Sis-in-law asked me what I was thinking of doing about the car, so I said I was thinking of a Corsa. "Oh, they're great cars — I used to drive one."
After a very cold visit to a park (with added animals, which smallclanger decided he didn't want to see) and lunch at a pub-restaurant, we came back home yesterday.
So today I have been car-hunting.
Quick visit to the local car yard to look at the Micra. Possibly a bit cramped.
On to Bellingers Abingdon, which unfortunately turned out to be closed on Sundays. Then to Bellingers Wantage, where it turns out that the diesel Corsa I posted the other day was sold yesterday. Which is a shame. Saw a Corsa 1.0 Life and a Corsa 1.2 Life which are pretty much identical apart from engine size. They are decent cars, but fairly basic trim (although with air conditioning). Dealer says that another diesel (2008 with 23K miles) although listed as being at Wantage is actually at Abingdon. So if I want to test drive both diesel and petrol models to compare them then it's better to do that at Abingdon. This particular diesel looks like less value for money, although it does have rear park assist and being a Breeze will have slightly more gadgets than the Life models. (Though the sold diesel is an Active which apparently is a special edition.)
With regard to fuel efficiency: the CO2 figures tell me that the best is a 1.0 EcoFlex (117g) followed closely by the 1.3 diesel (119g), then the 1.2 85PS (124g), and far behind come the 1.0 (134g) and the 1.2 80PS (139g). But the EcoFlex and the 85PS are mostly too new to fall within my search parameters, and the difference between 1.0 and 1.2 80PS is not big enough to compensate for the lower power of the former, so the choice is between the diesel in first place and the 1.2 in a poor second place. Incidentally, 120g is the target to achieve for a low tax band.
There are some decent Corsas at Eden Vauxhall in Reading, but it felt like a long way to go and if I did buy one there it would be a faff going back for it, so I didn't go to Reading.
I went to Langford Lane Motor Park in Kidlington, where there are several dealers. The Vauxhall dealer there couldn't find me anything, to my surprise. He did show me one which I thought was just a bit too old and a bit too high mileage for the price, and in fact the whole forecourt did seem to be a bit overpriced. Wandered over to the Renault and Nissan dealerships but nothing really stood out. Nissan Notes look a bit odd and boxy at the back. But, at the Nissan dealer…
Hyundai i20 1.2 Comfort, 59-reg with 8500 miles for £6,495
There must be something wrong with this car, surely? But The Independent and Honest John say not, while Autocar says it's good value for money even if it has some faults. The CO2 number doesn't quite beat the tax target, but at 124g does come in significantly lower than the petrol Corsa. And if that car goes, there's a similar one just round the corner with a few more miles on it.
So, um. Diesel Corsa with park assist and low tax band, or newer Hyundai with less miles for less money, but next tax band up. Still can't decide…