MX-5 rotting away, what next? (spec me, blah)

Associate
Joined
20 Aug 2010
Posts
1,085
Location
Not Coventry
Hi everyone,

I've had my 05 MX-5 for 3 years now, but it has succumbed to the inevitable and now needs work on the sills. The local recommended body shop has quoted £400 per side but along with the other work the car needs doing (cavity and underseal, alignment, etc.) I am feeling like the bill is too high and it is time to get rid and find something new.

Each way my commute is between 13 and 14 miles and can either be all B-roads or Motorway (6 miles) and then a mix of A and B-roads. Based on that I've got the following requirements:
  • <= £9000 (including trade-in)
  • Petrol
  • Manual
  • > 30 MPG
  • < 60k miles
  • 08 or later reg
  • Suit B-road and Motorway driving
  • > 2 seats
  • < the current £260 for VED
  • Not another MX-5
  • Not a Mondeo

I've been up to AvailableCar at Donnington to try out as many options as possible, but I left feeling underwhelmed by the vast majority of cars. Many (including a lot of "premium" brands) had plastics that felt flimsy and liable to break, which is a bit shocking when coming from an MX-5...

The cars I felt comfortable in were the following:
  • Volvo C30 R-Design
  • Volvo S40 R-Design
  • Ford Focus (New model)
  • Kia ProCee'd (Old model)
  • Audi S3
  • Audi A3 S-Line
  • BMW 320i coupe
  • Skoda Octavia vRS
  • Ford Focus (New model)

The majority of the above cars are out of my budget and ultimately I'm struggling for ideas on where to look; so, OcUK, what can you come up with?
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
20 Aug 2010
Posts
1,085
Location
Not Coventry
S2000, Civic Type R?

S2000 fails on practicality. Civic fails on the VED, and the quoted MPG is 31 which we all know is not going to happen in the real world :p

Z4?

Edit: Missed the more than two seats part. :p

Yeah, I'm not looking to run two cars and I've only just managed to get by with the MX-5 for the past 3 years. I now need something more practical, but hopefully a little bit fun as well.
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Dec 2011
Posts
10,312
Octy vrs from your list I think. You're nowhere close to being able to afford a good 8p s3 and the 8l is a 4 grand not 9 grand car for me.

I wouldn't dismiss the fn2 off hand though, they aren't terrible on fuel and I thought they were in the 270ish ved anyway? Even if not, your insurance, servicing and other costs could easily eclipse the tax difference between any of the cars. You could also spend a bit less on an older one and still get a good example ( same with the Octavia but a facelift would be nice)
 
Associate
Joined
8 Jan 2007
Posts
1,762
Location
Barcelona
400 per side for sills seems extremely expensive. Just had a ton of work done to the sill on my E36, a mornings work to cut out the bad metal, weld in new stuff and re-apply under seal and it cost 80 quid.

The guy did a great job, nice clean welds and he was working in close proximity to the fuel tank as well.
 
Caporegime
Joined
20 Sep 2006
Posts
27,962
400 per side for sills seems extremely expensive. Just had a ton of work done to the sill on my E36, a mornings work to cut out the bad metal, weld in new stuff and re-apply under seal and it cost 80 quid.

The guy did a great job, nice clean welds and he was working in close proximity to the fuel tank as well.

I paid £400 cash I think to have the rear arches cut out, new ones welded in and painting on my DC2.
 

Hxc

Hxc

Soldato
Joined
29 Oct 2004
Posts
12,501
Location
London
How on earth has an 05 '5 been hit by rust that bad? My 92' 5 is still only showing very minor rust which I'm combatting!
 
Associate
Joined
5 Oct 2008
Posts
599
Location
Chichester
Housemate had his sills done on his MX5 and got them done for £300 but supplied the sills himself. He did an awesome job too.

£400 per side seems way over the top
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Dec 2002
Posts
3,713
Location
UK
I can do sills & arches myself, infact I have spent this afternoon finishing an arch off, if £400 is the going rate I need to change jobs. :eek:
 
Associate
Joined
20 Aug 2010
Posts
1,085
Location
Not Coventry
vRS is a good shout I think.
You do get some decent kit for the money with these, just need to find one locally to take out for a spin.

Mini cooper S? R56 model
Didn't really find the standard Mini's that comfortable when I tried them. I'll try and find a Cooper S to have a sit in, the sports seats might make all the difference.

Astra GTC 1.6T? It's better than you think. :)
I'll have to give one a try.

How on earth has an 05 '5 been hit by rust that bad? My 92' 5 is still only showing very minor rust which I'm combatting!
I've kept a close eye on the drain holes in order to keep them clear, but I've no idea what the previous owners did. Either way it's got rust now and it needs sorting.
Also there is some surface rust on the front chassis rails which needs cleaning off and treating before it turns into one of the horror stories like on the MX5OC forum.
While I can afford to get all the remedial work done, it is just so disappointing having to spend so much to fix a fairly modern vehicle when they are so cheap to pick up in the first place.

£400 per side seems way over the top
I thought that myself, but then based on other peoples experience then I know they'd do a good job. They are also able to supply a courtesy vehicle while doing the work, so I'll not be losing money by having to take holiday or hire a car to get to work.
Another place did quote £180 all in, but their manner didn't fill me with confidence and I've not been able to find reports from anyone else who has used them.
 
Top