Just can't decide...best family car for up to £11,000?(30 Posts)
Having written off my beloved Honda Civic, I now have a fresh slate and up to £11,000 to spend on a family car. I'm umm-ing and ahh-ing between a VW Golf/Passat/Polo, Nissan QashQai, Kia Cee'd or Skoda Octavia. I will be buying a used car but want as new/low mileage a car as possible.
I have two kids (1 and 3) so safety is very important. We don't have dogs/bikes so don't need masses of space beyond comfort, occasional shopping + double buggy needs. My head is saying to go with the Skoda (excellent reviews, economical, 'grown-up' decision), but my heart wants something a bit funkier, so probably the QashQai.
It needs to be easy to park as we don't have a drive and space is sometimes scarce on the road.
Do any on my list fit the bill perfectly, or have I missed something glaringly obvious? While I don't want to rush the decision, I am now car-less and need to get moving with a plan.
Any advice hugely appreciated. TIA.
In the end I went for another Honda Civic...this time a 2010 1.4 vtec. I was swung by the safety features (full curtain airbags 5★ crash rating), plus it was v low milage, high spec and came in at under £10k from a reputable dealer. fuel efficient and cheaper to insure/tax due to smaller engine. ..only downside imo is the rear spoiler and lack of rear wipers. a lovely drive and humungous boot.
looked at the skoda octavia and fabia, but neither felt quite right...and the qashqai I found too tank like for me (I'm a shorty!).
Thanks again for your tips
Oh, and it fit five adults comfortably, and was way more fuel efficient than we thought it would be (we had hired a super mini three door to cut down on fuel costs and the first thought was how fuckign much will this cost to push down the motorway).
We spent £80 on fuel for 5 day trip 150 miles away and back plus trips. I think it was over 55mpg.
The boot is a bit crap though. I would try fitting a buggy in it first. I wouldn't be surprised if a travel mcclaren didn't fit. Sorry. Can you do that?
We hired a nissan quashqui (sp?) this summer and it has a cool camera at the back which shows up on the sat nav screen when in reverse which helps with parking. So even I could do it despite the fact that it is a tank.
It was v good driving, esp on motorways, so if you use motorways a lot it is great.
But if you live on a narrow road, on a hill, or are short it is crap. Handbrake didn't work (brand new car and pretty reputable hire company so it wasn't that) and wasn't easy to reach when seat was far enough forward for someone less than 5'6''.
We have had several Octavias - one petrol, 2 diesel, for mixed driving - live in countryside, commute to city and DH drives a lot of motorway miles for work (30K/year ish). Diesel far better on fuel economy- 60 mpg seems typical, but as they have all been company cars have had no need to account for cost of diesel and buying the car in the first place versus the improved fuel efficiency. I am sure the petrol fuel efficiency was in the high 40s.
I think you would struggle to get a double buggy and your shopping in the boot of a jazz, btw. They're lovely, practical cars, but quite narrow and have fairly small boots.
We always, always go for diesel. They last a lot longer for a start. My car, which is our main family car, is a 2 yo 1.5DCi Renault Scenic is used for the school run, nipping in to the next town, going to the hospital for me or DS2 35 miles away, shopping, occasional long runs on the motorway, gets very very good fuel returns, on average 550-600 miles on a tank of diesel. It is about a 13 gallon tank. It is very, very rare that we fill it more than once a month.
DH's Polo is diesel, he does 90 miles a day, DS1 uses it for work at the weekends and we fill that once a week.
We have had diesels for 20 years, we changed back to a petrol car for 6 months and noticed a marked difference in the amount we were paying in fuel. We'll never go back to petrol. FIL has recently changed to diesel, he is kicking himself for not changing earlier.
WRT the Jazz, MIL is on her 3rd. She loves them. I don't know what they are like but you see plenty on the road, mainly with women driving them IME. Lots with DC in car seats so they are a popular choice, perhaps someone more knowledgable will be along soon.
And petrol. Diesel only saves you if you drive more than 15K miles a year. The only other advantage is that they have a lot of torque and are better for towing. Their efficiency advantage over petrol is counteracted by the price difference in the fuel and the higher cost of servicing and can be expensive when things like the DPF go wrong.
With a similar budget, we've recently become the proud owners of a Toyota Avensis Tourer. It's lovely. Loads of room, plenty of headroom in the back, nice flat back seats that a carseat sits well in and i's a rather dashing pearlised black
Thanks all of you for all this advice - this is so useful. I'm going to a Skoda/VW dealer followed by a Nissan then Honda dealership on Wednesday - so that should cover the majority of suggestions. Very excited now!
My mother is trying to talk me in to a Honda Jazz (because she has one) - any views out there?
And Octavia experts - would you recommend a petrol or diesel for a general about-town use with the odd motorway trip? The chap in the garage suggested petrol but this seems to contradict some of the advice online.
We have the old style one and love it, perfect size for us (family of four), comfortable seats, lots of leg room, easy to drive, flexible boot space, great visibility. We picked ours up second hand last year when it was three years old for 7k and it has run like a dream.
How about another Honda? They're very reliable. If I could, I'd get an FRV. From your list I'd probably go for the Octavia which is essentially a VW under the bonnet without the VW price tag :-)
A couple of my friends had brand new Qashqais and both found them a complete nightmare - loads of problems even in the first year and both of them traded them in for older but more reliable cars within a couple of years.
I think the polo's boot will be too small for you, either go for the Golf or the Skoda. I have a Golf now (1.4 TSI) and in total have had 5 as keep trading them in for another one!
That's why I said they are "4x4 capable", i.e. can be operated in either. So I'm not sure what was "rubbish" about that? And by 4x4 engine I meant the engine of a car where that car is being operated in four wheel drive. I was being brief, perhaps I should have been clearer. I don't really know why you're jumping all over me but I'll back off, thanks for pointing out the linguistic inadequacies in my post - very helpful
Actually you're talking rubbish. You'll find the vast majority of 2.0 petrol and diesel Qashqais are the 2wd variant and the 4wd versions aren't permanent 4wd so the fuel consumption won't be as bad as you make out. Also there is no such thing as a "4x4 engine" You clearly have no clue what you are talking about.
Actually the two litre qashqais, both petrol and diesel, are 4x4 capable. That's two out of five available engines, or 40%. Which isn't "very little". 4x4 engines are not as fuel efficient (in comparison to an Octavia or other similar estate). I was only trying to be helpful, you could try being a little less rude.
As far as the qashquai is concerned, unless you need a 4x4 (and it's not a particularly good one anyway) I'd avoid it - fuel efficiency won't be anywhere near that of an Octavia and you'll come to regret the amount you spend on filling it (and how little miles to the tank it will do!) this is the voice of experience talking (although I don't have a qashquai, but another far eastern 4x4).
This is mostly rubbish - for a start, very few Qashqais are 4WD; most are FWD. Secondly, the Renault 1.5DCi is a very economical engine (giving over 50mpg on 'brisk' motorway run plus a bit of urban driving at one end of the journey).
Also in favour of the Qashqai, if you get an NTEC model it comes with a reversing camera - very handy for parking (especially with the green/amber/red bars showing you how straight you are, and how far from an object; it also beeps when you're too close).
In terms of too 'funky' to be a 'grown-up' option - I know people 40+ and 50+ with one, the latter making good use of two child seats for their grandkids. They're now boringly ubiquitous.
Octavias are good cars - something that is so popular with taxi drivers is going to be reliable and economic. The Kia should have the balance of the 7 year warranty, which is a comforting factor.
I also think it would be worth looking at the Ford Focus or Mazda 3.
I would go for a VW passat or Octavian but an estate not saloon...soo practical.
Kia website used car offers - used car locator on R
here's a nice diesel Soul - 11 plate, 15K miles, £9.5K
Kia Soul is funky (similar to Yeti) but they seem very scarce
we bought a slightly used 61 plate Ceed last December from a Kia dealer - 1.6 diesel estate, 14K miles, balance of 7-year warranty (worth a lot, that!) & 0% finance on a chunk of it - £11.5K (but we are rubbish at haggling)
mpg is c 55 & it has reversing sensors (it's the 3 model)
it's our second Ceed & we like them a lot.
it's not funky though, I have to admit
We've got a Polo TDI that we use as a second car. I love it, it is nippy and economical but DH wishes it was a Golf.
We looked at a Qashqai a couple of years ago. We were really underwhelmed. There wasn't a lot of room inside. The driving position wasn't great, the visibility out of the rear view window was poor. DH is 6ft4 and I couldn't fit in the back behind him. I was really sad because I had my heart set on one.
BIL has just bought an Octavian estate, he loves it.
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