and post BMW takeover was not an option for Rover. The K series was designed as a small sub 1400cc motor and was never intended to be any bigger.
A salesman's favourite cars. - gordonbennet

Indeed, one of ,my best ever cars was an early facelift 827si manual fitted with that silky smooth and completely bombproof Honda V6, it was ex police driving school came with the worlds best service history, ridiculously fast reasonable on fuel if not driven at 3 figure speeds and never put a foot wrong in my ownership.

A salesman's favourite cars. - concrete

Agree about Honda. I had three Accords in succession and not one had any warranty work or any other type of work apart from servicing. I bought the last one, a 2.0i and when we eventually gave it away it was 17 years old with 170K miles and as sweet as a nut. Only changed brands because my company went all diesel and Honda didn't have one at the time. Did alright with early Nissan and Toyota too. I know VAG get a lot of criticism here, but personally speaking my Skoda Superb 1.9TDi PD 130 was the 'muts nuts'. After 11 years, 212K miles with original clutch and exhaust, having used barely 4 litres of top up oil between services I think that particular car and engine were very good. We sold it on and it was a bit of a bun fight with people chasing that particular car. Couldn't believe we got money for it. Probably may not be so keen on VAG now though. However I can always consult this venerable forum for advice and comments.

Cheers Concrete

A salesman's favourite cars. - argybargy

The car with most faults? A Rover 800.

The car with most expensive faults ? An Audi A4.(Aircon condenser, catalyst, timing belt tensioner, two front struts, all in two years)

The cheapest to manitain over a decade? Toyota Yaris D4D 2003. Most expensive repair - a new rear coil spring £35 and fitted in 25 minutes.

I'll second the Rover comment. Like a fairly rapid three piece suite on wheels when it was going well, like a mailed fist thumping Hell out of your wallet when it wasn't.

Early on during my stewardship, the 800e that I purchased from the premises of a local Jack the Car Selling Lad decided that it wanted to die, but couldn't make its mind up on the method of self execution. Would it choose death by terminal rust, or gradual failure of all electronic components? Cost me an arm, a leg and a few other things beside whilst it was making its decision, and a couple of grand lighter for the experience, I got rid of it before the axe finally fell.

Saw it six months later in a car park on a local industrial estate, and it looked in good shape. Maybe it just didn't like me.

A salesman's favourite cars. - groaver

Interesting selection from SLO76 that undoubtedly are the wise purchaser's choice.

One caveat I would put on the Jap list is that they should be MADE in Japan as well.

My wife had a 55 plate Swift that had to be sold on after 18 months due to numerous faults, major of which was rear tyres wearing after 8k miles due to axle problems that were well known about. These Swifts were from the Hungarian plant.

As an ex-salesman from many years ago I recall the horror we felt upon seeing (and feeling) the "quality" of Suzuki SJ410 Santanas (Spanish factory). They were horrendous! I'm pretty sure they filled the seats with straw and the engine sounded as though there was a bag of bolts running around inside, from new.

In saying this my wife also had a first generation Chinese built Jazz after the swift which felt as good as the Japanese one that preceeded it so perhaps it is just Suzuki who don't have world standards for their factories.

Edited by groaver on 24/10/2017 at 20:57

A salesman's favourite cars. - Manatee

One caveat I would put on the Jap list is that they should be MADE in Japan as well.

Nissan Cherry Europe. Say no more:)

A salesman's favourite cars. - madf

My Swindon built Jazz has been faultless for 5 years...All Mark3 Jazzes in Europe were Swindon built - all Mark4 are Mexican - and they had quality problems initially with US cars built in Mexico..

A salesman's favourite cars. - Manatee

I've had two Swindon CRVs, and a Swindon Civic. All faultless, but for the CRV diesel's alternator failing.

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
"One caveat I would put on the Jap list is that they should be MADE in Japan as well."

Some of the best Jap brand products are/were built right here in old Blighty. Jazz, Civic, Accord, CRV, Primera, Bluebird, Avensis and Carina spring to mind. As for the 55 plate Swift well I'd put that down to it being a very early example of a totally new model more than where it was built. But yes there are variations on quality depending on the market's each factory is intended to serve. Early Dacia Dusters hailing from their Indian plant are bad for rust and Mercs from the US and South Africa weren't the best either.

A salesman's favourite cars. - Nickdm

Country of manufacturer shouldn't make a difference these days but...

I have first-hand experience of the decline of the BMW X3 when production shifted from Austria to the USA. Then again, perhaps the workforce are only as good as the quality of components they have to assemble?

About 25 years ago a clothes-making friend switched production from the UK to Bulgaria. Quality was initially poor, because they were using cheap thread and poor needles. Once he sent them better materials, their workmanship was actually top notch...

A salesman's favourite cars. - argybargy

Nissan Primera built in Sunderland in 1990.

A very close toss up between that one and my Focus, built (I think) in Germany, for the best car I've ever owned.

A salesman's favourite cars. - daveyjp

I recently had no hesitation pointing a friend towards an 8 year old Jazz rather than a Corsa of similar age.

She had no idea of the MOT history site, but it is without doubt a very powerful tool for deciding between two vehicles.

Corsa - a recent MOT failure due to suspension issues and a long list of advisories against suspension on all corners and brakes front and back, it also advised of an oil leak and two close to limit tyres. If she hadn't been aware would the dealer would have sorted these advisories before letting her drive off? I doubt it.

Jazz - one failure from a few years ago for what appeared to be a blocked washer jet - other than that clean as a whistle. Jazz was £500 more, but had lower mileage.

A salesman's favourite cars. - Steveieb
Not to mention the run away Civics built in the UK. Understand the handbrake lever was sourced in Spain and there was a problem with the pawl ratios leading to the lever jumping out of the full on position.
And the switch to UK paints which the car manufactures had not got the close relationship with as with their previous Japanese associates.

Are you Sure the latest Jazz is produced in Mexico, thought they had moved worl production to Japan, Civic to Swindon and CRV to Canada.
A salesman's favourite cars. - groaver
As for the 55 plate Swift well I'd put that down to it being a very early example of a totally new model more than where it was built.

Well, yes but did the Japanese built version of the exact same car have the same problem?

No.

I do concur that British made "Japanese" cars built in Swindon, Derbyshire and Sunderland have been, by and large, excellent.

Edited by groaver on 25/10/2017 at 15:49

A salesman's favourite cars. - Steveieb

Glad that you put an inverted comma aroung Japanese groaver

Nissan in Sunderland are now part of Renault and seem to have overcome all the problems of using French mechanicals to build a brilliant group of cars ???

A salesman's favourite cars. - csgmart

Hi SLO,

My sister in law will be looking for a new (to her) car next year. She currently drives our old Renault Modus which has been OK for her now that she has sorted out the (inevitable) electrical gremlins.

Her budget will be about £6k to £7k and she wants an automatic this time. She likes the high up driving position. For obvious reasons she wants a petrol too.

Using the Honest John guide I've narrowed the search down to a Hyundai ix20. There are some reasonable looking cars for her budget - all under 40k miles. I particularly like the fact the auto is a torque converter rather than automated manual.

Is this a car you would recommend or can you suggest anything else for us to look at too?

A salesman's favourite cars. - Engineer Andy

KIA Venga - its essentially the same car with a different dash and slightly different front and rear styling. As KIAs also come with a 7 year warranty, a second hand example costing around £7k should still have a reasonable number of years left on that warranty, as long as all the maintenance work was done at KIA dealerships as recommended. Should be if its sold at a main dealer, but check with them and get written proof from them that the rest of the warranty is still valid. Hyundais 'only' come with a 5 year (admitedly unlimited mileage, whichever comes first) warranty, so there could be 2-3 years left (rather than 4-5 on the KIA) on the iX20s.

I do prefer the styling of the Hyundai, not much in it though. It may depend on if you have one/both dealerships close by and value that. Might be worth checking out whether the warranty of each of these sister cars is affected if they are serviced at the other makes dealership (if its much closer). My nearest dealership of the two is a KIA one, only 2 mins up the road, the nearest Hyundai one 15 miles away. The same/opposite could be true for you, but its still worth checking out the reviews for any dealership you intend you buy from/have the car serviced at in case of customer service problems.

Best of luck.

A salesman's favourite cars. - csgmart

Thank you - good suggestion.

My wife now tells me that it might not have to be an automatic after all (my sister in law has a bad shoulder but it has just been operated on and she might be OK with a manual rather than an auto box).

A salesman's favourite cars. - SLO76
Beaten to it but yes the Kia Venga is mechanically identical and comes with a 7yr warranty so if you can find one with a full main dealer history and you intend on continuing this you'll have the remainder of that excellent guarantee to give you peace of mind. Both are tough little cars which rarely go wrong but neither are exactly fun to drive and both tend to lose value quickly.

I'd add to your shortlist the Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris Mk III CVT both of which are vice free, better on fuel, retain their value more strongly and are nicer to drive than the Kia or Hyundai. Avoid the Mk II Yaris (up til 2011) as it used a rather awful automated manual transmission that's not only jerky in use but quite trouble prone.

The Toyota Verso S 1.33 CVT from 2011 is also a good option, basically a Yaris that sits a bit higher but they're quite hard to find as they were overpriced new.

None of these should be a worry and the choice should be down to condition, history and mileage more than anything else.

Edited by SLO76 on 28/10/2017 at 14:51

A salesman's favourite cars. - csgmart

Thank you too SLO.

 

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