Which motor for long distance journeys and general reliability?

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  • Which motor for long distance journeys and general reliability?
  • My lovely fat-cat bankers’ Volvo S80D has been officially written off by the insurance company *weeps*.

    Things I liked about it; mpg (brilliant!), ability to shift on when I felt like it, extreme comfort (heated leather seats, fast acting heater), gadgets, looked good (until the zombie woman of Satan crashed into me).

    Things I didn’t like; expensive repairs (but no more than my focus I suppose), stupidly shaped boot, erm… that’s it.

    Anyway, I want to go back to an estate – sadly, the insurance value is likely to be in the region of 2.5K – what suits my list of likes ^^^?

    525D? Might be a little old for 2.5k though.

    Another Volvo?

    Yeah probably another Volvo. No problems with high mileage if it’s been looked after properly.


    I saw the title and thought Volvo seats…

    2.5k ina S80D? How come so low??!


    Mondeo Mk3 2.0 diesel. One of the comfiest long distance mile crunchers I have been in.


    Mondeo Mk3 2.0 diesel. One of the comfiest long distance mile crunchers I have been in.

    Just try to get one that doesn’t munch on its turbo or spit the dummy at its injectors

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Quality, comfortable, high speed mile eaters – those are the sort of cars the Germans make. A4, A6, Passat diesels. However given their popularity I’m not sure what you’ll find for £2.5k.

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    My 330i would go for 2.5k – semi auto, cruises beautifully in leather climate controlled luxury. 108k so far and other than consumables only needed a new rocker cover gasket and a Rad expansion tank to date.

    I’d never say anything bad about my old Mondeo ST TDCI. 50+mpg, all it ever needed in my 35k of ownership was an alternator and for motorways it was awesome.


    I’d wholeheartedly recommend a Honda Accord.
    Quite simply the most comfortable car I’ve ever been in.
    the 2.2TDCI is very economical, pulls like a train and it’s very quiet inside.
    In many years of ownership I’ve not had a single problem with it. Servicing is dirt cheap, it just keeps passing its MOT.

    I’d have changed it years ago for a newer, nicer car but I just can’t convince myself to let it go.


    BMW 530D sport touring.

    Epic mile muncher.

    I had 2, put 175k and 260k miles on them in 4 years…. Not a beat dropped.

    Thanks all. Hadn’t considered a BMW. Hora, low because it’s an ’02 (but only 120K miles). I’m happy with the insurance payout as I only paid £1600 for it 😀

    Just looking at eBay to get a feel of what’s available – most of the motors mentioned above are either out of my price range or have 160K on the clock, or are older than ’02 (feels wrong to be buying something older than I had!). There are some bloody brilliant cars out there but I have to reign myself in and get something family-orientated…

    Samuri – I had a very old Accord which I loved but mine was very, very slow.


    Mines dead fast and a fanny magnet. 😉

    The quoted figures are 2 litre diesel average of 0-60 in about 9.5 seconds for the 2.2 TDCi but the real joy is the torque. It’s relentless above 50mph.

    If you get an Accord chipped it’s got more torque than a Ferrari 360.

    Had another look Samuri. The head says, “Yes” but the heart says, “Middle aged corner shop owner on his way to the cash and carry”. Sad, I know, but I like something with a little panache, even if I have to endure being burned off at the lights by some young’un in a Corsa.

    Premier Icon somafunk

    At the risk of ridicule have you considered a Jag x-type diesel?, my neighbour has one and it’s a very nice place to be on a long drive, never needs any mech work and is very reliable.

    £2.5k or thereabouts should get you a very decent 04 plate

    Premier Icon chakaping

    I like something with a little panache,

    You’re probably not going to go for a 2-litre petrol Mondeo then.

    I’d get another one tomorrow if I needed an estate.

    Hang on though, you had a Volvo S80! Do you define “panache” as “looking like a retired accountant”?


    Mazda 6 estate. 2.0D – the excellent 2.2 prob out of your price range. Mine’s good, been v reliable over 40k miles and does all the things the OP asks for. You’ll be in the 100k range for £2.5k, I bought mine with 70k on it. You’ll need he ‘sport’ for leather seats though.

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    Mk3 mondeo, you can here lots of my turbo blow etc etc type stories, but you hav eto look at the numbers sold. lots so there will be plenty of sob stories out there.
    we put 90k (110k total) on ours, it seems pointless changing at the mo, and if i had to change i’d go for another 2l 130 TDCi or maybe a 2.2. the hatchs are big and the estates are huge inside.
    I almost had a 2.2 accord, nothing against them at all.
    2l petrol mondeos are cheap as chips and tend not to have mega miles on them, i know to one retired gentleman who a, does not hang about, b, gets 38mpg from mixed driving 40mpg on motorway cruise from his.
    they just tend to be heavy on the road tax.

    But you’ll end up with a another volvo, an estate this time.
    nowt wrong with that.

    b r

    Reminds me of my old auto Omega 3.0i. Most comfortable long distance car I’ve ever had. Solid and fast too, in ‘police’ spec. 🙂

    I swapped it for a E39 535i, nice place to be, but it felt like a step back in car terms – older chassis, style etc.

    What about a Saab 95, or another Volvo?

    If you look at an X-type (which BTW is a cracking car, I had the 3.0i last year), check for chassis rot.


    “Mk3 mondeo, you can here lots of my turbo blow etc etc type stories, but you hav eto look at the numbers sold. lots so there will be plenty of sob stories out there.”

    and plenty who dont service them as often as they should (or at all)


    45k from new in a Mk4 Mondeo 160 just keep filling it up with diesel. Storms up hills, wooshes past slower traffic, comfortable roomy and quiet inside, boot big enough to have a party in, park it anywhere no-one gives it a second glance. Loads to choose from, dark silver colour means it doesn’t even need cleaning.


    b r

    45k from new in a Mk4 Mondeo 160 just keep filling it up with diesel.

    That’s barely a rec, I use to do that annually.

    Premier Icon martymac

    mk3 mondeo, 2.5k will get you a well specced one.
    2.2tdci is the engine of choice, the 2.0 115bhp has a slight flat spot at low revs, which is a pita (i have one) and the 2.0 130bhp has belt driven cams, (maintenance ££)
    a very boring car, mainly because it just gets on with whatever you want to do with no drama.
    i will probably buy another, if i can wear this one out. (156k, going strong, hasnt been regularly serviced in the 80k ive had it)


    Mondeo 2.2 estate here. No issues, cheap to run and service. Had the 2.0 130bhp hatch before again without problems. All the engines are chain driven and no issues with breakage like BMW.
    Keep looking at new cars but every time I get back in mine I realise how good it is and the competition needs to be much better to justify the cost of change.


    “2.0 130bhp has belt driven cams, (maintenance ££)”

    OH NOOOOOS maintainance.

    you realise its much cheaper to change a belt every 40-60k/3 years than it is to sort a chain once its gone baggy. –
    most chains do have a service interval at around 100k just not a time based one like belts


    as if by magic…..

    My 2011 plate Golf GTI is nearing 100,000 and will be on 110k when handed back to the lease compnay. It had a new engine at 75k due to a cam chain tensioner failing…thank god it was a lease car.

    from the other thread…..

    Depending on how damaged your car was, could you not buy it as scrap from the insurers and rebuild it?


    2.5k will get you a lot of car – particularly if you look at the bigger end of the market.

    5 series, e class, v70, a6.

    Personally, I’d avoid diesel for 2.5k. Lots of potential expensive problems as they age. The reliable ones tend not to be for sale.

    Premier Icon finishthat

    Saab 9-5 – avoid the 9-3 loads more issues

    Premier Icon igm

    Avoid Audi if you do high mileages. Our experience of 4 of them (my wife’s company cars) was not good. Bits of engine and engine management packing up, air con dying, not that well built really.

    The current shape Ford Mundane was a revaluation – so that’s how cars are meant to be screwed together. Only car I’ve ever willingly had a second one of when the lease was up.

    Currently on an S-Max (boring but good – posh bike van) and a BMW 320d ED. The BMW is not as refined as the Fords but for high mileage (62.3 real life mpg) and reasonable speed (8ish secs 0-60) it’s a very good compromise. Slightly better drive than the Mondeo too – far better than the S-Max.

    I’m coming round to the Mondeo… Might get a bit of credit and up my budget a bit though.

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