Recommendations for a family car? - sdrio
Hi folks.

I'm going to be moving back to the UK in a couple of months, having spent the last 10 years in South America. Although I have been back regularly during that time, I'm not really up to date with cars in the UK, and wonder if you'd like to throw some recommendations at me?

The broad requirements I have are;

- Must have 4 doors and a reasonable boot (have a young family).
- Diesel definitely preferred.
- I'll have around £5k deposit, and would want to finance the rest on a budget of say £350 to 400 / month.
- Would prefer a straighforward finance, not leaving a lumpsum at the end. I'd like to own the car, so I guess that means not a lease.
- Prefer new, but haven't excluded a 1-2 year old used car, if it's in good nick.

Probably left out some vital detail, but would be interested to hear your ideas. I had in mind possibly a Golf TDI, even a Passat if the finance will stretch to it. Also thought about a Volvo.

I'm not against something a little more unusual, but don't want to go too mad as this needs to be hassle free.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Recommendations for a family car? - I'm a Pane
How about a Skoda Octavia? New from £13K onwards. Some excellent finance deals at low apr's. VW TDI engine and loads of space for family. Basically you would get a better, bigger car than a Golf (virtually Passat size) for comfortably under your budget. Go have a look-Skoda dealers seem very nice people as well!!
Recommendations for a family car? - sdrio
Thanks Pete.

I guess I should have said this in my original post, as I will now sound a bit rude, which it certainly isn't meant to be but . . .

There are a few cars that I know it's irrational to strike off the list, but being a child of the 80s I'm afraid to say Skoda is one of them.

I know they have improved immensely in the last decade, but having been brought up on a steady diet of Skoda jokes, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. That's no criticism of Skodas or their owners, it's just a personal thing. It's not the only car that falls into that category for me either.

I do thank you for the idea though.

Recommendations for a family car? - bristolmotorspeedway {P}
Try a Toyota Avensis, Honda Accord or Mazda 6 - I'd imagine your budget would cover any of them. To my mind, the 2.2 Avensis and Accord have the best mid-range diesel engines for smoothness and refinement. Others prefer the kick-in-the-back style of the VW diesels which undoubtedly feel more powerful at low revs, but sacrifice the refinement.
Recommendations for a family car? - niceguyeddy
Lots of free money available ie 0% finance at the moment from most of the manufacturers

Leave your money in the savings account !!!

New Toyota D4D 2.2 is excellent
Recommendations for a family car? - sdrio
OK, that's 2 for Toyota - hadn't looked at those, which I will now do.

Honda - another possible. Used to be that Hondas always had more toys as 'standard' than other manufacturers - I wonder if that's still the case? Any opinions on the Accord?

I'd probably tend to go more for a saloon than an MPV/SUV style of vehicle, but that's not a hard rule. We have the Zafira over ere which I have driven and quite liked.

[edit] Good point on the 0% finance. Is that generally available without any deposit then? If so makes a lot of sense.

Edited by sdrio on 25/03/2008 at 17:35

Recommendations for a family car? - Pendlebury
VW TDI engine <<

Exactly why you should not buy one in my opinion - and based on the recent posts on here.
Honda have had their fair share of problems with diesels as well.

Toyota seem to make very reliable and robust diesel engines that are very durable and clean for a diesel as well if you go for the D-CAT technology.
Either that or try a Subaru legacy estate in diesel.

Edited by Pendlebury on 25/03/2008 at 18:24

Recommendations for a family car? - sdrio
Just browsing around here - any thoughts on the Jaguar X-type? If I'm not mistaken it's more or less a Jag shell on a Mondeo chassis, but if it's a good car I might be able to stretch the budget a little for it. I'd be looking at the diesel version.
Recommendations for a family car? - freakybacon
Seat Altea? Dodge Caliber?
Recommendations for a family car? - RaineMan
Save the premium for a Jaguar. It is a Mondeo in drag so you might as well get a Mondeo. For reliability the equivalent Nissan or Toyata are better.
Recommendations for a family car? - Jase
Sorry - I do not agree that the Nissan Primera 2.2DCi (OP did specify diesel) is more reliable than the Ford. This engine has more than it's fair share of expensive failures.
Recommendations for a family car? - a900ss
Well I changed to my 'family car' about a year ago. 40,000 miles and 1 year in, I'd still recommend a S-Max for a family.
Recommendations for a family car? - Granny
I don't think yo can go wrong with any of the current family size cars.

New Mondy is excellent and huge.

Avensis has great engines but is looking its age now.

Ditto primera

Vectra is ok but again looks dated next to the Mondy.

I would go for the Honda Accord. Still looks great, 2.2 diesel engine is a cracker and its ultra reliable, just look at JD Power.

Or there's the new Subaru diesel which has had good reports.

You might have to list 4/5 hopefuls and drive them all to see which you prefer and what deals are available.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 26/03/2008 at 12:48

Recommendations for a family car? - sdrio
Thanks people, lots of good ideas there.

I have had a look at the Mondeo, that'll certainly be on the test drive list, along with the Honda , and I have to say the Mazda 6 looks really good too. Passat and Volvo I had already planned to look at.

I was also thinking about the Citroen saloon (is it the C5 now?). I'll probably still have a good look at the Jag (yes, I'm a big tart). The Toyotas and Nissans I'm not sure about, they all seem a little bit bland to me. I did actually have a Nissan 200sx in the dim dark past, but I chopped that in for an Omega, so you can see I have a car history that would make Clarkson cackle . . .

I reckon the S-max is probably a bit boxy for my taste - having said I liked the Zafira I guess that probably doesn't make complete sense, but in the end I don't think I need that much space so I'll probably go with a saloon, which has always been my preference or a smaller hatch like the golf.

Thanks again to everyone, I'll report back! If you have any other ideas would definitely be interested.

Recommendations for a family car? - bintang
My Hyundai i30 should fit the bill but avoid large-wheel models (hard ride). As a bonus for Dad, you get amazing cornering - faster, tighter and flatter than most of the 6 or so sports cars I have owned. The 1.6 diesel, shared with the Kia C'eed, has been very well reviewed (mine is petrol).
Recommendations for a family car? - b308
Sdrio, please don't take this the wrong way, but never ever dismiss a car based purely on prejudice - at least go and look at the Octavia, especially the estate... even if you don't decide to go ahead... you really don't know what you are missing by taking that view....
Recommendations for a family car? - UncleR
I know exactly what Sdrio means about Skodas.
I'm not a car snob but I like to 'like' my car. If someone asks what I drive I would feel uncomfortable saying Skoda. I'm sure they are great cars, but having also grown up in the 80s, the brand Skoda was destroyed by the jokes and in my view, will never recover!
Recommendations for a family car? - deepwith
One thing not yet mentioned is that, with a young family, will be an important consideration
: all children under 12 now have to be in proper seats or boosters. You need to check whatever car you are considering will fit the restraints/seats you need.
Recommendations for a family car? - stunorthants26
Id second Skoda- I looked at an Octavia before I chose my Subaru and it was a tough choice.
Incidentally, I was born 1980 and grew up with just the same view of Skodas, BUT im now an informed adult and I know that Skoda represents an often equal car of any VW and quite honestly, if you use the 1980s as a marker for the image of todays cars, you wouldnt buy a Seat either as they were useless.

You know when you buy a VW, back at VW they are having a real good laugh at you because they know that you could have bought a Skoda for much less but that 3 inch badge makes you spend thousands more so they can afford that 4th holiday home in Switzerland. Its just priceless really :-)
Recommendations for a family car? - b308
Exactly, Stu - I was brought up in the 60s when they knocked Jap cars as well - if I was still that prejudice I'd be missing an awful lot of decent metal these days.... the Skoda jokes have long gone and its been accepted that they are good cars for at least 8/9 years now - I still can't believe that people are still using that excuse not to buy or even try them, it beggers belief!
Recommendations for a family car? - Mapmaker
We should encourage people not to buy Skodas because they are downmarket.

They will then continue to be cheap.
Recommendations for a family car? - UncleR
Thnk Alan Partridge:

"I'm not driving a Mini Metro Lyn. I'm not driving a Mini Metro. I'm not driving a Mini Metro. I'm not driving a Mini Metro. I'll just talk over you, I'm not driving a Mini Metro"
Recommendations for a family car? - Focus {P}
If you like the VW 2.0 TDI engine, and don't want a Skoda (my wife's the same), you can get it in a brand new Seat Altea for £14,867:

Would have recommended the (smaller AFAIK) Leon, but that's more expensive after discount. Bought a previous vehicle from this lot- no problems.
Recommendations for a family car? - Avant
Skodas are excellent, and the great majority of us are not put off by the 80s jokes. But it's only the models at the bottom end of the ranges that are cheap. The Octavia 2.0 TDI Elegance estate is more or less the same price (about £18,000) as a Golf 2.0 TDI SE estate, and I went for the Golf as it's likely to hold its value better.

After 10,000 trouble-free miles in mine (touching wood) I'd thoroughly recommend it. It has a much bigger luggage area than the Golf hatch but doesn't look van-like.
Recommendations for a family car? - oldtoffee
>>The Octavia 2.0 TDI Elegance estate is more or less the same price (about £18,000) as a Golf 2.0 TDI SE estate,

Avant, but IMO the Octavia is considerably bigger than a Golf although it shares the same platform - like Everest Pete I reckon it is much more like a Passat in terms of rear legroom and boot space. So as a family car I'd suggest an Octavia hatch would be a better day to day bet for usable space than a Golf estate with kids in seats kicking out or as they grow up their knees digging in the back of your seat! An Octavia estate is a big load lugger. Agree with your comments on the Golf residuals but Skoda is pretty close.

To quote from HJ's CBC

Should you go for one? Well obviously if a larger body, much bigger boot and lower price have more appeal to you than the status to be derived from buying a Golf, then definitely. While the boot size, handling and general performance also make the new Octavia worth considering against cars the next size up, like the Mondeo, Vectra, Primera and Laguna. More importantly, Skoda has finally thrown off the old mantle of joke cars. The new Octavia is a proper, well-built car, in the same class as a Golf. It?s a car to be proud of, if that wasn?t already Toyota?s line.
Recommendations for a family car? - Avant
Fair point Neil: the Octavia estate is a bit bigger - seats-down capacity 1620 litres playing 1500 for the Golf estate. I looked at both last year and subjectively I didn't think there was much in it comparing rear legroom. The Mark V Golf estate is quite a bit roomier than the Mark IV.

But I agree the Octavia is an excellent car - it came a close second to the Golf on my shortlist (our children are grown-up and whilst an estate is still useful, sheer size is les imortant than it was).

Interestingly the steering and handling seemed sharper on both Golf and Octavia compared with a similarly-engined (2.0 TDI) Audi A4. Road tests by Autocar and What Car suggest thst the new A4 is still woolly in these areas - although their pro-BMW bias has to be taken into account.

One other point in favour of the Octavia - if I'd wanted the vRS, with a choice of 197 bhp petrol or 170 bhp diesel engines, I could have had this on the estate.

Let's hope the original poster can forget the old jokes and have a look at the Octavia on its merits.

Edited by Avant on 26/03/2008 at 23:50

Recommendations for a family car? - seataltea
It may be no suprise my suggestion is a SEAT Altea, very good offers at the moment.

1.9Tdi Reference Sport £12145 at the moment, well specified, reliable, spacious, sporty mini mpv.

Only a few days left on the offer.
Recommendations for a family car? - sdrio
Heh. I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to kick off the Skoda thing. I know it's stupid, but I can't lie to you kind folks, I just could never bring myself to buy one.

I suppose it's a bit like admitting you actually quite like Abba. The only difference is you can have Abba on your Ipod, and tell people you're listening to Snoop Dog, whereas you got to actually drive the Skoda around.

I'm not making things any better, am I? :D

. . . There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright . . .

Recommendations for a family car? - Alby Back
Yes it is strange how we sometimes can't shake off our prejudices isn't it ? My particular problem is with Hondas. I know they make fine cars and I know there are some very pleased owners in this very forum but I simply could not bring myself to buy one. My deep rooted aversion stems from my ex-mother-in-law who drove Honda Preludes. I simply cannot look at that badge without getting a Reggie Perrin style hippopotamus reaction in my head ! I am also from the generation who, perhaps unfairly, mocked Skodas but there would be ten times the chance of me buying one over a Honda. Irrational I know but absolute fact.
Recommendations for a family car? - oldtoffee
>>Heh. I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to kick off the Skoda thing.

You didn't. We did!

Take a chance on me................

Edited by NeilS on 27/03/2008 at 22:39


Value my car