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Family car recommendations

(14 Posts)
bunjies Tue 28-Dec-04 21:17:40

Due to the impending arrival of child no 3 in Feb, my dp and I have been discussing upgrading our car. We would like an estate with 3 proper seats in the back (all with diagonal seat belts) that can comfortably accommodate 3 child seats for a 6 & 2.5 year old plus the baby with a good amount of boot space (for all the inevitable crap!). The most we could afford to spend would be £3,000 so we're looking at ones between 5-10 years old. So far we have shortlisted down to an Audi A6 or a Volkswagon Passat.

Does anyone have an opinion about either of these cars or indeed have any recommendations of their own? Are they comfortable, good to drive, easy to get kids in and out of, have a decent amount of leg room etc? Any views for or against gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.

mishiclaus Tue 28-Dec-04 21:23:03

i bought a a r reg renault scenic at the beginning of the year for £3400 and it is fantastic.there is room in the boot for 2 graco prams, the 3 back seats r full size with full seat belts and there is plenty of room the back two outside seats also have little trays for the kids and i only have a ds but often drive friends and their kids and it is a fantastic car it has power steering, electric windows a sunroof and is really good on the petrol....i would recommend it to anyone my dh was sceptical at first but even he agrees its a nice car..the added bonus is that renault always score 5* on the enginiering safety tests in crashes etc....good luck

JanH Tue 28-Dec-04 21:26:16

Ask Honest John - there is an email link top L. Give him your requirements and budget and he will recommend something that suits. (He is a real bloke and it really works!)

gingerbear Tue 28-Dec-04 21:54:18

We had an Audi A4, that had a huge boot but not much room on the rear seat. The A6 is better, but I would go for a Passat, it is VW version of an A4, but there is much more room in the back. Go for a 1.9 TDI deisel - good engine and will run for 100,000 miles plus. For an older car, there are certain things you MUST check, as faults can develop in older cars. For diesels, check that the cambelt has been replaced at 60,000 and 120,000. Check the Top Gear website, Parker's and Glass's Guide for advice on buying older cars. The Top Gear site is a bit 'Blokey' but there is a good bit on faults, recalls etc on all makes of car.

Will post later with the links.

bunjies Wed 29-Dec-04 20:19:12

Thanks for the comments. Hmmm Renault Scenic. We currently have a Renault (an old 21) and it's very comfortable and roomy inside but doesn't have a proper middle seat in the back. Will have to check this one out as well. At the moment we are veering towards the VW Passat but are still looking at other options.

FlashingRudolphNose Wed 29-Dec-04 20:21:42

Make sure you sit in the middle seat in the back to check for comfort - we found quite a few estates have a hump in the middle of the back seat which would make it v uncomfortable for a long journey.

JanH Wed 29-Dec-04 20:25:53

FWIW I would always go for one of the high-roofed ones (ie Scenic/Picasso/Zafira v ordinary estate) simply for the ease of getting kids in and out and for the comfort when you are in it. I have a Zafira and it always feels so roomy and airy and nice compared to DH's Peugeot 406 (similar to Audi A6 in size) which you have to scrunch down in!

Gobbledigook Wed 29-Dec-04 20:27:53

Got a mondeo and it's marvellous - along the same lines as the Passat and audi A6.

We've got 2 Britax eclipse and 1 Britax rock-a-tot in the back and the boot is enormous.

Great safety features on it too.

jenthehen Wed 29-Dec-04 21:17:38

We've recently bought the scenic and love it! So spacious,comfortable and practical. My DH had real 'difficulty' in buying an mpv (previous cars were Lotus Elise and BMW 330 coupe)but has even phoned me to say he likes his new car!

mullgedwine Wed 29-Dec-04 21:30:18

What about a higher mileage Merc E class? You can get the equivalent cubic foot of a small country in the boot, have three proper seatbelts, and are good for 250K with decent servicing? love mine!

iota Thu 30-Dec-04 09:04:57

I have had a VW Passat for 2 years and am happy with it - we have 2 boys aged 5 and 3. Loads of room in the boot for going on holiday (in this country and trips to airports) - didn't need to use the roof rack.

Only downside is that the passanger seat airbag can only be turned off by the dealer - no switch, so I don't put car-seats in the front - OK as I can get 3 kids in the back if bringing a friend home for tea

KangaSantaMummy Thu 30-Dec-04 09:15:15

volvo estate



proper seat belts

Carla Thu 30-Dec-04 09:19:42

Mondeo Estate. Very few trips to the pump.

Gem13 Thu 30-Dec-04 09:26:45

We have an Audi A6 Avant (estate) and the middle seat is really uncomfortable. We have 2 in car seats so fortunately no one has to sit there.

It is great to drive but as a passenger I don't feel so comfortable.

We have had Passats (3) and loved them. Much more comfortable.

We're looking for a new car at the moment and I would like one with high doors as I hate all the bending and fiddling with seat belts. We live in the country so it feels like I'm constantly bending and lifting children in and out of the car.

We also have Peugeot 306 estate and the double Mountain Buggy fits better in there than the Audi!

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