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Old 04.06.2015, 12:15
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Car buying advice

Hi All,

okay, so not a Switzerland- focused question, but I thought I'll give it a try.
I currently own a Megane II Combi which I need to replace due to its old age. I could replace it with a similar model, but I would like to get your input for some slightly more expensive alternatives.

I was looking at the Audi A6, but I guess it's a little too expensive for me. Does anyone have experience with the Audi A4 Combi? (I know the official Audi terminology differs). Is the passenger area smaller than in a Megane?

Are there any other models that you think I should look at? VW Passat perhaps?

Thanks for your help
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Old 04.06.2015, 12:18
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Re: Car buying advice

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Hi All,

okay, so not a Switzerland- focused question, but I thought I'll give it a try.
I currently own a Megane II Combi which I need to replace due to its old age. I could replace it with a similar model, but I would like to get your input for some slightly more expensive alternatives.

I was looking at the Audi A6, but I guess it's a little too expensive for me. Does anyone have experience with the Audi A4 Combi? (I know the official Audi terminology differs). Is the passenger area smaller than in a Megane?

Are there any other models that you think I should look at? VW Passat perhaps?

Thanks for your help
Perhaps you could help by providing more feedback on what is important to you:
- Budget?
- How many KMs per year?
- Fuel Efficient? How much town driving do you do?
- Performance?
- Sporty handling or comfortable ride?
- How much space do you need? Must it be a "kombi"?
- Any specific equipment needs? Eg Leather? Navigation?
- Is 4wd important?
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Old 04.06.2015, 21:56
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Re: Car buying advice

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Perhaps you could help by providing more feedback on what is important to you:
- Budget?
- How many KMs per year?
- Fuel Efficient? How much town driving do you do?
- Performance?
- Sporty handling or comfortable ride?
- How much space do you need? Must it be a "kombi"?
- Any specific equipment needs? Eg Leather? Navigation?
- Is 4wd important?
- Budget: The upper limit is about the price of an Audi A4 with a Diesel engine.
- How many KMs per year? It'll have to do 80,000 km per year. Mostly at speeds between 140-160kph (i.e. German Autobahn).
- Fuel Efficient/emission- it has to be a diesel engine. CO2 emission of 100-125 should be okay. Below 100 shall be amazingly good, but I doubt this exists in this car category.
- Handling: I'm not such a driving enthusiast. Controllability and safety at 160kph are important to me. Also low noise level in the passenger cabin while doing 160kph is important.
- space: Must be a combi convenient for a family of four with luggage. Even though I will be travelling with it mostly by myself, so I'm looking for a low-type vehicle (not a Ford S-max or an SUV).
- equipment- a built-in GPS would be nice. Leather seats- not necessarily critical. Strong headlights (not the simple halogen) are important.
- 4wd- not important at all.

So to sum it up- it needs to go fast and the cabine should be relatively quiet, allowing me to enjoy music during very long rides.
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Old 04.06.2015, 22:27
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Re: Car buying advice

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- Budget: The upper limit is about the price of an Audi A4 with a Diesel engine.
- How many KMs per year? It'll have to do 80,000 km per year. Mostly at speeds between 140-160kph (i.e. German Autobahn).
Budget: put a figure on it
KM: 80k????????? Really???
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Old 04.06.2015, 22:54
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Re: Car buying advice

have you been doing 80K a year with the Megane? impressive
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Old 04.06.2015, 23:17
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Re: Car buying advice

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Hi All,

okay, so not a Switzerland- focused question, but I thought I'll give it a try.
I currently own a Megane II Combi which I need to replace due to its old age. I could replace it with a similar model, but I would like to get your input for some slightly more expensive alternatives.

I was looking at the Audi A6, but I guess it's a little too expensive for me. Does anyone have experience with the Audi A4 Combi? (I know the official Audi terminology differs). Is the passenger area smaller than in a Megane?

Are there any other models that you think I should look at? VW Passat perhaps?

Thanks for your help
what about a toyota verso?
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Old 05.06.2015, 00:08
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Re: Car buying advice

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have you been doing 80K a year with the Megane? impressive
Yea, probably for 1 year
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Old 05.06.2015, 08:53
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Re: Car buying advice

Hi,

Budget is 50k chf.
The km/year figure is accurate. I travel quite a bit- consulting and a hobby which evolves travel.
The Megane was bought way back when I wasn't travelling that much.
Yes, a Toyota Verso could be an option. I'm not sure how quiet or how fast it is, though.
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Old 05.06.2015, 09:01
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Re: Car buying advice

Get a brand new Dacia (familiar Renault tacky interior) for half the price, and with the money you save, you can upgrade the stereo and buy an extensive CD library, then the road noise wont be a problem.

Otherwise, a poor man's Audi - a Skoda Octavia estate ...... even plod uses them as traffic cars on the autobahn.
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Old 05.06.2015, 09:48
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Re: Car buying advice

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Hi,

Budget is 50k chf.
The km/year figure is accurate. I travel quite a bit- consulting and a hobby which evolves travel.
The Megane was bought way back when I wasn't travelling that much.
Yes, a Toyota Verso could be an option. I'm not sure how quiet or how fast it is, though.
At 50k - you are not looking for a new car and when clocking those sort of KMs you are going to have to accept that in 2 years any value the car has is going to be wiped out.

Big KMs means diesel - you'll get reasonable economy when cruising but I'd nudge away from the 2.0 models into ones with a bit more muscle. This usually means slightly longer gearing (lower engine speeds and less noise) and are often better equipped.

For those sort of distances I'd be putting seat quality very near the top of the list which means, as to be expected, your choice boils down to the "premium" providers: Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo.

This is an Autoscout search within 50km which matches the requirements (Estate, 200ps+, Navi, Cruise, Xenon, under 50k chf, and under 60k km)

Of that lot the IBA XC70 is going to do everything you and more and has superb seats for long motorway cruises - the fact it is a grey import won't matter long term because of the KMs you are doing. Frequent visits to Germany should mean any servicing to be done can be done at EUR prices!

There are a few A6 3.0TDI - all within budget and reasonably specced, but I'd want to test drive one with the S-line suspension before you buy as they can be overly firm. Make sure you go for the later 245ps model as this gives better economy over the 239ps model. It also appears AMAG dealers have leasing offer on at 2.9% at the moment.

There are older BMW 330 diesels available and also the odd new shape one with the uprated 258ps engine. This is a stonking bit of kit (whichever age) but the newer car has a more resolved ride quality and better seats. You can also get into a 5-series for this money with the 258ps or 313ps 535. The latter will dispatch motorway journeys incredibly easily.

The outgoing C-class is a better looking car than the current one in my eyes, and the C250 offers enough performance BUT it is only a 4-cylinder engine and you may find it a little rougher at a steady cruise. The 6-cylinder 300 and 350, especially in the E-model are better bets. If you do make sure it is the 265ps model and not the 231ps model. The updated engine delivers better economy.

Finally on the Volvos the V70 is a better looking car than the V60 (IMHO) and is a wonderful cruiser, especially in Summum trim. The seats are superb and the cabin restful.

Final words of advice:
- For big KMs opt for a more powerful engine in a bigger car. A longer wheelbase gives a better ride and the cars tend to include better sound insulation and designed for a more comfortable/luxurious driving experience.
- Don't be tempted to downsize the engine for the sake of 0.5-1l on the EU combined cycle - running at 160kmh may well mean higher revs than in a more powerful and longer geared car.
- Try out the 4 major players before you buy - focus on the seats. Volvo are excellent but BMW's comfort seats are also worthy of high praise.
- Be prepared to wipe 80% of the car's value in 3 years of 80k per year driving.
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Old 05.06.2015, 09:53
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Re: Car buying advice

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what about a toyota verso?
Only if you work in finance and find tax legislation exciting...

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Get a brand new Dacia (familiar Renault tacky interior) for half the price, and with the money you save, you can upgrade the stereo and buy an extensive CD library, then the road noise wont be a problem.

Otherwise, a poor man's Audi - a Skoda Octavia estate ...... even plod uses them as traffic cars on the autobahn.
The Skoda is a good recommendation, the Dacia not so much.


Bottom line: 80k a year is MASSIVE. so if you buy a new or new-ish car will you lose a lot of value in no time. On top of that is of course fuel economy in your case MUCH more important than if you drive 15k a year.

I'd therefore recommend:
- buy a Diesel, four cylinder. Most boring driving experience in the world but if you can save say 3 litres per 100km does this sum up to a nice holiday each year...
- buy a car with over 100k km on the clock and sell it around 200-250k. In other words: if you drive that much will you change your car every 1-2 years if you want to maximize your bang for your buck.
- avoid anything SUV as you are driving at speeds where their form factor will cost you more fuel than they claim (the numbers by the producers are calculated on the basis of you driving 120 all the time...).
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Old 05.06.2015, 10:03
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Re: Car buying advice

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I'd therefore recommend:
- buy a Diesel, four cylinder. Most boring driving experience in the world but if you can save say 3 litres per 100km does this sum up to a nice holiday each year...
- avoid anything SUV as you are driving at speeds where their form factor will cost you more fuel than they claim (the numbers by the producers are calculated on the basis of you driving 120 all the time...).
A few years back I was cruising back from a race at Brno. There were 3 cars, myself in the Alpina Roadster (300ps Z4), a Dacia Duster and a Honda CRZ (the new one). We were clocking a fast cruise through the Czech Republic and Germany and I even bombed on ahead at one point to clock 270. Eventually though we all pulled in to refuel - having left Brno all on full. The CRZ spanked us on economy (7l/100km), then came the Alpina (9.4l/100km) and finally the Dacia Duster DIESEL (9.8l/100km).
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Old 05.06.2015, 10:20
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Re: Car buying advice

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A few years back I was cruising back from a race at Brno. There were 3 cars, myself in the Alpina Roadster (300ps Z4), a Dacia Duster and a Honda CRZ (the new one). We were clocking a fast cruise through the Czech Republic and Germany and I even bombed on ahead at one point to clock 270. Eventually though we all pulled in to refuel - having left Brno all on full. The CRZ spanked us on economy (7l/100km), then came the Alpina (9.4l/100km) and finally the Dacia Duster DIESEL (9.8l/100km).
The problem with the Renault engine and gearbox unit, is that it's geared about half a gear to low for the output (IMO) - which is not conducive to the best fuel economy.

It's the same in my Kangoo - 1.6 16v petrol 4x4 ..... I always and only ever average 10l/100km - which is crap.
However, this does include a lot of local runs (kids), loads of urban and not a lot of autobahn, with klima on and often loaded.

Even on a return trip to Europa Park, I'm only down in the low 9s - the gearbox isn't making the most of the (limited) power band.
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Old 05.06.2015, 10:38
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Re: Car buying advice

Skoda Octavia or if you really want tons of room the new Superb estate is very impressive for the money.

Move up a class or two both the Merc Class and BMW 3 have diesels close to the 100 mark in there eco diesel ranges
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Old 05.06.2015, 10:59
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Re: Car buying advice

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Get a brand new Dacia (familiar Renault tacky interior) for half the price, and with the money you save, you can upgrade the stereo and buy an extensive CD library, then the road noise wont be a problem.

Otherwise, a poor man's Audi - a Skoda Octavia estate ...... even plod uses them as traffic cars on the autobahn.
If you select Dacia, make sure that you check their crash-test ratings, from NCAP site....
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Old 06.06.2015, 02:48
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Re: Car buying advice

don't consider a dacia if you do 80k km.
I think your target is a premium station wagon or a flagship non-premium like the new skoda superb estate, the new passat probably too since it's moved more upmarket. Sound insulation is better and makes a difference with that kilometrage, audio should be better too (you have to add accessories though), suspension set-up, seats and overall comfort, little things people usually don't care about but you feel them if you travel a lot imho.
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Old 06.06.2015, 10:10
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Re: Car buying advice

with the KMs you'll do, any car you buy will lose the warranty if it's not gone already. I'd therefore go for a reasonably-run 3-4 year old car and run it into the ground. There are some amazing deals out there, the GF got an A3 1.8T with excellent spec for 18k recently. I'd not rule out petrol in the end - you could get a similar car and do a year in it then sell it. Repeat....repeat.

You'll be servicing 3-5 times a year too depending on the schedule....
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Old 06.06.2015, 10:17
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Re: Car buying advice

Lucky you did not buy a 2.0ltr.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/arti...uzzling-issues
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