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Honda FRV? Or something else? Need occasional 6/7 seats and lots of luggage space..

(24 Posts)
elliott Fri 29-Aug-08 20:27:30

Another car dilemma here, advice from car geeks welcome!
Our requirements:
1. Family of four but we occasionally have grandparents to stay,and friends over, so up to 6 seat occasional use would be handy
2. Budget - we are feeling the pinch so something below our max budget of £10k would be good, as would low running costs...its our only car so gets urban runaround use as well as longer trips (though we don't need it to get to work).

We currently have a ford focus estate which has been really practical, great boot for the size of car - only drawback is me trying to cram in the back seat between the boys when we have my dad with us!

Top of the hit list is Honda FRV which dh is a bit struck on. I worry that it will be expensive to run and mostly that the boot will be too small....also is it really more versatile than a good 5 seater or large estate?
We also considered the Toyota Verso (boot no better, sensible but dull); Volvo estate with extra seats (hard to come by, we fear high repair bills with an older model, also that the back seats will be quickly outgrown); Peugeot 307 Sw (panned by reviewers as unreliable)
Any other suggestions or experience of the FRV?

Olihan Fri 29-Aug-08 20:48:06

We looked at the FRV and even went as far as test driving it but came to the same conclusion as you, that it was just too small in the boot. It is nice to drive but isn't really any bigger than your average 5 seater. The boot is proably smaller than a hatchback boot because it slopes really steeply at the sides. Visibilty out of the back is rubbish too, as the rear window is teeny.

We've got a Zafira which is a workhorse, not attractive in any way, shape or form but is relatively cheap to run (tax was £210 last time round, does about 350 - 400 miles a tank, depending on the journeys we're doing) and has the extra 2 seats in the boot. When the seats are up you can just fit a single umbrella fold buggy and a couple of bags but with the seats down it's HUGE! The backseat is fine to get 3 carseats across but the older models only have a lapbelt in the centre. It's also still a bit of a squash if you have to sit in the middle of two carseats.

When we asked about part Xing our 52 reg they said it was worth about £2k so a relatively new one would be well within your budget.

The Citroen Grand Picasso/ Grand C4 is similar to the Zafira but is a bit nicer inside. It also has the advantage of slightly wider, individual seats in the back so it's more comfortable to sit between two carseats. I don't know what it's like on fuel, etc but a couple have friends have ordinary 5 seater Picassos and love them.

elliott Sat 30-Aug-08 13:55:42

Thanks very much. hmmm, its tricky. I'm not really keen on the standard MPVs like the zafira - its a lot of car to lug around when we normally only have 4 of us. I'm surprise that you find the zafira boot a lot bigger than the FRV - we measured the FRV and the verso and they were pretty similar.

Olihan Sat 30-Aug-08 15:01:46

The Zafira boot is masses bigger than both the FRV and Verso, it's higher, wider, deeper and more square so you can fit a huge amount into it. You can also slide the entire rear seat forwards which gives you another half a foot of space in the boot and still take passengers. We brought a double wall mounted oven back from the shop in it with plenty of room to spare.

I know what you mean about the size of it when there's only 4 of you though. We're 5 and often have extra passengers so we use the extra space a lot.

elliott Sat 30-Aug-08 15:05:52

OK, that's helpful. Not sure how to dissuade dh though. I think we will really miss our boot space but it is hard to find something with 6 seats and a good boot!
How do you find the zafira reliability wise and for running costs?

Olihan Sat 30-Aug-08 15:17:39

I dissuaded dh by test driving it and attempting to get camping stuff+buggy+bags+random kids' paraphanalia into the boot. The biggest flaw with it is that to have a passenger in the front centre you need to slide the rear centre seat back or the front passenger is pretty much on top of the dashboard & gear stick. But as soon as you slide the seats back you lose a chunk out of the middle of the boot.

It's not hugely wide either so it's quite cosy when there are 3 of you across the front. DH felt a bit crowded while he was driving which also put him off.

It is a nice car but to be honest, it's no bigger than a large hatchback and doesn't have the boot space of an estate. The extra seat is useful but you do compromise the boot space even more when you're using it.

accessorizequeen Sat 30-Aug-08 15:19:04

I know the 307sw has been panned, but we own one and think it's absolutely grand as do other people on MN. I'm going to miss it as we have to upgrade to an mpv due to dt's arriving shortly. It's incredibly fuel-efficient, lovely to drive and huuuuuge boot. The only problem is space to store the extra one or 2 seats for your occasional visitors (or keep one there permanently, would still give a fair amount of boot space). I felt the same as you about the reviews, but we had one as a hire car and looked around for ages before realising there was nothing else without going to an MPV. Have not had a single issue with it and bought it 6 months old as a demo car.

BTW, Mitsubishi Grandis is a station wagon that seats 6/7, dp looked at it & really liked it but too small for us with double buggy & using 6 seats - might work for you?

elliott Sat 30-Aug-08 15:25:03

I was keen on the 307 until I a) read hte reviews and b) relaised that the back row of seats don't fold away - think we would find it a pain to store them elsewhere. Good to have positive feedback though!
Will have a look at the mitsubishi now, thanks!

PoorOldEnid Sat 30-Aug-08 15:26:34

multipla (same 6 seat arrangement as frv) or honda frv

i love my multipla although it IS a fiat (fix it again toni)

PoorOldEnid Sat 30-Aug-08 15:27:52

visibility uncomparable in a multipla

boot smallish but we've done all around france, family of 5 with three bikes and roofbox no problems

also if you get a cool old style one people wave at y ou smile

read the reviews, they are really good

elliott Sat 30-Aug-08 15:31:03

Not sure I could cope with the multipla...had some friends who had one and found it v unreliable. And it does look very strange wink

PoorOldEnid Sat 30-Aug-08 15:31:11

diesel has low running costs

you can take all seats out in any combination (so could permanently have one of the back seats out giving you five full size adult seats and plenty of room for stuff)

I find the boot is smallish but there is loads of room in the car - I fit a buggy, 3 kids crap and a tescos shop in with no problems

PoorOldEnid Sat 30-Aug-08 15:31:52

the honda frv is supposed to be much more reliable

its not in the new york museum of modern art though wink

Heated Sat 30-Aug-08 15:35:57

I like the style of the Honda & it'll hold it's value better than some. If you are after a bargain then the ford galaxy might be worth a look, although I'm not so sure on the boot space.

elliott Sat 30-Aug-08 15:39:29

dh will say the galaxy is too big. It is really. The thing is we don't really know how often we will end up using extra seats - how many people with 2 kids and one car need to use extra seats to ferry kids' friends around do you think?

Heated Sat 30-Aug-08 15:41:26

volkswagon touran
v sharan

Heated Sat 30-Aug-08 15:42:54

sorry links didn't work!

accessorizequeen Sun 31-Aug-08 22:43:20

It sounds as though it's really important that whatever car you get has seats that fold into the floor so you have maximum luggage space when you don't have extra guests. I found once my son hit 3 we started taking a friend for him out with us on day trips a couple of times a month and useful to have an extra seat for one or more gp's as well at times. We don't have the extra seats for the 307 but looking back ones that you could fold down flat would have been the best option.

I have the boot space (with all 7 seats up) for the following cars if that helps (we've been looking at them):

Seat Alhambra 259L
Citroen C8/Peugeot 807 225L
Ford Galaxy 308L
Mazda 5 112L
VW Sharan 256L
Ford Smax 285L
Mitsubishi Grandis 320L
Renault Grand Scenic 200L

Compare with the FRV? I've found Whatcar's website great for doing comparisons.

LovelyDear Sun 31-Aug-08 22:49:31

we have an frv, and 2 kids. and we take a lot of stuff when we go away. no buggy anymore though. we went from a small estate with a bigger boot to the frv last year. it's been fantastic, really comfy to drive and accommodate all the kids friends etc. so the 6 seat bit is great. The boot space hasn't been an issue, we've packed more carefully perhaps, and we have a top box for the times when we really need more than we can fit in. but generally, i haven't missed the old boot space like a thought we would. it's a diesel, it does about 32 mpg when used around london, and has just averaged 36mph on motorways and holiday use for 2 weeks. costs 60 quid to fill the tank which will do around 400 miles.

mummyhill Sun 31-Aug-08 22:53:26

We have the grand scenic and boot space is great until you put the extra seats up and then you can just about squeeze a small buggy in the boot.

Lovingthepink Sun 31-Aug-08 23:00:12

I love my frv. Three children and Labrador - space has never been an issue in the boot. However for holidays we do have a roof box. The thing I like about it is that even with six adults you still have the boot. With cars like touran and Verso, if you use the seats in the boot you loose your boot space. I also love the fact it doesn't look like an MPV. People are always amazed at how roomy it is. It is a bit like a tardis...

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 23:02:08

Mazda Bongo.

Mamadadude Mon 01-Sep-08 09:33:53

What a useful thread! Only yesterday we looked at an FRV. We need something big enough to fit a baby, a three year old and Grandma. DH did think we could all get to Ireland in my 307 hatchback - he has since come to his senses! I like the idea of the six seats in two rows as I don't fancy putting my DD in the back row of another MPV /estate as I think she would be two far away from everyone on a long journey. Boot space doesn't look massive though. What's it like to park? We'll have to keep it in our garage.

elliott Mon 01-Sep-08 13:36:10

Thanks for these. Lovelydear your situation sounds very like ours. We've been looking at a petrol model (can't find an affordable diesel locally). I'm reassured that you find the boot ok. We will also be getting a roofbox at some point...Mpg looks abit low and will be worse with the petrol I guess, but we'll just ahve to try not to use it too much!
aq, thanks for those figues, just reinforced my feeling that we need something with a bigger boot! (I think the focus estate is closer to 500L!)

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