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Thread: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

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    About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    I'm going to buy a car in the next couple of weeks. My budget is &#163;5000-&#163;6000. I've narrowed my search down to a few models, and there are LOADS on autotrader. I just need to go and test drive them all, and when I buy, I'll get the AA or RAC to come with me and do a test on it first. But I'm having trouble deciding on which model to get... I know it's hard to advise someone on this, but I thought I would ask here incase anyone has any tips for me or maybe even owns one of these. (P.S. If anyone knows a better forum to ask about this, please let me know. I had a quick look but...)

    My priorities:
    Reliability, low running costs, not too cheap or girly or hair dressery or looks like a first car, good value for money (gadgets), low mileage, newer the better, looks nice. I'm also trying to get above a 1.4

    Here are my options:

    1) Hyundai Coupe 2litre engine. Year 2002. It looks beautiful imo. It has amazing value for money too. Leather seats... electric seats and wingmirrors and windows and whatnot. ABS brakes, and a bunch of airbags. Reliable. Not much more I could ask for. Ticks all my boxes. My only hesitations with this one are that it's a Hyundai so the little snob part of my personality thinks I might look like a fool who wanted a sports car but could only afford a cheap korean wannabe version of one (not too bothered about that though). I heard it isn't very speedy even though it has a 2l engine too. Also I read that it is very claustrophobic inside. I am a short skinny guy so Im hoping that wont matter. I guess I wont know until I test drive one. I am also concerned that it needs a Hyundai service every 20k miles, only has about 25mpg or something around town, and the tax would be a bit more I think, than what I pay now for my current old shed. So I would no doubt spend more on petrol, and yet it's not even a proper sports car performance really. So I would be mainly paying for the looks and the leather seats and gadgets and stuff.

    2) Peugot 206 - I didnt want one originally because it's a bit small and some are a bit girly, and its more like a first car etc. But the deals on them are insane. For 5-6k I can get one that is just a few years old (like 2005 or so), and has tiny mileage like 15,000 or whatever, and they look modern, clean, perfect condition, good gear in them, and I can get a black one with a 2l engine so it wont look too girly or like a "hairdressers car" that I've heard some people say. So im very tempted.

    3) 2003/2004 MG TF. 1.6 or 1.8. Again, it's lovely looking, and great value for money. Fast and nice looking good gear inside it, low mileage, not very old, even a converatible... It ticks all my boxes again. Only downside on this one is that I heard they had issues with blowing the head gasket or something, and as im buying second hand, I am sceptical anyone would tell me if its had problems with that in the past. Reliability and low running costs is my main priority so although this is my only concern, it's a big one.

    4) 2004 PEUGEOT 307 2.0 --- kind of perfect... I just don't really know anything about it, and it doesn't exactly set my world on fire with it's looks or it's uniqueness (although its nice enough). But again, the value is just amazing. I'd be getting a good solid reliable car that is just a few years old and looks new, very low mileage, probably even still has the new car smell, and yet it's only 5-6k. It's also a bit chunkier than the little 206.

    5) Ford Focus -- exactly the same as the 307 above. Amazing deals to be had, amazing value for money. My only negative is that it's a ford focus and im feeling snobby and was hoping to get something a little bit different. My mum has a focus and its great to drive but... I would be getting the same car as my mum and it does look a bit like a shoe I used to have. But again the angel on my shoulder keeps pointing at the 2005 plate and low mileage and low price and super reliability and value.

    Thats about it. Don't really know what to do. I don't know much about cars, don't really care about them that much, and my friends and family aren't interested either. So it's up to me to get one, and seeing as I'm going to be dropping 5-6k, I may as well get something I'm happy about and enjoy using when I need to make a big journey or pop into town.
    Last edited by acrobat; 29-03-2008 at 11:27 AM.

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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    My only negative is that it's a ford focus and im feeling snobby and was hoping to get something a little bit different. My mum has a focus and its great to drive but... I would be getting the same car as my mum and it does look a bit like a shoe I used to have.
    My grandma has a golf so I always thought of it as an older persons car but young people seem to love them. I personally want to get the original focus when I get a car in a couple of years time. I wouldn't let your mum owning one put you off.

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    Drop it like it's hot Howard's Avatar
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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    MG TF? Not too hairdressery?

    The only cars I would even consider on your list are the Coupe and the Focus. The Coupe is a little more individual than a focus, and I personally like them, but they're front wheel drive, and not as fast and good-handling as you'd expect.

    Along these lines you could consider something like an MX5 (girly, but so what? One of the best handling cars around) or a Celica.

    Focuses are very good, and you'll get a good mk1 ST170 for your budget. Try not to spend *too* much though, they are quite old cars afterall. You'll soon be getting into mk4 golf territories of expensive-for-it's-age-syndrome (I'm not recommending a MK4 golf btw )

    In terms of slightly bigger cars you'll get a nice Mk3 Mondeo or Honda Accord for that money.. Toys galore

    Avoid the Peugeots. Avoid them like the plague. Awful cars
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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    To be honest none of those really appeal and i agree with howard the TF is a bit girly/hair dressery for my liking.

    I'm not sure what you insurance requirements are but there are some bargain Civic Type R's around.
    Autotrader - HONDA CIVIC 2.0 I-VTEC Type R 3dr Hatchback

    Plenty more on there.

    A nice leon cupra also
    Autotrader - SEAT LEON 1.8 20V T Cupra 5dr Hatchback

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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    To be honest none of those really appeal and i agree with howard the TF is a bit girly/hair dressery for my liking.

    I'm not sure what you insurance requirements are but there are some bargain Civic Type R's around.
    Autotrader - HONDA CIVIC 2.0 I-VTEC Type R 3dr Hatchback

    Plenty more on there.

    A nice leon cupra also
    Autotrader - SEAT LEON 1.8 20V T Cupra 5dr Hatchback

    That Type R if its genuine is a ridiculously good buy!

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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    If the MG is on your list you really ought to look at the MX5 as well.

    The performance is about the same as the TF but the car is far more reliable and the handling is way better. The 5 has fully 3d adjustable geometry with proper shocks whereas the TF has Hydragas suspension. Basically an updated version of the Austin Maxi suspension.

    Your budget would get you a really nice low mileage Mk2 or if you feel inclined and your insurance can stand it there a a fair number of supercharged or turbo cars out there. The Mk1 looks far more masculine though.

    Mileage isn't all that important with the 5 as long as they've been looked after. They're just about bulletproof. I've heard of them going on for 250,000 miles or more. Mine has done 135k and drives like it had done a quarter of that.

    Let me tell you, 200bhp in a car that weighs about as much as my slippers is a fun proposition.

    This is a good example
    I don't think anyone could call this "hairdressery"

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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by rastamanblues View Post
    That Type R if its genuine is a ridiculously good buy!
    It's a scam, it has to be. The phone number is bogus too
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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Reliability? Forget the Peugeots. Seriously. And the TF.

    Low running costs? Forget the Coupe. 2litre /= economy or cheap insurance.

    So Focus ftw, go for a 1.6, and you won't look back. Covers all the bases.

    That was easy!
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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard View Post
    It's a scam, it has to be. The phone number is bogus too
    Had my suspicions to be honest but there are some older ones at a similar mileage which i'm sure are geniune

    something like that
    Honda : honda civic type-R facelifted

    cat d though so might have been stolen.. I'm sure there is a good one out there at the right price!!!
    Last edited by staffsMike; 29-03-2008 at 11:38 PM.

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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    If you want to treat yourself the Coupe is a cracking buy, I had a look at one before I bought my Alfa 147, lovely car though it was just too high and too hard to find a nice one, the shift quickly

    Should have a look at an Alfa, bad rep but the 147 is proving to be an enjoyable car as long as your prepared for higher running costs (petrol, tax is &#163;300 next year etc). If your being practical, just get the Focus

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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    Reliability, low running costs, not too cheap or girly or hair dressery or looks like a first car, good value for money (gadgets), low mileage, newer the better, looks nice. I'm also trying to get above a 1.4
    Despite the slightly dodgy Type-R above you should seriously consider a Civic. For £5-6k you could easily get a well specced 1.6 Vtec, very reliable, cheap to run and to insure.
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    Re: About to buy a car but need advice - can't decide.

    Wow thanks everyone! Some cars in there that I've never even looked at. That civic being one. I love honda too, cause my dad used to have a honda and it was ace.

    Skipping the Peugots makes it easier too.

    I'll have another good think about it anyway and hopefully narrow it down enough to start test driving some Thanks again everyone. I'll probably come back once I decide/buy.

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