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Discussion Starter #1
I am soon going to have to buy a second car due to mine and the missus work commitments..

The brief is as follows.

Must have 4 doors.
Must be reliable and require minimal tinkering.
Must be reasonable on fuel.

Must be around £600 or less

It doesn't have to be exciting or flash but I don't want something that I would be embarrassed to be seen in. Can be petrol or Diesel.

What sort of cars would you be looking at?

So far I have been looking at Mk1 Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon...

Any other recommendations? :cool:
 

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I currently own a 1998 Audi A4 with a weedy 1.6 engine. Goes great looks pretty good and is quite cheap on fuel.
Not that you would be interested due to distances, but I am about to advertise mine for sale. Probably worth about £600 on a very good day.
Mine has over 170k on but feels like new :)
 

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Volvo 840. Not reasonable on fuel but well built, reliable and decent enough to drive.

The GF's dad has a 97 model. The underbody looks like new and it rarely needs any work done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
306 Diesel. Not exciting, but they run pretty much forever.

Malc's A4 might be worth a look at, though!
The 306 is getting a bit old now, and the last one I drove was a 1.9 diesel and I hated it.

The A4 would be a possibility, but manchester is a bit far unfortunately.


I am not in a rush to buy anything though as long as something is sorted in the next few months and certainly by Xmas.
 

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The 306 is getting a bit old now, and the last one I drove was a 1.9 diesel and I hated it.
Haha, yeah. I had one as my first car and loved it.

Then last year I had another one as a stopgap and suddenly realised just how old, slow, noisy and agricultural the unit was, lol.
 

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focus ..... I have an X reg 1.8 zetec and apart from normal wear and tear its been superb got it at 28k and now has 130k miles. Does around 35 mpg and thats with quite a heavy right foot ;)
 

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Primeras are brilliant cars. Even a boggo 1.6 is crisp and responsive and they handle brilliantly. GTs are fantastic but very rare now.

A £600 Focus is likely to be a bit ropey. Nissan Almeras are very reliable, very cheap to run and decent to drive. Polos are equally sturdy and cheap to fix.

At this money you have to decide which of your requirements are most important. A £600 Almera will have far more life left in it than a £600 Focus though it looks boring anr is very grey inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You can get a 147 or a 156 for that price if you look hard enough
I would have another one, but at this price they are likely to need a fair bit of tinkering. And probably welding as well if my last 156 was anything to go by.

The Almera, Primera, and Focus need looking into futher.

The Saab 9-3 is a good suggestion but I think it might be a bit on the thirsty side. 35mpg + is what I need really
 

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1999-ish Fiat Punto ELX - five doors, very Italianate revvy 1.2 motor which even makes nice noises, power steering, a bit bouncy but still fun to drive. Dirt cheap to run - new headlights for example are £15 a pair.

They also put up with a lot of abuse. A mate is running one at the moment and he has done nothing to it, bar fill the tank, for the last five years and it doesn't complain.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would consider a Punto if I could find a good one.

We used to have a 1.2 16V Bravo and that was a good little car apart form a few niggles.
 
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1999-ish Fiat Punto ELX - five doors, very Italianate revvy 1.2 motor which even makes nice noises, power steering, a bit bouncy but still fun to drive. Dirt cheap to run - new headlights for example are £15 a pair.

They also put up with a lot of abuse. A mate is running one at the moment and he has done nothing to it, bar fill the tank, for the last five years and it doesn't complain.
Monkeys for Steering ECU problems....Common to lose power steering and need to renew column with ECU and have re- programmed. stay away.
Go Japanese! Nissan, Toyota etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would imagine most of the MK2 Puntos are now pretty rusty. I tried to buy a HGT a few years back and couldn't find one that didn't have a rusty floor back then...

Also I said in the original post though I don't want to be under the bonnet all of the time. I appreciate it will be necessary from time to time on a banger but I don't want to be doing it too often...

Fiats and Alfa's in my experience do need more TLC than most.
 
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