A Travelling Car - carrie_b
Folks - A quick question looking for some realistic advice.

I want to buy a new car - I will be travelling on the road for my job and therefore want something comfortable, reliable and with a bit of kick but that won\'t break the bank.. Any suggestions?

So far I have been consider Golf TDI 1.9 or maybe a Renault Laguna?

I\'d appreciate your help!!!

CB
A Travelling Car - DavidHM
From which we are to infer a budget of around £15k new?
A Travelling Car - carrie_b
Well I'm in Dublin so around €20-22 Euros... So yes £15 K sterling. Maybe 2002 registration....

CB
A Travelling Car - DavidHM
Difficult to say because a lot of the people on here will know about car prices in the UK where there is no special car tax of 25%, which distorts your market compared to ours. Similarly, we know nothing of depreciation in the Irish market.

I've had a little look at motornet.ie and new, you'd have to get a pretty good discount to get into the ?22k range for what I'm about to suggest. It would easily be possible if first year depreciation there is anything like what it is here, but we don't know that.

I'd personally be looking at a Seat Leon with the 110 bhp TDi engine (about ?24k) or a Ford Focus with the 115 bhp tdci engine (?26k). A Golf at ?24k will have less power, be a little thirstier, less well equipped and less sporting to drive than the Leon, which is based on the same platform. If you can stretch to a 130 bhp Golf Trendline (a GTi in the UK) at ?27.5k that's worth a look.

As for the Laguna, it's a good car, but bigger than the others, not that spacious, and while it is extremely safe, there are question marks about reliability and, longer term, depreciation, I'd have thought. As for the cars I've named above, probably the Focus is the best, but the Leon is closest to your budget and can probably be had new if you haggle hard. None of them is bad, all have lovely, relaxing, torquey diesel engines and good performance and handling, but the Focus has the most space, best handling and probably the best crash protection too.
A Travelling Car - carrie_b
Thanks I will have a look at the Ford Focus ..sounds good.
CB
A Travelling Car - andymc {P}
Just one point about safety in the Focus - UK spec until very recently only had ABS and airbags as an option pack. Leon TDi SE comes with both as standard (again, in the UK) plus traction control & climate control rather than aircon, all-electric windows, electric heated mirrors and remote alarm - all standard spec.
Safety aside, I was very keen on having a Focus originally, but after test-driving both found the Leon much nicer inside (where you'll spend so much of your time) with a better driving position and more supportive seats for your back. There wasn't enough steering-wheel reach adjustment or elbow room in the Focus for me either. 15 months and 21k miles further on, I have no regrets. The car still looks, feels and smells brand new. Residuals seem to be much better for the Leon too, so you'll probably lose less at trade-in.
A Travelling Car - DavidHM
I'm not sure about Irish spec - probably better than the UK in this respect - but the tdci Ghia has always had traction control and ABS as stanard. I think I'd go for the Focus on balance - but although the Leon is the only one of the three I haven't driven I would also give it very serious consideration.
A Travelling Car - Tomo.
Is there a Kia agency handy? I will probably be considered biased so I will mainly just refer you to HJ's remarks on the Magentis in Car-by-Car breakdown,recalling only that my not too fit better half finds it very comfortable and I find it very pleasant to drive and quite lively enough; this is the manual V6.

Unless the badge matters, of course, depending on what the travelling is in aid of!


Tomo
A Travelling Car - andymc {P}
I would draw people's attention to the "Focus not so good" thread which has just come up - presumably a coincidence!

Only thing is to take an extended test drive. That's what I did, more than once. Ten minute test drives are no good - you need the best part of an hour. If your back or ankle start to hurt by then, it will always be an uncomfortable car for long trips or for spending a lot of time through the day in the car.

Just out of curiosity - how much for a Skoda Superb down south? I seem to remember that in the UK it's not that much more than the Leon TDi SE for the Superb in Comfort trim with the 130 bhp PD engine. Might be just what you want for long cruises. More room than a Passat, or even than an Audi A6. Lots of kit and looks the part too, IMHO, which I wouldn't say about the Octavia.
A Travelling Car - DavidHM
The Superb in Ireland is about ?32k for the TDi 130 Comfort. And while I understand that the Focus has its detractors, I definitely rate it above a Golf and the 307 HDi's engine isn't known for its reliability at big miles.
 

Value my car