Its my first post and quite a long one so thanks for having me on board, ive been lurking for this last couple of weeks and doing a fair bit of reading so i try not to jump in with no knowledge at all.
So...we've just had a new baby girl and nows the time to pull the trigger on a 2nd car as the Mrs really needs something and im getting ear ache now :)
I currently drive an A5 3.0lt tdi quattro Sline 2012 sportback (mouthful) which is my company car, it has a removable towbar so i can tow my bike trailer to various tracks up and down the country and is pretty good on mpg so for a works car i really cant complain and does everything we / i would ever need for the family
However id like to start winding down the A5's use at weekends and because i may change jobs in the near future its never a gaurantee what car i get for at least the first 6 months (contractual things)..... hence why this 2nd car buy has to tick lots of boxes 'just in case' i end up with a 3 door something or other and its just not practical for family use or for what i want it to do.
With a top line of £9500 to spend I 'was' initially looking at low mileage A3 Slines in the 140/170 tdi engines (2006-2009) and did consider a golf GT tdi 140 but theyre just too small in the boot.
Ive even considered an A4 Sline estate as i had one once and theyre not bad looking as estates go and the 1.9 engines are bomb proof.
Anyway, we recently started looking at the Focus Zetec S, we saw a 2009/10 one at a dealers and i thought it looked really good, the interior was nice and the Mrs seems to like the idea of one more than anything else at the moment so its almost moved in to top slot.
The spec on them seems to vary, some have rear parking sensors (good for her), some have ISOFIX (good for the baby seat) and some seem to have phone BT (good for us both).
The parking sensors & ISOFIX are an easy retro fit i presume? And is BT phone standard but most dealers dont list it in autotrader?
Im not fussed about outright power, id rather a mix and MPG be good as ill be paying for most of her fuel during the week and what with us / me liking to do the odd euro trip to france, germany etc it does come in to play. However if i need to use it in the future to tow my bike trailer a little bit of torque wouldnt go a miss but you have to bare in mind that you can only really do about 60mph whilst towing.
Diesel engines versions:
From what i read every 1.6tdci & 2.0 TDCI engine has a DPF fitted?
And only the 1.8 tdci dosnt have a DPF but thats because its older tech and some people view as a bit rough? I may be wrong so apologise to those that own them
Ive steered clear of anything with a DPF as frankly with the Mrs likely to only do short stints throughout the week im concerned about it blocking up and going in to limp home mode. Am i being over cautious and is 1 weekly run up and down the motorway to regen good enough?
I could always go for a delete and remap i presume but then knowing my luck the next MOT rule update will be to physically look for a DPF being fitted and then itll cost even more
So are DPF cars worth the hassle? If so would she be ok with the 1.6 or should i be looking at the 2.0? both have reasonable torque for the use i guess? And mpg seems pretty up there so euro trips, track days to angelsey etc wont cost me an arm and a leg.
I very nearly pulled the trigger on a 1.6 115bhp version yesterday (TI vct dura something?) but all ive read since is engine rattles / under powered etc and when you see the mpg figures theyre not exactly that great. I guess for short stints for her it wont be that noticable but for any trips etc that may come in to play. 115bhp would be fine for the use but is there a better option?
So thats kind of it at this stage, the Focus Zetec s looks the part, seems to have a decent boot and she likes it which is half the battle :)
I just dont want to end up buying a version that has historic issues as im no mechanic and its expensive enough as it is so dont want to be lumped with further bills or reliability issues especially as she'll be using it 90% of the time with my child in.
So, do we go diesel engine or petrol? Petrol i would guess only the 115bhp 1.6 would suit as the rest of them the mpg would be bad.
Diesel however i have 3 choices, 2 with DPF. Do we go 1.8 and avoid the DPF or dont worry too much about them?
Any help and guidance would be grately appreciated.