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Old 08-03-2017   #16
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Interesting post.. a few years back the current Polo was a 3* rated car as was the launch review of the current Fabia.

However, overnight they became 5* cars... hmmm okay.

VAG seems to get continuous praise from the mags, and one recent review on autocar says that a Skoda is more involving to drive than a Mazda 3, which it's not.

I did a bit of digging around as it's suspicious. Anyway, Autocar and Whatcar are owned by the same company - Haymarket Publishing. Within Haymarket, their is a Haymarket Network company. And a look at this reveals..... VW as one of the companies paying Haymarket as a client.

http://www.haymarketnetwork.com/clients/volkswagen

So.... preferable reviews?? Possibly yes.

Also, I subscribe to Autoexpress and for months now I've been checking.. the first two pages of the magazine is always a double page VAG company advert, and then the 3rd page also tends to be a VAG advert... huge revenue coming in from that.

So..... VAG pays heavily, the public fall for it and think they are driving premium high quality cars, when the reality couldn't be further from the truth.
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Old 08-03-2017   #17
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Re: What is it with What Car?

What gets me about VAGs is how low spec they are. I've got an 06 GP, which comes with so much more, electric windows, AC, remote central locking, side airbags, alloy wheels etc etc. Yet most of my friends seem to have brought Polos. Which for some reason cost twice the price and come with literally nothing! Also they all seem to misfire (yes maybe these are just isolated cases, but 4 of them? Really??) It makes no sense!
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Old 27-05-2017   #18
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
To be fair the ADAC magazine article (on their website) criticises the tipo's fuel economy, poor interior materials and emotionless steering.

Auto express, while rating it higher than the skoda and Citroen, recommend buying a 3000mile golf for £1000 less.
Buy your Golf and pay for the repairs. I have had both and I have found Fiat to be significantly more reliable and cheaper to run. Depreciation is another matter though and that is your biggest cost. The Golf was very good in this respect. Someone else was left to replace the turbo and repaint the whole car where the laquer was peeling off in very large sheets. But if they were willing to but it in that condition good luck to them. I will not buy another in a hurry even though it was nice to drive when it went.

In the Bravo I have done twice the miles at half the service and repair costs, and it uses less fuel too. I prefer to get there without breakdowns.
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Old 28-05-2017   #19
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Quote Originally Posted by petercresswell View Post
Buy your Golf and pay for the repairs. I have had both and I have found Fiat to be significantly more reliable and cheaper to run.

I did buy my golf, new! So well covered by warranty and no third year dealer only warranty to contend with. Service plan and AA cover for years to come.

The other thing is that mine was built in Germany unlike most golfs, at the VW Osnabrück plant, where a lot of the work is done by hand along side porsche, so I have no concerns over the build quality

Looking at the fiat 500 for example, they have no end of problems with wiring looms breaking, door handles breaking and the twinair engines are starting to show their week points with failed valve servos costing £1000 a time.

I'm not saying that VWs are completely impervious to failures but your belief that fiats are any more reliable than any other car is very much a myth.

I had my punto from 3 years old and in that time it needed new glow plugs, a battery earth lead and a new water pump, in 8 years of ownership that's pretty good for any car, but our HGT punto had failed cam tensioner failed fly wheel, no end of electrical gremlins and broken gear shift cables. So there is good and bad in anything.
Fiat's as a general rule are cheaply made and more likely therefore to see failures of cheaply made parts.
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Old 30-05-2017   #20
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Well.. I don't think there's any disputing that some Fiats are cheap... and some parts are disappointingly short-lived... but the issue (I think) is that Fiat doesn't really pretend otherwise (although 500 probably pushes it).

On the other hand, some manufacturers (e.g. VW) set themselves up as being "Premium" because they put a damper on the grab handle or something of equally dubious value... but fit the same quality of cheap parts under the hood and then sell the whole dubious article from a more expensive showroom.

To me the elephant in the room is that both the dealer and the punter know that the car isn't all that great but they momentarily suspend their rationality and pay over the odds, because of the cleverly constructed perception that it's worth it "for the experience".

Most cars... Premium or Basic .. all end up in the scrap yard after 12 or 15 years. I don't see thousands more VW Golfs from the 1990's for example still running strong, even though they sold many times more of those than Fiat did Bravo's etc. so the damped grab handles and softy feeling plastics, and "more expensive" (rather than better quality?) parts don't seem to add anything to the life of the car. You pay that premium just for the privilege of scrapping something that was once expensive.

On the other hand.. a cheap/basic car may be easier/cheaper to fix.. that must work in its favour and increase its prospects of survival..?

Ralf S.
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Old 01-06-2017   #21
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Quote Originally Posted by Ralf S. View Post



Most cars... Premium or Basic .. all end up in the scrap yard after 12 or 15 years. I don't see thousands more VW Golfs from the 1990's for example still running strong, even though they sold many times more of those than Fiat did Bravo's etc. so the damped grab handles and softy feeling plastics, and "more expensive" (rather than better quality?) parts don't seem to add anything to the life of the car. You pay that premium just for the privilege of scrapping something that was once expensive.



On the other hand.. a cheap/basic car may be easier/cheaper to fix.. that must work in its favour and increase its prospects of survival..?



Ralf S.


I think there is a lot of what you may choose to see rather than what is the case.

There are loads of 1990s VWs check out eBay and you'll see dozens of old golfs from that period. If you do the same with fiat then all you'll find is lots of old motor homes that need a lot of work.

A poor example of the bravos and bravas, these did have soft texture rubber door handles that literally fell apart as the rubber degraded and cracked.

A main factor in the longevity of a car is when the cost of repair out grows the value of the car.
If a very cheap car and the repairs are cheaper then this doesn't really make any difference, someone will still scrap the car if the costs of repair grow larger than its value.
Old golf's still have a following in the VW scene especially kids who want a very for a first car but can't afford a beetle or a camper, so an old polo or golf will do, this keeps the prices up, there isn't the same following for fiat so and old fiat sadly ends up on the scrap heap.
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Old 26-08-2017   #22
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Re: What is it with What Car?

The reviews nearly stopped me buying my Tipo, but I remember the reviews for my two reliable, fun too own and drive, Pandas were also fairly poor overall.

I did wonder if the reviewers went for a very short drive and then compared notes over a liquid lunch.

When did plastic become a subject for snobbery?.

I think that the fairest review appeared on the Honest John website, and it was this review that helped me decide on the Tipo.
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Old 27-08-2017   #23
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Re: What is it with What Car?

A car's reliability will depend on the quality of its components and the quality of it being put together, plus some influence from the design of how it all works. However, in my experience, long-term reliability is more influenced by the way it is driven and treated.

When I first went to work at a Rover dealer, early seventies, the warranty clerk showed me his records. It was the same customers showing most faults, year after year, regardless of which car they had. We saw several instances of cars returned for warranty work weekly, then sold on to a different owner, and no faults ever again. When you buy used, you are at the mercy of the previous owner(s).

My Father was a 'breaker'. Every car he ever had needed constant attention to keep going.

My Panda seems to keep going despite some neglect. I've had quite a few Fiats, all except one have been ultra reliable. And I still miss the unreliable one, just like the rest.

I work with a company who used to run a fleet of Octavias. Now using Civic and V40 as the Octavias were costing too much in repairs and downtime.

I've seen an Audi A4 pool car with nearly 200k on the clock. Apart from faded paint and needing new wiper blades at the time it was first presented to me, it drove very much like the new ones on their fleet.

It is difficult to buy a poor car. It is easy to find a poor owner.
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Old 28-08-2017   #24
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Quote Quote:
However, in my experience, long-term reliability is more influenced by the way it is driven and treated.
Well said, sir, well said.

I often wonder why some people get so much trouble with their car (any make..). Maybe the nut behind the steering wheel is at fault.
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Old 30-08-2017   #25
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Quote Originally Posted by glenn2602 View Post
I often wonder why some people get so much trouble with their car. Maybe the nut behind the steering wheel is at fault.
Never a truer word spoken.
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Old 30-08-2017   #26
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Re: What is it with What Car?

I too concur with this as well. Getting all worked up about a car mag' & what has been said that doesn't fit in with your thoughts really not a big deal..
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Old 02-09-2017   #27
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Interesting - my Grande Punto was terrible for reliability with numerous expensive faults including gearbox, dual mass fly wheel, brake calliper, turbo, suspension top mounts etc... I looked after it well and serviced properly at the dealers and ran it until 56k miles. This was replaced with a MK3 Focus estate and I covered 60k miles of fault free no warranty claims made...
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Old 02-09-2017   #28
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Re: What is it with What Car?

At the risk of dragging this thread on, as previously mentioned how everyone has a story to tell regarding their lives with particular makes of vehicles. Certainly not aimed at anyone in particular & you will read the same story on other forums regarding weapons of choice or not as the case may be. Out of the thousands of members on here alone, you will come across the good, the bad & the other when people tell their stories of woe or happiness on their findings in their motor world. No surprises there, it's human nature at it's best/worst what ever way you look at it.

Although I'm at the cynical old git stage in life, I still consider myself a very fair person & take things at times with amusement & do wonder why at times "some" take things in life far too seriously indeed. I've said before many times....I like to make my driving experiences with vehicles as pleasurable & happy as I can. Happy trails to one & all. No I haven't been at the wine.....YET.
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Old 02-09-2017   #29
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Re: What is it with What Car?

Ive had 5 pandas and probably done near 150000 miles in them. The only failure was a wheel falling off on an heavily abused 4x4 86 d reg which was regularily used on the beach and off road in the countryside.
Having bought many cars i always do a bit of research first and check out the paperwork and forums if available and ive never bought a dog yet. Even family members ask me to find their cars for them and never got a bad one yet. Maybe ive been lucky the only thing that i can remember from 20 plus cars of my own other than consumables (cambelts, other belts, exhausts, tyres, and sevice items) was a 120000 mile audi 80 cabriolet which broke a spring. In the last 25 years ive Only ever paid for one cambelt One exhaust and a few tyres but only keep cars 18 months to 2 years.
I tend to buy cambelt done, v good service history and best condition i can find for a fair price also the way the owner comes across can make or break the sale for me, but will spend up to a few months looking to find the one i want as i am quite fussy lol
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Last edited by sandeel999; 02-09-2017 at 14:31.
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Old 10-09-2017   #30
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Re: What is it with What Car?

With regards to motoring press, I too have noticed that anything made by ford or vw tends to receive amazing reviews, and as such, I don't hold their opinions with any value.

With regards to reliability, I would also agree that the biggest contributing factor is how a car is driven and maintained. However, I do believe that there is also an element of sheer luck tbh.

With regards to the number of old vws still on the road, I would agree with andyrkett: I don't quite know why, but for some reason, old golfs and polos are popular with certain type of younger driver, and examples that should really have gone to the scrapyard a few years ago are run as "projects"
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