Jump to content

Adventures in buying a reliable hatchback


garethj
 Share

Recommended Posts

It was going to be so straightforward, get something reliable and economical for my commute.  I had selected these fine candidates:

1. Kia Rio 1.5 diesel

image.thumb.png.9e79327aeb795b7dd66608e24173b19b.png
 

For: Cheap to buy, 60+ mpg

Against: A bit cheap inside 

2. Kia Rio 1.1 or 1.4 diesel

image.thumb.png.be8c7c0d6c61cb41bfebe8a738cb758a.png
 

For: Looks good, 65+mpg 

Against: A bit more pricey 

3. Toyota Auris 1.4 or 2 litre diesel

image.thumb.png.2138b7a791895f69471c8fe652401c83.png
 

For: Quite nice inside, 3 door looks good 

Against: About 70% were painted a revolting pale metallic blue

4. Toyota Corolla 1.4 or 2 litre diesel 

image.thumb.png.9a0e4d134a8d79e175f6c6f985ea840f.png
 

For: 3 door looks good, a nice drive

Against: That fucking insipid blue seems to have been the colour of 90% of them.

I also had half an eye on a Kia Soul and a Toyota Urban Cruiser if a gem came up.  It didn’t.

The biggest problem has been actually finding one, any of them.  I know it was difficult finding a Ginetta when there are 10 in the country or a Tatra when there were 3 in the country but we’re talking about some of the best selling cars in the UK here.

The first one I found was this Kia 1.4

image.thumb.png.c76fb1629a09f8d6ddbd9f27eedab625.png
 

It was a top spec one so had parking sensors, phone connectivity, big alloys, heated seats and it’s a really nice shape.  Only in Milton Keynes too, half an hour away 👍

The alloys were the most corroded I’ve ever seen in my life, the interior was a bit rough with one or two bits snapped off, but the main thing was that the bloke had owned it for a month and was selling it because they were going to start a family soon and it wasn’t suitable.

Hmmm…. It was £3300 although still hasn’t sold a month later, now at £3000, about 115k miles.

Next was this Corolla

image.thumb.png.527f776e2a4f183c22606639a197d0f9.png
 

In Sandy so only a small diversion between office and home.  MoT history looked good and it was up for £2k.  In the metal it was utterly fucked, power steering and radiator leaks, damp on the seats perhaps from the sunroof, dashboard had been pulled out in the centre and not refitted properly and the seat adjustment had broken.

This meant that the seat could recline, but not come back up.  Another one that’s not even worth a test drive.  Arse.  Only had 100k on the clock too.

Ooh, newer now, an Auris!

image.thumb.png.58fad3a88e43350db8d17d02b3a09118.png
 

What looked like a photo with a potato cam and some dust on the roof was a serious dose of lacquer peel, there must have been a dozen spots on the roof, there was probably a third of the whole panel gone.

Aircon didn’t work either which was a shame as it was otherwise ok, climate control & cruise too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve set up alerts and saved searches on eBay, Auto Trader, Gumtree and Facebook marketplace so this is a fair time commitment I’m making.  Another Corolla next

3F057D5B-F6B4-4C06-98AA-36305B1CC302.jpeg.38ea905b9b39d5f3250e36961375c823.jpeg

The 3 door looks nice and despite this being the less desirable 2 litre 88bhp version it was worth a punt.  @chrisjvm  was incredibly helpful because the car was 150 miles from me but around the corner from him.

You know that feeling when you speak to a seller and he’s avoiding the truth?  That.

Despite arranging to see the car, the seller then went silent so we’ll never know if it was any good.  I think I dodged a bullet though.

Another Auris today and what a gem!

image.thumb.png.c636afa238ed765a8fe3a7b4c401f747.png
 

50,000 miles on the clock and it’s an ok colour too.  I was on the road before you could say “tyre wall black”.

The dealer was operating from an office car park which was… unusual.  The car looked good from the outside so I had a look inside.  Quite a lot of scratches on the centre console and those pedal rubbers are very worn indeed.  It’s also wearing some polyester seat covers, shall we have a look underneath?

The drivers seat bolster was worn away to almost nothing, no way has this car done 50k.  I spoke to the seller who said the MoT history verified its miles, which was correct.  But I arrived in a Toyota with three times the mileage without any of those worn bits.  I wonder if it had been a minicab in its first 3 years and had a haircut before its first MoT?

Aircon didn’t work and the engine was sluggish to start.  Bollocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, garethj said:

Against: That fucking insipid blue seems to have been the colour of 90% of them.

:lol: I noticed that too. 

Before I bought my Nissan Almera diesel in 2010 I looked at an 05 reg Corolla 1.6 VVTi Sport 3 door. It was in a darker shade of blue. It was for sale on a Toyota dealer forecourt and I asked for the keys, sat in it but for some daft reason I chickened out pursuing it further. It was a grand more than the Almera but I think the Corolla would have been less costly to run. Because legendary Toyota build quality. 

I really like the styling of the mark 3 Kia Rio. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What exactly are you doing to Corollas over there? Because I've been involved with buying and selling literally dozens of them and even though Irish drivers do big mileage, often on bad roads as well, they just don't seem to fall apart like the ones mentioned above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now to the happy conclusion.  Another Corolla but this time in Luton, the particularly dodgy part where there are a dozen dealers in one street and one garage that does MoTs.  I bet he gets VOSA visits every week.

Look at this babe magnet

B196A385-F2C6-4435-8F99-073094452FC5.jpeg.8e6e2e4b93eb580a0752e9eba57ca707.jpeg

2 litre so only 60mpg instead of the 65mpg from the 1.4 but a face lifted one which makes 115bhp and thank fuck for an actual colour.  83k on the clock too!

This was fairly high spec so had climate control instead of plain aircon and came with a sunroof and 4 electric windows.  Swish.  The radio was an aftermarket one but otherwise it was pretty standard and honest too.  That’s what I’ve been missing with all the other ones.

The tyres have reasonable tread, proudly made in Serbia - the home of reputable rubber.  The alloys are a bit grubby and a few scuffs, the paint is fair and everything (not much, I know) works.  I bought it 👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are there many 1.4D4D Corollas left in the UK? Ten years ago they were being exported to Ireland at a great rate. I got paid to go and collect some myself. A quick flight to Liverpool, off to Knutsford( they were being bought from a hire firm there, straight down to Holyhead, off at Dublin Port, and a 3 hour drive down to Cork.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • garethj changed the title to Adventures in buying a reliable hatchback
20 minutes ago, artdjones said:

Are there many 1.4D4D Corollas left in the UK? Ten years ago they were being exported to Ireland at a great rate. I got paid to go and collect some myself. A quick flight to Liverpool, off to Knutsford( they were being bought from a hire firm there, straight down to Holyhead, off at Dublin Port, and a 3 hour drive down to Cork.

Funnily enough, two that came up recently were in Ireland!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've driven 2 Kias and the gearboxes were both absolutely awful. I only drove the 2nd one to see if the first one was just fucked or not. Plus the 0-60 time was slower than my Visa. 

Had a Modern (for me) Toyota in 2015 as a hire car and it was more than capable. However I couldn't overcome the shame of driving it (or looking like someone who'd buy something like that) and left it at home and drive the XJ8 instead down the M62 to pick up Mrs Imp from the airport. 

Not sure if that helps or not. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know I’ve a modern example,  but the Renault 1.5dci seems to be in absolutely everything from Nissans, Mercs and all and sundry Renaults. 

Mine in the mk4 Megane 115 flava cracks 60+ mpg on mixed motorway driving, and 56-58mpg on the last 200miles of country road driving in the Peak District. 
 

They seem fairly reliable and the MK3 megane is screwed well together too. Also the Clio DCI 90 is a nice steer too. Quite liked my rental one, should get better mpgees than the Megane. Maybe, they’re all frugal tbf. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FB76EF03-2668-488E-8AB6-71706BDD187D.jpeg.839b224ba0cc17e4f04dd7506e7fdf2f.jpeg


No way to control it
It's totally automatic🤪

I’ve had this for almost a week now, look at the luxurious features it’s got!

image.thumb.png.78eab9cb41ee024711aca676965b3f60.png
 

4 electric windows, all with auto up and down.

image.thumb.png.81573ca45271b728e119fde0c1ce5e81.png
 

Automatic climate control 

image.thumb.png.93f350363584268e5db69b87f689421b.png
 

Automatic dipping mirror.  Works really well too!

image.thumb.jpeg.542c3c41f5205f33306ccd7ab81a0bb4.jpeg
 

Auto wipers!  The sheer decadence of it!

image.thumb.png.fa8e8c2392bdd1cafddfa116818f19d4.png
 

Not automatic, manual, obvs.  I’ve done 300 miles and it’s been pretty favourable in terms of the commute but I’d been a couple of days before I checked the tyre pressures and found them 8psi under.  A good time to check fuel economy though so I filled up again.

image.thumb.png.76159c1e93138fa8e0b165fdb8c17213.png
 

68mpg 😀

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, garethj said:

FB76EF03-2668-488E-8AB6-71706BDD187D.jpeg.839b224ba0cc17e4f04dd7506e7fdf2f.jpeg


No way to control it
It's totally automatic🤪

I’ve had this for almost a week now, look at the luxurious features it’s got!

image.thumb.png.78eab9cb41ee024711aca676965b3f60.png
 

4 electric windows, all with auto up and down.

image.thumb.png.81573ca45271b728e119fde0c1ce5e81.png
 

Automatic climate control 

image.thumb.png.93f350363584268e5db69b87f689421b.png
 

Automatic dipping mirror.  Works really well too!

image.thumb.jpeg.542c3c41f5205f33306ccd7ab81a0bb4.jpeg
 

Auto wipers!  The sheer decadence of it!

image.thumb.png.fa8e8c2392bdd1cafddfa116818f19d4.png
 

Not automatic, manual, obvs.  I’ve done 300 miles and it’s been pretty favourable in terms of the commute but I’d been a couple of days before I checked the tyre pressures and found them 8psi under.  A good time to check fuel economy though so I filled up again.

image.thumb.png.76159c1e93138fa8e0b165fdb8c17213.png
 

68mpg 😀

That is a lovely and well kitted out Corolla. Must say I'm envious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s got some jobs needed, there’s a bit of vibration at speed so getting the wheels balanced will be the first thing.  It also judders under braking so new discs and pads are on the cards.

I’ve got the radio to sound ok after going into the sub-settings and I’ll keep an eye on the battery because it was really slow turning the engine over.  Seems to have improved a bit with use though 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve done a few more fill-ups in this, a couple have been half a tank because of local panic buying and sometimes I’ll do 100 miles in a day.  Worst mpg was 45 which probably meant I overfilled the tank, most have been upper 50s to the gallon which is pretty good as I’ve given my daughter some driving lessons and 20 attempts at parallel parking isn’t great for fuel economy.

Average so far is 59mpg which I’m sure I can improve on a consistent commute.  Brakes are done too; a sticking piston overheated one disc which warped it but fresh discs and pads feels much better.

Also needed a brake light bulb, the unreliable piece of junk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...