Car Ideas? - Martin Wall
Ok - I have a 6 yr old Japanese 3dr hatch that I want to change. I do 12-14,000 miles a year mostly a motorway commute - can be a crawl at times - other time 70+ mph. My current car is lacking in toys and refinement. Also - at 70+ mph it's at 3700 rpm which I find quite wearing.

I want something new (not used) that is:

- refined, reliable, well built and well equipped (abs, aircon, heated mirrors, cd player, central locking, electric windows).

It must have a hatch for ease of loading. I had thought of a Toyota Celica as they are very nice but worry that as it 'stands out' it could get vandalised as I have to leave my car out in the open. Also - even after discounts I still think it's quite pricey.

A friend has suggested I get a Seat Ibiza TDI sport instead - a diesel hot hatch apparently. I've never had a diesel so I'm not sure. Also - I'm worried that it's a bit small to be safe.

I had thought of a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla petrol.

Any other thoughts?


Car Ideas? - DavidHM
First thought is, what's the budget?

I'm guessing, up to £15k if necessary, but £12k would be better?
Car Ideas? - Martin Wall
I'm guessing, up to £15k if necessary, but £12k would be better?

Indeed - in fact 10K would be EVEN better!
Car Ideas? - DavidHM
£10k is possible, but is a 1.6 petrol fast enough for you? It might also be a little bit buzzy - for comparison, a Focus 1.6 is at about 2800 rpm at 70. I've driven a 1.4 Corolla and it's okay but subjectively it's not a particularly nice place to be - although well put together, the materials feel cheap and it's not a car I could love, at least not at £10k. Similarly, the Civic works very well as a car but is not in any way engaging, at least not in my opinion. If you like the Corolla, a 1.6 T3 is a very good buy.

There are a lot of reliability questions over Renaults, otherwise I would recommend a Mégane 120 dCi Dynamique for £12k from

It's bigger than the Ibiza, slightly slower, but very safe and, though not huge inside, drives well. It's also about £800 cheaper than a Focus tdci 115 Zetec (when you take into account the must have climate pack), which still isn't as safe or well equipped, but does handle better and has more space.

If you don't mind the idea of small, and want cheap, there's also the new Skoda Fabia vRS, which is the Ibiza's PD130 engine in a five door body for a bit under £12k. It's new on the market but should be about £11k discounted, at which money it makes serious sense, especially if you quite fancy chipping the car to silliness.
Car Ideas? - Martin Wall
Don't feel confident buying a new Renault to be honest. Local dealer used to be Toyota and the workshop always just had cars in for routine servicing, tyres, exhausts, etc. They then switched franchise to Renault and the workshop seems to have cars in for various ailments - particularly the tyre pressure sensors on the new-shape Laguna. Also - anybody I know with an old shape Megane or Laguna seems to require more than their fair share of replacement parts even when these cars are comparatively young. I just feel that the new cars have too many electrical components to go wrong - e.g. ignition cards instead of keys, various sensors, etc. Hence my reason for wanting something well put together.
Car Ideas? - KB.
You were kind enough to respond to my questions in the Toyota Dealer thread. In it was mention of my Yaris Diesel CDX 5 door. Till I get my new car sorted it's not for sale - so this isn't a glorified ad for it - but I would expect between nine and ten for it and it's literally like new with seven and a half thousand miles on it. It's 11 months old. So, on that basis you would get something similar if you looked hard enough and it has got everything you mention except heated mirrors (electric yes, heated no). It is however only 3615mm long and for some it's not big enough.

I would most certainly hang on to it were it not for the fact that I'm going to need to shift clobber about in the future and we both feel quite proud to drive it (especially when it's doing 67 mpg).

As you'll have gathered, I favour something Japanese and would only be swayed as a last resort.
Car Ideas? - Martin Wall
A bit too small for my needs I'm afraid - although I know that HJ raves about the Yaris - especially the diesel - so I don't think you should have much a of a problem shifting it!
Car Ideas? - Martin Wall
Actually has anybody in the backroom got one of the Seat Ibiza TDI sport models - what's in been like for reliability and what has the dealer been like?



Value my car