Estate car for vet - Twizit
Morning all.

My sister in law is a vet, currently in New Zealand, but heading back to the UK soon. Out there she uses an old Subaru Legacy estate, but has no idea about suitable cars in the UK. I'm hoping all you knowlegable people can help out some....

Budget - assume up to £10,000, so will be 2nd hand
4x4 not necessary
Mileage will be considerable, probably 20,000 per year
Petrol or diesel, but assume diesel better with the mileage
No pref for manual or auto
Size - estate probably best bet. Could go slightly smaller than a Legacy, but not much. Am guessing Focus estate size or larger.
Mixture of motorway and and country lanes (Derby area but trips to London).

My immediate thought would have been a Mondeo diesel estate - am guessing could get a 2 year old within budget? A friend also suggested an Octavia estate? Don't think badge will matter too much - more practicality.

Suggestions much appreciated. thanks
Estate car for vet - Altea Ego
Volvo or Saab estate all popular with dog people. Even more popular are Kangoo's or Berlingos. Both are super for carrying wet smelly dogs.
Estate car for vet - teabelly
She might do better with buying a citroen berlingo multispace (huge amounts of room in the back, she could carry a donkey!) She could probably get a new/very nearly new pre-reg for 10k. They're aimed at farmers/ hunting n shooting types so vets and mucky animals are easy to deal with as the back can just be hosed out.

If she wants something a little more refined then a fiat stilo multiwagon has a lot of room in the back , flat loading area and fold down tailgate for easy loading and hardly anyone buys them so there are probably deals around. I think calendonia fiat aren't too far away from her as I think they're in Derby. Arnold Clark has a grey 04 jtd for 10k (only 13 miles on it so stood around for a bit)

Estate car for vet - Twizit
Wow, thanks for the quick replies!

Didn't think of the Kangoo / Berlingo options. Might be worth a look, although I'd be interested to hear opinions on driving them long distance? How well do they motorway cruise?

Estate car for vet - Baskerville
The Berlingo/Partner cruises very well on the motorway--the 2.0HDI engine is right in the sweet spot at 70-80mph, so plenty of pull and at 2500 revs, quite relaxing (the Peugeot Partner comes with bigger wheels as standard I think, so might be better in this regard). They do feel a bit wavy in very strong crosswinds compared with a car, but it's no more of a problem than for any similar-sized vehicle; I've driven "normal" estate cars that were worse. They are also very tough inside. Ours gets some very rough treatment but nothing has fallen off yet (25K miles) and it's been completely flawless in terms of reliability. Excellent value for money and just about perfect for carrying animals, dog cages, and general vet stuff I would have thought. Image is the only down side I can see, but it's not something I give a stuff about if the job gets done right.
Estate car for vet - Stuartli
>>Image is the only down side I can see>>

Fitting a cow catcher/bull bars would be appropriate for a vet's transport...:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Estate car for vet - tyro
Agree with ChrisR. We have Berlingo with 1.6 petrol engine - fine on long motorway journeys. We average about 40 mpg, but HDI engine should do better than that.
Estate car for vet - Mapmaker
Funnily enough, when I saw the title of your post I was going to jump in and suggest a Subaru Legacy, which is what half the huntin' shootin' fishin' brigade seem to drive.
Estate car for vet - Stargazer {P}
Funnily enough, the vet we used for our cats in Oz drove an old Subaru legacy. Almost sold the Outback to him when we left to come back to the UK.

Estate car for vet - bradgate
My partner is a vet and would buy a Legacy estate tomorrow - if they made a Diesel. Many of her colleagues would do likewise.

In answer to the original query, if the vet in question is working in mixed practice and therefore spending a lot of time on the road, she might find a Berlingo van-like and lacking in refinement. Very practical, though.

Alternatively, a Skoda Octavia TDI estate would be a good bet, offering practicility (has a decent sized underfloor compartment to store drugs and instruments out of sight)and being much nicer to drive for long periods than a Berlingo.
Estate car for vet - stanger
Hi my wifes a vet in cumbra she got a 2.3 subaru legacy

its got all the space a vet needs and 4 wheel drive plus its got a lot of powe :)

Estate car for vet - Twizit
Thanks for the replies so far.

Berlingo is an idea, as is the Octovia, which are both likely to be in budget.

I'm sure she'd love another Legacy, only they don't come in diesel, and are likely to be well out of her budget range. As I understand it, 2nd hand ones are v rare as owners tend to run them into the ground!

Any other suggestions? As said before, 4x4 not really necessary so should be plenty of options. What about the Mondeo as I originally mentioned?

Estate car for vet - Jono_99
What about the Mondeo as I originally mentioned?

Have a petrol Mondeo estate - 51 plate. Certainly in budget. Ours is petrol (2 litre) and does ~35mpg. Just over 3 years old and never missed a beat or had anything done to it except servicing. Diesel appears to have been sorted after early probs (perception, rather than 'fact').

Estate is massive - don't know how much stuff a vet needs to drag around, but I am sure it will all fit in. Certainly larger than a Legacy Estate. Only annoying thing with the car is that the top of bumper is colour coded, so as you drag things in and out, you generate scratches / chips. Intend to run our car for a good few years (now that we have solved how to get three car seats acros the back), so not a problem, but may be to you....

I would buy another, and if I was doing highish mileage, would buy a diesel

Estate car for vet - Twizit
Thanks Jono.

If buying something like a Mondeo, say 2 years old, where would be the best place to try?

Franchise dealer?

Any pros and cons of each?
Estate car for vet - Jono_99
Bought mine from Ford Direct - - which was a very straight forward process. Went and test drove one, worked out what I wanted, and then rang round a couple of other dealers to say what I was looking for. Dealers can see a 'Ford only' database, and can offer cars that they can then 'bid' to extract on your behalf. I believe that you have to commit to purchase the car if they extract the car for you - as it turned out, the dealers bidding against each other drove the car I wanted down to my target price.

Advantage of Ford Direct is that you get a fresh 2 years warranty, cars usually <2years old and will have been checked by the RAC. Having bought a lemon in the prior six months, this peace of mind was worth quite a bit to me.

Never purchased from a Supermarket, but plenty on this site have. If I were going to buy another, I would probably buy from auction - either in person or using an auction buyer.

Estate car for vet - Ed V
The Mondeo is truly a big car - bigger than the old Granadas. Why not a Focus Estate?
All car experts rate them very highly, including Honest J himself.

They have enough room for several dogs, being as wide as an Audi A4, will be cheap to run, with a proven predigree of not having annoying late-life problems, spares will be cheap too.

Huge choice of engines/spec/colour and the estates are much rarer than the hatchbacks. For her moeny she'll get a top of the range one hardly run in!
Estate car for vet - hillman
Is the car for a small animal vet or a large animal vet, (Forgive me, I've read James Herriott). If it's for a small animal vet then it will be used in the best part of town, and any estate will do. If it's for a large animal vet then it will be used on farms in weather like we are having now, and a Subaru or a Skoda 4WD will be best.
Estate car for vet - NowWheels
If it's for a large animal vet then it will be
used on farms in weather like we are having now, and
a Subaru or a Skoda 4WD will be best.

Ah, but if it's for a small animal vet, it will be used in the suburbs. And these a large go-anywhere 4X4 is de rigeur there -- so she'd need a Shogun or a Toyota Amazon rather than the mere Subaru which'd do fine in the countryside ...
Estate car for vet - Twizit
Mixed practice!!!

Will be a mixture of farms and town. That said she's been advised by the current vets in the practice that 4x4 isn't necessary. You'd suprised - even in the wilds of New Zealand she's only ever used the 4x4 capabilities on v rare occassions.

Given the advice something like a nearly new Focus or Octavia estate is looking good. (purely out of interest but does the Octovia come in a 4x4 guise???).

Anyone anything else to add?
Estate car for vet - Stargazer {P}
Previous model had a awd variant, current one doesnt yet (I think, but stand to be corrected if wrong)

Estate car for vet - hillman
The beauty of the AWD is that you don't know that it has operated. That is, until you pass someone who is stuck. Have you thought of the Mazda6 Sport, and the Passat?
Estate car for vet - nick
>>I'm sure she'd love another Legacy, only they don't come in diesel, and are likely to be well out of her budget range. As I understand it, 2nd hand ones are v rare as owners tend to run them into the ground!

If you want a used Legacy go to and use the used car locator. They're not difficult to find. By far the best option IMHO, despite being petrol. An Outback or Forester would fit the bill.

Estate car for vet - Happy Blue!
One of the good things about my Forester is that it is a little higer than an ordinary vehicle but lower than your usual 4WD. That means it is very easy to get into and out of. This is important for someone like me who gets in and out of their car several times a day in the course of their work. So it would be a good choice for Twizit's relative.

It is juicy though. My experience is with automatics only, but turbo or non-turbo, the best mpg we see on mostly urban motoring is 23mpg.

However, for reliablility, ruggedness, ride comfort, ease of access and occasional slipperly surfaces, it is excellent.

Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Estate car for vet - legacylad
Sorry Twizit, but your sister in law has missed my Legacy 2.0 litre GLS estate which I have just sold. On an R plate, with 12 months T & T, 4 new tyres, load liner, electric sunroof and full history, it went for £1900. With 88k miles, it was as reliable as ever, in fine condition, and boy am I sad to see it go!The fact that it never did more than 35mpg has hit values hard (I averaged 33mpg)so looking at the economies of the matter, why spend many thousands on a workhorse, when a few thousand will get you a beaut.Far better to spend the money saved on bungys,sky diving, skiing & kayaking around NZ's South Island.
Due to a change in business circumstances, I am now 'red van' man.Off on a tangent, my brand loyalty is such that when my Premium Bond comes up, (it will, it will)I would be down the auctions looking for a newish Legacy tourer (sad but true). In 30 years of car ownership, I never thought I could be so loyal to one particular marque. Only sorry it's not British.
Estate car for vet - Wilco {P}
Off topic & picking up on Legacylad's comments - can concur as I have just taken delivery of a Sport Tourer :o)

Back on topic - used to have a diesel Focus Estate - would certainly seem to fit the bill.
Estate car for vet - hillman
I've just done a 'cost/benefit analysis' on my Legacy '04 Sport Estate, auto box, before it goes in for its first service (12000 miles).
29.5 mpg, 12.42 pence per mile. Mostly suburban driving.

Ask Honest John

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