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Small car recommendations please?

edited 11 March at 7:27AM in Motoring
18 replies 451 views
onthegoonthego Forumite
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edited 11 March at 7:27AM in Motoring
Any recommendations please for small cars from 2007 onwards that are economical to run, good in old age, that can handle hills/motorway?  Do I need a 1.4 or would a smaller engine cope?  Spending £1.5-3k, looking for petrol not diesel, manual gearbox.  Could be as small as a 2-seater, as long as the engine copes.
Many thanks.


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Replies

  • edited 11 March at 8:26AM
    StubodStubod Forumite
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    edited 11 March at 8:26AM
    Toyota Yaris. 1.3 ?
  • GoudyGoudy Forumite
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    It depends on what you're after, we've ran a few Fiat Panda's since 2003 and they've all been really good cheap hacks and have handled everything we've thrown at them, even long European tours.

    We've still three in the family at the moment. a 2012, 2013 and a 2014 and no one wants to part with any of them.

    Super reliable (yes and it's a Fiat), cheap to run and service and their issues are few and far between, but well known and easy to sort or prevent.
    They are much roomier than a lot of the competition, but the sit up driving position isn't for everyone, again the competition aren't any better.

    A lot of small cars have 3 cylinder engines that can be feel a bit rough, but the 1.2 Panda has a pretty smooth 4 cylinder engine that's been around since the mid '80's in one form or another, so it's pretty well tried and tested and the 5 speed gearbox is slick with well spaced ratios.
    On paper it might not be the most economical, but on the road they are on par with most other small engined city cars.

    The sweet spot for them should be within budget, a 69hp 1.2 litre around 2012 or 2013, after which they fiddled with the engine ECU and they became a bit strangled when rev'd a bit higher.
    At this age what out for rusty sump pans (a wipe with an oily rag at service protects it) and make sure the cam belt was changed at 5 years, other than that, just the usual used car stuff.
  • edited 11 March at 8:48AM
    noclafnoclaf Forumite
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    edited 11 March at 8:48AM
    Lot of good options out there, spoilt for choice. Civic, Focus, Ibiza for medium sized hatchbacks but to keep them compact then Yaris, Jazz, Micra, Fiesta....so many options. Mazda 2 as a alternative option..they seem v good value based on used prices.
    I drive a MK1 focus which honestly has been the best car I've ever owned (reliability and handling on point) however given its now 16 yrs old and as the MK1 is quite old now I would suggest a newer version for your budget e.g: MK2/3
  • onthegoonthego Forumite
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    Thank you all, that's a lot of useful options!  
    I don't mind medium size, I've only owned old Corsa's and Polo's up until now, but realised I could reel the ego in and go smaller if it's more economical/environmentally friendly and can still get up the big hill to work!
  • jacsll55jacsll55 Forumite
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    onthego said:
    Any recommendations please for small cars from 2007 onwards that are economical to run, good in old age, that can handle hills/motorway?  Do I need a 1.4 or would a smaller engine cope?  Spending £1.5-3k, looking for petrol not diesel, manual gearbox.  Could be as small as a 2-seater, as long as the engine copes.
    Many thanks.


    Fiesta or a polo?
    Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost are really good.
  • treeroytreeroy Forumite
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    jacsll55 said:
    onthego said:
    Any recommendations please for small cars from 2007 onwards that are economical to run, good in old age, that can handle hills/motorway?  Do I need a 1.4 or would a smaller engine cope?  Spending £1.5-3k, looking for petrol not diesel, manual gearbox.  Could be as small as a 2-seater, as long as the engine copes.
    Many thanks.


    Fiesta or a polo?
    Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost are really good.
    ecoboost fiestas are good but not within budget.
    You would get a non turbo fiesta 1.25 for that money, perfectly decent small car.

    Personally if you want a modern-ish car on small budget, and are happy to go smaller, then I would go smaller - cheaper smaller car = more value for money / lower mileage, bigger spec etc.

    I would be inclined to go Fiat 500 / Twingo sort of size.
  • The_RainmakerThe_Rainmaker Forumite
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    Fiat Panda upto 2010/11.
    Simple and cheap to run.
    "When yer tea's oot, yer tea's oot"
  • couriervanmancouriervanman Forumite
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    toyota,vw or honda would be my choice
  • onomatopoeia99onomatopoeia99 Forumite
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    I've had a Renalut Twingo for a little while, 0.9 turbo engine which is fine to maintain motorway speeds and go up hills.  Also turns in to corners really precisely because it doesn't have a heavy engine over the steering wheels or drive going through them, and has a superb turning circle for the same reason. 

    I got 50mpg on a motorway run at 70mph (or a bit over) in blustery conditions and about 45mpg commuting.  Very happy with it so far.  Rear-engine, rear wheel drive is not everyone's cup of tea through, so if you think about one test drive first to see if you get on with it.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
  • mgfvvcmgfvvc Forumite
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    jacsll55 said:
    Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost are really good.
    The 1.0 Ecoboost engines had a significant number of serious failures. I wouldn't take the risk.

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