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Need help choosing a new family car.

(61 Posts)
Blossomhill Tue 11-Jan-05 19:53:26

Currently have a 3yr old Hyundai Amica, which is a very small car.
We are now looking at getting a bigger family car as the children are growing and we need more boot space!
I quite like the Vauxhall Meriva, Mercedes A Class, Vauxhall Vectra and Renault Scenic. Any advice or recommendations gratefully received

JanH Tue 11-Jan-05 19:55:05

Of those, with no experience of any of them, I would get a Scenic, BH. (Actually am v puzzled about Vectra being in that list!)

There - aren't you glad I posted?

Blossomhill Tue 11-Jan-05 19:59:54

So am I as I meant Astra!!!!

JanH Tue 11-Jan-05 20:07:24

Ah, well, you really meant Zafira then (same size, extra height, 2 extra seats!) - the Meriva is based on the Corsa (I think...)

Blossomhill Tue 11-Jan-05 20:09:45

The Zafira's far too big. I am so c**p at parking so nothing too big!

lockets Tue 11-Jan-05 20:11:27

Message withdrawn

JanH Tue 11-Jan-05 20:12:41

Oh, it is dead easy to park, have you tried? Front is a bit invisible but the back corners are right there - have a go - the extra seats are really useful, and the boot's not bad when they're folded away!

Tinker Tue 11-Jan-05 20:26:33

We've got a Vectra (boring) but that's now irrelevant isn't it? Big and comfortable though.

NameChangingMancMidlander Tue 11-Jan-05 20:35:22

Merc A Class is cr*p. We had one on courtesy when DH's C class went in for work and it was awful. My Focus is a better drive. The Merc was very unstable, felt like it would topple if you cornered in any gear other than 2nd . They are v cute and nice inside but not a great drive and v expensive for what they are.

Blossomhill Tue 11-Jan-05 20:58:09

So who has a C3 then as I like the look of that. It's also reasonably priced. Not sure about the space inside or boot space.

80sMum Tue 11-Jan-05 21:02:08

We've had a Scenic for 6 years. Not over impressed with it's reliablity and the visibility of the dashboard from the driving position. Also has a very low handbrake, though I think the newer ones are better.
My friend has a Zafira, and like you is not that great at parking and was worried at how she would cope with such a large car. She took to it very quickly and has never had any problems; says it's a joy to drive and is very pleased with it.
I've got a Which? report somewhere. I'll see if I can find it later. Just off to watch Child of Our Time now.

onlyjoking Tue 11-Jan-05 21:05:06

my mate has a senic, it has done just over a thousand miles from new and it is going in to have a new gear box, know a few people who have older one which are ok, we have a mitsi spacewagon and a nissan almera both are ok

moondog Tue 11-Jan-05 21:12:05

I have a Scenic at home. Love it (although I am not remotely into cars.) Friend had one and liked it so much I got one.
Best thing-lovely and high so easy to get the kids in-essential with my bad back
Worst thing-really hard to get the seatbelts in. Bit that holds them seems buried down deep in the seat.

lockets Tue 11-Jan-05 21:48:34

Message withdrawn

bongobum Tue 11-Jan-05 21:54:56

Have had two scenics, both crap - one even conked out in the fast lane of the motorway when I was 9 months pregnant - never again.

Contrary to what's been said here I love the Merc A class. I think most of the courtesy cars are very low spec and the Classic models which are rubbish. the 1.9 diesal is fab, does about 50MPG!!! and is very roomy for me bubbah and two giant dogs even on long journeys.

SofiaAmes Tue 11-Jan-05 22:16:20

I have a Hyundai Amica too and LOVE it. But dh has a toyota landcruiser, so we use that for family trips. I don't think the merc a class is any bigger. I saw ads on tv for the new panda which looked pretty good. I think you should look for another car that is high up like the Amica. When I've had to rent regular cars in the usa, they drove me bonkers being so low.

milge Tue 11-Jan-05 22:48:42

I would vote against the merc A class - i have just had one as a courtesy car when my C class went in for service, and it was nice and high, difficult gearbox, very limited bootspace( couldn't get my twin aria pushchair in it), and little headroom.. I LOVE the adverts for the Meriva and Zafira ( i'm collecting all of mine from judo in the meriva, in the sweet mini Peter kay type voice), and that alone would make me buy one of those two... What about nearly new? Let someone else take the 20% instant deprectiation on a new car.

bongobum Wed 12-Jan-05 10:17:19

still loving the A class

Out of interest
Milge which model did you have?

Have to agree with you on the adverts though.

woodpops Wed 12-Jan-05 10:57:50

We've got a Honda Civic Type S and love it. Dh would love to get the Type R but it's only 3 door. THere is no way on earth I'm struggling with a 2 and 3 year old in a 3 door car. I HAD to put my foot down with that one!!

NameChangingMancMidlander Wed 12-Jan-05 11:06:28

Just to confirm that the courtesy A class was the same spec as my DH's C-Class. The 'Avantgarde' trim, it wasn't the interior looks that I was upset by, it was the basic build of the car. The standard gearbox, engine spec and handling doesn't differ from basic to higher spec, that refers to the trim level (ie how pretty it looks). The car we had was an A160 (1.6 petrol) Avantgarde on a 53 plate.

Bozza Wed 12-Jan-05 11:07:17

Well I manage with a 3yo and an 8mo in a 3 door Fiesta no problems . Although we use DH's bigger company car for family trips. We had a scenic as a courtesy car once and I was very impressed with it, well laid out and a nice drive but others on here have questioned its reliability and our Renault Laguna has been very unreliable although fault now ironed out. Think that if you can't park a Zafira you won't be able to park a Scenic either.

lowcalCOD Wed 12-Jan-05 11:07:34

dont hey wobble
theres a new one coming out I tink too

lowcalCOD Wed 12-Jan-05 11:08:12

fgs a zafira is on an astra wheel base!

NameChangingMancMidlander Wed 12-Jan-05 11:09:27

If you mean the A Class coddy, then yes. They wallow like no-ones business.

LIZS Wed 12-Jan-05 11:29:32

I can park a Scenic, well enough, but not sure about a Zafira ! I like the driving position, but orus has extra height from 4wd. There is a real blind spot behind a (old style, not sure about new) Scenic though and personally I'd prefer a parking sensor but at least the spare wheel provides a bit of a buffer . Like the extra interior height and variable space in rear seating/boot so you can get in yourself to buckle a child in the middle. It has been pretty reliable but clutch went at 30k miles and Renault spares etc are pricey.

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