what new car??? - bugged {P}
I need some advice over what car to get next, have been looking at a few but can't decide..........mazda mx5, honda civic type R, mini cooper S, peoguot 206cc, im looking to spend roughly 14-17k. I always thought i'd always have VW's until i owned my troublesome bug and now i can't decide what to get!
After something fun but need it to be reliable and well built.


what new car??? - Aprilia
Go Japanese if you want reliability.
what new car??? - Burnout2
The shortlist seems to be slightly random; are your priorities image, performance or open-top motoring? Do you want to avoid all VAG products (ie: Seat and Skoda included)? The Civic is the fastest, and very easy to drive slowly too. Not quite bulletproof, but still very unlikely to give any trouble. The MX5 is a really nice, well-balanced drive and the pick of the roadsters. It, too, is extremely well built.

Of your list, the 206 is by far the most likely to suffer problems (particularly relating to the roof), and the Mini seems to be less reliable than you might expect from a BMW product. The Cooper wins in the fashion stakes though, and the S is grunty enough to be amusing.

what new car??? - bugged {P}
After my experiance id be quite happy to never drive another VAG as long as i live!! a friend of mine also has a SEAT and was back to the dealer on day 2 with trouble. I just can't be bothered with the hassle of it all, I had a nissan micra as a first car and never appreciated quite how good and reliable it was until my beetle played me up!! (i've had two by the way, the first one I rejected) I just want a fun car with little hassle, i know the list is pretty random thats why im having trouble, fun and performance are the biggest things after reliability. Open-top isnt essential but I havent heard much
about the 206 and was curious!!

Thanks for your help!!
what new car??? - DavidHM
The simple answer is - the one you like best. None of them is a bad car, although if you are concerned about reliability, the 206 would have to be bottom of the list (and although it has a very clever roof, the rest of the car's not much cop).

Just drive them all for a decent amount of time, see how you get on with the various dealers and then decide.
what new car??? - Aprilia
VAG do seem to be suffering a lot of problems at the moment. A few colleagues have late-model Passats and one has a MY2000 Sharan. They've all suffered a lot of problems of a rather odd nature (door lock failure, steering wheel covering splitting, engine mount snapped on Sharan! etc.) All are now a bit lukewarm about VAG because of dealer attitude and high costs.

OTOH, my elderly parents bought a new Polo in 2001, its been very good apart from a complete no-go one day due to ECU failure (trailered to dealer and replace immediately under warranty).
what new car??? - bugged {P}
The first one i had, had engine managment lights flashing after day 2, dealer said it was nothing to worry and sorted it (i thought) all was fine until 1 day on the way to work following an aged ford escort i heard back firing, "huh, horrible nasty car" i thought about the ford. Then it turned off. Back fired all the way there. Had it towed straight to the garage.

Was V unimpressed, my brand new car spent its first week in the VAG dealer! I rejected it under the sale of goods act and foolishly got my second one. To be honest has been no better, plenty of hunting through the rev range, the brake light switch failed and i am assuming i drove to work one morning with no rear lights! Had the car towed back to the garage on VAGs wonderful and very efficient roadside recovery people on a few occasions.

I find my local dealer a joke, they are slow, unhelpful and not very good at customer satisfaction. They used to be so reputable, they've got to big for their boots in my opinion and the brand gap has closed in on them. so many people i talk to have had troubles with theirs and i certainly wouldnt recommend them to anyone i liked!!!

My mum also has a 2001 polo and has had no trouble apart from a seat belt that used to snag all her clothes to pieces (VAG recommended one of those trendy seat belt covers!!! hmmm)

there we go rant over, sorry! its a rather sore subject with me!
what new car??? - Aprilia
Funny that, my parents bought the seat belt covers for their Polo! Obviously a common problem.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
crazy isnt it, the edge of mums belt was rough like it had got really hot and sort of gone crispy at the edges! only way to describe it! she made VW change it in the end, took them weeks though. weeks and weeks. they kept saying they couldnt get the colour right!
what new car??? - Maz
Meanwhile, back at the original question...

I'd throw the 206cc out straight away due to the number of problems with the 'clever' roof. As the car gets older I get the terrible feeling this could become an epidemic.

The Cooper S is lovely, but make sure you can live with the old car as you work your way to the top of the waiting list. Sounds like you won't be able to stand your old car long enough to me.

MX5 & Civic Type R are just great. You may also like to consider a new Toyota Celica or 2nd hand Honda S2000/ Lotus Elise.
what new car??? - kal
My advice would be to buy a high performance Toyota Corolla. Excellant relaibility and good service from Toyota dealers. But by nearly new and save some cash....also consider the BMW compact and new Audi A3.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
yep, my sister has a yaris and HJ always ravs about them, dont really know much about the corolla though, always thought Toyotas were a bit boring, am I wrong? How much is a BMW compact these days then?
what new car??? - Burnout2
Corolla T Sport is comprehensively outclassed by the Civic Type R as a pure performance car, but more comfortable and refined, with a more subtle image. Avoid the base 316ti Compact at all costs - it's a nice car for pootling around in, but it's far slower than most of your other candidates, and sparsely equipped. Not my idea of fun.
what new car??? - DavidHM
There is a new 316i ES compact from £16k which is better equipped (alloys, air, CD player) but is of course sloooow.

www.ukcarbroker.co.uk/toyotapricesmastercopy.htm has the Corolla T Sport for £13909 for the three door. Good car, 187 bhp I think, but a little bit bland and image free - certainly not the high revving nuttermobile that is the Civic Type R.
what new car??? - Nortones2
I have the Civic type S, and while I'm sure its not a patch on the type R, it's fast enough to make me think about whether I need so much power when its all at the top end. Thrilling at speeds approaching 60 in 2nd, 90 3rd, 120 in 4th (allegedly) but at other times its a all a bit mundane response wise. Coming to the point, the Corolla 1.8 has similar claimed horse-power but requires even more work than the Type R for it to be interesting. which occurs briefly once in every gear, over about 1000 rpm range. On reading this, I think must be getting old! Must get a Jazz, so I can pretend I'm going fast, but not risk the licence or lose it through hedges.
what new car??? - fitz
The Toyota Corrola T-Sport is an awful car. However the following, in my order of preference, are all excellent:

Honda Civic Type-R
Seat Leon Cupra or Cupra R
Skoda Octavia vRS
Mini Cooper S .... tiny boot though
Ford Focus ST170 ....£12,600 at car supermarkets!

By the way, I have driven all of these.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
thanks everyone for your help, i have certainly narrowed down my selection, now can anyone tell me how much is the beetle worth, 2.0 petrol, silver, a/c, cd changer, 20k miles worth then?????
what new car??? - leatherpatches
I'm biased, but I favour the Civic Type R. I have had one for nearly a month now and it is simply the best car I have owned by far. Search this forum for all comments posted so far about the Type R and see my review here (updated):


There is another Civic Type R review on this site - also highly informative. Worth checking out some of the other cars you mention there as well. The owners do tend to be quite objective.

More discussion here:


It is also the quickest and most 'revvy' of the cars you mention. I think you'll find the Beetle sluggish. The key is the test drive. Try to go unaccompanied and test every car you can. Take your time over the decision and find the car that suits your preferred driving style.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
The beetle is sluggish, thats what ive got now! i think its the civic i will go for, when i phoned the insurance company it was actually CHEAPER to ensure the civic than the beetle ive got now!! how they figure that i dont know!!! Thanks for the other sites i will go look!
what new car??? - DavidHM
What year? Without looking in AutoTrader or anything (I'm on dial up today) I reckon £7500-£8000 if it's on a W plate as a p/x and a starting point of £9000 if you're selling privately.

www.ukcarbroker.co.uk has the Civic Type R for £15223 brand new, which means that the cost to change could be as low as £6250. I would suggest spending the extra for air con though as it doesn't come as standard.

And, based on the other thread that's been floating around for the last few days, check the oil level regularly if you do get one.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
oh yeah that would have been helpful! its a 2002 model on a 51 plate!!!

I saw the other thread and wondered how long is was before someone mentioned!!! learnt my lesson though, the beetle uses
oil like its going out of fashion, had the light come on once and keep some spare just in case!!!
what new car??? - leatherpatches
Oil usage is heavy as the engine beds in, but users report virtually no oil drop between services after the first couple of thousand miles.

As the VTEC second-cam system relies so heavily on oil pressure and flow, it is particularly important on these cars to maintain. Just check every other time you fill up for the first 2k miles. Bet you find it uses less after 1.5k miles.

A couple of tips:

1) Get some harness straps for the front seats. The Civic has a seatbelt but it rubs all the cover off the huge Recaros in the front. The pads stop this happening if fitted from new.

2) Several owners are reporting geometry problems. If you notice any drift to the right or uneven rear tyre wear, have Honda do a full laser 4 wheel alignment check. In extreme cases new and longer suspension arms have been needed (under warranty) on the rear suspension. Sometimes the problem has been cured by adjusting toe-in, camber and tracking. Not severe enough or common enough for a recall, but worth watching for. My car handled even better after this was put right.
what new car??? - leatherpatches
Oh, and that insurance result is very suprising indeed. Civic is group 17 or 18, compared to Beetle 8 or 9? I thought I was doing well getting £775 with 5 years NCD (28yo not living in Beirut) and no crashes or speeding at all. I'd stick with them.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
i have always wanted harness seatbelts in my car and now have a good reason then!!!! how hard are they to fit and do you reckon the dealer could do them for me??? can you get them as a factory option? and why if they are obviously safe (or racing drivers wouldn't use them) don't more cars have them as an option???

thanks for all the advice, it is really good to chat about REAL problems that may happen and have a good idea of things to expect after spending so much money!!!
what new car??? - DavidHM
In that case, add £1500 to my figures above...

So starting price of £10500 privately, bottom line of maybe £9k and hopefully a little more as a trade in.
what new car??? - bugged {P}
thanks David thats really helpful!!!


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