small car comparison - silverfinch
I'm trying to decide between a number of small cars. Perhaps people might have some opinions.
I've just sold a Subaru Justy and whilst it was reliable - part prices were pretty scary.. so I want something which is cheap to fix (but not down the Ford/Vauxhall route)

My options are
106 (1.1 or 1.5 diesel)
205 (1.8 diesel - but getting long in the tooth now)
Saxo (how does it compare to 106?)
Polo (1.0)

Alternatively I'm quite interested in the VW Lupo and Seat Arosa. This is what I was looking for until
someone said a cambelt on a Arosa is £400!

I'm on a budget of about £1500

I'm ideally after good mpg. Insurance I'm not bothered too much about.


small car comparison - local yokel
If it's purely mpg thats interesting you, then a 205 diesel turbo should be great to drive and good on the wallet. The STDT model is pretty much the same trim level as the GTi, and still looks quite smart. 205s don't rust if cared for, and they'll always sell well, so it would be a good longer term purchase. Check on the SH though.

The 106 is even flimsier IMHO, and the Saxo is virtually the same as the 106. Polos of that vintage are showing their age, I think.
small car comparison - Xileno {P}
Forget Saxo and 106 - well past their sell by date.
205 - a few nice ones around but again an old design with minimal crash protection.

Why ignore Vauxhall and Ford? A Fiesta is a nice car and is better IMHO than any of your suggestions. £1500 should get a good one.
small car comparison - silverfinch
Thanks for the replies. I'm going to concentrate my search for a late model 205 diesel - as we had one in the past and it was brilliant.
The 106 would be a logical choice but fully loaded the 205 and its 1.8 engine still pulls well whereas the 106 can crawl along.
I had a bad experience with Fiesta's in the past so that's put me off Fords for life (the engine kept cutting out at 70mph!!)
and my wife had a Cavalier which was constantly breaking down.

So it's French again for me!

Phil : )
small car comparison - Xileno {P}
I have an old but immaculate 205 GRD that I bought a while back just as a bit of fun. It's a brilliant car, the XUD engine still impresses in terms of refinement considering it was designed in the early 1980s. By modern standards it's low on bhp and of course you haven't got the safety features of a modern car but lift the bonnet and it's all so simple and straight forward. No common rail here.

They don't rust either although it's a good idea to get a pressure washer underneath after the winter and soon after I got mine I waxoyled it.

You may have to look hard for a good one though. You see a few nice ones around still but also a lot of rough ones. I would stick to the normally aspirated engine, at this end of the market you want things as cheap and simple as possible, so less to go wrong. Although if a nice turbo model turned up it would be tempting.

If you keep the oil changed at 6K these XUD engines are good for at least 300K, although there are reports of them going much further if treated with respect.
small car comparison - Mapmaker
IMVHO 1500 is too much to spend on a car. Limit yourself to 750-1000 and the car will be just as good, but will be disposable if it dies.
small car comparison - RichardW
I think you'll spend a long time looking for a 205. A 306 on the other hand... 45 mpg from the Turbo D models, plenty available and cheap insurance (group 5 for the TD / HDi I think). I doubt you'll get an HDi (unless it's very leggy!) for £1500, but easily a TD. Of course the ZX is the same car under the skin, but about half the price. Insurance is a bit more though - the ZX TD is group 7 I think. Has a very handy turn of speed when provoked, and good handling, and is much bigger than a 205. The 206 is a poor successor to the 205 - a lot of road noise and awful off set driving position with tiny pedals.

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
small car comparison - blue_haddock
Try to find a 205 STDT - a 1.8 TD engine with all the GTi running gear and bodywork. I had one for 2 years and loved it.
small car comparison - BobbyG
Silverfinch, depending on what you are wanting from your car, a Saxo diesel might fit the bill.

I have had a 97 (P) for about 4 years, have taken it from 23k to 93k miles. IMHO, it is much better than 106 as my sister had one of them. Saxo has 5 doors, PAS, elec windows and slide / totlt sunroof. It is not luxurious, it is not the safest of cars but I do average 63mpg in it.

Although car is 9 years old, bodywork is great apart from the usual wear and tear. There is only one bit of rust on it, on the roof between windscreen and sunroof where a stone has hit it. But the same bit of rust has been there for 2 years and has not spread. Find me a P Reg Fiesta with the bodyework in the same condition!

So don't discount a Saxo, it is a cheap and economical car to run. I will be selling mine soon so watch for it in ebay and Classifieds here!
small car comparison - blue_haddock

That looks pretty good, so good in fact i'm almost considering it myself!
small car comparison - local yokel
That's a little spanker!


Value my car