Suggestions for a Second-Hand Car

Hi! i think it's time for me to replace my Honda Jazz 2010 for something more comfortable during my long commutes 50 - 250kms between client sites for the next 3 years. my budget is between 10 - 20k. I dont intend to be a self-taught mechanic, hence no French cars.

i'm considering used cars, such as
- Kia Cerato 2016
- Hyundai i40 2011 - 2015 (diesel?)
- any other suggestions?

at this moment i'm not keen on brand new cars due to the long waitlist, but i can be convinced otherwise if the deal is good enough

let me know your opinions!

Poll Options


  • Add a poll and also we can add to it. You’ll may need the beta option enabled. ( “Take Suggestions from Commenters” )

  • +2
    Suggested Keep the current car

    Comment is required to suggest poll option

  • Suggested Hyundai i40

    Hyundai i40

  • +1

    For me buy a cheap new Kia. Full 7-year warranty for hassle-free motoring.

    • -1

      What would a 'half full' 7 year warranty entail?

      • Mechanical-only warranty would be considered 'non-full' warranty.

        Or they could mean 'full 7 years' as opposed to balance if not purchasing new.

  • +2

    2016-2018 Mondeo Trend or Titanium if you can find one

  • +7

    I've seriously lost count of the number of these threads we've had over the past few months.

    • at patterns on which car came out on top?

      • +5

        It would help if people came back and provided an update as to what they ended up buying.

        Which makes me wonder now.. how many people who ask these questions actually then go out and buy the suggested car? 🤔
        (Me thinks most come here for validation rather than suggestion!)

        • probably not a bad thing, that is not impulse buy… Those OPs may have got the sought after dopamine fix from the post and comments :D

          • @SF3:

            Those OPs may have got the sought after dopamine fix from the post and comments :D

            yes… the simple entertainment of the thought of having a car that's new to them lol

            • @bobbified: best bargain of all, it's "free".

        • +1

          Me thinks most come here for validation rather than suggestion!

          Oh yes, the echo chamber. Especially for traffic infringements.

      • Camry.

  • If its long hauls, why not a 5-7 odd year old prius privately for 20k?
    Or can import a Camry wagon hybrid from japan for 15k

    • i'm not familiar with hybrids.. wouldn't hybrids be more useful in start/stop city traffic? i'm in regional tasmania..

      • +6

        250km between clients? What, you going to drive around the island twice before you visit your clients?

        • I think you are showing your ignorance with that comment.

          • +1

            @GG57: lol. just treat it as a banter. there are days where my total kms in a day is 250kms from my place to clients' place and back to my place.

            • @AirbusA389: I agree that if it's mostly highway, hybrid is not necessary.

  • Buy a new Kia Cerato. Maybe one that's 2 or so years old like the 2019 model. But wait a few months to see where the prices go.

  • +1


  • If lpg is cheap and plentiful around your neck of the woods…lpg powered Ford Falcon, some people might see these cars as “retro” but they’re bulletproof and you see plenty of them on the roads still.

    • Is LPG actually cost effective any more? I thought it basically died off.

      • Sure is. I pay around $35~ here in Victoria for a 58l tank and I can get around 450-500km out of a tank!! I do 900km a week for work and notice a substantial difference to my fuel cost

      • +1

        With the price of lpg now it's basically pointless, endless you like having less choice of servos, and a shorter range.

        • Depends where you are. Here in Victoria specially around Melbourne geelong and Ballarat, lpg is still easy to find and plentiful. Most servo is around 0.70c per litter in my neck of the woods…compared to $1.30 for 91 unleaded.

          • +1

            @nick90: $1.30 when it's cheap. More like $1.50 when you need it.

            • @skillet: Agree. Or $1.70 when there is a demand for crude oil

              People think LPG is hard to get, which might be true if you live somewhere like the outback Queensland. However, majority of the servo in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Urban Western Australia have LPG fuel readily available.

              Moreover, we are not in the '80s where cars used to consume twice as much LPG, compared to petrol. LPG technology has come a long way and, the consumption of LPG can be minimal compared to a vehicle that runs on petrol. Unlike some other countries such as England, Germany and Italy, Australia has turned its back on LPG powered cars and gone to inferior Fuel type such as diesel. It's such a shame as we can produce LPG here in Australia without any dependencies needed on another country.

              I will continue using LPG for my cars as long as possible.

              • @nick90:

                gone to inferior Fuel type such as diesel

                Inferior?! I thought diesel was the most efficient of all fuel? Don't know how it compares to e85 though as thats racing fuel meant for race cars but diesel is definitely better than any other forms of fuel including unleaded and lpg.

                • @Zachary: Except that diesel is more polluting.

                • @Zachary: Yes, diesel contains more energy compared to petrol and LPG. However, the particulate matter of diesel is far more substantial compared to petrol. LPG particulate matter count is reduced substantially due to less CO2 it produces and the reduced chance of chemical vapours escaping while filling up.

                  Not to mention, most diesel cars come fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) on newer cars and, unless you run them on the highway regularly, they clog up and can cause your diesel car to run rough and cause it to chuck a warning light on the dash. To fix up your DPF, it can range from a couple of hundred bucks to clean them or a few grand replacing the particulate filter! Not to mention the cost of diesel pumps when they fail, injectors, etc adds up over time.

  • Stretch the budget for a Tesla?

    Hear me out…

    They're electric.

    • should stretch it even more and get a Bentley

      • stretch it even more more and get a stretch Bentley

    • If you stretch the miles on low charge dont bother getting refilled with a jerrycan.

  • -2
    Suggested Telsa Model 3

    Telsa model 3

  • <{oo}>

  • +5

    I don't know about you but i reckon unless the shocks are really worn , a 2010 Honda Jazz at around 30 PSI tyre pressure (cold) all around should be pretty comfortable.

    Most people don't know this also but if you change to a soft compound tyre it actually increases ride comfort quite noticeably but you do sacrifice a little treadwear rating for comfort but in almost all scenarios except frequent long distance highway travelling it is worth it.

    Speaking from experience , Honda Jazz by design is not made for comfort though it is a simple train station (a to b) car. it can do long trips very easily as it is fuel efficient but it shines in an hour or two use at the most.

    Just remember any used car you buy will always have a problem whether small or big and it will still cost you , then come the transfer costs ..additional rego if required …repairs ..catching up on maintenance for items that were neglected etc.

    If there ain't nothing wrong with the Jazz , keep it i assure you it will last you a long time. i got an 03 GD1 with 230ks on the odo and still going strong , nothing replaced bar small electrical items.

    If you are absolutely adamant on changing cars an i30 should be right up your alley , enough weight from the car on highway use so you don't feel like a fart in the wind giving you extra confidence , reasonably efficient and pretty reliable.

    But above all , to re-iterate…tyres can drastically change the comfort level of a car as well as tyre pressure changes.

    Good luck OP don't forget to let us know what you chose to do.

    • +1

      comfortable might mean things like noise or vibration, rather than the actual handling. I know with how loud my car inside is it's annoying.

    • yup, i'm looking for a more stable car that doesn't waver in crosswinds. my Jazz 1.3L doesn't handle well in windy situations.

      my tyres are new since Sept 2020 - Bridgestone Serenity Plus tyres. They are perfect with 36 front 34 psi back. I tried 32/32 psi - the drag is massive with very poor handling. The noise level is much better than the previous Falken tyres, considering Tasmania has coarse chip roads everywhere..

      more comfortable - better seats that doesn't cause back pain after 2h of driving?

      i30 - would you consider a diesel or petrol? My Jazz has manual transmission, i dont mind manual / automatics.

      • I have the exact same tyres , the tyres are hard compound and are meant for touring (long distances). you can get at least 87,000km out of a set as long as tyre pressure is maintained and rotated regularly.

        No point changing the tyres if they are new and you just spent money on them in that case.

        Just fyi its the extra energy from the road being fed back up to your body from the stiff setup , hence my recommendation for lower tyre pressures.

        There is often a huge difference you get when changing tyre pressure PSI anywhere from 3-5 , after about 5 psi usually the comfort level tapers off and then other components come into play (tyre construction , suspension shocks/springs etc)

        I used to run the same PSI setup for optimal fuel consumption and i know where you are coming from.

        The car isn't meant to "handle" at all its not a sports car , but yes the steering response starts to feel noticeably sluggish on lower pressures but you are gaining more comfort and overall traction.

        Higher tyre pressures also reduce the risk of road debris penetrating the tyre but again…because the serenity plus has a hard construction and the main grooves and especially the shoulder are pretty thick the risk is already minimised so you would be doing yourself a favor to set them lower

        additionally if you are on the highway because the tyre pressure is so high the car starts to feel unstable for a couple of reasons besiding the fact the car is already light , it allows for more air volume to travel under the car and "lift" it up so to speak giving the car that already has a high center of gravity an even "lighter" feel to it.

        If you are traveling on the highway my recommendation is (30 psi when cold) and it will heat up to around 33-34 which is ideal …yes it will feel like it creates drag but that's the point you are being pushed downward then lifted upward if that makes sense but it makes the car more stable , if its of any value because the car lacks power to do basically anything at those speeds you at least want to increase the stability vs trying to reduce fuel consumption at that point or improve handling because the reality is even if you had to do an evasive maneuver you would be SOL at that point due to insufficient power.

  • +1

    Toyota Camry. Decent mileage, comfortable, dependable.

  • Suggested Toyota Camry Hybrid

    How has no one suggested a Camry Hybrid, In burgundy…

    • Because you are paying extra for hybrid which is next to useless on regional commutes.

      But definitely a standard Camry in burgundy with crochet knitted tissue box on parcel shelf and picnic blanket over the back seats.

      • burgundy Camry! yes find me one! i'll buy it

        • I have no experience in a Jazz but I can add that our '13 Camry is loud on the freeway (Michelin primacy) and I have experienced crosswinds and it still moves the car, highway MPG is around 7-8L/100, base model seats arent that soft/comfortable, just ok. The ride quality is good! I do basic service myself ($80). Maybe overall, the facelift models on the new platform are better!

      • +1

        But it has the Atkinson cycle engine which gives great economy out in the regions.

        I hate Toyotas but I really enjoy taking the fleet Camry Hybrids out to the country, especially when they have Michelin tyres.

        The electric motor kicks in more than you'd expect and does good braking when you use the "gearbox".

      • Because you are paying extra for hybrid which is next to useless on regional commutes.

        I wouldn't agree with that.

        My partner has a hybrid RAV4 and it's returned 5.9l/100km and 6.2l/100km on two separate highway trips (the former 750 km, the latter 1100 km). That's sitting true on the speed limit with me behind the wheel. For the sake of some comparison, my turbo diesel Pajero Sport, before putting bigger wheels on, would return 9.5l/100km on the same trips.

        Plus the Toyota hybrids are a lot punchier than a standard N/A 4 cylinder, which counts for something if you're out on single lane highways.

        • +1

          Big difference comparing a RAV4 to a Pajero Sport (triton).

          My point was if that the majority of the driving is on highway then the hybrid batteries will not be charging and the electric motors will not be engaged.

        • My partner has a hybrid RAV4 and it's returned 5.9l/100km and 6.2l/100km on two separate highway trips (the former 750 km, the latter 1100 km).

          Sure, that’s low consumption, but what would a non hybrid get on the same trip? I suspect pretty close to those figures.

  • If you truly use your car 50-250km a week for clients for 3yrs then you're probably better off talking to an accountant slash leasing agent to work out the tax benefits to using your car for work.

    I was driving anywhere up to a 750-1,000km a week in my past job and you'd be damn sure I didnt want to do than in a Jazz or a Kia Hatch.

    • in 2018-19, i was putting 600 - 1000kms a week in my Jazz. Being new to driving + only having very little money in my bank account, i didn't think i have much choices. Now my finances are well sorted, and i had also driven my friends' spanking new cars, i am tempted…

    • yup, novated leasing is the only option for me. i'm an employee. i get to claim fuel expenses per km.

      i havent done my calculations in detail. I have this feeling that novated leasing isn't for me, my tax benefits are used to pay the interest on the car loan, with no real net benefit to me.

      • +1

        I recommend having a detailed look.
        You will get a new car to use.
        You may (depending on your lease) not have to outlay for rego, fuel, servicing, tyres, etc., for years. If you can claim reimbursement for your km, that sounds even better.

        Just make sure that you choose a vehicle with a reasonable re-sale value, to cover your balloon payment, or keep funds aside to cover that payment at the end of the term.

        • You will get a new car to use.

          But it will cost more, if not initially, than a used car. The extra cost of the car doesn’t magically go away. You may also be locked into a lease of a vehicle that doesn’t suit you in a short while.

          You may (depending on your lease) not have to outlay for rego, fuel, servicing, tyres, etc., for years. If you can claim reimbursement for your km, that sounds even better.

          But all those costs will be rolled into the lease payment, they also don’t magically go away.

          Just make sure that you choose a vehicle with a reasonable re-sale value, to cover your balloon payment, or keep funds aside to cover that payment at the end of the term.

          Balloon payment at the end or purchase cost up front choose your poison.

          I’m not against leasing per se, but you need to consider it carefully. Yes, it can work for you but the cost of running a vehicle doesn’t magically reduce because it’s leased.

          • +1

            @Euphemistic: All good comments, but if OP has not looked at the option in detail, I'm suggesting that they should be fully informed.
            It is possible to lease a used car, which may also be an option for OP to consider.

            Of course, OP may be in an industry where they already enjoy a tax-free component to their salary. That would need to be considered as well.

      • You can do a novated lease on a used car…

        • +1

          yes, i am aware of it. Cars have to be younger than 8 years old.

          Maxxia is my salary packaging company, their car loan interest can be as high as 9%. Maxxia is known to be not-very-transparent about interest rates.

          some days.. i just want to keep my life simple.

          • +1

            @AirbusA389: I've had a novated lease with Maxxia and everything you say is true. Never again.

            • +1

              @brad1-8tsi: i had sat on this Maxxia / novated lease information for 3 years. i haven't budged. My effective tax rate is 11%. i figured that it's not worth the hassle going through Maxxia.

              perhaps i'll consider other novated leasing companies when Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are launched.

  • Strip the interior floor, boot and rear hatch and install sound insulation. Install some twin tube KYB shocks x4 to improve the damping (yours are likely knackered). Put on some Michelin MP4's or Bridgestone Serenity Plus tyres, which will also improve damping and reduce noise intrusion into the cabin. Install a decent android head unit with android auto/apple carplay.

    If the vehicle is high mileage (250k+) then forget everything I just mentioned. If you want to keep it? Well that's another thing altogether.

    • yup, i'm running on Bridgestone Serenity Plus tyres since Sept 2020.

    • Lol michelin ps4 for a jazz? Tyres cost more then the car!

      • Michelin doesn't make small MP4s tyres 175/65/R15. I tried looking for these last year. the best i could find was Bridgestone Serenity Plus. I'm quite a sedate driver, so i value quietness.

        Cant do much with a 1.3L engine to begin with….. lol

        • -1

          On the plus side, engine is cheap to rebuild if you want to keep the car.

          Have you had the valves adjusted lately? (Lash)

          Buy a 30-40mm strut lift kit? More ground clearance.

          I'd be having some fun modding it for reasonable money.

      • MP4 not PS4

        • what's MP4? Michelin's website only suggest XM2s…

          • @AirbusA389: Michelin Primacy 4

            They also have different variants of the MP4, just to be nice and confusing.

    • I agree that financially, it's best to keep the Jazz running and replace it only when it's dying! The longer it runs, the more you get out of it.

  • +2

    So many options. It sounds like you want a bit bigger car, which I can understand for longer drives. Go test drive some and see which YOU like. A sedan or hatch will be cheaper to run and handle better than an SUV. Hard to go wrong with any popular Japanese or Korean model.

    Mazda 3 or 6, Camry, corolla, i30, i40, the list is long.

  • +1

    I think the Ford Mondeo hatch is a brilliant car. Make sure you get the Titanium version. Always looks brand spanking new and modern. The MC diesel is super economical, with adaptive cruise control and autonomous braking and in your price bracket, but the MD, I have a 2015 one, is miles ahead but the diesel option is often over 20k. I settled for the cheaper petrol option which is nowhere near as economical. Just make sure it's the Titanium model. It even has automatic parking. Parallel parking is superb, but the perpendicular parking you can do quicker and easier yourself :)

    Very comfortable cars with loads of space in the by hatch version at least .

    • i had worked in car rental agency as a backpacker back in 2008. American cars always have the bad rep for being unreliable. i'm quite wary of american cars..

    • Transmissions in these, even the non DCT versions cost a mountain to replace or rebuild. Wrecker transmissions aren't able to be installed because of how ford run the show with their calibration tools nobody else can use. Ford only guarantee the DCT for 160k at best, the normal autos should get 250k before they're toast.

      In terms of diesel models…no normal person understands you have to clean the fuel vaporiser every 50k for the dpf to work properly (and not cause no end of costly issues with dpf), intake manifold and EGR+pipe every 50-60k, DPF cleaned every 100k (if you're keeping it that long). Oil/Air separator RCC351K will help but that'll be near $200 plus a few hours to install properly and you'll need to source some rubber pipe to fit your crankcase ventilation.

      Spending your commutes in all gears above 2000rpm is recommended too.

      Mondeo is a European vehicle BTW.

      • thank you for the explanation! sounds like the petrol variant is easier to maintain.

        • The only thing less complicating is that the petrol models don't have a DPF, but they have 2 turbos if not the 2.3 NA 4cylinder model.

          Petrol models still use EGR and that still needs cleaned around the same km interval as the aforementioned diesel models.

          • +1

            @Bamboozle: anything with a turbo = more maintenance to do?

            • @AirbusA389: More moving parts = more frequent maintenance

              Because a turbo shares the same oil that your engine uses and the fact that the engine oil takes more of a beating so to speak even on normal use more frequent maintenance is required.

              For example a Honda Jazz with a NA (naturally aspirated - non turbo) motor off memory the book will say 20,000km or 1 year but a Suzuki swift GLX Turbo specifies every 10,000km or 1 year whichever comes first.

              And that is just for a standard passenger car and even 10,000k's on a stop-go city car is placed in the "extreme condition" category and would require sooner oil and filter changes , but people don't bother.

              In a performance car with turbo or supercharged applications ideally you should not be going anymore then 8000ks between changes at the most (i do mine every 5k because oil is cheap insurance).

              Without dragging on too much , what i am mostly trying to say is if you ensure you keep up with maintenance buying a turbo car is not a huge risk and has a lot of benefits. don't be scared to get a turbo car but if you do ensure it has a good service history.

              • +1

                @DisabledUser373341: my 2010 Honda Jazz manual says to service every 6 months or 10k kms, whichever comes first. honestly, i just changed the engine oil and filter every 7-8000kms, using Penrite full syn oil.

  • Most cars recommended here are eco cruisers. You won't feel much difference in then than yours particularly if you're after less road noise and vibration.
    The only semi reasonable ones are Camry and Aurion.
    Go for larger longer cars of you travel that much per day and fuel efficiency sunny be that had on long highway haul on big cars.

    Source: I own a very old large car which is much much better for long drives than any new tiny car I've sat in.

    • i did look at Aurion, the 3.5L engine = high fuel consumption?

      i'm too used to the misery 6-7L per 100kms on the Jazz. $40 for a return trip of 500kms.

      • I've got a 2004 ES300 (similar to the Camry 3.0 V6 of that same era). Around town I get about 11L/100KM. If I drive a long distance (say travel to Bendigo from Melbourne) it drops to 6L/100KM.
        For me personally the extra fuel cost is well worth the excess comfort and quiet I get.
        My car has 230,000km and still no signs of being on the way out.

        • The newer big engine cars have much better around town fuel efficiency thanks to many advances in engines design (for example Toyota has their port and direct injection and as result you get extra power when needed and better fuel when needed and as a side benefit much less chance carbon build up).

          I would highly recommend you at least test drive one of these larger cars and see if the extra comfort is worth it or not. While considering you're usually getting a much better deal for bigger cars due to less demand. As in the depreciation is a lot sharper for a 4 year old full sedan than a tiny hatch.

          The hybrid in Camry will be able to help your want for better fuel as well as giving you a quieter ride around town. As an added bonus the extra weight for batter pack makes the car feel more planted. Though if given the choice, I'd pick my 16 year old ES300 over a 5 year old Camry any day of the week.

    • Depends on the road a bit. I found falcon/commodore much less comfortable on narrow roads because of the extra concentration required on bends with oncoming trucks.

      • True, if he's driving around on curvy mountain roads he needs a sporty luxury car like 3 series, C class or IS350.
        Given he's saying fuel efficiency of his jazz is 6-7L/100km I have assumed this is straight highway driving rather than spirited mountain climb in the curves and bends. Unless he's that guy who drives 20km/h in The Black Spur drive and ruining it for everyone.
        Having said that, I find the Camry/Aurion to be more comfy and quieter than falcodore, specially if it's the Japanese vs Aussie ones.

        • Actually the specific experience I had was that the Camry was much more relaxing than the Falcon, but that was in the 90s and I think Camry's have grown a lot. Lots more windy roads in Tassie than WA, but probably better built than Chester Pass Road and less road trains.

        • i consider Melbourne - Ballarat as an "flat" highway.. not much inclines to do. I believe my Jazz would do a 5.5L per 100kms there. Hobart to Launceston has a few steep inclines and plenty of roadworks, and i can still clock 6.5-7L per 100kms.

          • @AirbusA389: The flat is not so much of an issue it's more to do with flow. My commute to work is very hilly and curvy and I can do 7L normally but if stock behind a slow car (single lane) I end up doing 10L.
            Anyhow, the 9ld saying goes:
            fuel efficiency

            Pick two 😀

            If you're so so content on having the best fuel efficiency good looking at light weight small engine car. There's a reason luxury cars are usually big engines and heavy. Heavy because sound deadening material and comfort comes at the cost of weight and power to carry that weight seamlessly around (I spend most of the time below 1800rpm if I drive sanely) not the same case with say a corolla/Lancer which I've driven on the same routes.

            Again if you want best fuel and reasonable comfort hybrid is the only way to go. Do consider the cost of possible battery replacement/refurbishment down the road (around $2-rk depending on car and place you go).
            Best of luck with your search mate and hope you find the right car for you.

  • -1
    Suggested Toyota Prius Hybrid

    Average ~4Lt/100kms city driving.

  • You require a decent vehicle built for long travels. Look at what traveling salesmen drive. They a big comfortable strong cars.
    By a Jag… you can get them cheap these days and maintenance is relatively cheap… don't be fooled by idiots scaring you out of the idea.

    • Jaguar? i had zero experience with Jaguars. i had been in one many many moons ago, pretty impressive.

      OzB love Jap and Korean cars, no love for continentals.. could you share your experience please?

      I'm pretty tempted by the 2018 Merc GLA.. it's 40k though

  • Suggested Jaguar!