Station wagon or bigger for 2 kids in London?

(15 Posts)
lill72 Wed 27-Aug-14 10:17:37

I have never had a car in London so please help me - am I being silly to get a big SUV or better to stick to a station wagon? What do you have?

DoctorLawn Wed 27-Aug-14 10:19:59

Is a station wagon like a saloon? If so, big enough, I would say.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 27-Aug-14 10:20:21

What's a station wagon?

Hazchem Wed 27-Aug-14 10:22:31

A station wagon is an estate car.

AuntieStella Wed 27-Aug-14 10:24:07

London is very congested.

With 2 DC, you don't need either an estate car (station wagon) or SUV, and I suggest you think about an ordinary family car (and perhaps a green one).

But if you need something bigger for whatever reason, then get the one that best fits your actual requirements. There's nothing about London in itself that would be a key factor between different types of large vehicle.

MrsCakesPrecognition Wed 27-Aug-14 10:28:00

I would have thought the smallest, greenest car possible to help with parking and the congestion charge.

antimatter Wed 27-Aug-14 10:48:08

depending what you are going to use it for and how often do you need to park in a hurry and go via narrow streets

lill72 Wed 27-Aug-14 10:49:50

Station wagon must be an Aussie thing! Thanks - now I know it is an estate car . Friends who have small cars say they are too small for 2 small kids so I dont want to get something too small but dont want to go too big either.

What do you have?

DiaDuit Wed 27-Aug-14 10:52:48

How big are your friends' children? confused

Two children will fit fine in small cars.

We bought an SUV style car as we found that two Stage 1 Isofix car seats when tilted [for a child to sleep] meant that a tall driver couldn't push the seat back far enough to drive.

We drive less than 3000 miles a year and use it mostly to leave London so we are not terribly concerned about the detrimental impact on the environment. We commute by bike/train, walk my daughter to school and our shopping is delivered pretty much everything is deliver tbh

We used Zipcars for ages but needed a car for reasons I am not going into on MN as there is no point, the SUV Nazi's will tell you that you can all safely pile into a Ford Ka with two kids seats, which you can but not in a lot of comfort and certainly no-where to stash anything other than an umbrella fold pram

All the signs are that diesel cars are going to be subject to additional taxes within London at least so I'd do some research on that.

An estate is a bit of a sod to park depending on where you live. We've hired a Qashqai on holiday and it was v spacious even with kid seats but not isofix ones. They definitely add inches.

So it depends on what age your children are, how frequently you need to use the car etc etc. and what for. The SIZE of your car has bugger all bearing on London's congestion or pollution. How frequently you use it does.

lill72 Thu 28-Aug-14 08:13:36

Thanks for your advice. My friends kids are 1 and 3, so small. They have an Ibizia.

Lots of food for thought here - Treadsoftly - very interesting perspective.

Albertatata Fri 29-Aug-14 20:01:26

I have a 1 & 3 year old currently in a Ka - it is not bloody comfortable!

We are looking at a Kia Cee'd now, would love a quashqai but unfortunately we don't have the cash.

Living in London - parking sensors are a fantastic help for parallel parking into tiny spaces. A HUGE boot is dead handy so you can stash stuff like the pram in the car when you have guests and need a bit of space in the hallway grin

I have also discovered that you can actually hire roofboxes and bars which means you don't have to store the sodding things in a tiny London garden [or keep it on the roof of the car semi-permantly]

Are you only going to use it in London? If so I would say something like a Ford focus (not the estate version) would suffice. Roomy enough inside and boot ok for buggy plus other stuff.
We had that with one dc. With 2 dc we got an estate for the extra boot space because we use it for holidays / camping etc quite a lot.
Now expecting dc3 have an mpv so can fit three seats across.
If we didn't use it for holidays and visiting grandparents though would probably not have a car at all, just hire one as and when needed. Lots of friends in London do it this way.
Parking is hideous - imho sensors are a must for a bigger car!

scaevola Mon 01-Sep-14 11:27:02

SIZE might matter if the type of congestion in the places where you drive arises from road layout and narrow junctions, which are easy to turn if in a small car, but hellish in bigger ones (who may have to wait for gaps wide enough).

Of you're out in the burbs (or in the seriously affluent centre) then this might not be an issue. But if you're in the middling bits, especially if roads were laid out by the Victorians, or if your school is, then have a think about the congestion big cars can cause when they have to slow down/wait. Width rather than length is usually the culprit, so if you can't fit everything you want from a car in a medium sized family saloon, then I'd go for the narrowest estate I could find rather than an SUV.

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