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Thread: Need a sensible, practical and economical car, but still fun.....What do?

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    Member arry's Avatar
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    Need a sensible, practical and economical car, but still fun.....What do?

    Recommendations please

    Wifey has a new job. New job involves a fairly lengthy commute ~1 hour each way by motor vehicle, mostly motorway, but some town hopping. A vehicle is required to perform this function.

    What it must be:
    Economical - we currently have a 2JZ Lexus that tucks away juice like it really shouldn't, and she'll be lucky in a bit of traffic to get 25mpg out of it. Ideally I want something that's returning double that. On rough calcs 50mpg would make a 1500+ a year saving on fuel, so this bit is important.
    Low ish running costs - nothing with 19 inch tyres at 150 a corner, for example.
    Reliable - it has to be a daily, so nothing highly strung that's going to break every 15 minutes.
    Practical - we're looking at a hatch really. Ideally we'd love an estate but I think that's going to put out the 'fun' category on smaller engine stuff?
    Comfortable - nothing too boingy or buzzy, needs to be 80mph on the motorway capable without backache / eyes buzzing around your head.

    What I'd like it to be:
    Fun - doesn't have to be an absolute stormer, but something that's a decent drive that won't make me want to kill myself when I do actually use it would be nice.

    Budget - not a lot. Say 3k ish but with room to move.

    Any ideas appreciated
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    sounds like you want some kind of sporty FWD diesel (if such a thing exists). I always try to refrain from buying sporty versions of cars as then tend to just get thrashed by everyone who drives them. I try to look for the granddad spec cars now.

    what about an alfa romeo? they use the 1.9 150bhp diesel out of all the Vauxhall/saabs something like a 159 estate. id half be tempted to say a Vectra sri with the Xpack bumpers but doubt it would be interesting to drive. an 09 plate minter would set you back 2K.
    skoda VRS diesels if you don't want a golf, or a Seat Leon.

    you are in the same boat I was in 6 months ago but I ended up buying a 1.6 diesel ford focus as I found a low mile jobbie I couldn't turn down, its fairly nimble down the lanes but has lots of road noise on the motorway. I was half looking for the estate version which isn't too bad looking. seems to do 500-600 miles to a tank.

    all old diesels seem to have intergalactic mileage which is a real turn off for me.

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    Guest DLowe's Avatar
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    Our 1.8 ivtec civic is returning 44mpg round town and 50 on a run.....

    It's not the comfiest of rides but is still pretty good fun the throw round a country lane..


    And the boot is cavernous.... With the seats dropped I think it's only 50ltrs smaller than the xc70 was.

    Plus Honda reliability, cheap to buy and insure and parts etc are nowt

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk

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    Guest DLowe's Avatar
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    Or if you like the lexus..... What about a is220d?

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk

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    Member arry's Avatar
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    I think I want to steer clear of diesel if i can but I won't rule it out entirely. Its just when they go wrong you spunk all you saved on repairs.
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    Oor Willy sideways14a's Avatar
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    Ariel Atom, the one with the supercharger.

    Meets most of your requirements it think, well... one or two.. maybe...

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    Guest DLowe's Avatar
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    All the hondas I have had 2x civics, prelude and accord have surprised me in how good thier fuel economy was (when not spanking vtec), they really do make diesel the wrong choice.

    That said our old 318 is BMW was very good on a motorway, but dropped dramatic round town

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    Member R3K1355's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arry View Post
    I think I want to steer clear of diesel if i can but I won't rule it out entirely. Its just when they go wrong you spunk all you saved on repairs.
    You won't get the kind of MPG you want out of a petrol though, 50+ is really Diesel territory.
    New 1 litre Turbo's get close, but only in Fiesta size cars. Go upto a Focus/Golf size and it's high 30's low 40's.

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    Imma be putting my 330 up for sale for 3k arry.

    Perfectly fine car but the ovlov is draining me and i need to free up some cash. Its just not required as we still have te focus of just wont fcuking die on the drive so im going back to that for a while

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    Guest DLowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R3K1355 View Post
    You won't get the kind of MPG you want out of a petrol though, 50+ is really Diesel territory.
    New 1 litre Turbo's get close, but only in Fiesta size cars. Go upto a Focus/Golf size and it's high 30's low 40's.
    1.8 petrol 2006 civic....

    Average from Stoke on trent to Cheshire oaks... No motorway, mix of a and b roads

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    Member sx rider's Avatar
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    I am running a MK5 golf 1.6 fsi and can't fault it as a daily driver, handles well, comfortable and good on fuel. Gets decent MPG but I have not gauge for it so don't know exact figures, but according to honest john its 37 mpg on average https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg...-v-2004/16-fsi

    I'd recommend one based the experience I've had with mine.

  12. #12
    Guest ANDY black s13's Avatar
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    honda jazz 2000 to 08, toyota corolla 02 onward,or Mazda 2

  13. #13
    Member arry's Avatar
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    God all of this talk of Civics I'm tempted to buy a CTR. You remember my last what car thread where I asked about diesel mile munchers and bought a 911
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    Oor Willy sideways14a's Avatar
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    Plenty of Atoms with honda engines about....


    ....just sayin

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    im surprised people on here say Hondas do good MPG as the taxi drivers used to say they were thirsty.

    Toyota auris SRI 180 was something else I was looking at.

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    I had a 1.8 Civic that sucked the life out of me like no other car I ever owned. It then punished me when I sold it for 5K less than I paid for it.

    The ONLY thing it did even moderately well was mpg.

    My daughter's Polo would do the mpg and its a nice place to sit but you;d need to up the budget to even get a 100K miler.

    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...01808159498700

    If you can stretch to 8K, you could get a nice low miler. Should get some of you money back later on too.

    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...01807218675056

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    Mini Cooper D seems to tick all the boxes. Good fun, 50-60mpg, cheap tax and overall quite a nice car. You'll pick up a 10 year old one in good nick for under 3k quite easily. I've got a 58 reg one with the chilli pack so quite decent spec and ideal for commuting. Totally impractical as a family car, although we still manage to fit a baby seat and buggy in the boot when we don't want to take the big car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arry View Post
    I think I want to steer clear of diesel if i can but I won't rule it out entirely. Its just when they go wrong you spunk all you saved on repairs.
    The sort of driving it's going to be used for sounds ideal for a diesel. They only really go wrong when owned by folk who pootle around town and never put the foot down, or the other end of the spectrum - those who thrash it from cold, and try to drive it like a stolen Nova.

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    I bought myself a clio 172/182 for the same reason. Not quite the MPG above, but high 30’s with a heavy foot is no worries. All you need to do is change the gearstick bushes and it drives like a new old motor. Oodles of fun. Cheap as chips. Easy to fix pretty much everything. Park it anywhere coz it costs hardy anything. I took all the panels off and covered it in sounds proofing then jammed a decent stereo in and it’s brilliant - driven it to France and loaded the thing up with over a tonne of rubble, keeps going. Also - French electrics! World renowned. Honestly tho mate I’m finding it really hard to replace. Mini is a good suggestion but the clio is a good deal.

  20. #20
    Oor Willy sideways14a's Avatar
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    If i was doing a heavy commute, ie more than the 2 miles i do at the moment.. say 3 or 4... i would want something comfy and soothing above all else.
    Sod the back road game when your plugging it to work every day.
    For anything over say 5 miles, which would be an enormous commute i would want a chopper.
    If it was something really silly like 10 then i would get work elsewhere, next door would do.

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