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The FN2 Civic 2.2 diesel is an absolute beast and a very nice place to sit. I have a customer at work who has one clocking up to 350k miles and still drives brand new. Lovely motor if you can live with the looks.
 

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If you're doing a house up, look for a small van or estate car! If I was going to do it again that'd be the first thing is invest in.
 

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Vectra design estate diesel on a 2006 we had one and found it to be good spec and size half leather/sat nav/Aircon/4 electric windows/alloys/ 1.9 150bhp Best till last electronic tail gate so if your hands are full 1 touch up she goes:) just a thought .. to


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Stuff diesel specially that mileage a year. Plenty of good petrol cars for 3k that will give you 40 plus mph, and be less expensive in the long run.
 

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Sounds like you need an estate car.

I have a 1.3 Colt for a daily which records upto 53mpg on the 15 mile each way commute to work. Probably too small for you if your doing a house up but don't discount a petrol.
 

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The FN2 Civic 2.2 diesel is an absolute beast and a very nice place to sit. I have a customer at work who has one clocking up to 350k miles and still drives brand new. Lovely motor if you can live with the looks.
FN2 1.8 Type S: the other half has one; nice inside, loads of space and I'm sure it runs on hopes and dreams!

If you get the mid-term facelift one 2006/07 I think you get the alcantara (probably velour) seats which are nicer. We've had it since 50k miles and its now on 130k, used every day and never missed a beat. Other than oil/ilter changes I recently replaced both front shocks as one was knocking. But thats it, in 50k miles of useage!
 

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I've got a 2001 Honda Accord hatch 2.3 V Special, which I bought 3 years ago with 70k on it, now on 100k, never missed a beat, full leather, air, bose, electric everything, even sat nav as factory fit still works (if not up to date!!)

Back seats fold and with the hatch it is massive - I could get more in it that the C Class Merc Estate I was running at comparatively huge expense before it

Sure looks dated but the drive is actually quite nice - sits at 80/85 on the cruise no problem everyday and returns low 30's mpg

Not bad for £1,400 quid. I change the oil twice a year and cam belt and other than a couple of minor bits, its not needed any other money spending on it

Ridiculous thing is, after the EVO it is probably my favourite car
 

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Totally agree with the comment about diesel. You'll end up spending loads more on service items and problems (in my experience) than you will save at the pumps - petrol cars much cheaper to look after and more reliable I reckon unless you are doing stellar mileage
 

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My wife's got a Colt CZ1....1.1 litre, 3 cylinder.....Best car I've ever owned.....we've had it 10 years & it's been serviced 3 times and had 2 new tyres and that's it 👍👍

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Fiesta 1.25 Zetec - new shape (non-facelift) easy to get a decent one and only £30 tax and cheap insurance etc. £2.5K to 3.5K will get you a Mk7 one basically with between 50K and 80K miles no probs.

Small car but spacious really and practical for a daily.

German built in Saarbruchen.
 
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