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Reliable Second Hand Japanese Car

Discussion in 'General Cars' started by securespark, 24 Sep 2021.

  1. securespark

    securespark

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    Looking for another car for our middle son.

    Never had much regard for Japanese stuff before - my experience of it was a 1977 Honda Civic my Mum had which had front suspension mounts that rotted out. But since we got our 2009 Honda FR-V 2.2 CTDi, my eyes have been opened!

    For our first son, a neighbour of my Mum's was giving up driving and kindly gifted her 2002 Mitsubishi Space Star to us.

    I gave it a service, and had new tyres and a cam belt fitted, as the service history was full of holes.

    There were also a few bits that were broken that needed fixing.

    My terror with an older car is the cam belt snapping and forking the engine. So I was relieved to learn the 1.3 petrol Mitsu lump is a non-interference engine, which shouldn't be irreparably damaged in the event.

    In the time since, he's done around 6K with zero engine issues.

    So, now that I know the Mitsubishi is a reliable thing, I'm wondering if we should stick with what we know and buy another, buy another small Japanese car, or something else altogether.

    I don't want to get the smallest cars (like the Aygo) but the next size up or bigger.

    Cars like Corolla/ Auris, Jazz/ Civic, Mazda 2, Swift, Note.

    Quite happy to have a smaller-bore Diesel (thinking about insurance costs for a young 'un with a larger lump). I have heard great things about Toyota's 1.4 D-4D engine. I know Nissan's Note uses the 1.5D Renault engine. Not sure about Mazda, do they used Ford's (PSA's) TDCi (HDi) engines? Although I think they can have issues with injector seals.

    The budget would be rock-bottom (around £1K - £1.5K), including any servicing or work needed.
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Your budget is indeed, rock bottom! For that sort of money it's a chuck away motor - if it comes with a 12 month MOT......don't buy otherwise.
    Generally the small Toyota's are well built (but not as good as they used to be)
    Nissan Note is pretty good, but not the diesel at that price;
    Honda Jazz is brilliant (avoid the automatic);
    Consider the Mk3 Clio and the Mk 6 Fiesta - only petrols though!
    Fiat Pandas are good value too.
    John :)
     
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  4. wgt52

    wgt52

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    Honda! Mate has done 300000 miles in his 25 year old accord. Servicing as per the book but in an independent garage.
    CVT Jazz's we have had No problems with, i-shift Versions a bit hesitant in traffic. can be seen as an 'old foggies' car, bit 'sit and beg' but then a 20 year old girl I know prefers her Jazz over the (BMW) Mini she had. Change the EU Jazz badge for the US 'FIT' badge for reduced embarrassment
     
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  5. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    I've had a string of Panda's, and yes loved them!
    However, you can suffer from a small car inferiority complex!
    They love to be revved and lack any grip. You end up driving them like a lunatic. I was drifting around roundabouts everyday!
    Make sure it's previous owners were from an older generation.
    My driving has slowed down dramatically since I bought a bigger car with a turbo! :rolleyes:
     
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  6. securespark

    securespark

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    Thank you fellas.

    Burnerman and wgt

    Had a good idea Honda would be a good bet. Ours has currently got 154K showing with remarkably little having gone wrong. We are still on the original springs, shocks, wheel bearings and exhaust.
     
  7. securespark

    securespark

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    Had a look at a few.

    Surprised at the mileages.

    Standouts are a 12 plate Jazz with 163K and an 07 Corolla with 250K.

    Guess some people are hanging onto their motors for longer now.
     
  8. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    What about this one?

    20210421_115624.jpg
     
  9. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    My brother once had a Montego with over 360K on the clock! :LOL:
    It even had a story about it in a local paper.
    It was a courtesy car from an Austin dealership and was just kept going long after Rover became defunct and the dealership became independent!
     
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  11. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Got the Mrs a cheap honda jazz £1250 , only had 28,000 on clock and mot history confirmed Milage.
     
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  12. securespark

    securespark

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    Grinch: I had a Monty Diesel which did 180K and had loads of life left in it but the bodywork let it down. The engine is still chugging round the canals of Manchester.

    Fox: was that recently? Can't see any at that price with such a youthful mileage!
     
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  13. Smufter

    Smufter

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    Often overlooked, but a reliable small Japanese car is the Suzuki Swift. Not the best for interior trim quality etc. but those little Suzuki engines are bullet proof.
     
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  14. norseman

    norseman

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    The problem with these skateboard sized cars is that their suspension is about as effective :(
    I have yet to ride in any modern small car that is comfortable, but I guess it's a case of 'needs must' for some owners.
     
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  15. securespark

    securespark

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    I found later Metros with the "proper" Hydrogas spension rather good.
     
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  16. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Toyota reliability is unsurpassed.

    AFAIK any passenger car in the last 20 years will have a Zintec body, and not rust unless scrapes are left permanently unpainted.

    Diesels are less reliable than petrol.
     
  17. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Hmmm maybe....
    Have a look underside of the RAV4 - a sea of rust.
    I'm having to sort a few brake pipe issues too......iQ, Aygo, Yaris and Land Cruiser - not ancient vehicles by any means.
    John :)
     
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