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Small MPV help needed.

(20 Posts)
misdee Mon 17-Jan-05 18:07:19

after finding out today that its gonna be near on impossible to fit 3 car seats into the astra as the car seats arent wide ebough, dh has agreed to go thro mobility to change the car early. so now we are looking at the small MPV on the list here (scroll down to small MPV).

can anyone shed any light on maybe the toyota verso and others on the list. originally we wree gonna get the nissan tino, but didnt due to the long wait.

JanH Mon 17-Jan-05 22:24:35

It's the Yaris Verso, I was assuming it would be the Corolla! The Yaris looks like a small delivery van with windows, very odd creature, only 5 seats too.

If you can get it for the same money I would get a Grand Scenic (jimjams has one apparently). There is a thread about this kind of car atm, misdee, here - HTH!

misdee Tue 18-Jan-05 07:36:13

we only need 5 seats really, as long as i can fit 3 car seats in safely thats the main problem. dh hates cars that look like vans so that may be out. I am trying to persaude to get the Zafira but he says its doesnt drive that well, and he prefers the tino still. might get him to look at the meriva. fortunatly the vauxhall deale ris just round the corner

JanH Tue 18-Jan-05 13:55:55

I think the Yaris Verso has 3 separate seats in the back so you can move them back and forth, so it probably would take 3 seats. But funny-looking! Review with pics.

Which magazine thinks it's great and apparently most people who have one do too so worth a look if DH doesn't mind the look of it!

jazzybee Mon 24-Jan-05 00:46:54

I think you will find that the Zafira is one of the best handling Small MPVs on the market, even now, more than 5 years since launch. It definately beats the Almera Tino, and I would not even think about the Yaris Verso. Despite having five individual seats in the rear, interior width is key to ensuring three car seats fit across. Most kids car seats are slightly wider than the standard size backside, and the side thigh supports generally jut out at about the same height. I think it unlikely that any of these will fit three seats across. If you feel you only need 5 seats, I would recommend that you look at one of the two Six seaters on the market, the newly facelifted Fiat Multipla or the newly launched Honda FRV. The Multipla is about the length of a Ford Fiesta, but is wider than usual to accomodate three seats in the front and three in the rear. Should be wide enough to accomodate three car seats (but please check for yourself before ordering). The downside is the very course plastics used in the interior. Honda, not wanting to miss a niche decided to be the second manufacturer in this market space and lauched the FRV - reasonably well recieved, though not quite as sharp to drive as the Zafira or the new Toyota Corolla Verso, but has excellent build quality and refinement. They are about to launch the car with their excellent 2.2 litre diesel engine as well.

The alternative is to go down the Small 7 seater route, putting 2 seats in the middle row, and another in the third. I myself have a Zafira that I bought new 4 years ago, and they are fantastic. However, only the new Corolla Verso is better I feel, especially with their 2.0 D4-D diesel engine. Also, there is a new Zafira due this year based on the new Astra platform, and should be outstanding, especially with the latest CDti diesel engines instead of the currently available noisy DTi engines. Other new models that should be of interest that will be released this year include the Mazda5 that will be launched in March. It is tipped to knock the Corolla off the top spot. Mercedes will also launch the B-class in Spring/Summer. This will be larger than the A-class, and looks quite wide and short (but is 5 seat only). The Grand Scenic has not really done it for me, access to the rear seats is quite difficult (especially for lifting little kids out of child seats). A little lengthy, I know, but hope this is of help

Fiat Multipla:
Fiat Multipla
Honda FR-V:
Honda FR-V

Eve Mon 24-Jan-05 08:17:50

I used to have a Picasso and its great, plently of room in the back, lots of leg room, big boot space. (though only ever had 2 car seats in back, but it did have room for 1 adult bewteen 2 car seats).

I had the diesel which was very economical, so can't comment on petrol, but highly recommed it.

I liked the gear stick which was up high by dash and the handbreak was also raised other cars I had to stretch to reach handbrake.

misdee Mon 24-Jan-05 09:13:27

Jazzybee, dh prefers nissans tho. we currently have the new astra, and he did test drive the tino and the zafira, and said the tino felt better as he didnt feel he was driving a large car. we did fit 3 seats in the back when we test drove it, and i belive u can fit 3 with the zafira as well.

i dont see the point of having a 7 seater with only 3 kids, and most of the time dd1 will be qat school anyway, so really we could survive with a 5 seater as long as the seats fit safely.

hub2dee Mon 24-Jan-05 09:20:54

Blimey, jazzybee, you know your cars

Welcome to MN !

JanH Mon 24-Jan-05 09:41:10

I think jazzybee is someone's DH! TMI for the average female MN-er

hub2dee Mon 24-Jan-05 09:46:37


Jazzybee's been a friend of mine since we were 15. I don't think his wife is on MN, but maybe with some encouragement...

(Hey, whilst you're at it, get my wife to register. She thinks I'm a nut for being on here).

I mailed him yesterday when I saw this thread as I know he is a complete car nut and thought he might be able to offer some useful advice to people poised to buy new cars.

Personally, even though my family has yet to expand (12 weeks PG with first), I fancy the Citroen C8 with electric doors that's gotta be cool when approaching car laden with bambinos and shopping !

JanH Mon 24-Jan-05 10:08:12

I knew it was a bloke!

I would love a C8 or an 807. But a) can't afford and b) can't justify (only 2 kids at home now, hardly ever have more than 4 in car).

Both way too big for misdee though!

hub2dee Mon 24-Jan-05 10:29:36

You can't justify it ?

Think how much I can't justify it (PG with first !).

Still, it could take both sets of grandparents, or our friends with their baby, and we could do fun trips.

<rolling countryside, contented bambinos, blissfully happy parents>

<stuck on the North Circ (again), screaming psychos, will we even be talking >

jazzybee Mon 24-Jan-05 10:39:18

misdee, don't get me wrong, Almera Tino is not a bad car, and if neither of you are driving enthusiats, it is a very good car (nice size, well built, and quite economical). However, I have found 7 seat invaluable with my 2 kids, simply because there is always a couple of extra people for the odd trip, friends, grandparents etc. and cars like the Zafira are not THAT long, at about the same length as an Astra Estate. The thing is that they are quite tall as well, which adds to the feeling of space. On the downside, and this is with a great deal of cars at the moment, is the angle and width of the 'A-Pillar' (the pillar that is between the windscreen and the door), these days they block out a huge amount of critical vision, the area where pedestrians stand as they are ready to cross the street. When you about to turn right at a junction, you cannot see the people crossing the street as you turn until you are literally about to run them over... take particular note if the manufacturer has decided to put in a small triangular window within the pillar (they don't work - and the manufacturer knows there is a problem). In this respect the Tino is very good, great visibility.... etc.

In fact in one of our lengthy discussions on the topic of which car to get, I suggested a Tino to hub2dee, although I said it should be a second hand diesel, simply because kids ruin cars. I would rather have a car that I don't mind getting dirty inside rather than worry about something flash. Before the Zafira I had a BMW and an ML Mercedes... On the day I got my BMW, brand new, my 6 month old daughter threw up on the Black leather as we were putting her in her seat. The smell was there for months, and the black stitching was stained white for as long as I had the car. And I was always worried the kids were going to destroy the (light coloured) interior of the ML. So, for day to day Kiddie transport, get a spacious second hand runabout, preferably with wipe clean leather seats.

misdee Mon 24-Jan-05 11:11:45

the tino does have zip off seat covers, so easy to wash

dd2 is very vomit-y. the day we picked up the astra she threw up in it. oops. i have taken to have seat protectors on the seats now lol.

As its mobility we are restricted by the list, and dh did say he didnt like the visability on the zafira, that and the fact u only get a casette play in it lol . i want to have a look at the scenic thats on the list, and if we can find the toyota dealer in st albans (last time we gave up lol) we may have a look at the verso as well.

alison222 Mon 24-Jan-05 13:25:03

I have a mazda premacy. I have 3 car seats OK in the back. The boot is absolutely huge. We got it when it was 3 years old - about 18mths ago. So far I'm really happy with it. It handles well and as my main criteria was space and a highish headroom as DH is very tall its fits those well
It also looks like a car and not a van.

jazzybee Mon 24-Jan-05 13:53:35

Mazda Premacy is another good car that is very often overlookded. I think the new Mazda5 will be sooo good when it is released in the next month or two that people will start to look at the Premacy as a good 2nd hand buy.

beachyhead Mon 24-Jan-05 14:10:25

But which one actually has a reasonable engine in it? We have a hideous Audi A4 and we used to have a Subaru, so we would like a 7 seater which actaully is fun and quite fast to drive..... any ideas? Does the Galaxy come with a bigger engine (we've ruled out the Verso as if you have the back row down, you can't get a pushchair in). Also considering the Previa....

jazzybee Mon 24-Jan-05 14:31:38

A fun to drive mini MPV is more of a challenge... That is what I was looking for when I bought mine. At the time the Zafira was the only one with 'decent' handling and a very good ride. By handling, composed ability to handle corners well, with good feedback through the steering - no surprises or lurches. Ride being the quality and comfort of the car. Broadly speaking, stiffer suspension and bigger wheels mean better handling, where as the opposite is true for Ride, so you want a good trade-off that suits you needs. I think the Zafira is still one of the top MPVs, and you can get the 2.0 turbo GSi if you want speed. However, I don't think it looks that good, and there is a new shape model coming out in June I think. The Corolla Verso also handles very well, but like you said, boot space is very limited and there are not really 'fast' engines. Mazda5 looks very promising - lets wait and see. Touran is plain dull, grand scenic handles and rides well but does feel considerably longer than a Zafira to drive.

Hmmm.. You know what, I think its only the Zafira that is reasonably good fun - but wait for the new one and it could be great car.

jazzybee Mon 24-Jan-05 14:36:25

OOPs, you asked about the engine...

Mitsubishi Grandis is supposed to be good, but not seen it myself yet (another test drive to organise). Again, Zafira, Mazda5, Corolla Verso and Previa have good engines. The Previa is quite heavy though.

misdee Mon 24-Jan-05 18:22:41

dh said today he is stickin with the tino for his choice. means i dont get to look around at cars but at least we should have a new one soon yippee!!

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