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A car for a daily 70 km commute

Budget: 2500 Euro

29/03/2014 08:26 | Comments: 
Whichever model you choose, whether it's a petrol or a diesel: go for a car in the best condition and with a believable mileage.

Totalcarmagazine's own Buyer's guide

Dear Friendly Car Dealer,

Since I got my new job 35 km away, I have to drive 70 km every day (it’s worth it). I need a car within a few weeks. I need your help.

What for?

I lead an active life, so besides driving to work I’d also use it to take my girlfriend and the bike on trips, drive to the theatre, the shops, on dates. I’d do about 180 thousand km a year.


I want a reliable car with low running costs, one that can keep up with in traffic (outside the city 80% of the time), and I’d appreciate being able to get out of it in one should I ever have an accident.


EUR 2500 + a bit set aside for repair.

After browsing through Totalcar I’ve narrowed my search to these:

Ford Focus (’98-’04) 1.6-1.8 petrol /I’ve been warned against TDCI and TDI/, only estate.

Toyota Avensis (’97-’03) petrol or diesel (D-4D), 4-5 door or estate.

I haven’t given up on the Germans, either:

VW Golf IV / Passat 1.9 TDI variant

Audi A/4 (1995-2001) Avant 1.9 TDI, maybe Quattro, if it’s a good buy

To tell you the truth, I lust after an estate, but of course I’m ready to make compromises to stay within budget.



Dear Máté,

All of the above seem like a good choice, I wouldn’t want to talk you out of buying any of them. My colleague Dani Zách was very pleased with the high mileage TDCI Focus he test drove, and the petrol version is just as good. It is common knowledge that the Toyota Avensis is a reliable, indestructible car regardless of which engine it has. The Audi A4, the VW Golf, the VW Passat are based on the same reliable technology and are without real pitfalls. Let me mention the Skoda Octavia, too. I don’t quite get the need for a quattro, in my opinion there’s no need for it in Hungary whatsoever. What difference would it have made this winter, I wonder? Sure, it looks good in the ad, as does the logo on the grille, but it only makes the consumption higher and is just another thing that could go bust. Buy whichever you find in a better condition, and one with a believable mileage.


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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