Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
I'm looking into getting a car in the next few weeks.
I've got £2000 plus p/x on my car (probably about £250). I drive about 300m per week, so I need something reliable, cheap to run and will last a few years.
I've been looking at Clio/Fiesta/Punto/Micra, but I thought I'd get some advice from here first to see the pros and cons of these cars.
If anybody could give me some advice on these cars (or other ones...), then that'd be great.

Best super-mini for under £2000? - Blue {P}
The Fiesta would be the most fun to drive out of your list, provided you get one with the 1.25 or 1.4 16V Zetec engine, very cheap to fix and the reliability isn't too bad.

The Micra would probably have slightly more economical fuel consumption than the Fiesta, and perhaps be more reliable. But it's no where near as fun to drive, or comfortable IMO.

I own a Fiesta, and my dad owns a Micra, the Fiesta wins hands down in terms of comfort, power, and handling, and my dad admits that, but I have to concede that the Micra seems slightly better built. But just to confuse things a bit more for you, when the Micra goes wrong, it's not quite as easy to fix.

Can't really comment on the other two cars except to say that I wouldn't be considering them within your budget. I think the Fiesta will be the best buy and offer the most generous equipment levels... Just don't get one with the 1.3 petrol engine.

Best super-mini for under £2000? - DavidHM
At this money, you'll be struggling to get a 96 or 97 1.25 LX, but it can be done. It should have power steering too. Avoid anything pre-95 facelift (or a later 'Classic') and the 1.3 Endura 8v engine is not great - it's coarse and unrefined and doesn't take high mileages well. A Ghia would be nice, with electric windows, central locking and alloy wheels but it'll be auctions only if you want one within budget.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
Cheers for the help so far.
I have seen some Clio's (1996/1.2L) for around this price. Would they be worth a look?
Also, what was so bad about the 1.3 Endura. I've seen a 1998 for about £2K with 60,000 miles on the clock. Would it not get much further than this?
Also, would the 1.25 be advertised as a 1.25, or could they just round it up to a 1.3?
Thanks again for the help.
If you can think of any other cars then that would be really helpful aswell.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - lordwoody
I've owned numerous Fiats at various times ( currently a Punto HGT) and despite their slightly dodgy reputation for reliability I've had no more trouble than with any other car. The cheapest and probably most reliable car I've had was an old Uno bought cheap as a runabout ( the base model) which was great fun and unbelievably cheap to run. I always think there's something slightly more stylish about Fiats-Italians are famous for it!
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
I've heard that the Punto's have problems with Head Gaskets. Have you ever seen this?
Best super-mini for under £2000? - dave18
I've heard that the Punto's have problems with Head Gaskets. Have
you ever seen this?

Yes. I have seen this - both examples were the result of driving them too hard but not hard enough to warrant the gasket blowing!
As for the old Endura engine, Im only basing my opinion on what Ive heard: they get tappety and the spark plugs can get stuck (to put it very simply.) Various old Fiestas in the family with the 1.1 (which I presume is siumilar) engine were dying by 70k or so.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - jus
"Also, would the 1.25 be advertised as a 1.25, or could they just round it up to a 1.3?"

The 1.25 is usually advertised as such.

I have owned both a 1.3 Fiesta and the 1.25 16 valve which is definetly the model to go for. Its a really zippy little car. Great around town and real fun to drive. I do find it a bit uncomfortable for long trips on the motorway. Having said that I have driven from Kent to Newcastle several times in it without any problems.

Best of luck finding what your after.

Best super-mini for under £2000? - NorthernKev {P}
Have N reg Punto [cost: £2k]. And it's fab.

Only problems with it have been my fault.

Great car, if you're tempted try to get a 60, 75 or 90 bhp model, the base 55bhp one may be a bit slow...
Loads to choose from and look how many are still going round [and looking well [except for the red ones, they seem to fade very badly! [or fade very well??]]]

Anymoew info, just ask.

Best super-mini for under £2000? - fitz
Consider a 1.4 Seat Ibiza. They are effectively VW Polo's with a different body. The 1.0 is a little ubderpowered so I wouldn't consider one. You should get a P or R reg with 60,000 on the clock for £2000. We have had 2 in our family, one for 6 years and one for 4. Except for exhausts & bulbs nothing has ever gone wrong with either of them. If you do look at them check for rust under the wheel arches, especially a the back.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - paulbounty
buy a micra, I had two micras in the last seven years, had no problems, they are very reliable cars, cheap to run and insurence. I now have a new C3 but I wish I still had my micra.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - leatherpatches
We have a Peugeot 106 1.5 Diesel, worth about £2500 on a 'P' plate with 88k miles on the clock. Since 36k miles when we bought it, it has needed only a new starter motor (£65) and one set of front tyres. Does 65mpg with g/f driving (60mpg with me can't think why) and insurance group 3 or 4, I think.

Incredibly cheap and reliable car to run. Will take the best part of 16s to get to 60mph but runs lovely at 80mph on the motorway. Feels much bigger and more solid than other cars in its class and good for 150k+ miles, I should think.

Some people decry 106 diesels, but not those who have had them, unlike Clio owners...
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Ben {P}
97R mondeo 1.8lx at auction, or if you need it small, 1.3 micra, later the better.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - DavidHM
I like the Mondeo idea, but some people do want small cars.

My parents had a 1.3 Fiesta that they sold with 65k on it. I doubt it would have made it another 25k without big problems - these engines are an old design and generally don't last. The upside is that they're cheap to buy and easy to work on, but generally owning one is a much less pleasant experience than a 1.2.

By going for a 1.2, you are more likely to get a better spec including power steering which is more or less obligatory if you ever want to sell the car on. I would be very, very surprised if the 1.25 is ever advertised as anything other than a 1.25 or 1.2 - I think it is actually something like 1242cc so you should round down anyway.

Oh and a 1.0 Ibiza isn't a little underpowered. It's seriously underpowered in a quicker to walk kind of way. A 1.4 Ibiza could be a great buy though.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - roscopervis
I would advise agains a Clio. My brother has a Phase 1 1.4 RT and it is the most uncomfortable car to drive. The only fiesta to get IMO is the 1.25 zetec, I had a Mk 2 poplar with the old pushrod engine in it. Bought it at 38k at 68k it was needing a hell of a lot of money spending on it and the body was rotting.
I would recommend a 106, a 205 TD would be great but grp 8 insurance!) a Micra, a Polo (and relations)and the 1.25 Fiesta.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
I've seen a 1.4 Seat Ibiza for £1500 with 75K on the clock. Is this worth a look?
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
Oh and another thing. I've seen some Fiesta 1.25 Zetec's, but with high miles (75K). What type of mileage can I realistically expect from these before I have to start digging deep?
Best super-mini for under £2000? - blank
Personally, I would be more worried about 6 and 7 year old cars with less than 75 k miles, because of the short-journey abuse they will probably have suffered.

I would seriously consider VW Polo. A totally different experience from the fun and involving Fiesta. The Polo drives and feels like a bigger, proper car. It's not insipring to drive quickly but will go, stop and corner reasonably enough whilst feeling well screwed together and solid.
I bought a 2 year old, 40k mies 1997 diesel in 1999 for doing 20k miles a year. A 1-year old Fiesta 1.25 was the same price, but I thought the Polo would still feel together with 100k+ miles but the Fiesta might not.
Our Polo is now only a local journey car, but with 105k miles it still feels absolutely as solid as it did 4 years ago. I've been let down by a water pump seal failing once and a second time by a failed dash part which caused the oil pressure light to be on constantly (I didn't risk driving!). The only other non-service items have been a set of glow plugs, 2 sets of disks and pads, one set of drums and shoes and some tyres.

Avoid the early 1.3 cars which were rather asthmatic and the same goes for the 1.0's. The 1.4, 1.6 and 1.9D are all fine IMO, and they are within your budget at about 100k miles on an N/P plate. Usual comments about them taking miles very well, so insist on a FULL PROPER history and beware of clocking. Also, the saloons and estates are more rebadged Seat Ibiza than Polo hatch.

I would be interested in anyone with expereince if high mileage 1.25 Fiestas!
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
I'm swaying towards the Ford Fiesta 1.25 (insurance is cheap as chips as well), but I was just wondering about the differences between the LX, Ghia, Zetec and Encore?
Thanks again for all the help so far.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Monaro
Encore is the base model, Zetec is Sporty, LX is middle of the road and Ghia is plush (for a Ford).
Don't know what you get on each but Parkers will be able to tell you.

Paul C
Best super-mini for under £2000? - Mightycheese
Are all the 1.3 Fiestas bad news, or is it just the Encore?
Also, how do the 1.1 engines perform, are they really underpowered?
Best super-mini for under £2000? - DavidHM
All 1.3 Fiestas are bad news. The Encore is especially basic but the engine is the real problem.

As for the 1.1 - this engine was only ever available in the old shape models, which you MUST AVOID AT ALL COSTS for £2kish. Maybe at £500, where rust, carp handling, rattly interiors, zero safety and haphazard ergonomics are par for the course.
Best super-mini for under £2000? - blank
All 1.3's are the same old engine - bad news compared with the 1.25 Zetec engine, so make sure you don't get "confused" by someone selling a 1.3. IIRC, the 1.3's were about £1500 cheaper new than 1.25's.

Don't be confused by the fact that Ford have now decided to use their engine name as a specification level!

I didn't know that 1.1 fiestas of the approx'97 age group existed. Someone who knows what they are talking about will be along shortly!
Best super-mini for under £2000? - StuW
Not sure why no one rates the ford 1.3 fiesta engines in the BR. I've known a lot of people with fiestas with these engines and have had very few problems. i learnt to drive in a high mileage 1.3 Fiesta and my instructor never seemed to have any problems. Obviously the 1.25 is much more modern and faster but i think you'd really struggle to get one under 2k. I think the main problem people have with the 1.3 is that it is much louder than the 1.25 and the older ones do sound awful but it doesn't mean they are going to die usually far form it. The engine in the 1.3 is an old design and has been used in plenty fiestas and i still see alot of them about about still going! The 1.1 will be pretty slow but if you want something faster you'll have to pay for it!! That means more petrol, insurance and higher initial cost!! Personally i doubt a 1.3 would be that bad for what you want.


Value my car