• This topic has 24 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by daern.
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  • New car shopping- critique my poor life choices
  • Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    After this: https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/lets-have-a-big-fast-estates-thread/

    I reckon I’m pretty much down to 4. I’m replacing a 2.2 mondeo estate, which despite being an absolute bucket now has been great- it’s massive, it’s nice to be in, it’s economic, and it’s moderately quick. But it’s on the way out and I’m due a midlife crisis so I’m looking for something that’ll still haul bikes but just be a bit tastier. And a budget of realistically £5000 but I’m comfortable with higher running costs, I drive 10000 miles a year tops these days for personal use, and though I drive for work I have access to a fleet car for long drives.

    Soooooo.What do we think of these? Pretty much in this order

    Legacy GT or GTB 2 litre turbo estate

    BMW 5 series with a big engine- 530 or above.

    Also rans- Legnum and Stagea.

    Are any of these ruinously bad ideas? Or terrible as a bike car? Realistically it’ll spend most of its time with the back seats down, the Mondeo can just effortlessly swallow a large 29er enduro bike with the wheels on and it’d be a shame to lose that but I can deal with one wheel off. I’m pretty sure all of these can do that but I suspect they’re all a bit worse than the mondeo since they have to deal with rear power etc.

    Legacy is always my number 1- they’re fairly plentiful in this budget, they look great imo, they can be alright on tax depending on the exact car, and all in all seem a sensible choice for a stupid car. I’ve basically wanted one for years. If anything what puts me off a little is that they’re not as daft- all the others, I end up with a list of “things I could do with that” and the Legacy is more or less “Fit flappy shifters, put petrol in it, drive”. Which is a weird thing to complain about

    The BMW came out of nowhere but I keep looking at the big diesels and even the V8s. Probably an E61, like the Legacy there’s no shortage of them in this price range. (I really don’t like the E61’s melted soapbar looks but the price/spec of diesels just makes them seem much smarter than the older ones- the V8’s probably fine in any shape). Downsides- being a BMW owner. And I live on a steep hill in Scotland. I’ve never owned a rwd car, I like the idea but I might end up stuck on my own driveway…

    For some reason I can’t manage as much enthusiasm for the Legnum as the Legacy- I love the looks and on paper it’s the same sort of deal but a wee bit more radge, which should appeal. But they’re always in my “meh” column and they’re not so plentiful.

    Lastly, the Stagea- this is the only one that practicality is bothering me- they’re not that common and this budget doesn’t seem to get you especially good ones. But somehow, the horrific looks have grown on me, and there’s something about the whole deal that I like.

    Premier Icon 5lab
    Free Member

    if you want the legacy, get the legacy – its not as ‘nice’ a car as the bimmer, but the bimmer isn’t what you were hoping for.

    but you should get it (or a forrester) in STI guise, none of this GT haflarsednmess

    Premier Icon ChrisL
    Full Member

    Get a Stagea, so I can call it the hearse.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Get the Beemer.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Well that settled that.

    Forester’s too wee! I wanted one then I saw the boot and then I didn’t want one. Legacy STI would be lovely if you can find me a good one for £5000.

    Premier Icon plyphon
    Free Member

    The BMW gets my vote.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Free Member

    Subaru, get that.

    Those 530d sport touring (I mentioned them in the other thread) are great, but £5k would mean big bills and big miles and big disappointment IMO.

    My mate has a legacy estate with the petrol flat 4 in it, he carries a lot of sound equipment in it (professional TV sound recordist for stuff like Davis Attenborough et all) the thing swallows all the gear and eats the miles comfortably. It’s 07’ reg and done 160k now and he recently bought a T5 to replace it, but the T5 he’s decided to sell (more to the point he was after a day van, but now buying a proper 4 person camper)

    Premier Icon munrobiker
    Free Member

    The Stagea is really pretty cool.

    But you ought to get the Legacy really, if you’re just going to treat it as a tool.

    Premier Icon huckersneck
    Free Member

    Roll the dice: Get the below, have the broken air susslers replaced with coilovers and rumble off in to the sunset. The suspension failure should cost less than ~£1.5k to fix anyway.


    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    I sold a 2206 E61 530D tourer about 3 months ago.

    Fabulous car but expect big bills.

    But put your foot down at any speed and ride that wave of torque and you’ll forget the service costs.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    winter tyres should sort your Hill St blues?

    (On typing that, I’ve just realised what the “blues” referred to… :idiot:)

    Premier Icon sbob
    Free Member

    Leftfield probably massively out of budget option:

    MG ZT-T 260.

    Mahoosive tuning potential for a proper sleeper.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member
    Premier Icon pushbikerider
    Full Member

    +1 for the BMW, I’ve had an E61 545 for about four years now. Loads of room in the back and a lovely relaxing drive, it looks like you can pick up some good bargains these days!

    Budget about £500-1000/year to fix ‘things’ (suspension was rusted up so the tracking couldn’t be sorted, rear air suspension pump failed, crack in the wheel needed welding. Nothing really major, just a car getting old!).

    Fuel averages out at around early 20’s to the gallon and rear tyres can last less than 10k if you like hoofing it 😉

    Premier Icon lesgrandepotato
    Full Member

    You need an Alfa 159 3.2 sport wagon.

    Premier Icon i_like_food
    Full Member

    Thread hijack.  Northwind, did you get the PM I sent you a few days ago ref a ride at the FoD this Saturday?

    Premier Icon martymac
    Full Member

    The only big running cost on a legacy gt will be fuel and tax. Buy a decent one and keep it serviced.

    if you’re going from a mondeo estate to a legacy, (which i did)

    the boot is slightly smaller (narrower) it will take a 29er with both wheels on though.

    subaru will be lower than mondeo, with slightly better handling, but considerably more go, proper gt should be putting out 280bhp and will be a jap import, mk4 legacy wasn’t imported as a turbo, the uk options were normal 2.0, 2.0r, 3.0r.

    older mk3 gtb spec was an official uk option, but they will mostly be worn out or molested by now.

    have a good look underneath for rust.

    they are, generally, good cars to drive, i loved mine (normal 2.0, bit gutless)

    Premier Icon submarined
    Free Member

    Remove Legnum. Everyone I know with one has had nothing but trouble. Spares are becoming scarce and expensive.

    For similar reasons, remove Stages.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Free Member
    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Cheers Martymac, that’s really helpful input. There seems to be some historic shenanigans that makes imported mk 4 legacy turbos cheaper to tax than they really ought to be, around the £200 mark which’d be nice, the H6 depending on age is either £320 or £550!

    Getting old usually sucks but I did some speculative insurance quotes and basically, the car I have costs £230 comp and all the cars I want cost about £330, so that’s nice. THere is no magic solution for going from 55mpg real world to half that mind… The legacy’d want premium which goes some way to balancing the BMW V8.

    So all in all, it’s the BMW or the Legacy. I keep thinking to myself, when else am I going to get a V8 rwd car? They’re a dying breed now, prices are going up and availability’s crashing and in a few years time owning one will be a hate crime. That’s been surprisingly compelling…

    It’s nice to have choices and I reckon thanks to this thread I know roughly what I think about all 3 so cheers!

    Premier Icon chewkw
    Free Member

    BMW V8 RWD wins as family car … it’s a V8!  V8!

    I like big V8 engine …  😀


    Premier Icon MadBillMcMad
    Free Member

    In a very similar position.

    I have more or less ruled out the BMW on running costs, but I hadn’t thought of the legacy before

    Looks good to me.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    I have more or less ruled out the BMW on running costs

    Unless its falling apart, they are not as “premium” in that respect as people think.   And if you do need bits, go to an indy or use patent parts.  Its BMW themselves that add the premium cost, not the parts.  I ran a 2002 330i for 10 years / 120k miles and spent £800 on it, most of that was 1 set of disks & pads.  I’ve just had a 3 years of a 2013 120d for a total cost of £60 – 2 x VED.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    I agree with the above Kryton re. running costs and finding a good indy. The only thing I would add is to thoroughly investigate the engine in said BMW that you decide upon.. they’ve made a few lemons in their time.. for example the N53 engine in the 325i I used to have had a thing for injectors.. @ £200 a pop just for the part + labour x 6 potential cylinders to go wrong costs can add up quickly. Also, depending on “how” the injector fails you may be looking at an engine oil service each time as well so + another £100 (one of mine failed in the open position and forced fuel past the piston rings contaminating the oil).. Mind you, overall I wasn’t too pee’d off as the plume of shite that came out the back of the car suggested the engine had completely lunched itself!

    I’m on my 4th Beemer now mind.. I say go for the big RWD V8 :o)

    Premier Icon daern
    Free Member

    If you have an E61 be very, very aware of problems with the tailgate. The design is simply shocking and where the wiring loom passed through the hinges, it is specifically engineered to cut through the wires one at a time. Mine started with the power boot lid not working, then lights started to fail, then the alarm started to play up…

    In the end, I had to cut the entire loom out and replace it. Not something for the faint of heart, I can promise you, although it did fix the problem…or at least move it onto the next owner as it will inevitably happen again. In addition, they suffer from water-ingress into the alarm / radio antenna amplifier, which is on the tailgate under the spoiler. Mine had a lot of broken tracks on the PCB which, while easy enough for me to fix as I have a ‘scope and a bit of knowledge, would have cost most people many hundreds of pounds for a replacement board.

    Lovely car, but when they converted the E60 into the E61, they got the tea-boy to do it 🙁

    (ps. I looked at the F11 when I went to change it, but the design looked the same, so I bought an XC60 instead 🙂 )

    Thread here, including pics of the car in bits. Don’t open if you like BMWs!


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