Help choosing next car

So after a change in job and a basic mk7 transit being my daily for the last 10 years. I’m looking to replace it with a car. I’m at a real loss as to what to choose, I’ve narrowed it down somewhat but my list of needs isn’t incredibly specific so it leaves a lot of option .
I’ll be doing around 100 miles a day, 90% of that motorway . I want something with decent space as I’ll still be doing odd jobs as a trade for existing customers on my days off and may also be carrying a couple of large dogs occasionally.
It’ll mainly just be myself in the car most of the time but may get used for trips to Cornwall to visit family when it’ll then be my wife , 3 year old and myself .

So, around 15k budget , shortlisted so far:
2015 auris touring hybrid Excel
2014 bmw 320d SE
2014 Audi A4 all road
2012 Volvo XC90 SE
2012 Avensis 1.8
And then also looked at a couple of Skoda superbs and Hyundai Santa Fe .
A real mixed bag !

I guess fuel economy and comfort are relatively import along side boot space . Reliability is probably biggest concern for me .

If my budget would have stretched to a land cruiser I would do that without hesitation but I don’t fancy going for as old a vehicle as id have to for that .
My head says that the auris would be a sensible choice although maybe not seeing a lot of benefit from the hybrid doing mainly motorway but apparently there’s less parts to fail with a hybrid regardless .
Really like the look of the BMW but never really looked at them before and think that the SE is a basic model spec? Certainly seems fairly basic although that’s not a massive issue .


This being a USA site, we won’t be much help on those, most aren’t available here.

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I did not see one vehicle on that list I would buy for a 100 mile commute day. I think you are not in the US of A by the word Motorway . If in Europe there are many fuel efficient ( fuel prices are not going down anytime soon ) vehicle that the majority of members to this site are not familiar with.

I have a Volvo but it was bought new and I would never by a used Volvo , BMW or Audi .


When buying a used vehicle with no warranty, you have to think about the cost of repairs, as well as maintenance. Assuming that all of the vehicles are in good mechanical condition, the Avensis would probably cost the least for repairs, followed by the two Hyundai models.

Unfortunately, European cars have a much worse reliability record than Japanese or Korean marques, so I think that you should bear that reality in mind in regard to the BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Skoda. In case you’re not aware of it, repairs on BMWs can be incredibly expensive, and they tend to be… not so reliable… as they age.

Mr. Google told me that Avensis is a Toyota model that was dropped from the UK market in 2017 because of really poor sales .

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Thanks for the replies, I hadn’t realised this was a predominantly American forum but appreciate the replies anyway .
Undoubtedly there are better cars still for commuting but these are just ones available locally that kind of fit the bill . Things like BMW 3 series and Vauxhall insignias are used a lot over here for motorway driving “rep cars”

We’ve already got a RAV4 so was leaning towards another Toyota , really wasn’t sure of VAG group cars longer term reliability. The Avensis is a discontinued model, never that popular but suits what I need it for , it’s ever so slightly bigger than the auris/Corolla but cargo space gain is negligible.

Anyway, appreciate the responses, I’ll try and find a UK forum next time :sweat_smile:

It looks like the Avensis is between our Corolla and our Camry. I’m a Toyota fan, so I’d go with it over the others, assuming it checked out with my mechanic.

The Auris hybrid (our Corolla hatchback) would also be on my list, good fuel economy.


The Vauxhall is actually an Opel with a Vauxhall badge. If I was going to buy a European vehicle, the only ones I would consider would be those designed by/made by Opel, as they tend to be more reliable than other Euro marques. If you can find a Vauxhall (or its Opel twin) at a good price, you might want to consider it.

However, after Opel was bought-out by Peugeot-Citroen–in 2017–their quality dropped-off considerably, so you should probably avoid any Vauxhalls or Opels made since that time.

Another consideration is that BMW parts are very expensive in the US but not as expensive in Europe. And due to the commonness of BMW’s in Europe there are many more mechanics repairing them at more favorable rates. I won’t go so far as to say they are CHEAP in Europe, but they don’t carry the premium for repairs over there that they do over here.

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Our market got the Auris as the Scion iM later Corolla iM but the smaller 5dr hatchback, Touring is about a foot longer. We rented a non hybtrid Auris in 2013 while going from Leets to various sites in the Yorkshire Moors. Only did shorter motorway stints but the main comfort issue for us was 5 people plus luggage for 5. Luckily we were only moving between B&B’s 10mi apart once we moved on from spending a few days in our ancestral homeland of Ripon.

Hybrid’s the same as on the Prius, does get more of a boost in stop and go traffic but can still get impressive MPG’s on highway stretches. I know of the Avensis but most of the one’s we saw on that trip were Taxi’s.

From your list and other list, I’d go with the Skoda myself. Lots of those and their rich VW cousins over there. You can go with the smaller model or larger depending on the amount of junk you want to carry. Scratch a Skoda once in a while? No big deal.

As an owner, all else being equal, I recommend one of the Toyotas. Bear in mind, you’re going to be putting a lot of miles/kilometers on whatever you choose so maintenance will be especially critical.

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You can probably get a good price on a Toyota. Europeans hate them. There was a recent rumor that Toyota was dropping Camry in Europe due to poor sales. They decided to hang on even though hardly anyone wants to buy one. There was a Camry review on a recent episode of Auto Mundial, a car review show from Europe. That’s where I got the info on sales. After that, they panned the Camry as an ugly, slow and ponderous car. But if you, @reecew29567_179668, like Toyotas, use that to your advantage and get one at a bargain price.

in the month of January alone the US sold almost 20,000 Camry’s. In 9mo they sold 275 in the UK. Back around 2003 when they dropped the Camry for the UK they sold maybe 300 all year.