Convince me! - HelloEveryOne
Hi everyone.

Just hoping for a bit of help.

I've had a Toyota Carina now for about 10yrs, but I only recently changed it to a SAAB 9-5. The only problem is after about 4 months of ownership it developed many problems and landed me with a £3.5k bill.

It's a long story, but I've got rid of it.

Now - My Toyota has been standing for the past 4 months, and apart from charging up the battery, there is not a single problem with it - and its covered 190k. That's the kind of car I want - it'll get me from A to B, get about 34mpg from a petrol Auto, and seat 5 in comfort. All things a 10 year old Carina can manage easily. I couldn't really care less about image (I'm just not going to buy a Ford or Vauxhall), I just want a car that has all these features.

Having bought a "prestige" car, with my own cash - and seeing the financial damage it can cause I'm considering buying another Avensis.

It'll be second hand - I'm thinking of one of the ones that has the 2.0 or 1.8 VVTi engines, an Automatic, about 2001-2003, up to about 4k. High mileage isn't a problem, because I understand that if it is properly maintained (like I have my Carina) it can easily take it.

Please, please convince me that this Avensis will be as bulletproof as my Carina - that still flies. Of course, if you have any other suggestions, please let me know, and if there's anything in particular you think I should look out for when looking at the Avensis, please do let me know. I've had a quick look at the car-by-car breakdown; very useful, and informative.

Sorry for the long post!

Many thanks in advance to you all for your help.!!
Convince me! - BazzaBear {P}
To be honest, reading your appraisal of the cars in question, I don't see why you're bothering to get rid of the Carina in the first place. It sounds like the perfect car for you.
Convince me! - Rodger
Modern cars are full of technology and change very fast so how do any of us know what we are getting? Will a DSG gearbox last 150k miles?
Unless you can afford to buy newish and change when the warranty expires any of us can be faced with a huge bill on any car BUT if you have a car that suits you and is reliable stick with it for as long as possible. Research, as you are doing, will give some pointers, try warranty directs site, read the hundres of post in here. In general "Japanese" owned/influenced come out on top of the polls Honda, Mazda and Toyota (how will Nissan fare as part of Renault??). Saab seem to fare badly as you have found to your cost.
Why not Ford ar Vauxhall their reputations have improved remarkably over the last five years.
The Avensis seems as good a bet as any that i can see.
Convince me! - Collos25
A friend of mine has a car and van hire company in Bradford and his Avensis cars some are over three years old have not had a single part fitted except wear and tear items this also goes for his Corollas.He then sells them on and they normally end up as hire cabs.
Convince me! - Aprilia
Was your SAAB a Diesel by any chance?

Anyway, I think the Avensis would be fine. I would go for the 2l engine which is reported to be just a little more reliable than the 1.8 (at least that what I was told by a Toyota technician who's a friend of a friend...).

Toyotas use Aisan-Warner autoboxes which are pretty much bullet proof if treated properly.
Convince me! - Sprice
What Carina have you got? Is it the Carina E or the type before that? The reason I ask is the Carina E was not as bullet-proof as the previous Japanese-built Carina. The 2litre Carina E was the best one, the 'lean-burn' 1.6 and 1.8 were not as reliable. In short, an Avensis will be as good as a Carina E, but not as good as the previous Carina (think it was called the Carina II) IMO!
Convince me! - Happy Blue!
My mother-in-Law had an 'S' reg Avensis 1.8 auto. Did 120,000 miles without a murmur.

I thought it drove well, had excellent economy and lots of space.
--
Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Convince me! - HelloEveryOne
Firstly thanks for the replies, keep them coming!

The SAAB I had was a 2.3 petrol 9-5. Went beautifully when it was working though!

The Carina I currently have is a 95 M 2.0 CarinaE Executive, 5dr Auto.

Overall - I hope that the Avensis should be pretty reliable if it is maintained well. I would hope to maintain it like I maintain my Carina - A minor and a major service each year. With the Carina the only thing I have ever replaced is the Radiator (supposedly this is a common thing to go wrong), apart from standard things like Tyres etc. I'm very much from the school of thought that "prevention is better (and cheaper!) than cure".As I found out with the SAAB!

I'm hoping to get a 2.0 Auto VVTi Avensis, as this is what I have been suggested, and am pretty familiar with (because the Carina has a 2.0, is Auto and still delivers abot 34-35mpg). Thanks also to Aprilia for the comment about the 2.0 litre engine. Hopefully, it should be pretty reliable if I make sure to get one that has a full (preferably Toyota) service history. Also, am I right to think that the new 2.0 VVTi Avensis will be at least as economical as the Carina, if not more economical on the petrol?

If anyone has any other experiences, comments or suggestions, please do let me know!

Thanks again to you all.
Convince me! - Rodger
Andy is right about Cabs, most of the ones in Leeds seem to be old Carinas. These guys must know what they are doing with cars as they earn them their livelyhood. We should try to do a survey of the Leeds/Bradford cab drivers and see what they drive. Bet that would give an excellent quide to longevity and cost of ownership!

On a recent holiday in Madrid it was interesting to see that of the thousands of cabs on the (very crowded) streets i would guess more than half were Skoda Octavias. Not Seats.
Perhaps the locals can put up with the hideous interior materials. I looked at one and hated the seat fabric, sort of Scotchbrite nylon. Guess it lasts but would not want to sit in one all day at 40C outside temp even with aircon! Which brings me back to the Avensis, I find the interior solid, workmanlike but dour and dull. Not sure i would want to live with it.
Convince me! - BazzaBear {P}
I still think you'd be better off staying with what you've got. The Carina does everything you want it to do, it's reliable despite it's age, you don't care at all about appearances, so all you're doing by changing is costing yourself money.
Convince me! - DougB
Hi HelloEveryOne -

What were the problems you had with your Saab 9-5.

Interested as my wife has just bought one!

Regards DougB
Convince me! - HelloEveryOne
Many thanks for all your replies!
I still think you'd be better off staying with what you've
got. The Carina does everything you want it to do, it's
reliable despite it's age, you don't care at all about appearances,
so all you're doing by changing is costing yourself money.


I completely hear what you are saying, and I think that's what I rally should do. The only thing is that I'm going to have to spend roughly £300-£400 on it within the next couple of months - MOT, Service, New Tyres and so on are all needed. I'm realistic in that it probably wouldn't fetch this much if I tried to sell it.

I was thinking that maybe this could be better put toward a new car?

Oh and the SAAB - Basically the gearbox went, as well as a few other things! I know nothing at all about cars, and I have no ideas about what to check for or how I could tell that it was on its way out. Like I say, when it was driving - it was beautiful, very smooth, and overall a "cool" car as well as very spacious inside, as well as of course being safe. It even had a full History when I bought it! Oh well.
Convince me! - keo-the-dog
Hi i own a 2 litre avensis vvti auto saloon 2002 02 be wary fuel consumption is the downside of what is in my opinion a lovely car. i get low 20's but toyota claim 31mpg. ...cheers...keo.
ps leave the 1.8 alone.
Convince me! - HelloEveryOne
Low 20's!!!!

Do you do a lot of town driving?
I mostly do "Extra Urban" driving - that's how I can expect 34mpg from the Carina. But if it's only 20mpg - that's pretty scary. Thanks also for the comment about the 1.8.

Looks like there's more votes to keep the Carina as well!

Many thanks everyone! And keep the comments coming!
Convince me! - keo-the-dog
Low 20's!!!!
Do you do a lot of town driving?

varies really on a good run i might get 25 but town driving it's 20.5. but i love the car, handling is a little soft but you get used to it. i just wish the fuel consumption was better
much better car than the lean burn carina though if you live in the bristol area you are welcome to a drive...cheers...keo.
Convince me! - mare
I completely hear what you are saying, and I think that's
what I rally should do. The only thing is that I'm
going to have to spend roughly £300-£400 on it within the
next couple of months - MOT, Service, New Tyres and so
on are all needed. I'm realistic in that it probably wouldn't
fetch this much if I tried to sell it.
I was thinking that maybe this could be better put toward
a new car?


You'd have to put a lot more than the £300-£400 to make worth your while. The MOT, service and tyres may be needed on the new car. In your shoes, I'd keep the Carina.
Convince me! - Geoff Dude

Hi

Just read your post from 2006 and wondered what you ended up doing and if so how long you kept the Carina E for.

Hope to hear back with interest.

Convince me! - Avant

I fear you may not - this chap last posted on here in 2007!

From what people are saying on here currently, Japanese petrol-engined cars make very good used buys.

Convince me! - madf

I fear you may not - this chap last posted on here in 2007!

From what people are saying on here currently, Japanese petrol-engined cars make very good used buys.

My son drives a much neglected 2001 Toyota Yaris 1.0. With 115k miles. Still on original battery and starts first time...

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car