For driving pleasure, the 2.0
petrol wins hands down. Okay, so my dCi 130 is still loosening up, but I've been in a few dCi 120s and they certainly didn't have the oomph of my 2.0
. The 0-60 figures backed that up - the
was the right side of 10 seconds, whereas the dCi 120 was the wrong side. 9.3 and 11.0 respectively spring to mind, though don't take that as gospel as my memory's a bit hazy.
Reliability-wise, the 1.9 dCi is notorious for
problems, and a lot of second-hand ones are going cheap because the owner is aware of the need for an expensive repair. Similarly, the 6 speed box has a reputation for being problematic on earlier examples.
Early 2002 2.0 petrols will be the
engine, which you shouldn't touch with the longest bargepole you can find. It's a shame, because it's nice and torquey for a 16v petrol engine and doesn't have to be thrashed that hard to make it go. The problem is that they're prone to very expensive problems at relatively low mileages.
was replaced in mid 2002 with a slightly less powerful (136 vs 140bhp I think) 2.0 litre engine, which isn't quite as nice to drive (not only is it marginally less powerful, but the torque peaks higher too so it needs to be worked that much harder.) This is probably your best bet in the reliability stakes, even if it's not the most frugal and doesn't quite have the oomph of the
engine. Of course you could always go for the dCi route and chip it. Or if you really want a bit of poke, go for a 2.2 dCi and consider chipping that.