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Help me find the right car for the wife

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by Mark Ward, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    I'm looking to replace my wife's 'T' Plate Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia and I'm really not up on the latest desireable makes models. I'm hoping I can get some suggestions here. I'm after a 2nd hand car around 3 years old.

    Due to a change in school the run is now horrific (40 Miles round trip twice a day) so she wants an automatic transmission to ease the journey and diesel would help with the fuel economy.

    Requirements
    Nice(ish) car (Ford Focus type level or better)
    Automatic
    Diesel
    Air Conditioning
    CD-Player
    Good Fuel consumption
    Reasonable servicing costs etc.

    Would like (but not essential)
    Estate Shape
    Leather

    We've seen an Audi A4 Avant 1.9 Diesel, but it's Manual which is a deal-breaker for my wife. I was rather hoping for one of the Japanese or European manufacturers than a more prestige German, but open to any ideas.

    Any suggestions?

    Cheers,

    Mark.
     
  2. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    I think the requirement for an auto is going to limit your choice as it's mainly the prestige brands that are fitted wit this option.

    a used Mercedes C class is more likely to be fitted with an auto than, say, a Mondeo.

    You haven't said what your budget is - it would help ;)

    My wife likes our Nissan X-Trail SVE. This has all your requirements bar the auto box.

    She likes the commanding driving position (and so do the kids as they can see out), it's no bigger on the outside than an average Mondeo/Audi A4 sized car, it has loads of space inside, good ride, drives well for such an upright car, Japanese reliability, excellent residuals, reasonable fuel economy (around 35-36mpg), lowish running costs. And the 4 wheel drive came in handy last winter.
     
  3. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Thanks for the reply,

    I realise this but was wondering about the Toyota, Honda, VW, French options too.

    I saw a really nice looking Honda saloon a few months ago with Leather & Auto, slightly bigger than the Focus, not that size is a problem.

    4WD is a no-no for fuel economy really. We have an Audi 1.9 Diesel at work and that does amazing MPG (over 50!).

    As far as budget goes... It'll be borrowed money anyway but I guess £12-15k, though I'd rather spend less but fairly flexible for the right motor.

    Thanks,

    Mark.
     
  4. rhoamish

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    There are quite a few Vauxhalls that have an auto box connected to a diesel. The older diesels aren't great, but they are economical, which I suppose is the main thing. Also, the service interval is up to 30,000 miles, which keeps running costs down.

    Vectras and Signums are amazingly cheap second hand. You should easily find an auto diesel with leather, and loads and loads of toys. The 2.2DTi isn't bad: you should get nearly 50 mpg with an auto box. The current 1.9 CDTi is far better, but you'll pay more for it.

    What's the budget?
     
  5. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Probably find a few hondas with an auto as they are more than likely bought by the residents of Bournemouth (very popular with retirees as they they never go wrong).

    New Accords are very classy - although the estate looks a bit hearse like in black, but possibly a little outside the budget if you want leather and autobox.

    If fuel economy is paramount you'll not go wrong with VAG group offerings. If you're not too badge sniffy then Skoda Octavia Diesel estates are a bargain.
     
  6. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    That Signum looks like a possibilty, my local dealer has an ex-demo 1.9 on 54 plate that is Diesel & Auto price is £14.495 but I'll o doubt haggle a bit if it's something my wife would go for.

    I'll research the Accord today. Not sure if my 35 year old wife'll like to be associated with the Blue-Rinse brigade though.

    An A4 1.9TD Auto would be my first choice if the price was right, VW's too. Not sure she's go for the Skoda though. I drive a Merc (company) and I think she'd see a Skoda as very much of a contrast between our 2 cars.

    Still looking... Going to pop down the Toyota garage later to see what they have. Anything to look out for there?

    Cheers,

    Mark.
     
  7. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Avensis: bland
    RAV4: economical for 4x4, but not all that big inside
    Corolla Verso: as Avensis
    MR2: :D :rotfl:

    You'll probably end up buying a Golf TDi with leather and auto :smashin:
    the Mk 5s are really quite big cars.
     
  8. Crocodile

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    Given that you're sold on the A4 I guess the next logical choice would be the Passat. A quick trawl of Volkswagen's site shows an '04 with 7500 miles & leather in Norwood for £15,500.
     
  9. joust

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  10. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Thanks again for the extra suggestions...

    VW Passat Estate is a definite possibility, not sure about the Modeo, but great price!

    Take your point on the Toyotas,

    Going to hunt around local dealers this weekend.

    Mark.
     
  11. rhoamish

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    There's a 54 plate Signum at a dealers near me.

    Full leather, a/c, sat nav, 17" alloys, loads of toys. Just over 5,000 miles, 1.9 150 bhp diesel engine, for £13,800 before haggling.

    That's a pretty great deal!
     
  12. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    The Alfa JTD Sportwagon would be a good option, not sure if they do an auto version though...
     
  13. Crocodile

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    Nah - she needs to get to school AND back.... :laugh:
     
  14. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    That sounds good, but where is "Near me"? :) Also, from the Pics on the Vauxhall site it looks like the Signum only has 4 seats? Is that right? It's not essential for 5 but always nice to have the option to bung a couple of extra kids in the car. With only 4 seat I may end up as the kid's taxi service and that won't really do!

    So it would make it there would it? I don't even know where an alfa dealer is but they do look nice.

    Mark.
     
  15. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Alfas - lovely cars to look at, great to drive and actually pretty reliable (from my own experience), but servicing was a bit expensive and they are hopelessly impractical on the inside as far storage places are concerned. There is literally nowhere to put CDs, maps, cups and the usual junk that carrying children around entails.

    And the Sportwagon actually has a smaller boot than the saloon!!
     
  16. Crocodile

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    Anything's possible! On a serious note, they're totally impracticle if you want a family estate. Even less room in the back than a 3 series.

    Just ask a passing AA/RAC patrol-man.
     
  17. rhoamish

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    'Near me' is Bedford. There's loads of Signums in Bedfordshire: they're all ex-Vauxhall management cars (I don't think they sold many privately: it wasn't exactly an unqualified success, but that makes them a cheap second-hand option).

    The fifth seat is a bit of an incidental seat. It isn't the most comfortable, but it does have a full 3-point inertia seat belt. It'll do for smallish adults on shorter runs, too.
     

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