• This topic has 35 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by mos.
Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • Van to replace car for family
  • Premier Icon mrl
    Full Member

    Our current car PCP is up soon and we are looking for car options. Wife wants a pick up, we live in town and I don’t want one. I blame her spending to much time in the mid west US. Another non estate option is a van. Lots of people seem to have them on here so looking for opinions.

    It will be the only car and needs to have two proper rows of seats. Bikes, camping gear, paddle boards etc in the back. Only three of us so it does not need to be massive. We have a big 14 foot canoe so that needs to go on the roof but it looks like there are side loading options out there.

    With two rows of seats I assume bikes will be wheels off, are there any good racks to bolt in?

    Looking at less than 2 years old, bit of a luxury but it is our only vehicle. So recommendations?

    I am still thinking a big estate will be better most of the time but for biking and holidays the extra room might be worth it.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    I am still thinking a big estate will be better most of the time but for biking and holidays the extra room might be worth it.

    As a van owner, I think you’re probably right, but many vans have three seats up front so you don’t necessarily need two rows of seats.

    Premier Icon docrobster
    Free Member

    Work colleague who is also mtber and whose wife is expecting their third child in June- so they will have 3 aged 4 and under- has just replaced his 3 series estate with a vw caddy van at the weekend. It’s black so it looks like a hearse but other than that seems a very practical vehicle. 3 proper seats in the back (and 2 more seats that he’s taken out) Seems big enough to swallow a couple of bikes bikes upright with front wheel off behind these seats easily.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    can’t remember who it was now but I while ago I was looking at a van conversion company who would replace your floor with 4 parallel full-length rails thus making the van modular… you could take everything out if you needed the space, have one or 2 extra rows of seats, or slide in a kitchen unit & rock n roll bed to make it a campervan! Don’t know how well it would work in reality but the principle sounded great.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    Last 8ish years of family cars is 5 series estate, E class estate, T6 Kombi

    Last one is definitely the best one so far. 2 adults, 3 kids and a dog. Boot fits all manner of family and hobby related stuff. Haven’t looked back. Wife likes driving it, kids love it. Youngest daughter LOVES it, always wants to get in the ‘phvan’

    Can’t see me downsizing anytime in the next few years. Just moved house and it’s been used for all sorts. Can do a tip run and then run family errands, all 5 in the car and the boot will still hold the equivalent of a 1 ton pallet worth of stuff (space wise) plus more

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    I had a SWB T5 camper as a daily drive and you will struggle with anything any larger in car park situations I’d say. Although their footprint is no larger than any large size people carrier or SUV (say an SMax or X3) they are a bit tricker getting in and out of due to the taller slab sides and larger doors but just about manageable in normal standard car park spaces. A LWB T5/6 would protrude a standard size car park space and make manoeuvring more difficult, and wider vehicles will make getting in and out in tighter car park spaces a problem. I rarely had to think when parking in my T5, just went anywhere I would have taken a car.

    Though rear parking sensors are a must, forward parking sensors would be useful and a reversing camera would be nice too. I just had rear parking sensors and I would have struggled without and front sensors and a reversing camera would have made it a sinch.

    As far as driving is concerned you’ll be fine. Modern vans are great. They drive very well, have running costs comparable to the cars they share their engines and transmissions with, and can be just as well equipped. Mine had the weaker 102bhp engine so wasn’t fast off the mark, but once upto speed had no issues maintaining it, even when fully loaded so no issues with cruise control. More powerful engines would be alot easier, especially when puling out of busy junctions, which is mostly where I struggled with the weazy 102bhp engine.

    The VW van haters will be along soon waffling on about “the VW tax’ and how much bigger and cheaper other vans are, but the reality is bigger vans, especially wider ones, will compromise the day to day usability and car park access, so if that is high on your list of considerations then you’re limited on size. If going PCP then the ‘scene tax’ doesn’t matter and even if not it still doesn’t matter because you’ll get it back when you sell. And just ignore the crap about VW vans being unreliable. Zero issues with my T5 over 3 years of daily driving plus a few European trips a year and hauling around the weight of a camper conversion every single journey. There are horror stories with any manufacturer or vehicle you care to mention if you search the internet hard enough.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    I am still thinking a big estate will be better most of the time but for biking and holidays the extra room might be worth it.

    Will you be commuting to work in it?

    If not, the van will be better almost all of the time. That’s my experience anyway.

    Go and have a look at the crew cab variants of the current options: Trafic, Transit, Transporter, Vivaro, etc. and see which tickles your fancy.

    And show your wife that pick-up thread that was on here last week.

    Premier Icon mrl
    Full Member

    No commuting luckily.

    Looks like the transit custom, vivaro, vito sized vans are only 20cm longer and 15cm wider than current car. Transporter looks about the same size as current car. The price difference is about 4-5k which is quite a bit though.

    Thanks

    Premier Icon colp
    Full Member

    Vito Tourer with the 3rd row of seats removed.
    Much quieter and nicer place to be than a crew cab.
    There are deals around at the moment from vehicles returned by airport xfer companies.

    Love mine, XLWB 8 seater (rear 3 removed). Gets 6 bikes in the back with wheels on.
    Absolutely no problem parking anywhere

    Premier Icon rickon
    Full Member

    Transit Custom is the best van on your list. Really nice interior (for a van), lots of good options available (heated seats, auto lights, auto wipers, front and rear sensors and camera etc…). You can spec a top of the range one with lots of options for about £30k OTR (that’s not RRP, that’s negotiating). And with a 185BHP engine if you so wish.

    Transporters will be a lot more, so will Vitos in the same spec. And, personally, the ride and driving experience is a lot nicer in a Custom.

    I’ve had a couple of Transits, a Connect, three Peugeot/Citroens (small and medium ones), and a Caddy.

    Current Transit Custom Sport is very nice.

    Premier Icon mrl
    Full Member

    Good info thanks.

    Premier Icon mrl
    Full Member

    Looks like I was looking at short wheelbase. The long and XL are 30-60cm longer than current car. my parking is rubbish…… shame as the Vito tourers are a lot cheaper.

    How are bikes in the SWB, must be wheels off unless the seats are split?

    Premier Icon rickon
    Full Member

    Length wont be an issue if you get parking sensors, a rear camera really is the best thing though. Your mirrors will make you think the vehicle is a lot longer than it is – you’ll get out after parking and be like 3 feet forward of where you thought you were!

    If I was getting a crew-cab, I’d be going LWB. SWB for me would be too short.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Full Member

    Look at the PSA passenger vans – Spacetourer, Traveller, Proace Verso, Vivaro Life, etc. If you can store the rearmost row somewhere then you get flexibility to carry lots of people if you need to. Various lengths, M is just under 5m long (SWB Transporter sort of size), XL is huge, but you can get XS too which is only 4.6m.

    Windows all round, proper trim inside (unlike a Kombi), AC vents for rear passengers, proper folding/tumbling middle row, etc. Good value and well equipped too.

    If you like the VW thing then I think the Shuttle is a much better prospect than a Kombi.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Length is definitely an issue for on-street parking, they’ll be some spaces it just won’t fit into! Agree that LWB is preferable with a crew-cab though. Parking off-street, supermarkets etc not a problem.

    Premier Icon mashr
    Full Member

    Much quieter and nicer place to be than a crew cab.

    Interesting. What’s going on there then? Just the extra lining from it being the passenger version?

    Premier Icon Olly
    Free Member

    Wife wants a pick up, we live in town

    new wife?

    275 quid a year tax on a van these days, unless you get one that isnt a van like a caravelle, i think.
    Ours is a 5.5m long L2H2 transit (a proper one, not the custom) and its got brilliant road manners compared to others in its size class, but it is big, thirsty and slow, even as a euro 6.
    My previous transporter was much more car like. Nippier, stopped better and you could breathe in on narrow squeezes which the transit doesnt feel like it can do. Its just crossed the threshold of two cars passing on a narrow lane.
    Hangs out the end of tesco parking spaces further than i would like so i tend to park at the back of the carpark and accept the longer walk.

    Other than that, I love having a van. i cant fathom how car drivers do things like, buy sheet material and move dumpy bags of sand around.
    Taking wheels off bikes and/or hanging boats off the outside is for peasants 😉

    Premier Icon mrl
    Full Member

    On street parking at my house so have to think of that. But generally not much of an issue.

    Unless the van has 4.5m load length the canoe is going on the roof!

    Like the idea of a longer wheelbase but think the SWB with split seats will be most practical. Can get three bikes in with wheels on I think.

    Premier Icon 5lab
    Free Member

    worth looking at the hyundai i800 as well as the psa optoins, which has van roots (and tonnes of space), but a bit more kit.

    Its worth noting that there’s a fair amount of difference between a caravelle and a crew cab (in comfort and in cost) and the same goes for the equivilents from other manufacturers. worth trying both to see if you’re happy with the compromises.

    Premier Icon piha
    Free Member

    I’m currently in the market for a new van and I’ve found Autoebid very useful for getting competitive quotes.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We have a big 14 foot canoe

    Amatuer. 16′ and 17′ here.

    Rear rollers solve the canoe loading issue on a van.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Used Autoebid to buy our current caravelle, between their discount and the dealer having to bend over backwards after supplying a factory order with the wrong spec, we aced over £17k on list, which was nice.

    I’d look at the following: VW caravelle, merc V class, Peugeot/Citroen/Vauxhall space tourer clone thingy (avoid the Toyota version, it’s far more “van” like). Ford custom tourneo if you don’t like the person in the back.

    PSA clone is superbly spec’d: you could literally buy two at discount for a list price velle. I love our velle but fundamentally it’s a 20year old design, that VW drive forwards and backwards through the Bosch catalogue hoping bits of tech will stick to. It’s built on a very old assembly line by people inspired by mg Rover. Quality is truly random. Good ones are great, bad ones make you pull to the side of the road & huddle, awaiting the AA or the fire brigade, or both.

    Premier Icon db
    Full Member

    Lots of options;
    Toyota Proace Verso?
    Mercedes-Benz V Class? There are some on autotrader for +£170k
    VW Transports
    Transit

    Best just go on autotrader and look at vans with 6+ seats

    Premier Icon stevehine
    Free Member

    Transit custom here, SWB DCIV. Love it, can get three bikes in the back wheel on (if you don’t need to carry much else as they go diagonally) – two long 29ers and a 26er. Front wheel off and I can pack em down one side and leave lots of room for other stuff.

    Took a while to get used to coming from a small sporty coupe, but it’s worked well, no more fiddling with roof racks or posting bits of bike through tiny boot openings !

    The only downside is that the passenger seats don’t have any back adjustment, so can be a little uncomfortable to some people on long drives. In hindsight, I’d have specced it with a single front passenger seat instead of the double, but as the driver it doesn’t really bother me 😁

    Premier Icon stevehine
    Free Member

    Oh and I had the misfortune of having to drive a Vivaro a few weeks ago, same age as my Custom. It was absolutely horrible to drive, so I’d definitely recommend test driving some of the options if you can – maybe I was just unlucky, it was a rental.

    Premier Icon timber
    Full Member

    Used the newer vauxhall badged PSA thing a couple of years ago and found it a a hideous small thing for a lwb and all the controls seemed randomised compared to almost every other vehicle. Usually cruise and stereo controls are pretty intuitive and I’m just glad it didn’t rain whilst on hire as the wiper options were a lottery.

    I have the previous shape Vito as a long Dualiner, about 4″ longer and 4″ wider than my old mk3 Mondeo. I would’ve rather a decent estate, but hard to find something tall enough for upright bikes with just front wheel off as forks and dropper keep it tall. Used to be far easier with 26″ wheels and qr seat posts.
    Didn’t really fancy a Caddy Maxi type thing as if it was to be a van I wanted a van quantity of space, not barely more than a large estate with van handling.

    Premier Icon colp
    Full Member

    Interesting. What’s going on there then? Just the extra lining from it being the passenger version?

    Exactly. Mine’s a tourer select. Picked it up in 2019 just over a year old with 16k miles for £23000 inc VAT.
    It’s the 119 so 190bhp standard but had mine Pendle mapped to 235bhp. Really economical if you don’t rag it, I got 53mpg average Wirral to Dover last year (lots of 50mph sections on the M6)

    Premier Icon mashr
    Full Member

    Shame you seem to lose a bit of load space in the back with the extra mouldings. It’s all a compromise one way or another I suppose

    Premier Icon petrieboy
    Free Member

    Recommend what you have – caravelle over a van every day of the week.
    Airbags in the back for the kids
    Isofix
    Separate climate control for the back
    Flexibility of sliding seats or removing them to suit
    Quieter than the transporters – better sound insulation and door seals
    It’s a car so fine at the recycling centre or anywhere that’s “anti van”
    Car speed limits
    Car insurance is easier in so much as it’s unrestricted (insuring a van without business use just doesn’t compute for a lot of insurers)

    Downsides – tax is high
    Environment- but I counter this as mine has 300k on it and remains sufficiently valuable that it’ll be on the road for years to come which helps the total carbon

    Premier Icon mjsmke
    Free Member

    Bought a Berlingo MPV (2019 model) last year and its the best car I’ve ever had so far. Its the 5 seat version so not too long; fits in standard parking spaces. Masses of space inside and very well designed folding seats.

    Its much more practical than a car, much more comfortable than a van, not too big around town either.

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    I’ll go the other way. We’ve had out T5 for 6.5 years now and its brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, so much so, we often say that if we didn’t need the full camper conversion anymore that we’d be tempted to change it for a kombi (but line/insulate it all etc to make it loads warmer/quieter). And that would be tempting but then for the cost you look at what large/comfy/well built/premium/fast/economical estates you can get for literally half the price of a van and I start to question why I’d get another van for the few times it would be better.

    Premier Icon mrl
    Full Member

    Lots of interesting ideas. Sadly I think the caravelle is out, but they do look great options. Looking at 2020 ones and they are 40k. The other options end up being 15k less. Imagine tye depreciation is a lot less but still a big chunk extra.

    Thanks all. Off to book some test drives for after tye 12th.

    Premier Icon transition1
    Free Member

    I have SWB Transit Custom limited pre facelift, 6 seats can fold & remove rear seats full leather interior, heated seats etc, Euro 6 engine but without stop start rubbish! Compared to my old van pulls like a train, drives better than most of cars I have owned & it’s rapid, plus get lots of van envy from T5 & 6 owners 😂 best bit is dual sliding doors & tailgate

    Premier Icon wooobob
    Free Member

    LWB Transit Custom here. Fantastic vehicle. 9 seats, or flexible options down to 3 with gargantuan boot. As above, heated seats, very comfy, nice to drive (if a smidge snatchy and bouncy in 1st), sliding doors and tailgate. Slightly limits the number of places you can park, but never been a big deal. Bikes, tents, dogs, etc. no bother. Particularly fond of the high driving position and huge windows. Great mirrors and reversing cam. Has a plug socket for hoover/cool box/lava lamp/etc. We love it.

    Premier Icon mos
    Full Member

    Currently running an SWB T5 Kombi, could really do with a bike rack as i cant fit my XL Flaremax in with other bikes unless both wheels come off, which partly defeats the point of a van in my opinion. Although they are good for bike races etc. and parking up to do mucky things. Dad’s just got a Vito which is really nice but i was disappointed to find the seat base a little on the small side for my frame.

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.