£10K for a used car - redcard

I bought a 57 plate Yaris SR 1.8 a couple of years ago, and now I'm looking to trade it in.
I'm probably looking for something a little bigger, and with the same punch as the Yaris and have a budget up to £10K.
I don't know if the Yaris qualifies as a hot-hatch or not, but guess that's probably the market I'm in. I've regularly driven a 64 plate Mazda 3, bit found it really sluggish.

Looking for a couple of recommendations please so I don't waste too much time trawling the showrooms!


Edited by redcard on 05/01/2017 at 19:21

£10K for a used car - catsdad

Civic 1.8 petrol is similar in terms of torque and 0-60 with a bit more hp. It does need revving if you want to use its punch. Some people like this (I do), others prefer more power at lower revs.

Your budget would give a choice of turbo engined cars in VW family and Ford Focus. I prefer the proven mechanicals of the Civic but others on here will have other views I am sure.

£10K for a used car - Engineer Andy

Depends what (mk3) Mazda3 you drove - the 1.5 petrol and diesels aren't that quick (ok), the 2ltr petrol is fine for cruising but is a derated engine (the top-of-the-range model has its power bumped from 120hp to 165hp and is about 0.5 sec quicker to 60mph (about 8.3), but to get the best out of the normally-aspirated Mazdas (I own a 1.6 petrol mk1), you have to rag them, as you often have to do with VVTi type engines.

Even your Yaris would need the same, but I suspect as its smaller (lighter) it feels quicker, especially in the 30-50mph range. The 2.2 diesel Mazda3 is quick, but unless you are doing 20k+ miles p.a. then I wouldn't bother - the diesels still seem to suffer reliability issues (see the HJ car-by-car section), especially when doing lots of short journeys/low miles p.a.

To narrow the field, I would suggest you let us know:

  • Your anticipated approx. annual mileage going forward;
  • Whether you do most of your driving on fast, free-flowing roads, in town/short journeys (shopping car/take kids to school) or a mix;
  • Any 'must haves' (effectively 'red lines'), such as high reliability, ride quality, good dealerships, low depreciation, must be able to fit X people in/X item in the boot, cheap servicing/insurance, etc etc.
  • How much you can afford on servicing, insurance, fuel - some 'warm' hatches can be reasonable to run, others less so.

Quite often the above rule out many cars.

On first blush, I would say one of the following might suit, IF you can find one under £10k:

  • SEAT Leon 1.4t FR petrol (either std 5dr or nicer-looking SC 3dr). You probably only get an early plate 140hp version (not the 150hp ACT/Eco newer one);
  • VW Golf 1.4TSi GT petrol. Essentially the same car as the Leon but higher prices. May not be lucky. Don't get a 160hp twin charger - beset with problems, as is the 1.8TSi version. Std UK spec cars don't come with climate control, only manual A/C (Euro import cars do though - many sold via Motorpoint recently, so there may be some slightly older ones [5dr] out there).

Probably the best of both ranges, including in terms of reliability/performance/price combo. Audis too expensive and dealers appear generally have a poor reputation.

  • Possibly a 2012-16 Honda Civic 1.8 (try a high spec model) - size-wise about the same as the Mazda3 and 0-60 in 9.1sec in manual form. Not amazing handling, but probably fine. 2.2 diesel even quicker, but only for high mileage (far more reliable than the Mazda's diesel engines and other makes). Not cheap, but some around under £10k.

Once you narrowed it down a bit, try using the websites 'Cars for sale' (Used) section and see if there's some not too far away than might interest you at a franchised dealer. I would (personally) shy away from non-frnachised dealers/private sale if you're looking to buy a warm hatch or better, as often some real lemons are sold as in good nick (especially if someone's been 'modding' them to death).

I would also avoid an automated manuals or semi-auto boxes, especially VAG 'DSG' ones - can be very unreliable. Read the car-by-car reviews. Take your time - don't rush into something or the first one you think might do. ALWAYS get a test drive and use all the performance. See other threads for other tips for buying used cars, especially higher performance ones. Best of luck.

Edited by Engineer Andy on 05/01/2017 at 20:22

£10K for a used car - SLO76
Don't waste any time. Go direct to your nearest Ford dealer and try a Fiesta ST 1.6 Ecoboost. You'll probably have to dig a little deeper but it's by far the most entertaining small hot hatch on the market and has to date proven very reliable.

Just watch out for crash damage and missing service history. Pay the extra and buy from a main dealer with a full service record showing annual services not biannual. A well maintained fast Ford will always hold its money well and this is by far the best hot hatch in a generation. Go get one!
£10K for a used car - skidpan
  • SEAT Leon 1.4t FR petrol (either std 5dr or nicer-looking SC 3dr). You probably only get an early plate 140hp version (not the 150hp ACT/Eco newer one);

My Leon SE 1.4 TSi 140 PS goes in PX in March. 2013 car, under 30,000 miles and I expect it to be priced at approx £8500 on a independents forcourt, more if they are greedy. It will make someone a cracking motor (still has 18 months of Seat warranty remaining) and would suit the OP perfectly from their description of what they appear to be looking for. 45 mpg on average (seen 53 mpg on a week in Scotland). OP should sind a good one close to wherever they live. Just make sure its the current model, the previous model looked very similar but had the sometimes troublesome chain cam engine and was generally a bit rubbish. Examples are the ride was terrible and the interior plastics were rejects from Cadburys boxes.

Although I am leaving the Seat brand I will continue to recommend the Leon 1.4 TSI, quite simply IMHO there is no better small family car on the market. Why anyone would spend more on a Golf is beyond me.

Sticking with the 1.4 TSi, this time a 1.4 TSi ACT in a Skoda Superb.

£10K for a used car - redcard

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I actually had a 65 plate SEAT Leon FR 2.0 as a hire car for a couple of days and thought it was great, unfortunately it was just a bit out my my price range. As was the ST. £10K was my absolute top line, but ended up restricting myself to £8K and under.

Thought the Leon looked a bit boxy and eastern-European outside, but was great inside.

I managed to get rid of my Yaris in a couple of days, and bought an i30 at the weekend. Paid just under £7K with 29K on the clock. I'm not really a 'car person', but thought it drove well and had enough toys to keep me satisfied.

The Civic was on my list as well, but was happy to take the i30 as it was freezing cold and didn't fancy spending much time on fourcourts!

Thanks for all the suggestions.

£10K for a used car - SLO76
The ST was within budget if you had been willing to hunt around, there's plenty of 63/14 plate cars on around the £10k mark. If you'd wanted a hot hatch it was the best option by a mile but there's nothing wrong with an i30 asuming you've not overpaid for it. It's not a hot hatch as you originally wanted and certainly not the most entertaining drive but it's a good sensible alrounder.
£10K for a used car - daveyK_UK

i30 is a good choice, they are a really bargain upto 1 year old where you can pick them up in petrol form for well under £10 grand


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