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The Mazda MX-5 has to go

But what to replace it with?

22/01/2014 07:53 | Comments: 
The MX-5 is not ideal for a dog owner. Is the BMW E36 Compact the solution?

Totalcarmagazine's own Buyer's guide

Dear Friendly Car Dealer,

after 6.5 years my beloved MX-5, which I bought at the recommendation of the Totalcar magazine , had to go. Not so long ago I still swore I’d be buried in it, but then the family expanded. Although my new boxer looked really cool grinning on the back seat, I soon came to my senses. He would’ve amortized the passenger compartment in the long run, and I guess I would even have been fined sooner or later.

The problem is I really came to like the RWD and the precision of the gearbox, so I’d stick to these. I don’t do more than 5-6 thousand km a year, so the new one should be a petrol car, too. Under 3000 Euros, please.

Am I right in assuming that what I need is a small, E36, 4-cylinder quasi-BMW? Judging by its trunk the Compact seems to be an option as well.


László and Valter, the dog

Dear László and Valter, the dog,

You are right. You can buy a pretty decent BMW E36 for this price. But you should keep an eye on the rust, especially at the lower edges and the corners of the doors, on the wheel arches, on the sill at the jacking points, and at the edge of the trunk lid. From an engineering point of view the E36 is quite a reliable construction, and aftermarket and used parts are both readily available. Maybe you should consider buying an estate, though, in which Valter would have a lot more space than in the hatchback Compact.


Your Friendly Car Dealer

"Dear Friendly Car Dealer" is a regular column in the Hungarian edition of Totalcar Magazine. Our Agony Aunt has been trading cars for over 20 years and knows just about everything there is to know about used cars. Should you have any questions for our expert, please send your email to

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