Car for 3dcs - Volvo XC90 or Land Rover Discovery or Ford SMax (or something else similar?)

(39 Posts)
MrsJohnDeere Sat 22-Sep-12 10:39:27

Surprise/shock pregnancy means we are going to need a new car in the next few months. It will need to fit 2 children in booster seats (will be 5 and 7 years old) and one baby. Ideally we'd like the older ones not to be immediately adjacent to each other (out of hitting each other reach). Needs to have decent sizes boot that can fit a pushchair and at least one dog too.

Dh is a bit of a car snob and will not entertain anything from Vauxhall, Citroen, Renault. He doesn't like the look of whatever the big BMW is (too 'drug dealer' apparently).

He's reluctantly considering the SMax because our most reliable car in the past was a Ford. His heart is set on a Land Rover (I hate the look of them and the thought of parking one terrifies me) but we know quite a few people who've found them unreliable.

Any experiences - good or bad - of these cars? Any suggestions for alternatives?

If we could find a normal estate car that could for 3 seats across that would shit us far more. Seen mixed reports about the Mondeo and car seats.

monkeytennismum Mon 01-Oct-12 06:28:06

We have an Audi A6 Avant estate and have fitted 3 car seats across the back. We LOVE this car; Audi's are so reliable and it has a massive boot. My DH is also a car snob! MY only gripe is that the suspension is quite low so it might not be good for a rural area (we're city dwellers), but have you considered the Audi Q3 or Q5?

silverfrog Sun 23-Sep-12 14:36:31

oh god, the tailgate drips from my crv are infuriating. but still a fab car. wish they'd sort that design flaw though, 'tis a real bugger

clam Sun 23-Sep-12 14:19:02

By the way, another vote here for the CR-V. Never had a problem with the ride - could it have been your friend's driving?? grin Although the boot shape is a bit odd, I admit - and the tailgate drips on you in the rain. Apart from that, I love it.

clam Sun 23-Sep-12 14:17:27

My friend had an XC90 which she loved until the electrics started playing up and it kept cutting out on the freeway (This was in the US). Volvo refused to acknowledge a problem so she ditched it for a Nissan Murano. Loves it.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 23-Sep-12 14:12:44

We cannot fit 3 across the rear of our current car (Subaru estate). It is one of the narrowest estate cars on the market.

Not sure why you need a bigger car? Mine, 4, 6 and 15 months are able to get in the back of a Volvo. You just need to get small booster seats.

silverfrog Sun 23-Sep-12 14:03:33

honda crv is great, but just seen you don't want a honda (shame, mine has been fab)

xc90 was ridiculously fuel inefficient, imo, when I had one.

what about a vw passat? not tried one yet, but eyeing it up as my next car when we change my honda, although will be sad to lose the crv, it has honestly been fantastic (and I drive a lot - 70+ miles a day just on school runs!)

Kneedeepinshittynappies Sun 23-Sep-12 13:46:37

Nissan qasqai+2? Just got one ourselves recently and loving it for space so far, although only 2 dc but they're 2 and 7 months so need lots of space and obviously feels like kitchen sink comes with us on most days put! Also hybrid 2/4 wd so good compromise.

member Sun 23-Sep-12 13:39:01

My next door neighbour has a LR that seems to frequently leak oil/oily fluids.

What about a Mazda CX-7?

EdMcDunnough Sun 23-Sep-12 13:30:38

Also I wonder how reliable the Defender is, in terms of LRs. Probably even less - I don't know.

I'd be going for something a bit less fuel hungry anyway but sounds like you've ruled out those options.

EdMcDunnough Sun 23-Sep-12 13:29:07

I know one family who have a huge old Volvo, it's quite long, they fit three large-ish children in the back from toddler upwards, all in RF seats.

I'd LOVE one of these. But I appreciate it isn't very modern and with-it.

I think the Seat Alhambra is meant to be good too. Your DH won't entertain any of these will he grin

MrsJohnDeere Sun 23-Sep-12 13:20:26

No to Hondas - SIL has one and the ride makes me and dh feel sick. Not keen on the boot either.

Also no to any Audi. We had a an A6 until 4 years ago that gave us nothing but trouble. The local dealership/garage employs the rudest people you could ever meet, and we don't want to give them our money. Dh popped by a few weeks ago to see if they'd changed, but they hadn't!

NarcolepsyQueen Sun 23-Sep-12 12:41:44

Audi Q7 for the win.

BensonBunny Sun 23-Sep-12 12:35:53

I've had my XC90 for a year now and love it. I get about 30 mpg doing a 9 mile commute to work which is a straight run on the way in but always stuck in traffic on the way home, it's better on long journeys.
The boot is massive with the third row seats down and fits a lot more than the SMax we had before (which I hated). I have front parking sensors as well as the rear which come as standard and it is easy to park.

uggmum Sun 23-Sep-12 12:33:03

My best friend has a land rover, it has been in the garage 4 times this year and has cost him a fortune. It's also really expensive for fuel and car tax.

We had an Audi q7 for 11 weeks as a courtesy car, it was lovely but huge. We nicknamed it 'the beast'

You could consider either the Volvo xc60 or a Honda crv. You can fit 3 seats in the back of both and fuel economy is good as is car tax. As they are smaller than the landrover you will find parking them a lot easier

Llareggub Sun 23-Sep-12 12:23:18

It was the short trips in the XC90 that made me sob. Longer trips were pretty fuel efficient, I thought. It was a dream in the snow.

cluelessnchaos Sun 23-Sep-12 12:06:00

Volvo xc90 would be fine for that, we are very rural but on a main road. The snow when it comes though is bad and as your neighbour found out even 4 wd can come unstuck, Volvo is awd.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 23-Sep-12 12:02:16

We don't really go off road (well, not often) but do drive a lot on country lanes that are full of potholes and where you have to pull over into ditches etc.

missjackson Sun 23-Sep-12 12:00:29

Honda CRV? If you look on the parkers review site, it gets brilliant reviews. It's about the most 'car-like' of the 4x4s I thought. There is a really good second hand market for them too. We fit 3 in the back of ours (baby seat, toddler seat, booster seat with sides) and it's a tight fit.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 23-Sep-12 12:00:02

A neighbour has a LR, almost new. They skidded on ice last winter, turned it over and fell into a ditch, and the airbags didn't even go off. He was very badly injured and off work for months.

cluelessnchaos Sun 23-Sep-12 11:57:41

We are on our second xc90 and it's ok, if you really need 4wd for off road or non tarmacced roads then it doesn't quite cut it, we have had it stuck in the snow numerous times and it's a complete bastard to get out. But it drives like a car rather than a tank. We test drove the Audi q7 and it felt massive and aggressive. The land rover was nice but as others have said unreliable and expensive to fix. We have a mini as well which we drive if at all possible to balance out the fuel costs, we had a ford galaxy before and I hated it, it broke down so many times and felt like I was driving a flimsy van. Loads of people I know have the smax and love it though.

Just to add, have you compared the ncap ratings too for Landrover v xc90?
That swayed us and at the time the reliability issues.

We have had xc90s since 2004, we had 3dcs under five and had three proper car seats in there, two in the back and one in the third row.

It is a workhorse for us, always full of children/rugby team or whoever gets stuck in winter.

We briefly went to an estate for a year but hated it and it was useless in the winter in a rural area.

It is expensive to run but it does make us think twice about whether we can walk or cycle somewhere instead.

Gigondas Sun 23-Sep-12 11:54:38

Vw sharan- dh also loathed s max (and for garages) and had previously been driving a
BMW so had the change of badge issue.
But speced up sharan has been very good and practical.

I have just seen you are in a rural location so won't add my bit about impractical nature of an xc90 in town based on my neighbours gripes.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 23-Sep-12 11:48:40

Booster cushions or the full-blown seats?

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