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 Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........

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stu1027
Infant
Infant


Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2009-12-29

PostSubject: Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........   Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:22 pm

First of all, let me just say hi. Brilliant website that could not have come at a better time-read on to find out why!!

I need to get a new car, and, with the help of an unexpected windfall (the best kind!!!) I have about 2000 to spend. Of course, in the spirit of Bangernomics I would rather not spend all of it if I can possibly avoid it and therein lies the problem.

For somebody like me who knows very little about the mechanical side of cars, this is a real problem. I've never been very lucky with cars in the past and I really don't want to end up with a dog so I'm appealing to you for help!!!!

What I need the car for is my daily commute which will notch up no more than 20 miles a week in light traffic (I'm very lucky!!) and also fairly regular trips 'daan saaf' to visit me pals. You'd be looking at a round trip including tooin and froing while I'm there of around 400 miles ish.

So what do you reckon I should be looking at? Personally, I keep seeing Rover 75's for silly money but have read other posts on the site about them so I'm kinda leaning away from them now. The BMW 5 series sounds like a great idea but mileages of 140k + worry me. Should I be worried? What else is there that is going to treat me well and not make me look like a plum? (that last point-very important. I do have some standards!!!!!)

It's not urgent as I'm currently running a brilliant little Rover 214SLi with only 37k on the clock. I bought it off Ebay 3 years ago when it had an original 23k on the clock. Paid 600 quid for it and it has been brilliant. I only got it cos the car before it blew up and I was desperate. Only planned to keep it for a few months but, 3 years on and I love it to pieces. The only problem is it's gutless on the motorway hence the new car requirement.

Any help I can get will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Stu.
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chappers2003
Infant
Infant


Number of posts : 1
Registration date : 2009-01-09

PostSubject: Re: Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........   Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:04 am

Petrol Mark 3 Mondeo's are now lurking below the 2k mark. A 1.8 will cruise easily on the motorway for your southern trips, but a 2.0 has a bit more go. Also all of them have lots of airbags, abs, air con, cd and best of all in these weather conditions a heated front windscreen which I really miss in my current car. Just check the rear subframe bushes aren't about to expire as this will cost about 250+ to fix from personal experience.
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stu1027
Infant
Infant


Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2009-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........   Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:10 pm

Cheers Chappers. Very good advice. Since I posted I've been scouring the Auto Trader and have compiled a list of possibles. Any feedback again greatly appreciated.

Nissan Primera & Almera
Honda Civic
Vauxhall Astra
Toyota Celica
Rover 75 & 45
Alfa 147 (might be a bit wafty but I had one a few years ago and it was a blinder!)
Mondeo
MGZR
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Ian_Fearn
Junior
Junior


Number of posts : 52
Registration date : 2009-12-04

PostSubject: Re: Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........   Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:18 pm

The mk3 Mondeo is a damn good car, but like Chappers says, watch out for rear subframe bushes. You can get poly bushes for them now which do last longer but obviously you've got to change them before they'll last longer!

I always recommend people steer clear of the Rover K series vehicles but you've clearly had a good time with your Rover 214. They do blow head gaskets alarmingly regularly although there are mods now available to prevent/reduce the risk. I just wouldnt bother with a Rover, i just dont find them cheap enough to be worth the potential shortcomings. That said i'm hanging my nose over a MG ZT260 with the ford V8 engine....

I dont think you'd go far wrong with a Honda Civic, the older models were and still are seriously reliable. They tended to be owned by people who cared for them, serviced them on the dot at the main dealer so are worth looking out for.

I have a friend who swares by the BMW 5 series. He's had various big engined models, all with intergallactic mileage however the bills are big if you leave it with a garage to fix the problems.

You can get an awful lot of Citroen Xantia for 1500quid. With the HDi engine they're quick, economical, durable and reliable. With the 2.0 petrol they're incredibly cheap, reliable but a tad on the thirsty side at 30ish mpg. They're also supremely comfortable. Dont worry too much about the hydraulic suspension, its not as complicated or as expensive as people think, but do get a little advice if you were interested. Relatively easy to maintain at home.

Personally I find the Astra to be about as Ronseal as it gets. Does exactly what it says on the tin, i.e. Gets you from A to B with as little hassle as possible. Having had a few i'd say the older ones handle poorly, the seats are uncomfortable and the general driving experience is average. Ford's Focus in my opinion was better (and i hate fords!!) but the Escort was nothing to write home about.

Mazda 323's or 626's are similar to the Almera/Primera. Have you looked at those? Boringly reliable, safe and cheap.

Alfa's can be sublime but they can also be a nightmare. I'd keep clear unless you're pockets are deep and your patience is beyond the bounds of reality!
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stu1027
Infant
Infant


Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2009-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........   Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:24 pm

Cheers for that Ian.

I hear what you say about Rovers and it would certainly be at the forefront of my mind should I buy one. I have seen a couple I would probably go for because they are very low mileage and well specced.
The thing is about mine is that it had such low mileage and was in such original condition I figured the head gasket issue was worth a punt. I certainly have no complaints. In fact, every time I've taken it in for a service or for any maintenance the mechanics always remark about how clean it is. One of them even offered to buy it from me!!

After sifting extensively through the Auto Trader, Ebay and various other places I've found a good few cars that fit my particular criteria and now it just comes down to which one delivers what it promises. That's always the tricky part in my experience!
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Ian_Fearn
Junior
Junior


Number of posts : 52
Registration date : 2009-12-04

PostSubject: Re: Hi all....newbie here with a bit of a problem........   Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:01 pm

I always prefer buying something with a ridiculously low mileage because the chances are the interior and body is in better condition, often been garaged too.

I can fix those problems that come with lack of use over the years though and change of usage can bring new problems.

Try and buy something with provenance. Lots of neatly kept service history is always a good sign of a caring owner.
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