Need a used car for long-distance journeys that won’t break the bank? Read on
11 September 2018

Simple question: would you buy a Toyota Yaris to cover more than 15,000 mostly motorway miles every year?

I’m just asking because someone riddled me that one as they were looking at a 2010 model for just such a job. A 1.33 manual TR, in black with five doors, with 74,000 miles and priced at approximately £2700, in case you were wondering.

That certainly sounds nice enough to me, and I certainly won’t argue with any Toyota when it comes to reliability and general all-round practicality. The buyer, though, is after small running costs and, most oddly, resale value.

If I was going to do mostly motorways and had £2700-ish to spend, I would go for one of those deeply unfashionable diesels and it would have to be a bit bigger: more distance between those axles and a squishier seat. With that in mind I really want to tick the Ford Mondeo box, because it was built to take the motorway in its stride. But instead I’ve downsized to a Ford Focus.

Find a used Toyota Yaris on PistonHeads

They are great cars, they can take punishment and are cheap to fix. That should be enough, but a 1.6 TDCi will return more than 60mpg, and feedback from owners seems to confirm that as pretty accurate.

A Sport example from 2010 with a factory sat-nav, 12 months’ MOT and just over 100,000 miles was a reasonable-enough £2500 at a dealer. I would say that it’s perfect, and it has to be the sensible choice here.

Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, since then it has lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown from the formidable and long in the tooth Ford Fiesta?

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If size is an issue then I still adore the now-departed Volvo C30. What a lovely piece of industrial design it is.

I spied a beige-coloured one without any R Design flim-flam, just the matt black detailing, and it looked superb. I know styling isn’t in the brief, but these look like icons waiting to happen. Anyway a 1.6 D in SEtrim and from as far back as 2007 is £2750. Compared with lots of others this example had a pretty reasonable 77,000 miles; later 2009s and 2010s tended to be into six figures. Oh yes, that diesel engine should comfortably do 50mpg overall. Anyway, the C30: that’s the stylish one.

Shall we go mad? I bumped into a left-hand-drive Alfa Romeo 159 Sport wagon Turismo JTDM. It’s a 2007 example and has 120,000 miles under its wheels. This is probably the last thing anyone would need, even at £2500. Well used, a couple of previous owners and the next MOT the best part of a year away. It would be a fairly cool old bus to tear up and down the motorway in, at least until something interesting happened.

All of this proves that a seemingly tight buying brief can throw up some interesting options. We’ll come back to the resale value issue another time.

What we almost bought this week: 

CITROEN SAXO VTR - Low-mileage, unmodified Citroën Saxo VTRs are rarer than hens’ teeth, and prices for any that come up for sale tend to be steep. We saw one at £2250 but it had a full service history and a recent cambelt change. One day the Saxo VTR might be as revered as the performance-orientated version of its Peugeot 106 sibling is.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage: 

PORSCHE CAYENNE, Mileage: 98,125: We’ve been cleaning the Cayenne. Well, I use the royal ‘we’ but it was actually the females at the Bangernomics Compound who’d had enough of the damp dog smell and decided to act.

It involved a carpet cleaner, one of those that you plug in and add water so it sucks up all the dirt. And blimey, was there a lot of dirt. The water turned the colour of mud in seconds. After four or five refills with carpet cleaner it was still coming up mud.

The dog whiff is fading but not nearly fast enough. The crazy solutions keep on coming from readers. Thanks

A to Z bangerpedia:

Fiat Multipla: The Multipla was never a people carrier as we knew it. No, it was an all-purpose vehicle that dovetailed neatly with modern life. One car wasn’t enough any more; we needed something for the school run, local commute, DIY store excursions and cross-country expeditions.

The Multipla is clever, roomy and good value. Its diesel engine delivers 44mpg — around 30% better than the 1.6 petrol. We hated the customer-friendly facelift in 2004, so we’d buy an early 2004 1.9 JTD SX with 126k miles and in Doom Blue, all for £895. Lovely.

Readers’ questions: 

Q. I have a Seat Leon ST FR Technology, which I love, but I’m due to change next year. Do I stick with a Leon or should I look at an Ateca? Adam Harvey, via Twitter

A. You’re unlikely to be disappointed by an Ateca if you like your Leon: they share a broadly similar interior and both drive really well.

Bear in mind that the Leon is better value for money as a used prospect. Even high-spec FR Tech Leons are cheaper than the most more poorly equipped SE Tech Atecas. Also the Leon has the bigger boot with the seats up, so we’d lean more towards the Leon. MA

Q. Which colour is least popular with used car buyers at the moment? Tim Bakersfield, Bramley

A. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has just released its second-quarter report on the used car market, and according to its data green is quickly falling out of favour with 14.6% fewer sales, followed by maroon, which was down by 9.6%. You could use that to your advantage a bag yourself a better deal on a car in a less-popular colour. MA

Read more

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Comments
9

11 September 2018

I'd go for a big cruiser for motorway runs, plenty of Mondeos, Avensiseses etc on the used market.

Surprised the Ateca has a smaller boot than a Leon, I thought that was the whole point of everyone buying SUVs now? We have a Leon as a 2nd car and while it is a hoot to drive, the boot isn't that big.

11 September 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

I'd go for a big cruiser for motorway runs, plenty of Mondeos, Avensiseses etc on the used market.

Surprised the Ateca has a smaller boot than a Leon, I thought that was the whole point of everyone buying SUVs now? We have a Leon as a 2nd car and while it is a hoot to drive, the boot isn't that big.

That part of why everyone buying small suv's and crossovers is pointless. I sat in the back for a ford kuga the other day, I found it quite cramped. Sort of an inverse tardis

11 September 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

I'd go for a big cruiser for motorway runs, plenty of Mondeos, Avensiseses etc on the used market.

Surprised the Ateca has a smaller boot than a Leon, I thought that was the whole point of everyone buying SUVs now? We have a Leon as a 2nd car and while it is a hoot to drive, the boot isn't that big.

That part of why everyone buying small suv's and crossovers is pointless. I sat in the back for a ford kuga the other day, I found it quite cramped. Sort of an inverse tardis

11 September 2018

both the Focus and the C30 are essentially the same car with the same engine. 

11 September 2018

Looking at that age and mileage, I would avoid a diesel. Sure you will save some money in fuel but past 100k turbos, high pressure injection, egr valves and clutch/DMF assemblies are all possible failure points and would wipe out the fuel saving. Plus a petrol would be easier to sell on. 

11 September 2018

The problem with the C30, as the former owner of a 480ES, is the stupidly narrow tailgate. What were they thinking of?

Is the pre-facelift Multipla a potential modern classic?

FMS

11 September 2018
Chris C wrote:

The problem with the C30, as the former owner of a 480ES, is the stupidly narrow tailgate. What were they thinking of?

Is the pre-facelift Multipla a potential modern classic?

 

Perhaps what Volvo were thinking of was a dash of "different" for them at least and as with most things, it appealed to some and those to whom it did not...bought something else. It would only be stupidly narrow, if it was assessed as unsuitable by someone, who then went on to buy it...they would be the stupid thing, not the car. Qualify how a narrow tailgate can be stupid?.

11 September 2018

Very few cars are better on the highway than that 430 you showed the other day.  And $1,200 buys a lot of petrol.

11 September 2018

I would swear by a Mondeo. I just changed to one as my second car used purely for work where I travel a lot. It's an '09 2.0 Tdci 140 in Titanium X spec, 43k miles, 1 owner from new and full Ford service history and it cost a touch over 5k from a dealer. Having just done 350 miles today, I can confirm it is supreme on motorway runs for comfort and economy and a bargain (IMO) at the price it cost! Many will discount it as it has a Ford badge but I cannot recommend it enough. And that's before even considering how well it handles and it has a ridiculous amount of space!

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