Feb 292016






Which Supermini is better? The stylish French C3 or the Brit built Japanese tiddler?

Why Buy?

The C3 has always been well equipped, and in more recent years it has become much more like a tiny people carrier than a small hatch. By contrast the Micra is a traditional, hardworking small car beloved of first time drivers and older motorists who want a car that won’t let them down.

Which models?

There are two distinct C3 models, the one built from 2002 to 2010 and the revised people carrier style one from 2010 onwards. Buy the most recent. Micras, also from 2002

Are they reliable?

The older C3s seem cheaply built inside and it is electrical issues that give owners the most trouble. Warranty Direct’s figures bear this out. It is a similar story with the Micra, electricals are again the problem even if the price of fixing a Nissan is fractionally cheaper.

How much do they cost?

Safer to pay around £950 for a 2003 example. £3000 a tidy 2006 example and £8000 for a 2012 Picasso model if you want a small van. Again, £1000 is the lowest price to buy at, a £3000 Micra is a 1.2 2009 3 door model. The restyled 2012 five door from 2012 from a dealer is £6000.

Sum Up

It comes down to style and the Citroen looks funkier, whilst the Micra is just odd to some. Regardless, Nissan’s reputation for reliability is strong.

Citroen C3

Average Repair Cost: £280.43

Axle and Suspension: 23.61%*

Gearbox: 13.89%*

Electrical: 25.00%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

* failure rate

Nissan Micra

Average Repair Cost: £272.82

Axle & Suspension: 29.85*

Electrical: 32.84%*

Steering: 17.91*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good

* failure rate

Jul 302015

Cars2A small practical hatchback is all the motor many require. But which is best?

Why Buy?
The Panda is a micro people carrier with an appealing boxy shape that is easy to own and drive with a promise of very small running costs. The Fiesta is part of our motoring fabric. A name that guarantees cheap running costs and delivers a fun driving experience too.

Which models?
The relaunched Fiat Panda from 2004 to 2011 was much larger and more practical than before, even though the boot space is a bit tight. The 2002 onward Fiesta was fun to drive, despite lack of space, and did its job for buyers who wanted predictable running costs.

Are they reliable?
The Fiat Panda has been a great car for Fiat as it has proved to be decently reliable and the Warranty Direct figures support this. The Fiesta is similar, with marginally less repair costs and spending less time off of the road too.

How much do they cost?
The cheapest Pandas are now around £500. Some can be quite scruffy though. Later models are around £4000 and tidy private examples are excellent value. Fiestas hold their value better prices start at £600 rising to £4500.

Sum Up: These are both good small cars which make a lot of sense if you want low running costs and an easy life. The Fiesta is sharper to drive, so may appeal to youngsters, whereas the Panda has a lot of style. Based on Warranty Direct figures the Ford will be cheapest to own.

Fiat Panda
Average Repair Cost: £283.53
Electrical: 19.67*
Axle/Suspension: 34.43%*
Steering: 13.11*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good

* failure rate

Ford Fiesta
Average Repair Cost: £257.38
Electrical: 18.44%*
Axle/Suspension: 25.00%*
Gearbox: 12.19%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good