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  1. #1
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    Diesel cars which one?

    Ive recenty moved up to Lancashire and now work in Altrincham, my round trip to work and back is 68 miles which is considerably more than my 10 mile round trip from Cheam to Croydon which i was used to. This is going to rack up a fair miles on my S3 which i dont want to do so im going to get myself a cheapish weasel for work. Ive got 4000 to spend and have been looking at a BMW Compact TDi and an Audi A4 TDi but was wondering if anyone had any ideas of other suitable diesel cars?

    Also on a side note how far do you travel to and from work?

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    4k probably won't get you a very good example of either.

    Why not buy a smaller and newer car in the Polo size bracket? The 1.4TDi is supposed to be pretty good.

    Don't want to make you jealous but my "commute" is about 20 feet and 1 flight of stairs from the bed to my office :-)

  4. #3
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    Try a fiesta tdci 1.4 my wife had an 03 until she wrote it off and it did 60mpg you should be able to pick a 53 or 04 plate for 4k.
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  5. #4
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    Peugeot also make some cracking diesels.
    If there's one thing the French like, it's their diesels!
    There are 188 diesel 206's on Autotrader, between 3k and 4k.
    2.0 and 1.4 hdi models, various trims.
    I would ignore the 2.0 models though, the 1.4 is a more modern engine, I believe.
    My wife's 206 may not have used the best interior materials, but it was reliable and I always enjoyed driving it.

    Oh, my commute is about 3.5 miles, door to door.
    It can often take me close to an hour, due to the incredible lack of infrastructure investment in 'Europe's oil capital'....
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 14th May 2008 at 16:59.
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  6. #5
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    Yes I agree if its ultimate economy your after then a small French diesel, or a Polo would be hard to beat. Maybe not the ultimate driving satisfaction , but it depends what your after!

    All the money saved can be used to spoil your S3 then!
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    Don't want to make you jealous but my "commute" is about 20 feet and 1 flight of stairs from the bed to my office :-)

    Bet you find it a pain pulling sickies?
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  8. #7
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    I'd be looking for a nice Focus TDCi for that money
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  9. #8
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    Defo worth the wait :)

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    I would say a Polo, they are very nice and just keep on running.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacko4130 View Post
    Bet you find it a pain pulling sickies?
    Well, working for the largest IT outsourcing company in the world I could do it quite easily.

    However I'd never do such a thing

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    cheers for the replies guys definite food for thought there.... i guess i should of also mentioned its all motorway miles it'll be doing so would a larger size engine diesel car be the better option for the mpg? and im not really worried about the age of the cars as the BMW and Audi ive been looking at were 1998/1997 models with around 100k on the clock but as they have full dealer service history the diesel engines would quite happilly chug onto at least 170k i would of thought?!....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post

    Don't want to make you jealous but my "commute" is about 20 feet and 1 flight of stairs from the bed to my office :-)
    been in that situation but i could never find the much needed motivation to get the work done so i opted to switch back to working out of an office....
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubplate View Post
    been in that situation but i could never find the much needed motivation to get the work done so i opted to switch back to working out of an office....
    I know what you mean but I've been doing it now for 2+ years and have got it worked out pretty well. I think it helps having a dedicated office in the house rather than being stuck in the corner of a bedroom etc.

    I only go into my base location every couple of months as it's in central London but I do have the option of going into my local office which is only 15 minutes away. I try and do that 1 day a week.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    I know what you mean but I've been doing it now for 2+ years and have got it worked out pretty well. I think it helps having a dedicated office in the house rather than being stuck in the corner of a bedroom etc.

    I only go into my base location every couple of months as it's in central London but I do have the option of going into my local office which is only 15 minutes away. I try and do that 1 day a week.
    A dedicated office area definitely helps, i also found the non interaction with co workers hard but saying all this im already putting a proposal together to do part and part, half the week in the office and the other half at home as ive only been doing this commute for a week now and im already finding it hard going, its putting nearly 3hrs onto my day.....
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  15. #14
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    Defo worth the wait :)

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    Madcuff, who do you work for out of interest???

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubplate View Post
    A dedicated office area definitely helps, i also found the non interaction with co workers hard but saying all this im already putting a proposal together to do part and part, half the week in the office and the other half at home as ive only been doing this commute for a week now and im already finding it hard going, its putting nearly 3hrs onto my day.....
    I know the feeling. Before moving back to Scotland I was living in Bedford and commuting 3 hours a day into London on the train. It did my head in even though it was quite easy - always had a seat on the train and took the Met line in the oppossite direction of all the other drones. It's just the time you loose that I hate.

    Quote Originally Posted by nilz18t View Post
    Madcuff, who do you work for out of interest???
    EDS. Actually not the biggest now as we tend to swap that title with IBM every year or so.

    Just in the process of being bought by HP so we'll see what changes that brings.
    Last edited by Macduff; 16th May 2008 at 13:11.

  17. #16
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    My new job is 76 mile round trip commute, and I have my A3 TDI on order.
    In some ways though I am not sure I made the right decision, as the price at the pump is 10p a litre more than petrol, lets hope the TDI eco is still a money saving.
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  18. #17
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    A friend of mine has a 1.8T A3, but a change of career means he spends a lot of time on the M4. Not wanting to put the mileage on the audi, he bought himself a nice Focus tdci fully packed with leather seats, climate control, etc, etc which he is really happy with. I am sure he didn't pay much more than 4k.

    On the flip side my wife bought a 306 12 years ago. It's been a brilliant little runner, very cheep to run and is happy as larry on the motorway with its 1.6i engine. We have decided to keep it until it totally packs up, but it just seems to want to keep going. A few minor electrical problems which are easy to fix myself; when I find the time.
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  19. #18
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    I'm a wee bit confused about the BMW compact diesel - are we talking the older shape 1.7 litre unit?

    IF so it's a TERRIBLE engine, soooo gutless and fairly thirsty too - stay clear of it.

    I'd agree with the people saying try a small french diesel - i'd try a 206 1.4hdi and a clio 100bhp 1.5 dci. Clio has a slightly awkward driving position but is a nice enough little car.

    Fiesta 1.4tdci is good too.

    I've the newer 1.8 tdci focus, but it's obv the same engine as the first generation and i average about 46mpg just now, not being overly kind to it and sitting the wrong side of 70 cruise on for a 60 mile round trip every day.

    It's a bit of a heavy car as well about 1450kg iirc - i imagine the first gen focus will be a decent bit lighter so slightly sprightlier performance wise and you might see an average 48-50 mpg.
    Last edited by rodenal; 26th May 2008 at 21:33.
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  20. #19
    rodenal's Avatar
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    Oh and the 1.4 litre diesels are perfectly happy on the motorway. Remember the cars are lighter with these engines so performance while not exciting is more than adequate for a daily commute
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

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  21. #20
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    I would agree; I had a 1.4tdi clio in Spain and it was fine on the motorway, even with cruise control. It was quite nice to drive in the busy traffic of Barcelona.
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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal View Post
    I'm a wee bit confused about the BMW compact diesel - are we talking the older shape 1.7 litre unit?

    IF so it's a TERRIBLE engine, soooo gutless and fairly thirsty too - stay clear of it.

    I'd agree with the people saying try a small french diesel - i'd try a 206 1.4hdi and a clio 100bhp 1.5 dci. Clio has a slightly awkward driving position but is a nice enough little car.

    Fiesta 1.4tdci is good too.

    I've the newer 1.8 tdci focus, but it's obv the same engine as the first generation and i average about 46mpg just now, not being overly kind to it and sitting the wrong side of 70 cruise on for a 60 mile round trip every day.

    It's a bit of a heavy car as well about 1450kg iirc - i imagine the first gen focus will be a decent bit lighter so slightly sprightlier performance wise and you might see an average 48-50 mpg.
    Thanks for the reply guys...

    I did contemplate getting the 318Tdi but your right its a proper slug even with a remap so im opting for a 320Td compact which is a remarkably better car. 0-60 is around 8.5 and tops out at 130mph which is not bad for a diesel although saying that im not after performance as i have the S3 for that and its stop start traffic all the way to work in the mornings but im now acustomed to the german engineering with my S3 i just want a well built refined car something i feel the other makes mentioned above would lack although i do quite like the look of the new Peugoet 307 HDi so im not going to rule those out. I have decided to up the budget to 5000 and ive managed to find 3 BMW 320Td's around that price so im going to have look at them over the weekend so fingers crossed.
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  23. #22
    rodenal's Avatar
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    The 320Td compact is a very nice little car but a couple of things to mention.
    I'm really surprised that you can find a good one for 5k, they hold their value very very well, i'd expect at that price it's a complete dog
    Also make sure you buy one that's made in the second half of 2004(not sure when that shape of compact came out) as before then you might suffer from the dreaded BMW swirl flap issue and it'll be new engine time!
    I know you say you want german engineering but to be honest with you - the BMW aside all golf/focus/307/megane etc cars are similarly screwed together.
    I'd keep an open mind if i were you, and be very careful with bmw 2 litre compacts at that price
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal View Post
    The 320Td compact is a very nice little car but a couple of things to mention.
    I'm really surprised that you can find a good one for 5k, they hold their value very very well, i'd expect at that price it's a complete dog
    Also make sure you buy one that's made in the second half of 2004(not sure when that shape of compact came out) as before then you might suffer from the dreaded BMW swirl flap issue and it'll be new engine time!
    I know you say you want german engineering but to be honest with you - the BMW aside all golf/focus/307/megane etc cars are similarly screwed together.
    I'd keep an open mind if i were you, and be very careful with bmw 2 litre compacts at that price
    There are a few out there, highmilers granted... the ones im going to look at are 52/53 plates and an average of 100'000 but all with full BMWSH, they range from 4400 - 5500. Im guessing if they have been looked after they will go on well into the 150'000s, the majority ive seen are around the 140'000 mark. Oh wow! whats this swirl flap issue fella? not heard of that before, cheers for the heads up!

    I like the 307 HDi but they seem to suffer with the starter motors not disengaging properly and apparently wearing out rather quickly. Ive also been considering the SEAT Leon TDi as they are reasonably priced aswell...
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  25. #24
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    I personally would pick a Leon tdi out of the whole Golf/A3/leon range, however when i looked i found it hard to find a 130(which is what i was after) Lots of 110s tho which are still punchy enough i suppose

    Go to www.bmwland.co.uk and do a search for swirl flaps - lots of problems with the 2 litre bmw diesel, i think it's the inlet manifold having 2 small plastic parts that break off. Very bad for the engine and BMW dont wanna know! they revised the part in mid 2004, so if the car is from before then i would honestly forget it unless you feel like upgrading to the revised part.
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal View Post
    I personally would pick a Leon tdi out of the whole Golf/A3/leon range, however when i looked i found it hard to find a 130(which is what i was after) Lots of 110s tho which are still punchy enough i suppose

    Go to www.bmwland.co.uk and do a search for swirl flaps - lots of problems with the 2 litre bmw diesel, i think it's the inlet manifold having 2 small plastic parts that break off. Very bad for the engine and BMW dont wanna know! they revised the part in mid 2004, so if the car is from before then i would honestly forget it unless you feel like upgrading to the revised part.
    Wow! does seem to be a problem this swirl flap issue with the 150bhp versions but they say the earlier 136bhp versions doesnt have the swirl valves fitted...hmmmm.... i'll have to see if the ones im going to look at are the 136bhp variety.... or if they have had the swirl flaps removed or even better had a new turbo and manifold fitted.... thanks again for the heads up rodenal yeah i cant find a 130bhp Leon either they are rocking horse sh!t....
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  27. #26
    rodenal's Avatar
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    No worries

    I think you'll find they're all 150bhp tho i'm afraid - but you never know there might be a few out there that the owners have replaced the manifold already

    If you dont mind a small car have a look at fabia VRS's and seat ibiza 130 tdi's
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  28. #27
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    Second hand police Volvos are rather cheap and usually maintained to a very high standard although they tend to have done a lot of miles....
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  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal View Post
    No worries

    I think you'll find they're all 150bhp tho i'm afraid - but you never know there might be a few out there that the owners have replaced the manifold already

    If you dont mind a small car have a look at fabia VRS's and seat ibiza 130 tdi's
    right had a bit of a read up on a few forums regarding the swirl flap problem and apparently these can be removed easily and without affecting the running or the engine in anyway.... now if this is the case what are they for? has anyone heard of this and can infact confirm this is possible? kinda got myself set on the BMW now and if this is a possibility i will continue searching for one and whip the flaps out....

    @ uncle, the Volvos are nice but i reckon theres a good possibility the ex police ones have had the arse well and truly ragged out of them....
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  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal View Post
    If you dont mind a small car have a look at fabia VRS's and seat ibiza 130 tdi's
    My cash would be looking for a Fabia vRS or GT TDI Golf.

    If you can live with the badge and the odd choice of interior colours on the non-leather vRSs then I'd take one of those.
    Good fun...not the best handling, but way better than the Golf...well spec'd, it's got the 130PD engine, 6 speed 'box, 16" wheels etc...all the good bits from the Golf in a more interesting package.

    I'm more and more amazed by mine every month that passes.


    The Polo TDI is underpowered and awful to drive. (Mother has one)
    The Fiests TDCI similar performance but better to drive. (G/F has one)

    Out of those two, I'd take the Fiesta...cheap as chips to maintain etc.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    My cash would be looking for a Fabia vRS or GT TDI Golf.

    If you can live with the badge and the odd choice of interior colours on the non-leather vRSs then I'd take one of those.
    Good fun...not the best handling, but way better than the Golf...well spec'd, it's got the 130PD engine, 6 speed 'box, 16" wheels etc...all the good bits from the Golf in a more interesting package.

    I'm more and more amazed by mine every month that passes.


    The Polo TDI is underpowered and awful to drive. (Mother has one)
    The Fiests TDCI similar performance but better to drive. (G/F has one)

    Out of those two, I'd take the Fiesta...cheap as chips to maintain etc.

    is that a vRS in your sig Ess ? I didnt think they would be in my price range if im honest and im not too bothered regarding badges as its only going to be a work horse....
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  32. #31
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    Yeah...that's a vRS.
    The Skoda approved network has them in the 6s with good miles...even under 6k with moderate miles (5995, 53 plate, 75,000 miles) so private, well looked after cars with a few more miles, I'd expect a deal could be had if you tried.


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    Well just spoke to Watson (Diesel) Limited in Wimbledon and apparently the swirl flaps on the BMW 2.0td engines can be taken out or fixed open and doing so doesnt affect the engine in anyway and infact it can make for better emissions. All it does is apparently reduces the amount of soot and smoke passing through.
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  34. #33
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    How did you get on then? still set on a compact?
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal View Post
    How did you get on then? still set on a compact?

    Still got my mind set on a BMW 2.0td compact and still increasing my budget....lol...

    Ive looked at a few but they werent in a great condition so im going to look at this one at the weekend http://search.autotrader.co.uk/es-uk/www/cars/BMW+3+SERIES/Ne-2-4-5-6-7-8-27-44-49-53-61-64-67-103-133-146-236,N-21-51-54-69-4294967201-4294967202/advert.action?R=200822310844449&distance=176&postc ode=SM2+7HX&channel=CARS&make=BMW&model=3+SERIES&m in_pr=&max_pr=7000&max_mileage==

    Still getting contradicting answers to the swirl valve issue so im still unclear as to if this is going to be a problem. A friend of mine knows a BMW mechanic so he is going to see if he can shed any light on it and if infact it can be bypassed?!

    Ess_Three has also thrown the cat amongst the pigeons with the Skoda Vrs, they are packed with plenty of toys and are extremely punchy for a diesel but its just the styling thats not totally won me over..... 5000 will get you a good example so if the above BMW is no good i will start looking at a possible Vrs.

    A quick question for the S3 owners, what sort of combined mpg are you getting on your S3?
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  36. #35
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    If you were going to get in there anyway to remove them, imo it would be worthwhile buying the 300 upgraded part and fitting it.

    I do like the compacts but i really really like the VRS, i almost bought one like Ess three's last year if you spend a bit of time in them you just appreciate them even more.

    Then again my old man had a 3 series convertible which is basically the same inside as the compact and i found it a nice car to drive (when i got the chance) and be in, so i'd say just pick the one that wins your heart really - they should both be good motors.

    Oh and you'll find the VRS alot cheaper on insurance.

    R.e the S3 - typically 28-33mpg
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  37. #36
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    yeah thats what i was thinking regarding the changing of the part, just doing it for piece of mind if nothing else.

    Theres no doubt the Vrs is a great car especially for the money its just a shame its not just a little bit more aesthetically to my eye but ultimately its only going to be a work horse so looks should be put aside, something im finding hard to do...lol... I guess i'll see how it goes with the compact this weekend as i need to sort a diesel out asap the petrol is crippling me a week...

    Cheers for the answer to the S3 mpg, so mine is pretty much on target with that...

    Keep ya posted with the diesel purchase....
    Audi S3 Ming Blue
    BMW 2.0td Compact Flamenco Red
    Mk3 Golf Gti Indian Red (gone but not forgotten........ the most reliable car ive ever owned...)

  38. #37
    4th Gear

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    I was looking at the VRS aswell, but that interior had put me right off. Could probably live with it mind, but I still thik its awful. The exterior is ok though.

    For that money, I had struggled to find a GOOD GTTDI golf 130, but could find half decent B6 A4 TDi's with the 130 BHP. I think I would be tempted by one of them, as they are very comfortable for the commute.

    Never really looked at BMW's tbh, because the missus doesn't like them (something about the majority of their drivers being a***oles, lol).

  39. #38
    Eeef's Avatar
    Lord of War

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    I used to do 140 mile round trip , Southampton to Slough and back every day and had a Golf mkiv gttdi. Never missed a beat and racked up 160k miles over four years with nothing significantly going wrong. Get any car with the VAG 1.9tdi in it, it's bullet proof.

    Personaly I don't think a 1.4 or similar is a good idea if your commute involves any motorway miles. A stressed 1.4 will perform worse than a cruising 1.9.

  40. #39
    2nd Gear

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    I am now a BMW weasel owner, thanks all for the suggestions peeps but i decided on this. I pick it up on Saturday. Slightly over budget at 6100 but felt worth the extra pennies.......











    Audi S3 Ming Blue
    BMW 2.0td Compact Flamenco Red
    Mk3 Golf Gti Indian Red (gone but not forgotten........ the most reliable car ive ever owned...)

  41. #40
    rodenal's Avatar
    6th Gear

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    Looks nice, so have you decided what to do about the manifold problem? or is that a 130bhp version?
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

 

 
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