C3 or C4 choice for young person?
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Thread: C3 or C4 choice for young person?

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    Member ss2115's Avatar
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    Default C3 or C4 choice for young person?

    Hi.
    My daughter about to finish her green P's and go to a full licence has had a few things in a row go wrong with her 1997 Mk3 Golf and no longer trusts it or has the confidence to drive it any long distance in case it strands her.
    She has very little mechanical knowledge.

    However, she wants a car thats a bit individual rather than a Toyota Corolla if you get my drift. It must have four doors, be automatic and must be a hatchback.
    Looking through used cars at CarSales.com.au she has identified Citroen C3's and C4's as cars she could be interested in.

    My first thought was that if it did have problems and she was a long way from home (country, up coast/down coast) a few mechanics wouldn't want to touch it and even if they did there would always be the problem of obtaining parts easily.

    But there's no doubting the Cits are different and suit the requirements in all other ways.
    So can anyone experienced with C3's and C4's chime in and relate common problems or opinions of whether either model is suitable in terms of reliability for a young lady not yet 20.
    ie; stay away, embrace, what are the problems, any years to avoid, any engines to avoid etc?

    Appreciate the advice.

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    DS23 Citroen Safari - 1974 (restoration and modifications).
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    Toyota Rav4 - 1996 (given to the son. most reliable vehicle of all of them)

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    The only cars I can think of that would work for you is the 2litre HDi C4 with the AM6 transmission. All the others will have the AL4 4 speed slugomatic, so I personally wouldn't even bother opening the adverts on carsales to look at them.

    eg: http://www.carsales.com.au/dealer/de...17184330/?Cr=8

    the 6spd with 1.6 is a clutchless manual. Which isn't for everyone, but I don't mind it.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    The only cars I can think of that would work for you is the 2litre HDi C4 with the AM6 transmission. All the others will have the AL4 4 speed slugomatic, so I personally wouldn't even bother opening the adverts on carsales to look at them.

    eg: 2008 Citroen C4 2.0 HDi

    the 6spd with 1.6 is a clutchless manual. Which isn't for everyone, but I don't mind it.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Thanks Shane.
    Your right on the money in that the Golf 2litre she's had for three years has plenty of pull and zip so she doesn't want to go backwards too much. Right on the money also in that we are looking up to $9 or 10k.
    Appreciate the fast reply.
    DS23 Citroen Safari - 1974 (restoration and modifications).
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    My sister had a C3 1.4 Auto for her first car. Was written off 12 months back by a wayward driver (not her)...

    They are a simple thing. Not a whole lot to go wrong. From memory, we only replaced an o2 sensor in around 40k of driving.

    That said, I would lump for the extra cash for a C4 or a 1.6 C3 Auto.

    An auto 1.4 8V C3 is one of the slowest cars I have ever driven - not good for extra-urban and out of town driving. Further to this, it wasn't great on fuel for the size of the motor.

    Consider a Ford Fiesta - if you can find a Zetec with ABS. Dynamically superior to both of the aforementioned.
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    Your problem is the auto - apart from the 2.0 HDI older cars with the 6 speeds (which are very fine and reliable but first series only) they are all AL4s.

    I did find an ad for a current series car with low mileage, an AL4 and all the fruit in the price range, but on the whole the current series is still above your price range. They aren't as "quirky" as the early ones, but are a lovely roomy car to drive, and I've had a great long distance drive in one. They use the PSA/BMW petrol motors. Most of the arguments about the AL4 come down to the fact that it needs fluid changes - it isn't sealed for life.

    If she can be persuaded to go manual more options open up. C4 motors are all used in Peugeots so those dealers are available for repairs as well as the comparatively few Cit ones. The 2.0 HDI can be found in Fords as well.

    Of the engines, the 2.0 HDI is a better proposition than the 1.6 HDI. Early 1.6 PSA/BMW EP series petrol engines had several teething problems you'd rather avoid, so check if these have been attended to.
    Last edited by seasink; 30th March 2015 at 05:29 PM.

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    C4 2.0Hdi 6 speed auto is an excellent choice. They are later in the production run, usually well specified and largely avoid a number of C4 problems. You need to ensure your insurance has glass cover that includes the glass roof if fitted as they are expensive. The 1.6HDi engines can seem a little intrusive in lower gears and do not tolerate neglect, but are very economical and quiet at speed. The EGS approximates an auto, but is in fact an automated manual gearbox.
    Last edited by David S; 30th March 2015 at 08:02 PM.

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    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    No - she's not interested in learning a manual gearbox despite all our best efforts.
    So to me the C3 is probably out - mainly because its too big a step down in performance from her 2litre Golf, but also I read somewhere else that they are prone to water leaks in heavy rain and car washes.
    The C4 looks good as long as we get the latest gearbox.
    She is interested in the Peugeot 308/307's as well as some other "wish list" cars such as Audi A3, BMW 118i, A170, A180, A190 Benz which remarkably enough can all be obtained for around $10k.
    DS23 Citroen Safari - 1974 (restoration and modifications).
    BMW 525i Touring - 1993 (current drive car).
    Golf Mk3 2 litre - 1997 (rejuvinate for the daughter)
    Honda Odyssey - 2003 (keeping it going for the wife)
    Toyota Rav4 - 1996 (given to the son. most reliable vehicle of all of them)

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED View Post
    My sister had a C3 1.4 Auto for her first car. Was written off 12 months back by a wayward driver (not her)...

    They are a simple thing. Not a whole lot to go wrong. From memory, we only replaced an o2 sensor in around 40k of driving.

    That said, I would lump for the extra cash for a C4 or a 1.6 C3 Auto.

    An auto 1.4 8V C3 is one of the slowest cars I have ever driven - not good for extra-urban and out of town driving. Further to this, it wasn't great on fuel for the size of the motor.

    Consider a Ford Fiesta - if you can find a Zetec with ABS. Dynamically superior to both of the aforementioned.
    urrrghhh.... wheezy petrol engines Go the 2litre HDi ... it's a ripper of an engine. I've never had to change back from 6th gear, even towing loaded box trailers up hills at 1800rpm in 6th.
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    The AM6 is not the 'latest' automatic gearbox, but the one that was used with the 2.0HDi. The AL4 was used right through with a few petrol engines, the last being the EP6. So, buying a very late car does not ensure you buy the AM6 version.

    One C4 looks much like another from the outside. You can pick a 2.0HDi as having RHR in the VIN (front screen and also the pillar) and 9H? indicates a 1.6HDi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ss2115 View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    No - she's not interested in learning a manual gearbox despite all our best efforts.
    So to me the C3 is probably out - mainly because its too big a step down in performance from her 2litre Golf, but also I read somewhere else that they are prone to water leaks in heavy rain and car washes.
    The C4 looks good as long as we get the latest gearbox.
    She is interested in the Peugeot 308/307's as well as some other "wish list" cars such as Audi A3, BMW 118i, A170, A180, A190 Benz which remarkably enough can all be obtained for around $10k.
    Any turbo A3 with a few kms on it is potentially expensive to maintain.

    Watch for oily, black exhausts which indicates ring wear. Tend to use a lot (.5l /1000km) as "normal usage. Not good for someone who isn't attentive to engine fluid checks.

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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    The 1.6 C3 would be my pick. I was amazed by how good one was when I was given one as a loaner from CC. I know all the anti AL4 guys may have already convinced you but in the C3 does not have to work nearly as hard as in a C5 HDi so seems to be much more reliable. The one I got was given to me to make sure the box is OK. I tried everything to upset it but it behaved faultlessly. It certainly is an updated version compared to what is in or Xantia. Plenty enough get up and go too, much better than the asthmatic 1.4
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    The AL4 is not all bad and all transmissions can fail in some way. The later the better though.
    There is also the Sensodrive C3, which is an automated manual transmission, close to an automatic in operation. A lot of them had a Panoramic roof, which is an expensive headache to own when it jams.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    AL4 may last the life of the car .... but the thing is if your buying used.... Why not simply avoid something that is known as troublesome, especially given your not talking a lot of extra dollars to buy into a car fitted with a vastly superior 'box

    same deal with the 1.6HDi, as it's known to give trouble, you not looking at a lot extra to get into the 2litre, that's not really known for any issues.

    seeya,
    shane L.
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
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    Quote Originally Posted by ss2115 View Post
    She is interested in the Peugeot 308/307's as well as some other "wish list" cars such as Audi A3, BMW 118i, A170, A180, A190 Benz which remarkably enough can all be obtained for around $10k.
    The 118i is a nice thing to drive, but woefully slow and has a cramped interior.

    Why not get a decent MK5 Golf? Cheap, safe and in abundance. Not exactly the most exciting thing in the world, but a 2.0 FSI is a decent engine/transmission combo. Do some reading about the common faults...
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED View Post
    The 118i is a nice thing to drive, but woefully slow and has a cramped interior.

    Why not get a decent MK5 Golf? Cheap, safe and in abundance. Not exactly the most exciting thing in the world, but a 2.0 FSI is a decent engine/transmission combo. Do some reading about the common faults...
    My immediate mental response to anyone that says "golf" is
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    My immediate mental response to anyone that says "golf" is
    Well then that categories you as a very specific type of "person".

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Well then that categories you as a very specific type of "person".
    Yep I can't help it, my brain screams "BORING" as soon as I hear the golf word there's so many fun cars out there, why buy something boring as batshit
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Yep I can't help it, my brain screams "BORING" as soon as I hear the golf word there's so many fun cars out there, why buy something boring as batshit
    The diesel fumes have fried your brain. The sports variants are huge amount of fun. I guess one the people you know has one and taken it around the block.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    The diesel fumes have fried your brain. The sports variants are huge amount of fun. I guess one the people you know has one and taken it around the block.
    Lately it's the LPG fumes .... I'll pass thanks. They simply don't interest me in the slightest... I'd get a shitty old V8 Benz if I wanted something german ... 'cos it could be a bit of fun to drive and not bore me to tears just visually seeing it exists out in the yard.
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Lately it's the LPG fumes .... I'll pass thanks. They simply don't interest me in the slightest... I'd get a shitty old V8 Benz if I wanted something german ... 'cos it could be a bit of fun to drive and not bore me to tears just visually seeing it exists out in the yard.
    Hate to break it this thread is not about you but a suggested car for a youthful driver.

    A V8 Benz? A diesel land barge ? Anymore helpful impractical suggestions ?
    jo proffi likes this.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Hate to break it this thread is not about you but a suggested car for a youthful driver.

    A V8 Benz? A diesel land barge ? Anymore helpful impractical suggestions ?
    More like explaining how little interest I'd personally have in owning a golf Do people realise this is a french car forum... I bet if you went over to the vw forums they wouldn't be saying "hey why don't you look at a C4".

    seeya,
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    OK so why did we have a Benz V8 suggested? It not's a Benz forum either. And Benz forums are a possibly more snotty than Citroen or are they?

    If you read Post #7, even the OP decided to (wisely?) widen his search parameters to other car brands.

    So the change of marque was not of my doing. I'd like to think it's discussion and the final decision rests with the purchaser.

    From what I've seen almost all of these threads is "French Car xxx suitable for yyy purpose" ends up a compare and contrast of a few car brands and models.

    However some of us wear blinkers and have a tendency to sh!t can any vehicle that
    1) Isn't a diesel
    2) Isn't French.

    It's a big wide world out there with lot's of good auto engineering , safe vehicles and lowish cost of ownership.

    If you see that situation as unreasonable, in your capacity as mod, delete the " transgressors" posts or move the thread to the TP. I'd be interested in consensus if you do.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    OK so why did we have a Benz V8 suggested? It not's a Benz forum either. And Benz forums are a possibly more snotty than Citroen or are they?

    If you read Post #7, even the OP decided to (wisely?) widen his search parameters to other car brands.

    So the change of marque was not of my doing. I'd like to think it's discussion and the final decision rests with the purchaser.

    From what I've seen almost all of these threads is "French Car xxx suitable for yyy purpose" ends up a compare and contrast of a few car brands and models.

    However some of us wear blinkers and have a tendency to sh!t can any vehicle that
    1) Isn't a diesel
    2) Isn't French.

    It's a big wide world out there with lot's of good auto engineering , safe vehicles and lowish cost of ownership.

    If you see that situation as unreasonable, in your capacity as mod, delete the " transgressors" posts or move the thread to the TP. I'd be interested in consensus if you do.
    Hey, stop that .... I resemble those remarks

    Why would I ever delete stuff Everyone is entitled too there own opinions. I just find it bizarre that people suggest anythign but french cars on a french car forum. Yep, the 2litre diesel 6spd is certainly the one to go for.

    Why on earth would we bother with the petrol engined cars It would be different if someone said "I'm looking a clio sports and 208 GTi's" ... the last car you'd suggest is the diesel version. In the non-performance cars, the petrol engined ones seem to really suck specification wise. Little wheezy petrol engines, worst gearboxes, almost always the 4spd auto, not much fruit on them ...etc... So as a used buy, your way better off looking at the upper spec deisels

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Why on earth would we bother with the petrol engined cars
    seeya,
    Shane L.
    When my mum bought her new car a few years back, at the height of the diesel 'con', she didn't want a diesel because they stink, the fuel stinks, and the pumps are always filthy.

    I found it hard to argue with her logic.


    Jo

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Hey, stop that .... I resemble those remarks

    Why would I ever delete stuff Everyone is entitled too there own opinions. I just find it bizarre that people suggest anythign but french cars on a french car forum. Yep, the 2litre diesel 6spd is certainly the one to go for.

    Why on earth would we bother with the petrol engined cars It would be different if someone said "I'm looking a clio sports and 208 GTi's" ... the last car you'd suggest is the diesel version. In the non-performance cars, the petrol engined ones seem to really suck specification wise. Little wheezy petrol engines, worst gearboxes, almost always the 4spd auto, not much fruit on them ...etc... So as a used buy, your way better off looking at the upper spec deisels

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Wheezy little engine ?
    Have you examined, in detail any of the TSI engine in the "boring" Golfs?

    Let me show you this one

    C3 or C4 choice for young person?-power-torque.jpg

    PETROL
    6L/100km in the City

    5 L/100 km on the Highway

    And that's the "little" 1.4L bog standard non performance version .


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    PSA Diesel
    Last edited by robmac; 31st March 2015 at 07:22 PM. Reason: added to ...

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