54 Focus 1.8i - What SUV to replace a great car to drive? - WelshAl

Have owned the Focus for last 9 years and been fortunate to find a good local garage to maintain it. A real fun nippy car ideal for running up and down through the winding roads of Wales.

I want to replace it now with a bigger 4 or awd vehicle to use most days but also for trips to Scotland in the winter and hopefully cruising in Europe next year taking in the Alps/Pyranees and using slightly more off the beaten track roads and surfaces, hence the idea of a SUV. It's mainly for me and the wife i.e. 2 people in the car and I am looking for something where you sit higher up and is comfortable for long trips.

Being old school i actually like a car that drives well and has a manual box, we also prefer an opening sunroof over air con but that seems to be a big ask these days. We have test driven the CR-V, Qashqui, CX3, ASX, C-HR, X1, Tiguan, GLA, Tuscon, Q3 and have either found them poor to drive, or constantly jittery, or not enough passenger legroom in front or passenger seat won't raise, or not very high or very poor internal trim for the money being asked.

Strangely the only one (so far) that both my wife, who is 8 ins shorter than me, and I have found really comfortable and easy to drive is the Evoque, but it is a lot more money and I am bothered about the width, and some of its blind spots, for daily running about.

So my post is to try and find suggestions for any vehicles we have missed or useful tips anyone has.


54 Focus 1.8i - What SUV to replace a great car to drive? - gordonbennet

Freelander 2 might be a better bet than Ewok, also look at Santa Fe Sorento Rav4, but especially Forester.

Surprised you didn't like the CRV, was that on massive wheels perchance, maybe one on more sensible wheel size?

Edited by gordonbennet on 21/05/2017 at 22:59

54 Focus 1.8i - What SUV to replace a great car to drive? - SLO76
What sort of usage will it see? Is it mostly local stop start running or will there be regular distance usage on a weekly basis? What's the budget £15,000 or £50,000? Do you also intend on keeping it longterm again?

Can see why you wouldn't like the CRV if driving dynamics are a priority ours is a comfy big wagon but fun to drive it certainly ain't. But any higher riding SUV is going to be compromised in this department so you have to really ask yourself, do you really need one? I drive all over Scotland without ever having needed 4wd and the last trip to the Alps I took was behind the wheel of a £300 Ford Mondeo which coped far better than any lumbering SUV would've.

The Evoque is actually based on Fords C1 platform which was essentially the Mk II Ford Focus or Mazda 3 (which arrived first) so it is a little more nimble and car like to drive with emphasis on driver enjoyment rather than off-road ability or interior space. The first gen Ford Kuga is based on the very same and is also a very nice drive for an SUV. Later models are based on the same platform but are larger, heavier and more comfort orientated.

54 Focus 1.8i - What SUV to replace a great car to drive? - Avant

I too was thinking 'Ford Kuga' as soon as I read your original post. If you have a good Ford garage near you that's another point in its favour, although if you're buying new or under warranty it'll be best to use a Ford main dealer until the warranty expires.

Think carefully whether you need a diesel: the petrol engine in the Kuga is only 1.5 litres but it comes in varying power outputs and will be worth a try. The Kuga is quite likely to be better to drive than the SUVs that you've tried.

54 Focus 1.8i - What SUV to replace a great car to drive? - badbusdriver

What you have found here is the fundamental flaws in SUV's, that which most people gloss over as it is the image they want!.

I think, like SLO, you do some more thinking about whether or not you actually need an SUV, because going by what you've described, I think you don't.

Regardless of what you actually thought of the Clarkson era top gear, if nothing else, it proved to us that in by far the majority of 'unpaved' driving situations, you don't need 4wd, let alone, an SUV.

Estate cars to find the source of the Nile (granted, Hammond did use a 4wd imprezza, but of the other 2, one had front wheel drive, the other had rear drive), the Botswana trip, the last episode in Argentina, which was a particularly extreme demonstration of what non 4wd or SUV's can do, with May driving a lotus esprit V8 across a marsh!.


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