I know - I'm a Hypocrite! I've done the Deal! (car Maintenance Dominoes!)
But can you guess what I've bought?
Despite my ranting and raving about how it's more economical to keep mending your old rolling shed. I have gone and bought a new car... Well... New-ish. It's less than 18 months old so I have 18 months of warranty and hopefully a few good years motoring out of it yet.
So why the change of heart? Well, one word. Hmmm, three words actually - CAR MAINTENANCE DOMINOES. When I bought my already ancient Jaguar X-Type I was hoping to strike it lucky and get a few years of 'trouble-free' out of it. I suppose in hindsight it was a bit like filling in a lottery ticket. Yes, technically there's a chance you'll get what you want, but ultimately you know that chance is actually very small and you probably won't be scooping the jackpot. Or in my case going 6 months out of warranty without having to get the hammer out.
Initially I had a front suspension issue, a boot strut and the heated windscreen only worked on the driver's side. Oh and the phone module blew up! I luckily managed to wrangle all of these as warranty repairs from Stratstone Jaguar - who were actually pretty good about the affair. Though they DID pull their face a little at replacing the £900 part - BlueTooth phone module.
Since then, in the two years I've owned it, I've done drive belts, coolant, plugs, injectors, handbrake, discs, pads, calipers, a hub.... Oh and my father-in-law chiselled the wheel nuts off! (Jaguar's OEM wheel nuts were frankly horrible. They'd essentially fitted the car with shear-off nuts.) I had an intermittent error about the catalytic converter come up and on one particularly terrifying morning it appeared to suddenly have no brakes - though since then I have neither been able to spot a leak or re-create the problem.
The bottom line is, it's showing it's age. Everything appears to be working fine at the moment, but I'm worried Car Maintenance Dominoes is about to start. It's a 12 year old car. If something goes, and you strike it lucky and fix that 1 thing first go... Well that means there's probably a number of other things lined up and ready to go. When you strip an old car down, things don't go back together as well. Nuts have rusted in, plastics have gone brittle and break, it's hard to estimate how much a job will cost, because you'll inevitably find other parts you have to buy to complete it.
I STILL maintain, that it would be cheaper to repair. However every repair has a time and inconvenience cost attached, AS WELL as a monetary one. So with a heavy heart, I've decided to say goodbye to a car I fondly nicknamed 'The Beast' on the day I bought it.
Trying to replace a 12 year old super estate (Yes! I love super estates! drivetribe.com/p/J27kagI1SrGsuK5SkX6SHA/RIZE3fV4QJWAdJHNCKQ7Cw) is hard when you have a limited budget and want something that's new enough not to trouble you for a few years. A petrol AWD super estate that's reasonably new for <£20k is rare. Well actually it's about as rare a GOOD 'Chris Evans Hosted Top Gear Episode' in other words it does't exist. Even if you were to go for an 'exciting as a tumble dryer' Skoda Superb Estate.
So I knew I had to give something up. Well, probably two or three things...
Shall we play a game?
Let's play a game! Don't worry, it won't involve you getting disemboweled or maimed!
I'll tell you what my X-Type has that I like, and some of the cars I've been thinking about. YOU see if you can guess what I've bought! First prize is the right to tell me I'm an idiot and it was a stupid game because it was too easy!
The X-Type is a 55 plate Sport Premium Estate with low profile tyres, electric memory seats, black leather interior, bluetooth phone, satnav, sunroof automatic climate control, 3.0 V6 petrol 231 BHP, AWD, heated screen, xenon headlamps with headlamp wash, electric powerfold door mirrors.
This is what I had to replace... What do you think I've had instead? (Clues at the end of the possibles list!)
I've been looking at:-
Abarth 595 Competitzione
Mini Countryman Cooper S ALL4
BMW 335d X-Drive
Audi S1 Quattro
Fiat Panda Cross
Ford Fiesta ST200
Ford Focus ST3
Ford Focus RS
Skoda Superb 296 BHP petrol, 4x4 Estate
Volkswagen Golf R AWD
Volkswagen Golf GTi
Jaguar XF-S Sportbrake
Jaguar XE 2.0 Petrol
Jaguar XJR (old shape)
Jaguar XJ 3,0 Diesel (New Shape)
Audi S4 Avant Quattro
Renault Sport Twingo Gordini
BMW 520d M-Sport Saloon
And probably a few more!
So what do you think I bought? Here's a few clues.
1. It's a distant relative of my X-Type
2. It's fairly practical but not as practical as the X-Type
3. It's got slightly more BHP than the X-Type, but will struggle to get the power down as effectively.
4. It's got that all-important heated quick-clear windscreen.
5. It's a decent 5 door family car, though smaller than the X-Type.
6. I managed to stay under my £20k budget on a < 2 year old car.
7. It's got Sat Nav, but no sunroof. I don't think you can even spec a sunroof on this model.
8. It's not top of it's range of model, perhaps 1 down? The top of the range is AWD and VERY new, so too expensive.
9. This model has been around for a LONG time. Since the late 1990's!
10. I managed to get my leather interior and comfortable seating for 5, but I had to give up a couple of cylinders. However I DID gain a turbo!
Well? The clues are in! What do you think? I reckon any numpty that's even remotely interested cars should find this easy! Come on people! Get your answers in the comments before the big reveal!
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