View Full Version : Recommend me a versatile vehicle please
08-05-11, 01:52 AM
i'm not sure if this is in the right place, but as it is about vehicles it seemed better than putting it in the commons.
I need a bigger car, but know next to nothing about cars, so thought i would ask for any recommendations for a good day to day vehicle that is at home both in the countryside and on the motorway. My basic criteria (might be unrealistic) are
- enough room for lots of kit in the back (back seats down is usually an option). Often want a canoe on the roof (so not too high roof or van). I am thinking probably an estate car/wagon/suv
- suitable and comfortable for longer (motorway) journeys and general road use, but also able to cope with rural use. I don't need it for hardcore 4wd, greenlaning etc. but want something happy to cope with poorer roads, country/woodland tracks and back roads etc. (does that mean i'd be better off with AWD/4WD?)
- reliable, long lasting, reasonably cheap to run. Good mpg would be ideal (is that possible with AWD?).
As i said, i am clueless when it comes to cars so don't really know what my options are. So far i quite like the look of the Subaru forester or outback, but i am probably missing lots of other good possibilities so any recommendations, general advice or ones to avoid would be much appreciated.:)
As I was reading your post I thought of the Outback but the only way you will get decent economy is with the 2.0D version. A good source of info is http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/ as it gives a detailed write-up with facts and figures for practically every model of car that has been sold in the UK from the 90's onwards. What is your budget?
08-05-11, 06:11 AM
Subaru forester (newer diesel version), its big brother the outback diesel -watch the residual values (or if you can live with petrol you will get used models REALLY cheap). Freelander 2, or one of the last Freelander 1's (not as much room but again much cheaper- avoid 1.8 petrol like plague). Also Skoda Yeti (big demand at moment) or Octavia 4x4 (yes really), VW Passat full motion -have a been around for a few years so can vary in price/condition. VW also do full motion versions of Sharon, although I don't know about UK availabilty. Ford also have 4wd Mondeo's and S-max but don't know anything about them -I've Smax 4wd in the flesh but could find anything on website. And for a touch of class Jag X type estate, brilliant 2.7 diesel engine, the older models used a viscous centre coupling which apparently gave better snow/mud performance.
I would recommend Skoda Octavia 4x4 for two reasons.
1. I am from Czech and Skoda is a Czech car.
2. I had this car as a company car. Travelled so many times around Europe with no problem. Great comfort, fuel economy is fantastic even if you drive more then 140MPH, boot is huge,....
08-05-11, 09:19 AM
My first thought was Subaru Forester also, the only 2 I can think of that hasn't been mentioned are the:
Volvo XC70 AWD, the diesel versions get good MPG and were around long before the Subaru diesels so can be had cheaper.
Renault Kangoo 4x4 is another option but I wouldn't want to claim them reliable as I don't know.
I have shopped and changed cars quiet al ot over the last 10 years, have to say the Octavia (and Skoda in general) is an excellent car. I might look at a yeti in a few years time. Just be aware that some estate cars are basically the same length as a standard car (altered profile on the back), others are a lot lot longer. Big plus poins on the skoda are reliability, and flexible servicing if your not hitting mega miles.
08-05-11, 09:25 AM
How about a Honda CRV? We've got one and have found it to be very reliable. The canoe goes on the roof without too much hassle, if I have to I can put it up on my own. The older model with the side opening tailgate and spare wheel mounted on it has more room. Bags of room for a canoe camping trip with 3 kids, tent, lifejackets, big stove, sleeping bags, thermatests, gas bottle, pushchair, etc.I found it coped with the snow admirably even though it isn't permanent 4WD.
08-05-11, 09:57 AM
You know what, I never thought I would say this in a million years, but the Skoda Yeti is on my hit list when I change cars. Even Clarkson has rated it very very highly, not that his stamp of approval is needed or indeed quantative in any way, but seeing as he slags off anything thats less than £50k the Yeti did very well.
I currently drive a Nissan Navara crew cab with a fibregalss back and I love the truck but fuel economy has become a serious issue these days with me gettiing about 24-30mpg on average, but it has served me well over the last 7 years, done some fairly serious off roading, some of the best greenlaning to be had, in the Lake District, its a serious shoot vehicle, and yet I can drive to south wales and back in comfort with me and a few mates in there.
My ideal combo would be something like the Suburu Forester 2.0L D awd and an old Suzuki SJ for my shoot vehicle (speaking of which if anyone has or knows where there is one for sale drop me a line pls), but I still really fancy the Yeti.
08-05-11, 10:02 AM
I think we'll also be getting a Yeti next time we change, my wife and I both drive CR-Vs and love them, grear cars, reliable, reasonably capable (assuming you are too :) ) and plenty of space. My last car was a Forester and that was great too, not as much room as the CR-V but capable off road and great on the beach, better to drive on road than the CR-V too to be honest.
08-05-11, 11:20 AM
Devon and Cornwall police drive skodas, and they never cool down. When one shift gets out another gets in and they have done that for years. They just keep on going and going and going. They only ever need to change the tyres and add fuel. The beamers have problems. So skoda is a good option. A Pajero is also a good option. Good in towns and cities, but loves the off road. Not for everyone though. So my advice would be a skoda or scooby if you keep with the regular services on the latter.
08-05-11, 11:55 AM
I've found Fiat Doblos easy to live with (we've had 3 and still have 2) if hideously ugly, so I'm well disposed to the Berlingo/Partner/Kangoo/ Doblo style of van-based runarounds. Interior space and seat height are good. Fuel economy with the top range 125HP diesel averages 52mpg, and they can carry anything. Roof height might be on the high side, specially with Doblo.
Not too keen on the look or price of their very latest incarnations (doblo or berlingo), but the last style is good and cheap. With winter tyres they were great in snow.
08-05-11, 04:09 PM
In the UK my vote would be for an older Volvo XC 70 turbo diesel, preferably the D5 engine. Excellent economy, is transformed when on shale roads and very very reliable and capable.
The Mitusbishi Outlander could be an option as well as the Subaru Forester but first choice would be an XC 70, with preferably the seven seat option, if you have kids!
08-05-11, 08:11 PM
I had the same search & have just got a Subaru Forester 04 plate 2l petrol & v pleased with it. Would have loved an Octavia Scout but just too expensive.
08-05-11, 10:53 PM
Wow, thanks so much to everyone for such informative and helpful responses. There is lots of information to digest, so i will go through the recommendations and have a good look at them all. The subaru outback or forester in diesel would be preferable to the petrol, but after a quick look i think the diesel might be too recent an addition and the used ones are probably out of my price range. So it looks like petrol if i want a subaru, but the other recommendations all sound very promising.
Thanks again for all the input:)
08-05-11, 11:39 PM
Take a look at Toyota Surfs
31-05-11, 05:04 PM
I have a toyota hi lux double cab and think there great you can get all your gear in the back and keep the cab reasonably clean and I can get my canoe on to the roof with out to much trouble might be worth a look
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