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And Another What Car - Petrol Or Diesel For Urban?

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We need a car with a decent boot now we have to little'uns. Most of our driving is 5 miles journeys, around town, several times a week. So, I'm thinking an estate car (Focus, Fabia, Astra). Fuel economy is key, and our budget is £5k.

My father in law always says get a diesel. However my contact in the motor trade says diesels are not efficient for short journeys, and take the first 15 mins of a journey to warm up. Various articles I have read say that diesels used for short, slow trips, need more frequent repairs and don't clear the DPF if one is fitted,

So, can anyone point me to articles/websites that can match fuel type to driving style?

And any other fuel efficient cars with big boots in our price range?

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Why is fuel economy so important? It takes a lot of 5 miles journeys to start driving significant mileages.

Anyhoos, you forgot to say how much you want to spend. If you're going for something used, a little bit older tech then you could easily avoid a dpf. Its key to note that petrol cars won't be that efficient over such short journeys from cold starts too.

Say a mk1 or mk2 Skoda Fabia estate with the 1.9 TDI will be without a dpf. Ditto the 1.8 TDI in the mk 2 focus. Astras, I don't know but its likely you'll also be able to find a diesel variant not a million years old without a dpf. The trouble is that as emissions requirements have tightened, so has complexity of these systems.

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I would without question go for a petrol in your situation, they are more responsive and forgiving at low revs so better-suited to start-stop traffic and fuel economy is pretty irrelevant for those short trips. I drive a diesel because I do a lot of miles but would switch back to petrol like a shot if I wasn't doing a high mileage.

If you do lots of short journeys then you get the DPF warning light come on, you then need to go for a 20 mile blast to clear it.

For £5k you'll get a decent car and the three you list are good choices.

Effects of short trips:

exhuast has condensation left in it - rusts through every couple of years

oil gets incomplete waste products in it - change it twice as frequently as service recommendations say

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Petrol Skoda Roomster. Manual.

Or a diesel like this one ...

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201311159926952/sort/default/usedcars/onesearchad/used%2Cnearlynew%2Cnew/postcode/bl15ed/quicksearch/true/page/2/model/roomster/make/skoda/radius/1500?logcode=p

Space, modern, air con. Exactly what you are after.

1.8 diesel is to be avoided in the SMax, so can't see why it would be better in the Focus. 1.6tdci eats injectors (the French influence on it). Astra is ok - just don't get an auto .... Woeful design means the gearbox and engine share coolant. Which when the radiator prematurely corrodes,which it will, ruins your gearbox for good.

If you can find one that was not a taxi and has cast iron provable history, a Corolla Verso is a good car. As is an old shape 1.6 civic manual - enormous inside

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We need a car with a decent boot now we have to little'uns. Most of our driving is 5 miles journeys, around town, several times a week. So, I'm thinking an estate car (Focus, Fabia, Astra). Fuel economy is key, and our budget is £5k.

My father in law always says get a diesel. However my contact in the motor trade says diesels are not efficient for short journeys, and take the first 15 mins of a journey to warm up. Various articles I have read say that diesels used for short, slow trips, need more frequent repairs and don't clear the DPF if one is fitted,

So, can anyone point me to articles/websites that can match fuel type to driving style?

And any other fuel efficient cars with big boots in our price range?

I'd go for the Focus estate (or C-Max, which is what I drive, has the advantage of being a bit shorter than the estate), with the 1.6 engine.

If it's all 5-mile journeys then you'd kill a modern diesel, and your fuel economy will be pretty poor.

You could get a brand new Dacia Logan MCV for £7800 (1.2 Ambiance)... a quick scan of Autotrader has Focuses (Focii?) in the 5-year-old, 60k+ mile range for £5k, which seems a rip off in comparison.

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For short trips avoid a diesel

Id agree with that.

To the OP: Not in your size range but I have a 1.3L Toyota Yaris that I get almost 50mpg equivalent around town on 91 Octane with the air con on much of the time.

Perhaps check out the 1.4/1.6L Toyota Auris / Corolla

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Diesel all day

Yes dpf`s will be problematic if only used for short journeys but they can also be removed and deleted from the ecu

Modern common rail diesels produce peak power/ torque @ about 2000 rpm opposed to 4-5000 on a small petrol engine this will allow you to use much higher gears at low rpm/speed which will return better mpg

As for servicing it will be cheaper but the biggest downside is if they go wrong ,injectors and high pressure pumps can be anything between £150+ for injectors and £300-£1500 for some of the pumps

1.6 cdi Honda civic is a cracking car

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I would without question go for a petrol in your situation, they are more responsive and forgiving at low revs so better-suited to start-stop traffic and fuel economy is pretty irrelevant for those short trips. I drive a diesel because I do a lot of miles but would switch back to petrol like a shot if I wasn't doing a high mileage.

If you do lots of short journeys then you get the DPF warning light come on, you then need to go for a 20 mile blast to clear it.

For £5k you'll get a decent car and the three you list are good choices.

Effects of short trips:

exhuast has condensation left in it - rusts through every couple of years

oil gets incomplete waste products in it - change it twice as frequently as service recommendations say

Indeed, I had a small diesel Peugeot on hire for a business trip yesterday. City driving I was getting around 31 mpg, I get 24mpg in a 2.0l Saab turbo. What was also noticeable was how sluggish it felt at the bottom end, maybe it's my driving style but I was having to use much longer gears in the Peugeot, where as in the Saab I short shift around town unless I need to escape from a junction quickly.

For balance I was getting around 60/70 mpg at 70 on the motorway in the Peugeot where as I get 45-50 mpg in the Saab, I wouldn't however want such a small car on frequent longer distance journeys though.

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The posts so far are 50% petrol, 20% diesel, and 30% not sure which side of the fence they come down on.

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The posts so far are 50% petrol, 20% diesel, and 30% not sure which side of the fence they come down on.

5 miles around town as the main journey(presumably a lot of stop/start action in traffic) raises the possibility of a petrol hybrid, although not sure if a Prius falls into your size requirements.

eg:

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/details?id=33706238

Seen others cheaper too.

Real MPG says 53mpg:

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/toyota/prius-2003

Your use might be tailor made to get the best out of it.

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:)

I must have subconsciously read it as I was thinking the right sort of cars.

I don't think a diesel is out of the question but home work is needed on the particular engine you chose. The roomster rachman suggested is a very practical car but I'm not 100% convinced on the VAG 3-pot 1.4 TDI. Personal thing but there we go.

General advice though is avoid the ubiquitous french 1.6 HDI which is seemingly in everything. Ford, Volvo, Mazda, MINI, as well as Pug/CIT. On the basis of your use.

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For short trips avoid a diesel

Makes you wonder why Royal Mail have bought thousands of turbo diesel vans with DPF for their new van share / Park and Loop ways of working (getting rid of bikes) all our vans have trouble with the DPF warning lights coming on. most trips are stop start and a few miles. the supposed way to clean/clear them is a bit confusing/long winded.

just to add: the DPF van i'm using at work has gone into "limp mode" I think (seems to be about half/two-thirds normal accelerating) is this ok to drive, or will further use kill it?

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Makes you wonder why Royal Mail have bought thousands of turbo diesel vans with DPF for their new van share / Park and Loop ways of working (getting rid of bikes) all our vans have trouble with the DPF warning lights coming on. most trips are stop start and a few miles. the supposed way to clean/clear them is a bit confusing/long winded.

just to add: the DPF van i'm using at work has gone into "limp mode" I think (seems to be about half/two-thirds normal accelerating) is this ok to drive, or will further use kill it?

If the cause of limp mode is the DPF becoming clogged (dash lights confirm?) then it may need a high speed run to spark a regeneration of the filter by burning the soot. However if the problem is more advanced it might require a trip to the garage to force a cycle, or a new DPF entirely (hopefully not due to expense).

The sales guys who flogged RM diesel vans for that sort of work must be **** a hoop at the servicing and repair work they'll get from you in the next few years, a very odd choice. Petrol hybrid is tailor made for that sort of stuff.

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If the cause of limp mode is the DPF becoming clogged (dash lights confirm?) then it may need a high speed run to spark a regeneration of the filter by burning the soot. However if the problem is more advanced it might require a trip to the garage to force a cycle, or a new DPF entirely (hopefully not due to expense).

The sales guys who flogged RM diesel vans for that sort of work must be **** a hoop at the servicing and repair work they'll get from you in the next few years, a very odd choice. Petrol hybrid is tailor made for that sort of stuff.

yes amber dash lights on. It came on the other day, most of the journeys are 5-25 miles total a day (stop start 10-100 times depending on duty).

I'm sure some sort of deal was done with this in mind.. (someone rubbing their hands here with glee)

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Taxis, post office vans may make individual short trips but have their engines running a lot so they benefit from diesel efficiency and their engines get up to temperature.

If you're only doing a couple of short trips a day you won't get either of these benefits.

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Taxis, post office vans may make individual short trips but have their engines running a lot so they benefit from diesel efficiency and their engines get up to temperature.

If you're only doing a couple of short trips a day you won't get either of these benefits.

Hadn't thought of that, you're right they do tend to leave the engines running all the time.

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yes amber dash lights on. It came on the other day, most of the journeys are 5-25 miles total a day (stop start 10-100 times depending on duty).

I'm sure some sort of deal was done with this in mind.. (someone rubbing their hands here with glee)

If you are able to get the engine hot for an extended period, that may solve the problem (although check exactly what the sequence of observed dash lights relates to- it may be beyond that point). The hotter temperatures on extended runs are needed to burn the soot via injection of extra fuel.

Do be careful though, if the filter gets blocked it is not unknown in some models for the extra injected fuel, unable to be burned, to end up gathering in the oil sump, gradually raising the oil level until it is high enough that the engine starts to run on its lubrication, giving a runaway effect. In such circumstances you can either:

1. Stall it by putting it in top gear and engaging clutch while standing on brakes

2. Stall it by stuffing rags into the air intake

3. Stand back and watch it rev to failure.

This problem may have been dealt with by more sophisticated sensors etc by now, but it has happened in the recent past.

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Avoid diesel for short journeys. The trade off with diesels is greater economy, but additional service bills and complexity. If you aren't doing the mileage to make the economy material, then you will be losing money. As others have said, DPFs and the like hate short journeys. Dual mass flywheels are expensive, and you will wear your clutch a lot with city driving.

Sounds like you are doing 30 miles a week. For that kind of mileage I'd get a 3 litre Alfa 166 auto and enjoy. Economy is irrelevant.

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