Can You Recommend Me a Car for (Max) $18k?

Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase a car for (max) $18k which will be used for commutes to work (country driving) and monthly long-distance (~900km return) journeys.

Ideally, I'd like a sedan and am looking for something with reliability, safety and comfort for long-distance, country driving.

I've only ever driven older cars ('04 Corolla) so have quite limited car buying knowledge.

Can anyone recommend a car that fits my needs or help point me in the right direction to assist my decision?

Thanks!!

Comments

  •  

    I know you said sedan….but the VF SV6 Sportswagon looks sexy just standing still.
    Just bought one…2013, 96000kms for 18k.
    Awesome cars if your into Holdens. Some tint, slimline plates and she's a beauty.

    Good luck with the search.

    •  

      Thanks for your input! I've been looking at ~2013-2016 VF's (Evoke) as they seem to be a good option. Still not sold on a Sportwagon (although it'd come handy being able to sleep in the back every now and then on roadtrips)!

      •  

        If you are driving in a state with good LPG availability consider a dedicated LPG VE instead. i've had mine for a year and the LPG price is usually about half that of unleaded. it uses only about 20% more fuel because it is LPG so the savings per km are significant.

        • +1 vote

          I wouldn’t exactly call it significant , yes less

          LPG in Sydney the other day was about 82cents a litre so let’s call it a buck taking into account the extra consumption and ulp at the lower end of the cycle was $1.35 ,

          Also have typically a lower useful range

          So more or less $10 v $13.50 per 100 k

  •  

    I would recommend any large sedans for country road driving. I have a wagon myself and would recommend it if you need the extra boot space but there will be significant cabin and road noise due to the coarse chip roads. Just like everyone said, commodores, falcon and camry/aurion still rules the country roads and are popular with the locals. As a previous owner of a Suzuki Swift, never buy a small hatchback if you do need to go for long distance drives.

    •  

      Thanks for your reply!

      The extra boot space would be handy as my partner and I do go on a lot of roadtrips/camping/etc.

      Steering well clear of any small hatchback's! I think I'll have to go out and test drive a few to get a better idea of what I actually like. I'm currently eyeing off a ~2014 Commodore Evoke and a ~2014 Camry but I've never driven either before. Both have their pros and cons.

  •  

    If you want something a bit more luxurious comfortable and quieter ride try Toyota Crown:http://www.j-spec.com.au/featured/2009-Toyota-Crown-Majesta_C_Type-17939.html

  • +1 vote

    Lancer manual

    •  

      I love the Lancer for what is was, but since its no longer made, parts will become a pain. The wreckers will be full of parts, but mitsubishi only guarantees parts during warranty period + 1-3 years after the last of that model exit production. I use to work at Mazda and had massive problem with this and manga parts (back in 2010)

      •  

        They did cancel the Lancer…

  • -1 vote

    Used Audi A1 2014

  • +1 vote

    $18k? Are you sure you don't mean $80k?

    Cars are a high yield investment, I've heard.

  •  

    Have you considered a 2015 VW Golf?
    You should be able to find a Highline version with the drivers assist for roughly your budget.

    Interior noise is extremely low compares to a Mazda 3. Overall comfort and space is very good for a hatch and has a decent fuel economy for long distance (should get below 5L).

    And it's still one of the more popular small cars in Australia so resale value should be good as well.

  •  

    FGX Falcon or VF Commodore. Grab a G6/G6E in the Ford forleather interior or an SV6 in the Commodore as it has the better 3.6 litre (instead of 3 litre in the Evoke).

  • +3 votes

    +1 for demo Kia cerato sedan. All cars can potentially have issues, so for peace of mind you get a long warranty, and benefit of sitting in a car with more recent technology (e.g. safety systems etc….).

    As long as you don't sell in the first couple of years, resell value won't matter so much if you keep it 10-15 years like the corolla.

    all the best

    •  

      -1 for demo kia cerato. New model is out and value will be better held on a new shape than the old one. Also the new model has much better features including AEB, which reduces premiums alot. Its worth paying a few more thousand now or wait till Jan 19 and get the current shape.

      As far as kias go, best warranty, great service price and roadside for warranty period.

      Had read a few reports of people having issues with kia dealers and getting repairs done, but much less than most makers.
      Another point with buying new (for a few extra thousand) is you can generally negotiate some free services, free dealer hire car during breakdown and service + generally things like free car washes and vacuum for all services for life (thou this is becoming the norm).

  •  

    I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions that have popped up here about the Toyota Prius, and hybrid Toyota’s in general. I have owned a ZVW30R Prius (2009-2016) for a couple of years now, and have travelled nearly 80000KM in it. It currently has about 240000KM on the odometer, so it’s no spring chicken either. Firstly, the assertion that they get no better fuel economy than a non-hybrid vehicle during highway driving is false.

    The Prius has very low aerodynamic drag by design, drastically reducing wind resistance at high speeds compared to other cars. Also, the engine in both the Prius and hybrid Camry uses the Atkinson Cycle, which allows the engine to be much more thermally efficient than regular engines which use the Otto cycle. The downside of this is that the engine produces less power and torque than a regular engine. However, the power difference is fully erased by the electric motor assist, making it a break-even situation with regards to peak power, and giving superior average power and torque. Add to this that the average power needed to maintain speed at high speed, steady state driving is only about 20KW, much lower than the peak petrol engine output of 73KW, and combined peak petrol/electric output of 100KW.

    As a result, I get about 4.5L/100km with 90% highway driving on the M1 Motorway, significantly better than a non-hybrid petrol vehicle of the same size. As an aside, the interior room of the Prius is somewhere between that of a Corolla and Camry, not too shabby at all. Also, the battery is now 9 years old and shows no noticeable signs of deterioration either.

    All that aside, I can’t actually recommend a Prius to you at all, for reasons other than the above. Whilst being superbly fuel efficient and reliable, it’s actually a dud car to drive. Sound proofing is non-existent, road and engine noise is grating, suspension noise is jarring, interior cracks, creaks and groans never-ending. I have had to install sound insulation in all the doors and the hatch area just to make it bearable, and even then, it’s still worse than average. Impact harshness over bumps is excessive due to the low ride height (part of the aerodynamic design) and subsequent limited suspension travel (and torsion beam rear suspension). When the petrol engine cuts in during acceleration (which may happen 20-30 times during an average trip), a driveline thump makes itself known audibly and physically, along with the droning whirr of the soulless engine mated to the (admittedly sophisticated) Constantly Variable Transmission.

    Don’t do to yourself. Even though its cut my fuel bill by $35 a week, I’m thinking of getting rid of it and going to an EcoLPI Falcon, it’s that bad to drive. In summary, if fuel efficiency and reliability concerns reign supreme and nothing else matters, buy a Prius. If you want any sort of comfort, quietness and driving pleasure, be warned, you’ll eventually hate the damn thing!

    •  

      Interesting what you say about the noise

      WE caught a Prius taxi once from bris airport to Cleveland and never ever again

      The noise was horrendous , engine stop and start each time the driver put his foot down on the freeway

      Hybrid Camry is 100 times better

      •  

        Yeah I've been in Hybrid Camry Taxi's and was astonished at the quietness and comfort of the thing as you say. Truth be told, the Prius is actually a basic, tinny budget car fitted with a sophisticated drive-line, whereas the Hybrid Camry is built on a decent quality platform to begin with.

    •  

      nicely done, interesting read haha

      •  

        Glad you enjoyed it, I've been meaning to get that off my chest for a while haha.

        •  

          I hope you get something good to drive, get some soul back in your body

        •  

          That's the plan, life's too short for rubbish cars!

  •  

    I have a 2011 Toyota Aurion and it's great for long trips.

    Comfortable, quiet, good on fuel and has plenty of power for overtaking.

  • +1 vote

    Have a look at a Hyundai i40 diesel, I do mostly country driving and uses 5.8L to 100 going 120.

    Comfy to drive, great aircon and does fine on country roads/highway speeds.

    Has no dramas going 150.

  •  

    It all depends on you….. Are you passionate about cars or you don't care as long as they take you from point A to point B????? Do you need small or a big/family car???? Petrol costs???? are you small or a big fella.????etc… servicing costs????How long are planning on keeping the cars etc..

    The most reliable choice are usually the most boring cars you can drive but maybe you are fine with that..
    The usual cars that you see at the game of bowls… Toyota Camry or corolla or something out of the Subaru range…

  • +1 vote

    Hi,
    I just bought a 2013 Hyundai i40 Premium diesel for $11k (Can get a 2015 model for $15k).
    Parts are a little pricey but I did alot of research before buying it
    These run pretty well (diesel) and are well designed. They use these are Taxis in the UK.
    I do around 5,000k a month and have put 8,000km on it since buying.
    Fuel is very cheap. I get around 6 in town and 4.5 on freeway. If you drive manual you can get better than this (gear box holds the lower gear longer than I like).
    It has all the bells and whistles, but doesn't come with emergency automatic braking.
    Insurance and rego are also good.
    Only issues (these are common) is the early models (top of range) has auto following headlights, that are common to break and around $1,000 per one to replace (or just don't fix it and use them as normal headlights). They also have a floating dash, so check from creaks (drive on a rough road if you try one). People also complain about the (non-xenon headlights, ones that didnt pay for upgrade) as they are set low and high beams aren't great.
    They also come with fixed price servicing and you can check the prices on Hyundai website.
    I am a ex-mechanic for mazda and am stick of fixing cars, hence I choose this as they go well.

    Note: I know of 2 people who have replaced there diesel engines in UK. They normally get 250-300k miles and need replacing

    Otherwise my only advice is stick to Japanese or Korean cars (make sure they are made in those countries, a lot of indian crap has been hitting the market).

    I also strongly suggest jumping on a forum for the car you plan to buy, ask people and read comments. A little research goes a long long way.

    Goodluck mate

    • +1 vote

      I have bad dash rattle on mine on dirt roads, any way to get rid of it?

      • +1 vote

        This is what the people in the UK use. They say it works well. Mine has arrived, just haven't put it in yet. Weekend Goal

        https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Noise-Protection-Dashboard-Rubbe...

        Also if its an i40, join the facebook group, Hyundai i40 uk. As they use them as taxis over there, they seem to have figured out all the issues and solutions already

    • +1 vote

      I do around 5,000k a month

      Pharma rep?

      •  

        Lol. Unfortunately not. I live in rural NSW and drive to the coast each week for family / friends.

    •  

      Wow, that's a really good deal you got. How did you manage that?

      •  

        Alot of research online to figure out if the car was what I would want. Then keep an eye on the market (gumtree etc) for about 2 months and was able to pick out that premium models seem not to sell easily (same cars being relisted). Then came up with a fair price in my head and targeted sellers away from the city (south coast for me). Everything was in fair shape (need a new tyre etc) so got the price down and brought it.

        Hardest things is keeping your emotion out of it. If they have been relisting the car a few time and not getting many bites, then they we be more keen to settle than yourself.

        This method is pretty good for any wagons as people would rather SUV.

        •  

          Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  •  

    If you do a lot of highway, get a diesel.

    i30 Diesel's are genuinely great cars and they use barely any fuel. I think they're hatch only though so if sedan is a must, look at the Elantra then for newer or i40 for previous gen (they're the sedan versions of i30).

    I don't know your state but they're can be head pretty cheap for a newish model https://www.carsales.com.au/dealer/details/Hyundai-i40-2015/...

    (Note: Also come in wagon if you desire. I vote for hatch due to being a higher seller so easier to get a decent quality cheap one, but also seats fold down for heaps of extra room if ever needed. My wife and I moved interstate with 2 kids using jsut 2 hatches. Amazing storage capacity & versatility)

    •  

      Wagons are much easier to get cheaper than a hatch, as people don't want wagons. The wagon market died 5 years ago as they can now buy a raised wagon (SUV). i30 diesels are good, if 1st or 2nd gen auto, just get the gear box inspected. The solenoids (pack) go often. Elantras do look nice

  •  

    Suggest you have a look new HONDA , or MAZDA ( $18K ).if you expect better quality car.

  •  

    Mitsubishi Lancer, proven fault free, cheap to buy and run, premium Made In Japan