Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Daz
All advice welcome, I think the time has come to ditch the Omega and accept my losses and take out a loan for a new one.

Anyone know how reliable VW Passats are?

Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - andymc {P}
You might be able to get a BMW 525 TDS for that money, but it'll date back to 1996 or so. They seem to be better equipped and better to drive than equivalent Mercs - I compared a few before settling for a BMW (unfortunately the underpowered TD, not the TDS). Very durable & reliable too.

AFAIK, I think there was a tendency for Passats produced up to early 2001 to have difficulties with front suspension wishbones, while early PD engines seem to have suffered from reliability problems which are only now being ironed out. Sean will probably be able to advise/correct on this.

My decision to buy a 1999 Passat saloon (cost £6995 with 90k miles, new MOT, full service and 12 month warranty) under the Approved Used scheme meant that the dealer was able to identify front suspension wear and replace the appropriate parts FOC before I even collected the car. The only gripes I have relate to how it drives - the 110 bhp TDi is just a tad underpowered for this size of car, but the main thing is the handling - far too wallowy. To compare driving over a rise in the road to a boat cresting a wave is not unfair! Lovely comfortable cruiser though, with supremely comfy seats. Took it for an 1100 mile tour round south-west Ireland recently and never felt tired. Oh I've just remembered another niggle - the transmission tunnel slopes out a little too much, so that my left foot is never flat on the floor or flat on the (narrow) footrest - it ends up angled unnaturally outwards (kind of flat-footed, if you know what I mean), which can cause the ankle to ache over longer trips. But for a 4 year old car it looks and feels virtually new.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Greg Parker
[oops. Mark.]
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - DavidHM
How much space, how much kit, and how new?

Best three off the top of my head seem to be 99 Focus, 80k, (not a great engine, but cheap, safe, spacious), 97/98 Passat, 90k, and 99/00 406 HDi, 80k.

I like the 525 TDS but it's not that economical, probably comparable to a 1.6 Focus but, while it has more power, it's probably not what you're thinking of.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - TrevP
Skoda Octavia. If you can find one - because nobody lets go.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Daz
Thanks for your detailed posting I kinda guess that rules a Passat out now, I have noticed quite a few Passat postings so I guess there not much better than Omegas.

I know cars go wrong but Omegas and now Passats seem to take the mick somewhat.

ANyone any ideas on Volvo 940 or Mazda 626 Estates preferabl;y diesel with an auto box?
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - TrevP
I think Mazda only did diesels very recent - guessing at 2000.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - BB
I wouldnt completely rule passats out. While the quality is not what it used to be, it is still as good as other manufacturers in my opinion.
When I was looking for a diesel for around £4000, I had a short list of a VW passat and a 406 HDi. Both are capable of clocking up the miles. But as with any car, it all depends who and where you buy it off.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Big Cat
Don't bother with a Volvo 940 diesel, has the horrible straight six VAG engine derived from the LT van. Ok in a commercial but noisy and unrefined in a car. 850 has the far better 5 cylinder VAG engine but may be out of your price range.

Also no-one has mentioned the Rover 400 estate. I had one a few years back and was very pleased with it. Not a big estate but it may be ok for you. Also it came with the well regarded PSA 1.9 TD engine, as fitted to many Pugs and Cits. Think the gearbox was Honda. Not a bad car at all, would have another if Rover still did a medium estate again.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Dynamic Dave
Greg Parker wrote:-
From what I read....

Yes, and we know where you read the info from as well. You have previously been told not to repeately tell people to goto the carsurvey website for reviews, so instead you now cut and paste the reviews from it instead. Bye.

Dynamic Dave
Back Room Moderator
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - DavidHM
Trev, there are some old 626 diesels out there. Not many, and they're not any good. Estates are even rarer, so essentially they don't exist.

Daz - Greg is quoting from a site that encourages people to post about their cars, many of whom have had experiences far worse than what is typical. It's a useful resource, but don't take it as gospel.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Thommo
Seem to be plenty of Skoda Octavia diesel estates on autotrader for around the £5k mark, though admitedly some seem to have been previously owned by Captain Kirk.

That would be my tip for the top too.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - DavidHM
Captain Kirk is a taxi driver now then is he?

Seriously, there'll be a lot of ex taxi Octavias at that money, which is fine, but IMO they need to be even cheaper because they won't be motorway miles, but done around town with all the wear and tear that implies.

(Of course the car will be up to temerature but the car will likely have been run at higher revs and with far more gear changing and idling).

Other than that though, definitely one to consider if you can find a straight, unclocked one.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - Thommo
On a light hearted note, ALL the taxis in Madrid are now Skoda Octavias (saloons not estates) and they are all painted white and there are thousands of them. Its a very impressive if curiously disturbing sight.
Best Diesel Estate Car for £4-5K - M.M
Well I'm biased but....

If you were asking for something sensible in the £3-£4K range a clean genuine Citroen Xantia SX 1.9TD may suit. As your budget is that bit higher though you may prefer something perceived as a newer design.

The Xantia's self-levelling will give you the best ride and weight carrying ability in its class if you carry serious loads. Similarly it will enable an excellent towing ability if you needed that.

They are fantastic value, don't rust, handle well for size/type and there is huge support for them outside the dealer network with cheap OE parts from GSF and similar.

They also fall well between a dog and a poseur machine so tend to blend into the background. Don't attract the attention of envy scratches or the traffic police (??!!).

If you fancy taking a chance on something interesting though you'll have to beat me to that nice metallic blue Mercedes TD Estate.


Value my car