What car should we buy?

Discussion in 'transport' started by flimsier, Sep 8, 2005.


New or second hand?

  1. You should buy new, and I've posted the make/model below

    0 vote(s)
  2. You should buy second hand, and I've posted the make/model below

  3. I don't have a clue about cars but I like voting.

  1. nogoodboyo

    nogoodboyo New Member

    If you like the focus, buy one. 2 or 3 years old I suggest - 10 year old cars are indeed cheap (I own one), but they're not always sound (I own one). If you have no interest in how they work etc, get a newer one.

    2003 1.6 Focus Zetec or LX - 4 to 6k depending on mileage etc. A Fusion is a Focus with a bit more room - marginally more expensive. I'd say a Citroen Zsara or Vauxhall Zafira would be a better MPV bet.

    Foucs insurance should be cheaper than a Honda, although the Civic is also a highly rated car.
  2. Poi E

    Poi E Pessimism: a valuable protection against quackery.

    Also note that the Mazda 3 and its earlier models are on the same platform as the Ford Focus (Ford owns Mazda), so you're getting a very similar car.
  3. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member


    I'm debating whether I should bite the bullet and buy a car. I've not had one since I moved to London nearly 20 years ago, but now I've moved a bit further out from the centre I'm finding I'm spending more on Zipcars and also on hiring cars to go away for the weekend as we do a lot of camping. As we now have a dog we also have her and the various stuff she needs which means it's not always practical to get the train away as we once did.

    I'm totally out of the loop on cars and what are decent models. I think my main criteria would be economic engine and cheap insurance group, 5 doors and ideally not more than about 5 years old. Car wouldn't be used every day. Max budget would probably be 5k but would prefer to spend less in an ideal world. Any thoughts? Am still mulling it over and will need to think about insurance/tax costs and divvy up whether it's actually worth it.
  4. Spymaster

    Spymaster Cockney Wanker

    By "5 doors" do you mean a hatchback or estate?
  5. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    Hatchback preferably.
  6. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    At that budget I'd go first gen Hyundai i30 or second gen Mazda 3. Not a diesel, obviously.
    A380 and colacubes like this.
  7. Looby

    Looby Well-Known Member

    They’re boring but my corsa was great. Plenty of space (you travel lighter than me for camping/festivals ), cheap to run and cost me barely anything in repairs.

    My mechanic says avoid Peugeot or Renault and always tells me to buy Japanese but I bought a Peugeot.

    A few people here have recommended the Honda Jazz.
    colacubes likes this.
  8. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    Funnily enough I learned in a Corsa :D They've always seemed pretty decent. I remember that advice re Peugeot from when I bought my first car over 20 years ago as I nearly bought one :D I bought a Fiesta instead which I promptly crashed 3 months later :facepalm:

    My Mum has a Seat Ibiza which I really like but I think might be over budget.
    Looby likes this.
  9. dessiato

    dessiato Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono

    If you go camping and have a dog you might be better off looking at estates. Alternatively you might need a top box.

    As often as I hear people dismiss Peugeot Renault my experience is that they are very good. I never had issues with them.

    Having said that I'd go for something from the VW Audi range, probably a Skoda.
    colacubes likes this.
  10. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    My main reluctance about estates is that there’s not a lot of parking space on our road so smaller would be better. Fortunately the hounds is quite small so she can go on the back seat no problem.
    dessiato likes this.
  11. A380

    A380 How do I change this 'custom title' thing then?

    Completely impractical and a bit of a punt. But I recently got a Jaguar X type 2.5 auto for a £1000. Ok, it’s 15 years old but only 75000 miles and had new tyres... that’s not an outlier on price. There are loads about as no one wants them. ( or, it would appear, wanted them when they were new. Baby jag with Modeo parts).

    If it goes wrong that could be expensive. But it might not*. And if you are mostly driving round town the ridiculous fuel consumption still will take a long time to spend the £4K you save.

    * well most of the warning lights won’t work but the car itsel is solid.
    colacubes likes this.
  12. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    I’d love one but would worry about breaking it :oops::D
    A380 likes this.
  13. Dr. Furface

    Dr. Furface One small step for man

    5k max and not more than 5 years old? Well best of luck with that. You might get a Dacia Sandero or maybe a Duster perhaps. They're pretty basic cars, but they both have 5 doors and they get some decent reviews, though I've no experience of them personally. I imagine they must be pretty reliable though as lots of taxi drivers on the continent have them.
  14. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    I looked on autotrader earlier and found about 1000 cars that meet that criteria within 10 miles of me :confused:
    marty21 likes this.
  15. Dr. Furface

    Dr. Furface One small step for man

    And I hope if you buy one that it's really good and serves you well :)
  16. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    Ford Focus.

    The estate version of cars are almost identical lengths to the hatchback versions - camping, dogs, get an estate. They are also actually easier to reverse, because where the back window is, thats where the back of the car is...

    The Focus is good value, reliable, comfortable, pleasing insurance group, and very practical. I'd really recommend one...
  17. Looby

    Looby Well-Known Member

    My garage says they’re awful, one of the worst cars they see.
  18. Dr. Furface

    Dr. Furface One small step for man

    That's good to know, thanks.
    Looby likes this.
  19. hash tag

    hash tag never too old

    dessiato likes this.
  20. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    Yeah, I've heard that - pretty devastating corrosion problems was the big thing.
  21. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

  22. nuffsaid

    nuffsaid But this goes up to 11

    Buy a VW, tested on monkeys, so you know you're safe...:thumbs:
    Bahnhof Strasse and kebabking like this.
  23. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    Buy a car for your daily needs, not for the once in a blue moon trips. Get one with the roof attachments that allows you to put a roof box on top. For a few hundred quid, that will give you as much luggage space as getting something with an enormous boot, for those occasional trips that you actually need this. (And you'll be able to use the roof box for future cars too).

    It's different if you need the extensive luggage space day to day. But if you don't, don't make that your priority.
    colacubes likes this.
  24. Smangus

    Smangus comatose at a desk

    We went through this a couple of years back , asked our trusted mechanic and he said get a focus but not a diesel one. The best are 1.6 petrol, ended up with one 30k on the clock for £5.5K from a ford dealer. We love it , cheap to run and easy to drive. Therare a lot fo lease cars that go back to ford dealers after a couple of years so the chances of picking up a low milage one are pretty good.
    colacubes and kebabking like this.
  25. OzT

    OzT Online early mornings when at work ....

    Not sure why against diesel Focus. I got an old one, Mk1 2003, 1.8 TDDI with 175k on the clock now, and I think it's fantastic. Not sparkling performance but adequate, and over the last 3 years I am averaging 57 mpg, and I am a bit anal on fuel, I keep track of mileages and fuel topups, and I always fill to the brim everytime so I know how much fuel for miles since last top up.

    The later diesels, the TDCI, are as good but do have problems with the dual mass flywheels, and the Mk3 pleanty of problems with the clutch pack on petrols with DPS6 PowerShift transmissions.

    So a low mileage Mk1 diesel TDDI is the one to go for IMHO
  26. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    in motoring terms, yes, but if i lived/worked in London/any large city, i wouldn't buy a diesel now - the political tide against them has reached a point where its very likely that there will be either prohibitive charging or outright banning of them in the next few years - you could well end up with a car that both cost you a fortune to use and that was effectively unusable and unsellable.

    the 1.6 petrol gives decent MPG in a city, and can happily do the longer motorway and fast A road trips with the car full of dogs and camping gear, and isn't likely to fall foul of new anti-pollution measures.
    OzT likes this.
  27. OzT

    OzT Online early mornings when at work ....

    Nice to hear that about the 1.6 petrol kebabking. I have been thinking whta I woudl replace the Focus with if it should finally give up its goat. Been thinking a later Focus but when I read all the dual mass flywheel and clutch problems with the newer ones, as wel as the cam belts replacements requirements, I think I may even just go for an Astra, at least won't have to be doing the cam belt on them!! :)
    kebabking likes this.
  28. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    I had a 17 plate petrol Astra estate for a week from work - it was really, really nice. Very comfy both on long, fast roads and twisty country lanes, loads of room for four blokes and their gear, and with lots of poke for overtaking.

    If I didn't need something that could tow, it would be my next car - infact it might well be my next car, and I'll just get some scruffy old 4x4 for towing...
    OzT likes this.

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