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Help Me Choose A Car, Please


pandini

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I'm moving out of London temporarily from October until February, and will need a car daily then. I sold my last car 3 years ago, and have managed very well without one since, with the occasional use of Streetcar and hiring.

Before that, I've owned the last three models of the Vauxhall Astra, and I like them - particularly my last 05 plate 16v Sxi.

My budget is £8k-10k and I don't really see the point of paying VAT on a new car.

My priorities are

1. reliability - I know nothing about cars. Will join a breakdown service, but need one that won't break down.

2..Not TOO high an insurance group, and not anything too attractive to thieves

3. Not too sluggish - a bit of a kick when it needs it.

4. Larger than a Vauxhall Corsa inside

It needs to have cruise control, some sort of music system, and feel more than "basic" on the inside. I couldn't care less what it looks like from the outside.

I have previously driven the VW Golf (thru Streetcar) and don't really understand what all the fuss is about. I hired a Peugeot 307 last year and really liked that. Or there's the good old Astra to fall back on.

Anyone got any recommendations?

Thanks in Advance

Px

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I too like the Astra, a very nice car indeed in its recent versions.

I have recently bought a Seat Leon and probably prefer that as it is slightly narrower and shorter so easier to manouvere. Decent power from a TD, it's fun when the turbo kicks in.

The Focus is good as is (though this is second hand information) the equivalent sized Mazda.

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Lexus IS200, I've had one in the past and they're as reliable as they come.

Not as great on MPG as their bavarian counterparts (around 30 combined) but it makes up for it in lack of cash you'll hand over for things breaking over the natural course of its lifetime (it won't break, simple).

You could get a fully specced model at the end of it's lifetime before the facelift (55 plate) with 30K miles for around (or less than) the budget you stipulate.

A fully specced model comes with :

full leather, sunroof, heated seats, satnav, cruise control, electric seats, a/c, climate control, HID's, LSD (on sport) and one of the finest stock sound systems you'll find on a car; Mark Levinson 12 speaker system.

I got a 250 recently and I wonder if I made the right choice sometimes :unsure:

Oh and stats, puts out 156 BHP on the auto model (2L straight 6)

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Lexus IS200, I've had one in the past and they're as reliable as they come.

Not as great on MPG as their bavarian counterparts (around 30 combined) but it makes up for it in lack of cash you'll hand over for things breaking over the natural course of its lifetime (it won't break, simple).

You could get a fully specced model at the end of it's lifetime before the facelift (55 plate) with 30K miles for around (or less than) the budget you stipulate.

A fully specced model comes with :

full leather, sunroof, heated seats, satnav, cruise control, electric seats, a/c, climate control, HID's, LSD (on sport) and one of the finest stock sound systems you'll find on a car; Mark Levinson 12 speaker system.

I got a 250 recently and I wonder if I made the right choice sometimes :unsure:

Oh and stats, puts out 156 BHP on the auto model (2L straight 6)

My dad has an IS200 fully loaded paid around £6.5k with 30,000 on the clock. Nice to drive and great handling come as standard. The only thing I would change on that car is have the lovely Saab 2l turbo engine out of my 93 instead of the straight six, which i find a bit unrefined.

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My dad has an IS200 fully loaded paid around £6.5k with 30,000 on the clock. Nice to drive and great handling come as standard. The only thing I would change on that car is have the lovely Saab 2l turbo engine out of my 93 instead of the straight six, which i find a bit unrefined.

Agreed, towards the end of ownership I was finding I had to push it more and more out of junctions etc, it's quite a heavy car to only have a 2L engine The IS300 on the other hand....

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I had a Mercedes E270 diesel a few years back (admittedly new as it was a company car) and thought that was a good car, and certainly if you are happy getting a 5 year old one you could do it in your budget with bit of hard bargaining. They'll do 37 MPG and are fairly gutsy, and they will last a long time.

I've had a BMW 523 also, but hated it. The 2.5 litre engine had no power, and I should have gone for the 525 which I tested and which was much better. Again if you can get a 5 year old one it probably won't be more than £10k second hand.

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Eww!, a Saab Turbo instead of a smooth straight six Lexus :blink:

Good engine, lots of low down torque and it pulls whatever gear your in. I am a big fan of turbo charged petrols.

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Are you sure that you're only going to want to own the car for four months and then get rid of it?

If so and given your preferred spec, my inclination would be to buy a 10 year-old, petrol engined mass-market saloon with all the bells and whistles on it (e.g. a top spec Mondeo or Vectra) and with a MOT , of the sort that depreciates at a terrifying rate but will more or less have finished depreciating by the time you pick one up for a grand or so. Yes, it'll cost you a bit more in fuel during the time you're running it, but nowhere near as much as a car bought for £10k or so will cost you in depreciation. Assuming that it's more or less mechanically sound, any serious maintenance issues are not going to be your problem if you get rid of it before MOT time.

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Saabs do seem to get through tyres though, certainly the case with the 9-3.

So far it hasn't been too bad. My last car a new shape civic went through 3 sets of front tyers in 40k miles.

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depends what you want and how much you have to spend (up to 5.5k?) Edited to add: Just reread your OP and see you want to spend 8-10K, well if the following suits I'll split the difference ;)

Have a look at a 3yr old diesel 1.4L Peugeot 206 SW.

Peugeot-206_SW_Concept_2001_photo_01.jpg

Personally, I always buy cars that come onto the market the day the 3 year warranty expires, and if possible try to source an ex motability vehicle.

Anyway my experience with the 1.4 206SW

35 quid annual road tax

Low insurance

I easily get 60 + mpg

Good acceleration in 5th, although pulling away in first can only be described as stately

Nice rear loading bay with no lip and the rear seats fold completely flat to give a large space.

Servicing every 20K, although I change the oil more often.

(the 1.6L has more oompff, but it is higher tax).

In my experience so far, all the above makes this a very cheap car to run, even with depreciation

The biggest downsides to me are

1) clearance on front and rear bumpers, a feature of the bumpers and distance to the axles. I live in the country and you have to remember this when driving into fields etc.

And Minor aggravations

1) the accelerator and brake peddles are close. Initially this bugged the hell out of me. You will see this commented on fora, but now I don't notice it at all.

2) the windscreen wipers go the 'wrong way'.

3) I prefer my horn on one of the sticks rather than the steering wheel.

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I'm moving out of London temporarily from October until February, and will need a car daily then. I sold my last car 3 years ago, and have managed very well without one since, with the occasional use of Streetcar and hiring.

Before that, I've owned the last three models of the Vauxhall Astra, and I like them - particularly my last 05 plate 16v Sxi.

My budget is £8k-10k and I don't really see the point of paying VAT on a new car.

My priorities are

1. reliability - I know nothing about cars. Will join a breakdown service, but need one that won't break down.

2..Not TOO high an insurance group, and not anything too attractive to thieves

3. Not too sluggish - a bit of a kick when it needs it.

4. Larger than a Vauxhall Corsa inside

It needs to have cruise control, some sort of music system, and feel more than "basic" on the inside. I couldn't care less what it looks like from the outside.

I have previously driven the VW Golf (thru Streetcar) and don't really understand what all the fuss is about. I hired a Peugeot 307 last year and really liked that. Or there's the good old Astra to fall back on.

Anyone got any recommendations?

Thanks in Advance

Px

I have a "57" plate Astra 1.6 Estate for £3995,beat that price!

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I too like the Astra, a very nice car indeed in its recent versions.

I have recently bought a Seat Leon and probably prefer that as it is slightly narrower and shorter so easier to manouvere. Decent power from a TD, it's fun when the turbo kicks in.

The Focus is good as is (though this is second hand information) the equivalent sized Mazda.

Gotta go with Frank on the Leon. Great car.

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Are you sure that you're only going to want to own the car for four months and then get rid of it?

If so and given your preferred spec, my inclination would be to buy a 10 year-old, petrol engined mass-market saloon with all the bells and whistles on it (e.g. a top spec Mondeo or Vectra) and with a MOT , of the sort that depreciates at a terrifying rate but will more or less have finished depreciating by the time you pick one up for a grand or so. Yes, it'll cost you a bit more in fuel during the time you're running it, but nowhere near as much as a car bought for £10k or so will cost you in depreciation. Assuming that it's more or less mechanically sound, any serious maintenance issues are not going to be your problem if you get rid of it before MOT time.

Yep. Go down to a local auction & pick up a decent ex-fleet motor (Mondeo, Focus, Astra, etc..)...should be able to take your pick for a decent price, and have should have been well maintained...

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Thanks for all the answers so far. They all make sense - especially the idea of paying a couple of grand for a few years old Vectra - I had no idea they depreciated so quickly. Especially if I do want to get rid of it in February. The problem is, I won't know until then!

Older Lexus IS models look great, and Skodas seems to be holding their value very well.

Thanks again.

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