Sub £2,000 Cars

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  • Sub £2,000 Cars
  • Premier Icon michaelbowden

    Can only comment on the Saab

    1.9 is not a Lemon, it’s the same engine as in the Alfa. They have EGR and DPF issues but the so do all modern diesels is used for short journies. 1.9 is a much more refined engine that the breathed on Vaux engine.

    I never got 45mpg out of my 2.2 but I’m quite heavy footed

    Premier Icon MikeG

    Octavia TDi? We’ve got an 03 one which happily does 50mpg+ on a run, old enough to not have dpf filters or need the mega expensive oil, tax is c£60 a year. Should be able to get a very good one for £1800.

    edit: can get 2 bikes in the back with the seats down and one wheel off each and although the dash is a bit plasticy the seats are decent.

    Premier Icon parkesie

    Alfa 147 so long as a record of the cam belt water pump and tensioner being replace at the specified intervals and avoid selespeed gearbox.

    Volvo V40 1.9 diesel is a Renault engine.

    They’re actually very reliable and durable workhorse engines but you did say you don’t like French.

    The 2.0 TDCI engine in the Ford will be French too, it’s the same basic engine as Peugeot HDi.

    Not doing very well here are we 😆


    VW diesel golf, looks great, fun to drive and can easily accomodate 2 bikes in the back.


    Rover 75/MGZ-T
    Very comfy and BMW-engined deisel ones will get 45mpg-ish, over 50 on a run. Loads around for next to nothing.
    Generally reliable but do tend to eat brake discs.


    Cheers all for comments so far

    I’m good with french engines, just not the cars :D. Father in laws espace develops a random fault a week which puts me off a bit. Happy to be corrected as my prejudice is based on a very small sample size!

    I’d had a quick look at octavias, but they just seemed expensive for the age / mileage compared to the others. Same with golfs (what I was originally going to go for). I’m still keeping an eye on these though.

    The comment about the 1.9 saab being a lemon came from a thread I saw on here a while ago (can’t find it now) that was then backed up by a look on honest john


    there’s a reason VWs are more pricey, they’re better. for that money even with big mileage they’re miles better than any french shit.


    Ford Focus? Rather than the tanks that are Mondeo’s?
    G/f’s 04 focus will do loads to the tanks, loads more than my golf +


    Why Spend £1800 only to kill the value doing 100 miles per day. A Pre Multiplex Peugeot 306 / 406 2.0HDi (or a Citroen Xsara) will do the job for well under a grand; 55mpg and cheap tax with less DPF / injector / pump issues and adequate build quality.

    They are simpler than the later generation cars, but have far less electrical gremlins as a result – plus spares are laughably cheap & plentiful.

    The VW 1.9TDI PD units (115 / 130 ‘red DI’ models) are also very good, and feel strong due to the way they develop torque – not as refined as some outside of the car but they feel lively.

    Any diesel at this price point has the potential to throw you a £1k bill with some high pressure / turbo issue, so best to limit your investment and be prepared to offload on ebay in the worst case scenario.


    OK, I know its been done but everyones needs are different, hey 🙂

    So i have up to £1,800 to get a mile munching motor. Wish we didn’t have to have a second car but needs must I’m afraid. First car is a petrol Passat Estate, so not one of them! It will do just under 100 miles a day, major A roads / dual carriageway / motorway. Thinking diesel that does 45mpg. I know the default answer in ford mundane-o, and its definitely on my list, but there are a few others I’d been looking at too. Not too fussed about high mileage as long as it runs well. Will be an occasional bike carrier rather than regular, so not too worried about saloon / hatch if seats can fold down.

    Saab 93 2.2 (2003 onwards) – These seem cheap. I’d heard the 1.9 diesel was a bit of a lemon, but whats the 2.2 like? Looking at over 110k on the clock.

    Alfa 147 1.9. Yeah, I know its an alfa, but we had one a few years ago and I really liked it. Am I a fool even considering one?? Can get under 100k on the clock below £2k

    Volvo v40 1.9. I know nothing. Doesn’t need to lug loads of stuff so smaller boot not an issue

    Mazda 6 – Dodgy diesels in the early models?

    Mondeo, as mentioned

    My hearts saying the Saab, but perhaps this is one of those decisions that the head should be in charge of. Skodas, golfs etc seem expensive in comparison. Not a fan of french or vauxhaulls (yes, ironic as the saab is a cavalier in fancy pants).

    Would love to hear your thoughts / experiences 🙂


    Toyota corolla …


    Rover 75/MGZ-T


    been running my 75 estate for 6 years and love it, super comfy ,lots of toys ,getting 41mpg urban and 50mpg on a run with roofbox on(55mpg without box).


    Golf and rover on the list now. I know I said I wasn’t averse to high miles, but with the Corolla a quick scan of autotrader says you’re looking at 150k +. Also now considering <£1k citroen xsara. Thanks all! Any more feedback on 93’s, 147s and v40s?


    Biscuit powered – pug diesel units went into the Mk4 onwards.

    Mk 3 Mondeo, chain driven, 50mpg regardless of the thrashing it got. Estate handles well for a big car. Better built, specced and more comfortable than anything smaller.
    Got the pug based diesel in a V50, treat it careful and still won’t get more than 47mpg and it’s a smaller car ffs.
    So tempted to go back to a Mk3 Mondeo.

    Otherwise, Corsa 1.7cdti or Punto 1.9jtd


    1.9 tdi Ibiza. Either the 100 or the 130. I’ve got the 130 and 55 mpg is easy.
    Don’t seem as popular as Polo or Fabia so can be had for less money.

    Can you get a Honda Civic diesel for that? My petrol one is 10 years old, 115k miles, I’m not easy on cars and it still feels almost new.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Had on Octavia TDi 04/90K miles sold for £2400 18 months ago so that should hit your target now.
    Great car, 3 bikes with 1 wheel off, weekend camping gear for 2 easy. Could do 45mpg with no effort (well sometimes a lot to get it that bad) 50 easy on a run closer to 60 to the alps and back.
    Cost very little year on year.

    Great car, wish we still had it but shipping to Oz was out


    Re Saabs, I have a 9-3 estate with the 1.9 engine at 171K miles, and a 9-5 estate with the 2.2 engine at 155K miles.

    The 1.9 engine is more refined but also prone to far more issues – inlet manifold, alternators, electrics, cam belt changes every 72K miles.

    The 2.2 engine is more agricultural but more reliable – very few issues really plus it is chain driven with the timing chain hardly ever needing replacement.

    Both do very similar MPG in my experience – 42-45 MPG with my right foot. Plus my 2.2 9-5 is pretty much as fast as the supposedly more powerful 1.9 9-3.

    So for more trouble-free motoring, I’d say choose the 2.2.


    PS – VAG 1.9 and 2.5 TDIs are all pretty bulletproof, with the Octavia being the wisest choice. 2.5s are very juicy though.

    Avoid the VW 2.5td units , no where near as good as the 1.9 pd.
    I do 64 miles a day 6 days a week in a Passat.
    Just sold my 2001 1.9pd 100. Bought for £800 at 236k. Sold for £720 at 312K. Used to return over 60mpg all summer , about 55 in the winter but the thermostat was stuck open.

    Never broke down , never failed a MOT on anything other than a bulb.
    No DPF so no expensive worries on that front. They do have a DMF but then what doesnt.

    Now got a 180k Passat 02 , again 1.9pd with 130bhp and 6 speed , cruise , air, parking sensors, £1300.
    2mph/ 1000rpm longer gearing on the 6 speed box so that helps a little i guess.

    Seems to be nearly as economical although too early to check. Computer says 50 on the way in to work and 60mpg on the way home.

    If you dont want another Passat then look for Honda Accord cdti estate, or a Facelift MG Zt-t cdti. Both huge bike swallowers and wont cronicaly depreciate when mega miles added to them

    Fabia estate disel. Hit every branch falling out the ugly tree but reliable, cheap and suprisingly roomy.

    I also looked at an Alfa 156 2.4 td estate when changing cars .
    Amazing all the electrics works , drove brilliantly and looked really smart , was £1250 on an 03 plate with 117k, 1 owner car as well.
    Dont know how economical it would be at 2.4L 140bhp , but I could have happily run around in it .
    Narrow boot though as rear suspension is coil struts.
    Pug 406 2L on an 02 – 03 would also suit , although French so ensure AA recovery is in your budget.

    Premier Icon Woody

    I bought a 9-5 a couple of months ago for much less than your budget and love it, although I’ve had to spend a few £££ to get it right and make sure all the service requirements are up to date. Most comfortable car I’ve ever driven, with not a single rattle or squeek and I expect it to last for a very long time to come.

    Can’t comment on the mpg for diesel as mine is petrol but I had a courtesy car for a few days from the garage, an old 9-3 diesel with nearly 300k on the clock, which was still purring along, so I wouldn’t be concerned at 100k at all as long as it’s been serviced properly.


    BMW 320d touring (e46). Can be had for way under 2k and mine is still going strong at 186k.


    Ran several high mileage Peugeot 406 HDi over several years doing 100 miles a day. Cost around 1500 for a 100k mile saloon one – go for the Exec spec and you get lots of toys (although these don’t always all work, as the French electricals can be a bit hit and miss!)

    Used to get well over 45mpg, even with bike racks permanently on the top.


    Another vote for Rover. I had a diesel 400 that was obscenely fuel efficient, and also the most reliable car I’ve ever owned. Despite the Grandfather image, the 45 and 75 are also remarkably nice places to sit.

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