Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - RaineMan

I know a couple in their thirties who decided a few years ago they needed a people carrier. This has nor been a success! The first was a grey import diesel Lucida that blew its engine after a year and was sold for peanuts. After that they got a Galaxy automatic diesel on HP. Now after an expensive year (injectors and other issues after the relatively short warranty expired) it is another non-runner. The engine shakes more than the Austin Cambridge I owned forty years ago did after a plug lead fell off! Also, purely executed previous bodywork repairs are showing through. They still insist they need a people carrier and it must be diesel for economy. So what model would you recommend for a £5k budget? I cannot really think of one and would personally suggest a petrol Mondeo! Another car I know that is for sale is a Granada limo but dare I suggest it as an alternative?

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - gordonbennet

My gut feeling is to avoid giving any advice at all, then when their next experiment in these dangerous waters costs them dear you will neither be implicated or feel responsible.

A carefully bought previously well cared for old model Galaxy/Alhambra with the 1.9pd Diesel would be as good a bet as any, but getting to any good ones before the East European lads who use them to ferry themselves to work in groups will be no mean feat.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SLO76
You'll need more information before making any worthwhile recommendations to them.

Do they need 7 seats?
How many miles do they do in a year and is it mostly local or longer distance?
Do they require power for regular B road overtaking?
Is it simply a case of buying a car that sits higher rather than a need for space?

Either way I won't recommend a diesel at this money, there's just too much to go wrong (as they've already experienced) but if they want a reliable MPV that won't financially cripple them every few months then the Toyota Verso, Mazda 5 and Honda FRV are all excellent options. They're mechanically tough, comfortable to drive and always in demand so resale will be easy. The petrol engines aren't as quick but they're all ok on fuel and will be vastly more reliable than a diesel.

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Edited by SLO76 on 14/08/2017 at 14:38

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - gordonbennet

Regarding the FRV, another forum i'm a member of they're getting a reputation as good cars but serious rustbuckets in the undercarriage.

However no mention of that on the MOT history of the rather nice one you've linked to SLO.

Edited by gordonbennet on 14/08/2017 at 15:04

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SLO76

Regarding the FRV, another forum i'm a member of they're getting a reputation as good cars but serious rustbuckets in the undercarriage.

However no mention of that on the MOT history of the rather nice one you've linked to SLO.

I'm surprised by that. I rarely see one but the Jazz, Civic and Accord from that era are generally pretty good underneath. Thanks for the heads up though, I'll be poking my nose under any I see from now on before bidding. They usually get snapped up for strong money, more than I'm willing to pay unless specifically sent out to find one.
Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - Engineer Andy

Got in there whilst I was typing SLO (or should I say FAST?). Good to see I'm in the right ballpark with my choices.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SLO76

Got in there whilst I was typing SLO (or should I say FAST?). Good to see I'm in the right ballpark with my choices.

If yer no fast yer last... Great minds think alike though Andy.
Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - Wackyracer

Got in there whilst I was typing SLO (or should I say FAST?). Good to see I'm in the right ballpark with my choices.

If yer no fast yer last... Great minds think alike though Andy.

I might have to ask Kevin Bridges for translation.

Reminds me of the time I met up on the M6 with a load of Scottish drivers to do trailer swaps. I drop my trailer, give the Scotsman the paperwork and keys etc. I ask him where his trailer is and he replies that it's on the other side of the motorway in the services. Then I ask which number the trailer is...... 2 or 3 he replies, it took several attempts before I realised it was 203 :-)

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SLO76

Got in there whilst I was typing SLO (or should I say FAST?). Good to see I'm in the right ballpark with my choices.

If yer no fast yer last... Great minds think alike though Andy.

I might have to ask Kevin Bridges for translation.

Reminds me of the time I met up on the M6 with a load of Scottish drivers to do trailer swaps. I drop my trailer, give the Scotsman the paperwork and keys etc. I ask him where his trailer is and he replies that it's on the other side of the motorway in the services. Then I ask which number the trailer is...... 2 or 3 he replies, it took several attempts before I realised it was 203 :-)

We find it helps when negotiating if the other party doesn't really understand what you're on about.. ;-)
Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - Engineer Andy

Is that about or a boot? As Captn Jack says, I couldn't resist it mate! ;-)

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SLO76

Is that about or a boot? As Captn Jack says, I couldn't resist it mate! ;-)

:-)
Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - Engineer Andy

I know a couple in their thirties who decided a few years ago they needed a people carrier. This has nor been a success! The first was a grey import diesel Lucida that blew its engine after a year and was sold for peanuts. After that they got a Galaxy automatic diesel on HP. Now after an expensive year (injectors and other issues after the relatively short warranty expired) it is another non-runner. The engine shakes more than the Austin Cambridge I owned forty years ago did after a plug lead fell off! Also, purely executed previous bodywork repairs are showing through. They still insist they need a people carrier and it must be diesel for economy. So what model would you recommend for a £5k budget? I cannot really think of one and would personally suggest a petrol Mondeo! Another car I know that is for sale is a Granada limo but dare I suggest it as an alternative?

Do they really need a people carrier and a diesel one at that? Questions to ask:

What are they carrying to warrant a large car? Do they need more than 5 seats? If not, then its worth looking at an estate or a larger hatch/saloon with a big boot that will accommodate buggies, shopping, holiday stuff, dog, weekend rubbish to the tip, etc. Note that these sort of cars slip through the air more efficiently than MPVs and thus use less fuel.

What sort of journey/annual mileage profile do they have? Low mileage (under 7k miles a year), medium (7 - 20k miles a year) or high (over 20k). Mainly or almost exclusively short trips under 5 miles (anywhere) or under 10 miles (urban driving) where diesels wouldn't easily get warmed up and modern common-rail ones would get clogged up with soot.

Do they need an auto? On larger cars, this saps quite a good deal of power except if you go for the unreliable double clutch boxes. A manual box would also save on the itinial price, as long as its not on its last legs (needs a thorough test drive).

A petrol-engined car, especially a normally-aspirated one (as long as it has been well cared for, though they are far more hardy than the modern diesels, older ones as that VAG 1.9 mentioned [I'lm sure SLO76 will chime in here with exactly the one to go for] are much better on reliability) may use more fuel, but the lower running costs (better reliability) can easily outweigh (as your friend has shown) the costs of modern diesels. This is especially true if they do low annual mileages.

If they must have a MPV (but don't need 7 seats), then perhaps (unless they do well over 20k miles or lug around REALLY heavy loads [I'm not talking kids and stuff here]) a 1.8/2.0 petrol Mazda5 might do (newer mk2s seem to do better on real mpg, around 33-34 average), perhaps also a Toyota Verso petrol. The Hyundai ix35 or Kia Sportage (2009 - [ix35] and 2010 - [Sportage]) might also do, however they only have 1.6 petrol engines and I'm not so up on diesels generally - I'll leave that in others' more capable hands.

Note - don't let them buy another grey import: to me, they are a recipe for disaster and why anyway - there's lots of UK cars around to choose from. They'll need to do their homework to find a reasonably local reputable dealer (can be independent) who is recommended by people they know and trust. Maybe worth them taking along someone with decent car/mechanical knowledge to check out what they look at - their previous disasters don't bode well for them choosing something appropriate that's in decent nick for a reasonable price.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - TheGentlemanThug

I agree with the general consensus in that we need more information about what they're doing with their car. Do they REALLY need an MPV or would something like a Jazz fit the bill?

If they do need a large (seven-seater) MPV then £5000 probably won't get them very far. They'd be looking at an S-MAX or Zafira circa 2009 I reckon. If a smaller MPV would do, then they should be able to nab a five year old Meriva or C3 Picasso.

Edited by Bicycle_Repair_Man on 14/08/2017 at 16:17

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - badbusdriver

If they don't need more than 5 seats, and if they can find one which hasn't been converted to wheelchair use, and isn't a 1.6 petrol automatic, I'd recommend a Renault kangoo. Not many around, but there is a blue, 68k mile, 2010 model on autotrader right now at £4495. Also, it is the rare and desirable(?!) 105bhp version of the 1.5 turbo diesel. There are 3 variations of the diesel in that era with, 70, 85, or 105bhp, the 70bhp is probably best avoided unless they don't travel far or fast, but the 85bhp version is fine for most.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - RaineMan

I have suggested the Honda and Toyota to them but am trying not to get over involved as I don't think they will listen to anyone. They do not need more than a five seater as although they have five children two have already flown the nest - they married in their teens. This is why I suggested a Mondeo. To my knowledge they do under 10k per annum with a lot of short runs (under a mile to schools and quite walkable). I do wionder if this is why two diesel engines have failed? I will update the thread when I hear more!

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - TheGentlemanThug

I do wionder if this is why two diesel engines have failed?

It wouldn't surprise me.

If two of their three children are still in child seats then a five-seater may be a squeeze if everyone was on board.

A petrol Mondeo would be a good option, but you're more likely to find them from pre-2007.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - daveyK_UK
The logical choice if your on a limited budget is a petrol Vauxhall Zafira

The 1.8 petrol engine is better than the 1.6 petrol engine

Cheap widely available parts

Wide knowledge of how to fix them

Decent interior space with clever back 2 seats fold into the floor

Decent enough reliability

Competitive prices as there is so many for sale, buyers can be fussy

Worth putting aside £400 to pay to have the cam and aux belt, pulleys and water pump all changed to ensure anoither 3-4 years of good motoring
Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SLO76
"The logical choice if your on a limited budget is a petrol Vauxhall Zafira

The 1.8 petrol engine is better than the 1.6 petrol engine"


The Zafira is a worthy budget option but the 1.8 is well known for VVT pulley failure (listen for a rattle on start up and a rubbing noise as it can throw the belt and kill the engine) which is around £700 to replace both pullies and the t/belt plus it'll barely break 30mpg day to day. The 1.6 is slow but reliable and the 1.7 Isuzu diesel is very longlived but does have a DPF sadly. Avoid the Fiat 1.9 and 2.0 diesels which have a poor reputation.
Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - bazza

I do wionder if this is why two diesel engines have failed?

A good point. My neighbour has a large diesel SUV 12 reg and does many short trips a day, maybe 10 or 15 trips of just a mile or two. He's just spent over £2000 on an engine and turbo re-build ( turbo failed, taking other bits with it). A few months ago, he spent £1000 on a gearbox rebuild. I blame it on all those excessive short trips. He doesn't need the off road capability nor the 7 seats, nor even a diesel but he can't think any different. 99.9 % of the time a regular hatch would serve him better.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - SkodaIan

15 trips of about a mile each day, that sounds a bit like one of my neighbours too. My wife jokes that he uses the car to take the bin to the end of the drive, we've never seen them leave the house on foot....

However his car is faring pretty well. It's an old (53 reg I think) Xsara Picasso diesel, and other than having to charge the battery from time to time gives him no hassle at all.

Any - Cheap Reliable People Carrier - MTD

yep, we have a 5 y o 1.6 petrol zafira, bought new for 10k when they launched the Zafira Tourer.

In 5 years / 35k miles nothing mechanical has gone wrong, and the bland interior has stood up well to my 3 kids jumping, spilling and trying their best to break bits off. All that has failed has been the hands free set mic (because it got kicked and was hardly a Vauxhall fail) and one of the front vent vanes that got dislodged then Vauxhall themselves managed to dislodge into the dashboard innards when it was valeted. oh, and the cover of the rear 12v socket also bit the dust thanks to some small yet eager feet.

yes, it is slow. yes, it only has 5 gears so works hard at motorway speeds. but for 90% of day to day driving its fine, and it is extremely practical and in red with tinted windows, not too bad looking as boxes on wheels go. we get about 420-440 miles per tank of petrol from it, which i think is about £55 (unsure of acutal volume so sadly a bit meaningless, i just fill it once the light comes on and pay grumpily)

 

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