Car buying advice - another thread

Dr_Grip

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As my girlfriend is looking for jobs in western germany, there's a 50/50 chance i'll need a dedicated long-distance driving car that's not my 30-year-old classic within the next six months.

Here are my criteria:
-Should not cost more than 3000 Euros including necessary repairs to get it MOT'ed
-Should be at least a full-size saloon or estate, maybe even executive/luxuary size (Size does matter when driving long-distance at highway speeds)
-Should do around 30 mpg, maybe even 35 at german highway speeds (80 to 85 mph)
-Can be a non-Umweltzone diesel, as i don't intend to use it in town

So far i looked at:
-90's VW Passats (B3/B4 35i), mostly TDIs... my dad had one, my gf's dad had one, i once had one as a company car... these things are reliable, reasonable comfy, spares are cheap - they just lack any style or exitement, are boring. And most inexpensive ones are white.

-Citroen XM, maybe not the obvious choice. On the up side, i get an executive saloon for family saloon money, hydropneumatic suspension, which in combination with the magnificent king-size windscreen gives you a ride comfort and feeling of security unheard of outside of trucks (and i mean real trucks) and a certain french flair. On the down side, i get a car that even the owner's club calls a 'nightmare for DIY wrenching' and that has a history of electric failiure that would make British Leyland proud.

-Ford Sierra/MK I or II Scorpio - these are no-brainers. They are RWD, easy to maintain, run like clockworks, but lack any credibility or fun attitude (eventhough Posmo might disagree). I had a Sierra when i was 18 and the only thing that i really liked about it were this low-cut windows which, even when closed, gave you some kind of low-budget BMW Z1 feel).

-Opel Omega A V6 estate - my first boss had one and they are great long-distance drivers, but i dont think they'll fit my fuel economy requirements.

-Jaguars. Reading Spectre going on and on and on and on about how great and at the same time cheap these cars are, i got to look into them, even if they'll double my budget. Current status on Jags is that my father killed the idea with some snide remarks about fuel economy and i asked Spectre for numbers to prove him wrong ;)

Any other suggestions?
 
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Dr_Grip

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'98 to '02 Mitsubishi Galant?
Same as the VW and the Ford. Good for the job, but nothing exciting. With the disadvantage of a worse spare situation.
 

Posmo

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If you decide to go with a Sierra, get one that is either pinto or Cologne powered. The Dohc engines might a be bit mroe refined, but they are far less durable, and the power increase is miniscule. The CVH engines are worthless aswell. Same thing applies to Scorpios, unless you go for a frogeye one (cheap, but ugly) All of the frogeye engines apart from the smaller V6's are very durable and generally nice.

My personal choice would be:
An early, pre-facelift mk 2 Sierra sedan, with a 2.0 injection pinto ohc engine, or a 2.9 injection cologne V6 (might be hard to find) Rust is an issue with a Ford of this age of course, main problem ares are under the doorseals, at the front of the rear wheelarches and the lower, inner part of the doors. Pinto engines that have done 200k km's or more will most likely have some valve tappeting aswell resulting from a worn camshaft. A new cam and followers cost less than 100?, so if you find a car that is sound apart from a bit of engine rattle, buy it.

The T-9 gearboxes are relatively strong, and can survive a lot of abuse, however listen to rattling over 5.5k rpm, as the gear linkage wears down with age, it can be expected. In general, a good test (atleast that's what they say on Ford forums) to test the condition of a T-9 is to rev the nuts off it in 1st, and try going quickly into fifth. If the gear won't engage smoothly, the main synchro is worn.
All the spares are cheap, and for 3000? you could buy 1 sound car and 5 parts cars to keep you supplied :D

EDIT: http://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/showDetails.html?id=121931837&__lp=9&scopeId=C&sortOption.sortBy=searchNetGrossPrice&sortOption.sortOrder=DESCENDING&makeModelVariant1.makeId=9000&makeModelVariant1.modelId=36&makeModelVariant1.searchInFreetext=false&makeModelVariant2.searchInFreetext=false&makeModelVariant3.searchInFreetext=false&vehicleCategory=Car&segment=Car&maxPrice=3001&siteId=GERMANY&damageUnrepaired=ALSO_DAMAGE_UNREPAIRED&export=ALSO_EXPORT&customerIdsAsString=&lang=en&pageNumber=4

That looks a bit too good to be true. 700? for a nice condition mk 2 Sierra OHC i.. If the 105k odo reading is correct, the engine & gearbox have at least 150000km's left in them with no major maintenance required.
 
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Dr_Grip

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This is to good to be true. I can't see what's wrong with the car from the pictures, but as the seller is able to post an advert without major spelling or grammar issues he can't be that stupid that he'll sell the car at this price with nothing being wrong about it...

...the right hand side is not shown in the pictures, why? That's the first question coming up at this price, especially as this bargain is still marked as "negotiable"...
 

Phila

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Maybe just because its up against a fence in the pictures?
 

Posmo

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This is to good to be true. I can't see what's wrong with the car from the pictures, but as the seller is able to post an advert without major spelling or grammar issues he can't be that stupid that he'll sell the car at this price with nothing being wrong about it...

...the right hand side is not shown in the pictures, why? That's the first question coming up at this price, especially as this bargain is still marked as "negotiable"...
It's worth taking a look at if you're close. It's not uncommon for dealers to clear out cars they have gotten in as part exchange for cheap..;)
 

narf

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http://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/details.html?id=40639847

520i, 175Mm, 1000? - if you're careful you could manage 30mpg without city traffic or leaden feet on the 'bahn.



Looking for 30 imperial or colonial mpg?
The world would be so much easier if everyone used consumption figures in square meters... well maybe square millimeters to avoid 23mpgus being 10^-7m? - 0.1mm? looks a bit better.
 
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Spectre

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Your Jaguar question has been answered and a reply to your father given in my thread. :D
 

Interrobang

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So far i looked at:
-90's VW Passats (B3/B4 35i), mostly TDIs... my dad had one, my gf's dad had one, i once had one as a company car... these things are reliable, reasonable comfy, spares are cheap - they just lack any style or exitement, are boring. And most inexpensive ones are white.
You are looking at some HUGE milage on these cars ... I doubt you?ll find anything under 250000 km and at kind of milage big things might go wrong with these cars any day (no matter how reliable they were).

-Citroen XM, maybe not the obvious choice. On the up side, i get an executive saloon for family saloon money, hydropneumatic suspension, which in combination with the magnificent king-size windscreen gives you a ride comfort and feeling of security unheard of outside of trucks (and i mean real trucks) and a certain french flair. On the down side, i get a car that even the owner's club calls a 'nightmare for DIY wrenching' and that has a history of electric failiure that would make British Leyland proud.
I can tell you, that they are a joy to drive ... really comfy cruiser and good looking ...
But they do have said reputation ...

-Ford Sierra/MK I or II Scorpio - these are no-brainers. They are RWD, easy to maintain, run like clockworks, but lack any credibility or fun attitude (eventhough Posmo might disagree). I had a Sierra when i was 18 and the only thing that i really liked about it were this low-cut windows which, even when closed, gave you some kind of low-budget BMW Z1 feel)
Again, a car you?ll hardly find good examples of. You are looking at 3rd or 4th owner cars ... used by plumbers/window cleaners ... 15 years parked at the side of the road at every weather ... and huge milage too. These are not cars that people take care of well ... like the passat too.
-Opel Omega A V6 estate - my first boss had one and they are great long-distance drivers, but i dont think they'll fit my fuel economy requirements.
That?s prob the worst car you?ve mentioned here ... the reliability is AWFUL, these things were badly put together and rust everywhere and 90ies Opel-engines are pretty bad in terms of reliablity ... see ... there is a good reason the Opel line-up these days stops at the Insignia and doesn?t feature a bigger car like the Omega anymore ... and the reason is the 90ies Omega ... because it was rubbish and runined their reputation ...
Any other suggestions?
Volvo S40/60 (or however those were called mid-90ies). Might not be fun cars, but a lot of those were taking care of really good and were in the hands of one owner long time ...
Technically robust ... not too fancy ...
And they are cheap because they are so boring nobody wants them :)
 

DanRoM

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-90's VW Passats (B3/B4 35i), mostly TDIs...
Well, you've had one... the really good thing about them is the large fuel tank combined with low fuel consumption (except for the VR6 engine).
I've driven one for eight years (and it's been in the family for 14 years). Good reliability, with one exception: It ate wheel bearings. Apart from that, nice car. I couldn't tell you anything more you don't know already.

What about an Opel Omega B? It's essentially a very large 2-seater as the back seats have no knee room whatsoever, but it's very comfortable for the people on the front seats.
Or a BMW 5 series (E34)?
 

public

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This is to good to be true. I can't see what's wrong with the car from the pictures, but as the seller is able to post an advert without major spelling or grammar issues he can't be that stupid that he'll sell the car at this price with nothing being wrong about it...

...the right hand side is not shown in the pictures, why? That's the first question coming up at this price, especially as this bargain is still marked as "negotiable"...
Well, it's "unfallfrei". According to the ad, the only fault is a tail light bulb that's gone out?
 

Dr_Grip

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after the computer (or me being unable to keep track of what i did in which FF tab) just ate up a lengthy reply to each and every one of you, that's postponed 'till tomorrow.

For now just a word on "to good to be true": last "too good to be true" vehicle i inspected was a early-nineties VW T4 bus for 1500 Euro. High mileage, but in "great condition" according to the ad. And it looked quite well, indeed, both on photos and in real life. But "great condition" my ass: It turned out that 90% of what once were the sills had turned to pure rust and the head gasket was blown. That van was even in too bad nick to export it to Africa, so they tried to fuck some german over. Didn't work :p
 

AiR

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A car that cant be exported to Africa, well I'd never!
 

Posmo

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after the computer (or me being unable to keep track of what i did in which FF tab) just ate up a lengthy reply to each and every one of you, that's postponed 'till tomorrow.

For now just a word on "to good to be true": last "too good to be true" vehicle i inspected was a early-nineties VW T4 bus for 1500 Euro. High mileage, but in "great condition" according to the ad. And it looked quite well, indeed, both on photos and in real life. But "great condition" my ass: It turned out that 90% of what once were the sills had turned to pure rust and the head gasket was blown. That van was even in too bad nick to export it to Africa, so they tried to fuck some german over. Didn't work :p
Bringing this thread back up, because after looking at the selection of Scorpios at Mobile.de, I think you should buy a mk 1 (or a mk 2 if you can stomach the looks..) Scorpio 24V Cosworth. There seems to be quite a lot of them for sale for relatively cheap prices.

The cosworth BOA/BOB is a fantastic engine, and 200+ NA hp is nice :) They are excellent highway cruisers with good reliability. All of them came with 7.5" limited slip diffs, and that 200hp is plenty enough for some fun. Ofcourse you will also have the possibility to say "I've got a Cosworth" :p As far as I can see, the only problem is that you can only find them with automatic transmissions, but a Scorpio 2.9 12V manual MT75 gearbox will slot straight into the car with very few alterations :)

Also, when you are done with the scorpio, the engine will slot right into a Sierra bodyshell, that could make quite a track car ;)
 

Dr_Grip

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The situation has changed slightly as the potential co-owner of the car laid down her demands:
-It must not be a BMW, cause all BMW drivers are cocks
-It has to look good.

For reasons i don't understand, the second criteria flat out eliminates the Sierra and Scorpio, eventhough everything you, Posmo, said, makes sense. On the other hand i think i could sell the Citroen to her by just taking her out on a test drive.

efoolution, your Volvo suggestion makes quite some sense, i think i could even sell the looks...

...another thing that came to my mind last night would be a MK II Scirocco. Might be hard to find one in decent nick, but if i find one, it's a great thing... eventhough it's FWD.

Still, plan A is her not leaving town and me not needing a new car ;)
 

Soundsession

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What about Mercedes W124?
They are extremely reliable, high mileage is not an issue.
Luxurius, stylish.
You would have to check, if you can manage your desired fuel consumption though..

like this one..
 

frankiess

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What about Mercedes W124?
They are extremely reliable, high mileage is not an issue.
Luxurius, stylish.
You would have to check, if you can manage your desired fuel consumption though..
Took almost twenty replies to suggest a W124 .. on this forum. Odd.

I just came back from driving a W124. It was priced at 2k? here in rhinoland, and it was in decent nick. Personally I'd need about 500-600e to service it to my standards, but it was perfectly driveable. I'd bet you'll find a mint one at 3k? in Germany, though.
 

Dr_Grip

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How could i leave that out? *facepalm*

The W124 extends my current top three to a top four - but fuel consumption will indeed be the problem. My uncle had a W124 300T diesel and it easily took 12+ l/100km. As he co-owns a Taxi business i might have a good source for a high-mileage first-owner bright ivory-colored W124 diesel saloon in him, though....
 
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