New car choice + other questions

Associate
Joined
31 May 2007
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1,047
I'm after a new car soon and would appreciate some opinions / advice.

I'm considering an estate for fishing trips or at least a decent sized hatch (only 2 people in the car normally so the back seats can be folded flat).

The obvious choices seem to be Volvo V50, or a Focus / Mondeo. The wild card is I like Audi A4 Avant's. I'm in two minds on whether the last choice would be a good idea as deep down I just want low running costs and the Audi would be 4 - 5 years older within my budget (6k, can go up or down depending on what I decide on really)

I guess first I would like peoples opinions on an 03 - 04 A4, is this a bad choice?

The next question is something that has probably been done to death on here, but all the bigger cars naturally tend to have bigger engines and I don't fancy fuelling a 2 litre petrol Mondeo with fuel prices as they are. Is a Diesel such a bad choice?

Here it is...I will likely only be doing 5000 - 6000 miles per year. I know this is WAY below what people will scream is the amount that makes a Diesel worth while, but my question to anybody willing to answer rather than hate on Diesels, is why not?

Pro's: More MPG, cheaper insurance, cheaper tax.

Cons: Slightly higher fuel costs per litre, slightly higher initial purchase price, higher repair bills if something was to break is something I think I have seen mentioned on here?

I'm looking for genuine advice rather than being flamed. I'm not against petrol engines what so ever it's just if petrol really is the answer I'll probably lean towards a 1.6 petrol Focus and make do with the smaller car!

Thanks
 
Soldato
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You've mentioned all the reasons why at lowish mileages like you're mentioning a diesel isn't value for money compared to a petrol.
 
Man of Honour
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The next question is something that has probably been done to death on here, but all the bigger cars naturally tend to have bigger engines and I don't fancy fuelling a 2 litre petrol Mondeo with fuel prices as they are.

2 litres is not a big engine and fuelling a 2 litre Mondeo is not a particularly expensive endevour - if it is, then buying an old Audi probably isn't prudent. There is no such thing as a free lunch, by purchasing an economical yet older Audi all you are doing is shifting motoring costs away from fuel but towards repairs and upkeep. This is not neccesarily a bad thing - many of us would rather spend money repairing a nice but older German car than on the depreciation of a newer car, but if the object is low cost, it's the wrong choice.

To be honest your focus on low cost with a reasonably low annual mileage pushes my recommendation to the Focus 1.6.
 
Soldato
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The focus estate has quite a good, useable amount of space in the back. Infact I think you'll find it might even have more space than the A4. There's a 2003( I think) A4 in the family and it's ok, but nothing more than that. You certainly can't fit alot in the boot - my civic hatch has about as much space as the A4 (with both sets of seats up)

Given the price difference between the likes of the focus and A4 you would be as well picking up a focus imo, especially if you're looking at comparable engines - the 1.8 20v (non turbo) that i'm sure they done in the A4 is an ok engine, reliable enough and willing enough but won't feel any different to the likes of the ford. When you start looking at the 1.8t, whilst it's still relatively reliable you need to be prepared to spend a bit more looking after the car.

You could pick up an a4 1.9 tdi 100 and it could run forever with your use, again they're pretty bombproof - it's just as easy to find an absolute nail though and the economy payoff won't make any real difference to you either. Sensible head says petrol

The octavia could be an alternative to the A4, might be worth trying both the 1.6 (will be shockingly slow unless they've massively improved it since its first introduction) and the 2.0FSI and seeing what you think.
 
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Associate
OP
Joined
31 May 2007
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1,047
Yeah I think I'm going to go with a more modern petrol car after doing some more reading. I'll look at Octavia's aswell so thanks for that suggestion.

Any opinions on Volvo V50's now we've ruled out diesels / the Audi option?
 
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Soldato
Joined
7 Dec 2011
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10,321
I like the way they look but alot of the modern volvo estates don't really have a very large load bay. No idea on dynamics or reliability would imagine they're fine to drive if unspectacular and most modern non turbo'd petrols are pretty reliable
 
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