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Topic # 185595 28-Nov-2015 11:17
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We currently have a 3.0l wagon and are wanting to downsize as we rarely use our car.

We would like something reliable.

Would need to be large enough for a 6ft1 guy but rarely long drives. Usually 20mins max.

Not sure what is a good hatchback for a small budget?

I realise it will need servicing like any used car and wont be reliable as brand new.

Any ideas?

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  Reply # 1436750 28-Nov-2015 11:24
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Toyota Corolla.

Get one with decent mileage.

I have seen corolla with 300k+ and it carry on just like the day it was first sold.





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  Reply # 1436803 28-Nov-2015 12:02
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We just picked up a Mazda Demio for $5k, 45,000km on the clock. Small I know but I'm 6 foot and there is loads of leg and head room. Dropped the back seats and threw a hay bale in the back - probably could have got the sheep in there as well. Just finr around town - not sure i would want to travel a long trip on open road though.



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  Reply # 1436822 28-Nov-2015 12:40
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Sorry yes thought I was in autos.

Thats cheap for 45000km.

I saw a honda civic 1.7 import, 2005 model, 80kkm, cam belt done, $5500.

I was thinking corolla or civic....

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  Reply # 1436823 28-Nov-2015 12:44
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You can't go wrong with either Honda or Toyota.







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  Reply # 1436824 28-Nov-2015 12:48
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actually the corolla appear chain driven, which is ALWAYS a worry with cambelts.

looks like the 2 most likely suspects.

thanks for helping out and any more opinions welcome.

a big wagon sitting around just isnt making any sense 3.0l vs 1.5-1.7l, plus you get a lot newer hatchback than wagon for the same price.



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  Reply # 1436839 28-Nov-2015 13:20
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What about the Merc a170, it gets good reviews and is chain driven? A bit smaller perhaps.

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  Reply # 1436875 28-Nov-2015 14:09
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TeaLeaf: What about the Merc a170, it gets good reviews and is chain driven? A bit smaller perhaps.


And, given your $6k budget, you'll end up with a Merc's that's no spring chicken in terms of age or miles; no doubt you'll need to put a good amount extra aside to pay for repairs!

Surely at this budget you're better to stick to a known quantity from Japan, eg a Corolla? Not only less likely to need repairs, but also cheaper to repair if needed... I think you're asking for trouble if you go looking too far from the mainstream...

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  Reply # 1436891 28-Nov-2015 14:58
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TeaLeaf: What about the Merc a170, it gets good reviews and is chain driven? A bit smaller perhaps.


THe munted shoebox on wheels? Do you have 6k saved up for a new transmission, etc etc etc??? It'll cost ya :) That's one of the cash cows for Merc.

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  Reply # 1436950 28-Nov-2015 16:39
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Avoid anything with a CVT transmission, especially Honda fits/jazz, they're notorious for having worn clutch plates which cost $700 to replace, and need to be done every 20,000 k's.



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  Reply # 1436953 28-Nov-2015 16:48
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tehgerbil: Avoid anything with a CVT transmission, especially Honda fits/jazz, they're notorious for having worn clutch plates which cost $700 to replace, and need to be done every 20,000 k's.




wow that's cheap. the dealer I rang said they recommended a new transmission! are you sure it's that cheap?

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  Reply # 1436963 28-Nov-2015 17:18
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yep they are about that price

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  Reply # 1437009 28-Nov-2015 20:01
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TeaLeaf: actually the corolla appear chain driven, which is ALWAYS a worry with cambelts.

looks like the 2 most likely suspects.

thanks for helping out and any more opinions welcome.

a big wagon sitting around just isnt making any sense 3.0l vs 1.5-1.7l, plus you get a lot newer hatchback than wagon for the same price.


Just wondering what your issue is with chain driven rather than belt - personally I wouldn't get a car that had a cam belt as they always need replacing and cost a fortune to do so - chain driven the chain generally outlasts the engine.

I do 50,000k a year in a Toyota and other than regular servicing and tyres they just go - nearing 280,000 k and doesn't burn any oil and good on gas too.

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  Reply # 1437022 28-Nov-2015 20:58
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I can second the Corolla recommendation. I have a friend who owns a Jazz and hasn't had an issue after four years ownership. I'm not sure the CVT complaint holds up anymore. The tech has improved significantly since the 90s/early 00s.

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  Reply # 1437024 28-Nov-2015 21:00
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It's only the original Jazz/Fit. The second generation did not have the CVT issue.

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  Reply # 1437025 28-Nov-2015 21:03
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throw some zado ex120 in it. generally sorts it out in most cases

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