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Your best ever all rounder?


Bren
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While covid has been doing a job on me I have been thinking about cars. In particular how complicated and expensive they have become. I can remember a time where the thought of a new car made me excited. Sadly not any more - the cost,  and worry of a mechanical prolapse has killed my mojo. Sad really - cars were my greatest passion. Plus there is no sense of acheivement in having something any more - it is easy to have something new on tick - everybody does it.

Next weekend it will be 30 years since I got my first decent car - by decent I mean something that didn't let rain in and wasn't full of filler - my mk 2 cav.

I paid £2k for the car with 76k on the clock. It was eight years old at the time. Reasonable ( for the time) performance and 30mpg around town. I had the car for three years - I sold it to my brother when I took on my senator. He kept it for another year - he sold it in '96 with 140k on the clock. Car still wore it's original sills and had it's original camshaft -3k oil changes do work - even with mineral oil. I passed the car on the M6 in 1999 - sadly it looked tatty - obviously the end was not far away.

It was easy to look after - the clutch was replaced in under an hour. They did rust but not as badly as a ford or Austin Rover product.

When I look back it was probably the best all round car I ever owned - the front wheel drive cavaliers really were very good.

 

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probably my 2005 Saab 9-5 Aero HOT .  Paid £1400 for it in 2013 and it was my daily until some fecker wrote it off whilst I was watching Shakespeare's sister in Nov 2019

super comfy seats, 250bhp, 110 liter LPG tank, pulled like a train, super reliable.  If only it was an estate it would have been perfect

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For me it's a toss up between my 2010 Peugeot 107, and my 1998 Toyota Corolla.

The Peugeot I bought brand new on the "Just Add Fuel" thing, £250 a month but for a "young" lad in Birmingham it meant insurance was relatively cheap for 3 years. I went everywhere in that car. As far west as Oban in Scotland, and as far east as Budapest in 2012. In the first week myself and 3 friends went camping in it. 6 man tent, chairs, 4 slabs of lager and we went off to somewhere by Buxton. It has never, ever let me down. Especially during times when we needed a car like when my old man died. It kept up with some Lotus cars around Wales up horseshoe pass, except one dickhead in a Merc SUV decided he didn't want to be overtaken by a little Peugeot 107 when he was doing 30mph on an NSL road, and every time I went to overtake he had the power to just speed up. Dangerous c**t, wish I had a dashcam in the car and reported him to the police. But hey ho.

The Toyota Corolla though probably outshines it in terms of what it's been able to do. Transported christmas trees, both on purchase and going to the tip. Lots and lots of tip runs which saved me having to hire a skip. Had a trip around Ireland in it, and after the suspension work I did to it (which amounted to new shock absorbers, poly bushes on the front, new bushes on the rear) it drove like new and continues to do so. It's taught me a lot about car maintenance as it cost £250 and it was only when the 19 year old exhaust fell off did it need any sort of work. Rust free too, even as it approaches 24 years of age on St.Patrick's day!

I've had other cars, "posher cars" than these two, but they've all let me down in some way. These two though never have, and I think to me that's the most important part of the car ownership. A car that you know will start on the button, stop on a penny, and easy to look after.

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Another vote for Mk2 Cavalier. Mine was new, auto and (obviously) a company car. For just being a car, day in day out, thousands of miles a month it really was hard to fault.

Of the cars I’ve bought with my own money, the manual 120 hp ‘04 Subaru Legacy saloon was the best day in day out car.  A shame Subaru products have spiralled down the can since that model.

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There’s always some sort of weakness somewhere along the line with any car. A lot cite mid 90’s cars, maybe Mondeo for example, massive leap ahead the Sierra but still compared to a lot of modern cars you were forever changing things like suspension bushes.

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I agree that new cars are no longer exciting and to me have not been since I learnt to drive. This however has saved me a fortune over the years as my cars have got older and older. The best all round car in my opinion is a 1982 2.0 Cortina estate, the best car I have ever owned is my 1982 2.3 Ghia estate with manual gearbox. Fuel economy is not great but it only cost £450 in 2002 and proved to be very reliable despite having covered well over 200,000 miles on the original running gear, I foolishly fitted a rebuilt 2.8 engine and 5 speed box when it was at 235,000 miles despite it still running well, it has not been so good since but it is still my favourite car. My Mercedes E320CDi  estate is a great all rounder, very economical and a great car but not as good as the Cortina in my opinion.

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My 1998 Audi A4. I know the majority on here loathe them and most have had harrowing experiences to back that up, but mine has been brilliant. After 14 years I wouldn't still have it if that wasn't the case. The 1.8T engine is utterly brilliant. Reasonably economical and enough grunt to indulge mischievous whims.

Bought it with 55k on it, it now has 142. Biggest "breakdown" it has had was a failed driveshaft, but that wasn't massively expensive to put right. It's needed a few bearings and CV joints over the years, but mostly just routine maintenance. I've tackled the cambelt myself thrice ; it's a bit of a bellend of a job due to how much has to come off unless you've got a two-poster at your disposal, but isn't overly complicated. The only thing that's becoming a problem now is plastics getting brittle and things like window runners falling apart.

It's quite possible that mine is just "a good one", but I quite like how it's put together (if not how some of it – front suspension, for example – is designed). Mine's one of the last pre-facelift B5s, so probably represents the very last knockings before VAG went to shit. It's certainly earnt its keep.

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2001 Fiat Marea Weekend diesel. Did everything, drove like a Fiat should and had all the space. Got rid after 5 years because I had a works van and the Mrs only has an auto license, so got a Focus hatch - which was nice, but I missed the space.

My Octavia Estate is close on all rounder status.

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My Vectra C 1.9 CDTI was a pretty good steed.

Mapped to 212bhp, fitted everything inside it with its huge boot

Towbar, used to pull a mk2 golf track car on the back and barely noticed the extra weight

Blanked the EGR by taking the flap off the inside of my letter box flap and cutting a blank out. 
 

Good old steed.

565EB6AD-29F2-4678-B2AD-82AB962814F7.webp

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I personally take pride in running an older car and it being in above average condition, to what would be expected. 30 years old isn't ancient on here, but it is, generally.
IMO, seeing good, older cars is a far more impressive sight than yet another PCP Mercedes and the like.

As for my best all rounder, I honestly have to say the Ssangyong Rexton I have. 2.9 TD, loves veg, massive and carries anything, asks for nothing, really. Given I have owned it 5 years, I have only spent a grand on it and £450 of that was on tyres. Bought it for £1000, too. Tows 3.5T, no rust to be seen. I can hardly fault it.

The thing's a tank.

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1 minute ago, JJ0063 said:

My Vectra C 1.9 CDTI was a pretty good steed.

Mapped to 212bhp, fitted everything inside it with its huge boot

Towbar, used to pull a mk2 golf track car on the back and barely noticed the extra weight

Blanked the EGR by taking the flap off the inside of my letter box flap and cutting a blank out. 
 

Good old steed.

565EB6AD-29F2-4678-B2AD-82AB962814F7.webp

Nice map, the right wheels. Love the EGR blank.

It looked well.

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35594D85-4335-419F-BAD8-FB8997FE2AB1.thumb.jpeg.288f883d807c768e3ff599c42d235af3.jpegMy standard response to this question is always  : 2003 e39 525d manual saloon in Old Man spec , ie SE . I loved that car and it did everything I ever wanted a car to do.

But Ive just realised it didn’t , we always had a Disco or Freelander alongside it and invariably used that for family and holiday dirties - the 525 never left the Country for example, whereas the Freelander went to France 10 or a dozen times and Spain twice.

So even though it shit it’s clutch twice and wouldn’t lock or unlock for the last year of our ownership it’s this

24619A16-D0E5-46B6-B522-05DF9D2FC2EC.thumb.jpeg.d58b362c8cfb255a554c6f3ab060318d.jpeg

 

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Best all rounder is a choice between my old 24v Senator and my current 3.2  V6 Omega.

Although I have very fond memories of the Senator and still miss the digital dash (among other things), the Omega is the better car.

21 years old, 192000 miles on the clock and it drives beautifully. Its also very reliable. I would happily drive it anywhere.

Its also probably the most comfortable car I have ever sat in.

Its achilles heel is fuel consumption. Driven gently it does 25mpg. Not a big problem 20 years ago, but a pain in the wallet these days.

I have no sensible reason to keep it, but I cant bear to part with it, and its not worth a lot anyway.

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My Saab 9-5 gets close. I'm now at an age where insurance isn't OMGMASSIVERISK so it's nice just being able to jump into 250bhp cars without needing permission from the Queen. 

It's an estate, so I can fit people and things in it. It's an auto, so wafty pleasure. Good sound system. Heated seats. Apparently I'm getting 30mpg as well - to be updated next time I fill up. Not brilliant around corners but I hope to sharpen it up with new bushes, shocks etc.

The other one that stands out for me is my 97ish Nissan 200SX. It was brilliant, streets ahead of the Lotus Excel I had before it.

Both of the above are a bit meh to look at though (the S13 was pre-angry lights facelift).

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Hideous plop that I’ve just sold but still have outside until they collect it. Moved people and stuff comfortably and economically at a reasonable pace. Only problem with it was I always felt slightly embarrassed being seen in it and I’ve driven so right shite over the years.

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Skoda Octavia vRS TDI - best all round car I've had. 50mpg at 85-90mph, quick enough at 181bhp and 280 lb/ft, huge interior, good looking, cheap and easy to service. Only car I regret selling as I'd had it from new and bought it from the lease company. It was an ideal car to keep until it was dead and try different cars as second/occasional use cars alongside it but I was an idiot and sold it for an eGolf which died after 8 days. 

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Porsche 944 S2
Felt special to drive, went well, averaged 30mpg on a run and I could get a bike in it.

Audi S4 B6 
Before the timing chain shat itself it was a great car. Understated, comfy, cheap to fuel (on LPG) and went like fuck

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Probably a Mk1 Mondeo: good enough to drive, comfortable, eminently practical and nice to look at.  All the convenience options one needed and nothing unnecessary; should have kept it.

Or a 1.3 last of the line small Fiesta.  Fun to drive round bends, great in town and unbreakable mechanically.  The only problem was a lack of straight line performance.  

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Another person who thinks the Skoda Octavia Vrs is the best all rounder! Mine is a TDI estate with over 200k on the clock now. Had it for 4 years and can't think of anything to replace it with. I like the way it looks, I really enjoy driving it,  170bhp is enough poke and it's quite economical too. 

IMG20211217160232.jpg

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2001 mk3 Mondeo estate 2.0 petrol. 

Got it cheap from an eBay auction when it was 4 years old and on 140,000 miles. Kept it for five years and it only had a few minor issues along the way. It was surprisingly good to drive, and great for transporting all of the people and things, including many booze runs to France - the savings on booze probably paid for the car. Boot big enough to fit a sofa or a person (I mean me, sleeping - I wasn't putting other people in the boot). Sold it to a garage owner who was going to use it as a van. 

Need to get another estate car soon, and would happily have another Mondeo, although I might go for a Focus for ease of fitting into parking spaces. 

Pretty clear from previous replies that estate cars make up a large proportion of people's best all rounders!

 

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52 minutes ago, Missy Charm said:

Probably a Mk1 Mondeo: good enough to drive, comfortable, eminently practical and nice to look at.  All the convenience options one needed and nothing unnecessary; should have kept it.

Or a 1.3 last of the line small Fiesta.  Fun to drive round bends, great in town and unbreakable mechanically.  The only problem was a lack of straight line performance.  

Apart from useable cup holders. One big omission I thought. 

It did have a clip to put a biro in though.

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The Fabia is quite decent. Only car I've had as well, wishing I'd gotten an estate version with a similar specification since carrying lamps is fun.

Still wishing I had gotten something mildly quicker - ideally being able to outrun milkfloats.

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Pretty easy one for me I think, the Xantia Activa.  Supremely comfortable, TARDIS like cargo carrying capacity, and far, far quicker than any mid-90s family hatchback has any right to be.

I've never had a car which could dispatch long distances like that.  Plus the trick suspension meant it could handle twisty undulating back roads with ease as well as being a floaty motorway luxobarge.

Only gripes were the seemingly common early 90s lack of oddment storage in the cabin and the fact it was a bit thirsty - though that was largely down to where I live I think.  I did a run up to Aberdeenshire in it and saw 38mpg then.  Oh, and I really don't get why Citroen fitted basically every option in the book standard to the Activa, but never offered cruise control even as an option.  Given the ability of that car to creep imperceptibly up to very illegal speeds on the motorway it's something I really would have appreciated.

My third Saab 900 came a very close second.

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No question for me.  It's Jacques Kallis.  People bang on about Garry Sobers and he was undeniably brilliant but Kallis was a force of nature with an astronomical batting average.

Sorry.  Wrong thread.

In all seriousness for me it's my current 130PD MK4 Golf Estate.  Wouldn't say no to a Volvo 740 though.  That would tick even more boxes.

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If I‘m being honest, the best allrounder we‘ve had is probably the wife‘s Fiat Panda. Bought new 10 years ago and until last year no major repair bills. Spacious enough for tip runs, small enough to park in the city and not absolutely terrible on the motorway. We‘re struggling to think what to replace it with when the inevitable happens.

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Bucking the trend a bit here perhaps, but my modern daily is probably my best all-rounder. 2017 Fabia TSi. it's the Colour Edition so it gets this natty two-tone paint with matching wheels plus a few extra goodies. It's easy to drive, easy to park, more than quick enough to overtake, quiet, comfortable and has a great spec for such a small car. It can "car" better than any other car I've had. Has its downsides though, lack of character and (non) ease of maintenance being chief among them. Probably wouldn't be able to fix it myself, but fortunately it hasn't given me cause to (yet).

I think what separates it from my previous daily drivers, the Panda and Clio that came before it, is that I feel pride in owning it. I like cleaning it and look back at it when I park up. Never did that with the previous ones, they were just disposable transport. I'm not sure what it is about the car but I just really like it despite it being just another modern box.

So yeah, much as I love my more characterful shite, this does the whole "being a car thing" the best by far. :)

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