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Hendry

Small Cars- Cheap To Run BULLSHIT!

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I hate having a long commute and limited funds, it makes my choice of car tricky.

 

Imagine a Venn diagram with mpg, reliability, fun and cheap to buy as the circles.  Where they overlap is empty, so I try to change my cars often and get 2 or 3 of the circles.

 

I reckon a Pug 205 with turbo diesel would almost be in the middle, but they aren't getting any younger.

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Gareth - 306 turbo diesel?

 

I find small cars with small engines tend to be bought by people who skimp on car maintenance, especially at 'our' end of the price range.

 

I get a perverse pleasure from hooning a massive Volvo with a diesel van engine around narrow country lanes, so I might be a bit of a mentalist.

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I wish my XM was a derv, would be keepable then, rather than having to plan every trip I do around can I afford it...

 

But then Amys Meriva isn't as economical as we hoped it would be, and it's only a corsa in drag. Add the fact that it keeps shitting bits of itself and it's costing more than the xm is to fix and run. Hence why I;m trying to bin it off before something major needs it. 

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Doesn't the law of diminishing returns kick in somewhere; an improvement from 50 to 60mpg is unlikely to give you much saving in cash, while 30 to 40 will.

 

Most modern cars are tweaked to perform well in a laboratory test and not on the road, so those headline figures are a complete con, and I just can't see how squirting goat piss into the exhaust could improve efficiency :o You're probably better off with a W124

 

However there are a few exceptions. Friends have recently bought a new Suzuki Splash; upper 50s in the real (rural) world low insurance and £20 tax. It seems quite a good basic does what it says on the tin type of car with not much to go wrong so it could be a good long-term bet :)

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Friends have recently bought a new Suzuki Splash..... it could be a good long-term bet :)

 

The key thing in cases like this is keeping it long term, which minimises the huge depreciation a new car suffers in the first few years of its life. My mate's parents have got this totally licked. His Dad passed his driving test in the mid 60s and bought a Triumph Herald. He ran it till it went bang, replaced it with a Renault 6, did the same again with an R5, then a Puggy 205 and now drives an 02 plate 206, which he doesn't like. Says it's too 'new'.

That's 5 cars in 50 years, each one bought new, serviced regularly and driven carefully (a few sheep-shaped dents notwithstanding) until it simply cannot be economically repaired any longer.

Assuming you have the money in the first place to buy a new car and the 'fix it rather than replace it' attitude that most 70 year olds have it seems to work.

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If you want REAL economy get a 206 1.4HDi. In fact I think I'm going to seek another out in the new year as my 'posh' car, the economy of them almost defies belief.

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I hate having a long commute and limited funds, it makes my choice of car tricky.

 

Imagine a Venn diagram with mpg, reliability, fun and cheap to buy as the circles.  Where they overlap is empty, so I try to change my cars often and get 2 or 3 of the circles.

 

I reckon a Pug 205 with turbo diesel would almost be in the middle, but they aren't getting any younger.

 

 

A mate had a 5 door one with Gti 1.6 Wheels and Yoko's.  He'd messed with the boost and fueling (all mechanical settings IIRC) and the thing was a beast.

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Small cars can bugger right off!

To be honest, its this kind of thinking that make me cringe. Small cars aren't really the problem here, I think what the OP was trying to get at was the fact that people are taken in by this ongoing notion that the smaller the car you have, the cheaper it is to run, which is often done without thinking of depreciation costs, repair costs, insurance etc....

 

Small cars themselves can be quite fun. I drive a big lazy automatic Rover. It's a lovely, lazy cruiser to waft about in, but sometimes it feels great to just jump into the nippy little Micra and chuck it about.

 

I think we are also forgetting that small cars are often bought by people who need nowt more than a small car. As long as it gets them from A to B (the story of motoring - see what I did there) keeps the weather off thier heads and is basically better than walking/taking the bus then they need nowt more than that. I think this is reasoning behind Ma_Sterlings insistance on keeping the Micra on. She has never, ever had any desire to change her car, it does what it needs and has soldiered on since new. The Micra is starting to show its age so now its time to care of it and I will do what I can to give it some tlc.

 

This is something that your average car buyer these days doesnt understand. Thier ideas about cars can often clash. On one hand they want something cheap to run, yet are more than happy to go on finance deals costing them £200+ a month. The justification for this? "New cars don't break down, if they do, they have the safety net of the dealers" :| which if course we all know is a load of horseshit.

 

Small hatchbacks have become quite popular over the years, with introduction of the Audi A3 and the new Subaru Imprezel all hatch'backed up the following is ever growing.

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Oddly enough I had that kind of debate with a lad at work. He wanted to buy a more economical car than his 1.8 petrol hatchback. He asked my opinion and said he's been offered £800 for his motor against a £3,500 car. I asked him what mileage he did and it's about 25 miles per week on average (he cycles everywhere) so I then suggested that to gain about another 12-15mpg was going to take him years and years to get back due to the extra cost of buying the car, never mind the finance charges.

 

Also I think some people get muddled with economy figures. I'd imagine a lot of modern, big cars are probably pretty good on the motorway at 70mph as they're pretty much just ticking over, so economy is probably quite good. Obviously if that's the majority of your driving then a smart, big comfortable car is absolutely ideal. However on constant town driving and short journeys I find big cars are too expensive to run so a smaller more economical car is perfect.

I won't bother with the people who buy a seven seat block of flats because they have one child.

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I used to drive 54 miles round trip to work in the 1998 2.0 Honda Accord. I would not have to navigate one set of traffic lights during the trip and I circled around town so there was no stop-starting.  It felt like there was no real difference between the 1400 Rover, except for some poke on the back-roads or if you wanted to floor it on the motorway.

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Up until quite recently I did around 15k miles per year. All round town as mostly doing pizza delivery.

 

I got a 1.0 polo thinking it would be cheap to run.

Not really.

Only did about 25mpg thrashed around town, and I did have to thrash it to get anywhere.

 

Got rid of it after a couple of months and am now in an A4 tdi estate. It does a genuine 40mpg round town and took us on a 1500 mile round trip fully loaded on holiday on 2 tanks of mainly chip fat, giving about 56mpg.

 

If you do lots of miles, get a derv.

If you don't, get what you like.

If you are a teenager or otherwise insurable, only then consider a small hatchback.

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Used to be able to get 38 to 47 mpg out of my 2.0 pug coupe on the mway

But I had a punto 1.2 16v that only got bout 33 on the mway due to the go pedal have to be shoved to the floor to pass a mobility scooter

And my volvo s40 is a 1.8 can do between 30 to 35 about town driving like a pussy

But it done 55mpg all the way from Glasgow to Manchester

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That's the thing. With smaller engined cars, you really do have to work the engine much harder in order to keep up with the general flow of traffic therefore using more fuel and creating a false economy for yourself.

 

Yes, but thrashing my 1.0 Sirion results in 43mpg. Driving gently in a Saab 9000 2.3 resulted in 35mpg. I know which one was more fun too. The Sirion is also surprisingly good at speed - much quieter than you might expect. The Saab wins for rear seat accommodation, but I don't sit there, so I don't care.

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I'm not sure I'm that arsed about MPG. 

 

My XUD engined (spoken of in hushed, reverential tones here) 306 never did more than 38 MPG. Amazon's shit on fuel, so is the 460 if you get a move on. 

 

C4 does between 48-58 depending on how you drive it. Yes, yes, yes, a VAG TDi with its millimetric power band is better on fuel, but I don't have £20k+ to spend on something so willfully dull and Waitrose. 

 

My n/a zx will do 38mpg if I (literally) drive everywhere with my foot on the floor. It can do nearly 50mpg, but it is really hard work driving that slowly. 

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I think my RSi Escort should return about 30 MPG. I have been averaging about 210 miles to a 45L tank, plus the filler neck.

 

Who cares. I was having a right laugh.

 

It's one of those cars that feels faster than it is (when on its own), so great fun on the B roads and hard to get a ticket in. Ideal.

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Yes, but thrashing my 1.0 Sirion results in 43mpg. Driving gently in a Saab 9000 2.3 resulted in 35mpg. I know which one was more fun too. The Sirion is also surprisingly good at speed - much quieter than you might expect. The Saab wins for rear seat accommodation, but I don't sit there, so I don't care.

The strange thing is my E60 545 V8 would happily return 42 MPG at a steady 65-70 mph but indicate 22 mpg at 100 mph, exactly the same as my 1.2 Punto achieves at 100, the only fuel advantage the Punto has is either hypermileing when it does over 60 mpg or around the doors when it gives 42 mpg as opposed to the 22 of the BMW.

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My dad always chuckles at me when I say I get a reliable 28mpg out of my 405 automatics (37 on a motorway run) , and then starts boasting about the 50/55/60mpg (minimum, of course) out of his latest small diesel clone.  I've given up reminding him of the £3000 he loses every three years when he chops them in.

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The fuel economy* of any prospective car is often used as an excuse when someone is bored with the current chod and fancies something else.

As in,

" By the way love, our old Micra is only doing 50 to the gallon, costs us a fortune. If we get this V8 Rover 3500 Auto (insert other desirable tat) we will actually save money as the engine is only ticking over at 70mph and will save us heaps of cash. Honest*"

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Tax is a good one as well. With people livid that they have to spend a couple of hundred quid a year to tax a perfectly capable, economical, older car. So much so, that they think ticking on £7K+ on a new motor means they are getting the best deal.

 

Staggering.

 

Road tax doesn't bother me that much. I would rather own my car and choose whether to spend on it each month.

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about 7 years ago I was still doing a 300 mile per week commute, so did the logical thing and bought an SD1 V8. It was bloody wonderful. I enjoyed every minute of it and it managed 30 mpg which was decent. what price driving enjoyment rather than just an A to B machine?

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I agree with a lot of this but I've spent £3407 on fuel in 2013.

And only, only...

£3378 on all other costs, inc tax & insurance, the jolly lot running three old motors.

 

Small, and by small, I mean economy cars, are shit.

The last thing I drove was a Polo and it was sit up and beg and just nasty.

My old Scirocco is actually smaller than the newer Polo, but way nicer to drive.

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People generally don't get economics. Look at the amount of people who throw a car away because it's 'not worth' spending £400 to get it through an MOT. So, they flog the old heap for £100 and go and spend £3000 on a new car. Oh yes. £3000 is a lot cheaper than £400.

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I agree, I suspect that I have cocked up picking a 1.6 Scirocco over a 1.8

although I was swayed by going on a skid pan course with a selection of Sierras.

1.6 wank,

2.0 overpowered

1.8, a reasonable compromise

 

 

 

Good example of how a particular model often has an engine which is particularly suitable.

 

 

I disagree with many on this - medium sized cars are the things to avoid, if you're buying shite. Apart from never being great at anything, they've often been used to do everything in, from conception to nappy changes to Tesco and tip visits. Given a choice, give me a good big car for fast or longer journeys and a good small car for fast or shorter journeys.

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