Low Maintenance Reliable Small Hatch?

I just wondered what you would recommend as a low maintenance reliable small hatch?
I was thinking of something of a similar size to a Megane, Civic, Golf
size.
I have a 53 plate Megane at the moment and it is not an easy car to maintain. To do something that should be relatively simple like changing a headlight bulb is extremely difficult if not impossible.
The good thing about the Megane is that you can get one fully loaded with all the bells and whistles for a fairly cheap price so it is good value in that respect.
However besides the headlights as one example there are also a lot of other issues and faults with the car such as water filling in the side pocket, door rattles, electrical faults, starter problems etc etc. It's a shame because it is a quite stylish car, well the 3 door is anyway. If it wasn't for all the faults it would be great.
My next car though I'm am going to go for something that is easy to maintain, reliable and good value so if anyone can recommend any specific models or even just car manufacturers in general that make reliable and easy to maintain cars that are good value and you can get a good spec with I'd appreciate your advice.
I know that German washing machines and dish washers etc are pretty good and well built such as Bosch, Siemens, Miele etc, is it the same deal with Germans cars as well?
Thanks
John
PS. I don't suppose anyone knows when Top Gear will be back on the box again?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John wrote:

Personally? In that case a Focus.
Rationally? A Corolla.

Pretty common these days that something so simple needs a trip to the dealer.

Ditto Focus.

Not in my opinion. In particular, Volkswagen build quality seems to be at an all time low.

Tonight. BBC2. 8pm.
Chris
--
Remove prejudice to reply.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Radio Times Most national newspapers on Saturday and Sunday www.bbc.co.uk http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.rec.cars.modifications/browse_frm/thread/218cd3e0fff258a4/bfbcfe93a2ac2513#bfbcfe93a2ac2513 Looking back a whole day in your newsreader.
HTH
cheers, clive
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Something old, if you don't want the issues with taking it to dealers to have simple bulb changes done.
--
SteveH 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - Hongdou GY200 - Alfa 75 TSpark
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Go for the Golf, it will cost a bit more than a Focus, Astra etc. but they're well made solid cars to drive, not that expensive to service and hold their value well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Me wrote:

One out of three is pretty poor!
Chris
--
Remove prejudice to reply.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Focus, Corolla, Leon.

Welcome to relatively modern cars.

The bad thing is that these bells and whistles stop working in due course.

Ta da.

The previous generation Focus won awards at being reliable. The Golf, long considered to be one of the best for reliability, isn't and hasn't for at least a decade now.
Think: Japanese for reliability. The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are pretty much top of the class for reliability. As far as specification, that depends on what you want or need.

No. Only the perception.

Tonight, BBC2 with footage of the Hamster's crash too.
--
The DervMan
www.dervman.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all the advice.
I think I would also have to give the Focus a miss too because speaking to a few people who own one of them as well, the headlights on them don't sound like they are much easier to change yourself and have the same issues as the Megane.
I have always liked Seat's and I like the design of the Leon. Is it Reliable and easy to maintain though? A few people here have been saying that VW's are not as reliable as they used to be or as well made and Seat is part of VAG now so....?
I am thinking I probably will have to go for Honda or Toyota next.
I wonder how long it will take for car manufacturers to get it into their heads that we also want a good value, reliable, easy to maintain well built car with a good spec? I'm not surprised a lot of car manufacturers are up a creek with only one paddle at the moment in Europe and especially America.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How often do you change the headlights anyway????
Fraser
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can be a lot if he drives with them always on - cheapies from motor factors / halfords lasted 2-3 months in the Volvo making them a pain to keep changing (although volvo make it easy) - that's about 8000 miles, which is probably 1-2 yrs for normal night driving use. Changing to Volvo OE long-life (they do a longlife bulb for about 3 quid more than the standard one) extended it to 9-12 mths.
If you've got hard to change lamps then I'd definitely recommend buying replacements from a Volvo dealer - same went for tail lamps too.
--
"Get a paper bag"



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tim S Kemp wrote:

Good grief! My '99 Focus, 85K miles, has needed one headlight bulb in its life.
For the first six years of its life I was working shifts with a round trip of 28 miles. At least one trip needed the lights on.
I would be looking for an electrical fault if I replaced any bulb on a car every year!
Chris
--
Remove prejudice to reply.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Then I suspect there was something wrong with your Volvo...
I've never had a headlight bulb go, including a Triumph Acclaim, 25k miles in a 405, 30k on the 206 and they're automatic so get to flick on and off going through tunnels and everything. Blew a tail light on a 50cc bike once making it do 60mph down a hill... (they're on some kinda half dyno system).
--
Dan
Formerly DanTXD
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

well on volvo's they are always on, HID's are the answer there :) i was surprised how easy my 328 is for changing headlight bulbs. with the lump of an engine in there i was expecting it to be tight and fiddley and to lose some knuckles but nope! not even any swearing involved :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not necessarily. My 10 year old Volvo features a small screw head in the corner of the lightswitch that can be turned to disable the daytime running lamps. I expect that all newer models feature this also, but it seems that many owners prefer to leave them working.
Personally, I prefer to use dipped headlights in any conditions at all that warrant lighting, e.g. dull and/or rainy days, so I don't bother with the daytime running feature because sidelights do nothing to improve visibility in bright conditions.
Stu
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

New Volvos have a Vadis option to turn DRL on or off, most dealers will do it free as part of a service or when collecting a new / used car. Or buying lots of headlamp bulbs.
I prefer them on, and the auto setting on the merc comes on quite early.
--
"Get a paper bag"



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

The Octavia is easy. But looking at the missus's fabia, unless I go to the now defunct local dealership, I imagine it is something like, Remove the rear hatch, then continue forward removing anything that you find in the way until you reach the headlanmp. Then remove the headlamp.
refitting is the reverse of removal.
--
Carl Robson
Audio stream: http://www.bouncing-czechs.com:8000/samtest
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fraser Johnston wrote:

<snip>
Personally? Never. I just get a new car when a headlight problem arises.
--
Douglas

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Douglas Payne wrote:

*snort*
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In wittered on forthwith;

I quite like the Seat Leon. Drives 10 times better than a Mk5 Golf., is cheaper and doesn't have the "prestige" bollocks about it.
My choices would be as following.
1. Focus. 2. Focus. 3. Focus. 4. Leon. 5. Walking 6. Golf.
--
Pete M - Using the Scouse Side of the Force -
Golf GTi,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
message wittered on forthwith;

Ah I thought it was you that liked the Leon. Have you ever driven a Cupra R one?
--
Dan
Formerly DanTXD
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.