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Best car to buy - I live in the Uk


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Hi Scotty,

I love your work. Keep it going.

I'm looking to buy a solid, low mileage (up to 30,000m) family car produced in 2017 or newer. Excluding hybrid range, my strict preference is manual tranny. Note that I live in the UK and plan to use it not so much for commuting, but for longer weekend trips and possibly some longer continental Europe family travels (considering diesels as well because of it). Key focus is solid reliability and reasonable maintenance costs. I have few different options in mind:

1) Toyota hybrid range - Lexus IS300h, Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid, Camry 2.5 Hybrid (a bit of a stretch). 

2) Honda range - Civic 1.5 Turbo or Civic 1.6 diesel. 1.5T doesn't seem to suffer with oil dilution in the UK that much.

3) BMW 3 series 2.0l diesel (B47 version - one that should be a lot better than previous notorius N47 version) - would be a budget stretch but not by much.

I really like the look of Lexus IS but Honda Civic looks most realistic buy, especially 1.6 diesel. Is the Beemer worth considering at all, or would you try to steer me away from it? What do you think?



4 Answers

First of all, avoid Hybrids. If you want something manual, I would say get a Toyota. I don't know which models are offered manual in UK, but if you want for travel, I would consider a Land Cruiser. Nothing can beat that beast.


For occasional use you can use almost whatever. Hybrids cost too much.


Don't get a hybrid.  They cost too much.


I'm probably one of the few on this forum that would consider a hybrid.  I have a 2004 Prius, and have gotten 295K+ miles on it so far.  On top of that, the last 2 times I visited the UK, it seemed all the Ubers I took were hybrid Priuses.  So I am guessing there is a market for hybrids and hybrid maintenance in the UK.

In terms of reliability, longevity, and total cost of ownership out of your choices, I would recommend either the Corolla Hybrid or the Civic Diesel. My choice between the two would be determined by expected fuel cost and expected mileage.  

If the Corolla Hybrid can save you money because of its fuel efficiency in the long run, even factoring in maintenance costs, go with that.  Otherwise, the Civic Diesel may be the better choice.

Nothing against the Lexus IS or the Camry Hybrid, those are fine vehicles.  Unless of course you can get super good deals on those, I presume the Corolla and the Civic would be the most cost effective.  

If cost and reliability weren't a factor, I'd recommend the BMW 3, because those are so fun to drive.  And those things are built for the autobahn if you ever road trip to Germany.  With that said they are more expensive to maintain.  Unless it is different in the UK, but maintaining a BMW in the US costs an arm and a leg, compared to a Toyota or a Honda.