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Thread: What Car? 2nd hand for the girlfriend - fun ~ £6-8k?

  1. #1
    Regular Tim in Yorkshire's Avatar
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    What Car? 2nd hand for the girlfriend - fun ~ £6-8k?

    Ok the girlfriend has a 10 plate 1.2 Corsa. It has done almost 100k, is dog slow and has had two clutches. It may last a year, it may last another two, it may die at any moment

    I've a van, we've the Disco 2 for weekends/dog transport so again we'd be looking at something smallish and/or fun, 2nd hand and no more than 50/50k already on the clock. Note she doesn't like driving my MX5 as it is "too low" (it is to be fair) and everyone wants to "race her" so I think an MX5 is out. She also doesn't like minis. I'd like to drive whatever she gets time to time and find it fun.

    She drives a round trip of 64 miles a day on mainly free flowing A roads (but not empty enough to be "flat out"), so 320 miles a week, about 15-17k pa with the odd weekend trip .

    Thoughts so far:
    Small/nippy and fun

    e.g Swift Sport (post 2012) - reliable, fun, good value, although real world fuel consumption may not be amazing.

    Small/nippy/fun/rag top

    e.g Abarth with the fold back roof, I'm not sure what reliability and fuel consumption is like on these, and likely to cost more than a Swift.

    Other soft top


    Merc SLK - diesel so again pricier than the Swift and may be out of budget but probably ideal for the A roads/cruising required.

    Any other good ideas for the categories above?
    Last edited by Tim in Yorkshire; 12-01-2018 at 10:04 AM.
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    Regular stevem's Avatar
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    Of your chosen options so far Tim, I think the Merc SLK would be a great shout!
    A quality-built motor which is fun to drive (be sure to go for Auto gearbox!) and there is many of them out there that can be got for very reasonable money... and you can't beat a bit of open-top motoring. I think you would both really enjoy it.

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    Regular stevem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rory View Post
    Of your chosen options so far Tim, I think the Merc SLK would be a great shout!
    A quality-built motor which is fun to drive (be sure to for Auto gearbox!) and there is many of them out there that can be got for very reasonable money... and you can't beat a bit of open-top motoring. I think you would both really enjoy it.
    Blow the budget and get a AMG 55 though. Because V8.
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    Regular Floyd's Avatar
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    Regular Floyd's Avatar
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    My thoughts are don't try to buy a car for your girlfriend on the basis that you might enjoy driving it occasionally, just buy her something she'll like that doesn't have a horrific reliability record and give you headaches (even if you think it's cack). Does she like the 1.2L Corsa? If so, buy her a newer / lower mileage / posher one?

    Only one I've driven from your list is the Fiat 500 Abarth. It was reasonable fun, went ok but felt like a tiny tin can compared to my wife's MINI and an even worse ride. No way I could be arsed doing a 60 odd mile a day commute in one, but then I'm getting old... Oh, also it got nicked from an apparently nice, safe, rural driveway, not sure if that's common?
    Too many cars...

  11. #11
    Regular Tim in Yorkshire's Avatar
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    Caterham/boxer/M3 are probably on the thirsty/too sporty/impractical side!

    Unfortunately she's not keen on Volvos, where as I like the C30. A remapped D5 could be a torque monster

    Alfa could be interesting, reliability may have improved....

    The 1.2 Corsa is too slow/struggles with the hills of the Yorkshire Moors, plus given its poor performance the fuel consumption is rubbish, she gets 37-38mpg on a her commute, I only do the hilly part (missing the dual carriageway bit) in my van and get 35mpg!
    Last edited by Tim in Yorkshire; 12-01-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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    Regular Floyd's Avatar
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    My search used 0-60 in under 8 seconds, 50+mpg, £6k-£8k.

    Mostly ended up with 1.5 DCTI Fiesta's though. 75BHP stopped me from suggesting it.
    BMW 123D M Sport. Blacked out windows, leaning baaack...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim in Yorkshire View Post
    The 1.2 Corsa is too slow/struggles with the hills of the Yorkshire Moors, plus given its poor performance the fuel consumption is rubbish, she gets 37-38mpg on a her commute, I only do the hilly part (missing the dual carriageway bit) in my van and get 35mpg!

    Abarth 500 won't differ too much in MPG's I shouldn't think. I average about 37 in mine, mainly town driving and the odd blast.


    Weak points in my experience (09 plate from new). Clutch pedals were a weak point and would snap.
    Door handles fail due to poor design (easy fix)
    Rear wiring harness fails as it goes through to the boot and stops the boot from being opened on the handle.
    They are a very hard ride so maybe look for a model with 16's on rather than 17's.
    A plug in box / remap will have them at 170bhp with no other mods required though.

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    This: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bmw-E46-3...-/263407426813

    Disco when it snows! Use the £2-4k saving for fuel and trackdays :D.
    Last edited by Brando; 12-01-2018 at 04:19 PM.
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    I reckon the SLK diesel will be way out of budget. Cheapest seem to be around £11k

    Skoda Fabia Vrs ? https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...rom=500&page=1
    VW Scirocco https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...rom=500&page=1
    Focus with middling oommpphh https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...ce-desc&page=1
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    Regular Tony's Avatar
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    Is she sure about Minis? Lots of low mileage SD Coupes which fit your brief to the letter?!
    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...om=6000&page=3
    With a £300 remap they’re 180+ bhp and a hoot to drive, yet will still do 60mpg on a run

    If consumption is fairly key then what about a 120d or 320d?
    Coupe: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...om=6000&page=3
    Convertible: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...=tr85sd&page=6

    Leon: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...=tr85sd&page=5

    Or you could go newish, decent chassis, less than 10k miles?
    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...=FIESTA&page=1
    Last edited by Tony; 13-01-2018 at 10:46 AM.
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    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Newish diesels seem nothing but grief and you donít save that much cash in real terms day-to-day on fuel and any savings youíll soon spunk on swirl flaps, DPFs and other diesel shite. Plus youíll have to put up with a gruff, unrefined engine and have a stinky hand for 3 hours after you fill up.

    If doing big miles with a mfr. warranty, a derv makes sense. Buying something a little older for fairly average miles, in all likelihood the petrol will be less grief and no more expensive overall.

    ***

    £8k will buy a 2010 / 2011 mx5 with under 60k on the clock. Sport Tech will have all the toys and you can have a proper soft top of folding hard top if you prefer. Iíd pick that over the diesel Merc any day.

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    Regular Kev_G's Avatar
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    Regular Dave G's Avatar
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    Fiesta ST

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by simonsaunders View Post


    ***

    £8k will buy a 2010 / 2011 mx5 with under 60k on the clock. Sport Tech will have all the toys and you can have a proper soft top of folding hard top if you prefer.

    Did you read the bit where she didn't want a MX5


    I'd be tempted by a mk6 Golf GTI or whatever Seat has the same running gear

  22. #22
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sim View Post
    Did you read the bit where she didn't want a MX5


    I'd be tempted by a mk6 Golf GTI or whatever Seat has the same running gear


    No.



    Timís isnít a mk3, which is meant to be more accommodating. Certainly same territory as an SLK though?

  23. #23
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave G View Post
    Fiesta ST
    Great shout. 40mpg. Quick without Mountune, quicker with. Just make sure the seat and ride are good enough. ST-3 for all the right toys.

    Sheíll adore the heated windscreen too.

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