economical but not tiny family car?

(17 Posts)
NumptyMum Fri 23-Sep-11 22:16:01

I've been sharing a car with a friend for 10 years as, living in a city, we've not needed a car all the time and it made the most sense.

We're about to move into suburbia and I'll need to get a car of my own. Any recommendations for a car for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 small kids) that is economical BUT not tiny (as it will be our only car, ie needed for holiday trips too)? I'd have around 4k to spend, could up it if really really convinced it's worth it...

Ta!

NumptyMum Fri 23-Sep-11 22:17:19

I'm afraid I'm off to bed (smallest child likely to wake me at least once tonight) so please don't be offended if I don't reply straight off! Will check in again in the morning...

CointreauVersial Fri 23-Sep-11 22:21:43

If you are not bothered about "labels" get a Kia or a Hyundai. Way more bang for your buck, and if it's not too old it'll still be under warranty. We bought a 1 year old Kia Carens last year for £5k, and it is fab.

EmmalinaC Sat 24-Sep-11 22:31:58

I know nothing about cars but my DH, who was formerly road-test editor for a well-known car mag, says you need a Honda Jazz or a Ford Focus (diesel). Give me some more info and I'll tell you the perfect car!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 24-Sep-11 23:10:53

Dh has a diesel mondeo, big engine I think a 2 ltr. It's got good fuel economy though, dh gets 60mpg out of it on long runs and 50mpg round town.

BikeRunSki Sat 24-Sep-11 23:13:43

Skoda Fabia Estate

SingingSands Sat 24-Sep-11 23:17:40

Would agree with Ford Focus (diesel). We hired one on holiday and were so impressed with it over the 2 weeks we are now looking to buy one! Large boot, plenty of room in the back for kids (ours are 7 and 3), excellent fuel consumption and handles really well.

NumptyMum Mon 03-Oct-11 13:58:08

I'm SO SORRY I completely forgot about this thread. I'm also in the middle of selling our flat/buying a house so got caught up in that, but that's (hopefully) done and dusted now so we can get back to looking at cars.

Thanks for the suggestions made so far - we've been looking at VW/Toyota/Honda for makes as being reliable (DH doesn't trust Ford!). 'We' is me, my 6'6'' DH, DS (4yo but likely to be tall, can't think why) and DD (15mo). I'll be the driver as currently DH doesn't drive. We may also have to squeeze in visiting MIL from time to time, so the capacity to seat an extra adult would be useful (currently we do this in the ancient Subaru I share with a friend, and I know you can also get slimline car seats for kids, so I'm not necessarily sold on an MPV).

What I'm also looking for is something economical - decent on petrol or diesel, not huge cost to insure (as I've not been the 'owner' of a car before). It'll be our only car, so used mainly for me to go to work part-time and also for day trips, family holidays etc. We like cycling so something we can get the bikes on the back of would be handy...

Any other suggestions that might fit this bill? I'll go and look at the ford focus but am still reserving judgement... grin.

fivegomadindorset Mon 03-Oct-11 14:07:12

We had a Mitsubishi Outlander and still want it but it was a lease and they wanted too much money for it, very spacious, got from South Coast Dorset to Belfast on one tank of diesel. There seem to be some good deals on Ebay for second hand ones.

fivegomadindorset Mon 03-Oct-11 14:11:55

Although not on the model we had.

AndTheWinnerIs Mon 03-Oct-11 15:14:51

We have a skoda fabia estate and it is fantastic, we can fit the two dc, me dh and the dog, biggish boot.
We have the 1.6 diesel and I love it, very economical.

NumptyMum Mon 03-Oct-11 18:30:34

Skoda Fabia Estate is looking good - is the reliability as good as VW?

Also, any votes/experience of Toyota Corolla? Colleague at work has just got a Verso which looks very roomy... but then perhaps we can make do with a smaller boot and use a car rack for holidays. Not that I've any experience of a car rack!

AndTheWinnerIs Mon 03-Oct-11 23:45:12

I think that vw manufactures the skoda engines.
I have had loads of different cars but for the last 6 years have had skoda's we used to have the octavia but I actually prefer the estate.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 03-Oct-11 23:50:07

Dont know about corolla but DH and I each have a diesel Toyota avensis because we were so impressed by the reliabilityand MPG of the first one we got. We've only one DD and a dog, but have taken granny on holiday with us, its pretty roomy.

madhattershouse Mon 03-Oct-11 23:54:19

My parents have a Toyota corolla, great economically BUT not much leg room in the back, really too little if you need to use car seats. The front seats backrest comes out so far that there is no-where for childrens feet to go when they are in a car seat. HTH

ninedragons Mon 03-Oct-11 23:54:57

We have a Toyota Prius and the same family set-up as you. It's fantastic. DH is known by the cheerful man at the local petrol station as "the man who buys Diet Coke and no petrol!". We probably fill up about once a month.

It looks compact from the outside but is very roomy inside, and the boot is huge (will accommodate a Stokke Xplory plus shopping). It's never skipped a beat, mechanically.

I couldn't recommend it more highly.

NumptyMum Tue 04-Oct-11 13:41:42

Thanks again for all the info. I think we'll have to go to a car dealer this weekend to see if we can get a feel for the various cars mentioned - useful info re the Corolla as we were considering that, though the Verso looks good. So far I think we're veering toward the Touran but it might cost us more... so the Skoda Fabia Estate might be a cheaper option. I decided against the Prius (insurance group 8 plus poss issue of batter replacement cost with older car) but I do like the description of Ninedragons DH smile.

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