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Without sounding like a popular magazine... but "what car?" would you recommend?

Practical and as close to £1k as possible, contenders are below, with the most likely purchase at the top... due to engines, size, safety, isofix, price etc.

Ford Mondeo 2.0 2001+ 145bhp from around £900 (in poor condition)

Skoda Octavia VRS (ideally estate) from around £1500? (more likely £2k) other engines are poor, for example 100bhp 1.6l, or 115bhp 2.0l - why so little power from a 2 litre engine? and why did they replace the 125bhp 1.8litre engine with a 115bhp 2.0litre engine? (1.8l 2000 reg estate is available for around £1k)

Seat Toledo 2.3l V5 (150ish bhp) - but saloon :( from around £1300 (autotrader)
V5 engine not available in the Seat Leon (hatchback version)

VW Bora (aka boring) 2.3l V5 - cheap? may as well get nicer Toledo (better spec / handling). Or perhaps VW Golf Mark IV with 2.3l V5 if it's cheap enough?

MG ZT-T 2.5litre 190bhp estate £2k (too far away from budget and potential head gasket issues?)

Rover 75 2.0l V6 150bhp estate £1750 (ditto)


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