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what car for commuting 30,000m a year?

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by roversd1, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. roversd1

    roversd1
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    Being purely speculative - what new/ nearly car would be the best for fuel/ longevity to spank 60 miles up and down the A1 every day?
     
  2. mh123

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    Facing this very question myself since changing jobs 3 years ago, I went through the process of hiring a number of cars for a week at a time before making up my mind.

    My commute is 75 miles each way and I have a choice of motorway, A-roads or country lanes, and depending on time of day, weather etc. I choose the most appropriate. Therefore the car had to be comfortable in all these situations.

    I like a car that drives quietly and smoothly, but has plenty of 'umph!' when it's needed. I also like to throw it around those country lanes but take motorway cruising quite gently.

    Now the actual choice depends on your budget, but my recommendation after owning several now is any of the VW range with the TDI engines.

    I started with a Polo 1.9TDI sport (100bhp) which was an absolute hoot to drive - it thinks it's on rails - and returns 55-60mpg even when driven very hard. Sometimes this would creep up to 65mpg in ideal conditions (ie sluggish motorway 60mph with air-con off). 2-3 years old these typically cost around £7k with average mileage.

    Now I have a Bora 1.9TDI ST (130bhp) which I've had tuned to 170bhp which is a very fast, comfortable, quiet beast of a drive - not quite as defined as the polo as it doesn't have sports suspension - but is much more a quality drive. I can still squeeze 50-55mpg from it on a typical run and the insurance is only slightly higher than the polo.

    I put 50k miles on the polo and all it needed was a new set of front tyres at around 40k, and a replacement brake light switch which was done free under warranty.

    So far I've put around 35k miles on the bora and so far its needed nothing doing to it although the front tyres are getting a bit thin.

    Both cars were set to Variable Service Interval which means that in theory they can go up to 30,000 miles between services, although typically mine need doing every 20-25k.

    See the reports on these two at Parkers

    Polo: http://www.parkers.co.uk/choosing/carreviews/review.aspx?manu_id=12243&model_id=1012

    Bora: http://www.parkers.co.uk/choosing/carreviews/review.aspx?manu_id=12243&model_id=1035
     
  3. roversd1

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    Cheers! Very helpfull post. My thoughts were starting to run along similar VW lines.

    I was also considering the Citroen C5 HDi models, stupidly cheap, loads of equipment etc.

    If I go for VW, is there a special course on lane hogging, tailgating and lack of indicator use thereof? :devil:
     
  4. Miyazaki

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    Can't get much more economical than the Toyota Prius. Supposed to be a good ride as well.
     
  5. Beobloke

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    If you don't want to spend VW servicing prices, then a TDCi-engined Mondeo should be pretty good.
    And there's always the STTDCi if you want to "spank" the A1 a bit harder than most other diseasels................. :D
     
  6. Hartigan

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    Sod the cost. Buy an Alfa. Enjoy every minute of the journey! :D

    Hell, you could even get a diesel if you want...
     
  7. Beobloke

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    .............and every hour of the wait for the breakdown truck................. :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  8. Hartigan

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    :rotfl:

    Then go for the GTA. You can always make up the time again! :devil:
     
  9. Solomon Grundy

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    For commuting that distance (can't believe I am saying this) I reckon a new shape diesel Mondeo would be top of the list...
     
  10. mh123

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    VW group also put the same range of engines into Audi's, Seat's and Skoda's although I can't say I've driven any of these they might be worth a shot depending on budget.

    I notice someone suggested the new Mondeo... I hired one of these a couple of months back for a week and I can say that as a Mark 1 Mondeo driver of old I was very pleasantly surprised by the comfortable seating and the reduced road noise, however in comparison with the VW's TDi engine I found the TDCi to be sluggish and was returning only around 45mpg on the same routine as my Bora's 50-55mpg.
     
  11. Wild Rumpus

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    I'd be inclined to go for the Toyota Prius, too. It does 67.5MPG average and it uses petrol, which is cheaper than diesel. The fact that it is a Toyota will mean better reliability than any VW (who's reputation for reliability appears to be ill-deserved according to JD Power).
    Otherwise the SEAT Ibiza 1.9Tdi Cupra 160 does 0-62 in 7.6 seconds and manages an average of 52.6MPG - a pretty impressive combination!
     
  12. ChrisNic

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    The Prius returns that sort of MPG around town where you make best use of the electric motor, out of town the MPG is no better than most other petrol cars (about 40mpg IIRC).

    How about a Seat Toledo TDI, cheaper than a Bora but basically the same and available with the 150bhp TDI engine.
     
  13. Kenny Glasgow

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    Go for a BMW 535d Sport. 155 mph and 38 mpg :thumbsup: Does it for me every day
     
  14. mr jones

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    and whats better is that it comes with a licence to sit 5ft from the person in fronts bumper and drive legally with a mobile phone strapped to the side of your head.... :rotfl:
     
  15. Mylo

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    Passat 130 TDi fast and economical and pretty well specd. Also big enough to make lane hogging a breeze :D
     
  16. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Mr Jones

    Blutooth allows me to control the phone through the car's iDrive :thumbsup: I just fiddle with my iPod instead......
     
  17. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    If you are the only person in the car- a used Audi A2 might do the trick. They are pretty robust it seems and can return 70+ mpg at 70mph. Expensive new though hence worth looking through Auto trader first.
     
  18. Squiffy

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    I agree.

    And IMHO the pic of the crop would be a Skoda Fabia VRS. It comes with the TDI engine in 130bhp guise, which is plenty for a car of this size and weight. You can also get cruise control for it too, which makes motorway driving a bit easier. (Although obviously not if you are in traffic).

    Excellent economy & reliability, good all-round pace, and very refined for such a small car.

    Oh, and one even beat a Mini Cooper on the Top Gear test track. :devil:

    And yes, I do have one. I've done 21.5k miles and it is only just over 10 months old.
     
  19. hornydragon

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    is that all? a mate has just bought a astra 1.6 16V dual fuel penuts to ~RUN COngestion charge exempt (factory fit LPG) and an 02 with under 60K cost him £4,750 from a "supermarket" for the 30k+ a year he will do its ideal I love Diesel but LPG makes a lot of sense and i think its runs smother and quiter on the motorway on gas than petrol.............
     
  20. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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  21. Kenny Glasgow

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    A friend used to come to school with his mum in one of those, though I'm sure it was the BMW one that had the door at the front! Always wanted a ride in one :(
     
  22. Dr Diversity

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    What about a cheap n cheerful fiesta or ka?
     
  23. common

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  24. roversd1

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    Well, tried the journey in the current Nissan Silvia 1.8 Turbo - a bit of a rough old bird but painless enough -

    I would consider:

    Passat

    Octavia

    Merc diesel of some sought

    Citroen C5 HDi

    Peugeot 406 HDi

    Or even carry on in the Silvia for a while until it falls completly to bits.
     
  25. roversd1

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  26. Squiffy

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    Hmm, on the motorway I don't think that my Skoda would be any noisier or less refined than an Astra.

    Anyway, my point was that the Skoda covers the bases well. Good economy, good reliability, good performance in a comfortable and well equipped car. A diesel Fabia should be good for 30k miles per year.

    Another point to note is that I'm 6'3, and the last Astra I tried to sit in was just too small for me. The Fabia VRS meanwhile has excellent accomodation for the front seats.

    And I don't think an Astra 1.6 would really keep up.... :devil:
     
  27. rhoamish

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    Another vote for the Fabia vRS: I use mine for exactly this purpose! Over 50 mpg, and it goes pretty well, too: even an Astra 2.0 will struggle to keep up... Servicing is reasonably cheap, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than a Toyota Pious.

    If you want a bit more metal for your money, have you considered a used Vauxhall Signum? Whale-sized, diesels available, and crazily cheap second-hand. And loaded to the gunwhales with toys, too.
     
  28. roversd1

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    Its a Vauxhall - I'd rather walk...
     
  29. Ian J

    Ian J
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    That would be the sensible financial option as 30,000 miles a year on any car will kill it's resale value so why not motor free of the dreaded depreciation for a while.
     
  30. roversd1

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    Well its all meaningless if Idont get the job...

    :D
     

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