Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - Ebob

As the title suggests, after the complete disaster of her ford fiesta 1.4 tdci which we bought at 8 year old 70k miles, owned for 2 years, poured money into it and then had to sell for parts on eBay.

This time can't afford to have an unreliable car ( although there's never any guarantees) budget will be around £1.5 - 2.5k so will have to be an older car so looking for something that will stand the test of time.

Looking for any suggestions / personal experiences. It will definitely be petrol this time.

A Corolla looks good but it seems it will have to be after 2005 to avoid the oil consumption problem. I have 08 Avensis which I've owned for a year now and he's been good so far.

Also the old shape civic 01-05 looks good but I have seen that the gearbox input shaft bearing cab be an expensive fix on these.

Does anyone have any experience of a Suzuki swift or Mazda 2/3?

What sort of mileage can you expect to get a car which only needs routine maintenance? I know cars will go on 150k even 200k but if we've just bought it would rather get at some use out of it before having to get more major work done.

Another thing is most official car review websites seem to state at least 4/5 stars for reliability for most cars stating reliability should be good. However this is not what you here from garages and people from the RAC who come to tow your car! I think they may only look at within warranty failures etc. We need a car which will go on for a while without too much trouble.

Thanks in advance

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - SLO76
I’m a big fan of the Mazda 3 in particular and the 2 is also a great little car but more in demand because it’s more modern and much better on fuel so your cash won’t go as far. The 3 is a great little car to drive, has a chain driven engine that’ll run and run if it sees fresh oil once a year and is available in plentiful numbers for your sort of budget. Watch out for rust, particularly cosmetic on arches and tailgate but it almost always looks worse than it is. Brake calippers can seize also but otherwise they’re very robust.

Mk II Ford Focus with Yamaha 1600 or Mazda 1800 petrol motors are good news too if you can find a well looked after example.
Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - Ebob

That's great thanks for your help.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - Metropolis.
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Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - pd

A few 1.8 Toyota engines are known for getting through oil but I haven't heard of too many issues with the others.

A 1.4 or 1.6 Corolla from that era is still a very solid car.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - bazza

That's right, the oil problem was more an issue with the 1.8 and 2.0 vvti, not so the smaller units. We own a 1.4 Corolla in the family, it's now 14 year old, with 93K. Everything still works , even the a/c, which has never been re-charged. I recently changed 2 calipers which were running a bit hot, I could have rebuilt them but didn't have the inclination. As easy car to DIY. Find one with a decent service history and it should be good for a few years, they're about as robust as you'll get. You'll see about 38 to 40 mpg, more on a run. A great car.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - argybargy

Loads of Mazda 2s on Autodoofer between 1.5 and 3k. Its a model we looked at as a possible replacement for our B Max after being advised to do so on here, but decided it would be too small because of an occasional need to carry large items. However as a second car/ Fiesta replacement it looks perfect.

Another shout for the Focus 1.6, though having had a bad experience with another Ford you might not want to go down that route.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - pd

IIRC Corollas of that era came with 1.4 or 1.6 petrols plus the 190bhp VVT-L engine from the Celica in the T-Sport so none of the models used the 1.8 140bhp which is the one known for oil use issues.

Even then, and even if they do use a bit of oil, they usually plod on quite happily like that for ever as long as you top them up every once in a while.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - badbusdriver

I'd also chip in with the '05-'09 daihatsu sirion. We had one for 3 years from 2008, a 1.0SE. Very, very reliable, and very economical, it shares much in common with the mk2 toyota yaris. Very spacious for its size, and very versatile with an ingenious (though less effective) variation on honda's 'magic seats'. In the sirion the seat base slides forward then down into the rear footwell giving a fairly deep flat load area completely seperate from the boot. Engine choices are 1.0 3 cyl (68bhp), 1.3 4 cyl (85bhp) and the rarer 1.5 4 cyl (107bhp). Don't be put off getting a 1.0 worrying about lack of performance, i took ours from N.E. Scotland to N.W. England and the midlands a couple of times and had no problem at all maintaining 80-85mph on the motorway, remember it is a light car, so doesn't need much power to push it along nicely!. SE came with 4 airbags (front and side) whereas, i believe, lower spec cars just had the front 2.

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Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

Smaller engined petrol Corollas were passed down in our family and some went for scrappage eventually. Only for trade in reasons.Boring, cheap and easy to maintain.Find one, but there are no guarantees.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - John Boy

Perodua Myvi "... shares almost all of its components with the Daihatsu Sirion" according to its Introduction in HJ's "Car by Car" reviews.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - badbusdriver

As well as the Myvi, there was also the subaru justy. Both were essentially a sirion with a different badge. The Myvi had a slightly reshaped bonnet, but the justy was literally identical to the sirion. Weirdly the Myvi was only available as a 1.3, but the justy was only available as a 1.0.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - Ebob

Cheers for input, I keep reading mixed things about the vvti oil consumption I can't find a difinitive answer as to which engines were affected and between what years.

I think maybe the Subaru and dihatsu may a little too small as it will do a fair amount of motorway driving and that sorts of carscan get a little noisy and uncomfortable.

Maybe considering stretching the budget an extra 500 a or and getting another avensis. I read on here that the issue was fixed post July 2005

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - badbusdriver

I'm not trying to push it (honest!) but the sirion has a bigger boot that the suzuki swift (225 litres vs 211) and a similar amount of interior space. I also remember it having particularly comfortable and supportive seats.

But being so light (890kg) it would get buffeted about in crosswinds!

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - corax

I read on here that the issue was fixed post July 2005

From what I've read, the oil consumption issue was fixed after either 2003,04 or 05. I've never heard of any issues on later cars. I wouldn't blame you for going after another Avensis. Petrol ones cheap to run for a large car and reliable as clockwork, and will last just about as long as you want given regular servicing. Not an exciting drive, but stress free transport for those who aren't bothered about such things.

Looking for cheap reliable Japanese car for my gf - Ebob

"But being so light (890kg) it would get buffeted about in crosswinds!”

Ha ye I don't think she'd love that!


 

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