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Time for a new (to me) car. Small Jap one?

You really don't need to over-think it. If you tootle around town and occasionally do a 100 mile round trip then you aren't looking for a car that has the spec of the International Space Station.

You say you have no experience of a "city car". I have no idea what a city car is or whether they have some weird issues or engineering that regular cars don't have, but I am guessing they have an internal combustion engine up front that is linked to four wheels, one in either corner, and they are controlled by a driver inside the cabin using a steering wheel and gear stick.

That being the case you can't go wrong with a Japanese model, Honda and Toyota being the preferred brands renowned as they are all over Planet Earth for their superb reliability (unlike Ford cars). I drove a Honda Civic from Johannesburg to Cape Town once, driving through veldt and over mountains, never gave me a moment's bother. I have regularly driven through the chaos and potholes of Jakarta or dodged huge trucks on the six-lane toll roads of Malaysia in a dinky little Toyota, not a bit of trouble, even in the broiling hot tropical heat and torrential monsoon downpours. I dare say they can handle the worst that life in Middle England can throw at them.

Frankly once you have driven a Toyota or a Honda you will wonder why you faffed around with European or US models for so long.

The only variable therefore that you need to consider, therefore, is price, and that's for you to decide.
 
Jap cars get the thumbs up from me as well.
I recently changed from an ES300 Lexus to a Mazda 3 hybrid with a 2-litre donk and I am averaging around 57 - 60 mpg in old money terms, and couldn't be happier with it.
Less comfortable and quieter than the Lexus, but also a fraction of the price.
 
You really don't need to over-think it. If you tootle around town and occasionally do a 100 mile round trip then you aren't looking for a car that has the spec of the International Space Station.

You say you have no experience of a "city car". I have no idea what a city car is or whether they have some weird issues or engineering that regular cars don't have, but I am guessing they have an internal combustion engine up front that is linked to four wheels, one in either corner, and they are controlled by a driver inside the cabin using a steering wheel and gear stick.

That being the case you can't go wrong with a Japanese model, Honda and Toyota being the preferred brands renowned as they are all over Planet Earth for their superb reliability (unlike Ford cars). I drove a Honda Civic from Johannesburg to Cape Town once, driving through veldt and over mountains, never gave me a moment's bother. I have regularly driven through the chaos and potholes of Jakarta or dodged huge trucks on the six-lane toll roads of Malaysia in a dinky little Toyota, not a bit of trouble, even in the broiling hot tropical heat and torrential monsoon downpours. I dare say they can handle the worst that life in Middle England can throw at them.

Frankly once you have driven a Toyota or a Honda you will wonder why you faffed around with European or US models for so long.

The only variable therefore that you need to consider, therefore, is price, and that's for you to decide.
If I was tootling around town not doing many miles with the occasional 100 mile drive I’d seriously think about going electric. Plenty of Nissan Leafs and Renault Zoe’s around at the OPs price point. If the town I was tootling around had a congestion charge or a council likely to impose one, there would be no question.

For the odd drive over 100 miles (annual holiday etc) I’d rent the right car.
 
Opel/Vauxhall Meriva or Honda Jazz. Does what it says on the tin, plenty of boot space and leg room for pax. I keep the rear seats folded down and the furmonsters' toys and chews in the back on memory foam pads. They love it as it has a low boot sill, so easy access for them, although they usually go in the front then jump over the arm rest.

If you're not a boy racer or in a massive hurry to get somewhere, it does the job.
 
I think he’s referring to the current Civic looking like a Batmobile. It’s also bloody huge.
I have the previous model - should have been clearer.

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It's not huge; about Golf sized.

I will concede the newer one / Batmobile-esque look though.
 
I had the one two previous - the Mk.5. The most comfortable car I’ve ever driven and rock-solid mechanicals. I’d have a new one of those like a shot.
Yep - the only fault I will admit to is that there is no rear windscreen wiper (glass treatment required to help the rain roll off) - but it doesn't really seem to make much of a difference as it's always clear. That's it.
 
The current mrs_mush had three Kia Picantos in a row. All on lease/PCP whatever. She was paying approx £85pm on a three year deal with servicing thrown in. The last one she had was decently spec'd: rear camera, heated seats, DAB radio etc. Did around 1500m per year (long journeys she'd take my panzer). Absolutely loved them. Only moved away from them when it was time to chop in her last one, she'd just had a pay rise and she was persuaded to take a test drive in an Up Gti.
 
Honda Civic.

Bomb proof (not literally), fairly economical, not massive externally but have loads of room inside.

I'm on my second one - everyone who has driven my car, or been driven in it is impressed.
Love my Civic, very nippy ( if you pardon the pun) I get between 450-500 miles on a full tank, had mine 18 months and put 22k miles on it.
 
Love my Civic, very nippy ( if you pardon the pun) I get between 450-500 miles on a full tank, had mine 18 months and put 22k miles on it.
I bought a 2009 petrol one (I don't use a car too much; live in London so use the tube) - only 22k from new!

In 2 years I think I've put about 10k on it, but not had an issue at all.

My previous one was the 2.2 Turbo Diesel; put about 10-15k in a year travelling to/from Germany. Really good on long distance trips.
 
I'm on my second Toyota Yaris. The first was close to 100,000 miles and was bulletproof. I was going to run it until it died but a relative was selling a newer model with next to no mileage, so I took that.

Six-speed, all the bells and whistles - i.e. good-quality stereo, reversing camera and so on. I can get from Surrey to the Lakes on 3/4 of a tank while not being shy on the accelerator. It's good around town and has enough poke to get away at junctions.

It's quiet, and there are no squeaks and rattles. Sits four adult comfortably, and is more than good enough for two people going away on an extended break.

Recommended.
I too am on my second Yaris , this ones a 1400 diesel with all the above features. Nippy little thing , get a really decent 75ish on a long journey IF I drive sensibly had one problem when it was new , had driven the old one for 4 years , and it was petrol ...three month old car mis fuelled (CNUT! ME) and the tyres wore a bit on the outside , went to the local tyre centre , free laser/computer tracking check if they find nothing wrong , and they didn't , thing is if you drive it like you should drive a front wheel drive car gently brake as you approach the roundabout, then boot it around using the wheels to drag you round the curves it is a bit prone to scrub the outside of the tyres

did I mention £20 a year road tax

and I get out the car with no back pain after a long journey.... generally a little belter

Son has an Aygo , very basic (all he could afford after the separation, and all the bank of mumanddad would lend him) he drives about 20 out and 20 home every day , good performance good MPG for the size of the car , no road tax, and his kids love travelling in the roller skate, as they call it
 

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