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any advice on cars and hills?

(17 Posts)
fluffybunnies246 Wed 03-Jun-15 13:38:54

Hello! Last year we moved to a village in the Cotswolds. Our house is accessed via a VERY steep hill (we had trouble getting someone to move us, and friends have had to abandon their cars at the bottom of the hill!). My ancient Zafira copes well with the hill, but unfortunately it is on it's way out- clutch is going, there's an oil leak, coolant leak. I rely on it heavily to take kids to schools etc I need to think about replacing it with a newer second hand car. I potentially could be doing a fair amount of mileage next year due to work opportunities so need something that can cope with slippy steep hills and narrow muddy lanes, carry my 3 kids and not completely bankrupt us through fuel costs. I'm a bit of a car numpty (understatement) but I'm assuming that a smaller car with a smaller engine might not make it up steep gradients. I'm not sure whether a 4 wheel drive would be beneficial or completely unnecessary- I just put winter tyres on my old one and hoped for the best. Although our road is tarmac the wheels do spin sometimes. Any advice from drivers that are acquainted with comedy hills would be very much appreciated.

RedKite5004 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:44:52

Have a look at the BMW X1 4x4 and the Skoda Octavia Scout 4x4. We're currently car shopping for something with the sort of capabilities you're after (we have a Freelander 2 at the moment) and these models are at the top of our list as they both do 50mpg + on the diesel versions, which is a lot better than we've found on any of the others we've looked at and also have good ground clearance for muddy fields and tracks. In comparison to other similar cars they also seem to be quite sensible prices for newish, used models.

juneau Tue 09-Jun-15 13:48:55

You want an all-wheel-drive (or four-wheel-drive), car for those kind of conditions. There are many on the market at various price points, so it will depend on how much you want to spend. Failing that, go for front-wheel-drive, which will give you more traction in slippery conditions. Add to that, last winter was a mild one, but this upcoming one is predicted to be much colder, snowier and icier thanks to it being an El Nino year.

fluffybunnies246 Thu 11-Jun-15 12:12:40

cheers redkite and juneau maybe it is time to look at 4 wheel drives then, as I may have been lulled into a false sense of security with the weather. Although the neighbours have reliably informed us that if it's snow/ice no one can go anywhere except on foot grin. The Skoda looks like it might fit the bill nicely thanks again x

juneau Thu 11-Jun-15 13:02:38

I have a Skoda Octavia and I love it! I've had it for six years and its been a great family car.

specialsubject Wed 01-Jul-15 18:41:42

there's no reliable prediction for weather six months out!!

consider buying a set of snow tyres just in case, and if a few days before snow/ice is reported, get them put on. Remember to take them off again in spring.

allithwaite Tue 07-Jul-15 16:25:46

Skoda Yeti.. but to be fair you just need decent tyres, rather than 4x4 or all wheel drive.

BikeRunSki Tue 07-Jul-15 16:32:21

My PIL also live in the Cotswolds, in a very similar sounding location. FiL had an Octavia for years and replaced it with a Yeti 4x4 a couple of years ago and loves it. He's been rather dissapoinred at the lack of snow since he got it! . DH has a 4x4 Octavia, for other reasons, and it copes with the snow and mud effortlessly, and the narrow roads, both in "Summer Wine" country where we live and down in the Cotswolds.

PosterEh Tue 07-Jul-15 16:34:05

We bought Winter tyres when we lived in the Cotswolds then had the mildest Winter for years.

OwlOffshore Mon 20-Jul-15 14:31:34

I had an X1 and it was awful on icy snow. I lost traction so often it was scary. And the cheapy interior annoyed me!

I traded it in for a Skoda Yeti, which I like very much but this winter was mild so I haven't really tested it yet!

A friend raves about her panda 4x4 if you want a cheaper option given you only need the extra power in winter...

BeautifulBatman Mon 20-Jul-15 14:34:11

Decent tyres and a front wheel or 4 wheel drive - do NOT get a rear wheel drive car. You'll go nowhere but in circles/sideways in any kind of ice or snow.

Twodogsandahooch Mon 20-Jul-15 14:37:21

I would get a 4x4 . I live somewhere hilly but not rural and our car was unusable in the snow.

SonceyD0g Mon 20-Jul-15 14:44:20

BMWs are utterly dreadful in the snow. We have Subaru forester it's fab. We do put winter tyres on it. People warned us the parts were expensive but only parts we've had to buy are tyres and windscreen wipers. It's nearly 10 years old

BeautifulBatman Mon 20-Jul-15 14:46:52

Soncey that's because BMWs, aside from all wheel/4 wheel drive, are rear wheel drive.

OwlOffshore Mon 20-Jul-15 17:47:27

Ooh yes - forgot the Mitsubishi Shogun (if you can cope with the fuel costs....). Fab car!

SonceyD0g Tue 21-Jul-15 12:12:45

Batman I know. I loved my 1 series but after a light dusting of snow it couldn't even power itself up our drive. It's only a slight incline! We ended up having to park it in town where the roads were gritted and having a 10 minute walk to retrieve it when we wanted to use it. I had some super fun in it tho, beautiful car to drive. I miss her still but my husband never liked her.
Was told by a German friend that when it snows "put 3 25 kilogram sacks in ze boot. Zen it vill go!"

swisscheesetony Thu 30-Jul-15 09:47:55

Worst car = BMW. I lived in the Swiss Alps and had a BMW with summer tyres. I'm a fucking awesome driver on snow now.

Best = Subaru Forester.

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