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Best small car for 4DC

(17 Posts)
LostInMess Thu 21-Jul-16 10:38:12


Our cars have very inconsiderately started showing signs of dying simultaneously, with the usual bad timing. We have two and will probably need to replace two and trying to decide what would work best.

At the moment, I have 7-seater in week and DH has small estate car which he rarely uses for work. From August, he will need a fuel efficient car for quite a lot of driving and I will need something to ferry the 4 DC round (age 10months-8 yo, so still in car seats). We are wondering if it might be best for him to get a 7-seater and for me to have something I can fit the 4 of them in which is ideally not too massive (school run traffic is a nightmare!) and cheap to run. Scratching head and then it occurred to me that the answer, as ever, is to ask mumsnet.

All suggestions welcome!

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 06:55:19

Bump. We did all manage to fit into a 2-door fiesta yesterday, but I'm not sure it's something I'd wish to do regularly. grin

Cyrli Fri 22-Jul-16 07:00:24

Children under 14 should be in the back seat unless you can turn the airbag off. How did you fit in a fiesta? You must have very small car seats.

Mycraneisfixed Fri 22-Jul-16 07:41:25

If DH is doing big mileage then wouldn't it make sense to get a small fuel-efficient car for his solo commute and a larger (Ford Galaxy?) for whoever is ferrying the children around?

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 08:13:58

That was our original thinking, crane. But as we've found out from the past 6 years, large cars are heavy on fuel for short hops such as school run so it might make sense for DH to take a large chuggy diesel as they tend to be good on motorways. And then I can have a smaller petrol car for short hops (which
might not keep getting whacked when it's parked!).

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 08:18:53

High back booster in the front, Cyrli, with airbag switched off. I checked in advance as I'm well aware of the safety implications. Infant carrier and two boosters in the back - narrow John Lewis seats. It was a squeeze but they all went in for the whole 2 mile trip back from the garage where the turbo on the 7-seater was being replaced. They kindly took pity and dropped it back for me.

Jenijena Fri 22-Jul-16 08:19:07

So you need three car seats in the back and space for a buggy? I think with four DC you're going to have to suck up the fact you need a big car really... Even a 5/7 seater like the verso won't leave space for a buggy and shopping.

ohidoliketobe Fri 22-Jul-16 08:28:19

It'd be madness for your DH to be using a large car for a single person commute and leaving you and 4 children with a small car!
Is there a problem with your 7 seater? If not, why aren't you just keeping that and getting a small very fuel efficient car for DH in the week? The most efficient cars are generally small family cars -

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 08:32:16

Think we've got to that stage, Jeni, but after several prangs in the past few months, I'd like to at least try something that's a bit less likely to get whacked and a bit more efficient fuel wise. Shopping room not really an issue as I tend to online shop and from September will have 3 DC at school so there's space in the car - and buggy wise we have an old nipper 360 which folds down flat and the tyres can come off - fits easily into the back of a galaxy with all 7 seats up. Our thinking is just that, as it looks as if we're going to have to replace both cars within the next 12 months ( various bits grinding to a halt), it would make sense to have one 7 seater and a smaller car which could ideally take 1 of us plus the DC. And then we can just swap cars as and when needed, keep the 7 seater for longer journeys. Just wondered if anyone had any experience of this but it looks like we will have to take the longer route of Internet research before we head to the showrooms armed with car seats!

Thanks all.

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 08:38:07

Ohido, clutch is about to go and as it's about to hit 100,000 miles and has just had the turbo replaced, it's likely there will be further expenditure . DH changes jobs next month and can have a company car/allowance or split of both and, having thought we were replacing one car (a very elderly fuel inefficient one which is only generally used at weekends as he commutes by train) it looks like we are replacing both. He won't need it every day as he will be split between offices so our thinking is to find two family cars that can be used between us, rather than my car and his car. And in the most fuel efficient way - retaining the 7-seater was our original plan with DH buying a smaller car but we are now researching other options.

BigginsforPope Fri 22-Jul-16 09:08:56

If you have the option of a company car how much choice do you get? My dh is choosing his new company car and some of the cars on the list are the new hybrid designs and are very low tax.

It is worth considering your dh opting for the company car and then choosing a family car for you.

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 09:27:19

Lots of choice, Biggins - be interested in any recommendations you have for hybrids. We looked briefly at the outlander before discounting it on the grounds that it may be tax efficient but not fuel. We'd just got to the stage of thinking smaller fuel efficient car plus remainder of allowance in cash when main car decided to throw a wobbler. Hence a rethink of the whole thing - not ideal timing really.

babyblabber Fri 22-Jul-16 10:24:20

I think you would be nuts to do the school run in a small car while DH takes a bigger one. It's stressful getting 3 DC in and out of a car to get to school (add in some rain too!) I'd want as much space as possible! Also they should all preferably be in high back boosters til age 12 so you really need a 7 seater or at least a car with 3 seats in the back. If you're worried about prangs get a slightly older one and defo defo get sliding doors if you can. Ok it might use more fuel than a smaller car but it couldn't be that much more, the weight of the people will still be there.

We have a Peugeot 5008. I'm not a fan of it but it's practical (although no sliding doors, alas!). I couldn't give a shit if it gets bumped or scratched coz I don't like it, even if it was pristine. It's purely functional for now with 3 small DC and another on the way. My driving/parking is crap now anyway as I'm always distracted!

Id be looking for a good 2nd hand seven seater for you and a little VW polo or something for your DH.

Jenijena Fri 22-Jul-16 15:25:46

I also have a Peugeot 5008. Not hugely elegant but fine.

The Mazda 5 might suit - again a 5/7 seater, sliding doors. There are quite a few in the 5-7 category which are smaller than pure 7 seaters (galaxy vs s max or even c max) and might suit you...

LostInMess Fri 22-Jul-16 19:16:33

Thanks, Jenijena, that's really helpful - I think that's probably more what I should have said - what's the smallest car I can fit 4 DC into!

BigginsforPope Sat 23-Jul-16 13:38:34

The Mazda 5 does look good. We are looking at one as our next family car (we have four dc as well). The other 7 seater I like is the ford S-Max.

Dh is looking at the Mercedes hybrid as his next company car. Dh doesn't have a long commute but he does do some site visits and deliveries in his car so it has to be fairly practical.

Mycraneisfixed Sun 24-Jul-16 23:03:15

I have an 09 Galaxy, diesel. Does 450 mpg on short trips/school run. 500 if I'm doing M4 at 70mph.
DD recently bought a Mercedes Viano. £10k, a few years old. Great for all the kids plus the paraphernalia like pushchairs, bikes and all the other stuff that come with kids. Worth taking a look

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