What £7k family car?

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  • What £7k family car?
  • unfitgeezer

    merc c class estate

    Premier Icon althepal

    I’d take a focus over a golf.. based on tests 2 years ago though. Also more likely to getbone within budget too!


    Honda Civic is huge inside and has really nice door handles and a digital speedo.


    Octavia VRS


    A3 – 140 or 170 TDI.
    You’ll get a DSG box version at that price.


    couple of years since, but Astra’s are hateful things, Focus a little easy to stall, Golf nicer place to be stuck in a traffic jam.

    Premier Icon Pook

    Got a 1.6 focus and had a 1.8tdci – terrifying turbo lag.


    I’ve just done the Golf. Very nice, bike/board compatible with bars. Nice to drive. Although mine’s the 1.6 TDi DSG so nowhere near as quick as the GT. But still nippy.

    Premier Icon bigad40

    +1 Skoda Octavia estate.
    We got a 1.9tdi, 55mpg with a massive boot!
    It’s the wife’s car and she likes it.
    I think it’s great round the lanes here.
    Did I mention the boot is massive!


    Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex

    Honda Accord Tourer

    Premier Icon Pook

    I need something which will cope with a 500 mile a week commute, but also be a bit fun for me. I want to be able to lug the bike(s) about, and my little lad.

    At the mo, thinking is golf gt tdi with box and bars when needed. But, oh motor-wallahs of singletrackworld*, are there better options?

    *mark Horacek, this does not mean you.


    Can’t go far wrong with a golf. Bulletproof tdi engines, great mpg, shame they’re a tad boring though. A rwd 3L petrol would be fine 😛

    Not sure what age your looking for but golfs don’t depreciate like focus’s so you might need to dig a bit deeper.

    Premier Icon DaveP

    BMW 535d? Fast. interesting, slightly economical.


    Mondeo, huge boot, good equipment.

    Much better vfm than a Focus

    Premier Icon njee20

    Do they do a vaguely interesting diesel Focus? I know they didn’t previously, they were all <105bhp.

    170 Golf GT TDI would be my choice.

    Can’t really go wrong with a Golf. Hold their value well, well built etc etc but slightly boring.
    Always the STW fave, an Octavia would be on my list as well but even more than the Golf, in standard guise they’re not exactly exciting but you do get more for your money and the boot is in a whole other league vs the Golf. Should get a pre-FL mk2 diesel for £7k though.
    I really like Civics – loved my old EP/breadvan shape and my brother in law has a newer shape one but be prepared to be bent over if anything goes wrong with it! Lovely things though – I’d have a TypeR in an instant if they did a 5 door version.

    Are you bothered about the age much? Early E90 shaped BMW 318D/320D should be in your budget. Or an E46 estate 330D M-Sport. Yum. Yum. I’d have an E46 shaped bimmer over a newer Golf any day!


    Skoda Roomster – I guess a Berlingo is similar but I’m not familiar with them.

    The back seats go backwards and forwards, they can come out in any combination you like and you should be able to get a buggy in without folding it up.

    They look like a popemobile but are fantastically versatile and now you’re a dad practicality is more important.

    Saw a lovely bright orange Fiat Doblo – my wife wouldn’t let me have it.


    Consider a Seat Leon if you want Golf mechanicals, but aren’t overly fussed by how soft the dashboard plastic is etc….
    Golf’s hold their value much better than Leons so you’ll potentially get a newer/lower mileage/higher spec car for your money.

    Only thing to watch is the boot opening on the Leon. It is a smaller opening than a lot of other similar sized cars and might be a pain to get a bike into – should be OK, and it’ll definitely fit but something to bear in mind.


    I have a Leon and the boot opening is a PITA with buggies.

    A buggy will take up a quarter of any car boot, meaning if you want to do anything you’ll always be wanting a bigger car.

    The Roomster is most likely to be a Golf underneath

    b r

    I’d look at a Passat/Avensis/Mondeo/Insigna sized car etc, should be cheaper than a Golf and a nicer/quieter place to be for your commute.


    What about this?

    It’s a 2005 Audi A4 Estate 3.0 TDi Quattro S Line…for £6,999.


    Go for the workhorse estate like these:

    Skoda Octavia/Superb or
    Toyota Avensis or
    Honda Accord (could be expensive) or
    even Ford Mondeo.

    Forget the rest as they might bleed you dry.


    Seat Leon FR TDI 170 or Octavia VRS TDI 170?


    Why spend £7k? The VW 2.0 TDi powering most of the ‘fun’ cars suggested above isn’t exactly the most reliable unit and there are lots of reports of major issues with injectors and fuel pumps…. to be honest any modern turbo diesel has the potential to chuck a £1k+ bill at you so I’d want to build this into my budget.

    DaveyBoyWonder has the right idea, I’d go for something like this BMW 330d Touring (204bhp, upto 230 easily with a mild remap and lots of smiles), Spend £500 on an auto box flush and general once over and keep £1000 back as a buffer for on-going maintenance and any issues.


    I’d be pretty confident that it will outperform a Golf / Focus diesel .etc in every area apart from maybe dropping a few MPG – and if bought at the right age, are likely to have been looked after a lot better than the run of the mill stuff. Don’t be put off by the higher mileage, it doesn’t mean anything beyond a few years old & my E46 330ci still felt nice and tight at 120k

    A Volvo D5 would also be a good shout, but won’t drive like the BMW does.



    Well if you’d asked to me I’d reply:

    Volvo S60 or V70.

    Toyota Avensis estate diesel

    Vauxhall – Zafira or Astra estate (1.7diesel), ever hear skiprat complaining about his???

    Do you know how cheap you can pick Mondeo’s up for??

    I drove a 12 plate Seat Altea TDI this weekend- boy it oversteered and its suspension damping was awful. I’m not a fan of VW or Audi’s. They are expensive to fix.

    Volvo S60/V70’s are supposed to have some of the best seats for mileage drivers.


    After years of Mondeos, Vectras, Foci and the like I recently bought a BMW 325i Touring.

    Its night and day in terms of build quality, refinement and equipment.

    Don’t bother with the pleb brands, spend your money on a slightly older premium car.

    Premier Icon Pook

    Interesting options here all, thanks. Liking the Beemer options.


    Just sold my Golf after 6 years of dull, but pain free driving, the new version is leaps and bounds better to drive than my old mk4, but tbh, the Ford Focus felt even better to drive.

    I ended up getting a Honda Civic in the end, not as nice to drive as the Focus and build is not in the same class as the Golf, but for some reason the Honda was quite a bit cheaper to insure than the other two and my Mrs liked the colour 😉

    Premier Icon Pook

    Having suffered near lethal turbo lag in a focus I won’t be going there again


    I just spent 3K on a 2004 Skoda Octavia estate with 42K on the clock. 1.8T with 150 BHP, 4WD and the worlds biggest boot. It isn’t exciting to look at, but goes well when you want it to, and is a hoot on back lanes. Two DH bikes and all the kit will fit inside the boot with half the seat folded down. I couldn’t be happier with it. 7K would get a MkII with a diesel engine if that’s your bag, or if you look hard enough you might find a VRS with sensible mileage for that.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    I loved my Skoda Octavia VRs limited edition with the 170 BHP CR engine. Owned from EX dem with 400 miles on clock to 49,000 two years later.

    the 8 RAC men that came to its rescue also liked it!

    Every one of them said they didn’t usually get called out to Skodas.

    Sensor popping nightmare. I wouldn’t recommend one to anyone although the warranty was excellent but also a thing you don’t want to be able to comment upon.


    That’s fine till it needs a service, new tyre or fails the MOT and costs 2k for a new window wiper.


    BMW 3 series’ are fine if you don’t value your spine and hearing. They are the noisiest cars I’ve ever driven in terms of wind noise at motorway speeds and road noise (fair enough that could be down to run flat tyres) and the the suspension is intolerably firm. I’ve found Mercs are much nicer to drive, but for that money you’ll get a much younger and lower mileage Mondy, which I think have nicer interiors equal in quality to their BMW and Merc equivalents, it’ll be better spec’d, more practicle and will have the heated front windscreen which is just the most useful thing ever put into a car. Not the most exciting car, but then again neither is the 3 series or Merc C class.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Octavia Estate forget your so called premium branded wagons with overpriced spares and the rest.

    I need something which will cope with a 500 mile a week commute, but also be a bit fun for me. I want to be able to lug the bike(s) about, and my little lad.

    500 miles with out blinking or refilling (based on the 04 tdi averaging 50-55mpg on good runs)
    Lug bikes? 3 & 3 people with kit, 2 with 2 people for 2 weeks in france easy all inside
    Suitable for children – probably

    but also be a bit fun for me

    What sort of fun? plenty of room with the seats down apparently…
    Drives well handles well but not a sports car or hot hatch. But what you save in fuel, insurance, tyres, and points will buy a nice bike – probably more fun

    Someone mentiooned the skoda roomster above. Mate has one compared to our Fabia Estate 1.9tdi its got no more usable room, is slower, less well equiprd and the seats are hateful things.


    Just seen this…wondering if that Roomster got the same engine as the Fabia?

    I spent a lot of time working out what to get and bought a petrol 1.2 105bhp Roomster and am really happy with it’s performance – indeed wondered if I would have been happy with the 85bhp model really.

    As for useable room, well the (hateful?!) seats give loads of options that the Fabia doesn’t have and when I go on family trips I take a seat out, put my bike in a bag and put it in the space to one side, very useful. I was expecting to pay more and had thought about a new model CMAX but the Roomster just seemed better for the money.

    These guys like it:



    wobbliscott – Member
    BMW 3 series’ are fine if you don’t value your spine and hearing. They are the noisiest cars I’ve ever driven in terms of wind noise at motorway speeds and road noise (fair enough that could be down to run flat tyres) and the the suspension is intolerably firm

    Firm they are, more noise than a mondeo? unlikely…


    That said, being a 3 series owner, id say at that price point & doing 26k a year, sensible money on a mondeo or similar, not an over priced second hand BMW, Golf, Octavia VRS etc…

    Might have to sacrifice ‘fun’ though!

    Premier Icon chaos

    Why stop at the 3 series? You could pick up a 5 series touring for that money.

    Running my 2004 530d (E61 shape with just over 100k miles) through the Which valuation puts it at around 6k which gives plenty leftover for bills/servicing/etc.

    Similar here

    lots more room for bikes, quieter, etc.

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