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Petrol prices - now's the time to get a small diesel?

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by Stuart Wright, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Ok, so now petrol prices have gone through the roof and are only going to go higher, we're swapping our 9 year old BMW3 series petrol automatic for the most economical, safe and comfortable smaller car we can. It needs to be a 3 or 5 door as we regularly carry bails of hay around.
    Budget is from 5 to 10k.
    This is how I'd rate our requirements:
    Economy 9/10
    Reliability 8/10
    Safety 9/10
    Comfort 7/10
    Prestige 7/10
    Features (rear parking sensor/side airbags etc) 7/10
    I know there will be a million answers, but I am more of a motorbike man than a car man and I just need pointers to the most economical, decent cars around.
     
  2. Mylo

    Mylo
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    I'd say start with the VW range of cars Stuart. I've used loads of Passats and found them roomy, fast and economical. Very good build quality is normal.

    Reasonable street cred as well.
     
  3. rhoamish

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    There are quite a few decent diesels around at the moment. I would say that the VW diesels are the best available, though. The PD diesels are amazingly responsive, and very economical.

    I picked a Skoda Fabia vRS. You can get over 50 mpg, it's got a 6-speed box and 130 bhp. I find it comfortable, and they're all 5 door, so quite practical.

    You might find one second-hand for 10k, but make sure it hasn't been thrashed, or worse, chipped (the engine can handle the extra power: the clutch and gearbox can't).

    For a smaller budget, the 100 bhp Fabia 1.9 TDi is more than adequate, although interiors can be a bit strange. The estate looks odd, but has a massive boot. There's also the Ibiza (essentially the same car).

    You might also consider The Octavia: I know it's big, but the old shape model is very reasonable at the moment, and the boot is cavernous, particularly on the estate. Equipment and safety are both good (ABS, AC and loads of airbags on most models).

    I'd also consider an old shape Focus hatch or estate, with the 1.8 TDCi. This is a great diesel: more refined than the VW engines, and possibly more economical, but it doesn't have quite the same 'oomph' (it's still not slow, though).

    If you want something smaller, the new 1.4 TDCi is really economical, and can be found in Fiestas, Pugs and Citroens. But I'd ignore the last two cars, as you seem to prefer something reliable!

    If I was moving hay around, I'd look for a late, high-spec old shape Focus estate. It needs to be high spec to get ABS: Ford didn't fit it to many Focuses as standard, and the same is true of aircon.
     
  4. Adrenochrome

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    Another vote for VW or one of the variants Seat etc here Bora Passat Leon or Toledo
     
  5. Miyazaki

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    Toyota Prius???
     
  6. Seth Gecko

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    I hate to say it but definitely consider the Skoda's - they are basically the same as the VW, but cheaper (My friend had a Golf, I had the Felicia and it was the same dash etc).

    They survive well in a crash (don't ask), the 1.3 petrol was pretty economical too. The Octavia diesels used to have Audi engines BTW (not sure if they still do) so if you're worried more about performance over street cred, you've got no worries there.
     
  7. Squiffy

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    Another vote for the Fabia VRS from me. A fantastic little car, and unbelievable economy bearing in mind the performance. :thumbsup:

    Mine is at 25k miles, and still under 12 months old.
     
  8. Stuart Wright

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    Thanks, guys. What do you think of this?

    VOLKSWAGEN Golf 1.9 SE TDI 110 , 5 Doors, Manual, Estate, Diesel, 2001 51 Reg , 53,000 miles, Metallic Silver, 1 Owner. Full dealer service history, Air conditioning, Radio/CD, Computer, Cruise control, ABS, Adjustable seats, Adjustable steering column/wheel, Central locking, Driver airbag, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Head restraints, Folding rear seats, Immobiliser, Passenger airbag, Power assisted steering, Roof rails, Side airbags, Rear headrests, Anti theft system, Front armrest, Remote locking. Insurance Group:8, All vehicles are supplied with a comprehensive 12 month warranty, part exchange welcome. £7,995
     
  9. Adrenochrome

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    Maybe worth trying to get a 130

    javascript:more_info(200535205797221,180,'CARS',3,200535205797221,490,560);
     
  10. Adrenochrome

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  11. Ian J

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    The annual mileage is a very important aspect of deciding whether a diesel or petrol engine is more cost effective as in cases of low mileage it can work out more expensive.

    I only cover about 7,500 miles per annum and average 27mpg. There is a diesel equivalent of my car which probably returns about 35mpg so my annual saving will be about 63 gallons which is less than a couple of hundred pounds in fuel costs. Diesels engines should be serviced more frequently and the annual saving is probably eaten up in the extra service required.

    For some reason, diesel cars seem to demand a price premium and Stuart will end up paying £1,000 more at the top end of his budget for a diesel engine than he would for the equivalent petrol engined car although all things being equal he should also receive a premium when he comes to sell it.
     
  12. Nobber22

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    Ian's right. You need to do over 40k a year to save on a diesel......the car costs more to start with, cot more to service and diesel is more expensive to buy at the pump. If you are doing low milages, get a 1.6 - 2.0 petrol.
     
  13. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    At our local the other day, Unleaded and Diesel were both 93.9. Both probably over the £1 mak, now. What if petrol and diesel are the same price?
    We need a different car. May aswell get a diesel.
    Or what about the mixed fuel ones? Near 70mpg.
     
  14. IronGiant

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    Do what i did and get a 2.5 V6 Petrol Kia Sedona, At the pumps it will do 0-£75 in about 3 minutes and on the road burn it all up nearly as quickly :rotfl:

    Nice car but I'm lucky to get 20mpg, the diesel would have been worth it in this case even on modest annual mileages.

    Dave
     
  15. Mylo

    Mylo
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    Diesels like my old technology Pug 306 needed an oil change service every 6k miles to keep the turbo running. Modern diesel engines with common rail and multi point fuel injection etc have longer or comparable service intervals to their petrol equivalent.

    This explains a bit better:
    Passat owners can opt for one of two servicing plans. The LongLife regime uses engine sensors to monitor oil quality and notifies the driver when a service is due, which can be as much as 30,000 miles or two years on the 1.9 litre diesel. Alternatively the car can be subject to a traditional time/distance interval. Owners can switch service regimes, but with such big gaps in the car’s life history you need to check a used car’s credentials carefully.
     
  16. Steve N

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    I went from anti diesel to pro diesel. Modern diesels are brilliant.
    I would certainly add Peugeots to your audition list as I think their diesel engines are superb.
    You should have no problem getting 700 miles on a tankfull with sensible driving in the 406/407 models.
    I currently use a Mondeo diesel (company car) which is quite good now that they have modernised their diesel engines, but it is thirstier than previous Peugeots and Rovers I have had. It is a smaller tank than the Peugeot and I have to work very hard to get 600 miles per full tank (usually about 570)
     
  17. Mark Grant

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    I would also suggest one of the VW group diesels.

    Passat TDI are great, new model just out so older ones should drop a bit in price.

    VW/Audi group cars will last for years, we recently sold our 10 year old A4 (petrol) to the first person that viewed it, was in amazing condition for its age.

    Now bought a used A4 TDI 130 - 3 years old and looks like new and really goes :)

    I always think of Vauxhall/Peugeot etc as disposable cars, you dont see many 10 years old vauxhalls that are not rusty and out of date looking etc, (I do have a Vauxhall Astra Van that I use for my installs - not anti vauxhall at all :) )

    Diesels go a long way between service these days, but change the oil twice as often as the manufacturer says and they last for 250K easily.

    Passat or Golf TDI 110 estate looks good to me for the prices they go for.

    Mark.
     
  18. MartinImber

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    LPG conversion and keep the 3 series!
     
  19. MartinImber

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    Ermm I am currently selling a 10 year old Vauxhall and it still is an excellent car, only selling because I have bought the biggest engined variant!
     
  20. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant
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    :D
    I know, but look at a 10 year old VW/Audi/BMW compared to the average Vauxhall/Peugeot/Citroen at the same age.

    Nothing wrong with a 10 year old Vauxhall though, its just a car after all !

    As long as it goes and is safe is all that matters.

    We only changed our 10 year old Audi because we wanted more airbags after seeing my brother (also a forum member) suffer severe head injuries in a car accident without enough air bags. I did not realise what a severe head injury was until I had seen the consequences :(

    Now we have 2 front, 2 seat and 2 side curtain airbags, feels much safer :)

    [lecture mode] Choose more airbags rather than bigger alloy wheels when buying a car :smashin: [/lecture mode]

    Mark.
     
  21. Squiffy

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    It isn't as straightforward as that though. Residuals generally are MUCH better on diesels, so although you may pay more, you will get back more. Plus of course diesels generally are more durable engines.

    And 40k miles per year for it to be worthwhile? That sounds a bit unrealistic to me. It is certainly true that there is a point below which a diesel will offer no economic benefit, but I don't think that point is at 40k miles!

    Plus of course I'd have to say that I think I now prefer the driving characterstic of a diesel. There are low revs at motorway speeds which can offer better refinement than a comparable petrol, plus generally superior torque and in-gear acceleration.

    Each to their own of course.
     
  22. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    What about the amount of stress and downright anger when spending more than £50 at the pump to fill up only to know you'll be back in less than a week?
    It's worth getting a more economical car just so you don't have to experience filling up so much.
     
  23. Type23

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    Px'd my 206cc 2.0L for a BMW 320d. Was always anti-diesel before but am a total convert now. Absolutely fantastic, my old man didn't even realise it was a diesel first time he was in it. Best mileage consumption so far 57.4 miles per gallon !!!!! Got a massive tank and goes for ages before fills. If you buy second hand you take out a huge chunk of the depreciation and the cost effectiveness of diesel over petrol becomes significant.
     
  24. MartinImber

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    I have can't see anything better about the VW, Audi, or BMW - well OK the BMW small 6 is nicer than the Vx 4 but the Vauxhall 3.0 V6 is a lovely engine, most unreliable engine in the Vauxhall is a BMW diesel!
     
  25. MartinImber

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    Thats why I am getting my MV6 converted to LPG
     
  26. cityonfire

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    My 1.5 16v diesel renault clio is awsome. Its my very first car paid £8500 new and i get about 58-60 mpg and i put in about £20 a week in the tank. Its quiet its first full service is either two years or 18,000 miles which ever is first. Have had one 38 point check service on it to make sure everything is ok and all it needed was a new filter and oil change which did not need doing straight away. But i got it done anyway as it was not that long till it did need doing.
     
  27. teabelly

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    Before making a decision; factor in how much depreciation and servicing with a franchise dealer rather than independent is going to cost you over the next couple of years compared to just keeping the car you have now and getting it serviced cheaply. I'd also consider how much you can improve economy by changing your driving style and making sure all your tyres are the correct pressure. Open windows and aircon also use more fuel. Driving an automatic is a big fuel sapper though. Unless you do 15k-20k a year then a diesel will probably cost you more. There is also a europe wide shortage of diesel and prices are rumoured to being going up as high as £1.10 or £1.20 a litre with petrol staying where it is now. That would wipe out all your savings pretty much.

    A smaller engined petrol car which depreciates quickly bought at 3 years old might be a good buy eg kia or hyundai. If you want near zero depreciation then I'd personally get a new/nearly new mini and a trailer for the hay bales :) You get the added bonus of it being reasonably fun to drive rather than a boring blob. The new fiat panda is also supposed to be a great little car but will sting you in depreciation to some extent.

    Sometimes it is best to stick with what you have as any car you change to might need several hundred quid spending on it to fix the reasons the owner sold it!
     
  28. Stuart Wright

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    Ok well we've decided on a Ford Focus 1.6 Ghia TDCi (109PS) SIV 5dr Hatchback Diesel Manual in Tonic (silvery blue).
    Some Ford dealerships are offering them for £13k+ used.
    I found one pre-registered new here for £13.7k.
    What do you think?
     
  29. The Dude

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    Not sure about the price etc, car deals aren't my thing at all, but my old boss got the same model (in Silver) back in May and he loves it... I think he bought new too.. I'll try find out what he paid.

    I haven't driven it, but I've been in it quite a few times and it's a nice tidy motor. A lot nicer inside than I was expecting.
    He was fairly settled on getting a Focus, but didn't know which one, and went for that one over the 1.8 petrol eventually.
     
  30. rhoamish

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    I've not heard of that particular company. I will say that I've heard of a lot of scams from these sorts of sites, though (last-minute price rises, cars not of the spec you ordered, etc).

    Buying from a decent local dealer is good for peace of mind, and it's also much easier to get teething problems sorted out, as well. I would avoid the car supermarkets: I've been to several with friends who have been looking for cars, and they've all been clunkers. They basically flog the rubbish that main dealers don't want on their forecourt. Some are crashed, some are clocked, but most are just really poorly looked after.

    I take it this is the new shape Focus. I think you've made a pretty good choice, but the old shape is still worth a look if you want to stay in your original budget (run-out 1.8 TDCis with lots of toys were going for £11k new last year, so they should be a great second-hand buy).
     

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