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I drive an old (1998) A6 .My wife has a 2002 Volvo S60 2.5L turbo petrol auto. The latter is the family car.

One has to go and its the Volvo. We have 3 kids aged 9, 7 and 18months.

To transport all 3, 2 adults and some luggage, the Volvo struggles. The audi is much better but mine.

So, we are considering an MPV of some kind. Its got to be second hand. We test drove a Ford S-Max. Its was a diesel, top spec and VERY good. I was sold on one of these until I read a Which? article suggesting that a Mazda 5 was the 'best' second hand MPV.

Anyone got experience of these and others? Any other advice will be filed as appropriate! Only joking. All gratefully received.

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Do they still sell the Zafira? I used to drive the GSi which is the 2.0l turbo and rapid as you like! 7 seater too when it needs to be :stuart:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/jeremy_clarkson/article824053.ece

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I had a Mazda for many years (never broke down) I rate them as the best engineered of mass production cars. Go with the Mazda.:stuart:

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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I drive an old (1998) A6 .My wife has a 2002 Volvo S60 2.5L turbo petrol auto. The latter is the family car.

The audi is much better but mine.

I know its not an MPV but if the A6 does the job why not try a Skoda Superb. If you can get past the badge they are cheap, bullit proof, acres of space in the back and have a big boot. The only downer is they didnt do an estate on the old ones.

Edited by mdw
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Ive got the smaller C-Max with the smallest 1.6 petrol engine. I have to say I really like it. I took it to Holland, France, Germany and Belgium last year. I sometimes drive to central London in it and I find it really comfortable to drive. I dont give it any wellie just pootle about but it makes me feel relaxed and stressed free with my wife and 2 kiddies in the back. Its a nice place to be.

Buddsy

 

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Hope this is helpful - Colin regularly road tests new vehicles for local business publications and this was his article on the Ford S Max.

He has also just done one for the Peugeot 5008 but I can't post that as it is a word document - but you might not want to read about that as it is a new vehicle. If you do, drop me a PM and I'll send it another way to you.

Good luck with your decision.

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Thanks guys. Appreciate the input.

I just saw a worrying article on Fifth gear (you tube) about rear crash tests in MPVs

Essentially, it goes as follows: for most MPVs with a 3rd row, the rear seats, 6 and 7 are only large enough for the kids. So, that's where they go.

Alas, with effectively no boot, there is NO, thats NO crumple zone between a rear impacting truck and the children. Their heads are 2inches from the glass. The reason YOU survive, is because your kids are your crumple zone. They showed a clip of a truck traveling at 40mph, hitting the back of a stationary (ie in traffic) Zafira, but could be any MPV. The rear passengers do not survive the impact. Everyone else probably does. And thats without taking into consideration cars in-front adding to the concertina effect!

I'm shocked. I'm sure I was meant to be - otherwise its a non article, but it does make a point. That is, you may as well have the kids in the car without seatbelts if you use these as 7 seaters.

Soooooo, I am now taking a look at the Honda FR-V. It has 3 front seats, 3 rear seats and maintains the boot/crumple zone. I accept that 6 is not the same as 7 but if thats the compromise to make instead of the safety one, then maybe so be it.

Thoughts?

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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If you are worried about rear impact then have a look at the XC90 - it has quite a big boot behind the rearmost seats. Useful for carrying stuff as well as a gap in case of impacts. Our neighbour also did a real world test when a lorry ran into the back of their XC90. Car damaged, lorry damaged bit kids in the back OK.

I went through the same process last year and had the same concerns - I guess the two sort of go hand in hand. Whats the point of 7 seats if the rear seats are nearly touching the back window and there is nowhere for the luggage.

I would be amazed however if say Ford had not thought of this and designed the Smax with rear crash protection in mind even if its not part of the ncap tests. Suggest some time on google - cars such as the Toyota iQ get 5 star tests with very little crumple zone (considering there is a (small) engine in the front) so crash design has moved on a lot.

Alan

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Honda FRV.

Nothing else comes close.

3 full size adult seats in the front row, and then another 3 in the back. All the seats (bar the drivers obviously :thumbup:) come with isofix and can take three group 1 car seats - not relevant to your kids ages but it does show how much room there is.

This means you get a massive boot and none of the problems with a conventional MPV of the 2 seats in the boot in a crash.

All the seats independantly slide forward and back making it really flexible. And really serious that you can get size full sized adults in with no hassle.

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Dont give up and get an MPV, before you know it you will be wearing cardigans and thinking Beige is a nice colour get a Chrysler 300C Touring Diesel, and still look cool

Case for is:

!. Massive

2. Loaded with goodies (sat nav, electric everything, cruise, leather, etc etc)

3. Merc E class underpinnings

4. Cheap as chips, I have just bought a 2 year old one with 27k on the clock for under £14k. As they are just about to facelift it you can actually get a new one for under 20K!!

5. Goes like stink 220bhp but 35mpg.

More bang for your Buck

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I would be amazed however if say Ford had not thought of this and designed the Smax with rear crash protection in mind even if its not part of the ncap tests. Suggest some time on google - cars such as the Toyota iQ get 5 star tests with very little crumple zone (considering there is a (small) engine in the front) so crash design has moved on a lot.

Not all car creash tests are created equally... The star ratings are based on car class so a micro town car like the IQ getting 5* may only be the same level of real protection as a 3* saloon car.

Also the star scores are not all crash related - for example, you get points for seat belt reminders, speed limiterts, stability control etc.

Same goes for the child rating - you get points for having an isofix and having clear logos and instructions (like the airbag warning/deactivation stickers). Now these are important as it prevents numpty accidents but I don't consider these to be relevant when dealing with a car's impact safety. Again, I'd rather have a car able to survive an impact that beep when you drive off without a seat belt.

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Case for is:

you forgot ugly, very ugly, its in the same league as the veyron and the zonda for ulgly cars

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I remember a spoof advert for the 3000C. It had a big photo and in small text underneath said "Should have gone to specsavers" :)

Alan

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Each to their own chaps, but be careful you dont push the poor chap to far down the MPV route or he might get a Picaso:shock:

Its worse than that - my wife was interested in a Multipla!!! I would mind so much except Fiat's logo now looks like FIRT. Idiots.

The FR-V looks OK. Not sure how much more use 6 seats are than 5. Cant say I'm attracted to the Chrysler.

S-max still a contender as is the Mazda, but with the back seat collision worry, probably wont be a goer with me.

Ho hum. I quite fancy a Rangerover but my lady doesnt.

Edited by slewthy

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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My Father in law has had rangerovers not bad but I think his Land crusiers where bigger in the rear.

I just saw A BMW X6 God I think that now tops my most ugly car in the world ever list. Looks like an obese fat kid! God its ugly! Dont got one of those.

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Disco has seven seats and is in my opinion nicer than the rangey!!

Hmmm not sure on the MPV front, would prob go for a 4X4 instead as you get the best of both worlds!!

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I have kept quiet to see what people suggested. To be honest I can see what people say about particular vehicles but no one has asked your budget?

As you may know, I'm a Fleet Manager for a large rental company and we buy up to 5000 vehicles a year. Our decisions are made on what either resells for the most or what devalues more but the manufacturer covers that with support. But we do buy alot of the vehicles you've mentioned.

I've read the S max reports but what they don't tell you (because they are press cars) are the quality differences between the vehicles you are looking at. All the Ford S Max's I've seen at 6 months old squeek and rattle. We once tried to get this looked at by a garage under warranty and they laughed at us! The service guys said "It's a Ford, what do you expect!". Vauxhalls are very similar, only you don't even get the charisma that a Ford gives you. It's only the last year any Vauxhalls have started to impress and you have said 2nd hand.

The Honda CRV, whether it's old model or new (2006-07) are both superb vehicles with loads of room and nice touches. They have a quality build and, as long as you get the diesel you can still get 45mpg realistically. The Petrol, when driven hard will do about 25mpg so beware! The Diesel also has a better residual and RFL rate.

The Honda FRV, Discontinued last year, is superb and it's rear crash test was one of the best for any car, yet alone an MPV, it's 6 seats are totally independant and all move back and forwards so you can stage them. They are all full adult size and the car drives absolutely superbly. It's also a better car with higher residuals than the Multipla. If you buy the Multipla expect high annual costs as it has many many reliability issues. Parts are also, suprisingly, cheaper on the Honda than on Fiat. Strange I know, but true. Co2 rates are also better on the FRV making RFL cheaper.

You may also want to look at nearly new "mini mpv's" much as (yes) the Picasso or the 3008. VW wise the Touran is a great car, though you will pay a higher premium on it.

If your wife isn't a car person and price is everything then the Kangoo MPV, VW Caddy Life or Citroen Belingo MPV are the only options. You can get a 6 month old one for the same value as a 3 year old normal MPV....however please note that these are all Van conversions and are "Rough and Ready". But they will more than do the job and are actually not bad vehicles in the grand scheme of things.

Ignore the Cryslers. They do look like a nice car but If you wait 6 months they lose 50% of Value. As an example we are selling 2 year old 300C's at 10k with 20 k on the clock.

So Here's the low down. It's all £'s driven. If you can afford £10k plus then go newish VW or Honda. If you can't look at anything EXCEPT a Fiat/Yank car. Fiats are truely terrible on reliability and after sales service. We had hundreds and they were nothing but trouble.

But if budget is a major factor just take a look at the Van derived models, your wife will be suprised (even if you aren't! :) )

If you have any specific model in mind please don't hesitate to PM me for an honest assessment.

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Wow, Thanks everyone for the great response. Especially the inside info from Kimbers!

Yep, I forgot to mention price - I'm not keen to pay any more than 12-13K on a car and preferably closer to 10. I recon on a FR-V that gets a 3 yr old, sub 30K miles example. We 'looked' at a couple the other day and my wife likes the look but we havn't test driven any yet.

Thanks for the offer to advice on specific models Kimbers - very kind.

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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You are welcome mate. I really suggest test driving the 2 Honda's. I used to work for them and I must admit the FRV and CRV drive very very nice in Diesel form.

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Hello everyone, what a great Forum!

I have just joined as I'm searching for almost exactly the same class of vehicle - I am posted to Canada in the summer and will need to pick up a family vehicle in short order when I arrive, hence I'm researching now in advance. I have just recently sold my Discovery 2, which I liked but doesn't have the most room in the world for 3 growing children (13, 11, 9) in the middle row, so I am looking at the options. I will want to be able to travel decent distances in comfort and have enough room for gear to have weekends away...or run the children + friends around, i.e. the option of 5+ seats is useful. Safety is, naturally, a prime consideration. Looks are secondary but let's not discount it entirely! Traction control/4x4 might be useful in the winters.

This thread has been invaluable - thank you to all for taking the time to reply, so nice to read thoughtful, considered, balanced and articulate posts. Any further advice would, of course, be gratefully received - especially if anyone has an inside angle on the north American market. Cheers, JS

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J. The Canadian Market is very different to the UK Market and is mainly supplied by US style cars. Minivans, SUV's and big uneconmical boxes abound, but I can understand why because of the distances travelled.

Like you said, it will take someone from Canada to post up here. If you don't get any joy why not post directly into the TLF Canadian section. You'll also get people asking where you are going to be so they can come meet you. Infact our own Dave Brown has been out there, on and off, for a couple of years!

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Good advice Kimbers - I didn't even realise there was a Canada section to be honest - I found this thread after a Google search. I'll certainly ask for some informed opinion from Canadian members but I already note that CRVs are available - having had a swift look through the Canadian Autotrader it seems that most European models are still available, albeit with the steering wheel on the 'wrong' side!

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