Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New Car Time

I have been boring people to death with thoughts about buying a new car.

I am unfortunately not one of those people who can simple say "I want that one".

Ten years ago, maybe, when Nissan were reliable.

However newer cars have so much more fangled gubbins to go wrong - and that's mainly with the diesel engines, from diesel particulate filters that require a certain way of driving (eg 60km/h for 20 minutes) to re-generate, dual mass flywheels, injectors, timing belts vs virtually indestructable timing chains, egr valves, even service intervals.

My Primera, do an oil and filter change at 6000 miles and the car continues.

However my car is now smoking at start up, so it's nearly dead.

On top of the diesel problems, and each manufacturer has their own unique design and way of doing things, some belts last longer than others, some injectors are better, some engine designs are more robust, others disintegrate, Ford Mondeo legendarily reliable in 2007+, but economical.

Which brings us to economics. The MPG you see isn't necessarily the MPG you get. Do you accelerate hard or soft? What kind of mileage will you be doing? How many miles? The recommended level for jumping to diesel was 10k miles per year, but people now keep revising to 12k, 15k, 20k miles! They can't all be right?

Some cars cost more to service, some cars eat through tyres. Some timing chains are poorly designed.

Which brings us to the design. Does the cabin layout fit you, or are the pedals too squashed, do you have big feet and there's heavy plastic in the drivers footwell causing an obstruction? Can you see out of the rear OK? Does the car fit you?

Unfortunately my decision isn't "Yes" or "No", but I have to base this on how much I could estimate to spend on maintenance, reliability, MPG, CO2, power and performance, torque, fun, and design.

Hard to tick all of those boxes at the moment.