Gotta get an estate... - LoonTune
Hi all,
It's time..I've got to trade up to an estate.
I've done some research and it's looking like a Audi A4 vs the Volvo V40.
I've got about £4K and like them both; my main concern on the Audi is the safty rating, and on the volvo -well it being a volvo really.
I've got to get a Labrador and a load of buggy/kids stuff in the boot; and I go 500 mile trips pretty much every other weekend. I'm not bothered about sporty-ness but more influenced by quietness / comfort / safty.
All comments greatefully recieved.
Cheers
Gotta get an estate... - local yokel
Neither of those has a boot big enough for your needs. You'll need to look at 406/Mondeo sized cars. Believe me, I've got kids and a Dobermann.
Gotta get an estate... - LoonTune
-really? I also live in Hackney and parking will be a total mare.. -I discounted the Golf and Focus thinking the next size would do. -Am I really in Passat-land?
Gotta get an estate... - Gromit {P}
I discounted the Golf and Focus thinking the next size would do


The A4 and V40 estates have quite small boots as they're designed for kerb appeal, not maximum loadspace. If anything, a Golf or Astra estate has more room in the back. The difference in loadspace between a Focus, Golf and Octavia is minimal having compared all three when my father bought his Mk 1 Octavia.

Suggest you check the measurements of the dog cage I suggested above first, then do a tour of the dealerships with a cardboard box of the same size. Stuff it in the back, then compare the space left against how much stuff you have to fit in. That's how we selected ours!

You should also look at the Citroen Picasso and Berlingo, Renault Kangoo and (especially) Fiat Dolbo mini-MPVs. These have a remarkable amount of boot space for small vehicles. The base engines are low on power, though, so perfer the bigger units - check the car-by-car-breakdown for details.
Gotta get an estate... - Gromit {P}
Something like the Mazda 6, based on the Mondeo platform but with a completely flat load deck when you fold the back seat is worth considering. A not-so-flat load bay (as in the Mondeo itself, AFAIK) is more of a nuisance than you'd think when you're trying to fit a dog cage/panel door/mattress or whatever into the back.

If Audi and Volvo are your preferences, its the A6/V70 you need to look at to get a large enough boot.

And if you're carrying a dog AND luggage, you need a dog crate to keep them separate (and safe) and hard points in the boot to secure it to.
Gotta get an estate... - LoonTune
Thanks mate; I'll look into these as I hadn't thought of them.
Another thing I hadn't thought of is a dog cage. I don't think the hound would every forgive me to be honest but i see your point. -It that a Halfords thang?
I remember as a kid sitting on my mums knee with my head on the dash; I guess that's out too. First Kid syndrome; god knows what else I'll forget.
Gotta get an estate... - artful dodger {P}
For what you have to spend and your space requirements, why not consider a Mercedes E class based on the W124 platform. The are a delight to drive on long journeys, basically built proof engines and easy to get repaired. I was looking at www.w124.co.uk/ and they certainly have sold some recently in your price range, If you carry a heavy load then the self leveling suspension is a boon.

If you want something a little newer then consider a late Fiat Marea Weekend or an early Fiat Stilo Multiwagon. I drive the former with a big diesel and it is a lovely car to drive and is certainly larger than the V40 (my neighbour used to have one).

Hope this helps.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Gotta get an estate... - artful dodger {P}
Opps, it should read bullet proof engine.

I forgot to mention that I used to own a Mercedes 230te and rated it very highly for long distance drives like my regular Maidstone to Scotland with only breaks for fuel and food.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Gotta get an estate... - Westpig
some estates have a divider........ours can be divided 50/50 or 75/25 (my guess) or of course take the divider out altogether and you're back to 100

so the dog can be in the boot and your belongings are safe, the other side of the divider.

hope it makes sense
Gotta get an estate... - type's'
I have to agree with the above.
I test drove a V40 and they let me have it for a day when they were selling them new.
I took it home and did a back to back test wih my Mk 4 Golf 5 dr Hatch.
You can get a lot more in the back of a Hatch Golf than you can in a V40.
I subsequently bought a Passat estate and that was plenty big enough - (it was a nightmare for reliability but that's another story).
Gotta get an estate... - Statistical outlier
The Octavia combines a *huge* boot with a (relatively) compact overall size. Would be well worth a look.
Gotta get an estate... - Baskerville
so the dog can be in the boot and your belongings
are safe, the other side of the divider.


Until you have a crash, or you stop for some reason, and the dog escapes. And then there's a frightened, possibly injured dog running around all over the motorway causing mayhem. Get a cage.
Gotta get an estate... - Westpig
>> so the dog can be in the boot and your
belongings
>> are safe, the other side of the divider.
Until you have a crash, or you stop for some reason,
and the dog escapes. And then there's a frightened, possibly injured
dog running around all over the motorway causing mayhem. Get a
cage.

>
dog lead attached to metalwork on manufacturers sturdy dog guard, so dog is secured, when you open the boot the dog can't get out..... unless you had a monumental crash, the dog guard would remain securely attached as it fits into the roof........if an accident caused that to collapse the dog wouldn't be very well anyway

so why would i need a cage?
Gotta get an estate... - Baskerville
Having spent a miserable 200 mile journey with just that arrangement during which the stupid animal fought the lead, got tangled up in it so we had to keep stopping and wimpered and growled the whole time, I'd get a cage. Actually in that particular case I'd get rid of the dog. Hideous thing that it was.
Gotta get an estate... - cheddar
Previous model Vectra esate was very practical, same plan area as the hatch, so not lard asred like the albeit more capacious Mondeo's, I had an SRi V6, good to drive and, as I say quite practical. you could get a late model, around 2001, 1.8 (good engine) for well under £4k.
Gotta get an estate... - MichaelR
The only way you could describe a previous model Vectra as good to drive is if you drove one after having spent the previous 10 years driving a 1 litre VW Polo.

They are awful. Rubbish handling, vague steering, comical levels of bodyroll, dodgy build quality, so-so reliability and a gash interior. They deserved every amount of slating they ever got and the only excuse to buy one is if you suddenly find yourself in dire need of some wheels and someone offers you one for £300.

Literally everything else in its class is better.
Gotta get an estate... - Dynamic Dave
The only way you could describe a previous model Vectra as good to drive is if you drove one after having spent the previous 10 years driving a 1 litre VW Polo.
They are awful. Rubbish handling, vague steering, comical levels of bodyroll, dodgy build quality, so-so reliability and a gash interior.


Says a typical Mondeo driver ;o)

Granted, the preface lift Vectra-B wasn't all that brilliant, but after Lotus tweaked the suspension on the facelift model, all the *problems* you mention were ironed out.

As regards reliability, I ran a Vectra-B for over 2½ years, and IIRC, the only probs I had was a split air con pipe (replaced under warranty, and a common fault on the 2.2 engine anyway) one headlight and brakelight bulb failure, and a worn rear suspension bush - again, can be a common fault.
Gotta get an estate... - George Porge
Find a nice late model Volvo 240 estate for around a grand, huge loadspace, safe as houses, and nil depreciation. Put the rest in premium bonds for a rainy day.

Yours Alan Sugar ;O)
Gotta get an estate... - cheddar
The only way you could describe a previous model Vectra as
good to drive is if you drove one after having spent
the previous 10 years driving a 1 litre VW Polo.
They are awful. Rubbish handling, vague steering, comical levels of bodyroll,
dodgy build quality, so-so reliability and a gash interior.


Totally OTT and not really worthy of comment, though I will.

I had two Vectras, a 96 2.0 SRi which was very well specced, had a great engine, smoother and more punchy than the 2.0 Zetec's in Mondeos of that era, yes the chassis was a bit soggy (the Mondeo handled much better) and it had more than it's fair share of faults.

However I also had a 98.5 model year SRi V6 estate, the first ones to have 16" wheels and the supension mods that were later introduced across the full range at the time of the facelift, this car steered really sweetly, it's high speed stabilty was impressive by any standards and it was practical without being a any bigger in plan area or much heavier that the hatch or saloon, in fact it was shorter that the saloon. 28 mpg was not to bad though servicing costs were high.
Gotta get an estate... - f2
Having grown up in Hackney, would an A4 or W124 make sense where you live/work. Have you got secure off-road parking or will your car be taking it's chances with the rest of the uninsured snotters that are normally to be found in this great borough? If the latter then I'd be more tempted by DOX's suggestion of the 240, less stress all round.

Gotta get an estate... - legacylad
Having worked in the retail pet trade for many years, I recommend a dog car harness.These attach to seat belts and can also be used as a standard harness when walking the dog (if needed). Loose dogs in a car are a major hazard in the event of an accident, and if you are a dog lover you would never forgive yourself if your family member were to be badly injured, or worse still catapulted thru a window.
Failing that, buy a collapsible dog car crate from a pet store,but remember to SECURE it to lashing points in the rear cargo area whilst in transit. Several sizes are available, but shop around to get the best price!
Gotta get an estate... - NowWheels
If I understand things right, you have a labrador and a baby. That's a good combination: Labradors adore kids and are very protective of them, so the two can share space.

Get a harness for your dog, and she can attach herself securely to a seatbelt, occupying whichever side of the back seat your child's car seat doesn't occupy. This will produce happy dog (beside her friend, and not separated from her larger pet humans), and happy baby (nice doggy to keep her company). It will also mean that you don't have to clear half the boot space for the hound, so you merely need a large boot to accommodate baby clobber rather than a cargo truck at the back to accomodate dog plus luggage.

When I was small, this was how we travelled, with 2 kids+labrador in a Ford Cortina, and it worked fine.All of us in the back were unsecured (even front seatbelts were an optional fitting in those days, I never saw rear ones until I was a teenager, and baby seats were very rare), but with harness for dog and seat for baby, you can now do the same thing in greater safety.

I don't have kids, and my dog these days is a small terrier, but the harness in the rear seat works wonders. He is quite happy with the arrangement, and I know that he is safe and secure ... and my boot is free to fill up with clobber.
Gotta get an estate... - Gromit {P}
"Having worked in the retail pet trade for many years, I recommend a dog car harness."

While you're in the shop, get a washable car seat cover too and you won't have trouble of cleaning Lab hair from the upholstery too.

But do try your new harness out on a short drive before going further afield. I bought two for the greyhounds so I could carry them in the Punto - five miles later both had wriggled out and curled up asleep on the back seat.

So the next purchase was a cage. That's why I mentioned the flat load deck earlier - the Punto doesn't have one when the back seat is folded, so the hounds can only travel in the Scenic. A nuisance if you only want to run one car!

Westpig asked why I need a cage. A loose dog in the back of a car can easily be thrown forward against the back seat if you brake. Unless you fit dog bars bolted to the C pillar and floor, the dog will knock the bars out of the way and keep moving into the passenger cabin. That still doesn't solve the problem of the dog being thrown around the boot and injuring itself. Tie the leash down and all you'll achieve is to throttle the dog or break a leg if he gets entangled in the leash. And remember: dogs aren't sensible - as you make your emergency stop, they won't know to brace themselves. Rather, they'll jump up to see what's happening and increase the chances of a nasty accident all the more.

Any good pet store should be able to advise - a shop that deals regularly with show dogs is likely to be best considering how much travelling show dogs (and their owners) do in the round of the year.
Gotta get an estate... - Baskerville
and baby seats were very rare


I remember in the early 1970s going with a friend's family to the seaside. They had a toddler in a child seat, but since the Cortina (or was it a Viva?) didn't have seatbelts in the back the seat was not attached to anything. The other three (!) of us in the back had to hold it steady through the corners. How unthinkably stupid that seems now.
Gotta get an estate... - Mapmaker
>>The only way you could describe a previous model Vectra as good to drive is if you drove one after having spent the previous 10 years driving a 1 litre VW Polo.

That is outrageous. I loved my Y-reg Polo, did loads of miles in it (It might have been 1.1l, so perhaps that's the difference) all over the country - even if the new exhaust front pipes cost me as much as the car did. The Vectra is pants and a money pit.
Gotta get an estate... - LoonTune
Fair enough mate; my great little Focus started life mint and is now battered.
Do you think the 240 is safe in comparision to the modern car? I guess they are waay before the tests. I suppose the other one would be an older Merc.
I like the harness idea a lot more than the cage; it frees up room and lets the dog / baby enjoy each others company. -You never know with the dog in the back seat I may have enough room in the boot of a Golf. (That seems to be the largest of the small if you see what i mean)
Gotta get an estate... - local yokel
A friend had an old 240, and about 3 years ago they were shunted in the rear by something fast and heavy. The investigating copper reckoned the 240 was a life-saver. It was about a foot shorter - but he reckoned others would have collapsed. No active safety of course, but plenty of build strength when new. Rust/age could reduce this of course.
Gotta get an estate... - Muswell
I used to have a Citroen C5 estate then child no 3 came along. Its a big, big car but you try getting 3 child seats in the back.
So I went the whole hog and bought a Galaxy MPV. I usually keep the rear 2 seats in the garage and thus have a huge amount of space in the boot. For example: I carried 3 kids, a pram and 250KG (12 bags) of ballast & cement in that thing last week. The only safe way to carry that much weight was with the bags ontop of the rear axle. Thanks to the space in the car they were, with the pram behind them. Cant think of any normal sized car where you could do that.

If you are worried about parking ( I live in the sticks so it doesnt bother me - lucky me) then I should let you into a secret. The galaxy is no longer than a big estate. In fact it is shorter than my old C5 and is even shorter than its little brother the Mondeo Estate. Plus on the Ghia model it has front & rear parking sensors so parking is a doddle.

Also my missus loves the driving position.

As a family runabout/minibus/transit van I cant recommend them highly enough, especially with the VAG group 1.9 diesel in.






Gotta get an estate... - madf
My B-i-l has just bought a 3 owner P registered Mercedes 180 Advantage estate in silver with 54k miles, fsh for £3950. (to go with his 300TD estate - this one replaces a Vectra estate)

Good for another 200k miles, and cheap to run if serviced outside Mercedes dealers. About 30-35mpg and low insurance. Paint not immaculate - a few small scratches but no rust/good tyres/12 months MOT etc.
No aircon or alloys but auro and cruise control.

What more can you want for the money?
madf
 

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