Banger(ish)nomics – Station car

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  • Banger(ish)nomics – Station car
  • Looking at options for a station car. A reliable, cheap beater that can be used for short jaunts and left at the station, hence nothing flash or shiny. Also needs to be up to occasional motorway use to and from Heathrow.

    Reliable, petrol, 5dr, air con and isofix are the only real essentials. Bit of fun to drive in the local lanes an advantage (used to have a sparky little Polo coupé that was like a roller skate!)

    Fiesta? Up/Citigo? Anything else?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I have a 1.4l petrol Fiesta Zetec from 2007 that I use for similar.

    It’s very pleasant and engaging to drive with enough power, precise steering and well-balanced handling. And Ford’s design from that era (bodywork and interior) is excellent, IMO.

    Been very reliable too.

    5lab
    Member

    suzuki swift sport? panda 100?

    Matt, thought about it, but 2dr only. Needs to be a 4dr/5dr for ease of small person access.

    Chaka, very reassuring, thanks.

    5lab, two I hadn’t thought of. Will research. Thanks.

    doris5000
    Member

    can’t offer a personal opinion, but my boss bought himself a slightly aged 3-door Suzuki Ignis as an emergency thing to get himself through a couple of months after his old motor was written off.

    He liked it so much he’s still doing 50 miles a day in it 5 years later…

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    206?

    Or if you can find one a unrusty civic sport

    Nico
    Member

    Up/Citigo

    That’s not going to be a “beater” – I suppose it’s all relative. Small runabouts tend to be expensive as they are popular with first time buyers, for insurance reasons. On the other hand you can buy old luxo-barges for modest outlay (if price is a factor). Anything Japanese – the world’s your oyster. I’d go for something like a Berlingo simply because the most fun car I ever owned was a Renault 4 and I feel this is the modern equivalent. YMMV.

    andrewreay
    Member

    If your trip to the airport isn’t a long one, I’d second the Panda.

    Had one for similar purposes, and it was great. Zippy off the lights and great fun around town and in the lanes. Feels like a go kart.

    Isofix isn’t standard, so you’d need to check to be sure. Kids loved it though.

    I can’t pretend it’s the perfect motorway cruiser.

    But… it’s got character. Cheap to run and easy to fix.

    You start to understand why there are so many on the roads in Italy after you’ve spent some time with one.

    IHN
    Member

    Mazda 2. We’ve have a 55 plate one for eight (?) years that won’t die, cracking little thing.

    Dunno about the Isofix thing, no nippers chez IHN.

    There was a Saab 9-5 on sale in the classifieds a while back. Almost completely inappropriate, and I want it if I get one of the jobs I’m applying for, but I’m pretty sure it’ll have ISOfix, and it definitely has five doors.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    At your age, I’d recommend this.

    Buy it, drive it, put petrol in it, park it, come back to it, start it, drive home in it, forget about it..

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Looking at options for a station car. A reliable, cheap beater that can be used for short jaunts and left at the station, hence nothing flash or shiny.

    12 hours and no one has suggested a bike or posted a picture of a polar bear?

    What about some sensible shoes and walk to the station?

    Standards are slipping round here.

    captmorgan
    Member

    Mk8 civic, does everything you want with traditional Japanese reliability

    munrobiker
    Member

    We used to have a Citigo and it was a great car – I wish we’d never sold it. Everything was just so well thought out, and you just rev’ed the nuts out of it. It was both fun and sensible. Some pals of ours since bought an Up! and they love it for just the same reasons.

    What about some sensible shoes

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    We have a Nissan Micra 160SR (K12) that ticks almost all of those boxes, like most small cars motorway driving is not it’s forte. There is a 5DR version but they are most common as the 3DR. Nippy little go kart, totally reliable and surprisingly roomy.

    The answer to all these questions is ALWAYS a Panda 100hp.

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Christ, talk about first world problems.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Polo? They seem to go on forever.

    Christ, talk about first world problems.

    We call him CFH

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Mazda2 Sport. My 59 plate was 80% of the fun of my Type R and I hardly ever got to use the last 20% of the Honda.

    Cheap to insure, cheap to fix and built of the Fiesta chassis so handles really well.

    Screams Honda Jazz, should tick all those boxes at a economical and reliable package (coming from someone sticking 400-500 miles a week on one)

    Focus 2ltr zetec.
    They made them by the thousands which means cheap and plentiful.
    You don’t give a budget but for less than a couple of grand you can get a nice clean example.
    Should tick those boxes but be a lot nicer on the motorway runs and the handling is right up there with the best fwd hatchbacks.
    Also seats down means room for bikes inside x 2, which Shirley had to be a factor.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Christ, talk about first world problems.

    He’s asking for a friend, CFH will be driven to the station in a Maybach.

    BillMC
    Member

    Put a 2003 Punto into a garage yesterday, a gift to stepson for commuting to his first job (shifts). It needed a cat and a manifold, price quoted : ‘£210 all in’. Blimey. They get quite well reviewed by the AA.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    Having owned a Panda 100HP for 7 years, I can categorically say that the answer is NOT a 100HP.

    It’s fun on smooth tarmac, not potholed country lanes.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    Agree. 100hp is a borderline classic now, and would be a travesty to wastes as a station car. However, a normal panda would be a perfect fit. Cheap as chips to run, insure, fuel and fix, undesirable to nick, and some have even got aircon. Surprisingly fun to drive in a go kart sort of way, and boingy suspension and tallish walled tyres laugh off potholes. Perfect for the man with nothing to prove (or compensate for 😉) with his car.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    I’d say Fiesta too, the basic petrol ones (like a 1.4 zetec) are pretty bulletproof and surprisingly good fun to drive. There are loads of them about, so very easy to pick one up in the spec you prefer.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    Mini Clubman?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    The answer to all these questions is ALWAYS a Panda 100hp.

    Put a 2003 Punto into a garage yesterday, a gift to stepson for commuting to his first job (shifts). It needed a cat and a manifold, price quoted : ‘£210 all in’. Blimey. They get quite well reviewed by the AA.

    The only two cars ever to score Zero on the NCAP safety tests IIRC!

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    2018 panda scored zero; original new panda scored 4/5. Standards have come on, the Panda hasn’t. Not sure you can knock a second hand station car candidate for not have active lane assist and city emergency braking though…

    Lionheart
    Member

    Micra and Polo have had those duties here and carried them out admirably.

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