What to buy????????? - banger
Following on from Blackbushe's thread on what auto diesel estate to buy.

New job, time for newish car, for about 12k.
What to buy?
Started quite sensible!

Ford Focus 1.8/ 2.0 3dr zetec. Prefer 2 litre has 6 disc CD, disc's on the rear, and ABS.

Then looked at Mondeo estates 2.0/2.5 in Zetec, Zetec S and Ghia X trim (can't resist 6disc CD and big wheels) good value for money at super sites and such.
Read loads of reviews on the Mondeo, and found wind noise and refinement not as good as others in class. (Autocar, What Car?)

Citroen C5 estate SXi with 2.2 HDi engine. Good refinement not as good a steer as Mondeo, but, comes with climate, cruise and CD player as standard! Cheap to buy and insurer.Quality and reliability an issue.

Renault Laguna Sport Tourer 1.9 DCi. Can't stretch to the 2.2DCi, but what a good looking car, Dynamique trim. CD player, climate, but alas no cruise.

VW Passat estate 1.9 TDi SE (130). Bit dear, and have you read any of the owners views on 4car web site. If it wasn't my money and my car would probably go for this. Style and flair! (Won test in Top Gear Magazine against Mondeo, Laguna,C5,and 75 all diesel's)

Vauxhall Omega estate, CDX, all the toy's you could want, but without leather. Fantastic value!

Now started looking at BMW 523i SE, always desired one never thought I'd get the chance to own one. Not as van driver anyway (check my profile).The only thing with the BMW, what would my new boss think? He drives a 2001 Volvo S60 2.4T. Will it be a bit flash, even if it is 3, to 4 years old?

Now I know what your all thinking, he (for I am) has not mentioned running cost's. Refinement and style rule my heart, 36 mile round trip to work (via Dartford tolls) rules my head. If it is to dear to run I can always's sell it.

I know what I should do, the right thing!
The car of your dreams, or with the flow?

PS. Top Gear Magazine has an excellent road test back catalog. You go online, download test's at a cost, and print them out.
What to buy????????? - RichL
I've been thinking of getting a new 'commuting' car for several months now.
Started out at a Focus TDCi, progressed to a Golf TDi (150bhp), then to a Smart Roadster (well theres only 1 of me to commute and the BX's boot will swallow just about anything), then I developed a fancy for an Audi A4 2.5v6 TD Quattro estate. Then I woke up and looked at my bank account....

Currently I'm considering a Seat Ibiza TD Sport. Same 130bhp TD motor as the Golf, same 6 speed box, build quality probably much the same too, and I saw one for about £13k on an import as a 5 door hatch.
What to buy????????? - banger
Hi RichL
I know just what you mean, went down same route. Very good car that is on par with Golf, in all but rear end look's.
Started looking at second hand Cupra's and Cupra R's!
WHY? Can't resist a fast car bargin!
What to buy????????? - No Do$h
If the head is going to rule the heart and you like hatch/estate styling, go for an Alfa 156 Sportwagon in Lusso spec. All the toys with lots of poise. I too started by looking at the Focus, then the Mundano, then the Passat and came to the same conclusions as you. I picked up a 2000 X Veloce 2.4TD with next to no miles for £11,500 at an Alfa specialist so you should be able to get a 2.5 petrol for your money with about 35-45k on the clock.
No Dosh - but then who has?
What to buy????????? - banger
Thanks for your comments No Dosh,
Loved the look when the 156 first came out. The sportswagon looks good too. How has your Alfa faired.
What to buy????????? - RichL
Thing is my weekender is a 16v BX which fulfills all my going fast requirements (and ensures I'm on first name terms with my local citroen garage and the local RAC patrols), so all I really need for commuting is something reliable, dependable and economical.
So my head says things like Saxo 1.5D while my heart says A4 Quattro Avant TD...I'm trying to compromise somewhere in the middle!
What to buy????????? - banger
Is it still the Seat then?
What to buy????????? - No Do$h
The Alfa? I only picked it up 2 weeks ago but for a 2-3 year old car it drives like new. Lovely handling with very positive and direct steering. No problems that I've found and I've been over it with a fine-tooth comb, not only pre-purchase but in the intervening 2 weeks. The dealer was happy to tack a 2 year insurance-backed warranty on it with a claims limit of the value of the car, which helped my confidence when buying. The boot may not compete with a Mondeo, but it's bigger than that on a Focus or Golf / A3.

Before looking I would recommend finding a good Alfa dealership or specialist near you as the reports I've had on some dealerships is shocking. Try www.alfaowner.com to locate a reasonable one near you. You need to register to get into the dealership database but it's worth it.

When I last looked on Autotrader there was a 2001 Y 2.4JTD Lusso with leather / climate and CD at a dealership in Cheltenham for £12500. As I was looking at Diesels I didn't make any notes of the prices or availability of petrol ones I'm afraid.

Keep us informed on how your search progresses, especially if you buy an Alfa!

No Dosh - but then who has?
What to buy????????? - banger
Thank's, No Dosh,
Will let you know! Caught something by you on another thread,
so am more informed than I was.

 

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