Motoring Discussion > What Car Buying / Selling
Thread Author: MD Replies: 39

 What Car - MD
If you had 10k to spend what would you buy. Parameters below.

0-60 under 7 secs.
Old tech perfectly acceptable.
Air con.
Any number of doors.
Can't think of much else.
Would likely do 2-3k per annum.
Ideally auto. (Slush-matic preferred).

 What Car - Runfer D'Hills
3 series petrol something or a C class petrol. Neither likely to disappoint. Various body styles available to suit any particular needs.
 What Car - Manatee
You can tweak the Autotrader criteria to select the price band, 0-8s for 0-60, petrol, and automatic.

When you have excluded the preponderance of VAG products that have DSGs, you seem to be left mainly with BMW, Mercedes, and various Alfas.

At £10,000 and several years old I'd be looking for Toyota/Mazda I think.

If you really want to use that sort of acceleration or feel the acceleration though, you need something with a turbo or a big engine, the latter being a serious rarity these days.
 What Car - legacylad
330 straight six. Normally aspirated, avoiding the 335.
My 2004 330 convertible, bought 3rd hand, never missed a beat during my 4 years of ownership, nor did it when I passed it on to my nephew. Children forced him to sell. Fortunately it went back to a friend of mine and it continues to do sterling service.

A good friend, workshop manager who has oil in his veins, once told me that the normally aspirated straight six was one of the best mass produced engines ever built. Very under stressed, only 220bhp, but loved to rev, and was turbine smooth. It induced a big grin on my face, idiot proof handling, and fantastic build quality.

A fine car, mine averaged 30/32mpg, and when shod with all season tyres, got me most anywhere in a bad Dales winter. But, if you have the leather interior, make sure the seats are heated. Mine weren’t, and that is the only bad thing I can say about it.
 What Car - MD
Hi Manatee. If you’re suggesting Mazda/Toyota what models were you thinking that filled my criteria?
 What Car - Kevin
~5.5s quick enough?
 What Car - Zero

Skoda Octavia Vrs, Auto.

Ok not a slushmatic.
 What Car - legacylad
VAG group autos ok now ?
Braver man than me, but happy to be corrected, although friends in the trade warned me off them.
 What Car - Zero
Well put it like this, there could have been an Audi A6 Avant Auto on my drive. Nice car but it wasn't on my shortlist. In truth there are few proper TC autos around to chose from
Last edited by: Zero on Sun 3 Jul 22 at 19:51
 What Car - tyrednemotional XC40 with an 8-speed box was one of the last with A TC. A couple of months later it was switched to a 7-speed DCT.
 What Car - Zero
VAG have started to put ZF8's in a few of the high power 4x4 line ups
 What Car - Rudedog
I'm biased of course but I had my Mk 5 Golf TDi DSG for over fourteen years without any issues before I went to my GTi again with a 7 speed DSG. Keep them serviced and don't drive them like a traditional auto.
 What Car - bathtub tom
>>Keep them serviced and don't drive them like a traditional auto.

What do you mean, don't use the full capacity?
 What Car - Manatee
>> >>Keep them serviced and don't drive them like a traditional auto.
>> What do you mean, don't use the full capacity?

Mainly, don't use creep or the accelerator to hold the car on a hill - you're slipping a friction clutch if you do that.

A new DSG is a reasonable proposition. I wouldn't have a used one.
 What Car - Zero
In other words, its an Auto but you cant use it like one.

Using it like an automated manual would be lovely - except they behave awfully when you do. Specially trying to step out promptly into traffic gaps.
 What Car - martin aston
I don’t see any mention of the Mondeo? In my company car days we had a very wide choice of cars. Once the novelty of BMWs and the like wore off it was surprising how many people reverted to fast mid range alternatives and stayed there.
You might have to settle for sub 8 seconds rather than 7 but there’s a lot to like about the top end Mondeos if you can find one that’s been looked after.
 What Car - Runfer D'Hills
That’s a fair point Martin. I went from a company funded 5 series many years ago to a self funded Mondeo. It wasn’t quite as good I’ll admit, but it was nonetheless very good, and way less expensive to buy and run. Went on to have several of them and wouldn’t discount doing so again if it made sense at the time.
 What Car - Zero
Modern Mondeos have fallen a long way behind their class in nearly every respect. A car unloved by Ford, and unwanted by the public.
 What Car - MD
I always rated them, but tc auto or not?
 What Car - Runfer D'Hills
The most recent ones reverted to TC, but I’m not certain when from.
Having said that, a couple of the sales reps who work for my employer have them and are very pleased with them. 2.0 diesel autos in their case. Never had any bother with them or previous similar models.
 What Car - Rudedog
Agree Z but once I had mine for a while I'd learned to preempt this by putting into Sport before moving off.... in my current 7 speed petrol one there isn't an issue but I still pop it into sport which seems to automatically raise the idle slightly.

Last edited by: Rudedog on Mon 4 Jul 22 at 14:32
 What Car - tyrednemotional
...when I bought the (Ducato) motorhome, I had the choice of identical models, but one with the automated manual (the inaptly-named Comfortmatic) and one just straight manual. As our two cars are both auto (one TC and one DCT) I strongly considered the automated manual, but it appeared that it was "marmite", and the reviews from people I knew and trusted were not encouraging, so I went for the manual.

I subsequently had two sessions in NZ, both with a motorcaravan. The market there is almost exclusively in auto-boxes. The first was a Merc, where the base vehicle was fine, but the conversion very Antipodean. The second was on a Ducato with the Comfortmatic box, a German-built import where the conversion was much more to our liking, The Comfortmatic box was, however, a complete abomination. Fine when tootling about on the straight and flat (where one doesn't have to change gear much anyway), but absolutely dire on twisty and/or hilly roads, being always in the not-quite-right gear.

Interestingly, when I did my original research, even the most positive reviews indicated that one had to "work-around" those deficiencies, largely by nudging it up or down a gear yourself. My experience was, particularly on hills (and with the "hill mode" engaged to putatively make it better) that manually nudging down caused the box to change down, think for a few seconds, decide "you didn't want to do that" and change up again, only, several seconds later to decide "Oh, you did want to do that!" and change down again - but by this time the revs had dropped off enough to make it really struggle.

Now, there are times when I'm quite happy to interfere with the box myself, but they are few and far between, and generally for my own reasons, not because I have to. I want an auto-box to function without intervention, and for me not regularly to have to intervene to overcome its shortcomings. If I was happy with that, I'd buy a manual and save money.

The current XC40, and the previous X1 were "interference-free" (the same Aisin 8-speed TC box). The Smart (with a 6-speed DCT) is rather less forgiving - though you can learn to drive around the shortcomings using the throttle only.

(Incidentally, the Ducato Comfortmatic appears to have been quite problematic, particularly in the motorhome market, and is no more. The current auto-offering is a 9-speed ZF TC box - which I might have been tempted by if it was around when I bought).

 What Car - Dog
I was recently looking to replace my 7 year-old Subaru XV (CVT) and it's sir prising just how many car models are fitted with automated manual gearboxes.

It doesn't bother me too much really, as I've driven everything from a 2 cylinder Fiat to a 7 ton DAF.

But it's the ole woman, she wouldn't get on with any DSG or DCT gearbox. We did test drive a Citroën C3 DCT about 10 years ago - that 'experience' put her orf DCT gearboxes for life!
 What Car - zippy
Try Hyundai Dog, I've not had a problem with my gear box, touch wood, their DCTs feel like other automatics that I have used. Just tell her that it's an auto not DCT and remember to use the brake assist button so it doesn't roll back on junctions etc.
Last edited by: zippy on Mon 4 Jul 22 at 17:13
 What Car - Dog
I did check out Hyundai, zippy. I discounted them simply because of the DCT gearbox. Maybe I should test drive one.

My wife isn't the most confident of drivers, she doesn't do buttons :) She did drive my Volvo 240 GLT from Cornwall to Bexhill ... on her own back in the day though.

She also drove my Dolomite Sprint and 2 V8 Rovers. She never drove my XJ6 or my Hymer.

The Hymer was LHD with a Merc engine, it was slower than a slow thing, and I loathed it.
 What Car - legacylad

>> she doesn't do buttons :)

Neither does Cinderella
 What Car - tyrednemotional
>> >> she doesn't do buttons :)
>> Neither does Cinderella

....all together now....

"Oh yes she does!".
 What Car - Dog
>>Neither does Cinderella

Clever, says she.
 What Car - Dave_
I agree with this, if I spot such a gap in my DSG Skoda I just tap the lever back to put it in Sport mode and it responds instantly. I can then go back to Drive mode once I'm amongst the traffic, as it's geared towards economy and not performance.

On the rare occasions where the road and traffic conditions are "just right", the vRS absolutely flies. My driving style barely scratches the surface of the car's abilities 99% of the time, so it's easily capable of putting a huge smile on my face when the red mist does come down.
Last edited by: Dave_ on Mon 4 Jul 22 at 22:18
 What Car - Bobby
I have an 8 speed auto in my BMW X1. I believe it is slightly different to the normal 8 speed autos BMW do as this is same as a Mini variety.

So what category does mine fall into? A TC ( whatever that means)? And most importantly, what are the dos and donts with it to prolong its life?
 What Car - tyrednemotional's an Aisin 8-speed TC (Torque Converter, AKA "slush-box").

In general there is little you can/need to do to a TC box to prolong its life (except change the transmission fluid at the prescribed interval(s) - though I believe BMW consider the fluid to be "lifetime" on that box).
 What Car - Zero
BMW says its sealed for life. The auto box makers however dont say that. Fluid and Filter change required about every 60 - 80k

In my ZF8 its fairly easy, the pan just comes off and the filter pack gets changed. Expensive tho, the service kit is about 300 quid and two hours labour.
 What Car - Bobby
Only at 35k so a bit to go before I worry about that.
Car will be 6 years old come September and service is also due then.

It’s always been serviced at main dealer (due to it having a 5 year service plan on it when I got it). Tempted to try one of a couple of local specialist indies which both seem to get rave reviews.
 What Car - Zero
Had mine done at a specialist indy last time out. About 35% cheaper, all the gear to reset service counters and update BMW central service records.

Took mine out of its "condition based servicing" which was about 18k between services, and now have it serviced on time / mileage 12k/Annual, So the oil condition display says it has 6k to an oil change when it gets changed.

I'll have the gearbox service next year, that will be 72k 6 years,
Last edited by: Zero on Tue 5 Jul 22 at 16:57
 What Car - Dave_
I have a customer with a 55 plate 330i cabriolet, he's smitten with it. Sounds like it ticks all of your boxes.
 What Car - MD
I’m not sure that finding one that has been correctly maintained is going to be an easy task.
 What Car - Slightlyfatdirector
My wife has a Golf GTI with the DSG box, albeit in a 2017 car so probably not in budget, but earlier cars will be similar.

My understanding is that the DSG's in the lower powered cars are the ones with the issues and the heavier duty one in the more powerful cars (GTI / R) are generally fine.

It's a quite astonishing gearbox when you have 200+hp. Compared with the lazy box in the Volvo (or even the much faster to react Merc I had last) it is in a different league.

Always in the right gear and if you step on it the changes are so fast and seamless. It would be really worth trying one out if you have never tried one before, and of course this will be the same in the other VAG family cars like the Octavia vRS - another great car and far more practical / spacious than the Golf.

We had an Eos before with the 200hp motor and a manual gearbox, and that was a great car, and you could get a DSG version of that with either the 2.0 / 200hp petrol or the heavier V6 if you fancied something completely different.

 What Car - Manatee
>>It's a quite astonishing gearbox when you have 200+hp. Compared with the lazy box in the Volvo (or even the much faster to react Merc I had last) it is in a different league.

But would you buy a 10 year old one?

Daughter has a 260bhp A6, 7 speed wet clutch job. It does a plausible, even good, job of mimicing proper creep but the fact remains it is wearing and heating the clutch(es) and therefore gearbox if used in that way. Excessive heat is death to DSGs. It is much better for fine manoeuvring than the DQ200 single dry plate version, presumably because the DQ200 really doesn't want to allow slip beyond the amount needed to set off. I find myself strategising to avoid situations where I need to inch towards solid objects.

I agree they are very good at changing gear, and generally go the right way although you can catch them out if you have to switch rapidly from slowing to accelerating or vice versa, simply because they have the wrong gear selected on the alternate shaft.

If you drive smoothly (fast is OK) then it's rare to have a problem with the driving. It's so good I'm amazed how good our (now oldish) Roomster is, bar the manoeuvring, but I still regard DCT as a fudge for consumer use, albeit that it is theoretically more efficient than an epicyclic with TC.
Last edited by: Manatee on Tue 5 Jul 22 at 14:15
 What Car - VxFan
>> My understanding is that the DSG's in the lower powered cars are the ones with
>> the issues and the heavier duty one in the more powerful cars (GTI / R)
>> are generally fine.

Repair kits are available for failed DSG gearboxes.
 What Car - Dave_
>> We had an Eos before with the 200hp motor and a manual gearbox, and that was a great car, and you could
>> get a DSG version of that with either the 2.0 / 200hp petrol or the heavier V6 if you fancied something completely different.

I also had a TFSI200 Eos, with the DSG and oxblood red leather. Fantastic car, no slower than the V6 but economy in the high 20s versus the high teens. The only thing missing was a V6 growl, but the exhaust "whump" on up-changes was rather addictive.
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