Galaxy, Sharan, Alhambra – buying advice please

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  • Galaxy, Sharan, Alhambra – buying advice please
  • Premier Icon simmy
    Subscriber

    I’ve decided that one of the above will be suitable as a bike and dog lugger.

    I’ve got about £2000 which will buy either a low mileage 96 – 97 model, or a Miley 02 – 03 plate.

    Ita gotta be diesel as some of them have VR6 engines which will be fun, but the fuel will be horrendous and I’m used to getting 50mpg at least but I’m not expecting that out of a people carrier.

    Just looking for advice as to what to look for apart from the usual used car stuff. I’m not expecting mint condition at that kind of money, but would like something that will last a few years even if it doesn’t look brill.

    chilled76
    Member

    The diesel will get around 50mpg despite you expecting less.

    I’d be surprised if you can find one that’s not a nail for £2k thoughas the tdi ones are well sought after as it’s the pre common rail VAG 1.9tdi engine that was in golfs/passats etc for over a decade. Bullit proof engines that will do 200k miles if looked after… in fact in my opinion the best engine ever built for a daily use car.

    Check car electrics and suspension thoroughly as that is less robust than the engine.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I was looking for ages in the same price bracket, the 1.9 130 which seemed to be the one to go for had a big mileage penalty. (and the 90bhp diesel might as well have been powered by sail) The bigger petrols were alright but even the 2.3 is pretty sluggish and the VR6 is into punitive tax. I didn’t want to settle in the end but there were some nice cars out there, depends how quickly you want it to go or how much you’re willing to spend to keep it going, really.

    dai21t
    Member

    I used to have a 1999 diesel one, was only 90bhp and slow as previously stated, but it never let me down in the 4 years I owned it, only sold it for £650 3 years ago. Would have thought you’d get a good one for £2000?
    Think it used to get high 30s, low 40s mpg.

    chilled76
    Member

    Just for the record my reference was about the 130bhp diesels.

    luddite
    Member

    Try n stretch the budget and go post 2000 tdi as this is a better engine.
    The 110 version with a box of eBay gives better everyday performance than the 130, IMO.

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    Advice: Galaxy – replacement parts cheaper. This from an absolutely car mad colleague, seemed sensible. Also found the Galaxys (Galaxies?) to be cheaper than the others cos there’s loads of them around.

    Also higher mileage newer generally considered to be better than low mileage older with diesels. (Rob is not a car bod!)

    I got a 137k 53 plate 1.9 115bph Ghia (get me!) last year for 2.5k and it was in fantastic condition. Looked over a similar, but very ropey interiored one on a forecourt that they wanted 4k for which was seriously OTT.

    Felt I got a bit lucky as I just happened to spot the one I bought on someone’s drive after making a wrong turn 🙂 I’d defnly go private sale, look it over very thoroughly and expect to need to spend a bit of money on it afterwards.

    Mine’s waaaaaaaay better than the shitty VW Caddy it replaced 🙂

    Edit: Turns out there’s a Ford Galaxie also – & I like it!

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    Don’t expect the air con to be working on any of them! 😉

    I wouldn’t have thought it would cost less for the Ford parts than the others, as they are virtually identical. Only parts unique to the others may cost more.

    I’d rather go higher mileage newer too.

    chilled76
    Member

    Rob, they are all exactly the same car… built in the same factory with different badges put on them. 95% of the parts are interchangeable.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    We have a 54 plate, 130hp Ghia with a manual gearbox.(Galaxy version). Had it about 3 yrs. Spent a while looking & looked at some real rubbish. Minicab drivers love them. The 115hp is ok with a manual box, but not so good with an auto box. Dont get me wrong, it goes ok but fully loaded it would struggle.
    As a family bus it’s simply brilliant as its just so damn practical. Loads of seat combinations, 4/5/6/7 seats. Can hold four bikes with wheels still on inside, & still have 4 seats in. Front seats turn 180deg, great for wet picnics & as a camping base. We have towed our 1500kg caravan up & down the UK & France with it with no issues at all. Everyday MPG is about 35mpg, & closer to 50mpg on a run.

    They do have a few common faults… Drop links on the front suspension…if you get 2 years your doing well, but they are £15 a pair & take 30 mins to change. Electric windows are a pain…the loom passes into the drivers door & the wires crack & short out. Its not a difficult fix, just fiddly. They are heavy on tyres, & being reinforced they are a bit more expensive. I’ve just put two Kuhmo’s on mine, at £84 each. They last (& grip) as well as any of the big names at 2-3 times the price. Being such a common platform (Seat/VW & Ford), parts are quite cheap. New discs & pads all round are less than £80. There is a clutch type pulley on the alternator that can stick, causing the belt to jump around, usually on idle. Its about £30 for the pulley & an hours work at most. They have a DMF like most modern diesels, but they seem a bit more robust than the Ford TDCi nightmare. The Turbo’s can fail, but I don’t think they are any less prone than most others. More difficult to work on due to the engine location & the bulkhead. What they do need is good quality oil that’s changed regularly. Climate Control can fail, usually to a rusted through pipe down by the inter-cooler. Not a difficult job, just lots of bits to be moved to get at it. The advice seems to be to just leave it on Auto all the time. Doesn’t seem to have any effect on fuel economy on ours, & its quite a well sorted system with cooling vents right back for seats 6 & 7. There is an additional diesel powered heater in the boot, for heating the rear compartment. Its usually the glow plug that fails, causing a bit of smoke. Rear wash wipe pipe can split under the passenger seat, so check for dampness.

    Quite often the VW dealers are cheaper for parts than Ford.
    Good hunting…

    Oh, & if you do buy one join fgoc.co.uk.
    Its £10 a year & what those guys don’t know about the Galaxy/Alhambra & Sharran isn’t worth knowing. One of the regulars works at Stafford Audi & is a real top bloke.


    IMAG1101 by pten2106, on Flickr

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    chilled76 – Member
    Rob, they are all exactly the same car… built in the same factory with different badges put on them. 95% of the parts are interchangeable.

    Thought I read somewhere they’re built on the chassis & body, but they have different engines? Again – not my area of expertise 🙂

    Quite often the VW dealers are cheaper for parts than Ford.

    That is interesting to hear…

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Tis true.
    Like a lot of cars, the sliders on the rear caliper can seize.
    Ford will only sell a complete caliper mount with sliders, for about £150.
    VW (& Seat) will sell the sliders on their own, for about £20.!!!

    Deveron53
    Member

    I’ve had a 2000 plate Sharan for 6 months, done a lot of miles, now on 150k. Previous owner had removed the rear auxiliary heater. Very reliable and comfy to drive on long journeys. Will actually turn into a comfy campervan for 2 people (swivelling front seats)
    I’m actually selling mine as I need a small petrol car for commuting. (I live next to the trails so don’t need to lug bikes much now).
    Tax/MOT May £1350 ono. Any takers?

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