Making a shortlist of compact autos - bartycrouch
I am looking for a car around May/June to replace my dull ( but otherwise well-behaved) Toyota hatchback. It will be a mid-life crisis treat.

I am looking for the following.

£20K Maximum & Slowish depreciation.
Semi-flash motor
Reliability & good warranty
Automatic (or better still tip-tronic)

The cons are:

I came to driving late and only have 1 year NCB so insurance group 14 is probably the max.

I haven't got a garage so a ragtop convertable is out.

My best guesses are

Mercedes C Class Sports Coupe.

BMW 316i compact SE.

So these are the ones I plan to test drive. The Audi A3 is another option, but is this about to be replaced?
Making a shortlist of compact autos - Alfafan {P}
Wouldn't look at the C Class. Every time I see one, I've got to look hard to confirm whether it's an Astra!
Making a shortlist of compact autos - Dude - {P}
With BMW`s latest offer of three years/60k miles free servicing on all 3 & 5 series diesel models, IMHO you will not find very much better around than the 320d SE Compact Auto, which is very close to your budget parameters, and was given a big thumbs up from H.J. when he road tested the manual version.
Making a shortlist of compact autos - colinh
The website has a 'teaser' advert for a 318d compact. Not sure whether this will get to UK, as they don't sell the 318d saloon there. This is available in Spain at 2200 euros less than the 320d. (115CV v. 150CV - fuel consumption of 318d marginally worse than 320d)
Making a shortlist of compact autos - matt35 {P}
Have a look at a Jaguar X type 2.5 automatic - maybe one year old will be in your price range?

Making a shortlist of compact autos - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Forget the 316. My old man has one and it's *utterly* gutless.
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Making a shortlist of compact autos - bartycrouch
Thanks for this suggestion of the 320d - I like this idea a lot. I hadn't thought about diesel autos and will approach my local dealer for more info and a test drive.

Thank to all all who took time to reply
Making a shortlist of compact autos - Vansboy
Pre registered X-Type at your Jaguar main dealer!
Most of them still got some stock of the dozens they couldn't shift at the end of last year!
You'll have 10% off list before you even start haggling! £22,000 would buy you a £25,000 2.5SE with lots of toys.
£20,000 would be buying you a Y plate with 15K on it.
Is that good value or what?!
Making a shortlist of compact autos - colinh
Just a follow-up on the BMW compact - Autocar are speculating the Compact will be dropped from the 3 series range when the new ones are launched in 2005. 1 series will then be entry level. Could have affect on residuals for Compact a couple of years down the line - there again, may become a rarity and enhance its value


Value my car