Can I call you Brit-Bros? Umm.. Okay .. I'll stop calling you Brit-Bros. No, please. Put the broken beer bottle down. I was just kidding! Relax!
So, the time has finally come to leave the land of ice and snow for greener pastures. I have sold my home and soon my cars. My debts are paid and I'm planning on taking some of my money and settling down in Britain with my girlfriend for a few years.
I need transportation! Good transportation. And I am very picky.(This will soon become apparent).
I've been scouting the car market for a while and I'm very happy about the prizes being as low as they are(compared to Norway) I have a few good contenders in varying sizes and configurations and I wonder if any of you have any good advice. I am mostly looking for somewhat sensible mid-sized Estates(Stick, 4/RWD etc you know how it goes with us narrow-minded jalops), but I don't necessarily need it. Another thing I have noticed in Britain is that there is a much greater stigma connected to certain cars than elsewhere. I am planning on having a car that is at least somewhat presentable. Enough about this. Let's list!
1. '06-'08 Subaru Forester 2.5XT
It's hard to argue against this car. 2.5 turbo, great acceleration, prettiest Forester model, good mileage, very good prices and (I imagine) hella much easier to find a good, well maintained specimen driven by adults than the Impreza. However, although I have done a lot bodywork on these, I am unsure about the mechanics. I imagine the 4wd system complicates a lot (here's hoping Subaru knows what they are doing), I am not entirely convinced I need a 4wd SUV in Britain at all. Do these things stay together? How are the parts prices?
All in all, good performance, good value, very presentable.
2. Suzuki Swift 1.3 DDIS
No, this doesn't really meet any of the criteria I'm looking for, but I'm sort of in love with these things. I've worked quite a bit with them and I'm quite taken with the simplicity and sensibility of this thing. And it looks pretty good too! Which is saying a lot, seeing as I am allergic to small eco FWD hatchbacks. This was a strong contender when I started looking for cars, but has lost a lot of ground. They're fairly pricey compared to other cars and although they will save a lot in fuel, they still cost a lot to insure (insurance prices in Britain are HIGH). True, the high price means they don't devaluate as fast, but I'm just not sure I want to give up the luxuries and performance of the other cars on the list just to save a bit in fuel costs. Older, cheaper Swifts might still be interesting as ultra-low-bugdet A-B mobiles if I decide to go that direction.
3. Late Model BMW E46 2.5-3.0 Touring
Both diesels and petrols are interesting for this one. Not too small, not too big, rear wheel drive, big fun engines, proper BMW design. These have been growing and growing on me since they were new and the looks really hold up very well. They're not quite up there with the E39 on BMW goodness, but in my eyes the prettiest 3-series that isn't an E30(and those are sadly a little old to be a daily driver for me this time around. Fuck, what am I saying I'd throw all my money at a good E30 touring) It's still the car of a cock, but less so as an estate.
Any knowledge on the build quality of these? I assume there are plenty of aftermarket parts around for these (and plenty at the salvage yard too), but in my experience, German cars of the nineties are cancer on wheels. Both in terms of rust and electrical components. Could use some advice on which engine is the better choice.
4. Lexus IS300 Estate
Probably the RWD estate with the least stigma out there.
HOWEVER. No stick, bad performance and bad mileage compared to a real BMW makes me a sad boy. The more I look at these, the more I'm left with the impression of a lackluster car. A shame. I really like the looks of it. The IS200 is still interesting if I decide to budget it up.
5. Subaru Impreza WRX Estate Hawkeye
OH SHUT UP YOU KNEW IT WAS COMING! Sometimes you just need to leave all inhibitions behind and follow your dreams. This is mine. Well, okay, I have greater dreams, but those don't come as quick little estates. The hawkeye looks fresh (DISCLAIMER: I love both the bugeye and the blobeye, but I feel they haven't aged quite as graciously as I hoped when I started looking around) and as long as it's not an electric blue STI sporting golden wheels, they don't scream YOBBO. It just shouts it quietly.
How are the 2.5 litre engines? I'm still a bit worried the 4wd system complicates the drivetrain a little too much for my liking. I assume the aftermarket market for these is quite big. That, and because I don't plan on driving like a nut, I hope keeping it running won't cause me too much grief. This is also the only car on this list I haven't driven myself. I've been in a couple of STIs, but I was too busy praying to the flying spaghetti monster to really make any assessment about how they are as daily drivers. I was hoping the later model WRXs were a bit more civilized. I will need to test drive these before I decide. It would be cool to have a car I can track-day for once.
6. Volvo 945 Turbo
My current daily driver(not the one in the pic of course).
What can be said about these? Rock solid stupid simple Swedish turbo wagon. I'd gladly nominate these to be the least dumb cars of all time. In Scandinavia the prices of these just stopped around 2K£ and refuse to budge. I love them. Classy, classic, clunky.
7. Toyota Surf 3.0TD
Oh, come on! This is stupid. I don't need a big off-roader. Especially not a Toyota 4-Runner with a 3.0TD OH GOD I WANT IT SO BAD! But I'm not even gonna drive off the road over there at all! Do they even have gravel roads in Britain? It's so big! Think of the economy! And parking! Britain is all towns and cities everywhere SHUT UP BRAIN I WANT ONE!
Look at it is sho cute! http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/adv…
So, I donno... Anyone have any helpful advice? Any cars I should consider? I'm sort of allergic to VAGs and Mercs. I should probably look at a few Fords as well.