• This topic has 40 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 2 days ago by grimep.
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  • Recommend me an estate car … Passat, Focus, Skoda, Golf???
  • Aus
    Free Member

    Hi, looks like we need to have an ULEZ friendly car. Requirements are:

    – must be an estate (doesn’t have to be the biggest, but room is important)
    – we do 8-9K miles per year
    – every day, it’ll do 3 short (5 mile) journeys
    – monthly it’ll do a 400 mile round trip
    – must be auto
    – must/ideally leather interior (odd one, but we have spaniels and leather reduces wet dog smell massively!!)
    – budget of £6-9K, but 6 much nicer than 9!
    – plan to keep for 10+ years (as per all our previous cars)

    Historically we’ve had a BMW 530D (current car), and VW Passats – both of which have been perfect. Have previously bought based on v low mileage and condition, ignoring age of car … and has worked well so far.

    Currently mulling
    – petrol engine because of frequency of short journeys
    – Japanese import due to low mileage and condition
    – mileage of <60K
    – age typically 2011-2017
    – Passat TSi engine
    – Focus Ecoboost
    – Skoda Octavia

    Any recos/thoughts/pointers?

    Many thanks

    Pieface
    Full Member

    Don’t go for one with a sporty style (i.e. lowered suspension / front diffusers) like a Skoda VRS or Leon FR – I’ve twice ruined the under bumper panels from low kerbs / driving through bumpy fields.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    See this thread too Soz, another ‘what car’ thread. Do I want an Octavia Estate? Or something else? – Singletrack World Magazine

    You havent said how much you want to spend?

    As on the above thread do not disgard SUV’s they offer more useable space, and have no draw backs from what I can see.

    I would avoid the Ford Ecoboost the mpg is generally really bad.

    Sounds like you want to downsize cars by that list too?

    Aus
    Free Member

    Thanks, just looked at the other thread – we’ve a budget of £9K max.
    SUV’s are out as I think they tend to be a higher boot so old dog struggles to jump in.
    Downsizing – not really, just better mpg/economy would be handy and assume smaller might help with that.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Downsizing – not really, just better mpg/economy would be handy and assume smaller might help with that.

    Not in my experience, and if it does its marginal to the point not worth bothering with. If anything when I have upsized economy has gone up, and thats going up engine size as well

    Aus
    Free Member

    Well, having more room (we’ve 4 spaniels) is always going to be a bonus … so based on that, I’d discount the Golf estate say in favour of the Passat.

    Interesting re Ecoboost being poor mpg, happy to discount that too as guess it’s a little smaller than Passat.

    The Octavia got favourable comments in the other thread … Passat Vs Octavia?

    And any issues with Japanese imports?

    kilo
    Full Member

    Bit left field. If it was just two of you Skoda Roomster and remove / fold up rear seats when in estate mode. Got the 1.6 auto, mainly town journeys but manages bikes, garden waste to the tip etc fine

    fazzini
    Full Member

    I always wanted an Octavia but not heavy enough to tow the caravan. After various others, I’ve ended up with an auto Passat (admittedly diesel). Great at most things; really big and well shaped load space; comfy etc. The auto-box is really good (DSG) , the caveat being that its not the most frugal. I know I could get more MPG with a manual, but this was the only one available at the time, in budget.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    I’d discount the Golf estate say in favour of the Passat.

    There isn’t a lot of difference surprisingly. The boot is very nearly as big as the Passat (both take a cello in hard case with the back seats up – that’s pretty big).

    I ended up with a Passat as a nice one was available at a good price.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Look here for real world mpg figures

    Real MPG | Honest John

    Greybeard
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t recommend an Ecoboost. Not because of mpg, which I haven’t found too bad, but engine (and clutch) reliability. My clutch exploded at 18k and was replaced under warranty, but was slipping at 60k and I’ve had to pay for that. The engine is very vulnerable to overheating, but the worst is probably the wet cam belt – it runs in the oil, which degrades the belt and it shed bits of rubber that block the oil pump (even if you use the correct oil). The belt was originally expected to last the life of the car, then Ford said 150k, then 100k, and people have reported failure at 40k. It wasn’t designed to be replaced, so it’s a nominal 13 hour job. I had mine replaced by an independent, they estimated 2 days for clutch and belt, took them 4.5 days.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We just downsized slightly, moved to fewer annual miles petrol after a decade of high miles on diesels, and auto for first time ever.

    Toyota and Honda were both too small in boot, plus I struggle with CVT.

    We had a toss up between Octavia (biggest), Golf (all rounder), Leon (schporty and stylish) and Ceed or I30 estate.

    I would have preferred the Ceed.
    Mrs_oab has always wanted a Golf.
    We could only find a Leon that wasn’t abused or silly money.

    I worry about VAG reliability long term.

    We’re getting as many mpg out of petrol, auto Leon Estate as we did from V70 manual diesel. That’s around town and long distances. Running costs are lower – £20 tax, cheaper services, lower insurance.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    petrol engine because of frequency of short journeys

    I don’t think the numbers you quote are going to be a problem for a diesel. When they talk about short trips, the problems are when you ONLY do short trips of say a mile or so, down to the shops – and then you ignore the warning lights telling you to go for a long drive to regen the DPF.

    That said, a petrol will be fine and may be cheaper. But it may not be more reliable, as those TFSI engines have many of the same extra gubbins as diesels do which can be the bits that go wrong.

    Aus
    Free Member

    It becomes a minefield!

    Our BMW 530D gets c.30mpg based solely on short trips (on long, it’s 45-50mpg), has been faultless in 150k miles, fits the 4 spaniels v well(!) … just the ULEZ thing otherwise we’d just keep.

    But thanks all, v helpful food for thought and for ruling some out. mpg isn’t the main criteria as we’re not huge mileage, and if anything it’ll go down a wee bit. Probably electric would suit us well but probably out of budget.

    irc
    Full Member

    If you are looking at Passats then look at Skoda Superbs as well. Same underpinnings and similar size. Superb poss fractionally bigger. Believe while it will vary over the ranges the VW group brand differentation means nicer trim in the Passat.

    I have a 2018 1.4Tsi Superb. 47mpg on 75mph motorway runs. Slow down to 65 and it is in the low 50s. General around town use low to mid 40s.

    I had an Octavia before it and drove Octavia Scouts at work. The Superb is quieter and has a smoother ride.

    Buying Superbs check rear discs. They are made of cheese. Prone to rust. Mine were replaced at 25k miles. But as I got the car new for £18k I can’t complain too much.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    We’re in the same position. CRV is not ULEZ compliant, and just the one spaniel. Leon estate ticks most boxes. Golf carries a Golf premium. Are the dogs in a cage? Because cage size might be a challenge for four. We have a dog cage in the back of the CRV all the time.

    I also fancy a car after several CRVs.

    doomanic
    Full Member

    Putting as many of your criteria as possible into Autotrader gives 25 results, 7 of which are Skodas and none of those are Superbs. No VW or Seats at all.

    towpathman
    Full Member

    Avensis?

    milko9000
    Full Member

    @funkydunc how do you figure this bit?

    As on the above thread do not disgard SUV’s they offer more useable space

    My experience was my Octavia estate could fit loads more than my mates’ SUV (Tiguan and then some sort of Jaaag, forget what exactly). They seemed like mostly seating inside and probably more comfy for passengers because of it, but carrying capacity meant cramming stuff in stacks and/or losing seats.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    V70 d5.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    As on the above thread do not disgard SUV’s they offer more useable space

    That’s not my experience, although it may depend on the specific load you are carrying. You need a massive SUV to give the same sort of usable space as a normal sized estate in my experience.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Mazda 6

    A criminally overlooked estate. I was after one recently but they were thin on the ground near me at the spec and price I was after. I actually ended up with a Mazda CX5 instead this week which has the same engine, toys, spec etc

    Loads on Autotrader. For example

    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202209209933149

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    What year is ypur 530d? I know they are potentially wallet emptying minefields but still want one.

    ctk
    Full Member

    Jap import Golf estate would be my pick. There are a few dealers that specialise in them.

    tekp2
    Free Member

    I’m selling my 64 reg 50000 mile 1.4 petrol DSG Octavia estate. Been an absolutely perfect family car for us. Selling as we now have a camper van…

    BillMC
    Full Member

    I came from a 320D and wanted: petrol, c 40mpg, non-turbo, big boot, ULEZ, cam chain, no rust, reliability, a ‘lockdown interim car’

    The answer after quite some research: Avensis estate

    Bought with 70k miles, now 90k, recent service comment ‘there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it’ and it’s 07

    I paid £1850 plus a service and a new set of tyres (as I would with any 2nd hand vehicle), it’s been perfect and it’s no longer ‘interim’, I shall run it for some years yet. (Nearly) free motoring!

    Oh and the driving position makes for less shoulder/backache. Did a 6hr journey yesterday (with a few helpful WAZE diversions) no problems.

    eddd
    Free Member

    I’ve gone from a Golf estate to an Octavia estate and the difference in space is huge. The Octavia is an amazing dog/buggy/bike car with a very square opening which makes all the difference. I’d probably go for diesel in your shoes as the massive efficiency gain on the 400 mile trip will make it pay off.

    Also tested a Corolla hybrid estate, the boot was too small and awkwardly shaped.

    I don’t like SUVs either, they don’t actually have more room inside, they are just taller and wobblier.

    Both will seem small amd slow compared to your 530 estate though. I rented one a few months ago and it was a beautiful motorway cruiser with so much space, but the helipad-sized bonnet made it a nightmare around country roads and junctions.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    That’s quite a find in this market.

    Aus
    Free Member

    Thanks all.

    Had the chance to do long drives in both a Avensis (saloon) and Mazda 6 and for me, the seating was pretty uncomfortable.

    My 530D has been anything but wallet emptying – remarkably frugal, trying to think of a repair bill outside consumables, which over 150K miles, have been few. I guess rear tyres if you’re heavy footed!!

    The Skoda in autotrader looks ‘too cheap’!!! Why?! And the Passat, thanks – got it saved!

    irc
    Full Member

    Don’t like the MOT history on the Skoda. Regular tyre adviseries. Lack of care? Didn’t turn a wheel for an entire year 2919-20. Cars like being used regularly.

    flannol
    Free Member

    You’re moving from one of the most comfortable and quietest motorway cruiser ever made (530d) – probably only matched by range rover/discovery/volvo – comfort is going to be a bit of a compromise sadly

    Anything in the Volvo world? £9k might find you something with petrol

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    What year is it? My trusty v70 might be beyond economical repair after its next mot, which is imminent.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    That Skoda was a Cat-N write off, scroll down the advert and you’ll see it.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    That explains the price and the MOT then.

    100psi
    Free Member

    I love my Volvo v70 does everything i ask of it and it swallows bikes whole although it is a d5 diesel and not ulez but you could look for a older low mileage petrol variety.

    MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    TBH that spec Skoda Superb for that money is a no brainer. Cat N wouldn’t put me off, its nothing structural and it’s surprising how little damage writes a car off.

    If I didn’t already have a big estate I would be tempted by that as its also a bigger petrol engine.

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