General My next car - decisions, decisions...

Discussion in 'Lounge & Gossip' started by FirstHonda, Monday 15th Dec, 2014.

  1. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    This weekend, in the unusual pre-Christmas situation of not having anything specific to do I decided to spend some time looking at, and driving, various options to replace my wonderful Accord.

    Now, I should add that actual replacement will happen in the second half of 2015, so there is no rush here - but I like to research thoroughly and take my time making my decision. However, having started out with a list of 24 possible contenders of various types, I needed to get to a short(er) list!

    I should also note that I would normally change my car at 3 years, and this time I'm going for an extra year (with extended Honda warranty) because I like my Accord so much...but it will be 4 years and over 50k miles by September/October 2015, so my judgement is that it will need to be replaced while it still has a decent trade-in value.

    My requirements are changing slightly, as I'm now doing fewer motorway miles and more on A and B-roads. Total annual mileage is dropping too, from 15k per year to more like 8-10k. My requirements:

    - Nothing by VAG (due to bitter previous experience :disagree:)
    - Must be automatic
    - Would like a 4WD, but not essential
    - Happy to downsize for the right car, at the right price
    - Not that bothered about excitement and fun (I have my MINI for that), I prefer comfort and smoothness for my everyday car
    - Reliability is a must
    - Good equipment list - leather and satnav essential
    - Don't want to spend a fortune - up to £15k cost to change ideally, so total budget around £25-27k based on what I'm being (predicted) for the Accord
    - Will buy new, but preferably "nearly new" - so less than 6 months old and fewer than 5k miles
    - Petrol or diesel, not bothered. Have had diesel for years, but with my reduced mileage petrol is looking much more sensible
    - Would like to stay with Honda if possible :Smile:

    I've ended up with a slightly surprising shortlist, which just shows the value of actually looking at as many options as possible over a short period. In no particular order...

    - MINI Paceman ALL4. I know not for everybody, but I like the styling and the drive was very good (petrol Cooper S). Good nearly new deals, too.
    - Volvo XC60. Lovely inside, but quite pricey and perhaps a bit big for what I need.
    - Volvo S80. A beautiful interior, but what great prices for nearly new. Tempting...
    - Subaru Forester. Again, probably a bit bigger than ideal, but a really nice thing with a good warranty and prices. Equipment not the best though except for the top models. Petrol 2.0litre engine was a real surprise - media reports saying it is poor are baffling!
    - Subaru XV. A real surprise, as I looked at one last time but discounted it. Fantastic deals available.
    - Kia Optima. Very good, but I have some concerns around reliability and residuals. A value option though, and what an equipment list. Nice looking too.
    - Honda CR-V. As with some of the other 4x4 options, really a bit bigger than necessary. The 2.0 litre petrol would be most sensible, but prices are high for the EX I'd want.
    - Honda Civic. Not the Tourer, the hatch. I actually really like it, and the 1.8 petrol is a smooth thing. Good deals and prices too, and I'd be looking at the top model.

    Other than the HR-V coming next year, that's my list.

    What didn't make the cut? BMW discounted as I found interior quality very poor for the price, and I'm not that keen on the image. Lexus and Infiniti (as I've noted before) are a great disappointment for me. Mazda similarly, the CX5 and Mazda 6 just didn't do it for me, neither did the Jaguar XF which I just found a bit "flash" TBH. Land Rover Freelander is about to be replaced, and just feels a bit "old" at this point. And expensive.

    Anything I've missed? Any horror stories I should know about for those on the list :Devil:??
    davemazo likes this.
  2. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard T Milton Keynes
    Out of those options, I would look more towards the subarus, volvo and honda. Kia's are ok, driven the Optima, it was okish, but certainly not a car that I could live with. I didnt like the plasticky interior

    XC60 is a nice car, we have some at work, they are very resilient is a good way to describe them.

    Subaru's are thirsty beasts even when driven sensibly as they are all use the same basic engine and designed for performance, but reliable as anything

    I would probably end up test driving the subaru, Civic and xc60 but they are all kind of different cars anyway so it wouldn't be a fair comparison.
  3. Duc de Pommfrit Moderator Staff Team

    United Kingdom Chester Northumberland
    I drove a new Volvo C80 last week, didnt enjoy it. I don't like these new cars with auto handbrake, but it was the rattles from behind the dash which puzzled me the most.
  4. Nighthawk Guest

    United Kingdom Richard T Milton Keynes
    Thats the problem with cars nowadays being built by accountants rather than engineers and trying to scrimp costs where they shouldnt be.
  5. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    That's good to know, rattles really irritate me. The Volvos felt very well put together, but it is how they are after 20k miles that counts. My Accord still doesn't rattle. At all...
  6. jrd Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    I'm in much the same situation. Looking to buy new and would have automatically bought a new model Accord if it was available. Not 100% convinced about Swindon models. But I recently had the chance to view the new XE Jaguar and found it to be stunning in every way. And it's priced to compete with German alternatives. I've also been looking at the Infiniti Q50 and they are offering outstanding deals on new diesel versions untill The end of December. Still looking.
  7. bijomaru Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Rob Swindon
    Lexus GS or IS range? They look pretty nice.
  8. Pottermus Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


    Incidentally I've always loved Volvos (I've had one in the past), but a friend of mine is the service manager of a joint Renault/Volvo dealership and he says that he has more failures from Volvo than he does Renault. Hmm...interesting.
  9. Mr Honda Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dublin
    ^^ Was also thinking CR-V, new 1.6 160bhp AWD and 9sp AT looks good!!
  10. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    ^^I hadn't thought of the new XE Jaguar, that's a great prompt :clap:

    The deals on the Infiniti are outrageous at the moment (c£10k off new), but I was so disappointed when I went to look. A lovely interior, but an old school diesel engine and a disappointing drive. Not for me.

    I do really like the Lexus GS, but it is pricey. The IS was probably the most disappointing car I've been to look at - and I've been twice to validate my impressions - the dealer was really poor too, and I sent back a card for a 24 hour test drive that Lexus offered earlier this year, only to be told they didn't have any availability!

    I may be missing something, but for me the IS interior was nothing special, the prices are way too high, and the equipment levels (unless you go right to the top of the range) are stingy. The drive was ok, but only ok. The saving grace for Lexus may be the GS if I go for a slightly older model (say a year old), but TBH I'm not sure about rear wheel drive...

    ^^Uh-oh...I do like Volvo, but the reliability was nagging away at me as my brother had a V70 with a few issues. Pity. I can see me ending up with another Honda...

    BTW, is the new 1.6 diesel CR-V going to be 4WD?
  11. Pottermus Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Out in August - 1.6 4WD 160ps 8-Speed double clutch.
    FirstHonda likes this.
  12. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    ^^Excellent news :Smile:

    In which case it goes up to near the top of the list with the MINI and the Subaru(s). Looks like I'll be passing on Volvo...
  13. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
    I'd also consider the HR-V which will be released around the time you're buying too, engine configurations aren't yet confirmed, and I don't think there will be an AWD option - however, she's a fantastic looker, and JDM design.
  14. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    ^^Yes, it will be on the list, although I'll be disappointed if it doesn't come with 4WD. The CR-V 1.6 diesel sounds like it may do the job nicely, especially with the new gearbox.

    My dealer is so good, and my Accord has been so brilliant, that I want to stay with Honda as long as their option is half decent :Smile:

    Then again, there is also a good Subaru dealer in Aylesbury, and my MINI dealer nearby too who are also very good. It's going to be a tricky choice...:Fear:
  15. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
    I've just been reading up, and I'm wrong, AWD has been offered on both the standard petrol and hybrid versions in various markets. Doesn't mean for certain we'll see it on the European spec, but it does mean it's a lot more likely.

    Well, if you do end up with a new Honda (and I sincerely hope you do), do we rename you SecondHonda? :Laughing:
    FirstHonda likes this.
  16. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    I've also just seen that Alfa Romeo are due to launch a 3-series competitor next Summer...:Devil:

    If it's really pretty, at least I can admire it while waiting for the RAC to arrive :Grin:. Tempting, though...always wanted an Alfa, and very few of the older ones came automatic. And as for "Selespeed" there are LOTS of horror stories about that!
  17. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    ^^I always find different perceptions and opinions interesting. When I looked at the KIA Optima (which has just been refreshed, so the interior may have been upgraded), it was the quality and style of the interior that impressed me most.

    IMHO at least a match for my 8th Generation Accord interior (sacrilege!), and in some ways I preferred it to the Lexus IS!
  18. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    After a bit more research this week, and a couple of dealer visits, I've reduced my shortlist to:

    - Honda CR-V 1.6 I-DTEC auto 4WD (when launched I'll have to have a drive)
    - Honda HR-V when launched
    - Honda Civic hatch 1.8 i-VTEC auto (if I decide to downsize)
    - MINI Paceman CooperD ALL4
    - Subaru Forester 2.0i XE Premium Lineartronic
    - Subaru XV 2.0i XE Premium Lineatronic
    - Mazda 6 SportNav. Now, I previously said this was not on the list, but having looked again and seen the prices of pre-reg new ones (£20k for the top of the range!) it has to be on the list, albeit at the bottom!

    That's it, pending anything else new into the market. The above fit my criteria on price, style, spec and reliability. It's going to now be a long 6 months waiting for the CR-V and HR-V to be launched :overtired::overtired::overtired:
  19. excel monkey Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Epsom
    Merc GLA?
  20. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    I have looked at one, but very expensive for what it is IMHO.