7 seats - Jonathan Hill
I need a car which is not too big, good to drive, reasonably nippy, can seat and occassional extra child or two and I don't want an MPV. Are there any current model estates which would fulfil this brief, or has this been abandoned with a view to safety. If so are there any specialists who can retro fit such seats?
Re: 7 seats - RogerL
The Vauxhall Zafira exactly fits your needs, although it is called an MPV. What do you expect a 7-seater estate to be called, or look like ?
Re: 7 seats - Andrew
I had to choose a 6/7 seater after our 4th child arrived. We looked and had test drives in the MPV style but found them too big clumsy and van like. Most of the time we reckon we need a five seater as we are not all in the car at the same time so went for an estate with rear facing seats. The retro fit seats seemed dangerous and Peugeot advised not to do it as the boot as a purpose designed crumple zone unless it was one of their 'family' estates with factory fitted seats.
We looked at Renault Laguna,Mercedes,Volvo, and Peugeot. We were buying at £8000. The Merc and Volvo had the best build quality etc but older and higher mileage.The Peugeot 406 we liked but at that time about 14 months ago there were few about in our price range, but it did seem the best in terms of running costs/insurance/etc. The extra seat was small though and was a kind of mesh seat cushion. We went for a Volvo 850 and had the extra seat fitted at main dealers. The rear area is built for this and also has laminated glass. The seat pops up and down very easily,and the boot stays flat when not in use. I don't think Mercedes do an after market fit . The Volvo seems solid and safe and hopefully long lasting. We looked at the Fiat Multipla although not in our price range, but it just seemed so flimsy and the petrol engine toosmall when the car was fully loaded. When getting into a quality car like Volvo and Merc all the others just seem inferior. The kids can also let themselves out of the rear door as thereis a handle (with child locks if needed) which I found better than MPV style in which passengers in the middle have to get out to let the rear passengers out. Hope this is of some help!

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