i need help to track down the perfect car....

JemJem

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Aug 14, 2018
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Hi BroadBandies!

This will be a long post, so here goes:

I bought a 2003 Opel Meriva A 1.6 back in 2017 for R40 000 (129 000KM). it is my first manual car, and i having known nothing about cars, i am hoping to make a better judgement with your help. The meriva was in a very good condition, and everyone said that it drives well, well everyone, except me that is!


The gears were so sticky, and even one buddy of mine said that they also experienced that in a meriva they drove years before. it definitely did not give me an pleasure driving this car, even to this day. Changing of gears are really not smooth at all, and also i found out that it was fully imported! ignorance at its worst! Since then, i replaced the clutch and the windscreen wiper mechanism which seized. I bought a second hand windscreen wiper mechanism as the agents were going to have one imported. The catalytic converter light is always on, and it would be too expensive to sort out. a brand new one is R22 000, and must be imported by the agents.

Anyways....i am looking to buy a another car, and this is my criteria

  1. Budget: R 80K-R 100 000K. Not prepared to go even R500 above the max.
  2. Not older than 10 years (EDITED)
  3. No German branded cars, as Opel is german, and it wasnt a good experience, so ill stay away from German cars thanks to Opel Meriva, unless you can convince me otherwise, but i doubt it
  4. Must have a nice interior. All cars i have seen looks boring on the inside. Not a deal breaker, but it would be nice
  5. Must be manual, but i can also do automatic if needs be
  6. Car parts must be cheap and locally sourced, and there should be an abundance of parts. i would lilke to walk into any shop and buy it off the shelf. i know this is unlikely for all parts, but you get my point?
  7. Needs to be fuel efficient.
  8. Must be able to turn tight corners. The opel meriva i have, takes a very wide turn.
  9. Must be able to change gears very smoothly. Again, perhaps you guys think that most cars do this, but remember, i have only the opel meriva in my driving experience, so i have to specify everything i am looking for.

So....is there a car that you have in mind that would meet 90% of my criteria?
 
Last edited:

ToxicBunny

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Given your list of requirements...

Your options are a Ford Figo and things like Kia's...

Btw, your Meriva was not actually German, it was probably made in Spain

Your budget and age range limit you on options severely.
 

Terence1983

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Hyundai i10, wife has one, awesome little car, very light on fuel, not the most powerful car on the road but its adequate as a daily driver.
 

JemJem

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Given your list of requirements...

Your options are a Ford Figo and things like Kia's...

Btw, your Meriva was not actually German, it was probably made in Spain

Your budget and age range limit you on options severely.
oh? i thought opel was a German compay. in europe its known as Vauxhall. guess it once again shows my ignorance..ouch!
 

ToxicBunny

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oh? i thought opel was a German compay. in europe its known as Vauxhall. guess it once again shows my ignorance..ouch!

Well technically they're a German company yes, but the Meriva you bought would more than likely have been made in Spain for right hand drive markets.... or at a push Brazil. But Opel was a subsidiary of GM for many a year which would have made it an American car company ultimately, and now is a subsidiary of Stelantis which is HQ's in the Netherlands so technically ultimately Dutch.
 

JemJem

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Must agree there
The ex has an Etios Hatchback and that thing is awesome for the price !!!!
i was looking at the Etios. looks a bit on the small side though. But i always remember that Televison jingle from the 80's/90's.."Everything keeps going right..Toyota" lol
 

JemJem

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Plenty of i20's as well to choose from.

I would get this:
i just read a review on this...and found the following, "However, reverse gear can be a bit sticky and requires a few attempts before it slots in"

this is exactly what happens with my current Opel Meriva. lol. Thanks but i don't want anything that remids me of my current ride. ill pass!
 

pinball wizard

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i just read a review on this...and found the following, "However, reverse gear can be a bit sticky and requires a few attempts before it slots in"

this is exactly what happens with my current Opel Meriva. lol. Thanks but i don't want anything that remids me of my current ride. ill pass!
Meh, reverse only makes you go backwards.
 

Rickster

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i just read a review on this...and found the following, "However, reverse gear can be a bit sticky and requires a few attempts before it slots in"

this is exactly what happens with my current Opel Meriva. lol. Thanks but i don't want anything that remids me of my current ride. ill pass!

Have you actually taken it in to a workshop to put grease on the linkages and cables?

Or even replaced them, the could be stretched.
 

JemJem

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Plenty of i20's as well to choose from.

I would get this:

Have you actually taken it in to a workshop to put grease on the linkages and cables?

Or even replaced them, the could be stretched.
never. too scared they going to start quoting thousands of rands to sort it out. nah, i think ill live with it and get rid of it the first chance i get.
 

chickenbeef

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The wiper and CAT issue seems very small. Remove the CAT and have a CAT fooler installed for around 1k. Save the 80k.
 

JemJem

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The wiper and CAT issue seems very small. Remove the CAT and have a CAT fooler installed for around 1k. Save the 80k.
i would LOOOOOVE to know where i can do it for that price. i have been quoted as much as R6K to have it sorted out, and that was Powerflo/Powerflow Exhausts
 

JemJem

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So ive taken some of your guys suggestion, namely the Etios, and came up with what i hope will be a winner.....

2014 Toyota Etios Cross​


Any concluding thoughts, ideas, critique?
 

UrBaN963

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I wouldn’t use the Meriva as any sort of test beyond possibly an eye exam. If you buy one you clearly need glasses.

A Fiesta would be worth looking at. Honda Jazz if you find one at the right price.
 

Terence1983

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i would LOOOOOVE to know where i can do it for that price. i have been quoted as much as R6K to have it sorted out, and that was Powerflo/Powerflow Exhausts
Phone around and get quotes, Opels are actually not usually bad cars if they are looked after, my dad recently bought a Corsa lite from a family member who has owned it from almost new. It has close to 300000km on the clock and still running perfectly. So long as something has been looked after, it shouldn't give you too many headaches. Also R80-100k vs a few thousand to get our current car sorted, financially it would make more sense to get your current car fixed its mileage isn't high. once the cat delete has been done and you get your gear linkages sorted out, if will be like a new car again. Call a few places, stay away from agents and see if you can get a better quote.
 

JemJem

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Phone around and get quotes, Opels are actually not usually bad cars if they are looked after, my dad recently bought a Corsa lite from a family member who has owned it from almost new. It has close to 300000km on the clock and still running perfectly. So long as something has been looked after, it shouldn't give you too many headaches. Also R80-100k vs a few thousand to get our current car sorted, financially it would make more sense to get your current car fixed its mileage isn't high. once the cat delete has been done and you get your gear linkages sorted out, if will be like a new car again. Call a few places, stay away from agents and see if you can get a better quote.
Thanks Terence! Makes sense. Any idea where one can sort out the gear linkages? any shop that specialises in that that i can google?
 
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