The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

I am looking for a stylish even sporty looking petrol or hybrid car ( 2, 2+2 or 4 seats ) for under £5000 that is good looking, at least reasonably fuel efficient and won't cost be an arm and leg in repairs and servicing...and I am not knocking in any way the standard cars like fiestas, golf etc but something different

Is that possible ?

Even suggestions could get me thinking

p.s. I do love classic cars but I don't think many of them are reliable enough and some really do look old haha

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - badbusdriver

MX5

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - badbusdriver

Hyundai Velostar?. You say sporty looking (and different) rather than fast, as the budget wouldn't stretch to the 200bhp turbo, just the n/a 1.6 (138bhp). Very reliable quite practical though.

Or a VW Scirocco rather than the ubiquitous Golf, a 1.4TSI petrol is fast enough, reasonably practical and efficient too, cake and eat it?!.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - badbusdriver

Honda CR-Z?. This is a 2 seat hybrid coupe, not especially fast (not especially slow either mind!), very efficient (natch') and being a Honda it is of course reliable!.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - badbusdriver

The Toyota IQ is a real left-field choice. Is it sporty?, no. Is it stylish?, depends on your opinion, but i love them. Not just because of the unusual looks, but also as a masterclass in packaging. The bigger 1.33 (rather than the 1.0) engine is the one to go for unless you only drive in town, not that its particularly fast, but its OK. Reliable?, it's a Toyota, of course it is!. And you'll be able to fit into the smallest of spaces.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - elekie&a/c doctor
What makes you think older cars are unreliable? How about a BMW e46 330 coupe . Old fashioned? Don’t think so .
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - apdleam
Peugeot RCZ. £4,500 will get you an early 1.6gt with full history. Annoyingly these never came with DAB but they have most other creature comforts. An affordable coupe which still looks great a decade on, if you can live with the slightly iffy build quality.
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

Thanks so much

really like all those so far RCZ, SIROCCO , CRZ and Veloster

What about maintenance, repair costs on these?

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - badbusdriver

Not sure about the RCZ though i believe the engine itself is sturdy enough. The Scirocco is reliable enough assuming you get a car with a drive belt rather than chain. Not exactly sure how to tell which is which but a VW forum could surely help, assuming someone on here doesn't have the answer. But that 1.4TSI is an absolute peach, in 140/150bhp guise it has more than enough power for most folk, loads of torque and very impressive economy. The CR-Z, well as said earlier, as a Honda, it will be reliable. There isn't anything particularly complicated about the 1.5 petrol engine. And as for the hybrid gubbins, Honda have been making hybrids for very nearly as long as Toyota, so personally, i wouldn't have any concerns about it. For peace of mind though, you could ask on a relevant forum to find out if there is anything needs looking out for. But i certainly would not even contemplate an insurance write off (not that i would for anything as a general rule, but especially a hybrid). Nothing at all to fear on the Hyundai, the n/a 1.6 petrol engine is the same as used on various other Hyundai's and Kia's.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - barney100

SLK, join the owner's club and find a good indie. A 2 litre petrol would fit nicely.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - barney100

Found a 2003 SLK in black, 230cc, 50,000 miles, £3450, £1555 under budget to play with.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - _ORB_

Found a 2003 SLK in black, 230cc, 50,000 miles, £3450, £1555 under budget to play with.

230cc. Blimey, that a small engine..

Won't be fast.

Smiley emoticon.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - barney100

Ah yes, that's the sewing machine version, this SLK has 2300cc which may be quite fast.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - elekie&a/c doctor
I’d opt for the Slk or even the Clk 320 with the super smooth V6 .
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - pd

If you're looking at a slk of this era I'd try and find a 320 which is a much nicer drive and doesn't use much if any more fuel.

Main thing to look out for is rust, otherwise they're pretty solid. I reckon the Mk 1 SLK will soon bottom out price wise and eventually become quiet collectable.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - barney100

I had a CLK 320 for about six years lovely to drive but a wee bit thirsty.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - SLO76
Depends on what’s on sale nearby but I’d point you towards a Mk III Mazda MX5. These are truly brilliant little cars, they’re utterly reliable yet an absolute joy to drive. Only rust blots the perfect ownership prospects but get a good well maintained example and look after it and it’ll give you more smiles per mile than anything else then it’ll reward you at the end with minimal depreciation.
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

Thanks again for the advice

I did say in my initial question 'fuel efficient' as possible so surely the mere will be expensive to run and maintain ?

cheers

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - SLO76

Thanks again for the advice

I did say in my initial question 'fuel efficient' as possible so surely the mere will be expensive to run and maintain ?

cheers

An 1800 MX5 will do over 40mpg on a run and average high 30’s if driven with reasonable restraint. As for maintenance they’re simple cars that anyone can service and should prove very robust. As far as running costs go this is about as cheap as reliable fun gets. I wouldn’t recommend a cheap diesel to you but a small mild hatch like a Suzuki Swift Sport is another worthy option. It’ll be a little better on fuel and again it’ll offer excellent reliability and be an entertaining companion on any twisting B road. The Peugeot RCZ was bad for electrical faults and is pretty notorious for eating timing chains. I never enjoyed the one drive I’ve had either, it felt very bland to drive with a notchy gear-change and numb steering. The Hyundai is ugly and although I’ve never driven one I’ll wager they’re pretty dull too. To me the MX5 and the Swift Sport are the best two fun cars you can buy on a £5k budget if you factor full term running costs in. A cheap high performance model or a complex turbo diesel will almost certainly cost more to maintain and repair, wiping any of the small potential fuel saving out. Another possibility is the Ford Fiesta 1.6 Zetec-S but they’re quite rare and have usually been utterly abused by mostly young drivers. A good one however would be an excellent option.
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

Thanks

Any experience of the CRZ ?

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - SLO76
Got a work colleague with one of which she speaks very highly but to me a hybrid based on the Honda Jazz is unlikely to be very entertaining to drive. I haven’t had the privilege though. Reliability should be fine but remember that battery packs degrade over time and it’s unlikely to be offering much assistance at this age. I’d again recommend keeping things simple and I’d avoid hybrids, prestige brands and turbo diesels. Stick with conventional petrol engined models.

Had Honda produced the CRZ with a high output VTEC motor of say 1500cc and 150bhp plus and sharpened up the handling a bit then it probably would’ve sold well here but as a hybrid it was a flop.
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - Engineer Andy

Thanks

Any experience of the CRZ ?

Try the owners' reviews - admitedly only a few, but a good score, but I think its a very niche car. You may also find it difficult to find one (and in your price bracket) as a result.

www.honestjohn.co.uk/owner-reviews/honda/cr-z-2010/

I'd stick with the MX-5 - loads to choose from, lots of experience in maintaining them, owners' clubs for help and great fun. Just make sure you fit in it!

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - pd

It's very difficult to find any good arguments against a MX-5.

Everyone needs to own one at least once to remind themselves why they like driving in the first place.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

Thanks

I see I can get a 1.8 2005+ model for under £5k

Any particular model I should go for or avoid.. options etc..

cheers

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - elekie&a/c doctor
All Mx5 models are good fun , even the basic 1.6 engine models . However, the biggest problem with these is corrosion, corrosion, corrosion. Check the rear sills and front subframe, chassis legs . We’re not talking old cars here . Models up to 2010 are most prone .
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - smallcar

I have owned a CRZ for 5 years. Mine is a 2012 GT but without the Sat Nav (which isn't v good anyhow). It counts as a pre facelift model ie pre late 2013. You will be looking at a 2010-2011 car at your price range.

I love it -particulary for its looks. It is the only car I've owned where people ask me what it is and when I catch the reflection of the car in glass showrooms or see the car from afar I do smile and feel proud it is my motor. Next to all the greyish big blobby cars in car parks now the CRZ is lithe, small, low and with flowing lines. It's the opposite of the ever bigger bulkier frankly indistinguishable car world we live in. At my local hand car wash the Eastern European boys say it is cool - and they get rather bored with endless Mercs and Range Rovers.

I will list out the positives:

The looks, its compact size, It's unusual, it is utterly reliable, surprisingly large boot esp with the seats down - I am off to a certain swedish big box retailer tonight and it's not a daft prospect to bring stuff home in it. I have done trips to the tip in it and also week long holidays also v easy. I find the performance perfectly adequate. Fully equipped - good climate, electric folding mirrors, fixed moonroof in GT, heated leather seats in GT too. Economy is around 48-52mpg. Depending on where you live it counts as a hybrid/alternative fuel car so can mean lower residents parking charges. It never was CC exempt and still isn't.

Negatives

Ride can be crashy and a bit firm esp on thinner rubber. I have the 16 in wheels with Michelin Cross Climates. The seats are a bit thin - I find them okay for a couple of hours at a time. rear visibility isn't brilliant but then in many cars now it's not great. I actually quite like the cross bar breaking the rear screen in two as at night it blocks headlights. Combination of good mirrors and parking sensors helps.

I belong to a group on F***book for the car and it has a loyal following - not so many were sold so it has rarity value. We tend to wave at each other as we drive about or ask if "I saw one in Asda Swindon was it anyone from here? " type posts. Nobody, literally nobody has reported problems with the IMA battery. Nobody has had to get it replaced. Mine still works at 8 years old in the same way it did when I bought it at 3 yrs old. The 12V battery does need to be replaced occasionally (it doesn't start the car but it "starts the brain" to start the car (using the IMA battery).

Small areas of weakness - rear brakes can stick/go rusty. the CRZ uses regenerative braking for 50% of the brake pedal travel so uses its brakes very lightly. The rear brakes gets the least use of all as you'd expect. plus point being the pads wear a long time all around. People have reported occaisonal door lock problems. I haven't but if you get to look at one just check they all work.

Biggest problem is usually finding one. I bought mine as honda approved used but went from London to Lancashire to buy one (they were cheaper up north and away from South East/London).

It is being talked about as a future classic. It was very much a "punt" by Honda to test the market for a sporty manual hybrid. It didn't sell well even in Japan. I have been to the mother country twice in last 4 years and saw precisely 4 CRZs in over 5 weeks of travel.

There are ways to soup them up eg superchargers, engine work. Plenty in the F book group can help if that's your thing. Quite a few get "modded" or lowered. Mine is original.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - johncyprus

I’d suggest a CLK320 1999-2002 the W208 model, not the later version the W209 which has much more to go wrong so says my mechanic. I used to be a serial car changer until this, had it six years now with hardly any issues and all spare parts available and lots of good indies to look after the vehicle.

Fantastic spec heated leather electric seats, electric rear blind, electric rear head rests, wonderful audio etc etc and it all still works bar the air con which has just failed after a regas so it’s going to a specialist and if I have to spend a few hundred I’m happy as the car owes me nothing.

Runs on 16” wheels, Michelin CC just £90 each. I bought a set of four some 25,000 miles ago and there’s still plenty of tread left. Mid 30s easily attainable on a long run partly due to the aerodynamic properties of the car and best of all, over the 6 years I’ve averaged about £750 each year on repairs and servicing. Of course depreciation is not an issue.

In six years it’s only let us down once when the crank sensor failed but even then the car started after 20 minutes and we were able to get it home. Highly recommended.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

Thanks for the info on the CRZ ..ill take a look on FB

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

..and thanks for the info on the SLK..not sure insurance would be ok for my daughter (19) and son(25). The mx5, coz and scirocco are all fine for insurance costs

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

I took everyone great advice and decided to take a look at some of the cars and some of you were bang on right !

Realistically when I put together my elderly Mum, my 2 older kids and me it was just daft to be looking at a 2 seater sports.

So I'm back at looking at some 'sporty' 3 door good lookers and so far have come down to so far a Fiesta 1.6 Zetec S and a 1.4 TSI Astra GTC

I can get 2010 to 2012 models of these for under £4k

My older daughter has the GTC (2016) and loves it

Any thoughts ?

Cheers

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - elekie&a/c doctor
Fiesta is a great car , but getting into the back of a 3 door model is a challenge. Young and agile spring to mind .
The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - badbusdriver
Fiesta is a great car , but getting into the back of a 3 door model is a challenge. Young and agile spring to mind .

I was thinking the same thing!.

The Hyundai Velostar I mentioned back near the start of the thread is a distinctive looking car full stop, but one of the more distinctive aspects is that it has two doors on one side and one on the other!. This means if you need to get someone less mobile in the back, they can get in the side with the rear door, with relative ease.

Both the Fiesta and Astra GTC are decent enough cars though.

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - logger

Ok. great to see maybe I'm on the right path now

So Astra GTC vs Velostar vs Scirocco ?... probably 2008/09/10 models

Not worried about 3 door as it will mainly be for 2 people and also not worried about super speed so happy to consider 1.4 engine

Any owners or experience with these

Cheers

The holy grail or just fantasy for under £5000 ? - SLO76
If driver appeal is important then you’ll possibly find the Astra a bit numb. They’re very good at sitting on motorways at high speed all day and depending on engine (I’d leave the diesels at this money) they’re pretty robust but there’s little entertainment to be had. A Ford Focus or Mazda 3 would be much nicer to hustle down a twisty B road ditto a Fiesta of any type. Avoid the 1.0 Ecoboost and stick with the 1600 Yamaha designed petrols and they’re pretty tough. If you like the Astra there’s no reason to leave it out, I just don’t rate them as a drivers car personally.
 

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