Car Buying Recommendations UK

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
My employers giving me £8,000 for a new car plus I get to chop in the 3year old pristine Clio auto I'm driving/hating at the moment. I've got to buy from a franchised dealer but I've already got a 307sw so don't need practicality.

What do I buy/consider?
 

leftbanke7

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2004
746
1
West Valley City, Utah
mpw said:
My employers giving me £8,000 for a new car plus I get to chop in the 3year old pristine Clio auto I'm driving/hating at the moment. I've got to buy from a franchised dealer but I've already got a 307sw so don't need practicality.

What do I buy/consider?
I was going to suggest a TVR Speed 12 but your budget is just a bit short for that one.
 

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
leftbanke7 said:
I was going to suggest a TVR Speed 12 but your budget is just a bit short for that one.

hmmmm...might have to consider not spec'ing the floor mats to help on the budget?

Latest idea is a Mini ONE with alloys and black leather. I’m not a massive fan of the styling or pretend heritage but it does drive well (I read) and they’re holding their value at the moment anyway.

Anyone drive a Mini, specifically the ONE, and have any thoughts?
 

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
kettle said:
german car. small audi or a VW?
OK the A2's been added to the test drive list but the Lupo and Polo are just too bland.
 

monty77

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2005
591
167
UK, South Coast
How much is the Clio worth? £4k?

...gives £12k to play with, nice enough budget :)

- Mk1 Elise
- Audi S3 (bit biased on that one ;) )
- Clio V6
- Scoob
- Golf GTi Turbo plus £4k on a 350BHP conversion from www.jabbasport.com

Any of that tempt you?

A
 

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
monty77 said:
How much is the Clio worth? £4k?

...gives £12k to play with, nice enough budget :)

- Mk1 Elise
- Audi S3 (bit biased on that one ;) )
- Clio V6
- Scoob
- Golf GTi Turbo plus £4k on a 350BHP conversion from www.jabbasport.com

Any of that tempt you?

A
Yeah I’m looking at a ~£12k budget (but don’t forget I’ll not be paying VAT)

What tempts me?

Mk1 Elise = Yes, but company only buys new.
Audi S3 = Yes, but company only buys new again.
Clio V6 = No, don’t like the car myself although I hear it’s great fun and I’m glad Renault have the balls to make some of the niche/commercial failures they do. And the company only buys new.
Scoob = No, would you opt for the optional Burberry trim?
Golf GTI Turbo etc = No, see 1, 2 & 4ish above.

I’m to the Mini and Audi showrooms in about an hour but am still considering a highish spec. Fiesta or will see if there’s a Kia Rio with a Dual 2.5 G5 on the option list!
 

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
edesignuk said:
If you're not paying VAT, you could get a nice new Cooper for £12k :cool:
It would be at the top end of my budget, but fingers crossed they don't/have never driven the Clio auto I'm trading in.

If it comes to it (and I haven't looked close at the spec yet) I'd rather have the ONE with Air Con. leather, and alloys than a standard Cooper, whatever I get won't have badges so there's no image loss or anything and the performance will be fine.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
26
London
You don't care about practicality. You want a fun car to drive. Therefore we are looking for something front or mid-engined and rear wheel drive (it's so much more engaging than front-wheel drive). Dare I suggest an MX-5. You can get a 1.8 for 15,500 (including VAT, so ~12,800 without it). It might have a dodgy image but it's a great car to drive.

Edit to add: the 1.6 versions are cheaper, but not much cheaper so the 1.8 is the way to go.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
26
London
OK I see you say that 12,000 is the top of the budget so an MX-5 is out (at list price at least). Via autotrader I found this. Brand new MG-TF for £13,000 inc VAT so £10,750 without VAT. Well within budget. Much more fun to drive than a front-wheel drive car! And with summer coming a convertable too :)
 

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
robbieduncan said:
OK I see you say that 12,000 is the top of the budget so an MX-5 is out (at list price at least). Via autotrader I found this. Brand new MG-TF for £13,000 inc VAT so £10,750 without VAT. Well within budget. Much more fun to drive than a front-wheel drive car! And with summer coming a convertable too :)
The MG's been added to the shopping list, I didn't realise they were that cheap. Of course I'll be shopping at a main dealer so it may still be to much.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
26
London
mpw said:
The MG's been added to the shopping list, I didn't realise they were that cheap. Of course I'll be shopping at a main dealer so it may still be to much.
That's a special deal (it's more liek 16k list so the MX-5 is cheaper at list). I'm sure you can get 1-2k of either at a main dealer though. Also as the MX-5 is about the be replaced (pictures of the new ones are in the magazines this month) get ready for some deals to get rid of existing stock.
 

drlunanerd

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2004
1,596
81
UK
Check out www.honestjohn.co.uk for excellent advice and information on new (and secondhand) cars.

You can push for big discounts at main dealers these days so your money may stretch further than you think.

The Mini ONE can easily be chipped to boost power to Cooper level, if you're interested. The engines in both models are identical save for the difference in engine management chip programming. Personally I'd go for a Cooper S convertible in black, but I'm biased, and it's out of your budget.

If practicality is no issue then might I suggest you head down to your nearest Honda motorcycle dealer, and pick up a VFR800 or FireBlade, giving you loads of cash to spare for essential clothing and accessories. Again, I'm biased here too ;-)
 

mpw

Guest
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
drlunanerd said:
Check out www.honestjohn.co.uk for excellent advice and information on new (and secondhand) cars.

You can push for big discounts at main dealers these days so your money may stretch further than you think.

The Mini ONE can easily be chipped to boost power to Cooper level, if you're interested. The engines in both models are identical save for the difference in engine management chip programming. Personally I'd go for a Cooper S convertible in black, but I'm biased, and it's out of your budget.

If practicality is no issue then might I suggest you head down to your nearest Honda motorcycle dealer, and pick up a VFR800 or FireBlade, giving you loads of cash to spare for essential clothing and accessories. Again, I'm biased here too ;-)
If two wheels was on the cards I think it'd be a Triumph SpeedTriple.
 

monty77

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2005
591
167
UK, South Coast
Oh, it has to be new - didn't read that bit.

Seat Leon Cupra? Possibly too big
Seat Ibiza Cupra?

...both have VAG parts/quality but for less dosh. Residuals wont be as strong though.

A

PS: Don't see anything remotely burberry about a 350BHP Golf, you don't HAVE to add stupidly large alloys and a bodykit - all the changes are out of sight ;)
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
12 daddy G's really don't go that far anymore do they... :eek:

It's a shame your company isn't willing to allow you to go to a Car SuperMarket and find something nearly new with the remaining manufacturers warranty.

Personally I'd go for the 90PS 1.4 TDi A2, it's a relatively rare car and it has that sense of style that no other small car can match, don't forget to haggle for the full length glass roof as well :D

I'd avoid the MINI.... far too ubiquitous, and the MG is a REALLY OLD car, what about a Tigra?
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
26
London
iGav said:
12 daddy G's really don't go that far anymore do they... :eek:

It's a shame your company isn't willing to allow you to go to a Car SuperMarket and find something nearly new with the remaining manufacturers warranty.

Personally I'd go for the 90PS 1.4 TDi A2, it's a relatively rare car and it has that sense of style that no other small car can match, don't forget to haggle for the full length glass roof as well :D

I'd avoid the MINI.... far too ubiquitous, and the MG is a REALLY OLD car, what about a Tigra?
The Tigra is front-wheel drive. Why not just get a Corsa? Seriously if you are going to get a sports car, which is what the Tigra is pretending to be, then get a real one which will handle properly.
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
robbieduncan said:
The Tigra is front-wheel drive. Why not just get a Corsa? Seriously if you are going to get a sports car, which is what the Tigra is pretending to be, then get a real one which will handle properly.
So it's front wheel drive... the MG is a decade old car, and is built like it too.

The thing is, he only has £12k to spend, so at that price whatever he goes with is going to be a compromise... sure the Tigra is FWD, and only a 1.4 but it is a brand new design. The MG is in effect a decade old car, with dubious styling and build quality, built by a company that is continuously on the verge of going under... but it's RWD.

Neither of them are what I would class as sportscars though.
 

petej

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2004
132
0
While I agree that the MG is by no means a new car, it sure is good fun. Personally, I prefer older cars to the sterile new models. Sure there are some great new cars out there but you have to pay for most of them. I previously had a 1995 Clio and found it to be a great car. The new Clios I hate, they are just too uninvolving unless you get the sport models. I now have an MG F and love driving it. In the winter, you have the fun of rear wheel drive, light weight and wide tyres. In the summer put the roof down and enjoy. Even in winter, so long as it's not raining, I put the roof down.
There are plenty who argue that the MX-5 is a better car. At the time that I made the decision between the, the MX-5 felt a little livelier at the rear and it had a lower driving position. For me, the appeal of the MG was it's mid engine postion, makes servicing more expensive, but sounds great and feels so different from most front heavy cars.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
26
London
iGav said:
So it's front wheel drive... the MG is a decade old car, and is built like it too.

The thing is, he only has £12k to spend, so at that price whatever he goes with is going to be a compromise... sure the Tigra is FWD, and only a 1.4 but it is a brand new design. The MG is in effect a decade old car, with dubious styling and build quality, built by a company that is continuously on the verge of going under... but it's RWD.

Neither of them are what I would class as sportscars though.
The MX-5 is at least 10 years old as well (there have been facelifts but it's basically the same underneeth). It still regularly wins awards as the best drivers car on the market. I can't imagine that the Tigra will manage that this year, let alone be judged worth making in 10 years time. It's a Corsa in drag. If the budget would stretch I would buy an MX-5, as it won't the MG is a good alternative. It's not as good, but it's still worth it.