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Ford Focus Vs Vauxhall Astra

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We are currently looking for a basic (read boring!) second car - 1.4 or 1.6 petrol/5doors/reasonable size boot.

Are considering either a Focus or Astra, circa 2008/2009 costing around £5000 to £6000.

This car will probably only do around 4K miles per anum, so can't justify a diesel. Will probably end up with multiple supermarket door dings and scrapes, so don't want to spend a fortune. Would hope to get around 5 years out of car before we trade in.

Doesn't seem to be much to separate the two on paper, but before we test-drive them, any views from the HPC experts on either model? Reliability, real life mpg etc?

Thanks!

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I`ve had a Focus 1.6 estate for almost exactly a year.

I`ve kept a close eye on the mpg and can honestly say I get about 45mpg in the summer and that drops to about 40mpg in the winter. To be honest I drive it gently so I don`t think anyone could do better than that.

One thing to watch out for is the clutch which is a bit of a weak point. It`s hydraulic and the master cylinder being made largely of plastic can fail and means you struggle to change gear so test any car for variable position of clutch "bite".

Other than that it drives very well, is comfy, and has given me no probs at all.

I just remembered another job was some bushes on the front anti roll bar which showed up as a knocking during slow speed manouvering. This was not an expensive repair and apparently it`s fairly common.

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Not an expert, but IMO the Focus is a better car (once drove an Astra hire car and, well, I wasn't particularly impressed).

That said, the Focus holds its value better so you'd probably have to pay more second hand.

I'd go for the Focus, all things being equal.

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I found when driving some Astra's like a 1.6, the suspension is a bit off, it bounces all over the road if its a bit bumpy and you have to keep correcting the car, focus on the otherhand goes over the same roads no problem.

Just got 593miles from 51.2 litres of fuel from my 52 reg VW Golf GTI (TDI150), which aint bad at 52.9miles to the gallon for town and long distance. :D . It does seem to be eaking out a little more mpg the longer I have it, a worth while investment. :D

I sell quite a few of each.Nothing to choose between them in virtually every respect apart from the Astra comes back a lot more often under warranty.Mainly engine management/electrics.

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Primera T-Spec - laser controlled intelligent cruise control, electrochromatic mirrors, ESP, crash protection system (brakes when imminent crash is about to happen).

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I found when driving some Astra's like a 1.6, the suspension is a bit off, it bounces all over the road if its a bit bumpy and you have to keep correcting the car, focus on the otherhand goes over the same roads no problem.

Just got 593miles from 51.2 litres of fuel from my 52 reg VW Golf GTI (TDI150), which aint bad at 52.9miles to the gallon for town and long distance. :D . It does seem to be eaking out a little more mpg the longer I have it, a worth while investment. :D

I remember thinking the ride in the Astra was a bit rubbish.. It just felt unresponsive and uncomfortable to drive.

The golf was excellent, but same problem as the Focus/A3/Mini etc.. it keeps it's price well so quite expensive second hand.

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Thanks for all your comments, sounds like the Focus is a better car than the Astra.

Price-wise, comparing similar age/mileage cars at local dealers - Astra looks to be around £600 cheaper than Focus equivalent.

2008 Astra 1.6i Life 18K miles £5602

2008 Focus 1.6 Zetec 16K miles £6234

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Thanks for all your comments, sounds like the Focus is a better car than the Astra.

Price-wise, comparing similar age/mileage cars at local dealers - Astra looks to be around £600 cheaper than Focus equivalent.

2008 Astra 1.6i Life 18K miles £5602

2008 Focus 1.6 Zetec 16K miles £6234

If you`re going for that sort of age Focus then it might be that you`ll get fewer mpg than I stated.

As I understand it the early Focus ( mine`s 2004 ) had a higher geared 5th gear which while giving good economy was not great in motorway performance. I think in later models the top gear ratio was reduced, which gave better response at the expense of some economy.

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Skoda Fabia 1.9 Tdi

You say you don't want a diesel, but you do. 100BHP, 55MPG, cheap to tax, cheap to insure.

You should get a newer one with less miles than a Fous at similar price.

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Thanks for all your comments, sounds like the Focus is a better car than the Astra.

Price-wise, comparing similar age/mileage cars at local dealers - Astra looks to be around £600 cheaper than Focus equivalent.

2008 Astra 1.6i Life 18K miles £5602

2008 Focus 1.6 Zetec 16K miles £6234

TBH, you could save money by looking for a higher mileage. Both cars should do 70k with no major problems, and I'd bet that one with 30k on the clock would be cheaper.

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Used to have an 02-reg 1.6 Focus. Very good car, nothing major ever went wrong with it (although when I got rid of it about this time last year bits were starting to rust and wear out). I've now got an 09-reg 1.8 Astra, which I also like a great deal (I don't like the look of the Focus since it was restyled). I'm not sure where the criticisms of the ride are coming from. I've no trouble at all with it. It's true that it doesn't corner quite as nicely as the Focus, but not so badly that you'd notice on typical town or motorway driving. Oh, and the boot rim is rather awkward. On paper the Focus edges it I'd say, but give them both a try and see which you get on with (and which you can find the best deal on).

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Dont know much about ford's anymore, had a mondeo and never any problems.

Will never ever touch another vauxhall though for the rest of my life.

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Dont know much about ford's anymore, had a mondeo and never any problems.

Will never ever touch another vauxhall though for the rest of my life.

Why? When was this?

My dad had one in the 80s, had electrical 'gremlins' (read steering locking and lights going off at 70mph on the motorway!) and he vowed never to get one again.

The newer ones seem OK though, the astra seems nice. Havent driven any other than the corsa, which seemed cramped with hard seats.

Pity they dont put vauxhall bodyshells on ford platforms. The new fords look dull IMO.

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TBH, you could save money by looking for a higher mileage. Both cars should do 70k with no major problems, and I'd bet that one with 30k on the clock would be cheaper.

The most important thing is the service history. I buy higher milage cars but would not touch one without a FSH.

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Skoda Fabia 1.9 Tdi

You say you don't want a diesel, but you do. 100BHP, 55MPG, cheap to tax, cheap to insure.

You should get a newer one with less miles than a Fous at similar price.

Unfortunately, a Fabia diesel at similar mileage/year looks to be around £1000 to £2000 more expensive. I guess that's the premium for 15mpg more and cheaper tax/insurance.

Also looks smaller than Astra/Focus? But I could be wrong.....

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  • 343 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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