Freelander 2 or Audi A3?
I was wondering if anyone can help me decide which used car to buy.
I currently drive a Focus ST but now that my job's changed I need to drive around 45 miles a day and I can't afford to fuel her anymore so it's time for a change.
The route I use is along Lincolnshire back roads that can be quite bumpy and busy with traffic. I've always like Land Rovers and there's a huge part of me thinking of a Freelander 2. It's the same tax as I'm used to with better mileage and a better driving position that I'm used to. I also like the idea of being able to throw a bike in the back (although I don't currently do this) and go off cycling now that I won't be cycling to work everyday and it'll be more practical for going camping in the Summer than the A3. Having said that, when I've spoken to others they all think it's a daft idea to get one because the roads aren't all that bad in winter and something more sensible is better. I keep getting told to go German or Jap and to not worry about higher mileage cars.
I've test driven one I liked that had 68,000 miles on the clock but it only has one key.
I've tried several other cars and have gone for an 2.0 TDI A3 Sportline. It's more sensible with 55mpg (compared to the Freelander's 37) and £130 year road tax. I can get a bike rack for it but then again that'll get crammed in my shed and become an annoyance when it's not on the car so I'm more reluctant to get one. The one I've test drive is 86,000 miles with bluetooth and sat nav as nice bonuses. I've even put a £200 deposit on it and am meant to part ex my focus tomorrow but all week I've been thinking more about the Freelander. I even found another one £100 cheaper that the dealer will price match. I kinda think that the lower mileage car will hold it's value better as well because I'm likely to keep the car for around 5 years.
So. Am I mad for still wanting the Freelander? What could I say to the dealer/insurance company tomorrow?
The choice is a very personal one. I often look at 4x4s and think I want one. Yes, nice and high up so good visibility and the feeling of being in a safer car. If the snow comes you will probably get through with 4x4 but remember that this does not stop you sliding on ice.
The A3 is a VW Golf that costs a lot more. Fairly reliable and those that have them love them to bits. Apparently drivers of Audis are all ***** (something Top Gear once said).
I think that whichever car you choose, you may wish you had bought the other one. Lincolnshire's roads tend not to get blocked in winter except around the Wolds so not such a big consideration.
Do you park in towns a lot? The Freelander's size is worth thinking about and the fuel saving in the Audi may be a big bonus. Difficult choice and I haven't helped but do read the for and against in Honest John's website.
OK, my Freelander's a 1 (2005) tdi and she had 56000 on the clock genuine when I got her. I wanted a 4x4 with ground clearance and also a reasonable loadcarrying capacity - she's not failed me on either point and has had some rough off-road work to do. Parking is a doddle from the size viewpoint. I've got friends with Freelander 2s and they love them - most complained about bit is the spare wheel arrangement. However, you do need to look at mpg figures carefully! On our single (passing place) roads in tourist season, I can usually only get 34mpg - largely because it's stop/go - no real chance of adjusting speed to meet oncoming car at a passing place as there's just too many coming the other way!! My average on main roads/m-way journeys is 45mpg but bear in mind that many of our main and trunk roads are far from some of Lincolnshire's main roads, they more resemble the back lanes!!
Can't say anything about the A3 - wouldn't be seen dead in an Audi :-)
With both, it's not just mpg, it's the cost of spares and ease of getting them. Again, don't know about Audi but LR spares have some interesting pricing.
One other thing to watch with a 4x4 - if you meet someone's who's not used to twisty narrow lanes with little space to pass - you will be expected (as all 4x4s are off-roaders anyway!!!) to go into the hedge/ditch/stone wall etc. because you have a 4x4!!
my dad had a freelander and I drove it a few times. never drove the audi though.
freelander was good (09 reg) and never let him down.
glow plugs took a while to go out but never failed to start.
ride was good but my wife felt a little sick in it, regardless of who was driving.
boot space was limited.
felt very sturdy though.