Time for a change (help please)

If you go for an Avensis T25 (the model which went from 03 - 08) and fancy the 1.8 vvti engine, make sure you get one after about 06. There was a fault with oil drainage which lead to the pistons making the bores oval, which was cured by Toyota around 05. Also it was mildly facelifted in 06. That 1.8 engine with a manual box can give over 50mpg if driven nicely BTW, but the auto stuggles to get 36mpg no matter how you drive (I've owned both). The new shape T27 (09 on) has a different 1.8 engine with more power and a beautiful cvt auto box. I couldn't find a single report of gearbox failure when I reserached it. And it gives high 40's mpg if driven nice, and about 38 if driven with a bit more vigour. There have been some reports of the T27 electronic parking brake going on the blink - a costly repair at over a grand IIRC.
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I do like the look of the avensis and it's good news if the auto gearboxes are reliable
I had decided after some of the comments to stay away from auto but I will maybe take another look
The electronic parking brake sounds expensive if it does go ?
After some reading WHAT CAR only gives it an average reliability rating ?
Admittedly other reviews are better why are they all so different ?
The price is spot on though and plenty about with reasonable mileage
I need to go round some of the used car dealers and see what I can find so I can have a proper look and see what I find that takes my fancy
I just thought I would do a quick search on auto trader and see what comes up And the ones that caught my eye was........

Toyota avensis 1.8 vvt-i 44,000miles £4,750. 08 plate

Toyota avensis 1.8 v-matic. 54,000miles. £4,695. 09 plate

VW Passat auto 2.0 fsi. 58,000miles. £5,495. 07 plate

Volvo v50 1.8 se 75,000miles. £5,000. 05 plate

I would be interested in your thoughts ?

If they was all in front of me for looks alone I would go for the VW
i did say I wasn't a fan of Volvo but one caught my eye so I made it one of my selections to see how you think it compares.
The two Avensis you mention are different models. The old shape wasnt available with the valvematic engine so your 09 one is the first of the new shape. Bear in mind the old shape could be saloon, hatchback or estate...but the new shape can only be saloon or estate. The old shape one is a nice drive but the new shape with the valvematic engine is a step up all round.

A taxi driver who used to live a few doors along from me had a diesel Passat for a few years (08 plate IIRC) and said he had countless problems with the EPB but didn't mention any problems with his auto box. He now has a Mazda 6 petrol as his taxi, and has had it about 3 years.

Is the Volvo V50 of that age not just a Focus in a fancy coat? It seems expensive for a 10 year old car which is nearly round the clock. Check the trade price on it, I'll bet it trades about two grand.

Edit... Parkers say a 55 plate (they don't do free valuations any older) Volvo V50 with 100k miles trades at about £2k and top dealer retail price about £3k.

Edit again...there are 58 plate V50's with under 50k miles around on Auto Trader for about £5.5k.
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Thanks all for passing on some very helpful information
I was starting to favour the vw Passat but I have been reading some customer reviews online and loads of them are saying they have had numerous problems.
I do like the avensis but the EPB comes up quite a bit also
I'm not expecting to have no problems at all but some of the common faults that constantly come up I could do without
The Volvo I mentioned above after another look it is overpriced for a car of that age with that mileage and I certainly can get a newer lower mileage one for my budget as I said I'm not really a fan but if the reliability is good and repair cost is reasonable then I would give it a go ?
So what I'm left with in mind at the moment is a Honda I like the civic but they don't do an estate version
Maybe I should start looking at other alternatives ? Like a decent size hatchback as I said in my opening post I do carry a few tools around but a reasonable size boot would suffice and a car that will take a set of roof bars would probably suit my needs just as well as an estate
IIRC the Civic auto is really a manual with an automatic clutch. It's reviews say it's road noisy too. We had an older shape Civic a while ago and you needed ear defenders at motorway speeds.

The Avensis 03 - 08 hatchback has a fair sized boot.

Skoda Octavia has a huge boot but hard seats. Also it's the DSG auto. My Dad had a 1.4 petrol turbo one for a while, nice auto to drive and enough power and still about 50 mpg.

Edit... I forgot to say the Octavia also a bit road noisy.
I have all but ruled out getting an auto after the comments etc
I have also been looking again at the Volvo v50 estate has anyone any experience with these ? Any potential problems etc
I'm not a fan of the electronic parking brake I have one on my scenic and although I have never had any trouble with it I would still rather have a traditional handbrake
The avensis still looks like a good option but it's the epb that's putting me off it looks like it's all the new electric gadgets that are being fitted to cars now are responsible for all the costly repairs
I reckon that if it was me, I'd see what I fancied that was available in my price range, check that model wasn't known for the seats falling through the floor at exactly 57, 000 miles (or whatever, you know what I mean) and go for that.
Problem with the internet, is it'd full of opinion, speculation, and predjudice. Lists of "Bests" and "Worsts" that contradict each other seem to abound. It makes me wonder when I look how anyone ever managed to actually go anywhere in a car that's done more than 1500 miles.
One man's meat is another man's poison, or we'd all be driving the same thing. Personally I'd tend to stay away from cars that had too many gadgets, as we agree about them being likely to give problems on older motors, and being expensive to repair. I've only driven one car with an electronic handbrake, and that not very far, but I had to wonder what problem it actually addressed.
Give me simple every time. :)
Good advice "Dave54"
I agree if anything the Internet has made the choice harder and it makes you paranoid that it's all going to happen to your new car.
There are so many variables in the choice available in my price bracket
Most things are available but some models at higher mileage some low mileage but reports of some issues etc
The Volvo v50 is growing on me and after doing a search within 100 miles from me I can find a 08 model with 60k on the clock for £6,000
I can find more of the Toyota avensis (various models) for around the same money with less miles but I hear more talk about problems ?
But as you quite rightly say if there was such a thing as a perfect car we would all have one
But at least from all the comments I now know what to avoid some advice on what may be worth considering and to forget the jag .
All I need to do now is to try and get a good deal and hope for the best
Toyota like to keep in touch with their customers, in the form of recalls. But to be honest, most have issues, regardless of make or model. You are moving on from Renault, so the only way is up.
For what's its worth, I'd go for an Audi if it's an estate you fancy. Just stay away from the A6's they seem really hard to shift secondhand. Plenty of warranty and the lowest mileage you can afford.
But high mileage isn't an issue, they just keep going, though some parts are expensive.

Gumtree.co.uk is your friend, just tap in your postcode and the car you fancy and the money you have to spend. Enjoy the journey ............
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AUDI ????
Now that's got me thinking as it was one on my list at the start
But from the comments I was getting I thought it was best to stay away as I assumed it also came with high repair bills same as the bmw/jag ?
And I also read somewhere that the reliability wasn't as good as people think
Has anyone else got any opinion on the Audi ?????
The Audi build quality is second to none, and there are plenty of VAG specialist garages around - which is just as well as Audi dealer prices are obscene.
Pattern parts are plentiful.
Go for full history if you possibly can, and see about extra warranty.
John :)
FWIW, I have not owned a stick-shift for almost thirty years. Until November last year all the vehicles have been Vauxhalls, and, touch wood, throughout that time, none of the vehicles gave me any gearbox problems, or other major problems come to that. I now have a BMW 3-series with over 150K on the clock (5-speed steptronic auto) which still runs like a dream. IMO, preventative maintenance is the key; change the engine oil at least every year, and the transmission fluid every four years!
I guess it comes back to what has already been said some people are lucky and some not so with a particular make and all it takes is to read the wrong review online to put you off
I did read somewhere about the Audi,s not being as good as you would think it was probably just someone who had a bad experience and not a good representation overall
But I will defiantly take another look as I do really like the Audi although quite a few have high mileage ?
I'm still thinking its best to stay away from the auto gearbox as there is to many reports of problems and I am probably looking for a car with 60-70k + on the clock ?
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