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Advice on what kind of small car, please!

(27 Posts)
Flen Thu 24-Sep-15 11:13:46

Hi there,

We are expecting our first in March, and our ancient Nissan Micra has just given up the ghost. We have a limited budget of around £5k, and want to get another small car.

However! I also want to make sure that we will be able to fit in a buggy and a whippet! (And the baby, obvs.) I'm also aware that we would be driving to go on holiday in it etc etc, plus we are quite active walkers so any buggy we have will probably not be a nice, neat town type!

Any advice on good small family cars? Would be very much appreciated...

Lancelottie Thu 24-Sep-15 11:17:18

C3 Picasso? Bits of seat fold flat so it's capable of being very van-like at the back.

Lancelottie Thu 24-Sep-15 11:17:45

Missed off the 'Citroen' bit there!

sleepyhead Thu 24-Sep-15 11:21:32

I got a 2008 plate Nissan Note for £4k a year ago and have been very happy with it.

Sailed through it's MOT recently, plenty of room with 2 carseats in the back and the back seat moves so you can adjust how much room you have in the boot vs back seat - so at the moment we have maximum boot size, but as the children need more leg room (but we get shot of the buggy) we'll be able to create more space in the back.

It's not the prettiest car, but it's fine to drive.

sleepyhead Thu 24-Sep-15 11:25:08

PS, the other cars we looked at were the Ford Focus, Toyota Yaris (I think) and the Seat Leon but they were all more expensive for similar age/condition.

Lots of Renault Meganes around but, although our last car was a Clio which we ran into the ground and it cost us virtually nothing in repairs over its lifespan, I've heard bad reports about their reliability.

Flen Thu 24-Sep-15 11:34:24

lancelotte was literally just looking at one...! Is it easy to park?

sleepyhead that's a very helpful list, thank you. I saw a Nissan Note the other day and wondered about it. Sounds good and practical.

Lancelottie Thu 24-Sep-15 12:06:26

Very easy to park (I do like a car with square corners).
I have been known to swap cars on the drive in order to take this one to somewhere with Tricky Parking.

AmyBecker Thu 24-Sep-15 12:21:47

We've had the C3 Picasso and it's not bad when it comes to parking but the Note is much better I think.

It has an all-round monitoring system that can help with blind-spot and moving-object detection when parking.

Flen Thu 24-Sep-15 13:15:25

Thanks both. Although I won't be doing much parking once we have the littlie, while I'm still working I drive from appointment to appointment so often parking in a city...

Are both cars relatively economical? The Micra is a 1 litre engine, so we have been spoiled (and don't want to give myself a heart attack on first re-fuelling!)

AmyBecker Thu 24-Sep-15 13:50:45

Yeah they're not generally bad cars, if you're going for the note i'd opt for the 1.5 diesel engine which is probably best for low running costs.

Also something to keep in mind, some model options of the Nissan Note can be exempt road tax whereas i'm more than sure that no C3 Picasso model options can offer that.

sleepyhead Thu 24-Sep-15 14:21:49

I've got a 1.4 petrol. It costs about £40 to fill but I always fill up at supermarkets and my idea of cost is probably skewed at the moment due to Tesco fuel save.

I looked into getting a diesel but you have to do a lot of miles for it to work out cheaper. If you're rural it's probably worth it.

I don't really do enough driving to pay close attention to fuel economy, but the dashboard readout says I'm getting around 44 mpg.


WMittens Thu 24-Sep-15 14:37:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sleepyhead Thu 24-Sep-15 14:59:52

44 mpg like I said.

I don't do regular miles or many long journeys so I don't keep an eye on how many miles I get between refills (and I don't always completely fill up the tank anyway), but a rough calculation says about 350 on a full tank.

Flen Thu 24-Sep-15 15:11:52

This is all very helpful, thank you.

Has anyone had any experience of a Honda Jazz? My mother keeps going on about them being "surprisingly spacious"...!

AmyBecker Thu 24-Sep-15 15:56:59

Yeah we've also had the Jazz in, she's right though! Space is great inside, apparently offers more knee room than a Mercedes S-Class grin

Plus can't really complain with 411 litres of boot space.

Only thing to consider is that it's okay to run on decent roads but noisy at any speed.

Millymollymama Thu 24-Sep-15 17:30:45

Do yourself a favour and get a VW Golf. It is a better car than any of those mentioned above. A 4 door Polo might also be worth looking at. The VWs are more expensive, but you get what you pay for. You might even be able to sell them when you want something better and bigger. Avoid anything French or Italian. Secondhand small people carriers, Picassos and the like, tend to be abused by former family owners. You are far better off looking for a car that has been company maintained.

I don't see how you can have a small car and expect to pack it with baby, baby gear, holiday bags and a whippet, plus yourselves. I had a Range Rover for all of that! Any medium sized car would be better suited to your use! Overloading a small car will make it drive poorly. I would also consider air bags, ncap safety test results, mpg and the necessity of 4 doors.

Flen Thu 24-Sep-15 17:56:57

Thanks millymollymama, it's a question of needing one car to suit a lot of different purposes! Needs to be easily park and driveable in a city, but also cope with our lives outside work. Tricky balance! I've had a VW Golf before, liked it a lot, although they do seem a bit beyond our budget potentially. We'd have to go for an older model/one with more mileage.

amybecker thank you, that's very helpful. Maybe the Jazz is a real contender!

WMittens Thu 24-Sep-15 19:27:00

Do yourself a favour and get a VW Golf. It is a better car than any of those mentioned above. A 4 door Polo might also be worth looking at. The VWs are more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

Yeah, a lying manufacturer, for a start. VAG are highly overrated.

Lancelottie Thu 24-Sep-15 20:53:00

C3 Picasso isn't exempt from road tax but it was around £35 a year, I think.

You'd hate us, MillyMolly. We used to pack 2 children, 2 adults and the camping gear into a Suzuki WagonR+. I'm not sure they exist any longer, but they look a bit like Postman Pat's van in miniature.

Millymollymama Thu 24-Sep-15 22:05:24

No Lottie, I don't hate anyone !!! VW have lied about emissions. Did the OP say she was buying a car based on its emissions? No. She did not. Who actually does buy a car solely based on emissions? I think it is very few people. Most are concerned with build quality, day to day running costs, space and practicality, mpg, purchase price, reasonable servicing costs, what it is like to drive, residual value and, for vain people like me, what the car looks like!!!

In the USA VW have pushed the emissions because no-one buys diesel there as petrol is cheap. Diesels often do more mpg, hence the attraction to us frugal Brits. Yes, VW are wrong and they will not be the only ones. To dismiss some of the better cars on the market is ludicrous because they were dishonest over emissions. Toyota has had millions of recalls due to faulty manufacture. Do you all refuse to buy a Toyota because of their poor workmanship? I doubt it because basically the cars are reasonable. Not my cup of tea, but a perfectly reasonable buy.

AmyBecker Thu 01-Oct-15 16:23:16

It really is! Have you decided on which car you're getting?

Had a search around, might be worth looking at these

BlueChampagne Sun 25-Oct-15 22:37:48

Skoda = VW on a budget

BrandNewAndImproved Sun 25-Oct-15 22:40:03

What about a polo? Reliable and will hold value.

Abraid2 Sun 25-Oct-15 22:41:36

Ford Focus.

Mammina1958 Thu 29-Oct-15 05:48:45

Vw overrated and skoda is just an ugly VW
French cars just break down all the time and ever since Renault bought Nissan, they do the same
Fiestas are fine but probably the best value and best for space, reliability is a Punto. - am on my 3rd one and they're great.
Or...a 1972 Alfa Romeo Spider - has two rear seats and a decent boot..having kids should mean driving around like a pensioner smile

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