Advice on my next car - mark1969
Just thinking of changing my car. In a fit of madness, I bought a 3 door 2005 Polo Twist SDI in 2006 from a car supermarket with the idea that I was going to be frugal, saving a fortune in fuel and tax but ended up buying a barge that can be easily overtaken by a milk float.

I'm not a petrol head, but i supposed I was slightly swayed at the time by the the fact that it was the 'newest' car I had ever bought and the reputation of german reliability.

But with the 15,000 miles a year I do on the motorway is terrifying when you are trying to overtake in a car that does 0-60 in about 16 seconds.

I'm upto 63,000 miles and it's time for a cambelt change, probably £350. I've already spent £250 on new Pirelli tyres 6 months ago. Last week, some charming individual decided to kick a side panel with no motive causing £350 worth of dent damage (£100 excess, but no protected NCB).

I can't say for sure what the car is worth, but I might get £3500 for it, more if the damage is repaired. I'm not sure what the part-exchange value is.

My previous cars have all been Mondeos (circa 1995) and an Accord that I owned for years that was deadly dull but oh so very reliable.

I would like 5 doors, size not important but I have no kids, no need to lug anything around. No desire for a convertible, MPV or four wheel drive. I want to buy second hand as I don't really have a large budget to finance the replacement, maybe £2,000-£3,000 max. I really dislike mini-mpvs, especially a hire car Vauxhall that leaked oil over the new drive a couple of years ago.

Before I get the chequebook out for the cam belt, I would welcome any wisdom you might share in choosing a replacement car, should I go down that path. Alternatively, I could drive it into the ground and hand it to the nephew for his university transport.

Here's my criteria (in order of importance) for a car:

1. Has a turn of speed when you need it (overtaking, getting into gaps on roundabouts - that sort of thing)
2. 5 doors
3. Very reliable
4. Not too costly for tax and repairs, nothing too old 4years + (but this is flexible if the car warrants it)

What would you choose, would you private sale, part-ex, buy from a dealer?

Welcome any feedback you might have. Thanks to all.
Advice on my next car - Alanovich
I'd choose what I already have, given your criteria. A 2.0 petrol Mazda 6. Maybe a 1.8 if you want the lower tax bracket as the the 2.0 is a 205g/km car. From a dealer, or supermarket. 4yr olds like mine are in your price bracket.

Not dull in the slightest to drive, got that turn of speed when needed. Comfy and reliable, good looking motor. Servicing is not expensive, even at main dealers, and they rarely go wrong so not much to worry about regarding cost to repair.
Advice on my next car - mark1969
I must admit the Mazda 6 has caught my eye. I'll go and plod round a few dealer forecourts this weekend. But do you think that they may have lost ground to others, like Modeo, Vectra, Accord and Avensis? Honest John gives the Modeo from 2004 on such a glowing review, that it's very difficult to ignore.
Advice on my next car - Alanovich
I haven't driven a Mondeo since I sold a 1998 1.8LX estate (mk2). So I can't compare the two I'm afraid. Likewise I haven't driven a late generation Vectra, but if they're anyhitng like an Astra I recently drove I wouldn't be too keen, nor a recent Accord nor Avensis. All I know is the 6 is a good, solid, fun to drive, reliable car.

I suppose you can just test a few models and make your own mind up.

I have a lot of tie for Fords, but I just feel the 6 is a bit more, indefinably, special than a Mondeo.
Advice on my next car - Lou_O

A good friend of mine recently got rid of a Mazda 6 as he'd had enough of it breaking down. He had gearbox, engine and electrical problems.

Advice on my next car - rtj70
My previous car was a Mondeo TDCi Ghia (53 plate). I much prefer the Mazda6 2.0d Sport I have now. Obviously the Mazda diesels with DPF have the oil issue which needs monitoring. But I'd have another one.

Spec wise the Mazda6 I have is probably better and is probably better to drive and far more comfortable.

Not sure I'd go with a diesel if it was my car though. I think the fourth service on the diesel Mazda6 is very expensive.
Advice on my next car - scouseford
I've just changed from a Mondeo 2.0 Zetec (with which I was very pleased) to a 1.8ts Mazda 6. So far I am delighted with it (only had it just over a fortnight, mind you). It feels like a very well made car and fits most, if not all, of your criteria.
Advice on my next car - Clk Sec
I bought my Mazda6 (petrol) seven years ago and it's by far the best car I've ever owned.

Clk Sec
Advice on my next car - Westpig
if the OP is doing 15,000 miles a year on the m/way, he's into diesel teritory is he not?
Advice on my next car - corax
1998-2003 honda accord is good. Dull to look at, but superb to drive. They are available as a 5 door, although not a huge amount of space. Very reliable, cheap to maintain if you stay away from dealers, they are a bit juicy though (30 mpg average). Low insurance. But maybe this is the model you've already had.

Also Toyota Avensis. My dad has an 03 1.8 petrol. Amazing economy (45 mpg average), insurance group 7, very safe, huge hatchback, no cambelt to change. People say its dull to drive but I like it, just don't throw it round like a sports car! I find it surprisingly nippy but it is quite light for a big car. Much lighter on the controls than my BMW. I don't know if they would fall within your budget though unless they were high mileage.
Advice on my next car - tiredeyes
if you want to sell your car, motorhouse 2K in Cannock.
they have a new website just opened a month a go - wewantanycar
they will buy your car cash, leaving you with readies to go purchase another private sold motor and knock them down a little.

you really want a solid motor driving on motorway.
something with a good protective shell around you.
old volvo T5?