Next car debate - Yellowlawn

I have a next car dilema. I'm looking to spend upto £20K on my next set of wheels. I'm looking for:

Reliability, Comfort, Effortless drivability, Diesel or Petrol Hybrid, Automatic, Economical

However, I'm gonna be working in North Yorkshire (quite a lot of country lanes) so was also contemplating 4x4. Well after watching various Youtube vids. Audi's Quattro seems far superior to any other 4x4.

Cars I have been looking at are a very mixed bag

1) MB S Class
2) BMW 7 series
3) BMW 5 GT Series
4) Audi A6 Avant
5) Audi A8
6) Lexus GS300h

Yes I'm not asking for much lol. But for me what I'm looking to spend is a lot for me and I want to get the most for my money (as we all do)

Next car debate - RobJP

Current (or even last version) 7 series / S class / A8 are bloaters. Absolutely huge, almost undriveable, especially on smaller roads such as you're thinking.

I'd go to 5 series / E class / A6.

The 5 series saloon was replaced last year, meaning that the old car has taken a big hit in depreciation now that the 'new' model is on the forecourts and used cars are starting to come through the dealer network.

The 530d particularly is incredible. Huge performance but a real 50mpg+ on motorway trips.

Do note that any of these car cans be made great (or terrible) by the wrong spec. Anything 'sporty' (MSport spec for the BMW, S line for Audi, AMG spec for the Merc) wil have bigger wheels, meaning less sidewall to absorb potholes, and stiffer lowered suspension, meaning it will crash horribly over those potholes. Ideally go for 'SE' type spec.

Edited by RobJP on 30/11/2017 at 23:21

Next car debate - Yellowlawn
I do like my big cars but see your point. I currently have a 2006 520D BMW. The thing I find these days when people talk about this sporty drive with a BMW that unless you go on track days 99% of the time we are chugging along nose to tail. I was looking at the 530D GT next. Whilst the 520 is good it lacks that urgency that get up and go. Also X Drive is nigh on useless on anything other that dry roads. I don’t want M Sport as I don’t want that overly firm ride. The number of reviews I have read about Audi S line and how many regret buying due to overly firm ride.
Next car debate - Avant

It'll be well worth your while getting a good long test drive in a Lexus, maybe a RX 4x4 or NX SUV rather than the GS.

As you're buying used, you've a better chance of getting a good reliable Lexus than with the German makes - but you may not like the way it drives. Early last year I had a good run in an NX and I was very disappointed: no fun at all to drive and it had that infuriating surge in revs if you wanted a bit of acceleration.

But if you're a fairly sedate driver it could suit you very well.

Next car debate - Yellowlawn
I joined the Lexus OC to ask about that very thing. Nobody seemed to complain about eCVT, but then if you are a sedate driver you won’t. Does that mean all Lexus drivers are sedate drivers?

I prefer the NX over RX as it looks more stylish. The RX looks very dated. But Lexus tops the league for reliability.

I drove a E Class once and was surprised how much they creak. For a premium brand that’s unacceptable.

I looked at Audi Q5 and was astonished to find they have manually adjustable seats. On the Audi forums nobody seems phased. It’s a premium brand car, even Hyundai and Kia’s have electric seats.

I have also looked at Kia Sorrento as they now top the league tables for reliability. But I want that 3.0 TDI to get a bit of growl.

I’m by no means a boy racer, but I like to know if I need to get away from some tailgating idiot I can do.
Next car debate - Engineer Andy

Unfortunately you are putting down criteria that, given your budget, contradicts one another in the car-buying process. Stylish, higher-performance German barges (with all the toys) aren't a good fit on narrow country lanes with potholes and mud, snow and ice in winter (and almost certainly you'll get that where you're going be driving), even 4x4 versions, because they are so highly priced that you'll have to go for one that's at least 2-3 years old (or older) and could be near to a VERY expensive repair job due to their complexity. A £40-£50k car (original list price) will come with repair costs of the same ilk, not the same as a car with an original £20k list price.

I would look at a Korean (KIA/Hyundai) or Japanese 4x4 small-medium SUV with non-low profile tyres (preferably decent all season or that you have a set [in you garage at home] of winter tyres and steel rims ready to change over when the cold weather sets in), which should be far more reliable (including that its newer, and for some, maybe still under warranty) and actually ok in poor weather on rural roads.

Note that if someone is tailgating you, that it is far safer just to pull over and let the idiot pass than to stroke your ego by booting it and leaving them for dust, especially if that endangers yourself and other road users (particularly in rural areas).

Next car debate - argybargy

My brother in law once owned a second hand E class, 2005 plate; he lives in semi rural Devon and spends a lot of time driving on country lanes. I haven't been a passenger in many big cars, but bar wedding and funeral limousines it was the biggest one I've ever sat in.

During our visits to his gaff it was obvious that the car was too big for regular driving on those roads. As you'll know, even familiar obstructions can become hazardous if you meet someone coming the other way too fast for the conditions and/ or in the middle of the road, and during his ownership the car sustained a fair bit of minor damage from bushes, branches and other unforgiving objects.

Eventually he conceded the point and bought a mid range Peugeot. I'd tend to pick a similar option in those circumstances.

Next car debate - daveyjp

As 4x4 is mentioned Mr Predictable will throw in Subaru!

As a North Wales resident of this site has just found there is no need to spend anywhere near £20,000 to find a good one.

If you want to spend £20k you will find a very young one with a diesel auto, however I'd be inclined to spend far less and use the money saved to pay for the marginal extra cost of having a petrol under the bonnet.

Next car debate - Engineer Andy

As 4x4 is mentioned Mr Predictable will throw in Subaru!

As a North Wales resident of this site has just found there is no need to spend anywhere near £20,000 to find a good one.

If you want to spend £20k you will find a very young one with a diesel auto, however I'd be inclined to spend far less and use the money saved to pay for the marginal extra cost of having a petrol under the bonnet.

One thing the OP hasn't mentioned is the annual mileage they are likely to be doing, which, as you say, could easily tip the balance towards petrol engines if an auto is required. I do get the impression the they want a 'status symbol' rather than a practical car suited to to the type of work and locale it will used on.

It'll be interesting to read what SLO says on this one.

Next car debate - Yellowlawn

My annual mileage varies quite a lot and I'd probably be doing circa 20K mpa

Status symbol I don't care what's on the bonnet. My thought process was quite simple. If you were to procur a car costing upwards of £80K, you wouldn't wnat to think you had to keep taking your car in the garage for repairs etc. You'd hope your money would buy good enough quality to last. So I figiured looking at former expensive cars that have devalued to my price bracket, might just be that more reliable. And it just so happens cars in that class are all German.

Next car debate - Engineer Andy

My annual mileage varies quite a lot and I'd probably be doing circa 20K mpa

Status symbol I don't care what's on the bonnet. My thought process was quite simple. If you were to procur a car costing upwards of £80K, you wouldn't wnat to think you had to keep taking your car in the garage for repairs etc. You'd hope your money would buy good enough quality to last. So I figiured looking at former expensive cars that have devalued to my price bracket, might just be that more reliable. And it just so happens cars in that class are all German.

If I wanted to buy an £80k luxury car that didn't go wrong, I'd buy a Lexus. Every time. They have consistently beaten ALL German marques on that score for the best part of 30 years now. Additionally, how many people living and working in rural areas drive high performance German barges with ultra low profile tyres?

Even those who can't afford higher price Oriental cars tend to go for basic cars with decent tyres suited to the road conditions as I explained before, so when there is bad weather they cope reasonably well and it doesn't matter if they get knocked about a bit or scratched up against a hedge or two. You'd be a regular with the nearest BMW dealer or Chips Away guy if you drove a barge regularly in rural areas; your bank balance would be a lot lower as a result, because there's no point in owning a 'premium luxury car unless its kept in good nick visually.

If you want reliability (and a low cost of ownership), especially over the long term, then my advice is to buy Japanese or Korean. Just because German-designed cars look nice (especially the fit and finish on the inside) doesn't make them well engineered.

Its well known that German brands (e.g. VAG) use 'unusual' engineering (i.e. not standardised) so that when they do go wrong (and if you buy a higher end car, they inevitably will - see the 'Good & Bad' sections of the reviews by HJ and his staff on this website as examples), they cost a fortune to repair, not just because they use unusual parts, but because they are awkward to fit and require specialist tools that the Japanese and Korean equivalents don't need. An American expert VAG mechanic on YouTube (The Humble Mechanic) has admitted as much in his videos - it means he's had to spend $100k on special tools, which puts the repair prices up for his customers.

PS. Its pointless you getting a hybrid unless the majority of your driving is in urban and/or highly congested areas. Your 20k miles a year is around the cusp of changing from petrol to diesel (I would say its nearer 25k miles, but it does vary, dependent upon fuel prices and car taxes), so there's no reason not to chose a petrol engined car, as long as its a reliable one. Rather than believe (or not) us, just read through the website (not just the forum) and its review section to get a better idea as to what actually is worth going for.

You may find some German (and I mean VAG generally) may be more suitable if you wish to stay with Germanic designed cars, but as I said, if you want reliability and a cost effective car over the longer term, oriental is the way to go. Not sexy, not cool (well sometimes), but effective. Small SUVs and crossovers may be the best bet, as long as they can take 60 profile or higher tyres and you budget for either all seasons or summer and winter tyres.

Next car debate - badbusdriver

I must confess, when i read the OP's commemts regarding the lack of electric seat adjustment in the Q5, i laughed so hard i nearly fell off my chair!.

Is this what is meant by a '1st world problem'?

Also, the creaking you heard in the e-class was probably caused by the leather upholstery. If so, it is not difficult to cure.

As to your list of potential candidates, for driving in rural Yorkshire, i wouldn't have any of them. What you want is something relatively compact, particularly regarding width, coupled with a higher seating position (to help seeing over walls or hedges on corners which would otherwise be blind). And you certainly shouldn't be looking for the dearest car you can afford as even if you do get something sensibly narrow, you will inevitably at some point, scrape along a hedge or bush getting past oncoming traffic. So get something a bit older and wear the 'battle scars' with pride!

Finally, and i hate to state the obvious, but speeding up to get away from a tailgater is the very defination of being a boy racer. The sensible thing to do would be simply let them by.

Next car debate - Yellowlawn

Hardly a first world problem. But in the buying space of premium brands comapred to less brand rivals, is a step back.

If I was paying that much for an E Class, it should not be creaking.

Next car debate - RobJP

As the North Walian concerned, yes, the Forester is very nice - a 2012/62 plate 2.0 petrol manual with 150hp or so, 87k miles on the clock and rattle-free. Less than £8k. Even when you give the engine some beans, surprisingly well sound-proofed and muted engine note. You've got to open the window to get the benefit of that flat-four burble.

If the OP wants the sort of car he's specified, I'd say to go with a 530d. Though I'd avoid the GT - that's because I think it's a hideous looking car. The 530d saloon is nice though, and the OP would be able to get a 2014/2015 530d with 20-30k miles on the clock for his budget.

Next car debate - Happy Blue!

Pity the OP does 20,000 miles PA. I would have also recommended a Subaru but not the diesel.

My E-class does not creak and it is six years old. But for high mileage over narrow roads, a good medium 4x4 would work. Rav4 hybrid? Hyundai or Kia models?

Next car debate - concrete

I lived in North Yorkshire for over 35 years and can hardly think of any occasion when a 4x4 was neccesary. Front wheel drive with the right wheels and tyres is the key. The roads are quite good and a damn sight better than here in Kent. I would look to a Skoda Octavia and if you want some poke go for the VRs, diesel or petrol. If you think you need a higher driving position then a YetiKodiaq may suit. For £20k and the big machines you are looking at, they are likely to be getting on and coming into 'money pit' territory. Get a smaller more recent model if you need reliability. Forget 4x4 if you don't tow, go into unmade tracks etc. We had sites in some fairly remote places and all our normal transport (cars, vans etc) always got through in winter. If you have a metre of snow 4x4 won't help you!

Cheers Concrete

Next car debate - RobJP

I lived in North Yorkshire for over 35 years and can hardly think of any occasion when a 4x4 was neccesary. Front wheel drive with the right wheels and tyres is the key. The roads are quite good and a damn sight better than here in Kent. I would look to a Skoda Octavia and if you want some poke go for the VRs, diesel or petrol. If you think you need a higher driving position then a YetiKodiaq may suit. For £20k and the big machines you are looking at, they are likely to be getting on and coming into 'money pit' territory. Get a smaller more recent model if you need reliability. Forget 4x4 if you don't tow, go into unmade tracks etc. We had sites in some fairly remote places and all our normal transport (cars, vans etc) always got through in winter. If you have a metre of snow 4x4 won't help you!

Cheers Concrete

The problem there is that they want an auto. So the Skoda would mean buying a DSG, with all the inherent weaknesses that they've shown over the years.

I think it was last week I was reading on one of HJ's replies that he's starting to get reports of problems with the latest type of DSG boxes.

Edited by RobJP on 01/12/2017 at 16:27

Next car debate - primus 1

Just slightly off topic, if you are driving around north Yorks, beware the speed camera vans, they tend to hide, somebody just got done at 32, in a30 zone

 

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