A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
After a failed attempt 18 months ago to buy a new Almera from a broker for my wife at about £6,500 I gave up and my wife kept her 99 Fiesta.

Now living in the South East with so much traffic and poor driving by so many people on the road I would prefer my wife and daughter to be in something a little bigger and safer.

At the weekend I saw a car supermarket advertising 2005 / 05 Almera's for £4,999. In reality they have ones with 11k miles on 05 plates in met silver for £5,299 (& about £200 inc tax / admin etc). This seems exceptional value for what should be a reliable safer car with Aircon/ ABS / CD etc.

Am I missing something? I realise a Focus would give a better drive and look nicer, that is clear, but as my wife does only 3,000 miles a year, driving pleasure takes a back seat against value and safety. Also the most savage depreciation has passed and it is likely only to lose 100's £ per year rather than 000's. If I can get £1,500 for the Fiesta (only 30k miles and well equiped) then the cost to change is less than £4k

Have the last Almera's been proving to be reliable?

Am I misguided and failing to take into account something blindingly obvious?
A bargain,am I missing something? - flunky
At the weekend I saw a car supermarket advertising 2005 / 05 Almera's for £4
999. In reality they have ones with 11k miles on 05 plates in met silver
for £5 299 (& about £200 inc tax / admin etc). This seems exceptional value
for what should be a reliable safer car with Aircon/ ABS / CD etc.
Am I missing something?


They were massively discounted new, and are no longer sold, hence the poor residuals. I think bottom-of-the-range models were going for £7k

My father bought from a supermarket just over a year ago for £7k, similar spec (aircon, cd); they have lost £1700 in the mean time evidently. Bit underpowered IMO

Nothing wrong with them.
A bargain,am I missing something? - cheddar
The Almera is very dull, also not sure how it does re NCAP (you mention safety as a reason for change), it may be that a smaller car with a good rating (Clio etc) is actually safer.
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
Interesting point.

It is a 4 star NCAP and I would think that is likely to be pretty good. I view it that a bigger car with 4 stars is probably close to a smaller car with 5 because of the extra amount of car to absorb any impact.

As far as power is concerned 97hp in the Almera has to be comparable to 75hp in the smaller Fiesta. Again, good enough for 3,000 miles a year of mainly short journeys.

As the earlier post points out, they were cheaply sold towards the end of their life but that must work in my favour? In 3 years time with 20,000 on the clock it would probably still be worth £3,500 plus?

I am wondering if there is a better buy (for the same money) that could be justified as an alternative. Focus's (Foci?) at this money are much older and higher mileage, and not always as well kitted out. Driving dynamics better yes, but as mentioned before that is less of a priority.

A bargain,am I missing something? - rtj70
"I view it that a bigger car with 4 stars is probably close to a smaller car with 5 because of the extra amount of car to absorb any impact."

NCAP ratings should only be used to compare cares in the same class. A supermini with a 5 star rating cannot be compared with say a Mondeo or similar with only 4 stars. But not enough people realise this. They probably think something small with a 5* rating is safer than a 5 Series BMW with fewer stars.
A bargain,am I missing something? - bathtub tom
I flogged my Focus for an Almera, and both have their good and bad points.
The Almera certainly 'feels' underpowered compared to the Focus, but both have similar outputs. It shows how subjective these things are.
The Almera's got a much more useful boot/luggage area.
The Almera goes round corners much faster, but it's on 16" alloys with lower profile rubber. I'd prefer the higher profile 15" steels of the Focus for comfort and economy.
The Almera's got a Renault engine (and I suspect many other parts). I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole at the time if I'd realised, as I generally don't go near a PSA.
I actually quite like the Almera, and wouldn't have got rid of the Focus if it hadn't presented me with an unexpected £1300 bill.
A bargain,am I missing something? - cheddar
>>The Almera goes round corners much faster but it's on 16" alloys with lower profile
rubber. >>


I just dont believe it, my experience of an Almera is stodgy soggy, no communication through the steering where even a basic 1998 Focus in reasonable order has a responsive chassis and sharp steering.

The Almera's got a Renault engine (and I suspect many other parts). I wouldn't have
touched it with a barge pole at the time if I'd realised as I generally
don't go near a PSA.>>


Renault is not PSA.
A bargain,am I missing something? - DavidHM
And the 1.5 petrol engine has never been near a Renault either.
A bargain,am I missing something? - Altea Ego
"They probably think something small with a 5* rating is safer than a 5 Series BMW with fewer stars."

But you cant prove its not.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
Not unless I challenge it against a bus hey TVM? :)

It is true though. I hope we never test it.

Safety is always subjective of course. Volvo are insistent that the safety of their cars is above that of the NCAP standards because they feel their testing is much more 'real world' than NCAP's. I am happy with that and, whilst I didn't chose the S60 on that basis alone it does give a (slight) feeling of reassurance.

With my wife's car it is striking the balance between affordability, practicality and safety and I would think the Almera is likely to be safer than the Fiesta, especially as it is the 'old' shape Fiesta not the latest shape.
A bargain,am I missing something? - bathtub tom
'Renault is not PSA. '
I always understood PSA were Citroen/Peugeot/Renault. Please put me right.

'And the 1.5 petrol engine has never been near a Renault either.'
Perhaps not. But isn't it basically a Renault lump?
A bargain,am I missing something? - jase1
'Renault is not PSA. '
I always understood PSA were Citroen/Peugeot/Renault. Please put me right.


No. PSA is Peugeot SA, essentially Peugeot PLC, which bought Citroen out of bankruptcy in the 1970s. Renault is a partly state-owned company, independent of PSA, which has an alliance with Nissan (although Renault does NOT own Nissan).
'And the 1.5 petrol engine has never been near a Renault either.'
Perhaps not. But isn't it basically a Renault lump?


No. The QG15DE engine is a Nissan design. The 2.2 diesel takes much of its technology from Renault, and many parts of the car are Renault-sourced (a contributing cause of Nissan's reliability decline in recent years). The petrol engines are a development of the bombproof Nissan petrols of the 90s (the GA series), although they don't appear to be as good -- they ain't Renault.
A bargain,am I missing something? - bathtub tom
Many thanks for putting me right. I stand humbled before the forum's collective knowledge.
A bargain,am I missing something? - flunky
"They probably think something small with a 5* rating is safer than a 5 Series
BMW with fewer stars."
But you cant prove its not.


Can too:
www.euroncap.com/Content-Web-Faq/f795b985-edb5-4fd...x

"In frontal impacts between cars, the occupants of the heavier car or the one with higher structures tend to fare better than those travelling in lighter lower cars. As these effects are currently impossible to overcome, Euro NCAP only makes comparisons within size categories. The rating of a car within its size category is a function of the quality of its safety design."

"Results should only be compared within the same group. The frontal testing method mirrors a crash between two similar sized cars. A heavier car or one with a higher structure will tend to have an advantage if it impacts a smaller car. The Euro NCAP results cannot be used to predict the outcome of such crashes."

Only the side-impact ratings are comparable between cars of different sizes. The adult occupant ratings and front impact ratings are not.

Note also:

"It is essential that no attempt is made to compare theratings between cars in different segments or mass groups. The frontal crash test aims to measure the performance of the car impacting another car of similar mass. There is no capability to determine what would happen if cars of widely different masses impact each other. It is not primarily the mass difference that has the effect, but the effect that mass has on thestructural stiffness combined with the relative height of the structures from the ground."

Which is not terribly illuminating.

Also www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/106748/a...l

"In the latest crash figures available from 2003, provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (see chart below), there were 142 fatalities per million registered vehicles for the smallest cars. That figure drops to 108 fatalities for the next larger class of cars. For large sedans, that number drops to 61 per million. For small SUVs, the figure was 75 deaths per million as compared with 62 for large SUVs. For pickups, totals increased to 124 per million for small trucks and 102 per million for large."

One would have thought the large sedan likely to do more miles than the superminis, so it seems that you are many times more likely to die driving a Renault Clio than say a Volvo S80
A bargain,am I missing something? - jase1
Re safety.

I am told by EuroNCAP that my old Accent was a one-and-a-half star car (even though they couldn't be bothered to test the newer one). However, in the States the one I had was a four-star motor, respectable enough.

The nay-sayers on this very forum bleated about how unsafe it must be, since the gods at EuroNCAP said so.

Well, I did put the car to the test.

I hit a metal post at 25mph, head on (and that was the speed I hit it) -- about as bad as low-speed collisions get, since the post does not give way.

The front of the car was a right old state, it had caved in around 2-3 feet around the affected area. Needless to say the airbags deployed.

I, however, walked away without a scratch. The interior of the car was totally unaffected -- no encroachment, no movement of the pedals, the windscreen was undamaged and the only part of me that was hurt was my pride (even though it was not my fault -- I had swerved to avoid an idiot who drove in front of me).

So, these "unsafe" cars then.....
A bargain,am I missing something? - Lud
My middle daughter bashes her car about horribly and people (poor judges however) tell me she goes fast.

She's in her thirties now and has sort of got away with it so far. Time was when I would have got her a brick-style Volvo or Mercedes taxi if I could have afforded it, although the thought of what she might do with it used to worry me. But actually she never hits anything really hard. She has children fortunately. Just hard enough to cost money and make the people in the other cars take unfair advantage.

It's obviously safer for you to be in something big. But if you run over a Mini or something there may be hell to pay.

Fingers crossed basically. She has a boy friend now with a really fast car. I hope he doesn't let her drive it.
A bargain,am I missing something? - rtj70
I read this week about companies like Ford investigating some sort of hydraulic legs (on wheels) that shoot out under a car to lift it's front end in a collision. Logic being you raise the front profile of smaller cars to better withstand impact with larger ones.

But what if it fires by mistake...
A bargain,am I missing something? - boxsterboy
The nay-sayers on this very forum bleated about how unsafe it must be since the
gods at EuroNCAP said so. Well I did put the car to the test.



I never fail to be impressed at the length some people go to in order to further the fountain of knowledge that flows from this forum!!
A bargain,am I missing something? - Avant
You cannhave safety and reasonable performance - get her a Skoda Fabia. the 1.4 100 bhp is the one to go for if her milegae is low - What Car's used car table suggest that you can get a 2005 model for £5,000.
A bargain,am I missing something? - component part
Why are you even worried about safety? Of course you care about the safety of your wife..but in the real world at 3000 miles a year, not even worth worrying about surely? Fiesta, Almera, Focus, it's all good.
A bargain,am I missing something? - Lud
Spot on cp. Never mind the mileage, where's the goddam money?
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
"Why are you even worried about safety? Of course you care about the safety of your wife..but in the real world at 3000 miles a year, not even worth worrying about surely?"

Eh!? Well, that's an interesting perspective!

Wife and daughter doing school run every day (no buses and not walking distance), in a busy area with lots of atrocious drivers in their big 4x4's. Safety not important? Glad I'm not married to you then!

Yes, I accept the risk is very small but it is still there and arguably more for my wife doing 3,000 in that environment than for me doing 10 times that mileage on the motorway - maybe statistically not directly comparable, but you get the gist of what I am saying.

The Almera it turns out was highly regarded for it's safety rating when tested a few years ago. HJ reported it acheived a very high score.

Therefore for £5,000 it seems mad not to. Low mileage Fiesta anyone?

A bargain,am I missing something? - jase1
I think you are being very sensible.

Just be aware that some early QG15DE engines were prone to tensioner "issues" which could be mind-blowingly expensive to put right when they went wrong. This has been sorted in the later cars, so at £5000 you shouldn't have any worries. The rest of the car is usual Nissan reliable, as long as you get the petrol engine.

As with any chain-cam engine, I'd suggest an oil and filter change every 6000 miles or six months. Very cheap from National Tyres (£15 or so).
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
I have heard a little about this issue. Is there a point where they modified the engine to prevent this (how would you tell if you have an engine suseptable to this fault? Engine number?). Whilst the car is an April 2005 model it could (and probably was) built earlier. It is the 1.5 petrol.

And, apart from regular oil changes, is there anything that can be done to prevent it's occurance?

Whose engine is it? Is it a Nissan block, or bought in from elsewhere?
A bargain,am I missing something? - bathtub tom
I looked into this before I bought mine. The info I found said that engines up to engine number 171933 were affected. My 2003 1.5 petrol has an engine number 18nnnn.
A bargain,am I missing something? - Stuartli
It always used to be said that a large number of drivers involved in accidents are a mile or less from where they live.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
A bargain,am I missing something? - RichardW
The most important safety element in any vehicle is that installed behind the steering wheel operating the controls.

Never ceases to amaze me how many people put 'safety' at the top of their list, but when asked if they would spend abuot £100 and a few hours of their time to substantially reduce their accident risk by doing some advanced driving training will not entertain the idea....
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
Good point well made.

Interestingly my wife and I bought each other a few hours traing on a skid pan at Castle Coombe a yaer or two ago. Best money spent and we left well educated and experianced. Good fun too!
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
Not educated well enough to spell properly I see....ho hum....
A bargain,am I missing something? - Slightlyfatdirector
My wife and I collected car yesterday.

The car itself is a bit Japanese (I know that is because it is!) in that the interior plastics are not as high spec as you might expect even on an old generation Focus or similar. Heavy grooving on the dash top and completely smooth and plain on the doors round the switches, Very basic push switches too. Looks a bit cheap in places but made up for with good seats, well trimmed and a high spec. ABS, EBD, Emergency Brake assist, Air Con, CD, E/W 4* NCAP etc.

The last bit was brought home to us as we witnessed a crash on the M25 whilst driving up to collect it. A 4x4 towing a caravan swerved for some reason, went from lane 1 to the central reservation, smashed off that and then flipped completely onto it's side car and caravan blocking 2 lanes. I have no idea how he didn't wipe out anyone else as it was pretty busy and both car and caravan went across the whole motorway. Made us focus our minds on how quickly something dramatic like that could happen.

Frankly for what it cost it is a bargain and I wonder if anyone else will clear the supermarket out of stock whilst they are still available so cheap. They have had 5 available for a couple of weeks now and maybe there are only a few people like me who see the advantages.

They look pretty good in Silver too.

Whilst I was researching I found another supermarket offering a 55 plate example with 7k miles for £5,499. Outrageously cheap I think. Wife didn't like the dark metalic grey through so the Silver 05 plate was settled on.

I reckon we won't need to replace the car for a number of years and with the lion's share of the depreciation already taken care of we should be on for cheap comfortable motoring for a few years.

Interestingly the insurance group was the same as for the 1.25 Fiesta and the cost to change was just £30, presumeably to take into account the higher value of the car.

Happy bunnies here.
 

Value my car