Which diesel estates/hatchback - OLL
I spend most weekend on motorways driving to go climbing and kayaking. I need a large hatch or estate to fit upto five people and equipment. I don\'t want a MPV. I don\'t not use it in the week.
Key criteria: diesel, economy, performance, handling must be sporty (granted its an estate so won\'t be great) reliabilty.
Having had a company Golf GT TDi PD 130 bhp I am keen to get this type of performance though I am not sure I can afford it. Would remapping a 110 bhp be worthwhile?
My list is A4, passat, octavia. Any other ideas? I am not too bothered about something with high mileage in order to keep the price down. Must have FSH and be able can handle the mileage, hence the choices above, what would the life span of this cars be?
My budget is £8k.
Thoughts please.

{No need to post the same message in both forums. I have removed the one from Tech Matters and copied any replies over to this thread. DD, BR Moderator}
Which diesel estates /large hatchback - Malcolm_L
Octavia route gives you the lowest mileage, most recent car.
The boots large but being Golf based, the rear leg-room isn't huge.

VAG diesels are well covered by chipping companies, Upsolute.com gives you another 33bhp and ups the torque considerably.

Citroen C5 estate is huge and has good leg room, £7500 should get you a 2001 diesel with about 50k.
Which diesel estates /large hatchback - borasport20
I changed from a 2.0 Bora to a 90hp octavia tdi this summer.

I like to think I don't hang about when i'm driving, but I find the performance good enough, especially in the light of 49.9 mpg in urban traffic and <>60+ om the motorway

If you are going for any vag diesel, double check if it is on variable servicing and it has been serviced and logged correctly. Bear in mind, if you are going to look after it yourself that oil for a variable service car is about £10 a litre !

The car itself is pretty good, I'd recommend on to anybody

Bora - what Bora ?
Which diesel estates/hatchback - Wilco {P}
Don't laugh but as a weekend "throw it in the back" machine, a Citroen Berlingo takes a lot of beating. Throw stuff, bikes, rubbish etc in the back, and has plenty of street cred in recreational circles.

Hits your first two criteria but not the others! Quick search on Auto Trader link reveals plenty of Octavia's & Audi's which will fit the bill. Some have a lot of miles so all the usual checks required but for weekend use only they'll go on for ever if cared for.

Personally my old Focus Estate could out handle most other cars of it's type but you'll have to go with the old TDDi engine to get into your budget.
Which diesel estates/hatchback - MB
Why has it got to be diesel? If you are only using it at the weekends your mileage might not be worth paying the extra money that diesel cars command...
You'll get a much younger petrol car for the money - performance will be better and far more to choose from...
Which diesel estates/hatchback - bradgate
'performance will be better'

MB has obviously never driven a modern diesel...

I have driven a variety of cars fitted with VW group PD engines, from Ibizas to Passats and can assure OLL that in the real world, these cars are much quicker than their petrol equivalents.

I'm actually quite surprised that we are still getting such out of date views expressed in this forum.

MB is correct, however, in saying that these diesels command a substantial premium over petrols, one which is difficult to justify financially unless you do a high mileage.

Which diesel estates/hatchback - MS
My vote is for a Peugeot 307sw

Estate body with removable MPV stye seats.

Mine is 100% reliable. 19800 miles in 6 months with zero problems.
Which diesel estates/hatchback - Ivor E Tower
...petrol will give you better performance..
With 5 adults and a full load on board, a diesel's greater torque will give you much better useable performance on the road - not so much revving or gear changing, and with higher gearing, a more relaxing drive on motorways/dual carriageways.
I went from petrol to diesel just over 5 years ago and will never buy another petrol engined car unless there is an exceptional reason.
A used VW diesel will be a good buy so long as it has been looked after and maintained correctly. After this, you could consider something French as they seem to make almost as good diesels as the VW/Audi group.
If you're going to be doing long trips, do make sure you take a long test-drive in any potential purchase - comfort is extremely important for your safety.
Which diesel estates/hatchback - Mondaywoe
C5 HDI - preferably the 2.2 if you can stretch to it. Even the hatchback is ginormous. Not only do you get one of the best diesels in the business, but with the self-levelling suspension it's unbeatable for load-lugging. Avoid the automatics - one or two glitches on early ones.

Which diesel estates/hatchback - Pat L
Read the technical forum and ignore anything French. I certainly would!

Which diesel estates/hatchback - No Do$h
IF you do buy a TD, look for religious adherence to regular oil & filter changes and avoid anything with "extended" service intervals unless the car has been filled with ACEA B4 standard oil (the standard for extended changes on modern TDs). I may be wrong, but I think it's only VAG that spec B4 oil so that may be the way forward.

I would also have the oil feed pipe to the turbo replaced as soon as you get the car. I've heard of instances of oil starvation to the turbo brought about by the oil feed slowly choking up at around 70k.

I would still recommend a TD, having switched from Petrol myself a year ago. As mentioned above, much more tolerant of a loaded vehicle, which I assume is important given your desire for an estate.

Whichever car you get, make sure all TSBs and recalls that apply have been carried out (see car by car breakdown for details). You can normally do this by contacting the last servicing dealer who can check using their records/VIN.
Which diesel estates/hatchback - Mondaywoe
"Read the technical forum and ignore anything French. I certainly would!"

Hmm - bit of a sweeping statement, Pat! How many of these refer to problems with C5s? It's amazing the sorts of myths that abound about Citroens! Yes, you get the odd bandit and Cit bandits can be quite spectacular in a costly sort of way! Even then, however, they are not usually looked after or driven with due care, attention and mechanical sympathy.

Nevertheless, the vast majority are surprisingly reliable, inspirational cars to drive, abundantly practical and top value for money.

On balance, I think you'll find many more gripes about VW reliability at the moment and how about the Mondeo TDCI? - now there's one to avoid! Can you think of a Japanese company that does a decent diesel?

Which diesel estates/hatchback - andymc {P}
"Can you think of a Japanese company that does a decent diesel?"
In order of preference: Honda Accord, Mazda6, Toyota Avensis. I think all three come as estates. Having said that, I don't think any of these are within OLL's price bracket yet, in which case I'd suggest the Rover 75 CDT estate - bound to be a few of those in the autotrader for under £8k.

Which diesel estates/hatchback - MB
OK so the the performance is a bit of a bum steer. My point is that lots of people wrongly pay more for a diesel after being suduced by mpg figures.
If you take the Passat - the 1.8T would probably be cheaper to run for OLL than a 130 diesel unless he really racks up the miles...
I don't know how the performace compares - my instict says the 1.8T would be more fun to drive but I'm sure someone else who has driven them both can advise for sure?

Which diesel estates/hatchback - Mondaywoe
(Japanese diesels) I know they exist - but how good are they? I daresay they are very competent and reliable beasts - but have they got the refinement and performance of the French (or German) diesels? I honestly don't know, but if they were exceptional I suspect you would hear owners raving about them (as HDI owners do)

Anybody able to compare Japanese diesels with European equivalents?

Which diesel estates/hatchback - Robbie
The new Honda Accord diesel has received rave reviews. You can read HJ's drive on this site.

It had better be good as I've ordered one.
Which diesel estates/hatchback - Mondaywoe
Thanks Robbie, must go and have a look. Keep us updated on your impressions when you get it.

Which diesel estates/hatchback - Ben79
The Accord is a bit new, and although Honda engines have always been reliable, a modern diesel is a first for them.

The HDI engines (especially the 2.0) are well proven, been used in the Xantia since 1998 and try googling for HDI problems; there aren't many out there.

Compare that to the Ford lumps, first the TDDI which only lasted a short while, replaced with the TDCI which then underwent improvements for the Jaguar. We have seen problems with the Jag engine on this site.

I personally believe the VW and Peugeot Citroen engines are the best, in terms of reliability, performance and refinement.

If you want a good diesel, buy one of the modern proven units and even I, a Citroen lover, would wait until the new 2.0 HDI/TDCI units have been around a while.

Value my car