A sad farewell to an old friend; and a welcome to a new one

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Couple weeks ago I had a bit of a mishap, and had to say goodby to my cherished Lexus IS200. I'd had it almost 10 years, and despite it being extortionate to run (mpg is terrible and £340 a year tax!) it was the best car I ever owned. In the first 8 years it barely cost me a penny in upkeep and maintenance, outside of regular servicing. 2020 it decided it was going to do it's best to retire and I had to throw a couple dozen components at it to keep it going, but it still sailed through MOT's with barely an advisory each time. Its last ditch attempt at retirement was to wear it's valve stem seals, so it smoked and smelled like a diesel on start up, and require a litre of oil every couple months. Then during a momentary lapse in concentration, I looked up to see the van that had been way in the distance ahead of me had stopped to make a turn, and I wasn't able to (in my defence, I wasn't speeding. I just wasn't giving the road my full attention). The old girl had 167k on the clock, and was only 7 months from turning 20 😪

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I was fine - strong car, airbags did their thing, and I walked away from it with just a small laceration to my eyelid from my glasses frame when the airbag went off. Bit sore and bruised, but overall fine. Car was of course a write-off. A witness behind called an ambulance and the police, and I was carted off to hospital to be checked out, and the police managed to shuffle the car out of the road and onto the grass verge. In a random twist of fate, the wreckage was stolen later that same day - presumably by chancers looking to weigh it in for scrap. Thankfully a family member had taken the time to go back to it while I was waiting in hospital and retrieve all my personal belongings from it.

So then the arduous task of finding a replacement. I prefer to buy cars at leisure; when you have a car it's much easier to spend time going to look at different cars to get one you really want. So I figured I'd just get a cheap runabout to tide me over while I find the car I want - and that's not as easy as it sounds anymore! Those little cheap hatchbacks and runabouts aren't actually easy to find anymore; gone are the days of cars at the side of the road with for sale signs in the window, and they're not cheap no either (typically, this is the WORST time to be looking for a used car, as prices are WAY higher than they were two years ago). Anything under £1500 is gone within hours: I found a £750 Mazda3 local on the same day of the crash, messaged the seller and he said he had someone coming up to see it that evening; it was gone by the time I got out of hospital. I found a £1500 Merc that same evening, and spoke to the seller at 10am the next morning: still available. had to make arrangements to get over to it, when I finally had I contacted to seller at 11:15 to make sure they were going to be there - already sold. I went that afternoon to see another Lexus only to find it was an absolute dog (and literally smelled like dog inside too) so had to walk away as despite being under a grand, it was just awful.

I had been looking at Audi A3 saloons for a while (since 2019) and they were on my shortlist of cars I wanted (with a Jag XE at the top of that list, one of these or a Lexus IS300h). Found this one for sale at a used car sales place fairly local, went over there with the intention of test driving it to see if I liked the car and then looking at a couple others over the next few days, but I ended up buying it that afternoon. It's not the the spec I wanted, and higher mileage too, and I know I overpaid (victim of this market and my predicament) but it is a lovely drive. My first auto (I'll ever go back to manual I don't think!), £20 a road tax, and far better MPG from it's little 1.4 turbo engine

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Hopefully it will be as good to me as the Lexus was (at least for the first 8 years!) as there's a lot more that could go wrong in this I feel..!
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
So that's why my Ocado delivery was late and the bananas all bruised!

Glad no one was seriously hurt, but what did the insurance company say about the stolen wreckage?

They're a nice little car those Audis, but they do like to complain if a sensor throws a wobbly. The diesels are worse for this and despite being small capacity, the engines are very strong.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
So that's why my Ocado delivery was late and the bananas all bruised!

Glad no one was seriously hurt, but what did the insurance company say about the stolen wreckage?

They're a nice little car those Audis, but they do like to complain if a sensor throws a wobbly. The diesels are worse for this and despite being small capacity, the engines are very strong.
So far, nothing. Spoke to them at the time to report the accident and try to have the car collected, but since I didn't have a postal address for its location, they said they couldn't collect and to call back the next day when I do, or let the police collect it (as I was advised would likely happen that evening, by the officers at the scene, if the insurance co didn't collect it that day - hence why my initial thought when I went back to it to find it gone, was the police had carted it off). Once I spoke to the police to find out where they'd taken it, and they checked and said they hadn't, they decided it's been stolen. I then spoke to my insurance co a few days later to advise, and it had to go down as two claims 🙄 one for the accident, one for the theft. They did say that because the accident was reported before the theft, they would only pay out salvage value for the theft, and that I'd be better off claiming for the accident, as it should be claiming market value. I'll try to get market value for it for the accident, then see if I can't get a few hundred quid for the salvage value too....

New car is a very nice drive - it has had it's first fault: discovered a few days after buying it the interior heater wasn't producing any heat. Air con was lovely and cold, but no warmth. Took it back and of course got the "this was definitely working, I remember this car, I drove it back from the MOT station" etc, but sitting inside it with the blowers on full, it's hard to deny the cold air coming from the vents. Took it in to be repaired under warranty, and it turned out to be a blocked heater matrix. New Audi part ordered and fitted, and all is well again. When pushed, I'd say it's every bit as quick as the Lexus was, in terms of pick up and go, but like the Lexus I generally don't soon about in it - despite it's sportier look and rev engine, it likes to drive like a diesel: when I leave it in auto-mode, it spends all it's time in the highest gear possible, and the lowest revs. Most of the time it's around 1500-2000rpm. I do flick it down with the paddles when going up a hill, just so it doesn't bog down, but I'm told this is pretty strong little engine, and should last a long time if looked after and not thrashed. And these days I'm more about maintenance than mods (although I do want to retrofit a few upgrades to it, as I miss my power-folding mirrors, backup camera and it really needs Apple CarPlay). And I might change those wheels too, as they're not doing it for me...
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Apparently the TFSI's don't have that bag, seems that's more common in diesel's. I checked mine and it doesn't have it, so that's good.
 

ostewart

Well-known Member
My friend has the 1.4 TFSI in his Seat Leon - I've been tempted by Skoda Octavia with one in it too - supposed to be excellent engines - poky yet efficient when needed.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
It has surprised me - I was dubious about having such a small engine after living with the 2L 6-pot I've had the last ten years. But for the most part it spends pretty much all it's time at the lowest RPM possible in the highest gear possible, so I assume from that it's not like the engine is screaming it's tits off all time. And when you do want to go a bit quicker than it normally does, pop it either into the S mode (I assume S is for Sport, but they call it "Dynamic" in the vehicle settings) or better yet, just start using the paddles on the steering wheel and control the gear changes yourself. Great for coming out of a slow road into a quick one, or coming up a hill and you want a bit more go and some higher revs.

The trip MPG counter gets a bit addictive though - although I find myself going slower than I normally would to get the best MPG "score" I can, so maybe that's a good thing
 

ostewart

Well-known Member
It has surprised me - I was dubious about having such a small engine after living with the 2L 6-pot I've had the last ten years. But for the most part it spends pretty much all it's time at the lowest RPM possible in the highest gear possible, so I assume from that it's not like the engine is screaming it's tits off all time. And when you do want to go a bit quicker than it normally does, pop it either into the S mode (I assume S is for Sport, but they call it "Dynamic" in the vehicle settings) or better yet, just start using the paddles on the steering wheel and control the gear changes yourself. Great for coming out of a slow road into a quick one, or coming up a hill and you want a bit more go and some higher revs.

The trip MPG counter gets a bit addictive though - although I find myself going slower than I normally would to get the best MPG "score" I can, so maybe that's a good thing

I just ignore my MPG... it's too depressing and I'd have to go 50mph on motorways to get it up to a good number :rotfl: (Ford focus 1.8 petrol... it's N/A and not economical, but pretty reliable)
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
What average MPG do you get? We find our Ford Puma averages 39MPG with a mixture of mainly urban driving and the occasional long run, while our Golf GTD gets 60-62MPG, albeit with more long journeys and less town driving.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Not had it long enough to tell yet, but it seems to be around 40. I mainly do short journey's, bit of town and rural driving. Once a week I might get on the motorway. When I'm on a motorway run, if I'm being restrained and not tanking along, I've seen it sit over 50mpg. Which for a little 1.4 petrol I thought was pretty good.
 

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