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Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
What would be ideal car for motorway miles. I've got budget of less than £1500 so after listening to you wise guys to avoid a diesel car with this budget I'm looking at petrol cars now. What would you suggest with this sorts of money to spend? I want the car to be reliable and cheap to run. Thanks
Cheap motorway cruiser - Altea Ego
A bigger vauxhall of some kind for motorway crusing on that budget.
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< Ex RF, Ex TVM >
Cheap motorway cruiser - local yokel
For a left field suggestion, find the really best Cavalier 2.0 - returns 40 mpg driven normally, most have ABS, and some have been looked after very well by their old boy owners. Pay £700 tops.

Another idea - Mazda Xedos - all the bells and whistles, 6 cylinder 2.0, pay £1000 for a nice one.
Cheap motorway cruiser - bristolmotorspeedway {P}
Mondeo 1.8 96-00 model. Had a 00X 1.8 LX for five pretty faultless years. In it's last year I did 20k, mainly motorway, miles easily averaging 40-43 mpg. Got rid at 56k miles for not much more than your budget. No mechanical faults at all during my ownership and it used virtually no oil between services.

If you have got a Ford dealer with a Rapid Fit outlet near you, then servicing will be dirt cheap with proper Ford parts (I used to pay £99 for a 12mth/9k service).
Cheap motorway cruiser - jase1
I've been quite surprised just how cheap the Honda Accords have become just recently. They're not much to look at (though no worse than most of the cars mentioned so far) and even the 1.8 puts a smile on your face the way it revs up to stupid ranges.

Maybe a little bit older for £1500, but possibly worth it for the higher build quality.

P11 Primera 2.0l also worth a shot -- excellent handling and a pokey engine. Should be more or less bulletptoof.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
Thanks for all your comments so far.......please keep them coming
Cheap motorway cruiser - spikeyhead {p}
If all you've got to spend is £1500 then buy somethign for between £500 and £1k and save the rest to fix any problems.

Possible choices include a Mk11 Mondeo 1.8td. I know you want to avoid a diesel but this is a reliable slow workhorse, not a tdci potential money pit.

Vauxhall Omega, should be ideal
Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0 as has already been suggested, a decient one is unlikely to cost more than £500 and every backstreet garage in the country knows how to keep them running cheaply.
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I read often, only post occasionally
Cheap motorway cruiser - wazza
where are you based?

after a fortnight i will be selling my car. it is a 1996 mondeo 1.8TD old shape. Use it mainly on motorway. A good cruiser. Gutless below 2500rpm but good above it when turbo kicks in
Cheap motorway cruiser - J Bonington Jagworth
"Another idea - Mazda Xedos - all the bells and whistles, 6 cylinder 2.0, pay £1000 for a nice one"

Or even less...

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=49220&...f
Cheap motorway cruiser - GregSwain
Nissan Primera - should be able to get a 1998-1999 model in good condition with full history within your budget. Will be ultra-reliable, and the 1.6 does 40mpg on a run alledgedly.
Cheap motorway cruiser - bell boy
with road tax being as it is prior to 2001 there is no benefit apart from an insurance one? in getting a 1600 primera i therefore recommend the best primera 2.0 litre you can find,must be under a genuine 70,000 miles and must have had the bonnet lifted up at least a week last xmas
any other choice same thing but a mondeo but a petrol never ever that tractor diesel lump jees i cant even stad the noise they make never mind driving behind the sreering wheel of one

to summarise##

primera.2.0 litre
mondeo.1.8
mondeo.2.0

no way would i consider an omega too much to go wrong for this kind of money
honda not for this money ,they will be worn out leggy examples
Cheap motorway cruiser - GregSwain
Agree that the 2.0 Primera will be the better performer, but fuel economy and insurance are 2 areas where the 1.6 will win. Hondas at this price will indeed be carp. What about something a bit obscure like a Hyundai Sonata?
Cheap motorway cruiser - Chris White
Agree with a 2litre Mk2 Primera. No hassle at all cruising at 80-90mph and reasonable performance (0-60 in 9.3secs).

Insurance costs on mine around £270 a year TPFT (I'm 28 with 6yrs no claims).

Chris.
Cheap motorway cruiser - jase1
What about something a bit obscure like a Hyundai Sonata?


Problem being finding one of course. They are quite impressive for the money you pay for them -- a decent US-style luxobarge for not much money, and rock-solid reliable Mitsubishi engines as well.

Talking of which, a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant IMO makes a great leftfield choice. These were intended to be BMW rivals -- they never quite got there, but they're a very nice car (very imposing front grille styling) with a nice 2.5V6 lump and uber-reliable. Parts can be astonishingly expensive though, and that's the one big problem with them. Having said that, choose carefully and you could use people's fears to your advantage.

BTW I disagree with the notion that a £1500 Honda would be a dog. Two years older than equivalent Mondeo, yes, but dog no.

I'm not sure about all these Vauxhalls being mentioned -- the 2.0l 16V engines are prone to premature cambelt failure and I don't think I'd want to be there when that happened.
Cheap motorway cruiser - senatordoug
If you can find a good one (beware rotten rear arches, bottom of doors), a 24v Senator is a blast. Easily 30mpg plus on a motorway run, usually all the toys, great chain-cam engine & 150mph capable. Wonderfully reliable and cheap parts. £1500 will get you a really good one (I should know, mine was £1600 & I have just done over 50,000 miles over the last 18 months). A good Carlton GSi is a good bet as well
Cheap motorway cruiser - Chris White
Vauxhall Senator? How about this - tinyurl.com/yqey9r

1993 model in metallic black with grey leather and all the toys for £895.

Chris
Cheap motorway cruiser - J Bonington Jagworth
Or Best Offer...

Refreshingly honest description - wonder why no mileage?
Cheap motorway cruiser - CJay{P}
I'll second the Mondeo. Had mine for 5 years (bought with 40k on clock, 3 years old), and put 50k miles on it. Nothing ever went wrong.
DONT buy an accord if you want economy. You will be lucky to get anything above 31-32mpg, at the most. Mondeo, by comparison will easily return 38-40mpg.
Cheap motorway cruiser - PW
My old liftshare had a Mondeo 1.8. 100K + on the clock, 40 mpg and only fault was with the n/s door lock. 8 years old, and felt like half the age and mileage.

Very comfortable car for our daily 100 mile round trip, and cheap to service.
Cheap motorway cruiser - Chas{P}
I've got a 91k 2.0 Mondeo X reg for sale in the midlands. Yours for £1,200 with tax & MOT. Email me for more details if interested.
Cheap motorway cruiser - McP
Bet you can't guess what I would recommend!

I have had a Primera 97 1.6 Si for 4 years/70K.
Suprising performance for the size, if not full of passengers or going up steep hills.
I get around 40mpg mixed driving, even better when motorway cruising.

The 2 litre is supposed to be a better engine and not too far behind on the economy.

Cheap motorway cruiser - The Gingerous One
at the £1500 level you should be able to pick up a P11-144 Primera ('99-'02) but obviously not at dealers (they're all overpriced).

that would open up the 1.8 option and I can verify that my 2001 1.8S Primera will do 40mpg on a run if you stay at an indicated 80mph (or below if traffic is bad). I drove last week from Blackburn to Cambridge and back and still had enough petrol to run around for a few more miles afterwards.

handles well, aircon, airbags for driver & pass, plus ones in the front seats as well. Just keep away from the ex-minicabs.
you can replace the factory fit stereo by getting a fascia panel to fit a normal DIN unit and have a nice stereo up front as well.

Mine's only on 51k but it will (and does) just keep on running, an oil change every 9k and a major service every 18k at the village garage for around £120 (depending upon what is required).

cheers

Stu

Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
Thanks for all your posts guys!
I think I'll start searching for Primera P11 1.6. I'll mainly be driving on motorway but I've also got a part time job as a pizza delivery driver so I would be doing around 150 miles on local roads.
I'm not even thinking about Ford, my sis-in-law has got a Focus and she's always complaining about the electric issues...........twice the central locking stopped working and its a 99 Focus.
Is Primera still a good choice?
Cheap motorway cruiser - brg190 pete
Yes, extremely good choice. I have a 2000 2.0 SE+ petrol. Got CD changer, leather etc. I bought at 4 yrs old - not much more expensive than a base spec.

I get about 36mpg on mixed driving - but could probably do better with a ligther right foot. Not sure how much more economic the 1.6 would be, but I think you should bear in mind it is quite a heavy car. I certainly wouldn't want less than a 2.0 - don't know your age, but I guess insurance might be an issue with the 2.0?

Touch wood, mine has been very reliable. Done 40k in the last 3 years, only expenses have been consumables over that time. Only problem is that I really want to change, but having difficulty justifying to SWMBO as nothing wrong with my car!
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
Thanks for your quick response Primera Man. I'm 28 and I've got 4 years protected NCB so I'm not too worried about insurance. I would prefer 2.0 only if I was travelling to my main job but due to the part time job I've to look at the engine size because I would suspect 2.0 to be quite thirsty round town than 1.6.
Cheap motorway cruiser - brg190 pete
I tend to find that, whatever type of driving I do, I get about 400 miles to the tank, which equates to mid-30s mpg. I guess you need to work out whether the fuel savings of the 1.6 compensate you sufficiently for the lower power. In my case, in the past, I have had low powered cars (eg 1.0 Polo) and these days just like to have more power. In fact, one of my rules is that each car has to be more powerful than the last. So I'm now contemplating an Accord diesel - really love the grunt low down in the rev range!
Cheap motorway cruiser - bell boy
the primera is a fairly big car for a 1600 so thats why i recommended the 2.0 litre engine as well as the fact its bullet proof
my mixed driving with my cvt 2.0 litre auto usually pans out at 34 mpg but i always got 40 with my old primera manual 2.0 litre its the most fuel efficient 2.0 litre ive ever run
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
2 litre Mondeo Ghia X. Will do 40mpg @ indicated 75 (So 70mph true speed), has electric leather seats, cruise control, aircon. 6 CD, and very very cheap.

Also very very reliable.
Cheap motorway cruiser - bell boy
will it do 40mpg in mixed town and country driving though?
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
will it do 40mpg in mixed town and country driving though?


Nope, nowhere near. But he asked for a cheap Motorway cruiser so I felt the motorway economy made it an acceptable choice.
Cheap motorway cruiser - GregSwain
... I felt the motorway economy made it an acceptable choice.


Even though the OP had already said he'd ruled out Fords! ;-)
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
>> ... I felt the motorway economy made it an acceptable choice.
Even though the OP had already said he'd ruled out Fords! ;-)


For a frankly ridiculous reason - becuase his sister in laws Focus has electrical issues. Now, such issues with the Focus are FAR from common and its fundamentally a very reliable car. To write off an entire marque despite the fact it makes one of the most suitable cars for his needs based on that one thing is rather foolish.

He should remember he has a £1500 budget, perhaps if he had a £15000 budget he could afford to be irrationally choosy.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
MichaelR - For a fairly new car to have so many electrical issues doesn't suggest to me that its a very reliable car. How would you feel if your car's central locking stopped working which had only 40k odd miles on it and its only 6 years old? Ford replaced whatever was wrong with the car but within couple of month, she had the same issue.
Also with a budget of £1500 I'll get a focus which would have ridiculously high miles put on it which would make the thought of it being as reliable as a Japanese car even less.
ReliabilityIndex has placed Focus at number 44 for top 100 reliable cars.
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
MichaelR - For a fairly new car to have so many electrical issues doesn't suggest
to me that its a very reliable car. How would you feel if your car's
central locking stopped working which had only 40k odd miles on it and its only
6 years old? Ford replaced whatever was wrong with the car but within couple of
month she had the same issue.


What I meant is that the car in question sounds like a fairly isolated case. When you make so many cars, it's envitable that the odd one or two might be problematic. Even manufacturers like Honda have the odd duffer when they produce many thousands of cars.

[quote]
Also with a budget of £1500 I'll get a focus which would have ridiculously high
miles put on it[/quote]


I was suggesting a Mondeo, not a Focus.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
To be honest I won't consider a Ford because Fords aren't very reliable and they're troublesome at my budget. With my tight budget I should be able to buy a similar age/condition Primera instead of Mondeo. With Primera I won't have to worry about cam belt and and a Primera of that age would be a lot more reliable (or less troublesome) than Mondeo of similar age.
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
To be honest I won't consider a Ford because Fords aren't very reliable and they're
troublesome at my budget.


Really? Why, what £1500 Fords have you experienced?

I have a Mondeo which has been perfect from 110-140,000 miles.
With my tight budget I should be able to buy a
similar age/condition Primera instead of Mondeo. With Primera I won't have to worry about cam
belt and and a Primera of that age would be a lot more reliable (or
less troublesome) than Mondeo of similar age.


The cambelt requires changing every 100,000 miles. It's not a worry. The Mondeo is very reliable, so a Primera is not going to be 'lots more' reliable. Both will likely only ever really need suspension bushes changing.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
I don't understand why are you preaching me ***FORD***. I don't like Fords and I'm not going to get one, its as simple as that. I've never had a Ford but know people who had it and they're not reliable.
Now before you reply back please go to reliabilityindex and have a look yourself. Can you see Ford in top 10 or see where Ford cars are in top 100 reliable cars.
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
I don't understand why are you preaching me ***FORD***. I don't like Fords and I'm
not going to get one its as simple as that. I've never had a Ford
but know people who had it and they're not reliable.


I guess my experiences are useless then becuase hey, you've got a mate who once had a Ford and it sucked :)

It just touched a nerve that you consider a marque rubbish for no real reason. I suspected the reason would by hearsay, probed a bit, and yup, thats your reason.
Now before you reply back please go to reliabilityindex and have a look yourself. Can
you see Ford in top 10 or see where Ford cars are in top 100
reliable cars.


Just have.

1996-2000 Ford Mondeo Reliability Index: 52.91
1999-2002 Nissan Primera Reliability Index: 116.11

Whoops. Not a good showing for the ever so reliable Nissan eh? And how did that horrible unreliable rubbishy Ford get such a good score? You will note the Mondeo's reliabilityindex is far below average, which is 112 according to the WD site.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
I'll might sound arrogant now but I don't like Fords and would stay away from one for now at least and in particular with this sort of tight budget.
Cheap motorway cruiser - MichaelR
I'll might sound arrogant now but I don't like Fords and would stay away from
one for now at least and in particular with this sort of tight budget.


Not suprised you ignored my reliabilityindex figures after you asked me to read them, but ho hum.

Good luck with whatever you chose.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
I just wanted it to finish there but sounds like as if you don't want to!

Reliability Index for Primera 96-99 is 49.18
Doesn't that make Primera better car than Mondeo?
With my budget I won't be able to buy a Primera of the age you suggested but should be able to get a decent 96-99 model. Hence the Primera I could buy has better rating than the Mondeo of the same age! :)
Cheap motorway cruiser - GregSwain
the primera is a fairly big car for a 1600


True, but the GA16 engine is very sprightly (0-60 in about 10 secs IIRC), and should average around 40mpg if your right foot isn't too heavy. The SR20 is equally bulletproof but quicker and thirstier. Personal preference - at this age I'd be more interested in condition/maintenence than engine size. Both the 1.6 and 2.0 are chain-cam and both will run to 150k+ before there's any death-rattles if they've been serviced properly.

How about a Kia Shuma for an obscure choice? Good engines (mitsubishi?), a generally good car but never had the image or looks that an average UK buyer was after - therefore dirt cheap (saw a 51-reg last year retailing for £1995). The 1.6 and 1.8 models will be more than capable on the motorway.
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
Believe it or not I saw a Kia Shuma with LPG conversion, I was tempted to bid on it but it was miles away up in Newcastle and I live near Reading.
Cheap motorway cruiser - GregSwain
Believe it or not I saw a Kia Shuma with LPG conversion


Wouldn't have been a factory-fit, so 100s of potential problems there, if you lived far from the place that fitted it. Glad to see you're considering a few different cars though, and you're not stuck in the "Ford/Vauxhall/Eurobox" bubble along with many of the posters on here. Have a look for a Suzuki Baleno - bet you hadn't thought of one of them! (About Almera-sized).
Cheap motorway cruiser - Armitage Shanks {p}
Nissan QX? The price would be right but do you have your own private oil well?!
Cheap motorway cruiser - LinuxGeek
I haven't really thought about Suzuki cars because I believe the old ones were never good cars to drive and were really low spec'd and even worst had crap road holding and such. But please forgive me if I'm wrong.
Cheap motorway cruiser - GregSwain
I haven't really thought about Suzuki cars...


The Baleno evidently isn't as bad, being a larger car. However, I see your point that it won't be in the same league as a Primera (few things are). As regards Fords, I agree that they're not the best choice - I've also had relatives who had an "isolated" incident which has put off the whole family from buying Fords. Both myself and my mother now drive Nissans (and never had a reliability issue) - need I say any more!
Cheap motorway cruiser - BobbyG
Mazman, your post further up made me have a look at the reliability index out of curiosity.
Nowhere can I find what the criteria are, what the age groups etc are, how many polled etc eg BMW 5 series is 99th out of 100?

If a primera / mondeo / whatever is reliable in its first 3 years, does that mean its necessarily reliable in its 7th year? Does Warranty Direct have many £1000 / £1500 cars covered, I wouldn't have thought so.

I agree you can only go on the evidence you are given and seek other people's opinions but, personally, I am always cynical about driver surveys as there are many people who only reply if they have an issue.

I haven't read the full thread so don't know if its been recommended but a friend bought a Peugeot 605 for about the grand mark, ran it for a couple of years and it had all the toys, then resold it and recouped his costs.
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2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
Cheap motorway cruiser - Flying Red
Warranty Direct data is based on claims on the cars insured. I wouldn't the data because it only relates to claims they approve - not the claims rejected due to policy exclusions. I think you're right that not many cars in the sub-£2k category would be covered.
 

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