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Thread: Choose a B-road blaster

  1. #1
    Regular Diamond Hell's Avatar
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    Choose a B-road blaster

    With the S8 comes the crushing arrival of the realisation that some cars just aren't suited to the kind of roads I spend a lot of time on: bumpy, crappy, British B-roads.


    The Corrado was good at it, once it had standard suspension on it.


    The A2's not terrible, because it's light, so thrums up very well, it's also so small, no matter what road you can generally choose a line.


    So, if you wanted a rufftie-tufftie, simple B-road blaster, in today's market, what would you choose?



    (pitch it as far under £10k as you wish )


    Must have 5 seats. Fuel consumption not a huge issue (although don't come at me with your 15MPG Imprezas)


    Genuinely curious to see what people pitch, as although the S8 is epic on long haul, it's just not right as a daily for me, down here.
    It's literally a Diamond shaped Hell at times
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    190E 2.3-16/2.5-16 (Manual).
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  3. #3
    Regular Diamond Hell's Avatar
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    Well, that was predictable... and only nearly 2x the suggested budget limit.


    Also E36 M3 = wheels too big, tyres too skinny, HTHs.
    It's literally a Diamond shaped Hell at times
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    Mk5 GTI with budget to refresh the suspension and add an LSD

    Clio 182 Full Fat

    5dr Fiesta ST, down size the wheels

    Fabia vRS

    Get another Corrado and a bus pass for 1
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    Up the budget and get a mk7 GTI
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    Regular Darren Langeveld's Avatar
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    Mk5 GTi a good shout.

    Clean 306 GTi-6?

    Focus 170 ST? What do RS’ go for?

    Megane F1 Team

    E46 M3

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    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    I’d probably lean towards a Golf R32 rather than a GTi - I just think it is a more interesting powertrain.

    The later FN2 Type R - one with the factory LSD - would fall into a similar bucket; reliable, well built, exciting powertrain.

    Both would be happy on a run too and make a better daily ownership proposition than some shonky old tat from Dieppe. Great for winning group tests in period, but don’t think I’d want one now.

    Multiple 3 litre, RWD options from BMW too. I’m 130i hunting, so I guess my vote goes there.
    Last edited by simonsaunders; 22-04-2019 at 06:27 AM.
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    Regular Stace's Avatar
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    106 Rallye

    Swift

    Keep the S8
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    Gen 2 Swift, before the current Turbo is a great shout!

    R32 too heavy for b-road fun. More fun on a-road and better cruiser. GTI way more involved to drive.
    Last edited by Brando; 22-04-2019 at 07:33 AM.
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    106 Rallye and e46 m3 are 4 seaters
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    Not driven a Mk7 GTi, yet. Told itís like the mk5 turned up to 11, with vastly improved ergonomics and an even nicer shift.
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    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brando View Post
    Not driven a Mk7 GTi, yet. Told itís like the mk5 turned up to 11, with vastly improved ergonomics and an even nicer shift.
    I have. Felt competent but not interesting. Walked into SEAT.

    The one I drive was an early mk7 DSG non-performance pack. The most vanilla GTi.

    Nice interior though, nice seats, felt posh.
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  13. #13
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brando View Post
    Gen 2 Swift, before the current Turbo is a great shout!

    R32 too heavy for b-road fun. More fun on a-road and better cruiser. GTI way more involved to drive.
    I had a look at the 2011-on Swifts last summer. I donít like the 5 door looks, but they are roomier than you would think, scream nicely and are great value. Good leg room in the back for what it is, but it is really only a 4 seater at best.

    I always called my old Puma a 3 seater - no one was getting behind the driver and being comfortable. Front and rear passengers could work together though, to find a good solution.
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    Regular Mike Roberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brando View Post
    Not driven a Mk7 GTi, yet. Told itís like the mk5 turned up to 11, with vastly improved ergonomics and an even nicer shift.
    My MK7.5 245PP is a massive step up from my old MK5, even in its modded form.

    On the to-do list:

    SuperPro camber/caster bushes & ClubSport S rear ARB. That'll allow me to run CSS geo.
    Turn the LSD setting up to max with VadgeCom

    Back to the original Q. I think at that money I'd be looking for something French, maybe the best 306 Rallye I could find.
    Takes a lot of skill to look this bad you know...

  15. #15
    Regular Tony's Avatar
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    Considering the brief and the geographical constraints of Tom’s location I’d suggest handling needs to come before everything I.e. it doesn’t really need to be that powerful although an ‘interesting’ power train would always be a bonus, so M3/S4 are a bit overkill.

    Bigger hatches a good shout but what about something like an untuned WRX Scooby or Mitsubishi Evo Personally not my thing but suspect they’d be a riot?!
    Last edited by Tony; 22-04-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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    Recon the ST Fiesta will take some beating & will be great around the lanes
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    Got a mk7 Gti DSG non PP with stage one remap.
    Absolutely love it, unbelievable all rounder.
    Once you get used to the DSG and paddles its a awesome B road car.
    That said I would still like a go in a manuel.

    Oh and lapped the Ring in very low 8s with ease
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    Subaru Forester turbo, or whatever the most powerful petrol Yeti is as you know you still want a Yeti (like me)! No issues with crap roads then, not sure on handling potential compared to a decent hot hatch though.
    Too many cars...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Hell View Post
    Well, that was predictable... and only nearly 2x the suggested budget limit.
    What can I say, when I left the UK (over 7 years ago now!) a good one was about six grand...
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Benz
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  21. #21
    Fiesta ST2 is a good shout, even a cooking Fiesta is a hoot to drive.
    2015 model was updated slightly...
    https://www.pistonheads.com/classifi...-2-3dr/9592412

    125 M Sport is another relatively reliable fun car, I gather they're not as susceptible to eating HPFP's and injectors like the 130/135. Swap to 17" wheels and decent rubber, should make for a decent ride/handling balance.
    https://www.pistonheads.com/classifi...rt-2dr/9570879
    Last edited by Peakz; 22-04-2019 at 11:47 AM.
    FRP & A2

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    Regular Dave G's Avatar
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    Something powerful but softish.

    My 135 does not get the power down well on B roads.

  23. #23
    I found a 3 owner 36k mile clio 182 to use as my new daily.

    I find its a great daily although I do miss my leggy saab diesel.

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    208 Gti? £9k for a 15 plate
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    Some form of Seat 4wd that was based on the golf but could be had with a turbo, or how about a Scooby Legacy/Outback? Should deal with crappy roads...
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  27. #27
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    Surprised to hear 6-cyl FWD VAG being pushed, I'd have thought a twin-cam 4-cyl would have it licked in the fun (and handling) stakes. You wanna get a Civic Type-R mate...

    If we could just dream for a minute though, my choice might be this.
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  28. #28
    Regular Diamond Hell's Avatar
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    Some interesting suggestions - thanks to all.

    We've had a Fabia vRS (Gen1) and my overriding memory of it was it was like driving a lump hammer - all the weight in the front, with the tail coming along for the ride.

    Forester/Legacy is interesting, but fuel economy on the 2.0 turbo Forester we had was tragic (18MPG on motorway) and the interior in them is very dated. Also the chassis didn't really sing.

    Passat and R32 suggestions, I'll go with what's been said already: too big, too heavy for proper minor road fun.

    I do like the Suzuki Swift suggestions and they really are buttons, I guess the question in that space is 'why so cheap?'.

    Yeti was something I hadn't gone back to, but definitely worth re-visiting, especially if I insist it's mine and nothing to do with the wife.

    Not keen on Fords, but worth a gander, given the rave reviews.

    Megane goes in the same box.

    The Leon estate X-perience prices have tumbled in the past year, which is good, although may relate to the quality we x-perienced with the Altea Freetrack (which I did actually really enjoy, looking back on it). Also they're only diesel unless you look at the Cupra 300 thingamies, which are +£20k at the moment.

    Skoda Octavia too big? Dunno.

    The 90s stuff is an interesting slant and I think likely to provide great thrills on the lanes, but parts availability may be a PITA these days.

    Not sure about keeping the S8 - I should hate for it to wind up like that C5, covered in green slime because it's not getting its legs stretched enough.
    It's literally a Diamond shaped Hell at times
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  29. #29
    Regular Neil Mac's Avatar
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    My brother was considering a Suzuki Swift Sport, and in my brief analysis I came to the following conclusions:

    1. They seem to attract aggressive drivers with low thresholds of mechanical sympathy.
    2. They go crusty round the edges (and particularly on brake pipes) disappointingly quickly.
    3. Driving quickly on bumpy roads snaps many a front spring.

    Just looking at the MOT history of some of the cheap examples he was investigating was enlightening.
    Last edited by Neil Mac; 23-04-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Civic Type R then.
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    C32 AMG. There was a tidy blue one in the Goodwood Parking yesterday. Many powers...
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    C4 VTS? Saw a WRC badged one parked up near us & quirky looks for sure but could be fun.
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  33. #33
    Abarth 500 / 595 on 16's to forgive the hard ride on 17's. Bilstein B14 suspension and it'd be a great B-road blaster.

  34. #34
    Regular Dave G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
    Civic Type R then.

  35. #35
    Any hot or warm hatch would do the trick surely? Maybe look for one of the less desirable ones in order to get more bang for the buck
    I'm arresting you for murdering my car you dyke digging tosspot

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevem View Post
    C32 AMG. There was a tidy blue one in the Goodwood Parking yesterday. Many powers...
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    SORTED! You just need to haggle £500 off. Looking forward to the ownership thread already!

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    So far my vote still goes to a 5 door Fiesta ST.
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  40. #40
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brando View Post
    So far my vote still goes to a 5 door Fiesta ST.
    I enjoyed the one that I had on test.

    The Recaros killed the ergonomics though. I just couldnít get comfortable - my arms and legs couldnít get in sync. If you fit - great choice.

    Iíd stretch to an ST3 if possible - proper climate and a few other toys will make it that bit nicer.
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  41. #41
    Regular Diamond Hell's Avatar
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    Apparently we're STILL not allowed a Yeti.
    It's literally a Diamond shaped Hell at times
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Hell View Post
    Apparently we're STILL not allowed a Yeti.
    No!
    Too many cars...

  43. #43
    Regular Neil Mac's Avatar
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    I don't understand the appeal of the Yeti in this context. My brother has stolen his father-in-law's version for a number of years for reasons I don't understand, and my own father has recently purchased one. I have no desire for such a machine, let alone as a 'B-road blaster'.
    "Fortunately, I'd taken a spare Gearbox, Turbo, Actuator, Banjo Connector, Steering Rack, Driveshafts, ECU, Wideband sensor, 57-51mm silicone reducing elbow and a Copper Banjo Washer." - Nige

  44. #44
    Regular Darren Langeveld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Hell View Post
    Not sure about keeping the S8 - I should hate for it to wind up like that C5, covered in green slime because it's not getting its legs stretched enough.
    Hey! I cleaned it and now I'm (kind of) using it.
    It's for sale you know

  45. #45
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Mac View Post
    I don't understand the appeal of the Yeti in this context. My brother has stolen his father-in-law's version for a number of years for reasons I don't understand, and my own father has recently purchased one. I have no desire for such a machine, let alone as a 'B-road blaster'.
    The 1.8T petrol Yeti was considered a right laugh by many, including Evo. A very surprising 4* car.

    Also, it is a really detuned - genuine 220bhp remaps are a few hundred quid away. And super useful.

    If having a laugh is a high priority, I think that it will give you many.

    Eibachs, Golf R brakes, decent rubber and itíll crush a wet track day

    I admire them, but not buying one.
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  46. #46
    Regular Diamond Hell's Avatar
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    B-roads are often wet and slippery.

    B-roads are rough and bumpy.

    Taller section tyres, a bit more compliant suspension and a short, stiff shell, especially with the ability to see over a few more hedges, to see what's coming the other way.

    The EVO crew raved about it, I remember it well. IIRC they took one, with a set of R888s to the 'ring?

    It's like a Toyota RAV4, amped up, with some b*llocks. What's not to like, I mean, have you even driven a RAV4, bro?
    It's literally a Diamond shaped Hell at times
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  47. #47
    Regular Dave G's Avatar
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    Yes, in January in Texas.

    I did not like it nor dislike it.

  48. #48
    Regular Neil Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Hell View Post
    B-roads are often wet and slippery.

    B-roads are rough and bumpy.

    Taller section tyres, a bit more compliant suspension and a short, stiff shell, especially with the ability to see over a few more hedges, to see what's coming the other way.

    The EVO crew raved about it, I remember it well. IIRC they took one, with a set of R888s to the 'ring?

    It's like a Toyota RAV4, amped up, with some b*llocks. What's not to like, I mean, have you even driven a RAV4, bro?


    The above are the reasons I commute in a RAV4, and while it is slow-ish and roly-poly, it's quite hilarious in it's own way. Some of my colleagues even appreciate watching the articulation of the rear suspension while I'm cornering in front of them. Also, it was £500.

    I suppose I'm just assuming that given the "up to 10k" budget, there must be a better option than a Yeti (says the man who has made exactly helpful zero suggestions so far).

    So, er... carry on. Don't mind me!
    "Fortunately, I'd taken a spare Gearbox, Turbo, Actuator, Banjo Connector, Steering Rack, Driveshafts, ECU, Wideband sensor, 57-51mm silicone reducing elbow and a Copper Banjo Washer." - Nige

  49. #49
    Regular N/B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Hell View Post
    B-roads are often wet and slippery.
    B-roads are rough and bumpy.
    Taller section tyres, a bit more compliant suspension and a short, stiff shell, especially with the ability to see over a few more hedges, to see what's coming the other way.
    Thoughts like this are what created dumb shit like the Audi RSQ5.
    Just buy a Golf GTI ffs.
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  50. #50
    Regular Neil Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N/B View Post
    Thoughts like this are what created dumb shit like the Audi RSQ5.
    Just buy a Golf GTI ffs.
    The RSQ5 and it's ilk are particularly dumb, as with 22 inch wheels and unyielding suspension, they ride as badly as any hot hatch, and have none of the advantages of SUVs (but some of the disadvantages).

    Hot hatch + gravel rally-spec suspension and wheels + road tyres. Sorted.

    Interestingly, the Caffeine and Machine chaps have been given an i30N by Hyundai, and already have improved the ride & handling dramatically by changing the wheels & suspension. Sounds good to me
    "Fortunately, I'd taken a spare Gearbox, Turbo, Actuator, Banjo Connector, Steering Rack, Driveshafts, ECU, Wideband sensor, 57-51mm silicone reducing elbow and a Copper Banjo Washer." - Nige

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