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Hi guys just need some advice please.

Looking at changing my job in the new year and unfortunately the new role doesn't come with a company car, but is a serious hike in salary so worth the move.

So having a look at the various options in the nearly new used car market and several options come to mind, Ford Focus, VW golf, perhaps Astra?

Out of all these the Focus seems to have a lot of bang for your buck and according to test drives on the internet is the most fun to drive (important for me as I'll be doing 20k per annum)

So a few questions regarding my choices:

Which spec is best for the Focus - need bluetooth, air con, quick clear front screen?

Which engine - diesel or petrol, doing 20k a year?

Buy used or PCP / lease?

Any other choices I should be considering, can't really think of any, once drove a Toyota and it wasn't the most enjoyable experience.

My budget is 10k, but could go up to 11k at a push.

For information, I have a test drive arranged next week - Focus and Golf.

Thanks for reading and would welcome feed back.


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Others will know better for newer focuses, Mk3 an what not, I have a 2.5 I got in April and im really happy with it had an astra before and it just didn't seem as nice, I know that's vague but its hard to put it in to words, it never felt great, just ok, I had a wee corsa as well at one point, truly terrible car, but so far the Focus has been reliable, quick, very mod-able, love the quick clear windows, and plenty of space it is a bit of a hassle to get to some stuff due to daft designing around the engine, just watch out for Turbo paranoia syndrome on the 1.6tdci, seems to start around the 60-70k mark, slowly drives you mad. I think its fairly normal to have a few noises inside as well, the odd creek and knock is apparently common!

On second thoughts, since you have the cash, your probably best staying clear of the MK 2/2.5 1.6 tdci altogether :)

In saying all that, ive been doing allsorts to try and prevent the thing blowing up and im reasonably comfortable where its at now, just needs TLC.

as for diesel or petrol, 20k a year is enough for diesel but it depends on the types of trips your doing, short drives will kill your millage, better off getting a petrol if that's the case. personally I don't see amazing MPG until 7-10 miles, cold starts give me about 40 so short trips will literally mean the difference between 400 miles to a tank and 600.

Watch out for DPFs if you can, gives you good tax rates but can be a bugger as it gets clogged up, again its worse if you make short trips.

I think I've had as much fun driving this car as ive had tweaking it, but im guessing you'll be going for a newer Mk3 so im not sure how much of my post is relevant bar the MPG and DPF stuff.

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I've had 2 mk3's now one was a 1.6 petrol and as it was 5 speed felt gutless, mine now is 1.6 diesel 6 speed and drives great.

For your budget you should be able to run to a car a couple of years old in a 1.6 diesel with 20k ish on clock. Petrols are cheaper but for your mileage diesel would be better suited.

Zetec spec gets you your air con, blue tooth, heated screen etc and is a good solid choice of spec. Titaniums carry a premium but have more features. I've tended to buy Zetecs with factory fitted options such as bigger alloys/tinted windows on them as they come In cheaper than titaniums still.

Look at for ex aa driving school cars though and abused ex hire cars. Low mileage newish ex hire cars are usually ok.

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Hi Neil, hope you don't mind my input for what it's worth.. I have the 2010 1.6 diesel zetec s with 17 inch wheels and 205/50 tyres. Be aware that that tyre noise with this combination is quite intrusive, and can quickly get on your nerves. I've spent a fair amount of time searching for the quietest tyres (currently Dunlop sports blue response if anyone cares) apart from that, I still love the way it drives after 3 years and 86 thousand miles! Ps I haven't given the turbo a thought.. (hope I don't regret saying that) regards, Martin

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Im baised against diesel due to issues(, fuel pump, injectors , dpf,to name but a few on the 1.6tdci, seen loads with those faults plus more issues,)but if your lucky the mpg advantage may outwiegh the problems,

go for zetec with privacy pack, for £10k , probably get 2012 with25k

Or 1.0 ecoboost petrol maybe? They do the mileage ok, not as economical as tdci.

mine done 31k in 18months, no issues.mine was ex hertz car , cant fault it.

Dont have a 1.6 petrol!!! Gutless.

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2008 1.6 TDCI with the dreaded DPF here. Does short runs most of the week, the odd long run at the weekends. No problems to report after 50 odd thousand miles. Dee is spot on above - this time of year, 450 miles out of a full tank on short trips, closer to 600 on mixed.

Tax is £30 a year. Love this car. Other than glow plugs going, not a single problem. And yes, it is starting to develop the odd rattle, but it's a 6 year old car!

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Thanks for the all the comments people, great feedback.

It will probably be a Diesel as my daily commute will be a 85 mile round trip, although I am test driving a petrol eco boost as well, just to do a comparison.

I'm glad your all dismissing my comments on the Golf and Toyota...lol

Thanks again for the advice, I'll keep you posted regarding job move and purchase.



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