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Looking for something for long road trips


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#1 DarkHorizons

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 17:44

Hi all,

 

I'm about ready to buy my second car. My 307 has been a great little runner, and has seen some trips but it's really let the French quality shine through and is too expensive to keep up with the repairs. I'm after a good quality used car for everyday use and long road trips every other month, I'm talking to the top of Scotland to hundreds of miles across Europe. I've been told I should be looking at Audi, BMW and VW for best reliability. Any suggestions?

 

Ones I've been looking at are:

 

Audi A3/A4

VW Golf

Vauxhall Insignia

BMW 1/3 Series

And a few others...

 

I'm just not really sure what I need to be looking at, I want something sporty.




#2 tsupersonic

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 17:49

I wouldn't call those cars reliable...When I think reliable, I think Japanese cars. If I want something sporty, then yes, Germans know how to build an engine. I see you want used, but it would help if you put your budget down...



#3 Paul Ferson

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 20:12

Hi all,

 

I'm about ready to buy my second car. My 307 has been a great little runner, and has seen some trips but it's really let the French quality shine through and is too expensive to keep up with the repairs. I'm after a good quality used car for everyday use and long road trips every other month, I'm talking to the top of Scotland to hundreds of miles across Europe. I've been told I should be looking at Audi, BMW and VW for best reliability. Any suggestions?

 

Ones I've been looking at are:

 

Audi A3/A4

VW Golf

Vauxhall Insignia

BMW 1/3 Series

And a few others...

 

I'm just not really sure what I need to be looking at, I want something sporty.

 

It's worth knowing how old the cars you're looking at are, particularly when mentioning the Audi and Volkswagen options. I don’t know what engine size you’re looking at, but around here the 1.9 and 2.0 TDI engines are the most common.

The 2.0 gets a reputation for being an absolute dog, though newer years are apparently significantly improved. Off the top of my head, I’ve read complaints about the 2006 model year for sure. The 1.9 seems to get a good enough name, but if it has been abused then problems are still going to crop up, after all. Here it’s by far the most common engine in any of the ###### cars, but that’s not to say it’s a perfect unit either. It's not much, but here are two quick links I found on the 2.0 engines in particular.

 

http://www.honestjoh...dex.htm?t=94896

http://www.vwaudifor...really-that-bad

 

In regards to the J.D. Power rankings, Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda all came in the Top 10 (link) . With Volkswagen owning all three of those brands, it could be testament to very good quality from the company..It might sound like I'm attacking Volkswagen's cars, but I'm not really. I do like a lot of the cars produced by the company, not that I've ever had the chance to drive any of them. I'm going to pass over the Vauxhall and the BMWs, since there's little I know about them.

 

Since I don’t know how far back you might want to go this idea could be totally worthless, but how about a Lexus? They came second on customer satisfaction, and the older IS model is meant to be nice. I’m not sure about MPG and the like (don’t think it’s great), but the Sport model came with a limited slip differential as standard IIRC. There's also plenty of modification that can be done, assuming you'd want to go down that route. There's no getting away from the fact it's an older car than you might like, however.

Here's another daft one that popped into my head: Skoda Octavia VRS. Apparently they're fairly sporty in VRS flavor despite the old Octavia looking like a pensioner's cruiser. A used one could be good, but I'm not sure what the pricing is like on the mainland. Of all the unorthodox possibilities I had in my head, the Octavia seems like it makes the most sense. I was going to say a Focus ST, but they're probably not the easiest to run or maintain.

 

No guarantee that this has been any help but I can certainly try further if it isn't.



#4 sc302

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 22:48

Being that you have listed a non US available car, it would be a safe bet you aren't in the US.  I personally have never seen a Vauxhall in the US, ever. 

 

The VW, Audi and BMW are good choices, imo, esp in the series you want. The higher the series the more problems you have.  Keep things basic and you won't have many.

 

I would stay away from the Audi and VW due to my own personal prejudice against them as I expect them to light on fire whenever someone puts in the key or the fenders to fall off when you close the doors too hard.  I have no faith in their build quality, this goes back many many years with me to my days of High School Auto Shop class and working on the same turds over and over again, once you get squirted in the eye with a lemon you try to make sure you don't get squirted again, even if it is someone elses lemon.  Supposedly the build quality is much better in Europe.



#5 Kami-

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:04

Being that you have listed a non US available car, it would be a safe bet you aren't in the US.  I personally have never seen a Vauxhall in the US, ever. 

 

<snip>

 

Outside of the UK they are generally known as 'Opel' and it appears as though 'Buick' in the states sells a lot of them rebadged ;)

 

http://en.wikipedia....l#United_States



#6 sc302

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:38

Yes but it still holds true that the company or badge of Vauxhall does not exist in the US.

#7 Kami-

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:10

Yes but it still holds true that the company or badge of Vauxhall does not exist in the US.

Well, Vauxhall/Opel/Holden (Austrailia) all pretty much one and the same thing... different badges/names & same cars (some market exclusives where it makes sense [or not]) all owned by GM.

 

My point was, the Vauxhall you've never heard of in the USA, could quite easily exist behind a different badge ;)



#8 sc302

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:19

And what I was saying is that certain badges don't exist everywhere and that they are regional. Doesn't matter if it is rebadged in certain areas under a different name.

 

Why do you think I am that ignorant that I do not know that this is possible or is happening, when I never stated that I do not believe this nor did I state this was not happening nor did I state anything different other than the fact that these particular badges do not exist here.  I don't care if the car itself exists here under a different badge, that is not what I said or even eluded to.  I said specifically that the badge doesn't exist in the US and that the badge is regional.  Manufactures do cross over that is a known fact.  For example, in the states, the Honda Rigeline is the same truck/car as the Cheverolet Avalanche. 



#9 Som

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:22

 

 

Audi A3/A4

VW Golf

Vauxhall Insignia

BMW 1/3 Series

And a few others...

 

I'm just not really sure what I need to be looking at, I want something sporty.

 

I took my 2008 audi a4 from the west of ireland to the south of france and back again, & I had no problems at all....



#10 +zhiVago

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:30

Hi all,

 

I'm about ready to buy my second car. My 307 has been a great little runner, and has seen some trips but it's really let the French quality shine through and is too expensive to keep up with the repairs. I'm after a good quality used car for everyday use and long road trips every other month, I'm talking to the top of Scotland to hundreds of miles across Europe. I've been told I should be looking at Audi, BMW and VW for best reliability. Any suggestions?

 

Ones I've been looking at are:

 

Audi A3/A4

VW Golf

Vauxhall Insignia

BMW 1/3 Series

And a few others...

 

I'm just not really sure what I need to be looking at, I want something sporty.

 

Hi there!

 

If long road trips are important to you then you want a car with a long wheelbase, a sedan. In your case, Audi A4 or BMW 3er will provide you with a much better comfort on the road than their smaller compact siblings with a shorter wheelbase. The sound insulation will also be better.

 

And you may want to take a look at VW Passat too.

 

Cheers!



#11 Nashy

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:49

Golf.

Anyone who says VW are unreliable don't know ######.  Out of all the cars that drive into my workshop, they are the most well built, comfortable and smooth drive around.  Jap cars aren't what they used to be, they're just plastic rubbish that doesn't break down.  VW on the other hand is solidly built and reliable.



#12 LegendaryRamzi

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:55

In my experience the VW Golf is an extremely reliable car.

I have driven it through europe multiple times.

Never any issues and it's very smooth at top speed.



#13 sc302

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 13:08

Golf.

Anyone who says VW are unreliable don't know ****.  Out of all the cars that drive into my workshop, they are the most well built, comfortable and smooth drive around.  Jap cars aren't what they used to be, they're just plastic rubbish that doesn't break down.  VW on the other hand is solidly built and reliable.

VW cars are supposedly not the same regionally.  US and offshore cars aren't built the same, supposedly, I don't know I haven't been offshore to inspect.  From what I have heard from foreigners who do have the experience of both US and offshore models will tell you that the VW cars here are not the same elsewhere and will usually say that the US rendition of said cars are "rubbish".  While I don't know about cars in other countries, I do know a bit about cars in the US.  I even stated that the cars are probably made better outside of the US, I can only speak of what I have seen here and what I have heard.  Saying that someone doesn't know **** is very ignorant when you don't know **** outside of your own country or even alude to anything other than something being great if it is great in your own country.  I can probably tell you that the beer down in Aussie is better than here in the States.  I have not tried the beer from down there but I have heard enough that the beer there is much better, I don't know for myself as I have not tried it but I can probably guess from many people telling me this.  For me to say that our beer is better would be that of my own opinion but when many other people tell me that your beer is better, I would have to go with that for now until I can get out and try it for myself to be able to agree or disagree with it.  So for now your beer would be better and foreign cars made outside of the US are better...that means, quite possibly, that the beer here and the VW brand here is crap.



#14 LegendaryRamzi

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 13:25

VW cars are supposedly not the same regionally.  US and offshore cars aren't built the same, supposedly, I don't know I haven't been offshore to inspect.  From what I have heard from foreigners who do have the experiance of both US and offshore models will tell you that the VW cars here are not the same elsewhere and will usually say that the US rendition of said cars are "rubbish".  While I don't know about cars in other countries, I do know a bit about cars in the US.

 
I think it just differs on the factory level.
My guess is that the ones built in Germany are very good quality.
 
How is it the other way around? Are chevy's good quality in the US?


#15 sc302

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 13:56

No, in general US cars here are crap.  They have their own caveats that if you know they aren't that bad, just a big inconvenience.  Chevy trucks are known for their alternators to go just under 100k miles for example.  Ford trucks have an issue with the 12v regulator and with their ground cables.  The engines and transmissions are of good quality (usually), it is everything else around them that might leave you stranded.  Not to mention their interior quality isn't the best on their vehicles across the board, they start rattling prior to 20,000mi (not km).  It all depends on your view of things on what is bad or good...if you like a good drive train but are willing to have other issues then they are good cars, if you like to put your key in and drive for longer than 50,000mi then I would not recommend them here.  You want put your key in and drive for more than 50,000mi look at honda, toyota, nissan, or their luxury counterparts acura, lexus, infiniti.  My Nissan altima went 200,000 miles without major issues, O2 sensors at 100k miles but that was it, otherwise replace fluids and belt.  Never did anything with the timing or pumps or anything else. I have a newer altima now, it is at 85k miles but the cvt went under warranty at 55k and the front drivers wheel bering went at 65k, kind of major issues that require a little more than a wrench to fix (well I need a torque wrench for the axle bearing). I also have a ford expedition, I would rather push the ford than drive a chevy but that is my personal preference, that had a plug freeze in the head which required the dealer to send it out to a machine shop to take care of the issue, followed by several sensors throwing codes between the intake and the head (I am guessing the mechanic wasn't very careful when putting things back together). 

 

IMO, the foreign cars, japanese and korean, are better made here and they are manufactured here for the most part.  There are some other brands here that are good here, but they fastly depend on the model more than the brand as a whole.  3 series bmw, a4 audi, are among the few german cars that I would consider of some sort of quality here.  When you start adding more and more electronics, as they do in the higher models, the longevity on the road compared to in the garage being fixed switches and you pay by switching reliability with comfort.