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Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Sisca17
Having not missed a beat for years, my 20 year-old, 210k-mile Focus is finally beginning to cost money, so I think it might be time to retire it (a very sad day). Looking for a small, reliable used replacement around the £4K mark. Only do around 2000 miles/year, mostly at weekends and just around town.. Not too bothered about age, looks or bells and whistles, just want reliable. Any suggestions? Have heard good things about the Honda Jazz. Thanks.
Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - badbusdriver

Honda Jazz and the Toyota Yaris are both exceedingly reliable.

Or if you want something reliable and a bit more fun to drive, Mazda 2 or Suzuki Swift.

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Sisca17
Thank you!
Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - badbusdriver

Another option, a slightly leftfield choice, is the Toyota IQ. This is an extremely clever little (tiny actually) car using the same running gear as the Yaris (so very reliable). It is only a little longer than a Smart ForTwo but has one perfectly useable rear seat and another which could be used on occasion if the driver isn't very tall. This is one on Autotrader,

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20191213530...1

It is available with a 1.33 engine, but as you would only be using it in town, the 1.0 would be fine. And because it is so short, parking would be a cinch!.

Should also add that if the rear seats are in use, there is literally no boot!.

Edited by badbusdriver on 31/07/2020 at 20:49

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - gordonbennet

Another bonus for the iQ is that it uses a CVT (i believe) autobox not the MMT automated manual that even Toyota can't make work reliably long term.

Edited by gordonbennet on 31/07/2020 at 20:54

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Sisca17
Interesting. Haven’t seen one of these before. , Thanks
Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - madf

Honda Jazz and the Toyota Yaris are both exceedingly reliable.

Or if you want something reliable and a bit more fun to drive, Mazda 2 or Suzuki Swift.

We have both:

The Jazz for 8 years DIY maintenance after 5 years Honda.

100% reliable.

The Yaris (diesel) for 15 years. It is now 18 and minor things have failed in past 3 years - heater resistor (£10 ebay), glow plugs, window winder mechanism (repaired for £0 ).

My advice is NOT to buy a Mark1 Yaris -unless you do a detailed inspection for rust in rear including petrol filler pipe , subframe, suspension arms and mounting points. They corrode badly if neglected - MOT fails and scrap car if bad.

(I dinitrol ours and touch up every three years or so.. it is solid..)

Edited by madf on 01/08/2020 at 10:58

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Big John

Re Honda Jazz - for my sister a 2011 1.4 has been a fabulous car, incredibly reliable, pretty comfortable, economical and the magic rear seat arrangement is er magic. Before she bought it I did ask on this forum for recommendations for a small car that would be able to carry a double bass - the Jazz was the result of this.

As with lots of cars it's worth jetwashing behind the wheelarches every year to ensure there is no buildup of mud/silt to keep the car free of the dreaded rust.

Not a car for me though, being 6ft 4" I feel there just isn't quite enough front legroom - to be fair I find lot of cars have this issue which is probably why I'm still driving a Skoda Superb. Also there is a reasonable amount of rear legroom. The other issue doesn’t really matter if drive mainly around town - I find her 2011 1.4 a little "busy" on the motorway. The rev counter shows nearly 3500rpm at 70mph.

However If you want reliable - go and find a Jazz. Check service history and check rear wheelarches/inner wings - if they have been looked after they will be fine!

Edited by Big John on 31/07/2020 at 21:00

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Sisca17
Thanks - that’s really helpful
Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Xileno

I suppose it depends on your definition of 'small'. The Focus is hardly a large car as you've clearly had good service from it so what about another one? You should get a very nice late Mk2 possibly even an early MK3. The MK2 came with a huge range of engines, the 1.6 and 1.8 are Japanese. The early MK3 can be found with the same Japanese 1.6 VCT engine, same as we have. Very reliable and refined engine.

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - nellyjak

If reliability is the main factor then, for me, it would be a Toyota..or Honda.

The Yaris should always be a contender...and the cute and quirky IQ is worth a look too.

Edited by nellyjak on 01/08/2020 at 07:18

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - sammy1

As you are obviously a Ford fan why not stick to the mark, fiesta or even a Ka.

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - SLO76
Jazz is a fine option but they’re dull to drive so if driver appeal is important to you id look elsewhere. The Mazda 2 (petrol), Ford Fiesta (1.25/1.4/1.6 petrol) and Suzuki Swift (Petrol) all offer much more enjoyment but with similar running costs and reliability.

I’d cast the net as wide as possible rather than focusing on one particular model. All the following are worthy but much depends on what’s on sale locally. If you find one you like post a link to the advert for an opinion or two.

I’d shortlist the following, in no particular order.

Honda Jazz (the 1.4 is worth paying extra for)
Ford Fiesta 1.25/1.4 petrols
Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol
Mazda 2 1.3/1.5 petrol
Toyota Yaris 1.33 petrol


Edited by SLO76 on 01/08/2020 at 16:42

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - sammy1

Around the turn of the century SWMBO had two Ford Kas in succession, then one of the first Honda Jazzes. The Kas were excellent both in town and - an unexpected bonus - also on a long motorway run. The Jazz was lower-geared and quite frenetic at 70 mph. And despite its small size, the Ka, with a wheel at each corner and no overhang, was very sure-footed and I can't remember ever feeling blown about in one.

That original Ford Ka was a hoot to drive and I have very fond memories of it.

The above is from Avant on a post today re " small car mpg" the Ka is indeed one of the best small cars to drive-great fun!

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Big John

The big problem with the early KA's is rust takes them out. So look carefully - especially rear wings and fuel filler area. Later ones have Fiat running gear - my wife has a 2006 Panda that is a little "needy". The Fiat 1.2 fire engine is a cracker though.

Edited by Big John on 01/08/2020 at 23:46

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Avant

That's right: the second-generation Ka with Fiat power came out in about 2008. I never tried one but by all accounts they were much less fun to drive than the original Ka.

I did try one of the recent, short-lived Ka+ models: hopelessly underpowered.

For £4k I'd agree with SLO's shortlist above. Personally I'd start looking with the Yaris 1.3.

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - Big John
Honda Jazz (the 1.4 is worth paying extra for)

I'd 100% agree with that - 1.4 is the one to go for

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - badbusdriver
Honda Jazz (the 1.4 is worth paying extra for)

I'd 100% agree with that - 1.4 is the one to go for

The extra torque and moriginally more bhp of the 1.4 Jazz has over the 1.2 are not going to make any difference in the OP's 2k per annum only around town.

Ditto the Yaris 1.33 vs the 1.0.

Suggestions for reliable small used car c. £4K? - lucklesspedestrian

Feel free to openly question my sanity here, but we've had 2 mk3 Renault Clio's in the family over a good few years and many thousands of miles (a 1.2 75bhp and the turbocharged 1.2 Tce). They've both been excellent city cars, roomy, with great visibility and a slightly raised driving position. They've also proved pretty robust with only the odd broken spring, drop link etc needing fixed which I suppose counts as wear and tear. The blowers on the fan tend to fail on one or more settings but it's a quick and cheap fix. The suspension tends to deal well with dodgy urban road surfaces and the turning circle is great. Tbh, the normally aspirated 1.2 75bhp engine is a sweet wee unit and fine even if you have to venture out of town on occassion.

I'll get my coat.......

 

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