/ Small car with wow factor

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Philip on 14 Nov 2017
Wife has spent over a year trying to decide on a small fun car, to replace Suzuki Swift.

Has to be petrol, manual. Would like winter toys (heated screen / nozzles / stearing wheel), sunroof, and Android Auto (or decent infotainment). None of which she considers to be wow.

She got it down to top of the range Mazda 2 or Fiesta, but neither seem to wow her. Personally I think she should go electric but she's not convinced and doesn't like the merc electric B.

Please help with suggestions, I need to end the misery of endless car discussions.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:
Skoda Fabia,

think there is a guy on here who might have one to sell

Edit - sorry, its a rapid not a fabia
Post edited at 11:54
jkarran - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

MX5? Put the roof down and forget the gadgets!
jk
Run_Ross_Run - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Skoda fabia

SEL or Monte Carlo trim. Few toys.
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Hyundai i10?
1
Ian W - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Wow factor, as in "Wow, what the hell is THAT?"
Bob Hughes - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Mini?
BnB - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Fiesta ST is unanimously considered the "hot" supermini benchmark. If that doesn't float your wife's boat then, other than the MX5/Fiat 124, really a sports car, not a small car, go Audi A1/S1. My wife loves hers because, apart from handling like a go cart, it's very practical, comfortable (on 16" or 17" wheels, don't go larger) and upmarket, with the added benefit of 4wd in the Pennines. Fabia is the same basic car but without the X factor (or extra driven wheels).
Andy Hardy on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Am I missing something? her car = her problem surely?
4
Lusk - on 14 Nov 2017
Arms Cliff - on 14 Nov 2017
peppermill - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Arms Cliff:

I borrowed a friend's 500 Abarth for half a day a little while back. Absolutely b@tsh!t crazy little machine.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to peppermill:

> I borrowed a friend's 500 Abarth for half a day a little while back. Absolutely b@tsh!t crazy little machine.

I bought my wife an Abarth 595 Competizione last year. Goes like stink and she loves it. It most certainly has the wow factor with the details, the paint job and the factory double twin pipes making the noise very distinct too.

Not as well made as a Mini or Polo GTI but costs less and much more unique.
Philip on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Arms Cliff:


Yes. Needs rear doors for access to kids.
Mr Trebus - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Not sure about the fiesta's giszmos on the top of the range models, but I have a 1L ecoboost and it is brilliant to drive.

I believe the Mazda 2 is based on the old fiesta's underpinnings. I had one as a hire car and it was ok, but the engine was rather gutless.
Philip on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to BnB:

> Fiesta ST is unanimously considered the "hot" supermini benchmark. If that doesn't float your wife's boat then, other than the MX5/Fiat 124, really a sports car, not a small car, go Audi A1/S1. My wife loves hers because, apart from handling like a go cart, it's very practical, comfortable (on 16" or 17" wheels, don't go larger) and upmarket, with the added benefit of 4wd in the Pennines. Fabia is the same basic car but without the X factor (or extra driven wheels).

I don't think it's wow as in speed, she manages to get 52mpg in my Audi A7. I think she means, as in, wow I've spent all this money and it still only gets me to work. I think she's going to be disappointed.
bigsecret - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to BnB:

Audi A1/S1 - The sportback version gets you the 5 doors that seem to be required.
hang_about - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Mr Trebus:

I had a Mazda 2 as well - second the issue with the engine being too weak (and I'm no boy racer). Otherwise just fine. Replaced it with a Fiesta and despite the 1 L engine, is much nippier.
nathan79 - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Seat Ibiza FR?
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Wow factor, as in "Wow, what the hell is THAT?"

No – wow, what a good, well-made car that is. They scarcely have to advertise them here, it seems, they get snapped up so fast. See reviews.
1
The New NickB - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I had one as a hire car in Greece some years ago, by far the worst car I have ever driven. Really hateful thing.

I tend to go for practical and relatively inexpensive when it comes to cars, I was driving a 7 year old Seat Ibiza at the time, so I wasn’t comparing it to fancy cars.
wintertree - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Are you buying new or 2nd hand? If new, you might get her to test drive a 2018 Leaf when they land in January... Might sway her on the EV front...
Mike Highbury - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:
> Yes. Needs rear doors for access to kids.

Can she just throw stuff over her shoulder at them?
pebbles - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:
please god, santa, who ever is listening, can we ban the phrase "wow factor" from the dictionary of humanity?
Post edited at 14:59
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> I had one as a hire car in Greece some years ago, by far the worst car I have ever driven. Really hateful thing.

> I tend to go for practical and relatively inexpensive when it comes to cars, I was driving a 7 year old Seat Ibiza at the time, so I wasn’t comparing it to fancy cars.

Apparently it's changed a lot since its earliest version. It's now pretty much in joint number one position with the latest Seat. Certainly the one I've got to know recently is the best/most reliable very small car I've ever been in.

https://www.whatcar.com/hyundai/i10/hatchback/review/buying-owning/
'The Hyundai i10 is the best city car around. It’s quiet, roomy, good value for money and has a long warranty.'
Ciro - on 14 Nov 2017
Fraser on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Smart Roadster?
Moley on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

A whole year trying to decide on a car? Good grief, I hope she doesn't want a new kitchen next.
Neil Williams - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

BMW 1 Series?
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Ciro:


Some snaggettes: cost price upwards of £38,000; only takes one passenger and virtually no luggage; very expensive to run; and can only be used in fine weather ..
1
Ciro - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Some snaggettes: cost price upwards of £38,000; only takes one passenger and virtually no luggage; very expensive to run; and can only be used in fine weather

The brief was a small manual petrol with wow factor. I accept that the "would likes" are not entirely covered, but you do need to make some compromises if you want to impress your friends.



Wanderer100 - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Alfa Romeo Guillieta.

That's all.
Gordon Stainforth - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Ciro:

Sure it's got the wow factor, but it's a hell of a long way from her original first choices of Mazda and (puke) Fiesta
2
bouldery bits - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> Alfa Romeo Guillieta.

> That's all.

If you want wow factor, that'll do it.
Fab car.

(Although, Def an MX5. I've got one and it's really silly and I hate it but... I grin every time I drive it on a B road)

BB
Ciro - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Sure it's got the wow factor, but it's a hell of a long way from her original first choices of Mazda and (puke) Fiesta

Indeed, one wonders how a year's search for wow factor could be so fruitless. Nevermind, UKC is here to help - here's a more practical option (assuming you can get the back seats back in) :

https://tinyurl.com/y9x99o6e
Stuart en Écosse - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Caterham. Maybe not big on winter toys but who needs them.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXVYFmnJmno
Shani - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to pebbles:

> please god, santa, who ever is listening, can we ban the phrase "wow factor" from the dictionary of humanity?

+1.

I'm adding it to my list:

Thigh gap
Beard Oil
Mindfulness
Hygge
bouldery bits - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Ciro:

That Pulsar is sweet
Dave the Rave on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Can we keep thigh gap? It's really relevant for me as I work with a fat munter who shares my van. I'm really glad of Thigh Gap!
Blue Straggler - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:
Maybe some flashy spec DS3?

ETA no back doors so maybe no good although you could have said in the OP that it needs to be able to cart kids around; I came close to suggesting a Nissan 350Z - leather heated seats and although windscreen isn't heated, it's the best and fastest fan-heat clearing of a frosted non-heated-windscreen that I've ever seen
Post edited at 22:37
1
Blue Straggler - on 14 Nov 2017
Steve Perry - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

Skoda Octavia Estate
2
Blue Straggler - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

No back doors so probably no good but this looks like an absolute bargain! I'd consider buying it for myself if I was currently running a boring sensible car and if I wanted a little "roller skate" and if I had the space for it.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/mg/zr/rover-mg-zr-160-------------------2001/79278...
Strachan on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:

I'm three months into owning a Polo BlueGT and it is amazing. Should tick all of the boxes... really, really fun to drive, fast (same low-end performance as the GTI, just less power at very high revs, so acceleration is essentially the same, and bags of torque), economical (if you want it to be...) and lots of kit. Mine is a 2013 model with heated alcantara seats, heated mirrors, cruise control, traction control, bluetooth, hill start assist (annoying off road but I probably shouldn't have been there anyway...), nice flat-bottom leather steering wheel, and various other toys I'm too tired to think of right now. Definitely recommended.
BnB - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Philip:
This thread offering a wide range of great little cars underlines what a superb choice the buyer of a supermini is presented with. In your shoes I would resignedly conclude that your wife doesn't actually want a small car at all and refer her to this alternative:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=671417
Post edited at 07:21
Philip on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to BnB:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think the Alfa Romeo looks a good choice.
This could drag on for another year..
Blue Straggler - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:

18 months ago I spent about 5 hours choosing a car and 7 weeks choosing a watch!
Lord of Starkness - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Ciro:

I've driven one - albeit on a track day. Goes like 51ht off a stick. Gearbox takes a bit of getting used to. Serious dry weather fun despite the lack of gizmos.
Fraser on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> No back doors so probably no good but this looks like an absolute bargain! I'd consider buying it for myself if I was currently running a boring sensible car and if I wanted a little "roller skate" and if I had the space for it.

The only down side is .... it looks like an Austin Allegro!

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