View Full Version : Replacing my estate car

26th Sep 2005, 07:15
Given that JB often feels like a conversation in the pub, I thought I'd ask the populace at large a typical pub-question about replacing my car. I've got a VW Passat Estate, the family workhorse, and looking to replace it with another estate. May go the VW route again, but looking with interest at Audi and Saab. Mercedes look too expensive.

Thoughts, anyone?

26th Sep 2005, 07:26
This one (http://www.peugeot.co.uk/ppp/cgi-bin/ppkfcwebuk/[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@&BV_EngineID=ccccaddfjfjfimlcefecfgmdfgodffk.0&_strLCDV=1pd2a4&_strModeHTML=1) can be recommended. 2.0 Diesel version.
As this one (http://www.volvocars.co.uk/Showroom/XC70/) was faaaar to expensive and as usefull as a chocolate teapot.

26th Sep 2005, 07:29
Skoda Octavia vRS estate.


Audi / VW engineering at half the price.

Goes like sh*t off a shiny shovel, too.

26th Sep 2005, 07:52
Over the last 14 months I have driven 30,000 miles in a Mondeo Zetec 130 diesel estate.

I bought it 6 months old for just under £12k at a local dealer and have not had to spend anything on it other than two services (£310 in total) and two front tyres which lasted 25,000 miles. The rears are only about 35% worn. It is pretty quiet as diesels go, and it really does go with huge mid range acceleration for overtaking. It has a 6 speed gearbox and I have averaged around 43 mpg, ranging from 38 when pottering around locally to around 47 on motorway trips at around 75 mph. I have a good record and insurance for me and my wife (with business cover) is £330 pa.

The space available inside is very good with around (I think) over 1,500 litres of usable space when the back seats are folded down. I find it comfortable with plenty of bell and whistles like climate control, cruise etc and a good CD/radio. In my position as a middle aged sales executive it suits me very well.

Coming from a fairly humble background I have had little experience of the German or Saab makes but am very impressed with the Ford. Obviously it does not have the image but in comparison to the ‘posher’ cars, especially as a nearly new purchase it is of course much less expensive and I think it is reasonable value for MY money.

A friend has a large Volvo estate. He has always had some difficulties with the internal reflection of the dash in the windscreen and grudgingly says he thinks it is less comfortable than mine

Hope this helps.

Biggles Flies Undone
26th Sep 2005, 09:00
Depends if the brand image bothers you, Ms S. The Audi Estates certainly do the job and if you pick the right time of the month/quarter you can get big discounts on list - but I think they're still too expensive and they're certainly as dull as ditchwater.

The Skoda might be a bit small for your needs and you probably don't need all that performance - but they're undeniably fine cars and the diesel one is used by the vast majority of my local taxi drivers.

The Mondeo certainly sounds interesting - although you might get mistaken for a paperclip or toothpaste rep ;) :p

Sorry, but I wouldn't touch a French car with a bargepole. Every single one of my friends that has bought a new one in the last five years has had endless problems - mostly with the electrics. One guy's Peugeot estate was so bad that the garage gave up on it and gave him a new one.....

The Real Slim Shady
26th Sep 2005, 09:03
Citroen C5 Diesel.

Cavernous amount of space, extremely frugal on fuel, 44mpg round town 55+ on motorway.

Wonderful ride comfort, suspension means the car is always level regardless of load and seats are like armchairs.

Reasonable value if you buy used, but residuals are poor.

Windy Militant
26th Sep 2005, 09:03
Having used a number of different renters over the last few years I have to agree with the Skoda being good value for money and nice to drive. I'm still fond of my old Astra, having the load bay from the Van rather than the Saloon means you can sling all sorts of junk in there. Don't be swayed by the capacity given in litres either, very often the limit to what you can carry is dictated by the size of the door opening or the space between the wheel arches. The boss found this out when he couldn't get a large PC monitor I'd delivered in the "Ashtray" into a Rover 75 estate he had on Hire. ;)

26th Sep 2005, 09:15
peugeot 406 diesel here did 1360km on one tank on gas, guy at works got one and loves it

26th Sep 2005, 09:27
The Mondeo certainly sounds interesting - although you might get mistaken for a paperclip or toothpaste rep

Or for what I actually am Biggles, a cardboard packaging rep ie as someone put it "I travel in cardboard boxes". Who cares?

Remember, on the basis of numbers of vehicles sold having a Mondeo is now more exclusive than having a BMW 3 series!

26th Sep 2005, 09:32
I'll second IFTB with the 407 suggestion, that's if you love the love or hate looks, although to my mind the estate is better looking than the saloon anyway.

For the same money as a mid spec German car you'll buy a top of the range one with absolutely all the toys and a nice glass roof which really adds something to the car and, to contradict BFU, Peugeots latest generation of cars seem well built too. I inherited a saloon version with my job. It had just been purchased for the person I replaced so I was forced into it really and will admit I groaned at the prospect but I still haven't managed to break anything 37k miles later, which, for me, is saying something. :O
I've actually grown to rather like it, there's simply nothing more you could want for in the way of gadgets and, in spite of being a diesel, with a six speed 'box and sharp handling it's a really good drive to boot.
Will definitely consider replacing it with another. Well worth a look. :ok:

26th Sep 2005, 09:32
This is great stuff, chaps, keep it coming! I must confess that I'm not constitutionally adapted for owning a Volvo. Like the sound of the Skoda but wouldn't I get laughed at in the playground? Not anti-French cars, used to love my red Renault 5 - never any probs, had to sell it to buy my wedding dress. :(

Oh, and will almost certainly be buying new - can't be bothered with the service/MOT faff of older cars, prepared to live with the drop in value when you drive it off the forecourt. :rolleyes:

Not sure, Biggles, but I don't THINK I'd eveer be mistaken for a paper clip?

Biggles Flies Undone
26th Sep 2005, 09:49
SyllogismCheck, my pal John bought a brand new 407 diesel estate last year. It had to be towed back to the dealer seven times in the first four weeks because it either stopped or refused to start. It took a letter from his solicitor to get the garage to finally admit that they hadn't the faintest idea what was wrong with it and give him a new one. The new one has broken down twice in the last six months. He wants to get rid of it but is facing huge depreciation if he does so. The girl I work with bought (against my advice) a 206CC two years ago. It broke down five times in six months, the rain-sensitive wipers weren't, the driver's electric window jammed open, the roof jammed, the indicators stopped working and the exhaust fell off. She sold it. I could relate at least five other similar stories from recent years.

Ms S, well you have pleasing curves, are highly practical and... OK I'll stop digging now :ouch:

26th Sep 2005, 10:21
The 206 was always a lemon. Previous generation Peugeot. They only made it worse still by hacking the roof off.

The 407 story surprises me. Mine's been perfect, literally faultless, as have quite a few others that colleagues have since chosen as a result of drives in mine.
The only fault I'm aware of was one which continually warned that it had low tyre pressures when it didn't. One trip back to the dealer saw it sorted. An electronic module with the plug not fully inserted at the factory was to blame.
I'd imagine there's a combined mileage of approaching half a million miles there without complaint.
Two in a row with problems is bound to make someone sceptical though I suppose, and rightly so, it does seem like more than just bad luck. Maybe a change to another dealer would be prudent. I have found them to be variable in their efficiency even with routine servicing. As with all things, I've now found a really good one and will stick with them. Not that the car gives them much to do really.

Biggles Flies Undone
26th Sep 2005, 10:26
The only fault I'm aware of was one which continually warned that it had low tyre pressures when it didn't.
No, he didn't have that particular problem - but my boss has had it on his Megane! (along with non-sensitive-rain-sensitive wipers, power steering problem, braking problems and intermittently-working brake lights).

I blame the French ;)

26th Sep 2005, 10:34
We are very happy with our Mondeo diesel estate. The only downside is that both Mrs G and I find it hard to reverse park for some reason - we don't seem to be able to tell where the back of the car is. I suspect that is a manufacturing fault with our spatial awareness, not the car.

26th Sep 2005, 10:40
I have an A6 2.5Tdi Avant. It is a fantastically capable car. Good to drive great load carrying and personally I think it looks good too. I regularly get 40+mpg maxed at about 46 fully loaded on a long trip. However I am thinking of changing it for the Mondeo that others have mentioned here. The main reason being persistent oil leaks. The audi specialist I use has changed both rocker gaskets but it appears to be leaking lower down and he informs me that for one of the sump gaskets the sub frame will need to be taken out to get at it. Not looking forward to the quote on that one.

Other cars I am considering are a 406 hdi estate, (have had a saloon version for the last three years and that has been very good) or a laguna 2.2 dci.

I hear good things about the ford though.

26th Sep 2005, 11:00
Mrs G and I find it hard to reverse park for some reason

Agree this can be tricky, I tend to use the acoustic technique ie go back until I hear a crunch!

Would feel much happier if mine was fitted with a system which warned when obstacle was getting close. I believe this can be specified on a new car, am seriously investigating cost of a retrofit

26th Sep 2005, 11:05
I have driven a volvo for years and consider them to be the safest cars around. I drive a T5 at the moment which is pretty fast and big enough for my day to day family, dog, kids and kids friends logistics. However if you do not like the idea of a petrol they have a D5 or now a D6 volvo which I consider to be one of the best on the market. Not all Volvo drivers are dull, although I do have a wax jacket and wellies for walking the dog but do not wear flat caps.

26th Sep 2005, 11:06
Oh go for a Hummer. 5 gallons to the mile but you'll scare everyone else off the road.

26th Sep 2005, 11:50
I also have a Volvo T5, which goes like sh!t of a shovel, even with the whole family and full to the brim. The A4 avant is very nice but space in the rear is restricted. VW/AUDI diesels are excellent, having had a Passat in the past and an Audi A4 now.

Have also looked at the Volvo XC70 D5 which is fantastic and with the most comfortable cabin you can buy for the priceThis one is particularly special and has my wife weak at the knees! (http://www.volvocars.co.uk/Showroom/XC70/Experience/voe.htm)

What ever you buy, as you probably know, make sure it has enough load space, because sooner or later it will p1ss you off if it doesn't!

26th Sep 2005, 12:50
Gouabafla and Duckbutt

What you want is one of those fresnal lense things on the back window to see what your doing, cheap and reliable

26th Sep 2005, 14:25
or failing that, a drivers license! :p

Mr Chips
26th Sep 2005, 14:31
Buy a Porsche 911 GT3 and make the kids walk everywhere. Nice car and it will keep the kids fit

26th Sep 2005, 17:34
Another Volvo Estate owner, most annoying car I have ever owned because it is so damned good that I can't think of a single reason to change it after six faultles years! But always buy one of the quick ones. Frove a new V50 the other day and it was really bland and not a patch on my V40 turbo.

Have you seen the pictures of the stunning new Mondeo for 2006 - will there be an estate version I wonder? What a fabulous looking car it will really stir up the market in this sector!! Can you wait that long!!!

Conan the Librarian
26th Sep 2005, 18:03
Yet another Volvo V70 here. although 6 years old, it is a wonderful vehicle to live with and if you put your foot on what we now have learned to be the bankruptcy pedal - it flies. A light foot equals surprisingly good economy. Exceptional.

I did pull up behind a Mondeo estate today though and it looks slightly larger in the old load carrying bit.


PPRuNe Towers
26th Sep 2005, 18:30
V70 - I loath it. Fantastic dealer, top quality warranty and I'm getting nothing out of either. 42 thou in 2.5 years and I've just replaced the nearside dipped beam bulb - those ones that annoy you during daylight. Bugger.

That said, the 1994 MX5 hasn't even needed a light bulb in the two years we've had it.

Anyways up, I've just put down a deposit on a '63 Series 2a LWB Landy so I can defend the garage, accumulated tools and my totally redundant mechanical pride from a ravening family with designs on my fortress of solitude.


26th Sep 2005, 18:38
Drove Mondeo Diesel Estates at work for a couple of years and couldn't stand them!

I have a Focus Diesel Estate, myself, which I think is the best thing since sliced bread:ok:

Maude Charlee
26th Sep 2005, 19:40
I'm firmly in the Skoda camp. Although my Octavia is a hatchback rather than the estate, I wouldn't be persuaded to swap to another brand until I find myself with the funds for a Porsche.

Bombproof build quality and tremendously reliable. I've racked up 100,000 miles in 6 years, and the only major repair has been a new water pump, but admittedly this was after a long period of driving like a lunatic well over the limit and working the engine and gears hard. Enormous loadspace for a car in this class and price range (around 1500 lts and therefore up in much larger car territory, probably not far off your Passat). My local dealer has been excellent - a little family run outfit and a credit to themselves and the brand - although I have also had the misfortune of using a dealer who was what you might expect elsewhere, particularly if my previous experience of VW dealers is anything to go by.

Not sure what your purposes for an estate are, but the Octavia is a superb load lugger, and the VW diesel engines are excellent - strong, efficient and reliable (avoid the SDi though as the TDi is a much, much better and smoother engine). Only complaint I have about my car is the poor rear legroom, although the current model is far roomier and comfortably seats a 6 footer in the rear behind another 6 footer in the driver's seat. It is also a big step up in interior looks and quality. Although the vRS is a superb and hilariously fast car, the interior trim won't last long if the car is going to be used for lugging stuff around.

Lots of good deals to be had in dealers now as they try to shift the remaining stock of the old models, and if the vRS does appeal, then there will be deals to be had there too as the replacement for that is due in December. Well worth considering a nearly new purchase, as you get a whopping discount in price, but still benefit from the remaining 3 year manufacturer backed warranty and breakdown cover (though you won't need either).

Nobody laughs in the playground anymore either. :ok: There are very good reasons why Skoda, and the Octavia in particular, do so well in all the reliability and owner satisfaction surveys, and leave all the other choices so far mentioned embarrassed well and truly dozens of places behind.

26th Sep 2005, 20:03
Ms Stock the Octavia has zero sex-appeal. But by the look of you, you don't need a car for that anyway.
Everything else it has in abundance, as described here on thread.

We're planning on getting our third consecutive Octavia Tdi 4X4 come december. :ok:

The JB wags stil make Skoda jokes, but that's indicative of their car knowledge/lack thereof.

Romeo Charlie
26th Sep 2005, 20:49
Pay £500 max for an old Volvo 740GLE estate (try and get a fsh example from 'middle England')- it'll rarely go wrong and if it should your local blacksmith can fix it for you. It'll soon win you over with it's ability to eat the miles and the luggage. It may drink a bit more fuel but the £12+k saving on a new Octavia buys a lot of petrol.

Conan the Librarian
26th Sep 2005, 21:46
Damn! Just seen the last post and will now tell you why I traded in my Daihatsu Fourtrak for the V70.

My old man was GIVEN a Volvo 740GLE and when I drove it, I fell in love with it. So much so that I skittled off and swapped the Fourtrak for the V70. The damned thing drives perfectly, is as sharp as it was on day one and has just flown through its' MOT test. Maint cost over 2 years? Nil.

That idea of an old 740 is a good one. They are built to last and that, they do. Best bit for dad, is trhat he could easily flog it. Beats depreciation anyday.


26th Sep 2005, 22:58

May I suggest buying a 4X4.

Any model should suffice as the do gooders will hate you just as much whatever you choose. (As the Top Gear Lexus RX 400H article proved!! Nice to see the Greenpeace man lost for words and end up saying it was a 'good 4x4' !! Aaaah!)

To increase the 'pleasure' of driving one around, perhaps a BMW X5 or if the missus is going to drive it an X3. Nobody likes a BMW driver as any attempt trying to get into traffic or filter onto a by pass will show you!

The New discovery is always good for getting the support of the driver behind you, as all they can see is a huge square in front of them. Should you just happen to test the dashhboard indicator of your rear fog lights when the are a bit close, it will both sharpen their attention on the traffic ahead and test out their own cars' ABS. (p.s. Have a tow bar fitted incase they don't have ABS!)

A Merc ML will make other road users realise how inferior they are on the road and surprisingly vulnerable should the unthinkable happen!

Shoguns are just great for barging into traffic as they are seen as workhorses of the urban man who can afford to get the odd dent pulled out. The reason there is an AI on the dash, is to tell you how fast the other car was going when it tried to stop you pulling out and how little effect it had on your stability.

In all seriousness, a 4x4 will give you and your family protection, with the added bonuses of modern day comfort, the ability to look over the majority of other road users and see the hazards before they do, give you loads of room for your shopping or golf clubs and full road traction when needed.

May I suggest also purchasing the smallest trailer possible, just to take up more road space. (May I suggest the Erde 122, perhaps for the golf clubs.)

It's always good to climb up into your vehicle! This saves wear and tear on knees and ankles through not having to take your whole body weight past the 90 degree point and by not having to go through the 'twisting' action while squatting down to get in.

Finally, don't worry about the fuel consumption / CO2 emissions etc, no-one else 'really' does and by virtue of the fact that you are on a pilots rumour network, means that you can probably afford the extra finer things in life for both yourself and your family.

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/maps_and_graphs/2000/11/13/climate_emission.gifSource (http://www.guardian.co.uk/globalwarming/graphic/0,7367,397009,00.html)

Drive safe, buy a 4x4. Think of the safety to you and your family.
If someone decides to crash into you, make it their problem, not yours!



27th Sep 2005, 07:27
Folks, this has been fantastic - thanks all. At the very least, I've added the Octavia and the Mondeo to my list of test drives - neither would have had a look in before! Volvo clearly has fans, and Sid would love me to get a 4x4 (btw, I AM the missus, sweetpea!) but my shopping list has to be manageable.

Cheers, everyone! :ok:

Capn Notarious
27th Sep 2005, 08:02
Have you thought of a long wheelbase Land Rover. I offer no suggestions as to why, but consider your needs and journeys, like Stockette to University in ten plus years.

27th Sep 2005, 09:34
Have a look at


Ms S. You're likely to find plenty of informed comment by owners about any make and model you're considering. (75 Octavia reviews and 378 Mondeo revues when I looked a minute ago)

Good luck.

Biggles Flies Undone
27th Sep 2005, 09:45
Just by coincidence, I was browsing the Top Gear site and spotted last year's survey (http://www.bbc.co.uk/topgear/survey/last_10.shtml) results. Bearing in mind the comments I made yesterday, I was surprised but not amazed to find that seven of the ten worst cars in their owner's opinion were French.... :hmm:

Maude Charlee
27th Sep 2005, 10:40
On the subject of test drives, Skoda should be more than happy to provide you with a motor for a 24 hour test drive, and it is likely to be one of the high spec models too.

No fuss, no hassle and no pressure. Altogether a very civilised way to make your own mind up in your own time.

27th Sep 2005, 11:09
V70, the beautifully engineered breeze block. Bog standard 140 bhp petrol model has good fuel economy and reliability. A useful skip/childproof transport and it carries an assembled 1/5 scale Jungmann. After six years and 52k miles it fits me like a glove and it is a delight to drive, so much so that I often use it in preference to my S-type.

27th Sep 2005, 11:18
Absolutely nothing useful to add to Ms Stockpicker. Just wanted to suggest that Silsoe Sid's post neatly encapsulates everything objectionable about 4WD's and their supercilious owners. :yuk:

27th Sep 2005, 11:33

You missed one negative aspect of SUVs (incl most 4x4) ... their high centre of gravity results in a lot of rollover crashes - and deaths.

That said, the line-up of vehicles picking up (non)handicapped sprogs at my local school is almost all SUVs and soccer-mom vans. [Perhaps soccer-moms are exclusively a USA creature.]

Stockpicker, another warning about SUVs, you'd have to use your mobile phone 100% of the time you operated the vehicle - or so it seems from my observations.


gas path
27th Sep 2005, 11:59
Suprised no one has mentioned the Jaguar X-type estate. Based on the Mondeo floorpan which is arguably the best chassis around at the moment. Having borrowed one for a few days I was very pleased with it and if you definately need a diesel the 2.2 ltr is suprisingly agile, althought it does need about 20k to loosen up a bit.

Impress to inflate
27th Sep 2005, 12:39
In July I purchased a VW Touran 1.9 tdi seven seater (five seats then by pulling a couple of tabs becomes a seven seater). Best car I've ever had. I would highly recomend one.

ITI :ok:

27th Sep 2005, 13:37
Am I the only one who thought silsoesid's rave about 4 x 4's was satirical? He hates 'em - or am I a bit dim? If he does, I happen to agree, anyway.

And present company excepted of course 4 x 4's are at their worst when driven by the soccer mum type.

I reckon the inventor of power steering has a lot to answer for. Petite, agressive woman wouldn't be driving those tanks if there were no power steering.

And Widger I was wondering how Volvo could make mileage from their huge yacht race promotion.

I hope you're not bamboozled about it now, Ms S. :D (and I hope you are not insulted and pull the thread).

1926 First power steering system

Francis Wright Davis uses a Pierce-Arrow to introduce the first power steering system. It works by integrating the steering linkage with a hydraulics system.

Francis Davis, so that's the bastard. Right there on the internet, along with the fact that the Convair FY2 Sea Dart was the only seaplane to break the sound barrier, on Aug 3rd 1954. Neat.

Joys of surfing.

27th Sep 2005, 22:07
Ms Stockpicker,

For something entirely different in the way of estate cars you could look at the Dodge Magnum.
It is pretty intimidating - even on American roads.

I rather guess that the fuel line to the engine is the size of my thumb, but the power has to come from somewhere.

At least you would be the first in your street to have one of these. :O


28th Sep 2005, 07:09


28th Sep 2005, 07:42
Er... each to their own, I suppose, tp. :yuk:

I'll save my drooling for something with a bit of ... er ... style :p

28th Sep 2005, 08:27
CUTE, tinpis! (albeit I can't see me getting the weekly shopping in the boot ....)

What is it?

DX Wombat
28th Sep 2005, 08:38
What about a Zafira? Very practical, good to drive - I have had mine for 5 years now and Timmcat is on his second. I had no trouble in the snow when we had it - unlike the local drivers of Volvos and I use it to tow my caravan all over the place with no problems at all. If I could afford it I would buy a new one tomorrow :ok:

28th Sep 2005, 08:41
You're all wrong

I've got a Subaru Legacy 2.5 and its brilliant.
Goes, 4WD but doesn't look like it, never breaks down and a bit different

Try one.

28th Sep 2005, 08:53
I rented a diesel ford focus estate for three months and thought it was a fine car. Seemed to go for ever on a tank of diesel and had lot's of space.
We have a honda CRV at the moment and would recommend it..

28th Sep 2005, 10:33
Audi RS4, SAAB 9-5 Sport Wagon, or Subaru Legacy 2.5 are some suggestions off the top of my head.

I just sold my wonderful, high performance, beautiful, *sigh* magical, SAAB 900S and got a diesel Ford Fiesta because fuel costs more than $2 a liter in Turkey. Bush bastard prick ass punk dick loser.

Anyway, the brochure said 3.9L/100KM highway and 5.1L/100KM city. I get about 6.0L/100KM. WHY??!! Some people say brand new cars burn more fuel for a while and then gradually settle down, is there any truth to this?

I drive 160KM per day, 120KM highway at average 140kph, and 40KM heavy city traffic at average 20kph. 6.0L /100KM seems excessive, no?

28th Sep 2005, 12:44
Tinpis Motors 'A Rocket To Suit Your Pocket':

I think she's warming to it, Tinpis. Offer her a half tank of petrol if she pays cash! (and keep talking about Style :p )

I'd like to know too - what on earth is it?

28th Sep 2005, 17:26
Read all about it here. (http://www.4stroke-design.com/)

28th Sep 2005, 18:04
Type : Mid-mounted in-line 3 cylinder :{
Power : 61 / 75 / 100 HP (three levels of tuning are available) :ugh:
Valve system : DOHC 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel system : Sequential Fuel Injection
Intake : Turbocharged :\
Capacity : 698cc :*

*lightly chuckles* :p

Can't say I care too much for the way it looks either. :=

But wait a minute. Its 500KG!! That gives you up to 200HP per ton... decidedly interesting....:ok:

28th Sep 2005, 18:12
. decidedly interesting.
...for a door-stop!!