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any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

Hi

The wife's Mk1 Audi TT is starting to show its age (13 years, 100K) and things are starting to go wrong.

We've decided to opt for a 'sensible' (i.e. safe, economical and unlikely to leave her stranded) wee car, either supermini or Focus size to replace it and we're looking at a budget of 5-6K and 6 years old.

Inevitably we (or rather 'I') are/am getting bogged down on the too many choices, too much information problem and wondered if any of you might chip in with some thoughts/suggestions?

The car will be mainly used for a 15 mile commute each day (50:50 town and 50mph A road) with me taking it say once a week on a longer 50 mile round trip to work on dual carrigeway and maybe a run out at weekends. Probably looking at max 10k per year. Intend to keep the car until we retire in 3 and a half years and replace it with something really nice bought from the lump sum. My main car is a 2.0 TDci Mondeo IV which oddly enough the wife loves but we really don't need two big cars.

So, thoughts so far:

Kia Cee'd/Hyundia I30 petrol (1.4 or 1.6). Only downside seems to be 'marginal' EuroNcap ratings and a bit noisy at speed.

Facelifted Focus 1.6 petrol (i.e. 2008) Had one before, liked it, great driver, safe, proper car, mpg wasn't great

Toyota Yaris (1.33 petrol): seems very sensible, ticks all the boxes, horrible looks and apparently caves in a bit on rear end shunts (but good 5* euroncap).

Mazda 2

Seat Ibiza (1.4 petrol)

There's a 2010 facelifted Renault Clio (I know, I know!) 1.5 Dci 86 Dynamique for sale locally that looks great, with terrific mpg, great safety, nice spec, but a used Renault diesel, with only 3 months warranty, do I need a good smack on the back of the head with a rolled up newspaper for even considering it?

I would really appreciate any comments on the above vehicles (esp the Clio!) and any alternatives that I may not have considered. Did test drive an Auris about a year ago but found it gutless, tinny and a bit bouncy. We're only early 50's so maybe not ready for a Honda Jazz just yet?

Thanks in advance

Steve

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - gordonbennet

Not sure you're young lady will appreciate the large reduction in easy performance from those choices after her present chariot, don't need to be a fast driver to appreciate easy power.

Yaris a good choice, but investigate 1.8SR version instead of the 1.3, nicer looking too in a reserved way, apparently the first platform for current Avensis engine, we wish heartily that we'd known about this model when we bought the concrete sprung C2VTS (now sold) for SWMBO.

As for road noise from non premium makes, i and some others have had good improvements in transmitted road roar by doing our own soundproofing, particularly at the rear end, very cheap and easy to do in a few hours on a warm day....i started a thread here about this very subject, if you search ''soundproofing'' you should find it..assuming its of any interest.

edit...Auris sized and previous model, but have you looked at the rare supercharged Corolla T Sport.

Edited by gordonbennet on 01/01/2014 at 17:05

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - jamie745

Not sure you're young lady will appreciate the large reduction in easy performance from those choices after her present chariot, don't need to be a fast driver to appreciate easy power.

Quite. You'll end up spending £6k of your hard earned on something which will always feel a little bit less good if you go for a Hyundai or something - perfectly decent automobiles they are.

In fairness the differences will be less marked than 13 years ago, but for that money you can look at the BMW 3 series, okay it won't be that much newer than the TT but there's nothing more tragic than spending big money on cheap Korean tin.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

I know what you both mean. The TT is the 225 model and although SWMBO drives pretty sedately most of the time, just knowing that you can accelerate past something and out of trouble in an instant is a fine thing. But she insists that she is happy with a 'runaround' so the search goes on!

ps: thanks for the 'young lady' reference!

pps: re GordonBennetts post:

yes, I've previously whacked a load of that silver adhesive backed sound insulation material in the rear floor/boot/under back seat of the 2005 Focus we had and it did make a difference.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - Avant

If what the young lady wants is a runabout that's lively and not too much of a disappointment after the TT, that seems like a pretty good shortlist that you've produced.

I'd add the Fiesta: try one with the 1.25 or 1.4 engine and see how lively you find it.

Don't risk a diesel: at the age you're looking at they can go expensively wrong. A Mini would in theory be ideal, but used ones don't seem to have a good reliability record, in many cases because they've been thrashed by previous owners.

If I were you I'd look first at the Fiesta, Ibiza, Yaris 1.3 and Mazda 2 1.3 or 1.5: my daughter had four 1,3 Yarises in a row and they were liveliert than road tests make out. The 1.8 is worth looking out for but may be hard to find.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

If I were you I'd look first at the Fiesta, Ibiza, Yaris 1.3 and Mazda 2 1.3 or 1.5: my daughter had four 1,3 Yarises in a row and they were liveliert than road tests make out. The 1.8 is worth looking out for but may be hard to find.

Oddly enough there's a 1.8 Yaris in our price range, in the nearest dealership to me just 5 miles down the road..........

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - jamie745

If you don't mind a slightly firm ride, then what about a Focus ST170? They are positively bargainous, just make sure you don't get one that some chav pleb has ragged.

Seriously, they are quick cars but are also Ford hatchbacks, which makes them sensible.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - harryletterman

I like the Clio one. The facelift brings a slightly modified front fascia with restyled headlights, front grille and hood. Another important difference the new Clio model boasts is the improved interior finishes quality.

From my perspective it looks quite nice, and as you said it has great safety, nice spec. So I would personally gop for that one.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - Happy Blue!

If your wife likes the Mondeo, why not let her drive it, and get something different for you?

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

Thought about that but then remembered that I rather like the Mondeo too!

We've now diiscounted the Yaris, Clio and Mazda 2 because SWMBO has decided she doesn't like 'little Noddy cars'.

This is useful because it narrows the choice down a bit. Oddly when we went for a stroll around the various dealerships today the car that caught her eye was the Volvo C30, certainly a handsome vehicle.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - andy815

You will find all small cars bouncy given the state of the roads today.I know this from taking taxi's( Mondeo etc) against the small cars i have run. And its getting worse.Having just seen your latest blog a smaller car was more a fancy than a financial need so keep to what you are used to.

Edited by andy815 on 02/01/2014 at 20:19

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - Avant

The C30 does sound like a good idea - if she wants it to be fun to drive she should go for one of the bigger engines. Despite the coupe looks, it's still a solid, safe Volvo and a lot of car for a 1.6 to pull along.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - Bobbin Threadbare

I'm going to say throw all of that list out and get a Mazda MX-5. If I had driven a TT for years, I would be disappointed with a regular hatchback's performance, and want something a bit more fun.

I commute 60 miles per day in my MX-5; I get 40mpg if I'm nice with it. The VED and insurance are reasonable and so far the car has been 100% reliable. It's powerful enough to accelerate past any irritating situations, immensely fun on windy roads, I can fit shopping in the boot (despite all the mocking comments from folk) and it's got enough bells and whistles (and sensibly sized alloys) to be comfortable.

Used examples aren't ridiculous prices but they don't plummet to nothing either if you're looking to sell on.

Edited by Bobbin Threadbare on 02/01/2014 at 22:30

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - daveyK_UK

Nissan Note 1.4 or 1.6 petrol

you should get a good 3 year old example for £6k including some change.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - daveyK_UK

sorry, last post was meant to say 2 years old with some warranty left.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

Thought about the Note, seriously practical car, good value and reliable but dismissed by swmbo as 'too grannyish'.

Test drove a few cars yesterday and the issue which various previous posters on this thread predicted came up i.e. the lack of grunt in a modern petrol compared to the TT (or even the 2.0 TDCi Mondy).

2009 petrol valvematic Avensis (1.6 or 1.8) now starting to look promising, we've established she likes a bigger car

This could be a long search, and obviously there will have to be some compromise somewhere...................

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - gordonbennet

Left field suggestion here, 2008sh MB C Class 3 door coupe, do not consider a manual, foot operated parking brake not good for manual operation, MB auto boxes are so good why would anyone want a manual.

Suggest only consider MB or BMW if you have a competent make specific indy workshops within reasonable distance, main dealer joke charges are for WAGs and MPs expenses.

Course you could find another TT or spend some dosh on the present one to bring it back up to condition.

Edited by gordonbennet on 05/01/2014 at 11:41

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

Left field suggestion here, 2008sh MB C Class 3 door coupe, do not consider a manual, foot operated parking brake not good for manual operation, MB auto boxes are so good why would anyone want a manual.

Suggest only consider MB or BMW if you have a competent make specific indy workshops within reasonable distance, main dealer joke charges are for WAGs and MPs expenses.

Course you could find another TT or spend some dosh on the present one to bring it back up to condition.

We're up in Scotland GB so rear wheel drive is a bit of a "no no", too many Mercs and Beemers sliding about in the snow going nowhere fast (although we've been lucky this year so far....!)

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - gordonbennet

tyres tyres tyres...my MB is the only 2WD able to get out from where we live when it snows heavily, apart that is from the bloke up the road who reverses up the hill in his now RWD Pug 106..:-)

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - iFocus

Have you considered a VW Golf 1.4TSi, you might just stretch to one in your price range, possibly a Mk5 though not a MK6

Or even a Honda Civic 1.8i-VTEC, plenty of power in that and very revvy, they have around 140PS if I remember rightly.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - Avant

if we're now considering bigger cars, it's worth lookoing at the Mazda 6 as well as the Avensis. Diesel Mazdas are hopeless but I can't remember seeing anything adverse n here about a petrol one. If the is too big there's always the Mazda 3 (and Toyota Auris).

The Honda Civic 1.8 might make sense but make sure that you and your wife can live with the appalling rear visibility. You could even see if you can find an old-shape (up to 2007) Civic Type S - it has a 2.0 petrol engine and goes very well, with no visibility problems.

I'm not sure what part of Scotland you're in - if it's the Highlands, all this may depend on which dealers or good independent garages are within range.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - lucklesspedestrian

Oh Boy!

Set off for Glasgow earlier today in the TT with the firm intention of purchasing a 2009 Avensis with the TT as trade in, already phoned the dealers and all but agreed a deal.

Got about 5 miles down the road and noticed the wife was literally in tears.

The inevitable "look are you really sure you want rid of this?" conversation followed with the equally inevitable reply (i.e. "no!").

So, there's obviously a sentimental attachment to the car (it was a 'significant' birthday present) and in this instance it looks like sentiment is going to hold sway over the 'sensible' decision.

I'm fine with that, we've already got one safe sensible reliable 'bus' in the family, we don't need two. Had a quick blast round the back roads on the way back, and I'd forgotten what a fun car it is to drive! We just have to accept that as an older car, things will go wrong/fall off from time to time and that the associated cost just comes with the territory.

Thanks for all the replies.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - watergate

Oh Boy!

Set off for Glasgow earlier today in the TT with the firm intention of purchasing a 2009 Avensis with the TT as trade in, already phoned the dealers and all but agreed a deal.

Got about 5 miles down the road and noticed the wife was literally in tears.

The inevitable "look are you really sure you want rid of this?" conversation followed with the equally inevitable reply (i.e. "no!").

So, there's obviously a sentimental attachment to the car (it was a 'significant' birthday present) and in this instance it looks like sentiment is going to hold sway over the 'sensible' decision.

I'm fine with that, we've already got one safe sensible reliable 'bus' in the family, we don't need two. Had a quick blast round the back roads on the way back, and I'd forgotten what a fun car it is to drive! We just have to accept that as an older car, things will go wrong/fall off from time to time and that the associated cost just comes with the territory.

Thanks for all the replies.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - watergate

New Dacia Sandero £5995 .3 year warrenty.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - corax

So, there's obviously a sentimental attachment to the car (it was a 'significant' birthday present) and in this instance it looks like sentiment is going to hold sway over the 'sensible' decision.

I can quite understand this :)

Going from a 1.8 turbo coupe to a normally aspirated petrol engined hatchback is going to be hard if you enjoy the shove and the looks. It all depends on how willing you are to keep it going, but there are plenty of VAG specialists around and parts can be obtained easily and cheaply.

If the car has sentimental attachment though then there is no reason why you should not keep it, 100k is not much for a modern car, it will be the age that will take its toll.

any - another one of those 'which car' questions! - Alby Back

It could be that a TT might in time become a bit of a "classic" anyway. Might be a very smart move keeping it long term.

You could, if space allows, semi-retire it maybe and just get a runabout spare something-or-other to use as and when.

A little Panda 100hp for example if you feel like having something cheap but fun to play with.

 

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