Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - Theophilus

Do the current generation of HJ journalists actually read the question they are claiming to "answer"?

I read today a response to the question " Are there any cars that will fit a mattress in the back" posted by Andrew Brady ... the question makes it quite clear that the requirement is to "fit a mattress and climbing gear into the back and sleep overnight".

The brilliant solution to this is apparently a Honda Jazz!

Now my wife has a Jazz (and is very happy with it's load capacity) ... but the load length (with rear seats folded) is only 4'6". Unless Mr Craig's 20 yr old son is unusually short, and has a very cut-down mattress, I think it very improbable that this was the solution the question demanded.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - alan1302

Also suggests a Fabia estate - it's for a young driver still learning so no point is advising a large car as too expensive to insure and am sure a young lad can put a roll up mattress down and kip in a Honda Jazz.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - badbusdriver

Do the current generation of HJ journalists actually read the question they are claiming to "answer"?

I think they have, question is, did you actually read both the question and the answer?. The question asked states clearly that the son (20) is learning to drive and that insurance cost will be a big consideration. What car would you suggest, big enough to sleep in the back of but is also going to be affordable enough, both insurance and general running costs, for a yound male as his first car?.

Andrew Brady very sensibly suggests a small car which is likely to be both cheap to run and insure, spacious enough for his gear, and get a tent. This may not be the ultimate solution David Craig is looking for, but under the circumstances, is going to be the best option, at least until the son has a few years no claims bonus under his belt.

I can think of two other options.

First of these means i can (again!) 'big up' a car (we used to have one) which is unfairly overlooked and put down by many, the Ford Fusion. This Fiesta based car is taller and usefully more spacious (cabin and boot) that the Fiesta, but most importantly here, has a fold flat front passenger seat-back. So were a narrow mattress (for a caravan maybe?) sourced, the son could easily lie down in it.

Second option is the original Merc A-Class. Not sure about insurance costs, but as the basic model used a n/a 1.4 petrol, shouldn't be too bad. What i would be worried about is reliability, as these are apparently not too great. But for sleeping in, one of the party tricks of the A-Class is that all of the seats, including front passenger, can be unclipped and removed leaving a completely flat floor. Not sure if the second gen A-Class also does this, but worth a look to find out.

But going back to Theophilus, seems unneccessary criticism.

Edited by badbusdriver on 25/08/2020 at 08:23

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - John F

But going back to Theophilus, seems unneccessary criticism.

I agree with Theo....the Honda Jazz is an absurd suggestion. The question clearly states 'he wants to fit a mattress... in the back'. The Ford Focus estate has a rear suspension specifically designed to avoid turret intrusions into the load area. HJ's self-styled 'experts' should know this. I know nothing about the Skoda car but does new ownership of this website mean that mainly VW group cars are plugged as the obvious choice after the non-VW silly suggestion?

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - badbusdriver

I agree with Theo....the Honda Jazz is an absurd suggestion. The question clearly states 'he wants to fit a mattress... in the back'.

I don't think there is anything absurd about suggesting the use of a tent in the absence of something which could fit a mattress in the back and be affordable to insure for a young man as a first car.

The Ford Focus estate has a rear suspension specifically designed to avoid turret intrusions into the load area.

Most estate cars have this feature, certainly ones designed in in recent memory. One of the first being the Peugeot 305 in around 1982. Incidentally, the Jazz also has this feature (Not that it is relevant as the length is the issue, not the width).

But that doesn't get away from the fact that a mattress wouldn't fit in the back of a Focus estate either, at least not flat on the floor. If the son isn't too tall, he may be able to lie down diagonally in a Focus (or similar) estate (on some foam cut to size), but not 'in-line' and not if he was taller than about 5'9". Years ago i had a small Suzuki van and did this, i couldn't lie down lengthwise, but could, just, from front corner to opposite rear corner.

You'd need a car at least the size of a Mondeo estate to put a standard length mattress (6'3" or 190cm) flat on the floor with rear seats folded.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - Andrew-T

<< You'd need a car at least the size of a Mondeo estate to put a standard length mattress (6'3" or 190cm) flat on the floor with rear seats folded. >>

.... or a Maxi (or Landcrab IIRC) , where both front seat backs folded down to meet the rears :-))

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - bathtub tom

.... or a Maxi (or Landcrab IIRC) , where both front seat backs folded down to meet the rears :-))

Or a KIA Pride ;>)

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - Avant

Andrew is suggesting a tent, no doubt reasoning that a car that you could sleep in would be too big and too expensive to insure.

The type of mattress usually used for camping would be expected to fold and fit easily into the average hatch with the rear seats down - not a springy bedroom type of mattress.

One of the reasons that Heycars bought ths site was its reputation for impartiality, so they are not going to recommend VAG models above all others. But I agree with John that a Ford Focus estate could be just as good an option here as the Fabia estate if he has a lot of camping gear.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - badbusdriver

<< You'd need a car at least the size of a Mondeo estate to put a standard length mattress (6'3" or 190cm) flat on the floor with rear seats folded. >>

.... or a Maxi (or Landcrab IIRC) , where both front seat backs folded down to meet the rears :-))

That would certainly appeal to me(!), but not sure a 20 year old is going to be too impressed with a Maxi (or Landcrab)!.

But actually the seats in our Jazz did that too. If you slide the front seats all the way forward and remove the headrests, you could recline them so the top of the backrest lined up with the rear seat squab. The rear seat backrest could also be reclined slightly to make a pretty comfy resting place (nothing approaching a horizontal sleeping position though).

envirodad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IMG_6089....g

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - badbusdriver

I mentioned the 1st gen Merc A-Class earlier regarding its removeable seats. It does not seem that this feature was carried on into the (similar in design) 2nd gen. But this is what it looks like on the inside with all seats bar the drivers one removed,

lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/XVVUtMvEnEVfLozMzf...t

Sadly, as i also mentioned, it doesn't have a great reputation for reliability. And of course, the youngest of those 1st gen cars are now 16 years old reducing still further the possibility of finding a good one. Amazing feat of packaging though, much more impressive use of space than pretty much any car since, with the possible exception of the Toyota IQ.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - Brit_in_Germany

The Jazz seems to be in a fairly high insurance group compared to a Doblo which would have room to put a mattress in.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - badbusdriver

The Jazz seems to be in a fairly high insurance group compared to a Doblo which would have room to put a mattress in.

A standard wheelbase version of the current Doblo (van) has a load bay length of 1.8m, that is to the base of the bulkhead, the longest point. In the car version, the length of the load bay is limited by the seat base which folds up from the front, so maybe 10-20cm shorter than the van. Could you sleep in the back?, in the van, probably (assuming you are not excessively tall), but not so easy in the car version. Problem with those sorts of vans for this application is that while volumous in capacity, they are not actually very long, certainly shorter than a Focus estate. In the car version of the Doblo, depending on how easy this would be, you could remove the rear seat bases, this (with the front seat slid all the way forward) would probably result in a space long enough to put your mattress down. The same could also be the case with a Focus estate (or any other car where the seat base folds up and forward).

If you were looking at actual vans, many smaller ones have the option of a fold flat front passenger seat meaning even something as small as a Citroen Nemo/Peugeot Bipper/Fiat Fiorino could be slept in with reasonable comfort. Which would be OK if the person in question did not need rear seats, and assuming the insurance (of a van for private 'car' use) wasn't a problem. The last time i looked into this, which was admittedly a very long time ago, insuring a van for use as a car was much more expensive than an equivalent car!.

As i've been typing this post another possibility popped into my head, the Dacia Logan MCV. Clearly not a very stylish steed for a young 'dude', but came upon a website (not Dacia's own, that does not list this info) which states that with the rear seats folded, the length is 1864mm. Pictures show the rear seat base does not flip up, which would explain why the space is so long. Of course it also means the floor space is unlikely to be completely flat, but doesn't look too bad in the pictures. This car is very affordable to buy, and should prove affordable in both insurance and general running costs.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - edlithgow

<< You'd need a car at least the size of a Mondeo estate to put a standard length mattress (6'3" or 190cm) flat on the floor with rear seats folded. >>

.... or a Maxi (or Landcrab IIRC) , where both front seat backs folded down to meet the rears :-))

That would certainly appeal to me(!), but not sure a 20 year old is going to be too impressed with a Maxi (or Landcrab)!.

Unless he appreciates rarity. I'd think a Maxi or Landcrab would be rather hard to find.

If you want to be sure to unimpress, (apart from with rarity) my MkI Lada had fully reclining front seats and was pretty comfortable to sleep in, plus the "agricultural" ruggedness, good ground clearance and RWD would be a good match for climbing/outdoorsy usage.

I don't really get this search for removable seats though. Trying to think of a vehicle with non-removable seats the only examples I could think of were horse-drawn. Maybe HGV;s?

I spent a year sleeping in a Nissan Sunny hatchback while doing an MSc at Aberdeen University. I removed the rear and passenger seats (using a spanner). I used an Argos camp bed bridging between the dash and parcel shelf as a roof to the sleeping area, covering it with a duvet cover and scattering some domestic junk around (books, lamp, cardboard boxes etc) so it looked like a house move.

In the cosy cofifin so created I put an Argos air mattress.I think I kept the passenger seat in the car in case I wanted to re-instate it, and left the rear bench seat in Edinburgh. If I;d had a split rear seat it might have been possible to retain it.

The camouflage precautions were to permit sleeping in an urban area and probably wouldn't be necessary for the proposed use.

Not really rocket science.if you only need room for one and don't need to retain the seats.

I have spent a few weeks in Ireland and France with a girlfriend in her Renault 5, but that was less comfortable, and we did have some rows. I'm 6"2"".

Her dad had wanted her to get a Mini. He never really liked me.

Edited by edlithgow on 26/08/2020 at 07:15

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - Andrew-T

<< Her dad had wanted her to get a Mini. He never really liked me. >>

I can see his point of view, Ed ... :-)

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - catsdad

Ed sleeping in a car in Aberdeen all year round is a serious feat of endurance. I was there for a few years in the 70’s and, apart from the brief summers, it can be unremittingly cold. Were you studying glaciation first hand?

I have done France in an old style mini (no recline at all on the seats) with my then girlfriend. We slept a few nights in the car when a hotel night was about a weeks wages. I wouldn’t do it now but I reckon I could get a six foot mattress in my current Golf estate with the front seats fully forward with no need to recline the back rests.

I know cars have got bigger lately but I think quite a few cheap older cars are long enough to do the same. Skoda Octavia hatch for example?

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - MGspannerman

As a student myself and a pal toured Ireland in an Austin Cambridge estate in the 70s. The tailgate was spilt so the bottom half could be flipped down to accommodate two six footers + in sleeping bags. A small tarpaulin suitably draped ensured we stayed dry. We had a small gas stove so could make tea and a modest fry up, evenings were spent in a bar where we enjoyed the Guiness and use of the facilities. We had a great time and were made very welcome wherever we visited.

Honda Jazz - Ask HJ answers - edlithgow

Ed sleeping in a car in Aberdeen all year round is a serious feat of endurance. I was there for a few years in the 70’s and, apart from the brief summers, it can be unremittingly cold. Were you studying glaciation first hand?

Environmental Remote Sensing, so mostly second hand.

Not to shatter my Ice Man Image, but it really wasn't a big deal with 2 cheap sleeping bags (probably better and more adaptable than one good one, but heavier) and/or a hot water bottle.

A 2 L coke bottle with water about maybe 70 degrees (have to stay below the plastic melt point) stays warm all night and can be put on the dash to gently melt the ice on the windscreen if you need the car the next day, driving to a greasy breakfast, for example.

I had to disable the autochoke but the car always started, even when covered in sheet ice. They don't make them like that anymore..

No parking restrictions or CCTV around the Aberdeen campus then. Havn't been back but I'd guess it'd probably be impossible now.

It'd also be much more difficult here in Taiwan. Cold is a lot harder to arrange than heat, and there would be hordes of mosquitoes to consider. Sticking your feet out of the rear hatch would not be an option.

Edited by edlithgow on 26/08/2020 at 12:07

 

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