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Old 06 March 2006, 18:07   #1
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Another car question: good car for student

I want to get a new (used) car. I currently drive a Fiat Punto which has been a faithful first car but I really need something bigger. I'm fairly tall (a tad over 6ft) and find the Punto extremely uncomfortable on long journeys. I'm at uni in Portsmouth and drive between here and Norfolk most weeks so comfort is a big issue. Given the long journeys I also need something economical so have decided to go diesel. I did have a Renault Scenic for a while. Whilst this was extremely comfortable it was as thirsty as a student on a ribnet cruise, so had to go, and I went back to the Punto. The Punto used to do 10p a mile when I first got it so that's probably about 13/14p now. (Costs about £20 to get from Norwich to Portsmouth)

I've considered various types of car. First I had my heart set on an Audi A4 - my father has always had Audi's and he swears by them. However, insurance is going to be massive (im 19) and again its going to use a lot of fuel, as well as being expensive to service/repair.

Then I thought about a VW Passat. Nice looking car (very similar to the A4) but a bit more sensible when it comes to parts. Not sure about the insurance - I assumed it would be less than the A4. Purchase price seems somewhat high used; you have to pay a lot to get something with a low mileage (have seen a lot of used ones in the 160k region – presumably these are very popular fleet cars.)

Other cars I’ve considered are the Peugeot 206 (but my girlfriend wont let me because it's a woman’s car apparently), a Freelander (stupid idea; expensive to run) and now a Vauxhall Astra. The Astra seems to be the most practical one so far. So, to my question:

1: Is an Astra (the newer model) a good car. I've read a few reports and they suggest it's more reliable than most similar sized cars. How about fuel; anyone drive one? Also is there much difference (economy, handling etc) between the estate and the hatchback?

2: Can anyone think of any other car that would suite me. Running costs and insurance are the biggest factors, with driver comfort coming a very close second, and then other things like storage (I keep lots of stuff in the car), sound system (the one in the Punto is crap), ability to tow, and general "pimp" factor also to be considered.
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Old 06 March 2006, 18:10   #2
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I reckon that 4 wheel drive Skoda Octavia estate someone mentioned a while back would be ideal for you tim.

Cheap to run with a diesel engine, relatively brisk (was in the car with Tim today, picked up a few tips on how you can apply rally style driving to the streets of pompey) and bags of room. VW engineering. Good availability of parts and service. Reasonable insurance, partly because it's a Skoda.
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Old 06 March 2006, 18:14   #3
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yep skoda would be a good cheap car for you, especially in the super diesel
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Old 06 March 2006, 18:17   #4
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Something I hadn't even considered. (But then again could I live knowing I own a Skoda).

Still fancy the Astra though....
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Old 06 March 2006, 18:21   #5
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a good friend of mine had a real skoda a few years ago which was a browny purple colour, it was reliable and served him well until he got his no claims up and purchased a MG Turbo from me. the new skodas seem fine in passat form, not so sure about some of the other smaller ones
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Old 06 March 2006, 18:21   #6
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Originally Posted by Tim M
and now a Vauxhall Astra. The Astra seems to be the most practical one so far. So, to my question:[/color]

1: Is an Astra (the newer model) a good car. I've read a few reports and they suggest it's more reliable than most similar sized cars. How about fuel; anyone drive one? Also is there much difference (economy, handling etc) between the estate and the hatchback?
Firstly, avoid the 206 all sorts of problems and recalls, generally involving engine cutting out and rubbish electrics. Expensive, and have weak clutches and gearboxes so not ideal for towing. Girls car.

With the latest astra they do a 1.4 16v a 1.6 8v then a 1.6 16v, be aware that the 1.4 16v is more pokey than the 8v 1.6.
I have decided against taking a car to uni, but I did look and I considered a MK4 Golf 1.6 16v or a Focus 1.6v, the Focus's have dropped in value and you should be able to pick up either of these for under £4k. Golf has the quality and the badge, but the Focus is a much better drive.
Nothing wrong with the new Skodas, as Hugh said, would have to be an Octavia as the Fabia's tiny.


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Old 06 March 2006, 18:24   #7
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i had a cortina 2.0 GXL as my first car, was great, loads of space and looked good.................then. perhaps a cortina would fit the bill oops sorry its a ford,......codders would dissapprove. had a toyota celica GT as my next car at 19, was 18mths old so insurance was quite hefty then so i know what you guys go thru
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Old 06 March 2006, 18:27   #8
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I got Skoda Octavia Variant (estate) 10 days ago as company car, nice to drive, the one I have has 2 ltr petrol engine.

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Old 06 March 2006, 18:43   #9
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No street cred at all but a Rover 400 turbo diesel is cheap to buy and cheap to run. It also happens to be comfortable and has good performance for what it is - even better it does 48mpg even with a heavy right foot!!!

165,000 miles without any faults isn't too bad either!!!
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Old 07 March 2006, 03:20   #10
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Originally Posted by codprawn
No street cred at all but a Rover 400 turbo diesel is cheap to buy and cheap to run. It also happens to be comfortable and has good performance for what it is - even better it does 48mpg even with a heavy right foot!!!

165,000 miles without any faults isn't too bad either!!!
Yeah right Codders 48mpg, are you sure it isn't 148

I did a quarter of a million miles in an Astra over a few years while commuting to work. When I sold it for £400 it still had the same clutch, battery, engine and gear box. It had had 5 windscreens, four sets of tyres, 1 cylinder head gasket and an oil change every 6000 miles, oh and all the lights on the dashboard had stopped working so I had you use a torch at night to see how fast I was going Pounds spent for miles gained you couldn’t do better

Since then I have had four VW Passats and although I like the car for its size and motorway performance they have been much more expensive to run and overall less reliable

While we are on the subject of Rovers I have seen the statistics for the number of times a major car rescue organisation has to attend a Rover (and others) and it wouldn’t make you buy one Des
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