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Do you, or have you owned any of these . . .

(46 Posts)
hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 21:54:44

Looking for a reliable, practical car to fit family of 5 (3 children under 5) with large boot, considering;

Honda FR-V
Citreon Berlingo
Citreon C4 Picasso
Kia Sportage
Vauxhall Zafira

If yes what did you like/dislike about it and would you recommend.

Any other suggestions also most welcome.

Thank you!

JennyHaniver Thu 30-Dec-10 22:05:15

I had a Berlingo from 2003 until this year when i changed it for a bigger van. I have two DSs but could fit another child in the middle in a car seat easily and often did.

I loved my Berlingo but i appreciate that if you don't need the head room something else might suit better.

The thing i loved about it (although it drove like a van rather than a car) was the fact that it WAS a van (albeit with windows) and not a people carrier <snob>.

I miss my Berlingo - but had to change to a transit for work.


JennyHaniver Thu 30-Dec-10 22:06:23

Oh and i could fit three big dogs in the boot - which is huge.

MrsKitty Thu 30-Dec-10 22:06:57

Not a Zafira.

We've got one, and it's great for us (2 adults/2 children) and has very good boot space with the 2 rear seats down, but I would not be happy having a 3rd child in the back. NOt enough space really in the middle row (and our middle seat only has a lap-belt), and the rear 2 seats are the crumple zone, and only really for short journeys IMO.

Test drove a Ford Galaxy recently (Thanks MN wink) and it was FABULOUS. Loads of room. Would you consider one of those, or maybe an S-Max?

dearprudence Thu 30-Dec-10 22:11:39

I had a Xsara Picasso for a couple of years when DS was small, now changed for a Ford s-max.

The Picasso was not cool in any way, but I really liked the height of the seats in the back, and the fact they were three equal, proper seats. they were also very easy to tip forward, or even remove altogether when we went camping and all the stuff was in my car. Had a big boot anyway, but very flexible with the ability to tip 3 seats forward separately. I also liked the amount of space around the dashboard and driver's seat. You could put your handbag on the floor between the two front seats, and there was a large flat area on the dash for putting 'things' on.

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 22:16:22

Thanks for replies.

I am tempted by the Berlingo, seems good value and I like the sliding doors.

MrsKitty, I think the Galaxy might be a little too big (not that I really know!), we live at the end of a very narrow road that I have to reverse down then parallel park,so need something a little more compact.

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 22:18:51

Thanks dearprudence, can I ask what you think of the s-max too? Think it might be out of our price range though.

Hassled Thu 30-Dec-10 22:20:18

We have a Honda FR-V (4 DCs, 2 grown up). I love it - it has seen us to the South of France and back, assorted other travels. In fact both DH and I are struggling to come up with anything we dislike about it - little things like the heated seats are slow to work. Boot space not huge (we've needed a roofbox for big trips) but OK. DH says position of handbrake takes a lot of getting used to for hill starts etc.

The three across at the front is fine with younger children but DS2 at 12, for example, is too big for it to be comfortable for DH or I either side of him. DS3 (8) sits there quite happily but there will be a point when that's not doable. You have a while before that's a problem though.

JennyHaniver Thu 30-Dec-10 22:21:06

yes sliding doors are a bonus esp. in narrow parking spaces.

the only thing i would say is do a test drive first as it does drive like a van rather than a big car. but that didn't bother me tbh.

thisisyesterday Thu 30-Dec-10 22:22:25

we have 3 under 6 (under 5 when we got the car though) and we have a Volvo v70

i LOVE it

it's long. very long. but it seems smaller than an MPV.
We had a renault scenic before, and because it was higher up it was really difficult getting the child into the middle seat.

the Volvo is very fuel efficient (a diesel), the boot is monstrous, we can easily fit 3 seats across the back (see pics on my profile), it's nice to drive...

stressheaderic Thu 30-Dec-10 22:29:35

I have a C4 Grand Picasso. Love love love it.

Comfortable, high up driving position, acres of space inside. 7 seats if needed (have used occasionally), or 3 full size separate seats across the back and a massive boot (had 3 pams in there the other day).
V good on diesel, £60 to fill the tank, lasts me a month. Cheap for tax, tyres and service. Great for me so far (mine's a 58 reg).

stressheaderic Thu 30-Dec-10 22:30:09

*prams, not ladies by name of Pam

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 22:32:49

Hassled, Dh is favouring the Honda FR-V, we've read a couple of reviews where people said they felt a bit shoved over to one side as the driver, do you find this? Also do you know if you'd fit a phil & Teds double buggy in the boot?

thisisyesterday, the room in the volvo looks great, but fear it would be too long for our crappy parking space.

JennyHaniver Thu 30-Dec-10 22:32:52

I like to think you had Anderson, Stevenson and Ayres in there....

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 22:36:39

I like the sound of the boot size stressheaderic. Think I'm going to have to test drive some. I'm a bit worried about the size, currently driving a seat altea so these all seem rather huge, and I'm a real shorty!

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 22:38:56

I do know a few Pams, doubt they'd ever all need a lift at the same time though.

Hassled Thu 30-Dec-10 22:42:47

No idea re double buggy but it is decent sized. Remember it's a wide car so width-wise is good. We've had a dishwasher in the boot, if that helps! Much bigger than the Renault Espace (which we had before).

I have to confess I don't drive - DH says he never feels squashed as a driver - apart from when large child (i.e 12+) is in middle seat.

JennyHaniver Thu 30-Dec-10 22:50:38

I'm 5' 2" if that

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 22:55:55

JennyHaniver Can I ask if you ever had trouble getting blocked in so you couldn't open the boot? It looks like it needs alot of room behind to open the boot fully. I'm worried I'd parallel park somewhere and then someone will park too close behind and I won't be able to open the boot to get the pushchair back in. Or am I over-thinking things!

Beamur Thu 30-Dec-10 22:55:56

I've had a Zafira and currently a C4. I much preferred driving the Zafira, but agree with the above poster - the middle seat in the back is too small and the rear 2 seats only good for medium sized children and I always worried about being rear-ended when in use. Saying that we successfully took 5 children camping in ours, it was a bit of a squeeze though!
The C4 is really roomy, tons of space, and v fuel efficient - not sure I'd agree its cheap re tyres and service though, ours just cost best part of £300 to service (also a 58 plate)
On the down side it feels huge to drive and isn't terribly manoeverable. Its a wide car - so good seat space, not so good on narrow roads (like where we live...) all in all a good, but not great, family car. C4 has an odd refection on the windscreen from the dashboard being so large.

hmmSleep Thu 30-Dec-10 23:02:05

Think we've ruled out the Zafira, really want 3 good sized central seats.

and I'm nearly 5ft2 Jenny, so it does help a little!

Sidge Thu 30-Dec-10 23:02:21

We had an S-Max and I absolutely LOVED it. Rather pricey but a brilliant car.

Now have a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso - a decent car, not as great as the S-Max but it does the job. Three proper seats suitable for car seats, huge boot, 2 seats in boot should you need them, nice to drive, economical and lots of gizmos such as hill start assist, automatic handbrake, traction control etc.

I'm only 5 foot and a bit and find it a doddle to drive - the driving position is actually better for me than my DHs Vauxhall Astra.

JennyHaniver Thu 30-Dec-10 23:03:24

Hmm yes i can see how that could be an issue....i would say about 4' you would need. It has only ever been an issue when i've had the caravan attached tbh - as my youngest was 3 when we bought it, pushchairs never were really an issue.

blush - sorry

Tagada Thu 30-Dec-10 23:11:08

We've been in exactly in the same situation of hunting for a car to fit 3 under 5s car seats, and have had both an S-Max and now a grand C4 Picasso. Completely agree with Sidge really loved the Smax, I'd say the Picasso does the job too (without the same love). Have changed the car seats in the meantime but it seems to me that the SMax boot is marginally bigger, and that there is a little bit more space between 1st and 2nd row of seats. Both good choices though !

beepbeep Thu 30-Dec-10 23:12:07

Have an SMAX (had 3 DCs under 3), all middle row seats are full size so loads of room, boot huge, had Volvo V50 before and def comparable, have phil & teds and easily fits in laid down taking up half boot or on side taking up about a third.

When we first got car had 3 children in 'big' car seats, though DD1 has now moved into booster, bigger seats (and individually moving) means have room to get my hand in between seats to do up her seatbelt!

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