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What diesel would you recommend for £3k?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Chat' started by benw123, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    I've got £3000 to spend on a second car for commuting, and I'm looking for inspiration! At the moment, my saved searches on AutoTrader include Audi A3 8L TDI, VW Golf GT TDI, Bora TDI SE, Seat Leon TDI SE and 2004-on Ford Focus TDCI.

    The brief is:
    • Must be as frugal as possible
    • Less than 150g/km for £125.00 (or less) road tax
    • Reasonably presentable (i.e. not a Kia, Hyundai, Rover etc)
    • No French cars
    • Few toys wouldn't go amiss
    • Performance/handling not important
    Any ideas or reasons for picking one from the above would be appreciated! It's starting to get to me as I spend every day on AutoTrader and eBay...
    #1
  2. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    Audi a2 or golf 1.4 Blue motion... Unfortunately they are far from your budget ! Even the PD 1.9 tdi 100Bhp (wich is within your budget) wont do less than 150g/Km so it wont fall into the cheap tax band. Your only option is a comon rail 1.5 diesel renault...
    #2
  3. dsmclark40v
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    dsmclark40v Member

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    wouldn't it just be more frugal to use your currenty car (according to your sig) which is a tdi anyway, so returns a good mpg, for commuting? as after you spent your £3k you still have insurance to consider as well as the tax and then there is servicing and maintanance and two cars to fill up!
    just my 2p

    Sam
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  4. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    It's a very good point, but the problem is I'm likely to cover 17,000+ miles this year (it's what I covered last year in our A3 plus my Prius when I had it) and I don't want to run the A3 into the ground. It's still fairly low mileage for its age, and so I'd rather just get a cheap workhorse that I can run and run without fear of depreciation. Then my wife gets the A3 to use too (she's a stay-at-home Mum).

    At least, that's the plan! Going to look at a Bora TDI tomorrow.
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  5. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    B5/5.5 Passat TDI, not sure if it will dip under the emissions bracket, but if you can find one for £3k, it won't lose much, and will be bomb proof! My PD115 has 170k miles on it, and it's brilliant!
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  6. gradwells
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    gradwells Member

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    Most £3000 Diesels a worn out money pits that you will spend ££'s on over the next few months on to get it back into shape . Might be better to lease a golf , polo or A3 type car and just return it ti a finance company after a period .
    Ian
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  7. gradwells
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    gradwells Member

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    Most £3000 Diesels a worn out money pits that you will spend ££'s on over the next few months on to get it back into shape . Might be better to lease a golf , polo or A3 type car and just return it ti a finance company after a period .
    Ian
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  8. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    Find a good b5 passat or audi a4 tdi and you wont look back. Good cars still sell for 2-3k. They will return 50Mpg+ all day long, wont feel slow with the 110Bhp under the bonnet and with a tuning chip will feel better than the PD you have at the moment while still returning decent Mpg. The engines are bulletproof and will outlast many modern engines. High milleage not a problem- i know of a facelifted b5 saloon with about 400K and a passat with 250k all run like new. Its suspension wich go on these cars but they are cheap enough to repair. Remember: buy cheap, buy twice ! Stick with genuine parts from ECP/dealer and you wont look back + when it comes to sell you wont loose much money as these cars do not depreciate any further. Tax will still be 190 a year but you will have masses of space (in the passat) and they built for cruising the motorways. I do not reccomend the PD engine as while powerfull and eficient, its not strong enough and when it breaks its costly. If you lucky to find a decent one then you might as well go for it- post 2001 PD engines are in the cheaper tax band-about £160 a year-but they are thirstier than the early models. Also the b5.5 is a step backwards in quality. The reason why b5 was a good car is because it was an audi underneath ! There are many many differences between the b5 and the facelifted b5.5 passat.
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  9. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    Lupo 1.4 TDI, Get it chipped to 105bhp, it will do 65mpg and costs £35 to tax. Perfect commuter car and hold their value very well due to being quite rare and so cheap to run/own £3k should get you one.
    #9
  10. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Interesting comments - thanks guys. The Bora I looked at was a bit ropey (hardly prepped at all) and tonight, I stopped by to check out an Audi A2 1.4 TDI. Seemed nice enough but the passenger door didn't close properly, and the rear interior light bulb glowed blue suggesting it had been played about with. No service history either.

    My missus had (kindly) upped the budget to £4k which opens the door to nicer Golf TDIs and maybe 3-series diesels, while I spotted a 2004 170k Honda Accord i-CTDI on AutoTrader at a shade over £4k. Huge mileage but maybe Honda reliability? I drove one of these last year and it was superb.

    The Lupo would certainly be super-cheap to run but I want to be in a nice cabin with some toys to play with.

    My search continues...
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  11. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Took the plunge today and bought a Bora ST TDI. It's a 52-plate, two owners, full history with lots of bills, 116k on the clock and got them down to £2750. It feels very fit although the cheap price was because I need to get some new rubber and its second cambelt. A car you buy with the head, not the heart, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks for everyone who contributed to the thread - great advice.
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  12. bad-vw-boy
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    bad-vw-boy Member

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    Nice one i have a bora 130pd and its chipped to 175bhp pushing out 325iibs ft of torque , i love driving it, the only down side was the sloppy suspension which i sorted with a set of kw springs and dampers.
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  13. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Yeah the suspension on mine is a bit ropey. I suspect it's the bushes more than anything - gonna get underneath to have a look this weekend. Other than that, the car's been pressed into service and is doing quite well! Have a small list of faults which I hope to cure over time, but otherwise it's quite good.
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  14. ianysm
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    ianysm Active Member

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    What power is the bora then? Not a bad price and over a grand lef tof the budget!

    No toys though?
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  15. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    It's the 130bhp 6-speed version. I think torque is around 230lb/ft - it's certainly punchy. The ST has a few toys (A/C, computer, CD player, 4 x e/windows, e/mirrors, remote locking etc) but it's lower spec than an SE (centre armrest, 16" alloys).

    Few more small faults popped up this week but nothing too expensive. Four days in and it's doing well!
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  16. aposegil
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    aposegil Member

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    pity you bought a tdi. I would have suggested getting a 1.8 or 2l n/a and with lpg as you will find it is a lot cheaper to run that a tdi car. ok you dont have the turbo punch but if you are looking for small runnign cost you can't go wrong.

    anyhow sounds like you bought yourself a very nice car, have heard on vw forums that bora suspension is a bit **** a set of uprated springs helps and good bushes.
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  17. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Hmm, didn't consider an LPG. I know that while the MPG is nothing to write home about, the low cost of the fuel more than makes up the difference. Hey ho - made my bed and all that!
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  18. aposegil
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    aposegil Member

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    mate thats cool it was only a idea for future :) or anyone else considering what you did.

    like i said the bora sounds nice :)
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