Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - Rob the Bus
I know I've had a few threads about getting a new car, and I appreciate everybody's help.

However, things have changed. I have decided to make the life-changing step of quitting my job (don't know what my new 'back-room' name will be) and starting a teaching degree as a mature student.

For those that don't know, I currently run a 1986 2.0i Auto Granada. This, whilst being an excellent, trouble free (touch wood), rattle free, comfortable car will be far too expensive to run when I start my course.

So, I am looking for a small, economical, well-specced diesel (preferrably turbo, but not essential). Ideally, it should be as new as possible and I'm realistically looking at £3k to spend. I have no real preferences about make and am not worried about 'badge snobbery'.

I have two children under the age of 7, but we no longer need room for the huge pram etc.

Any help that you back roomers can give would be very welcome. Thanks for your time!

Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - Rob the Bus
Oh, and even though I'm probably asking the impossible, it should be reasonably pleasant to drive as well as I could well be doing an 80-mile round trip to Uni every day.

Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - Tomo.
Hello Rob,

Does it have to be diesel? Micra springs to mind if not too small. I know that a good one comes up every three years around here, only my mate reckons someone in the agency gets to it first. But he never has any trouble and HJ approves of the motor.

Whatever, all good fortune with the big decision! I'm sure it beats waiting for better days - an ineffective strategy I found.

Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - RichardW
Hmm, seems an inconsistency here.....

1986 Granada (practically worthless) too expensive to run, but can afford 3k to spend on a new car.

3k will buy an awful lot of insurance and petrol for the Granada - bearing in mind that a new car will only be cheaper by the differential in running costs (which might not be that large) and you will be getting caned by the depreciation.

The obvious answer might not be the cheapest one in the end (as long as the auto box doesn't pack up!!). Do the sums carefully - including depreciation and loss of interest on the 3k - before comitting yourself - I think you'll be surprised.

Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - DWR
Can't agree Richard.

Taking RTB's mileage to college plus his Scottish holiday and a bit of personal running about he would save around £1100-£1300 on fuel alone each year if he went for a ZX TD (to pick an example already used).

Add to that he would lose the liability of the Granada repairs over the next few years, however nice it is quite old already. He could be looking at possible structural rust issues, ABS failure and autobox problems.

RTB would only need to spend £1500 on a ZX for an excellent example so then the savings look even more certain.

And he may even enjoy the more modern driving experience!


Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - volvoman
Hi Rob - can't advise on the car but would like to say good luck with the course and your future career ! Must be something in the air 'cos even I have finally enrolled on a part time computer course - something I've been meaning to do for far too long.
Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - JamesH
From the Back Room crystal ball I can see the letters Z and X coming up in future posts.

They are smaller than a Granada, good to drive (same as a 306 underneath) and relatively quick in TD form. I once had one but the main reason I sold it was that the normally aspirated diesel was too slow.

The Citroen ZX is always being recommended by other BackRoomers but it is a really underrated car. You can get much more for the money than an equivalent 306.

Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - SpamCan61 {P}
I agree with RichardW; bangernomics rules : keep the Granny.
Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - Miller
How about a Citroen Xsara turbo diesel? Your budget should be enough for a decent spec average mile 3 year old. Excellent well proven engine, big enough to seat your kids in comfort.

Trade off is iffy build quality and future resale value, but I have owned both an AX and ZX in the past with no problems at all.

Im a loser why don't you kill me?!
Mature student seeks cheap thrills... - Andrew-T
RtB - I'd support the ZX-TD suggestion (but personally I'd go for the 306). The important thing is to go for a M/N-plater rather than one with a cat in the exhaust - it will have much more nip about it. And 50+mpg unless you're really heavy-footed.


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