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289 posts

Ultimate Geek


#271812 27-May-2020 17:44
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Hi,

Our teenager is looking at buying his first car and has around 5-6K to spend. We’ve put some stipulations on the purchase (3+ safety rating, manual, under 2000cc) and a lot of Minis from the 2000’s meet the search criteria.

Does anyone have any experience/observations into things that go wrong with them around 200,000km’s and the cost to maintain/repair vs a Japanese vehicle?

Thanks

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3303 posts

Uber Geek


  #2493103 27-May-2020 19:22
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Renowned as one of the most unreliable brands... 

 

https://www.reliableplant.com/Read/23494/JD-Power-vehicle-dependability-study

 

Never owned one, but a workmate has had 2.  Both seems to be in the shop with problems more often than not.  Lord knows why they purchased a second one. Mix that in with 20 years old and high Km and just asking for trouble IMO. 

 

For 6K you could easily get into a Hyundai or Toyota from the early 2010's.  Far better safety features and reliability. 3 star rating is pretty poor these days. 





Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



2074 posts

Uber Geek


  #2493107 27-May-2020 19:30
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2003 - 2006 - Generally well regarded but getting on in years. These are not Japanese hatchbacks and do not go forever, they will be a lot of fun but less safe and a bit tired. You can fit a single-din headunit to the centre console. 

 

2007 - 2010 - Absolute bastardry in metal form. Do not buy one. The fuel pumps (there are two) fail. The timing chain fails. The service intervals for oil changes was too long which led to all sorts of dramas. The engines can get themselves out of whack due to timing chain stretching and do real damage when they let go. The heads coke up with carbon and no one in Auckland can walnut blast them without taking the head off. There were lots of things that Peugeot issued service bullitens for on the 307 which used the same engines that BMW just basically ignored. Even when they did recalls, it was frequently just to replace parts that were breaking instead of improving the part so it stopped happening.

 

Stuff will just stop working on them with no warning. Basic things like rubber seals or gaskets can't be replaced separately, you have to replace sealed units like antennas if the rubber seal around the bottom perishes. A $5 rubber seal easily turns into a $400 whole-piece replacement. 

 

You can't fit a head-unit because the computer lives behind the centre console. 

 

I have one. It was the biggest mistake I have made in terms of car ownership. It sits on my driveway flattening its battery while I wait for parts from overseas. I drive my 20 year old Corolla to work instead. 

 

It is a joy to drive, but the handling is not as good as the first generation and everything is fly-by-wire so it's missing that direct feel in the steering and throttle. 

 

I will be selling mine at some point and buying something more reliable as a toy instead. Like a V12 Jaguar. 


 
 
 
 


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  #2493110 27-May-2020 19:34
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Especially since it's your kid, don't you want to at least have a 5 star safety rating? I don't think anything under 5 stars is even considered these days.





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2074 posts

Uber Geek


  #2493115 27-May-2020 19:42
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Also, don't rule out a manual Suzuki Swift Sport. Have had multiple autos in our household and they just require tyres now and then and the odd oil/wiper fluid top-up.


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  #2493123 27-May-2020 20:03
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GV27:

 

Also, don't rule out a manual Suzuki Swift Sport. Have had multiple autos in our household and they just require tyres now and then and the odd oil/wiper fluid top-up.

 

 

They have a one-star safety rating.  I see so many of them and wonder why their owners just don't care about their safety, or that of their kids




289 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2493131 27-May-2020 20:19
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Thanks for the responses.   The Swift was discounted pretty quickly due to safety rating. 
In an ideal world he would have a level 5 car but the reality is there aren’t that many available in that price range. 

It amazes me that importing level 1 and 2 cars is still allowed when a majority of our road deaths occur in that level of car.


437 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2493189 27-May-2020 21:51
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What about something like a Mazda 3/Axela. They seem very reliable, stuff from about mid 2000's should be around your budget, and you can get them in 1.5 manuals. Note they are a 2 star safety rating, but I thought they used to be a 3star (I have one).


 
 
 
 




289 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2493195 27-May-2020 21:59
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We haven’t looked at the Mazda 3 because of rating but have been looking at the Ford Focus.


3303 posts

Uber Geek


  #2493204 27-May-2020 22:10
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Picked up a Hyundai i30 2011 done 140 k's for my son for 6K and that was probably 18 months ago.  He has loved it and wants to get a more recent model.  The i30's and Elantra's can be got for around that price.   





Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



88 posts

Master Geek


  #2493209 27-May-2020 22:18
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Toyota blade, 2.4L though and CVT gearbox which will put most off. Ours has 180k now and is well serviced and never let us down. 

 

That said there are many corolla options in that era, like Runx and potentially NZ new models. Import ones tend to be nicer, which is why I mention the Blade, really nice interior.

 

Mazda 3 should have good options too

 

How cool does it need to be? Camry are pretty reliable, but not cool at all.

 

 

 

A 200,000km mini would be the last car i'd touch I think.


88 posts

Master Geek


  #2493210 27-May-2020 22:21
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Just checked safety rating of the Blade, says two star. For a car with like 8-9 air bags, that seems a bit low. Maybe they shift the bar as time goes on. At the time of purchase there wasn't much in our budget with that many airbags. I'd look at star rating, but also what safety features the cars have. Two stars for the blade is a joke really.

 

 

 

edit:

 

Did a bit of digging, imports aren't eligible for ANCAP star ratings. The two star rating I found for the Blade for example had zero information about the cars safety features. So i'm going to put pretty low value on that rating, personally.


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Ultimate Geek

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  #2493231 27-May-2020 23:24
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Be careful reading too much into the safety ratings.

As an example the 2011-2016 Suzuki swift (likely the age band that OP would get given the budget) has a 5 star ANCAP rating:

 

https://www.ancap.com.au/safety-ratings/suzuki/swift/1bbad6

 

But the same car picks up a one star USCR rating:

 

https://rightcar.govt.nz/detail?q=g27718&d=SUZUKI%20SWIFT

 

 

 

Notably the ANCAP score is a crash test, where USCR is based on Statistical performance in the real world.

 

There are a couple of major differences. A limitation of ANCAP is that it is based on crashing into a similar sized vehicle, something that is not always the case in the real world. I don't know much about USCR ratings, but it seems for some reason the analysis has produced a low score for a bunch of prolific smaller cars (despite them having decent crash test ratings).

 

 

 

[edit] - The USCR scheme doesn't seem to consider vastly different spec level with regards to safety equipment in models. Suzuki NZ seems to be quite unhappy that the likes of their NZ new swifts with a high level of safety gear get lumped together with used imports with limited safety gear.


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Ultimate Geek

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  #2493249 28-May-2020 00:00
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Regarding the Mini, A friend of ours had one (not sure of the year, but it was supercharged and quite nice). Apparently the window washer bottle would fail annually, and required a replacement at several hundred dollars. Friend did not sound satisfied with his ownership experience


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  #2493296 28-May-2020 01:32
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cldlr76:

 

The Swift was discounted pretty quickly due to safety rating.

 

Having a NZ (not imported) Swift myself I actually disagree with this. The Swift does have a 5 star ANCAP safety rating (https://www.ancap.com.au/safety-ratings/suzuki/swift/1bbad6) but there is current confusion on the safety rating of used cars here in NZ. I feel safe in my Swift, it does have airbags everywhere coupled with traction control found on most other cars and personally I believe the ANCAP rating over NZ's "Safety rating". It also handles better on the road than my 2020 Kia Seltos does (which is a bigger car mind you) meaning I can likely get out of the way quicker (however, the Kia does have collusion avoidance for this reason too).

 

Honestly, don't rule out the Swift. I've done nearly 100,000km in my 2013 Swift and it handles like a champ, is economical and cheap to maintain. If you look at the safety rating of Swifts in other countries you'll see it is 3-5 stars depending on what you're looking at. For example, Germany score it as a 5 star. NZ's system is just flawed and it is not just me or car manufactures stating this - the Swift is lumped in a general category which include imported Swifts from other counties without many of the safety features.

 

Also, I've done my research on this subject as I am currently attempting to sell my Swift since I have bought a new car. Terrible timing I know due to COVID but this safety rating misinformation I bet is not helping either...





551 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2493298 28-May-2020 01:56
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I agree with Michael Murphy regarding Suzuki Swift safety. The ones sold new in NZ are full of airbags and safety features. Import ones are a mixed bag. Unfortunately this has led to them having a low safety rating because of all the cheap import Swifts. I'm happy for my kids to drive in the NZ 2006 swift we have. It has six airbags and had good ANCAP safety ratings. My advice would be to look for a NZ Swift. Very reliable and safe in my opinion.





don't mess with me.... i'm the hd insider....

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