Tuesday July 5
* Our previous Q&A sessions... * ...in one easy to access archive * Real-world questions from you...
The What Car? lunchtime Q&A has now ended.
About the What Car? live Q&A
Whether you're looking for advice on buying a new or used car, or have some other motoring-related issue that you'd like to try and resolve, our team of experts will be on hand to help out.
Our team is here every Tuesday lunchtime, between 1 and 2pm to answer your questions. The most recent live Q&A can be replayed by clicking in the panel below.
Got a question outside of our Q&A session?
Check back through our most frequently asked questions. Or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iain Reid: Hello and welcome to our regular lunchtime Q&A slot. We're ready, willing and able to answer your car-buying questions over the next hour.
Evoque - at last
I have read that the Evoque is finally rolling off the production line. When will you have a proper review?
Iain Reid:** Hi Kenty.
Yes, the car seems to have been around for ages and it's not quite on sale yet. We will have a full review of the car on July 13.
Have a look at the video, below, it's our Reader Test Team preview of the Evoque.
BMW 120d starting problem
I have a question about my BMW 120d SE. Occasionally, it just won't start (usually when warm). This might happen 3-4 times in a day then be fine for a month. The warranty has 6 months left, but because there are no "error" codes, my BMW main dealer cannot, or won't, do anything. What can I do in such A case.
Matt Sanger:** Tomas,
Intermittent faults are hard to resolve because its tricky to prove to a garage that the car really has a problem. They wont simply take you at your word that something is wrong.
From what youve said, it may be an issue with the cars immobiliser it wouldnt be the first time that this has caused problems on a 1 Series. An immobiliser fault may not show up on a diagnostic check, but it should be possible for a dealer to re-programme the system, and cure the issue that way.
In any case, you may need them to witness the problem first hand or provide evidence that the fault really does exist. It could also be worth trying another dealer, because some are better than others at finding faults.If a garage continually refuses to help, you may want to consider contacting Consumer Direct for your legal options, although the onus could still be on you to prove that the car does have a fault.
If you had 25k to spend on a 'toy', what would you go for? This is a toy, so no need for practicality etc. I am currently thinking Porsche Cayman.
Leo: Hello Mark, You havent specified whether you want a new or used car, so here are a couple of suggestions for each:
New:** the Renault Megane Renaultsport should definitely be on your radar. Its the best hot hatch around, with stunning performance and handling. Wed recommend looking at a VW Golf GTI too, but although its huge fun, its perhaps more sensible than you were thinking of. Our favourite Audi TT costs the same kind of money, too. Alternatively, you could stretch the budget for a Lotus Elise, or even save a bit and get a high-spec Mazda MX-5.
Used: theres a huge range to choose from. You suggest the Porsche Cayman and its the stand-out option, really. For around 25k you should be able to get a Cayman S on a 58-plate. Scouring our used car price guide, another option springs to mind what about the previous-generation BMW Z4 M Coupe? Its pretty out-there and still looks great. My choice would definitely be the Porsche, though.
Is Saab really safe?
The question I would like answered is, is Saab really safe or is this news about huge funding just smoke and mirrors to keep them on life support while they find some real cash. All a bit suspicious if you ask me
Iain Reid:** Up until this week, Slick, things didn't look great for Saab. The factory wasn't making cars, and company seemed to have problems paying staff and suppliers. But the announcement of a 220 million deal with the two Chinese car makers was so bullish - 'we've got double the cash we've asked for and we're going to make three new cars' - I'd find it hard to believe the firm's future isn't secure (for a while at least).
Is ebay the way to go?
Hello, Have you any thoughts on buying a used car on ebay? I have seen one I would like to bid for. Do you know the pros and cons of buying like this?
Matt Sanger:** Dave.
Buying a car on eBay, or any other auction site, is fraught with problems.
The safest way is to try and view the car before you bid, so that you dont end up with a hunk of junk. Buying cars unseen from people you dont know is always unwise.
You should also consider a full history check, including outstanding finance and write-off history. Contact the seller and ask a few simple questions, including how long theyve owned the car and why theyre looking to sell.
If youre happy to take a chance and bid for a car, do some research first and set your budget dont get in a bidding war and pay over the odds. Sometimes auction-site sellers use their friends to bid up the price, so you end up paying more.
Hi, I've been using the leasing section of Whatcar.com to help me find my next car. I have a budget of 144per calendar month, and I need a small hatchback with low running costs and decent equipment. I looked at an entry level Fiesta with the 1.25 82 engine, but for my budget, I could only afford the Edge, with low spec. It was the same story for the Corsa. I am now looking at a Hyundai i10 1.0 Blue, it has free road tax and good fuel consumption. Are there any other small cars I should be looking at with my budget and requirements?
Leo:** Hello Dave. Within your budget, the Hyundai i10 looks to be the best bet. Youre right that most other options at that price wont be very well equipped. Its a good car, too, although wed suggest the 1.2 Active rather than the 1.0 Blue its cheaper, better equipped and has a stronger engine. The Fiat 500 1.2 Pop Stop/Start is also within your budget. Its not as well-equipped as the Hyundai, but cheap to run and great fun.
Take a chance on a Alfa 159?
Hi all, I'm looking at an Alfa 159. I was going to purchase one a few years back but 'bottled it', you could say because of the typical Alfa quality issues. Now it's been out 5 years or so what should I look out for?
Matt Sanger:** Krishan,
Alfa have traditionally performed poorly in our reliability surveys, and even though the 159 is one of the newer models, it still ranks only three out of five stars according to Whatcar.com readers. However, as a brand Alfa finished joint tenth in this years JD Power survey, so there are signs of improvement.
Generally, known problems include numerous electrical issues, with ECUs that fail completely, brake problems, and excessive front tyre wear due to a tracking problem.
Have a look the 159 owners comments on Whatcar.com at http://bit.ly/kFvaUh so that you know what youre letting yourself in for.
Take a chance on a Alfa 159?
Dear What Car? team, I drive about 16k miles a year and I was looking at the new Ford Fiesta in the Zetec S guise. Would I benefit from the diesel in your opinion?
Iain Reid:** Hi Jack,
You are just about in the zone where a diesel Fiesta makes sense over a petrol one, especially if your 16k miles are on motorways.
Take a look at our review of the diesel we'd recommend here.
With average economy of 73mpg, it's very economical. But to be on the safe side you need to get your calculator out and find out whether a diesel or petrol car is cheaper. We've done the sums for you here:
Audi Q5 upgrade?
Is there an upgraded Audi Q5 model due soon?
Iain Reid:** Not too soon, Tony. At least 12-18 months away. I think you can expect to see upgrades to the A5 and A4 first before the Q5.
What to buy?
Hi What Car?, I am currently thinking of buying either an ex-demo Peugeot 3008 Exclusive THP 156 or a Toyota Auris 1.6 VMATIC 130 SR. Which would you recommend?
Iain Reid:** Simple Kieran - the 3008. It's a former Car of the Year winner and still our favourite crossover.
Do I need Glasses?
Hi, I have a question about part-exchange values. I have a '07 BMW 120d SE 3dr with 37,000 miles. Glasses value it at a maximum of 9200, but the what car? valuation says I should get 10,500 on part exchange. I'm looking to trade-in my car against another BMW and I'm unsure what value to push for.
Matt Sanger:** Simon,
From the age of the car Im guessing that youre talking about the 175bhp version.
If so, I think your Glasses figure is too low. I have a copy in front of me, and Im getting a different figure, with an adjustment for the lower-than-average mileage. Also, that figure is the trade value, not the p/x value, which should be higher.
Id push for a p/x of around 10,500, but remember than the deal you get on your new car will have an effect. If you get a very large discount on a new model, youll find the p/x price correspondingly lower.
Dont forget to try playing one dealer against another to see which is prepared to offer the best overall figure to change.