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Frosty66
Hi !

I am having to replace my 97 Astra which I've had for 10 years so my knowledge of different cars, is a bit outdated not having had to consider these things for so long.

I have rather taken a liking to Ford Focus Estate and the C-Max and it will be somewhere around the 2005 year give or take a few years. Is the C-Max a Focus in a slightly different body or are there real differences to consider ?

I only do about 8000 miles per year and mostly around town, not too much sitting in traffic though.

The main considerations are whether I can improve on economy over a 1600 Astra 8v and also the reliability. It looks like the Diesel versions are the more economical although I am not doing high mileage. But I have heard that diesels, particularly the 1.6 is a bit problematic and expensive to repair and are not actually Ford. Are the 1.8's any better ?

Considering this and he fact that I've never had a diesel so know nothing I am still considering the petrol versions although they are less economical, how are they on reliability and which are the ones to go for as far as economy and reliability ?

Any advice about this or any other aspevts of buyinmg a Focus/C-Max very much appreciated, since my 97 Astra was made there seems to have been so many things that can go wrong added to the average car !

Frosty66
tomo2001
If you're only doing 8000 miles a year stick with a petrol is probably the general advice you will get.
Mike77
Your right about the 1.6 diesels, they do have well documented issues. Many owners will have had no problems with theirs though. The 1.8 diesels are based on an older generation engine with more modern bits bolted on, and are very reliable. No, duel mass clutches and no DPF's like the 1.6 either so that was enough to put my mind at ease. The petrol models seem to fair quite well, but as you say are less economical, and will be more to tax. The main thing you need to weigh up is fuel costs. Petrol is cheaper, but less mpg. Diesel costs more, but better mpg !!! I probably do less miles than you in a year, and I plumped for the diesel, after owning a few I've just come to love the modern diesels, and if you've owned your astra for 10 years I would really recommend you test drive a diesel, just so you can feel how refined they have become. My reply may be a little biased but take your time, research both fuel types, and go for whichever suits your needs. Either way I think you'll be pleased.
Frosty66
Many thanks guys, my calculations show that despite diesel costing a bit more, the extra MPG even with my relatively low mileage makes diesel more economical. However factoring in the probable higher cost of a diesel model may well cancel out that saving. So I'm wondering if in my situation the decision to be made is on reliability alone. I think I have rules out the 1.6 diesel so would the 1.8 give me more trouble and bills than a petrol ? If going for a petrol which is the one to go for ?

As I mentioned I quite like the Focus estate and the C-Max and can see myself going for either if the right deal comes up. Does everything I discover about the Focus reliability wise also go for the C-Max or are there real differences and should I be asking about C-Max's seperately ?

Regards,

Kevin
Mike77
Best place to have a look mate is a site called 'honest john' they do very good car reviews. Scroll down the page and on the left select Ford from the list, then the focus according to which year your thinking of buying. It will then give a summary and other options such as good points and bad points. Then do the same for the c-max. I'm sure the c-max will only be a different body, running the same engines. Like I said,,, research before you buy to avoid finding out afterwards !
bottletree
In the last week I just changed my focus 1.6 2006 diesel for a 2 litre 2005 C-max. The difference is huuuuuuge, I got rid of the focus because of dpf issues and only after 54000 miles,pathetic. This cmax may be a year younger but doesn't have the dpf. Yes its slightly more tax and poorer mpg,but its going to cost me vasts amounts less in the long run.
When you go for a new model don't go for the basic lx or style models. Get the zetec or ghia. Much better options and extras.
catch
I have a spread sheet set up to compare running costs, so here are a few bits of data.

You say your looking around a 2005 reg, so I've done some figures based on a Mk2 Focus, to give you an idea regards the cost differences a 1.8TDCi against a 1.8 petrol, and a 1.6 petrol based on 8,000 miles and based on the official Urban mpg figures for all three variants. I've also included the Road Tax differences

1.8 Petrol £1725
1.8TDCi ..[u]£1240[/u]
.................-£485
Road Tax ...[u]-£60[/u]
[b]Savings....£545[/b]

1.6 Petrol... £1577
1.8 TDCi ...[u].£1240[/u]
....................-£337
Road Tax.......[u]-£35[/u]
[b]Savings........£372[/b]

Mike77 is running a diesel 1.8TDCi on less annual mileage than you say your doing. And he is not experiencing any problems, because as he says the two big issues with the 1.6 TDCi , the Dual Mass Fly Wheel, and the Diesel Particulate Filter are absent on the older technology 1.8TDCi.

As to the initial price premium purchase cost, well given that you will most likely run your next motor for many years [ given you have with the Astra] The potential running cost savings will soon wipe out any price premium you may initially pay.

I'm not saying you should go either way, but like Mike77 says, I think you should definitely test drive a 1.8 TDCi. As I'm sure you will like the Turbo and Torque aspects of the car.
Mike77
[quote name='catch' timestamp='1335745884' post='180191']
I have a spread sheet set up to compare running costs, so here are a few bits of data.

You say your looking around a 2005 reg, so I've done some figures based on a Mk2 Focus, to give you an idea regards the cost differences a 1.8TDCi against a 1.8 petrol, and a 1.6 petrol based on 8,000 miles and based on the official Urban mpg figures for all three variants. I've also included the Road Tax differences

1.8 Petrol 1725
1.8TDCi ..[u]1240[/u]
.................-485
Road Tax ...[u]-60[/u]
[b]Savings....545[/b]

1.6 Petrol... 1577
1.8 TDCi ...[u].1240[/u]
....................-337
Road Tax.......[u]-35[/u]
[b]Savings........372[/b]

Mike77 is running a diesel 1.8TDCi on less annual mileage than you say your doing. And he is not experiencing any problems, because as he says the two big issues with the 1.6 TDCi , the Dual Mass Fly Wheel, and the Diesel Particulate Filter are absent on the older technology 1.8TDCi.

As to the initial price premium purchase cost, well given that you will most likely run your next motor for many years [ given you have with the Astra] The potential running cost savings will soon wipe out any price premium you may initially pay.

I'm not saying you should go either way, but like Mike77 says, I think you should definitely test drive a 1.8 TDCi. As I'm sure you will like the Turbo and Torque aspects of the car.
[/quote]
Mike77
[quote name='catch' timestamp='1335745884' post='180191']
I have a spread sheet set up to compare running costs, so here are a few bits of data.

You say your looking around a 2005 reg, so I've done some figures based on a Mk2 Focus, to give you an idea regards the cost differences a 1.8TDCi against a 1.8 petrol, and a 1.6 petrol based on 8,000 miles and based on the official Urban mpg figures for all three variants. I've also included the Road Tax differences

1.8 Petrol 1725
1.8TDCi ..[u]1240[/u]
.................-485
Road Tax ...[u]-60[/u]
[b]Savings....545[/b]

1.6 Petrol... 1577
1.8 TDCi ...[u].1240[/u]
....................-337
Road Tax.......[u]-35[/u]
[b]Savings........372[/b]

Mike77 is running a diesel 1.8TDCi on less annual mileage than you say your doing. And he is not experiencing any problems, because as he says the two big issues with the 1.6 TDCi , the Dual Mass Fly Wheel, and the Diesel Particulate Filter are absent on the older technology 1.8TDCi.

As to the initial price premium purchase cost, well given that you will most likely run your next motor for many years [ given you have with the Astra] The potential running cost savings will soon wipe out any price premium you may initially pay.

I'm not saying you should go either way, but like Mike77 says, I think you should definitely test drive a 1.8 TDCi. As I'm sure you will like the Turbo and Torque aspects of the car.
[/quote]

Good informative write up :-)


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