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David Lillywhite: Commuter Blues

Octane's editor is looking for a new commuter car, and is open to suggestions!

David Lillywhite's last commuter car - should he get another?

David Lillywhite's last commuter car - should he get another?

We’ve been at the Wollaston, Northants office for nearly five years now, 34 miles from home. When we moved from the Peterborough office I was driving an Impreza Turbo, a true modern classic, but 25mpg and the high cost of tyres and servicing began to get me down.

Typically, I took the other extreme and bought a MkIV Golf diesel, but that was soon handed over to my wife. Too dull! Various ridiculous choices followed, and then came the Peugeot 205GTi, a great little car that I’d always wanted to own.

It was the perfect commuting car, not too precious to clock up the miles or to leave in the various airport and railway station car parks, but loads of fun. Its 30mpg was a bit disappointing but it was so much fun! The only niggling doubt in the back of mind was the lack of crash protection, even compared with much older classics (the lethal A605 is part of my commute) but you can’t spend your life wrapped in cotton wool can you?

Then I somehow ended up with the Golf again, and I sold the 205. Big mistake. The Golf is going, so what do I buy this time round? I considered an Audi A2 for a while, an engineering classic and 65mpg! But a bit too ‘shopping’ I think.

So I put the question out to Twitter, and have received the following suggestions:

VW Golf GTI MkI: love them, a possible because they’re more economical than 205s but I’ve already owned three Mk1s and four Mk2s

Citroen AX GT, Visa GT, Xantia Activa, Xantia V6 or BX GTi: I’ve surprisingly fond memories of the Xantia diesel bought in the early (skint) days of Octane, but I do already have the SM

Bentley Turbo R: Love them. But no!!

Range Rover Carawagon: mad!

Porsche 944/968: very tempting

Fiat Panda 100HP: I did consider one a while back

Triumph 2000: love the Mk1s, don’t like the Mk2s. Would need to be modified and that wouldn’t help the fuel consumption. It’s a no then…

Honda CRX VTec or Mk1 Twin Cam: surprisingly appealing, though the VTec isn’t always great on fuel

Fiat Strada 130TC: now that would be hard to find! Appealing though

Fiat Stilo Schumacher Edition, Saab 900 T16 Turbo, Mini Cooper, Ford Fiesta XR2 or RS Turbo, Toyota Celica GT, Lexus CT200h, Fiat Croma, Nissan Tino, Perodua Myvi, Alfa 33 or 75: not doing it for me I’m afraid.

So keep the ideas coming, we’ll find something good soon I’m sure! Follow progress on @OctaneDavid, on these blogs or on Octane’s Facebook page. And thanks for all the suggestions so far

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Toyota MR2 roadster: perfect for my cross country commute. As easy to use as a Yaris but much more fun. Continental tyres and a hardtop and its fine for the winter. Easy 40 mpg bimbling back and forth. Plenty to choose from.

By rory57 on 21 February, 2013, 3:44pm

A Few More to Ponder (all Cheap and Over 30mpg!)

Alfa Romeo 145/146/156/GTV
BMW 318Ti
Fiat Punto Sporting or GT
Fiat Barchetta
Fiat Coupe
Ford Ka (Sport Ka Hatch and Roadster)
Ford Puma
Mazda MX-3
VW Corrado

By sportwagon on 28 June, 2013, 1:57pm

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